Unverified Voracity Has No Opinion On Mosques

Submitted by Brian on August 20th, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Tuesday: In Your City, If It's New York. I'll be in NYC Tuesday to talk about the team and sheepishly admit what I thought the past two years. The event is supposed to be somewhere around this page, but I can't find it without a login. Details:

3rd Annual Football Season Kick-off Party with MGoBlog's Brian Cook
Date: Tuesday, August 24
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Brother Jimmy's, 116 East 16th Street (between Irving & Park)
Cost: FREE for pre-registered AAUM members, and $20 for all others online through Tuesday, August 18. Day-of door pricing will be $25 for everyone. Register at http://alumni.umich.edu/event/?2262bf16-8fbe-4d22-befa-563be5d594ae
InformationDue to popular demand, the alumni club has once again invited sports blogger Brian Cook to return to NYC to spread his knowledge of all-things Michigan football and preview the 2010 season. Come out to meet and mix with your fellow Maize and Blue football fans!
Contact: Alex Trambitas, [email protected]

Yeah, I wouldn't pay 20 bucks to hear me talk either. Hope you're in the alumni club.

I find it sad*. I wish this didn't have an incongruous backing track—I actually checked my tabs in case some highlight reel was going in another—but here's Bo blowing up during the '89 Illinois game:

Woo ha! Michigan would win 24-10 en route to the Rose Bowl.

*(TIC.)

They're back except they're different and probably uglier. OSU will again wear wack Nike uniforms for The Game. Ohio State fans are suitably appalled:

Do you hate things that are good? Great, me too! We have so much in common. In fact, our friends at Nike have taken it upon themselves to market to folks just like us, people with (or without!) disposable income who enjoy kitsch, tasteless things.

As such, the university announced Tuesday that for a second straight year, the slow and steady commercialization of The Game will evidently proceed accordingly. This season, Ohio State is widely expected to take the field in a scarlet variety of the same faux-throwback-to-the-future-OMGboomstyle-backs the team rocked in conquering the rebel occupied forest moon of Endor Ann-Arbor last November.

By 2015 The Game will be Rollerball. It will star LL Cool J, and TV people will love it.

But hey, at least that effort to have a terrible phone company be a title sponsor was swiftly demolished when fans revolted. I'm not sure why the same hasn't happened with this—think of what it will look like in Getty Images in 20 years!—but if there was any ever debate about which team had the more iconic uniforms, it's over now. If Michigan tried to wear anything other than the home blues they've worn since 1565, you'd find whoever made that decision strapped to a donkey with a sock in his mouth and GPS directions to Columbus the next day.

That is only a silver lining to a dark cloud of stupidity, though. Anyone who is still angry that Michigan decided to take way more money from Adidas: you are nuts.

Acceptable? Wha? Penn State fans have been complaining up a storm about the idea they'd get swapped into the Essentially West division of the Big Ten; I've been doing the same about the idea of getting Ohio State as a cross-divisional rival. Will we ever get along? Maybe. Slow States may have put together a division setup that works for everyone:

Division A: Penn State, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State, Purdue, Northwestern

Division B: Ohio State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois

This necessitates the cross-division rivals, which bleah, but I look at it and think "not horrible," as do Penn State fans. The only problem is breaking up the Wisconsin-Iowa game (Iowa-Minnesota is the protected game) but they do get Nebraska instead. I don't think anyone would have a major problem with this arrangement except "TV people," who can go jump in a lake since their idea of thinking long term is next week.

Remain calm! Skepticism about Kevin Newsome is totally rooted in jealousy and bitterness instead of "repeating what Penn State sources say":

A source close to the program told The Patriot-News earlier in the week that Bolden, the true freshman from Michigan, is clearly the most talented of PSU's four quarterbacks.

Joe Paterno may still settle on former walk-on Matt McGloin as his starter for the Sept. 4 opener against Youngstown State because of McGloin's familiarity with the offense.

So that's a true freshman and a walk-on in front of Newsome, who "has not performed well" to date. It'll be interesting to see how Bolden does on multiple levels, since Michigan chose to pursue Gardner over him and Tim saw him a lot in high school and was resoundingly unimpressed.

