This was how my interview for MGoBlog happened. Long ago, I was just some reader who wrote diaries. After I wrote one about one-high safeties (that I won't link for reasons that are about to become apparent) Brian invited me to come to Ann Arbor to talk about maybe doing some work for the site. I was star struck, freaking out about every detail, trying to imagine every question I might be asked and how to best frame responses. I had a brand new iPad from work so I brought that to look like a guy with his stuff together.
When I got to Sweetwaters, Brian was there with this imposing bald guy. The bald guy immediately asked if I had a drawing app or a play design thing on the iPad, and when we couldn't get that to work he began drawing stuff on stray paper bits. After about 5 minutes of the scary dude trying to explain coverages Brian said his first thing: "I'm actually starving, do you guys mind if we go get a burger or something?"
We relocated across the street to Grizzly Peak, and still Brian said virtually nothing while Steve Sharik continued to explain a free safety's responsibilities in a cover 1 or cover 3. Apparently what had happened was Sharik read my diary and it was so blithering incorrect that he tracked me down through Brian so he could set me straight. By the time Brian had finished his burger and Sharik had to go, I half-understood that I didn't understand a thousandth of what Sharik understands about football. Brian then asked if I'd like to copyedit the articles and take over Dear Diary from Tim, and if I wanted any fries. I said yes to everything but the fries, and that was the meeting.
I tell you this story now so you'll understand the first two things I learned about this job: 1) company stuff isn't important; and 2) what Sharik has to say is.
[Hit the JUMP for what Sharik has to say about how Michigan uses its free safety, what I had to say about Chad, and what people have to say about defensive coordinator candidates]
Sharik had two recent diaries. The first was right after Indiana and explains why Michigan's Man-Free defense was right against all the pro style teams we faced this year, but utterly wrong against collegiate option spreads. Then before The Game Sharik showed how MSU defended the spread by bringing down a safety:
First, let's revisit how Michigan aligned vs. a 2x2 H-back look:
Notice how we are a man short in the box. If you're also noticing how it appears we have only 10 defenders on the field, it's b/c I tried to show the vertical spacing of the alignment; i.e., you can't see the Free Safety (FS) b/c he's 15-20 yards deep.
Different cover schemes and whatnot, yes, but it's hard to argue with a guy who said this a week ago:
Again, I hope that Michigan does something different schematically against the Buckeyes than it did against the Hoosiers. If not, Ezekiel Elliot is going to have a Carlos Hyde type performance.
Always heed Sharik.
Michigan's Top 200 Career Rushers, Visualized
Chops has been creating interactive (i.e. you mouseover and more information pops up) charts using Bentley's historical data. The first is rushing data:
I guess that was pretty straightforward. Here's the DENNIS BERGKAMP! video again.
Defensive Coordinator Candidates who are not Sharik
He also posted his list of guys he'd like Michigan to look into as a forum topic. I bumped to diaries. He skips past home run hires Michigan would take if we could get but probably can't get (Terryl Austin, Jeremy Pruitt and Bob Shoop) and found six younger guys and two more established ones he wants.
To Lose a Boy
I had to stop work and blurt sad words onto a page when I heard Chad died. Then I hit publish.
Diaries Etc. Projecting the 2016 class. Projecting the 2016 rivals. Players Durkin was recruiting. Re-ranking the class of 2012 (flip Wormley and Henry, and AJ Williams (sigh) should go ahead of (sigh) Norfleet. Advanced stats rundown. Two turnarounds. Four plays for OSU that go here because if you read dear diary you already read 4plays.
Best of the Board
WHAT IF 30 FOR 30 STILL EXISTED AND WE GOT TO PICK IDEAS
Okay it's ESPN Film Presents now whatever. Maybe someone will start making 30 for 30 again, so the board came up with the thread that it comes up with once a year to brainstorm ideas. It's like the old threads except they did do Bad Boys finally. Things I really want to see:
- Endzone (and maybe 3&Out) the movie.
- Wings-Avs Rivalry of the '90s
- Tram & Lou
- Barry Sanders
- Jim Abbott
- The Bagman—like actually follow an SEC bagman for a year.
SIMCITY IS THE MOST LIONS THING EVER
Asking what’s the MOST Lions loss ever is like asking what was the most spectacular disaster Zack the SimCity Maniac ever orchestrated upon ZACKOTOWN4.CTY.
There were two ways to play the original SimCity game. The first would be to try to get the highest possible population by packing as many residential, commercial and industrial squares into the map as it would allow. The second, and far more popular, method was to build a city past a certain size—about what you need to have an airport—and then unleash every possible disaster on your hapless citizens until they have all left. Then you rebuild and strike again.
Strangely, if you want the same kind of experience with your sports team there is only one franchise on Earth that delivers it: the Detroit Lions. I find it hilarious whenever someone tries to cover these things straight, as if these were real football games and not the work of some cosmic pre-teen blowing off steam at the expense of his his Madden citizenry. Certainly there are more combinations of ref-quakes, turnover fires, coaching godzillas, crap tornadoes, and nuclear meltdowns for the Lions to explore.
As such, there’s really just one word that accurately describes last night’s ref-job/don’t cover the hail mary combo:
P.S. Jon Bois if you’re out there and want to tell that one joke you know again, I dare you to create the most Lions game ever. Hit me up for a list of things it must include.
A REMINDER THAT THIS ALREADY HAPPENED
Some silly posters were being all internet about Durkin taking the MD job, so some other poster said he was fed up with this by invoking a little known metaphor from Happy Days. Unfortunately he's about six years too late. As EVERYBODY knows, MGoBlog officially jumped the shark during the spring 2009 Denard-Tate Wars.
Fun fact that may not be factual: according to Wikipedia (so I wouldn't trust this explicitly) things other than Henry Winkler jumping the shark officially started at Michigan.
ETC. Michigan assistants to become head coaches. Vote Peppers for Hornung. Also for president. Of the United States. You think I'm joking I'm not joking you're joking. RIP STP I've been playing nothing but that and Velvet
Underground Revolver all day.
Your Moment of Zen: