Dear Diary is Tangled Up in Blue Comment Count

Seth January 24th, 2011 at 12:12 AM

DD124-1 DD124-2

Dear Diary,


Once upon a time you said our team looked fine.
We'd score points on dime with Denard in his prime, didn't you?
People'd call, say, "Beware doll, we're bound to fall."
You thought they were all kiddin' you?
We used to laugh about, the very concept of Hoke bailing us out.
Now we don't talk so loud. Now we don't seem so proud,
About having to be scrounging around, for our next meal.

How Does It Feel?

When last we met, it was January 9, Rich Rodriguez had been let go, Harbaugh was off to the NFL, and we were left hoping for one of those things like when the AD gets back from a sailing trip to pilfer a man who'd turned down Alabama. Those of us who never really clean out our Bookmarks found the link to Flight Tracker right where we left it and started doing the digital stalker thing. Two days later, Michigan named Brady Hoke the 19th head coach of the Michigan Wolverines varsity football team. Nobody quite knew how to process this hire, especially the kind of folks who frequent this place, so I guess everyone's therapists suggested catharsis by Diary. Below is a sampling of some of the different types of responses. They're ordered in my opinion of their usefulness (this is a matter of taste), and in all cases, the diaries are better than my portraits of them.

Things of General Use:

If you're picky about your diary content, these are the ones you might like.

Shared Thought Loops:

There were plenty more where these came from. They're conversation starters. Click if you agree, or if you disagree and need to say so in the comments.

Someone Had to Say It:

Forget analysis entirely, and go with your gut feeling. Your gut is saying:

So ends Post-Bo-Era Coaching Search II. If you want a recap of how emo things got, due51 took a canvas of headlines. To summarize the consensus view, Rich Rodriguez's offenses were great but his defenses were doom-worthy. As for Coach Hoke, he's not the glamour hire that brings the kind of recruiting windfall that accompanies such folk, but he's a good cushion for the parts that were rubbed raw the last few years. My guess is it's a long way to Oxford Town from here. For 2011 benchmarks, I say "Blowin' in the Wind," but West Texas Blue thinks it's more like Notre Dame 2010 and 8-5.

Hope That the Roof Stays On

Hoke takes over a program that was just two wins behind that Rich Rod inherited, and is probably in much better shape for talent, though much further from competing.

By the end of this year you were probably (not) saying to yourself "W.T.F.W.C.W.T.A.T.Y.?" I know, right, what the F, why couldn't we tackle anybody this year? Well, maizeandconfused has the answers in this Diary of the Week-winning look at every tackle attempt made by a Wolverine in 2010. Skipping to the efficiency chart:


FTR, this is bad. Read the man's diary, and give him a medal while you're at it for suffering through the worst defense in Michigan history to bring this to you. Only bad thing I can say about it is he uses "gritty" for Vinopal without mentioning David Eckstein.

Also in Reasons Why 2010 Can Bite Me: Special Teams. This is why msoccer10* is so happy we have a special teams coach now. So is justingoblue, who found some numbers for new Michigan ST coach Dan Ferrigno dating back to 1999 with Cal.


* in case you asked: No. 10 on Michigan's men's soccer team is Fabio Pereira Villas Boas, a freshman midfielder from Brazil. For the ladies it's Meaghan Hennessey. I have no idea if that's what he's referencing.


The good folk of the MGoBlogosphere have also started getting into the new offense, with eyes of course fixated on Denard and whether Borges will be able to properly deploy our new weapon of mass dilithium. Auburn blog did a 2004 review of the Borges offense shared by snoopblue. Resident coach steve sharik says he doubts we'll be a spread option offense, for about (one third of) the same reason Rich Rodriguez didn't run a pro-style offense in 2008.

Gonna Change My Way of Thinking

Who was that guy who was sneaking into Michigan Stadium every night for a year and practicing in the bare hopes of one day being part of the Michigan football team? This guy, right here:

If you think you love Michigan football, you've got nothing on backup (to the backup to the backup) quarterback Jack Kennedy. Walk-ons often have stories of bewildering allegiance to their teams but having snuck into Michigan Stadium a few times in my day I know a.) how not easy this is, and b.) how cool it must feel. Sharing a name with a president is now the second-coolest thing you know about Kennedy.

