Unverified Voracity Digs Up Old Feuds

Submitted by Brian on July 14th, 2008 at 2:40 PM

It might suck, though. Michigan Sports Center has been scouring Internet message boards for information on NCAA 09 and reports back with some problems:

To incorporate "wide open gameplay," the defenses in NCAA 09 reportedly have been incredibly dumbed down. By this, I mean that it is far too hard to play defense when lining up against the computer. When you are on defense, most people have reported that the opposing computer quarterback are way too accurate. The norm is only five or so incompletions a game according to some, and that is only because of dropped passes. On top of that, the computer's offensive line supposedly is way too dominant, even against the best teams in the game. With an extremely accurate QB and barely any pass rush, the results aren't good.

There are also widespread difficulties with editing the rosters (which I couldn't care less about, especially since you can download a whole roster for free from inside the EA Locker). Bill Abner's continued to post impressions at his blog and remains pleased -- "if I had to return the game and then decide whether or not to buy it, I'd be in line just like the rest of you, forking over my $60 and change" -- despite some annoyances; I trust him over some of the inveterate whiners that populate video game message boards. (Not that they don't have a point, but sometimes it's a bit much.) Abner does futz with the sliders excessively, so the issues above may be real on All American with default sliders but obviated if you're willing to tweak.

Law and Toomer. In the Thursday post rebutting Michael Rosenberg's column on Rich Rodriguez, I made passing reference to the distance between former Michigan stars Ty Law and Amani Toomer and Lloyd Carr. A couple folks have asked for background. Law left for the NFL after his junior year when his family filed for bankruptcy, and Carr did not take it well:

"He didn't care for me leaving, and I wasn't welcomed back for a while," said Law of Carr, who was Michigan's defensive coordinator but replaced Gary Moeller as head coach for what would have been Law's senior season.

Law says Carr "actually told me -- and that's what I feed on until this day -- that I would never see the third round. And that kind of hurt me. I know I thought I was one of the better players here on the team."

The animosity lingers; see the sidebar of that Page 2 article for further detail.

Toomer's issues with Carr are vaguer but just as real:

Did you hear from any of your former U-M teammates or Lloyd Carr after the win? No. The last time I heard a word from Lloyd was when I was playing in a (Michigan) game; it was my last play of my senior year. I caught a touchdown from Brian Griese, and I was walking off the field and Lloyd looks at me, looks at Griese, looks at me again, and goes, "Good throw, Brian." And that's the last thing he ever said in my direction.

Did you have a good relationship with Carr while at U-M? I thought we did, but I guess we didn't. So I don't know. I wasn't too upset to see the whole regime change.

FWIW.

Le Dominator is French for The Dominator. Pacioretty hype from Montreal's prospect camp continues to come fast and furious:

While Trevor Timmins, the Canadiens' director of recruitment, was reluctant to talk about individual players, he did venture the opinion that Pacioretty is "head and shoulders" above his peers.

... et chaque ...

Take this to the bank, people: Max Pacioretty will be with the big club when the 2009-'10 season begins. And he's going to be a good one.

But where will he be playing this fall? Probably Yost:

Pacioretty has played one season at the University of Michigan. It's unlikely he'll stay there for a full four years, but he is expected to return in September.

Knock on wood and all that. If he does return, plan on it being a Jack-Johnson-like victory lap, hopefully one just as freakin' awesome as JMFJ's senior year.

Cross is boss. Wolverine Historian has compiled the 2001 Illinois game, a comprehensive beating applied with some panache. I had totally forgotten what I think were back-to-back trick plays that got Michigan its first touchdown, and Todd Howard is subject to the most spectacular facemask penalty I've ever seen. In full:

Another day, another jab. The Ann Arbor News takes the opportunity presented by the "Rodriquez" settlement to launch another broadside at the athletic department. This was my favorite part:

Michigan used to be unique amid a national trend that's seen programs at other schools become less about student athletes and much more about the money that marquee sports can generate.

