well that's just, like, your opinion, man
hail to the victors: the book
After the spring game this year I was moved to write about the stuff Michigan was doing with Peppers. So moved in fact that I scrapped a "10 ways the NCAA can fix itself" feature for HTTV and wrote it on hybrid spacer players and how Peppers is a special type of that. If you'd like to read that, there are ways:
(not to scale)
e-Book version: Fewer photos, but a few paragraphs here and there that were cut for space. Now available from the Kindle store, working on iBooks.
Part of that article gets into how they aligned him (and Dymonte Thomas) in the spring game, but I wanted to explain more in detail what we mean by this:
Michigan will spend most of its time this year in nickel formations with Peppers acting as a hyper-athletic strongside linebacker. Against conventional sets they’ll be a base eight-man front with one deep safety (Jarrod Wilson) and Peppers acting as a maniacally aggressive strong safety, allowing the rest of the defense to play all kinds of tricks.
The gist is Michigan's defense, whether against spread or tight formations, is trying to have its run-stopping cake and eat the passing game too by putting Peppers in the slot, where his linebackerness can be brought to bear as well as his cornerbackosity.
Here's the Blue Team's first play in the Spring Game:
The soundtrack is off by a few seconds; sorry.
[There is Woodson after the jump]
Our fantasy partners at Draft Kings have been supporting Hail to the Victors since their main marketing guy helped us Kickstart the 2012 edition.
In 2013 he bought a bunch of the books off of us and gave them out to anyone who deposited at least the amount it cost the Kickstarter backers.
Last year they asked if they could just hand us money to keep making it, and I was like "can I tell people you gave us money?" and apparently this is called a sponsorship so they're sponsors. And they bought a bunch of books to give out again. As for this year…
They're the Sponsors Again!
Yay! But seriously I'm sure you've seen stuff for this daily fantasy sports website popping up all over the place lately, and we're very lucky that the people in charge of that are longtime and earnest fans of this site.
So once again if you missed the Kickstart you can still get this year's book basically for the Kickstart price by depositing $15 or more with them. (Or if you just want the digital edition—it's a PDF—deposit $5 or more).
The nice part for you is if you blow through that deposit, at worst you got a copy of a book you were buying anyway minus the shipping cost. But, like, it's a deposit; if you make money you got a free copy of HTTV, and you get money.
(The nice part for us is we get money if you do this.)
How this works:
2. You create an account using an email address that isn't associated with a Draft Kings account already.
3. You deposit $15 or more (for a full book) or $5 or more (for just a digital copy).
4. Within 24 hours I'll email you to say you get a book and ask for your address (if you don't hear from me or another MGostaffer within a day email me at [my name]@mgoblog.com
The books will be mailed out in batches so the sooner you act the sooner the book comes.
1. Gotta be a new user. They're looking for people who haven't tried out their games before, so if you're already in you're out of luck.
2. Gotta be in the U.S. (otherwise shipping's a nightmare). If you're from AZ, IA, LA, MT, or WA—i.e. states with prize laws—contact [email protected] to address that first.
3. Gotta be 18 (or 19 in Alabama or Nebraska).
What About the Kickstarter Books?
The final version has been approved at the printer so now we wait for them to physically print it. Make sure you sent us your address (just doing the Kickstarter isn't enough).
You should be getting your digital copies in your inboxes starting today. It's a 12mb PDF file but I have a lower-resolution 5mb one if you desire to put it on a Kindle or something that cares about hard drive space.
What if I find all this confusing and just want to pre-order a copy?
Go to the MGoStore! It's $15 plus about $5 for shipping depending on where you are.
We will now attempt to answer your questions (last updated: July 17 by Seth).
What's the latest?
DUOs accidentally got an extra copy. Due to a mix-up with our fulfillment people, who tried to speed along the process, 181 "DUO" backers got a signed copy in addition to the two from your order. Since they didn't de-dupe either, some of you got two signed books. We can't really walk this back, so enjoy. If you feel strongly that you should pay this back (you don't have to pay this back), buy something from the MGoStore, or put $19.85 into Beveled Guilt. If you think you should pay this forward, put $20 toward your charity of choice.
Shirt level and above: Your second book is SIGNED. If you chose a $50+ option on the Kickstarter, you should have been among the first receive your first copies. Your second copy is a signed by Brian and will ship with your shirt.
