FWIW. Michigan doesn't seem inclined to get re-involved.
- Member for
- 6 years 1 week
- View recent blog entries
- 1979 Michigan vs. Indiana. I was a Junior, had decent seats, and was dejected as we anticipated a loss in the last few minutes. The stands in the student section were emptying out, and my two roommates had already left the stadium. I chose to stay til the bitter end. I was rewarded with the single most electric moment I ever witnessed in a game.
- 1993 Rose Bowl vs. Washington. At the time, I was a pastoral intern at a church near Pasadena. On Christmas morning, the church I served gave me three tickets to the Rose Bowl. That was the best adult Christmas gift I ever received. (I still have the blue Pasadena street sign "Michigan" that someone gave me with the tickets.) Going to the parade in the morning, and to the game in the afternoon, a glorious win, is something I'll never forget.
- 1985 Michign vs. Notre Dame. This was a night game in South Bend, the first time I ever was on a game road trip. This was the beginning for Lou Holtz. I went to the game with a fellow mgoblogger and a few others, but this was before cell phones were common. Somehow, I was separated from my friend, who had the tickets. What a disaster. To this day I don't know why, but the lady at the will call window took pity on me. Somehow, she had a ticket in the Michigan player family section that she just gave me, gratis. It was an awesome seat. Michigan hung on to win a nailbiter of a game on the road. I never did see my friend that night (although we've been to games together since.) But it was an extremely memorable game.
- How he meshes with coaches,
- How they plan to use him.
- The defensive scheme and how it fits (4 - 3, 3 - 4, other.)
- How he relates to his future fellow teammates
- How the depth chart is (within reason . . . you're only an injury away from starting,)
- How the academic programs meet his needs.
- How his family feels.
- The biggest one for me is the involvement of a family member. It seems to me that protecting someone, or their honor, or fighting for them or with them, or letting them begin a fight and then finishing it for them, is often a factor. I would bet that if Lewan's brother wasn't around, Lewan walks away.
- The whole thing seems much ado about not very much. My guess is that law enforcement deals with stuff like this all the time. The major difference here is the involvement of a celebrity. Which segues into . . .
- With celebrity comes scrutiny. Anyone in the public eye gets in trouble for things many of us do. Exhibit A: Marcus Hall flipping the bird. I don't excuse what he did, but what made it worse was that it was on TV, and then he was well known.
- Alcohol regularly goes with stupidity. Exhibit B: Glasgow DUI & Volleyball player/captain Alexa Dannemiller hangin' out the window. What were they thinking? Oh . . . it was the alcohol.
- I'd rather the facts come out. The idea that someone speaking the truth or serving as a witness is a snitch really bothers me. This, rather than the initial event, is the thing I most dislike about this incident. Let justice run its course. I despise intimidation of witnesses, or witnesses just keeping their mouths shut, because they're on the same side as the offenders/criminals/defendents. My suspicion is that in a situation like this, there is multiple blame to go around. If a full, thorough, and honest accounting of the facts had come out in November, this matter might be done with already.
|1 week 1 day ago||Not surprised||
Irritating, but not surprised. Now, I will say that I much prefer the kind of recruiting that Hoke is doing than negative recruiting. I like what Michigan stands for, and I like the direction the football team is going in. I know that all the Michigan coaches have to bite their tongues and bide their time while waiting for the lines to gain experience and waiting for the recruiting to catch up.
I do think that negative recruiting is always going to be there in college. What is incredible is how blatant it is at Ohio State. It is always better to sell yourself than to denigrate others. When you focus on the positive, recruits can fill in the blanks with the negatives of other situations.
What I find fascinating is what I see as almost desperation on the part of Ohio State's coaching staff. Here's what I mean. If you are in a position of strength and health, you can stay above the fray. There is no need to be negative. The knives and the mud come out when you perceive someone as a real threat. I wonder if Urban is worried that Michigan will be improving quickly, becoming a real threat to Ohio State's dominance.
This whole account reminds me of something I've seen in dysfunctional families. When someone bad mouths someone else to your face, you can bet the house that they'll be bad mouthing you to someone else when you're not around. I can't help think of some catty sorority girls who are always dissing and disparaging others. When you're confident in who you are and your position in life, this kind of behavior isn't needed.
|1 week 2 days ago||I like noon starts||
I understand the point of view of some students who like 3:30pm games. However, as a student, I always liked noon starts . . . it felt wonderful to start the day with the stereo blaring the Michigan fight song, and there was something about walking along to the stadium at 11am that just felt right. And yes, you were done in time for dinner, a nap, studying, and evening activities if you wanted.
