this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Programming note: there was a lot of negative feedback on the "Anti-Carr Team"; it appears most found it meanspirited, and I have to agree. It was fun in concept but not execution and has been discontinued. If you need a complete team, there is a diary entitled " The Game I'll Watch In Hell ."
Blog fixes. You should notice the MGoStore block is back. Click for sweet t-shirt action. Also: the "more" links in the diaries tab now lead you to something that's not totally useless. Before, they actually had worse functionality than the tabs, as they'd give you five posts without any option to see another page. Now they'll show you 25 and there's a full pager. Also, the Fanhouse links on the left sidebar are fixed.
Crankiness level: medium. Red Berenson has always been admirably straightforward about how damned ornery NHL teams picking off his best players makes him. Sometimes he's okay with it (Jack Johnson); other times he's near livid (Mike Cammalleri). The Pacioretty reaction falls in the middle:
Q: Was he frustrated with your decision?
Pacioretty: A little bit. He's very understanding. He knows I want to be a professional hockey player. Sometimes, not everyone has the same mindset for developing as a hockey player. I think there might have been a little bit of friction there, but not too much. I know he supports my goal to one day play in the NHL.
"We're disappointed that Max Pacioretty has chosen to forego his eligibility at the University of Michigan," Berenson said in a statement released by the school. "Max was certainly a positive force on our team last season. We would like to wish him well in his pursuit of his dream to play in the National Hockey League."
Eeeeeeeeeeee. Again. Okay, even I'm getting a little tired of reading about Superhero Mike Barwis. Mere days after ESPN published three separate items about the former ninja who may have assassinated Prince Moriyoshi in 1335 comes a Dennis Dodd piece. Naturally, it starts with wolves:
The pet wolves died last year. Mike Barwis had two of them which, to anyone who knows Michigan's strength and conditioning coach, is hardly a surprise.
The rest of it is per standard. Barwis makes grown men cry. Larry Foote can fly now. Player X came in a 200 pound fatty and now bends steel bars with his forearm hair. Barwis ate a baby once and crapped out Lawrence Taylor. Barwis got in a time machine, travelled back to the Indian subcontinent when it was still floating in the ocean and got the natives so fired up they threw it into Asia.
Barwis invented flour.
Also there's this quote from Threet:
"We have to scare people again," Threet said. "There used to be a certain intimidation factor. You'd see Michigan run out and touch the banner and you knew you were in for a long day. Some of that has started to go away."
Historian. The 2000 Michigan State game for your edification:
Meanwhile. The Ann Arbor News' editorial leadership has taken every possible opportunity to criticize the Michigan athletic department this summer. Meanwhile, in Lansing they're publishing 4,000 word puff pieces about the new athletic director's little league baseball coaching:
Runners stand on first and second. It's 6:33 p.m. on Monday, June 9, at a baseball field behind Chippewa Middle School in Okemos. Coach Mark Hollis gives the sign to his baserunners: double steal. As the next pitch crosses the plate, both break into a sprint.
"Get there!" Hollis barks, and both do with ease.
It is, after all, little league baseball.
Michigan State's athletic department is consistently in the red, features a football team one point above the APR's minimum, and has a coach that provided more ammunition to Michigan fans in one year than John L Smith did over his entire tenure. Also his last recruiting class sucked. (This one? Pretty good so far.) But the rush to lionize is on.
Diaries of note. A number of good things in the Diaries: gsimmons85 tackles press coverage as Shafer will apply it:
You wont see a lot of straight jam technique, rather the press is an inside shade, outside foot back, inviting the fade (michigan corners will know how to play the fade better than any other corners int he country) then on the snap of the ball, they execute what is called a shadow technique. Shafer describes it as imagining that the sun is setting behind the offensive player, and the defender gives ground, with short shuffle steps, and tries to stay in the shadow as long as possible. Forcing the offensive player to make the first move, makes it harder to get a corner off balance with a missed jam.
Simmons is a high school defensive coordinator who's used Shafer's schemes for the past four years and is very complimentary of his stuff over on his home blog Three And Out.
Meanwhile, Blue Seoul interrogates the Barwis hype. In doing so he accidentally stumbles over some interesting numbers about fourth quarter swings. Over the last five years:
Michigan was outscored in the 4th quarter 19 freaking times. 6 of those were 4th quarter collapses where we lost the lead, and 4 of them were double digit 4th quarter leads. WVU was outscored in the 4th 21 times, BUT ONLY 1 RESULTED IN A LOST LEAD. One! One freaking game did they lose in the 4th quarter. ... Conversely, WVU only won 7 games in the 2nd half, 2 of those in the 4th. Michigan won 7 games in the 2nd half, but 9 in the 4th.
I cosign the proffered explanation:
I think this has more to do with coaching. Lloyd would sit on a lead, lose the third quarter and then open up a bit to win in the end. Whereas with RR he doesn't hold back. He's either going to beat you and put you away in the first half, or just trail for the entire game.
