Unverified Voracity Is Incredibly, Unbelievably Good At Ice Dancing Comment Count

Brian January 28th, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Pyongyang would be proud. While Brandon Graham continues to kill opponents at the Senior Bowl, the other enormous Michigan star in attendance is reportedly struggling. These are lies. I can tell:

Michigan P Zoltan Mesko ruined the punt return drills by being unable to kick the ball far enough to allow a return more often than not (my rough count was 2 returnable out of 7), and his kicks consistently bounce backwards or straight sideways.

I'm sure this person meant to say Mesko ruined the drills by punting the ball into low Earth orbit. Either that or Jeff Risdon—if that is his real name—of RealGM is a compulsive liar who lies. These are the only two options.

That goes for you, too, "Chad Reuter":

This year's class of specialists is not very strong, and Michigan's Zoltan Mesko has been rated as the top punter on the board most of the year. However, his punts have lacked height and spirals, rarely turning over to gain maximum hang time and distance. He'll need a strong game performance to regain the confidence of scouts.

During the game on Saturday, Mesko will shank a punt that nails both of these fellows in the head.

Yost Hall of Fame. You know the monster Swedish flag that's taken up residence in Yost?


Yeah… it's homemade. Engineering sophomore Rob Eckert's mother is a hero of the people:

“I asked my mom around Christmas time when I saw her if I could borrow her sewing machine," Eckert said. "She was like ‘What are you making?’ I (told) her I was making a Swedish flag, a big one. And my Mom made it for me for my Christmas present.”

I assumed that someone had purchased it off EBay or something, but it was a modern-day Betsy Ross. Someone get her a medal.

Expansion bits. Nominal Chicagoland/Illinois sports blog "Frank the Tank's Slant" has turned into an all-Big-Ten-Expansion-all-the-time sort of place, and it continues its long-running series with an analysis of the main thing: money. The Slant is a weird combo of useful information and totally bats conclusions like "Pitt is a ridiculous idea" and "a 14-team conference is worth spending 1000 words discussing."

I think the bats conclusions come from an excessive focus on money and only money. Pitt doesn't expand the BTN footprint but does make sense in a zillion other ways from academics to providing Penn State an actual rival to geography. A 14 team conference might make more money on average but is a nightmare on the field. Money is important—it's one of the many reasons Iowa State is not a candidate—but it's not everything.

Elsewhere, evidence that Missouri will give the Big Ten a good hard look continues to mount with a KC Star article on Mizzou's willingness to make a move. The main issues are Mizzou's century-long membership in the MVC/Big 8/Big 12 and the hit the Tigers would take in Texas, one of their main recruiting hotbeds, when they don't make regular trips to Tech, A&M, etc.

As always, it's dolla dolla bill ya'll making the most compelling case in favor:

“Illinois and Indiana will make $9 million more from its televisions contracts this year,” Alden said. “Arkansas and Mississippi will make even more. That’s our comparison. In five years, they’ll have generated almost $50 million more than us without selling a ticket.”

If Mizzou is willing to go, I think the additional markets they bring outweigh Pitt's superiority in basketball and academics.

You find a playlist 100,000 people can agree on, we talk. Maize n Brew Dave makes a case for improving the Michigan game day experience re: piped in music. My solution is simple: find Special K and have him transfer to Michigan State. His solution is removing stuff like "Lose Yourself" and "Don't Stop Believing" because while he likes piped in music "only when it's good." He suggests this playlist instead:

Guns n Roses: Paradise City, Nitetrain, Welcome to the Jungle
Motley Crue: Kickstart My Heart, Dr. Feelgood
AC/DC: Thunderstruck, Back in Black, Shoot To Thrill, Highway to Hell, Hells Bells (Defense only), Rock n Roll Train
Motorhead: Ace of Spades
Quiet Riot: Metal Health (opening scream only)
Metallica: Enter Sandman (Defense only)
KISS: Detroit Rock City

Problem: all this music sucks so hard. It's generic. It's played out. It's being RAWKED at an ECHL arena right now. And oh my god:

So how bout "Breakin the Law" by Judas Priest for penalties? "Why can't we be friends" for personal fouls? "Mama's little helper" when the refs screws us? "Sympathy for the Devil" when Tressel's around? "Play that Funky Music White Boy" for Tate Forcier and the "Speed Racer" Theme for Denard Robinson? This stuff isn't rocket sciene.

