Officiating that even closely approximated what could plausibly described as normal, a breeze from a passing mosquito on a rim-balancing rock, a half-court prayer by the last guys you'd expect to get one of those answered…pick any two things that should or could have happened this year and that's the difference between the 1 seed in the Big Ten Tourney and the 5th.
As I lay in the middle of the B1G's final season standings, trying to will my defense out of entropy, I could see the faces of the weasels that did this to me and the hair cream aficionados responsible. When fortune smiles on something as violent and ugly as revenge, it seems proof like no other, that not only does God exist, you're doing His will.
Michigan shouldn't by all rights be taking the long way through the Big Ten Tournament. But fortune has seen fit to at least make that path go right through those whose ledgers with us are most in the red: Penn State yesterday, Wisconsin today, and pending survival there, almost certainly Indiana. That's our worst loss and then the only two teams who finished with winning records against us. In Indiana's case that won't change unless we meet in the NCAAs.
Can Wisconsin beat us again? I mean it's basketball: weird things happen even without the increased chaos of fewer possessions. Like for example sometimes the stripes inexplicably side with the harbingers of Rigelian swamp ball:
I felt paranoid watching all of this. It was a temporary window into the world of a 9/11 truther, seeing what looked like an insane conspiracy by Big Ten refs to keep Bo Ryan in their ears, screaming unprintable things about their mothers. A full half-dozen of the calls they made seemed literally impossible, from the two mentioned above to another breakaway layup that Burke missed because a dude hit him on the head and the charge Burke took on Berggren late that went the other way for a critical three-point play. Am I sane? I thought we got a fair whistle at Indiana. I did think that.
At this point a clunky start and a million defensive breakdowns by the freshmen and THJ wouldn't even be filed as weird things. Another weird thing would be an an outfit as attuned to profit margins as this Big Ten allowing a Rigelian sympathizer any kind of access to a whistle. If you need more than "it wouldn't fit the Kill Bill narrative" for reasons to be optimistic, Wisconsin in their own building needed probably the worst complete ref job in the conference's history and an impossible half-court buzzer shot to fall to beat us the first time. Those are thoughts. Here are diaries:
History lessons. Remember the funny Year in Review (with pics) things that saveferris used to write? Here he goes back to 1989, a time when the Simpsons was that new cartoon your mom didn't want you to watch, lest you turn into a spiky-haired scamp child who tells people to not have a cow, man. Most hilarious thing in the world in 1989 according to 1989 me: a nose tackle named Teeter. Teeter you all! Bad memories: the Tigers, kicking it to Rocket Ismail, and Phil Collins. Good memories: Berenson was just beginning to turn the hockey program around. Yzerman scored 155 points for the Wings, who won the Norris Division. The Pistons were at the peak of the Bad Boys period. Bo's last squad (and one of his best) with that backfield of Tony Boles, Leroy Hoard, Jarrod Bunch and Burnie Legette. And Glenn Rice, obvs.
Speaking of Bunch, he just popped up on the blog this week after someone noticed he was in the latest Tarantino film…
[After the jump]
Response from Jarrod himself:
I'm glad you liked the Django, it was the best time I had filming a movie, make sure to get the directors cut when the dvd comes out... a lot of scenes that I'm in are left in. I shot for 6 weeks in New Orleans.
I've been acting, and in the entertainment industry since I retired from the NFL in 1995.... Besides http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0120349/ please visit my personal website to see what I'm up to, or visitwww.Jarrodbunch.com and follow me on.... twitter #jarrodbunch. GO BLUE!
If that's not long ago enough for you, k.o.k.law's personal reminiscences went back to beating Indiana to end the 1986 basketball season. Or if you're a more present person here's the AP's treatment of Michigan hoops this year by LSAClassof2000, who forgot the cat.
The mean doesn't mean anything: A two-parter by Paps does a blind resume test with 18 schools on the bubble. It's a lot of fun to see if you can guess who's who, and to laugh at your brain when you discover things like you kind of respect Boise State now. Part II does the same with the 1-3 seeds. Pop quiz hotshot: if a team's non-conference strength of schedule is 154th and their overall SOS is 5th, which conference are they in? In the comments jshclhn beat me to the standard complaint about how Gonzaga's helped by crappy SOS math: playing nine teams in the Top 25 and two in the bottom 250 may have the same mean difficulty as playing Okie State and a bunch of 100-150 ranked teams, but those schedules should produce vastly different record expectations.
