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.



February 29th, 2012 at 2:29 PM ^

Why the 100 user point thing?  Doesn't a high approval rating % (like the 90-95% being thrown around) kind of eliminate the need for that?  Are our 100 point users really that much smarter, or less biased? 

Seems like it'll just make everyone <100 pts deluge the board with nonsense just to get their voting rights...


February 29th, 2012 at 2:35 PM ^

Most people won't put in the effort to post 100 times just to vote in something like that (or, for that matter, to upvote/downvote people), but it's pretty easy to reach. Occasionally people try to post inane shit to get to 100, but we mods take those points away in a fearsome display of power and authority.


February 29th, 2012 at 2:41 PM ^

talking about, I don't know if it's needed here. 

If any troll votes affect the nomination process, I'd think the users wouldbe savy enough to ignore them. 

If troll votes went to the positive election side of a vote, I can't see trolls getting 95% vs our regular user body.

If troll votes went to the negative (refuse election) side, I still can't see it being significant enough to overcome all the users if they're in 95% agreement that someone belongs.



February 29th, 2012 at 2:50 PM ^

But I still think it's a good idea to ensure the validity of the results. Take Zack Novak for example; he is the most hated man in America to like 7 different fan bases. I'd hate to see an organized RCMB campaign knock enough votes off to make a difference. Best to remove any doubt (plus, if there was someone with 80 points who really wanted to vote, we could take care of that).

Think "last night's Michigan primary" (but don't, because NO POLITICS!!!).


February 29th, 2012 at 2:31 PM ^

I like the idea, but I think the bar needs to be high (>90%) for acceptance.  Also, I would like to see 3-5 candidates each year that go through an initial vetting process by getting a 80% support rate.  Not set on the numbers, but basically I think the criteria needs to ensure that this is an exclusive honor.

Everyone has their favorite players, but I think the bar needs to be high to ensure that the flavor of the week doesn't get in.

Right now, my only obvious locks are Denard and Hart.  There's a ton of people I would probably vote for below that, but it starts losing its exclusiveness if someone gets in just because they had a good season.


February 29th, 2012 at 2:33 PM ^


  I would just say that nominations should only come from Brian/MGoBloggers...the homers that we are, a huge percentage of nominees will be voted in, so this in effect limits inclusion

I think this works because any egregious exclusions will immediately be noticed and commented on by multitudes of commenters, and can then be corrected

(and I think Tacopants should def get a spot...he has put so many years into the Maize and Blue!!)


February 29th, 2012 at 9:54 PM ^

It's difficult for any one person not to miss a player or two when trying to cover all Michigan sports since 2005. Why not have a panel made up of Brian and maybe 4 other respected MGoBloggers? I would suggest someone with football knowledge (Magnus?) and perhaps Mathlete to look at things more statistically. 


February 29th, 2012 at 2:35 PM ^

I love the annual Baseball HOF debate because it takes place at a time when it is the offseason and people can post articles or columns about why certain guys are deserving and others are not.  So for that reason I completely endorse this idea.

However, I would like to add a twist - what if we don't restrict this to a once-per-year induction ceremony?  What if we did it twice, possibly had different inductions for different sports, and leveraged the dead time for each sport when we're looking for a reason to discuss it? 

Here are some other thoughts:

  • I read an idea once that the baseball HOF should also allow for a "withdrawal vote"  This process would be used to remove people from the HOF if new information became available that changed their qualifications.  Someone would have to nominate them for removal, they'd have to get a certain high percentage of votes to get on the removal ballot, and then they would go up for vote at the next induction voting and have a certain standard to meet to keep their spot.
  • Will the process be like the NFL where there are "finalists" that meet an initial voting criteria and then "inductees" from that group?  Or like MLB where anyone who has been out for 5 years is on the ballot?
  • Building on the pyramid idea, maybe there are four categories to start with:
    1 - PEAK:  reserved for all-time greats of the MGoEra
    2 - MGO:  reserved for great players from during the MGoEra that were not elite
    3 - Historical:  reserved for players from pre-MGoEra, like a veteran's committee
    4 - Non Athlete:  reserved for people who contributed for other reasons


February 29th, 2012 at 2:36 PM ^

One for strictly high athletic performance standards, and one for the most cherished, crowd-favorite, "we love his grit" type guys.

