What he said. I literally cannot think of a worse play on which to jump offsides. That play is absolute vintage, patented "Sparty NOOOOO!!"
Mason NEEDS this, Pistons, after all you've put him through
via reader Brian Hale
Take his and graduate 'em, take yours and graduate 'em. It's not noble to take guys with two good parents and a Catholic-school education and not screw them up. That's one of the things that's always bothered me about Notre Dame's smugness. They've positioned themselves as the nationwide destination for kids who end up at places like Oaks Christian, and when these kids fail to screw up they take pride in it. Michigan, meanwhile, has been more willing to take on potentially troubled kids. Not as willing as some other schools, but willing.
This is always spun as a negative when you get a Feagin situation. When you take kids out of Pahokee or Detroit or Delray Beach who did not go to a good high school and didn't have a stable home life and are just looking for a way out, some of them are not going to overcome their backgrounds. It's tough to do that. It's no accomplishment to graduate Craig Roh. That kid grew up like an enormous, athletic, magnificently-eyebrowed version of me; he's going to graduate no matter where he is. It's a risk to stick out your neck for a talented kid who went to a school with textbooks from 1978 where dropouts are more common than graduates.
The reason I bring it up is an epic article on Pahokee, the home of three current Wolverines, in the Daily. I've been reading the Daily for twelve years now and it's without question the best article to appear in it in that time frame. It wouldn't seem out of place if you threw it up on ESPN.com in one of those fancy presentations they give Wright Thompson. It highlights the environment these guys come from:
He pops in one of the myriad discs. It’s a guerrilla-style video called “Palm Beach County: Gangstas and Thugs.” Local gun-toting gang members flash across the screen, beating each other senseless and shooting AK-47s into the air.
“That’s my cousin; he’s in jail,” he says pointing, to the screen. “Oh, and that kid’s dead. He was 17.”
Trouble in such places is easier to get into than avoid, and honestly working with these kids so that they get out of college and go somewhere else is a calling beyond giving kids who went to Catholic school calculus exams. Michigan has to live up to that charge, of course. In four to six years we'll have Rodriguez's graduation numbers, and in five more we'll have some sense of how the institution has served them. I'll be watching it carefully. I hope—and think—Michigan will do right by them. They are owed that.
No, you can't do that. Apparently ABC never showed the Armando Allen taunting penalty, but the News got a shot of it:
a. Specifically prohibited acts and conduct include:
1. No player, substitute, coach or other person subject to the rules shall use abusive, threatening or obscene language or gestures, or engage in such acts that provoke ill will or are demeaning to an opponent, to game officials or to the image of the game, including but not limited to:
(b) Taunting, baiting or ridiculing an opponent verbally.
(c) Inciting an opponent or spectators in any other way, such as simulating the firing of a weapon or placing a hand by the ear to request recognition.
Ssssh-ing the student section is an obvious flag that will get called 1000 of 1000 times. It doesn't matter if he said anything or not. Weis being an ass in the postgame (no, seriously, watch his bitchy press conference… what a horror it would be to have such a thoroughly unlikeable person* in charge of your football team):
"Armando was really distraught at the end of the game, because he felt that he got called for a 15-yard penalty for going 'shhhh' when he got to the end zone," Weis said. "Now I guess, technically, that's taunting, but he felt really bad about that and I told him we're all part of this loss and don't put it all on your shoulders."
Indeed, it is "technically" taunting in the way Michigan's pass to Mathews was "technically" a touchdown. Meanwhile on that same play, Clausen was doing a fey little dance that could have drawn another flag. Why must Weis recruit these thugs? Why can't he have nice boys like Greg Mathews, who politely handed the ball to the referee after his gamewinning touchdown?
A note on one of the other ND refereeing complaints: Theo Riddick did touch that kickoff, as was extensively discussed on Sportscenter, so running two seconds off the clock was appropriate. And when Tate caught the ball on the last play of the game and got tackled with one second left, the key distinction to note is that the official timekeeper doesn't stop when he thinks the play is over—not his job—but when the referee signals him to. You can clearly see that the referee signals to stop the clock well after :00 is hit. (Yes, maybe that's a conspiracy too.)
*(dollars to donuts that caused any West Virginia, Michigan State, or Ohio State fan reading it to have a head asplode moment, but… seriously. Watch the video. There is no comparison between that and corny jokes and twang.)
Tempting fate. If Michigan loses the next two weeks you can stick my head in a blender for what I'm about to do.
Let's talk about Michigan State, Michigan's first road game of the season and next opponent against whom the spread will be in the single digits. State lost to Central Michigan in quintessential "Sparty, No!" fashion, but don't let the flukes at the end of the game overshadow the overall theme of the day. A worried The Only Colors explains:
While hanging our heads obviously doesn't do any good, I really have a hard time seeing Saturday's outcome as a fluke. Sure, the events of the final 30 seconds all broke in the Chippewas' favor. But we'd been outplayed by a significant margin for the 59 minutes and 30 seconds that preceded those 30 seconds--outgained by 74 yards and outconverted by 8 first downs. And when it mattered most, we couldn't stop them. Central gained a total of 147 yards to reach the endzone on both of its final two non-onside-kick-commenced drives. We were lucky to be in position to win the game with 30 seconds to go.
