This Is Minnesota

This Is Minnesota

Submitted by Brian on November 2nd, 2015 at 12:29 PM

10/31/2015 – Michigan 29, Minnesota 26 – 6-2, 3-1 Big Ten

22037519403_221f09013a_z

[Patrick Barron]

ONE. We've got a radio show now so I've been listening to sports talk radio even when Sam and Ira aren't on. I do it to compare and maybe get better and maybe draw confidence from the fact that a lot of sports talk radio is outrageously bad. The parts that aren't are often outrageously robotic. WTKA has a bunch of NFL stuff now that they switched to CBS, and it's on when I go to and from our podcast on Sunday; sometimes I catch it on a Thursday.

Tom Brady was on. Jim Gray actually asked him a lot of pointed questions about the upcoming game against the Colts and whether he had a desire to rain unholy fire upon those bastards. Brady responded with the passion of an accountant. I would chalk this up to Brady's flat affect, but I've seen player after player descend into this anodyne non-existence. This is a a league that spent most of the offseason discussing the Ideal Gas Law, after all—even if they didn't know they were doing so. It's just a thing. Colleges teach it but it doesn't take all the way. The NFL perfects it, along with the slant.

TWO. Minnesota has not been good for literally 50 years. Their blips to the positive aren't even Illinois blips. Every decade Illinois will show up in a BCS-level game; the Minnesota coach with the best winning percentage since 1944 is one Glen Mason, who the Gophers fired so they could hire Tim Brewster.

THREE. In 2005 I was pretty mad after a weird game where the Michigan Stadium scoreboards fritzed out and Jim Herrmann called a blitz on which Prescott Burgess, a 230-pound linebacker, was tasked with two-gapping a 270-pound monster TE. When I get mad I tend to be mad about everything, but when Lawrence Maroney rushed out to midfield and planted the biggest damn Minnesota flag in existence I was just like "yeah, go ahead, you earned that."

Sixty-plus Gopher players stormed across that field to reclaim the Jug without considering decorum, sanity, or sportsmanship. Michigan had just lost a game mostly because they called a blitz so telegraphed that a petrified backup QB could check them into a 50-yard run and I had enough non-hate in my heart to genuinely enjoy the fervor with which the Gophers reclaimed Fielding Yost's 30-cent chunk of crockery.

FOUR. Last year the Little Brown Jug went on a tour of the state of Minnesota.

ows_141230567263837[1]

This was a good idea.

FIVE. Jerry Kill retired last week because he could no longer control the seizures his cancer had bestowed upon him. Jerry Kill talks like a NASCAR driver. He comes by his coachspeak honestly, and when Tracy Claeys was again thrust into a role he probably never thought he'd be in—Kill tends to buy and hold assistants until the end of time—he sounded 100% like Jerry Kill.

It was awkward. It was stilted. It was genuine as hell. He told his kids not to play with emotion because emotion evaporates but to play with passion because passion sticks and I was just like YOU MAY BE SAYING THIS LIKE TOM BRADY SAYS THINGS BUT I KNOW THAT FEEL.

SIX. Junior Hemingway, just shouting and weeping after the Sugar Bowl.

SEVEN. Jerry Kill.

EIGHT. Michigan won a football game that often doubled as an exercise in hilarious improbability. Michigan gave up a 52-yard touchdown after Jeremy Clark executed the platonic ideal of coverage against a corner route. With 19 seconds left in a football game, Minnesota spent 17 seconds on a series of elaborate motions on first and goal from the half-yard line.

Football is weird and terrible and sometimes it gets you to within a half-yard of a cathartic, wonderful victory and then says "nah." Sometimes when you're 2-and-a-billion after always being good your walk-on QB dials up a bunch of incredible throws and you go grab the Little Brown Jug with a newfound respect for its importance. Football, above all, is cruel.

NINE. If you are a Minnesota fan on a bitter Monday indeed, here is the equivalent of Lawrence Maroney planting a flag. It is Jon Falk, the recently retired and legendary Michigan equipment manager, welcoming his favorite 30-cent crockery back home.

22494777010_80525b3b9b_k

It hurts, but that means something. That is a thing that is real. It is a reflection of Jerry Kill killing himself to be in this game and dying because he has to leave it.