That might lend itself to people being more rational in separating out truly great athletes for the recognition they deserve.  It would allow us the luxury of keeping our sentimental favorites, without diluting the "star athelete" pool.    2 cents....


February 29th, 2012 at 3:11 PM ^

His bio could contain all manner of reasons we love him:  smile, dreads, shoelaces, etc... 

I'm thinking the non-star side, i.e. the grit side would be guys who'd have no shot based solely on performance.

I'd think most of the performance side guys would end up in both.  I.E. How many of our best athletes did any of us not "love"?  It seems appropriate to label them stars - everyone will remember their character too.


February 29th, 2012 at 3:36 PM ^

Someone like Novak or Kovacs really doesn't fit a true Hall of Fame mold as much as a Jake Long / Brandon Graham / Denard type player but definitely deserve recognition. in some way.


I also like the idea of voting on a top 3-5 moments/plays of the year.  I assume you would sort these by school year vs. calendar year.  A few 2012-2013 nominees could be:

  • Winning TD catch vs. ND (maybe the entire drive)
  • OSU victory = streak stopped = no "days since" clock for you!!
  • Best Mid-Feb weekend in the history of Mid-Feb weekends


February 29th, 2012 at 4:31 PM ^

I think a 4 year starter and 3 year captain who has been the heart and soul of the team and has helped restore the program is certainly worthy of a "real" MGoHOF vote. 

I'm damn sure he'd get my vote. 

And this brings up an interesting point... can someone be in both HOF's? Because I think Novak and RVB may qualify. 

Febreeze (has anyone else mentioned him? How quickly we all forget...) and the Space Emperor would be the types of players we'd put in the "other" HOF - NOT Zack MF Novak. That's right, I just dropped a MF on him. 


February 29th, 2012 at 2:38 PM ^

this is a fantastic idea and yes, I believe we would need a larger inaugural class. 

After year 1, I like the idea of an entry cap of 3 so as to keep admission scarce and have more significant value.

I also think we should ALL chip in some funds for an MGOHALL OF FAME award or trophy, you know, that the MGOBLOG Community could donate funds to, and actually present to the winner in person with photos, meaningful interview, etc.

Acknowledgement like this would be meaningful to the winners. It's an extra plus to any national or team-provide awards.  In some ways an MgoHall award might mean something more to the recipients, because it really comes direct from fans who are fanatical (and quite knowledgeable) about M hockey, football, baseball, basketball.

Just a thought.



February 29th, 2012 at 2:38 PM ^

Great idea. I like what Magnus said about the bar being set really high and liked your sliding scale for every year after graduation. Possibly start at 90% (thats quite high even for homers) and then having it come down 2.5% for 4 years so that it reaches 80%. If you can't get in after 5 years take them off the ballot after they don't reach 80% for 2 years. That would make it so that you would hopefully not need your pyramid once you're in, which I believe diminishes getting in if you then see yourself at the bottom of the pyramid. 

The inaugural class would have to be bigger but I like the idea of only after 2005. You may not want to do a class of 21 (3*7 years) because like others have pointed out, who deserves in from basketball and do anywhere near 21 football and hockey players deserve in? I would rather see it as fairly exclusive and make it fairly prestigious.

For this exact same reason, I would allow up to 6 people who left the program that year to be voted upon. If 4 of the 6 reach the percentage they need to be admitted, great. If only 1 gets in that year, then so be it. Remember that this year that would allow for only 6 to be voted on, but if only 4 get in, then the next year you would be allowed 6 new players as well which would put 8 people on the ballot. With my system if you make the ballot the first year, you are on it for the next 5. You could also insert a rule that if you weren't able to make the ballot of 6 players the year you graduated, you can be inserted the next year if a certain amount of players made it from your class.