They grow moohaha. Check out this bizarre hockey rink:

nhl-development-campThat's from the NHL's development camp, where they're testing out all kinds of weird stuff including giant cyclopean faceoff circles and—tingle—super-thick blue lines. Most comments about the latter (which I've been advocating for years in my oversigning-level campaign against hockey offsides) center on the expansion of the offensive zone:

Wider blue lines to increase the size of offensive zone -- I've always liked this idea. In widening the lines, there's more room to keep the puck in the zone when it goes out to the line, but the zone itself remains the same size and the neutral zone doesn't shrink. It's an idea whose time has come, but only if the linesmen is vigilant in getting into position to make the close calls.

This is a benefit, but it's an ancillary one. The major asset of XXL blue lines is a serious reduction in those nothing offsides calls where one team is trying to rush the puck into the zone and a guy is three inches off. A thicker blue line increases the demilitarized zone and should reduce the number of interesting rushes killed off in favor of a neutral-ice faceoff and inevitable dump-and-chase.

The guy above gives that rule change a slim chance of passing because it's "too radical," unfortunately.

ATTENTION CHRIS HALL OF BIRMINGHAM BROTHER RICE. Your school hasn't banned Tom Hammond shirts, have they?

Etc.: You can now mic bands. Will this matter? Probably not since last year's whinefest featured a bunch of audio engineers who described how difficult this was in detail. MATW fills in another "of the decade" blank with the top games.

Comments

mmccrae

August 20th, 2010 at 3:32 PM ^

This is why I spend more time on here than doing homework.

 

 If Michigan tried to wear anything other than the home blues they've worn since 1565, you'd find whoever made that decision strapped to a donkey with a sock in his mouth and GPS directions to Columbus the next day.

SlymCyke

August 20th, 2010 at 3:39 PM ^

It's the best one I've seen so fat and is pretty evenly balanced and keeps most existing rivalries except Wisky/Iowa.  It honestly makes the most sense (to me at least), which is why it'll never happen!

zlionsfan

August 20th, 2010 at 4:21 PM ^

with a bucket and everything.

However ... given that the Indiana-Purdue rivalry has meaning outside Indiana roughly once a century or so, and that as we've seen in other conferences, the alignment (divisions vs. no divisions) doesn't have to be the same in football as in other sports, it wouldn't bother me much from a Purdue perspective, and it keeps the UM-OSU game from being played in October or some crap like that. (The Red River Shootout is in October partly because it is neither team's main rivalry game. We old people know what games to expect around Thanksgiving, even if Texas A&M isn't quite as good as Oklahoma.)

Now, if this is the setup for basketball, no likee. Purdue-Indiana usually has significance within the conference, other than things like Keady coaching three years after he'd mentally retired or IU hiring an idiot AD who believed whatever he heard. (Then again, if the tradeoff is having Penn State, Nebraska, Northwestern, and Iowa in Purdue's division, sign me up!)

From a Michigan perspective, it does make basketball somewhat more difficult, but there's really no way to balance the divisions across all sports, plus Beilein doesn't quite have the team at the point where they are thinking 15-3 in conference play and a first-round bye, so the selection of divisional opponents is less important now than it will hopefully be in a few years.

champswest

August 20th, 2010 at 10:40 PM ^

as saying that there is a chance that UM @ OSU could end up in different divisions, but would still play everyyear although it would not be the last game of the season (in case they would be meeting again in the championship game - they wouldn't want back-to-back games).  I can't believe that the Big Ten would be that stupid.

I am sure that I must have misheard that report.

MaizeAndBlueWahoo

August 20th, 2010 at 4:08 PM ^

There's a better way to increase the size of the offensive zone without gigando blue lines.  Add a second blue line about five feet away from the faceoff circle and move the extant ones a few feet closer to center ice.  When the puck is in the neutral zone, the outer blue lines (closer to the goals) define the neutral zone and offside is called there.  When the puck crosses into the offensive zone, the inner blue lines (closer to center ice) define the zone and it must cross those in order to be cleared.

