Like me, you were probably weaned on the odd and mildly creepy similarities between the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy. To wit: Lincoln’s assassin did the deed in a theater and hid in a warehouse; Kennedy’s killer shot from a warehouse and hid in a theater. Lincoln had an aide named Kennedy; Kennedy had an aide named Lincoln. JFK was shtupping Marilyn Monroe; Marilyn Manson once had carnal knowledge of a woman named Lincoln (or something like that).
Other Mansons are equally stunned
The 50th anniversary of JFK’s death got me thinking about other parallels in history, and in particular, those related to Michigan Football (though it might have had more to do with the empty bottle of Bullitt 95 Rye in my trash can than anything on the History Channel last night). Last week, Civil War generals were on my mind. This week, it’s the Soviets and their bolloxed up Race to the Moon….
Spooky, isn’t it?
#3 Sergey “Bo” Korolyov’s Dodgy Heart
In 1965, no one was more important to the Soviet space program than Sergey Korolyov. Although his title was merely “Chief Designer” to hide his real importance and role (out of fear that the U.S. would target him for espionage, defection or assassination) he was, in fact, the visionary powering the early successes against NASA. He was the principle force behind the USSR’s ICBM, Sputnik, Vostok, Voshkod and Soyuz designs, and had a major role in the planning and execution of the first manned mission into space and the first spacewalk.
Unfortunately, his ticker’s sell-by date was January 1966. Korolyov’s first heart attack, in 1960, led to additional cardiovascular, intestinal and endocrinal problems over the years and a warning from his doctors that he needed to “slow down”. In a response that would have made many a Michigan Football coach proud, he simply responded, “To hell with Necro Dread.”
Unfortunately for the Soviets, their succession planning was about as successful as Fitz-up-the-middle when Korolyov’s bravado wrote one too many checks that his body couldn’t cash. For, waiting in the wings, was….
#2 Vasily “I’ll-Make-You-Forget-Whatshisname” Mishin
Upon Sergey Korolyov’s death, Vasily Mishin – by all accounts, a competent engineer – succeeded to the title of “Chief Designer.” But much like Lloyd’s final few and Rich Rodriguez’s three years, or even Brady’s tenure so far, it turned out that Mishin was no Korolyov. He lacked Korolyov’s political authority and found himself mired in competition from others within the Soviet program. Meanwhile,
OSU MSU the Americans were quickly recovering from the disaster of John Cooper John L Smith the Apollo 1 fire and setting their sights on the B1G Championship Moon.
The final setback came during The Horror: four consecutive N-1 rocket launches ended in disaster, permanently ending the Soviets’ hope for a moon landing. In 1974, Mishin was finally relieved of his duties as Chief Designer by no other than
Dave Brandon Leonid Brezhnev when it became clear that new program leadership was needed. By then, the U.S. had successfully landed and returned six manned missions to the Moon and three more entered and returned from lunar orbit (Apollo 8, 10 and 13). While the Soviets would later launch Low Earth Orbit programs including two space stations (Salyut and Mir) the lustre was gone.
Of course, that didn’t mean the Soviets weren’t above “borrowing” a few ideas from the U.S….
#1 The Buran “Any-Similarities-Are-Purely-Coincidental” Shuttle
The Soviet-U.S. shuttle doppelganger
By the 1980s, the U.S. Space Shuttle program was the shiny new toy among the world’s rocket scientists. Much like Michigan’s dabbling in dual-threat quarterbacks, the read-option, inverted veers and slot ninjas, the Soviets deigned to have their own. After a decade’s worth of development (advanced in no small measure by a little espionage) the USSR had its Buran shuttle. Like the U.S. orbiter, it rode into space on the back of a really big booster, landed like a glider, and was carried on the back of a massive jumbo jet between pit stops on Planet Earth.
One, unmanned mission into space was all it got. By the time it flew, the nature of the military and civilian missions it was designed to support had changed so that it no longer served a viable purpose, the USSR was preparing for its date with the ash heap of history, and the Buran was carted off to a museum. Meanwhile, U.S. was taking a fresh look at
manball less complex vehicles that were more reliable.
Fortunately, Russia had a ready-made supply of 1960s-vintage Soyuz capsules with which it was ready to compete on the world stage. No word yet on how it fares against eight- or nine-in-the-box defenses.
