It's that time of year again, kids-- the boys are in camp, the hype is reaching meltdown status, and we're just a few weeks away from that most glorious time of the year known as football season. We've also been given a great boost of
Hoke hope this year, so it's certainly understandable that we're feeling a little optimistic that this year might be a little different.
Amen to that.
So I'm sure some of you are in need of some new gear, and what better than a new batch of MGoShirts for the whole family before the Western game in two weeks! Featuring the finest quality apparel, MGoShirts are designed only for the most ravenous and dedicated community here at MGoBlog. They also help a certain newlywed put bacon on the table, so remember that every shirt you buy is a contribution towards the site you love.
But enough of the sales pitch! Onto the latest shirts for 2011:
You know what kind of play the new coach is all about, and so will everyone else when you sport this new tee. Now available in Offense and Defense. No, not really-- but you can wear this shirt and identify yourself as a true Hoke supporter.
The most famous Schadenfreude of the cartoon world, now in convenient maize and blue and ridiculing something known as TSIO, whatever the heck that is. And yes, if you look closely, he is indeed wearing his own 'WORST STATE EVER' MGoShirt. My personal fave of the MGoShirts this year.
THE DAY THE CLOUDS PARTED
Remember that day? It was a Tuesday, and most of us were still reacting--some revelling, some reviling-- to the hire of Brady Hoke, when out of the blue we learn that he's miraculously pulled away RAY LEWIS's own Defensive Coordinator. Whether you consider yourself a conspiracy theorist or not, it's hard to argue with the meme around here that everything turned around the day Greg Mattison was hired.
Brian Cook, in two succinct words. I could wring that photographer's neck for not getting one of these on our fearless leader, but that's another story. You wear your love of Michigan on your sleeve, and now you can do the same for your loyalty to the premiere Michigan sports online community.
A happy laugh out loud, either because of your extreme joy at a situation, a lot of fortunate turns of events leading to happiness. Can be used ironically.
Alex: I just pre-ordered black ops, HALOL.
Caitlin: HALOL, the funniest thing just happened at church!
(DEFINITION COURTESY OF URBANDICTIONARY.COM)
CUE THE MUPPETS
Not quite as new, but still a part of the 2011 line is the famous "CUE THE MUPPETS" shirt. It's a well known fact that anytime the Muppets show up on MGoBlog, it usually means that something really good just happened on a UM field, court, or rink.
Dear Jesus, let us see many Muppets this fall. And leave our DBs alone. Amen.
Very exciting times to be a Michigan man-- don't get caught without the proper team gear, AND remember that September 2nd is once again National College Colors Day.
All shirts are available now in sizes S-2XL and in stock only at the MGoStore.
Order yours today to ensure delivery by the opening game. And on behalf of myself, the MGoStore, and Brian.... GO BLUE!!!!
So, I'm elaborating on my initial post in MGoShoe's original thread about the Detroit News Mascot Contest. I've got an idea and it appears that this thing has some legs, and so I quickly knocked out a five-minute visual to help sell the idea to Brandon. Call me DB.
(The following rehashes and/or elaborates on much of what I said earlier)
I had multiple people ask if I was going to submit something for their contest, but things have been pretty busy on my end. More on that next month. BUT I did think about it, and I was torn between the 'ferocious wolverine' concept, as we saw in the News' winning entry (and I think looks pretty good, all things considered), and something else, which I'll affectionately name:
THE OVERLY ENTITLED
Our mascot should be successful and he should know it. Perhaps he's got on a smoking jacket, or better yet, an overpriced fitted polo oxford with $150 jeans and a sweet pair of doc martens. He should sport a well-groomed unshaven look and a pair of rimless glasses that he will only take off to properly look down upon the Purdue Pete's and Bucky the Badgers of the world. He will always have it all put together and will be effortlessly in shape, never flaunting the ridiculous six pack that Herky the Hawkeye knows is just one layer of business casual away.