Meanwhile, that moment when (again) it seemed like Les Miles was the money bet for Michigan's head coach elicited a couple treatises on over-signing in FBS. The first, from remdies, is a pretty good rundown of the ethical problem it creates. The second, from mejunglechop investigates whether this can be applied to LSU under Miles. Answer is yes.

Oh, and I feel bad for putting this way down here… Wait…I know..


Hoops fans – stop scrolling & look here!

Average Star Ranking by Year

DeuceInTheDeuce gave Beilein a job performance evaluation based on three criteria:

  1. Record
  2. Recruiting
  3. Academic progress rate

The conclusion: keep him.

In etc., erik_t thinks there's evidence that the layoff makes bowl games sloppy in the first quarter (reason for playoff? /Wetzel). BeileinBuddy tries to construct a Big Ten hockey conference. And MGoBorracho is even more obsessed with the Alaska-Fairbanks Space Bear than you are. Unfortunately he's not the most obsessed person in the world with Ice Bear; that honor goes to 2-and-a-half-year-old Isabella May of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who has apparently asked daddy to play that video on YouTube 11,847 times. Congratulations Isabella; this one's for you:

Other Guys Quoting Bob Dylan This Week:

What happens when you leave Dylan's collected works on random play while writing a dear diary:

bill-martin: Old man sailin’ in a dinghy boat, Down there. Old man down is baitin’ a hook, On there. Gonna pull man down on a suckling hook. Gonna pull man into the suckling brook. Oh yeah!

lloyd-carr: Counterfeit philosophies have polluted all of your thoughts. Karl Marx has got ya by the throat, Henry Kissinger’s got you tied up in knots. When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up? When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain?

Rodriguezvote: Well, I’m tired of talking, I’m tired of trying to explain. My attempts to please you were all in vain. Tomorrow night before the sun goes down, if I’m still among the living, I’ll be Dixie bound. I just don’t know what I’m gonna do. I was all right ’til I fell in love with you. I hate myself for lovin’ you and the weakness that it showed. You were just a painted face on a trip down Suicide Road. The stage was set, the lights went out all around the old hotel. I hate myself for lovin’ you and I’m glad the curtain fell.

 U-M President Mary Sue Coleman and football Head Coach Rich Rodriguez listened while Athletic Director David Brandon spoke during the Michigan NCAA media briefing on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010. Angela J. Cesere | While some on principles baptized, to strict party platform ties, social clubs in drag disguise, outsiders they can freely criticize, tell nothing except who to idolize, and then say God bless him (except, actually, the opposite of that).

Harbaugh: You say you’re lookin’ for someone who will promise never to part, someone to close his eyes for you, someone to close his heart. Someone who will die for you an’ more. But it ain’t me, babe. No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe. It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe.

A very happy Brady Hoke prepares to talk to members of the media following his introductory press conference as Michigan's new head football coach, Wednesday afternoon, January 12th at UM's Junge Family Champion's Center.
Lon Horwedel | Well, I waited for you when I was half sick. Yes, I waited for you when you hated me … Well, anybody can be just like me, obviously. But then, now again, not too many can be like you, fortunately.

fredjackson: Look out kid, they keep it all hid. Better jump down a manhole, light yourself a candle. Don’t wear sandals. Try to avoid the scandals. Don’t wanna be a bum. You better chew gum. The pump don’t work ’cause the vandals took the handles.

mgobloglogo: I ain’t sayin’ you treated me unkind. You could have done better but I don’t mind. You just kinda wasted my precious time. But don’t think twice, it’s all right.



January 24th, 2011 at 1:47 AM ^

Glad I got a chance to see that, the kid really seems to love Michigan football.  Great to have him.  To be fair though, it's not that hard to sneak into the stadium.  This past summer at least, it was really easy up until August, when apparently they noticed the easy way in and blocked it off.