Now, living in Chicago, a noon start allows me to come in Friday night, walk around a bit in the morning, go to the game, have an early dinner afterwards at Zingerman's or the like, and be back home by 10 or 11pm. (As a pastor, It is pretty much impossible for me to go to a late game, unless it is in Evanston, South Bend, or maybe Madison.)
I believe that TV Networks drive the start times, and that as Michigan continues to improve, we will see very few noon start times in the first two months of the season. (there will always be more in November, because of the cold, the weather, and the dark.) I'll cherish the few early games there are.
|1 week 2 days ago||Interesting conumdrum||
I have an interesting conumdrum. Typically, either Brian or Seth or others have posted a request for questions to ask at these kinds of events. But since I'm already at mgoblog enough, it is odd to think of asking the board for questions to ask . . . Brian. Thoughts?
Nonetheless, since I missed the meet and greet in Chicago with Hoke et al earlier this summer, I'm thinking of going to this event instead. Although, I think I might register as "John Smith."
|2 weeks 11 hours ago||So many choices . . .||
What a horrible, wonderful question. Trying to pick a favorite game is like being asked which of your kids you like best. Still, there are three that stand out for me.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Thanks for the link||
I read the article this morning. With Angelique writing it, and more on Brock and Barwis, how can you go wrong? This is always a great story to read about, and see the continuing progress.
As an aside, this is a wonderful example of someone taking a challenging situation (the firing of RR, and all his staff including Barwis,) and making the most of it. I never have once heard of Barwis complaining or whining . . . he just moved on in a very positive way.
|6 weeks 8 hours ago||Definitely would love Nik with the Bulls||
Definitely would love Nik with the Bulls. Being in Chicago, that'd mean I'd get to see him on TV all the time. It also means that we'd have a lot more Michigan fans rooting for Chicago. It would also put Nik on a team competing in the post-season regularly. And if Rose stays healthy, a team competing all the way to the Finals. Lastly, Chicago is good enough that Nik wouldn't have to do everything, but just be a great complement to the whole.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Please read eleven warriors assholery article||
Ace linked to the eleven warriors article on assholery. You need to go there now. Given your post, it is on your required reading list.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Civil War & JL Chamberlain||
Fascinating news, regarding Newsome's study interest and favorite figure. Thanks for sharing this info.
So, for those who are interested in more on Chamberlain: There is an excellent novel in the genre of historical fiction, entitled The Killer Angels. The author is Michael Shaara. JL Chamberlain is the major protagonist in the book. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf described it as "the best and most realistic historical novel about war that I have ever read." The book has been required reading, at various times, at OCS, West Point, and has been one of two novels on the Army's reading list for Officer Professional Development.
Shaara's son Jeff followed up his father's novel with a prequel, Gods and Generals, and a sequel, The Last Full Measure. Since we're in the off season, I'd strongly recommend reading or listening to the three books, especially if you're on vacation road trips. (This is a much better way to spend time than listening to the soundtrack of Frozen, or a lot of the other stuff you might normally listen to.)
Both The Killer Angels and Gods and Generals were made into movies, but the latter received poor reviews.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Thompson, MSU, & Recruiting Rankings||
Glad to hear Michigan is in it with Thompson. I think most of the comments have already been made. I guess the thing I really would want is for Thompson to land in the best fit for him. This isn't rocket science, but it involves:
All of these things come together, and there isn't always a perfect match. One program is stronger in some areas, another program is stronger in others. Magnus has often commented on a prospective recruit that he is really good in a particular way, but not a good fit for what Michigan is doing.
Having followed recruiting at mgoblog for several years, it strikes me that there is a frenzy with the hunt, the chase, the courting of a recruit. Then, a recruit is signed, and in more than a few cases, is buried on the depth chart and the bench, rarely heard from again. Yes, I want Michigan to have the best players possible, and to win out against MSU and OSU all the time. But really, I want these players to go where they fit well, and have a place they can shine. That's where I want Tyriq Thompson to end up, and I hope he figures that out well.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Tempted to comment||
I'm tempted to comment, but that would definitely go into the "TMI" category.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||Great article||
Thanks for the link . . . I loved the article, and am not surprised that Angelique Chengelis was the author. I am rarely disappointed by what she writes, and you could say that I am a fan of what she does. (It actually would be interesting if Ace or someone in the know would write a small profile on her.)
