OT: Real Estate / Renting / Land Contract gurus

OT: Real Estate / Renting / Land Contract gurus

Submitted by benjamin on May 20th, 2013 at 10:52 PM

Hello fantastic mgoblog community.

I was inspired by another posters relocation question earlier this week, and the out pouring of support they received and decided to ask my own question. I know this is not a forum for legal/real estate advice. But, we have a great community and I thought i would give it a shot.

Mods, delete if needed. Thanks everyone!


I recently started a job out of state and put my house up for sale.

We had 3 full price offers on the first weekend and accepted an offer. We were excited that things seemed to be moving in the right direction- and quickly. The house ended up appraising at +30k (!!!!!!) less than what we needed to appraise at. Our realtor, throughout the process, said it would appraise. We had the house appraised earlier this year (for a refinance) and used that info when pricing the house.

We are massively under water and are researching alternatives. Selling seems out because the loan is upside down. Renting and Land Contract seem like viable options.

Has anyone had any experience renting out their home or being involved with a land contract?

Any professionals out there have any addtional insight?

My family and I thank you for your input.

MGoProfile: Volume 17

MGoProfile: Volume 17

Submitted by Six Zero on August 26th, 2010 at 6:52 AM

Hello everyone, Six Zero here with the final 2010 installment of: 

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SIX QUESTIONS WITH BRIAN

Inspired by the official site’s “Two Minute Drill” series and TomVH’s famous Q&A segments with potential recruits, this weekly feature highlights some of the more famous personalities here at MGoBlog.  Without pulling back the infamous veil of blog anonymity, we’ll get to know some of your favorite posters better and possibly shed some light on their definition of why it’s so darn Great, To Be, A Michigan Wolverine.

 PREVIOUS FEATURES:
TomVH        formerly anonymous       Misopogon       Shredder 
       Mathlete      Jamiemac      Magnus       WolverineHistorian       MGoShoe     Blue in South Bend     Blazefire     Tim     WolvinLA     MGoJen     MGoStore     ChiTown Blue
 

     Brian Cook.  Or, to give his full given name, Brian Fielding Fritz Harmon Wistert Forest Hercules Oosterbaan Bump Bob Bo Ron Dan Jamie Monte Anthony Ali-Haji Brown Jim Desmond Elvis Hutchinson Todd Tom Drew Leroy Tshimanga Tyrone Charles David A-Train Chris Marquise Marlin LaMarr Braylon Mike Leon Brandon Zoltan Denard Demetrius Cook.  The third.

     All official namesakes aside, it’s no accident that Brian has found a way to make his living following the team(s) we have sworn our allegiance to.  Like many of us, the pride and love and occasional ennui we share for Michigan has been bred throughout Mr. Cook’s entire life.  His love of the maize and blue is a God-given gift, and like the way others have been blessed with the talent to sing, draw, or run without secured footwear, Brian has been found his calling in life to use his gift to make the Internet, if not the world, a better place.  Let’s catch up with him for this exclusive interview:
 


1.   Once upon a time there was a guy named Brian who decided to start something called a blog.  Can you recall exactly when, where you were and what you were doing when you decided to start this thing called MGoBlog?
    
I'm pretty sure I was laid up on my girlfriend's couch hoping my ribs weren't broken. But first the Wayne's World flashback fingers...
     In college I'd co-founded and edited the Every Three Weekly and kept telling myself that I'd only be an engineer for five years and then I'd be awesome, or something, and after I'd become an engineer I kept looking for ways to make that happen. One attempt was supposed to be a magazine about the "Art of the Letter"; a friend and I wrote a bunch of letters to celebrities and hoped they'd respond. No one did. Our letters had no art. Here's one:

WHAT UP MY DOGG JON VOIGHT,
 

                 Dude, you probably don’t really want to hear this, but your daughter is really fucking hot. And of course you know I have nothing but honorable intentions towards her, even though she’s as hot as previously stated. Not that I’ve ever met her.
 

                But I was just thinking, dude, if she’s that hot her mom must have been really fucking hot too. Yeah, dogg, you’re the man. The motherfuckin’ man. Literally.
 

                Anyway, in between discussions of how hot your daughter is and attempting to pause Tomb Raider just right so that we can reflect on this fact, we decided we should start a magazine dedicated to the art of the letter and ask you to write us a letter about anything—although if you wanted to talk about how hot Angelina Jolie’s mom was we would totally understand, totally—as long as it’s, you know, pretty interesting. And stuff. Yeah. Really.
 

                So write us, pimpmasta playa JON VOIGHT. True dat.


                Sincerely,


                Brian Cook
                Kit Nicholls
                Editors


     They were all basically like that: insult some celebrity, ask for a letter. We actually sent these out. We got a PO Box and everything. No one ever wrote us back. In retrospect, obviously. By then I'd heard of blogging and started one with the same guy and some other friends that was directionless and spectacularly unsuccessful. I was the only one who wrote, and not often.
     Eventually I decided I needed to do something on my own. Many one-sided conversations about Michigan football with friends that ended with glazed eyes and the little charts (charts!) of Michigan's recruiting classes that I'd doodle in meetings--Justin King featured prominently--made me think that if I was going to write about something it should probably be the thing I already spent too much time following.
     The actual creation process was greatly aided by a pratfall. I was leaving my girlfriend's house, it had snowed over a coat of ice, the driveway was angled, and I was carrying my work computer. When I slipped, I instinctively tried to not shatter a 3k laptop and ended up crushing my ribs. They weren't broken but it felt like they could have been and I spent the next few days on my couch, 'working from home' by learning CSS and revamping a blogger template so that it didn't look generic.


Ah yes, the American dream of ‘working from home.’  If I did that I’d probably never be home.  Anyway, describe what MGoBlog was like for the first, say, month of its existence.   And, when did you realize that this was working, and that you could actually do produce MGoBlog for a living?
     In the first month it was a series of short posts linking to other content. It was also very ugly. The long posts and columns that would become the site's trademark were largely absent; posts were frequent and along the lines of "here's a link to this other thing with maybe a sentence added on." It was kind of like Get The Picture except way worse.
     I started throwing together longer stuff after that year’s Signing Day by assembling whatever information I could about recruits and linking it up on Rivals, and eventually a small readership formed. After that happened I stopped promoting the blog at all and settled down into content generation. A pattern that's held throughout the blog's existence started up where offseason traffic is pretty much flat, there's a big spike during football season, and then the next offseason's traffic is 2-4 times that of the previous one. I don't advertise at all.
     After a couple of those cycles the blog was at around 2000 pageviews a day. I got fired from my job for not doing it--Tropico and blogging take up time--and was in idle, wondering if I should try to get another job or move to New York or what, when Jamie Mottram emailed me with an offer to be one of the lead bloggers for this new AOL Fanhouse thing. That plus the text links and nascent advertising on the site added up to a number somewhere around the poverty line, so I said okay and wrote a lot of eight-dollar posts for AOL. That was when I thought I might be able to do this for a living. I hedged pathetically when anyone asked what my job was, though, and I didn't "realize" it was working for another couple years.
     The Lloyd Carr retirement and job search was probably the tipping point, where I was getting information from people who just liked the site and newspaper reporters were specifically debunking stuff I'd passed along and I was just laying everything I'd heard out there so that readers could judge what was happening for themselves. By the time Rodriguez was hired the blog had quadrupled its base traffic and having a tax return my mother would not be terrified by was a distant possibility. At some point I stopped hedging about what I did and developed a spiel about how I was not homeless (CPM advertising plus donations plus text links plus t-shirts plus freelancing).


2.  You enjoy some degree of recognition from the Sports Information Department.  How big of a victory was it to develop an official relationship with the university itself, and what does it give the blog that it didn’t have prior to that recognition?
     The way that worked was pretty weird. I'd met Bruce Madej, the SID, maybe once or twice in passing and he'd talked about getting me into the press box for a game or two, something I was and remain totally opposed to. I'm where I am now because I've never been in a pressbox, and while I won't turn into Drew Sharp the instant I cross the threshold I don't see much value in it for me except from an anthropological standpoint. (See: Brian is pwned by Tom Dienhart, which should make it clear that someone's got to do it but it's not this guy.)
     But I'd been thinking about adding some actual reporting into the mix and thought Tim, who knew Madej from his days at WOLV, was a guy well positioned to bridge the gap between blog and reporting. Meanwhile, I was in-studio at WTKA as John Bacon and Knight fellow Richard Dietsch discussed the demise of the Ann Arbor News. Dietsch winked as he mischievously asked Madej point-blank if he'd give MGoBlog a credential, and Madej said "yes."
     So we emailed back and forth a couple times and set up a meeting. I expected skepticism. Michigan had a reputation for being extremely old-fashioned about things. The reason GBW has a magazine is so they could get access. Internet sites were denied at the time they started up, and "The Fort" was internet shorthand for Schembechler Hall for a reason. So I'd mentally prepared some talking points to deal with whatever concerns they'd have.
     There weren't any. They had a list of requirements they wanted any website to meet to get a credential, which they presented to me just because they wanted my input on it. And they said the first year Tim might have a little trouble getting into big games because the press box was small, but after that he'd be fine. And that was it.
     So... I'd like to say MGoBlog knocked the doors down but the News going down and Greg Dooley's existence (Dooley gets along with everyone and is the kind of extrovert that defies blogger stereotypes I largely live up to) were more important.

     As to what it gives the blog: there is the obvious content. As we've gotten more established we've gotten more interviews for Hail to the Victors and hopefully we'll start getting more for the blog itself. We're trying to get a field pass, which would be another step. But we're still trying to figure out what makes the most sense in a world where press conference transcripts are immediately available in four different places; the stuff Tim did last year for Friday Night Lights, which requires no access at all, has been way more valuable.


 

3.  How does being Brian from MGoBlog change your gameday experience?  Are you recognized when you walk through the hallowed gates into Michigan Stadium?  And what’s the best part of being Brian from MGoBlog??
     Increasingly, yes. I remember the first time it ever happened. It was after the 2007 Northwestern game. I was helping matters along by wearing my "Zoltan For Space Emperor" shirt and some random guy walked by and said "Brian!" and I was like "I don't know you!" and he was like "MGoBlog!" and I was like "dude." Then an hour later someone bought me a beer. It was at that moment I knew exactly how Kathy Griffin lives her day-to-day life.
     Now it will happen a couple times whenever I go to a Michigan sporting event. If you have done this to me I have probably been awkward, but this is not your fault. I am an engineer. I remember when I got my first friend. It was in fifth grade and he was just screwing with me. You are not the problem.
     As far as the best part about doing this whole thing, it's the aftermath of an important emotional event for the fanbase when I have written something I think helps people wrap their head around things. I much prefer this to be a good event but of late it's been helping people cope instead of consolidating their joy. I'm still pretty confused by what Jim Carty first diagnosed as a cult mentality around the site where people openly despair at my inevitable graduation to the big time -- I'm just this guy -- but what I understand in it resides in those columns.

 

4.   When have you been most proud of MGoBlog?  And, being a creative person myself, I’ll ask-- are you ever satisfied with it?  What is the thing you like the least about what it has evolved into?
     The way I answered the previous question answers the first bit of this one, but to be really specific the column I'd put on the gravestone is The Age of Miracles. Secondarily, I'm not sure which guy it was but it was probably MCalibur or Misopogon or the Mathlete (block Ms all, eh?) who posted the tipping-point diary where I felt I'd gathered this community around the blog and set the gates open and these guys had stepped forward with outstanding content that would probably not have existed without that "create content" link. That's the accumulation of a lot of effort, and a validation of the entire painful move off of blogger. Since then the diaries have been consistently inventive and useful and I've marveled at the ability of people who just care a whole lot to produce great stuff.
     As to satisfaction, no, I have a list of a dozen things I'd like to get done that hardly shrinks.  A couple are getting towards a checkoff, FWIW, including a mobile site and some more database-oriented sections of the blog. Even so, things keep getting added to the list and the site keeps looking more dated and Drupal 7 is coming out...
     As far as the thing I like least about the site: as it's grown the message board continually approaches MLive or the worst parts about the premium boards. I've tried to erect barriers that would keep this down, and they've been somewhat successful, but when Doctor Saturday posts something that's a tiny bit wrong about Michigan and gets raked over the coals for it I feel I'm losing a battle. I simultaneously loathe and understand the term "mgoidiots"; people who deploy it are not that distinguishable from the people targeted but they are somewhat. I wanted to have this bit of the internet where people would have serious conversations and hilarious interactions without animosity and that didn't happen even if Steve Sharik gets frontpaged at Smart Football. It happens in bits, and that's still better than a lot of places but the same tedious learning about who needs to be ignored and who needs to be attended to happens. You can't fight entropy.

5.  Is this your job for life?  Or, should I say, would you ever consider selling and/or walking away from MGoBlog?
     I really hope MGoBlog is my job for life as long as we start going to bowls on the regular in the near future. Insufficient emphasis. I desperately want MGoBlog to be my job until I retire. I've rarely been so attuned with a fictional character as when Sterling Cooper was trying to get Don Draper to sign a contract, and when he actually signed it and was immediately slapped in the face with it I felt it was cosmically justified. So... yeah. It will take a lot to do something else.
     Never say never, but it is extremely unlikely I'd ever walk away or sell the site. I love what I do, I have job security, I am my own boss, and the revenue is on a path where I should be able to support a family. I can't imagine wanting to do something else.
     At some point I will probably start disconnecting for longer periods of time during the summer -- since the blog started five years ago I've taken one two-week vacation, days here and there for the 4th and other one-off holidays, and that's it. I'd like to be able to wander around a foreign country for a while at some point before kids make that an impossibility. But do something else? Not likely.


Obviously, this is your livelihood.  Can you describe a typical workday for you? And, as always, what do you like to do for fun on your own time?
     I wake up at 9 (season) or 10 (offseason) or 11 (offseason after Troy Woolfolk explodes) and immediately start assembling whatever the noon-ish post is going to be. Sometimes I've already put something together (or Tim or Tom has or there's a diary worth a bump) and it goes up soon after I get up, but most of the time those are afternoon things. After that I scan twitter, message boards, and Bloglines, then move on to the next thing I need to do. That could be something immediate or working on another post for the afternoon or working on a longer-term project. Depending on how much outside help there is that day and how much I've gotten done, I knock off sometime between 3 and 5 and do stuff around the house or just surf the internet; after dinner I'll usually start writing some more stuff up. During the season big hunks of Monday and Tuesday go to UFRs. I stay up late and get a lot of work done between 10 and 2 AM.
     There's a lot of playing it by ear; things tend to be ready when they're ready.
     My main hobby turned into my job, so now I have scant answers to the second question. Now my main non-internet hobbies are playing dorky German board gamesand being terrible at soccer. You have no idea how bad. The best shot I've ever unleashed was directly at my own keeper.

