no, YOU'RE off topic
Since the past few days have been boring around here with no bowl game and all; here is the last Hello post for the incoming Freshman class for Coach Hutch and the Softball Team.
The fourth and last signee is Natalie Peters. She HAILS from San Diego's' Mt. Carmel High School. She is an Outfielder and a left-handed slapper ala Lyndsay and Colie. While in High School, she has been a three-time All-League player, including two first team selections. She was named the 2014 most valuable player for Mt. Carmel, and has also won the school's leadership award and top offensive player awards during her career.
Natalie played her travel ball for the famous Orange County Batbusters. Her Batbusters squad claimed the 2014 18U Premier Girls Fastpitch National Championship. This fall she is playing with the Batbusters and is batting a robust .512 through the first 16 games of the season with an on-base percentage of .600.
Welcome to the family Natalie. We wish you all the luck in the classroom as well as on the skin. And as always Go Blue!
SO ENDS 2014 FOR MGOBLOG…
I like to tell people that sometime in the afternoon of September 1st, 2007, after the final whistle of The Horror, Michigan football began a long walk in the woods in search of itself. We saw the edge of the woods perhaps in 2011 in the first year under Brady Hoke, but only for a fleeting moment as we took the bend in the path which led back into the thicket of seemingly muddled identity.
Even going into 2014, it didn’t seem like the way out was coming anytime soon, and as disappointments mounted, we began to wonder if 2014 was becoming a make-or-break moment for the program. That is to say, we seemed to come to the conclusion that it either gets righted now – or at least gets in a position where it can be righted – or we might be in for a long period of numbing irrelevance.
2014 itself began, I think, with some cautious optimism but much impatience after a lackluster end to 2013 with the bowl loss merely encapsulating the frustrations that had been building since one night in October 2013 where we witnessed, to quote Ace, “the stupidest fucking game that Michigan ever played”. Let’s be honest, it was exactly that.
It was with those memories we began the year, but we did have an excellent run from our basketball team which ended sadly with a loss to Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament. During the so-called Polar Vortex, during which much of the upper Midwest became the densely populated mockup of Greenland, we watched with delight as Michigan basketball put another great season in the books.
The late spring and summer were dominated with football talk around here – more than usual - because I think the crossroads were before us, and we knew it. The fall began with a bit of vengeance against Appalachian State, but then the reason of the season happened – I’ll put it that way. We endured deteriorating performance even with a theoretically excellent roster, public relations nightmares and it became clear by the end of September that this was not, in fact, Michigan. Indeed, the things that made it so were absent altogether in some cases.
Enter Jim Hackett. The absence of David Brandon as our Halloween treat suddenly breathed some life into what was a thick fog of disillusionment around the fanbase by that time. Sure, he was interim, but almost immediately, changes began – vestiges of the Brandon era in the department were told they had no future – and the culture began to change. Our season was lost by then, but we all talked about the potential to make it right existing where it had not before.
We lost to Ohio State. Days later, Brady Hoke found himself unemployed – this felt like a necessary, sad duty and if there was anything that would have summed up 2014 to that point, it was having the team leaderless yet again. We talked about whether or not the leadership had actually been there in the first place, but now it physically was not.
December on MGoBlog was one of the nuttiest months I’ve ever experienced here. Up and down, left and right, rumors, sources, sources shooting down or confirming those sources, the NFL / college axis of reporters…every conceivable name up to and including some Division III guys being discussed as potential replacements. We had no effing clue, more or less, until not that long ago that this was in fact “happening”, but I think that deep down we loved every minute of this or we would not have tried so hard to make “Stitt Happens” a Michigan thing for 15 minutes.
If 2014 up to the point of noon yesterday were to be called anything, it would be the year where Michigan’s identity crisis reached critical mass. With the Harbaugh hire, I think we’ve put ourselves in a position to have 2015 be the year where Michigan rediscovered itself.
A year that began on a cautious note, sunk to despair for a lot of fans (myself included), and then has now ended with a grand slam hire in Jim Harbaugh is a year that I wouldn’t call completely lost then. Indeed, we end 2014 with a renewed optimism and a sense that the future really can be ours. We end this year with the hope that football can get back to where we know it has been, perhaps even farther than that at some point. It might not happen right off the bat, but the potential is now real under the stewardship of Harbaugh, in my opinion.
I realize that this diary rehashes some unpleasant moments, but it isn’t anything you didn’t know. I just want to believe that now, after 7 long and frustrating years, this walk in the woods ends along with 2014 and the future is indeed bright.
Cheers, MGoBlog. Here’s to an exciting 2015.
Since the Board is a little slow today, I thought I would finish the Hello: posts for the remaining 2 recruits that signed their NLOI last month.
