Not A Banner Day For Detroit Sports Sections

Submitted by Brian on August 3rd, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Is it ever?

The Free Press as translated by Doc Sat:

Never an operation to pass up a free shot at its favorite target, the Detroit Free Press reports today that giving to the Michigan athletic department was up more than 22 percent in 2010-11 over the previous year — a boon the Freep attributes entirely to spikes in January and February, after alumni darling Brady Hoke was hired to replace the heathen Rich Rodriguez as head coach.

Michigan downplays the effect of Rodriguez's exit, pointing instead to its efforts to sell out the luxury suites in Michigan Stadium that went unsold in 2009-10. Yes, but why did they go unsold? A good journalistic victory lap waits not for semantics.

The home schedules of the last two years with the best three games bolded:

2010 2011
UMass Notre Dame (@ night)
Michigan State San Diego State
Iowa Minnesota
Illinois Purdue
Wisconsin Nebraska
N/A Ohio State

/wanking motion directed at Free Press

And while I'm derisively profaning the Detroit media, here's some new guy making quite a first impression:

Children, for the most part, don't understand tradition.

That's just one reason why the University of Michigan needs a mascot.

Kids need a tangible reason to begin a lifelong fandom, and a furry wolverine mascot can keep them from becoming Spartans fans against their family's wishes.

I went to the University of Minnesota during a four-year span that included just one bowl game — a loss in the hallowed Insight Bowl — and little success in men's basketball and men's hockey, the other two most popular sports on campus.

But all the preteens and toddlers kept coming to games with the hope that Goldy Gopher might greet them with a high-five or a hug.

Josh Katzenstein understands tradition. He went to games in the Metrodome. Therefore he thinks the greatest attraction of a football game is a guy in a costume.

Here's what happens to kids at Michigan:

He was about ten. He was wearing a number seven jersey and when he took his hat off for the national anthem his hair was staticky. Before the game he was hopping up in down in an attempt to burn off nervous energy, and when Michigan ran out to touch the banner his mind was blown. He exclaimed "this is so AWESOME" as only a ten-year-old boy can. The words forced themselves out in self defense—if they hadn't the pressure would have given him an aneurysm. I know what that excitement is like. I remember getting a Nintendo.

I can't imagine what his mind is like four fighter jets, three overtimes, 132 points, and one last-play win later. He's probably sitting at his desk right now, mouth slightly ajar and drooling, involuntarily twitching out the words "so" and "awesome" as the rest of the class learns to count to 15 in Spanish. Plans to put him on ritalin have been temporarily shelved. His father has been asked "what did you do to the boy?" …

After the game we're walking up the bleachers and the kid's right in front of us, trying to show his father his hand. His father seems to acknowledge the hand, but not enough for the kid's taste. "I'm never washing this hand again," he says. "Denard gave me a high five."

In conclusion, paragraphs can contain more than one sentence and newspapers are the leading consumer of sippy cups nationwide.


Section 1

August 3rd, 2011 at 7:18 PM ^

But this one wasn't nearly as good as "L'Affaire Billboard"; when I was ridiculed and had one of my Diary posts taken down for rather carefully theorizing that the Spartan-grad managers of the CBS-Outdoor advertising office had put up the "Liar Liar Vest's On Fire" billboards last winter.  Not some unnamed Michigan alumnus.

A few of the MGoBlog faithful didn't want to believe it.  Some of them loved the (stupid and tasteless) billboards.  But Brian didn't like them, and neither did I.  So I checked it out.  Unlike about 800 credulous news outlets across the country.

And, as it happened, I was right, and Brian and I were vindicated.  But not until I had been accused of being from the Tinfoil Hat Brigade.

This one was fall-down easy by comparison.  It's just a few opinions anyway.  There's not much to argue about, because the Free Press didn't offer much by way of proof in any event.

This was and is Brian's blog.  Brian knows better than anybody that I haven't sucked up to MGoBlogAdministration.  We've had our disagreements.  But I'd write differently (and probably considerably less) if I knew that I was offending Brian's sensibilities and his outlook for his enterprise.

Oh and CONGRATULATIONS BRIAN Welcome back to the fray.