If it makes you any better, I’m sure all of us are bad at dorky German board games.  Before we move on, describe the perfect meal.
     Roasted chicken. My fiancee makes it and the last few times we've dispensed with the sides and even the silverware. We just flip the thing upside down and promise each other we'll never film the carnage. It is so good. Learn to do this.

 

6.  Can you explain why the sky is blue?  Or, why are you a Michigan fan?
     Heredity and everything else. The family has had season tickets since the mid-50s and there's even a legend that my grandfather ushered at Ferry Field that seems apocryphal given the age he would have been at the time. The legend exists, though, and that's what's important. I remember falling asleep during that Rose Bowl we lost to Washington as my dad got agitated and staying awake through the one where Tyrone Wheatley cut a blazing swath through the subsequent, Emtman-free edition of the Huskies.
     When it came time to pick a college, I applied to Michigan and MIT. MIT said no, but I wasn't going there anyway. Seriously: they deploy the acronym "IHTFP*" everywhere. Also it would have cost triple what M did. So I went to Michigan, saw a national title as a freshman, graduated with a computer engineering degree in 2001 when the dot-com bubble was imploding, got a masters in the same thing because of the bubble, and have not actually left Ann Arbor since 1997. Also now my job is dependent on Michigan someday not being terrible.
     So... yeah. Every possible reason that has ever existed.

*("I Hate This Fucking Place")

So you’re saying there’s more than one reason, then.  Finally, who's your all-time favorite Wolverine?
    
All sports: Jed Ortmeyer. He sealed that during the infamous "Molly" game when he delivered two of the most crushing legal hits I've ever seen in the first ten minutes, and then put it in a hidden tomb when he and Eric Nystrom played a give-and-go for the winner against Denver the next night. Carl Hagelin's got a shot to beat him this year, though. We'll see.
     In football I have to give the obvious answer: Mike Hart. This is not interesting but it is true. If I was going to try to be interesting I would go with David Harris for reasons described in the All Decade Team, but it's tough to have the same sort of visceral reaction to a linebacker that you do to a skill position player. Hart was physically inadequate for Division I football but did not care. He was the sort of football genius that makes the detailed observer both enthralled and incapable of communicating exactly why. So he was sort of art. And he never fumbled except inside the five against Florida and we still won that game.
     Jason Avant is a close second. If David Molk stays healthy the next couple years he'll be up there. I am developing a severe bias towards players I think are great before anyone else does.
 


     My plans for MGoProfile never included Brian, actually.  I initially wanted to focus on the everyday joes that sit at the same counter as the rest of us and shovel the manna of MGoBlog down their throats with the same silverware as everyone else. Plus, I’ve dealt with Brian a bit now, and I know he’s not a glory hound.  The blog has never been HEY LOOK AT ME I’M BRIAN AND THIS IS MY BLOG ABOUT SOME TEAM AND OH BTW I’M AWESOME K THX BYE.  I really didn’t think he’d want any part in these profiles at all.

     But after the ball started rolling, I’d started focusing on some of the staffers here such as F/A and Tim, and it seemed kind of wrong that we hadn’t profiled Brian himself.  So I asked him subtly and he was open to the idea—I was actually a bit surprised in fact, and even admitted to him that I didn’t think he’d want to be included.

     In the end, Brian said yes precisely because of what I discussed above.  The blog is NOT about him, or his life, or his interests, or only what he thinks about something.  We read about Michigan sports in ludicrous detail, and there’s little room for what Brian had for dinner last night or what he thinks of True Blood.  So when the opportunity came to spotlight him in a profile, it really was something we don’t actually know much about.  Plus the historical aspect of the blog that Brian can offer is absolutely one of a kind.  Jon Voight, bitches.  Jon Voight.

     And so it is my pleasure to announce that this season of MGoProfile has officially concluded.  It’s been a fun ride, and I hope you all have enjoyed getting to know some of our most colorful personalities as much as I have.  There are plans already in motion to continue next offseason, sometime in the spring or so after the hoopla of a Big Ten championship season finally dies down.  Hehe, see you then.
     I’d also like to personally thank TomVH and his lightning quick web accountability.  This series began almost before my eyes as an informal exchange between us; all told the entire concept and first entry was knocked out in probably ten or fifteen minutes.  But it all snowballed from there.  Couldn’t have done it without you, Tom.
    


     Yes, the season is less than 10 days away, and the offseason is all but over.  Finally, gloriously, it’s time to stop explaining what happened and predicting what will happen—and instead live the dream again.  Our Wolverines are 0-0, and-- regardless of wingless helmets, imploding ankles, and Martell Webb’s rhinological profile-- we are free to cheer and hope and believe once again.  Most likely this will be one of the most important years we will ever experience as a fan of Michigan football—and either way the history of the program will be forever changed by the 2010 season.  We will live and die together, my brothers.  (And sisters).
     I will see you all on the other side.  Go Blue.

     Six Zero
     August 2010

MGoProfile: Volume 16

MGoProfile: Volume 16

Submitted by Six Zero on August 19th, 2010 at 6:45 AM

Hello everyone, Six Zero here with the second-to-last installment of: 

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SIX QUESTIONS WITH CHITOWN BLUE

Inspired by the official site’s “Two Minute Drill” series and TomVH’s famous Q&A segments with potential recruits, this weekly feature highlights some of the more famous personalities here at MGoBlog.  Without pulling back the infamous veil of blog anonymity, we’ll get to know some of your favorite posters better and possibly shed some light on their definition of why it’s so darn Great, To Be, A Michigan Wolverine.

 PREVIOUS FEATURES:
TomVH        formerly anonymous       Misopogon       Shredder 
       Mathlete      Jamiemac      Magnus       WolverineHistorian       MGoShoe     Blue in South Bend     Blazefire     Tim     WolvinLA     MGoJen     MGoStore
 

     I happen to have it on good record that there are only three things in life that Brian Cook fears:  The first happened on Tuesday night.  The second is the threat of legal action by the Jim Henson company and/or the Disney empire for the extensive use of all things Muppet. And the third is, quite simply,
the WOLVERINE LIBERATION ARMY.

     The WLA… the Chinese—no, the North Korean contingent of MGoBlog, whose radical ideology and user-generated content strike terror in the hearts of MGoBloggers across the globe.  I can tell you—and I take my very life in my hands by sharing this story—that I once designed a T-shirt criticizing the WLA and their brand of humor.  That night I went to bed, satisfied with a new design that might find its way to the MGoStore.  The next morning I awoke, only to find a bloody Macbook screen laying between my feet, and a simple message:  The WLA had been watching,
and was not impressed.

     To help dispel some of the myths, and to avoid the gulag, we recently sat down with one of the most prominent leaders of their party, the esteemed
ChiTownBlue, for this exclusive interview:

 


1.   Okay, first and foremost, and I know I’ll hold my breath when starting my car tonight just for asking this question, but there are many posters who do not even fear the WLA anymore, let alone know what it is.  Tell us in your own words, what is the Wolverine Liberation Army?
    The Wolverine Liberation Army is a state of mind. It's also our frequently fallow (at least in the off-season) blog. The term was cribbed from a Steve Szabo quote in which he referred to the Spread offense as "communist football" - thus, Dex borned this babby. All our silliness with Unicorns, Zima, and was cribbed from a trolling WVU fan who accused us riding Unicorns and drinking Zima. Hey, it stuck. But the state of mind part is more interesting, so I'm going to run with that.
     The WLA, basically, thinks that we watch football, and sports, for fun. Not for opportunities for moral outrage, chances to express dissatisfaction, or some sort of pecking order of "what fans are cool" or whatever. The outrage over the Free Press? Forget it - that's not football. The efforts to find out "who the mole" is in the AD? Forget it - that's not football. Making character judgements about anyone based on their choice of team? Not football. Talking about Sparty and Buckeyes in the most facile, terrible stand-up comedian terms of "Sparty's are like this, Bucky's are like this"? Again, not football.
     Have fun. Stop looking at things to get upset about. Please don't contribute to the tabloidization of sports coverage with crazy "As the World Turns" stories of Archie Collins kidnapping recruits and stuff. Talk to Buckeye and Sparty fans. Wear green or red sometimes, it's cool. It's just football. Enjoy it.

(For the record, this interview was conducted before the Fall of the House of Woolfolk.)
Anyways, when I first arrived on the MGoScene, you were everywhere on the blog, constantly (for lack of a better word) kicking the ass of unintelligent posters who made unsubstantiated claims and keeping the standard of commentary at a very high level.  You’re certainly back and holding posters accountable again, but what happened?  Where’d you go?
    
Yeah...I should probably tone that down. I can be a bit strident. It certainly earned me an army of detractors. I "left" MGoBlog mainly because I thought I spent too much time screwing around on it, and that maybe my bitchiness wasn't really making it a great place. My last act as a mod was to ban myself, hence, the vanishing of my old screen-name. But yeah, after awhile I heard the siren song, and, for better or worse...I'm back.

2.   Okay, finally onto the football.  For some of the most loyal maize and blue faithful, this offseason has been as difficult as last year.  The infractions, the Dorsey situation, and further implications of battling factions within the halls of Schembechler.  Being someone who holds people accountable for their words and actions, what’s going on here??? And, if I can ask, where does Rich Rodriguez stand in your book?
    
I think Rodriguez is a demonstrably good coach, which he's proven over the course of his career. That said, if he doesn't get it done this year, am I going to waste much time and energy arguing that his termination is a miscarriage of justice? No, I'm not. Some will want to talk about how "The Carr Faction" didn't want him, or something of the sort, but I don't buy the "warring factions" thing a bit. The violations were caused by two pieces of a large bureaucracy that didn't efficiently do their job. If he's gone, it will be becase his record isn't very good, and you don't need conspiracy theories to find the rationale of 86ing a coach with a losing record at the winningest football program of all time.

You were possibly the first person I ever heard discuss (a long time ago, if I remember correctly) that we’re better off with Denard as a quarterback.  What do you think will happen under center this year, and are there any other clairvoyant observations you’d like to share with us heading into the 2010 season?
    
Let me couch everything I say here with a caveat: My skills as a talent evaluator are useless.
     First, I just liked Denard - he seems to have a magnetic, charismatic personality, he has a huge smile, and he's a ton of fun to watch. So, there was definitely a bias there. Second, knowing that Rodriguez has just come off 3 years of Pat White, in his most successful stretch as a head coach, I figured he might be pre-disposed to the lightning bolt at QB.
     This year? I think we'll see both, but again, I think that pre-disposition to Robinson exists. Robinson just needs to develop to the point where he can make the easy throws to keep the defenses honest. If he struggles through the air as much as he did last year, I'm sure it will be Tate's job.
     In addition to that, I think that if Tate plays this year, Roy Roundtree has a huge season - the moment he stepped into the rotation last year, he was Tate's first option, and it was obvious. It sort of makes you wonder where he was for the first half of the season. If Robinson plays, I think you'll see the TE's and the slots as the prime targets - guys who can be outlets to a scrambling Robinson. Jamiemac is a huge proponent of Kevin Koger, and I agree that he could be poised for a big season if he washes the petroleum jelly off his hands.

3.  Without divulging too much information, can you describe what you do for a living?   And what do you like to do for fun on your own time?
    
I work in the hospitality industry, and have held jobs in hotels and restaurants. Most of my work now comes mostly in a "consulting" capacity, specifically regarding financial decisions like forecasting, budgeting, pricing, etc. Are you still awake?
    I could tell you what I did for fun prior to a few months ago, when I had my first kid, as the answer now would be "not sleeping much, changing diapers, and cleaning vomit". I used to swim on a "Master's" swim team, and do some recreational running in Chicago's multitude of summer 5 and 10k's - I once built up to a 1/2 marathon, but that convinced to not go any further. I still run, but early morning swimming and newborn babbies aren't terribly complementary. I also really like cooking, but these days, that mostly manifests itself by watching Top Chef.
 

4.  With that being said, you perhaps might be the single most qualified person to ever answer this next question… describe the perfect meal.
    
Having spent some time in the industry, and more time in a peripheral industry, I've gotten to eat at, and have enjoyed, some pretty swank restaurants around Chicago, but I have a hard time beating a hunk of prime, aged NY Strip with salt and pepper, seared hard on each side and finished in the oven (AS HOT AS IT GOES, PEOPLE). Carmelize some shallots, put them on top, maybe saute some corn and mushrooms in olive oil as a side vegetable. Glass of red wine (if you're feeling frisky, use some to deglaze the pan and reduce it for a sauce, but I rarely do this). BOOM, DINNER'D.
     It should also be noted that I'd chop of some of my less useful fingers for one more free day in Ann Arbor when I can go to the Maize & Blue Deli for lunch (they had a sandwich on challah with turkey, cream cheese, havarti, honey-mustard, sprouts, and cucumber that I'm in appropriately excited about just typing) and hit up China Gate for dinner (Chef Yan FTW). I haven't been to either since maybe 2001, so I don't know if they still exist. Do they still exist? Please tell me they still exist.
 

5.  Can you explain why you are a Michigan fan?
    
This is rather simple - I went to Michigan from 1996-2000. I'm not from the area, but my mother was a Michigan resident who wanted to go to Michigan, didn't get in, went to Michigan State (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA), then transferred to Wayne State. Anyway, I had been getting pressured, in one way or another, to go to Michigan since birth. So, yeah.

Now,  it is public record that you were indeed a scholarship athlete at the University of Michigan.  Tell us about it:  the sport of choice, the process of being offered, and the honor of actually wearing the block M in competitive play. 
     I swam at Michigan for three years, showing up they year after they won the national championship with Olympians like Dolan, Malchow, Potts, Borges, and Namesnik either in the program or still hanging around with Club Wolverine...all guys I had watched in Atlanta a few weeks prior to stepping on campus. Urbs was the Olympic coach - it was about the highest profile situation you could find in college swimming.
     With that sort of quality, I never got the opportunity to swim in that many big meets - I was the swimming version of the victory cigar on meets we knew wouldn't be that competitive. The one thing it did instill in me, watching a guy like 'Snik, was a huge respect for not only how talented, but how dedicated you needed to be in order to be successful at the college athletic level. This largely informs my frequent scorn and intolerance of people who knock current or former players, like say Nick Sheridan: you have no idea how hard he worked to get where he was. I just think of how amazing it would have been, personally, to swim in an NCAA championship and, concurrently, to have ANYONE, much less hundreds of thousands of people, disparage me being there. These guys eat, breathe, and sleep their sport ringer where they are, something like that is, in my mind, worthy of unconditional respect.
 

6.  Finally, who's your all-time favorite Wolverine?
    
Because I was an athelete at Michigan, I got to have some interaction with a few of the players in my time there - my favorite player is the guy I met who I liked the most (happily, he was also pretty good) - Dhani Jones. Dhani was a smart, charismatic, friendly guy who took genuine interest in anybody he met. He also, from 1997-1999, played on some of the best defenses that Michigan has turned out over the past 20 years. Not many legendary defenses lose their starting middle linebacker (and captain!) in the pre-season, as happened in 1997, but Jones stepped in as a sophomore and played at a high level.

I don't know him, but I think I see many of the same qualities in Denard Robinson - which probably explains my affection for him.

 


     If MGoBlog is an exclusive club for the most diehard Wolverine fans, then the WLA is the elite of the elite.  The revolution from the revolution.  I maintain a vision in my head where they enroll their members in elaborate candlelit ceremonies that involve cult robes, two-handed swords and the blood of goats.  I’d like to think that elaborate secret handshakes identify one member to the other in every walk of society, and that there’s no telling how far their influence reaches into the stands of Michigan Stadium and beyond.  And, like our very own Skull and Bones Society, most of us will never be good enough to call ourselves a member.

     For what it’s worth, as a designer by trade I can honestly say that the WLA has a pretty gorgeous web site.  Its functionality, user-friendly interface, and general aesthetic appeal fits their unique style and really promotes a high level of quality and integrity in the product.  The articles are written primarily for humor’s sake, and yet there’s a very significant amount of insight and truth stirred in for good measure.  To top it all off, some of the MGoBlog members I hold in highest regard are the contributors if not proprietors of the whole thing.  So why, then, don’t I read this thing every day?  Why am I not a maize and blue Bolshevik by now?

     Eh, prob’ly the unicorns.  Horned horses are just freaky.

     All kidding aside, if you take away all of the imagery, all of the stylized Rich posters, all of the gimmick—ChiTown and the other contributors are just really good fans, following our team in their own out-of the-ordinary way and having fun the entire time.  And any site that can publish Big Boutros’s philosophical take on the career of Patrick Swayze surely doesn’t have to worry about taking itself too seriously, and that’s always a good thing.  In other words, if you enjoy the posts of ChiTown, Dex, CPS, Musket Rebellion, Chrisgocomment, Big Gay Heart, Ninja Football, Big Boutros, Imafreak, and others… check out their site.  You might find yourself some cultural learnings of Michigan for make glorious website of Wolverine Liberation Army.

     Last week will be the last MGoProfile before the 2010 season of Michigan Wolverines football.  So you better be good, I’m tellin’ you why…

MGoProfile: Volume 15

MGoProfile: Volume 15

Submitted by Six Zero on August 12th, 2010 at 6:43 AM

Hello everyone, Six Zero here with another installment of: 

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SIX QUESTIONS WITH MGOSTORE

Inspired by the official site’s “Two Minute Drill” series and TomVH’s famous Q&A segments with potential recruits, this weekly feature highlights some of the more famous personalities here at MGoBlog.  Without pulling back the infamous veil of blog anonymity, we’ll get to know some of your favorite posters better and possibly shed some light on their definition of why it’s so darn Great, To Be, A Michigan Wolverine.

 PREVIOUS FEATURES:
TomVH        formerly anonymous       Misopogon       Shredder 
       Mathlete      Jamiemac      Magnus       WolverineHistorian       MGoShoe     Blue in South Bend     Blazefire     Tim     WolvinLA     MGoJen
 

     The MGoStore is alive.  It actually senses your UM apparel needs and makes all of our maize and blue wishes come true.  And when it’s not reading the minds of Wolverine fans across the globe, it likes to surf the Internet, and actually is an avid reader and member of MGoBlog.  It’s a big fan of UFR, and loves any reference of the Muppets.
     Actually no, the store is not sentient… BUT its very owner does maintain a profile and presence here on the blog, and does interact with the rest of us from time to time.  So it’s my pleasure to spotlight Rishi Narayan in this exclusive interview:

 


1.   Rishi Narayan, the mastermind behind MGoStore and ultimately Underground Printing as a whole.  You’ve already told the Ann Arbor News about how Underground started upon your graduation from UM, but tell us, who where you when you originally launched the business and what was your vision then, and where does it all stack up to what UGP is today?
    
Although I'd love to take credit, Brian is obviously the mastermind behind the MGoStore, he always has been.  We are just working really hard to legitimize it, make it something other than a site that sells a couple shirts here and there.
     When we started the business, my partner Ryan Gregg and I were just two engineering students who figured out quickly they didn’t want to be typical engineers. Underground (then it was called A-1 Screenprinting, first in the phone book!) was initially just a way to try something else out because we were bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. Although I love shirts, it wasn't the love of shirts that got us going, it was the need to figure out a different path OTHER than working as an engineer.
     Where does that stack up to what UGP is today? Well we definitely aren't engineers (although somehow I got roped into getting a masters in ChE). Honestly, we just really love entrepreneurship and small business. Our growth is just our way to keep things interesting, new opportunities and avenues. We obviously love t-shirts, but it really could have been anything for us, our ultimate goal is really to make something of this little college startup.

How then, did Underground Printing get involved with MGoBlog?  Describe the partnership that culminated in MGoStore.    
     We obviously have known and loved MGoBlog for a long time and thought that we would be a great fit running Brian's store. However, somehow I missed the time period when Brian switched from Spreadshirt to the other company that shall remain nameless and felt like we missed an opportunity.  
     However, I was introduced to Brian by email through a friend of a friend (thanks James Jarvis if you are reading this). He had heard of us through the grapevine and specifically because of our sponsorship of the student section at Yost (which we would still do this day if Adidas hadn't taken it back away from us). I guess we agreed it was a good fit and the rest is history.
 

2.  Some people may not realize that MGoBlog is just one of the many facets of UGP-- You guys not only produce UM gear for the good people of Ann Arbor and beyond, but also field  similar operations in such non-partisan locations like West Lafayette, Minneapolis, Madison, Champaign, Bloomington, Evanston, ahem, East Lansing, and others.  You’ve even expanded into non-conference territories such as Morgantown, Lexington and Pittsburgh!  Dude, are you taking over the world?
     No, we just really love college life. Note that you didn't say Columbus, and you never will. We made that decision we decided to open up stores.

Amen, brother.  For each of these locations, are you looking to specialize in school culture shirts for each perspective school (like MGoStore), or is the role more akin to a custom screenprinter for fraternities, sororities, and other local organizations?
     We really feel that our bread and butter will always be custom printed apparel. However, we are beginning to build up our retail presence as well, and shirts with local "flair", like MGoStore shirts, are a big part of that.

Gotta heart the Flair.  One of UGP’s claim to fame is doing the on-field championship shirts for the Steelers when LaMarr finished off Kurt Warner for their last Super Bowl victory.  How was that deal put together?  Any other big projects on the horizon?
     That was through our relationship with Reebok/Adidas. When we first started, before we had developed our store model, it was all about printing more shirts for bigger customers. We have been printing for Reebok for about 6 years now, and as we have grown we have printed for Superbowls, World Series, NBA Finals, etc. It's fun, and cool to be a "part" of it all, but printers that specialize in that are essentially always betting. You live and die by the hot market print.
     We decided it wasn't worth getting bigger like most printers...if we were going to print 40,000 shirts, we would prefer it be for 400 customers rather than 4, which is the basis of our store model. So our big projects now revolve around opening stores, although we are currently working on some relationships with former Michigan greats, much like our relationship with Jalen Rose.


3.  The MGoStore is thriving, and one of your products was even featured on a History Channel program.  What are the best-selling shirts in the line, and if you don’t mind, what’s your personal favorite?
     That was awesome, I was pumped when I heard about that. Ironically enough, the kid who was on that show wearing the shirt sent us an email shortly after and told us that he is a history major currently, so being on the History Channel in an MGoBlog shirt was basically the perfect for him.
     Worst State Ever is hands down the best seller ever, even after all these years. All the anti-Ohio shirts are pretty popular (shocking), as is Mascots and Catch and Release.
     My favorite is Space, Bitches. Because it so perfectly illustrates Michigan domination. I also really love Free the Fab Five because I have this dream that one day everyone will reconcile and we will get our banners and wins back, and we can get a reunion in Crisler.
 

4.  Tell me about your recent purchase of Moe Sport Shops, how did that come about? What is changing and what is staying the same?
     Getting involved with a campus institution like Moe's is one of the coolest things we've been able to be a part of.  We met Buddy through a mutual acquaintance and hit it off right away.  The Van de Wege's are some of the nicest people we've ever met and Buddy is a class act.  We starting tossing around a lot of ideas about our places on campus and how we could work together to do something really special that no one else was doing. 

Through Underground we've been able to take care of our customers with custom printing and new, fresh retail items like MGoBlogStore and American Apparel brand Michigan Apparel. Our goal is to expand the reach of the store while keeping it "Moe's" by respecting the past and putting a lot of energy into continuing the legacy moving forward. As Buddy likes to tell people, "we've handed the baton to next generation." 

In preparation for the coming football season we'll be looking to rearrange somethings so that Moes can carry more styles and items than ever before.  Buddy started the process with the addition of a "Kid's Room" a few years back and we're working with him to complete the vision (We talk almost daily and he stops in often to talk to us and old customers). The new improvements should not only allow us to carry more inventory, but begin the transition of adding some MGoStyles to the staple of Adidas, Champion and Retro Brand.  UGP will continue to carry the full line up with some of the most popular styles being added to Moe’s for the fall!
 

5.  Obviously, Underground Printing is what you do for a living, and I’m sure you’re a busy man. But what do you like to do for fun on your own time?
     This question is sorta depressing, I dont have a lot of interesting extra-curriculars to talk about. I'm a tennis player, trying to get into running (although it’s pretty boring) I am in involved in a few other companies in town (BTB Burrito, Good Time Charley's, and the BTB Party Bus), which takes a lot of extra time. And I am heavily vested in TV, I love TV.

Yes, I too am a fan of this ‘television.’  Describe the perfect meal.
      One word: Nachos.
 

6.  The beauty of that answer is in its simplicity.  Can you explain why you are a Michigan fan?
     I'll be honest - it really came to fruition for me in college. I was born in West Lafayette, and after Michigan Basketball still find myself rooting for Purdue Basketball (love me some Gene Keady). My family moved to East Lansing and my dad is a professor at Michigan State. But I was never really a state fan, I loved the Fab Five and loved my all time favorite wolverine (don't want to ruin question 10). But the decision to come to Michigan was driven by academics and big ten campus feel...I didn't even apply to State. That is where I fell in love with the school, the town, the culture, and the tradition ...most importantly the tradition. I like to think that even though I wasn't an orientation leader I can give a pretty good tour of campus.

Finally, who's your all-time favorite Wolverine?
     I knew this was coming, I would say MaliVai Washington. Why? 1) No other MGoProfile's gave the small sports any love and I am a tennis fan 2) I grew up in the Lansing Area and everyone was gaga over Todd Martin, but it was all about Mal for me. 3) I really wanted to say Rumeal Robinson, but I changed my mind. Even just being accused of swindling your mom is just not right.

 


     There you have it.  Legitimate proof that T-shirt & merchandising czars are people too.  Rishi seems like one of us because he IS… he’s sat in the student sections, he’s walked the Diag, and he’s even lived through the Horror.
      The MGoStore will be updated today with more shirts from the MGoShirt Alert, and later today I’ll be unveiling them in a second exclusive premier post.  AND I’m told I can share a little secret with you—Rishi has put together a special offer on the Store that I’m sure you’ll all want to check out.  Look for that post later today!

     The season will soon be here, my friends, and MGoProfile will go on hiatus for the course of the 2010 schedule and the rest of the calendar year.  So there’s only two more profiles left… and who will they be??   Stop by next week to find out who’ll be the next MGoProfile!!

MGoProfile: Volume 14

MGoProfile: Volume 14

Submitted by Six Zero on August 5th, 2010 at 7:50 AM

Hello everyone, Six Zero here with another installment of: 

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SIX QUESTIONS WITH MGOJEN

Inspired by the official site’s “Two Minute Drill” series and TomVH’s famous Q&A segments with potential recruits, this weekly feature highlights some of the more famous personalities here at MGoBlog.  Without pulling back the infamous veil of blog anonymity, we’ll get to know some of your favorite posters better and possibly shed some light on their definition of why it’s so darn Great, To Be, A Michigan Wolverine.

 PREVIOUS FEATURES:
TomVH        formerly anonymous       Misopogon       Shredder 
       Mathlete      Jamiemac      Magnus       WolverineHistorian       MGoShoe 
Blue in South Bend
     Blazefire     Tim     WolvinLA
 

MGoBlog!  A place where us Michigan men can swear and spit and burp and be the maize & blue hooligans we are, all without having to apologize for it to the women in our lives.  However, it is not exclusively a brotherhood; Many women frequent the site as well, and knowingly put up with, if not partake in, the glory of our occasional immaturity, opinionated perspectives, and/or fart jokes.  Of them all, certainly MGoJen is the most recognizable and likely the most infamous.  I thought it
would be interesting to get a woman’s take on MGoBlog, and so you
can in this exclusive interview:

 


1.     We all know the term and strive to prove others that we are all 'Michigan Men,' but you're proof that there is a feminine counterpart to the age-old model that Yost envisioned all those years ago.  Since so many of us are utterly unfit to answer the question, tell us what it's like to be a woman who follows Michigan football.   
     It didn’t occur to me that it was so unique to be a chick who really loves Michigan football until people pointed it out to me.  As I’ve mentioned several times before, most of my friends are guys, so I’ve never felt weird or out of place being around guys…in fact, I’m much more comfortable in a group of guys than girls.  I think there are more similarities than differences between “Michigan Men” and “Michigan Women” than one would think.  The most noticeable difference, I think, is that I get pretty irritated at girls who treat the Big House like it’s a photo shoot.  You know who I’m talking about, too—the girls who show up 10 minutes into the first quarter, ask me to take 50 pictures of their girl group during the game as if I’m not paying attention and have nothing better to do than capture this amazing moment for them.  These are the same girls that leave after said pictures have been taken or because it’s “too hot” or “too cold” or they’re “too hung over”.  I don’t think everyone has to be a Michigan diehard, but I think if more chicks made an honest effort to understand and follow the game, they wouldn’t be so inclined to come for ten minutes/sell all of their tickets.  Obviously this isn’t all chicks, but I would argue there are many who fall into this category—they’re missing out on an amazing experience.

