Dear Board, Want MOAR Diaries Comment Count

Seth May 4th, 2012 at 9:43 AM

It is spring, the time of renewal, by which I mean today is the last day you can renew your football season tickets. In order to do this you were supposed to get your "points" by donating earlier—by Jan. 30 even—but like any other money-taking organization, so long as they have inventory and you are willing to give money for that inventory, a deal may be struck. According to MGoSoftball they won't even tell you the minimum donation you need to get the tickets, because then you might not bid too high. This is starting to sound more like buying a car than access to see Michigan play Air Force, UMass, Illinois, MSU, Northwestern, and Iowa.

JeepinBen posted a link to an attendance visualizer for 2006-'11. The money shot:

Attendance PSU M OSU

Things that don't affect attendance: major scandals (OSU), or fleecing your fanbase with mandatory donations (M). Things that kill attendance: major scandals AND fleecing your fanbase with mandatory donations to buy football tickets. Penn State had their scandal at the same time as Ohio State. The "adjusted season ticket pricing guidelines" were instituted in Happy Beaver Valley State College for 2011.

Meanwhile Indiana and Kentucky won't play each other in basketball for the first time since 1969 because Indiana didn't want to turn it into an NBA game and Kentucky was all like "screw you guys, I'm S-E-C!"



(The Helmet Hut)

Now I love college football, so much so that I have knee-jerk reaction when somebody says it's barbaric, even if it's a former linebacker. We don't know what caused Junior Seau to commit suicide, or Dave Duerson, or Ray Easterling. What we know is that multiple concussions can create severe, suicidal depression, and when you start going down the list of former football players to commit suicide it's exactly the dudes you remember as your favorite hitters. Football is still the sport that killed participants and will always be about breaking the other guy's will by flinging your body at him. But I'm ready to overreact now.

riddell-revolution1That Virginia Tech study which came out last year that ranked the helmets on the market based on safety also taught us a lot about helmet design. Last time I had this conversation with someone it was at the plastics show in Orlando with a guy who makes the padding in the helmets. I asked what's holding them back from making a helmet that cuts down on concussions and got two points back: One, there's an aesthetic problem—people have a general idea of what a football player ought to look like, and some of the danger points (like the top of the forehead) when you put more padding over them, make the player wearing the helmet look less dangerous. Two—and this was just anecdotal—the helmets are already ridiculously safer than they were just 10 years ago, but the safer they make the helmets the more recklessly the players will attack each others' heads. He said when he played ball (in the '60s and '70s) they knew their helmets weren't infallible so players held back, even against hated rivals.

Like I said, I'm ready to overreact, but how? I really have no idea. This is cumulative so the NFL is going to feel the brunt of this, but the concussions don't care if the players were paid when they happened. At the very least remember this when you're complaining about how they effectively got rid of kickoff returns this year. They're obviously trying; there's no such thing as an easy fix.


Thank you Matthew for discovering a bevy of footage from former slot receiver Terrence Robinson. T-Rob was the first starting slot bug in the Rodriguez era, but injury and dropsies buried him under the thickest part of the TerrenceRobinsondepth chart and he ended an unrenewed 5th after last year. He put his practice film on YouTube because what says Michigan 2008-'10 more than a backup slot receiver burning a who's who of terrible defensive backs. Watch as Teric Jones is knocked on his butt by a 5'8 dude, and J.T. Turner stands around then sort of waves at a pass that's going behind him—exactly the way my brother plays EA NCAA defense. Between hilariously bad bites by a clueless Cullen Christian you can also find a bunch of perfect-touch downfield passes by Devin Gardner. Practice hype: not all fairies.


Double-post on this one but we haven't mentioned it yet on the front page that I can tell: the 2nd slot bug of the Rod era—Odoms—has an organization to help the town that gave Michigan its Florida flavor. I'm contacting them about how we might help (and about their spelling of "Vegtable" [sic]). Brandin Hawthorne wears No. 7 because that's the number of their high school teammate who was shot. Vincent Smith is the team's smallest back and yet the best pass blocker among them. There are towns who have done less for us.

Meanwhile in former player charities, Space Emperor Zoltan is still unfamiliar with human humor, and thus has asked his minions of Earth to tweet him a good name for his celebrity karaoke event.


