A Brief History Of Pat Fitzgerald Getting His Soul Crushed

A Brief History Of Pat Fitzgerald Getting His Soul Crushed Comment Count

Ace October 3rd, 2018 at 10:00 AM

[Bryan Fuller]

When you get a prompt this good, you use it.

As we've covered this week, Pat Fitzgerald has everything going for him to be difficult to dislike—local kid returns to alma mater in time of turmoil, runs a program that's historically bad, is funny and charming in press conferences when he's not saying batshit stuff about RPOs and communism, etc.—and yet, when you see him on the opposing sideline, it becomes pretty easy to find the guy obnoxious.

The feeling can be acute when Northwestern is unexpectedly winning and Fitzgerald goes full-blown cheerleader. Which is fine. It's fine. I'm not mad. This didn't bother me at all after one of the more miserable opening quarters in recent memory.

Definitely not mad, he said, while squeezing the remote until the battery case snaps.

Anyway, we never have to stay mad at Fitz for long, because his teams always find a way to gack it away to Michigan, usually in exceedingly comical/painful fashion.

[After THE JUMP, one man's emotional rollercoaster.]

Comments

This Week's Obsession: Games that Gave You an Ulcer

This Week's Obsession: Games that Gave You an Ulcer Comment Count

Seth October 2nd, 2018 at 4:00 PM

Feel ya, BVS [Patrick Barron]

The Sponsor:

It’s Nick Hopwood, our MGoFinancial Planner from Peak Wealth Management. Nick is also a Podcaster—if you haven’t listened to it before, his podcast Finding True Wealth. One of his episodes he shared how he put together his own financial plan for 2018. It's good to know if you choose a CFP where he puts his own money.

Legal disclosure in tiny font: Calling Nick our official financial planner is not intended as financial advice; Nick is an advertiser who financially supports MGoBlog. MGoBlog is not responsible for any advice or other communication provided to an investor by any financial advisor, and makes no representations or warranties as to the suitability of any particular financial advisor and/or investment for a specific investor.

-------------------------------

The Question: 

Games you remember watching in mortifying fear?

The Responses:

Ace: Before anyone protests, I suggested this because I have Cosmic Comeuppance For The Murderwolf Post, The Ulcer.

Seth: I wouldn't have suggested it because this game didn't for me. Even down 17-0 I figured Michigan would score the next 24 points.

Brian: I can no longer just assume those things. I also feel that ulcer games have to be wins? Is that crazy

Seth: There were a few minutes there when I wouldn't let Demorest's kid talk to me. That was it. The Michigan fans in that stadium were LOUD.

Ace: Yeah, I’ll be honest, I was pretty calm for this one.

Brian: Like the JT Was Short game wasn't an ulcer it was a crippling state of listlessness for months.

Ace: And yeah, ulcer games should be wins. The Horror is a disaster, Akron is an ulcer. Speaking of which, that game.

Seth: The Akron game was on Rosh Hashanah, and the second my brother and I left the stadium everything went alright. Sorry about doing that to everyone but we fixed it.

Brian: Well then how about most Northwestern games

Ace: Man this is gonna be a Lloyd-y list.

The Mathlete: The Halloween Minnesota game

Brian: You're supposed to win, Pat Fitzgerald's head keeps getting bigger, you're not even sure you want credit for the W afterwards. Mathlete, that is a superior choice. The Minnesota game featured Mitch Leidner getting extraordinarily lucky about five times and came down to a goal line stand after Minnesota frittered away two downs from the one.

David: Minnesota 2004 is another one for me. I kept thinking "We can't lose to Minnesota." But then we did...the next year.

Seth: UConn was an ulcer.

Ace: Thank you Desmond Morgan for keeping the damage limited to that. I’m not sure some of these Hoke-era wins count because they didn’t feel very inevitable, though. Like, at all.

Brian: I feel like there are two different categories here. One are games where you are dominating statistically but the scoreboard disagrees, and then there are games where the team is playing like inexplicable ass.

Seth: YES.

Brian: Or, in many cases, fairly explicable ass.

[After THE JUMP: Spleen]

Comments

Monday Presser 11-17-14: Players

Monday Presser 11-17-14: Players Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 19th, 2014 at 9:23 AM

players 11-17

Jake Ryan and Devin Gardner

Coach Hoke said that he addresses your team in regards to domestic violence. What has he said and what has the team taken from those presentations?

JR: "You know, a lot. He stresses every single day that he has expectations for everyone on this team and if you don't follow them and rules are broken then stuff will happen. He has talked about domestic violence with us and that's one of the things you can't do. It's just unfortunate."

When you see Northwestern roll up 40 points on Notre Dame does that make you feel better about your effort at Northwestern, knowing that you held them in like you did?

