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 3:59 PM ^

A Hall of Fame with such a small sample size 2005 through 2011 with the "need" to add new players every year is going to be diluted after a short amount of time.

Baseball has 234 hall of famers across 100+ years of the sport and tens of thousands of players.

We'd be pulling from a pool of about a few hundred players, each year's class across hockey/basketball/football increasing that pool around 30-40. Even if we only add 3 players a year, are 10% of all of the players here really MGoHOFers?

On the other hand think about the prestigious sports awards: Heisman, Hart, Hobey Baker.

Let's enshrine our present day warriors by naming the next generation of MGoAwards in their honor. These four awards acknowledge these four program-defining players that each in their own unique way lead Michigan out of an era of turmoil and into a new era of success despite all of the adversity and lack of accolades they brought themselves.

The Novak Trophy: Basketball MVP

The VanBergen Trophy: Football MVP

The Hunwick Trophy: Hockey MVP

The Kovacs Award: Biggest Turnaround/Overcame Adversity/Most Improved Michigan Athlete of the Year (any sport)

This lets us appropriately distinguish a list of players each and every sport year without diluting the gratitude we want to show these current players that, for the cliche, are the true vestiges of michigan men.

David Brandon

February 29th, 2012 at 4:02 PM ^

Excellent idea, Brian!

My Proposal:

  • Athletes must receive a 90% favorable rating from eligible voters.
  • Eligible voters consist of MGoMembers who have accumulated over 10,000 MGoPoints.
  • Those short of the voting threshold are encouraged to increase their MGoPoint totals via monetary contributions to the athletic department at a rate of 1 MGoPoint per $1 contributed.
  • Accrued MGoPoints will expire by year end (or sooner)
  • Loyal MGoBoarders -- those whose accounts date back over 3 years -- will be roundly thanked, and will have first opportunity to earn MGoPoints via donations to the athletic department (at the standard 1-to-1 rate).
  • A $1,000,000 donation automatically enshrines the thing of your choice (regardless of what it is) into the MGoHOF.
  • For 10 Mil you can sleep with my wife.


February 29th, 2012 at 4:12 PM ^

1.  I would be explicit about the criteria, but at the same time make it generic.  I would make it that someone has to be special/inordinate attention on this blog.  That would bring in guys like Kovacs and Novak.

2.  I would not not limit it explicitly to the other sports.  If the criteria is as above, then there's already a lot of censoring.  You're not going to put in some great swimmer NORMALLY.  However, who's to say that some sport and athlete isn't going to capture our attention.  Recall, soccer a year-1/2 ago.  Lacrosse has potential.  I predict that there will be a softball player you guys fall in love with in the next 10 years.  There shouldn't be a presumption that a non-revenue athlete has to get in every year.

3.  I agree with Magnus above that the inagural classes should be bigger.  May I suggest doing say 3 every few months for the first year.  That will start some momentum.  That said, I wouldn't catch up (7x3=21) in just one swoop.  Leave people a little wanting for a while.

4.  Following on 1, it should definitely be limited to 2005 and on.

5.  You could consider non-athletes for special contributions, though I would DEFINITELY NOT INCLUDE POSTERS TO THE BLOG.  I was thinking more on the lines of coaches, maybe writers if  you were so inclined, etc.

6.  I would be farily democratic in who gets to vote.  I definitely wouldn't limit it to diarists and above.  I'm fine with a sliding scale of points & years on the blog.

7.  Love the idea, and I don't care about the opinions of anyone not of the Mgoblog community.


February 29th, 2012 at 4:18 PM ^

Great idea. Several questions:

  1. Will someone put up a pretty way to vote?
  2. I don't have time to read through the whole thread, but I'd like clarification on HOF vs. Grit. Because those are two different things.
  3. In a practical sense, this has to be limited to football, basketball, & hockey. However, I could see there coming a time when there would be a rare outlier who just has to be included. Someone from a future successful baseball or soccer team, for example.
  4. I would say that someone needs to be graduated from Michigan to be in the HOF. So technically, Kovacs & Hunwick would not yet be eligible. (I don't know the This would prevent someone who does a really knuckleheaded thing before they graduate (a la the guys at Ohio like TP) from being elected and then embarassing themselves and Michigan.
  5. I would be completely fine with a panel (Brian and mods? Maybe a guest stint from Tom VH & Tim Sullivan, along with the mods, along with coach types?) selecting the inaugural class for the mgoblog HOF. I guess it makes sense to me that the obvious people (Kovacs, Hunwick, VanBergen, Martin, Graham, Long, etc., etc.) be chosen be a knowledgable crew.




February 29th, 2012 at 4:19 PM ^

I like this idea.  Some thoughts:

Threshold - I agree with high voting percentage to get in.  As for entrants, I don't think it should be limited.  Some years will just have more deserving players than others.

Voters - I see the point of having limits using MgoPoints, but restricting to only those who do diaries will create profileration of new entries, go or bad, that will require more moderator action.  Not sure how big of an issue that is, but there are plenty of individuals on this blog who religiously follow Michigan sports and who would be qualified to vote.  If you are concerned, set up an application for those who want to participate in the voting process.  They have to show they know their stuff.

Committee - I recommend to Brian that he form a small committee of power users to review all of the proposals in this thread and discuss how they want to proceed.

Reward - how do we reward the entrants?  Clearly, a format for their 'plaque' on the site has to be created.  This blog has some very capable users who would probably love to be involved.  I wish I was more capable with programming or arts.

Other Sports - if it is not covered in some fashion on this site, it should not be included.  Now, we've had some users take the time to keep us all updated on other Michigan sports.  If we set the bar that it has to be covered in some detail (threshold to be set for coverage) then it will be included.  This may encourage other users to take the torch and start posting on their favoured sports they wish to have included, which will only further enhance the coverage of this blog.

B.M (or Before MgoBlog) - there are certainly worthy entrants prior to the existence of this blog.  I suggest doing something like the Veteran's Committee in baseball - pick a year or two in Michigan history, develop a list of potentially worthy individuals and hold a vote.  Those that get selected get a special entry in HOF.

Those are my thoughts.


February 29th, 2012 at 4:20 PM ^

Will we only be able to vote for people, or can we vote for inanimate objects that have been important to Michigan athletics?  For example, I'm thinking Tommy Amaker's tutleneck, Rich Rodriguez's red arm band, Lloyd Carr's alleged transfer papers, and Marlin Jackson's bottle.

Thanks, I'll hang up and listen.


February 29th, 2012 at 5:08 PM ^

Every June/July this happens.  Also, perhaps balloting for the MgoAwards (Team of the year, play of the year, etc.  

100+ point users can submit a ballot.  Perhaps require a $5 donation to Beveled Guilt, or some charity to cast a ballot.

Call it 75% to get in at any time.  The classes are kept smaller-ish by allowing a max of 7 HOF votes on an individual ballot.  This way, if there are several no-brainers, you can have a bigger class if the merit is there and voting support is strong and like-minded.  If there are a few borderline guys and no really deserving ones, the vote will divide more and  you will have a smaller class.

Love the idea of reaching out to any inductees and offering them an opportunity to write a piece for the blog upon inductions.

I would suggest for the first year, not inflating the amount of maximum votes on a particular ballot by a crazy amount.  Three times the norm should be sufficient to begin building this hall with the obvious inductees, while also probably leaving some guys for us to debate/induct in future years.


February 29th, 2012 at 5:16 PM ^

I don't think people like our amazing Sugar-Bowl winning kicker deserve to be in..just because he made an awesome kick and had an awesome post-game comment, this HOF has to be held for truly amazing players. RVB, Martin, and Molk? 3 from one team? I may be the very small majority here but I think this is why the 5 year wait is instituted, 5 years down the road we won't be so OMGSENIORSOFTEAM132, we'll have time to actually look at how they performed during their tenure compared to other Michigan greats. They very possibly may end up in the HOF, which I would be pumped about, I'm just hoping we don't make quick decisions and end up with a HOF flooded with fan favorites and one-hit wonders...hope that made some sense, if tweaked this will be seriously awesome!


February 29th, 2012 at 5:42 PM ^

I have thought about this quite a bit: 


When: Start the process in early summer when we are waiting desperately for fall camp, have no current season, and usually only worry about recruits and their camps.