TEN. I've always hated THIS IS MICHIGAN a bit because it reminds me of going to Penn State in 2006 and having their chintzy-ass scoreboards proclaim WE'RE PENN STATE… AND THEY'RE NOT. It's not necessarily as bad, but sometimes it tends to AND THEY'RE NOT. I'm not a huge fan of Michigan's excellently-executed James Earl Jones intro video this year because it claims a bunch of things that should be gestured at instead.

Michigan's great. I love Michigan. I love it all, though. I've been to Georgia and Auburn and Penn State and Ohio State and Minnesota and the feeling of college football is something else. Minnesota hasn't done anything Colin Cowherd would note for 50 years. You could maybe compare them to the Lions, who no one should ever be a fan of.

jsota.0[1]

Except no. Tell me that doesn't matter. Tell me This Is Minnesota doesn't mean anything. We took the Jug and we mostly earned it and that matters to me. It matters to Jabrill Peppers and Jon Falk and Jim Harbaugh and Greg Dooley. It matters because it's college fucking football, and Minnesota means something.

To Michigan, it means the Jug. They got it back on Saturday by the skin of their teeth, and for a program that's had a bit of a rough go of late they'll take it any way they can get it.

HIGHLIGHTS

Column inspired by Dr. Sap digging up a post-game Bo speech after the 1987 Jug game:

A half hour version that must be most of the game from WD:

Parking God has a more reasonable length reel:

AWARDS

22037120423_ca51988f3d_z22492231420_644e614f1b_z22669215262_e0d0e81b5a_z22669145172_8a5557987d_z

[Barron]

-2535ac8789d1b499[1]

Known Friends And Trusted Agents Of The Week

you're the man now, dog

#1 Jabrill Peppers had a 40 yard KO return, a 40 yard punt return, two PBUs, a near pick-six, a rushing touchdown, a reverse set up by everyone fretting about Peppers, a pass interference call drawn—Peppers played nearly 100 snaps and was instrumental in all three phases of the game.

#2 Maurice Hurst didn't actually pop up in the box score much but he was frequently in Leidner's grill; on the final stand he blew up the pass protection on the first play and was one of a few different Wolverines whipping their dudes up front. Actually in the box score: he had a critical TFL that forced Minnesota to kick a short field goal.

#3 Drake Johnson didn't get many carries but was by far the most effective runner Michigan had; other guys had lanes but didn't take advantage of them. Hoping to see more of him going forward.

Honorable mention: Chesson and Darboh both had nice days. Glasgow again contributed to mostly good run defense.

KFaTAotW Standings.

9: Jourdan Lewis (#1 UNLV, #1 Northwestern, #1 MSU), Jabrill Peppers(#2 BYU, #2 Northwestern, #2 MSU, #1 Minnesota)
5: Chris Wormley(#2 Utah, #1 Oregon State)
4: Maurice Hurst (#2 Maryland, #2 Minnesota)
3: Jake Butt (#1 Utah), De'Veon Smith(#2 Oregon State, #3 BYU), Ryan Glasgow (#1 BYU), Desmond Morgan (#1 Maryland),
2: Ty Isaac(#2 UNLV), Willie Henry(#3 Utah, #3 MSU).
1: AJ Williams (#3 Oregon State), Channing Stribling(#3 UNLV), Blake O'Neill(#3 Maryland), Jake Rudock(#3 Northwestern), Drake Johnson(#3 Minnesota)

Who's Got It Better Than Us Of The Week

This week's best thing ever.

Form a f-ing wall.

Honorable mention: Speight throws the go-ahead touchdown and then converts for two; Peppers has the ball in his hands.

WGIBTUs Past.

Utah: Crazy #buttdown.
Oregon State: #tacopunts.
UNLV: Ty Isaac's 76 yard touchdown.
BYU: De'Veon Smith's illicit teleporter run.
Maryland: Jehu Chesson jet sweeps past you.
Northwestern: Chesson opening KO TD.
MSU: the bit where they won until they didn't.
Minnesota: form a f-ing wall.

imageMARCUS HALL EPIC DOUBLE BIRD OF THE WEEK.

This week's worst thing ever.

Channing Stribling gets beat over the top for what seems like the game-winning touchdown, until it was not.

Honorable mention: Mitch Leidner hurling the ball downfield on throws that are very bad ideas only for those to be complete anyway. Rudock underthrows another deep ball by 20 yards.

PREVIOUS EDBs

Utah: circle route pick six.
Oregon State: Rudock fumbles after blitz bust.
UNLV: Rudock matches 2014 INT total in game 3.
BYU: BYU manages to get to triple digit yards in the last minutes of the game.
Maryland: Slog extended by deflected interception at Houma.
Northwestern: KLINSMANN OUT
MSU: Obvious.
Minnesota: The bit where the lost it until they didn't.

[After THE JUMP: fluky fluky fluky.]

Going to See Big Jon: A Review of '40 Years in the Big House' by Jon Falk

Going to See Big Jon: A Review of '40 Years in the Big House' by Jon Falk

Submitted by Seth on October 28th, 2015 at 1:00 PM

51mhGN4UFyL

$19.05 hardcover or $7.99 kindle on Amazon: http://j.mp/Falk40Years

So I'm in my car in U.S. 23 traffic after the BYU game, listening to the WTKA postgame show, and trying to wrap my head around if Michigan could possibly be this good, when my phone rings with an unidentified 734 number. On the other end is this deep rhotic voice, the kind you only get from Midwestern farmers' sons whose vocal chords have been ravaged by a lifetime of shouting through the cold. Bo had that. My father had that. My phone hasn't heard it since.

"Hello? Is this Seth? This is Jon Falk."

Short of Harbaugh, Beilein, Red, Lloyd, Mo, or Obama I don't think there's any name that voice could have given that could possibly make me geek out harder. Every other car on U.S. 23 is now in tremendous peril.

I mean, I had emailed him during the week because we were giving away his new book, Forty Years in the Big House, for Guess the Score, and my phone number is on my email signature, but I kind of expected an underling or maybe a publisher's intern to handle that sort of stuff.

I forgot the thing about Big Jon is he handles stuff. And after we'd figured out how to get me the giveaway copy, I remembered there's the other thing he does. We start sharing stories.

[After the jump: a review, and some stories, but no spoilers]

Guess the Score, Win Stuff: U Not L.V.

Guess the Score, Win Stuff: U Not L.V.

Submitted by Seth on September 16th, 2015 at 7:27 PM

Guessthescore

Seriously? The "Rebels"? The State of Nevada literally joined the Union in the Civil War! The City of Las Vegas didn't even exist until the 1900s! So why the Confederate symbolism?

To understand why UNLV students cast themselves as rebels, it helps to understand the civil war being waged in state politics when Southern Nevada’s university was founded, in 1957. The school, which began as a “branch” of the University of Nevada, in Reno, had to fight the political power of the north to become autonomous.

By the time they went I-A in 1978 students were upset about the racist connotations of their present mascot, a wolf in Confederate uniform named Beauregard. So they changed it to a plantation owner.

i9qor

Further confusing things, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas—and in fact all the crap people associate with Las Vegas—isn't even in Las Vegas! (Mind: blown.)

If all this, plus "scarlet and gray" as school colors, sounds like a new low for dumbest university ever conceived, well, wait'll you see them play football!

How this works again:

  1. Readers predict the final score of a designated game by placing a guess in the comments, preferably in the format of [M score][hyphen][Opp score], for example "41-30" or "35-31 Michigan", or "28-24 Go Blue", or "38-0 Harbaugh!" etc.
  2. The three guys who read this part holler at people who post in a different format
  3. First person (by timestamp) to post a particular score has it.
  4. If you got it right, I contact you for an address by your MGoBlog account email, and you give me some time to get that to you.
  5. If nobody got it right or I don't hear from the winner(s) we push it to next week or let it go.

About Last Time:

A good ol'fashioned 35-7 beat-down of an overmatched team in Fielding Yost's big ol' hole in the ground. Nobody got it correct—one guy guessed 35-5, and I even mentioned if he won he'd forever by the guy who won by guessing a Brianesque score. But mGOlog had to guess the comparatively likely score of 35-6. Way to underrate their kicker, log. You get a print!

