MGoHall Of Fame: We Should Have One

Submitted by Brian on February 29th, 2012 at 1:36 PM

zack-novak-bloodShawn Hunwick of the Michigan hockey team plays against Windsor in an exhibition match at Yost Ice Arena on Sunday, October 4th 2009(SAID ALSALAH/DAILY)

This message board post gave me an idea: this blog should create an e-HOF for Michigan athlete in the sports it covers. Retiring numbers is something that people do 30 years down the road, and probably never in football; legends patches will be issued to like six people. There should be an intermediate ground. Now is the time to create plaques.

First we must set ground rules.

Q: should there be a waiting period?

I remember thinking Michigan should retire Lavell Blanchard's number because he represented the start of a new era in Michigan's basketball program. That didn't so much happen. There's a reason HOFs usually impose a five-year waiting period.

On the other hand, it might be a good idea to be able to recognize players right away, and unlike actual HOFs if we mess up we can implement the Bill Simmons solution by creating a pyramid with the all-timers at the top and the guys were may have gotten over-excited about at the bottom.

Q: what should the criteria be for admission?

For one I think only players who played after 2005, when the blog started, should be eligible—at least at first. There may be a time when we start reaching further back but fundamentally this is about experiencing the careers of the guys who get in, something we can't do with Tom Harmon.

As far as who is a quality candidate, this is some combination of being really good and an ineffable other quality that encompasses having dreads or bleeding all over everything or developing a pathological hatred of the media or absolutely stoning North Dakota or talking up brunette girls in the aftermath of your game-winning kick. Like… this should be a thing Zack Novak gets in, no questions asked. It should be equally about the impact player X has on the pleasure of being a Michigan fan than about being really good. Really good helps, of course.

When Deadspin bothered with their HOF they required a 75% approval rate to get in. Here voting would only be open to >100 point users, I'd imagine. Is that the right number? Should it be a sliding scale such that anyone who just graduated needs 95% and it drops five percent each year until it gets to 75%?

Q: should there be an annual cap on admitees?

I was thinking three, but surveying this hypothetical field of candidates makes that seem slender: RVB, Martin, Novak, Hunwick, Molk. And then there's a backlog of players who have impacted in the era this blog was talking about sports. Maybe there should be a larger inaugural class.

Q: what about sports that don't get coverage around here?

Football, basketball, and hockey are going to get adequate face time. Other sports, not so much. This is largely because they don't get enough attention to have the aforementioned impact. I'd like to recognize everyone else but the reason I don't write about everything is I can't do so competently. Does this thing have a place for the Kellen Russells/Samantha Findleys of the world? Maybe we should set aside a non-revenue spot every other year or something.

The comments are your debating ground.


Patent Pending

February 29th, 2012 at 2:07 PM ^

We all love RVB, Novak, Hunwick, et al, but five years from now their names will only come up in posts where the author is trying to show off his U-M fandom IQ.  Having a repository for the who, what, whys of a player would be good, but creating your own HoF just to keep their memory alive feels funny to me.

A HoF might be too much, but a "MGoBlog Honors" status that still gives a detailed write-up of the player could still get the "we like(d) this guy" vibe across without stepping into the HoF trap.  Tiering the players based on later success seems like a lot of parsing/work just to keep the new HoF from being a joke in others' eyes.

Lastly, even with the tiering/pyramid this is just setting the blog up for opposing fans to go "LOL, we have real stars while Zack Novak is a U-M HoFer".  I know we all say we don't care what our rivals think and say, but we do.  Also, what happens if one of our HoFers gets in trouble with the law or is found using PEDs?  Does he get taken down?

Patent Pending

February 29th, 2012 at 2:44 PM ^

Placing our gritty/good players in a HoF is just asking to be mocked.  Why would we willfully give ammunition to opposing fans?

Besides, that is only a small part of the reason that a HoF is not a good idea.

