Guess the Score, Win Stuff: N0rthwestern

Guess the Score, Win Stuff: N0rthwestern Comment Count

Seth October 8th, 2015 at 2:00 PM

[MGoRadio's Monday at Moe's Update: North Peak Brewery is donating beer! We have beer! We also have just 15 spots left]

too slow.

David Underwood was the heir apparent to Chris Perry and this was fine. He was a highly rated recruit out of Texas, and in 2004 it was his turn. Jerome Jackson was his backup, and this was fine; he was the bonus piece from LaMarr Woodley's recruitment and was apparently good at getting the edge. Behind them was Pierre Rembert and this was fine; Pierre had gotten a few snaps as a true freshman in '03 and looked pretty good. And if we needed to dip deeper there was a highly touted true freshman, Max Martin, who maybe ran a bit too upright but was also getting fall chatter about displacing folks.

Then there was the 2-star from somewhere in that wasteland Canadians talk about when they cross at Niagara, who became a 3-star because Michigan offered. Little guy, ran up a bazillion yards against the part of New York that's really the Midwest. You know the rest.

I Heart Hart - Maize

Either this or Worst State Ever was the very first MGoShirt. It comes from a time before a time when we realized we can't make such things without the guy's permission. It also comes from a time after a long time of chasing said guy around and trying to get him to be down with it. As various Big Ten detritus can attest this is not easy with said guy. He doesn't really stop, nor does he go down. If you pick him up and put him on his head the legs will just keep spinning until you put him back down, whereupon he will continue running. This happened to future NFL linebackers; now imagine you're a furry fat guy yelling "please Mister; this blog was started because of YOU!"

Well it turns out he does stop for something, and that's to replant hope in the wasteland he turned over back when we thought Underwood/ Jackson/ Rembert/ Martin would take most of the 2004-'07 carries.

Thus returns the original MGoShirt, except with the guy's actual name on it. Proceeds from it will go to the Mike Hart Family Foundation, and the Central New York Football Academy. And the first person who correctly guesses this week's Michigan score will get a free one. You can probably already guess Northwestern's number.

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 "41-0" or "35-0 Michigan", or "28-0 Go Blue", or "42-0 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:

28-0 and thanks again to MGoNukeE for picking out the winner, who was slacker, who beat BlueReign to the score by one minute! Since there was no winner the previous week, I feel entitled to have two this time.

This Week's Game:

Homecoming versus the Wildcats. At 3:30 they gon' die.

And on the Line:

I♥♥.

Fine Print:

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). Deadline for entries is 24 hours before the start of the game. MGoEmployees and moderators exempt from winning. The algorithm finds the winners as it chooses. The algorithm is self-correcting. The algorithm consistently runs power. The algorithm is banned in Jersey. The algorithm is better than you are ready to admit. They gon' die.

Comments

Unverified Voracity Advises Ponchos

Unverified Voracity Advises Ponchos Comment Count

Brian September 29th, 2015 at 12:08 PM

One year ago. Not quite today. But close:

The beginning of the end and the beginning of the rebirth. The Daily's Jake Lourim takes the opportunity to look at Jim Hackett's tenure:

Schlissel said student backlash went “beyond having a football team that didn’t achieve a record that met people’s expectations.”

“It was part of the issue, why people were anxious, but it wasn’t the main issue,” he told the Daily in September. “I think, what people felt was, football in particular and perhaps the other sports were becoming more distant from the campus. That they were becoming more of an enterprise and less of an activity. I think our non-athlete students … felt estranged — they felt like customers.

“I think we’ve gone a long way in the months since … to reset the way the Athletic Department views its role on the campus,” he added.

Schlissel is in charge of things for a reason.

Save a garbage bag, bring a poncho. The Maryland game is going to be in the vicinity of tropical storm Joaquin. How close is going to mean the difference between a nice night and seeing Jake Rudock hit in the face with a soaked, flying cat. Monday's storm track was looking pretty ominous for the football game; Tuesday's is less so:

The Monday track had the storm right off the coast of DC at 8 PM Saturday. Worth keeping an eye on still. A thunderous downpour would be advantage Maryland in the same way playing checkers instead of chess is advantage Borges:

So they've got that hypothetically going for them.

Whoops. When Vegas put out a Michigan –11.5 line for this game, I thought "that seems low." Maryland fans glumly asked if that was a first-quarter line. And sure enough, that line was pounded until it was pulled off the board and returned at M –14.5. Even now only a couple of books are offering a line at all, and the "consensus" is M –16.

A move that big suggests that Michigan and Maryland combine to break whatever models are used to set lines—possibly because the amount of deviation from preseason expectations for both overwhelmed them.

Mark Messner tribute. From Wolverine Historian:

Keep that anger inside where it can be used to hit people hard. The prospect of getting trash-talked by BYU is appealing. In my experience Mormons have the ability to turn an innocent word into the vilest thing you've ever heard with their intonation. When you don't swear the swears leak into the rest of your language; it's quite a trick. So when I wonder what might have made Jabrill Peppers mad on Saturday

For whatever reason, Michigan's redshirt freshman defensive back found himself on the receiving end of an unusual amount of trash talk Saturday early on against BYU.

He did his best to ignore it, and almost engaged once. But, ultimately, his pads prevailed.

And by the time Peppers wrapped up and, literally, tossed 6-foot-5, 225-pound receiver Terenn Houk out of bounds just before halftime, the talking had officially stopped.

"We play between the whistle, so I'll try to hurt you as much as I can between the whistle," Peppers said Monday. "Especially if you're jawing at me. ... (They were saying) things I can't repeat on camera.

"I just let my pads speak for me, that's how I react to that."

…I hope it's "I welcome this upcoming athletic contest" twisted into a pulsating black sphere of hate.

Also: Harbaugh banning trash talk is 1) amazingly hypocritical and 2) another anger factory. I don't want to hear about how this country "used to make things" when Jim Harbaugh is the world's #1 exporter of harsh feelings.

Happy_fun_ball[1]

Side note. Who taunts Happy Fun Peppers? That seems just amazingly unwise.

It is your destiny. So my Hackett statue concept is that he's wearing the outfit he's got on in that shot of Harbaugh exiting the plane at Detroit Metro and he's got a microphone in one hand that he has just let go.

