Dear Diary Recommends the Obvious

Submitted by Seth on May 8th, 2015 at 2:50 PM


Stuffing the Passer, accidentally ironic for once.

You SERIOUSLY cannot be telling me we have to entrust our lives to--- So Everett Golson is leaving Notre Dame, and Harbaugh is all take ALL THE QUARTERBACKS so this is now a thing. I doubt it happens now that Rudock is committed—why walk into anything like the same situation he's walking out of?

But do we even have to have the "would you take him?" conversation? The cost to Michigan is zero (the cost to one walk-on is one year of college), and the upside is perhaps a redshirt on Morris and one more bullet in the chamber at the most important position. Worst case scenario is still the current scenario, except with 100% more Sockface.

"All the World's a Stage. Except that Couch. That Couch is not a Proper Stage. Do not perform on that couch!" –Shakespeare, full quote.

In 2011 a Theater student named A.J. Holmes arranged a choral performance of the Victors and the chants everybody knows, and last weekend the Theater students performed it for their parents at a graduation party. This got recorded on someone's dad's phone, posted on Facebook, and was instantly adored by everyone except the UM Theater Dept version of Dave Brandon (Orr is the dad):

Orr said the post was taken down at the request of the Chair of the Musical Theatre Department, Brent Wagner.

"The chair of our department is interested in preserving the department and he just wanted to make sure that whenever it's performed it's done so in a professional manner and we completely respect that," Orr said.

Despite such ruinous production value, over half a million people shared it, generating more positive comments about the department in a day than 100,000 performances of Equus ever got them. To his credit, in face of righteous blowback, Wagner relented and let the dad re-post it. I suggest you watch the hell out of this:

Listen to this! What happens when 22 talented UMich musical theatre grads sing their version of the University of Michigan fight song at their graduation party. An amazing arrangement by Michigan MT alum A.J. Holmes (who we just saw starring as Cunningham in the Book of Mormon Broadway National Tour). Awesome!

Posted by Scott Orr on Sunday, May 3, 2015

Marvel at the talent of those singers. Also marvel at Scott Orr, who not only just paid for four years of Theater education at the University of Michigan, but can also use a camera phone, and manipulate the privacy settings of Facebook. I hereby award Scott Orr the inaugural Jim Harbaugh Heroic Dad of the Year Trophy.

[After the jump: what % of Michigan's 3-/4-/5-stars were NFL draftees]

Sports Information. Unless you were one of the early internet obsessives you probably never realized that Michigan was way ahead of the rest of college athletics in disseminating information about their programs. We created the online statistical reporting that the NCAA adopted as standard for football. was the first official website dedicated just to an athletic department. Bentley Library's football page looks so outdated now because it was built nearly a decade before most other schools got theirs up. I say "we" but really this was all Bruce Madej, Michigan's SID from 1982 until Loch-Dogg was installed to be his antithesis.

WIP '05
Beginning in 1998 I used to make these backgrounds in Paint every year using the photos they put on MGoBlue. This was 2005's.

Madej was too loved, too much of a team player, too much the greatest icon of the SID profession to be unceremoniously dumped like most of the legacy staff Brandon inherited, so Bruce was kept on to do projects like design the Bo Museum and fill the Crisler Center displays with content. Madej officially retired before the 2013 season, going into consulting, after a long and uncomfortable coexistence with a department that believed marketing is Eminem riding a firework into your face (and making sure injury-necessitated temporary changes in roster data don't end up on calendars three years later). He and Daniel Okrent are my two professional heroes.

I wanted to get that tribute down so you know what I mean when I say that Wolverine Devotee's recent work in the diaries reminds me of the delight I experienced throughout the late-'90s whenever I'd go on and find Madej's latest project. The latest WD effort is this thorough list of Michigan football's historical draft picks. It includes NFL back to the 1930s, as well as AFL, Canadian leagues, AAFC, WFL, USFL, and XFL.

Michigan has had a player drafted every year since 1967, one of only six such schools. Of this year's seniors I expect at least Bolden and Ross to be drafted. G.Glasgow, Morgan, Wilson, Countess, Rudock, Lyons, and Blake O'Neill are guys I expect to be on some kind of NFL roster by this time next year, and someone would be smart to give Pipkins a tryout even if he can't crack a very deep DT depth chart now. If a junior goes it's probably Jourdan Lewis.