Like you said this year there is Molk, Martin, Hunwick and Novak, who I believe would deserve to be first balloters. While RVB and Stu would have a chance. But there may not be 6 people worthy of being voted on each year and thats why i would set the max at around 6. Some years, like next year in my opinion, there might only be 3 or 4 even worthy of making the ballot. Then if we decide we missed a guy like Hemingway way more than we realized we could add him to the ballot next year.

I also like the idea of giving them something, even if it is a dumb piece of paper or T-shirt I promise you guys like Denard or Chris Brown or Novak would cherish it. If we could get  them to do an interview with Ace or Tremendous for the blog that would just be an added bonus!

Finally, a whole different part to the HOF could be best play of the year for each of the 3 sports. Just one play every year where everyone could vote and no matter what there is one play selected every year. As for coaches, sure Red deserves in but he knows that, if a coach is great they will make the real HOF but we can admit them ONLY after they retire otherwise a Hoke point would get in every year and that is dumb. 

Finally, as for the non revenue sports, I think they could get in if they cracked the top 6, but this will be rare and I think someone above mentioned 2 or 3 names that would have a good chance but it shouldn't be guaranteed just like I don't believe basketball, football or hockey should get someone on the ballot guaranteed every year either. 

MAKE IT PRESTIGIOUS! If every decent player gets in, no one will care. If it becomes a high honor the athletes will take it much more seriously and it could become something some of them would be proud of. 


February 29th, 2012 at 2:43 PM ^

I like this idea. I think it will be fun! I will have to start posting more to reach 100 points by then to vote. I agree with prior posters that the bar needs to be set pretty high due to homerism. Good idea!


February 29th, 2012 at 2:43 PM ^

Q: should there be a waiting period?

Yes, but an Internet one. One Internet Year = approximately 7 minutes in real time, so I recommend at least 35 minutes. Seriously, I suggest 1 year from his last game as a Wolverine, so for example Denard Robinson will be eligible by the 2014 Rose Bowl. This has the added benefit of allowing us to bring back topics and generate content from dudes who've already gone, while avoiding afterglow effects of a big game (e.g. imagine deciding Adrian Arrington immediately after the Citrus Bowl).

Q: what should the criteria be for admission?

Well for one you want the voters to be exclusive. I would leave it to people who have written diaries (we're pretty good at knocking non-thoughtful ones down to the board). Nothing against the folks who just post on the board a ton, but diarists are folks who have demonstrated they are willing to put heavy time into thinking about Michigan sports. Voters should also be required to explain their votes in the comments; no secret ballots.

Q: should there be an annual cap on admitees?

No. If the criteria are working then there's no need to regulate it further. There are at least three obvious candidates from football Team 132's senior class alone this year, because it was an exceptional year for senior leadership; so does that mean we don't have room for any basketball or hockey seniors?

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

Only if they make it onto the main page enough to have affected how we interface with Michigan. Jenny Ritter was one of the best pitchers in school history but we barely mentioned her. Lion Kim was momentarily a thing on the front page, but his effect was so short I think he doesn't justify HoF status. Michael Phelps is probably one of the best athletes of anything to have come through Michigan during the blog's tenure, but his tag is all of one article about his SI cover sexy mustache. There's been more coverage around here of football recruits who never made it on campus (e.g,, a certain DB) than Phelps got. In fact Meryl Davis/Charlie White got more. If a hall of fame volleyball player falls in the woods and MGoBlog doesn't hear it, did it happen? My answer would be no.

Nominees for First Class:

  • Chad Henne
  • Mike Hart
  • Jake Long
  • Braylon Edwards
  • Brandon Graham
  • Zoltan Mesko
  • Mike Barwis
  • LaMarr Woodley
  • David Harris
  • Manny Harris
  • Carl Hagelin
  • Jack M.F. Johnson
  • Kevin Porter
  • Matt Hunwick

That oughtta establish a strong baseline for who gets in.



February 29th, 2012 at 2:56 PM ^

My thought is that the players either shouldn't be eligible or that someone will need to create a fairly in-depth write-up about the person.  I would not be able to make an informed vote about a softball player, for example, without some help. 