Michigan interim athletic director Jim Hackett agreed with Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly on Saturday, speaking on Michigan's pregame radio show, saying he'd like to see the Wolverines and Fighting Irish resume their rivalry.

In fact, he believes it's "destined" to happen.

"Nothing has happened in that regard from my desk," Hackett said. "But the way I think about the Notre Dame thing is, that's a rivalry that should be restored and it's destined to have that happen.

"The challenge is making the schedules work. Because of television, because of the Big Ten having 14 teams. We've got to find holes in the schedule."

I think that would be a good statue.

Surprise! Larry Brown got hit by the NCAA with a suspension and SMU was banned from the postseason this year.

It turns out that SMU academic support was doing coursework for the players. Sun round, full of hot bits. Michigan travels to SMU on December 8th.

Five are in a dark black. Eighty are in a slightly darker black. PREPARE THYSELVES

-8ff449390d06d993[1]

ANN ARBOR -- Maryland will be sporting its "Black Ops" alternate uniforms when it hosts No. 22 Michigan on Saturday, according to InsideMDSports' Ahmed Ghafir.

Maryland is 0-2 while dressing in tactical garments, having lost by a combined score of 78-29. The Maryland football team is on the verge of seriously pissing off America's most dangerous special forces troops.

Spartan injuries. No information forthcoming:

Conklin is an OR on the most recent depth chart.

Hart profiled. Via the Daily:

“All I knew was, kind of, Michigan,” Hart said. “With Coach English, Lloyd — that’s the only way that we did things. And not bad things. But I needed to open my horizons.”

For Fleck, hiring Hart wasn’t a tough choice. Being Michigan’s all-time leading rusher bought him instant credibility with recruits, and Fleck had already been hearing rave reviews about Hart from prospects.

“(They said), ‘Mike Hart, I love Mike Hart.’ That’s what I continued to hear on the recruiting trail,” Fleck said.

Hurst profiled. Via Brendan Quinn:

But this isn't about who wasn't there and what hasn't been in Maurice Hurst Jr.'s life. This is about what's been there all along.

Nicole Page will board a flight tonight to watch her son play football.

"As long as I can see him a couple of times a month, I'm good," she says. "But it's still tough. I miss him all the time."

Uncharacteristically blunt. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby has always come off as one of the smartest guys in college football's administrative class and his recent comments on the unionization drive the NRLB essentially punted on are going to prove prophetic, I bet:

“I’m glad the unionization process has cooled for right now,” Bowlsby said. “But the fact is — and it probably will be in the sport of men’s basketball — there will be a day in the future when the popcorn is popped, the TV cameras are there, the fans are in the stands and the team decides they’re not going to play. Mark my words. We will see that in the years ahead. We saw some of it for other reasons in the ’70s, but I really believe that we aren’t finished with the compensation issue or with the employee-vs.-student issue.”

The right combination of ornery dudes and it will happen. If the Fab Five happened today it would be them, for sure.

Bowlsby still comes from a point of view so blinkered that he's startled when a Big 12 athlete tells him that he feels like an employee, but at least he's able to accept that fact and start communicating why that is the case and what that means in the near future. So many NCAA administrators are busy trying to shore up a dike that's about to bust; Bowlsby is trying to whittle a canoe.

Etc.: Is that bad, Bret Bielema? Basketball depth is deep: how will they use it? This is not at all unreasonable. Harbaugh marriage advice is exactly what you'd expect. Texas fans have gone Falling Down on the reffing in the Oklahoma State game. Wheatley to Rose Bowl hall of fame. Top analytics articles. Mud Bowl on the rocks but apparently still a go.

Gameday with the MMB. Butch Jones is under fire.

Comments

Mary Stewart, The Michigan Difference

Mary Stewart, The Michigan Difference Comment Count

Ace July 10th, 2015 at 3:01 PM

Mike Hart sidled through the narrow wooden door frame of Room 1310. As I sat at the front desk trying not to make any sudden, embarrassing movements, he made a beeline for Mary Stewart's office, like so many others who passed through Event Services at the Michigan Union.

Moments later, I sheepishly tried to hide my glee and the lingering sting from Hart's handshake as Mary introduced us and told him about my blog, playing me up like a big-shot writer instead of some underclassman with a blogspot page read by dozens. Hart left for practice after a quick chat. When he did, Mary put forth a standing offer: if I needed anything from Mike, just ask her.

It was the summer of 2007. I was heading into my sophomore year at Michigan and my second working as a receptionist in the Events Services office. Hart had just made the cover of Sports Illustrated. To me, we lived in two different planes of existence, even if we occupied the same campus. To Mary, we were equals, two more people she'd help in whatever way she could.

My brother's birthday and that of one of my closest friends fall on the same day in November. They're both big Michigan fans and huge fans of Hart, so as the date approached I purchased a couple souvenir footballs from the store in the Union basement; I wrote my brother's and friend's names on a piece of scrap paper and put the package in Mary's office; she promised she'd have Hart inscribe a message to each the next time he dropped by.

At my next shift, Mary called me into her office. She had the footballs with Hart's signature, but she also had a question for me. Mike had received two jumbo-sized posterboard copies of his SI cover, she said, and he didn't know what to do with the second—would I, perhaps, want it? I didn't know what to say. I'm pretty sure I managed to garble through a "yes, please" and several "thank you"s before floating back to my desk. The next week, she handed me the poster, personalized to me from Mike. I smuggled it back to my apartment like a priceless piece of stolen artwork.

To this day, that cover is framed in my home office.

Today, Mary retires after 42 years working at Michigan, and mine was but one of hundreds, if not thousands of lives she affected in her relentlessly positive, caring, supportive way during her time here; if you don't believe me, just read the many testimonials in Rod Beard's profile of Mary at the Detroit News. (Read that regardless, please.) In my three years at the Union, Mary was my unofficial counselor, a role she served for so many students over the years, including a long list of athletes.

When I needed someone to talk to about anything, I headed straight for the extra chair in her office, if it weren't already occupied by one of her many visitors. When my brother, whom she'd never met, needed some extra money one summer, she hooked him up with a job at the Art Fair. My mother heard so much about her that she insisted on coming in to work with me one day to meet her; she still asks about Mary, and vice versa. She took me to a football luncheon so I could meet Rich Rodriguez and have him sign my hat. Even after I was fired from that job for calling in sick too many times, I still dropped by Room 1310, and every time I did I felt like I needed to come back more often.

During my first year or so at the Union, I watched in wonder as football players past and present walked by my desk and sat down at hers. The hat with Rodriguez's signature stayed in her office, collecting a hodgepodge of signatures: Jamar Adams, Ryan Mundy, Zia Combs, Chris Perry.

Before too long, though, my wonder focused less on the players than Mary herself. For a while, I wondered how she managed to do her job of coordinating events in the Union—a day didn't go by without at least a couple visitors—until I realized that many of the connections she made came from going above and beyond the call of duty to help out student groups, especially those for black students. If you passed through Mary's office, she became a part of your life, and there was no better testament to that than her office walls, so filled with pictures and letters from those she'd touched that one felt only the love that bound them all together prevented the walls from collapse.

Simply by coming into contact with Mary, I'm a kinder, more thoughtful person, and I know I'm not alone in feeling that way. What she brought to the University, the way she connected with people with no more common ground than the school they attended, is why I feel such a powerful bond with Michigan and the athletic department in a way I'll never feel about the Lions, Red Wings, Pistons, or Tigers.

When someone asks me about The Michigan Difference, I say Mary Stewart is The Michigan Difference. While Michigan will miss Mary dearly, her legacy will live on; in honor of her four decades of incredible work, two alums have created the Mary Stewart Scholarship Fund. I can't think of a better tribute.

Thank you so much for being you, Mary, and congratulations on your retirement. I promise I'll be in touch soon.

Comments

Unverified Voracity Misses Exit Wound Opportunity

Unverified Voracity Misses Exit Wound Opportunity Comment Count

Brian May 22nd, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Not in Ohio. Via Bo Dever's twitter account, Michigan's footballs have taken to redundancy:

image

I kid, I kid. Ohio is our most special state.

No words. I take that back Plaxico Burress is our most special state.

image

Where are the exit wounds? Are you telling me Burress is going to be a sock magnate and does not have a sock with exit wounds on it? Life! What a waste!

Batten the hatches. So those hockey games against BC and BU that were rumored but unconfirmed? Yeah, they're at Yost. Michigan has dropped the full hockey schedule and it's a doozy. In addition to the home-and-away against all the Big Ten teams, Michigan's signed up for this nonconference schedule:

HOME: BC, BU, Lowell, Michigan Tech (2x), Niagara, Ferris State
AWAY: RIT, UNH(2x), UNO(2x)
NEUTRAL: WMU, Tech or State

If you stopped paying attention to college hockey out of self defense last year, Lowell was a one-seed, BC and UNH twos, Niagara a three. BU was third behind Lowell and BU in HE last year and got squeezed out of the field. UNO was a middling WCHA team, Tech not so good. There are no Bentley-level patsies at all, as both RIT and Niagara have reached the NCAA tourney in recent years.

Combine that with Minnesota/Wisconsin/MSU/OSU/PSU and that is the opposite of football's 2014 schedule. Michigan chose to thin out its fall schedule with the extra two weeks the Big Ten's hockey-spiting playoff system provided, taking a bye the week of the Nebraska game and playing only once the week of the Iowa game.

I'll take it. ESPN's reporting that the Pizza bowl is dead and will be replaced by another event at Ford Field matching a Big Ten team against an ACC team, which everyone is going to hate except M and MSU fans. But I'm one of them so woo.

George Perles isn't phased. I mean, what's better than Detroit in December? Detroit outside in December.

Keep up with the Joneses, plz. One of pleasant surprises from a couple of trips to the SEC has been the presence of both bands at the game even for non-rivalry matchups like (mediocre) Auburn versus LSU. The second time I asked around to see if I had gotten a fluke, and southerners looked at me with horror and pity once they realized Big Ten football usually has one band involved.

Ohio State's going to change that, mostly:

Gordon Gee, Gene Smith and the powers that be at Ohio State got together and determined that the College of Arts and Sciences and athletic department would continue financing the band. But one key change would be the addition of the Development Office of the President. Instead of a miniscule $220,000 operating budget – ninth in the Big Ten – the Buckeyes will have $1 million, which vaults them to first. With it comes more travel.

The band will attend road games at California, Purdue, Illinois and Michigan.

Meanwhile Michigan scrounges for pennies to send the MMB to a game against friggin' Alabama and the Uber Alles subset of the fanbase praises that decision as sly money-grubbing genius instead of a slap in the face to the band and fans. If only this was true:

When Michigan’s band traveled to the Cowboys Classic in Dallas last season for the Wolverines’ game with Alabama, it cost the university an estimated $400,000. The decision to send the band came after heavy criticism when it was announced they would not make the trip. Less than a year later, it appears two of the nation’s premier marching bands have earned a spot near the top of their university’s hierarchy.

The MMB is the same as it ever was. They will travel probably once this year, the free trip to East Lansing. State College, Evanston, Iowa City not so much, let alone UConn.

Pay attention to Mike Hart, plz. Hart on his quick ascension to the top of the depth chart and what Derrick Green can do to replicate that feat:

"The biggest thing I tell my guys is I didn't get all the reps (when I was a freshman), but I made sure I watched every rep," Hart said. "There's freshmen on my team over there talking, and they don't know the playcall or what's going on.

"You can process these things without getting a physical rep. I think that's kind of what helped me transition, is I was only getting a couple reps, but I was really getting 15 reps per period. A new playcall, I was thinking about what I had to do and how I had to do it."

Draft order set, now we can wince at what will happen. SI has Trey Burke going to New Orleans at #6 while the Pistons get the flashing red light that is Shabazz Muhammad. Hardaway does not appear. Glen Rice Jr. does, though, and a year after he got booted from GT's team.

Hated Chad Ford($) has Burke #2 to Orlando, has the Pistons taking walking red flag Anthony Bennett—LOSE GAMES AT THE END OF THE SEASON FOR PANTS SAKE—and puts Hardaway at the tail end of his first round, going to Denver after "one of the best performances of anyone at the combine." He brought "an intensity with him that few players could match"?!?!?

Do we think Mitch McGary and Hardaway pulled a Derrick Rose-SAT-swap here maybe? I do. I think Hardaway convinced Mitch McGary to pretend he was Hardaway at the NBA combine. This is a thing that happened.

