At press time, Harbaugh had sent Michigan’s athletic department an envelope containing a heavily annotated seating chart, a list of the 63,000 seat views he had found unsatisfactory, and a glowing 70-page report on section 25, row 12, seat 9, which he claimed is “exactly what the great sport of football is all about.”
Dear Diary Feels Like Football Season
There are five…SIX principle benchmarks of a quarterback. The secret is surprise, surprise and fear, fear and a fanatical devotion to protection… [Fuller]
Diarist of the Week MCalibur was bumped this morning. Scroll, or continue. Some Meta things to get into first.
East Coast Trip. The New York and Philly alumni associations have invited Brian to come do his spiel. Details:
- Monday, 8/18: New York, New York (We're in New York!) Brian will be at Professor Thom's on 2nd Ave between 13th & 14th, 7pm to 8:30, for their annual kickoff event, along with Paul Myerberg of USA Today. There's a thread up to put your questions in, and for any other signup details.
- Tuesday, 8/19: Philadelphia, PA. 6:30 to 9pm at the Fox and Hound on 15th and Spruce with the Philly alumni association. Thread for questions. They have tickets on sale and details here. Hot appetizers provided.
Yes Brian will have a stack of HTTVs there. About that…
Check your mailbox right now. The bulk of the Kickstarter books should arrive today. These were supposed to go direct from the printer two weeks ago; instead they arrived a week ago in Ann Arbor, whence we got them to a mailing house and out as quickly as possible.
The t-shirt orders and signed books are coming. The books are now on sale. If you haven't gotten one yet, a reminder that book sponsor Draft Kings is still offering a free copy for a $15 deposit—that's the least expensive method of acquisition. If that's not your bag, "pre-sale" has moved to "on sale" on the MGoStore. It also comes in digital. And if you know any Penn State fans, we made a version for them too (digital edition).
Ticket Center. We're shopping for a new ticket vendor where MGoBloggers will be able to exchange with each other for free and find better deals on tix, since this year's secondary market will be pretty alive this year. If you have preferences (not Stubhub—they haven't offered) let them be known in the comments; number one priority is what you'll want to use.
The Venn of Brandon. This by 4roses is a Venn of Brandon's responsibilities:
Do you need the entire key? I'm kind of confused on the methodology; I think the idea is the circle is whether it's a priority for the AD? Are we placing different ideas here, so like Slippery Rock is B3? How do we separate complaints about marketing in general from being bad at it?
[After the jump: recruiting's secret sauce, hoops practice, Darboh's arms, and political things]
Leaves Turning. Best and Worst is back, incredibly long analogies to professional wrestling and all. It was front-paged yesterday so I won't go into full detail, but I would like to answer this:
Best: I Don’t Understand Recruiting At All
You’d think this would be a worst, but I mean this in the most positive sense possible. Consider the fact that UM just finished 7-6 with an, at times, unwatchable offense and a solid-if-unspectacular defense. The last time most fans would consider UM truly “elite” nationally would have been 2006, when many of today’s recruits were 9 or 10 years old. In the intervening years, they’ve watched a team basically struggle along at a stitch about .500, suffer through pretty one-sided series with key rivals, and have all three of its head coaches on various “hot seats” throughout most of their tenures.
It's because recruits tend to see opportunity in a power program apparently on the up. The general Michiganness is one advantage, but we got Denard because a Denard could be the starting quarterback for three years here as opposed to a cornerback at Florida. Michigan did most of its 2009 and '10 recruiting with the understanding that we had a coach who turned down Alabama and dominated a BCS conference after inventing the most popular offense in the game. In 2011 recruiting fell back harshly due to Rich Rod's job uncertainty and The Process, but then the 2012 class was produced in context of an 11-2 debut by Hoke's staff, and the 2013 class in context of the 2012 class.
There have been hits—Michigan had Hand in addition to Peppers until the MSU debacle, and could have held onto Campbell, Harris and Crawford if the offense (and season) didn't collapse. The small class this year is mitigating some of the damage; it's not like a 25-man class would have any more blue chips in it, so the 4-star % is deceiving. If you're looking for places the bouts of instability affected us, count the upperclassmen offensive linemen. The greatest danger right now is that a bad season could undermine the assumption that Michigan will be better in the future.
Etc. Heiko was so popular the athletic department now types up their own presser transcripts for the media (yay!) and Brian posted the one from Beilein. LSA looks at Big Ten players in NFL drafts by position (share date pls?).
Best of the Board
WELL BLOW ME DOWN. AAAAAGuhGuhGuhGuh
Darboh's got Popeye arms.
THINGS SEEN IN THE BASKETBALL PRACTICE VIDEO
- Walton's shot-generating tools have improved noticeably.
- Irvin is taking the Beilein jump, is still a jump-shooter.
- LeVert could be the star of the team.
