Unverified Voracity Discusses Swoosh Stuff Comment Count

Brian July 8th, 2015 at 12:42 PM


I don't get it. I mean, I get it: when Seth said he wanted to do a post about what Adidas inflicted on us I was like YES THAT. A combination of incompetent Germans and a weak or nuts AD was literally not a pretty sight over the past few years. I don't get the WOO NIKE half of that:

"We certainly heard it from fans a fair amount, 'when's Nike coming back?' " says Scott Hirth, co-owner of the M Den, Michigan's official athletic retailer. "There's no two ways around it, and there's no way to sugar coat it. Adidas and football success didn't go hand in hand, and we can't dispute that.

"I think for a lot of fans, it's a feeling of 'Michigan's the best, Nike's the best, Michigan should be with Nike.' "

A shirt's a shirt to me. A jersey is a jersey until it becomes two halves of a jersey flopping in the wind. Nike is no stranger to fashion disasters itself. A lot of people are super happy about this because they owe brand loyalty* to a company that probably makes much of its stuff in literally the same buildings other apparel companies do. So it's a bit weird.

*[I reserve brand loyalties for places they really matter: tortillas. Mission forever. If you bring Azteca into my home I will bludgeon you with them and then kick you out.]

But whatever man, I'm happy you're happy. For athletes it's a different story, of course: the gear is important, especially shoes. And Nike seems to have reputation there that is worth something.

If it makes them happy and a bunch of other people happy, that is a good thing to do even if it does not grow the bottom line as much as possible. The athletic department isn't a profit-driven enterprise, so what should it drive to? Making its stakeholders happy. This appears to do that.

And it might not even leave money on the table. I wonder what metrics Hackett is using when he says this:

Jim Hackett has no problem saying that Michigan's new apparel deal is the largest in the country, topping any other collegiate apparel contract.

Hackett, speaking with a handful of reporters on campus Tuesday, said Michigan would have netted the country's largest apparel deal from Nike, Under Armour or Adidas, but ultimately opted to return to the swoosh.

I wonder because of that reportedly bonkers Under Armour offer to Texas, and reports that Nike was coming in under the other two companies. If other company X is willing to offer more to Michigan they will probably offer more to someone else as well. Not because they're worth more than Michigan. Because it's worth more to company X to have something approximating Michigan.

We'll find out soon enough, and I bet he's right in some way or another since they're going to release numbers next week. I mean, you'd think so. It's common sense. I am going to apply that now.

He's got an average of being excellent. Last April a mailbag post contained a rundown of the various negotiations Michigan executed during the Brandon era. The results there were not pretty:

  • Brady Hoke was hired and then paid top ten numbers,
  • Michigan was stuck in a different division than OSU (with a crossover game),
  • Michigan got an unpleasant home/road split in the 14-team league,
  • Notre Dame punked Michigan when they ended the contract,
  • Mitch McGary did not have his suspension reduced despite the NCAA changing their rules about pot tests
  • Al Borges was offered a 300k raise.

Since Hackett has arrived he has hired Jim Harbaugh for far less than he would get from an NFL team and locked down a Nike contract that can be plausibly called the biggest in the country. What do you think about THAT, Bastian Schweinsteiger?


I agree: not bad at all.

Maize. Maize is not blinding yellow. It is not regular yellow. It is an orangey yellow. It is like the image that leads this post. If Michigan actually starts wearing maize that would be nice.

A jumping man. Nike's Jordan thingy is part of their deal with Michigan. I made an offhanded comment about it in the news post about the deal and got several "NO, SERIOUSLY" replies in the comments and on twitter about it. More detail is available at MLive:

According to a Nike spokesperson, Michigan basketball will become the fifth program outfitted by Jordan Brand. The Jordan Brand currently outfits North Carolina, Georgetown, California and Marquette in men's basketball and North Carolina and Georgetown in women's basketball.

That is a weird—but exclusive!—grouping of teams to join. It includes a team that just locked down Jaylen Brown, who repeatedly said he'd play at an Adidas school. Good job, good effort, Adidas.

Anyway. If any logo on a thing can get recruits to sign up for something it appears to be this logo. I think cold, hard cash works better, though.

GAMBLING! ESTABLISHMENT! AND SO FORTH! Ole Miss is being investigated for hijinks in the recruitment of Laremy Tunsil, a five-star OL who walked right into their starting OL. Tunsil was just arrested for domestic assault against his stepfather, who apparently took whatever cash was on offer from TMZ for photos.

His stepfather says the incident happened because "Tunsil exploded on him for voicing his displeasure about the college star hanging out with sports agents," a story so implausible Michigan could have come up with it in the immediate aftermath of the Shane Morris incident. Dollars to donuts the stepfather has flipped on the kid after gently guiding his recruitment.

