Being Manball, what are the requirements?

Submitted by iawolve on April 14th, 2011 at 11:02 AM

I have been thinking about our transition to Manball and I wonder if you can just start doing Manball without becoming Manball. I imagine a few things in the transformation like:

  • Hanlon walking around like Burgess Merdith in Rocky yelling in a raspy voice to the lineman that they need to "eat lightning and crap thunder"
  • Running backs carrying FJ on their backs while running through drills, like Luke carrying Yoda on Dagobah, while he imparts thoughts like "be the offspring of Bo Jackson and Barry Sanders before the 4000 yard season you can"
  • Lewan actually getting hurt from the cage match fight with Borges for not sufficiently drive blocking and not from training drills


I assume there is a book for how to live Manball, not sure if the board has any thoughts on what Manball requires or how to live Manball.



April 14th, 2011 at 7:11 PM ^

Point of the day. So right.

I create content and marketing campaigns online for every kind of website under the sun. Brian is in the upper 1% of all writers I read on a daily basis. The best sports blogger bar none.  He is all those things you say and also infuriating at times. But he gets the joke and I think everyone reading needs to as well.  Definitely have to appreciate the quality. Throw in Tom's recruiting and the grade out of every play for football games, and you have a hell of a place for the fans.


April 14th, 2011 at 1:23 PM ^

I truly don't think that the manball is the kind of offense U of M will run. I think it will probably look like what the spred and shred was supposed to look like under the old regime. There is a reason that the last guys really went after Devin Gardner. They only used 60 % of the playbook last year. I personally wanted to see more hback/TE sets, some I form power sets in the red zone. This was stuff they practiced, just never got implemented. Honestly though, the reason some of us use the manball meme is because this kind of rhetoric, coupled with the Michigan Man crap will kill the program.

as a side note, can someone tell me what a pro style offense is. when i watch pro football, i see alot of 3 and 4 receiver sets. I see qb's spending significant time in shotgun formations. I see alot of zone blocking being deployed with other schemes. I don't see alot of " Downhill running" in the old meaning of the term. I see alot of slot receivers making plays in space, i see alot of runningbacks catching passes out of the backfeild. Whether or not the bluehairs or talking heads on CFL want to admit it, the spread has made it way into pro ball, hybrid offenses are the way of the future,we shouldn't be holding on to vestigial schemes, we should be innovators you know.......the leaders and the best

NOLA Wolverine

April 14th, 2011 at 1:38 PM ^

There's a difference between the "spread" and players having a hoolahoop or two worth of space to occupy in the field. In a nut shell, generally teams employ the spread in order to use pretty simplistic plays, where the tempo of play and alignment of players creates bubbles for the offense to go after. Meanwhile pro style offenses are more likely to use more sophistocated/(And more in general) route combinations to create bubbles in the defense. There's really not much of a difference between run games, although option running teams generally fall more under spread teams than anything else. Neither is really more or less creative by nature (See: Oregon and Boise State), and there's tons of overlap between the two. If you want to look at a team that is near purely pro style, look at Stanford last year.

We already had our innovator, he just couldn't get the support he needed/get players to execute fundamentals at a half-way acceptable rate. And if Hoke does the opposite he'll be wildly more succesfull.  


April 14th, 2011 at 3:01 PM ^

I thought the overall principle behind the spread was to create 1on 1 matchups with defenders. i see this alot with the combo routes that are preferred in the passing schemes used by the NFL. the Larry szonka/Earl Campbell style running back is extinct in the Nfl as far as i can tell. It is also somewhat mystical that people think the running qb is some new spread derivative that has never worked in the NFL. Steve Young, Steve McNair, and Donovan Mcnabb did alright . I have stated before, if given the choice between Warren Moon, and Steve Young, ill take Steve young everytime

NOLA Wolverine

April 14th, 2011 at 5:37 PM ^

That's what I mean with bubbles, that was poor word choice on my part as it was pretty vague. By "spreading" the field you can, for example, create a bubble on the edge (CB vs. Slot and Split receiver)  where you can toss a bubble screen out to. While a pro style attack would run a Smash (Corner + Hitch) route combination to isolate the corner and force a decision. Those are just the two extremes I think. Chip Kelly and Rich Rod (more so) are the two closest to an end of the spectrum I've seen, their whole game is almost entirely alignment based. 


April 14th, 2011 at 1:47 PM ^

Yes, the MANBALL business is unfair to Brady Hoke and a bit annoying.  But, how can anyone not at least see the *attempt* at humor here?  If you negged it, I'm assuming that completely escaped you.  I actually thought it was pretty funny.


April 14th, 2011 at 2:42 PM ^

It was funny until it got to the "Rocky" reference (which was very early in the post), because "Rocky" is one of the worst sports movies of all-time.  Any boxing movie in which punches cause people to spin 360 degrees is worthless.  If I wanted to watch fighting that unrealistic, I'd just fire up "Street Fighter II" and SONIC BOOM my way to a championship.

03 Blue 07

April 14th, 2011 at 11:27 PM ^

What a bunch of haters! The first four Rocky movies are great. Hell, Rocky I won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, among others, and was nominated for TEN of them(!).

Don't act like Rocky IV wasn't tremendous. It's a movie, for crying out loud. A fictional one. They all were. They weren't documentaries. Of course the boxing action was going to be over-the-top.


April 14th, 2011 at 2:45 PM ^

Here's a thought, if you don't like "manball" (a stupid name to begin with) then don't follow the team. Some of us (myself included) didn't like the Spread and yet I still watched and supported the team. Shut up and do the same.


April 14th, 2011 at 2:49 PM ^

I'm sure there are people who don't like manball, but personally my beef is that we won't actually be running MANBALL at all and people keep insisting that we will.  Wisconsin runs manball.  Borges slung it all over the place last season out of spread sets with one of the highest YPA in the country.


April 14th, 2011 at 5:31 PM ^

While the "manball" stuff, with its implicit upset at the hiring of Hoke, is lame and misguided...the "if you don't like it, then find another team" nonsense is even worse.  That's the same garbage peddled by the RR-loyalists whenever anyone questioned the wisdom of RR's performance.

Best to just point out the hypocrisy, lameness or whatnot rather than yelling "shut up" or something of the like.

Saludo a los v…

April 14th, 2011 at 7:17 PM ^

I apologize in advance for the length of this post.

I have been a long time reader of this blog and other Michigan blogs and have finally decided to start posting because I am at unease with the current state that this fanbase is in.

I was genuinely upset when Rodriguez was let go because I thought that at Michigan we were different from other programs. We gave our coaches more than three years to allow them to show what they were capable of. I was also frustrated with the unfair treatment he and the team received from the media and from vocal segments of the fanbase. I believed that given time his offense was capable of achieving special things that we had only seen done to us by Oregon in 2007, when I watched with horror from the stands. I supported him in conversations with other Michigan fans, many less patient than I. I supported him to the shock of people I meet who are not fans of Michigan and assume that we have a monolithic view of our program.

That all being said, Rodriguez is not the coach and he is not going to be the coach again. The page has turned and we all need to let go of petty squabbles about that which we have no control. It also means allowing a new coach to get a chance that was not provided to our previous coach. It means not being petulant whiners or making snarky comments. It means providing reasoned support for the coach when there is no evidence that he is incapable of being the answer to righting the ship. I do not suggest that Hoke should be immune to criticism where and when it is warranted, but we should all give him a chance to at least see what he can do.

I for one hope that we can enter the long period of anticipation with reasonable expectations for next season on both sides. Unabashed Hoke supporters should realize that this team is not winning the national title nor will it be likely to even play for a Big Ten title. Detractors should realize that we are also unlikely to be a bad team either. There is enough talent on this team to perform reasonably well next year. That is all we can expect and all we should expect at this point. 


April 14th, 2011 at 9:08 PM ^

I don't think the fight is over whether the team will be good.  Reasonable people can differ about that.  The fight between the Hoke supporters and those who haven't drank the Kool-Aid is about 2 things: (1) whether the hiring of Hoke means Michigan is "back" (no evidence of this so far); and (2) whether Michigan was ever gone when Rod was the coach (it wasn't to most readers of this site, who breathe with their mouth closed).


So I say to your post, on the one hand, you are missing the point of all of the vitriol, which makes you lucky, and on the other hand, hahahahhaha b/c you are pretty naive to ask this crew to stop fighting about something that defines today's Michigan fans.