Dave is Special K. I can (barely) tolerate Don't Stop Believin'. When Special K plays Bob Seger at ear-splitting volume during a critical review I want to die. If he started making stupid little jokes about on-field events when I am on the verge of a panic attack it would make me want to stay home and that would make me feel terrible. The arrow on this points exactly one way: Joe Louis.

Dave makes this argument for piped in music:

The best example I can give is the Jagr-led Washington Capitals* … whose PA dude put together the most awesome montage-collages of heavy metal/death rock this pathetic planet has ever known. That Caps intro would melt your face right into your beer cup. … They knew their target audience and they fed it guitar heavy ROK like you'd feed makrel to a trained seal. We ate it up.

So… let's think about knowing your audience. At Michigan Stadium you have a vast variety of Michigan fans, students, and alums ranging from 18 to 80. Maybe 5% of them grew up driving a Camaro and rocking a rat-tail. "Knowing your audience" this is not. Keep the eighth-grade sense of humor ("boners!") and your 1985 hair metal where it belongs—everywhere else on the planet—, please, and let's go back to the things Michigan fans can actually agree on: Temptation, War Chant, Let's Go Blue, The Victors.

The thing that bothers me is that I really loathe the piped in music and, from the reactions I've gotten it seems like a lot of people do. For the people who hate it, the music ruins one of the few pristine sporting events luddites have left. For people who like it, it's just another opportunity to hear the same fifteen seconds of that one song you hear fifteen seconds of everywhere else. The cost to one group greatly exceeds the benefit to the other.

Rooting interest. I admit that I have no plans to watch ice dancing no matter what personal connection I have to it—I could be actively participating in a routine and be screaming "SWEEP" at my slingbox-enhanced smartphone—but others might be less curling-obsessed so it's worth mentioning that two current Michigan students are the sequined Brandon Graham and slightly-less-sequined-but-still-pretty-damn-sequined Brandon Graham of ice dancing. They are Meryl Davis and Charlie White:

White and Davis, both native Metro Detroiters, are University of Michigan students and die-hard Wolverine sports fans.

They're about to become very famous, as they head into the Olympics as the No. 1-ranked ice dancers in the world. White, a sophomore who has not chosen a major yet, and Davis, a junior in cultural anthropology, could become the most famous Michigan students in the Olympics since star swimmer Michael Phelps.

That's pretty remarkable. This bit goes beyond remarkable into the bizarre, though: the third-place team at nationals, and therefore the third Olympic qualifier, consists of fellow Michigan students Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates. Four of the six competitors for the US at the Olympic ice dancing competition will be Michigan undergraduates. Bates and White are freakin' housemates. I bet one dollar the four hit the ice at Yost during an intermission sometime before the year is out.

So, yeah, Tanith Belbin and Anonymous Partner can fall in a ditch. I want big, sequined block Ms on the medal podium. 

Ask Vlad Emilien anything! Seriously. However, he will sometimes answer incorrectly:

Who wins: Mike Barwis or Chuck Norris?

i dont really know maybe chuck norris

1 hour ago


Has Barwis ever brought his wolves to workouts?


1 hour ago

More lies!

There's a couple of interesting responses, though. Molk is the "strongest, hardest working" player on the team, and this oddly grammatical question shoots down the idea that a lingering knee injury kept Emilien off the field:

Hey Vlad, Just curious, did a lingering injury keep you off the field last year? Did it affect your play? A lot of us expected to see more of you and that was the rumor. I'm looking forward to seeing you play next year. Thanks for making Blue proud!

to be honest i dont know why i wasnt playing... my coach told me he felt i wasnt ready yet

1 hour ago


Sammi Sweatheart or Jwoww?

who is these people lol

1 hour ago

So there you go.



January 28th, 2010 at 2:48 PM ^

the Camaro and rat-tail rawk is fine on a Friday night at the Joe or during player intros at the COPA...but honestly, why did they have to mess with our Saturday afternoons?


January 28th, 2010 at 2:50 PM ^

I say we either get ahead of the curve and contract with Mastodon to be the in-house band, or just go back to, you know, actual band music.