August 3rd, 2011 at 1:53 PM ^

But when I saw the Freep thing this morning I thought it was totally unnecessary. I didn't post it because, Freep, man...but it took a shot that wasn't needed, not completely accurate (I'm sure it was one small part of many, many things...but every change over anywhere creates excitement), and really, beating a dead horse. He's gone. He's not coming back. Get over it Freep.
<br>As for that painfully misguided ex-player said to the team right before Illinois, when they were getting cocky for going 1-1-1 against us....they don't get what they don't get. I think Minnesota can fall into that category. Though if I had to watch games at the Metrodome, my favorite thing might be the mascot too.


August 3rd, 2011 at 2:00 PM ^


I went to Minnesota, and I still live up here. Your favorite thing about going to Gopher games at Metrodome would've been the fact you could walk up to the concourses and drink beer.

That's the only downer about moving to TCF (though it's easy enough to sneak in booze bottles - my group snuck in at least a dozen to the U2 show 2 weeks ago).


August 3rd, 2011 at 2:04 PM ^

The Metrodome - what a worthless building for college football!  Perfect counterpoint to that argument - its not like Goldy helps keep MN recruits at home.  As a Minnesotan who came to UM for college - I can vouch that Big House football is indeed more fun that giving Goldy a high five.   Perfect counterpoint to that argument!  Also, its not like Goldy helps keep MN recruits at home - most of the good ones end up at Wisconsin or Iowa.   I would venture a guess that winning, not mascots, keeps the kids interested.


August 3rd, 2011 at 2:13 PM ^

As a child, I found 110,000 strong screaming in unision to be a hell of a lot more moving a moron in a fur suit.

A student I still remember the triple OT MSU game.  Freezing my ass off because I didn't dress warmly enough (the game was supposed to end before it got cold), hoarse from 4 quarters and 2 OTs of screaming.  When Braylon pointed at the student section though I screamed a hell of a lot louder than I would have for a mascot.

The whole problem with the direction of the program is cheapening it.  No water bottles.  No more 1 and 1s with exciting teams, a mascot, some ugly asymetric stadium (bleachers in one endzone), and maybe a constant stream of ads on the jumbotron.  Sooner or later we're going to reach the point of finding the straw that breaks the camel's back and I'm going to start skipping the MAC games or something.  Then maybe I'll skip the body bag games against the bottom third of the B1G.  I don't know where my breaking point is, but I'm afraid we're moving in the direction of finding it.

My memories of Michigan stadium are of a clean, noncorporate enviroment that I willingly sweltered in and froze in.  I have more attachment my couch and giant TV at home than I do to some NFL-lite version of Michigan.  I'm not paying 210 dollars to spend 12 quarters boredly watching ads on the jumotron while we slaughter CMU, EMU, and WMU in one season.


August 3rd, 2011 at 2:23 PM ^

Welcome to the get off my lawn blue haired fandom.
<br>More seriously, I don't know how we've managed to have more people come see our football games than anyone else without a mascot. Get that fuzzy little bastard and we'll have to expand the Stadium to 200,000, I guess.
<br>(And I really hate the asymmetrical stadium idea. If you're going to put them in, then both sides. No horseshoes).


August 3rd, 2011 at 2:15 PM ^

I have a 7-year-old brother.  I have brain-washed him into thinking, living, and breathing everthing that has to do with the University of Michigan.  I just pulled him over and asked him a series of questions.  The following is the list of questions along with his responses.


1) Do you know what a mascot is? Yes.

2) What is a mascot (asked for verification)? It's when somebody dresses up like the animal for the college.

3) Does Michigan have a mascot (again to verify he knows what he's talking about)? No.

4) Do you wish they had one? No...wait!!! It would be cool if they had a real one!

5) Like a real wolverine?? Yeah, a real one! Like the real animal.

6) Ok, but would you want someone to dress up like a wolverine?


Case closed.


August 3rd, 2011 at 2:14 PM ^

Has anyone ever seen Brian and Section1 together at the same time?  It's beginning to make sense now.  Maybe Captain "The Chance of Brady Hoke Being the Coach is 0%" should take it easy when criticizing other members of the media.