This Week's Game:

Yes they may look like the Buckeyes, but that's really UNLV in the Big House. Speaking of the Big House…

And on the Line:

image

JON FALK HAS ANOTHER BOOK! Big Jon isn't just part of the fabric of Michigan; he's the soul of it. From 1974 to 2014, the now retired equipment manager was there for every locker room speech, saw everything that could ever happen, handled every situation so well you'll feel bad about how unwell you comparatively do your job, and—teaser—fixed a few things that could have gotten very fouled up. Every former assistant and player to come back made his requisite stop by Falk to catch up. Filling one book with those stories was terribly hard because he had to leave so much out. Filling a second was easy until it also ran out of space long before it did content.

I have yet to read it because Brian keeps forgetting to give me my copy. But I just discovered today it's on Kindle so ta ta until this weekend.

Unverified Voracity Is Out Again Again

Unverified Voracity Is Out Again Again

Submitted by Brian on September 7th, 2015 at 1:30 PM

51mhGN4UFyL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_[1]There is another book. Jon Falk's second book also came out this week, and he secured a rather nice gentleman to write the forward: Jim Harbaugh.

Forty Years In The Big House—which I do not have a snarky name of questionable utility to deploy about—is much like Falk's first book, If These Walls Could Talk. It's a look inside the Michigan program from a guy who was there for all the ups and downs. When you've been around as long as Falk, it's mostly ups.

Falk mentioned his previous book had sold out, which surprised me, but yup: his previous is only available secondhand or on Kindle now. This is a man who understands the principle of scarcity that Marty Bodnar and the Michigan athletic department did a very good job of maintaining until recently.

Anyway: since you're all probably done with Endzone this can be next on your list.

Intros past. Via Wolverine Historian:

Brutal losses. BYU's weekend was a manic depressive thing featuring a Hail Mary win over Nebraska and a parade of injuries that threaten to derail their season before it really even starts. The most severe:

Shortly after the Cougars knocked off Nebraska, 33-28, on a last-second hail mary, coach Bronco Mendenhall told reporters that star quarterback Taysom Hill was lost for the season with a fractured foot.

Hill missed last season, and most of the season before that, and that is completely terrible. Tanner Mangum, Hill's gunslinging backup, was a major recruit a couple years ago who is just back from his two-year Mormon mission and is kind of a true freshman; he looked okay after taking the reigns but he also led a frantic one-minute drill that featured just one completed pass—the Hail Mary. He's going to be a  big dropoff from Hill, who was impressive as both a runner and a passer before getting hurt again.

Adding injury to injury: by the end of that game BYU's defense had also taken major hits, losing their starting NT and one MLB and safety. Travis Tuiloma, the excellent nose tackle, is out 4-6 weeks and should miss the Michigan game. No word on the other injuries. BYU of course already lost their top RB and TE before the season. They may be in for a rough year that you can blame Bronco Mendenhall for in no way whatsoever.

Michigan health. They seemed to escape Utah without suffering any injuries of note. Freddy Canteen, who did not play, says he'll be back this week:

Drake Johnson made the trip and dressed but did not play; he could be back at any time. Hopefully he gets right in time for BYU. 

Pop quiz. Who is Todd McShay talking about in this list of the top ten available linebackers for the upcoming NFL draft?

At 6-foot-3, 232 pounds, [X] is an undersized inside linebacker who doesn't have the speed or explosiveness to make up for that deficiency. But he has been able to overachieve at the collegiate level, thanks in large part to his outstanding instincts and football intelligence. [X] projects as a backup who effectively steps in when called upon on defense and contributes on special teams.

If you said "Desmond Morgan," you are wrong… somehow. That's his take on Joe Bolden. I don't know how closely any of these draft guys are paying attention.

Goodbye, Beck Man. SB Nation on the seven most Beckman things Beckman ever Beckman'd:

3. The Mom's Birthday mystery

Every year, Big Ten Media Days are on different days. And every year, Beckman went to Big Ten Media Days and wished his mom a happy birthday.

He never said, "I'd like to wish my mom, whose birthday it was YESTERDAY, a happy birthday."

This April, Beckman explained the mix-up. He is well aware of his mom's birthday -- he wanted to give her a shoutout as a coach's wife and coach's mom who never really got to be around her husband/son as much as she wanted around her birthday -- but I always liked the idea of Beckman celebrating his mom's birthday 365 days a year.

I was hoping we'd get one last season of the guy squinting at people, but the way he went out is perfect. Of all the bad hires in the last decade of college football, his has to be the most mysterious. I cannot imagine Beckman walking into a job interview—any job interview—and coming out of it employed.

Pat Narduzzi almost went to jail for kiwi murder. He would have missed no games for MSU:

This actually improves my opinion of his chances at Pitt. If anyone can get the Panthers to stop going 6-6, it's a man willing to murder his colleagues for fun.

The next guy? SI talks to John O'Korn:

At Harbaugh's request, O'Korn has reverted back to how he used to throw the ball before he got to Houston and the coaches there changed his mechanics. "There was a lot of stuff just from top to bottom in the program that my family and I didn't agree with," O'Korn said of his final year at Houston.

O'Korn is completely onboard with the high-energy Harbaugh, though. He has come to expect the unexpected from his new coach, including a phone call at 6 a.m. to ask what jersey number he wanted. O'Korn has also gotten used to Harbaugh's relentless competitiveness. O'Korn still laughs recalling Harbaugh's demonstration of a drop-back drill during a workout this summer.

Harbaugh did eight to 10 repetitions, while each of his quarterbacks only got one or two. "He was going to make sure he got his reps," O'Korn said. "That just shows you what type of competitor he still is. His footwork is phenomenal. He can still play you know."

The QB battle for 2016 should be heated.

An old but epic quote. Kyle Kalis talking to Dennis Dodd:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- It has to be a special kind of hell being coached by a former Michiganquarterback while trying to become the next Michigan quarterback.

Especially when the coach is a deity in these parts.

"They don't get it easy," Wolverines guard Kyle Kalis said. "They get the hand of the Lord."

This was published just a couple days after I posted the QB preview piece. If any Michigan players inclined to drop awesome quotes in the future could do so a tiny bit earlier in the summer I would appreciate it.

Etc.: Michigan issues a couple of scholarships to walk-ons, making this offseason Pipkins thing even weirder. MVictors has your obsessive uniform documentation covered. Week-old Austin Davis article that I didn't link before because preview week. Visually impressive piece on student fans from Michigan Engineering(?). The NFL is and always will be the worst. Top five most absurd Brandon stories from Endzone.

Dear Diary Has Somebody Out There Giving Us a Bad Name

Dear Diary Has Somebody Out There Giving Us a Bad Name

Submitted by Seth on February 28th, 2014 at 10:14 AM

12722979453_b67b342805_b

We believe the guy with the fake mullet managed to convince him it is, while acknowledging the recently greater popularity of Freesia. [Fuller]

Molecules of competitiveness. I don't get all of the WWE references in the Best and Worst columns. For example, would this qualify as a bodyslam or a chair to the face:

MSU hit a school record 17 3 pointers against Purdue, including 6 by Gary Harris. In their losses to Nebraska and UM, they hit 14 total out of 47, with Harris going 5 of 20. Apparently, those wrists, shoulders, and ankles were fine on Thursday but that long bus ride between East Lansing and Ann Arbor jostled all the bones out of sorts again.

Chair to the face I'm guessing, since most of the momentum was generated by Izzo's bouncing off the ropes, and bronxblue just put a hard object in the way. Either way it's pretty entertaining.

101609_SPT_U-M Madness_MRM_
Scientists think Morgan and Morris may have cohabitated in ancient Crisler, and may have even interacted.

Creationists claim Jordan Morgan is less than 4,000 years old. The debate rages as ClearEyesFullHeart presented evidence that a Jordan Morgan-like creature was living in Crisler back when it was still called an arena. What appeared to be advice to competitors was found on cuneiform tablets that match Morgan's particular type of swagger. CEFH also suggested that J-Mo-anthropus may have domesticated dogs, and participated in battles against the ancient Greeks.

How bad can we make it? There is a singularly small type of person who sees a sexual assault expulsion and jumps for joy for the hammer with which he can pound a sports rival program on internet message boards. All fanbases have them, all fanbases are embarrassed by them. The best way to manage them is if the thought leaders, i.e. the journalists, maintain a high level of integrity and investigation, focusing on facts, providing context, and discouraging over-speculation. Good journalism is a thousand times better than good P.R.

If you're wondering why it's Sparties, of all roaches, doing most of the scuttling, it's because their media are 30% trolls themselves, 60% too biased to consider fighting the trolls, and the remainder aren't trying all that hard. I removed, at last count 13, fight-back threads this and last week, because there's nothing to be gained by criticizing the journalistic integrity of Mike Valenti or Graham Couch or Eric Thomas, etc. There's a certain type of person you just remove from the message board; if somebody's given him a broadsheet or a highly trafficked url or a 15,000-watt microphone instead, roll your eyes and ignore it.

The least we could hope for is for those without a dog in the fight to not be lazy with the publically available facts. Like how FERPA works (BiSB's fisk of MLive's attempt to get in on the Daily's glory).troll Or that the Ed Dept.'s involvement began when they used Title IX to tell the university to institute the policy they're reviewing, not last week, and that at last count 24 universities' policies were under investigation, with two more completed and seven more have had recent controversies. Or that a few minutes on the chief complainant's blog raises obvious credibility concerns that he should have to address when interviewed.

The Daily has continued to produce the best reporting on the subject, while the Detroit papers, SI, Huffington Post (to their credit they at least edited their article at the end with suggested corrections), and now Mlive have, while trying to play catch-up on the students, been caught biting at the chum of shock value while burying or ignoring the easy context. Prediction: in 10 years half of the metro-Detroit media will be replaced by former Dailyites and bloggers. Most of those who haven't will cater to Michigan State fans, because roaches are survivors.

Etc. Michigan is 98% to hang a banner. Ron Utah says the position changes are a Hail Mary and this inspires…confidence? Six of eight is a narrative-beater. DCAlum provided his eyewitness account of the MSU lining up fiasco. Goal-by-goal vs. Minnesota was too depressing for me to even read this week. LSA columns on win probability and home versus away stats.

[Jump for the best of the board, and the title reference]

One Frame At A Time: Minnesota

One Frame At A Time: Minnesota

Submitted by Ace on October 8th, 2013 at 3:49 PM

For the final time, Jon Falk hands off the Jug. These little moments are what make college football so special—name another sport in which the fans know the name of a beloved equipment manager and care deeply about a century-old water jug that doubles as a trophy in a severely one-sided rivalry.

Many more GIFs of the Jug, as well as a whole lot of Funchess, alumni cheerleaders, and more after the jump.

[JUMP]

Necessary But Not Sufficient

Necessary But Not Sufficient

Submitted by Brian on October 7th, 2013 at 12:18 PM

10/5/2013 – Michigan 42, Minnesota 13 – 5-0, 1-0 Big Ten

10107704246_7cae9148f0_c[1]

Eric Upchurch

Jon Falk has a compatriot at Minnesota. He's probably had a dozen over his 40 years as Michigan's equipment manager. Some guy who comes in with the latest Gopher coaching staff, wonders what it's like to hold the jug in his meaty palm, and maybe once gets to shepherd it for a year. Since Falk arrived at Michigan a fresh-faced young thing four years into Bo's career, his opposite number has had this experience three times.

In proof lingo, this means that beating Minnesota—beating up on Minnesota, usually—is a necessary but not sufficient property of Michigan teams that want to do anything with their seasons. Sometimes you can retain the Jug despite not being very good; sometimes you can retain the jug despite being headed for 3-9 because Nick Sheridan has an out-of-body experience. When you're headed for 3-9 you get a little misty about the Jug coming out. When you're not the worst team in Ann Arbor since the 1930s it's a checkbox to fill out.

Michigan did so in perfunctory style, grinding out a second half in which they went from vaguely threatened to bored. Since this came on the heels of narrow escapes against teams that lost 43-3 to Ohio on Saturday and 41-12 to Buffalo last week, it's progress. How much is unknown.

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

This game settled into a grim fugue state almost from the drop, as Michigan manballed its way into the endzone on a Statement Drive to start the game. Unfortunately, that Statement was "by putting Taylor Lewan next to Michael Schofield we can bull our way down the field against Minnesota." That statement is unlikely to apply to many teams on the schedule. But, hey, progress.

Then Minnesota donned turbans and embarked on the Ishtar Drive. An epic production galaxy-spanning in its dullness that arrived at its destination two hours too late and failed to have the desired impact, it ate up the rest of the quarter. Michigan left it without having attempted a pass.

This was a little dull.

