Dear Diary and the Legend of West Branch

Dear Diary and the Legend of West Branch Comment Count

Seth November 1st, 2013 at 10:52 AM

westbranch

Full name: The Paul Bunyan Governor of Michigan's Wife Was
Going to Throw It Out Otherwise Trophy.

People don't get this rivalry, why the board seems to get obsessed with it, and why it means so much to take home a tacky statue from an off-highway store in West Branch.

Those Michigan fans not from Michigan, or from a part of Michigan that regularly sprays for Spartans, are often suggesting a bigger second rivalry than this one. They'll grant that game's importance goes as far as winning the Bo Division, with the Dantonio-fueled addition of protecting the purity of the game from one if its biggest dicks (see: press conferences devoted entirely to asking Michigan coaches how they plan to defeat inevitably bad officiating).

hart
Besides, the guy who went 4/4 vs. MSU can talk all he wants.

That's because this thing is really for the mitten-staters: those who know what it means to be thrown into the back seat of the station wagon, to defend the middle seat arm rest, to decide who can put whose feet where, and fight to ensure the integrity of fart justice for five hours of pure Michigan hell.

Mercury Hayes, I feel you, man. That's a diary from a former MSU student who has maintained his Michigan fanhood despite four years and assorted change of East Lansinginity. There was another from ttifiblog (formerly Blue Seoul) that went into some of the stuff that'll get retread this weekend, like Narduzzi's quote, and MSU's fake mascot, and Gholston. Let's not leave out the great sin of shopping at non-campus outlets, because when 80% of a state's fans choose one local school over the other, it must mean rooting for a place you didn't graduate from isn't okay (somebody please inform the Ohioans).

I think this rivalry is done a disservice when glib reporters only focus on that time a 22-year-old made a 50-year-old analogy, and a 50-year-old was a total baby about it. Rivalries aren't just as base as hate; they're analogues for human relationships, with all of the sameness and quirks those have. In this case it's two brothers close enough in age to be competitive, and young enough to not have the maturity to appreciate each other.

The inferiority complex is bred out of inferiority; the smugness is bred out of superiority that most of us had little to do with earning. All shit talk is good and encouraged, so long as you remember nobody really believes any of it. Of course it's immature! Rivalries for athletes are motivation to excel; rivalries for sports fans are about finding an outlet for our primal child.

Speaking of primal children, k.o.k.Law and his daughter wrote a sort of how-to guide for raising your kid blue. Step 8: introduce to Hutchinson (I think that's Hutch?), Morris and Everett.

Weeklies. The FEI chart from dnak now includes past opponents. Suggestion: turn it 45 degrees: teams higher vertically are better, and left-right says whether it's the offense or defense doing the pulling:

feI

MSU is off the charts defensively and just under okay on offense, which puts them with Wisconsin and Ohio State among the conference elite. Michigan's about equal with Notre Dame and a clear 2nd tier in the Big Ten. When you look at this and realize State played Illinois instead of Penn State and Purdue instead of Ohio State you get a better appreciation for how vastly different our route to Indianapolis is than theirs.

Turnover Analysis says MSU puts the lie to the "turnovers are random" assertion: their safe offense and high-pressure defense put them far to the good despite recovering just 17% of their fumbles. Purdue remains an outlier of awfulness. MSU miniprogram should have included criminal records.

Etc. Bentley event the Friday night before Nebraska.

[JUMP!]

Comments

Guess the Score, Win Stuff: Acheron

Guess the Score, Win Stuff: Acheron Comment Count

Seth September 12th, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Guessthescore

Rubber capital of the world, this.

"Akron" is Greek for "pinnacle" or "high place" (I'll take the latter definition for $500, Alex). It is home to about 200,000 people who live there either for the cheap rubber or because Cleveland was just too nice. It is one of many mid-major schools—Bowling Green, Toledo, Miami (NNTM), Cincinnati, Kent State, and of course OHIO!—which make up the fabric of this nation's worst state.

How this works again:

  1. I put up a winnable prize that consists of a desirable good.
  2. You guess the final scores of this weekend's designated game (football or hoops, depending on the season), and put it in the comments like so:
    [Michigan Score]-[Opponent Score]. First person to post a particular score has it.
  3. If you got it right, we contact you. If not, go to (5)
  4. The desirable good arrives at the address you give us.
  5. Non-winners can acquire the same desirable good by trading currency for it.

This Week's Game:

Akron Zips versus the Michigan Wol's

And on the Line…

BTqFEEoCYAAg6Ar[1]

Model: Steve Everitt

Your AMERICAN APPAREL version of the Worst State Ever shirt. If you are Brady Hoke it comes with a Pet Viking. Don't fall for the knockoff versions that we're too lazy to sue; this is the original, on a 50/50 cotton and polyester blend to make it really soft.

BONUS GIVEAWAY:

At the Marlin & Friends event last week local realtor Tammi Ebenhoeh gave me tickets for six couples (one a little bent out of shape from being in my pocket) to tomorrow night's MEECHIGAN FOOTBALL PARTY in German Park.

IMG

For those who haven't been, it's a private combination tailgate/pep rally that gets up to about 2,000 people, with food and beer served out of the kitchen, and a band. Jon Falk is almost always there as well as several former players, and some of the guys from current teams might show up. A couple of years ago they had the Heisman trophy.

To win one, put your best rivalry joke in the comments below with your answer by 7pm tonight, at which time I'll judge my favorites based on my particular (not quite normal) sense of humor. Sample:

Q: Why did O.J. Simpson drive his White Bronco in the direction of East Lansing?

A: He knew it was the last place they'd look for a Heisman winner.

