the end is near
On Being Steve Buscemi
So, about that game against that school: does anyone else feel a little bit like Marge Gunderson right now?
As the rest of the world laughs at Dave Brandon's decision to dredge up a not very nice thing that happened a while back I keep thinking of the scene at the end of Fargo where Grimsrud is in the back of the squad car, mute, as Marge tries to figure out what's in his head:
MARGE ... So that was Mrs. Lundegaard in there? She glances up in the rear-view mirror. Grimsrud, cheeks sunk, eyes hollow, looks sourly out at the road. Marge shakes her head. At length: MARGE ... I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper. Grimsrud's head bobs with bumps on the road; otherwise he is motionless, reactionless, scowling and gazing out. MARGE ... And those three people in Brainerd. No response. Marge, gazing forward, seems to be talking to herself. MARGE ... And for what? For a little bit of money. We hear distant sirens. MARGE ... There's more to life than money, you know. She glances up in the rear-view mirror. MARGE ... Don't you know that?... And here ya are, and it's a beautiful day...
Marge is trying to comprehend an alien intelligence's decisions. That's where I find myself today. I can't begin to fathom the kind of thinking that would go into scheduling Appalachian State again. I get there are reasons, just like Grimsrud had reasons, but for the reasons to win out over the costs the kind of value judgments that are going on in the decision-maker's head must be frightening.
Meanwhile, instead of being mute Brandon is reminding us not to shoot anyone. Thanks, Dave Brandon. I'll try to remember not to shoot anyone this fall. Then there's this:
Oh, each team wanted to win. Players mentioned how their nerves came into play. There were sweaty palms, and probably a few "yips" on the green. And when the match was over, there was some fun "trash talk," but there were more laughs and hugs -- and respect for each other.
Not being mute is only exacerbating this divide.
We've had hints of this for a while now, but this is the last straw: Dave Brandon is not a Michigan fan. He may want Michigan to win but he has no concept of what the fanbase thinks is important. In the last year he's suggested or executed the following:
- moving the Ohio State game to midseason
- putting Michigan in a different division than Ohio State
- curly fries in Michigan Stadium
- a sponsored spring game
- a mascot
- scheduling The Horror: The Squeakuel
He has failed to:
- summarily execute Special K on the diag
In the aftermath of people blowing up about these things, he wrote jerky emails and said he "can't see how it would be a negative" to dig up the most infamous upset in NCAA history. These are not good signs. Dave Brandon is going to create the future whether you like being put in a wood chipper or not.
ALIEN VERSUS HORROR NEUTRAL BLOGGER REACT ROUNDUP
this is the single dumbest scheduling decision we can remember, and the most craven once since Indiana sold out one of their own Big Ten home games to play at a "neutral site" full of Penn State fans.
No matter what happens, greater glory is paid the lowest point in the history of the Michigan football program in exchange for national television exposure. This is Michigan football becoming a celebrity rehab patient. This is Michigan's amateur sex tape that no one wants to buy. We're beginning to think Dave Brandon is not a very smart person. We're beginning to also think this will all end with this Michigan team losing this game in 2014, and then beating Florida in the 2015 Outback Bowl.
the athletic department has scheduled what it’s going to have to call a revenge match with Appalachian State, a concept too hysterical to even contemplate.
Aug. 30, 2014, is two days shy of the seventh anniversary of the most stunning upset in college football history, long enough for everyone involved in Appalachian State's 34-32 miracle in the Big House to have graduated, retired or otherwise moved on from the respective programs, but not nearly long enough for Michigan fans to get over the festering humiliation that sent the program into a four-year spiral from which it's only beginning to emerge.
That Michigan would ever allow any team, much less App State have a winning record over it, then you just don't understand the Old Blue mentality. It will never happen. Last year I saw DB speak. He wanted to play them that afternoon.
Maybe we should schedule USC or Tennessee.
Can we pllay them now? How about tomorrow? How about 7 days in a row?
That's the attitude. That's the tradition. That's the toughness. That's Michigan.
Of course that's missing the point. That's what is supposed to happen. And if we were playing any other FBS team, that's what would happen. But by choosing this particular school, when we run them off the field, the lead on the highlights package will include a flashback to the blocked FG and a reminder for all the world how we were utterly embarrassed seven years prior. There is zero upside.
Beating ASU will accomplish nothing.
No one is hiding from any ghosts.
No one is afraid.
That doesn't make this a good idea.
This is ridiculous. You guys are acting like cowards who can't face an ex without drinking themselves stupid.
Man up...its a game. Maybe, we can not play Toledo again either....Or northwestern...cause they beat us before. Where do you draw the line.
And what is more embarasing is that Brian feels the need to bash DB bc he doesn't see things the way he does, yet Dave Brandon is the one with all the information. He is the one that needs to pay the bills for all the amenities that we are taking so much pride in....the basketball practice center, the new scoreboards, the Crisler renovation, etc. If he feels optimizing the brand will do that best, then he needs to do it.