This isn't just orthogonally wrong, it's the exact opposite of right. The first sentence in Don Canham's Wikipedia article is "he became nationally-renowned for his ability to market and sell products bearing the name or logo of the school." Canham himself:

The only thing I did know was that were going to draw a hell of a lot more people than we ever did. Up until then, schools did not advertise. I almost got fired when I flew a helicopter advertising Michigan football over the World Series (in Detroit) in 1968. That was considered undignified. We ran ads in magazines and all the Detroit suburban newspapers. Our big gimmick was that we mailed ticket applications - that first year we mailed 400,000 ticket applications and sold coffee cups and things like that. We paid for the ads with the coffee cups. The premiums we came up with paid for it all.

The only thing unique about Michigan's place in the college football money grab was its status as first-mover. The rest of it is a complaint seemingly from another universe: Michigan's athletic department leadership has "little if any accountability or openness." The dastardly bastards in charge finished third in the Director's Cup, saw all their teams easily clear the NCAA's APR hurdles, and ran a massive surplus doing it. They must be held accountable!

By any reasonable standard the Michigan athletic department is one of the best in the country. It supports a massive number of student-athletes, does extraordinarily well in sports across the board, and does so without draining a dime from the university's general fund. Since the Ed Martin affair over a decade ago there hasn't been even the barest hint of NCAA problems. For this it gets harsher coverage from its local media than any program in the country.* I'm not asking for mindless homerism, but how about a shred of perspective?

The Ann Arbor News lists the phone numbers and email addresses for Martin, Coleman, and the Regents, exhorting you to "send a message." I suggest you send a different message to an organization that evidently has no interest in covering Michigan fairly by calling 734-994-6989. That message: "cancel my subscription."

*(I assume. No one else has been the target of a week-long investigative series that turned up virtually nothing, right? Washington might have a case given the Seattle Times' recent exhumation of the Neuheisel era at UW, but that actually seemed targeted at UCLA. If the Columbus Dispatch tried this they'd be under seige. Probably literally.)

Etc.: The NYT preview of Michigan approvingly references MGoBlog but contains some glaring errors ("Michigan did not land one quarterback recruit in the 2008 class"); Jim Brandstatter snaps back at Rosenberg; Michigan favored by seven against Utah.

Comments

bdubya

July 14th, 2008 at 2:49 PM ^

"There are also widespread difficulties with editing the rosters (which I couldn't care less about, especially since you can download a whole roster for free from inside the EA Locker)." That would be fine if the problems weren't caused by downloading the rosters from the EA locker.

turbo cool

July 14th, 2008 at 3:10 PM ^

I hate that the A2 news is completely ignorant and irresponsible in their 'journalism'. I grew up in a2 before going to michigan and don't remember them being this negative, but perhaps they were. Anyway, it's really unbelievable how blind they can be to what they don't want to acknowledge. Brian made a good point about Don Canham, who is considered one of the best college AD's ever. He completely reinvented the wheel at Michigan and basically every other college followed his lead in marketing the hell out of their programs to make money. But, the A2 News fails to acknowledge that because it is so easy to antagonize Rich Rodriguez and the new era of Michigan sports. This is getting out of hand. Of all the college towns in the country, I would think Ann Arbor would be most open to change and a new direction. Apparently not.

Casa Grande

July 14th, 2008 at 5:37 PM ^

A lot of news organizations seem to set up this mentality of "gotcha" and that anyone who makes bank is somehow doing so on the take or against the rules. 

TRUST ME if we printed the home phone numbers of the Editors they would have a coniption.  Their argument would be that they are not public figures in charge of the public trust.  However, newspapers have pretty much enjoyed a monopoly in their hometowns with regulators looking the other way.  It's always been a case of the "do-gooders" trying to uncover something untoward - even if nothing untoward is going on.  It's how they operate.