I've added NFL draft round to my classes since 1993 roster database and compared to recruiting hype:

(Avg *s of available sites, 1993-present)

NFL Round 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th Not Drafted (%)
5 stars 3 4 1 1   2 1 9 12/21 (57%)
4.5 stars 3     1   2 2 14 8/22 (36%)
4 stars 3 3 3 2 3 3 3 68 20/88 (23%)
3.5 stars 1 4 2     1 1 47 9/56 (16%)
3 stars   2 1 1   1 5 102 10/112 (9%)
2.5 stars               11 0/11 (0%)
2 stars               19 0/19 (0%)

This jives almost precisely with the going "recruiting rankings matter" consensus: every star doubles the likelihood of a player being NFL-caliber, with your standard 5-star barely better than a coin flip.

How to Get to the Final Four This One Time. Champswest had an interesting little look at the individual minutes played by each guy for this year's Final Four teams plus Michigan to contrast the methods used to build their runs:

  • Kentucky: Have a two-deep of one-and-planned-to-be-dones
  • Duke: Supplement senior top-100 types with lottery picks
  • Wisconsin: Recruit top-200 players and develop them over 5 years in a system
  • Michigan State: Whiff on the Duke guys, luck into the easiest bracket ever

I decided to graph his numbers, normalizing the averages so that everyone is represented as if they played a 40-game season:


The lesson is if you're trying to build like Wisconsin, don't accidentally be as young as Kentucky. This is known.

Introduce Yourself Thread 2015. It has been gotten out of the way. If you're so inclined to be yourself among the MGoCommunity they asked age, occupation, location, alumni status, and most MICHIGAN thing you've ever done. I went as the Little Brown Jug for Halloween. There's another getting personal thread for where you tailgate.

Etc. Jake Butt as Bond in a wallpaper. Transfer linebacker saying he wants to be a petroleum engineer means brace for Penn State to get Ferns.

Your Moment of Zen:

If you choose to go Office Space on your printer-copier this is the correct way to do it:


Wolverine Devotee

May 8th, 2015 at 2:58 PM ^

Glad you like the diary posts! I have a whole book of stuff to post and that's what I was planning to do this summer. 

Post some stuff maybe every week to help quench the thirst for football. Especially once we get into the dead month of July. 


May 8th, 2015 at 4:05 PM ^

and make it a de facto source for arcane knowledge pertaining to all things Michigan. Make it a source for anecdotes, answer to trivia, etc. Or better yet, start a YouTube page. People make money off of making videos of themselves sharing facts and anecdotes. 


Factoids such as this: "Did you know that a picture of the first documented serial killer in the US hangs in the UMHS? H.H. Holmes aka H.W. Mudgett was a 84'(as in 1884) graduate of the medical school. The book "The Devil in the White City" is about the killings Holmes perpetrated during the 1893 Chicago Exposition.


May 8th, 2015 at 3:08 PM ^

I have you object to your claim that the dad can use a camera phone. Anyone who shoots video in vertical format should be dragged behind the barn and shot. It's a plague on all of society!


May 8th, 2015 at 4:28 PM ^

Strongly disagree, think people need to get over the objection to filming vertically. Sometimes it is the best way to frame the thing you are trying to capture if you're filming with a phone. Like, for example, a group of kids arranged more or less vertically in a couple of rows heading away from yourself. If the dad had held the phone horizontally for the Victors video he'd have cut off the kids closest to him.

Obviously it doesn't fit into traditional aspect ratios, but I fail to see what the big deal is about that. 


May 8th, 2015 at 4:48 PM ^

of cutting off maybe one or two people up close you made everyone else more tiny than they needed be since every device to possibly watch the video is horizontal (except on your phone / ipad; which you instinctly turn horizontal every time you open up youtube)


May 8th, 2015 at 3:33 PM ^

doesn't get that rendition onto one of it's recruitment commercials they are wasting a golden opportunity. Goosebumps.


