Microphone feedback caused MSC to slur
And the sky is fuscia.
Didn't multiple people also report that she was barely able to walk straight off of the field?
Well it was windy. I mean the offensive line had trouble standing up and walking straight too... Likely due to the wind as well.
No, the OLine tipping over and becoming a tripping hazard for the Defense was planned. Al's been working to perfect that play for weeks. He finally got it right.
Damage control at its finest.
I don't speak publically much but even when I have, you learn to overcome how weird everything sounds and realize that you just power through it and talk normal and assume everyone else is hearing you ok. Mary Sue parties hard
I'm with you on not knowing what to believe. It's hard to believe MSC wittingly got shit-faced and decided to speak that forum anyway. But the feedback issue is tough to swallow.
So, while I don't know, my best guess would be (A) she took some medication, (B) had a drink or two, and (C) the intereaction between the medication and the alcohol got her unexpectedly and profoundly intoxicated. Those pharmacological interactions do occur, and when they do they can occur suddenly and with little warning.
You would hope someone would intervene with a well-placed "Ms. Coleman has taken ill" or some such.
On the other hand, I think that a minor delay in auditory feedback can really mess up your speaking ability. If you ever have conference calls or speaker phone calls with an echo effect it can really mess you up, no matter how often you speak in public.
Put another way, I just don't know what to make of this. It is, as you say, just bizarre.
Like she was trying to signal a rescue plane
Maybe they thought it would be a nice surprise, and she didn't plan on talking in front of a huge audience, and no one noticed or had the guts to say "maybe you should just wave and say thanks!" But then in that position you should always plan on being in the public eye. But she's retiring so what does she care.
if "Microphone Feedback" = "Gin and Tonics."
you've been a JD for all these years and have never experienced a conference call or a webinar?
Plot twist: "Microphone Feedback" is the name of her favorite drink.
Who cares if she was drunk? Why is this a big deal? It's Saturday. A football game is happening. People drink. Some people are way too sensitive. Why can they not admit that she was drunk? I don't see this being a problem.
It's generally considered bad form for the president of a prestigious university to get hammered before giving a speech in front of 112,000 people.
Many people are saying she didn't know that she was going to speak.
Why would you get hammered when you're the president and you know you have to go to midfield? Hell, why would you get plastered anyway? She attended an event launching the new capital campaign. Most of her gameday usually involves donors as it is. She's at work representing a major public university. Drink when you get home.
To be fair, she did sound really similar to some of these people.
It did sound very similar to a speech jammer, which does sound like what they are suggesting in the article. So I suppose that's possible.
If anyone wants to try it, this site is supposed to have a program for mimicking the delay effect
I mentioned this in the other thread but coming with 10 or so years of live sound experience, I do not for one second believe the mic had anything to do with it. And I know MSC is a very prolific public speaker who is not at all bothered by technology.
And again, if there was an echo or feedback issue, you would here it, like in this video from when Mark Harmon spoke at the Big House (he did just fine). But in MSC video from the weekend, you don't hear any audio feedback or echo.
Harmon did ok: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaH6nCdJ-Q8
I think it's being implied that that's what happened (that is the delay between her speaking and it coming off the speakers).
someone should have calmed Mary Sue's nerves by telling her that, if speaking to 100,000+ is at all intimidating, that she should just imagine that all 100,000 of us are in our underwear.
That said, if she indeed were sloppy drunk Saturday, that might not have ended well either, if it did nothing other than inspire her to join us and strip down to her skivies, too.
Scary thought, thinking of MSC in bra and thong...
Didn't he speak right before her using the same microphone?
I wasn't there....did everyone who spoke over the mic sound drunk? I not, obviously there was something amiss with MSC.
Personally, I don't think it is a big deal....I don't think she knew she was going to speak to 100,000 people judging by her saying something along the lines of '...noboy explained exactly what this is' when she started speaking, so she got surprised by it.
1. Dave Brandon is used to powering through the delay.
2. Mary Sue naturally draws her words out more than most people anyways.
After that half of football, I was pretty much wasted as well.
I have heard people say this before about speaking in a stadium like that. I do remember wondering that at first but dismissing it when hoards of people seemed so convinced of what was happening.
I think I can clear this up. The terms "feedback" and "echo" are being misused. There was no feedback and little echo. But there was "delay!"
The M Stadium 2010 renovation was followed by the new video boards and sound system in 2011. Michigan Stadium now has "the mother of all P.A. systems." But all of the speakers are in the north video board--maybe 70 yards from midfield. (In the old press box, the speakers were located on the roof facing east, with some speakers angled north and south. I was told that the height of the new press box makes it impossible to place speakers that high and angle them down.) When I speak into the mic, I hear what I said come back to me a full second or two later...and LOUDLY! It can be very disconcerting and confusing. I suspect that's what happened Saturday. She began to speak--and then heard her voice come booming back at her a couple of seconds later. It's difficult because the delayed amplified voice is SO much louder than the words actually coming out of your mouth at the time. It can paralyze and confuse you.