Winners will can pick their tickets tomorrow afternoon at the UGP store on 2248 S. Main Street (next to Buschs). Each ticket is good for 2 people. Don't bring the kids.

UPDATE: After much deliberation (I read them all then asked my dog which were his favorites) I have picked my five winners. Mostly they were the ones you couldn't just go down to Austin and hear about A&M etc.

  1. What do you call a Buckeye with low self esteem? A Spartan.
    -jsquigg
  2. What do you say to an Ohio State football player dressed in a three piece suit? Will the defendant please rise.
    -Martinnr
  3. Why did the chicken cross the Tobacco Road? To get to Duke.
    -victorsvaliant01
  4. Why did the chicken commit suicide? To get to the other side.
    -trueblueintexas
  5. What's the difference between a plastic flamingo and the MSU offense? One is ugly, stands in the grass, and is utterly useless. The other is a lawn ornament.
    -Feat of Clay

Winners should have emails in the account you used to sign up for MGoBlog.

If you can read this you don’t need glasses:

One entry per user. First user to choose a set of scores wins, determined by the timestamp of your entry (for my ease I prefer if you don't post it as a reply to another person's score--if you do it won't help or hurt you). If nobody gets the score, this week's prize carries over to the following week's. Deadline for entries is 24 hours before the start of the game (since I won't have time to pull them on gamedays). MGoEmployees and Moderators--anyone else with moderator privileges--are exempt from winning because you could change your timestamp. If you choose the score that Brian published in the official preview and it actually ends up the final score, well, that would be pretty amazing because Brian picks scores like 29-11 all the time. We did not invent the algorithm. The algorithm consistently finds Jesus. The algorithm killed Jeeves. The algorithm is just a regional rivalry. The algorithm is banned in China. The algorithm is from Jersey. The algorithm constantly finds Jesus. This is not the algorithm. This is close.

Comments

Shovel On A Little More Coal

Shovel On A Little More Coal Comment Count

Brian September 9th, 2013 at 12:14 PM

9/7/2013 – Michigan 41, Notre Dame 30 – 2-0

9698357482_87a42f84d2_b[1]

Eric Upchurch

The media trend of the last ten years is a demonstration of the power of hope. There are now three national networks covering recruiting, plus ESPN, plus a cottage industry of who-dat bloggers who get picked up by these national networks far faster than actual journalism majors get picked up by, you know, newspapers. (Michigan has no journalism major, which explains why you can't throw a rock at a sports editor without causing him to hire a Daily grad.) This site alone saw two guys snapped up and almost hired a third who was snapped up just a bit later. Meanwhile, newspapers continue to give us Drew Sharp and wonder why they're withering on the vine.

Here's all you need to know about recruiting sites: they can charge for content on the internet. Hope, man. Hope.

Because the next guy is always going to be The Guy. The Guy will rescue us from the purgatory of not being Alabama and deliver us unto glory. He may be a defensive back, or a running back, or a quarterback, or a defensive lineman. He is going to be Woodson or Adrian Peterson or Andrew Luck or Jadeveon Clowney—except Clowney's defense just got torched for 41 points and lost.

Jadeveon Clowney! Indisputably The Guy, and somehow still not. If Jadeveon Clowney can't be the guy, well… there's always the recruiting sites. It's college football. The next arrival is always just around the corner.

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

Devin Gardner turned in what I can confidently state is the worst play in the history of organized football—I have watched all of it from Pop Warner on up—and was still awesome Saturday night. Awesome. I do not mean this in the Spots-gave-me-extra-wings way. I mean this in the light-from-the-sky, tremble-at-the-power, bow-down-lest-we-all-perish kind of way. If I could use the words "yea" and "lo" genuinely, I would deploy them now. The numbers are amazing. The numbers do not do it justice.

Here's the thing about Notre Dame's defense: it's going to be just fine. Gardner ate plenty of defensive lineman Saturday, usually after delivering a perfectly-placed dart. Notre Dame blitzed him almost two-thirds of the time and got the one huge mistake and nothing else. Notre Dame defensive backs were, with rare exceptions, in position to make a play on anything other than a perfectly-placed ball. They could not make plays without committing pass interference, called or not, because Devin Gardner was spitting hot death all night long.

If you happen to rewatch that game you'll see did-that-just-happen surgical strikes even more impressive the second time around.

On third and goal from the 14, Drew Dileo screwed up his route. He ran next to Gallon, bringing a third defender into the area. Gardner fired a ball in between all three guys that hit Gallon in the hands instead of the chest because KeiVarae Russell was riding him like a horse. Earlier in the drive he'd tossed up that back-shoulder throw that he might have been attempting against Central Michigan when he got hit, and Gallon plucked it out of the air. Russell was there. He just couldn't do anything about it.

By the fourth quarter, Gardner and Gallon had become so proficient at the back shoulder fade that Notre Dame was actually sitting on it, which I have never seen before. There were a lot of things last night that I haven't seen before in a winged helmet, that have traditionally been the province of passing specialists like Texas Tech. They tried to man up Crab, once, and Texas Tech beat the #1 team in the country without a running game or defense. Michigan has at least one of those.

In the aftermath, Michael Crabtree looked a lot like you did at some point last night:

11r58iv[1]

IS THIS REAL LIFE

Oh and Gardner led the team in rushing at 7.5 yards an attempt. He might be The Guy. Gardner hinted at this kind of thing over the last six games, and now he has delivered. You could feel it coming, maybe, but Michigan just graduated a guy who was The Guy, like Jadeveon Clowney is, and could not get over the hump, like Clowney. Even in the world where talent comes through it doesn't always end up steamrolling the opposition.