 

Although you aren't the only non-male (alpha or otherwise) on the site, you clearly take the most heat for being 'the girl.'  What's worse, fighting the stereotypical impression of "OMG, a girl that loves Michigan, I am in love" or "OMG, a girl that loves Michigan, get her out of our He-Man Woman Haters Club?"
          Truthfully, sometimes I feel like I’m portrayed as the Elle Woods of MGoBlog, although I’m sure there are worse things.  I think the most irritating thing about being “the girl” is the tendency of guys on the blog to presume things about me—I’m either really hot or really ugly, I go on the blog to meet men or that I’m for whatever reason promiscuous and am only into football because the players are soooo hot.  At the end of the day it’s just the Internet and doesn’t really matter all that much, but I think there’s much more to me than what one can construe from my comments and posts.  I think it’s perfectly acceptable and even exceptional that I can speak intelligently about both Troy Woolfolk and Tory Burch.  

 

2.  Hmm, I always thought of Chunkums as the Elle Woods of MGoBlog (KIDDING).    I would think you must face an ongoing pressure to continually prove yourself to some of the more diehard followers among us.  How do you convince the rest of us that you really do follow the team and aren't just in it for the eye candy known as Renaldo Sagesse? 
          I am most certainly not above admitting that I find certain players attractive (it occurred to me that I’m treading MGoCougar territory when I realized I was in first grade when Tate was born. Ummm…)  I don’t think I’ll ever break any amazing insider news, and although I wish I had the steel trap memory that is seemingly required to become a Recruitnik, I don’t think that’s in the cards for me either.  Even though I’m kind of insecure about my inability to diagram a Cover-2 defense, I think the fact that I share the most fundamental emotion with other MGoBloggers—a genuine, undying passion for all things Michigan—I’ll never need to prove my fandom with stats and scores.  (One of my favorite things about the blog is that I learn so much about players, recruits and nuances of the game from people that know much, much more about these things than I ever will.)

 

I think we can all say that.  And, unlike some of the more shady/sulky types on the blog, you seem to truly be a person who wears her heart on her sleeve/keyboard.  For better or for worse, how is that received on MGoBlog?
          I think that with me, for better or worse, what you see is what you get.  I don’t type or post anything I wouldn’t say to you in person.  I really tend to use <3s a lot when I type and text (shout out to the WLA for their epic MGoGwen post!  I still have a friend that addresses all of his e-mails to me, “HEY GWEN! <3”)  I really am a vegetarian who thinks eating meat is mean to animals, I really enjoy baking cookies for absolutely everyone and I truly love and believe in the city of Detroit—its resilience, its promise and its potential.  I’m completely and overwhelmingly optimistic—almost to a fault—and am a very friendly and open person who is genuinely interested in people and their story.  I think a lot of that gets misconstrued on MGoBlog as naivety, flirtation or general air headedness when it isn’t at all accurate and obviously not my intent.  I’ve actually been through and seen a lot in life, and have come out on the other side…I think that’s why I am as positive as I am.  That said, my offer to bake cookies for a future MGoTailgate still stands!  (I perfected a chocolate chip (regular, not white) macadamia nut cookie recipe a few months ago.  They are awesome.)

 

3.  You seem to do a lot of (what I assume is work-related) travelling.  How do you represent the University of Michigan on the road?  Any interesting UM-related stories from your journeys?
          Ah yes, travelling.  It’s actually not my favorite thing in the entire world, but I’m definitely blessed in that I’ve gotten to experience some very cool cities.  I will absolutely only travel in M gear—usually an MGoShirt or jersey. 
          I’m really friendly and talk to pretty much everyone (shocking, I know!) so it’s not uncommon for me to have conversations about Michigan with strangers that come up to me to comment on my M gear.  Last fall when a colleague and I visited the National Museum of American History, a guy in an OSU shirt and hat who was chaperoning a group of children shouted, “Forcier sucks!” at me.  (I was wearing a “May The Forcier Be With You” shirt.)  A few weeks ago I was getting my stuff together after having gone through security in Philly when an older guy told me he loved my “The ability to destroy planets is insignificant…” shirt with Darth Vader in the middle.  I replied, “Thanks! Go Blue!” but I don’t think he understood that my shirt was Michigan-related at all.  He ignored my response and went on and on for about three minutes about how awesome Star Wars is and how those are movies from “[his] generation”.  I politely agreed and went about my way. 
          Undoubtedly, my favorite travel story was not for work at all but for the 2007 Rose Bowl.  My friends were flying in from different cities, so I flew in by myself and had a stopover in Dallas the evening of December 31st.  Because I was on my way to the freakin’ Rose Bowl, I was “M’ed out” from head to toe and even had my game day face tattoos on.  I had an hour to kill in the Dallas airport so I sat down in the waiting area outside my gate with a Diet Coke.  Lo and behold, sitting a couple chairs down from me were none other than Jim Brandstatter and James Hall.  I was really surprised to see them there!  I was super nervous and excited, but decided I had to go up to them.  Amidst my apprehension, this was the best I could come up with: “Aren’t you on Michigan Replay?”  (Really?  Of all the things Jim Brandstatter has accomplished I bring up Michigan Replay? Who says that? Haha!) He was super nice about it and said, “Well, why yes I am, young lady.  Are you headed to the Rose Bowl?” 
          Jim Brandstatter was much more talkative and approachable than James Hall who remained relatively quiet and focused on his phone.  They explained that they were in Dallas for the Lions game and were on their way to the Rose Bowl, too.  I got a picture with them in front of our gate which is to this day up in my office—it’s of me in between James and Jim.  Right before we boarded, Jim said he’d be happy to sign something for me.  Neither of us had a pen or marker and we had to board, so I figured my Jim Brandstatter autograph opportunity had surely passed me by.  Moments before takeoff, a flight attendant asked me what my name is and brought over a piece of paper someone wanted me to have.  Sure enough, it was Jim Brandstatter’s boarding pass with, “To Jenny—GO BLUE!” and his autograph.  That was the best flight ever.

 

4.  Without divulging too much information, can you describe what you do for a living? And what do you like to do for fun on your own time?

          I’m a clinical research coordinator at an urban health disparities research center.  We run clinical trials and other research projects that focus on deconstructing, understanding and ultimately developing possible solutions to the comprehensive problems associated with urban health disparities.  We approach these problems from a multi-faceted perspective that encompasses the implications of psychosocial, socioeconomic and environmental effects on health.  While the work is often quite exigent, I also find it immensely rewarding.  Working with the underserved has absolutely changed my life, and while the primary focus of my work is running trials and research projects, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes advocacy work that goes along with it.  It’s difficult and at times completely emotionally draining (when one of my patients gets really sick or when I come across a situation that I truly cannot help, I still cry in my car on the way home), but when I get giant hugs and beautiful hand-made cards and phone calls on holidays from former participants, my heart swells.  There’s no greater feeling in the world than knowing you were able to make a positive impact on someone’s life.  I’m truly blessed to be able to do something I love so much.
          I don’t have a ton of free time, but I love reading and have a book-buying problem (I have more books than I’ll ever realistically be able to read and still can’t stop buying them.)  My favorite topics are urban poverty, the Civil Rights Movement and the history of Detroit.  I love music and go to concerts with my friends whenever I get the chance.  When my friends and I go out, there will undoubtedly be dancing and there may even be karaoke.  Aside from all of that, the cardio kickboxing class at my local Lifetime is definitely my anger-management activity—it keeps me sane and centered.

 

Sane is good, and the fact that you need violent exercise to keep it intact is something most of us guys can probably appreciate.  Describe the perfect meal.
          The perfect meal—hmm.  So I’ve been told several times that I eat like a kid.   My family, boyfriend and I went to Easter Day brunch at the Gandy Dancer one year and I was inadvertently picking food from the “kids table”.  (Who eats tator tots at the Gandy Dancer?  This girl!) My boyfriend pointed this out to me and thought it was hilarious.  I’m just not a quiche kinda girl and I’m not sure I’ll ever be.  I’m totally at peace with that.
     I can’t think of any one perfect meal at any one restaurant, but I can tell you what my favorite things are!  I love fresh green bell peppers just cut up and plain (they’re amazing, I eat them daily!)  The Jet’s Pizza version of cheesey breadsticks (Jet Bread!) is also awesome.  I love fattoush salads from pretty much anywhere and there’s a better than even chance that at any given time, I have a Diet Coke with me.  My favorite smoothie ever was called the Orange Shooter—we used to get them at the Café Connexion (sp?) in South Quad.  The grilled cheese at the Redhawk Grille in Ann Arbor is the best ever.

 

5.  Can you explain why you are a Michigan fan?
          I guess the simple answer is that I’m a Michigan fan because I don’t know how not to be.  It’s truly become part of my soul, and consequently one of the most important parts of my life.  Unlike many if not most other diehards, I don’t have an epic story about how I went to my first game at age eleven or saw Desmond on TV and have been in love ever since.  In fact, I actually disliked all things Michigan and only bought season tickets my sophomore year (the 2003 season) after my boyfriend forced me to.  I didn’t even buy my first Michigan t-shirt until minutes before the first game of the ’03 season.  (FTR, I currently have over 30 Michigan shirts the last time I checked.  It’s obviously an issue but I seriously can’t stop buying them.)  I didn’t understand why everyone was so…into it.  After all, it was just a school, and Saturdays were for trips to Briarwood.  (See? This is how I know people have a tremendous capacity for change!)
          That season, I remember falling a little more in love with the whole experience with each game.  Of course I didn’t at all understand football (embarrassing, I know) so I had to completely start from scratch.  I learned the cheers and when to be loud and quiet (sorry for accidently cheering as loud as possible while we were on offense those first few games of the ’03 season L) and started picking up on the ins and outs of the game.  Before I knew it, I fell in love with Braylon Edwards, Chris Perry and Jason Avant—not as in “OMG they’re sooo cute!” but as in, “Holy crap, how did Braylon just jump that high…and catch that ball…with one hand?”  I was kind of in awe of the whole situation.  And then came The Game.  By the end of the season, I was totally in love with Michigan football—and the ’03 OSU game sealed the deal for me.  While I was essentially a newcomer to the Maize and Blue, I rushed the field with my friends and several hundred other students and felt the biggest rush I had ever felt in my life.  I knew then that I was part of something so much larger than myself—I was hooked.  I went to the Rose Bowl a few weeks later with the boys and have never looked back.
     We go to movies because we want to laugh, cry and feel the same thing 50 other people are feeling.  We want to share that with them.  I think we go to Michigan football games for the same reason—to share that experience with 109,900 people.            Moreover, I think on some level this is what makes MGoBlog so amazing and such an important part of our lives (for those of us who are obviously addicted.)  My friends and I drove to Champaign/Chicago for the Illinois game last fall and I was so upset, so angry after that loss that I refused to go out with the boys later that night. I sat in our super fancy (and super cheap, Priceline FTW!) hotel suite with my laptop, a 40 of Bud Light and carryout from The Cheesecake Factory and read MGoBlog.  I cried and screamed and dissected the game with my diehard friends during the long drive from Champaign to Chicago, but at the end of the day found this ridiculous amount of comfort/solace in kitten pictures and threads about what everyone was drinking/eating to forget about what just happened.  (I recall it being a strange combination of hard whiskey and Halloween candy.)  I think Michigan Football and MGoBlog could very well be studies in human nature.  We’re all much more alike than we are different, and being able to post something and have thirty people say, “Yeah dude, I know exactly what that’s like…” is really, really comforting in a world that is anything but stable. 

 

6.    Dude.  Finally, the staple last question-- who's your all-time favorite Wolverine?
          While I have adored many, my Wolverine has been and will always be #20, Mike Hart.   I fell in love with how hard he played, how much he cared and how crucial his presence was to the spirit of the team.   He ran so hard on every down, even when he was battling injury.  I also love that he was never afraid to tell everyone exactly what was on his mind, even when it made people uncomfortable.   So there’s a bit of a story behind this in that my whole adoring Mike Hart bit came full circle about a month ago at Braylon’s charity hoops game.  My love for Mike Hart was no secret while I was still in school—I absolutely adored him.  The big joke among my friends was that everyone—I mean EVERYONE seemed to run into Mike Hart at random places—the IM building, on State Street, at some party, etc.,—but I never spotted him once.  I got texts from my friends at least twice a week about a Mike Hart sighting. I’ll never forget when I got a text one early morning from my brother (then a Michigan Sophomore) that he was at a cheerleader party with Mike Hart.  I was less than sober and to make a long story short, never made it to meet him.  So I graduated in ’06 and still never got my chance to meet Mike Hart.  My brother bought me an authentic Nike #20 away jersey for Christmas one year, and I’ve had that hanging in my bedroom (along with a framed poster of the Michigan Daily cover from November 24th, 2003 with the headline, “A Rose For ‘U’”, among other things) ever since.
          Fast forward to Braylon’s charity hoops game—when I found out Mike Hart was confirmed to be there, I totally freaked out.  A couple things came up that Saturday and I actually didn’t think I would be able to make it to the game.  At the very last minute I ended up going with one of my friends.  My friend made me bring my #20 jersey even though I had never worn it.  At half time, I literally walked around the court to Mike Hart’s side (he was a coach) as he was talking to fans hanging out on that side of the court.  I waited until he was free, and when he turned to me and said, “Hey, how ya’ doin’?” I thought I was going to burst out crying.  I played it totally cool (and still have no idea how I maintained my composure.)  I literally said, “OH MY GOD YOU’RE MIKE HART!”  And he smiled and said, “Yes I am, what’s your name?”  I shook his hand and said, “You’re my favorite Wolverine OF ALL TIME!”  He kind of chuckled and asked, “Really?” with this weird, kind of surprised look on his face.  He was so humble.  I said, “I have to hug you!” so I hugged him, and he was totally cool about it.  I thanked him for being “the most amazing player ever” and I also specifically thanked him for the infamous Little Brother meme.  I told him we’re going to come back this year and prove once again why State’s our little brother.  He agreed, smiled and asked me if I wanted him to sign my jersey. I told him I didn’t have a marker, so he turned to the people gathered around and asked for one.  Some kid only had a silver one and he wanted a black one, so MH literally went around asking who had a black marker.  I tried for years to meet him, and all of a sudden Mike Hart was searching for a marker to sign my jersey.   He signed it on the front in the middle of the “0” in 20.   That was one of the best moments of my entire life.  The now autographed #20 Nike authentic jersey is back to hanging in my room; full circle indeed.  <3

 


      Imagine, gentlemen, that you loved food (yes, big stretch, I’m sure), and you also loved cooking.  Perhaps you loved it enough to take a class to become better, or perhaps to learn tips and tricks from other chefs, or just because you liked the whole pasttime of cooking and wanted to be a part of it.
     So you get to the class, and of course it’s populated entirely with women.  Yes, the eighth-grade pervert part of your brain suddenly cackles with glee—but before you can cycle through your best lines, you realize that they’re all looking at you.  They’re sizing you up, some of them with an unfairly premature look of contempt.  They’re judging you.
     And pretty much all of them agree that you know absolutely nothing about the culinary arts.
     Over the next few classes, you get mixed responses from the women of your cooking class.  Some of them openly want you to leave, some of them straight out ignore you like the plague, and a few of them seem too unfriendly, probably because they just desperately need a man—any man.  Either way, you quickly learn that YOU are the outsider.  This is their place, and you are only allowed here by their lukewarm grace.  If you are to stay, it is implied and generally understood that it will be according to their terms.
    As the course progresses, you find your place, knowing who to avoid and who to REALLY avoid, the ones that think you’re only here to spread your seed and that any man who can cook would automatically love a woman like her.  But you do enjoy the cooking, and you make some friends, and you tolerate all of their jokes and jabs.  You let them call you the caveman with the back hair.  You let them refer to you as the one with the testicles.  You then listen to them talk for hours on end about testicles, all in your company and without any concern about your  feelings, or the fact that you’re trying to make meatballs the whole time.

