According to twitter lots of police cars with heavy weapons showed up at Angell hall. As RT'd by Zach Helfand: "@janawritesalot: Re: Angell Hall: Someone in military fatigues walked in w/ a gas mask, sign reading "Love is in the air. Be prepared."
I hope everyone is OK and safe, I'll update when I get more info.
UPDATE 1: Daily said DPS Spokeswoman Diane Brown said no imminent danger
The New York Times puts on their "TMZ" hat and writes an incredibly banal article about the "resurgence" of .gif images. I never knew they went away?
I know we love our gifs around here. Discuss amongst yourselves.
In December, Brian was nice enough to come to DC and do a question an event for the Washington, DCMichiganalumni group. There was a great turnout for the event. Some of this is really out of date (recruiting, New Years bowls, Lewan leaving), but some of it is still relevant.
In the off season, he is going to overhaul the blog and switch it to a magazine style layout so stories do not get lost as easily. Will also have "drill-down pages" for some of the smaller sports, softball, lacrosse, so that those sports don't get lost on the board.
Will eventually add a subscription model, the site will remain free, but subscription could offer no ads, a copy of Hail to the Victors, a tee shirt and discounts at Moe's.
Is going to do a basketball podcast in the winter, but probably not much more with the podcast. For a recruiting podcast, listen to him with Sam Webb.
When asked how much time do you spend on UFR - he just said a lot.
Said 8-4 was fine, about what people expected, keeps the momentum going on for the program. Pointed out that everyone has been worried about Denard getting hurt for 3 years and when it did, Gardnerwas able to step in. Gardnerwas much better than the coaches thought he would be - and everyone else I guess. Brian had a great line about Denard, said he will not be the best Michiganplayer of all time, but he will be a lot of people's favorite Michiganplayer.
Next year, the defense, assuming they can replace his binky, Jordan Kovacs, will be in great shape. Was impressed Quinton Washington, thinks Pipkins will back him up, although he will play a lot of downs. Thoughts Pipkins was bad this year because he lacked technique, and pointed out he got pancaked by a running back, but Brian thinks he will be really good as an upperclassman, said his faith is in part from the Heininger Certainty Principle - Heininger went from a liability to a strength on the team because of the coaching and the technique he learned. Brian believes that will be there as long as the defensive coaches are there. Brian thinks that linebacker will be a strength with three quality players in the mix. Likes Ross a lot once he bulks up.
The offense line will be the question mark next year having to start 3 freshman. But was pleasantly surprised by the development of Michael Schofield who should not be a disaster in place of Lewan. Said it says a lot about the end of Carr recruiting and Rodriguez recruiting. Thinks once all of Hoke's recruits are in place, team will be in a position to compete for national titles. The difference going forward is attrition will be for guys not getting playing time not simply leaving the team because they didn't get along with the coaches or coaching changes. Looking forward to freshman TE Jake Butt and RB DeVeon Smith (and Green if he commits). Things the pro style offense could look like Stamfordor New England. In the New Englandversion, Jake Butt and Devin Funchess play the roles of Gronk and Hernandez. Doesn't think WR will be that great. Didn't know about the redshirt for Gardner, but thought the staff should try and redshirt Morris next year, but burn it before putting Bellomy back out there, unless up 50 points, then put in Kennedy.
Thinks there will be a ten year war with Ohio- and guessed that Michiganwould go 4-6 (including this year). I asked if that meant Urban was the better coach and he said Ohiohas natural recruiting advantages and we would see.
Said we need to give the coaches (read Borges) two to three years to get their own players, switch to a pro-style offense before can accurately judge them. The worst criticisms about Borges that we have are probably not valid yet. Pointed out the most legitimate criticism was how badly the missed on Belomy and Gardner. They see both guys in practice and thought that Belomy was a legitimate option and Gardnerwas not. Noted that kicking game (save for kickers) was really bad and that the coverage was not good. Not sure why the staff has not adapted. Also questioned why they are huddling so long, thinks you lose something by taking that long, getting set and allowing the defense to sub in.
Despite the above, the staff are really highly thought of, tight-knit group. His sources said the staff was night and day compared to the coaches under Rodriguez. Really professional group of guys, great teachers.
Said the real battle will be when Mattison retires (he thought it might happen after a big ten title or Rose Bowl win), who will take the DC position. Said it probably comes down to Curt Mallory, the DB coach and Jerry Montgomery, the DL coach. Whoever is elevated, if they do a good job, would be the internal candidate to take over for Hoke in 10-12 years. Said after Bielema left is even happier about Hoke.
Bielema led to a discussion about paying coaches, Brian said it came down to priorities, Arkansas and Wisconsin have almost the same athletic department budget, but Arkansas willing to pay more, especially for assistant coaches. Wisconsin has the money chose not to. Reflection on the SEC/Big Ten - Mississippi State has 8 teams, Ohio State has 40+ including a rifle club. He also mocked the crew team having an indoor rowing facility, thought they should be outside.
Oh, Brian thinks the big ten will go winless in the bowl season.
Doesn't look good for Treadwell, but may be in good shape on Green, just because every other school fired their coach and Miamiis Miami. Thinks they might be in good shape with Conley and Dawson. If Conley commits, he might end up at WR, especially if Mike McCray's teammate, Reon Dawson, signs with Michigan. He hopes that the staff will pursue Eldridge Massington, who recently decommitted from USC. The staff wants to add a linebacker because one of the young linebackers might be leaving the program for medical reasons.