Maybe CMU's a top-40 team and this loss isn't quite as bad as it looks right now. But they certainly didn't look like a top-40 team against Arizona a week ago. And you have to beat top 40 teams at home to get to a New Years Day bowl.
That is a strong indication that internet skepticism over a team that was outgained in conference play last year was better founded than the assembled Big Ten Media's assertion that Michigan State was the third-best team in the conference. Not that we needed anyone to tell us that the internet tends to do better research than newspapers. State should get better as Kirk Cousins solidifies his hold on the starting quarterback spot, but after some initial optimism in the comments that post bogs down into pessimism about a ton of things, most prominently the pass rush.
Compounding things for State in their matchup against Michigan: Central Michigan is headed by the Rich Rodriguez coaching tree, also known as Butch Jones, and quarterbacked by Dan LeFevour, a mobile, accurate quarterback that's a more veteran but less hyped version of Tate Forcier. LeFevour was 33 of 46 for 328 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. The State game now looks very winnable.
The move? Freshman Cameron Gordon's seemingly inevitable move to linebacker may be a fait accompli according to MGoPoster Jaggs:
Was at the ND game this weekend and my dad ran into a guy purporting to be Cam Gordon's dad (I have no reason to doubt it was him). The guy told my dad he was a father of a player on the team etc, and my dad asked him who he said his name which my dad forgot but remembered the guy said #84 a linebacker. A quick search of the program and mgoblue.com shows Gordon as the only #84 so sounds like Gordon.
Quick check shows 86 points, which isn't much, but also that this guy's been registered for eight months. Credibility rating: at least moderate. We're still looking for confirmation and will provide it if/when it comes.
Yeesh. I think this was just an mgolicious link. The numbers say, I don't know, something:
3. Inbound links checked daily. The day before I visited, logs for the Chronicle’s WordPress site reported that it had drawn 277 visitors from a local sports blog, 28 from a local school blog and 23 from annarbor.com, the reincarnated Ann Arbor News.
Probably what it says is that AA.com's traffic is far more dispersed, where this site is basically a single framework with varying content presented.
What he said. I literally cannot think of a worse play on which to jump offsides. That play is absolute vintage, patented "Sparty NOOOOO!!"
Crable going helmet-to-helmet on Troy Smith.
Or the INT return and FG shank in the Toledo game.
Or the Alamo Bowl finish.
Vintage, patented "Wolvie NOOOO!!"
Realizing that last year was an aberration must be painful...
Vintage, patented "Wolvie NOOOO!!"
Never mind the fact that you're grasping at straws, more importantly: who in the hell says "Wolvie?"
Ooo, a game. I got another one. Almost like, "What? We had a 17 point lead but it's dwindling fast, Michigan's onside-kicking, and the ball bounced right off your chest into the hands of an untouched Michigan player? Sparty NOOO!!!"
Like "We have MSU beat! Let's facemask Rogers! What? Too many men on the field?!? Wolvie NOOOOO!!!"
SpartanDan is right, man. You might as well give it up. We can call and raise all day, and your pair doesn't beat our four of a kind.
See, it's like this: "We're the favorite against Michigan for the first time against 1968, but we gave Michigan a free touchdown on a roughing-the-kicker call and missed two game-winning field goals inside 40 yards? Sparty NOOOO!!"
Or, y'know, just about every play from 2007. Like blitzing Mallett and making him fumble only to watch Mike Hart run it for a first down? Sparty NOOOO!!
We got lots of 'em. And those are just the ones you pulled off against Michigan, during the game. Haven't even got around to, "Have you lost the team, Coach?" "I don't SPARTY KNOOOWW!!!"
The JLS era was especially painful. And there are definitely more losses to choose from.
It could be worse, though. I could cheer for an ACC team like UVA. GROH NOOOO!!!
Yeah, it really sucks to cheer for a team that's gone 62-52 and is 3-3 in bowl games in this decade (that would be UVA), instead of a team that's gone 55-56 and is 1-3 in bowl games (that would be MSU). Al Groh has three bowl wins in his career. You have to go back to 1990 to find three bowl wins at State, an era which spans five different coaches.
Christ, you're not even better than a middling ACC team. Good try though. Sort of.
You're bragging about wins over Minnesota and Pitt? That's ACC-good.
MSU has those, too... even with the coaching incompetence of BW and JLS.
You're 2-4 against Minnesota this decade. That's not....good. UVA is 1-0 against Big Ten teams in bowls; MSU is 0-1 against ACC teams in bowls.
Listen to yourself, man: you're knocking us for two extra wins in bowl games. Bowl games you don't have on your record because you keep going 4-8. Not only that, but your answer to the definitive proof that UVA has been better than MSU over the last twenty years is: "well, we've beaten some of those teams too." Which is a far cry from your initial and false insinuation that MSU's record can somehow stand up to, let alone surpass, UVA's. You're worse than the team you make fun of in a conference you make fun of. It's no wonder a Spartan fan's favorite team is the team that plays Michigan and Michigan State, in that order.
That's a whole lotta straw man.
1) Congrats on beating a Big Ten team. Great logic, too. App State is 1-0 at the Big House in the last 15 years. UVA is 0-1 there in the last 15 years.
2) MSU "keeps going 4-8" like UVA "keeps going 5-7". Only in the ACC.
3) I never insinuated that MSU's record is better than UVA's. That would be stupid. I insinuated the ACC sucks, because it does.
4) "It's no wonder a Spartan fan's favorite team is the team that plays Michigan and Michigan State, in that order."
No. That is stupid. I cheer for MSU, my alma mater. I don't bandwagon for other teams that win more. But that's cool, I guess.
It's no wonder UVA fans cheer against Va. Tech first and for UVA after that. [/equally baseless accusation]
Hey, if it floats your boat to suck ass in the Big Ten instead of being respectable in the ACC and comfort yourself that being in a better conference makes you a better team, be my guest.
Trust me, for every example of a self-inflicted Michigan disaster you can come up with, there are a half dozen (or more) MSU footgun moments. This is not a comparison you really want to make.
Or one really good gun-to-thigh moment.
One of your best.
So it sounds to me as though the fans that I had the unfortunate experience of sitting next to echo the thoughts of their leader Charlie Weis.
I understand why he is complaining. He probably came into Michigan Stadium expecting a blowout of spectacular proportions so he could show the college football nation that he is a genius and ND is back as an elite team. Well he was stunned and his first thought was probably "blame the officials." He doesn't want to take the slack for losing to rival Michigan. He doesn't want to account for the passes thrown during their last (meaningful) drive.
I bet a good reason for those late passes is because Cissoko was getting burned toasty (please let him not be the next Morgan Trent) and he probably wanted to put another TD on as an exclamation point for how good Jimmy Clausen is this year. Yes he is good and I think they are much improved offensively but seriously? Throwing 2 passes on a key "keep-away" drive was not smart for a coach who was considered a genius during his stay at New England.
ND fans...blame your leader for this less. Do not resort to petty complaining about the ability of the referees.
....David Foster Wallace references sprinkled in with my football.
A while back Brian spun a reference to Neal Stephenson's Anathem into a post. The book had only been out a few weeks and it's 900 pages long. Where did you get the time?? I was seriously impressed.
Both recommended for MGobloggers who like to spell their football with gargantuan novels part hallucination part philosophy text part space thriller where the footnotes have footnotes.
I agree. Such a nice little surprise to see the DFW shout-out on a sports blog.
DFW is Brian's personal hero: http://mgoblog.com/content/dfw
Also, just over a year since he passed. RIP.
People say we are obnoxious fans. Forget 'em! They wanted to grind the Michigan Nation into the ground. What they have done is awakened an angry sleeping giant!!! Show No Mercy is displayed in the Michigan's locker room. I am on that page with them now. Kick that butt until the next one comes along. "All In For Michigan"!!!
The ABC broadcast absolutely did show Allen shushing the crowd.
Yep, with the official throwing the flag right next to him as he's doing it.
McDonough saw it too:
"What a call, beautifully executed, Allen brings it in and then gets called for taunting . . .."
EDIT: Screengrab? Screengrab.
Brian clearly avoided (at least from what I could tell from skimming his post) the issue of Armando Allen stepping out of bounds. I think this was Weis' biggest beef with the officiating. Now, personally, I think Allen did step out of bounds, but would have liked to see Brian address it.
That being said, Charlie is clearly pissed they lost the game and that's what this boils down to. He knows his job is on the line and that, ultimately, they probably should have won the game.
I love the picture of Forcier because right now that is what people think of him right now. May a Forcier be with you!
Is this our version of Touchdown Jesus?
Regarding the taunting by ND's #5, a friend who is ND grad told me he feels Weis' teams are not disciplined. My friend is an older guy, and he really thought Weis' era is coming to an end. "That Bush League move helped Michigan and hurt ND", he said. Also he felt that Michigan has surpassed ND in development. He thought Tate was a better QB because he can create on the fly. Clausen is too mechanical my friend thought. Whatever the case, Michigan sent those ninnies home, stewing in their own juices.
for as much as I HATE Jimmy Clausen, he pretty much tore it up on Saturday. If Notre Dame won, he'd be squarely in the Heisman hunt right now. If he is "mechanical," so is Tom Brady.
Man, I thought I hated Charlie Weis before watching that presser. "I'm not going to blame the officials, but now listen to me piss and moan for 3 minutes and blame the officials without knowing the facts". What a colossal fuckup. It's getting so bad that I don't even want him to stay at ND so I can laugh at them, I just want him gone. Please fire Charlie Weis, preferably out of a very large cannon.
Third best in the conference?
I guess they'll have to settle for third best in the state.
My favorite quote from the Failing Irish locker room:
"Their plays happened a lot quicker, a lot faster rate," Irish linebacker Brian Smith said.
"That's something you can't imitate in practice, the speed of the game. That caught us off-guard at first."
Loved that sense of controlled urgency throughout the game. And all that (perfectly within NCAA limits) conditioning paid off.