Carl Grapentine // Michigan Stadium Announcer
Well, what makes you an expert on the Michigan Stadium sound system? ... (re-reads post, including last line) ... Never mind.
Thanks for the, uh, feedback. But why doesn't this ever seem to affect the refs? I'm sure they don't wear earplugs, is it just training?
Just experience. You learn to shut it out mentally--or, perhaps, wear ear plugs. The refs do it every week so they get used to it. Same for me.
I do not understand how it is that of all of the remote-mic occasions we have had from the center of the field in Michigan Stadium, including people as diverse as Dave Brandon, Desmond Howard and Mark Harmon all speaking into the same mic, that there has never been as weird a speech as President Coleman's.
Mark Harmon, September 2013:
Desmond Howard, September 2011:
There is absolutely nothing about delay, echo, reverberation, feedback or anything else that cogently explains her choice of words, her slurring of words, or the bizarre phrasing. Of all of the rumored explanations floating around (I can easily live without making specific accusations of drunkenness), the least credible one is that this was an audio problem.
I am sorry, Carl.
I am and always have been a huge fan of yours; thank you so much for your many, many years of irreplaceable service to the Michigan Marching Band, to classical music in Detroit and Chicago (I've listened to you faithfully in both places) and more recently your service to Michigan Stadium.
Very best wishes and good health to you.
Mark and Desmond probably got a practice run to work on dealing with it. Mary Sue was just dropped in there.
Even in their speeches it seems as if the echo is affecting the way they speak. They would say three or four words, pause for a second or two, and then speak in another short burst. I'm guessing this was their way of compensating for the delay. Or, maybe she got into a drinking game with one of the high rollers at the fund raiser.
I think that the reason for the current placement of speakers in the North scoreboard is not because they can't put speakers on top of your West-side concourse. Rather, I think it is because the two concourses face each other so squarely, and if they placed speakers on them the sound would bounce back and forth in an echo-chamber effect like being in a spectacular river-canyon or cave, playing games with the echo.
You, Carl, had to deal with that problem in '08 and especially '09, when you were still in the old pressbox with the old audio system on top, but with the two concourses being built behind you and in front of you. 2009 was almost unbearable for me; it had to be terrible for you.
The North-end placement avoids most of that, by directing sound lengthwise down the centerline of the Stadium.
In other words, it is a directional rather than a height issue.
You're right. We did, indeed, deal with the problem of increased "echo" during the '08 and, especially, the '09 season. The east-facing speakers bounced off the east side box under construction. But the crowd soaks up most of the echo. And echo isn't as disorienting as delay. That's why it's much harder for me NOW, than it was in 08-09.
I remember during my first 40 years (!) in the press box, I would always tell visiting band announcers: here's the switch...it will stay on when you release it...you won't get any delay...just a little bit of echo depending on how full the stadium is. (The only time we dealt with echo was an early pre-game show or maybe a late post-game show. As I said earlier, the crowd soaks up most of the echo. But now, I warn them of the delay. Last year the MSU Band announcer actually stumbled a bit because he was thrown off by the delay.
Just a clarification. Thanks for the kind words.
I'm awed by the opportunity to address you, The Voice of The Big House!
First of all, thanks for helping clear up the situation regarding the bizarre MSC halftime speech. No doubt one of the strangest things I've heard and witnessed at Michigan Stadium in my 35+ years of attendance.
Having no idea how much time you spend reading MGoBlog, Carl, I wonder if you read this MGoBoard topic :
...which was originally posted mid-afternoon this Sunday. Please read it if and when you have time; it addresses some real valid concerns many of us have regarding what has become a real problem.
Who controls the RAWK music being blasted over the sound system, including the choice of music, frequency of it being "played", the volume, etc.? One thing that has really irked me this season is the fact that often it starts up while our Michigan Marching Band is already playing something themselves---completely unnecessary!
Please, if you have a voice that will be listened to, let those in control of such things know how dissatisfied we (the paying fans) are over the direction this has gone over the last several seasons. Like many on that thread wrote, I'm not interested in eliminating the piped-in music, as it does serve a purpose (when used properly and in moderation) in getting the crowd pumped up. As it stands right now, though, it has become MUCH MORE a major annoyance than anything positive.
I'm planning on both writing a protest letter and calling the athletic office later in the week, but I can't imagine my protests could have .001% of the impact of anything you might be able to say on our behalf. Any help you could give would be much appreciated!
To Carl and the others who have patiently followed this thread and the others on this topic:
Tonight I spoke with two major donors who both had personal conversations with Mary Sue Coleman before the game. They were at the multiple luncheon parties inside of the Crisler Center. Both people are professionals, and beyond reproach. One has a main campus building named after him. The other is a letterwinner and a former team captain.