They also have a very anti-profit mentality, execpt where the newspaper is concerned.  If the football team or athletic department makes money, it's a bad thing.  If the paper makes money, it's expected. 

Funny though how the marketplace of information has caught up with the newspapers and places like MGoBlog have taken over the position of being THE place for information about something folks care about like M sports. 

I know Brian is a fan but he's no shill.  If something WRONG was going down, I know he'd call it out.  Otherwise he'd be labeled as a shill and readership of MGoBlog would spiral downward.  The paper in it's effort to appear "independent" continues to cut off its nose to spite its face.   You can't stomp on the very entity that makes people want to read you for info without losing contacts within that entity or readership or both.

It's OK to investigate how things are run.  It's another to make insinuations and print phone numbers of the people in charge to CREATE an atmosphere that something is wrong when apparently it isn't.

  

  

NCBlue22

July 14th, 2008 at 3:16 PM ^

Ahh the forgotten 2001 season. I also enjoyed the "calvin bell reverse". We need a new designated reverse guy, I nominate any of the small, electron guys like odoms, trob, or shaw.

oriental andrew

July 14th, 2008 at 3:25 PM ^

the Rock of Journalistic Credibility that is the NYT references a site (er, yours) that is "not exactly a rock of journalistic credibility." Speaking of rocks and saber-toothed tigers (in my mind, anyway), what happened to your glowing (ahem) praise (cough) sidebar? Maybe you need new glowing (hack) praise (snort).

AnthonyC

July 14th, 2008 at 3:33 PM ^

I just want a good college football game and the last few have been virtually unplayable. I'm crossing my fingers that this year's is better. I won't buy it new, though, as I refuse to give EA Sports another sale.

bsb2002

July 14th, 2008 at 4:11 PM ^

that AA news article is nonsensical. what are they even mad about? and how does it relate to student athletes and the academic "scandal"?

imafreak1

July 14th, 2008 at 4:18 PM ^

Not exactly on topic, but I read that Page 2 item about Law and was particularly interested in his interaction with Woodson right after the ‘Tuck Rule’ game. So, Law’s team beat Woodson’s team in the playoffs in dramatic last second fashion after an odd rule over turned a fumble (caused by Woodson) on replay unequivocally changing the outcome of the game . In response, Law followed Woodson onto the team bus, after Woodson already avoided him, to talk trash with Woodson. Wow, that’s pretty uncool. I am equally concerned by Carr’s alleged vindictiveness. Everyone should just agree to confine their abuses of each other to the internet.

turbo cool

July 14th, 2008 at 5:29 PM ^

IF that is true law is a bag of dooch. nobody, NOBODY talks to shit to he who is Charles Woodson, the greatest player at michigan i've seen in my short lifetime. #2 is a michigan legend, the same can't be said for law. but really, if you're comparing any defensive player in college football history to Woodson they don't compare. he always will be the best, i.e., he f'n won the heisman.

caup

July 14th, 2008 at 5:00 PM ^

He showed an INCREDIBLE amount of restraint in his response to the article of that faggot Rosenberg. I'd have been unable to keep from going off on a Valenti-esque rant, much to my own discredit. Brandy, a tip of the cap to you, sir.

karpodiem

July 14th, 2008 at 5:13 PM ^

If what Law says is actually true, with respect to what Carr told him, that is truly embarrassing, and a much bigger deal than that stupid carty story/recent rosenberg piece. Like I said though, _IF_ that is actually true.

gsimmons85

July 14th, 2008 at 5:48 PM ^

if the thud thud, is happening during the exercise, its a power clean, not a hang clean......

 im thinking maybe the guy is talkign about the thud, after the players drop the weight after a set, not going all the way to the ground ala power clean..

i like both... and use both.....

most colleges prefer to knwo how much a kid can hang clean nowadays...

hat

July 14th, 2008 at 8:38 PM ^

Brian - et chaque means "and each." Did you mean to say "and this one"? That would be et celui-ci. (Hey, I remember some of the French I took for years and years! W00t!)