Devin Gardner just left Notre Dame a two-dimensional smudge in the rear view mirror, and now it's downhill for a while. Shovel on a little more coal, and let's watch old 98 roll.

Highlights

Parkinggod has the Michigan stuff:

And Notre Dame has some things that Notre Dame did right:

Pressers are available from Maize and Blue News.

Gardner thing from Gameday:

Also a lady got hit real hard.

Awards

brady-hoke-epic-double-point_thumb_3_thumb

Brady Hoke Epic Double Point Of The Week. How does a guy who threw four touchdowns at nearly 10 YPA and ran for 90 additional yards split this award? Well, to get the award by himself he has to be a separate entity from guy who caught eight of his passes for 184 yards. This does not appear to be the case. DevinJeremy GardnerGallon, come on down.

Honorable Mention. Thomas Gordon and Jarrod Wilson (invisible all game in a good way), Drew Dileo (THROW IT TO DILEO), Brendan Gibbons (your record-holder for kicking consistency /2009 version of your head explodes), Blake Countess (drifted off his man for critical INT), Brian Kelly (thanks for not running the ball).

SPECIAL NEW RULE. Doubling points from this game because I can.

Epic Double Point Standings.

1.0: Devin Gardner (ND), Jeremy Gallon (ND)
0.5: Cam Gordon (CMU), Brennen Beyer (CMU)

Brady Hoke Epic Double Fist-Pump Of The Week. Since it featured Borges screwing with ND, an NFL dart from Gardner, a crazy spin move from Gallon, and Chesson The Destroyer reveling in the blood of the fallen, this is an easy pick:

Honorable mention: Countess's game-changing interception, Jeremy Jackson catching a long handoff for seven yards because ND is playing in the parking lot against Jeremy Jackson for some reason, Fitz Toussaint using a tackle attempt as an awesome juke to dart 20 yards when Michigan really needed something, either of Gardner's perfect back-shoulder throws to Gallon, Gardner nailing Gallon 40 yards downfield, and Gardner taking off on a zone read so open you'd think Stephen Threet was running it.

Epic Double Fist-Pumps Past.

8/31/2013: Dymonte Thomas introduces himself by blocking a punt.
9/7/2013: Jeremy Gallon spins through four Notre Dame defenders for a 61-yard touchdown.

[After THE JUMP: offense, defense, and everything in-between. Plus incredible chicken gif!]

Comments

One Frame At A Time: Notre Dame Past

One Frame At A Time: Notre Dame Past Comment Count

Ace September 7th, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Hey, Butch Woolfolk, are you excited for the game tonight?

Agreed, Butch. How do you feel about it being the last Michigan-Notre Dame home game for the foreseeable future?

We're on the same wavelength, Butch.

[If you're wondering "why?" those are from the intros to the '81 ND game. For many more GIFs from Notre Dame games of the past, hit THE JUMP.]

Comments

Unverified Voracity Has A Lot Of Video

Unverified Voracity Has A Lot Of Video Comment Count

Brian August 1st, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Countdown to Kickoff exists again. Talkin' with Devin Gardner:

Countdown to Kickoff 2013: Day 30 - Devin Gardner by mgovide

So that explains that. If you were wondering why Michigan's option plays weren't actual option plays the last couple years, well, yeah:

“We did it [the Wildcat] in OTAs and a couple of times he ran the ball and fumbled the ball and he didn’t know how to pitch," Bradley said, according to the Register.

The one time he did try to pitch on a speed option was when he got lit up in the backfield, and that was a fumble.

Oklahoma State was not always good. Wolverine Historian presents the 1992 non-classic:

Gardner on Darboh. I think both of last year's wide receivers are on pace to work out, and Darboh is ahead of the curve:

"He's just a great athlete," Gardner said of the wideout. "He's strong, he's fast, he catches the ball well. He's pretty much everything you could ever want in a receiver."

Gardner compares Darboh to Junior Hemingway, but fast. No, seriously:

"He goes up and gets the ball just like Junior. And he runs fast."

I'll take it.

O'Bannon-related victory. I thought Sam Keller's lawsuit had been folded into the O'Bannon suit, but apparently not. They've just won at the appellate level:

By a 2-1 vote, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said EA's use of the athletes' likenesses in its NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball games did not deserve protection as free expression under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

EA is disappointed that free speech doesn't cover important things like college football videogames using the representations of people without mentioning it to them, and plans to appeal, for all the good that will do.

They'll have to name him Lack Of Seat Cushions. Sorry, those are the probably fictional, possibly offensive stereotypical Native American rules:

I don't make the probably fictional, possibly offensive stereotypical Native American rules. I just enforce 'em, lady.

Jordan Paskorz: I'm not dead yet! Michigan could use some tight end depth with veteran Mike Kwiatkowski departed, and Jake Bu—MAH GAWD THAT'S JORDAN PASKORZ'S MUSIC, AT LEAST I THINK IT IS BECAUSE I'M NOT SURE HE EVEN HAD SOME:

[Paskorz's] career has since been derailed by seemingly interminable instability.

But that's about to change, as he enters his second season at tight end and seems to have fought his way into the rotation as a blocking specialist. …

"What I like is, we settled him into that position and I think he can be a guy who gives us a little more on-the-line-of-scrimmage movement. That’s exciting."

At 6'3", 251, he is about the right size to be more of a pusher at TE. AJ Williams is a guy Michigan will ask to fill that role as well, but he needs a lot of technique work to get there. We'll see if the talk translates into playing time.