     And no matter how well your spaghetti turns out, you find yourself incessantly having to prove your merits again and again.

     In other words… Dude, girls read this blog too.
     They don’t want to paint the site pink and talk about Tate’s butt—they just want to be treated with a certain amount of respect.  You don’t have to explain every facet of the game to them, you don’t have to defend their honor, and you shouldn’t assume that because they’re into Michigan football that they’ll be into you.
      You also don’t have to apologize for yourself.  They should know what they’re getting themselves into when they sign up for this.  This IS a brotherhood, a boys club by nature, but the blog-- a football blog for football fans--  is welcome for one and all.  Those who come aboard must understand and accept it for what it is, and if they find it offensive, they are also welcome to leave.  If they can put up with our hooliganism, then they should be treated as equals.
     Unless they’re trolls.  Then we should unleash Barwis-level pain on them without mercy.  I think that goes without saying.
     Only a few more weeks left before MGoProfile breaks for the season.  I’ll see you all next week for another edition!

MGoProfile: Volume 13

MGoProfile: Volume 13

Submitted by Six Zero on July 29th, 2010 at 6:49 AM

Hello everyone, Six Zero here with the next installment of: 

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SIX QUESTIONS WITH WOLVINLA

Inspired by the official site’s “Two Minute Drill” series and TomVH’s famous Q&A segments with potential recruits, this weekly feature highlights some of the more famous personalities here at MGoBlog.  Without pulling back the infamous veil of blog anonymity, we’ll get to know some of your favorite posters better and possibly shed some light on their definition of why it’s so darn Great, To Be, A Michigan Wolverine.

 PREVIOUS FEATURES:
TomVH        formerly anonymous       Misopogon       Shredder 
       Mathlete      Jamiemac      Magnus       WolverineHistorian       MGoShoe 
Blue in South Bend
     Blazefire     Tim
 

Isn’t it strange how we spend so much time together, here at MGoBlog—and yet we really have no idea who each other truly are?  For all we know, any of us very well might have bumped into a fellow MGoBlog reader in the city, or perhaps spoken to someone in a business call… or maybe even ruffled each other’s feathers on a Friday night at the local pub.  It’s a bit strange to think that friendships can be and are formed here with no regards at all to who these people actually are offline.

For me, I’ve been bumping into people here for over two years, and some more than others.  And if you call them that, I’ve certainly made a few friends.  I’d like to think that WolvinLA has been one of them, so let’s get to this exclusive interview:

 


1.   You’re not the only one, but you are one of a select few that sport a nifty little 2 or (2) at the end of your name.  What happened?  Wrath of Brian?  Wrath of Interwebs?
     Somewhat wrath of the interwebs I guess, but a smarter person probably would have figured the problem out.  I started as WolvinLA, but at some point I was having technical difficulties, and since some people on this board have grandparents as tech-savvy as I am I couldn't figure it out.  After not too long I gave up and started my current account under my work email.  I wish the story was more exciting, like my account was hijacked by pirates or ninjas or something, but no such luck.

Either way, you have amassed quite a slew of MGoPoints despite never creating any blogs in either of your incarnations.  In your own words, what makes a good response on someone else’s blog?
     That's not really true, I've started two different blogs but neither of them lasted more than 2 posts.  I only stay excited about that stuff for about 10 minutes, but it makes me appreciate those who can make it work. 
     When posting on someone else's blog, you need to either say something substantive or something funny.  If you can say something substantive and funny, that's where the magic happens.  I also try to disagree with Magnus a lot, that's usually good for a 10 spot of MGoPuntos (my fiancee is Latin, sorry for the MGoSpanglish).

2.  You’ve also been posting at MGoBlog for a long, long time.  What’s changed since you first arrived on the scene?  Who do you miss?  What do you find interesting about the blog that wasn’t around two or three years ago?
     Honestly, I miss ChrisGoComment.  Where did he go?  I literally think about that every day (not literally).  The blog has changed a good bit since I started reading, mostly for the better.  The addition of the VB guys and TomVH was huge, especially since the recruiting stuff is a big, big draw to the blog.  I thought MGoProfile was super lame until you asked me, now I think it's totally sweet. 

3.  Tell us, what is the perception of the University of Michigan on the West Coast?  What do all those shiny California types think of the winged helmet, and the Big House, and all of the things we hold dear?
     I think most people would be surprised how many Michigan fans there are in California, or at least Los Angeles.  I see people wearing M gear all over, UM stickers and plate frames are everywhere, it's awesome.  I actually have a client who just told me the other day how it's her son's dream to go to Michigan (he's in high school) and he didn't have any special connection to the school.
     Obviously there is a big Pac Ten influence out here, but most people I talk to have a lot of respect for Michigan - both athletically and academically.  Well, except most USC fans.  I find them to be obnoxious as all hell.  I'm down with UCLA though.

Gotta love that word, RESPECT.  What do you miss most about Michigan and/or the Midwest?     I'm from Michigan, and that will always be home.  There's no perfect place, there are things about LA that are great - the weather, predominantly, but Midwesterners are the best people in America, no doubt about it.  You don't realize how nice and down to Earth people are there until you move to a place like LA.  On the rare occurrence that someone holds a door or an elevator for me out here, I ask them if they're from CA, and although I usually get a strange look, the response is always "No." 


4.  You are an alum, if I do correctly recall.  In your journeys westward, what has your alumni status meant to you and to those you have met?  How has it affected the life you’ve created?
     Being a UM alum has helped me in two main ways.  The first is that I have so many classmates out here.  As a Michigan alum, you can head to any major city and you'll be surrounded by your old classmates.  When living in a far away city, that's invaluable.  The second is the reputation.  A UM degree gives instant credibility.  You can hate UM sports all you want, but to most people, a UM degree means your a pretty sharp individual.  If you don't know Michigan, you aren't worth knowing.  I just made that up.


5.  Without divulging too much information, can you describe what you do for a living?  And, what do you like to do for fun on your own time?
     I work in medical sales, so I drive around all day trying to convince hospitals to purchase overpriced equipment.  One day I will crash and/or run off the road because I'm MGoBlogging behind the wheel.  Lucky for me, traffic never goes more than about 15 miles an hour in LA.
     My free time is filled up by one thing lately - on June 28th I entered MGoFatherhood, and little Charlie (like the Heisman guy) takes up all of my free time, 24 hours a day.  I'm sure any fellow dads on here can relate.

For the record, I’ve seen pictures-- the kid was literally rockin’ a Block M beanie cap in the maternity ward-- nicely done, my friend.    Let’s move on… describe the perfect meal.
     Mmmm, I eat too much.  This is kind of a depressing question since I just got blood work done and apparently I don't eat as healthy as I should.  But my perfect meal is anything with lots of red meat and potatoes. 

6.  Meat, good.  Let’s wrap it up with the old standards-- can you explain why you are a Michigan fan?
     I grew up, no joke, in a family full of ND fans.  My mother's family were Irish Catholics from South Bend.  Sure, they didn't have to be ND fans.  But they were, in a big way.  My cousin even has that little leprechaun tattooed on his leg - I didn't say they were classy.  About the time I was in elementary school when you start liking sports teams, 5 guys, all freshmen, started for the University of Michigan's basketball team.  They were awesome.  About the same time, a receiver from Michigan won the Heisman.  I came home from school one day and told my mom I wanted to be a Michigan fan.  She, along with many of my relatives tried for years to turn me into a Notre Dame fan, but something inside my little brain told me they would fall short of expectations for at least the next 2 decades.  Ultimately, I went to UM for college and that had pretty much sewn things up. 

Finally, who's your all-time favorite Wolverine?
    My fiancee has accused me a number of times (and it's hard to tell if she's joking) of being gay for Tom Brady, so she'd probably say him.  This is a hard question.  It usually depends on whose highlight video I just watched.  But saying "it's a tie with everybody" is the equivalent to the people who say "I like everything, really" when you ask their favorite music (and I hate it when people do that), so I'll go with Desmond, combining how good he was on the field for us with how awesome he's been to the program since, with a Super Bowl MVP thrown in for good measure.  Runner-up honors to C-Webb - albeit a controversial pick, he was dominant and jump-started my fandom.  I still wear my #4 Jersey with pride.
 


With a network of over 460,000 graduates, the University of Michigan’s Alumni Association is a veritable brotherhood that spans the globe.  It goes without saying that the block M opens doors and makes business happen, and our own blog alone features everyone from government military contractors to lawyers, doctors to Fortune 500 businessmen.  As the song goes, the “Leaders and Best" -- I'd love to know how much business goes down every year in America simply because it's one
Michigan Man shaking the hand of another.
It’s comforting to know that whatever city you might find yourself in, there’s probably a fairly good chance that someone else there will share your love for the maize and blue.  WolvinLA is proof that even in the surreal world of California, Michigan is a recognized national brand that stands for something.  As we move closer to the season, we all can have hope of what that something will be.  Thanks and I’ll see you
all next week for another exciting edition of MGoProfile!

MGoProfile: Volume 12

MGoProfile: Volume 12

Submitted by Six Zero on July 22nd, 2010 at 8:01 AM

Hello everyone, Six Zero here with the latest installment of: 

Photobucket

SIX QUESTIONS WITH TIM

Inspired by the official site’s “Two Minute Drill” series and TomVH’s famous Q&A segments with potential recruits, this weekly feature highlights some of the more famous personalities here at MGoBlog.  Without pulling back the infamous veil of blog anonymity, we’ll get to know some of your favorite posters better and possibly shed some light on their definition of why it’s so darn Great, To Be, A Michigan Wolverine.

 PREVIOUS FEATURES:
TomVH        formerly anonymous       Misopogon       Shredder 
       Mathlete      Jamiemac      Magnus       WolverineHistorian       MGoShoe 
Blue in South Bend
     Blazefire

The twelfth edition of MGoProfile!  Hopefully it’s helped to make the summer feel a little cooler, the Thursday workday a little lighter, and most importantly, the offseason go a little faster.  And certainly I hope you’ve all enjoyed learning a little bit more about your fellow bloggers.

That said, I think it’s safe to say this is the most informative profile yet.  Our man Tim, most likely the Senior Vice President to the Fearless Leader here at MGoBlog, gave me a killer interview describing himself and some of the many contributions to the site.  Once the proprietor of another Michigan blog, Varsity Blue, Tim joined the team last year and has never looked back.  Let’s catch up with him in this exclusive interview:

 


1.     Tim, the right hand man of Brian himself.  The Little John to his Robin Hood, the Vader to his Palpatine.  But as some of the more seasoned readers know, at one time you had your own UM blog that was something of a rival to ours.  Describe the decision-making process behind the marriage of MGoBlog and Varsity Blue
      Originally, Brian approached Paul and me last spring and proposed a merger, because the Athletic Department had deemed mgoblog worthy of a press credential. He wanted me to be that beat reporter (and Paul to come along for the ride, I guess). Initially, I was hesitant to do it for a number of reasons. First, I had never been the "go to press conference guy," though I had occasionally with WOLV-TV, it was never my thing. Also, it really sucked to shut down Varsity Blue. That was something I had built from the ground up, and it felt like I was killing my own child. 
     I thought about the decision for upwards of a month, but eventually the desire to make blogging about Michigan sports a real life job(!) and the fact that I really think MGoBlog can grow into something special. It's already the biggest team-specific blog on the internet, and I think there's still a lot of potential for it to grow.

Yes, MGoBlog is certainly growing and evolving into what I'd be willing to describe as the premier online Michigan athletics community.  With that being said, is this still Brian's blog?
     I think it would be foolish to assume that MGoBlog will ever become something other than Brian's site. He started it, helped it grow into what it is today, and without him, it would be nothing. Brian produces the majority of the content, and although the user-generated content and the message board have become a big part of what the site is today, MGoBlog wouldn't be MGoBlog without Brian Cook. 


2.     If I recall, you're the MGoBlog on-site reporter, sitting in on official press conferences with the likes of Angelique and Pinnochio Rosenberg.   Tell us what that's like.  Do they look down at you as 'the web guy,' do they treat you like an equal, or are they threatened by you as an outward extension of the very digital age that has been sinking print media for over a decade? 
     First things first, Rosenberg doesn't work the Michigan beat. He comes to press conference only when he's looking for a certain story (and it seems as though they're all negative...), but the other mainstream reporters are Angelique, Mark Snyder, Michael Rothstein, Dave Birkett (football only), the reporters from the daily, and occasionally a couple other people. I think they understand that we internet folk (at least mgoblog in particular) aren't necessarily trying to take away from what they do. I don't go to a press conference to write my 800-word column, so it's not like we're in direct competition.
     There are also a few other independent-internet-type folk there (particularly for football, though if the basketball team had been something other than awful this year it could have been a different story), such as Greg Dooley of MVictors and Phil Callihan from UMGoBlog. So, if it was just me, I might feel a little uncomfortable, but having those guys also around makes me feel like I'm not out of my element. Combine that with the fact that the mainstream is moving toward the internet - AnnArbor.com being the biggest and most obvious example - and I think (hope?) I fit in as just one of the guys.