Voters:  I’m not sure how to assemble this crew or who to leave it open to (Brian I would like to be included. PLEASE!!!!) but it needs to be at least 20 people to make 95% an option.  Depending on what percent someone needs to get it this panel may need to be very carefully picked.  Meaning, I would like those people to have a healthy grasp of the rules and standards for admission.  I thought of an option, where in order to vote you must pay a fee.  Make it $5 and everyone’s fee goes to Mott.

Minimum number of entrees: No.  No.  And, um, no.  This means yearly and the initial class which has a 20 person minimum.  I would say no to the 20 person minimum.  Don’t just vote someone in for quota sake.  I work at a small university and our HoF is ridiculous.  There are five inductees every year and it is so watered down.  It gets so bad that you can see people snicker in the stands when they read off accomplishments from some of the inductees.  That leads to….

Entrance: A high standard must be kept for everyone.  Extremely high.  Once you start with the “Yeah, but”s then the slippery slope starts and 3 years later you are sitting back and thinking how did Player X get in.  I like Brian’s example of 95% first year and so on, but I would stop it at 85%.  If you are going to make this special (an worth the time we all apparently are thinking about it) than make sure it is just that, special.

MgoAward: Please keep this entrance for people who had a special place in the blog.  Just because someone was First Team All-B1G doesn’t mean they need to get in.  This is the blog’s award and it should be kept special in its regard to us (us being the people who check for updates, read, and post more than we actually work).  Because of this I would suggest TacoPants and Lloyd Brady are options.  They are MGoBlog.

Celebration: I know it may be a stretch but some sort of celebration/unvailing/ceremony would be awesome.  Obviously this would take a lot of planning, but even if one of the inductees made it and talked about their love for M it would be tremendous.  I replied to someone else in this post and suggested a banquet with a $25-50 entry and all proceeds going to Mott.  This would make some sort of small trophy/award possible. Think about all the fun this would be.  If you were at Cooter Brown’s in New Orleans for bowl games on January 1st you know how tremendous this could be.  Have this in late July or early August and we will have sooooooo much to talk about.


February 29th, 2012 at 5:52 PM ^

Good thoughts in here but the last one I'm wary of. Imagine:

Seth: Hello, is this David Molk? Hello Mr. Molk, I am from MGoBlog and would like to congratulate you for being accepted to our Hall of Fame.


Seth: It is MGoBlog.


Seth: Yes.


Seth: Yes, dot-com, but we don't call it that we just call it....


Seth: No no that's the official site. Ours says "Blog" in it.


Seth: Yeah, that site! Anyway we are having this awards ceremony we would like to cordially invite you to attend.


Seth: But...I didn't...


Seth: No, it's not like that, we....


Seth: Look, most of the time we gave you really high point totals


Seth: It's just...I mean, you did kind of screw up a block once in awhile...


Seth: My name? Um....Heiko. Heiko Anbender. Um...goodbye.


February 29th, 2012 at 5:43 PM ^

I also don't like the idea of a hard per-year cap on nominees or entrants.  It seems arbitrary, and as others have mentioned, could result in viable candidates being snubbed in years when lots of good players graduate, or marginal candidates being admitted in years with low graduation losses.  Not to make things too complicated, but perhaps the thing to do is use kind of a bell-curve system like in college course grading.  Basically, allow voters to submit the names of players they think should be admitted, and then admit only the outliers (i.e., the people who would get A's or A+'s), the exact number of which could fluctuate from year to year, but likely fall within a consistent range? 

I also think there shoud be ways for a player to get into the HOF even if he or she misses the cut in their graduation year.  For instance, Tom Brady and Charles Woodson obviously graduated before 2005 but I feel their pro careers have helped build the Michigan tradition.  Perhaps there should be a "Wolverines in the Pros" category.  Just a thought.




February 29th, 2012 at 5:56 PM ^

I don't know.  I think it's a slippery slope.  I mean, if you let in one person, pretty soon you'll have to let in everyone - and I don't really know if I can honestly say I deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.


