Enhanced Viewing of Offensive UFR for Illinois Game

Enhanced Viewing of Offensive UFR for Illinois Game

Submitted by WolverineBlue on November 17th, 2011 at 5:23 PM

The UFR viewer web app is now available for viewing the Offensive "Upon Further Review" report for the Illinois game. Video links are provided to all plays, thanks to MGoVideo.com.

The main link is:


I think I may have a handle on why the site would occasionally block with "Resouce Limit Exceeded!" errors. If not, there is still the mirror site at:



"Black and Blue" Review

"Black and Blue" Review

Submitted by M Fanfare on November 17th, 2011 at 3:15 PM

I do not live in Michigan anymore so I knew that I wouldn’t be able to catch a local screening of Black and Blue.  However, the producers of the film, Stunt3 Multimedia, already have the documentary available on DVD, and I took advantage of a special offer through MVictors.com to buy the DVD with free shipping.  I watched the film today and was enthralled.

For those of you who do not know, Black and Blue is the story of the 1934 Michigan-Georgia Tech game, where Michigan and Georgia Tech forced black Michigan player Willis Ward to sit out due to racial prejudice, and the stand that his teammate and future Speaker of the House and US President Gerald R. Ford took in support of his friend.

Black and Blue is done in Ken Burns style, with narration and music over slowly-panning still photographs, a few film clips, and interviews with experts, including Greg Dooley of MVictors, John U. Bacon, Civil Rights historian Tyran Steward, Richard Norton Smith, a prominent biographer of US Presidents who has worked at several presidential libraries and got to know Ford on a personal level, one of Ward’s grandsons Samuel Thomas, and For’d son Steve Ford.  The film also includes audio and video of interviews with Willis Ward done in the 1970s.  The music is all recordings of the Men’s Glee Club singing traditional Michigan songs, and Black and Blue includes many great photos of the Michigan campus of the day.

If Three and Out paints an unflattering portrait of Lloyd Carr, Black and Blue does the same for Fielding Yost, who is set up as the primary antagonist--and for good reason.  Bacon talks about Yost’s racial attitudes, both known and assumed, and relates a story where Yost and football coach Harry Kipke had an intense argument over Kipke’s desire to recruit Willis Ward out of Detroit Northwestern High School.  Bacon says account vary, but some say that the two men actually came to blows.

One of the most interesting parts of the documentary is that it shows some of the correspondence from Georgia Tech to Michigan, begging Yost to sit Ward out (in accordance to the practices of the time, Georgia Tech would sit out a player of “equal ability”) or cancel the game before either school received bad press over the incident.  Yost made his decision over the summer, but his attempts to keep the story quiet backfired and blew up into a national story.

Black and Blue then covers the controversy, including several letters and telegrams sent to Yost and Kipke by alumni who objected to Michigan bowing to southern racism.  It even includes the transcript of a meeting of the Board in Control of Intercollegiate Athletics where the members tried to manage the scandal.  Yost even hired Pinkerton Detectives to provide security to the Athletics administrators and to spy on the student groups that supported Willis Ward.

As the protests raged, doubt began to creep in that the game would be played. Even so, Gerald Ford told Harry Kipke and his father that he was quitting the team.  He only decided to play when Willis Ward asked him to play the game.  Though the whole team was bitter about Ward’s benching, at the 11th hour it was announced that the game would go on.  In a final indignity, Yost banned Ward from the entire stadium, not just the sideline. He had to listen to the game on the radio at his frat house.

As the game started, a Georgia Tech sophomore, Charlie Prescott, started mouthing off an hurling racial remarks at the Michigan team.  According to Ward, Prescott called Ford a “nigger-lover.”  Ford, who was slow to anger his whole life, lost his temper.  The next play, Ford and one of the guards hit Prescott so hard that they knocked him out of the game.  They told Ward on Monday that they dedicated that block to him (Ward gave a big smile in the interview at the end of that story).  In an excellent bit of film editing, the film ends this emotional moment with the Glee Club singing “The Victors” while panning a photo of Ford in his pre-snap position. 