Although Mastodon would be cool.


January 28th, 2010 at 2:59 PM ^

Within the next two years, somewhere in Division I, Formspring will lead to at least one NCAA investigation simply because someone answered a question honestly and didn't know they were breaking the rules.


January 28th, 2010 at 3:04 PM ^

But come on! We're talking about Journey here!

Skip the piped-in music, or at least leave it to schools like MSU with no discernible gameday environment.

That was an interesting response from Vlad re playing time last year. I still do think that the coaches were a little leery about trotting him out late in the season after his injury and burn a redshirt for relatively little payoff. I hope that he will see the field quite a bit this year, but there is a piece of me that is beginning to fear that he might be struggling for PT going forward.


January 28th, 2010 at 3:04 PM ^

Varsity. For the love of God, more Varsity.

Oh, and Blues Brothers, Respect, ID4, I Want You Back, Fire, Bum Army, and Woodchopper's Ball. But mostly Varsity.

I like how the quiz includes this twice:

Q: "Do you know if Tate is currently working with the offense to get better, as he promised at the end of the Ohio State game?" A: "yea he is."

Nice repetition for dramatic effect and emphasis.


January 28th, 2010 at 3:08 PM ^

While I agree 100% that Maize n' Brews taste in music is terrifying (and I especially wish he'd left the Caps out of it), this bit probably is not your strongest argument;

"The thing that bothers me is that I really loathe the piped in music and, from the reactions I've gotten it seems like a lot of people do. For the people who hate it, the music ruins one of the few pristine sporting events luddites have left. For people who like it, it's just another opportunity to hear the same fifteen seconds of that one song you hear fifteen seconds of everywhere else. The cost to one group greatly exceeds the benefit to the other."

I have no idea how you canvassed public opinion. But I think it's likely that you did not speak to anything like enough people to represent a large enough sample relative to the number of people involved. In other words, if 200 people told you that piped in music made them want to die that's still just 200 people out of a potential 100K on any give game day. I also suspect that people who don't like piped in music are very vocal while the supporters or those that don't care (me) are not vocal at all.

It is widely believed (true or not) that the Michigan home crowd and game experience is stodgy and out dated. Piped in music is one of many 'updates' to bring more excitement to game day. Sure, it would be great if the MMB played loudly and could be heard by all. This is not the case, and frankly from the sample on this site the MMB either doesn't think there's a problem, doesn't care, or believes it can't be fixed.

As to the second part of that paragraph, Michigan is not trying to create a luddite niche atmosphere. They are trying to reach the greatest number of fans as possible. I also suspect that a certain segement of the 'luddite population' would scream that any substantive change to gameday would "[ruin] one of the few pristine sporting events." This is just an extension of the culture war that is being waged around the Michigan football program.

I don't really care what happens but there are better arguments than "this makes us like everyone else" when "everyone" else thinks you suck. It doesn't especially matter that few have lost much so that many could gain little. Gaining the many is what matters. This argument only works of the luddite population is very large.

matty blue

January 28th, 2010 at 3:51 PM ^

...you disparage the gist of what i'll call the anti-piped-in music argument, apparently because you don't believe that brian has canvassed enough of the 100,000 fans in the stadium, yet you say that the band doesn't care / can't or won't change...based on the people who comment on this website! why is sampling a population okay in one case, but not the other?

Other Chris

January 28th, 2010 at 5:35 PM ^

Approximately a metric fuckton of bandos appeared in the comments of the first rawk music/the band's too quiet thread? They were fighting amongst themselves, emailing their director, I think even a band mom signed up to weigh in, for Christ's sake.


January 28th, 2010 at 4:15 PM ^

Imafreak - You're making Brian's point for him. I'm sure Brian has talked to a fair few amount of people about this. Does that mean there aren't people who are strongly pro RAWK music? maybe, maybe not. But the fact that nobody has mentioned anyone who feels strongly in favor of the piped in music should tell you something.


January 29th, 2010 at 10:07 AM ^

I know people who are pro-piped in rock music. So, does Brain Cook. Amongst others, the most important person in this debate is pro-rock music--Richard Jonathan 'don't call me Carlos' Rodriguez is pro-rock music.