It's not about "avoiding" a team we lost to. We never should have played them in the first place. We shouldn't be playing FCS teams because it robs the fans of better non-conference games that are available. It's emnbarrassing to schedule any FCS team. So we did it once, and now it's the most embarrassing loss in history. Now instead of scheduling a better team, we schedule the same team that it was a mistake to ever schedule in the first place. A team that all week ESPN will be showing video of our loss to. IT WILL BE THE OPPOSITE OF "OPTIMIZING" THE BRAND. It will weaken the brand. You can't see that?
You don't get "revenge" on your little brother when he beats you in backyard basketball. We don't need "revenge." There is no such thing as revenge unless you are roughly equal on the playing field (meaning same confernce, same level of football). We should be better than that. When you say you got revenge against App St you are putting yourself on the same level as they are. That weakens Michigan.
The adorable baby pic makes up for it :-)
The strongest brands in the NCAA play cupcakes...
Ask Florida-Furman, UAB, and Florida Atlantic
Ask Auburn-Florida Atlantic, Utah state, and Samford
Ask almost the entire SEC.
I draw the line at FCS teams. Happy?
And I'll go for what you think if Brandon says that if we suddenly have mascots and change our colors to pink and green because that's "in" and heck maybe change the fight song to a more contemporary R&B track would optimize the brand? See how ridiculous that argument sounds?
I suggest rather that we give a new DI-AA team a chance to beat Michigan. I mean what if someone at Furman thinks we're scared of them? We've clearly been avoiding them since the beginning of time!!
In fact, I think we should just go ahead and schedule only DI-AA teams (this will incidentally solve the issue you very astutely bring about having lost recently to many of our conference foes) until we've beaten all of them. Lord forbid anyone say that Michigan is avoiding anyone.
Stanford shocked #2 USC a couple years ago at the Coliseum (mind you this the Stanford team with 1 win the year before and 1 win that year with 3 losses to ranked teams). However when USC rises back to the top of the Pac 12 and Stanford goes back down and USC wins big against them again I will still rub it in the faces of my USC friends.
Colorado was a 30+ point dog and knocked off Oklahoma.
Wasn't that the year of the Horror? Because as people say "all-time upset" with the Horror, but that USC-Stanford game was actually a bigger upset, and it was in the same year. USC was a better team than we were, and ASU was a better team than Stanford was. And thus, that's what the actual betting lines reflected.
Ya, but USC has a few more recent national championships than we do and usually beat us pretty easily these days.
Biggest difference is that no one argues that USC, whether it was legal or not, dominated most of the recent decade of college football. The Horror was the culmination of what many people had been saying and still say about Michigan: we are overrated and inept. It was a loss against an FCS team. I believe the stat was that no ranked team had ever lost to an FCS team before. We had 5 draft picks starting on offense, including the number 1 overall pick. We had 3 (ish not sure exactly) draft picks starting on defense. It was a defining moment in college football that people still reference.
On the concept of revenge: can the winningest team in college football have a revenge match against a Division II team? I wonder how many of the kids playing for them are even scouted by the scout networks. It literally was David v. Goliath: a presumptuous top-ranked school thought its appearance and laurels would allow it to wipe the field of a team crudely armed with a mere sling. Instead they shocked the world, and now we want to show everyone how great we are by scheduling a rematch to prove that we are a better team and program than them. Michigan needs to prove it is better than a division II program. That day they were and it was a hollow and disheartening reminder that being Michigan no longer gurantees you are an elite program. We had been sliding into mediocrity and we tried to revamp the program, but that only led to further disaster. It highlights the SEC continual claim to the national championship. The PAC-Ten's recent dominance over the Rose Bowl. And Michigan is sitting there wanting a revenge match against App St. We want to paint their tails to show them we are better than them. Even if we win we will be 500 against them. They will always have been better than us on that day; eveyone knows it and beating them again won't change it.
Dreaded double post. Shit. Looks like I'm the overrated and inept one.
this is like a guy getting beat up by a girl and going back to fight her several years later to get his revenge. This is an absolute no win situation for UM.
The Holly chick above says it pretty good too. The fact that this is going to be coined a revenge match for UM against a 1AA school IS too histerical to contemplate.
If we win what will we have accomplished? Who on earth remembers when a team like UM beats a team like App. St? All those wins just get mashed together and no one will remember which cupcake it was we beat. By the same token, no one will ever forget that we lost against them either. It doesn't matter if we line them up for the next ten years and clobber them everytime, everyone will remember that one time they beat us and forget that we trounced them everytime since.
This makes me sad. Also, I am not ashamed to admit (negs be dammed) that I agree 1000% percent with Brian that DB has made some very peculiar decisions since being named AD here at UM.