Draft-related items littered the board the past few weeks. The coolest is that from blueherron, who created a spreadsheet of Michigan draft picks. The last three years was unsurprisingly our lowest output since the '80s. Rivals did a two-part series comparing their rankings to the draft and got a good discussion going. And brooktrail posted the inevitable discussion of M's next crop.


Magnus's program is a little light at defensive tackle, facing a run-heavy schedule, and looking into going with a 3-3-5 to make up for that. Degree of difficulty for snarky responses applies—I'm sure he's already purchased a stuffed beaver. CoachZ's response is enlightening. Coaches: plz write more diaries.


BlueDragon is keeping us updated on the tennis things in the diaries: The Men played well but didn't win the Big Ten Tournament; the ladies won their 3rd conference title in a row.

ETC. Blockhams are trying to help their Sparty brother. You can help Six Zero by suggesting ways for this not to become RCMB-blue. THE_KNOWLEDGE has discovered our WYSIWYG has a feature to make text bigger and wants his own tab.



May 4th, 2012 at 10:08 AM ^

Small point of clarification:  we don't know what caused Vada Murray to commit suicide because *he didn't* - he passed away from lung cancer, as was well-documented on this board.  I don't want to come across as condemning football players like Seau and Duerson who did commit suicide, but certainly it's a mistake to conflate Vada's death with theirs.


May 4th, 2012 at 10:16 AM ^

believed that he was dying as a result of his job - he thought that he got lung cancer from exposure to radon and asbestos in the police department in the basement of Ann Arbor's City Hall.


May 4th, 2012 at 10:22 AM ^

F---- that was a sentence I edited that went on to talk about players with a beef (the asbestos thing) and then i took out other names and not his (EDIT: I think in my mind it was Corwin Brown who was left in there bc there was a section on his thing). F--- f-ity f f f. Deleted soon as I re-read. Apologies to the 135 people who loaded the site before.


May 4th, 2012 at 10:31 AM ^

T-Rob was the first starting slot bug in the Rodriguez era 

How could he have been the first if he redshirted in 2008?

The correct answer to your assertion is my man Martavious Odoms.


May 4th, 2012 at 12:09 PM ^

Yeah somehow this memory of a pass to No. 7 Terrence Robinson, followed by me explaining excitedly about slot-bugs to the disinterested people around me, followed by Odoms coming in later and me making another comment about how this slot-bug is very fast, followed by groans of not caring from the afore mentioned audience, got embedded and I can't get the code out. And between that there was a pass to McGuffie and the slot receiver got mauled by a linebacker who then went tearing into McGuffie for a loss, and I kept my mouth shut about slot buggers and hoped nobody had seen (Odoms but who I thought was) T-Rob get destroyed.

It was probably Odoms the whole time.


May 4th, 2012 at 10:31 AM ^

check out Eastern Michigan on that College Football Attendance chart.  They pimp out tickets every other year because the NCAA checks for compliance with FBS requirements for minimum attendance every other year.  Sawblade!


May 4th, 2012 at 10:32 AM ^

I've been feeling kind of down about football in general after news of Junior Seau's suicide.  I don't think we can keep supporting this game when it is clear that the effects it has on the players' bodies is unacceptable.  It is good to know that helmets are much safer than even ten years ago, so hopefully the latest generation of players will not see the same kinds of terrible effects.  


May 4th, 2012 at 10:48 AM ^

Can we finally end the debate about how much the Maize has changed over the years?  I know we keep pointing out that the color can be altered in photoshop (and in developing).  But when you see five helmets lined up next to each other from several generations of Michigan football (in the same photograph), it's not hard to see that "one of these things is not like the other."

The darker maize looks so much better.


May 4th, 2012 at 10:56 AM ^

I was going to make the identical comment, but with a completely different last sentence.

It has clearly changed, although whether the change is for the better or not is I guess a matter of taste. 


May 6th, 2012 at 2:23 PM ^

Not really evidence of anything other than Helmet Hut's view of what the colors were. I'm not saying the color hasn't changed -- only that those helmets are not proof of anything.


May 4th, 2012 at 11:04 AM ^

"Last time I had this conversation with someone it was at the plastics show in Orlando with a guy who makes the padding in the helmets. I asked what's holding them back from making a helmet that cuts down on concussions and got two points back..."