UMHoops breaks things down in more detail.

Etc.: Michigan has two Parade All Americans, equalling the rest of the conference combined. MSU has two quarterbacks. Uh oh? Softball ace Sara Driesenga profiled. The News on Patrick Biondi's stellar senior season. Denard Robinson is not exactly a trekkie. Michigan State fans looking for love.

Comments

Tomnard Brobinson And Other Frankenplayers

Tomnard Brobinson And Other Frankenplayers Comment Count

Ace May 7th, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Photoshop is a very dangerous tool if left in the wrong hands, which is why nobody should've ever let me get a copy of CS5. Seth's post this morning contained this nightmare-fuelish mashup of Jordan Kovacs and Ernest Shazor, his version of the Bill Walsh ideal strong safety:

Most people's instinct, upon seeing such a picture, is to turn and run and not stop running until they've reached a technological wilderness that makes it impossible to see said picture ever again. Because of my tenuous grasp on sanity, especially during the offseason, I decided instead to create a few more Frankenplayers. If these three rather horrifying creations ever donned the winged helmet, Michigan's offense would be unstoppable, albeit a bit strange-looking:

TOMNARD BROBINSON

Denard Robinson and Tom Brady took wildly divergent paths to quarterback stardom. Denard's running exploits were the stuff of legend, while his passing left something to be desired, especially when he was out of the comfy confines of Rich Rodriguez's spread offense—one perfectly tailored to his strengths. Brady, meanwhile, was never fully appreciated during his time in Ann Arbor despite his pinpoint passing—only in retrospect, after multiple Super Bowls, was he fully acknowledged as an excellent college player. As a runner, though... he was a great pocket passer.

So what do you get when you jam Brady's upper body onto Denard's legs? (While, of course, still harnessing the power of the dreadlocks.) Only the most fearsome dual-threat quarterback in college football history, not to mention one charming franken-guy.

SAMICHAEL McHART

As a college running back, Mike Hart was just about everything you could ask for—productive and durable, coupling great vision and agility with surprising power and an inability to fumble. Despite lacking in top-end speed, Hart famously made the journey from three-star recruit to Michigan's all-time leading rusher.

Sam McGuffie, on the other hand, came in with a world of recruiting hype and plenty of athletic talent—his high school highlight tape featured him jumping over linebackers when he wasn't able to use his top-end speed to simply take the top off of the defense. Unlike Hart, McGuffie had the potential to be unstoppable in the open field. When it came to absorbing punishment, however, McGuffie fell short at Michigan, transferring to Rice after a disappointing and injury-plagued freshman season in 2008.

Stick McGuffie's legs (not pictured) onto Hart, though? Now we've got the production, durability, between-the-tackles running, and open field explosiveness no Michigan running back has possessed since Tyrone Wheatley. Do you want to claim Samichael McHart wouldn't front-flip over Will Gholston in the open field if given the chance? I thought not.

JEREMY TACOPANTS

Jeremy Gallon emerged last season as Michigan's best wide receiver, proving especially productive when Devin Gardner took over at quarterback. The former high school option quarterback is both shifty and fast with good hands and explosive leaping ability. Unfortunately, he's also about 5'8", which limits his potential as a downfield threat.

Enter Tacopants, Jason Avant's 11-foot tall imaginary friend whose career high point was Chad Henne's inconsistent sophomore season. Combine him with Gallon, and, well—it's a giant wide receiver, guys, he's going to be pretty good.

In sum, it's barely May and I've already stooped to this for offseason content. I'm so sorry. Carry on.

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

MGoHall of Fame: Football Nominees

MGoHall of Fame: Football Nominees Comment Count

Brian May 15th, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Good lord, this was brutal. Hockey had a pretty clear cutoff that sat nicely at five, and getting to five in basketball was a stretch. I left Steve Breaston, Leon Hall, Allan Branch, and Zoltan Mesko out here. Jebus.

See also: structure, basketball, hockey.

David Molk

0molkmofo[1]

via MVictors

PROS: Tough-talking no-neck was a four year starter at center perfectly suited for Michigan's zone running game; won the Rimington as a senior. Hilarious interview with absolutely no regard for cliché. High fantangibles rating. At times seemed to be the difference between doom and success in the Michigan ground game. Broke something serious in his foot in the Sugar Bowl, watched Rocko Khoury make some panic snaps on Michigan's first series, and played the rest of the game seriously damaged.

Experienced both coaching changes and was one of the seniors Who Stayed™. A huge factor in the locker room uniting behind Hoke.

CONS: Had some injury problems. Inexplicably had his snap count jumped against MSU and only MSU for like three straight years.

Mike Martin

AiUrIM_CEAAvgsD1_thumb[1]

PROS: Four-year contributor and three-year starter who always teetered on the edge of being great. Finally accelerated down the senior-year stretch into a dominant nose tackle. During this period forced a pitch on a Nebraska speed option.

This is about all you need to know. You could not block him. Michigan's insanely good third/fourth and short defense started with him (and ended with Kovacs).

But wait, there's more: with Michigan's already-thin defensive line depth shattered by injury before the Sugar Bowl, Martin and Van Bergen faced off with future first-round pick David Wilson in a game where getting a stop meant you got four snaps before you were back on the field. They singlehandedly kept Michigan in the game despite dying halfway through the second quarter. A performance that should pass into legend the same way Hunwick's North Dakota game will.

Also a member of Those Who Stayed™. Along with Molk and Van Bergen, Martin got the Full Andy Dufresne from his time at Michigan.

CONS: Seemingly endorses "In The Big House." Not as highly regarded by the NFL as a few other guys on this list.

Ryan Van Bergen

ryan-van-bergen-post-osu_thumb[1]

OSU

PROS: Third and final member of Those Who Stayed™ on the list. Also a four-year contributor and longtime starter, underrated because of his lack of playmaking but still the TFL leader on last year's team. The other guy holding Michigan's defensive line together through sheer force of will in the Sugar Bowl. Virtually impossible to knock down. Screwed up a check in the 2009 Indiana game, leading to an 85-yard touchdown, then singlehandedly annihilated the next IU drive, giving Michigan a chance to pull it out.

