When in Rome, kayak as the Romans did. Cesar Ruiz's displacement is an asset on the football field. In a kayak not so much.
This trip is probably the most Summer Of Harbaugh thing that's happened yet. Except for the shirtless touch football game at a camp he participated in. That's permanently #1.
I could use more Gus in my life. ESPN's college football announcing crew was decimated this year so I'm much more into this than I would have been previously:
...this season kicks off Fox Sports' six-year, $1.44 billion deal with the Big Ten Conference. Under the terms of the new pact, not only has Fox wrested the deed to the annual Ohio State-Michigan game from co-rights holder ESPN/ABC, but it will also broadcast the Big Ten football championship game in December. (And no, the change of broadcast venues doesn't suggest that the Buckeyes-Wolverines grudge match is going to move under the lights for a primetime airing any time soon -- tradition still demands a noon game.)
Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt might be the best extant CFB announce team and I'm totally down with those guys calling M-OSU. Hopefully FOX tones down the robots and goes with a more collegiate feel for their Big Ten games.
I am far less enthused about this, however:
“It’s still a concern,” Manuel said. “The only difference is, the Big Ten and television can assign us to a primetime game and it’s not our option. In November, we have the option if we choose to do so. I don’t anticipate that choice being made.” ...
“It comes out in terms of we agreed to it several years ago as a part of negotiating the new Big Ten television contract that we would allow up to two games at night,” Manuel said. “Last year for this (2016) football season, we had the option. Next year and moving forward the Big Ten can assign us and television in the Big Ten. In the month of September and October.” ...
“Jim (Harbaugh) and I have been in lockstep, saying our preference is in the afternoon and not in the evening,” Manuel said. “In this particular case, we have granted the ability for the Big Ten to assign two home games in the evening. That’s where it will go.”
I don't know if that's yet another Dave Brandon ace negotiation or an unfortunate side-effect of being part of the Big Ten during a period when it's being run by someone who cares about nothing other than stacking dollars. It kind of sounds like the former since Manuel says "we have granted the ability" to the Big Ten. Which is another going-away president from the worst AD in history. Also in "Dave Brandon's icy hand reaches out from the grave": he scheduled Air Force again. Never schedule Air Force.
Cord cutting leads to other forms of cutting. ESPN is about to have an on-air bloodletting:
ESPN will part ways with more than 40 people, all of them “talent,” a label that ESPN applies to radio hosts and writers (almost all of whom regularly do video or audio), not just traditional TV personalities. ESPN says it has 1,000 people in the category. Still, you can expect most of the people cut to be faces you’ve seen on TV. In some cases, ESPN may buy people out of existing long-term contracts—as Sports Illustrated points out, that is unusual.
Most of these folks are probably going to be peripheral folks with few names you'd be familiar with, but the story speculates about one potential exit that would be frown-inducing:
The New York Daily News has some speculation, including SportsCenter anchor John Buccigross, whose contract expires on July 1.
Nooooooooooo. Buccigross is probably the network's foremost college hockey proponent and things would not be the same without him. Here's hoping his skillset keeps him on the four-letter.
who are you going to believe, your own lying eyes or this dipshit?
This week in bullshit. Danny Kanell brings his turtleneck to a fact party:
Kanell is way out of line here. Consider the environment he's living in at the time of the FSU game: various players have outright skipped bowl games and gotten praise for it in the media; neither Leonard Fournette nor Christian McCaffrey has seen his draft stock altered one iota by that decision. Even if Peppers wasn't going to play by his choice he could have just said "nope" privately and not dressed, as is common in football.
Instead he dressed and attempted to warm up, whereupon he looked like a guy who'd injured his hamstring. So unless he's a pathological liar who's simultaneously extremely convincing at faking muscle injuries, he was, you know, injured. Kanell is slandering Peppers without proof. Probably because he's dumb as a brick.
Here's a guy in need of some firin', ESPN.
When third chances go wrong. If your program has a guy get in trouble, it had a guy get in trouble. It happens. If your program takes a guy with two arrests in his recent past you'd better do your homework, because if he gets in trouble again that is on you. This is on Mark Dantonio:
Robertson was arrested for criminal mischief* in 2015, then arrested shortly before Signing Day for inappropriately grabbing a female student at his high school. MSU issued a statement about the deep background they did on the guy in an attempt to justify the signing:
“Our decision to accept Auston Robertson’s signed National Letter of Intent and Big Ten Tender has been evaluated over the last three months while utilizing all resources available to us to thoroughly review his situation,” Dantonio said.