Regarding Hoke and his father, I had heard some of these things before, but this definitely filled in the picture. It brought a smile to my face. I guess I especially found it interesting that in his last week of life, John Hoke encouraged Brady to be less competitive with his family. Competition is an interesting thing. You play hard, and play to win, but there's a time to set that aside.
I have a 13 year old adopted son who I love dearly, but who really needs structure and discipline. It is always a tough balance to love him, but also to discipline and provide a framework for future success. I hope to do as good a job as John Hoke did in raising Brady.
Oh, and I think Brady Hoke is a fine coach, has a great staff, and want him to continue at Michigan a long time. I really hope he has a minimum record of 8 - 4, to at least keep his detractors at bay one more year. We're not quite there yet, because of the offensive line especially, but also the DLine, an everything jelling. If we improve this year, I could really see 2015 being a great year, reestablishing Michigan football for a long time.
|6 weeks 3 days ago||enjoyed your insider posts||
I really enjoyed your insider posts as regards Hand. However, I don't recall ever reading your thoughts on how things finally ended, with Dashawn going to Bama. You may not know the answer, but I'd love to hear your perspective. Was there something Michigan could or should have done differently? Obviously, Alabama has more success, and some players fit better in one setting instead of another. Still, I was disappointed Hand didn't end up in Ann Arbor.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Different Suggestion||
So, my suggestion is different. You have plenty of questions to ask DB & Brady Hoke listed above. Some serious, some snarky. But I'd recommend a different tactic. The lines for Brady and DB are always going to be long, and they're both pretty practiced at non-answer answers. I'd focus on looking to ask someone else questions. I'd look especially for Nuss, Mattison, or even better, Funk. If you can find out who will actually be there, and you have some prepared questions, you might get better answers. Fred Jackson was at the Chicago event last year, and I had an awesome conversation with Laura Hoke. If you can find Jackson, or Funk, or Laura, or another football/basketball assistant, and you're prepared just a little bit, you are much more likely to be able to have a real discussion. Hoke especially, but also DB, have to really keep the line moving, and they've got their patter down cold.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||He gets the scheduling question all the time||
When I asked DB about this last year, he gave boilerplate about how far in advance you need to schedule games, and that he was working on some marquee type home and homes.
I would ask the following:
"Have you worked on scheduling a "home and home" with any of the following teams: USC, Stanford, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Washington, South Carolina, Missouri, Clemson, Texas A & M?" You may need to have the list of teams in front of you.
The point is, I think that many Michigan fans would accept a home and home with any of the above teams. I don't really want, on the other hand, a home and home with Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, etc., let alone a MAC snacky - cake.
If DB answers "yes," I would followup asking about likelihood (probably or not proable) and timing (how many years before we see this happen?)
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Agree with this question||
But in many ways, what's done is done. More pertinent to me would be what it would take to change it. That is to say, I would ask, "Are you doing anything to have future schedules alternate MSU & OSU as home games?" If the answer is yes, ask, "What are you doing to change this? What would be your guess on the probability that this could change? If it could change, when do you anticipate this happening? 5 years from now? 10 years?"
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Actually ask about this||
Actually ask about this. I'd love to see if he takes ownership for this philosophy. So, ask something like,
"The statement "If it ain't broke, break it." has been attributed to you. Would that attribution be accurate? Do you still agree with this, or would you change this statement in some way?
|7 weeks 13 hours ago||Oh Ryelly?||
Oh Ryelly? Your comments are half-baked. But still tasty.
|7 weeks 14 hours ago||"Shared Tradition"||
Yes, to Njia's comments. "Shared Tradition" is a very brief phrase that encapsulates much of this discussion. When I went to games, I had a sense of sharing something with alumni and thousands of others stretching back for generations. This is increasingly being lost. Admittedly, traditions change, times change, things change. But we still long for a sense of shared community, shared values, and for being part of something bigger.
I took my boy to a White Sox game last month. We had a good enough time, but there was little sense of community or "shared tradition." There were fireworks, there were batting cages for the kids, there was a speed gun to see how fast you could pitch. And yet, you didn't have the sense of being part of something that stretched back in time.
