Mike Lantry, 1972
- Member for
- 4 years 19 weeks
|1 year 35 weeks ago||Bud||
Bud was one of the kindest persons I ever met. He was a big man in the best sense of the word, one of incredibly generous spirit. He was a great story teller. A great listener. I loved him and I will miss him.
|1 year 37 weeks ago||M-W: Shoot me a note in,||
Shoot me a note in, say, three years---assuming this might have any continuing interest for you--- and I wil tell you the exact deal re: sources of information. It is complicated.
Thanks for your note. Quite thoughtful.
|1 year 37 weeks ago||Seth: I owe you more than||
I owe you more than a coffee. [I am out of town for an extended period but, when I get back...]
Thanks for your work.
|1 year 37 weeks ago||Dear M-Wolverine: I enjoy||
I enjoy your posts quite a bit so I apologize for my brooding piece last year. You weren't alone in your point of view.
Until this moment, I didn't know which of my articles Brian had chosen, if he had chosen either. I sent him two and I am a bit surprised by his decision but happy for the "transition" article to see the light of day. I hope it isn't too depressing---I don't think it is---but for my part the transition from Carr to Rodriguez was mystifying, especially since I was "there," if in some virtual reality, for a part of it. I tried to make sense of the strands of information I had, some different ones than those owned by John Bacon---a guy who I have known for a long time. I respect and admire John, but some pieces I had just didn't quite fit. John's source was, or so I guess, Rich Rodriguez. For my part, I had access to Rodriguez, but I never asked about the transition. However, I did attempt to defend RR with John Hilton at the Ann Arbor Observer, who seemed to desire to run a "negative" piece (or pieces) about RR due to the litigation concerning the liquidated damages clause in his WV contract. I argued with JH (great editor, BTW) that the fight had little to do with RR, that it was strictly a pissing match between West Virginia and Michigan. I won't get into it, but (admittting my minority view) I think liquidated damages clauses in the context of employement contracts are mostly horseshit. That contrarian view aside, no one should have believed that the litigation had much to do with Rich Rod, since he had cut his deal at minute one with UM. It was strictly WVA versus UM, with WVA (my view) extorting money for non-existent damages. In the end, de classe at best.
Rodriguez never knew that I took up that particular cudgel for him. He may have known that I wrote an article for Sam Webb's publication (the editing there really went south; not Sam's fault) arguing strongly that (post 2010) Michigan should not fire Rich Rod. I may have been (be?) the last Rich Rod defender, since (irony) I thought UM should live up to its contract and that "any coach" deserves at least 4 years. Plus, I concede, I loved RR's offense. The defense? Well, I liked it about as much as you liked my article last year.
But I don't really know RR. I do know Lloyd, pretty well, and I am very defensive of him. I consider him a friend. When Rick Leach attacked Carr of WTKA Ira Weintraub gave me time for a rebuttal, but LC wouldn't help me out on Leach's claim that Carr was tanking the program. He said "say what you think" in my pre-radio inquiry to him. So I did, and he never complained to me. Same sorta deal in this article. I sent a version to him based upon things I observed and was told, including some things he had mentioned to me. His response to me has been (functionally) "It's your story bro, not mine."
My apologies for the lengtth of this comment.. Glad to answer specific questions to the extent I can. firstname.lastname@example.org. I am curious about the article, too, since it went to Brian at nearly 8,000 words and he was looking for half that.
As a complete aside, I have seen three coaching staffs up close. As impressive as Carr's staff was, Hoke and his group are off the charts. a truly thoughtful, savvy and gracious group of guys. I could not be more pleased or impressed. Blown away, really.
|2 years 2 weeks ago||Apologies||
I apologize for this.
The "play" side is the direction of the play. The "back" side is the direction away from the play. To keep it simple, think of a Rich Rod 2x2 formation, with a RB and no TE. [This would be a Rip or Liz formation in the "old" days, depending upon the side the RB (or Superback in RR lingo) was lined up. ] This is also (for everyone) called 10 personnel, 1 RB and no Tight End.
So, in this hypo RR model, in Liz, and a read option with the RB meshing and moving to the right, right of the center is the play side. The LG on this is, then, the "backside guard." Assume the LG is uncovered. He is then blocking the next man to his right, his line being "back side eye" (left eye, here) to the defenders "play side number" (here his right number as the guard faces him). If the LG is covered, and that's what I asked the Coach about post session, he is still blocking left eye to right number on the man over him, ergo protecting the backside A gap, the gap between the Center and Guard.
