Disagreements In Jameis Winston Settlement Talks

Disagreements In Jameis Winston Settlement Talks

Submitted by TooFratToFail on September 24th, 2014 at 1:48 PM

TMZ (and now other outlets) is reporting that Jameis Winston's accuser sought $7 million dollars in exchange for never hearing from her or her attorney again.  This comes from a recent  letter from Winston's legal advisor, David Cronwell (BIG time sports attorney), regarding Winston's agreeing to participate in the Title IX investigation.  Cronwell states in the letter that four days after he received the letter, the accuser's attorney went to the media.  The accuser's attorney insinuated that the encounter had to be rape because she would never sleep with a "black boy."   

Take into account the attorneys in play and their respective careers.  Cronwell is a highly respected and successful national attorney.  Saying something like this without proof is very iffy, especially under Florida's pretty strict Prof. Conduct rules.  Interesting to say the least.  Also, the use of the word "settle" is questionable in this context, if it pertained to a criminal action.  Dropping criminal charges in exchange for payment is a no-no.  In civil cases, fine. The word extortion has been tossed around and might be more appropriate.

http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/09/24/report-winstons-acc…

http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/story/2014-09-24/jameis-winst…

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaaf-dr-saturday/according-to-lawyer-for…

MOD EDIT - I saw MGlobules comments, and admittedly I didn't really think about the title of this thread as it came into being while I was in a meeting and then rather distracted by other things for much of the evening. On more thoughtful examination, yeah, the title needs some changing. Hopefully, this works - LSA

We won't know who's starting at QB until game time

We won't know who's starting at QB until game time

Submitted by dnak438 on September 24th, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Hoke, on naming the starting QB vs. Minnesota: We'll wait until game time.

— Michigan Football (@umichfootball) September 24, 2014

 

Hoke says Michigan has an idea of what it wants to do. Sounds like the decision has been made. He's just going to wait to announce it.

— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) September 24, 2014

No clarity until Saturday, it seems. Let the speculation commence:

Baseless speculation: Shane Morris will start. Not much reason to wait to announce the QB starter if there's not going to be a change.

— Ace Anbender (@AceAnbender) September 24, 2014

Nick Saban on Lane Kiffin

Nick Saban on Lane Kiffin

Submitted by Drew_Silver on September 24th, 2014 at 11:20 AM

http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/247228…

 

Saban took heat when he hired Kiffin - so he is mocking the 2nd guessers.

 

Interesting quote from Saban - Would love to see some 1 / 2 down passing plays

Saban had previously been asked if Kiffin had been allowed to open up the offense more than his offensive coordinating predecessors.

"No, no," Saban said. "I've been begging the offensive coordinators around here to open it up ever since I've been here ... My philosophy hasn't changed at all. I've always asked for this. 'Why don't we throw the ball on this look instead of running this play where we can't block everybody?'"

 

 

B1G Offensive Line Sizes

B1G Offensive Line Sizes

Submitted by BlueGoM on September 23rd, 2014 at 11:17 PM

Hello.  First Diary entry, woo! [ EDIT: Lol nope, my 2nd. forgot about the one I did  in '09]

So, when the offensive line struggles, the claim is frequently made that the offensive line is too small.   I heard this alot on call-in radio shows during the RR era, and it's starting to creep back into style, or so it seems to me.

So, I thought let's see just how big Michigan's line is compared to the rest of the B1G.   I basically went through every B1G teams site, got the roster and then checked the game participation notes from the most recent game they were in to see who was listed as starting on the OL.

I then computed the average weight of the OL for that team/game.

Notes: I didn't include any TE's or FB.  Just  from one tackle to the other.

I didn't check for situation subs (unbalanced lines, etc.)

I went by weight alone, didn't look at height.  Perhaps I should have gone by body mass index?

Would be nice to do a comparison of games played / experience as well.  Maybe next time.

Also some teams rather suspiciously seemed to have players weights in exact increments of 5 pounds. Some teams roster's were worse than others in this regard.  But the roster is all I really have to go on, so, it is what it is.

So, here is the sorted list of average weight of offensive lines in the Big Ten.