It was the kind of dull that had Space Coyote, the Michigan's blogosphere's resident instant analysis savant, pleading with the masses that the intricacies of a well-blocked power play were just as appealing as, say, watching 175-pound Venric Mark activate his truck stick on an Ohio State safety. I can't imagine there's another Michigan fan in the world more receptive to that argument than yours truly and even I wasn't buying that as the secondary effect of all that manball kicked in: punt, commercial, play, end of quarter, commercial, play play, punt, commercial. Touchdown, commercial, kickoff, commercial—the NFL special. As the teams' attempt to blow through this game in record time was thwarted by the networks, being in Michigan Stadium became the worst concert of all time interrupted by bouts of football-related activity.

It was the kind of thing that made you consider what the purpose of your fandom was. Am I only here to see Michigan end a game with a larger number on the scoreboard than Opponent? Is there any valid goal outside of this? Am I a bad fan for wishing something interesting would happen? Do the people on twitter who scorn you for having feelings other than Go Team have a point? What is the point of any of this, and why can't they make the wifi work?

At halftime, the guys in front of me discussed whether they would bolt for Frazer's, and two did. I'm usually a guy who thinks leaving an athletic event before it's decided is a mortal sin, but I kind of envied the guy in the home-made muscle shirt screwing off to a place where he could get a beer and not hear "Build Me Up, Buttercup." At any other time, I would have thought this man's attendance at Michigan Stadium was a necessary property of a fan that he had just shown was not sufficient by leaving a touchdown game at halftime like he was a sorority girl about to blow a .341. On Saturday, I was with him in spirit.

This is a fearful development. I don't want to think like that. I want to be forever ten years old, excited by everything. On Saturday I had a long look down the elevator shaft.

622377-1_super[1]

It'll pass like the moment above did. Someone will do something interesting, and there will be something at stake other than a piece of crockery that just means you're not horrible, and sometimes not even that. I had a bad day, I was pissed at Dave Brandon when I discovered I was thirsty but knew I couldn't do anything about it without missing a large chunk of the game I was there to see even if it was narcoleptic, I was emo after the last few weeks of expectation-depressing terror. It'll pass, and the doors will close on the moment where I reached out and felt the slight outlines of a limit to my fandom.

Right?

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

Michigan won by a lot, eventually.

Highlights

Completely one-sided highlights:

Awards

brady-hoke-epic-double-point_thumb_3[1]Brady Hoke Epic Double Point Of The Week. Has to be Michigan's new favorite worst nightmare at wide receiver: Devin Funchess. Relieved of many blocking duties and deployed on the outside, Funchess displayed fantastic hands on a couple of catches outside of his body, ran routes that got him tons of separation, and went right by a Minnesota cornerback(!) on a straight-up fly route(!) to prove himself Michigan's best deep threat(?). By the end of the game he had newspaper types plumbing the statistical depths for completely invalid comparisons to Jim Mandich, who was a tight end, which Devin Funchess is not.

Honorable mention: No Turnovers, which may be Devin Gardner's temporary name until such point as he turns it over. Schofield and Lewan were mashing as tackle brothers. Blake Countess did have a pick six, albeit one of no importance. James Ross and Desmond Morgan had lots of tackles, usually at the LOS when not facing spread formations.

Epic Double Point Standings.

1.0: Devin Gardner (ND), Jeremy Gallon (ND), Desmond Morgan(UConn), Devin Funchess(Minnesota)
0.5: Cam Gordon (CMU), Brennen Beyer (CMU)

10107678573_22dc886b9d_b[1]

I guess? [Upchurch]

Brady Hoke Epic Double Fist-Pump Of The Week. Wow. Are we at a loss here? We might be at a loss here. Countess's interception was after the game was decided, as was the long Funchess fly route thing. Michigan's longest run went for not many yards. I guess we're going with Fitzgerald Toussaint scoring an easy ten-yard touchdown, as it hinted that Michigan may be able to run the ball forward? Yeah, okay.

Honorable mention: Funchess reception, pick one. Countess pick. Black FF.

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.
9/14/2013: Michigan does not lose to Akron. Thanks, Thomas Gordon.
9/21/2013: Desmond Morgan's leaping one-handed spear INT saves Michigan's bacon against UConn.
10/5/2013: Fitzgerald Toussaint runs for ten yards, gets touchdown rather easily.