What's your relationship with the University of Michigan Athletic Department?  Do Bruce Madej, or anyone over there, read or even know about MGoBlog?
     Before the MGoMerger was completed, Brian and I actually had a meeting with a few guys in sports information, including Bruce, to talk about what our goal was for getting credentialed, how we were going to go about doing it, what they expected from us, etc. We actually helped them hash out some of what they were planning to expect from other independent websites in order for them to get credentialed. 
      On top of that, Bruce is sometimes in attendance at various press conferences, and he knows who we are. The SIDs for the two main sports (Dave Ablauf for football and Tom Wywrot for basketball) are there every time, and Tom in particular has helped me a lot. Brian is in somewhat-regular contact with Bruce about various questions here and there, so he's definitely aware of our presence.
     As far as athletic department staffers actually reading the site, I couldn't say for a fact. I would imagine that someone at least skims the content, to see what we're saying about them, and some might read it for entertainment, rather than in an official capacity. I know some players do read the site, and even some recruits. 

You hear that everyone?  PLAYERS READ THE BLOG.  Remember that the next time you feel like badmouthing the team you love on the site you spend most of your day.

 

3.  This Internet idea seems to be working.  We've already approached an age where general information portals (Sports Illustrated, for example) are losing their ground with readers, simply because it takes no greater effort to find sites with very specialized content (ie. MGoBlog) that can probe deeper, longer, and uncut.  With regards to Michigan sports in general, what does the future hold for readers looking for faster, more detailed, and more accurate information?
     I think that niche-based media (i.e. MGoBlog fills the Michigan niche) is going to be a big part of the future of sports media, though I think at least for some outlets, like Sports Illustrated, the talent they're able to acquire, the resources they can use to pursue a story, and even just the momentum of having been around for so long, is going to prevent them from ever going away. It's sort of the same story for newspapers. Though they're struggling, and many have even folded, I think they won't go away. Maybe, in the age where we can get information right away, at our convenience, they'll play a much smaller role.
     The immediacy of the internet, and the opportunities it provides (research capabilities, embedded video and audio, outlinking and networking) make it so important. Could you imagine, even just a couple years ago, hearing about the important news from a press conference as it's still ongoing (as I usually give from my Twitter account)? Probably not. Even user-generated content is something that newspapers, in their traditional format, can't really do. There are so many knowledgeable people on this site alone that simply needed a place that would give them a voice. That has improve the quantity and quality of information and analysis out there.

Speaking of the future, what will it hold for you?  You've clearly made some in-roads as part of the media, and I've read that you once wore a TV producer's shoes as well.  Any chance you're one day a part of the Sports Information department??
     As much as student-run media can be a true position, I once held various roles at WOLV-TV, including producer of several shows, Programming Director, and I was the Co-General Manager of the station (along with Paul) as a senior. In fact, when I graduated from Michigan, I really wanted to get into some form of broadcast media, but those jobs were even tougher to come by than... well I guess I haven't really had a real job other than mgoblog since I graduated. 
     I would love to have a future in the Michigan Athletic Department (duh), and if they came knocking on my door, I would accept it in a heartbeat. For now though, I'm happy with MGoBlog, and helping this site grow is something that really excites me. It doesn't exactly pay like a full-time job, but I keep telling (fooling?) myself that if I keep working hard, I'll be able to turn those 60-hour weeks during the basketball season into a career. 


4.     I think the answer is obvious, but can you describe what you do for a living?  And what do you like to do for fun on your own time?
     MGoBlog is my job. It's not your traditional 40 hours a week (more like 50ish during football, 60ish during basketball, and 25ish in the offseasons), but this is what's paying my bills. It's also a perfect situation for me, because I'm definitely not the type of guy who can sit in one place for 8 hours, 5 days a week, and not do anything. I love being able to wake up in the morning, work for a couple hours, take a break to go for a run or play some video games, and then get back to the grind in the afternoon.
     On my own time, as I just mentioned, I like to play XBox (NCAA, Fifa, and Red Dead Redemption are the games I've been playing the most recently), and do other stuff the semi-recent college grads like to do. I also like to try a lot of different beers, and brew my own. I was never much of a TV watcher (even when I could afford cable), but watching sports always gets its chance.

I know Tim and Brian won’t say it, so I will—this is their job, how they pay the bills.  Your entertainment is their livelihood.  More about that later.
 

5.     Moving on—time for the old standards.  Describe the perfect meal.
     There are so many different ways I could go with this. I love so many different types of food that it's hard to pick just one type for a meal. I do know that, as much as I love beer, the perfect meal would accompany a bottle of Bo Merlot that I've been saving for the past few years, that I arbitrarily decided I wouldn't open until Michigan beat Ohio State on the football field. OK, I guess I'd have a couple glasses of that and then switch to some homebrew.
     I guess the food would have to be something fresh off the grill, not only because it's delicious, but also I like the process itself. Beef and Chicken kabobs with grilled veggies would have to be my choice. 


6.  Mmmm, I love grilled anything.  Can you explain why you are a Michigan fan?
     My answer for this question is definitely going to be a little different from your standard response, and probably a lot longer as well. May dad is an Ohio State alumnus, and though my family wasn't big into college sports when I was growing up, I would have described myself as a casual Buckeyes fan as a child (my parents still have an unopened 6-pack of "OSU National Champs" Coke sitting in their basement).
     I grew up mostly in Illinois and California, though I was still in elementary school when I moved to Michigan, and I was more of a Cubs-Bears-Bulls fan as a child. Ironically enough, I can't stand pro sports today, but I'll watch any college contest I can get my greedy eyeballs on.
     Fast forward to my final couple years of high school, and I wanted to, like, get a good education. The only two schools I applied to were Michigan State and Michigan, and I had to sweat out Michigan acceptance to get that good education thing I just mentioned. Even by the time I enrolled in Ann Arbor, I wouldn't have described myself as a Michigan fan. Sure, I learned the fight song at orientation, but that was about it. I didn't even know what time the 2004 Miami (NTM) game started, so I missed the first quarter of it. 
     It was that 2004 football season that really turned me into a Michigan fan. The wins were great, especially the Tyler Ecker rumble to take down Minnesota, but it was the heartbreakers that really made me fall in love with the Wolverines. Part of me died on the inside when Dusty Mangum baaaarely slipped the ball inside the goal posts to take us down in the Rose Bowl, and going to the OSU game in the Shoe with my cousin (then a high schooler, now a Buckeye alumna) brought me down a notch. The 2006 season ensured my Michigan love as a permanent thing, since I don't think there was any cooler experience than being on the field for Michigan's romp at Notre Dame, or the long, tired drive home from Penn State.
     My parents are still Ohio State fans, but I've put in the necessary lobbying to make sure Michigan is their #2 team. I even bet my Ohio born-and-bred mother probably roots for Michigan - or is at least neutral - in The Game because she knows a Michigan win is much more important to me than is an Ohio State win to my dad. One of the downsides to being something of a Johnny-come-lately to Michigan is that I've never once watched live as Michigan beat Ohio State in football (the only game I watched before I was a student was the 2002 game). 

Finally, the staple last question-- who's your all-time favorite Wolverine?
     As I mentioned above, I've only been a fan for a few years, so my selections are going to be recent. I think most of my contemporaries can understand my Mike Hart love, and are similarly sad that he didn't emerge until it was too late to win the 2004 Notre Dame game. The guys who have stuck with Michigan through the rough years at the beginning of the Rodriguez administration will also hold a special place in my heart - especially those like Brandon Graham who excelled despite the poor teams.
     A lot of my choices are current guys, that really haven't done enough yet to verge into "all-time" territory. As someone who gets to interview these guys, I get to see a lot more of their personalities, in addition to what they do on the field. My favorite press conference answer came from Denard Robinson, when a reporter asked him following the Eastern Michigan game if he really liked running into the South endzone (he scored going that way in the Western game too, as you may recall). His response?: "I think I scored one going this way, too [points North]." If he can live up to his tremendous physical potential, there's a good chance that he goes down in Michigan fan lore as well.
 



For so many of us, myself included, MGoBlog is a welcome distraction to the daily grind of our own jobs (and occasionally lives).  It’s a place where we feed our devotion to Michigan football with to-the-minute updates on the team and its players.  We also go here to fraternize with colorful characters, to rejoice victories, whether on the field or in a young man’s living room, and to lambast the enemy with like-minded people we may or may not truly know.  It’s a clubhouse, a haven, a place of recreation.

     For Tim, and Brian, and a select few others, it is their life.  In terms of profession and productivity, it is literally who they are… so their investment in the quality and content of the blog is immeasurably higher than the rest of us who simply come here to play.  If nothing else, I hope this entry gives us all a new sense of respect of their dedication not only to keep it going, but to keep making it better and better.  I don’t think Brian will mind me saying that he’s hard at work on an improvement to the blog—why would he mind, he always is—and I’m sure he and Tim lead a pretty hectic life just to keep the ship on course throughout the season and year.  So as we creep ever closer to the eve of the 2010 opener, remember all of the sacrifices these guys make, all for the sake of making the blog better.  For you.

In a totally unrelated topic, there is a button on the top right, just below the main navigation called Beveled Guilt.  All jokes aside, think of how much you receive from this blog even though you never pay a cent.  Brian’s given us the ability to pay for what you receive, and even name your own price a la Radiohead.  No one asked me to include this part (in fact, I hope they aren’t upset that I have), and I’m not trying to give anyone the guilt trip.  Just consider what you’d be willing to pay for what you receive here, and if you’re so inclined, give it up.  For these guys.

Thanks again, and I’ll see you all next week for another exciting edition of MGoProfile!

MGoProfile: Volume 11

MGoProfile: Volume 11

Submitted by Six Zero on July 15th, 2010 at 6:54 AM

Hello everyone, Six Zero here with the latest installment of: 

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SIX QUESTIONS WITH BLAZEFIRE

Inspired by the official site’s “Two Minute Drill” series and TomVH’s famous Q&A segments with potential recruits, this weekly feature highlights some of the more famous personalities here at MGoBlog.  Without pulling back the infamous veil of blog anonymity, we’ll get to know some of your favorite posters better and possibly shed some light on their definition of why it’s so darn Great, To Be, A Michigan Wolverine.

 PREVIOUS FEATURES:
TomVH        formerly anonymous       Misopogon       Shredder 
       Mathlete      Jamiemac      Magnus       WolverineHistorian       MGoShoe       Blue in South Bend
 

When this new series was announced, there was plans to spotlight some of the official staff, some of the more unique personalities who fill a certain niche of our audience, and of course some of the core people who make up the main table of MGoBlog.  I would assume that early on, several of you probably imagined a short list of people that simply must be part of this project, or perhaps even assembled a list of your own.  Either way, that short list did indeed exist since the very beginning of MGoProfile, and probably one of the names everyone expected was Blazefire.  And yes, of course his name is on the list, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to this interview.  So, without further ado, let’s get to it:

 


1.   What would MGoBlog be like without Blazefire?
    
Without me, MGoBlog would shed the last vestiges of geekery and finally be able to sit at the cool kids' table in the cafeteria at lunch.
     Actually, that's an excellent question. I have been a member of various forums online for many years now, so I joined the board very, very shortly after discovering MGoBlog and picked up the rules as I went along. As such, I don't really have much context for what it was like before I came along. I don't necessarily think I bring anything terribly unique to the table, except perhaps a propensity for verbosity and a dedication to being entertaining. I'm not a math guy. We have lots of those on the board, and they do an exceptional job. I like to think maybe the board would have a few less laughs and definitely a few less puns without me.

And also a few less MGoPoints.  Over 15,000, to be exact.  FIFTEEN THOUSAND.  Although we know they have no literal value, I would bet you can argue that it has allowed you a certain level of notoriety as a true MGoGold Card Member.  How does one accrue this much recognition, and in  your own words, what have you earned from it?
    
The MGoPoints mostly come at night. Mostly. < /Aliens Reference >

     Actually, mostly it's just that I post quite a bit. I am busy at work, but with busy work, most of which is done with a very old and slow computer program. While it's processing, I post. I can tell you that most of my points have come in bits and pieces, from this or that post.  I don't try to accrue them. I don't try to say the popular thing. I also don't try to be controversial or raise issues, too much. By and large, as I said, I like to be entertaining, and I like to be positive.  You can't go wrong that way. That said, I can tell you that I earned about 1% of my total MGoPoints on a single post. The Mike Rosenberg peeking in from the side gif was really popular.

 

2.     You're one of the select few among us who, for lack of a better
term, are something of a watchdog.  Grammar, unproven claims of fact, utter crap, whatever.  Describe the responsibility of this role, and what prompts you to fly into action above all else?
    
Yup, you pegged me. I suspect a lot of this comes from growing up in the house that I did. My parents are very wonderful people, and I love them dearly. That said, my father is a big-time 'do it right or don't do it at all' kind of guy. He didn't always expect A+'s or anything, but dinner table discussion often focused on this or that "yahoo" and how they'd screwed up. I'm a little more willing to forgive those errors than he is, but I still feel compelled to point them out.
     That said, I try to avoid overstepping my bounds, because I'm far from infallible, but often times the innate character of my father comes through. I've learned over the years to try and always make sure that I'm right before I say anything, or at least that I can back up with some authority what I think is true, because often enough, it's come back to bite me, or those with me. As a younger teenager (maybe 14), I went to Kohl's once with my mom, and we decided to get me a new pillow.
     The pillow was marked with a particular price, but it rang up about $10 more. As you may know, most stores will give you the marked price, but Kohl's, for whatever reason, will not. Well, I, all of 14 years old, laid into that clerk, and I was prepared to go as far as necessary to get the marked price. My mother, on the other hand, is not of the same mentality that holds people (or stores) accountable for their mistakes. But of course, being the adult in the situation, the clerk, and then manager, got lippy with HER when I was the one arguing their points. She does not have the chutzpa for those kind of arguments, and it was not pretty.

+1 for use of the term chutzpa.  My next question may be related to the last... Why Judge Dredd?  And, I already know the answer to this one, but let's humor the masses:  Why are you being choked, and by whom?
    
Why not Judge Dredd? If you can protect Mega City One, you've got some massive cojones. That said, I don't think I actually view myself as an enforcer or police officer, but then again, I do have a deep seated disgust for those that would hurt or take advantage of others, and I want to see them stopped, so you never know. Maybe I'm in the wrong career.
     I actually first 'fell in love' with JD during junior high. As an elective, I took a Sci-Fi and Fantasy art class, which was a very cool class. I found out there that I'm just not a very good drawer or painter. I'm more into the concept and design end of things, rather than the rendering. Anyhow, as part of the class, we were supposed to buy a comic book, from which we would choose a page and learn how to create a big painting from a small drawing, by plotting it out on graph paper. I chose an issue from my local super market, Judge Dredd versus Predator, and my infatuation was born.
     As for the choking, that was rendered not too terribly long after I'd chosen JD as my avatar. Misopogon crafted that beautiful wonder in response to a little nazism I just couldn't resist. It was all in good humor, I'm sure. >.> <.<


3.      Since the series began, I have been patiently waiting to ask you this question:  Describe your sense of humor.
    
Bad.
     Oh, you want more detail. Alright, lets see here. Let me start by listing off the funniest people on the planet for you (past and present), to give you a sense of where I come from.
     Groucho Marx, Gallagher, Hawkeye Pierce, Lewis Black, Robin Williams and Stephen Lynch. If you took them, rolled them all together and then made them way, way less funny, you'd have me. I'm a sucker for puns, a clever play on words, fast paced changes, jokes that engage your brain, and a willingness to make a complete fool of oneself for a good laugh. I have often thought I'd really like to make a go at an open mike night, but I've called around, and any open mike nights at clubs near me actually require you to pay the club. My wife says I should do it if my routine makes her laugh, which is normally easy except when I try a routine. Then she's like a beefeater or something. You can't get her to crack a smile when you really want to.