For long-time MGoBlog readers who'd like a trip down memory lane and into the realm of hearsay and speculation (not to mention a fun distraction from yesterday's events), there's an interesting article on EMU in the DetNews today:
EMU regent Jim Stapleton did not agree with the firing, saying English needed six years to succeed. He said English had one of the best coaching staffs in the MAC, men who won titles elsewhere.
“They did not get dumb overnight,” he said.
* * * * *
He also blamed former players for creating a negative vibe around the program.
“A lot of those guys fought against his hiring,” Stapleton said. “(English) had internal battles all the time. There was a culture of former players who did not want to see him succeed. … They never liked him.”
* * * * *
Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
The Nebraska center was obviously late snapping the ball on 4th & 2 at the Michigan 31 on their game-winning drive. "Illegal procedure, the whole team" should have been the words out of the official's mouth. Instead, the Nebraska gain of 26 yards on a pass to Kenny Bell stood.
It should have been a 4th and 7 do-over.
Clearly, M fans seem to be sensing that we have bigger problems than a single loss.
If we beat Ohio, does that save the season in your mind? If not, does it at least allow you to stomach the season?
Does it mean anything at all? (Other than what it traditionally means)
As you might expect, the state of our game Open Threads is not good, but there is definitely some stuff that is worthing noting now that we have experienced the Nebraska game and our first home loss since 2010.
We increased our production of cussing and general ill will towards things by an impressive 26.2% game-over-game from last week, which should quell fears - at least for now - that we are growing apathetic as a fanbase. In doing so, we have come within 100 instances of reaching the 3,000 plateau for the tracked words and references, and there are still three games left.
In other good news, we are starting a trend of mixing up the words a little, although we continue to lean rather a lot on "fuck", particularly in the form of an interjection and adjective. We did decrase the overall mix of "fuck" by about another 2%, so it is down to 47.54% as part of the overall total. It won't shock anyone, but "suck" has taken a slight lead as the second most common of the tracked words at a respectable but still distant 13.05% of the overal total.
Here is the updated summary data:
|TOTAL||AVERAGE||STD. DEV.||% oF TOTAL|
|"put in Morris"||99||11.00||13.67||3.41%|
Hidden in here but quite notable is the spike in references to put in Shane Morris. Twenty-eight people had stated that they had their fill of Devin Gardner yesterday, which is the most since the Penn State game. Actually, more than half of the Morris posts tracked here come from that game and now yesterday's game. Here is the game-by-game count - if you double-click on the image, you will get to see the full-scale graph on Photobucket:
The normalized values:
So, it will look different than last week's because of two spikes - we blew the doors off of calls for firing someone. The Z-value this week is 2.04. We also blew the door off of "ass" for some reason, relying on this word at a rate 2.12 standard deviations above the normal use of "ass".
Here are a few interesting relationships that are within the normalized chart. First, something that I will call "F*ck-Fire Relationship":
It is still evident that the watershed moment for the season was Penn State, but you can see even with this subset of data that we've eased on the "fuck" and gone right to "fire" in the past two weeks. Obviously, the anger is understandable. Here's the "Shit-Damn" comparison:
"Damn" saw most of its life during the Penn State game, but "shit" saw spikes during Akron and UConn. My theory - as I was swearing off-blog - is that this was due to the unexpected flow of these games in combination with results. You can see "shit" trending back to decent levels, but "damn" is fading again.
Preliminary results of accumulating data for a Pareto Of Discontent seem to indicate that 80% of the anger is directed at Borges, turnovers, negative run plays and 3rd and longs. More on this as I develop the metric.
For coach Borges I'd like to ask. If you don't beleive we're tipping on hand with certain packages, how do you explain Nebraska consiatantly run blitzing where our RB hole was supposed to be. Or why Penn state would substitute their DE's for tackles on certain plays. Even if you don't see it , what are you going to do to correct it.
For Coach Hoke, If you love The University of Michigan does it hurt you physically when your offensive coaches let the players down? Do you ever want to punch Borges in the face?
For coach Mattison it's more of a statement. We're sorry and please don't join Urban meyer in Columbus when Hoke is fired.