May 8th, 2015 at 5:29 PM ^

I'd love an mp3 of this, brings a warmth that I can't replicate, god do I miss Ann Arbor.

Also I never thought Notre Dame used Golson to his full abilities, maybe Harbaugh is planning on running multiple offensive sets and mixing and matching the QBs, can you imagine playing an opponent and not knowing which QB you'll be facing on a given week, I'm expecting something completely wild from Harbaugh and I really just don't think I'll be disappointed


May 8th, 2015 at 6:29 PM ^

on the sidebar. Same problem a lot of people here suffer: assuming that a player is always going to play like they have in the past. Guy has had some tremendous games and will be a year better. Plus, in the more controlled offense, under Harbaugh's tutelage. . . heck yeah, I'd take another possible way to get some wins.


May 8th, 2015 at 7:51 PM ^

Poor Brent Wagner.  

He tries to do what is clearly in the students' best interest, and gets mobbed by the "fuck the students, I want mine, and I'm righteous!" crowd and more-or-less has to allow the students' interests get ignored in favor of the mob's interests... and he ends up getting compared to Dave Brandon by the self-righteous, on top of that.  Such is the power of social media today.  I just hope that none of these kids gets too badly burned because the "righteous" mob had its way.

In the future, I wish that parents consulted their kids before posting this kind of stuff, especially kids who are about to go to auditions, and would really prefer that they, not some parent, control the first impression they make.  I think it is too much to hope that the self-righteous mob would understand that delaying distribution of vids like this for a few weeks would really be in the best interests of everyone involved.


May 8th, 2015 at 10:32 PM ^

How would these kids get "burned?"

I thought the contempt for the public was rather Brandonesque. That this wasn't meant for the public was part of its charm because the performance was uniquely genuine. And the arrangement seemed meant for this informality--it is after all just Michigan's fight song and chants. Michigan fans loved it and that fact could mean a lot to the students and their department. Certainly we could live without it, but there ought to be a good reason to deny it to the public once it's already been viewed by four times the capacity of Michigan Stadium, not the other way around.


May 9th, 2015 at 3:35 PM ^

Mr. Wagner is nothing like Dave Brandon and you'd be hard pressed to find any musical theater kid who had anything less than gushing praise.

That's not to say that this decision wasn't Brandon-esque, or that it isn't an apt comparison in this instance. Just know the persnickity was coming from a very different, more traditionalist less commercial "wow experience", kind of place. A place that gets oddly religious about musical theater. And capitalizing the names of plays. 

They do killer renditions of "Happy Birthday To You" too, if one is ever so lucky. 



Trivia: Wagner also taught Aaron Sorkin (also a musical theater kid) and there have been occasional 'easter eggs' like a character or mailbox with the name "Mr. Wagner". 




May 9th, 2015 at 8:17 PM ^

The kids are about to start auditions for performances in New York.  They no longer control the first impression they make, because someone has taken that away from them.  All with good intent, of course, but there it is.  wagner didn't say this should never be shown, just that it be taken down for now.

Wagner was attempting to return control over the first impression they make to the students.  There was absolutely no "contempt fotr the public" involved, as far as I can tell.  But feel all "righteous," if declaring yourself righteous makes you feel better.

I'd ask that, in the future, anyone posting on the front page look into issues they post about, and present both sides, rather than just declaring themselves and those who feel as they do "righteous" and declaring those who disagree with them "Brandonesque."  I can't do more than ask.  Think about it.


May 9th, 2015 at 10:59 AM ^

Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job I've had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this - 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.


May 10th, 2015 at 2:18 PM ^

Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job I've had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this - 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.


May 10th, 2015 at 7:28 PM ^

Showing how wrong it was to pull the video, ever since I showed my 7 year old daughter it yesterday, she watched it probably 50 times (maybe more since I think she watched it for at least a 1/2 straight yesterday). Is trying to learn the song and is just walking around singing it all weekend.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


May 11th, 2015 at 12:10 PM ^

Just another outstanding example of how completely pointless "Hail & Unite" is.  Every time I hear "The Victors" (including the Rhapsody In Maize and Blue") it thrills me to the core.  Yep.  Clicking "replay" now.  Go blue!