mooseman

July 14th, 2008 at 10:22 PM ^

Rodriquez is probably suprised to get such a cold reception from the "home town" media. (I know I am). It seems in the nerdland that is sports print journalism there is no worse charge than being labelled a "homer". The difficulty is that it creates these over-the-top columns taking the opposite perspective. Rosenberg's column could have taken a somewhat different approach and made a more reasonable and accurate statement. That statement being that in order to progress and compete in the modern era, Michigan went after a young, outsider with the typical baggage that a coach who is a mover and a shaker will bring. The essential message could have been "get used to some negative pub, 4 million dollar buyouts,etc because this is the price of replacing the outmoded Lloyd Carr". Sharp's piece should have taken the "all eyes will be on RR and how he punishes Grady as it will set the tone for his program". Instead, Grady should have his balls cut off, his limbs spread to the four corners of the earth, he should be kicked off the team and his name never spoken aloud in Schembechler Hall. Hell, even the AA News could have taken an Emperor Has No Clothes approach--"Hey, you arrogant Wolverines. Our extensive research shows that you are probably no better than most other major college programs" rather than suggesting that we somehow make SMU's offenses pale in comparison. Once again, I'm not asking for rah, rah journalism. I just want a reasoned, researched column that doesn't read like something the junior sports editor for the OSU student newspaper would write.

Tim Waymen

July 14th, 2008 at 11:56 PM ^

So, you can set the music for different situations for each team. You know what that means...Barry Manilow, Barbara Streisand, and Celine Dion for OSU 1st downs, TDs, and turnovers. The only problem--if you actually want to call it a problem--is that I don't own such music, pretty much because I am so manly. For UM, I might just use some hot tracks by A Gizzle himself, Brent "Get Bent" Petway. No, he is not actually called "Get Bent."

Lordfoul

July 15th, 2008 at 8:08 AM ^

It was interesting to watch that 2001 footage. I had forgotten just how varied and efficient our offense was back then. It really shows how much Carr's buying into the zone stretch handicapped us in a lot of ways. Mike Hart would have had 500 extra yards behind that blocking I bet.

dex

July 15th, 2008 at 9:24 AM ^

"Yards per game jumped from 161 to 175 (maybe that doesn't sound like much, but keep in mind that games were approximately 10% shorter last year because of the late, unlamented Rule 3-2-5e). The rush offense's ranking went from #44 to #21. Yards per carry leapt from 4.3 to 4.9. Mike Hart found the first success of his career against Ohio State and was held under 90 yards just once, when the offensive line elected to not participate in the Rose Bowl. The zone was good to Michigan."

I'm not sure you know what you are talking about, Lordfoul.  

Lordfoul

July 15th, 2008 at 9:33 AM ^

I was thinking mostly of last season.  I thought the 2006 zone stretch was great for Hart and Michigan mostly because it was new.  But in 2007 when our opponents had seen it and could better prepare for it I thought we had defenders stuffing us on the run far more.  Plus it became obvious IMHO that putting Minor and Brown in for an injured Hart made the predictability of the stretch glaring.  Of course there were big runs for those two but no consistancy.  Nice to see you having an original thought there dex, can't get by without quoting Brian?

dex

July 15th, 2008 at 9:46 AM ^

I could have looked up the numbers myself, but doing that seems a little pointless when Brian had already laid out the argument.

It appears you are the type that believes coaches can come up with these magic bullet schemes that can't be stopped. Have you considered the dropoff in offensive line play as a reason the zone didn't work as well, as well as the lack of passing threats since Henne was injured and Mallett was basically ineffective, either due to youth or lack of coaching confidence in him?

Or is it just a lot easier to go "lol zone left first [email protected][email protected]" and make blanket assumptions?

Paging GSimmons for "jimmies and joes not x's and o's" backup, please.  