Heck, they didn't even have the luxury boxes locked up then.


January 24th, 2011 at 5:28 AM ^

For all the people like me who were confident that RR would turn it around until finally the bowl game was the breaking point:

("Valerie" and "Vivian" are of course Dylan-speak for Mattison and Hoke. Those Minnesota boys can be obscure at times.)


Too much of nothing
can make a man ill at ease.
One man's temper rises
where another man's temper might freeze.
Now it's the day of confessions
and we cannot mock the soul.
Oh when there's too much of nothing
no one has control.

Say hello to Valery,
say hello to Vivian.
Give her all my salary
on the waters of oblivion.
Well too much of nothing
can cause a man to weep.
He can walk the streets and like most and boast,
but would he like to keep?
But it's all been done before,
it's all been written in the book.
And when there's too much of nothing
nobody should look.
Say hello to Valery,
say hello to Vivian.
Give her all my salary
on the waters of oblivion.
Now too much of nothing
can make a man a liar.
It can cause some men to sleep on nails,
it can cause others to eat fire.
Everybody's doing something,
I heard it in a dream.
But when there's too much of nothing
it just makes a fellow mean.


January 24th, 2011 at 8:09 AM ^

Your photoshop skills are pretty good.  I did a double take because it looked so real.  And the symbolism (Dave Brandon pimpin in his car, RR on the outside looking in) speaks volumes about how the past few years may have gone down.


January 24th, 2011 at 8:20 AM ^

Early one morning the sun was shining
I was a layin’ in bed
Wonderin’ if I’d been better off
Rootin’ for the grey & red

My pals said our football future
Sure is gonna be rough
They never did like RR’s spread
Brandon’s bank book wasn’t big enough
And Hoke was standin’ on the side of the road
Waitin’ to fill Bo’s shoes
Coaching out on the west coast
Lord knows he’s paid some dues getting through
Tangled up in Blue

So now I’m come to my senses again
I’ve got to get behind Hoke somehow
All the coaches we used to want
They’re an illusion to me now
Some are Mad as Hatters some are 49’ers Jives,
We’re not sure how all that happened
We don’t know why they’re wasting their lives

But me I’m still a Michigan Man
Contemplating  another joint
We always didn’t feel the same
We just saw if from a different point of view
Tangled up in Blue


January 24th, 2011 at 8:38 AM ^

...too obvious for RichRod?

Once upon a time you dressed so fine,
Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you ?
People'd call, say, "Beware doll, you're bound to fall,"
You thought they were all a’kiddin' you.
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin' out.
Now you don't talk so loud,
Now you don't seem so proud,
About having to be scrounging your next meal.

How does it feel ?
How does it feel ?
To be without a home ?
Like a complete unknown ?
Like a rolling stone ?




January 24th, 2011 at 9:39 AM ^

I am not sure if this is why MSoccer10 uses a "10" in his user name, but the number 10 has historical significance in futbol, just like "1" jersey does with respect to Michigan Football.  (Remember when a WR actually wore it?!"

"The Significance and Brief History of THE NUMBER 10

Initially numbers worn by soccer players were determined by the positions they played. For example the numbers 1 and 2 were assigned to goalkeepers, number 9 to the striker and number 10 to the attacking midfielder. Even then the number 10 player came to be regarded as the game changer, the problem solver, el maestro.

The initial numbering system meant that if players changed positions, then the number jersey they wore would be changed accordingly to reflect the new position.

This rule was changed however for the Word Cup of 1954 and as a result (with few exceptions) every player on a team was assigned a permanent number that they wore regardless of position changes.

Players now began to lay claim to certain numbers which consequently become jealously guarded. Only players deemed worthy of the continuing legacy associated with certain much coveted numbers e.g. numbers 7, 9 and 10 would even be considered when assigning said jerseys. The biggest honor however going to the player who earned the most prized and protected number of all, the number 10.

