chance of bowl: 13.6%
Liveblog/chat event! The Big Ten Network is going to cover a Michigan practice tonight at 9PM EST, with a replay of last year's "Little Brother" game preceding the festivities at 7. MGoBlog will take the opportunity to spin out the Cover It Live software as a test run for a new feature this season. The tentative plan: have members of the Wolverine Liberation Army and some select others moderate CIL chats that will replace the chaotic free-for-all of the haloscan open threads. (If you've got a Michigan blog and will be available for home games there might be a spot or two open; drop me an email.) I won't be around since I'm going to 8 to 10 games this year and prefer my Ohio State games to be consumed in an atmosphere of solitary panic, but the WLA guys are pretty all right.
As far as tonight goes, we tried this once before when Sam McGuffie had his national TV debut and discussion quickly shifted from McGuffie to any and all things, which is fine. There will probably be some trenchant commentary on the event itself, but this will end up being more of a Q&A session with some good jokes/answers from the peanut gallery sprinkled in. A reminder: these are moderated chats so I have to approve anything that gets posted before it'll show up.
ESPN’s helmet clash was a stupid exercise designed to garner cheap hits and was unworthy of anyone’s attention. But this is pretty cool:
I think we know who the true winner is.
Cut like a razor blade so fast other DJs go damn. The Morgan Trent 4.13 forty is sadly, dead. Varsity Blue got some pictures from Media Day:
You can clearly see that "40" has no winners and the 413 was put up in the pro agility drill. You can also see that the fastest quarterback in that drill was... aww... goddammit... David Cone.
Moooooooo. Yeah, you know those enormous metal girders? You can’t walk through them. As a result, moooooving (ha! I kill me!) around Michigan Stadium this fall is going to be even more of a fiasco than it usually is:
Officials thought about opening the gates more than two hours before kickoff, but a review of scanned tickets shows the majority of fans wait until the last hour to enter anyway.
"Nobody likes to miss kick-off," Rademacher said. "If they don't get here early, there's a good chance they'll miss it."
Get to the stadium early and use the gate closest to your seat and avoid Main Street. If you show up late-ish things will be even more difficult than they've been in the past:
To help funnel fans who approach the stadium from the south around to the northern side of the stadium, one of the northbound lanes of South Main Street, from Stadium Boulevard to Keech Avenue, will be closed to vehicular traffic and open only to pedestrians.
A barrier closing off that lane to vehicular traffic will be installed before game day, said Ann Arbor Police Sgt. Brad Hill. "Officers there will be encouraging people to use that," Hill said.
Rademacher says it'll be quicker to walk around the stadium to the correct gate than to enter the stadium and fight the crowds through the concourses.
The traffic issues should be resolved by 2010, when a second concourse will be added for the plebes in the nosebleeds.
Sad? Funny? Both! Details of Kevin Grady's DUI arrest have been released. Going over them is sad and horrible and all that, but also... well... kind of funny. I'm sorry if this makes me a horrible person, but:
Thompson said he asked for a number between 12 and 14, and Grady answered "15." And when asked whether Mickey Mouse is a dog or a cat, he answered "dog."
That's comedy. Not comedy: the officer finding Grady passed out with the car running but his foot miraculously pressing the brake. Grady, BTW, has been seeing scanty first-team snaps even in the absence of Minor and Brown.
Sidenote: during my brief dalliance with college-level quiz bowl I attended a "trash tournament," in which the questions are all pop culture blah blah. At one point one of the bonus questions asked a player on the other team to execute a number of sobriety tests, one of which he failed. It was not "is Mickey Mouse a dog or a cat?"
Best Porn Name - For a Woman
Foxy Foxworth, South Carolina TE
This is strictly a soft-core porn name, since hardcore would be something like "Honey Titsworth."
Also, there is a man named "T-Bob" who is the son of a former NFL quarterback. If you guessed "Louisiana," give yourself a nickel.
Etc.: Carty relates Fred Jackson's insane ravings about the two freshman backs; Adam Rittenberg takes a look at Rodriguez's history with two quarterbacks. The first Blogpoll Roundtable is up and kicking at Hey Jenny Slater.
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 $5 million burning a hole in your pocket? Want a tower? In the diaries, GSimmons says Michigan will be impervious to weather and Dex explores the wonders of Kevin Grady's Big Adventure. Worth it just for the special guest star's fake name. Also: do you have a widescreen monitor? Embiggen your MGoExperience here.
Programming note: the first-string laptop is currently undergoing repairs, so content might be a little limited over the next couple days. There is a timeshare going on with the second-string laptop.