Mary Sue Coleman was not drunk, and was not drinking before the Nebraska game. There was no alcohol being served at Crisler. It is not true, for anyone to think that while they may have been observing a "no alcohol" policy inside the Stadium, that there may have been some alcohol served at Crisler. I openly wondered about that; it is not the case. There was no alcohol, period. Both of the people I talked with tonight would have gladly ordered Bloody Marys if they were available. They weren't.
For both of these two witnesses, the "audio problem" explanation is the only clear explanation they can accept. If Mary Sue Coleman does have some medical condition, it was never apparent that morning. One of these two eyewitnesses has met with her several times in the past few weeks. She has no disorder of any kind to his knowledge and observation.
So scratch the "she was drunk" story. And scratch the "she has something like MS" story.
I will say again; I was there on Saturday, I saw the halftime speech from start to finish, with President Coleman about 60 yards right in front of me. And I found it all so bizarre, that I began to wonder about whether she had a new neurological disorder. I haven't been present for any of her speeches in months; I presumed that I was just not up to speed on what might be going on with her. The speech seemed altogether off-kilter. I thought her physical movements walking on and off the field seemed slightly, subtly, off-kilter. As of yesterday, I had begun to buy into the "drunk" story. It lasted until my getting more info just tonight.
I still think that the entire episode is bizarre. I will not fault anyone who thought she was drunk; I became convinced of the "drunk" version of events myself after learning that MSC had no neuro symptoms of any kind at another speech a just few short weeks ago. (A presumed neurological disorder was my immediate impression on the day of the game.)
But I am now convinced to a moral certitude that Mary Sue Coleman was not drunk, could not possibly have been drunk, and almost certainly was not drinking at all. And, that she does not have a medical condition that causes her to slur or garble her speech.
I cannot imagine what was going through her mind as she delivered her very short thank you address at the Nebraska game halftime. While I feel certain that she was not drunk, I am just as certain that the whole episode is still very weird. I want to assure everyone who was not at the game, but who saw the YouTube video; what you see on the video is a pretty fair representation of what we saw live. The YouTube video is not a distortion; it looks weird as a video, because the live event was weird.
I told you exactly this in the other thread, Mr. Connections.
I'll back you up on this as well. I work in the A/V industry and have produced several events that are about 15% of the crowd/scope of Michigan stadium. Even with that, some speakers have trouble because of the delay (and you are correct, they are improperly using the word feedback as an excuse). Honestly, she did still sound really weird, but I would I think the delay screwing her up is more plausible than her being that drunk. This was a big weekend for the university and she has been meeting with donors for almost 24 hours straight -- I highly doubt this would be the weekend that she would drink up.
Mr. Grapentine - very cool to see you posting here! I've always enjoyed your announcing, which is so much more professional than that of a lot of other schools' PA guys (who seem to be auditioning for minor league baseball).
I can't believe this, are you really THE Carl Grapentine??? like WOW!!
Thanks for posting this, while I can't back it up with tech know-how I was thinking along exactly the same lines. The fact that the popular theory makes no sense whatsoever...for many reasons.... has not deterred everyone from jumping on the bandwagon.
So thanks for being there, and thanks for the memories of,
"B--A-A-A-N-D.....TAKE THE FIELD"!!!!!!
I'm going to to remember this one for the next time I've had three too many to drink.
Wife: "Are you drunk?"
Me: "No, that's just microphone feedback."
The explanation is exactly what I thought was the problem when I first heard her speech (and posted so on yesterday's thread).
I think there are too many people out there who automatically assume the worst of people.
Yes, and Jehuu Caulcrick's Twitter account was totally hacked when he said that he and his teammates took money at MSU.
To be honest, I was rocked out of my mind drunk because of what was going on. Very nearly puked after the game.
I watched the youtube of her address, and I have to say her behavior was more consistent with being drunk. If it was a feedback problem, then she is the first one ever to suffer from it to that extent.
In addition, to claim every single pre-game and game event she attended was non-drinking is foolish. All it will take is one instagram with her in the foreground and an imported beer bottle in the background, and she is toast.
If you aren't used to microphone delay it will cause you to slur your speech. It happened to me once. It was very embarassing. Everyone thought I was drunk, but I was as sober as can be.
Not sure I buy this explanation, but obviously I can't claim any expertise in this area.
That was originally my first thought. When she started speaking all weird I assumed it was just from the delay between her speaking and hearing her voice. I've had problems with it in a high school gym before, let alone Michigan Stadium. But then seeing everyone else's reaction and the fact that she didn't seem to fix it at all I was leaning towards drunk.
I just wanted to be able to tell my grandchildren that I once posted in the same thread as the great Carl Grapentine.
Happy to be on the same thread as The Barwis Effect!
It was the 110,000 understandably hammered fans that couldn't process the sound waves.
At her VIP box, I doubt she was serving them bottled water and soft drinks. Does anyone buy that alcohol is not served at the president's box?
I can personally confirm that alcohol is not served in the President's box.