He should smell like a swanky Fortune 500 corner office and an exotic fruit you've never heard of all at once. He's not so much Facebook as he is LinkedIn, and even then he's a premium member at that who always seems to be too busy to add any contacts. Girls will always know when he enters the room, and their boyfriends will hate him for it. He'll be that guy who's already seen the movie you bring up in conversation, and will recommend an independent film that's far better. He'll tell jokes that make you laugh harder than you knew you could, and yet he'll be more interested in talking about world events.
He'll be that guy that buys really good coffee. The kind that tastes even better than it smells.
And even as he's leading the team onto the field, he should be cutting consultant deals on his smartphone AND playing plants vs. zombies at the same time. And throughout the game he'll be far too busy discussing microbrews with the hottest adjacent cheerleader to even care that he's been named "Biff."
In short, the new mascot should be a d**k that all of the other mascots hate, and yet also desperately wish they were.
He will give the Nittany Lion the perfect compliment on his striped scarf, and the Lion's insecurities will turn it into the most humiliating insult the Lion has ever heard. The Golden Gopher will constantly ask our mascot to have his picture taken with him, and when he finally does it will become his Facebook avatar in less than three minutes. Oddly enough, the Northwestern wildcat will be one of his buds. And for Brutus the Buckeye, he will be fear personified. Brutus will have a manic and hateful obsession with him, and he'll spend far too many Friday nights in Columbus trying to perfect the perfect Biff google search.
He is Biff, and he is THE MAN.
He will give the Nittany Lion the perfect compliment on his striped scarf, and the Lion's insecurities will turn it into the most humiliating insult the Lion has ever heard. The Golden Gopher will constantly ask our mascot to have his picture taken with him, and when he finally does it will become his Facebook avatar in less than three minutes. Oddly enough, the Northwestern wildcat will be one of his buds. And for Brutus the Buckeye, he will be fear personified. Brutus will not sleep well when he thinks of the Wolverine, and he will have a manic and hateful obsession with him.
FREE PRESS EXCLUSIVE:
Brian Cook's Wedding
Logo Finally Revealed!
ANN ARBOR, MI-- Early this morning, an anonymous source with ties to MGoBlog confirmed that an official logo has been created for Brian Cook's Wedding, AND even supplied us with a link to the image. Official sources have neither confirmed or denied its authenticity, and even TomVH and Misopogon declined comment.
[SPOILER ALERT] The image is displayed below:
According to the anonymous source, official replicas of the groomsmen jackets may be inadvertently displayed by MDen as early as Thursday. Look for Mike Rosenberg's exclusive rebuttal of the entire institution of marriage in tomorrow's Free Press, as we continue our exclusive coverage of the Brian Cook Wedding.
On behalf of all of us, Brian, congratulations! You sacrifice ungodly amounts of your free time in the name of sports and our entertainment, and certainly that time also belongs to your fiance as well. So thank you, and above all else, detach and enjoy the honeymoon together.
PS. I'd like to encourage all readers to treat this post as a guestbook of sorts for the happy couple. After all, this is like the Royal Wedding of MGoBlog...
Feeling a little philosophical this morning, my friends. I've been thinking all day about all of this whole mess over there in Columbus, and how the meltdown is deserved and how it will affect the Brady Hoke era. But then I got to thinking about life, and young men, and the choices I make.
And I got to thinking about Terrelle Pryor. I remember sitting in bed sick as a dog on National Signing Day, waiting for the first victory in the rivalry by Rich Rodgriguez, only to be blown off by an eighteen-ish year old kid several hours away from me. And even then, as I sat hoping he would choose a block M hat somehwere, I began to dislike him.
But throughout all of this, he is just a young man, making choices. We've recently seen in our own camp how the choices of a young man can and will crush his dreams, and you can all speculate about who I am referring to. But these choices affect us only until their position is filled by another athlete. But for the student-- the kid-- it will affect much more.
Ten, twenty years from now, Terrelle Pryor (and probably each of the rest of his Tat-gate posse) will wake up. He will scramble out of bed, perhaps a bit slowly as a result of a few, or even several, years in the National Football League. I will not speculate on the quality of his home, or perhaps who might be lying beside him in that bed. But he will wake up and have to pee.
