"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
This is an offseason post. You’ll find no revelations buried in records or statistics, no concrete prognostications on the coming season, and it neither applauds nor condemns the recent coaching change. It is merely one fan’s take on a somewhat transitory period of Michigan football.
Sometime after its owner has gone to bed, a Michigan jersey sprawled on the grass becomes indistinguishable from any other uniform. The blues fade into green then scarlet then nothing at all; the burst of maize flirts with the audacity of Nittany white before settling into a muted gray. The colors play their tricks and all that remains is crumpled fabric.
The uniform is not actually different in those hours after it was cast aside in triumph or defeat, but to a nocturnal observer its identity can feel temporarily misplaced.
Some colors just float on the light.
If rocks could swim, pigeons were toasters and the lunar cycle affected Michigan football, we would be experiencing those silent hours that are neither dusk nor dawn but that uphold qualities of both. Today's Michigan fans are like those nocturnal observers, watching the same winged helmets crown the same fervent players in the same Michigan uniforms, but somehow the team's identity, that ineffable thing that makes it whatever it is instead of something different, has been temporarily misplaced.
This is not to say we find ourselves in, or anywhere near, the proverbial dark ages of Michigan football. Instead we bask in the entropic calm of night, that recuperative time only partially remembered in the infancy of the following day. The night comes and it goes and it is not good or bad; while it's here our visibility is diminished and our perception is skewed and identities might become misplaced, but in the morning we are usually stronger because of it.
Some praise the Lord for Light,
The living spark;
I thank God for the Night
The healing dark.
~Robert William Service
Exeunt the night.
You may think that Brady Hoke is a god or devil, and you'd be wrong. If you tell me he's lucifer, you've stumbled closer to the mark but most likely by awkward chance. It's been 108 days since Hoke was hired, no games have been played, and how he will fare in the coming season is a fair question for better time-travelers. Although his success may still lurk in the realm of our collective optimism, Brady Hoke is already bringing something palpable to this team. It's light materialized into rote sound bytes about "toughness" and "fundamentals." It's identity. It's the dawn that ends the night.
Michigan may have the reigning Big Ten offensive player of the year, but the sharpest weapon in its arsenal at the moment is a newfound sense of self-definition. Six months remain to dissipate the lingering darkness, but already the contours of the future program are becoming visible.
Sing to the colors that float in the light;
Hurrah for the Yellow and Blue!
Yellow the stars as they ride thro' the night,
And reel in a rollicking crew;
Yellow the fields where ripens the grain,
And yellow the moon on the harvest wain; Hail!
Hail to the colors that float in the light;
Hurray for the Yellow and Blue!
-Charles M. Gayley, 1878
Just about everyone knows the chorus to the fight song, but many fail to recognize the above words as those to the alma mater. It's said that these words earned Gayley the sum of ten dollars after he entered them into a contest at the University of Michigan. Today they seem to hold a certain magic, a special meaning for a team battling the haze of the early morning and struggling to find its identity. As this team rides thro' the night, these words offer a reminder of what awaits in the coming dawn.
The light is coming, and the colors are beginning to float.
Lloyd Carr was almost a Spartan at one point. The article says how he was good friends with Perles and if Perles had gotten the job over Waters he would have hired Carr away from West Virginia. Instead, Waters got the job and Lloyd became the DBs coach at Michigan under Bo.
Three years later Perles got the MSU job and offered the DC position to Carr, who eventually turned it down to stay at Michigan.
Pretty interesting stuff. I never knew his connection to Perles. There is more in the article, interesting read.
So I'm back in AA for graduation weekend and around 2AM, we get a text from one of our buddies telling us the Charles Woodson is at Pizza House. After making sure he wasn't lying, we ended up making it to Pizza House. There I saw Chucky hanging out with Raseed Furha, Tony Anderson, and a couple of other guys. I could definitely tell that Chucky was trying to avoid getting bumrushed by fans as he was sitting on the inside of the booth. Since this was the only chance I would get to ask for a picture with the legend, I mustered up some courage and politely asked. Chucky said no, and as much as I was bummed, I can still say that I was a foot away from Chucky talking to him. I'm not really sure what came out of my mouth since I was 1. Drunk, and 2. So star-struck. So this was my "cool-story bro" story for the day. Anyone else see Chucky around campus last night or got stories about random Michigan football player sightings?