Weight Team
321.0  Wisconsin
312.8  Penn_State
312.0  Minnesota
308.0  Illinois
304.8  Purdue
303.8  OSU
303.6  Michigan*
302.0  Nebraska
300.6  MSU
299.0  Rutgers
299.0  Maryland
298.0  Iowa
295.0  Indiana
294.0  Northwestern

*If Kalis is in UM's line instead of Glasgow, the average drops to 301.0

Michigan is smack right in the middle.  No surprise Wisconsin is tops, by a relatively large margin.  Iowa, a somewhat run-first offense, is surprisingly near the bottom.  Indiana's potent offense is also only at 295.

The most notable thing here is probably that in terms of weight most lines are roughly the same.

So IMO this shows that Michigan's line isn't undersized.  To some this may not be a big deal, but I've always bristled at the claims of UM's line being small for a reason for them struggling.  I always felt that is just a knee jerk superficial criticism. It's kind of a pet peeve and I wanted to dispel any such notion.

Raw data below

UM
52    Mason Cole    OL    6-5    292    FR
78    Erik Magnuson    OL    6-6    294    RS SO
60    Jack Miller    OL    6-4    299     RS JR
61    Graham Glasgow    OL    6-6    311    RS JR
71    Ben Braden    OL    6-6    322    RS SO

alternate
67    Kyle Kalis    OL    6-5    298    RS SO

average weight: 303.6
w/Kalis instead of Glasgow:  301.0

 

Nebraska
LT 71 Lewis, Alex 290
LG 68 Cotton, Jake  305
C 56 Pelini, Mark  290
RG 74 Moudy, Mike  305
RT 57 Sterup, Zach 320
302

Purdue
LT       66      Cermin, Cameron  303
LG       72      King, Jason      309
C       57      Kugler, Robert   298
RG       70      Roos, Jordan     312
RT       73      Prince, J.J.     302
304.8

 

Illinois
LT       68      Cvijanovic, S.  310
LG       5H      Hill, Alex      310
C       71      Spencer, Joe    300
RG       69      Karras, Ted     310
RT       74      Heitz, Michael  310
308

 

Minnesota
LT       65      Campion, Josh  317
LG       52      Epping, Zac    318
C       58      Olson, Tommy   306
RG       77      Bush, Foster   304
RT       78      Lauer, Ben     315
312

Northwestern
LT       78      Jorgensen, Paul 295
LG       53      Mogus, Geoff     295
C       66      Vitabile, B.     300
RG       57      Frazier, Matt    290
RT       76      Olson, Eric      290
294

Iowa
LT       68      Scherff, B.     320
LG       79      Welsh, Sean     285
C       63      Blythe, Austin  290
RG       65      Walsh, Jordan   290
RT       78      Donnal, Andrew  305
298

Ohio
LT       68      Decker, Taylor   315
LG       65      Elflein, Pat     300
C       50      Boren, Jacoby    285
RG       54      Price, Billy     312
RT       76      Baldwin, Darryl  307
303.8

PSU
RT       59      Nelson, Andrew  305
RG       53      Dowrey, Derek   323
C       66      Mangiro, Angelo 309
LG       70      Mahon, Brendan  292
LT       76      Smith, Donovan  335
312.8

MSU

74    Jack Conklin    OT    6-6    303    SO
63    Travis Jackson    OL    6-4    291    SR
66    Jack Allen    C    6-2    299    JR
76    Donavon Clark    OL    6-4    306    JR
79    Kodi Kieler    OL    6-6    304    SO
average weight:  300.6

Wisc

61    Marz, Tyler    OL    6-5    321    RS JR
73    Lewallen, DallasOL    6-6    321    RS SR
70    Voltz, Dan    OL    6-3    311    RS SO
54    Costigan, Kyle    OL    6-5    319    RS SR
78    Havenstein, Rob    OL    6-8    333    RS SR

average: 321

Rutgers

Lumpkin 310
Johnson 300
Bujari 295
Muller 300
Alexander 290
average: 299

Indiana

LT   78 Spriggs, Jason    300                
LG   68 Kaminski, David   295              
C    64 Rahrig, Collin    285                
RG   67 Feeney, Dan       305             
RT   62 Evans, Ralston    290
average 295

Maryland

T       76      Dunn        300
G       68      Altamirano  290
C       65      Conaboy     295
G       66      Zeller      310
T       55      Doyle       300
avg 299

 

Week 4 In The Big Ten: Here Comes The Conference

Week 4 In The Big Ten: Here Comes The Conference

Submitted by LSAClassOf2000 on September 23rd, 2014 at 8:33 PM

WEEK 4 IN THE BIG TEN: HERE COMES THE CONFERENCE

For better or worse, the out-of-conference schedule is now firmly behind Michigan and we look towards the next eight games to see how the regular season will shake out for us. Admittedly, right now, the anxiety level if elevated even for me for a lot of reasons which have been discussed ad nauseam on the board in the last few days, so I would rather not spend time dwelling.