For a positive sense of "shared tradition," I talked to a fellow Michigan Alumni who was at the graduation of his nephew from West Point a couple weeks ago. West Point is a place that drips tradition. You realize, this was where Robert E. Lee, and Ulysses Grant, and Pershing, and Patton, and Eisenhower, and countless others, spent four years. You sense the community in the "long grey line." You sense how all graduating officers have such a strong, strong sense of "shared tradition."
This is the kind of thing that we want, and that is draining away. It is almost as if Michigan football were on life support, and Brandon was applying leeches in the firm belief that this would heal things. Ok, maybe that image is over the top. And maybe more than Dave Brandon is to blame. But I wish there was a way to move forward, successfully, without desecrating the traditions and community so many of us Michigan grads identify with so strongly.
|7 weeks 19 hours ago||You may be partially right about Disney . . .||
But we skipped it when in Florida for a week. Our 12 year old twins were thrilled with Universal Studios, Sea World, and days at the beach, swimming, fishing, at the pool. Disney priced themselves out of our market. I remember talking to a Disney chef about how all Disney food is priced 20% above market rates, because they have you captive.
This is about how I feel regarding Michigan football. Between the 5 hour drive drive and the price gouging, for a game with a lousy opponent, with overpriced tickets, where you can't bring in a seat cushion, or sealed bottled water, or a full size camera with a zoom lens, when I can watch the game in comfort, with DVR, so as to start an hour after kickoff and skip through interminable commercials, run to the fridge for a drink, have my legs up, and go to a clean bathroom with no line, it gets less and less attractive to have the "gameday experience."
The gameday experience for me involved the smell of brats on the grill, and buying a half gallon of fresh cider, and the drum line, and walking in to the stands, with the band playing gloriously, and a group of brass roving around after halftime, and the band eating crates of fresh apples, and the smooth sound of the announcers, and seeing scalped tickets ranging from $5 to $50, and cheering some other sports champions or long gone alumni announced for some honor during halftime. Some of those things still happen. But some of it is eclipsed by the glitz and the noise and the corporateness and shininess of it all.
I live in Chicago, and I've never been to a Bears game. I mean, I'll watch them on TV, but I'm not spending what it costs to go. Now, the Bears are starting to look like a comparable value and experience to going to a Michigan game. And I'm not happy about that.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Happy Day||
It is great to have Ty Isaac on board. I really don't care whether the NCAA gives him a waiver or not. Having said that, I'm all for him playing, if he is the best back, should he be cleared by the NCAA to play now.
I also love the sense that Michigan is not slacking in recruiting. I really am looking forward to this coming season.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||A Few Observations||
I'm not going to read the initial article, but a few observations.
|8 weeks 2 days ago||Will purchase||
I haven't got to it yet, but I'll buy again this year. T-shirts do leave something to be desired.
|8 weeks 2 days ago||Good analysis||
Thanks much for the link to this article. I definitely am in the camp wearing rose (maize?) colored glasses. The future is bright.
As time goes on, I believe more and more that the hubris of Michigan let things deteriorate badly under Carr. This greatly affected RR, under whom things got much worse. Hoke was handed an untenable situation.
What Hoke and his staff have done, with Brandon's backing, is awesome. We aren't there yet, but we're on our way. I think the OL will be much better than many people expect. The defense will also improve tremendously with all their experience. A healthy Gardner, with better running backs and protection, will amaze many. 8 - 4, 9 - 3, or 10 - 2 are all acceptable this year. Even 7 - 5, while disappointing, wouldn't be the end of the world. In 2015, with the depth and experience and knowledge of the schemes, the team should do very well.
|9 weeks 1 day ago||Slight clarification, darker blue||
Darker blue, I happen to be among the many who find Kate Upton very attractive physically. (It would be interesting to hear a bit about what she is really like in person, but whatever.) I completely agree that those who complain about her appearance are just . . . nuts.
HOWEVER . . . one quibble: "no straight male would ever not bang Kate Upton if they had the chance."
As attractive as Miss Upton is, I don't want the opportunity to bang her, and if given the opportunity, I would respectfully decline. You can appreciate the God given assets Miss Upton has, without wanting to "bang" her. I dare say, our proprietors Brian and Seth would turn down the opportunity as well, if they are wise men. (I don't presume to know what they'd choose, but I'd be willing to lay a wager.) Magnus, on the other hand . . .
|9 weeks 1 day ago||She doesn't care . . .||
Mrs. Kass doesn't care. Our current college age daughter is in the Navy training to be an Aegis Computer Network Technician. (None of us, parents or child, wanted to ratchet up debt for her to find herself in college.) We'll go through this again in 5 years when the twins graduate from High School.
|9 weeks 1 day ago||Agree completely with Space Coyote||
I'd love to see Crawford end up at Michigan. I'd like to see the coaches continue to recruit him aggressively. I'd love to see them do whatever they can within reason (no red Camaro, no salary, no special companion benefits,) but at the end of the day, Crawford is a kid, and he has friends and family weighing in too. I wish him well as he ponders what to do.