CONS: Probably the least-great player on this list. Here as a tribute to Michigan's phoenix act in 2011. Not enticing to NFL. Still… look at that. This is not a list of the best players ever, so…

Brandon Graham

PROS: The best player on an awful Michigan defense and awful Michigan teams. Did not get the Full Andy Dufresne since his career ended halfway through the sewage tube. Still bore all of this with a Denard-like beatific smile. Just killed people, all the time.

NFL did really like him, drafting him in the top half of the first round.

CONS: Unfortunately his impact was limited because the team around him was terrible.

David Harris

PROS: Sideline-to-sideline missile was cerebral to the point of near-genius. Always there. Always. Made a habit out of juking(!) offensive linemen in zone schemes, making them think the play was going one way, then exploding into the ballcarrier when this was not the case. Junior year was tremendously underrated thanks to chaos around him; was major lynchpin and possibly the best player on Michigan's monster 2006 defense. Yes, I mean that seriously.

Early and still prime example of the usefulness of UFRing makes him near to my heart; not sure if you care. Validated all praise from Michigan fans by instantly becoming NFL tackling machine upon entry to the league.

Kind of looks like Worf.

CONS: Lacks iconic wow play. Others started longer than he did.

Mario Manningham

PROS: Emphatically does not have David Harris's problem since he was the target on two of the most iconic plays of the aughts: Oh, Wide Open and Lloyd Carr's Last Second. An electric playmaker the rest of the time, a guy who wasn't the biggest but was the fastest and hardest to keep track of. Had that brilliant slow-up-to-stall-the-DB-then-extend-for-the-TD move down pat. More of a technician than given credit for. Whenever I think of Manningham, I think of that Citrus Bowl when DeBord said "screw it, spread time" and Holly Rowe reporting that Florida deathbacker Brandon Spikes was chasing Manningham all over the field on his incessant end-arounds, saying "damn, boy, you good."

Did the worm after the 2007 Penn State win.

CONS: Got suspended for the weed, something that took some doing in the mid-aughts. Widely regarded as kind of maybe not the nicest guy to ever make it through the program.

Jason Avant

PROS: Amongst the nicest guys to ever make it through the program. Skillet-sized hands are made of industrial-strength adhesive. An elite-level possession receiver who was everyone's safety blanket. Targeted all the time and made all the catches. Probably the most common ex-player to be referenced in "You May Remember Me From Such Players As," to the point where I actively try to avoid it now.

Did this:

That about sums it up.

CONS: Did drop that one pass once, you know, that one. Never a huge deep threat.

Mike Hart

PROS: Four year starter with great backstory and running style burned into your brain. No speed at all but capable of juking in a phone booth and grinding out two, three, four yards after contact. Got a standing ovation for a particular eight yard run against Penn State once. Came out of a tiny school in upstate New York with outlandish rushing stats and a youtube clip in which he jukes every player on the opposing team twice.

Never, ever fumbled except twice inside the five against Florida in his last game. Pretty much the only thing standing between Michigan and a yards per carry under three during his time at Michigan.

Mouthy in a rivalry-pumping way. Fantangibles high. Added spice to life. I have already written his column. There is a "Mike Hart is pined for" tag on this blog.

CONS: Injury prone. Started this incredibly annoying "little brother" business. Spice added by mouth often backfired; went 0-fer against OSU.

Lamarr Woodley

72315190_crop_650x440[1]

PROS: Kills people. Brandon Graham was Woodley 2.0, a devastating defensive end who could not be blocked one-on-one. Has enormous Wolverine tattoo on arm. Finished off the Oh Wide Open game with the Yakety-sax-capping scoop and score. Fighting with David Harris and Allan Branch for title of best player on 2006 defense.

CONS: OSU 0-fer does not quite apply but really kind of does since he did not contribute much in 2003. That's about it. Kind of think maybe Graham was better since he had way less help and still produced.

Jake Long

77315876[1]

PROS: Is he a man or a block-long wall? Only his mother knows, and these days she's not even sure. Four-year starter who rolled off the NFL left tackle prototype line and let exactly zero guys not roid-raging get to the quarterback when he was on the field. The first overall pick his draft year, all-American everywhere, etc, etc, etc, you get the idea.

CONS: Fantangibles low. Another Michigan great who had to suffer through the indignity of 0-fer OSU. Hurt most of the 2005 season. Not sure what I'd write about him.

Comments

Mailbag: Safety Strategy, Double Banner, Shotgun For Real, Mancrushes

Mailbag: Safety Strategy, Double Banner, Shotgun For Real, Mancrushes Comment Count

Brian September 22nd, 2011 at 4:44 PM

zach-banner-bballsafety-signal

Zach Banner! Safeties!

Are coaches too conservative on the goal line? This was something I wondered on Monday. The Mathlete did some research into it. Survey says:

This one was a bit surprising to me as I dug in. Turns out coaches call this one about right. Existing playcalling from the 1 is worth on average +.10 in expected value. Going to a base playcalling set reduces that slightly to +.06. The difference is entirely in the magnified value of lost yardage. The 2 point loss weights negative yardage plays so strongly that the 11.2% of plays for loss on normal downs drive the value too low compared to the 2.1% of plays that go for a loss from the 1. I think the bigger takeaway is once you get a couple yards away from the 1. Once you have a little bit of space you might as well open it up but at the 1 or 2 you do have to be very careful.

All that being said, the numbers are fairly close and depending on score and time opening it up, even from the 1 could be a good decision.

In this instance, the conventional wisdom seems to be right. The next time your coach calls for a two-yard dive on first and goal ten from the one, grit your teeth and know it's the percentage play.

Let's wonder about Zach Banner playing everything for us.

Hi Brian,

It seems that Zach Banner really enjoyed his visit, so why not get ahead of myself and assume for a minute he's going to go Blue... If that happens, and if he wants to play hoops as well, how does that affect our basketball scholarship situation? Would that fill the last spot that we are praying is filled by Mitch McGary?  (I would assume that a 2 sport scholarship player counts as a scholarship against both sports, doesn't it? If not, why wouldn't schools start over-signing and stashing players on the water polo team.)

Thanks,
Daniel

Anyone who plays football counts for football if they are on scholarship. Banner would be a walk-on for basketball, as a few MSU football players have been in the recent past. You can keep up your dual Banner/McGary fantasies. Yeah… that's the stuff.