August 3rd, 2011 at 3:07 PM ^

Oh c'mon...that shit's funny.  Brian posted a similar thread after the original "Not Again" thread!  The Freep kinda fucked us.  Done.  Agreed.  Don't you think it's time for folks to get over it already?  

All media outlets have made some missteps in recent years.  Maybe it's a better plan to focus on the good things going on now then to continually reach back for something to be upset about.

lexus larry

August 3rd, 2011 at 3:16 PM ^

 "Al"All media outlets..."  All?

"...some missteps..."  The Fr**p has only made "some missteps?"  How few are some, and how many do you get to make until the sentence changes to "quite a few" or "a lot?"

"Maybe it's...focus on the good things...then (sic) to continually reach back..."  Who exactly brought Rich Rod into the conversation in the first place?

Please, in your role as managing editor at the Fr**p, stop the snark aimed at U-M, and dredging up Rich Rod as the source of plaque, economic doldrums and unsightly razor rash.

Thank you.


August 3rd, 2011 at 2:24 PM ^

Josh Katzenstein probably should have taken note of all the empty seats next to those preteens and toddlers at the Minnesota games. The invisible fans evidently are big fans of mascots.


August 3rd, 2011 at 2:59 PM ^

So wait. I thought the bearded dumb "man ball" "Michigan man" fan hated Rich and undermined the goliath he would have otherwise built. If they did hate him that much, (as is beaten senseless by Brian and some posters) is it too much of a leap to think those fans would not spend serious money to support his direction?   

Then when the classic "I am not Rich" hire takes over complete with the old school Michigan roots and talking points, interest and spending suddenly awaken?

I think if we are really honest with ourselves, the Freep probably made a rational connection in the article.  Save the indignation for the more obvious baseless attacks by that rag. Should they have pointed out other factors? Yeah sure. But it's the Freep and they likely nailed the biggest one.


lexus larry

August 3rd, 2011 at 3:26 PM ^

the Board thread that Section 1 started, with 110+ responses.  A nice poster who supports M Lacrosse indicates that the lions share of the delta came from a 2-3 donor avalanche of dollah bills (~$5M out of the ~$5.5M increase).

So, let's be honest with ourselves, and not let the Fr**p write stupid things without questioning them.

lexus larry

August 3rd, 2011 at 4:23 PM ^

Or just chose to ignore?

I stated where to find the info.  Reader MLAX27 presented that a couple donors put up $5M, out of the $5.3M increase reported by your friends at the Fr**p (which was then attributed to the Hoke effect, as opposed to how it actually came into place).


August 3rd, 2011 at 3:03 PM ^

A mascot is needed to keep kids interested in the team?  Not parents taking them to games, watching the games on TV, listening to the games on the radio?  I am a fan becasue of Bo, Ufer, Leach, and AC.

PAWS is cute, but I don't think parents are taking kids to Tiger games because their kids are begging to go in order to meet him.  Verlander and Miggy probably have more to do with drawing kids to the park than PAWS.


August 3rd, 2011 at 6:20 PM ^

I feel you, man.  Baseball is boring.  But Michigan football is not.  We don't need curly fries or a kid in an animal costume to distract or entertain us.  But if Brandon can make a few bucks selling stuffed animals, it just might happen.  So it goes.  If we do submit to our corporate overlords with a mascot, than we should also have an anti-mascot and it absolutely must be the Noid.


August 3rd, 2011 at 3:08 PM ^

I echo those who say the stadium alone is enough to make you a fan for life when you're a little kid. 

The first time I walked inside the big house as a 5 year old, that was enough to cast a spell on me that remains to this day.  (It's kind of like asking, "What is this magnificent place?") When you're in kindergarten, 100,000 people looks no different than a million.  

I'm not strongly on either side of the mascot debate.  With that said, I did not need a mascot to fall in love with this team.  I had the shrine of college football.  


August 3rd, 2011 at 3:08 PM ^

1. Michigan has fans.

2. Michigan does not have a mascot.

3. Michigan does not need a mascot.

4. QED.

I'm a Michigan fan for the same reason as everyone else: my dad made me watch the games, and they won most of the time. Plus the helmets look cool. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to sing The Victors to my 6 week old son to get him to sleep again.