“Our relationship with Auston began last summer when he committed to Michigan State. When we accepted his verbal (commitment), we also made a commitment to him and his family. We elected not to sign him in early February, and since then he has been accepted into a pretrial diversionary program and must continue to satisfy those requirements. Given all the information available to us, we believe Auston should be provided with an opportunity to begin his education and playing career at Michigan State.”
He lasted barely a year before getting charged with criminal sexual conduct in East Lansing, a charge that is easily predicted by the nature of the battery he got diverted. The above statement should have read "We know this is a risk for the people who will be around Robertson. Sorry. (Not sorry.)" That risk seems to have resulted in something very bad indeed, given the fact that Robertson went on the lam for two days. Even more ominously, Mark Dantonio saw fit to remove him from MSU's team. Short of failing to meet academic eligibility requirements, when does that happen?
This isn't and shouldn't be a rivalry thing. Hopefully the fact that I bombed Brady Hoke and Dave Brandon for their useless lies about Brendan Gibbons demonstrates that 1) nobody is immune from this sort of thing and 2) I'm not just a message board dude with my rivalry lols. It should be about what looks like an institution that has serious issues with sexual assault, at multiple levels.
*[And "resisting law enforcement," a charge which I'm always extremely dubious about.]
Expected starter confirmation. Chris Evans on his spring game deployment:
"I wanted to play more ... But they said 'nah, nah, nah, you're not going to play, you're not going to play.' I just respected that and just back to the drawing board (for spring practice) on Tuesday."
That is a leader in the clubhouse.
Red encomiums. John Bacon:
Berenson loved the game from the start. When he was a 6-year old kid in Regina, Saskatchewan, for Christmas his parents gave him new skates, new gloves and new shin pads. He was so excited, he called his best friend – at 6 a.m.
When his friend's mom answered, she asked, "Do you know what time it is?"
Berenson replied, "Yes -- but this is important!"
Berenson stepped down Monday after 33 years as Michigan's head coach. He was hired during a tumultuous time in the program's history, May 1984. It was the third time then-athletic director Don Canham had asked him to take over. He was an assistant coach in the NHL at the time. He finally accepted.
"I left a job making $85,000 a year to take a job making $40,000," Berenson said. "I thought, 'Did I get my MBA at Michigan to make a decision like this?' But it was the right thing to do. I loved Michigan and loved the experience I had."
MGoBlue has a thing that's more of a pretty-design item than a story but here is a picture:
And Hoover Street Rag:
Red Berenson did not invent Michigan hockey, that's Vic Heyliger and Al Renfrew. But Red did save Michigan hockey, first with the Regina Regiment, then by coming home to Ann Arbor in 1984. He was hired by Don Canham, and he, slowly but surely, brought Michigan back from the abyss. He won 848 games in the NCAA, fourth most in college hockey, and starting in 1990-91 when Michigan posted a 34-win season and its made first trip to the NCAAs in 14 years, an event they would not miss for the next 22 seasons, Michigan began a streak of 8 straight 30-win seasons, with 6 Frozen Fours and 2 national titles, Michigan's eighth and ninth all time. And in all of this, in the down seasons, after the Hunwick fueled miracle run in 2011, after Mel left, and we wondered when would this moment come. Then came last year, when Michigan hockey was fun again and four NHL-caliber players were lighting the lamp and Michigan won the conference tournament, there was the notion of maybe the old magic had been recaptured, let Red have one more run this year and then hand the reins off after one more season. But, wishing doesn't make it so, and Michigan Hockey Summer took its toll, as it is wont to do.
Woke Harbaugh continues. Harbaugh on Colin Kaepernick in Time:
Colin Kaepernick was alone in his early protests last year when he boldly and courageously confronted perceived inequalities in our social-justice system by refusing to stand for the national anthem. At times in our nation's history, we have been all too quick to judge and oppose our fellow Americans for exercising their First Amendment right to address things they believe unjust.
Rather than besmirch their character, we must celebrate their act. For we cannot pioneer and invent if we are fearful of deviating from the norm, damaging our public perception or—most important—harming our own personal interests.
That writing style is familiar from the opening video at home games. Feels like every word is capitalized, which is very Harbaugh.
Etc.: Some Peppers fluff. Tom Herman wants it nice and light. Fart man. John Borton reports that Brad Hawkins will play safety at Michigan, as expected. Graham Couch, man.