There is just no upside to creating the MGoHoF other than as a virtual pat on the back to guys we've followed for 1-5 yrs.  The downside may be minimal, but Mr. Cook has to take into account the fact that it is his credibility that is at stake and placing Jordan Kovacs into a HoF will detract from the blog's (i.e., his) credibility - even if it is just a little.




February 29th, 2012 at 2:55 PM ^

It all depends on what the criteria is. If the criteria is "most heart shown as/best story to become a Wolverine while being reasonably good at their sport", who fits the bill better than Kovacs/Novac/Stu?

Bo deserves to be in a hall of fame where the criteria is "damn good football coach", but not in a hall of fame reserved for players. It's all about the criteria.

Also, I don't think any hall of fame, even something he made up to intentionally be stupid (and this isn't close to being that), would hurt Brian's credibility.

Patent Pending

February 29th, 2012 at 3:21 PM ^

I have seen similar criteria for MTv's movie awards, but I assumed this was going to be somewhat serious.  If it is just a list of guys that we like, then I wouldn't call it a Hall of Fame.

I am not trying to be a wet blanket and everybody seems to be on board.  HoF status is usually reserved for the obvious best-of-the-best.  It just looks like this is not going to be your typical HoF, which is going to seem homerific or dumb.


February 29th, 2012 at 3:44 PM ^

The guy who came up with this idea (Brian) said that he wants it to be a Hall of Fame in which Zack Novak gets in instantly.  If that doesn't tell you what his criteria are, then you obviously don't understand.

There are already acknowledgements for players who are great at football - the College Football Hall of Fame, the patches, the retired jerseys, etc.  I don't see why Brian would want to re-create those things.  He wants to create something different than those things.


February 29th, 2012 at 3:09 PM ^

The whole point of a Hall of Fame is to commemorate the people in it for their contributions, especially the little guys. The upside is that Brian has more content on his site. The downside is that we might get a few more trolls on the site. The whole thing is basically going to be a "fan-favorite players" section, so I don't think that anyone would hold that against Brian.


February 29th, 2012 at 3:40 PM ^

How in the hell is a fan-created MGOBLOG Hall of Fame going to hurt MGoBlog's/Brian's credibility?  You do realize that this is a fan site and the voters will be fans of Michigan, right?  Nobody outside of Michigan fans is going to take this seriously.  And if they do, they're dumb.  Which means MSU will take it seriously.

Now tell me why we care what MSU fans think.

This is a fan blog, not an official University of Michigan production.  You're thinking about it too much.


February 29th, 2012 at 2:09 PM ^

What if there were wings to this hall of fame.  Bruised/bloody/leader/novak could be one, media dandies (ala Kieth Stone) could be one, ultimate bad asses (Martin), other sports could be another, perhaps olympians?


February 29th, 2012 at 2:09 PM ^

Voting should be done in the summer to get us away from the drunk-with-happiness problem that would come up if we voted right after a very successful NCAA run or a Rose Bowl win.  I, for one, probably would have voted for the whole 2011-12 football team right after they beat OSU, but that would not have been wise.


February 29th, 2012 at 2:09 PM ^

But why limit it?  We come here because we all consider ourselves to be a shrewder, sharper breed of fan, even among Michiganfergodsakes fans.  I think that with a group like this, if there are 4 players who absolutely should get in one year, why can't they all go in at once?


February 29th, 2012 at 2:10 PM ^

We have have a MHOF with high criteria, and something like the MLB system makes sense.

I also think there could be a broadcaster/administrator/writer part of this... it would be an honor that is voted on, and would also have a high bar to achieve.

Lastly, I think annual awards similar to the ESPYs could be fun, and they could be inclusive of   many non-revnue sports:

-Female Michigan Athlete of the Year

-Team of the Year

-Bo Schembechler Those Who Stay Will Be Champions Award

-Michigan Freshman of the Year

-MGOLeadership Award

Clearly tons of options exist... Then Brian and co. could do some type of unveiling of the results, podcast or web videocast? With follow-up installments involving player interviews, etc?