Leah Crockett HAILS from Rochester, New York's Penfiled High School. She is a right-handed pitcher. She also has a fairly good bat as well. She was named All-State in New York twice, picking up third and fourth team honors thus far in her career. She has many local awards too.
Her Travel Teams have done very well with her in the circle. In 2013 her New Era Diamond Girls team captured the Triple Crown 16U Silver crown; in 2012 the same squad took the 14U Pony national title.
Last season for Penfield she showed dominance in the circle and at the plate. She tossed 71 strikeouts in 52 innings while compiling an ERA of 1.88 and a WHIP of 1.30. At the dish she batted .461 in 77 at-bats and slugged .792.
Welcome to the family Leah. We all hope you perform well in the classroom and on the skin.
EDIT: Updated to reflect moves made by Chicago
While we all celebrate how we snagged the big one (omg Harbaugh!!!), some other NFL head coaches will be fired today. Here's my view on who will be looking for work by the end of the day:
Jim Harbaugh, SF (!!!!!!!)
Rex Ryan, NYJ (he and GM John Idzik are both done)
Mike Smith, ATL
Marc Trestman, CHI (along with GM Phil Emery)
Keep an eye on:
Tony Sparano, OAK (he was an interim HC, but players liked him so he's in play for the permanent job)
Tom Coughlin, NYG (don't see him getting canned, a Super Bowl win buys you at least 4 more years IMO)
Use this as an open thread to discuss the rest of the coaching moves. Did I forget anyone?
I just saw this on ESPN and I figured you guys might enjoy this. Hopefully they can get their wish for her to be healthy as can be. I wish Devon and Leah the best, and their story has been very uplifting.
*Someone may be cutting onions nearby.
THE GIFT OF MGOBLOG
Another Christmas is upon us and I thought it might be a good time to reflect on this gift provided to us on the Internet because it has been especially useful in what has been a rather trying year for the MGoCommunity.
Like every year, win or lose, we gather here and discuss what we saw, what it means going forward and how it might be improved. We even do it in the full realization that what we say has no bearing on what occurs on the field, on the court or wherever, but we share all the same because we want our community to know how we feel.
It isn’t just having a forum for posting our thoughts that makes this place a gift, but also that those thoughts generate discussion and the standards of the blog create a situation where, in many cases, we have the potential to end up better fans or more informed fans as a result. Granted, there are threads where this is difficult if not impossible, but even in those threads, you can still find opportunities to learn and grow because you have people that will redirect the discussion or answer questions honestly. This is a very well-informed community and finding out things you may not have known about Michigan athletics is almost a daily exercise, even in the worst threads.
Part of the gift is the people who inhabit this blog as well. We cover a vast range of ages and occupations and more importantly for the blog, we represent a vast array of perspectives on Michigan and Michigan athletics. Some of us are in fact alums while many are not, but we have the common bond of passion for this school and for its teams. All of us want those teams to represent the school well and to be as excellent on the field as well as off of it. No matter the personal angle from which we approach all this, we meet in that common center.
One of the things that managed to help me get through one of the most frustrating football experiences in my mere 36 years on this planet was in fact this blog. Frustrated as I was by a team which so vastly underachieved, I came to MGoBlog as a fan – like I have for years now – to vent but also to talk about what I thought needed to happen. I tend to do that with numbers, but however you do it, we all wanted the same thing in the end. To tie that into the present, in the potential to land Jim Harbaugh, we see the things we discussed as missing, so we shall see how the next week pans out. I will say that this – if it happens – would not be a bad belated Christmas gift for the program at all.
It has been these last few weeks since the dismissal of Brady Hoke that have made me realize just how special this place can be, oddly enough. I will never celebrate anyone losing their job, but the sheer volume of content that the resulting uncertainty produced servers as proof positive that those who claimed to be numb or indifferent during the season really weren’t entirely truthful, and that’s a good thing. What all this has shown is that we do in fact care, we want success and the fact that we came within inches of posting profiles of NAIA coaches shows how deeply we care about the future of football. I don’t doubt we would do the same thing for other sports, but football is a convenient example of the enormity of this community’s concern for Michigan and its willingness – in whatever capacity it can – to help.
That there is a forum for all this where highly engaged fans can meet, share knowledge and perspectives, but more importantly, improve knowledge and allow the opportunity to walk away with a more rounded perspective…that’s what makes MGoBlog an infinitely useful gift for Michigan fans. Personally, I am glad to participate both as a user and moderator where I can and I can only hope that people find my own contributions as entertaining or illuminating as I often find those of others. Here is to a better 2015.
Happy holidays, MGoCommunity.