Let me start off by saying, I’m not that old. I’m 24 (it feels really old compared to 2 years ago when I was graduating). Some of you might read the title and think “Get Off My Lawn” but that’s not what I’m going for. The more and more I’ve thought about the Notre Dame game this year, the more upset I get. I’ve got tickets, I’m going, I’ll love it… but it won’t feel like Michigan Football. I don’t care at all if we have a Fullback, or play a 4-3, that’s not what I mean. What I mean is the Game-day Experience. Yes, this will be the first night game, yes everyone else has night games, and yes, Prime Time exposure, etc. etc. this really seems like a net positive. But part of me thinks that with the whole thing we’ve sold out. I’m a 3rd Generation Michigan Grad, and I love that when I went to games from 2005-2009, it started just like when my mom and dad when to games in the late 70s, and when my grandparents went in the late 40s/early 50s. The Marching Band formed their block M,
the Fanfare M, they played the Victors, the team came out the Tunnel, and they looked like this:
- is that Henne? Devin? Leach?
- is that Arthur Walker, Paul Seymour, Jon Jansen, Jake Long, or Lewan?
Their seats looked like this:
Now, I can’t help but feel that we’re all of a sudden every other team in college football. We’ve got skyboxes (granted, the construction ended up looking great, and I’ve taken the tour, and they’re amazing). We’ve got Lights. We’ve got Special K and we’ve got (allegedly) Maize alternate/throwbacky/cash-grab Jerseys.
So, all the things that I (we?) have claimed to hate throughout the past few seasons we now embody.
Michigan will Take the Field and it will be OMG MAIZE JERZEYS! I CAN BUY JERZEYS?
After Michigan takes the field “I Got a Feelin’“ I know what Special K will play (I feel like every time they went to commercial in this game the damn Black Eyed Peas song played, I know that the movie has AC/DC) - Dunno if embedding is working, but Iowa 2009, when Iowa took the field: (link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsHF31w8-sU&feature=related)
The Fatcats in their Skyboxes will see the numbers, the ratings, the jersey sales and think that this was successful. And what’s next? Our old scoreboards looked like this
Will our new ones look like this?
Again, I’m excited for the night game, I’m going, I’ll love it, and I hope Denard gets 503 yards and we beat ND 77-0 (with at least 1 Mike Martin Pick 6). But part of me really likes that we’re (we were?) different. I hope to really enjoy the Night Game, but come November, on a Gray Saturday afternoon I’ll bundle up, trudge through snow and slush to my seat which looks like this
to see Michigan play in The Game, hoping the sun peeks through the clouds, and our team will look like this:
And the band will play the Victors and it’ll just feel… right
As a kid being recruited by several universities, I remember seeing the maize wings and thinking it was the neatest football helmet in the world. I am not saying the helmet was the reason I came to Michigan, but I would say it piqued my interest in our school at a very young age. In fact, many of our football players and others alike believe the "winged helmet" plays an important role in our recruiting efforts.
Many college football programs would love to figure out a way to knock us out of our No. 1 ranking in the "battle of the best helmet competition." Some programs are even changing their helmet color/design during the season to create more interest and attention.
While the "helmet wars" are fun to talk about, the serious point is Michigan should never change from the winged helmet. This design is classic. It is representative of the winningest team in college football -- and when one is coming at you on the football field you know you are about to get hit harder than most other teams you will play. That is what Michigan -- and our special helmet -- is all about!
While we strive for growth and sometimes change will come with it, the classic "block M" and our winged football helmet represent our tradition and history -- simple and strong. These iconic symbols should remain for decades to come.
Feel better now? Wait, he didn't cover uniform color and design?
Amazing story posted to Dave Brandon's blog: softball coach Carol Hutchins and assistants give recruit's father CPR and use an AED when he suffers a heart attack. The man was taken to UM hospital and survived.
Brandon, speaking at a Michigan Associated Press Sports Editors meeting, said facing traditional conference foes such as Penn State, Minnesota and Wisconsin will enhance offerings on the Big Ten Network, strengthen the league brand and ultimately create more excitement on the Michigan campus.
“I will sell more seats at Yost Arena knowing that we are going to tee it up against our big competitors in the Big Ten,” Brandon said. “We’ll still have a robust nonconference schedule … but at the end of the day, student-athletes that come to Michigan come to win Big Ten championships.”