And so Terrelle will go into the bathroom, a pale shadow of the athlete he once was. He will turn on the light, and look in the mirror. He'll stare into his own eyes, at peace with the choices he's made. He will be able to sleep at night, and he'll have made peace with himself, and the media, and the fans of the school that he may not have graduated from, but he played football at. He'll be okay with the tremendous scrutiny he suffered as he moved onto the world of professional sports, and all of the decisions both smart and poor he will have made with the resulting payoff. He will have moved on with his life.
But then, he'll see them.
Right there, as he reaches for the toothbrush, he'll see those damn tattoos. No matter where he goes in life, and no matter what he does with his God-given talents, those tattoos will follow him to the farthest reaches of the earth. Those permanently inked stains of skin, up to and including that iconic Block "O" that symbolizes the very school he painfully severed ties with (and perhaps later sold down the river in a tantalizing ESPN the Magazine tell-all), will be there looking back at him. When he gets married, they will be beneath his suit. When he cradles his firstborn son, they will be there in the pictures. When he reaches out in forgiveness or humility, they will be there. They will remain as permanent and all-encompassing stamps of his life.
And no matter where he goes, or what he does for the rest of his days on the great green Earth, he will be defined by them.
Life is about decisions, kids. And decisions are about the rest of your life.
"...the ball caps were placed on the table with care,
hoping young men would grab the block M varieties there."
Such is a time to be excited for our team, to look to the future, to have hope, to be proud that of all of the schools out there, they chose ours.
I find myself not jealous, but extremely envious of these young men-- they get to be Michigan Wolverines-- they get to put on that helmet, they're assigned their own number, and they get to be part of the brotherhood. That's special, regardless of the past, be it long gone or recent.
As such, I find myself giving the same speech I do every time this year, which is really quite simple:
THIS IS THEIR DAY.
THEY CHOSE US. THEIR ENTIRE LIFE WILL BE SHAPED BY THE DECISION THEY HAVE MADE. THE SPOTLIGHT IS THEIRS, NOT YOURS. WELCOME THEM.
Even last year, some of us found it necessary to be harsh, to our own recruits. A young man named Vinopal was unjustly criticized because of some web site run by men he's never met gave him a rating that some of us were unhappy with. On Signing Day. That's just plain wrong-- imagine your brother or son choosing a school, choosing a future and being at peace with it, only to be welcomed by harsh judgement and criticism before he's even stepped foot on a practice field.
It is 2011, ladies and gentlemen. The Hoke era. The fresh start. There should be no griping about spread offenses or slot ninjas. No judgement of anyone because of the baseless value of these things called 'stars' next to their names from various sources. No whining about losing anyone to Auburn, and no talk about decommits or unfilled slots or Demetrius's or what-could-have-beens.
Tomorrow is a day to welcome the newest members of our team and let them be proud of the life-changing decision they have made. Think of the choices you made at eighteen, and how they altered your entire world. Think of their parents, and how even our baseless and anonymous comments could potentially reassure or alarm them of their children's future. Think of the rest of the college football world, and how closely they will be watching Fort Schembechler, Ann Arbor, and yes, even MGoBlog. And yes, they will be watching.
Make 'em all proud, and welcome them to the family.
PS-- Also, if you get a chance, you might want to thank TomVH for all of the hard work he's going to put in on our behalf tomorrow... His busiest day of the year is tomorrow and I'm sure his phone is pre-emptively cringing in fear for its very life today. Same goes for Brian and Tim-- it's by their collective hand that we'll be able to enjoy all the hoopla here tomorrow.
Happy National Signing Eve, everyone!
Alright... I've read enough of these posts and responses about the Big Ten logo and I was actually writing all of this as a response to the "Reconsider Division Names" thread when I finally decided to bump it into its own post. I'm not trying to come off as some logo elitist, a creative snoot or some kind of uppity know-it-all. It's just that there's several enormous parts of the iceberg regarding the creative process, decision-making, and ultimate implemenation of a big-time corporate logo that many of you aren't aware of, and so I'm trying to enlighten some people.
Personally, I'll own up and give you my own opinion of the official Big Ten logo at the end of this post.