Mancrushes of the author.

Hey Brian,

With all the talk about best games for the under thirty-two crowd (i'm 31), I started thinking about a ranking of players that the under thirty two crowd adores.  Your MANCRUSH with Denard led me to think that he's one.  But who are the rest of your top five?  Hart?  Graham? Woodley?

Thanks,
Ron

It's hard to tell with Denard's career barely more than a third completed, but it's equally hard to deny that he's #1 with a bullet right now. Strictly in terms of the amount of EEEEEE I would feel if put in a room with a current or former Michigan football player and was expected to interact with them:

  1. Denard. Obvious.
  2. Brandon Graham. Essentially Denard as a world-crushing defensive end. The combination of his performance, the defense he was on making that performance more difficult, and his ability to work through all the crap he had to deal with during the transition makes him an easy #2.
  3. Mike Hart. Equally obvious.
  4. David Harris. He looked like Worf and played like Worf. I have a special affection for him because I was very high on him in the UFRs and his pro career has borne that out.
  5. David Molk. Also I guy I loved very early, and then he drops f-bombs and says things like he'll "try to be nicer to the media" and is perfectly blunt.

The thing about a list like this is I want to extend it to a top 25 because hey, I left out Charles Freakin' Woodson. It's apparent that the guys I've reviewed every play of are higher up on my list.

Hello Brian,

On your podcast, you said that Denard is a pretty accurate quarterback. I have a suspicion that might be wrong.

As I think you've astutely pointed out, Denard racked up completions to wide open receivers because of his running ability. This likely props up his completion percentages without requiring him to be all that accurate. I distinctly remember last year's Michigan State UFR, for example. You made a comment about Denard's difficulty fitting the ball into tighter spaces.
This just might just be my lexical confusion about 'accuracy.' In any case, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

Respectfully,
caesar

This was discussed in the first couple offensive UFR and I agree to some extent. Denard was helped by a lot of screens, short throws, and blitheringly wide open seams. His major issue last year was missing wide receivers by miles; his major issue thus far has been missing wide receivers by miles, and a lot of his completions have been on deep punt-type things where underthrowing the guy is a good strategy but not a particularly difficult one.

That said, he at least seemed more accurate last year. Was that because he was rarely throwing in to tight coverage? That's probably some of it. If Denard's in a favorable down and distance and Michigan runs convincing play action his INT against EMU is a first down because there's no defensive back to intercept; I mark the exact same throw CA.

All the more reason to go back to the Denard or die offense.

Roh + Black plz

Hi Brian,

I was wondering what is so different about the responsibilities of the 2 defensive end spots in this defense that we cannot play Roh and Black at the same time?

In most defenses that I'm familiar with the two DE spots are relatively interchangeable. My limited understanding is that you generally want the better run defender on the strong side because teams often run that way because they have an extra blocker, and you generally want your faster, quicker, pass rusher on the weakside to make it easier to sack the QB.
Besides those minor differences, I don't understand what is so gravely different about the 2 positions in our defense that we wouldn't want our 2 best DEs (Roh and Black, counting Van Bergen as a DT) in the game at the same time?

I suppose that if Will Campbell man's up and takes over at DT, and we slide Van Vergen back out to DE, this question is moot, but I still would like to better understand the major differences between the two positions.

Thanks for clearing this up,
Daniel

In a 4-3 even the two DE spots are relatively interchangeable. In a 4-3 under they're significantly different.

The strongside defensive end:

  • is essentially alone next to the strongside G and T
  • takes a lot of doubles
  • has to hold up
  • doesn't get many opportunities to get a speed rush off the edge
  • is kind of a defensive tackle but not quite unless you've got a really good one

The weakside defensive end:

  • almost always gets single blocking
  • rarely, if ever, gets doubled
  • can speed rush all day on passing plays
  • often drops into short zones on zone blitzes
  • is kind of a linebacker sometimes

There are players who are great at both of these. Brandon Graham flipped back and forth and was still Brandon Graham. But in general they are meaningfully different players.

HOWEVA, as mentioned in the defensive UFR I'm advocating both of those guys on the field at the same time, especially against spread formations where the relative lack of bulk won't be too killer. Someone's playing out of position on this line and maybe it's time to try an extremely slanty DL featuring no real anchor but four fast guys (or three fast guys and average Ryan Van Bergen) who can one-gap into the backfield all day. It's not ideal; it's still worth a shot.

denard-shotguntom-brady-shotgun

Denard / Tom Brady, first and goal from the two: shotgun

I have a different conventional wisdom.

Hi Brian,

Assuming perfect execution and the right personnel, why is it widely accepted that operating from under center is superior to the shotgun?  Are the physics such that the extra downfield head start of 2 yards for a RB that much more effective in a running game as a base set (with shotgun draw type plays serving as the offbeat counterpoint)?  What about from a passing perspective?  I would think that the shotgun allows the QB (any QB) to see the field better at the outset of the play...so does it all come back to the running game?

Posed another way, given <insert current top tier NFL QB>, why is under-center better than shotgun?  I'm trying to remove Denard from the argument to get a sense of what we'll be trying to do with Gardner/Morris/et al.

Hope this question makes sense - would appreciate any thoughts (or links to others' thoughts) you've got.

Go Blue!

-V

I think it may be accepted, but that acceptance seems to be shifting in the NFL. For one, see Tom Brady. The league is just now dealing with the injury faking brought on by no-huddle spreads. Shotgun plays are generally more efficient than plays under center even there, though the main reason there is passing, not running.

I mentioned this on the podcast, but the NFL scouts' constant whining about the spread killing the footwork of college QBs has always seemed like a selling point for the shotgun. If footwork is so important and so deficient in a spread option system that seems like a lot of time spent working on something else. This goes both for little ninjas like Denard and artillery pieces like Ryan Mallett, who spent no time under center in high school and couldn't even take a snap half the time as a freshman in college. If footwork is really hard, stop doing footwork. Just start where you're going to be.