Instead, let’s take a look at where Michigan sits with respect to the conference on some basic metrics. Actually, let’s switch this up a bit and start with some tempo-free stuff – these are not all that bad relatively speaking.

We’ll start with point differentials on scoring offense – there is one team in the negative, and it is actually Purdue at -1.6 points. Michigan is not that much higher at 9th, but 3.8 points for a differential is, well, positive. I will put it that way. Here are the conference averages:

 photo Week4SO_zps471aa633.png

 photo Week4SD_zpsa900b8f4.png

Michigan is actually fourth in yards per play differential, largely thanks to great defense, at 1.9 yards per play. Only Wisconsin, Nebraska and Ohio State are doing better in this respect. Of course, the number is in our case a synthesis of being 1st in total defense but 9th in total offense. The relative positioning of the conference members as a function of total yards is below:

 photo Week4TO_zps6f466a47.png

 photo Week4TD_zpsaf0711d5.png

Rushing offense is what you might expect from the Big Ten lately – there is Nebraska, Wisconsin, Indiana and others, but for the moment, we do fall in at 6th in the conference on this metric, averaging 211 yards per game. That’s still a massive improvement from last year, especially late last year. When it comes to run defense, we’re rather stout, as you will note below:

 photo Week4RO_zps892212b5.png

 photo Week4RD_zps313f3833.png

Our passing numbers…well….we’re 12th in the conference at 193.2 yards per game on average, but 3rd in passing defense. Again, the idea that the defense is carrying the brunt of the load right now seems to play out in the stats this season.

 photo Week4PO_zpsf35a267b.png

 photo Week4PD_zpsa866c857.png

How about some stuff on down differentials? I didn’t do formal charts this time around, but perhaps next week and I know people enjoyed the discussion topic in the past. For both first and third down differentials, Michigan sits nicely in the upper half of Big Ten teams at +6.5 for first downs and +12.5% for third downs. In other words, despite what it looks like sometimes, we are winning some rather key battles on the field for the time being. Our next two Big Ten opponents are in the negative on both these metrics, which on paper is hopeful.

 

Norfleet Interview

Norfleet Interview

Submitted by Shop Smart Sho… on September 23rd, 2014 at 8:27 PM

Saw this pop up on twitter:

http://www.mlive.com/wolverines/index.ssf/2014/09/dennis_norfleet_passi…

 

While I think it is great that the players support Hoke, I am very surprised that the program is allowing them to talk to the media.

If given the chance, I'm sure we would all like to reassure the kids that we aren't criticizing their play or effort.  And maybe ask them to talk to someone like Devin who was here when RR got canned.  I'm sure Devin thought RR was a great guy who supported him, and all of the players.  That doesn't mean he was the right coach, at the right time, for Michigan.

Did Jim Boccher scare Brady away from the spread punt?

Did Jim Boccher scare Brady away from the spread punt?

Submitted by iawolve on September 23rd, 2014 at 7:05 PM

I may have the tin foil hat on here, but I struggle when people don't do things that are obvious based on overwhelming evidence and the answer not to do them is "just because". There is always a reason for the behavior. It is possible that there is a deeply held belief system that is interfering with rational action or a past negative experience that simply cannot be overcome to take a different action.

My theory involves a negative experience resulting from Jim Boccher who was on the Michigan staff in 2001 and 2002 before Lloyd promoted him from graduate assistant to special teams coach in 2003, the year Brady left for Ball State. Boccher was early in adopting the spread punt, but to a disasterous effect where in a three game span the results were:

  • Close loss to Oregon who blocked and returned a punt for a TD
  • Win against Indiana who 1 blocked a punt
  • Close loss to Iowa who blocked and returned a punt for a TD

Boccher then left the team for personal reasons the next week in the middle of an absolute fan sh*tstorm and I don't think he ever coached again. I am pretty sure we ended the spread that next week or shortly thereafter. That was the only midseason coaching change I remember Lloyd ever making so I am sure the decision did not come easy. Brady would have been on the staff with Jim in 2001 and 2002, I know he had to be following what was happening in 2003 to UM and his mentor that helped get him a HC job.