In the meantime, it's no secret that most of the blog hates and loathes this thing like it came from Columbus. And that's awesome-- everyone has the right to respond to it however they'd like. BUT what's bothering me is that everyone, including Brian, is suggesting that we just have a contest and the people will fix what the king's court could not. And, my whole plumbing analogy notwithstanding, some of you are even suggesting that the Big Ten will save so much money by not having to hire some snooty art company type thing.
I couldn't disagree with you more. They'd still have to spend almost the same amount of money to get a design firm to adapt a 'contest winner' into a working branding concept and final production suite. Multi-venue solutions (line art, grayscale, full color, spot color), vector and raster images, RGB vs. CMYK files-- all of these things need to be prepared so that the logo can successfully depart for file management and implementation.
Let's say that Jim Delany saw the shield logo on our blog -- TScherne or Block M or whoever did it-- and decided that was the one he was going to run with. What would really happen? Chances are they'd write a little check and have the designer sign off ownership of the design about twenty times. THEN they'd go back to Pentagram or another design firm, and they'd essentially recreate it in vector format, tweaking it slightly to maximize production and reproduction. Then they'd create countless format options for the logo, some for web, some for print, some for line art solutions like one-color tees, etc. etc. And the work doesn't end there.
Perhaps very few of you realize that the design firm is also responsible for the production and publication of a proper creative brief, design manual, or reproduction requirement publication. Basically it's a manual that follows the logo wherever it goes throughout its shelf life, telling every prepress artist or web developer how it should, and more importantly, how it cannot be used. For example, the UM sports department probably issued a new brief last year telling everyone NOT to use the block M with 'MICHIGAN' through the middle, and not to use the one with the blue stroke, and instead use only the single color block M. It might also say you cannot add to the mark, rotate the mark, use different typography for the mark, etc etc. All of this has to be prepared, developed, and considered so that no handling or manipulation of the logo is open to interpretation. Many of these documents are small, but several can be up to 40-50 pages. I've worked with Bucknell's and few others, and have seen countless more. It's a very legitimate and binding document.
In other words, you just don't draw up a logo and send it in. Even if it's a contest winner, you're not saving any money, and chances are you're only setting yourself up for future complications. Let the experts do their job, man.
NOW, if you hate the logo, that's another thing-- but ultimately Delany and the Big Ten are responsible for choosing and approving that solution, not the design company. I'd bet Pentagram created at least a dozen other solutions that Delany and company passed over. This is not something that was just whipped up on a napkin, my friends.
If you think the design firm could have done better, chances are they did. It just wasn't chosen.
I don't think it's that bad. Seriously.
But I also think it's no home run. Yes, the Pac10's logo is so much sweeter. The new logo is to the point, the typography is relatively clean and is also current without being too trendy. I also think the whole B10 shortened mark could probably catch on, if it's handled the right way. Still, they could've done a much better job in promoting the personality and character of what we consider GGRRRRR BIG TEN FOOTBALL by choosing the right typeface. Typefaces are like voices-- they can all say the same words and yet the meanings can become completely different.
What I really dislike is the color. That icy blue doesn't have enough contrast to really pop off a white background, and on a black background it'll probably be unappealing in a Carolina Panthers kinda way. I also don't like how they did the whole black "B" with the blue "10" concept-- looks very bleh, and too NFL on FOX. I'd have probably done something that combines current with tradition, but that may not have been what the Big Ten as an organization asked for. We'll never know what the customer requested prior to design.
As far as contests and my uppity opinions, etc., someone has already asked me 'hey why don't you whip something up?' I will not. And I'm not ripping on anyone who had the scrotum to work something up and post it here on mgoblog-- more power to all of you and I'm certainly willing to recognize some strong efforts. If someone were to commission me to create a logo then perhaps I might-- but technically none of you have the right to hire me to create a Big Ten logo-- that would be a conflict of ownership with the Big Ten. So yes, I have some ideas, but until the miraculous day that I get a call from Jim Delany asking me to knock something out, I'm going to keep my concepts to myself.
Go Blue and Merry Christmas everybody.