This thinking is now becoming popular since a bunch of spread QBs have been instantly successful. Don Banks:

"People have kind of gotten away from the stereotypical thinking we used to see about the spread. I remember when [Florida State's Heisman winner] Charlie Ward came out and they said, 'Oh, he plays in the shotgun.' There were all these different reasons why he couldn't succeed, and it just baffled me. I said 'Do you see what the guy is doing? He's making plays to win games. He's making decisions, he's throwing the ball, he's on target, he's moving away from the rush, all the things you have to do in the NFL. Taking a snap from the center is the easiest thing to learn, all those other things are hard. But I think we've kind of gotten away from that kind of thinking, and we're looking at what these guys do positively. They can make decisions, they can throw on the move, and they can get out of the pocket. So you say, OK, let me build off of what their strengths are.''

Spread zealotry is catching. This, from Football Outsiders, was written four years ago:

Over the past three seasons, offenses have averaged 5.9 yards per play from Shotgun, but just 5.1 yards per play with the quarterback under center. This wide split exists even if you analyze the data to try to weed out biases like teams using Shotgun more often on third-and-long, or against prevent defenses in the fourth quarter. Shotgun offense is more efficient if you only look at the first half, on every down, and even if you only look at running back carries rather than passes and scrambles.

Clearly, NFL teams have figured the importance of the Shotgun out for themselves. Over the past four seasons, the average team has gone from using Shotgun 19 percent of the time to 36 percent of the time, not even counting the Wildcat and other college-style option plays that have become popular in recent years. Before 2007, no team had ever used Shotgun on more than half its offensive plays. In the past two seasons, five different teams have used Shotgun over half the time. It is likely that if teams continue to increase their usage of the Shotgun, defenses will adapt and the benefit of the formation will become less pronounced.

Under center has a few advantages: it does not tip plays based on the position of the running back (unless you're shuffling the fullback argh). The tailback can run north and south more easily. If you do not have a running quarterback it is hard to get safeties to massively misplay play action based on a shotgun running game. And that's all I've got.

So… the answer to your question is "people have not caught up with the new reality."

Comments

Unverified Voracity Ran This With Navarre

Unverified Voracity Ran This With Navarre Comment Count

Brian August 24th, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Countdown: 10.

black_death

I figure that if the children are alive when I get home, I've done my job.
Roseanne Barr

Hatch encouragement. Austin Hatch's latest Caring Bridge update is very encouraging.

Pick Six: the return. Notre Dame blog Blue-Gray Sky used to run an annual contest wherein blog users would pick six teams, five from the AP poll and one unranked, that users thought would do well. Because they know what verbs are and can count, they called this Pick Six. (Ohio State fans would have called it "Ramming Speed.")

One user around here has been missing it since BGS called it a day a few years ago and finally stopped waiting for me to do something about it. Presenting Pick Six: The Return.

Contest king Jeff does not have a prize, but I do: the top five all get a free MGoShirt from the MGoStore and the winner gets three.

manballPrintthe-team

click for store

All these could be yours. Or other items, like maize versions. Hit up the google doc to get registered, and don't pick Michigan if you want to win.

U MAD, media? Brady Hoke is trolling the media. They hit up practice and get to see a bunch of stretching and Brady Hoke punting, and then:

The media saw only one snap from organized drills, and it was a carry by running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, who is among the seven players vying to become Michigan’s first lead tailback since 2007.

That's worse than not opening practice at all. Someone photoshop Trollface onto Hoke pointing at something.

Tangent: I wonder if the Fort is back in earnest after watching a significantly lamer edition of the BTN's tour show. We got hardly any insight and they were so hard up for video they showed the same plays a half-dozen times. Will Michigan still issue an injury report this year?

No need to hit play. This is Hoke talking about his team from yesterday:

But I'm just putting it here so I can compare him to Towlie.

towlie-pointing

He's even pointing.

Q: How is will Campbell doing? A: I have no idea what's going on.

Send this to Borges a thousand times. Smart Football's latest post is on the speed option, something we've never seen the good side of Michigan. We've been annihilated by it time and again; never have we used its powers for good.

Apparently it's just what we already run with added oopmh:

What further makes the play so good is that these concepts are universal; they are not tethered to a single offense or system. The play works from under center or shotgun, and has been effectively used by teams with great running quarterbacks and it has been used by teams with more pedestrian quarterbacks as just a cheap way to get the ball to the outside.

In modern form, the play is simple. The line outside zone blocks, which means they step playside seeking to cut off the defense and to even reach them as they can. The linemen work together to double-team the defensive linemen before sliding off to block the linebackers, and the idea is to create a vertical crease somewhere between a spot outside the tight-end and the sideline. The offense leaves an outside guy unblocked, typically either the defensive end or the strongside linebacker. The quarterback takes the snap and runs right at the unblocked defender’s outside shoulder. If the defender stays wide, the quarterback cuts up the inside crease (and typically looks to cut back against the grain). If the defender attacks the quarterback or simply stays inside, the QB pitches it.

To everyone except the runners that's a read option or outside zone. Meanwhile, the quarterback is attacking the same side of the defense the line is and is moving towards the LOS when he makes his decision. The lack of true option plays last year was likely an artifact of Denard's rawness; adding them is a good way to suck defenders to that threat without getting him killed. (You can get killed running the option, of course, but speed options from the gun seem less likely for that to happen because the QB has more time to make a decision.)

Additionally, the speed option seems like a good way to combat scrape exchanges. If that DE is hammering down the line he's blocked himself when the play heads the other way, and then another defender gets optioned off.

Chris praises the speed option as a simple, economical wrinkle you can put in even when your quarterback is not particularly fleet of foot. Even if Borges is not an expert on running quarterbacks, adding a true option to Michigan's repertoire seems doable. As a bonus, the speed option gives Michigan a run play that uses Denard from under center. An example:

Michigan's existing zone system paired with under-center running that uses Denard. Sex? Sex.

You can take things back. If only the Big Ten had the humility of Iowa Corn:

"The overwhelming feedback has been negative," he said. "Because we've listened ... people want something different than what was proposed last week. And we as Iowa corn growers and the farmers we represent, we want people to be happy."

A temporary trophy will be designed for this year's game on Sept. 10. Fans will be able to suggest a design for the more permanent replacement.

"The new Cy-Hawk trophy, we trust, will truly be something fans will embrace," Floss said.

The vetoed trophy is en route to the third world, where it will become the African Cup of Nations. The temporary trophy will be briefly labeled "interim" until that hurts recruiting; then it will be not interim, but not hired, either.