I don't know, just something crazy you think about when you have too much time on the plane and trying to make any sense out of this.

 

Michigan Football the Tom Cruise Way

Michigan Football the Tom Cruise Way

Submitted by EGD on September 23rd, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Yeah, so, I wrote this today:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Scene: a futuristic computer room, ringed with terminals and transparent screens.  A single, long-haired blogger dude stands in the midst, wearing an electric glove, wired with electrodes, and manipulating data.  Suddenly the man stops, and waits.  A small, coral-colored ball emerges from a tube in the ceiling, bearing a cryptic imprinted message:

                “Harbaugh

                .

                John

                .

                Yes.”

                *******

Scene: an outdoor dining table behind a palatial country club.  A fifty-ish man in corporate chic [DAVE BRANDON] snaps a slice of Negihama roll from the hip of a nude prostitute, prompting a giggle. 

PROSTITUTE: Are you ready for me, Ralph?

DAVE BRANDON: Actually, you can just call me “Dave.”

The shadow of approaching guest [RICH RODRIGUEZ] darkens the foreground.

DAVE BRANDON: What now?  Rodriguez.  And what, may I ask, is it I can do for you today?

RICH RODRIGUEZ: Well as you know, our defense ain’t been ‘zacly what people expect.

DAVE BRANDON: You don’t say.  And this is my problem becauzzzz?  [exchanges glances with sushi-bearing prostitute]

RICH RODRIGUEZ: I’s just hopin’ maybe, if I could get a little bit-a more money--

DAVE BRANDON: More money?  MORE money?

RICH RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, well, see, there’s this guy I know, Jeff Casteel—

DAVE BRANDON: I see.  So you want ME to give YOU more money so you can hire “some guy you know.” [making air quotes]  Great plan, southern man.

RICH RODRIGUEZ: That’s basically the gist of it.  But we was top ten at West Virginia.

DAVE BRANDON: Okay.  But you gotta ask me nicely. [Prostitute smiles again.]

RICH RODRIGUEZ: Say what?

DAVE BRANDON: You gotta ask me nicely.  You come here, asking me for more money to spend on your spread offense and your ‘traditional’ white road uniforms.  You gotta ask me nicely.

RICH RODRIGUEZ: Alright then.  Pretty please, can I have money to hire Jeff Casteel?

DAVE BRANDON: Ha ha.  Let me give you a little advice, so you know.  In times of economic uncertainty, never, ever fuck with another man's livelihood. Go have fun, now? You know fun, time of your life?  And don’t ever come back here.  [Brandon and prostitute laugh diabolically}

                *******

Scene: a rural linebacker farm in the rolling Virginia hills, west of Baltimore.  The aging proprietor [GREG MATTISON] stares excitedly as the beak of a new hatchling pokes through its shell.  Above the incubator, a strip of masking tape says “Hybrid Space Player.”  Suddenly, the barn door swings open, to reveal a lone figure [BRADY HOKE]—corpulent, with bare arms in winter.

GREG MATTISON: No, no, no, no sir.  Can’t use him, don’t want him, couldn’t afford him if I did. 

The figure [BRADY HOKE] approaches.

GREG MATTISON: I heard all about you and Dave Brandon.  Me though, I’m retired, don’t want none of that.  But you’re welcome to come in, have a beer, and play some euchre.

Scene moves to dim living room.  A flickering old CRT televisions set murmurs in the background, children sleep among cookie crumbs and empty soda bottles.  Two men [GREG MATTISON and BRADY HOKE] slide the coffee table against a wall.

GREG MATTISON: You sure you want to do this?  I was All-American, remember?

 BRADY HOKE: [slurred] I’m taking you down this time, biy-atch.

The men begin wrestling.  Much furniture is smashed.  Camera pans around to capture championship trophies from the Florida Gators, Baltimore Ravens, Michigan Wolverines.  GREG MATTISON eventually gains the upper hand.

GREG MATTISON: You coach that team, Brady, and you’ll FAIL!  You’ll fail, god dammit!  Dave Brandon is no particular friend.  He’d put you in the wall today if he could get Harbaugh tomorrow.