JR: "Yeah, I'm proud of this defense and it just shows what we can accomplish as a defense and we had a great game and need to keep moving forward."

For Devin: it's still a few days away put your last game in Michigan Stadium is on Saturday. Any idea what kind of emotions will be swirling through your head then?

DG: "I'm just really excited. There's a lot more at stake than just my last game at Michigan. It's never been about me and it's not going to be about me on Saturday. I'm just going to go out and give it everything I have, like I've always given, to try and get a win for the team."

Did the bye week help you at all with the ankle or whatever ailments you might have?

DG: "Yeah, I've gotten healthier through the bye week."

[After THE JUMP: senior day, adversity, and Devin's thoughts on what it means to be a citizen of the world]

Comments

Monday Presser 11-17-14: Doug Nussmeier

Monday Presser 11-17-14: Doug Nussmeier Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 18th, 2014 at 2:02 PM

nuss 9-15

file

How does a healthier Devin [Gardner] expand the offense a little bit, and what does that give you?

"Obviously any time you have a healthy quarterback that's a good thing, and having the week off has allowed Devin to heal up a little bit and that's really good. Excited about- obviously when you have the type of guy Devin is with his ability to run the football it creates options for you."

 

Aside from his ability or inability against Northwestern to move and really create with his legs, what were the issues in having pretty good field position a lot of times but not being able to cash in?

"Yeah, disappointing. Had lots of opportunities there to score points. Didn't get it done. I think you look at a couple key statistics we talk about all the time: third downs we were 1-of-12. That's not good enough. A number of things. We turned the ball over three times. Had the two turnovers and then a turnover on downs. We put the ball on the ground one time [and] were able to recover it. Once again it goes back to consistency. Getting 11 guys doing the right thing on every play."

 

Drake Johnson gets a second chance [against Northwestern]. Saw him balancing carries with DeVeon. What would you like out of Drake and what are you looking to do with the two of them for Maryland and in the future?

"Well, obviously we've said all along we're going to play more than one back and the way the season's played out with Derrick's injury, and he continues to get more healthy as we go on here- you've got DeVeon. Drake's done a nice job. Justice Hayes has been banged up a little bit so that's limited him a little bit. Obviously we said we're going to play multiple backs and we kind of play the hot hand at the time and rotate them. Some of them are scripted by play because we feel some guys run different plays better than others. Others are by kind of possession and who has the hot hand, so to say."

[After THE JUMP: The kids are alright (according to Nuss)]

Comments

Monday Presser 11-17-14: Greg Mattison

Monday Presser 11-17-14: Greg Mattison Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 18th, 2014 at 9:00 AM

mattison

file

 

[I forgot to turn my recorder on right away because I’m a doofus but the question was about Northwestern]

“I was very, very pleased with our players in that game and I have been for a while, and you know that. Our kids, they went out and they executed the gameplan and they played extremely hard. Didn’t matter where. They had their backs to the wall and they stayed in there strong, and that’s just kind of how they’ve been and i was just really happy for them because they really believe, they really want to be good and they’re starting to get some reward from it.”

 

When did you hear about Frank’s arrest and what was your reaction to it?

“Well, I heard about it I guess yesterday but Brady handles all that. And my reaction is always when a young man that is in your program that you’re very, very close to when something happens like this you feel very, very disappointed and you feel sad for the people that are involved and that’s about it.”

 

Brady was just talking about all the adversity you guys have gone through this year and how maybe he’s grown a little bit and learned from it as a coach. You’ve known him for 30 years. Have you seen it affect him, or how has he grown from this season?

“You know, I mentioned it before and that’s a great question. When you believe so much in a program like he does and like our staff does and you give everything you have to the program like he does, when things don’t go exactly like you want them to that’s hard. That’s hard, man. And I haven’t seen him- he never wavers. He’s the same guy every morning when he comes in. He’s the same guy when he dresses the players. Like I said before, I think he's done a tremendous job as the head football coach with some of the things that have happened."

 

Jake's [Ryan] preparation is evident when you see him on the field. I understand that you guys watch a lot of film together. Talk about how you've watched him grow as a student of the game and talk about how he goes about that [preparation].

"Well, I was fortunate enough. I think the first year I was here I had Jake, and he met in our staff room together and I said, 'Okay, let's go ahead and sit down and we'll start on film' and I looked and he was sitting in Brady's chair and I said, 'What are you doing!? You can't sit in that chair!' Well from that day on he's always sat in that chair. And Jake Ryan is a pleasure to coach, just like Joe Bolden is, just like- I could name a lot of guys in all they years I've coached. When you have guys who come to work every day like they do, and they come in those meeting rooms and you start showing film and you start talking about your opponent and they react and they study and they start taking notes like our guys do; then you feel really good about coaching. Jake's just one of those guys that you think about it [and] outside linebacker, that's all he'd ever played and we talked about it and said, 'Hey, listen. We're going to put you in the middle because we want you around the football a lot more. We want you to make sure that you're involved in it; that they can't run away from you' and in his senior year he does it. And he plays hard and unselfish and does everything you ask him to do and that's Michigan. That's what we hope this program's all about and we think there's a lot of players like that in this program."

