Not good. The latest update on Vada Murray's condition is not good at all:
Vada was admitted to the hospital early last week, shortly after we learned that the cancer had metastasized to his brain. This, and a number of other complications from his pain meds caused a 5 day hospital stay.
Unfortunately, he was readmitted to the hospital this afternoon. … Because Vada is extremely tired & we are struggling to get his pain under control, we humbly ask you for privacy at this time.
That sounds like he doesn't have much time left. I don't have any personal memories of Murray—too young—but when and if the time comes I'll be looking for some from people who do.
Forty gallons in a steady stream. Misopogon bumped UMHero's offer list to a diary and I was all like—dude. So I created a new wiki page for it. You can see it under "Useful Stuff" and people with over 500 points should be able to edit it. You will have to do this every thirty seconds to keep up with Michigan's enormous offer hose.
CEASE PANIC. Yesterday's offhand mention that Darius Morris was "leaning towards entering the draft" from NBADraft.net set the Michigan internets ablaze. Morris immediately appeared on the BTN, endured someone calling him "the butterfly" to his face without threatening to eat someone's pinky finger ("I don't know if it's catchy, but some people like it"), and said things that reassure:
The PANIC-related bits come at the end when Morris is asked about next year:
"We still have a lot of work to do. It's not going to come easy, it's going to take a lot of time in the weight room, a lot of time in the gym. But I definitely think we have the potential to be good down the road, be one of the dominant teams in the Big Ten in the future. I tell everybody 'just keep working hard, no matter what it looks like today.' We're always looking towards our future, and our future does look bright. We're all young, and we're all coming back next year."
Now, in the context of the interview that last statement was not a repudiation of the idea he'd leave. It was more a restatement of the fact that Michigan has no seniors. But even NBADraft.net suggested that Morris leaving would be pretty odd since he has an opportunity to play himself into a first round pick down the road and right now he'd be leaving for the un-guaranteed contracts of the second round. You'd have to be really mad to leave.
I have an email in to the author of the piece—who is not a random crank, BTW, he's making it his job—and will let you know if I get any more details.
On projected improvement.The Only Colors surveys this year's uniquely senior-laden Big Ten, finding that all the really good teams are getting about 50% of their points from old guys save OSU, and OSU is probably going to lose at least one guy in the offseason. You know this but Michigan checks in dead last with 0%. TOC on this:
Iowa, Indiana, and Michigan will basically return every significant contributor next season. Not surprisingly, the youngest teams also find themselves at or near the bottom of the standings.
This was written before the Iowa game when Michigan was hanging out in eighth but even then there's a big difference between where Michigan is and where Iowa and Indiana are. File under yet more reasons for optimism. The big takeaway: Penn State is going to be awful next year.
Also while we're on TOC, there's a diary purveying "enhanced" PORPAG but I'm pretty sure the basketball statistical community isn't a big fan of steals and blocks as a picture of defense, which is usually a team thing stats barely shed light on.
Where Michigan is: the vague bubble. After Michigan completed its nonconference schedule the conventional wisdom was that being vaguely on the bubble was M's best case scenario as the season wound down. The season is winding down and Michigan is indeed vaguely on the bubble. Huzzah for predictions.
One of those teams is Michigan. The other eight are in the tourney according to Lunardi. I won't spoil the surprise for people who don't know Michigan's conference record, but the studies of the other teams are pretty interesting. You have to think that going 2-1 against Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan State would be enough if this rabble is in.
"On Monday morning, (Ford) and Bill Borgmann told me that they'd done something during the game for me and I'll never forget it," Ward said. "It seems as though as the game got started, a fellow on the other side of the line made a remark about him loving people like me. And his adjectives, they were 'bleep' adjectives, so I won't use it. Whereupon Jerry and Bill put a block on him that ended that fellow's participation in the game. So they came back that Monday and told me that they dedicated that block to me."
Vada was one of my favorite players when I was growing up. A total bad ass from Cincy Moeller whose only other scholarship offer was from Iowa. Sorry, Coach Bruce, but you missed big time on this kid.
It was a thrill getting a chance to meet him a couple years ago and talk some Michigan football history and just life. He's truly a great man, who valued a Michigan education as highly as a Michigan Varsity Letter.
A true Michigan Man.
We're praying for you, brother. Get better soon, you owe us a tailgate appearance!!
Was in the midst of updating it as Brian posted this. I've added about 10 prospects who were missing and either have offers reported on Rivals/Scout, reported by Tom or another reliable guru and a couple that I can only find evidence of on TTB's offer list. If anyone flat out knows someone listed doesn't have an offer then by all means get rid of them.
Otherwise, we're up to 81 offers by my count. For those wondering about Hoke's priorities, 26 are to Michigan and Ohio, and that number grows to 46 when you include Florida, California and Texas. Almost half of the offers are on the lines. 15 are for O-Linemen, and 19 are for D-Linemen, 9/10 of those at tackle (depending on if you count Godin as a DT).
was going to make my screen name darth vada, but didn't.
one of my first michigan memories is vada catching the onside kick in stride at ucla, setting up excellent field position for a mike gillette field goal for the win. the game was very late, i fell asleep on the couch, my dad woke me to tell me what happened. not sure if i saw it live or not.
i watched that game at dooleys too. at a small table upstairs in the balcony.
that said, i remember vada being a solid DB, but i also seem to remember him blocking a lot of kicks/punts. seemed like we blocked a lot of kicks back then; something we haven't really done as a team the past 10 years or so.
I like the fact we're playing Blind Resume in late February here at MGoBlog. Werent we supposed to be in last place and the worst thing ever?
Referring the the Bracket Matrix, which is currently tracking 66 mock brackets across Blogrifca, Michigan still has quite a climb.