Lordfoul

July 15th, 2008 at 11:30 AM ^

I appreciate your observation that I "appear" to be this or that type of whatever.  I am not.  What you say of less effective line play is valid though mostly it was the same line (except of course shilling getting owned alot).  And of course the pass attack was more limited with mallett/injured henne.  I think that the line play last year was mostly due to defenses knowing what was coming and that Hart was the only back we had that could make it work at all, mostly by juking defenders in the backfield and refusing to go down on first contact.  It would have been interesting to see if Carr, had he stayed, would have abandoned the stretch without Hart to make it work.  I hypothetically think that he would not have for a season or more and the stretch would have looked worse and worse.

As far as the footage from 2001, it no doubt looks better because of better line play and it being a cut of mostly great plays for Michigan.  I guess I just miss that dominant feeling that has been missing in the recent past.

Still, your points are valid, if your style leaves something to be desired.

bsb2002

July 15th, 2008 at 9:37 AM ^

2001 offense was neither varied or efficient. the OC got fired after the season remember. we just had to run a lot of trick plays and funky stuff because navarre was so bad and we didnt have a very good runningback either. that illinois game was easily the best they played all year

Lordfoul

July 15th, 2008 at 11:36 AM ^

I'm just hungering for that dominant feeling that Michigan will own most teams on any given saturday.  Thinking back, Navarre 2001 was full of fail.  Still, I think we will all miss some of those great looking passes from the video.  Hopefully the 50+ yard scrambles in '09 and beyond will make up for it!

The Barking Sp…

July 15th, 2008 at 10:29 AM ^

With the southeast Michigan media intent on piling on the Rich Rod era in a negative way, the question now becomes one of whether or not a seemingly embattled coach will be pestered and pestered until he one day throws his arms up and says: "Get me the hell outta here!". I've always felt that when the dust settles and RR begins winning at UM, the bullshit will subside and these media types will be in line to wash RR's undies after another big victory, but I'm not so sure. They've taken a adversarial position that goes beyond differences in opinion or ideology and dives way into character assassination and childish tactics with the publication of emails, phone numbers, and addresses. It's total bunk, and one that can put the two sides (the AA News especially) forever at odds with each other. Do Rich Rod and crew take the high road and welcome these Hearst wannabes in to see the real face of the program, or do they do something like revoke press credentials and not speak to them on record in the future? And as I said earlier, if the press there refuses to relent with their brand of fire and brimstone moral preaching and doesn't put this behind them and concentrate on the future, at what point might Rich Rod give up the fight and decide to move on to places where he will at least be given the room to prove that these baseless charges and ridiculous opinions are simply untrue? Rich Rod isn't replacing a "legend" in any sense of the word. He's replacing a guy who (somewhat) maintained the thing a true legend built and who caught lightning in a bottle one year and won ONE national championship. Other than that, 5 Big Ten chapmionships in thirteen years (only TWO outright), and getting embarrassed on national television for the last seven years isn't really the stuff of legends, and doesn't merit putting the guy who replaces him on the hot seat as so often happens to guys who follow truly legendary coaches.

Rush N Attack

July 15th, 2008 at 10:34 AM ^

"On the first goal, Pacioretty drove the net and was slammed after scoring by Andrew Conboy, who was chosen 120 picks after Pacioretty in the 2007 draft. Conboy is a 6'4" bruiser who managed to rack up 188 minutes in penalties playing in the relatively tranquil – by Canadian major-junior standards – USHL.

Conboy will be a freshman at Michigan State this fall. If Pacioretty returns to Michigan – which he probably will – they'll be seeing more of each other. "

SFBayAreaBlue

July 15th, 2008 at 11:39 AM ^

all the bases covered. If we lose or win a close game vs. Utah rosenberg will write a scathing piece about how richrod isn't the right coach for michigan. If we blow them out by 50 points drew assclown sharp will call him classless. A no win situation.