T-shirts are now being printed. They'll be in the mail with your signed copies over the next few weeks. People who chose this year's shirt go first since that's most of you.
Your Kickstarter copy should have come. If you backed the Kickstarter and got us your address before 6/30 you should have any unsigned copy already. If you don't by Monday, email me.
If your inbox is filled with requests for your address you should send me that. As of last count we're down to 18 people who haven't done so. I'll bug you one more time in a few weeks and then I'll take the hint.
ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
I missed the Kickstarter can I buy a book?
Yes! Current options:
|The Book (Printed)||Kindle Edition||Digital Edition (PDF)|
|(Draft Kings Deal)||(please review)||(Draft Kings Deal)|
not to scale
I have a writeup on these options here. They will be available in stores too but not many because we have no newstand distribution (we would welcome newsstand distribution).
Where's my stuff?
[Just hit the jump.]
Kickstarter expiration imminent. Our Hail To The Victors kickstarter ends at 5 PM. If you have been procrastinating, you have run out of time. We'll have copies in the MGoStore for those who haven't been able to participate. Signed copies, Kickstarter-exclusive shirts, and the ability to get your name in the thing are only available until 5. Consume!
there was a lot of this last weekend [Bryan Fuller]
CROOOSH. Softball annihilated its regional over the weekend, coming up a single run short of mercy-ruling all three of its opponents. They draw #14 Georgia in the super regionals at Alumni Field in a Thursday/Friday series. Thursday's game is 9PM on ESPN2; Friday's is at 6 on ESPNU. South Bend Wolverine, who graciously previewed the regional for us, is planning on profiling Georgia on Wednesday.
Hiring the team mom. Andy Staples interviews Harbaugh about the Gwendolyn Bush hire:
Bush peppered the coach with the same kinds of questions she did when Harbaugh was recruiting Lyons to Stanford out of Fort Lauderdale’s Dillard High. The banter gave Harbaugh flashbacks to the lengthy questionnaire Bush asked all the coaches recruiting her son to complete in 2010. It also gave him an idea. No parent he’d dealt with had studied the recruiting process as thoroughly as Bush. “Some people don’t take the time to really learn the process,” Bush said. “They just let it happen.” Bush wouldn’t allow that for her son. Inspired by St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) High tailback James White, who sent coaches brief surveys before committing to Wisconsin, Bush and Lyons designed a 50-question exam for coaches to complete before they could recruit Lyons.
Plus, Bush now also had the experience of a parent whose child had played high-level college football while completing a demanding degree program. As a bonus, she had worked in the Broward County school system in a variety of positions for 27 years. She had administrative experience. She would be perfect for Harbaugh’s version of the director of player development position. “With her credentials in the educational system, I thought she’d be a tremendous liaison to academics and also a voice for the moms,” Harbaugh said. “In the recruiting process, the mothers get very little airtime—even throughout the entire college experience.”
Wayne Lyons was headed to Michigan either way, and Harbaugh just took the opportunity provided by Bush getting back in touch to hire a person with that level of detail.
Seeya. The number of Indiana basketball players hitting the highways and byways of America, bindle over shoulder, swelled to five over the weekend with the dismissals of Devin Davis and Hanner Mosquera-Perea. The reason for their departure: Davis was cited for pot possession. Perea's offense was being in the room.
Kevin Trahan notes that the departure of these gentlemen on such a flimsy pretext likely means they were out the door no matter what:
…two Indiana players—Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson—failed multiple drug tests last fall, yet only received four-game suspensions that were more like two-game suspensions, given that two of the games were exhibition contests.
Why the Roger Goodell-like disciplinary inconsistency? It's hard not to wonder if Mosquera-Perea and Davis are less incorrigible embarrassments to Crean's team than a pair of inconvenient bench bodies, victims of scholarship oversigning. After all, Williams was a star for the Hoosiers and integral to their future success. Mosquera-Perea and Davis are not. Meanwhile, Crean needs an open scholarship as he looks to sign star high school big man Thon Maker—and surprise, two spots just become available.
Robinson got the ziggy earlier this offseason after demonstrating he can't shoot at all; Williams is still around, mean-mugging after he successfully makes tea.