Brain said that he knew a lot of people who didn't like the music. Again, he most certainly also knows people who like the music. I just wondered how many people he knew because he could find 2,000 people at the stadium who didn't like it, which would certianly be a lot, and that would only constitute 2% of the stadium.


January 29th, 2010 at 11:49 AM ^

One does not need to interview every single person to get a sense of the general trends in a population's view on an issue. Heck, most opinion polling used in political reporting is based on random interviews of ~1,000 people in a country of 300 million. Whereas on this very site, Brian had a poll that got 4114 responses. (Once again, Brian doing better than the mainstream media!) Now, one could argue that MGoBlog readers are not a random selection of Michigan gameday attendees. Agreed - MGoBlog readers are a disproportionately passionate cross-section of Michigan fans, i.e. the people for whom the gameday experience is most important. So yes, 4114 responses represent only 4% of the attendees - but that's still enough to get a pulse on how a meaningfully sized sample of the most passionate fans feel about the issue.


January 29th, 2010 at 3:07 PM ^

Thank you, I had forgotten about this poll. Did you look at the results?

43% don't like the music (either a little or a lot)
43% like the music (either a little or a lot)
14% don't care.

So, it's a wash. This data strongly rebuts the idea that there is some great majority of fans seething about the music.

Other than, I would say the most important people on gameday are the players. We can assume RR represents their interest and he wants the music. After that, everyone else in the stadium is an equal regardless of how rabid or passionate they percieve themselves to be.


January 28th, 2010 at 11:12 PM ^

with this argument, respectfully posed:


It is widely believed (true or not) that the Michigan home crowd and game experience is stodgy and out dated.

Whether you are playing devil's advocate or stating your own opinion, using the passive voice to create the impression that the assertion is a forgone conclusion invites scepticism. You need to at least make a nod in the direction of describing your own sample size and process if you want your assertion to displace Brian's.


As to the second part of that paragraph, Michigan is not trying to create a luddite niche atmosphere. They are trying to reach the greatest number of fans as possible.

I'm not sure if I'm arguing with you or an impersonal "they" in this case, but Michigan Stadium has been sold out for every home game in 33 years. I doubt there is a need for reckless experimentation and reduction of the Michigan brand to a non-descript common denominator in order to pull in legions of new fans with little interest in the game experience other than the generic corporate game atmosphere available any number of other places. The "luddite" atmosphere has sold out Michigan Stadium for most of the last 33 years; in other words, to all appearances,

the luddite population is very large.


January 29th, 2010 at 9:36 AM ^


Regarding your first point, I am under the impression that there is a nation-wide held belief amongst college football fans that Michigan Stadium is not loud and filled with fans that sit on their hands. I get this idea from the Michigan media as well as the national media. It did not occur to me that that this point was under debate. I used the passive voice to indicate this is what 'people' think and not necessarily what I think. Personally, I think, outside of the student section, the stadium atmosphere can be a little lame but I didn't want this to be about my opinion but the general opinion. If you wish to debate that Michigan Stadium is generally held to be extremely intimidating and full of rabid fans then we can talk sample size.

As to the second point; once attendance starts to decline the jig is up. The idea is to change with the times and stay on top. A perfect example is Redskins home games. They still sell out all their games etc. but everyone knows that the game experience is terrible and people are mad as hell. Once the fans stop going it may be hard to get them back.

I think that these changes are coming from RR and motivated by a desire to make things more exciting to help with recruiting. Kids would be drawn to a huge, rocking crowd and an electric gameday experience. I suspect the fans are not the main target.

If, as you suggest, the luddite population is very large then anti-music proponents could argue that this change goes against the will of the people and produces an inferior product in the eyes of the consumer. That is not what Brain Cook did here (instead he used an emotional argument) and I believe the size of the luddite population remains unknown.

In conclusion, I think musical taste is just that and is in no way an indication of a fan's interest level or football accumen.


January 28th, 2010 at 3:11 PM ^

I would rather have crappy RAWK than "Seven Nation Army" which has been worn out by OSU, but all of it is aweful. A rule if it must stay: No playing of the same song more than once per half.