The great part about this site is that, I am sure, if I am wrong someone will point it out. But that's my understanding. Here's a zone blocked picture.
Here, if the LG is back side (play to the right) his responsibility is the double team on the T, his left (back side) eye to the T's play side (right) number. If the T pushes the B gap the LG releases to the second level. If the T pushes the A gap, this becomes the guard's primary responsibility and the LT can release to the second level.
That's how I understood it at least, and/but I am glad to be corrected.
|2 years 2 weeks ago||Coach Montgomery||
From all accounts Coach Montgomery is a sharp guy and quite approachable. I just haven't had the opportunity to talk to him.
For what it's worth, my favorite coaches on Rich Rod's staff were Calvin McGee and Rod Smith. Smith, in particular, was a tireless teacher, and had a compelling ability to convey constructs, even to a novice (like me).
I liked all of Lloyd's asistants that I talked to (most of them) but Scot Loeffler and Mike DeBord really were open and willing to try to teach me the basics. They may have more or less failed, but it wasn't because of their efforts or lack of teaching ability. The student was limited.
There is a certain disconnect between the coaching fraternity and the media fraternity, which (I suppose) I am sorta, kinda vaguely a part of. My surmise is that coaches think/assume the media knows nothing, and then the media tends to prove it with their questions (I admit to asking some obtuse whoppers) or their criticisms. On those occasions when I have asked (what a coach may have thought) was a good question, they have been willing to try to give me a real answer. On the other hand, I think the coaches tend to talk to the media like they know nothing, and this tends to complete the circle. The people in the media who do actually know something other than the surface of the game (Brian, for example) are disinclined to go to pressers because of this disconnect (my surmise). Plus, it is a fact, it is really hard to ask a concise and meaningful question at a presser. For my own part, I need to ramble on for about 10 minutes (Willie Heston, blah, blah, blah) of football history (Bears and Skins in 1941, death of the single wing, ya know) before I can get to the point. Woe on me.
The good news is that Brian has determined to go to coaching clinics (that's where he is at, right now) and maybe he can help many of us learn and appreciate more of the nuance of games.
|2 years 18 weeks ago||No....||
I asked that one, FWIW.
|2 years 44 weeks ago||Boren and Ambivalence||
At the first week of practice during RR's new tenure the coach brought out a few players to talk to the media. They were sitting at tables scattered throughout the large, upstairs room at Schembechler. A few reporters were talking to Boren but they drifted off---reporters often seem least interested in the OL.
I sat down across from Boren. Noone else was at the table. He didn't look at at me. I asked him about the pace of the new offense. He said, "The truth is I don't like it at all. I like to take time off between plays....I prefer huddles." He never lifted his eyes.
I then asked about Mike Barwis, expecting a more positive response. He paused for a long time. "The weight work is fine. But I just can't get used to the running....on the whole, I don't like it at all. The running..." The answer lingered, unfinished. He was clearly unhappy, miserable. I felt terribly for him.
Do I think Justin Boren is traitorous? Yes. A legacy transferring to (even) MSU would be one thing. But to OSU? But what would I think if he was an AA kid who had decided to come back home? Would I then feel the same way?
I wanted to ask Boren about the new zone (versus the old zone) and the interstices of the new blocking. But he was just in too much pain. He never looked up.
So, I am ambivalent. He was a person struggling and in pain and, in this, I have tried to forgive his choices. I wish him no ill. Schadenfreude can be satsifying, but I have a hard time working up to it here, though my rational mind wants to go there.
|2 years 45 weeks ago||Please email me...||
..maybe we can have luch some time.
Your posts are excellent.
|2 years 45 weeks ago||If/when you are in Ann Arbor...||
drop by and I will give you one.
|2 years 45 weeks ago||Lloyd Carr||
I can't say enough good about Lloyd. I wrote a (label it some place between curious and dubious) book about UM sports, Obscene Diaries of a Michigan Fan, and after publication I received a phone call from someone claiming to be Lloyd Carr and asking to meet him at his office--- if I would. Well, it sounded like the Coach but still thinking it was a prank (from a retired attorney who is a friend of mine, a novelist now) I showed up at LC's office. No prank. He wanted to talk about my book and we did for an hour. And he invited me back on the next Saturday after practice (pre-season). We ordered pizza and talked to the middle of the AM at Schembechler Hall. Later, he let me sit in on a a session with Scot Loeffler and the the QBs (Chad Henne, Matt G and Jason Forcier) on the promise that I not write about it until he gave me permission (he did, once he retired). Out of this, Scot and I became friends and we talk routinely.