Unfortunately, Ford said later that the Georgia Tech game ruined the 1934 Michigan team, despite the ugly 9-2 victory against the Yellow Jackets (Michigan scored a punt return touchdown, and the lack of offense and two safeties, combined with terrible weather and the Ward scandal made for a really terrible day).  Interestingly, as Michigan lost its last five games to end the year 1-7, they only scored 12 points.  All 12 were scored by Willis Ward. 

Black and Blue asserts that not only did the incident wreck the Michigan football program until the arrival of Fritz Crisler in 1938, it also had an obviously negative impact on Willis Ward to the point that he lost his love of athletics.  Ward was the star of the football team but was a much better track athlete.  He was one of the only athletes to ever beat Ohio State’s Jesse Owens on the track, and Ward was widely considered to be a favorite to win gold medals for the US Olympic team in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.  But the Georgia Tech game scarred him so badly that he did not want to suffer similar humiliation at the hands of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, so he refused to join the US Olympic team.

Black and Blue also covers the friendship between Ford and Ward after graduation, when Ford helped Ward campaign for office and encouraged his appointment to a judgeship.  Their friendship also informed Ford’s support of Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s and his public support for the University of Michigan’s affirmative action policies that may have played a role in the Supreme Court’s 5-4 vote in favor of its legality.  Also to the film’s credit, it covers Yost’s softened racial stand after the Georgia Tech game when he forced the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago (where the Big Ten was founded and where all Big Ten teams stayed when they played Northwestern or Chicago) to accept Ward as their second-ever black customer.

In the end, Black and Blue is a wonderful and interesting story about the friendship of two men, one white from Grand Rapids and one black from Detroit, who were involved in an ugly incident of racial prejudice, and how Ford used the incident to champion Civil Rights for African-Americans for the rest of his life.  I knew about the Willis Ward incident before I saw Black and Blue, but I learned quite a lot.  I would like to have seen some more coverage of Harry Kipke’s role and the role of University administrators in the incident, and they discuss an unpublished Michigan Daily editorial covering the incident by Arthur Miller, but do not show it (I am not sure it exists, but if it does it would have been really interesting to see).  If you have the time, I highly recommend going to see it, it is very well done and it is an important but not widely-known part of Michigan football history and ultimately American history.  

A Contrarian View of the Defense

A Contrarian View of the Defense

Submitted by Ziff72 on November 17th, 2011 at 1:45 PM

After the spectacular play of the defense on Saturday the praise has been overwhelming from everyone including Brian, but I got to thinking of all the fortune blessed upon this defense and put together this post to point out some information that might give you some pause to take Mattison from Deity to simply a great  D Coordinator.

1. Tempo- "Enjoy Life" just put together a terrific diary explaining how offensive tempo changes defensive stats.  So I thought as a baseline to determine the defenses improvement we should look at per play stats because that would eliminate the offenses effect and turnovers effect on the defensive performance which we have learned the last few years has been massive.  So last year we were 98th and this year we are 40th.  Fantastic, but not as ridiculous as the 110th to 5th jump I've seen reported.

2. Players- 

a. Returning Starters-From last years team to this year we have 6 returning players who we we can all assume would be better to varying degrees.   RVB, Martin(plus injury), Roh, Demens, Kovacs, Floyd(half year)

b. Not Returning but Weird Circumstances Upgrade-  Heininger missed most of last year with an injury and he has been a push to an upgrade over Banks, Patterson.  Woolfolk was supposed to be a huge upgrade over J. Rogers but due to injuries and play he has actually moved over to Saftey where he has filled in as an upgrade over Cam and Vinopal.

c. More Freshmen WTF They are Killing Us!!!.... Wait What They are Good?- That leaves 3 more starters Ryan, Countess and Morgan.   While Morgan/Ryan is a downgrade over Mouton these freshmen have actually upgraded their position because they had to beat out actual scholarship players and not air.   Each man had to beat out at least 2 scholarship guys that weren't freshmen to earn their playing time.  

This isn't exact because of the scheme difference and personal opinion being what it is, but I would say Michigan has a talent upgrade at every position save Mouton's LB spot that has nothing to do with coaching. 