The number 10 is worn by the most creative, inventive, dynamic and often enigmatic of soccer players. They are usually regarded by team mates (sometimes grudgingly) and fans alike as ‘the difference maker’, ‘the game changer’, ‘the one who sees what no one else saw’ or sometimes simply as ‘the one’.

Iconic players whom have earned this most prize number includes the best of the best.

True Number 10's include icons such as Lionel Messi, Fransesco Totti, Zinedine Zidane, Kaka, Juan Roman Riquelme,  Ronaldinho, Clarence Seedorf, Lothar Matthaus, Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Marta, Diego Maradonna and, of course, Pele."


January 24th, 2011 at 9:52 AM ^

When I started playing youth soccer, I picked that number because I just liked the roundness of it. But then as I got older and learned more about it I realized the best player on the pitch wore 10. I try to wear it when I can but there usually are a couple people who want it on any given team, kind of like 23 if you are playing basketball.


January 24th, 2011 at 10:02 AM ^

As my prior post on the significance of the #10 in futbol should reveal, in addition to loving all things Michigan Football, I also love soccer.  And in that realm, the ultimate fantasy is to see the US win the World Cup.  So when I evaluate what happens in the world of soccer, I look at events through this lens: does this make it more or less likely that the US will win the World Cup.  Looking at the world this way makes it easy for me to recognize progress or regression.

So WTF does this have to do with Michigan Football?  Well, for me the ideal is winning National Championships, of course.  So I look at everything through the lens of whether what is happening is getting us close to or further from a National Championship.  But as a Michigan Man, the road to that glory includes, of course, as ass kicking of that school down south.  And, to me, the kind of ass kicking that I most want to see is us running the ball down their throats.  Imagine it is third and three around midfield in the fourth quarter and we bring in two extra tight ends.  Our opponent has loads of beef on its DL and the play will be a test of wills, skill, and toughness.......And then we rip off a 17-yard run.  And then an 11-yard run.  And then a sixteen yard run.  Tick, tick, tick, the clock is being bled and the opponent is absolutely at our mercy.  To me, that is the ideal.  To me, that is where I hope we are headed.  And the portion of a story pasted below is what I hope to see:


"Michigan 31    Ohio State 23 

Columbus, Nov. 25, 1995

Published in The Lantern, November 27, 1995 

Ann Arbor, Mich. The lofty dreams of the 1995 Ohio State Buckeyes Rose Bowl berth, perfect record, national championship came crashing to the Michigan Stadium turf with a sobering thud Saturday afternoon.

Wolverine tailback Tshimanga Biakabutuka ripped the OSU defense for 313 rushing yards as the Wolverines stunned the Buckeyes 31-23 before 106,288 fans. The loss sends Ohio State to the Citrus Bowl for the second straight year and all but dashes any hopes of playing for the national title.

"I'm obviously disappointed," said OSU coach John Cooper.  I don't know if I've ever been as disappointed in my life as I am right now."


So I ask, what is your ideal?  What should we be trying to achieve? 

Here is my view of an ideal decade:

At least one National Championship

At least two trips to the BCS Championship Game

At least six trips to BCS bowl games

At least five B1G Ten Championships

At least 6 wins against OSU, Notre Dame, Nebrasksa, and Penn State

At least 7 wins against MSU and Wisconsin

At least 8 wins against the rest of the B1G Ten

80% winning percentage at home

70% winning percentage on the road

75% winning percentage overall

No NCAA violations

90% graduation rate

Lead the nation in attendance


January 24th, 2011 at 5:41 PM ^

If you're traveling in the north country fair
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline
Remember me to the coach who was there
His offense was once a true love of mine.

Well, if you go bowling when the snowflakes storm
and your defense freezes and your season ends
Please see if he's wearing a coat so warm
To keep him from the howlin' winds.


At least our qb’s hair is still hanging down

And it curls and flows for the leaders and best
Please see from me his shoelaces hanging down
That's the way I remember him best.

If you're traveling in the north country fair
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline
Remember me to one coach who was there
For his offense once was once a true love of mine.