this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Keep The Game
Check out the fourth paragraph.
Following the Big Ten's addition of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, effective beginning in the 2011 football season, the conference will be split into two six-team divisions. Big Ten officials placed Ohio State and Michigan in separate divisions, but the Michigan – Ohio State rivalry will continue to take place at the end of the regular season every year. Conceivably, the teams may thereafter meet again the following week in the Big Ten Football Championship Game.
Has THE KNOWLEDGE been posting on wikipedia as well? I thought no decision has been made yet. Appropriately there is no cited source. Maybe just wishful thinking?
Well, I did my part by emailing MSC, DB and JDelaney. Not sure if it helps, but here was my email. I even emailed some borderline creepy photos of me and the kids watchin the game.
To Whom It May Concern:
I'm sure you are getting quite a few emails these days about possibly moving the Michigan/Ohio State game (The Game). I wanted to share some background about me and my opinion on the matter for what it is worth:
I was born at Univ. of MIchigan hospital. I lived at 515 W. Hoover St. and attended Bach Elementary School. My father was a Linguistics Professor at UoM. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of having people park their cars in our yard and driveway for home games, particularly Ohio State (and Michigan State) games. My brother and I were the only 6 and 9 year olds on the block who made $150 every home game. We attended every game our Dad could get tickets for.
When I was 8 I moved to New Jersey, but came to Ann Arbor every summer and winter break. I played water polo with the Flounders and my Dad and ate lunch at the Union. I used to play against Gene Powers before he passed, because he was so old and I was so young, we were evenly matched!
After high school, I joined my brother at Michigan, where we both graduated with BS in Mechanical Engineering. I wrestled for then Coach Bahr when the current coaches McFarland and Trost were assistants. I'm a member of the alumni association, as is my brother. I now live in San Diego and my brother just over the Mason-Dixon line in Sylvania, OH. I fought with Time Warner Cable to add The Big Ten Network to their sports package and I've payed their ridiculous rates ever since so I can watch every game. I've been back for a handful of games at the Big House, but have mostly gone to the West Coast games (Oregon, Rose Bowl).
With all that being said, I hope you understand my loyalty to the University of Michigan. I'm not gonna tell you anything you don't know or haven't heard already, but I think splitting up Michigan and Ohio is a mistake. Sure, I want to beat them twice a year, every year. But not at the expense of diminishing the greatest rivalry in all of sports! A mid-October game loses much of the luster and drama. Ohio State will become just another BS rivalry game - no more important than MIchigan State or the Brown Jug. And at what cost? Do we make an extra $2 mil a year? $5 mil a year? At some point, the fans and alumni need to be more important than advertising or TV revenue.
Thank you for your time and attention. I hope you do the right thing. If not for me, for the sake of my 2 year old twins (photos from last years Game attached)
Class of 91'
EDIT: To spare the board more of 'the horror', I've removed the OMG shirtless picture.
Dear President Coleman and AD Brandon,
I first want to commend both of you, and former AD Martin, on the wonderful job with the Michigan Stadium renovations. I have taken the several opportunities presented to the public to tour the new facilities and am very excited about them. This is a change that I am glad to observe and be a part of for this coming football season.
While change can often be good, changing traditions is often not. In particular, changing the tradition of U-M and OSU playing in the last regular season game (since 1935!) is a change that would be exceedingly bad, in my opinion. While I understand the need for sufficient funding of athletics, so that the general funds can be focused on maintaining our excellent academics, I hope that you do not accept a change of tradition of this magnitude because of money. This seems to me to be tantamount to allowing advertising or the sale of alcohol in Michigan Stadium.
Beyond the fact that moving The Game is bad for tradition, it is also very bad for the experience of The Game. No longer will the rest of the games during the regular season feel like preparation for The Game. No longer will we have the excitement of deciding a conference (or division once we've moved to a divisional format) champion based on the results of this game. No longer will we have the opportunity to redeem a 3 or 4 loss season by beating OSU in the final game of the season. No longer will we have an association of The Game with mid/late November, an association as ingrained in many of us fans as Christmas being on Dec 25 or Memorial day being on the last Monday of May. No longer will we be able to say that we participated in a tradition that started before we were born, before WWII. No longer would we be able to say that we are participating in a tradition that we expect to continue with our grandchildren, long after we've passed on.
There is so much to lose by moving The Game, but so little to gain beyond a few more dollars.
Please, please fight to keep The Game when it is.
Clearly, I've taken many points from others who have posted about this around these parts.
About 5 minutes ago I got this response:
Thanks for your point of view...
We are working hard to come up with the best solution to a number of competing interests. There are 12 Teams... 12 A.D.'s... a building full of Conference Officials in Chicago....and 12 Presidents who are all working on these issues. And, we all have our own traditions and desires regarding the way our expanded conference should be structured and scheduled for football. Contrary to your assertion, the scheduling dilemmas we are attempting to work through have nothing to do with money. It would be easier if they were!
To us, the Michigan - OSU game is the most important thing in our world! I know....I was on the team during four of the greatest battles we have ever had! However, there are other Universities and teams in our conference with their own needs and priorities.
I will do the best I can to maintain as many of our traditions as possible... I understand their importance.
Besides the fact that I got this response so quickly (which makes me wonder if it is a canned response, though it does seem to respond to my specific email points), I thought it was noteworthy because A) he states that this is not about money but about balancing the desires of 12 different schools and B) he does seem to state a desire to maintain the tradition of The Game (though he certainly left himself an out).
Sorry about the length and sorry if this is redundant with other posts. I was just hoping to pass on information others might find useful.
Here is a reply from Bruce Madej suggesting (in my opinion) that there is little chance that The Game will remain at the end of the "regular" season. His closing line is especially telling. Let me know what you think.
Thank you for your note on the importance of Michigan-Ohio State football game. President Coleman and other university leaders have asked me to respond on their behalf.
I want to assure you that no one understands the tradition of this Big Ten football rivalry more than Athletic Director David Brandon. He has experienced this legendary rivalry first hand as a player, as a fan and supporter of the athletic program and as a U-M regent.
Expansion of the Big Ten is certain to bring some changes. We know there will be a conference championship game in 2011 and we expect to soon learn the details of the divisional alignment. Clearly we would like to have Michigan and Ohio State play the last game of the season for the Conference Championship (as has happened so many times in the past). However, based on a 12 Team - two division conference with a championship game format, in order for this to happen in the future both teams will have to play their way into the championship game. Which, we hope happens many times!
Certainly one of the priorities of the Big Ten commissioner and the Big Ten athletic directors is preserving the traditional rivalries, like Michigan-Ohio State and Michigan-Michigan State. This will continue to be a driving principle...as will creating competitive balance between the two divisions.
Just like the renovations to the Big House, we believe the Big Ten can move forward and make improvements while maintaining the traditions that are so important to fans.
To the extremely active Michigan Fanbase here at MGoBlog. Please spend a minute to send a letter regarding your thoughts on the change to the Michigan-OSU game to the following people.
Associate Athletic Director
Director of Media Relations
then post your letter to this forum! I will start.
Mr. Bruce Madej and Mr. David Ablauf,I ask you to please read the comments on the following message board so that you can rethink your position on moving The Game:This blog is the most active Michigan football fanbases on the world wide web. There are at the moment 173 comments regarding the decision to move The Game, please review them so that you understand where your fanbase stands. Please keep The Game as our final game of the year. It is a tradition that will help insure the Michigan-OSU game remains the greatest rivalry in sports.Go Blue!Sincerely,Nicholas M. DeHaanUniversity of MichiganClass of 2011