- Donnal alright
- Chatman > Irvin last year
- Aubrey = GRIII
- Doyle = plausible second center
- DJ Wilson could use a redshirt
- Spike is still as Spike as ever; likely to be a bigger role player this year.
- MAAR can ball, weird to have a defensive option on the roster again.
GAY ON A COLLEGE FOOTBALL TEAM
Safarin [Tom Tingle/The Republic]
The next inevitable hard thing happened, and the MGoBoard had a for the most part enlightened discussion for a topic fraught with religious and cultural and political subtexts. BiSB on why putting faces to facts matters:
Coming out publicly is the way you stand up and say "when you talk about gay players, you're not talking about some mysterious hypothetical sliver of the fraternity of players, or some fringe element. You're talking about me. I'm an above-average offensive lineman. I get along with my teammates. I do things The Right Way. And I'm gay. So when you talk about vague concepts like 'distraction' and 'chemistry,' you're talking about ME. And that's obviously ridiculous. Now watch me pancake block this sumbitch and tell me again why it matters who I kiss."
Also it reminds you that above-average offensive linemen who pancake block sumbitches do in fact still exist, and how much you'd like to have one. I wrote that a college football roster isn't a cross-section of America; football and Christianity are two institutions in this country who bother to scour the forgotten places for valuable humans, and as a result the major college teams end up with a greater share of devoutly religious men who made it this far by sticking to a narrow path. It makes them narrow-minded, not bigots. There's a big difference.
History is worth remarking upon while you live it. Things were one way in the past, and won't be that way again. When they talk about the 2010s in college football in the 2050s, it'll be O'Bannon, and this, and "Michigan State has not been to a Rose Bowl since…"
ALSO WHAT CIVILIZATION BUILT THIS?
We look at the Romans and wonder why they apparently put a considerable portion of their GDP into the building and upkeep of bath houses (basically: YMCAs). So I have to wonder what the people of the future will think when they uncover a field hockey center that puts most thermae to shame.
I hate to single out one sport among many; this is no more an exempli gratia of the weirdness of college athletics economics than 100 other building projects on college campuses. But you look at the team's faces as they're touring it and they're as shocked as anybody that a college field hockey team gets something like this.
The people of 4014 (or however they count years then) will have a hard time understanding about Title IX and non-profit institutions, and what happens when people obsessed with profit maximization are running a highly profitable, non-taxed institution that isn't allowed to spend more money on the things that bring in the money. Or why Michigan follows these apparently arbitrary rules to the letter when most schools build the football team a new practice facility and call it the women's equestrian center.
They'll probably say we really liked field hockey.
ETC. Reminder to use your mgoresources.
Your Moment of Zen:
First game of the season happens in two weeks. Let's remember other first games of the season than the other one.
It's here: http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/meta-resource-reminder
I liked that offensive alignment consisting entirely of actual peppers. I'm too lazy to go find it, but if you saw it, you know what I mean.
Beautiful. I am reminded how much watching Denard made me feel like when I watched Barry. If only they had complete teams around them.
Good place to hear an open air opera, so we have that going for us.
Back in the early days of computer games, there was one called The Bard's Tale. My best friend played it on his Commodore 64. It never really grabbed me but I remember that once you acquired a Fire Horn, you could pretty much win any skirmish just by playing a merry tune on the thing. In the games when we were really fuckin' on, Denard was our Fire Horn.
When we looked to have blown the 2010 game at ND by letting that big tight end haul in a 90-yard TD, we got the ball back and Denard just chipped his way down the field. I'm a Michigan fan so I'm used to worrying about everything, but I was totally serene. I just knew that Denard would get us to the endzone. Indeed, compared to the previous and subsequent games, the game was won relatively early.
It's not "pancake block." It's just "pancake." Pancake is the verb. Hope this helps. Good luck to you.
That field hockey vid felt like watching extreme makeover home edition for three minutes.
HTTV not present.
has a Post Office. 49098's Postal Workers either haven't yet received my HTTV or are reading and enjoying it themselves, because I sure ain't.
Is it OK to say/post "ain't"?
"Lotta folks who ain't sayin' "ain't" ain't eatin' neither."
Ain't got no problems with "ain't." Language is for accurate communication. If ain't accomplishes that, you're doing it right.
Got my HTTV today. Seth, you are a g-d wizard!
BTW, I agree that "major program on the rise" definitely is a major factor, but I guess I give kids too much credit in that they can see the product on the field and wonder if even next year will be the same or better. What seemed to save UM's bacon a couple of times was Denard looking so great that it gave every uber-athlete the sense that UM (and by extension the B!G) wasn't some wholly backwards offensive wasteland. And even with RR having the absolute worst luck, the classes weren't *that* much different in terms of overall quality from his first two years. RR's recruiting in general always seemed weird to me; he acted like he was still at Tulane/WVU and had to pick borderline kids and coach them up, as opposed to getting really talented players and making them great. Hoke seems to get that part of recruiting quite a bit better.
they stopped the video right before the big hot tub party.