Minnesota, 1988. Via Wolverine Historian:

The weather was un-good.

Well, when you lay it out like that… MLive has a slideshow of Brady Hoke's old coaches and where they ended up. I'm sure we've addressed it before, but yikes man:

  • OKAY: Greg Mattison stuck in Ann Arbor as the DL coach. Roy Manning is at Washington State. Doug Nussmeier is Florida's OC.
  • IS THAT A REAL PLACE? Dan Ferrigno is at San Jose State with Al Borges. Darrell Funk is at Akron. Jeff Hecklinski is at Colorado State-Pueblo. Doug Mallory is at Wyoming. Mark Smith is at Florida Tech. Fred Jackson hasn't landed yet, if he's going to stay in coaching.

Hoke's coaching tree is comparable to Lloyd Carr's minus Brady Hoke. Woof.

I am in favor of this. Former Oregon State AD Bob De Carolis retired a year ago and has been brought in as a "senior adviser" at Michigan. We are just Joe Parker and Bruce Madej away from The Expendables: Athletic Department Edition.

De Carolis brought in Hutch and was well-loved at Oregon State, FWIW.

Another guy. Former UConn OC TJ Weist has been hired at Michigan as an "analyst," which probably means he'll break down tape and help with gameplanning:

Weist is not a Michigan assistant, which means he's not an active recruiter and his coaching duties will be limited by NCAA rules.

"T.J. has a wealth of coaching experience and will be an excellent addition to our staff," Harbaugh said in a statement. "He has shown the ability to develop countless NFL caliber wide receivers over his career and has immense knowledge of the collegiate game. He will be a great asset to our program."

Weist is a former Jack Harbaugh guy and Michigan native, so this is an obvious fit. Michigan appears to be spending its money on having a good football program instead of… not that. This will help happiness, and help make more money.

Etc.: MI/WV SF Miles Bridges says he wants to visit Michigan again. Kentucky though. More decals with Sap. OSU LB talks trash on Twitter. "Split zone" from James Light. Also this is a really cool and sneaky coverage in which a corner plays man press for about ten yards before bailing on his WR in an effort to trap the QB into a bad throw.



July 8th, 2015 at 12:47 PM ^

It's a big deal because Adidas is 2nd best, Michigan is not. When you're wearing your teams gear/logo, and you're among the enemy in the workplace, you want to feel like you have best stuff (after wins and losses of course). Adidas made garbage - just pure garbage. Nike makes some nice stuff.

I think because Brian lived in A2 and is largely immune to the sparty coworkers, it doesn't seem like a big deal, but it matters to a degree.

You want the best team with the best apparel provider. Play good, look good, feel good.

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July 8th, 2015 at 12:52 PM ^

I felt almost ashamed to wear a highlighter yellow shit with the word "Maize" printed on the chest. I felt like I needed sweet shades, several wrist bands, a red solo cup, and a pocket full of E to complete the ensamble. My several neon yellow shirts will soon find a new home in the bottom of my trash can.

Surveillance Doe

July 8th, 2015 at 1:24 PM ^

I like a nicely distinguished shade of yellow, and I think that logo at the top of the post hits the spot. The older more orangey yellow is too close to the Iowa yellow, which has alway seemed dated to me. The contrast of the maize and blue under a noon sun when the team runs out of the tunnel is about as good as it gets. 


July 8th, 2015 at 1:46 PM ^

Thank you for your totally arbitrary comment. We are all so jealous of your affinity for a faceless, souless corporation that, as brian pointed out, has its clothing produced in the same southeast Asian factories, using the same materials, as Adidas. This is turning into a joke. Nike and Adidas are the exact same company. Your love for one is a testament to your propensity for being wooed by multi-million dollar marketing campaigns. What a life!


July 9th, 2015 at 3:11 PM ^

Even if you accept the statement that the two brands are made in the same factories, which is actually unproven, but let's say they are: that does nothing to come close to validating that claim. Many store brands are made in the same factory as name brands, and actually do use different materials. And the biggest difference by far in any clothing item is not where it is sewed--it is the design. Design rules in many things, and design is unique, and design comes from individuals with different taste--and design is where people fault Adidas, or prefer Nike, or Under Armour etc


July 8th, 2015 at 2:05 PM ^

Is there anyone else that's not going to change their habits at all and keep buying the American Apparel stuff from Moe's/MGoStore?

I keep seeing all these apparel quality arguments from fans and I'm starting to think I'm taking crazy pills; Adidas didn't make the highest quality M gear and neither will Nike.


July 8th, 2015 at 6:03 PM ^

if we have a choice in our consumption habits (last time I checked, I do), why wouldn't I prefer to wear the better apparel? This is why I stopped buying Michigan gear a few years ago. Why spend another dollar if I can wait until Michigan signs with Nike again?