A point of clarification: Helmets can't completely prevent concussions (I do understand you were asking about cutting down, not preventing), because you don't necessarily have to be hit in the head to get a concussion. Whiplash can cause it. Concussion is not caused by the brain hitting the skull, as is often believed. It's a disruption in the network of communication between cells when the brain is jostled or moves suddenly.

Helmets, of course, do help protect against skull fracture, and very well may help reduce incidence of concussion. And as you pointed out with the Virginia Tech study, design does matter.

Apologies if this has already been discussed/clarified before.


May 4th, 2012 at 1:13 PM ^

. . . is to just not tackle with your effin' head.  Honestly, this has been perpetuated by idiot coaches and players.  Not only is it dangerous, it's bad technique.  Any DC that demands, even permits their players to use their head as a weapon should be fired on the spot.  You don't bring down a 200-pound ballcarrier with the lightest extremity of your body.

Some of my favorite defenders are sure tacklers, and AFAIK NONE of them use their heads except to think.  The head isn't heavy compared to a torso, it's an extremity attached by a series of flexible joints.

One example:  Jordan Kovacs is a joy to watch.  He knows how to use his body to bring a guy down.  I majored in physics so seeing him on the field fires vectors in my nerdy brain.  If he has to make a stop at the first-down marker, he'll throw his torso into the guy's chest to absorb all the momentum over a large area.  Against a big dude, he'll barrel into the legs, converting his linear momentum into torque that flips the guy over.  If the ball carrier is near the sideline, he'll deliver a lateral blow that very efficiently knocks the guy out of bounds.  And in the open field, he'll wrap-and-roll with beautiful form.

The problem is that Kovacs' technique isn't desired by modern defenses that expect linebackers and defensive backs to basically stop running backs by themselves, and as close to the LoS as possible (so every yard counts).  Bringing the guy down isn't enough; his forward motion has to be stopped.  To equalize the momentums (and p=mv) they have to make up for any lack of mass with speed, so the punishment they're inflicting on themselves is like repeatedly throwing yourself at a brick wall at full tilt.  Even without direct head impact, the brain is constantly exposed to G-shocks, and the cumulative damage is equivalent to trauma.  This is a major problem and tougher to fix, but when I'm also seeing head hits at the NFL level I can't help but think that no one cares what happens to these people.

Oops Pow Surprise

May 4th, 2012 at 11:10 AM ^

The issue with what makes that terminology so unacceptable isn't that Penn State had a sexual assault scandal, it's that you don't make casual references to rape, you fucking asshole.

Please don't make that mistake again. Rape is a heinous crime. Raising ticket prices isn't.


May 4th, 2012 at 11:29 AM ^

It's clearly a poor word-choice, but "fucking asshole" is a bit extreme for a connection he obviously didn't intend.

It's amusing that someone who couldn't be troubled to verify the truth of a guy's passing before posting it on a major news website is all of a sudden the internet ethics police. Enjoy Bleacher Report.


May 4th, 2012 at 12:32 PM ^

You mean me or just the scarcity of user-generated content? The former I agree with you--way more effort was spent last night on HTTV than this article, which was written in the wee hours. The latter--it's early May. Go back and look at May of previous years. It's a dead period that gets filled by recruiting sometimes except this year the class is already at 16 dudes so we're just waiting on people who may not decide until the fall or next February.

I suck -- don't think it applies to my readers. It's just deadzone part of the year.


May 4th, 2012 at 12:34 PM ^

Holy shit, a front page mention! Awesome!  I can't really take credit for finding the practice tapes on YouTube though.  I saw they were posted on the Scout(Go Blue Wolverine) free board and brought them over here.

Also, holy change in maize on those helmets as someone above me pointed out.  Why did we change the color so much?  That's embarrassing.  


May 4th, 2012 at 5:05 PM ^

I have a design idea for a football helmet that may reduce concussions.  Ive been wondering how to go about putting it in to reality.  It is based on simple physics and reducing the blow by using other mechanisms built in to the football helmet.

Anyway recently I saw this company which has an interesting design:

It is a snap-on device that goes over the helmet.   This company is marketing this to little league and HS teams.   It is an interesting concept as well but would probably never catch on in college or pros probably due to its appearance.  Looks like these are priced at 69 bucks each.