4.  Wives are funny like that—they force us to consistently be the man they married.  Now, we’ve covered the humor, let’s move onto a more serious topic.  One of my favorite pieces written by you, or anyone on MGoBlog, for that matter, was the "Relax" op-ed. piece a few weeks back.  Tell us about the motivation, creation, and response of this work.
    
Truthfully? This was crafted for two reasons. The first, and foremost, was because I really did feel like posts that worried too much about the stresses and strains put on coach Rodriguez were becoming extremely common place. I saw posts asking how much before he voluntarily left, and all of that. It's just another thing we as fans don't need to worry about.A football coach worries about winning games. Not about what Joe-John at the corner store thinks of him. I wanted to really get people thinking about how the minds of those in power work, and maybe, I dunno, nip yet another problem in the bud.
     The second reason, and I'm a little bit ashamed to admit it, but it is what it is, was jealousy. As I said above, I'm no sabermetrician. While I find the posts on it terribly interesting and I can follow most of the statistical analysis pretty well, my own ability to do math effectively stopped with Trig 1 in high school. I realized that while other people could learn the formulas and then apply them over and over, I had to relearn the formulas for every single problem, every time. But their posts, so full of knowledge, so applicable to the sport I love, they shame me with my inability to compete. It's like reading about successful business people. You feel good for them, but at the same time, you wonder why you can't do that. Well, I said to myself, "so what if I'm not a mathematician. I didn't get my degree in PR for nothing."  I felt compelled to find a use for my skills in reference to the sport I love as well. And so, I crafted the best darn piece I could with what I knew well, hoping to enlighten half as much as others do.  I'm glad to know it seems to have hit its mark.

 
5.  Without divulging too much information, can you describe what you do for a living?  And what do you like to do for fun on your own time?
    
My official job title is Communications Coordinator. In reality, that's only a small portion of what I do. The company I work for is an industrial equipment manufacturer, and I do a variety of things there.  I run shipping and receiving, I run the inventory and invoicing program on the non-managerial end (they order and set prices. I make sure things are entered correctly and log and make changes), and  communications wise, I create the technical manuals for the equipment.  All of the equipment is custom, so each needs its own manual. Between all of that, I keep pretty busy.
     For fun on my own time, I'm a pretty normal guy. I like to work on my house or in my yard. I've always got some little project going on. My dad has a stunning 72 Corvette with the 454 Big Block in it (it's mine in the will!), so we take that to shows on summer weekends a lot. I love to cook, so I'm always working on this or that recipe when I have the time. And finally, I'm really, really looking forward to the release of StarCraft II in a couple of weeks. I fear for my sleep patterns.

I'm sure you are not alone.  Let’s move on… describe the perfect meal.
    
I was dreading this one, because I love food, and it's so hard to choose. I'm a big time fine dining guy, so while a good home made meal suits me fine, I think I should go that way.
     Dinner would begin with a small amuse bouche, perhaps a small spiced tuna preparation, paired with a glass of soft riesling. After that, a small bowl of a creamy seafood bique with a crusty slice of baguette.  For the entree, I think I'll go with a horseradish crusted halibut, broiled, with a side of asparagus in hollandaise and some roasted dill redskin potatoes. I'd probably have a glass of semi-dry Syrah with this, or perhaps a big, bold Cab to counter the horseradish. Dessert would have to be a cheese course (a soft goat cheese, a semi-soft, and an aged firm) with a glass of royal tokaji 5 puttonyos 2003 dessert wine. I'd top the whole thing off with a cappuccino and a butter cookie.
     Aw man. Now I'm hungry.

 6.  Finally, the staple questions:  can you explain why you are a Michigan fan?
    
Both sides of the family are Michigan fans. Well, I have one uncle on each side that went to MSU, so most of the family are also Spartan fans, but I grew up in the era of Michigan dominance, so MSU was always an afterthought during my formative years. By the time I was old enough to recognize them as an actual football team too, and not just... well, whatever I thought they were, my natural hatred of all things not Maize and Blue had already set in. Now, you couldn't get me to say "Go State" if you threatened me with, well, whatever it is that they threaten people with to get them to be State fans in the first place.

Intellectual effort?  Finally, who's your all-time favorite Wolverine?
    
I've got so many, but I'll have to go with old Timmy B. Biakabutuka was Michigan right about the time I truly started developing an interest in following Michigan in earnest, and not just on Saturdays during the season. That, and to this day, my mom still laughs saying his name.’


     Blazefire.  For some on the blog, it is a name that prompts fear.  Fear, not because he’ll actually harm anyone—like the mall cop that chased you when you were ten or your first girlfriend’s unimpressed father, it is not about the danger of any physical attack that makes you cautious, but rather it is the threat of being put in one’s place.  Blazefire is nowhere and everywhere at once, waiting for someone to misspell “Martavious” or to lay unresearched claims to Carlos Brown’s statistics from 2007.  He is not vicious or vindictive, he simply recognizes a certain level of quality from the blog and expects others to maintain it.
     For the rest of us on MGoBlog, he is something quite different.  Class clown,  prankster, the veritable Jokey Smurf of our tribe.  I’ll admit, I’ve always looked upon Blazefire more as a source of comedy than anything else, but I do know others who are cautious of his reading their posts.  Either way, his contributions never go unnoticed, and he is clearly one of the regulars at the bar.  I hope you enjoyed this inside look at the man behind the madness, and I’ll see you all next week for another exciting edition of MGoProfile!

MGoProfile: Volume 10

MGoProfile: Volume 10

Submitted by Six Zero on July 7th, 2010 at 8:36 AM

Hello everyone, Six Zero here with the latest installment of: 

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SIX QUESTIONS WITH BLUE IN SOUTH BEND

Inspired by the official site’s “Two Minute Drill” series and TomVH’s famous Q&A segments with potential recruits, this weekly feature highlights some of the more famous personalities here at MGoBlog.  Without pulling back the infamous veil of blog anonymity, we’ll get to know some of your favorite posters better and possibly shed some light on their definition of why it’s so darn Great, To Be, A Michigan Wolverine.

 PREVIOUS FEATURES:
TomVH        formerly anonymous       Misopogon       Shredder 
Mathlete      Jamiemac      Magnus       WolverineHistorian       MGoShoe

South Bend, Indiana, where both the pride of all Hibernians and the shame of NBC Sports budget specialists call home.  We’ve all suffered for our love of the maize and blue, but some do more than others, and our man Blue In South Bend is certainly a capable testimony of what some of us endure to cheer on the Wolverines.  Before we begin, I’d also like to acknowledge that any bit of pressure I felt over my vacation week (I’m looking at you, Sgt. Wolverine) was quickly tempered when Blue not only
did his part, but graciously some of mine as well.  Here’s the
exclusive MGoProfile interview:

 


 

1.     Alright, Blue, first things first—one thing I’ve noticed is that you are routinely among the quickest responders on the blog.  At the time of this writing, you’re typically among the first 8 entries of any given blog you respond to.  And that’s not a bad thing (unless we might ask your wife or g/f.)  So is it safe to say that you spend a lot of the workday connected to MGoBlog?  (Not that the rest of us don’t, naturally)
     I'd like to say that I respond quickly because I think faster than everyone else, but in reality I just spend way too much time on MGoBlog.  I'm a law student, so I spend most of my day sitting in front of a computer screen anyway.  It's way too easy to tab over to check on the status of Sean Parker or the latest on the Jihad.  So when you combine that with my instinctive need to share my opinion about absolutely everything, the result is a bunch of comments from yours truly.
     As for my wife... well, let's just say that if things ever go south in our marriage, Brian Cook may be deposed by my wife during the divorce proceedings.
 

2.      And yet no blogs.  You’re a great example of how someone can be a solid contributor without developing too much of your own content… Have you ever had the desire to start your own blog entries, and if so, what would they be about?
     I've considered developing my own content, but I've realized that I'm not really the local expert on anything.  I can speak intelligently about most things Michigan... but Magnus knows more about football, FA knows more about baseball, EVERYONE knows more about hoops, and THE KNOWLEDGE knows more about the rest of the Universe.  My areas of expertise are law and politics.  Politics, as you may have heard, is frowned upon on this here blog, and law is rarely very interesting.  Also, despite the appearance to the contrary, I usually don't have the time to develop in-depth content.  My free time comes in 2-minute spurts at random points throughout the day, and I don't have the attention span to put something comprehensive together, let alone on a regular basis.
     What I do bring to the table, I think, is the ability to remain fairly level-headed, and to further the debate when people get a little too high (OMG 13-0 TATE WINS TEH HEISMAN) or low (RR CAN'T WIN 5-7 IS UNACCEPTABLE LULZ).  Plus, someone has to post the occasional timely youtube clip or random picture of Fat Boren, so I think I have a niche.
 

3.  Now, the name… obviously you’re one of the Wolverine faithful deep in enemy territory.  Explain how that affects your life on an almost daily level, and describe your thoughts on the ND-UM rivalry as a whole.
     I sometimes feel like Jane Goodall.  The Irish allow me to live among them, and while they do not embrace me, they tolerate my presence as a sort of novelty.  Truth be told, it isn't that bad here.  I lived in East Lansing a little over 3 years after I graduated from Michigan in '05, and the Irish are far more hospitable than the Spartans.  To a certain extent, I think it reflects the different complexes of the two fan bases.  Where the Sparties evince an inferiority complex that would make Canada blush, the locals are more worried about how to defend their next National Championship.  Their concerns far exceed the Michigan game; they don't want one win, they want a dozen.  Besides that, the Irish are actually very knowledgeable, quite accommodating to visitors and opposing fans, and as supportive of their team as any fans I've encountered.  So in that respect, it's hard to generate the same hatred for the Irish as for the Spartans or Buckeyes.

Personally, I will very much miss having Charlie Weis on the opposing sideline next year, but all in all my animosity for the Irish is fairly low—I’d definitely rank them the lowest of the three primary rivalries.  What else can you tell us about the Irish fan base?
     The interesting thing about the Notre Dame fan is that he truly believes in his delusional highly optimistic take on the University, and on ND football in particular.  He really, truly believes that Notre Dame should have competed for a National Title last year, and that Charlie Weis was the ONLY reason they didn't do so.  I can't tell you how many conversations I've had with locals who think that ND's is in line for a 10-2 regular season this year, with an outside chance to go 11-1 or 12-0.  I've tried to explain the parallels between Michigan '08 and Notre Dame '10 (new coach, new system, suspect defense, replacing a multiple year starting quarterback and several offensive linemen, etc.), but they will have none of it.  The caricature we have created of the Irish isn't just based on reality.  It IS reality.
     Living in enemy territory is hard, though.  No one around here wants to talk about Michigan sports.  My wife is a Spartan, and she doesn't care much about football anyway.  MGoBlog is my one link to people who care whether Troy Woolfolk has been getting more reps at corner or safety, and whether Devin Gardner should redshirt (he should).  That, and South Bend is ungodly boring. 
 

4.  Which leads us right into our next question: What do you like to do for fun on your own time?  And, as always, can you describe the perfect meal?
     For a restaurant meal, I'd say it the Bang Bang Shrimp and Diablo Shrimp Fettuccini at Bonefish Grill.  For a home-cooked meal, my wife makes a great white chicken chili.  Either way, I have a fairly prominent sweet tooth, so desert is a necessity.

      As for my free time... thanks to this blog (damn you, Brian Cook) and my various responsibilities, I don't have all that much free time anymore.  I spend most of my day reading legal things, writing about those things, and reading some more legal things.  I'm also searching for post-graduation employment (HIRE ME PLZ... k thx), which is annoyingly time consuming and thus far unproductive.  Beyond that, I enjoy golfing, running, basketball, and most other athletic activities.  I like spending time with my wife (we just celebrated our first anniversary) and my dog.

Yes... the dog.  Your avatar definitely works—When I see one of your posts I always know it’s you without having to even read the name.  Is this your dog?  Is there a story behind your avatar?
     He isn't my dog.  I have a year-old American Bulldog named Gus, but Gus has too much self-respect to dress up in a costume just to satisfy my blogging needs.  He's great, though; I'd highly recommend the breed.  Truth be known, my avatar is just one of the first Google Image search results for "football dog."
 

5.  Can you explain why you are a Michigan fan?
     I actually grew up in a Spartan household.  Both of my parents went to State, so it's hard to say how or why I became a Michigan fan.  It may have had something to do with Tim Biakabutuka running like a possessed water buffalo against Ohio State in 1995.  I loved my four years at Michigan, and really wanted to come back for law school, though it was not to be (Demar and I are starting an "I love Michigan admissions" club.  Dues are $10, and that includes the t-shirt).  To me, Michigan has always been the total package.  First rate academics, excellent athletics, great town, great people.  That, and we control space, bitches. SPACE.
 

6.    Finally, the staple last question-- who's your all-time favorite Wolverine?
    
I don't have a single favorite.  I've always loved the workhorse running backs, so my favorites are probably Mike Hart and Chris Perry.  But after the events of a cool October evening in 2004, I will always have a soft spot for Braylon as well.  Honorable mentions goes to Phil Brabbs and Jason Avant.

/Wife in South Bend takes the computer.

     Give me back my husband, damnit.  Dinner is getting cold.  Besides, the season is still two months away.  What could you people possibly need to talk about right now?

/Blue in South Bend takes back the keyboard

Sorry about that. Guess that means it's time to go.

 


        The man’s name says it all:  Blue in South Bend.  There are several of us,
myself included, who reside behind enemy lines, and are forced to suffer for our fandom, our religious devotion to the block M, and yes, for our wardrobe.  Here in Pennsylvania it’s not so bad—at least, not until I break out anything with an #86 on it, which tends to work the more diehard Nits fan up into a seething hatred fairly quickly. (“One second,” or “Lloyd always got what we wanted from the refs,” etc.) 
Certainly South Bend has their own opinion of both Michigan and its fans, and thanks to the modern miracle of technology known as MGoProfile, we no longer have to guess.  I encourage all of you Michigan Men in unfriendly territory to stay the course, hold the line, and wear the block M cap every damn time you leave the house.  Thanks again and I’ll see you guys next week for another edition of MGoProfile!   

