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.”
A 30-percent noise increase on the field level was also promised, which will be tested by a sound engineer early in the season.
I'm not sure why they couldn't have tested that last season when the structures were up.
If you just can't get enough, AnnArbor.com has a slideshow and a couplestories that have the same content in a slightly different package. The latter does have this entertaining quote about the 3k+ club seats:
"I came in here, and I was like, 'Wow,'" Neumann said during Wednesday's public open house. "Then they told me how much it cost, and I was like, 'Wow.' "
FWIW, nary a crab was to be found in the articles. With newspapers typically straining to get "both sides of the story" that's one more indicator that the Save the Big House folks are slightly out of touch. Speaking of…
I am so glad I already have a lolcfn tag. Outrage(!) spans the internets today after CFN's Pete Fiutak talked up Matt James as a promising incoming recruit. Matt James is no longer alive after falling from a hotel balcony during spring break festivities, so this is a very bad idea.
I can only say that I'm not surprised at all. Way back in the day I took a swing at finding all the errors in that year's edition of the Michigan preview and came up with a solid two dozen, and while I can't find that post from before time began here's something they wrote just last year about the relative strength of the Michigan defense:
The real strength will be at safety where some superstar prospects will combine with some established playmakers. That means veteran safety Steve Brown can be part linebacker and part safety in the new system.
That was ridiculous even before the season, when this blog proposed it as "the most incorrect statement ever uttered by a college football preview ever"; now it stands as monument to the magnificent pointlessness of human cognition. Also they declared Obi Ezeh's the team's second best player.
It was just a matter of time before they incorrectly identified someone who is not alive as someone who is. In CFN House, it's always lupus and the patient dies because it's not lupus.
"Coach Kelly and the entire Notre Dame staff has been very aggressive in recruiting," said Mike Frank, the publisher of IrishSportsDaily.com. "They are getting the offers quickly out the door. They are organized and they grind it and work very hard. This staff is much more aggressive than the previous one."
This is not true at all. Legend has it that Corwin Brown once camped out in front of Martez Wilson's door after being booted from the interior, refusing to leave until Wilson agreed to sign with the Irish. It didn't work—never in the long history of that move has it been successful—but by God it was aggressive. Seriously, the one thing Weis did well was recruit. At least give him that.
Who said anything about an aftermath? This was linked on the sidebar yesterday and has popped up in a message board thread or two, but it is patently offensive that this headline…
Charles Woodson Called “A Hero” In Aftermath Of House Fire
…suggests Woodson just became hero yesterday. Pete Fiutak probably wrote it.
Anyway, Woodson and his business partner were just doing what any average Michigan fan might have done on a lazy Friday night: watch highlight videos of Charles Woodson and doze off. As per usual, doing this saved lives:
“The Charles Woodson 1997 highlight tape saved our lives, because that’s what kept us up so late,” said Ruiz. “Seriously, we were up late watching that tape, and that’s what made us stay up so late to find that smoke in the beginning. Otherwise we probably would have been passed out. I don’t know.”
Old Man Yells At Cloud. John Pollack's got one convert: Chicago columnist Rick Telander. His crotchety old man column complains about the amount of money spent on the renovations, says "you can't go 5-7" and "sure as heck can't go 3-9" if you're going to do that, and then pulls out more evidence for this blog's theory that everything written about sports in a Chicago newspaper is false:
In that 2008 season, Michigan got crushed at home, 33-10, by Toledo.
That's not a typo—crushed—and is only 20 points off on a game that happened two years ago. A bonus Fiutak follows:
Is it a coincidence that Brad Labadie, Michigan's director of football operations, just resigned?
Don't think so.
Rabble rabble rabble, and so it goes.
The usual array of losers. Generic complaint about college football scheduling that sees Michigan named the bravest Big Ten team because it's the one team taking on two BCS schools if we don't count Iowa State, which we shouldn't. Standard whining about faking your way to bowl eligibility by taking on Akron and three schools Akron would kill, as Indiana will attempt to do this fall. Hopeful muttering about rising prices for tomato cans spurring some actual scheduling from Big Ten teams, delivered more in hope than expectation. Continued calls for Eastern Michigan to drop its football program entirely.
I've always been a big fan of Telander (moreso in his S.I. years). This, however, annoys me.
It should be noted that he played for Northwestern. No excuse obviously.
The best thing he ever did or said -- which provides him retroactive redemption for this piece as far as I'm concerned -- was on a radio talk show about 10 years ago. He was a regular on the show and the caller was Jerry Glanville. As was his habit, JG was spouting off on a really stupid line of thinking. Telander, instead of being accomodating and polite, stunned him by saying, "if you're so smart, how come you're not coaching anymore?" JG was momentarily speechless, and then sorely indignant. Telander was kicked off the show, which he probably didn't mind since he was sick of listening to idiots in the first place.
I'll have to send him an email asking him to please fact check his own hyperbole in the future.
I feel obligated to provide some perspective. Most of the Chicago sportswriters are heavily biased against Michigan, because many of them either went to Northwestern or have a fondness for it and/or Illinois. Both of these schools have huge inferiority complexes toward UM. So yes, ignore basically anything written about Michigan in a Chicago paper.
BUT don't hate on our sports sections in general. The Tribune's Bears, Bulls and Hawks reporters are THE guys when it comes to news from those teams, and the perspective from columnists on our own teams is much more insightful and worthwhile. Making fun of sports columnists is universal; ours are no bigger idiotic blowhards than anyone else's. Probably less than many places.
Telander played DB at Northwestern for Alex Agase. 20 years later he wrote a book that was very critical of college football, "The 100 Yard Lie". In the book he attacked Agase for, among other grave sins, telling Telander he needed a haircut.
Bo Schembechler was close to Agase and was asked about the book. The questioner asked whether it had more credibility because Telander been a college football player. Bo said (paraphrasing) "I don't know how much of a player he was, I can't remember designing too many plays to go away from him".
I have a really hard time with the way they rank strength of schedule. Alabama or Miami plus three creme puffs is a much scarier schedule than UConn and another middling or bottom-feeder BCS school. Not that I don't dearly wish that teams would schedule harder out of conference - One headliner BCS school, one average BCS school, and two MAC teams sounds like a fair schedule to me, with no Div-II teams allowed.
On an only slightly snarky note - maybe they're waiting for a game when the crowd isn't demoralized to measure the stadium noise? I was at the OSU game, and it was depressingly quiet.
One crazy-hard game is at most one loss, whether it's Alabama or the Indianapolis Colts. Two toss-ups and two should-be-automatic-wins is not any easier than one should-be-automatic-loss and three highly probable wins; your expected record against both is 3-1.