Brian loves Stauskas - even more than appears on the blog. He is also delighted that the NBA does not focus on a player with his skill set so he will be a "foundational" player for the next couple of years. Impressed with how much Hardaway changed his game during the off season. Pointed out that people have really stepped up after Douglass and Novak (the aneurysm of leadership) left. Specifically mentioned McGary as a leader of the freshman, didn't complain that he wasn't starting, went to the older players and asked what he should do. Compared McGary to a puppy.
Brian is very excited about this team - final four caliber - but also the direction of the program. Sees the strength of the team on offense, hard to double team guys when there are so many offensive weapons. Thinks the weakness is on defense, young team, not great shot-blockers, slow on rotations. Going to lose Big Ten games, like to Indianabecause of defensive liabilities.
Brian is very impressed with Beilein, including his ability to change up his style, moving from a 1-3-1to man, adapting to the team's strengths, like more alley-oops this year. Says Beilein reminds him of a chemistry teacher - compared him to Walter White on the first episode of Breaking Bad without the meth or cancer. Also very high on the assistants, including Bacari Alexander and LaVall Jordan. Thinks that they could be head coaching material, but will probably stay to see how this group of players develop.
Odds and Ends
Brian was depressed and didn't want to talk about hockey, said real chance they will miss the NCAAs. Not sure why, the team has talent. Did say the goal keepers we not to blame as much you might think. Was asked a question about Red if he was going to be pushed out, said that Red was the Hockey Bo, could stay as long as he wanted, but would step away if it came to that.
Brian is not a fan of expansion, and did a straw poll with 80% of the audience against it. His ideal expansion plan would be to go to 20 and have everyone that joined in 1990 or later be in the other division and he could forget about them. He also doesn't think the big ten people really have a clue, both for the future of television and how the conference should be aligned. Brian thought the future was a la carte with only the true fans paying for football on cable, and grandma watching matlock on netflix. If that is the case, Rutgers, even though they are in NYC, doesn't make a lot of sense, they do not have a passionate fan base. Brian noted that Louisville is in a much smaller media market, but they are the only game in town and have a huge fan base.
For alignment, Brian pointed out there is a major problem with Michigan and Ohio in different divisions - if they are playing for the big ten title the week following the Game, do they play as hard, do they not show the whole bag of tricks, or rest starters? Would be a de facto division championship if they were in the division.
Regarding Dave Brandon, he said that the Hoke hire was great, but everything else is reducing the program and the experience. Said that he doesn't want to see a Lions game at Michigan Stadium, that Michigan is unique and Brandon is turning it into something generic. Would tell him not to make Michigan into pizza if he could talk to him. He pointed out that we do not watch college sports because it is the best product that is the pros, but there is something special about college sports.
Took a look for an official press release to link to and couldn't find it. In its place, here's a link to all of Google's magic regarding this big announcement.
Fact bound to be repeated ad nausium: Benedict becomes the first Pope to resign in 600 years, with Gregory XII being the last in 1415.
Normally I'd let the comments go for a while at least, but after this morning I think we're better off just having the post and moving on; there are hundreds of thousands of places better suited to this discussion than MGoBoard.
In the style of
Kevin Johnson arrived in Ann Arbor in the fall of 2007. The first athletic event he attended would forever shape the rest of his 6 years on the University of Michigan campus. Kevin found himself jumping up and down with joy on a typical Ann Arbor fall Saturday afternoon as Mario Manningham was dragged down after receiving a 46-yd pass from Chad Henne in what assuredly was going to be the key in avoiding an embarrassment of epic proportions. When Mountaineer Corey Lynch blocked the would-be game winning field goal, every Wolverine fan was stunned. Kevin, however, fell into a deep depression.
Kevin would go on to attend Michigan football and basketball games with regularity. The 2008 return to the NCAA tournament was just a slight reprieve from what was a year of routine disappointment for Kevin. By sophomore year, Kevin attempted to live the life of a regular UM student. Kevin settled on a political science major, hung out with friends and held down a campus job. Still, the pain from the Horror of 2007 stuck with Kevin. By the time graduation came in 2011, Kevin was at a loss. His inability to move past the Horror resulted in his girlfriend dumping him. After failed internship interview after failed internship interview, Kevin decided that grad school was his only choice.
In the fall of 2011, Kevin enrolled in Law School with a renewed vigor and things started to look up. Michigan football exceeded expectations in Brady Hoke’s first year and Kevin began dating Annie – who he quickly fell in love with. The following summer was full of promise, though Kevin still worried – was he past the unmentionable start to his college career? As the penultimate semester concluded Kevin’s life again was thrown into shambles. After an intense outburst following Michigan’s loss to Ohio State, Annie left Kevin, saying she could never date a man who put a sports team ahead of his girlfriend. Parents and friends warned Kevin of his impending massive debt and grim career prospects in the law field. The malaise returned, with no end in sight.
Still, Kevin kept going to athletic events. On February 5, 2013 Kevin witnessed the unthinkable – a Michigan basketball program cement itself as the nation’s top team. After six tumultuous years, it was suddenly worth it. As if the heavens said “All your travails have been for this moment. Enjoy it, my son.” Kevin would walk home on air that night, proudly wearing his banana suit. There was nothing in the world that could hold him back.
Feel free to add the stories of the other characters in what will be the greatest story told on MGoBlog since the Naked Banner Guy.
So it's Friday afternoon and no one wants to work. A fresh 12 inches here in the Mitten (at least for those on the west side of the state) should give us plenty of opportunity to do some skiing, sledding, etc this weekend. Took me over an hour to shovel the driveway this morning.
So what are you up to (besides wasting the workday on MGoBlog)? As for me, I'm plotting the purchase of a last-minute gift for my father's birthday. Deciding between the utilitarian (but more affordable) option and the pricey but enjoyable option. What say you, MGoBlog?