Regarding Appalachian State as a cupcake is part of what hurt us that year. They would repeat as national champions that year.
were a cupcake then and they are a cupcake now. That game was a fluke, it was a Virginia earthquake, it was a faulty O-ring. It was a freak incident.
This is not a revenge match. It will not be billed that way. Reason, M will have already kicked Alabama's ass in 2012, had one heisman finalist, and won one big ten championship game by the time that game rolls around.
It's a cupcake. We are Thunderlips and they are Paulie. Forget it.
This is not a big deal.
One week until the opener.
They were a better team than 4 others we played that year, including 3 Big Ten teams. It's foolish to underestimate an opponent.
The bottom B10 team every year has more talent than App St. period.
No, you're flat-wrong. Were you at that game? Appalachian State was, believe it or not, a pretty darn good team. I watched the entire game (and then even watched it again because I'm a glutton) and came away thinking they would contend to win the MAC. And were absolutely better than 3 or 4 B10 teams. I think you underestimate the amount of talent at top 1-AA schools. For example, after attending Michigan, I had the opportunity to live and work in Lake Charles, LA and host the football coaches show for McNeese State University, a pretty good 1-AA program. It was a bit of an eye-opener. A lot of guys end up going to those programs due to grades/disciplinary issues; McNeese had at least 10 guys that were currently on NFL rosters at the time. I realize U of M has 40 or 50. But I think people that just say "they are 1-AA, so therefore they couldn't be good, any B10 team was automatically better" didn't watch that App State team and give them enough credit. They were a team that won back-to-back 1-AA titles and, frankly outplayed us. That's not a fluke. They kicked our asses in the first half. That team would have absolutely won 3 or 4 games in the B10 that year.
......that can come out of this.
First: App State is now looking into moving up to DI and this would help their exposure if they are not already DI by the time this game is played.
Second: App State is a good football team that executes very well and it is better to play them than some other creampuff team.
Third: People are going to talk no matter what we (Michigan) do. If we never schedule App State again their will still be those people saying that we are afraid to get beat again.
I am actually glad that Dave Brandon is making this happen. App State gets money and exposure and we get a (higher) quality opponent then we probably normally would get.
Bottom line we did lose and if we can't handle the heckling then there is a problem.
And when we play MSU this year, we'll be reminded of the last three years. When we play OSU, we'll be reminded of the last seven (ugh) years. So what? That should get you more fired up for the game, if anything.
Brandon has pulled off the near-impossible: schedule a meaningful opponent in a guarantee game. There will be serious buzz for this game. If some of that includes footage of the '07 game, so what? Are we supposed to run away from that game forever?
You get no revenge if the whole world expects you to win by 50. The only part of the story is that we once lost to them. That doesn't make the game meaningful, that is simply an excuse for every member of the college football media to bring up the fact that we were embarrassed once upon a time.
We don't have to run away from the horror, but we also don't have to assure that it continues to be brought up.
is ever meaningful.
This tells me you've never watched a good FCS team. Or forget that App State deserved to win; they didn't get that win cheaply. They outplayed us and out-executed us, and had a lot of talent at key positions.
And on top of that, we'll look petty for bringing them back to prove that they really aren't better than us. We lost that game, and as much as it still stings, it's one of the countless interesting footnotes in Michigan football history. Let it be.
The only reason to do this is ticket sales, and that's clearly what's guiding our CEO AD's decision-making.
We'll look far worse if we refuse to play them ever again, while scheduling other FCS teams on a regular basis.
We don't have to "refuse" to play them again. There are over 100 FBS teams, if we must play one to fill out a schedule, just pick a different team. They can't "challenge" us and say we're too scared to play them. That's not how the economics of the situation works.
If we continue to schedule FCS teams, as it appears we will, we will be asked the inevitable question: Why not App State? We can't duck it.
That question would never be asked. The media honestly couldn't care less about these FBS-FCS matchups, unless of course they are handed the perfect way to lead their stories on a silver platter.
But fine, even if your theory is correct, there's no natural tie to App State, they aren't a geographically close team, we could easily go another 20+ games before we recycle a single FCS team, why do it 7 years later? If there was 25 years beetwen the horror and a "rematch," it wouldn't be the end of the world. But right now, it's still rather fresh in everyone's minds.
Do you really believe that? It's not like we've played them every year and decided "never again." They happened to fill an opening in our schedule in 2007, so they were scheduled for a one-time meeting. Scheduling them again hasn't even crossed my mind, and I've never heard anyone else mention it.
this is nuts. there are what, nearly 200 teams to possibly schedule? if 100 years from now we haven't scheduled Appy, then we can start talking about "ducking" them. and no one ever ever has mentioned us "ducking" them.
the reason "ducking" is in quotes is because it's not "ducking". you duck a bully who takes your lunch money every day. a bully who doesn't pick on a penniless girl isn't ducking the girl.