February 29th, 2012 at 9:58 PM ^

There could be a specified period where writeups could appear on the board. Announce it on like 5/1 and have the period open between 5/8-5/15, or something similar. If a poster feels strongly (I have a feeling MGoSoftball will have nubs for fingers after that week) they'll post.

I would also stipulate that we need at least one media article about the it factor Brian requires. Sure, the guy/girl might be an incredible runner, but that's not all this HoF is about. I would want a story about how he/she has a block M tattoo, or is majoring in pre-med so they can work at Mott down the line or goes home to Columbus and is the subject of family jokes every Thanksgiving. That needs to be a major part, IMO.


February 29th, 2012 at 2:46 PM ^

I absolutely love this idea!  I think...

-a yearly cap is a good idea.  Maybe 3 players per elligible sport?

-a larger inaugural class, definitely.

-I would vote to limit this to the most popular sports.  I'm not a big M hockey guy, but I guess I would include hockey, too, due to coverage on the blog., basketball, hockey.


February 29th, 2012 at 2:47 PM ^

I feel like the years a player spends in a Michigan uniform needs to be taken into consideration. I loved Morris last year, but he had a lousy to average Freshman season followed by a transcendent Sophomore season before bailing for the NBA. 

Is one great season in a basketball uniform worthy of the HoF? Similarly, if McGary averages 20 and 10 next season and helps us get to the Final Four, but leaves right away to the draft, should he get honors?

Players like that are great for the program, but ultimately flashes in the pan and don't carry with them the same history and legacy that a Novak, Molk, Martin, or Hunwick do.

I think there ought to be a minimum years in uniform threshold to be considered for the HoF. 3 years seems good.


February 29th, 2012 at 2:55 PM ^

"For one, I think only players who played after 2005, when the blog started, should be eligible, at least at first."

Obviously an exception will be made for Horace G. Prettyman, right?


February 29th, 2012 at 2:57 PM ^

Since the whole point of this endeavour will be to reflect back in a few years on what we have loved in Michigan sports, I would also suggest we strongly consider adding 3-5 plays as well as players.  The players need to be honored, certainly.  But consider the 2015 you looking back and reading a write up these specific plays (just off the top of my head):

2012 Football - ND v MIchigan - Robinson to Gallon - The Cloaking Device

2007 Football - Wisconsin v Michigan - Threet rumbles for 50+ yards

2006 Football - Michigan v Penn State - Branch destroys QB

2011 Football - Michigan v ND - Robinson goes 84 yards

2012 Football - Nebraska v Michigan - Mike Martin forces a pitch on an option play as NT

2012 Basketball - Ohio V Michigan - Trey Burke scores over Sullinger

Etc.  You get the idea. 

Again, this is not at all to take away from the players, but also to capture those specific moments that made us all giddy beyond belief.  I would probably go back and read that page once a month.

We could also include the UFR of the play to give it that MGoBlog connection (or have the best UFR description of any play.)


February 29th, 2012 at 3:02 PM ^

I like the following:

1) Limit to men's basketball, football, hockey players (no teams, no plays, no mascots, no kittens, no muppets, etc. will be eligible).

2) First year of voting: All players from those sports who has used up their eligibility (starting with those who graduated/used up eligibility in fall '04/winter or spring '05) are on the ballot.  Also, eligible would be any coach who no longer coaches for the university and left/was fired/retired post 2005.

3) All subsequent years of voting (maybe make May the voting/inducting month) are based on those who used their eligibility the previous fall or that winter/spring.  Also eligible in subsequent years, will be all those that were previously eligible, not voted in, but were named on at least 50% of ballots in the previous year.  Also, eligible would be any coach who no longer coaches for the university and left/was fired/retired post 2005 plus received at least 50% of the vote the previous year.

4) All eligible persons being named on at least 85% of ballots would be enshrined.  There would be no size requirement for any class.

Let's get this done.


February 29th, 2012 at 3:12 PM ^

The MGoHallofFame needs a secondary wing for people/abstracts we've been crazy about.