Here's some perspective on this offseason's vigorous Creaning: for a football team to go through this much premature attrition they would have to lose 33 players. Tom Crean is the Houston Nutt of basketball. Giggity.
What about the other slot? A familiar name might fill it:
Michigan graduate transfer Max Bielfeldt, who won an appeal that will allow him to transfer within the Big Ten, will visit Indiana on Sunday according to a report from Jon Rothstein.
Bielfeldt confirmed his plans to visit in a text message to Inside the Hall on Saturday afternoon.
Inside the Hall optimistically lists Bielfeldt at 6'8" and most of the comments are along the lines of "he can't be worse than Perea." Which… okay, maybe.
Dave Brandon 2.0 has not been stopped yet. I feel for Texas fans with no light at the end of their terrible AD tunnel yet. Steve Patterson, the new Worst Athletic Director In America, on playing Texas A&M:
On playing the Aggies, Patterson said, "We're booked through '27. My phone's not ringing every day."
— Kirk Bohls (@kbohls) May 17, 2015
On playing in Mexico City:
Texas AD Steve Patterson says UT could play a football game in Mexico City before 2020.
— Kirk Bohls (@kbohls) May 17, 2015
Patterson is obsessed with the possibility people in Dubai or Mexico might buy a UT t-shirt because he is the kind of executive sociopath that is more concerned with putting a bullet point on a resume than actually figuring out what is a good idea.
Jerry Hinnen points out that playing at Azteca has historically been a nightmare for the USMNT due to the altitude, smog, and heat. Mexico plays all their games there specifically to discomfit visitors; Patterson wants to play a football game there in the vague hope it gives Texas recognition in a country that doesn't care even a little tiny bit about American football.
Etc.: Doug Skene and Mike Spath break down Rudock's game against Wisconsin. That is the next passing UFR on my list, and it projects to be an encouraging one. Get The Picture on the coming attendance dip. Angelique talks to Adidas. NoDak hockey coach Dave Hakstol hired by the Flyers in the same position.
AFC Ann Arbor beat Oakland United Sporting Real Dinamo Forest FC SC 4-0 to win their first-ever league game. Points to the rowdies for chanting "dos a cero" for the period of time that was a thing.
high-rez sticker courtesy Dr. Sap's Archives
[Ed (Seth) note: This article appeared in the 2010 edition of Hail to the Victors. Because they're bringing the stickers back, we thought to bring this article back.
Author John Kryk is all over the latest HTTV, with an original piece on the 1985 football team and an excerpt from his latest book Stagg vs. Yost: The Birth of Cutthroat Football, wherein Yost used horizontal offensive attacks and fast tempo to bewilder our chief rivals.
If you'd like to get our book, you have 4 days to get in on the Kickstarter.
If you'd like to get Kryk's book, it is scheduled to go on sale in mid-July and can be pre-ordered direct from the publisher.
A huge thanks to Dr. Sap and readers who sent in their pics of stickers.
Wolverines On Your Head
|Back of Derrick Walker's helmet from 1989, now in possession of reader Rob Graham.|
By John Kryk
When Jim Mandich, Dan Dierdorf and the '69 Wolverines dumped Woody Hayes' dream team, they sported reward stickers on the backs of their famous winged helmets.
So did Rick Leach when he led Michigan to two Big Ten championship victories in Ohio Stadium. And Anthony Carter when he caught that 45-yard lightning bolt from John Wangler against Indiana. And Jim Harbaugh when he crushed the Buckeyes back-to-back. And Leroy Hoard and Tyrone Wheatley when they ran roughshod in different Rose Bowl wins. And Desmond Howard when he made The Catch against Notre Dame, and when he struck The Pose against OSU. And Remy Hamilton when he gut-kicked Lou Holtz and the Irish.
But Michigan players' helmets haven't featured those maize, football-shaped reward stickers since Lloyd Carr took over for Gary Moeller in 1995.
It was a tradition begun at Michigan by Bo Schembechler in 1969. And, no, Bo wasn't copying Woody Hayes—as almost everyone today believes, especially the mouth-readers south of Lake Erie. The accepted story today is that Hayes’s 1968 Ohio State Buckeyes inaugurated the college football tradition of placing reward stickers on their helmets after each game. An ESPN.com feature story in 2008 reiterated that it “all started with those buckeye leaves.”