MGoProfile: Volume 8

MGoProfile: Volume 8

Submitted by Six Zero on June 24th, 2010 at 8:17 AM

Hello everyone, Six Zero back with a very special installment of: 

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SIX QUESTIONS WITH WOLVERINE HISTORIAN

Inspired by the official site’s “Two Minute Drill” series and TomVH’s famous Q&A segments with potential recruits, this weekly feature highlights some of the more famous personalities here at MGoBlog.  Without pulling back the infamous veil of blog anonymity, we’ll get to know some of your favorite posters better and possibly shed some light on their definition of why it’s so darn Great, To Be, A Michigan Wolverine.

 PREVIOUS FEATURES:
TomVH        formerly anonymous       Misopogon
Shredder      Mathlete      Jamiemac      Magnus

     Some journalists are like deer hunters, stalking and begging their elusive prey
for even years before finally hitting paydirt.  Others, it seems, are just lucky,
and inexplicably have those home run interviews fall into their lap without
any rhyme or reason as to why.

      So then, if you are to consider me anything close to a journalist, please feel free to consider me one of the lucky ones today.  Gentlemen, and ladies, it is my distinct pleasure to offer you this exclusive MGoProfile of the preeminent filmmaker
of the Michigan fanbase.  Yes-- Please welcome Wolverine Historian!!


1.  The one and only Wolverine Historian, maker of over 280 moments and three years of pure Michigan cinematic awesomeness.  Tell us the story of how your legendary work came to be-- what was your first movie, what motivated you to create it, and did you ever think it would have exploded to become what it is today? 
      ESPN Classic started featuring old college football games in the late 90’s and at the time, I thought it was a great idea.  I started tuning in to the station all the time just hoping they would feature old Michigan games.  As time passed, I discovered that showing old Michigan football games was very common on Classic.  But 70% of the games featured were losses.  And these weren’t just any losses.  These were the most heartbreaking, bone chilling, vomit-inducing, pull your hair out and scream kind of losses.  They showed Kordell Stewart throwing that Hail-Mary so many times I’m surprised they didn’t wear out the footage.  The same went for those two kickoff returns by Rocket Ismail.  As the years passed, it just got worse and worse.  One day, I added up all of the UM games I had ever seen on Classic just to see what our record was on that station and I found out we were a whopping 34 games below .500.  Not exactly a balanced and fair representation for the winningest program in college football history.  At that point, I washed my hands of Classic forever and hoped that I could someday repair the psychological damage that station had done to my fellow Wolverine fans. 
     YouTube exploded around 2006.  Once I discovered it, I went looking through YouTube and found out there wasn’t many Michigan football related videos on there at the time and that disappointed me.  I knew I had a ton of games on VHS tapes stored away so I thought I would try to learn how to make highlight videos myself and start an account.  (It was very confusing at first.  I am by no means a computer whiz). Once I eventually got the account going, I decided to make victories the obvious center point.  No losses were allowed, not that I keep them anyway.  And the rest is history.  Even though my channel is just a YouTube account, I still like to think of it as the anti-ESPN Classic.
     The first video I uploaded to my account was a portion of the ‘Big Ten Ticket’ from 1997 where Don Shane of Channel 7 news in Detroit and Bo Schembechler previewed the Penn State game in Happy Valley.  There was no real motivation behind making that the first video.  I just happened to be watching it shortly before.
     The channel “exploding” is just what I hoped would happen for the fans.  I wanted to create a place where Wolverine fans could watch memorable football moments and be happy.  That was my main intent and it worked.  But there have been extra bonuses along the way.  I’ve been contacted by a few former players (Billy Taylor, Alfie Burch, Tony Henderson, Rasheed Simmons and Woodrow Hankins) who have shown appreciation for the videos.  I had a long retired Michigan alum (class of 1948) from down in Florida send me a thank you note for uploading the ‘48 Rose Bowl because he never knew the footage existed.  I’ve received compliments from fans of Oklahoma, Alabama, Virginia, Florida and Texas who would like to start their own ‘Historian’ accounts.  And I am proud to say that I am despised in Ohio.  One of my closest friends got transferred to Columbus last year for work and she called me up one night to tell me how often she hears of fellow residents complaining about that WolverineHistorian jerk on YouTube.  According to them, Michigan fans don’t deserve such a resource.  Hearing stories like that are the gifts that keep on giving. 


2.  Sir, you make us all wish to be more “despised in Ohio.”    Your videos span the entire history of Michigan football, and basketball as well.  Where do you get all of this footage from in the first place?  How is a typical Michigan Historian video created, and how long does it take to pull a finished piece out of the fire?
      I started taping games here and there in 1996.  Any victories would just be saved and throw in to a bin which I could go back and watch whenever I needed a football fix.  Eventually, I wanted to start collecting games from the Moeller years, the Schembechler years and before so I went online and found many Michigan contacts who could hook me up or trade games with me.  Ten years later, I’m still doing that.
     A typical Historian video is created through the “magic” of Windows Movie Maker.  I have a VCR/DVD player connected to my computer which is how I transfer the footage.  When I want to upload a game, I copy the necessary plays from a scoring drive - as well as the often retro introductions and endings - I splice them together on to one file which is then ready to be uploaded to YouTube.  Copying all the plays is the most time consuming, especially for the extra special games like rivalry and bowl victories that I want to split into parts.  That process alone can take over an hour which is why making a video is not always a one day project.  The actual uploading of a 10 minute video usually takes around 25 minutes.       

Wangler to Carter.  Hello Heisman.  Bo singing the Victors.  In your expert opinion, what is the single most iconic video clip of Michigan football?
      There have been many, many memorable moments over the years.  But I think Wangler to Carter from Homecoming 1979 is probably the most iconic video clip of Michigan football.  I was born 4 months after that game was played so I obviously have no personal memories of it.  But the video speaks for itself.  One last play, Carter dancing into the end zone, the crowd going insane, Bo jumping up and down, Bob Ufer screaming, “Oh my GOD!!!  Carter scored!!!” and Lee Corso having a stroke on the Indiana sideline.  There is nothing that is not perfect about that clip.  I could watch it a million times and never get tired of it.  If I had a time machine, I would go back to this game just so I could be a part of the atmosphere on that last play.   


3.  Despite your own shout-out to MGoBlog, your own YouTube channel has certainly gathered some steam as a legitimate Michigan web site, with a healthy, growing fan base to boot.  Where do you see the Wolverine Historian brand going in the future?
      I like the thought of my channel being a legitimate Michigan web site.  Although, with only 1,815 subscribers, that might not be accurate exactly.  But regardless of what is considered truly legitimate, it’s good to see the other M football sites on the internet linked to my channel.
     Despite the fact that we have the most televised football team in college football history, some day I’m going to run out of games to upload.  When that day comes, I’ll be fine with “retirement,” and just keeping my channel up for the fans.  I could always continue doing current games but they won’t be as good as others picture quality wise since I don’t have an HD TV.  And yes, I know it’s pretty lame that in the year 2010, I still use a VCR to tape games.  But it gets the job done. 

Of course it does… and it’s not like the video quality of a game from 1975 would look any better in hi-def anway.  Pouring over all that game film must reveal some insight into the program as a whole over so many years.  What do you see (besides losing, hrmph) that makes the Rodriguez-era Wolverines so different than previous incarnations?
      The Rodriguez-era has been like nothing I have ever seen before and unfortunately, that includes many losses.  I never thought I’d be seeing Michigan run a spread offense, yet here we are.  The current era also makes me miss the days where we had stifling defenses.  With the exception of a few obvious years, that became a major problem during the Lloyd Carr era and it’s looked even worse during RichRod’s first two seasons. I just hate the thought of knowing that you have to hope your offense will win you games because the defense won’t be of any help.  That’s not the way football should be.  
     Other than the wins/losses, the Rodriguez-era Wolverines just have a very modern feel to them.  Besides running the spread, we have the player introductions and pump up videos (which is nice) and piped in music at the Big House (which is not so nice.)  It’s all a matter of taste.  To me, less is more like in the old days.  I don’t need Michigan football to be flashy.  I just want us to start winning again.  And if we do, I’m sure I will have an easier time embracing the Rodriguez-era.


4.  When you’re not creating the best darn Michigan content on Youtube, what do you like to do for fun on your own time?  
     I’ve always considered myself a laid back kind of guy.  That sounds better than outright calling myself lazy which is what I tend to be sometimes.  But my favorite type of free time involves a quiet evening just hanging out with my friends for dinner, a movie or just chilling with them in front of the TV.  The Simpsons, Family Guy and South Park are almost always can’t miss shows when I’m with them or alone.
     During the Spring and Summer, I force myself to be more active.  I often go for walks in the evening if I have the time and shoot hoops at the park.  I like to bowl and play tennis even though I’m pretty mediocre at both.  I like to watch Pistons, Red Wings and Tiger games with my dad.  I’ve never been to a game at Comerica Park and I’m going to try to get out there for a game sometime in July.

And, to continue in the spirit of learning more about the man behind the lens, describe the perfect meal.
      I am a very meat and potatoes kind of guy…literally.  I’m happiest with a steak cooked medium well, seasoned mashed potatoes and/or French fries, bread and a
coca-cola.  Outback Steakhouse is one of my favorite restaurants but I have several family members who can grill a mean steak as well.  And that works out fine for me since I can’t cook to save my life.  For dessert, nothing beats a homemade vanilla cheesecake with fresh strawberries. That’s been my favorite dessert since I was a kid.  My tastes are not very original, obviously.  But that’s the perfect meal for me.
     I wish I had a favorite original game day tailgate menu but I don’t.  And that’s mostly because I’ve never tailgated before.  Ever.  I’ve been to many games at the Big House over the years but I’ve never once tailgated.  I hope to do that one day and finally feel the full game day experience, food and all. 


5.  So you’re not in it just for the food.  Can you explain why you are a Michigan fan?
      Other than the fact that I just have good taste?  Sure.  As a little kid, I became a Michigan fan because my side of the family were Michigan fans.  My cousin’s side of the family were State fans.  Thank GOD I was born on the right side.  My parents took my sister and I to my first ever game in 1985 against Indiana.  I was 5 years old and I will never forget that feeling of walking inside that stadium for the first time.  At that age, 100,000 people looks no different than 1,000,000.  That was all I could concentrate on.  We won 42-15 that day but I don’t remember a single thing about the game itself.  I don’t know who scored all those touchdowns or who made the big defensive plays.  All I remember is looking at all the fans sitting around me and being in awe.  I’m ashamed to admit it, but at that age, I didn’t care what was going on down on the field because the sport just didn’t interest me.  I was too young to truly understand the beauty that is football.  (Luckily, I found someone online who has a copy of this game and I should be getting it in the mail next week.  I can’t wait to sit down and watch it so, for the first time in 25 years, I’ll know what happened.) 
     Eventually, as I got a little older and figured out how great football was, I wised up and that’s when the Wolverine Football bug consumed me. Bo Schembechler, Desmond Howard and Tyrone Wheatley just added to that.  By the time I was 13, I was officially obsessed.  It’s hard to come up with the exact words to explain why I am a Michigan fan.  But Bob Wojnowski made a quote many years ago that sums it up better than I ever could have…

“You see it on the helmet, hear it in the song, smell it in the big old stadium.  It’s the winged stripe and the high-stepping band and the mingled scents of old cigars and fresh cider.  It’s Michigan tradition.  You don’t know exactly when it starts or when it ends, but you know it when you see it, feel it, smell it.”

      I was already a fan but once I was exposed to all of that, there was no going back. 


6.    Some of my favorite videos of yours are the player tributes-- the Tom Harmon piece should simply be required viewing for any UM fan, and the Grbac one brought back some great memories as well.  So, finally, the staple last question-- who's your all-time favorite Wolverine?
      It has to be Anthony Carter.  I was in my crib when he was making magic in Ann Arbor so I do not have any first-hand memories of him.  But I have more than a dozen of his games on DVD, I’ve seen his most memorable highlights, read articles and recaps and I’ve watched every interview with him or about him.  He was just a freak of nature any time he got on the football field.  He was quick.  He played smart.  No matter how hard the ball was thrown, he could adjust his body and time it perfectly to make the catch.  He could burn defenders with ease in double coverage.  A 50+ yard kickoff or punt return for him was common. Having him run a reverse netted at least a 30 yard gain.  He was the ultimate weapon and I would have given anything to be able to see him play in person.  AC started a new age for Michigan football where, yes, it was O.K. to pass the ball.  And many spectacular receivers followed in his footsteps.
     I’m glad you love the player tributes, by the way.  This summer, I plan on making tributes to Henne, Hart, Manningham, Desmond Howard and updating new ones for Tom Brady and Tyrone Wheatley.  Just a heads up for you and anyone else who dig the tributes.


    
I’m sure you all can relate to that feeling in late July, when you find yourself literally claimed—no, consumed-- by that insatiable hunger for the coming season of Michigan football.  For years I remember sitting and playing NCAA impatiently while waiting for Labor Day weekend to finally arrive, when my beloved Wolverines would embark on another quest for a magical year.  For a long time I believed
there was no remedy for this ailment.

     Of course, Wolverine Historian’s work is that medicine.

I was, admittedly, a bit late to the WH party on Youtube.  To my recollection I remember Brian referencing his work for months before finally going over to see what all the fuss was about.  And then… satisfaction!!  I would often pull up the vids at work, and tuck the window away somewhere beneath some random Photoshop palette, and keep one headphone in my ear to hear Keith Jackson or Musburger
call the heroics of names like Harbaugh, Grbac, Collins and Brady.

And of course, Woodson.  I dare you to watch Historian’s classic
97 Dream Season series and not feel compelled to run down the nearest
hallway and jump to touch an imaginary Go Blue banner.


I must admit, my pulse has risen a bit since writing that last paragraph.

 

When it comes to bringing the glory of the Maize and Blue to the masses, Wolverine Historian is in a league reserved for very few.  He’s more Brian than he is us, and yet he’s clearly just a regular dude, and I mean that in as complimentary a way as I possibly can.  And as we exorcise the ghosts of the past two years this fall, I am sure he’ll be there every step of the way, recording it all one victory at a time.

I’d like to personally thank the proprietor of this here blog for making this interview possible, and I’ll see you guys next week for another edition of MGoProfile!