Fall of the Ho…

January 28th, 2010 at 3:23 PM ^

I chuckle a bit when the White Stripes are blasted at Beaver or Ohio Stadium. The group's from Michigan, y'all.

Sort of on that note, if we're going to have to listen to the piped-in stuff, limit it to Ann Arbor artists. Seger (Nutbush) and the Stooges.

OK, maybe some Brother Rabbit, too.


January 28th, 2010 at 3:30 PM ^

the biggest downfall to having piped in music is that no one song (not including Victors) would be welcomed by all attending. its too bad that they have to settle for the "go-to wedding" songs that has no business representing our program. i'll admit, i enjoyed the idea when i first heard that they were going to pipe in music. for some reason however, i was hoping it would have been something more to the players liking that will get them fired up. say for instance, i wouldnt mind hearing whatever is on Vincent Smiths pre game playlist. i think a healthy combination of The Victors and anything with a Pahokee beat can only put points on the board.

st barth

January 28th, 2010 at 3:33 PM ^

M should tap the musical genius of Ann Arbor's own Ghostly International/Spectral Sound for some dj who could do the program justice. I'm pretty sure that Matthew Dear/Ryan Elliot/someone could come up with something original to rock the big house.

Frank the Tank

January 28th, 2010 at 3:43 PM ^

I've always been a big fan of MGoBlog even as an Illinois alum. I agree with you that a 14-school conference is unwieldy and personally don't want to see that happen. The reason why I've discussed it at length is because there is a ridiculous number of people out on the Interweb that are completely convinced that this is indeed the Big Ten's plan (i.e. it would add Syracuse, Rutgers and Pitt or Mizzou, Kansas and Nebraska all at once). What I've tried to point out is that there is a limited scenario where the Big Ten would go up to 14 schools: if the Big Ten truly wants Texas, it might take Texas A&M as well to quell the possible political firestorm in that state and then a 14th member would be necessary on top of them. Other than that, I don't want or foresee a 14-school Big Ten.

I personally like Pitt, but there's been one thing that Jim Delaney and the Big Ten has made clear with expansion: a new school needs to add a new market (or in the case of Notre Dame, add a true national name). Pitt doesn't bring a new market because Penn State already covers it and you can't really call it a national name. It's sad because Pitt is definitely a lot better athletic and academic fit than Syracuse and Rutgers on a lot of levels, yet the lack of a new market is what will doom Pitt's bid from what the Big Ten has openly stated is the baseline criteria.

Anyway, the standard is who would the Big Ten add that wouldn't legtimately cause buyer's remorse if Notre Dame all of the sudden wants to join a conference in a decade. Do Pitt or Mizzou meet that standard? Nebraska? Texas? Anyone else?


January 28th, 2010 at 5:22 PM ^

Common sense please!

1. Texas will never be in the same conference as Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State! Why not add Florida, Boston College and Hawaii? Besides the pure logistical nightmare Texas' want to be the star of their division will keep them out of the Big 10.

2. Syracuse's big sport is basketball. Jim Boeheim in the most important person regarding Syracuse sports (even more then the AD). Boeheim built up Big East basketball into the most skilled and dominant conference in all of sports. Big East basketball makes SEC football look like Big East football. Boeheim will never, ever let Syracuse leave the Big East as long as he's alive. Maybe in 30 years Syracuse might leave but not before that.

3. Rutgers in the Big 10 would be really sad. Not only would we have Jersey shore trash in our conference but the novelty of having a conference in today's world that actually cares about academic standards will be ruined. No way do schools like Northwestern, Michigan, and Penn State allow another team into the Big 10 that doesn't care about academics. OSU already has no requirements for athletes, letting a school that has no requirements for students or athletes would ruin our superiority over the SEC, Big 12 and the Big East.


January 28th, 2010 at 3:45 PM ^

Do the fans still chant "who cares?" when the opposing teams get announced at Yost (shame on me for having not attended a Michigan hockey game since I graduated 10 years ago)?

Someone needs to jump on that quote from Vlad and make a "who is these people lol" sign for said occasion.


January 28th, 2010 at 3:51 PM ^

i said this once before in a thread a few days ago, so sorry for being repetitive, but:

the members of the ice-dancing house (myself included) read this here blog every day. we follow football more than skating.

go blue.