Only it didn’t. Guess who beat Woody to the punch, even within the state of Ohio? Why, none other than Bo. It was Schembechler, Hayes’s most famous pupil and eventual arch-rival, who’d begun the practice in 1965 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
courtesy Miami University Libraries
[At the Jump: how the bird poo got on the Buckeye helmets, right before the guy who invented the stickers brought them to Ann Arbor]
It's happening. Hail To The Victors is fully funded with two weeks left to go. I credit Harbaugh more than anything else. Thanks all the same; we will still be taking pre-orders through Kickstarter through the 18th.
Hail to the king. Oh nothing just Harbaugh hanging out with the first lady and Ciara.
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) May 1, 2015
Soon he will start appearing in historically significant photos and no one will remember that he was not, in fact, present.
Also sick beatz yo
— Coach Erik Campbell (@ErikCampbell) May 1, 2015
Seriously. I want to know what a Jim Harbaugh stadium playlist sounds like. Other than silence and the sound of manliness.
Hutch points with the best of 'em [Paul Sherman]
Hail to the queens. Softball locks down its eighth-straight Big Ten title:
On Sunday, No. 3 Michigan softball won the conference's top spot outright, beating Penn State 9-2 to improve to 48-6. It was the program's eighth-straight championship and 19th all-time.
Christner hit a walk-off, RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning to score Sierra Romero from second and end the game via the run-rule. Christner finished the day 2-for-2 with three RBI, and 8-for-9 in the series.
They will host the Big Ten championship and should get a home regional.
It could be happening? Michigan rattles its defection sabers in an interesting direction:
Michigan's process of figuring out whether or not it'll stick with Adidas or sign with a new apparel provider is ongoing. And this week, Michigan athletic department officials saw a pitch from Under Armour at its headquarters in Baltimore, a university spokesman confirmed.
A meeting is just a meeting and could be held for reasons other than "we are seriously considering Under Armour." I wouldn't read anything in particular into that. It is a move that implies Michigan is seriously considering a change despite having a contract that gives them Most Favored Nation status.
As for UA's pull, they just signed Wisconsin and their Notre Dame contract is rumored to be very big:
Under Armour has proven it can pay big money, too, though, as the supplier reportedly signed Notre Dame to a 10-year, $90 million contract in 2014. Though Notre Dame has never publicly confirmed those figures.
If money is the only factor it won't be Nike, which tops out at about half that. And if we're talking about Adidas versus UA my preference is for the latter.
Congrats draftees. Devin Funchess and Frank Clark went in the second round; Jake Ryan went in the fourth. Seems about right for Funchess and Ryan. Clark's spot is interesting for multiple reasons.
He got booted for a domestic violence charge, then failed to follow the contrition playbook in the aftermath. If you thought this might make the NFL wary you may have also had hopes the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was going to be interesting. Nope.
The other interesting bit: that Clark got drafted in the second round, period. He was always a pretty good player who flashed high-level talent; he was not the kind of consistent threat I'd think is mandatory for anyone to be drafted as a DE in the first two rounds. I mean, Alan Branch went in the second round. I didn't think Clark was anywhere near his level in college. The Seahawks evidently did.
It sounds like they did do their homework. Nick Baumgardner has an extensive article on Clark's draft spot:
He said Michigan's staff and personnel were "shocked" by the arrest, and maintained that the team got enough information from U-M's staff to allow the team to feel confident in taking a chance on Clark in the second round. He also explained how there were a number of teams who were prepared to take Clark on Friday night, possibly early in the third round.
"It was a process," he said. "I was there two days after it happened. Our area (scout) went through there twice. Our regional scout went through there twice. We spent several days there. The easy thing to do was to dismiss this. But, over time and I don't want to get into specifics of it, things became clearer and clearer in the evaluation process.
"We brought him out here, he met with our sports psychologist. But to be there at the time, to see the secretary's reaction ... it was, like 'wow.' ... You get a really, really good feel for the individual (in doing that)."
As I said before, Clark's got an opportunity for a second chance that not a lot of people get. I hope he makes the most of it.
Etc.: MLive has video from a recent AAU tournament featuring commit Austin Davis and target Brian Bowen. Gardner pre-draft interview. He landed with Tom Brady, which is not a bad place to land. The NCAA's mission is disavowed by the NCAA.