[After THE JUMP: actual game analysis instead of pathetic emo self-pity mooning!]

Photos from Michigan vs. Minnesota

Photos from Michigan vs. Minnesota

Submitted by Eric on October 6th, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Here are the photos from the game yesterday. 

 

Untitled

Jibreel Black forced fumble (Fuller)

Untitled

Devin Gardner rushing TD (Fuller)

IMG_5011-2.jpg

Derrick Green (Upchurch)

IMG_4990-2.jpg

Taylor Lewan and his precious (Upchurch)


Full Galleries

Upchurch

Fuller

Once again, all photos are creative commons licensed. If you have any questions or comments please contact me at [email protected]

Monday Presser Transcript 9-30-13: Brady Hoke

Monday Presser Transcript 9-30-13: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on September 30th, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Bullets:

  • Jake Ryan is practicing!
  • There may be a change on the offensive line!
  • DaMario Jones might contribute on offense!
  • Derrick Green might get more snaps!

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

Podium

Opening remarks:

“First thing I want to talk about a little bit is this weekend you saw a lot of the ‘Cure MD’ patches that all the coaches [wore]. The organization has been at the forefront with the cure. We obviously didn't play, so we'll have our patches this weekend, and we certainly want to raise awareness of MD. It affects a lot of children all across the country.

“On the Football side we had a very good week. We got a lot accomplished as a team. I know we as a staff felt that way. I know the players felt that way. In the practices that we had and the fundamental work that we had in all areas at every position. The intensity and the competitiveness was very good. We’re excited to start the Big Ten season. We’re excited to play in the oldest trophy game there is in the Brown Jug with Minnesota. We have a lot of work to do, as you all know. We’ll continue to do that throughout the week.”

Jon Falk To Retire

Jon Falk To Retire

Submitted by Brian on July 22nd, 2013 at 1:07 PM

0big_jon_thumb[1]

MVictors

Effective at the end of the season, Michigan's iconic equipment manager Jon Falk will retire.

Falk was formed in the strata underneath Ann Arbor sometime in the late Cretaceous era and unearthed by Fielding Yost during the construction of Michigan Stadium. Falk handed Yost a winged helmet, and was offered a job. In the intervening epoch he has equipped Michigan football players head to toe as they won more games than any other program, and at least part of this paragraph is factual.

Some more fact-like facts from the press release:

“I remember the day that Bo Schembechler interviewed me and said that working at the University of Michigan would present great opportunities for my career,” said Falk. “He offered me the position but I decided that staying home to care for my mom and grandmother was more important. My mom woke up at 4 a.m. and came to me with tears in her eyes and said, ‘Jon, you are going to Michigan. Bo and the University of Michigan are going to take care of you and this will be a great career move.’ As I reflect on my nearly 40 years at Michigan, I have been fortunate to work with some great coaches, administrators and thousands of players. After talking with Dave Brandon about my retirement, I realized that Bo and my mother were right. Dave and Michigan have taken care of me. I’m appreciative of all that I learned, was a part of and contributed to at Michigan. This is a special place and I will always love Michigan and Michigan Football.”

“Jon has given so much of his life to Michigan Football and we are all grateful to him for his dedication, passion and loyal service to our championship culture,” said head coach Brady Hoke. “He is a big part of this program and his colorful personality will be missed around Schembechler Hall, Michigan Stadium and on the road in opposing venues. We are happy that Jon will be able to enjoy retirement with his wife Cheri and family, but that is on hold until he helps us chase another Big Ten Championship this fall.”

Also, Cathy Schembechler:

Cathy Schembechler, Bo’s Widow

It is virtually impossible for any former Michigan football player from the past 40 years to talk about Michigan football and not have the name ‘Big Jonny’ pass their lips. He's easily the most important guy at Schembechler Hall that you can talk to today if you want to know about Michigan tradition. One of my favorite things to do when I go back to Ann Arbor is to sit in Big Jon's office and listen to him tell stories ... Bo stories especially. Even though I think he's softened up just a little over the years, he's still a man whose respect you have to earn, no matter who you are ... and he's loyal to a fault. His impact on and contributions to Michigan football will never be forgotten.

The full thing has many more quotes and is behind the jump.

[UPDATE via Ace: Falk talks retirement on mgoblue's un-embeddable video player]