If Jim Delany was in charge of this, the new trophy they debut for the 2012 game would be exactly the same instead of what it should be: a hawk in an F16 shooting a missile at a tornado.

Evanston: so hood. I saw this on twitter but dismissed it as a joke. It is not a joke:

Does Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa have a limp or not?

‘‘Your limp could be somebody else’s pimp walk,’’ Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald said.

You'll have to forgive me a moment of regret that Michigan didn't score Fitzgerald during its coaching search.

(HT: Rittenberg.)

Even more Hart. Man, Mike Hart takes a coaching job and everyone's all up in his business. This time it's the Syracuse press reliving his high school days and publishing an extensive interview with him. Hart's career goals:

“As I look forward, I want to be a head football coach of a college program that wins a national championship. My next goal is to go down as one of the best-known coaches. I’d like to be on the level of Lloyd Carr. I plan on being a great coach one day.”

He also says his exit was because he couldn't stay healthy—"If it was my business, I wouldn’t risk my money on somebody who got hurt every fourth game, either"— and flatly refuses to ever work for OSU or MSU. Recommended.

Etc.: The Dayton Daily News has just discovered that Terry Talbott got a medical scholarship a month ago. Do not panic about Terrance's status—at least don't do so because of that. Bill Connolly throws up his hands when trying to project OSU's season. Corn Nation previews Michigan—hey, that's us! Their poll about the game is split nearly 50-50 as to who wins. Weird. Just Cover looks at MSU and their Vegas-set over under of 7.5 wins.

Comments

Unverified Voracity Requires Kerosene

Unverified Voracity Requires Kerosene Comment Count

Brian August 22nd, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Kill it with fire.Last year some horrible, horrible hip-hop artist whose songs should be titled "Making You Want To Die Part VII," "Making You Want To Die Part VIII," and so forth and so on, released some fake pump up video that momentarily panicked the fanbase into thinking we'd Freekbassed ourselves.

[By MGoLaw every mention of We Are ND must be accompanied by We Are ND:

We remain in full compliance.]

We had not. Nor have we this year when some horrible, horrible hard rock outfit attempted to pull the same trick with their song "Making You Want To Die Part IX". Should I even link this monstrosity? I will but only if everyone signs a blood oath to never support the people responsible for this.

/blood oath signing music

All right. It's here. The worst part about all of this is that someday the Assistant Vice Associate Athletic Director For Making Michigan Stadium Wicked Sweet is going to hear one of these things and think it is a good idea instead of a malformed baby we should leave on the mountain to die.

That last part is not a joke. Multiple people have sent Lucy Ann Lance's interview with the new chief marketing officer along because of an ominous passage towards the end of it.

The middle of the article has an extensive discussion of ads in Michigan Stadium and how they will never happen. While I'm grateful for that I wonder if the guys in charge of this stuff have any idea why that's important to the fanbase. I don't think they do:

Lucy Ann: Any other changes that you have coming out regarding branding of the University of Michigan?

Lochmann: Event presentation and how people experience the brand at our events is a big part of building the brand, and we are in the midst of hiring some event presentation folks to really focus on making it a wow experience for our fans who go to basketball, hockey, football, soccer. It’s not just a PA announcement.

Lucy Ann: More entertainment?

Lochmann: Exactly. We really want to make all Michigan Athletics a destination for sports fans.

"It's not just a PA announcement?" Do I have to refer a guy who actually works in the athletic department to the ten-year-old kid who blew his mind at last year's Illinois game? Shouldn't the person in charge of branding Michigan understand it? Michigan does not have "just PA announcements." It has one of the grand old men of the PA business, Carl Grapentine.

The primary reason Michigan fans don't want ads in the stadium is because they distract from the game. The chief marketing officer says he won't put ads in the stadium but looks to "really focus on making it a wow experience."

It already is a wow experience. There are a 110,000 people in a stadium watching Desmond Howard or Charles Woodson or Denard Robinson. Wow has been accomplished. Wow is also accomplished at Yost. Wow is not at Crisler, which is by far the chintziest Michigan sports venue. Make the connection. The chief marketing officer's primary duty should be to recognize and preserve the parts of the Michigan tradition that are unique, not turn everything into a February Knicks game.

I envy Notre Dame fans in this department. They have an iron grip on what they want their stadium experience to be like. It's a little weird that it does not include massive HD replays, but there is no threat someone will promise FREEEEEEE PIZZZZZAAA or play Let The Bodies Hit The Floor at Notre Dame Stadium. There would be a gentle, friendly riot.

Bo finishes. Via Wolverine Historian, a one-hour Michigan Replay special on Bo's last season:

Grimly grim under a steel-grim sky. So you're just skipping along in this article about Mike Hart's initial foray into coaching at Eastern Michigan when Ron English pops up and slaps you with this baby:

“Mike’s strengths were never his physical abilities, they were always his mental abilities, his emotional abilities, his character. That’s what I’ve always loved about him. He’s a no-brainer in this profession as long as he can deal with the hours, the commitment, the movement and the disappointment. There’s a lot of disappointment in this profession.”

English's perspective is informed by being head coach of a school where going 2-10 gets you a "keep up the good work," of course. Pair that with Eastern's gray concrete stadium and it's like being the head coach of North Korea's football team. Watch out for lightning.

And here's everything. Burnt Orange Nation has collected every nasty bit of PR to befall college football in the past year, getting up to 23 separate incidents (Michigan's major-ish violations are included). This is my favorite one:

13) Unranked UConn Cant Sell Fiesta Bowl tickets (December 2010)

In a further indictment of the current system, there were a flood of stories related to schools being unable to sell their allotment of tickets for bowl games.  Most notably, UConn resorted to begging fans to buy Fiesta Bowl tickets.  Not surprisingly, it didnt work.  Later calculations placed their financial losses for the game at $1.66 million.  Their actual losses were much higher, as OU kicked their ass and then their coach fled for Maryland.  Good times.

The bowl system has successful shoved all the uncertainty onto the college programs they are parasites on, even up to the BCS level.

Etc.: Bleacher Report hires Dan Levy, Dan Rubenstein, Josh Zerkle, and Bethlehem Shoals? What is going on? Gary Danielson declares "landlocked" MSU and Purdue the toughest gigs in the Big Ten. Indiana? Or have people given up on them entirely? He's also a superconference believer, FWIW.

Comments