February 29th, 2012 at 5:58 PM ^

The first class of the MLB HOF had 5 inductees. It was an epic class that everyone remembers, Ruth, Cobb, Wagner, Mathewson and Walter Johnson. It was held in 1936, and there was a lot of baseball played before then.

Also, if  there is a veterans committee, as one of the three posters on this blog over 40, I nominate myself.


February 29th, 2012 at 6:33 PM ^

I haven't read all of the previous 200 comments, so forgive me if this has been considered. But how about a list a nominees get accumulated over the course of the school year, and in late spring/early summer there is a week long open voting period on the blog as to who gets accepted.

I don't think it should be limited to 1/sport/year. With the above idea, you'll have the list of everyone over the year to vote on, and the acceptance can be limited to the top 3 or 4 vote getters that also meet the percentage criteria. Brian can make the call each year whether to limit it to 3,4 or whatever based on his persuasions.

I like the sliding scale Brian thought of as well.


February 29th, 2012 at 6:42 PM ^

Could we include the number of times the player has been tagged in a post, as an additional (though incredibly flawed) interesting metric to gauge how much of an impact they had on the blog?

Also, it looks to me like a puck is going by Hunwick's head in that picture.


February 29th, 2012 at 6:54 PM ^

I do think there should be at least a one year wait after they graduate due to the normal overreacting to get in.  Also, the potential impact of someone who graduated the following season would really help put into perspective the effect of the player leaving. 


February 29th, 2012 at 6:55 PM ^

If theres a limited list of nominees voted on someone could be designated to write up a defense of why that person should be in. These could be the regular crew or invited guests -- here im thinking of Mgosoftball in the event a softball player was under consideration. Its like what they do in the pro football hall of fame.

Stats on post tags is an excellent idea to be part of the process, especially if its as i thought -- an mgoblog hof instead of an hof as determined by some subset of the mgoblog community.


February 29th, 2012 at 7:13 PM ^

  1. There should be no waiting period other than they no longer will put a jersey on with the maize and blue.  We need instant information and gratification, this is the internet fergodsakes.
  2. You set the guidelines.  That's why we pay you the big bucks.
  3. I think 5-7 athletes would be fine.  Like 2-3 football players, 1 BB, 1 Hockey, 1 Lacrosse and then the rest wildcards.
  4. See number 3, they should be wildcards.  If they are so dominant that football fans notice them, they should have a shot at getting in.

Marley Nowell

February 29th, 2012 at 7:48 PM ^

I don't think anyone should be admitted until their playing career is over.  Guys like Novak and Denard are obviously already in no matter what happens here on out, but to actually gain admittance it would be better to look at  a player's entire career.

My Former and Current List

Mike Hart


Jake Long



CJ Lee (was the key player to bring Michigan back to a tourney bid)




February 29th, 2012 at 8:00 PM ^

i like the idea of the 95% initially and decrease it by 5% every year. as far as people to induct every year i wouldn't want there to be a cap on it, just induct athletes that are deserving


February 29th, 2012 at 8:58 PM ^

Matko Maravic (grad. 2008) deserves to be in it. He was one of Berque's original players and was a captian and team anchor at #1 court. He played grit: staying behind the baseline, playing defense, wearing someone out. He played moxie: rushing the net at opportune moments and boxing the opponent out of existence. As a senior (2007) he helped lead Michigan to a 20-5 season record, and as a junior in 2006 Michigan went 20-7. Maravic was a rock-solid 1 court for Michigan and certainly deserves to be in the MGoHOF.



February 29th, 2012 at 10:10 PM ^

I would imagine the reading population of the blog goes well beyond those that comment regularly, and some people work in places that prevent commenting on internets during the day.  Id open the voting to all, and if it looks apparent that vote totals are heavily affected by trolls, call a redo.


February 29th, 2012 at 11:11 PM ^

Does there have to be a certain amount of players elected each year?

I mean initially, yes we would want to have more, but realistically, we might hit a couple years in which it is a really weak class for the MGHoF.  In which case we wouldn't just want to elect anyone into it.  What if it was like a ceratin point threshold, and that is discovered after reaching a certain percentage of votes.  I don't know exactly how it would work, but if you had to reach a certain percentage to make it to the second round, and then the second round you would have to reach a certain amount of points or something along those lines.