  • Tacopants
  • YMRMFSPA Jason Avant
  • GERG
  • Greg Robinson's Stuffed Beaver
  • Dave Brandon's Pimp Hand
  • Hockeybear
  • Special K
  • Angry Michigan Secondary Hating God


February 29th, 2012 at 3:22 PM ^

(And I'm nowhere near voting-eligible, so I get to claim disinterest)

I don't like a "hard cap" on admittees, but a (reasonable) cap on nominations, combined with a high voting bar, seems like a good option.  For instance: max the nominations people can vote on at, say, 10 or 12, and then require 90%/95% favorable votes from your selection committee (readers with 100+ or 200+ or whatever points).  Maybe lower the bar for "older" candidates, maybe not.

Waiting period: don't really care.  Maybe 3 years?


February 29th, 2012 at 3:31 PM ^


1) Mgoblog era only seems like the right idea to start with.

2) Initial class of 15 gives us about two per year of the blog's existence.  First thoughts: Hart, Molk, Martin, RVB, Zoltan, Graham, Long, Manningham, Novak, Hunwick, Hagelin, Jennie Ritter, Lexi Zimmerman, and a couple other non-revenue slots?  I'm open to suggestions on who, I only really pay attention to softball and volleyball.  I feel strongly about Ritter and Zimmerman.

3) Thep roblem with a hard cap is when you get a year like this with Molk, Martin, RVB, Novak, and Hunwick without getting to the non-revenue sports. But then last year would give us Hagelin for sure, I would have pushed hard for Zimmerman, and maybe Justin Meram of the soccer team?  But I'm not sure we'd get to three. Possibly add a pre-Mgoblog nominee every few years, because it would be very strange to not have Woodson, Morrison, Turco, and what not in there.

4) What do we feel about coaches?  I strongly believe Red and Hutch should be in there when they retire, and I'd push for Lloyd though he'd never get over the vote threshhold.

5) I think there should probably be a different threshhold depending on the sport.  Basically, if it's football, we need high levels of agreement because everyone on this site has watched them play.  Basketball, probably 80-90% have.  Hockey is somewhat less.  And then everything else, it's far lower.  Something like 75% approval for a revenue and 60% for non-revenue?


February 29th, 2012 at 3:35 PM ^

I think sports outside of Football, Basketball, & Hockey should be eligible.  I suggest the requriement for nomination be that they are an all-american or national championship winner.  That way it would be easy to identify who would be eligbile and a brief bio of achievements over their career could be compiled to aid in voting. 

I would keep this a seperate category from the three main sports to make sure they got their chance. 

I'm a fan of entry based on vote percentage vs. hard cap. In the three major sports there can be such variance in the size of exiting class that some years you would never get all the people in who deserve it and some years with small classes could allow entrance of people who really don't belong.


February 29th, 2012 at 3:42 PM ^

I freakin love u guys! This site is the best thing that could ever happen to a Michigan fan. The satisfaction that an observant bystandard (spelling?) Mich fan can get from the mgoblog community is tremendous. This is a wonderful idea you should have thought of sooner, but even the capacity in genius minds like yours (brian, seth, ace....tvh and others departed) is limited by time constraints and other factors. WE all know that from the Glen Steeles to the Will Heinegers and RVBs, Michigan collegiate heroes will never die in our memories. But due to you guys' commitment to making this site AWESOME...we can formalize the acknowledgement of contributors not named Howard or Woodson that have given us priceless memories over the years. And the fact that your blog is so freakin dope - dope to the point Brady and Woodson probably have usernames cuz if u love Michigan where else (?) - means that our HOF electees will be, essentially, unofficially official. Im just glad to be a part and have access to this piece of Michigan lore.


February 29th, 2012 at 3:58 PM ^

any player whose number is retired or put in the ring of honor or whatever by the athletic department or is in their sport's respective hall of fame that predates MGoBlog is grandfathered in.


February 29th, 2012 at 3:59 PM ^

What if we include three to five each year starting the following year from inauguration, of the 2004 year. So, for example, if the HOF started this year, then next year we would induct 3 to 5 people from 2004. And then every year after include 3 to 5 from the sequential previous year.