[After THE JUMP: Thoughts on Maryland and the defensive line]

Comments

Wednesday Presser 11-12-14: Brady Hoke

Wednesday Presser 11-12-14: Brady Hoke Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 12th, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Hoke presser 2

file

News bullets and other items:

  • Dennis Norfleet will play against Maryland
  • Derrick Green may or may not be back against Maryland. He, like Devin Gardner and Jake Butt, are getting healthier every day
  • President Schlissel called Hoke to apologize for his comments regarding academics and athletics. Hoke said that they recruit kids that fit the Michigan blueprint and that it’s not for everyone
  • Hoke said the Northwestern game was the offensive line’s best of the season
  • Nussmeier and Fred Jackson make the decision on which RB has the “hot hand,” and the decision can be made as early as the third series

Opening remarks:

“Thanks for coming out. Number one, yesterday we had a good chance with the players to look at the Northwestern film [and] make the corrections we need to make, but really emphasize the good things because really that's what you want to see are the good things. We've got to keep emphasizing those things. We practiced and it wasn't long but there was a lot of energy and a lot of good timing, and the one thing when you talk about bye weeks a little bit is the timing. You don't want to lose that part of it or if you need to get a little better you need to get a little better, especially in the pass game and all those things, so that was really productive.

“Start a little bit on Maryland today. I think the most exciting part of it is we are going to scrimmage some of the young guys against some who have played a little bit and those who haven't. We'll do about 30 minutes, probably 25 to 28 plays. When we do that we have to make sure it's going to help the team because those are your look teams going into the next week so I think it will be very good for us.

“Bye week again gives us a chance to rest some guys. I think getting Dennis [Norfleet]back will be very good for us. He'll be healthy. I think the health of Devin keeps – Gardner keeps improving and so in a lot of those guys there's a lot of guys who're just beat up a little bit. That's the way it is in football.

“The other thing is the president made some comments and I've talked to him. He called and apologized for his comments and I'm not going to speak for him. He put out whatever statements or interpretations that he needed to. We have always believed that this is truly an academic University. I was here for eight years before, as you all know, and I think the one thing you know being a former player and a coach is you only play so long and that's what this degree, a Michigan degree, is all about. And being the truly academic institution that it is, that degree will last forever so we take it very seriously. We try and recruit the best football players, the best student-athletes, and people that fit the blueprint here at Michigan. It's not for everybody because it is demanding and that's the way it should be.”

 

You kind of had the incident with Jake Butt. How much is he a work in progress on and off the field in terms of what he can be?

“I think Jake, he – from an athletic standpoint and all those things he continues to get healthier. He's one of those guys who another week, if we continue to do the right things with him… and the double edge sword is the timing of the routes and all that because you do want to rest guys so that they get a little healthier. I think he’s always developing and we are happy with his development.”
Have you seen the jerseys that his family where is when they come to games?
“I have not.”
Papa butt and headbutt and stuff like that. Have you seen him embrace that? He talks about getting teased about his last name.
“Yeah, he gets teased but… he gets teased.”
[After THE JUMP: We are grinders. It is stupid. Also some academic stuff.]

Comments

This Week's Obsession: Ridikuhlis

This Week's Obsession: Ridikuhlis Comment Count

Seth November 12th, 2014 at 12:05 PM

A man in my position cannot afford to be made to look ridikuhlis.

Ace: Brian and I did a segment on this week's podcast in which we each listed our top five most ridiculous games of the Hoke era. Not only were our bottom three picks entirely different, but between Twitter and the comments at least a dozen games that didn't make the cut were suggested as meriting inclusion, and... it was really hard to argue with a lot of them.

So let's try this again. List and explain your top five, perhaps mention a few dishonorable mentions, and feel free to explain your methodology—I'm intentionally leaving "ridiculous" open to interpretation.

-------------------------------

BiSB: I just drew up a quick list of candidates. There are 16 games on that list. I HATE ALL THE THINGS.

-------------------------------

Ace: Now remember that the very first game Hoke coached featured two Brandon Herron touchdowns and was called due to a biblical storm before the third quarter ended...

Even the wins, man. Even the wins.

-------------------------------

[After the jump: we discuss 60% of the games under Hoke]

Comments

MGoPodcast 6.11: Destination Moon

MGoPodcast 6.11: Destination Moon

1 hour.