February 29th, 2012 at 11:25 PM ^

I know I'm (really) new and wouldn't even get to vote on these types of things but I'm 100% behind this idea.

I like the idea of a larger inugural class.  Once it's established how many inductees per year we should pick that many and enroll from 2005-present, as someone stated above.

I think one or two pre-2005 enrollees per year would be fine, may be call them "Legacy Picks" after all, we need to get Chuck in there sooner rather than later!


March 1st, 2012 at 2:59 AM ^

Great moments stand on their own, this is up to the curator to choose what they wish to exhibit.  Players go to a vote for finality, as the bar should be difficult, somewhere between Grad school standards,  and Kate Upton Approval.


March 1st, 2012 at 3:19 AM ^

My list of hockey players that should get a sniff for HOF since 2005:

1. Kevin Porter

2. Shawn Hunwick

3. Carl Hagelin

4. Jack Johnson

5. TJ Hensick

6. Chad Kolarik



1. Chad Henne

2. Mario Manningham

3. Jake Long

4. Mike Martin

5. Jordan Kovacs

6. Denard Robinson

7. LaMarr Woodley

8. David Molk

9. Brandon Graham

10. Mike Hart

11. David Harris

12. Steve Breaston

13. Adrian Arrington

14. Space Emperor

15. Leon Hall



1. Stu Douglass

2. Zach Novak

3. DeShawn Sims

4. Manny Harris

5. Daniel Horton

6. David Merritt/CJ Lee ???


Maize n Blue

March 1st, 2012 at 9:03 AM ^

I love RVB and his consistent showing in UFRs, but I'm thinking this HOF would reflect players' impact on the blog. Despite the flow, I would argue that those who should get in (in descending order) are: Novak,Martin, molk. Think Martin-smash and molk quotes.

Pretty sure Lloyd Carr would make it for 2008 btw. Despite our split opinions in his coaching- it was just that which gave us so much to talk about in the early blogspot years and beyond.


March 1st, 2012 at 9:38 AM ^

entered people into the hall on a year of graduation basis, starting in 2005, the beginning of the mgoblog era. We could do 2005 through 2012, to inaugurate the hall of fame. I'd say 3-5 new members per year, as all years are not created equal. That would give us a hall of fame of 25-30 to start, which seems like a good number. I'd say we consider people based solely on their years at michigan, ignoring things like NFL success. MGOBLOG could have a whole hall of fame week, at the end of which the inaugural classes would be inducted in some sort of live chat ceremony or something. Just my ideas.


March 1st, 2012 at 9:53 AM ^

We all remember the players and while an MGoHOF would be another way to memorialize their successes, it's not like similar lists don't already exist in our memories.

I would much prefer a MGoBoard Post/Reply HOF.  Will we remember Section 1's anti-freep diatribes?  How about some of the epic flameouts?  A quick link to the best user generated content would be something I would LOVE to see. 

Sons of Louis Elbel

March 1st, 2012 at 10:29 AM ^

In line w/what Butterfield said, I think our goal should be to recognize people/events/posts/themes that are of special importance to this community. Otherwise, we're just duplicating stuff that's already out there. Zack Novak will not be named an All-American (other than academic), but his UM career will always be more important/memorable to the MGoCommunity than, say, Jake Long's (no knock on Jake, obviously).


March 1st, 2012 at 11:43 AM ^

I'd like to lobby for a legends wing (or maybe the old farts wing). It's hard to see how you can have a hall of fame without names like Woodson or Rob Lytle. I realize that to the vast majority of you these are just historical phantoms, but for some of us they are very much a part of our personal experience, both as students and alums. 

They also are part of the tradition of acheivement that puts weight behind "it's Michigan fergodsakes!" 

Perhaps allow one a year for each decade starting with the earliest decade that a currently contributing member of MGoBlog attended. The nominations may only be made by someone who watched the nominee play. Maybe require a 20 year waiting period. 

All I'm saying is that those of us who attended when dinosaurs grazed in the big house participate here too and we probably have a few names worthy of consideration.