Let the party begin, first up Carolina.
Who they should draft: Patrick Peterson.
Who they will draft: Cam Newton.
My anticipated reaction: myarrrghidontlikethatguy.
Brady Hoke has made it clear that the state of Ohio will be one of the main areas of focus [Ed-M: linked to DD on Ohio] for recruiting going forward. He proved that point early on by offering most of the top ranked prospects in the state to the south, including defensive end Adolphus Washington. The Taft High standout spoke with me today about Michigan and where he's at in the process. Here's a look at his film and what he had to say.
TOM: I know it's still early, but you already have a good amount of offers in hand, do you have any visits planned right now? What's next for you?
ADOLPHUS: I don't have any visits planned yet, but I'll probably start taking some in a couple weeks. I haven't really had time because of basketball, so once that's over I will.
TOM: Where have you taken visits so far?
ADOLPHUS: Just Ohio State and Kentucky, I think that's it.
TOM: You said you don't have any visits planned, but do you have an idea of what schools you want to see?
ADOLPHUS: I want to see the Midwest schools like Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Kentucky. I can't go too far obviously, so just the local ones. Ohio State and Michigan will be my first two visits.
TOM: Since you haven't seen most of these schools yet, how are you evaluating them or analyzing them?
ADOLPHUS: When I'm at school I look up their rosters to see who they have coming back and who's redshirting. I kind of look at defensive end more, some schools want me to play outside linebacker, defensive end type role. Michigan has said just defensive end.
TOM: I'm sure the coaches are probably all saying something similar about their schools, but what has Michigan been telling you so far?
ADOLPHUS: Michigan, they think highly of a lot of guys here. They say they need Ohio guys to build their program. I mainly talk to Coach Smith and Coach Mattison sometimes too.
TOM: It's early, but do you feel comfortable talking to them? Do you feel like you're establishing a good relationship with them?
ADOLPHUS: I've established a real good relationship with them. Our AD at Taft used to play for Coach Smith at Indiana State so I trust him because of that.
TOM: I know you and your teammate WR Dwayne Stanford have said you want to play together in college, is that 100%?
ADOLPHUS: We're kind of looking at everything together, we like the same thing in schools. Our majors will be different, but yeah we're 100% going to school together.
TOM: I know that there's a lot of talk about you guys being Ohio State leans, and really liking Ohio State. Are you open to listen to other schools, or are you guys set on Ohio State?
ADOLPHUS: We're open to everybody. We like Ohio State because we grew up fans of Ohio State, but we're giving everyone a chance. Michigan is recruiting me very hard. A lot of people say that I'm an Ohio State lean, but Michigan is still recruiting me hard and I like that. That says a lot about them that they're still coming after me like that. Their program was down last year but I think they're an up and coming program and they'll be back.
TOM: When you start to take visits what are you going to be looking for when your on campus?
ADOLPHUS: When I go to a school I'm going to be looking for how I fit in with everybody else, how do they treat the players and everybody else on campus. Are the players segregated from everybody, or is everyone together. I want everyone to be treated equally with the players, I don't want it to be separate.
TOM: Do you have any preference for scheme?
ADOLPHUS: I can play in any scheme.
TOM: Fair enough. With that being said what do you think are your strengths and weaknesses, and what's your height and weight right now?
ADOLPHUS: I'm 6-foot-4, 258-pounds right now. I think my strengths are rushing the quarterback and being the first to the quarterback. I think I need to learn how to use my hands more, to use my hands better. That's something that I work on.
TOM: Do you know when you're going to make your final decision?
ADOLPHUS: I'm going to make my decision at the Under Armour All American game.