3. Schedule- When I was discussing this with my buddy yesterday it seemed like a big factor, but when you look at the numbers they don't seem to tell you a whole bunch.   It's one of those situations where you could make your numbers fit your argument either way so I'll just leave it to you guys to discuss.  It's pretty clear that in Big Ten play the offenses have been worse from last year..MSU, Ill, Iowa have all taken big steps back, Ind with Chapell was much better than Minn and NW and Pur were better than Penn St last year and Purdue last year. So it's 4-2 in BT play.   One other note of how bad the BT is this year.  Mich is currently 15th in total defense but 6th in the Big Ten.  A lot of Big Ten defenses getting fat off of these offenses.

4. Trash Tornado- Not sure of the exact weather of every game last year, but the wind this year has been ridiculous.   4 games have been effected pretty significantly by the wind.   Last year I can recall 2 Trash Tornado like games.  Uconn(not bad but wind helped) and the d looked good and Purdue(which was a disaster from all accounts) and the d looked good as well.   These tornado games timed well as they were against some of the better offenses if we can actually say that vs Minn and Purdue which were nice weather.

So in conclusion I'm not sure how to quantify the effect Mattison has had on this d from last year to this year, but it's definitely been positive and I would say it was far less than 102 spots from 107th to 5th in scoring defense and a little less than 58 spots in the yards per play  of 40th vs 98th.   It feels like to me like an upgrade of about 20 spots fro having Mattison.  Last year a perfect storm of shit and this year a little friendlier storm with a big upgrade at D Coordinator, but not that big*


* Yes that is what she said.      98  98      lklgfh. se





2012 LB's Redshirting??

2012 LB's Redshirting??

Submitted by Chi-Blue on November 17th, 2011 at 12:26 PM

So by almost any estimation the defense and specifically the LB's have done very well this year and much better than expected. With that being said we return a host of good to pretty good and still developing LB's. I cant remember a LB group coming in that has this much hype and talent. The question then becomes who redshirts??

Royce - 4 star and should be enrolling early I thought

Bolden - 4 star

Ross - 4 star

Ringer - 3 star but lost out on the 4th because of injury this year.

I guess depending on how Ringers knee heals he would be the obvious, but I would think there will be more. Demens stays and the coaches love Morgan. Jake Ryan has played well especially against the run, and it has been stated on this board mutiple times that Mattison loves Poole he just needed to get bigger. Hawthorne has been great in spots and would figure in somewhere, and lets not forget Cam Gordon was a penciled in starter to most before the injury. Evans is supposed to be a 6th year qualifier as well, with Mike Jones and I. Bell figuring to be the odd ones out. Dont get me wrong this is exactly the problem that we need to have with talent overload and all, but just curious how the staff plans to balance this one out.


Petition for Ron Johnson to be honored as Michigan Legend

Petition for Ron Johnson to be honored as Michigan Legend

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on November 17th, 2011 at 11:31 AM

A true Legend. I'd greatly appreciate it if you signed. It's for a great cause for a great man/player.


Here is the NY Times recent story about him being diagnosed with Alzheimer's


OT: Jennings v. Rothstein

OT: Jennings v. Rothstein

Submitted by UAUM on November 17th, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Is it me or is Chantel Jennings like 5,000 times of a better reporter, at least on video and not for her looks, than Mike Rothstein?  


I love having dedicated M reporters at ESPN and its fun to watch youger reporters get experience, but Rothstein stutters and often confuses his words.  He is so akward that it sometimes actually bothers me.  So much so that I had to create a topic about this stupid topic.


Any Word on Jordan Diamond Lately?

Any Word on Jordan Diamond Lately?

Submitted by rockydude on November 16th, 2011 at 9:24 PM

Pretty much what the title says - anyone hear anything about Jordan Diamond recently, or have an idea why the vibe between he and Michigan seems to have cooled off lately? He really seemed to be a good fit and a likely commit, but for reasons unknown to me, there has been a lowering of interest, either by Jordan or U-M.

Anyone hear any buzz about Jordan that might shed some light on this?