to play football, not to play trumpet
$19.05 hardcover or $7.99 kindle on Amazon: http://j.mp/Falk40Years
So I'm in my car in U.S. 23 traffic after the BYU game, listening to the WTKA postgame show, and trying to wrap my head around if Michigan could possibly be this good, when my phone rings with an unidentified 734 number. On the other end is this deep rhotic voice, the kind you only get from Midwestern farmers' sons whose vocal chords have been ravaged by a lifetime of shouting through the cold. Bo had that. My father had that. My phone hasn't heard it since.
"Hello? Is this Seth? This is Jon Falk."
Short of Harbaugh, Beilein, Red, Lloyd, Mo, or Obama I don't think there's any name that voice could have given that could possibly make me geek out harder. Every other car on U.S. 23 is now in tremendous peril.
I mean, I had emailed him during the week because we were giving away his new book, Forty Years in the Big House, for Guess the Score, and my phone number is on my email signature, but I kind of expected an underling or maybe a publisher's intern to handle that sort of stuff.
I forgot the thing about Big Jon is he handles stuff. And after we'd figured out how to get me the giveaway copy, I remembered there's the other thing he does. We start sharing stories.
[After the jump: a review, and some stories, but no spoilers]
Site note: Be here for the Liveblog tonight. Mods to your stations at 6:45; we'll get started at 7.
I'll make this one quick.
Things to know about basketball
1. The defense has maybe taken a small step forward, and other observations about how basketball is like pro wrestling, from who else?
2. Michigan's offensive deviation isn't very large says LSA; they generally manage to keep their pace and score with relatively stable frequency. Score one against "defense wins championships because it's more consistent."
4. Purdue and Rutgers are not going to be good at it next year. Padog has begun a preview series for next year's conference teams, starting from the bottom. Northwestern is probably next followed by Penn State, but I'm looking forward to an Indiana preview sooner rather than later.
Best of the Board
QB BATTLE: THIS IS KNOWN
For those not still hitting snooze on football right now, BlueMooner went to the private dinner last week with Nussmeier and came back with generalities that amount to Gardner/Morris/Speight are who we thought they were. Also this:
Audience members posed questions about the comparison of recruiting in the SEC versus the B1G; Coach Saban compared to Hoke; and his intent to stay at UM over the long haul. He adroitly dodged those with a splendid sense of humor. The crowd was really enthusiastic about Coach Nussmeier in control of our offense.
You are welcome to read this as "Nussmeier wants to be a head coach someday" and "the SEC cheats more in recruiting." This too is known.
ATTENTION WAL-MART SHOPPERS
There are 394 items on walmart.com licensed from Michigan Wolverines and 369 for Michigan State Spartans. This should be a thing.
This is more of a link but Bacon addressed "Walmart Wolverines" on his blog this week. If you are an alumnus who has a problem with non-alumni rooting for your alma mater then you should read it.
My sense is that is next to none of you, and "Walverines" is a thing mostly generated by Sparties who don't like how people who didn't get into MSU bring up Michigan's marginal academic superiority. So Bacon is addressing the wrong crowd; on the other hand I'm not sure I want to advocate speaking sense to Spartans, because that totally works.
THE END OF COLLEGE SPORTS AND EVERYTHING
The CAPA decision touched off heated debate on the board, so heated that a second thread was warranted to exclude the money part that the Northwestern players aren't talking about. The debate came down to "better helmets and covering medical expenses down the road for athletes is good" versus "but schools that pretend to be D-I won't be able to live that way."
Congrats are due to Justin Dickens, the guy who granted Heiko that interview with Borges and oversaw a dramatic shift in how bloggers are treated relative to other football media. He's not only an MGoBlog reader; he's now Director of Football Operations. This site's had a lot of criticism for Fort Schembechler but I have zero for Justin, who was given the impossible job of keeping both Dave Brandon and Brian Cook happy, and who despite that always made protecting the players his highest priority. I expect he'll succeed; I'm more anxious about who will succeed him.
Your Moment of Zen:
I’m sure by now you have all seen Brian’s startling admission from this weekend:
I know, right? But it gets even more disconcerting:
Welcome to the world of Lemme Tweet That For You, a site that allows anyone to spoof a tweet from the the Twitter user of his choice. And as you can tell, it looks pretty convincing. Apparently the site has been around for about a year, but has recently been rediscovered and has become a thing. It can’t send tweets to a user’s followers (in other words, I can’t make Heiko’s love of Twilight appear to his followers as if it came from him), but this could still cause plenty of problems for athletes. You can envision someone saying, “hey, check out this screenshot of this since-deleted tweet." And since people often delete their stupid tweets, it might seem plausible.
Or, for more advanced trolling, you can envision some fan saying to a particularly volatile college athlete, “hey, did you see what this dude tweeted about you?” The athlete then responds in kind, and before long the two are going at it, with each thinking the other started it. It’s basically the plot of The Sum of All Fears (the Tom Clancy novel, not the Ben Affleck movie that is okay as a standalone but completely ignores the entire Jack Ryan back-story).
Now all we need is a particularly volatile college athlete…
O HAI Marshall Henderson
I’m sure by now you’re all familiar with Marshall Henderson. He’s the Ole Miss junior who combines the shooting conscience of Allen Iverson, the people skills of Genghis Khan, and the personal aesthetic of Joe Dirt. He started out the NCAA tournament with a statement of questionable taste.
[after the jump]