15128951453_82cf787f08_z

[Bryan Fuller]

THE GAME

Wow.

TOP FIVE MOST RIDICULOUS GAMES OF THE HOKE ERA

Wide divergence at the bottom. Not so much at the top.

COACH/AD CHATTER

Why I'm skeptical about all timelines, and why I can't say so for certain.

TALKING BIG TEN WITH JAMIEMAC

Penn State-Indiana! Feel the BIG TEN! Also: OSU-MSU and vaguely competitive Purdue-Wisconsin. Basketball talk works its way in at the end.

MUSIC

In tribute to the most ridiculous game ever, songs from the most ridiculous band ever.

"Across 110th Street"
"Cowtown," They Might Be Giants
"Youth Culture Killed My Dog," They Might Be Giants
"Destination Moon," They Might Be Giants

THE USUAL LINKS

One Frame At A Time: Northwestern

One Frame At A Time: Northwestern Comment Count

Ace November 10th, 2014 at 2:00 PM

I could be done there, but for some reason there are 40 more of these.

I have a problem.

But not nearly as much of a problem as anyone who attended this game. A summary, in lieu of the normal format, because that was not a normal football game, if one is to be so kind to refer to it as "football" in the first place.

[Hit THE JUMP for futility.]

Comments

Infamy Is Immortality Too

Infamy Is Immortality Too Comment Count

Brian November 10th, 2014 at 11:56 AM

11/8/2014 – Michigan 10, Northwestern 9 – 5-5, 3-3 Big Ten

large[1]

College football is for remembering. It stands alone in its brevity—even the NFL has you play your division-mates twice. Every year you play a team and then you have glory or death until next year. You can pick any game of remote interest and your friend will say "oh, THAT game" because it is also lodged in his brain.

This happens in other sports but as you add in more and more games, more and more of them are thrown down the memory hole. Hell, even last year's highly memorable basketball season has a number of events in it that I couldn't tell you anything about without looking it up. We beat Stanford? I guess we did.

In football the only things that disappear like that are the tomato can games. Others are notable only in the context of some guy's career. If I say "the Jerome Jackson game" you know it's that Iowa game Michigan won in overtime. "That one time Alain Kashama did something" was the Citrus Bowl win over Ron Zook's Florida. There are of course the titanic battles whose aftershocks rattle down the centuries, and depressing blowouts and fun blowouts and etc.

And then there's this game. This game will also rattle down the centuries, for… reasons. You will poke your buddy and say "hey man remember the M00N game," carefully enunciating the zeroes, and your buddy will either laugh or give you a sharp punch on the arm, depending on his mood.

Immortality comes in all kinds of ways.

-------------------------------------

15743410241_601992c4bf_k

FFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUU [Bryan Fuller]

Well, I'm in this to be entertained. And I cannot deny that Saturday was highly entertaining.

By the time the teams had exchanged boggling turnovers at the end of the first half I was giggling. The field goal block sent me into chuckles. The fumble of off Funchess's hip got me up to a guffaw, and when Northwestern followed a boggling Gardner interception by going backwards 30 yards and punting into the endzone I had to lie down and remember to breathe.

It was disappointing when M00N ceased being a potential final score, but at least it came on a terrible error—a muffed punt. Anything skillful breaking the deadlock would have been unjust. My wife was peeved, because she is not a True Fan™ and wanted to see a 0-0 regulation. I kind of did, too. Not every day you see something like that.

It is every day that Michigan finds itself in a football game hardly recognizable as sports. When you bring up the M00N game to your buddy you will probably be making a point about the descent into unwatchable dreck that was the last two years of the mercifully short Hoke era.

This is Hoke's version of RichRod's gloriously futile 67-65 win over Illinois. Both games were narrow, pyrrhic victories over bad opponents punctuated by two-point conversion stops. Both showed off the abilities of the team's good unit against an overmatched opponent and the total lack of ability of the team's miserable unit. And both were the same kind of delirious fun that sees you wake up naked in a haystack the next morning, with no idea where you are or even what month it is. Or where your hair is.

Nothing about that Illinois game changed Rodriguez's trajectory, and this won't move any needles either. Michigan's been plunged into a disaster of their own making and shows no signs of climbing out. That they've encountered a couple of teams even more BIG TEN(!) than themselves of late says more about the league than this outfit. It's no surprise that the other two teams Michigan's beaten in Big Ten play faced off in one of the ugliest games of the year immediately before M00N.

At least we've got a symbol now. Any time anyone wants to reference how far Michigan's come since they led the nation in TFLs allowed and somehow got worse the next year just needs two letters and a couple zeroes.

HIGHLIGHTS?

Via MGoVideo:

[After THE JUMP: but what if Hoke wins out?]

Comments