(There's probably an element of luck in there, too.) An interesting thing about the Rodriguez offense as it was constructed at West Virginia: you can't turn off the "scoring offense." Michigan could grind into the line a few times, throw on third down, avoid risky plays, etc, etc. West Virginia could try to do that, and Pat White would rip off a 50 yard run or something. The downside to this is the lack of comebacks: WVU had one kickass dimension, but if you shut that dimension off you were going to win.
I don't think this is the ideal for Rodriguez, but when you've got Pat White -- especially as a freshman and sophomore -- that's just what you've got. It would have been interesting to see if Rodriguez added more passing to the WVU offense with a senior quarterback, as Carr always did.
- QB Waggle continues his excellent series on Michigan players in the NFL. (Note the use of bold for headers and italics for subheaders to break the text up into nice readable chunks.)
- Dex of the WLA concludes the Kevin Grady adventure.
- Keegan provides his own Slocum eulogy; There is more at the WLA.
Correction. I misattributed the source of the coaching clinic notes posted last week. Their origin is Go Blue Michigan Wolverine (the blog, not the Scout site). Apologies to ERoc & co.
Fixes. Your blog fixes/all-natural-enhancements for the week:
- Added "Hot" tab for message board.
- Fixed IE6 bug where content would end up pushed down the page.
- leaderboard ad centered.
- Killed the "ad takeover bug" by removing the code that delayed ad loading until end of page.
- Added "MGoElsewhere" block with useful links to the Fanhouse, Facebook, and MGo.licio.us, as some had requested their return.
- Deleted all accounts that had never been logged in and disabled email validation temporarily.
If you had problems registering and never logged in, you can take another shot at it, as I've cleared out all the old usernames and temporarily shut down the email registration that didn't tell you it was coming and sometimes never showed up. You should be able to pick a password.
Another note: the "popular" and "hot" tabs for both diaries and message board only display posts from the last week.
My next task is figuring out why anonymous comments aren't displaying. As always, check the "crude bug tracking" page if you've got an issue, and comment there or email.
I got a lot of suggestions for the "Diaries" rename but none of them seemed very usable. Still looking.
Where will I get $5 shirts that say "Michigen" now? If thought selling six t-shirts for ten dollars was not a particularly good business model, congratulations! You're now the proud owner of a Notre Dame MBA. Also, Steve and Barry's is about to die:
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Steve & Barry's is considering closing more than 100 stores across the country and has fallen behind in payments to builders, suppliers and advertisers. The chain is seeking $40 million in private financing to avoid filing for bankruptcy. ...
Aside from its bankruptcy troubles, the retailer took a hit when the University chose not to renew its licensing contract with 4004 Inc., the apparel company that supplies Steve & Barry's. Kristen Ablauf, the University's director of licensing, said the decision was made because of "concerns with their ability to fulfill their requirements of their license agreements."
IE: they ain't gonna pay us. Or, apparently, the Daily, which is owed over twenty grand by Steve & Barry's.
This story reads like this to me: blah blah blah. blah. World's most ridiculous liquidation sale! What are they going to offer? Ten shirts for ten dollars? All "leather" jackets come with a free barrel of oil? Buy a hat and get Steve or Barry's first-born free?
Over Wisconsin. WolverineHistorian has compiled the 1998 Wisconsin game:
You write about sports for a living. You've obviously made some serious mistakes in life. Varsity Blue is prompted to reflect on what Kevin Grady's punishment will be for blowing Ken-yon Rambo's GPA (oh ten-year-old irrelevant-diss snap!) by yet another cranky sports guy calling for a beheading:
The proposals range from doing nothing (as Ohio State fans think will happen, for some reason), to kicking Grady off the team. Jeff Chaney, a columnist for the Grand Rapids Press, said today on the radio that he thinks the latter is the most appropriate and likely outcome. Naturally, I disagree.
The logic Chaney followed was this: Grady is a third-teamer, and therefore must serve as an example to the rest of the team.
Attention, sports columnists of Michigan: there are options between doing nothing and kicking a guy off the team. If you were judged so harshly for the times in your life you did something incredibly stupid, parts of your anatomy would be speeding past Mars at a significant fraction of the speed of light.
There will no doubt be similar caterwauling from men of Chaney's ilk when Grady is not booted, but wouldn't Michigan be better off with an open scholarship than a disappointing running back who'll probably be third-string at best this fall? Michigan has five other running backs, all of whom have either shown better on the field or fit better in the offense. Grady is unlikely to contribute at all; keeping on the team is an act of mercy.
Shades of gray exist, people!
Look, see? Chengelis provides some shades of gray in her piece.
Etc.: Got $5 million burning a hole in your pocket? Want a tower? In the diaries, GSimmons says Michigan will be impervious to weather and Dex explores the wonders of Kevin Grady's Big Adventure. Worth it just for the special guest star's fake name. Also: do you have a widescreen monitor? Embiggen your MGoExperience here.