BRADY HOKE: [Out of breath] But I need this, Greg.  I haven’t got anything else.

                *******

Scene: The Big House, Ann Arbor, Michigan--a roaring football stadium at night, fans waving yellow pom-poms and chanting along to piped-in techno music.  Down on the field, DEVIN GARDNER confidently steps into the Michigan huddle.  A voice [AL BORGES] crackles on his helmet mic.

AL BORGES: Maverick, this is Ghost Rider.  Take angels 10-left-three-zero.

DEVIN GARDNER: Roger. 

Looks up at teammates

DEVIN GARDNER: Angels 10-left-three-zero. Jeremy, you got him?

JEREMY GALLON: Roger.

DEVIN GARDNER: Okay—you hook’em.  Jehu will clean’em and fry’em.

TEAM: Readeee-Break!

Players line up in a shotgun formation.

DEVIN GARDNER: Contact, 20 left at 30!  Nine hundred!  Nine Hundred! Set, hut!

Players begin running, pads begin popping, Gardner throws a pass to Jeremy Gallon.  Gallon catches it, spins off two defenders, and scores.  Crowd goes absolutely wild.  Meanwhile, Jehu Chesson blocks three defenders into a pile, then stands over them.

JEHU CHESSON: “Watch the birdie!”

 Snaps a Polaroid.  Scene fades

                *******

Scene: Jubilant locker room.  Sweaty Michigan football players gather around Head Coach BRADY HOKE, clap and sing “The Victors.” 

BRADY HOKE: I’m really proud of the way this team practiced, this team executed.  Enjoy this one.  But we’ve still got ten more to play—

Hoke pauses momentarily, as a grinning DAVE BRANDON shuffles through the crowd

BRADY HOKE: So yeah, I want’chall enjoy this one, then we’ll be right back to work tomorrow morning.

A cheer goes up from the players, who begin turning away…

DAVE BRANDON: One more thing, well done, gentlemen.  You really kicked some ass tonight.

Slight sighs are heard from the annoyed players.

DAVE BRANDON: In this big game that we play, life, it's not what you hope for, it's not what you deserve, it's what you take.  I'm Dave muthaf*kin Brandon, a master of the muffin and author of the “Avoid the Noid” advertising campaign for Domino’s Pizza.  No I wasn’t an All-American when I played here for Bo Schembechler.  But I was able to become an All-American at business, because I learned one thing: Respect the cock! And tame the cunt! Tame it! Take it on headfirst with the skills that I will teach you at work and say no! You will not control me! No! You will not take my soul! No!

You will not win this game! Because it's a game, guys. You want to think it's not, huh? You want to think it's not? Go back to the schoolyard and you have that crush on big-titted Mary Jane. Respect the cock. You are embedding this thought. I am the one who's in charge. I am the one who says yes! No! Now! Here! Because it's universal, man. It is evolutional. It is anthropological. It is biological. It is animal. We... are... men!

Players stand in stunned silence. 

                *******

Scene: Michigan LSA student SAGAR LATHIA enters the Arcade Barbershop and takes a seat in an empty barber’s chair as the door creaks shut behind him. 

SAGAR LATHIA: How's it going, Luther?

LUTHER: Another day, another dollar, captain.

SAGAR LATHIA: You gotta play them as they lay.

LUTHER: What goes around comes around.

SAGAR LATHIA: Can't beat 'em, join 'em.

LUTHER: At least I got my health.

SAGAR LATHIA: Well, then you got everything... See you tomorrow, Luther.

LUTHER: Not if I see you first.

SAGAR LATHIA: Sometimes you gotta say, "what the fuck."  Make your move.  Luther, every now and then, saying "what the fuck?" brings freedom.  Freedom brings opportunity, opportunity makes your future.

                *******

Scene: Big House for early game vs. Akron.  Quiet hum from crowd as Michigan offense breaks huddle.

DEVIN GARDNER: Red 90!  Red 90!  Hike!

Gardner receives shotgun snap, drops back to pass.  Pressure comes up middle.  Gardner retreats, spins, reverses field, and is blind-sided by an Akron player.  Gardner throws ball—but the wobbly duck lands right in the chest of an Akron player and is run into the end zone for a TD.  Gardner lies on turf, mystified.