When do I get to be on a bulletin board? Because if Steve Everitt's lighthearted jab at Kirk Cousins qualifies

locker-room-1-1024x768[1]

…surely I can come up with something vile enough to get up there despite not being a viking. Hey, Spartans! You smell! Bad!

I'll work on it.

In related news, Dave Brandon once again reiterated that he doesn't want a night game in the series. This is correct. I hope the real reason is wanting to tweak MSU by playing anyone but them at night, but I'll take "don't want a bunch of East Lansing people drunj" after the Gathering of the Juggalos that was two years ago.

Speaking of. UTL II Hype Video:

Glenn Robinson: now he can jump. Yeah, now:

image

His vertical is up four inches to 12'3".

Etc.: Introducing Dr. Gay Hitler, who was of course from… Ohio, and the son of George Hitler, and a dentist.

Here is a class of 1927(!) alum talking bout her days on campus. Oregon has some money. People don't like dynamic pricing, except for that one guy on facebook who hasn't been to a game since 1982 but likes being a prick to people on the internet. Bill Connolly previews Ohio State. Lewan talks Gholston punch.

Comments

Unverified Voracity Gonna Rage Some Cajuns

Unverified Voracity Gonna Rage Some Cajuns Comment Count

Brian May 20th, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Best ever. Wolverine Historian assembles 15 minutes of Keith Jackson clips, and it's as glorious as you'd think.

"my spine is still tingling" -Ace

WH's magnum opus? To date.

Get the brooms. Congrats to the softball team, which swept through their regional in three straight games. Michigan opened the weekend with a 5-0 shutout of Valpo, did the exact same thing to Cal the next day, and took out the Bears again to close out their 16th regional title.

Michigan gets Louisiana-Lafayette this weekend at Alumni for the right to go to the WCWS after the Ragin' Cajuns upset LSU. Michigan beat ULL earlier this season in Florida 3-1. That was ace vs ace as Driesenga faced off against ULL's Jordan Wallace, who was 31-7 this season with a 1.73 ERA and four Ks to every walk issued. A two run Ashley Lane homer was the difference.

ULL proceeded to stomp through the Sun Belt before falling into the elimination bracket early in their conference tourney; though they pushed through and took WKU to a winner-take-all final they could not get the job done in that. That didn't seem to affect them, as they also swept through their regional without giving up so much as a run.

Michigan should be favored, I'd guess.

Notable things said during the takeover. WTKA's annual Mott Takeover was Friday and raised almost 100k for the eponymous children's hospital. It also was an opportunity for people to say notable things on the radio. The reddest of the red meat came from Steve Everitt. Brady Hoke's pet viking took the opportunity to blast Kirk Cousins for something innocuous he said two years ago and dump on "Notre Shame," no doubt causing a tweed-jacketed Notre Dame alum driving through town to bite down so hard on his pipe that it cracked. Meat for the meat god!

In news-ish substances, Roy Manning reiterated that Jake Ryan was on track for a midseason recovery and talked up his potential replacements. On Beyer:

"He's done a great job, he really has," Manning said of Beyer. "The transition was seamless for him. He did the things that made him successful in the past. That kid really is a sharp kid. Probably one of the hardest working kids -- I think most people on the team -- hardest working kids on the entire team."

Curt Mallory noted that statements around here that nickel is really a 12th starting spot are neither balderdash nor horsehockey:

“He got the majority of the reps at the nickel back,” Mallory said of Thomas on Friday during the Mott Takeover on WTKA-AM (1050). “That position has been played in the past by not only Courtney, but also Thomas Gordon. That really is a position that’s a starting position. Our first year, I believe Courtney played 400-some snaps at that position alone.

"(Thomas is) going to be a contributor -- we’re expecting him to be a major contributor, more so at the nickel back position and we’ll see where he goes from there.”

Also, yeah, Thomas has already locked down a starting job. Borges talked up Kyle Kalis and did vaguely imply that Glasgow had a slight edge for the LG job:

"The depth chart is still in pencil there, but one guy who took the next step was Kyle Kalis," Borges said. "When he came in, he was just not ready to play yet. It was overwhelming from the systematic perspective. Not so much physically. Kyle from the first day to the last day (of spring practice) really improved his game. He's a powerful kid who can run-block and is learning the techniques better in the passing game.

"And Jack Miller, our center, did a really nice job. He's in a competitive battle with Graham Glasgow, but he kind of answered the call, so I think he's going to be a factor. Left guard, Graham Glasgow, will be part of the mix there, coupled with Ben Braden, who's as talented a lineman as we have."

Chances Michigan brings in a transfer QB are dim, so it's on Shane Morris and the other guys coaching him up:

"You can't coach him -- that's your problem, is you can't coach him," offensive coordinator Al Borges said last week. "But our kids can coach him. So if he goes out there in some offseason workouts, there's no rule against Devin Gardner showing Shane Morris what to do.

"He'll have to get it through osmosis a little bit."

This is kind of a strange thing, to think a Cass Tech player is underrated. If you'd like some confirmation that Delano Hill is pretty dang fast, he ran a 10.8 100 meter at state regionals a few days ago while also anchoring Cass's 4x100m and 4x200m relays, both of which finished first.

That is not quite Denard's 10.44 from his high school days, but it's not bad for a guy who's nearly 200 pounds and is likely to play safety. Add it to the pile of reasons to think the guy is being sold a little short.

The other ball and stick game. Baseball squeezed into the Big Ten tournament as the sixth seed, not a bad accomplishment for Erik Bakich's first year. Michigan takes on Nebraska at 3:30 Wednesday (BTN) just a few days after taking two of three from the Huskers to close out the regular season.