I think Lloyd and I became friends, too. He invited my brother and I to golf and he sandbagged a bit to make us feel less woeful about our games. We keep in touch. He threatens to write an introduction for my new book, one that I can't figure out how to end. I have spent many hours in his office talking art, politics, literature. We have talked about David Romer and fourth down choices. In his last game against OSU, he ran 5 of 6 plausible 4th down plays (alas, re the one he passed on) and he seemed to be moving to the idea that Romer is or might be right. He is, as much as onyone I have ever met, a person of ideas. He is a person who cares about those less fortunate. Most of all he cared about his players, and his ex-players.
Lloyd is completely without arrogance. Once after he spoke to a group I came up to him and a guy was asking a question about the death of the single wing. Lloyd looked over to me and said "Ask this guy about that. He knows more than I do." This was, of course, not close to true, but LC chose the moment to flatter me about a question that he knew I knew the answer to.
He is one the most interesting and best people I have ever met. And I am proud that I rooted for the teams he coached.
|2 years 45 weeks ago||Brian probably Doesn't Agree With Me||
I wrote the post. Brian just edited it and added some of his own thoughts. He shouldn't take the hit here.
I never intended to say that the 2011 offense would be as woeful as the 2008 offense, but my language was poor, using "in this" to mean "in this respect." See my post below.
I hope my worries are ill-founded.
|2 years 45 weeks ago||My Writing Was Deficient||
It was late, after midnight, when I put my notes together for Brian. I had been working most of the day. I was tired. I had consumed a beer. The dog ate my homework. Something else, no doubt. I can parse and rationalize my writing, but let me concede that my overview was slovenly.
Many of the criticisms of my notes are thoughtful and legitimate. So, while my post was ill-written, it did spawn interesting stuff. Yes, there have only been 15 practices. The UM coaches are in the process of installing an offense and aren't concerned, at this point, in scoring points in a scrimmage. Offense installation was more immediate. Borges and Hoke are extremely smart guys and will, in the end, use Denard in a way that gets him into the open field. The offensive line was at less than full strength and, fact is, offenses often look pretty badly in these scrimmages. I have seen some pretty good UM offenses look bad in spring games. In this case, my guess is we didn't see a lot of the UM offense and we didn't see plays sequenced or crafted the way this will accrue in a game. There are a lot of reasons why the spring game isn't likely to be representative of what we will see this season. Similarly, this is true of a practice where a part of an offense is being installed.
There is no chance that the 2011 offense will fall to 2008 levels. There is a lot more talent in 2011. The receivers are pretty good. The OL should be pretty good (if healthy; depth is scary). RBs seem at least competent and we have (a) an off the charts play maker and (b) a potential star in the backup QB. Plus, while I concede to having a preference for spread offenses (as does Brian) Borges has run a lot of different offenses and he will do what he has to do to put Denard into advantageous positions.
What I intended to convey was that the structural problems of 2011 are a lot like the structural problems of 2008. I have been fearful that the transition will take some time---more than this year---and what I saw in the spring didn't disabuse my fears. I hope I am wrong but I am concerned that the transition may be painful, that the 2011 offense will regress in relation to 2010. Will it regress to 2008 levels? No chance, absent disastrous injuries. I will be more than glad to eat crow on this one if the offense exceeds last year's production. Brian can post me in effigy, kittens and muppets taunting and torturing me. But I am worried and I intended to convey questions, not answers. [As an aside, I was on-the-record about being more than very worried about the offense in 2008, and I predicted the offense would cook last year (though I concede the uneven roast). I admit to some checkered outcomes in my thinking, but I ain’t always wrong. Still, I prefer to be wrong on this one, I will revel in my wrongness.]
|4 years 12 weeks ago||1962-63 Was Better||
Or, at least, it has a chance to be better. I don't prefer to count out hockey, yet. Or basketball, for that matter, though the tea leaves are wretched.
I thought, perhaps, 1958-59 might compete. We were 2-6-1 in football that year and after beating USC 20-19 we lost 6 of the next 8, though we did tie MSU. Hockey was also bad, the team finishing 8-13. But Bill Perigo had his best year in basketball 15-7 (8-6 BT).
1936-37 evinced a meatball football team (1-7) but hockey was quite good and my recall is that basketball had John Townsend and cranked out a really terrific (some might say "swell")year. I only saw a couple of those games, though.
So, in the taxonomy of awful major sports years this iteration is defintiely in the running for the worst ever. I doubt if it won't make it.
We could, perhaps, create an algorithm. It might be:
Football Win Rate times 45%
Add these up, find the lowest and, voila, worst year ever.