                *******

Scene: luxury suite above Michigan Stadium.  DAVE BRANDON grabs telephone receiver and lifts to ear.

Scene: Michigan sideline.  A phone rings.  A team manager answers and bring the phone to BRADY HOKE.

BRADY HOKE: Consider yourself in Contempt!

GREG MATTISON: [standing beside BRADY HOKE] You don’t have to answer that question.

BRADY HOKE: I'll answer the question!  [Into phone] You want answers?!

Scene cuts back to Brandon’s luxury box

DAVE BRANDON: I think I’m entitled!

Back to sideline

BRADY HOKE: You want answers?

Back to Brandon’s luxury box

DAVE BRANDON: I want the truth!

Back to sideline

BRADY HOKE: You can’t handle the truth!

                *******

Scene: a classroom in Mason Hall on University of Michigan campus.  A female professor jots information on the white-board, then looks up.

PROFESSOR: Excuse me, Mr. Lathia, is there something wrong?

SAGAR LATHIA: Yes ma'am, the data on the coaching search is inaccurate.

PROFESSOR: How's that, Mr. Lathia?

SAGAR LATHIA: Well, I just happened to read Dave Brandon’s actual itinerary from “The Process,” and he never actually met with Miles.  Never offered Harbaugh the job.

PROFESSOR: Where did you see this?

SAGAR LATHIA: Got it from John U. Bacon.

PROFESSOR: From who? 

SAGAR LATHIA: John U. Bacon.  I would introduce you to him, but then Dave Brandon would have you fired.

                *******

Scene: Road game at Penn State.  White-out, fans yelling hostile obscenities.  Michigan trailing on the scoreboard.  Nervous-looking DEVIN GARDNER approaches the huddle.

DEVIN GARDNER: Twenty-one right Bogey on three.

JEREMY GALLON: What?  Again?  It hasn’t worked the first twenty-six times we’ve run it.

DEVIN GARDNER: It’s what the man said.  Twenty-one right Bogey on three.  Readee-break!

Michigan offense steps to line against Penn State defense, which has inserted extra defensive tackles.  The wall of defensive humanity nearly blocks out the lighting.

DEVIN GARDNER: Set…hut!  Hut!  Ready….hut!

[DEVIN GARDNER] takes snap, retreats into backfield, shoves ball into running back’s arms.  The back is promptly swallowed by several tacklers before reaching the line of scrimmage.  Dispirited Michigan players walk back to the huddle.

AL BORGES: Dang-it.  Okay, Maverick, let’s go Angels 10-left-three-zero.

DEVIN GARDNER: Roger that.

Gardner faces offensive teammates, gives play.  Unit lines up in shotgun formation.

DEVIN GARDNER: Red 90!  Red 90! Hut!

Slo-mo shot as shotgun snap approaches.  DEVIN GARDNER catches snap.  Heavy breaths and foot-falls.  DEVIN GARDNER retreats one step, camera pans to primary read.  JEREMY GALLON is open in seam.

DEVIN GARDNER: It’s no good.

Camera closes-in on [JEREMY GALLON]

JEREMY GALLON: God dammit Maverick!

Camera follows Gardner’s eyes as he moves to secondary read.  DEVIN FUNCHESS is open on sideline.

DEVIN GARDNER: It’s no good!

DEVIN FUNCHESS: God dammit!

Penn State defenders arrive.  Gardner slammed to turf, ball comes out.  Penn State players rejoice as crowd erupts into frenzy.   A crumpled Gardner sits motionless on the field.

                *******

Scene: an austere, tropical barracks.  Banana rats scurry as hooded figures slip into a darkened room.  Inside, a rotund figure of a snoring man [AL BORGES] heaves upon the bunk.  Suddenly, the figures pull a blanket tight over the man’s chest; a pure grey bar of soap is shoved into his mouth, and the man is pummeled repeatedly with oversized macaroni noodles.

AL BORGES: Whaahhh—[choking sounds as soap enters mouth]

The beating continues for several seconds

HOODED FIGURE: Get an identity, fat man!

The figures rush out of the room as AL BORGES passes out.

                *******

Scene: anti-septic military-style interrogation room.  Young lawyer [SAGAR LATHIA] in dress uniform enters the room.  five hulking men, each wearing a jump-suit marked with a non-eligible number, immediately rise and salute. 

SAGAR LATHIA: [timidly] At ease?