After all, what can go wrong with drafting a touted point guard out of your home state? In news not at all likely to make me start watching the Pistons regularly for the first time since they traded Chauncey Billups—which still kills me, I mean broke-ass inefficient Allen Iverson cumong man—the Pistons have not even talked to Trey Burke:

Later Thursday, Burke is slated for at least six more interviews with pro squads.

Does he have one with the Detroit Pistons?

"No, I don't," Burke said Thursday. "I was actually surprised. But talking to my father (and agent, Benji Burke), he said some teams do that just to not let other teams know that they're interested (in a player).

"I don't know. I don't think they're going to bring me in for an interview."

Burke measured at 6'1" at the combine, which is a couple inches taller than I thought he would. That further bolsters his case to go near the top of the draft, so the Pistons potential lack of interest is likely moot anyway. Instead, Joe Dumars will pick the guy with the fewest eyebrows.

Etc.: home video of Michigan folks stopping in at Mott. Peyton Siva tells Burke the best block ever was in fact a block and not a foul. Jeff Withey changes his tune on Mitch McGary. Michigan won't break its Adidas contract. Well… yeah.

Comments

Dear Diary from A to Z

Dear Diary from A to Z Comment Count

Seth April 26th, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Just a few more days to get in on the pre-sale of HTTV and the now-happening Hail to Hoops and Hockey and the Victors and Michigan Wooo. (working title). A lot of you held off on the second book until you were sure it was gonna get made—head over there --> and you can change your contribution to get in on the pre-sale. It'll cost about $18.50 total to get it mailed after the kickstarter.

Former Michigan football player Steve Everitt talks on the radio at the M-Den during the WTKA Mott Takeover fundraising event.  Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.com

Filed under 'V' for 'Viking'

It's the week after the Spring Game, so the OT rules have been lifted on the board and the diaries have kinda fallen back into meta things and wallpapers (jonvalk's) mostly. Everyone can pick their favorite distraction between hedging on MSC's replacement, dickering around with MGoPoints, or bringing music to Brazilians.

My distraction was this thread put up by OHbornUMfan trying to make an alphabetical Michigan Football rhyming book. I got carried away:

A is for the Andersons, who called each other "bro." Kurt played center in aught-one, and Erick starred for Mo.

B is for the Brackinses, the Vols can have them back. No matter how you spell the name the player is all-MAC.*

C should be for Carter, or Lloyd or Chappuis. But it goes to Carson and Criswell, to make their coach happy.

D it stands for Duffys, the brothers from Team 7. John played "keeper", Iggy "full", and James on Team 11. (As a 7th year senior)Yeah, this is where I belong

E we know for Edwards, of the singular jersey num--. The father he, played in Rose Bowls: three, victorious in 1.

F we'll have a falling out if ever you should say, a greater QB ever played than Friedman in his day.

G is for Glenn Edward, a name you'd never know. For though he was our greatest man, we've always called him "Bo."

H we have for Hammersteins behind the scrimmage line. Mark there saving Harbaugh's ass, and Mike there curving spines.

…and here a second honoree I simply must propose: for 'Hello-Heisman' Desmond Howard, he of that famous pose.

…and GAWD YOU GUYS I KNOW we'll never get to I. But cumong: Henne, Hart and Hutchinson, and that Willie Heston guy!

I is Jarrett Irons, from Woodland, Texas came. With he and Steele and Swett and Sword we won with just our names.

J could be a Johnson, or Jones: we've had our share. But here I'll take a Jackson, the one at corner not on air. (Marlin/Keith)

K is for Ron Kramer, and "end" he's called in song. "That guy who can do everything" I guess was just too long.

and let's salute the Kolesars from Bob of Seven Oaks.* There's Bill the tackle and his son John, who caught that Harbaugh post.†

L to launch an LT's name shall never lead you wrong. Exempli gratias IMG_1668are Jake, and of course his clone, Lewan.

M is written wide in block and on the seal again. It kicks off Messner, Mandich, Molk, but always Michigan.

N is Harry Newman remember when I said, that we'll have words if Friedman falls; we'll have to start that thread.

O is Obi Ezeh—almost had you there, again! It stands for Bennie Oosterbaan, three-time All-American.

P is Mr. President, also known as Gerald Ford. Before the Constitution, he defended Willis Ward.

Q Shit this one's hard: maybe go with Quinton Washington? Well yeah, if our line stands up this year, he goes right with the rest of them!

R we save for Robinson, don't make me tell you why.

And S is for his massive smile; that's how much we love that guy!

T is for Terrific Tom, the best you'll ever see. Harmon starts with 'H' it's true, but Touchdown's spelled with 'T'.

U is for "unmitigated", forever paired with "gall", since Ufer first applied them to Ohio State that fall.

V is "Van", that's Dutch for "from" or "white guy who plays D." We've had our share but the best from there of course was RVB.

…it also stands for "Viking," comma, "pet of Brady Hoke." Another name for Everitt, a scary looking bloke.

W I leave to you say reverentially. He had a better year than Peyton, evidentially.

X is that one empty seat, for what is writ upon it. Each year we save a bench for Fritz and the wings upon our bonnet.

Y can only be one guy unless you are insane. He built this program and its house; the barn now bears his name.

Z took time to get to, the reason that that is: Zoltan Mesko punted it in two thousand and six.

Notes & Errata:

*I had classes with both brothers—I'm the year between them in age—and they're both incredibly nice guys I enjoy giving crap to. I didn't know Tim Brackens; he's an innocent victim.

** The 1942 line was called the "Seven Oaks Post."

† …in 1985 to beat Ohio State.

Rules are keep the rhyming scheme. I give myself diarist of the week because apparently M-Wolverine is catching up to me.

Your moment of zen:

WH

Comments

Unverified Voracity Gets Plunked

Unverified Voracity Gets Plunked Comment Count

Brian May 21st, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Brady Hoke's Pet Viking mgoshirt? Yes, at the WTKA Mott Takeover.

Former Michigan football player Steve Everitt talks on the radio at the M-Den during the WTKA Mott Takeover fundraising event.  Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.com

be like Steve Everitt without killing a moose with your bare hands

Steve Everitt forever.

Also, Everitt described bounties surfacing during his long NFL career.

Super-regional ho. Congratulations to the softball team, which dramatically came from behind in their tournament opener, then shut the door on top seed Louisville to win their first road regional in a long, long time. The dramatic finisher in Michigan's second consecutive walk-off win… a hit by pitch. The win that finished the weekend off was a more comfortable 4-0 affair.

They'll initiate what appears to be a series of Michigan-Alabama bragging rights contests in a super-regional in Tuscaloosa next weekend. Winner hits the WCWS.

Yes. Do you believe in improbable sporting outcomes. Go. Go. USA. Pam Ward, deadener of Big Ten noon games since time began, is no longer doing college football on ESPN. This will result in marginal improvement, and probably fewer nasty comments about injured players.

Since ESPN started shoehorning Beth Mowins into college football games she didn't seem to know much about last year, the emphasis is on marginal. Insanely fun things were happening in the Northwestern-Illinois game last year and she busted out "it's a Persa party in Champaign!" I'm pretty sure this is not plain ol' misogyny and I have good reason to think both of the female announcers put on Big Ten games are not so good.

He's pretty fast. That would be Jehu Chesson, the lanky 6'3" wide receiver from Missouri who signed in February. The main knock on Chesson was his speed, something his recent track exploits are bringing into question. Chesson won the 300M hurdles (37.73), 110M hurdles (14.55), and 100M dash (10.79) at his sectionals. As mentioned, he also wears cool sunglasses doing this.

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According to the recruiting rankings, Michigan hasn't done as well at wide receiver as they have at just about every other spot on the field, but I wouldn't be surprised if that was not a problem during the careers of Chesson and Amarah Darboh.

Yes, do it. The plausible deniability that saw Butch Davis emerge from the UNC NCAA scandal without a show-cause penalty despite the fact that one of his assistant coaches was operating as a runner for an agent may go away in the near future:

Under the current NCAA bylaw, a head coach is "presumed" to have knowledge of what is occurring in his program and "can be responsible" for the actions of his assistants.

The proposed change would do away with presumption. It would make the head coach responsible for his assistants' actions regardless of his knowledge of them. The penalties would range from 5 to 100 percent of competition in a season.

The NCAA included in the discussion material some examples of behavior for which a head coach would be held accountable, such as in-person, off-campus contacts with a recruit during a dead period, providing team gear to a recruit, or multiple phone calls or contacts when they are not allowed.

This is part of a larger overhaul mentioned a few months ago in this space that could see penalties become predictable and massive, but right now that's a long, long way from becoming reality. It's in the "special committee" stage—ie, a spitballing group throwing stuff at the wall without considering how feasible passing it is.

Not enough data, so everyone makes big. Ex-NFL players are dying at a rate half that of the general population after they retire and are 59 percent less likely to commit suicide. May want to slow down on the concussion panic. Small sample size disclaimers apply to that study, but they apply just as much to the panic side of the equation:

We don't need the CDC numbers to tell us that the national debate over head trauma and suicide has long since outpaced the scientific evidence. Just a handful of cases so far support the notion that repeated head injuries (concussive or otherwise) can lead to drug abuse, aggression, and self-harm. No one knows the baseline rate of chronic traumatic encephalopathy among athletes, let alone the general population. No one knows whether the pathological signs of CTE—microscopic spots in the brain, found after death—relate to behavioral symptoms like dementia and depression. And no one can explain how repeated knocks to the head might produce CTE, or how CTE might produce suicidal thoughts. Yet in spite of our near-total ignorance, a moral panic has taken hold: Elaborate explanations are concocted when simple ones will do. Faced with the regrettable facts—a troubled man dies a lonely death—we resort to hocus-pocus theorizing about tau proteins and fibrillary tangles. It's a form of denial: By obsessing over hidden trauma, we ignore what's right in front of us. Many ex-NFL players have sad and difficult lives.

The concern over concussions is taking the usual route of a moral panic, where some stuff happens and some tenuous data connects things to stuff so things are condemned because stuff is bad. Then some more people look at other data and say things might not be that connected to stuff after all, and everyone moves on to the next thing. See: alar, fat people, etc. This is the phase where the noise overtakes the signal and Something Is Done that may or may not affect a problem that may or may not exist.

BONUS: ex-NFL players are really good at not getting tuberculosis.

We have a second challenger. Patrick Vint of Black Heart Gold Pants takes a swing at defending the Big Ten's retreat from home playoff sites. The argument boils down to "remember the last time we all taunted Jim Delany?"

Everything Jim Delany has done as commissioner of the Big Ten -- especially since the summer of 2007 -- has been in pursuit of long-term advantage to the conference as a whole, and its individual teams only by way of that. The Big Ten Network was supposed to be a money-losing catastrophe that nobody would watch and even fewer would pay to see. After a year and a half of publicly negotiating/ridiculing/screaming at Comcast and Mediacom, Delany had transformed it into a massive cash cow, making the Big Ten schools richer than those in the SEC, the Big 12, the Pac-10, and every other conference. When the SEC responded by signing a big new TV deal with ESPN, it still didn't make the Southern schools as much money as their Northern rivals.