Sigh. Most of the pain caused by the Horror has been dulled by the passage of time. You could even make a case that since it precipitated a chain of events that saw Rich Rodriguez hired as head coach, the damn thing was actually a net benefit. But the wound is still raw enough for this to sting:
(Big here if you want to see the thing in all its damnable glory.) At least it's not on the top of the ring, I guess. Also, #$&*.
Convenient. Just as the more excitable variety of Ohio State fan was ready to bring forth the proclamations of a Great Fall for Michigan's ethics under Rich Rodriguez, who held a gun to Kevin Grady's head as Grady feebly protested his 35th jagerbomb of the night, comes another disciplinary incident for wayward son Eugene Clifford:
According to police, Clifford hit two Holy Grail employees who were trying to break up a fight early Friday at the Corryville tavern.
He's got two misdemeanor assault charges pending and has in all likelihood seen his last day at Ohio State. (Clifford has a number of other disciplinary incidents on his record.) Glass houses and all that.
But... right. I linked this on the sidebar earlier, but it deserves some additional discussion: holy crap, Grady was loaded. Wikipedia says the .281 he blew was somewhere between "confusion" and "stupor" and just a few beers away from "coma"; this is not a garden variety DUI. Drew Sharp, of course, says "off with his head" so he can later write a column about lawlessness when Rodriguez shows a shred of common sense and doesn't boot a guy with no previous incidents of misbehavior aside from minor traffic violations. Mmmm: cheap hits.
What to do? A .281 is beyond the point at which you can reasonably claim a lack of judgment... or it's beyond the point where you can reasonably claim anything but a lack of judgment since, you know, all he could do when presented with the charges was drool. There has been plenty of internet speculation about a drinking problem since .281 is the kind of BAC that knocks out mortal livers, though wags have pointed out that if Grady was binging like this on a regular basis and getting through Barwis workouts he's some sort of superhero, probably Duffman. In any case, Grady should be put on notice and forced to Barwis his way back onto the team a la Adrian Arrington; I'd be disappointed to see him before the Big Ten schedule.
(Side note: yes, Grady drives a 2007 Denali. Yes, his father is loaded. He got in trouble with the MSHAA for offering free housing to high school athletes so they could transfer to East Grand Rapids; he can afford a nice car for his kid.)
Gratuitous-tube. 1991 MSU-Michigan from WolverineHistorian:
EEEEE. Speaking of Barwis:
Taylor has made a number of adjustments in the off-season, including his training. He claimed he returned from the Capital One Bowl in January weighing 327 pounds. Now, thanks to Michigan's intense workout regime, he's below 304 and plans to be at 295 by Aug. 4 when twice-a-day practices begin.
The last time he recalls weighing 295? Sometime early in his days at Muskegon.
Asked if he'll be "cut," Taylor relented.
"I'm going to be lean," he said, laughing, knowing what his 6-foot frame can handle. "I know doing that, being more flexible, doing the things they want and improving in the areas I can improve in, all working together, it's a blessing I stayed here and we got (strength coach) Mike Barwis."
Taylor was heavily rumoured to be a reluctant participant in the new conditioning regime, spending most of the spring behind John Ferrara. If this fluffy nougat piece is an accurate representation of the current situation, that would be a major boost. There's a diary with some Barwis links for your edification.
Jerseybits. The big reveal of the home jerseys drifted through the internet a few days ago, but I misinterpreted the results. Readers point out that what Phil Callihan and myself thought were block Ms on the sleeves are numbers. The angle of the shot was deceptive; MPride08 provides another angle:
This is a replica, FWIW. There has been some worry that the names have been taken off the jerseys because none of the example shots have nameplates, but since these are for sale they can't have player names on them.
Your war what? Braylon:
The 25-year-old Browns receiver's ensemble was carefully designed, he says, to show he's professional and fun. Even his fragrance, Bond No. 9, serves a higher purpose. "It's my war cologne," he says. "It's a strong, masculine scent. I wear it when I'm trying to show confidence or be dominant."
Do what you will with this information. I plan on sitting in a chair with my mouth agape for 23 minutes and 16 seconds.
Etc.: Free Press article interviews Tony Dews, clarifies that James Rogers is indeed a wide receiver.
Kevin Grady mug shot:
Why? DUI. Obviously not a stellar moment in Grady's life but his first misstep; likely a short suspension and then a return to normal service. "Normal service" in this case has been three yards followed by a fumble, but hey, you recover those fumbles and it's second and seven and if you're USC that's time to play the V song.
Fulmer cup projection: one point, Michigan's first of the Rodriguez era.