The men sit.  SAGAR LATHIA sits at folding chair across the table.

SAGAR LATHIA: So, can we start with what happened?

TAYLOR LEWAN: Sir!  What happened when, sir!?

SAGAR LATHIA: Well, I understand the five of you beat a guy with noodles—

TAYLOR LEWAN: Sir!  It was a ‘miscommunication,’ sir!

SAGAR LATHIA: A miscommunication?

TAYLOR LEWAN: Sir!  That’s what we call it.  A ‘miscommunication,’ sir!

SAGAR LATHIA: Well, I’m just trying to understand—

TAYLOR LEWAN: Sir!  Must protect the brand, sir! 

SAGAR LATHIA: The brand?

TAYLOR LEWAN: Sir!  Yes, sir!  Must protect the brand.  That’s our code, sir!

SAGAR LATHIA: Who put you up to this?

TAYLOR LEWAN: Sir?

SAGAR LATHIA: You better tell me.  I’m the only friend you’ve got.

TAYLOR LEWAN: Sir!  I am on specific orders not to disclose that my commanding officer, Dave Brandon, instructed me to perform the miscommunication, sir!

SAGAR LATHIA: …

                *******

Scene: DEVIN GARDNER meets with BRADY HOKE on an isolated path along the Huron River. 

BRADY HOKE: What I’m about to tell you is classified—could end my career.  I loved coaching that Denard, even if he wasn’t a pocket-passer.  You're a lot like he was.  Only better... and worse. He was a natural heroic son of a bitch that one.

DEVIN GARDNER: So he did do it right.

BRADY HOKE: Yeah, he did it right... Is that why you play the way you do? Trying to prove something? Yeah, Denard did it right.  We were in a rebuilding phase.  There were walk-ons and freshmen like fireflies all over the roster.  His ulnar nerve was hit, and he was wounded—he could have not dressed.  But he stayed in it, won three games before Nebraska got him.

DEVIN GARDNER: How come I never heard that before?

BRADY HOKE: Well, that's not something the Athletic Department tells fans when a player belongs in a spread offense, isn’t ‘Manball’ enough.

DEVIN GARDNER: So you get it?

BRADY HOKE: I get it. What's on your mind?

DEVIN GARDNER: My options, sir.

BRADY HOKE: Simple. You've already acquired an undergraduate degree.  You can soldier on in our pathetic offense, or you can quit. There'd be no disgrace. Last year’s offensive line was hell, it would've shook me up.

DEVIN GARDNER: So you think I should quit?

BRADY HOKE: I didn't say that. The simple fact is you feel responsible for Notre Dame and you have a confidence problem. Now I'm not gonna sit here and blow sunshine up your ass.  A good quarterback is compelled to evaluate what's happened, so he can apply what he's learned. On the field there, we gotta push it. That's our job. It's your option, Devin. All yours.

DEVIN GARDNER: Sorry to bother you on a Sunday, sir, but thank you very much for your time.

BRADY HOKE: No problem. Good luck.

* * * * *

Scene: a ceiling panel slides open in a bright, institutional storage closet.  Motion-detecting lasers criss-cross the room at odd angles, and alarmed panels cover the floor.  A lone computer terminal sits unoccupied at a desk built into the wall.  Suddenly, SAGAR LATHIA drops from the ceiling.  He almost strikes the floor, but spreads-eagle inches above it.  SAGAR LATHIA moves through the air to the computer terminal, pulls up a screen that says “COCA-COLA TICKET PROMOTION,” and inserts a USB drive to download the data.  A lengthy status bar appears on the screen while the data is slowly copied.

Meanwhile, outside the room, DAVE BRANDON speaks with [ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT WORKER].

DAVE BRANDON: How many tickets have you sold today?

ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT WORKER: Fourteen hundred, sir. 

DAVE BRANDON: Very good.  How much is that?

ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT WORKER: Well, with the Coca-Cola promotion, that’s twenty-eight hundred dollars.  More importantly, we can keep our streak of 100,000 fans alive.

DAVE BRANDON: Whatever.  You know what I say?  If it ain’t broke, break it—that’s what I say.  So go ahead and break that streak.

ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT WORKER: Whatever you say, sir.  Don’t want to be fired like every other person I used to work with.

DAVE BRANDON: Yeah.  Hey, didn’t those skywriters give us a half-off coupon for our next purchase?  I think $2,800 ought to cover it.

ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT WORKER: I think the coupon is in the storage room, sir.

DAVE BRANDON: Well don’t just sit there.  Bring me skywriting coupon!

Camera returns to storage room.  SAGAR LATHIA finishes downloading marketing plan data and is pulled back through ceiling, just as ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT WORKER opens the door.

                *******

Scene: Ornate banquet room at Detroit’s Downtown Athletic Club, for annual Michigan Football Bust.  Team, dressed in suits, has finished its meal and is looking to podium.  Camera pans room to see several players carrying or wearing medical equipment, DEVIN GARDNER in full-body cast with oxygen tank.  BRADY HOKE exits podium to moderate applause, as DAVE BRANDON steps to podium.

DAVE BRANDON: And I just want to thank Brady for the wonderful job he’s done.  Really, really wonderful job.  But you know, 7-5 really is not Michigan Football.  I mean, let’s face it: you men are shit. What? Yes: you men... are... shit.  Horrible, heinous, *heinous*, terrible football players.  That’s you.  Fuck this bullshit.  What is it that we need?  We need Michigan Men!   You see what I'm getting at?  What’s your problem, anyway?  “Mommy wouldn't let me play soccer... and Daddy, he hit me, so that's who I am, that's why I do what I do?”   We will not apologize for who we are.  Michigan will not apologize for what it needs. I will not apologize for what I want!  And that’s why I’d like to introduce the new head coach of the Michigan Wolverines—

Just then, SAGAR LATHIA and JOHN U. BACON rush into the room

JOHN U. BACON: Stop!

DAVE BRANDON: What the hell is this?

JOHN U. BACON: Stop, this man [points to SAGAR LATHIA] has something to say.

DAVE BRANDON: I’m outta here.

GREG MATTISON: [rises from the back of the room]: You're not going anywhere, Brandon. DTs, guard the Athletic Director.

DAVE BRANDON: Am I being charged with a crime? Is that what this is? I'm being charged with a crime? This is funny. That's what this is.

SAGAR LATHIA: You brought in Special K and left the band at home.  You paid pilots to skywrite “Go Blue” over an empty Spartan Stadium.  You masterminded the general admission fiasco.  You undermined Rich Rod and botched the hire of Brady Hoke. 

DAVE BRANDON: Son, we live in a world that has college football, and college football has to be played by men wearing uniformz. Who's gonna do it? You? You, hockey boy? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom.  You weep for our tradition, and you curse the rawk muzak. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That the loss of Michigan tradition, while tragic, probably won games.  And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, wins games.  You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me in that luxury box, you need me on in that luxury box.  We use words like brand identity, brand equity, sub-brand, and brand loyalty.  We use these words as the backbone of a life spent marketing something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very revenue that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way.  Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a pom-pom, and wave it to piped-in techno. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

SAGAR LATHIA: Did you order the miscommunication?

DAVE BRANDON: You’re goddamn right I did!

Audible gasp arises from the team and boosters in attendance

DAVE BRANDON: I'm gonna rip the eyes out of your head and puke into your dead skull, you messed with the wrong AD!

BRADY HOKE: I think you’re in deep shit, Brandon, I guaran-damn-tee you.

DAVE BRANDON:  You have no idea how to run an athletic department.  All you did was weaken The Team today, Lathia. That's all you did. You put Rose Bowl berths in danger. Sweet dreams, son.

SAGAR LATHIA: Don't call me son. I'm a Michigan student, and an officer in the LS&A student government.  And you're fired, you son of a bitch.

                *******

Scene: Schembechler Hall.  Square-jawed John Harbaugh stands at a podium, beside an academic-looking man [BRAD BATES] in a muted blazer.  Cameras flash as BRAD BATES steps to the microphone bank.

BRAD BATES: I’d like to announce some exciting new changes for Michigan Football.  We thank Brady Hoke for his distinguished service as the head coach; he’ll be staying on with the athletic department as an advisor and assistant euchre and wrestling coach.  We’d like to welcome John Harbaugh, most recently of the Baltimore Ravens and the son of former Michigan assistant Jack Harbaugh, as our new head coach.  And we’d like to extend our congratulations to Devin Gardner, who has made a full recovery from his injuries and was drafted 199th overall by the New England Patriots.  Thank you, and Go Blue!