“You don’t need anybody, particularly a colleague, poking at you,” Brandon said Tuesday at a Michigan Associated Press Sports Editors meeting. “There were some people out there who did it, and I remember who they are, and I remember what they said. Those people who took great glee in the fact that we got ourselves in that kind of situation -- I’ll never do that. The folks at Ohio State have their hands full, obviously.” [emphasis added]
"To point the finger at Rich Rodriguez would just be wrong as it relates to that. You could do a book on all the factions that split off, the camps — the (Jim) Harbaugh camp, the (Les) Miles camp, the (Lloyd) Carr camp, the (Rich) Rodriguez camp, there was just all kinds of splintering. And then, hey, you start losing, and now everything gets jumpstarted in terms of peoples' emotions and frustrations and then it boils, so it was a lot of different factors. It was no one individual or one incident. It was a combination. It was an unpleasant chapter and hopefully we're writing a new chapter."
"There's no great way to measure (the mending), but there's a lot of good ways to measure it. When we had the spring football game and to have 375 football players come back — that's historic ... and Brady invited them. He said we're going to have a team meeting Friday night for a chance to get reconnected. Guys traveled in from all over the country. It was really remarkable. That was a very encouraging thing to see."
Hoke and his assistant coaches continue to reach out to former players for what Brandon called "socials" in 16 cities around the country. The meetings are informal, void of power-point presentations and there is no agenda.
"It's a chance to connect with the program, talk to the coaches and get a sense to see where the Michigan football program is going. That's an enormous sacrifice of time and effort, (and) that was their idea not mine; that was something they wanted to do. You're seeing a tremendous effort to reach out to the former players to bring the community back together. I couldn't be more pleased. The feedback I'm getting from former players has been enormously positive."
Regarding Notre Dame game throwback jerseys:
Michigan has yet to reveal the jersey design, but Brandon hinted it will happen soon. "We've moved up the schedule a little bit for that." He said they want to wait for the finished product, preferring that to showing sketches of the design. Brandon said the uniforms will be unveiled at night. "So you can see what they look like under the lights. We anticipate we're going to sell a lot of jerseys."
Brandon believes it will be "several years" before the Big Ten goes to a nine-game conference schedule. He said several teams are booked through 2015-2016 and it would be "expensive and problematic" to unwind those schedules.
[Regarding "Legends and Leaders"]: "I think whatever they came up with was going to be a problem. The initial feedback generally speaking was negative. Something like this has to serve the test of time. Let's give it a year or two and see if it's working. If it isn't, we can go back and tweak it."
[T]he golf challenge initiated by Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis via Twitter late last month has been set [for] July 25 at Eagle Eye in East Lansing. [Lion Kim will be part of Brandon's U-M team. I like our odds.]
Naplesnews.com is reporting that Dave Brandon announced at a U-M Alumni Club of Southwest Florida event in Naples, FL that Michigan is exploring the future scheduling of a neutral site game to be played at Miami's Sun Life Stadium.
Over 140 University of Michigan faithful gathered at the Audubon Country Club in North Naples on Monday night to hear the school’s athletic director, Dave Brandon, speak as part the annual “Maize and Blue in Paradise” event.
Brandon said he and the university are working hard to schedule more athletic events in the area, similar to the Michigan-Florida Gulf Coast University baseball game that was played in March. He said the school has also had initial talks with Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, a Michigan alum, about playing a neutral site game football at Sun Life Stadium in the future.
“We’ve had some preliminary discussions with Stephen Ross about whether or not it would be possible to come down here and play a game,” Brandon said. “We don’t have anything scheduled, but that’s something we’d consider because this is an important recruiting area for us as well.”
When asked about another topic of great interest here, Brandon had this to say:
Brandon said at this time, the school has no plans to put the banners from the 1992 and 1993 Final Four appearances back up. “The banners were taken down because of the fact that we had to forfeit [Ed: these games were vacated, not forfeited] all the games. If you didn’t legitimately win games it’s pretty hard to fly the banners,” Brandon said. “… It was a memorable, fascinating and exciting time for Michigan basketball but it also led to huge disappointment and significant amount of shame as far as things that were happening during that time, and we paid the price for it, and we’re still paying the price for it.”
Disclaimer: The excellent Michigan's First Night Game!thread prompted the following. While this topic is highly related to the previous post, I believe it deserves its own thread.
A highly respected Michigan blogger and MGoUser passed to me an email exchange he had with Dave Brandon regarding this year’s Michigan – Notre Dame game and authorized me to create this thread. Back in January, this MGoUser sent an email to DB recommending that Michigan should:
Work with ESPN to have ESPN College GameDay in Ann Arbor for the game
An excerpt of Brandon’s response (the return email was sent within three hours at 12:56 am, BTW):
“This was all arranged last Fall when Desmond was announced. You will get your wish….we are all over it! It is going to be a special night for Desmond and for Michigan!”
Since Brandon did not specifically address each of the email’s recommendations, I think it’s safe to say that recommendations one and two are a go. I evaluate that recommendation three is merely a possibility. The bottom line is that the entire day and game will certainly be one of the most special occasions in Michigan athletics history (no hyperbole).