Confusing at first, maybe, but I think it'd be very, very easy to get used to, because really we have the same concept already: the blue line is neutral zone if that's where the puck is and offensive zone if that's where the puck is.  And imagine all the open space to skate.  It expands the size of the neutral zone and the offensive zone at the same time.  If it's too many lines, get rid of the center red line, it's been rendered vestigial without the two-line pass anyway.

bronxblue

August 20th, 2010 at 5:33 PM ^

[I]nvited sports blogger Brian Cook to return to NYC to spread his knowledge of all-things Michigan football and preview the 2010 season.

 

I'm looking forward to Brian spreading your soothing balm-like knowledge all over my inflamed and infected sense of DOOM about our secondary. 

TrppWlbrnID

August 20th, 2010 at 5:49 PM ^

1) Hoard, Bunch and Boles are rectangles.

2) Gary Moeller looks nice in a sweater.

3) Bo slapped Mackovic on the face a good three or four times, pretty hard.  i can't imagine what would happen if RR slapped Zook, Hope, or any one else.

V.O.R.

August 20th, 2010 at 7:03 PM ^

I'd give twenty bucks to see Coach RR get mad and chew the media, refs, players and every that moves a new ass whole. He needs to give up this Mr. Nice guy being politically correct and crying in front of the cameras thing. If he'd cuss a few folks out and told them where to go, maybe the team would pick up on it and get a little tougher themselves.

Paskanen

August 21st, 2010 at 3:10 AM ^

Bending over backwards to please the media has done nothing. Time to get mean. Tate as well. That guy needs to give up the California-surfer-ipod-prancing image and start acting more like the fire breathing grain-belt monsters who are trying to tear his head off. Maybe some tatoos, a beard, chew spit on his jersey, and some missing teeth would do him well.  

SC Wolverine

August 21st, 2010 at 8:26 AM ^

Meanwhile, every time RR says or does anything controversial it results in a distracting media storm -- so he is wise to keep any tirades private.  I'm afraid Rich Rod needs a couple of Big Ten championships before he can start channelling any of Bo's rants.  It does seem -- from reports and video -- that Rich Rod is pretty in-your-face during practices.  And let's not forget the sight of him ripping Tate's rear end off during games last year.  Rich Rod is no marshmellow -- he's just dealing with a different kind of MS media than Bo saw.

All that said, there was nothing like a crazy Woody meltdown on the sidelines.  His 1971 smashing of the sideline markers at the Big House was simply epic.

NateVolk

August 21st, 2010 at 1:12 PM ^

I'll tell you something, if you really study the approach, the style they bring to practice, the absolute belief in no playing favorites and competing in practice to earn playing time, the way they talk about the team with the media, Schembechler and Rich are eery similar. 

Go back and read up on Bo and the way he dealt with the program in his early days.  It will make you feel better about where we are right now.

Great thoughts by you.

SC Wolverine

August 21st, 2010 at 8:26 PM ^

The difference is that for Bo it was all about willpower and tenacity.  Hence all those 10-7 and 14-10 victories.  That brand of college football is simply a thing of the past.  It is really a different game today, which is why we needed the kind of radical update we are getting with Rich Rod.  For him, it is all about preparation (strength, speed, fitness) and skill performance.  (In this respect, it is pretty impressive the way he seems to be molding Denard's raw talent in so short a time.)  What I think that Rich Rod  mainly shares with Bo is the certain knowledge that his way will work and thus the confidence to demand what he wants.  I am hoping that this year is a season we will long remember when golden things happened.  But that will require Rich Rod to convey the kind of passion and mania that Bo instilled in the maize and blue ranks.  That is my real question about Rich Rod -- does he have that passion that can inspire the team to rise above itself?  We will start to find out this year.  I can't think of a Michigan football year that I have looked forward to more than this one.  We have real stakes on the line and the opportunity to confound the naysayers.  If we do, Rich Rod will have started to build some real mojo here.

One thing I like right now is the way that Rich Rod does not seem at all rattled by his hot seat status.  He knows that what he does will work and he is too busy working on it to show any special anxiety.  That is a good start.