Not sure of all the rules out there, but I have wondered why this blog doesnt have more current player interviews?



February 29th, 2012 at 5:53 PM ^

That's starting to sound like my idea of an MGoConference that I've never mentioned. Basically, rent out a hotel ballroom and have MGoContributors give MGoSpeeches like a technical conference. I would travel from SoCal to Ann Arbor for that, and I expect my wife would divorce me shortly thereafter.


February 29th, 2012 at 2:10 PM ^

Is this something where anybody can present a name for consideration, or will Brian (or a mod committee or something) do that? Would voting take place at the end of each respective team's season (January for football, March for basketball, April for hockey), or just have one vote once every sport is done? No matter what, I agree with others who have said that the bar should be very high. I would even say leave it at 95% for the first two years after graduation, then slowly reduce it for each year after that.


February 29th, 2012 at 2:12 PM ^

I think the inaugural class does have to be bigger to make up for lost time. After that the best two options for each year are: 1) have a really high threshold for induction or 2) limit amount of nominees per year. 

I really like the idea that individuals are immediately eligible upon graduation (or leaving for respective professional sport), but that in the immediate years, there should be a higher threshold for induction than for the subsequent years. Brian's idea of 95% for induction upon graduation, declining towards 75% each year is excellent. I actually think the ultimate floor should be 80%, just for the purposes of exclusivity. 

I don't think there is one method to determine admissibility. Each voter should be allowed to factor in their own considerations: talent level, performance on the field/court/ice/what-have-you, general love from the fanbase, individual love from the specific voter, etc. We should be able to assume that voters are reasonable people (sorry, I'm in law school, "reasonable" is overused, but a pretty good standard) and reasonable people will not make unreasonable decisions (for example, voting in GERG). 

As a general matter, on a fairly slow day, I LOVE THIS IDEA

Blue in Yarmouth

February 29th, 2012 at 2:13 PM ^

I like what has been suggested so far especially a larger first class of potentially 20 odd inductees then 3 or four each year after with a non-revenue athlete having a spot every other year., 

I also agree that for acceptance the number has to be very high given our fandom. The 95% seems about right to me. It seems like the diea needs to be refined somewhat, but the idea is a great one. I look forward to it!

mgm 05

February 29th, 2012 at 2:13 PM ^

Could you also allow people with X amount of tenure on the site (based on account registration date i guess) to vote?  I've been hanging around here for a long time and would like to vote but not much for posting on the boards so I NO HAZ POINTS

Magnum P.I.

February 29th, 2012 at 2:14 PM ^

It would necessarily be subjective, because like you say, Brian, the purpose of such a HOF would be to recognize the amount of enjoyment a player added to the experience of being a Michigan fan. For this reason, football players would be the most highly represented because most Michigan sports fans are football fans, and thus an electric football player would bring more enjoyment to more Michigan fans than a world-class gymnast. It would take a really, really out-of-this world non-revenue-sport athlete (e.g., Michael Phelps) to make the grade. There would be few hockey players for this reason, too. 

I would also suggest that voting privileges be based on point total and/or on duration of site membership, and I would argue that the latter is a much, much better criterion for seriousness and knowledge of Michigan sports. There are plenty of people who have been reading this blog religiously for years who don't often post. And there are plenty of people who joined a couple of months ago and, by virtue of too much leisure time and lack of thought censor, quickly reach some point cut-off. Obviously site tenure and points are correlated, but this would help achieve your goal of granting voting rights to only the landed gentry.


February 29th, 2012 at 2:50 PM ^

is exactly what I was thinking.  Don't punish the lurkers who have been here for years absorbing every word while rewarding the blabbering newbies.

Something like :

Join Date 2012  must have 1000 pts
Join Date 2011  must have  800 pts
Join Date 2010  must have  600 pts
Join Date 2009  must have  400 pts
Join Date 2008  must have  200 pts
Join Date 2007 (or before)  100 pts

or something.

I'd also limit the number of inductees (after an initial large class) to just a few.