July 8th, 2015 at 1:59 PM ^

I would like to know a workplace where you wear apparel for college teams to such a degree that other people, wearing different apparel, get into arguments with you regarding the quality of said apparel.

Honestly, it's like those dumb GM/Ford/Chrysler arguments people used to get into growing up, where you'd argue one huge, multi-national corporation "got it" better than another.  Nike seems to be more popular with a vocal minority of the fanbase, and if it doesn't really cost anyone too much then by all means switch.  But rest assured those underpaid workers in Vietman stitching those $49 polos together don't give two craps about the inter-office pissing contests going on half a world away.


July 8th, 2015 at 2:39 PM ^

Someone wrote a great op ed about Apple's response to Taylor Swift's open letter that touched on a lot of these issues too, but I can't find it anywhere. The crux is that you don't become one of the world's richest corporations by bleeding cash and she gave them the out they were looking for to save face among Apple fans.


July 8th, 2015 at 5:57 PM ^

There is no argument, it's known. Adidas is just inferior from a design standpoint with respect to Michigan apparel, material composition, and overall construction- it's ugly.

But in a broader sense - why nike is a $90 billion dollar company by market capitlization and adidas is $14 billion? Same reasons.


July 8th, 2015 at 12:47 PM ^

On the topic of alternates- I have never really had an issue with Nike's. Most of the time I find myself saying "oh, those are their alternates", with Oregon's being the ultimate acception. Anybody recall the Oregon's opener in 2011- I guess it was a homage to the Tron Legacy era. Even so, I am happy to see M going back to its roots and getting onboard with a company that has respect for traditions and leaves boiterous themes and flamboyent hues at the wayside. I wouldn't have minded UA, seeing they're work with Navy and ND's uni's the past few years has also reflected their respect for tradition and functionality. I could honestly say I would have seen Jimmy go with Russle or Champion before ever endorsing Adidas.


July 8th, 2015 at 2:00 PM ^

UT faithful will say their contract was a better representation of "true" college apparel and that Michigan's gets more attention because of hype and "a new narrative."  Also, UT's contract will get blown out by the one signed by Nebraska short thereafter.


July 8th, 2015 at 1:03 PM ^

I find it absolutely essential for the program to cut ties with an organization that is such a fervent reminder of the past decade of misfortune and poor leadership. New coach, new AD, new sponsor. Makes sense to me.


July 8th, 2015 at 2:54 PM ^

Misfortune? Michigan basketball had a great run with Sweet 16, Elite 8 and National Championship appearance plus a boatload of draft picks. Michigan hockey went to NC even though they lost. Michigan won a bunch of B1G and National title. The athletic department as whole were fine with the exception of football which is both Michigan fans and administration fault.

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July 8th, 2015 at 6:24 PM ^

Brian, these right here are what you need for the perfect Mex style taco. Steak and chorizo mixed, lime, cilantro, and Valentina's hot sauce. That is perfection. Some Zatarans yellow rice, and home made refried beans... now I'm hungry. Thanks Obama. 


July 8th, 2015 at 9:26 PM ^


Tortilla Land tortillas have been a game changer for me.  They are raw and cook in a few seconds in a skillet.  They are truly amazing.  Use the store locator and thank me later.  I found them from a post on SeriousEats from Kenji who seems to know all things food.


July 8th, 2015 at 1:55 PM ^

Chicago has a ton of tortilla makers so it's easy to get very good, very fresh stuff over here.  El Milagro is yummy but if you hit up the super mercados or places like Caputo's and Valli, you can find all sorts of good choices.  Of course the tortilla is only as good as the stuff inside it.


July 8th, 2015 at 3:01 PM ^


Quite a number of our local brands are made with hydrogenated oils way out of proportion to some other cities. Trans fats stay in your cardiovascular system and organs forever, form sticky placques, and alter the ph of your vessels causing among other effects hardening. Somehow NYC was able to ban trans fats without destroying local brands. Read those labels, even request to see them at taquerias, and buy healthy! This has been a MGoChicago public service announcement, back your regular programming.

Yinka Double Dare

July 8th, 2015 at 7:09 PM ^

That's only a problem if you eat flour tortillas. If you only eat tacos, or buy them for home use, you just get the corn ones, which don't have that problem and are healthier in pretty much all respects than flour as well as much tastier. No one's making tortilla chips out of flour tortillas for good reason.


July 8th, 2015 at 1:07 PM ^

Maize is not and never, ever has been an "orange-y yellow." That is patently and objectively false.

That is a description of school bus yellow, a much more orange-tinted and uglier color, much more like the yellow used by teams like Iowa and Minnesota. Much darker than Michigan's maize.

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