Delany used his newfound financial leverage, and a not-so-subtle call for expanding the conference, to bring the biggest collegiate sports programs in the country to his door. He damn near disemboweled the Big 12 in the process, causing an insurrection that fired Dan Beebe and landed Nebraska within his conference's ranks, all while we were all losing our minds over Rutgers and Pitt. When the Nebraska regents voted unanimously to cut ties with 100 years of tradition because the financial pull of Big Ten membership was too great to deny, Delany was there, emerging from behind the curtain and shaking hands with Osborne and Perlman like Hollywood Hogan joining the Outsiders. A year later, Delany's SEC rival was picking up Big Ten reject Missouri to fill out his own expansion process, an expansion that made his conference exactly zero more dollars and done solely because the Big Ten had done it first.

It's a good point. Vint also notes that the difference here is four Big Ten home games since the inception of the BCS, which is not a big huge deal.

Where he loses me is with the assertion that the Big 12-SEC Never Happening Bowl is the revelation of the master plan:

Delany gave up on four home games in fourteen years, but what he got was hard to understand -- we already had the Rose Bowl, after all -- until the SEC and Big 12 announced their own end-of-season bowl game Friday. With that, Delany's plan became evident. With the conferences poised to create a four-team tournament (as Delany and his athletic directors repeatedly stated this week, the four-team maximum is a deal-breaker) within the confines of the bowl system, Delany, Slive, Larry Scott, and whoever's running the Big 12 now, as heads of the four premiere football conferences, had just effectively locked themselves into the final four. More importantly, Delany had locked out the ACC and Big East (and Notre Dame, for that matter), the other two BCS bowl games, and the distinct possibility of two teams from the same conference making the tournament. There will be four champions in the playoffs, and with the two semifinal bowls effectively set as the Rose and (presumably) SEC-Big 12 Sugar, Delany has ensured that a Big Ten champ will be one of them. That's fourteen spots in fourteen years, with none of them in an opponent's stadium (unless UCLA makes it to the Rose Bowl) (LOL).

Um. The Big 12-SEC game is specifically around in the event that the champions of those conferences aren't in the playoff. There is no bracketed final four that cuts out the ACC or Big East. So… what we're left with is the Big Ten giving up the idea because the… because it's… because the Rose Bowl. There is no way the BCS cuts out smaller conferences, because they'll get sued. Virginia Tech, Miami, and Florida State? Forget it. Notre Dame, if Notre Dame is ever relevant again? Come on.

Protecting the Rose Bowl at all costs is just another example of why the Big Ten finds itself where it is relative to other conferences: richer, but unable to leverage that wealth into on-field success.

Etc.: Get the Picture notes that the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit survived a motion to dismiss and seemingly got some support from the judge for the larger trial in the process. Expect more Gardner this fall. Other Big Ten ADs think playing at home is a good idea. Rob Bolden may finally be exiting Penn State.

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Let's Overreact To: Spring Scrimmage #2

Let's Overreact To: Spring Scrimmage #2 Comment Count

Brian April 2nd, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Via MGoVideo:

The king of tight camera angles was really feeling it this time around, so we don't get a whole lot of detail, but it's April. Events are not thick on the ground.

Play 1: Denard fires a TE out to Brandon Moore, immediate tackle by Kenny Demens and Jake Ryan. Ricardo Miller comes into the frame late: 2TE set from the shotgun, or Miller's splitting his time between TE and WR.

Play 2: What looks like an inside zone from the shotgun breaks big. Ryan is coming around the backside and gets butt-blocked by Lewan, and that's all she wrote. Where is the SDE?

Play 3: Similar but Toussaint hits his gap closer to the frontside between Omameh and Barnum. Black gets handled one-on-one by Barnum and Toussaint jukes a filling safety I can't identify to dance into the endzone. I think that was probably Marvin Robinson since he was not a white guy and Gordon comes into the frame at the end of the play. Bolden and Talbott are also in with what seems like the first unit.

Play 4: Denard zips a deep slant just over the outstretched hand of Brennen Beyer that Jeremy Gallon snags impressively:

image

That's Countess to the left. He's concentrating on the interception instead of the tackle and gives up a bunch of YAC as a result.

Play 5: Marvin Robinson clubs a quick TE out for little gain. Second unit there: Ringer and Mike Jones are on the field.

Play 6: More 2-on-2s action as an inside zone to Rawls is well defended on the front side; Rawls cuts back behind Quinton Washington for a big gain. Washington is a three-tech next to NT Ash, so it's not really his fault. Where is the WDE?

Play 7: Denard under center. Iso handoff to Toussaint goes nowhere as Ryan makes a nice play. Campbell beat Barnum and forced Toussaint behind the A-gap where Hopkins was leading into; Morgan thumped the FB at the LOS. Bolden now running with the first team. probably because this is after Demens did this:

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He took the opportunity to claim he'd be out for the season as an April Fools joke before revising that down to a few weeks and then a couple days.

Play 8: Vincent Smith power from under center goes nowhere. Bolden ends up tackling near the LOS. He does not bring his feet, causing someone to cry out "bring your feet!"

Play 9: Gardner launches a deep fly to Gallon; Countess is all over it, knocking it away.

Play 10: Under center power is pretty much stuffed until Ryan can't quite make a tackle on Toussaint as he breaks outside containment. He did a good enough job of stringing him out and slowing him down that Countess and other members can rally and hold it down. Michigan still can't run power from under center.

It is possible that Toussaint had a decent gain if he slammed it up in the hole.

Play 11: Denard sits in the pocket, getting no pressure, then runs around being all fast and stuff.