Kids should be allowed to make their own decision. They have to feel comfortable with their choice. I have to believe that many of us had several options on where to go to school. I was considering Northwestern myself. I was offered a full ride at yet another option. But the decision was mine, not my parents or anyone else. I made the right choice for me.
Occasionally, there will be the player who has wanted to go to Michigan forever (Morris, Malzone, Runyon, etc.) But most players have reasons to choose one school and other reasons not choose the same school. Between the coaching staff, the offensive and defensive schemes, the makeup of the team, including friends, and including the depth chart at your position, the facilities, the educational programs offered, the educational support system, the geographic proximity to home and to relatives, there are just a ton of permutations it is difficult to figure out.
I wish Crawford well, regardless of where he ends up.
|9 weeks 3 days ago||I resemble that remark||
I resemble that remark. Had to look up TWHS . . . just don't use txt/twitter/etc enough to know the slang.
Speaking of Mrs. Kass, I had a surreal experince at a confence last week. I was talking to someone who had on a Michigan shirt about Michigan sports, naturally. Didn't know the guy from Adam, but he kept on looking at my nametag with a puzzled look, and said, "Have we met before? I have this strange feeling that I know you from somewhere." Then the lightbulb went on. Turns out he is an mgostalker who reads everything, but never posts. And yes, he remembered my Mrs. Kass post meltdown. My 15 seconds of fame, in one small sliver of the internet world.
|10 weeks 3 days ago||Michigan is a victim of popularity||
Regardless of what uberfans think, Michigan is regarded as a good football team, regularly in the top 25. There are only so many games weekly with top teams, and there are more TV networks looking for attractive teams than there are slots available. In the Big 10, I'm hard pressed to think that any team other than possibly Ohio that is so highly coveted for viewership. (PSU is down, and is much more tied to the state, where Michigan has tons of grads all over, especially in the Chicago market.)
When talking with Dave Brandon last year, I asked about having at least a few 12noon games. (I'm a pastor in the Chicago area, and a noon game allows me to be back home by 7 or 8pm Sat. night.) Brandon told me directly at the Chicago meet and greet earlier this year that it wasn't going to happen. Why? Well, students and many others like late starts. Night games and late afternoon games are where marquee games are slotted. Viewership for late and night games is significantly higher. I'm guessing that games between teams in the lower half of the Big 10 more typically are scheduled for 12 noon. Brandon said that with few exceptions, networks dictate start times (it's all about money and contracts,) and they will almost always want Michigan scheduled later.
Looking at the Indiana game on Nov. 1, that is already half a night game, as it will be dark by the 4th quarter. If a cloudy day, it will definitely be "under the lights." I loved game day mornings when a student, but with the exception of real stinker games, or Ohio or very late season games, I think 12 noon starts are largely a think of the past for Michigan. I'm hoping that maybe Utah or Minnesota are a noon start. However, the reality is that with my 8th grader playing ball, things will have to line up perfectly for me to catch even one game this year, as I will be at his games before I'll go to a Michigan game. (Northwestern in Evanston might be my best chance this season.)
|11 weeks 18 hours ago||Who would negbang this?||
Snow Sucks, jblaze, et al: why the negbang for someone offering free passes? This doesn't compute.
|11 weeks 18 hours ago||Spelling Nazi||
Chiming in as a spelling Nazi. The phrase is "left at the altar," as in, you're in the process of getting married and your fiance doesn't show up, thereby leaving you alone at the altar. "Left at the alter" could mean left at the point of change? Not sure. Interestingly, the altar is the place of sacrifice where blood is given. (sign the LOI in blood?) Oh, and for any PC folks: the altar is common for many, many, religions, so very few are left out: Wicca, Satanism, Druidism, Judaism, Paganism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Taoism, Norse Religion, Chirsitanity, all used or use altars. I guess true atheists would be neglected, since with no God or gods, there is nothing to sacrifice to.