They are in 6 of 66 fields. Less than 10 percent support. And that makes them 9th from last cut from the at large field. Here are the eight with more votes with UM that are on the outside of the Matrix looking into the field:
Alabama, 34 votes
UTEP, 30 votes
UAB, 25 votes
Gonzaga, 22 votes
Nebraska, 20 votes.....a bump from 1 vote a week ago. The power of a signature win over Texas
Sotherrn Miss, 19 votes
Baylor, 15 votes.....For now. There are 13 mocks that havent updated from the weekend, since Baylor lost at home to woeful Texas Tech. 12 of BU's 15 votes comes from that straggling class. Michigan is probably actually ahead of these guys right now.
VCU, 12 votes....can we really see 3 CAA teams? Mason and ODU are solidly in the field right now. I love this league and love VCU, but let's hope the Rams have an early CAA Tournament exit next weekend.
That's who we are cheering against, not to mention teams like Colorado State, Va Tech, BC, Richmond among the final at larges right now in the Matrix.
Quick take: Go St. Mary's, beat Gonzaga on Thursday night!! The CUSA is a mess and mocks are splitting two bids among those three teams above and Memphis, a consensus 11-seed right now. Look for one of those teams to slide in (GO UTEP) and the other two to fade; Brasker has some tough games, we are rooting against them at all times from here on out, huge game with KSate tomorrow; and I dont know what to say about Bama, they just arent losing SEC games and they are probably sneaking in, but let's cheer against those dweebs anyway.
Another thing to ponder is that 2 Missouri Valley teams are in the field per the Matrix, Missouri State and Wichita State. But, only 3 of the most recnet 53 mocks have put both in their field. They're tied for first and mocks are splitting the vote on their ballot, but it's split enough to technically give each enough support to make the Matrix Field. Translation: One of these is OUT, and another at large is AVAILABLE.
Tomorrow should be fun. Beat Wisco and let's scoreboard watch and hope for some bubble carnage.
My memories of Vada mostly involve looking up from my drunken stupor in time to see Vada and Tripp jumping about 900 feet in the air to block a kick. Those guys were sick at that very specialized skill.
at blocking XP and FGs that opposing teams would practice both with the broomsticks to simulate both Vida Murray and Tripp Welbourne jumping high because there aren't anybody who can jump just as high as them. Amazing.
This site does a wonderful job of remembering Wolverines after their playing days--sadly, most often when they have critical health issues. Please convey to his family that there are a lot of us pulling for Vada.
It is appropriate that a previous comment had a photo with Vada and Tripp Welbourne acting in concert. For all the woe on this site the last few years about how no one on the current Wolverine roster knows how to play safety--Murray/Welbourne were the ultimate matched set. Both were terrific players as individuals but their special gift was how well they knew what the other guy was doing. If Murray wasn't the best safety ever--and he'd be up there on any list--the two of them together were the best I remember.
I remember Vada was up at the IM building pretty regularly playing basketball after he graduated. I played against him a few times and he was obviously a special athlete. He and Amani Toomer were the two football players I remember being ridiculous at basketball as well. Both could jump sky high and had great moves - he had a sweet jump shot too.
I hope this ends up better than it sounds - he was always a nice guy at the gym too. Didn't have the arrogant attitude about being a football player that some of the other guys I met or talked to had.
Not only could Vada Murray put a devastating hit on an unsuspecting receiver (or suspecting running back), he had a good career going as a cop. There are good cops and bad cops, and everything I've seen indicates he was a good cop. It seemed like he just did everything the right way and set a great example to anyone paying attention.
Further to that, I always wondered what would happen to the poor S.O.B. who decided to run away from Vada while he was on duty. (Well, I didn't really wonder, but I imagined the scene.)
Like so many here, I'm terribly sorry to hear of his recent downturn. It's a tough battle, and it's good to see so many people are pulling for Vada and his family. Let's hope for the best.
"Of course I care about that stuff. To the point of irrationality. It will always be Michigan first, cancer second." Jim Mandich (RIP)
Man, after extensive Googling, I just cannot turn up that awesome quote I remember from Bo after the 1989 UCLA game where Vada just took over in the last few minutes to make every necessary big play to let UM pull off an impossible comeback (with thanks to Elvis G., too). I was watching it by myself in this crappy little pizza place in Cambridge, MA going apeshit in the last few minutes as the rally unfolded.
I believe when all was said and done, he had
1. an interception
2. a blocked extra point late in the 4th Q (with his face)
3. recovered the onside kick that led to the winning FG
And Bo said (and this is really close to verbatim):
"Vada Murray had a pick. Vada Murray blocked an extra point. Vada Murray recovered the onside kick. I'd say Vada Murray had a pretty good game."
Video here: (thanks as always to Wolverine Historian)
Vada and his wife lived in my neighborhood for a few years. I didn't know him well but during our brief conversations it was very apparent that he was and is a class act all the way. Good family man, honest, well respected as a police officer and obviously a great athlete. Above all, caring and kind. Best of luck to Vada and his family.
Vada was the police officer who would break up noise complaints in the early 90s (just normal parties). Since I was involved in many of those, I "met" him several times. Always nice, always accomodating.
- Uncle Rico
"Back in '82, I used to be able to throw a pigskin a quarter mile"
my hall's IM team showed up for a game to find out we were playing a South Quad team that sported Vada, Greg McMurtry, and, well it doesn't really matter who else, does it? My team had no one over 6 feet and they beat us by more than 60 points. Vada threw down two 360 dunks, plus 3 or 4 other dunks where he jumped over us like we weren't standing there in the lane trying to stop him.
I still brag that in college I covered Vada Murray and held him to 56 points.
Stick with me baby and I'll have you farting through silk