Because no one, in in the world, now or in the future, would ever even dream of thinking or saying that not playing App. St. again is "ducking" them. The concept itself is ludicrous. Except perhaps the App St blog writer if there is one.
We shouldn't be playing or scheduling Slippery Rock, Oh no, cue the "ducking" chorus!. Come on man, logic is your friend.
Slipper Rock is D-3. We can't play them, by rule. Why NOT play a good FCS team if we're going to play an FCS team? Won't we get more out of it from an improvement standpoint? Isn't it better to play someone that we should beat but won't be like Delaware State was? There are only a handful of FCS programs that fit such a description; App State is one of those programs. Many of the others that come to mind from the past 10-15 years have already moved up to D-1. Heck, what if App State is D-1 by that time? The major hurdle to getting to D-1 is that you have to have averaged over 20k in attendance per game at home over a multi-year span. Obviously, you also have to be able to afford it (though hell, a lot of current 1-A teams can't really "afford" it). Many of the FCS schools are in somewhat remote places and/or don't have the stadium capacity, which makes the attendance hurdle. . . a hurdle.
an FCS team.
I was born and raised in Michigan but since I graduated from Ferris State I have moved quite a bit. Texas, South Carolina, Georgia, and I also travel from projects a lot to subcontractors all over the country. Of course I always wear my Michigan hat and no matter where I go there is the inevitable, "So when y'all gonna play App State again. Not Sceered are ya?" (Obviously this is a quote from Texas).
Let's get it over with and be done with it.
Look, there is little "objective" value to beating App State. There won't be an ESPN film if we whip them by 50. It has subjective value to our program--and that is enough reason to play them again and again and again until App State declines an invitation to play in the Big House. We won't let those little bastards beat us again; we are a proud program to remember our past and take on opponents that have embarrassed us. Michigan is bigger than the memory of that loss. Yes, in scheduling App State the whole country will remember how big of an upset it was; Buckeye fans will piss themselves with glee glorifying in the glow of that awful day.
We are Michigan. Our tradition is bigger than a mere loss. We can prove that by playing them again, reliving the past, then planting a new course for a dynasty by trashing a team that gave us nightmares. This matters subjectively--there is a history; we can get past it by reliving and ultimately destroying that team multiple times to overshadow a solitary horrid loss. Hell, let’s go to their home and destroy them in front of their own fans.
I want to see those bastards stomped out like a wasted cigarette, spat upon, then given a golden shower for good measure. I want to see App State fans crying. I want to see players weeping on the sideline, begging their athletic director not to schedule Michigan again. After destroying App State, again and again and again, I want Brady Hoke to point to wherever Carr is sitting in the pressbox, and remind him how a team practices and is ready to play on game day.
Brian, what would Bo do? (A new t-shrt idea...) Would Bob duck these little shits or would he want to play App State again, destroying them, to remind everyone that Michigan does not get beat at home by a Division I-AA squad.
We are Michigan. Our tradition is bigger than a mere loss.
Exactly. There's no reason to play them again. They won. Congrats to them. Nobody is hiding from the past. Playing them again doesn't change the past.
This isn't about revenge. This is about Dave Brandon and moneybags. Brandon sees an opportunity to go after money and he's doing it. He just put Michigan's 2014 opener into the limelight. He just found an excuse to make the 2014 opener a $100 ticket as opposed to an $85 ticket. He sees publicity. That's all he cares about. He doesn't care about Michigan as much as he cares about the bottom line. That's not to say he doesn't care about Michigan, but he's more than willing to sacrifice a lot for the sake of a few dollars.
I think you misspelled "Squeakquel".
Yes, I looked that up. Yes, I am ashamed.
Other than that the post is fucking perfect.
Yesterday I thought playing App State was stupid. Today, I am thinking that if we can't beat these guys by four or more touchdowns, the program is in deep crap.
Moving the Ohio State game to midseaso
Putting Michigan in a different division than Ohio State
Curly fries in Michigan Stadium
Sponsored spring game
Scheduling The Horror: The Squeakuel
I guess I'm not a Michigan fan either, because I really don't give a shit about any of these things except App State, which is pretty stupid. In my "not a Michigan fan" opinion, playing OSU in the last game of the season, then again the next week in the championship is painfully stupid. Furthermore, putting the traditionally best teams in the same division would also be a bad call. Finally, a guy in a furry suit will not nuke the university, nor will it change anything that the players do on the field.
Not being a Michigan fan is a bit of hyperbole on Brian's part, I'm sure. But you must know that these opinions put you in the minority here, and probably among the fanbase at large, right?
I can make the same rationalizations you do about the triviality of mascots and decades-old traditions in the grand scheme of the universe. I just refuse to.