Play 12: Gardner waggle does not meet pressure on the edge. Gardner lofts a nice touch pass over Frank Clark to walk-on former DE Chris Eddins.

Interlude: Man, is Elliot Mealer's forehead red.

image

Also he has a great mountain man beard going on. Some potential here for Mealer to be Mike Hart's Pet Viking down the road.

Play 13: Another under center run should be consumed until Toussaint makes it into a decent gain. Toussaint has to dodge Beyer in the backfield. Campbell is stunting behind this and overruns the play a little bit; he's got help to the frontside and lets Fitz behind him. He gets enough of Toussaint to put him to the ground but not before the play gets six or seven.

Play 14: Denard hangs in the pocket and zings it to Gallon; ball is well behind him and Gallon has to make a moderately difficult catch. I don't think this is that bad of a throw—at the coaches' clinic Borges said he wants his QBs to hold the receiver up when throwing against zone, which this is. He doesn't want the QB to lead the WR into a defender. So this is somewhat intentional.

Talbott still out there with the first team.

Play 15: Another TE out, this one from Gardner to Jordan Paskorz and a bit deeper. Jarrod Wilson appears for the first time.

Play 16: Denard zings a TE in to Moore for a first down. Gordon tackles.

Play 17: Taylor Lewan blocks Ryan. We don't see the ball.

Play 18: Unidentifiable leaping guy (probably Ryan or Beyer) dissuades Denard from throwing the throwback screen. Instead he takes off and is fast and stuff.

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

Any takeaways here? It feels like the offensive line depth chart is approaching ink: Barnum has won the center job and Mealer is the guy at left guard. We haven't seen a snap that would suggest otherwise yet. Things can change when the cavalry arrives in fall; for now it looks like the veterans have the edge.

There are a lot of plays featuring tight ends, which is kind of odd since everyone's claiming their tight ends are a major issue and won't feature much during the year. Eddins, Moore, and Paskorz all feature. This may be the Johnny Sears move where you promote the weakest link on the team in an effort to keep spirits buoyed.

Other bits: Bolden passed Mike Jones the minute he showed up. Terrence Talbott could be a viable option at corner and may be pressing for some time. Also he has six arms and an FTL drive. /BOOM FredJackson'd. Campbell isn't getting blown up by Barnum. They've got some edge issues. Big ones, issues where you wonder if they weren't playing with ten guys on the field.

Denard is fast. Their under center running game is still poor. Jeremy Gallon is making some nice downfield catches, and Toussaint is on another level from Rawls and Smith. You can see the difference immediately in these tight-frame closeups.

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Dear Diary, Let's Do It Again Sometime

Dear Diary, Let's Do It Again Sometime Comment Count

Seth December 2nd, 2011 at 11:47 AM

MAGIC

Eric Upchurch (original)

So that's what beating Ohio State feels like, in case you forgot or something. Apparently it involves lots of hugging, and not the cool Ace-meets-Stranger DAP hug kind. I'm talking about the the kind where you grab on like you're sharing a parachute and then hop up and down a few times to simulate a freefall, because you're not entirely sure gravity really applies right now and you should really find that out.

It was the counter clock, but also that they spent the last 10 years spitting in the face of the NCAA (discussion by michelin) and this completely worked for them because in college football winning makes you saints and angels (MGauxBleu) bildeand if you do get caught it's okay because you can just fire accept the resignation of that coach and bring in a savior (SixZero). There was only one thing we could do in return: beat them at football.

That was pretty awesome. Also awesome: Denard Robinson:

So all Denard did was go out and play one of the single greatest games this rivalry has seen. Commanding an offense that heretofore this rivalry had maybe never seen. Beating back the undeservedly arrogant and smug naysayers, who for so long had relished his and his team's failures. This Saturday was not theirs. This Saturday was Denard's.

That's an afterglow diary from My name … is Tim. (Aftergloat from THE_KNOWLEDGE is here).

Airvipermb looked into Robinson's passing stats for this year and found steady improvement. And bwgrudt1484 put Denard's career numbers against M's career leaders. Robinson needs to average about 351 yards and 4 TDs per game the rest of his career to best Henne (unlikely) but 131 yards and 1.5 TDs be our best rusher ever. This is the first time I believe I've seen "Tacopants" referenced as a last name, kind of like how MaGuyver's first name finally came out in his 7th (and final) season. Both of those links are quick reads and worth it.

Not as worth it: the new hockeybear:

In the deep, frozen reaches of space there is a hockey puck. This puck electrifies and floats into the deleted hockey scene from A Scanner Darkly. Meanwhile a polar bear puts on a glove and transforms into a Power Ranger. Summoning his hockey stick from the ice planet of Hoth, Hockeybear stands atop the hockey puck, roars, electrifies, and cuts to a Science Channel special on volcanoes. Its most redeeming feature is the summoned hockey stick destroying the International Space Station while en route to Hockeybear, which (the destroying) is either the sole remaining nod to Hockeybear's ship-, world-, and Michigan's rivals-annihilating ways, or an important public service message about collateral damage when summoning objects through space (Voltron, Silverhawks et al. take heed!).

Michigan makes its final CCHA trip to Alaska-Fairbanks this weekend. Preview? Yesman2221 has you covered.

In etc. Eye of the Tiger examines the SEC Myth for cracks. See if you can guess which two of these three outstanding names are 2013 recruits that Ace interviewed:

Logan Tuley-TillmanLadynasty GaletteJake Butt

And this link is 100% OT but did anyone else with a "Kovacs, Michigan" Google Alert feed accidentally end up reading the most Daily article ever this week?

Jump, weeklies, best of the board.

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