February 29th, 2012 at 2:54 PM ^

I think there are many members who've casually read for years and don't post. A point cutoff hurts those individuals. Maybe a combination of membership length and a Low point requirement would be best?


March 1st, 2012 at 10:40 AM ^

and for me, it wasn't so much as not having anything to post or respond to topic-wise, it was more being worried about how I said something. I'm not as intelligent as 90% of you on this blog, and frankly, many of you make me nervous about posting anything. I guess if you are going to make it where certain number of points are required, I guess I will deal with that accordingly. FWIW, I had to proof read this a couple times for spelling errors before being jumped on about that too. 


February 29th, 2012 at 2:15 PM ^

HOF, etc) are to me, much less meaningful than those "earned" on the playing field (Conference Champion, Bowl Game winner, most yards rushing, etc.).  So, this idea doesn't excite me much.  But hey, if the rest of you like to. go for it.

matty blue

February 29th, 2012 at 2:16 PM ^

…and a favorite personal subject of mine, in all sports.
a waiting period is important, even if it’s just a couple of years – i think it’s important to see the team after a great player leaves.  do you still wish he was around?  did the team seem like less after he left?  were we talking about how much we missed him the following season?  in the case of an MGoHOF, that gut feeling – and that question – is critical.  do you miss them?  you need some time to answer that question accurately.  I missed blanchard after he left.  but not that much.
i wouldn’t recommend a minimum or maximum per year, either.  there are going to be some years where picking three guys will force us to hold our nose a little bit as we click ‘yes,’ and similarly, years where there are about six automatics, either because of sheer greatness, or symbolic value, or the joy that they brought us.
i like the idea of non-revenue sports – some of them have crossed over into our consciousness, they should be recognized.  voting will out.
lastly, i love bill simmons, but the levels / pyramid idea is pretty dumb.  you’re in or you’re not…but make the bar very, very high, like 90% or more.  these should be the best of the best of the best of the MGoBlogiverse.
and no team inductions.  that’s silly.


February 29th, 2012 at 2:17 PM ^

yes...on the 95% first year then sliding down to ensure that the deserving get in.  I'd say have an unlimited first class, and unlimited individual classes thereafter.  Let the nomination process help limit the inductees as well as the blog at large.  Let the users nominate, but let a (very) select few chosen by Brian have the ability to second the nomination to allow for a vote.  It isn't hard to imagine sending 5 or 6 inductees out of a national championship-type year.

1329 S. University

February 29th, 2012 at 2:21 PM ^

we'll have 9 guys sitting at 85% and a Denard ruling them all. I like a max of 5 each year, and then of course they would be eligible again the following year etc., kind of like baseball's HOF. We all add our nominations, Brian and a few others sit around and pick the top 10 that should be eligible that season, this eliminates Tacopants and Pop Evil, send out a ballot on the front page, we all vote. 90% gets in on first year, ties go to some kind of tiebreaker. Those that don't make it again can be put back on the ballot the next year if Brian and the panel approve. Maybe Wolverine Historian can be on the "Veterans Committee" and nominate someone from the past each year as well with stats and video(if it exists)


February 29th, 2012 at 2:23 PM ^

  • Brian, et al. take nominations and select 10 or 15 options
  • Hold a vote open to anyone over 100 points.
  • Athlete is admitted if (a) he is one of the top 2 vote-getters, and his vote total is over 80%, (b) he is one of the top 3 vote-getters and his vote total is over 85%, or (c) he is among the top 4 vote-getters, and his vote total is over 90%. This will ensure that a stacked year will get more, and a year in which people are less enthusiastic about the choices will get fewer.
  • Hold a special vote for 10-ish initial/retroactive slots for the Mike Harts/Carl Hagelins of the MGoWorld

Sac Fly

February 29th, 2012 at 2:25 PM ^

Hockey may be a little tricky though, mostly because the program is so stong. It's easy to forget about a great player like Kevin Porter or Andrew Cogliano because we reload so quickly.