You care again. Guess what I saw last weekend? If you guessed puck movement you win at life.
This is but one small part of hockey's excellent weekend against Northern Michigan. Relive each goal with MGoBlueline. This is another one of those things where I want to give the guy diarist of the week again but I just gave it to him last week. Don't miss: Lynch totally TreyBurke'd a guy.
Best of the Board
ANOTHER 'IF THE BIG TEN WAS' LIST THAT CALLS MSU OUR BITCH
The inevitable "If the Big Ten were [characters from favorite cartoon]" for the Simpsons has arrived. We are Burns.
Notice anything strange? No Cletus. Try this with most conferences and you end up parsing between various yokel family members and offspring. Even the Pac would have a big Cletus battle between Oregon State and Utah. Big Ten: Nobody's Cletus.
Not necessarily complaining but ever notice whenever someone does these things Michigan's character is always whatever sets up Michigan State as our bitch? See: South Park (by me), Family Guy (by nocoastbias). Game of Thrones Houses (by Silly Goose). Seinfeld episodes (by Grateful Blue). European Union (by guy on fox boards). I remember a discussion on BHGP (can't find it after much searching) where they tried this with Muppets and Michigan ended up being Bunsen Honeydew just so they could get to the obvious Beaker/Sparty No! joke. Michigan: It's what's better than Michigan State.
CLARITY ON CREAN VS. MEYER?
A plausible explanation was put forth by bdsisme on the Crean-Meyer spat after the Indiana game. Check further down for an IU fan's take. Another IU grad told me the bad blood started with a kind of reverse-Ron English thing (or a Dennis Green-Detroit Lions thing), when Meyer decided to ditch what would have been a presumably ornamental interview for Crean's staff.
HOW 'BOUT A RULE THE NFL HAS TO SCREW SOMEBODY ELSE?
left: not a catch / right: runner not down, not reviewable. –NFL
Interesting discussion question posed by TheGhostofYost: if you could change a rule in major sports which would it be? His are mostly hoops things and not terrible ideas—they did already move the 3-point line back a foot just a few years ago.
He also suggests making holding in football a 5-yard penalty but since they only call it one time out of 10 that would only encourage the most violated rule to be violated further. I say make it loss of down at the spot of the ball when the foul occurred—so if you hold a guy and get caught the effect is as if the defender you held just made the tackle. Then call all of them.
This is all after the first rule I'd change, which is "intent to blow" in hockey, which refs consistently use to call off good goals based on their recollections of their own incompetence. Blow the whistle as you would, but if video review shows a loose puck went into the net before the players could react to the whistle it's a goal. National championships and playoff series have turned on this stupid rule. Hockey overtimes instead of shootouts are a personal mission for me. Do 4-on-4 for five minutes, then 3-on-3 for 15-minute periods until someone scores.
Also I am preemptively stating for the record that the NFL needs to change whichever stupid rule they're planning to duke the Lions with this year.
GEORGE CAMPBELL'S HEIGHT: QUALIFIED
Apparently there's been some question over the correct height of 2014 receiver recruit George Campbell. Answer: whatever Mason Cole is minus what looks like 4 inches.
That's from a tweet where Campbell calls Cole his brother and then adds every Michigan-centric hashtag he can think of. Pro-tip: if you include the UMHS slogan the girls will think you're pre-med.
Video from Michigan's pro day was posted by guy who used to be Thorin. Here's Denard wearing a running back number and doing receiver things:
Of course he's smiling the whole time. Click in for the other guys.
WHAT IS IT TO 'JALEN ROSE' SOMEBODY?
Kobe Bryant used Jalen as a verb to describe getting a foot under a guy when he goes up for a jumpshot. You gotta appreciate that Jalen thinks people will take the bad stuff you admit to and like you for being honest. I'm sure the internet sees it this way.
ETC. I finally got the story on the ski team's ridiculous run this year, right after the Daily published something too. Coaches will be interested in Dan Gonzales's new book, which expands on his old book, which expands on Al Borges's book. Speaking of Borges's book, everyone cheer on Heiko, who is now about half-way through that impenetrable document and pushing toward the finish line with might and main. Jordan Kovacs is a nice guy. Bolivia is actually a terrible place to go, so play nice.
Your Moment of Zen:
Via WH. Love to try that shovel screen play again.