Unverified Voracity Plays Catch

Submitted by Brian on March 10th, 2015 at 3:44 PM

As the Harbaugh turns. There were two main appeals to Jim Harbaugh as Michigan coach. One: he wins a lot. Two: he makes things interesting. After the last couple years, when the only interesting thing was finding out just how incompetent an offense can be, that latter is a breath of fresh air. 

Harbaugh's swooping down upon injured people by the roadside, he's getting tweeted at by Judge Judy, and then he's… uh






False alarm. Harbaugh was just out there making fine distinctions between classes of lions:

"The A's to me, the way they compete, the team, the different way they think, they are jungle lions," said Harbaugh, who also coached at Stanford before joining the 49ers. "Zoo lions get tired of zebra after a while and want filet mignon. Not jungle lions."

No one ask him about the Detroit variety.

Oh, and if you're worried that he's slacking off because you're a crazy person:

"He's quite the competitor and a winner. We've been trying to work this out for a long time, but the day after he left the 49ers he was out recruiting for Michigan. There hasn't been that much time."

We get the crazies around here some.

Like the head coach. File under "too good to check." This story from around 2000 involves Harbaugh wanting to throw the ball around with some girls at Dominicks. An observer feels this is flirting until

He said to the first girl, “keep your hands up, thumbs down,” and he showed her the proper motion with his own hands. When she didn’t get quite right, he grabbed her wrists and showed her how to position her hands. He then paced off 15 yards, held the ball in front of him, squatted like he was under center, patted the ball hard, took three hard steps back, planted his back leg and fired the ball at the first girl. As he let the ball go, you could hear it click as his fingernails hit the ball and, I shit you not, as the ball whizzed through the air you could hear it ssssssssssss… THUNK! It hit the girl in the shoulder and knocked her down. Jim wadn’t playin’.

“Come on, let’s go!” Jim barked. While Girl #1 picked herself up, Girl#2 gamely grabbed the ball and lobbed it back. Again, Jim got in his QB squat, smacked the ball, did a hard three-step drop-back and fired the ball at Girl#3, she ducked but the ball hit off the top of her head and went into the street. Girl#2 ran after it while Girl#3 sat on the ground rubbing her head. When Girl#2’s throw back to Jim was short, Jim got a bit annoyed, and set the girls up in a relay so that two girls were about 25 yards away, and the third girl was halfway in between so that that girls could throw to her, and she would run the ball to Jim. For the next 5-10 minutes, he was firing balls at these two poor girls, knocking them down or hitting them in the face about half the time. He was 100% oblivious.

…until it becomes clear that the only context in which Harbaugh has ever heard the word "flirt" is immediately preceding "…ing with disaster," and associates it with throwing over the middle late.

Bo post OSU, 1986. Dr. Sap is a treasure:

I'm going to find that high school teacher and tell her what a grave mistake she made almost twenty years ago. Long story short, wrote a funny ha-ha paper that would no doubt make me cringe today, teacher gave it a nice grade and wrote on it something along the lines of "you could be the next Mitch Albom!"

Flash forward to the present day:


Is that good

I feel another "what the hell were people thinking not recruiting Aubrey Dawkins" podcast segment is in our future. Also I accidentally typed his last name "Dakwins," which is either Andrew Dakich's rapper alter-ego… or his dad's.

Fisch's contract. Interesting piece by a 247 board member on Jedd Fisch's contract, which is relatively paltry compared to the rest of the staff's… and only for one year. Why:

Since Fisch was fired with a year remaining on his Jaguars contract, Michigan found themselves in an odd position with him. It’s somewhat uncommon to see a coach simultaneously drop in both level of sport and title, but Fisch went from the NFL to college and from OC to a position coach. Thus, even if Michigan were to make Fisch the highest-paid position coach in college football, it’s unlikely he’d even approach his NFL salary. From a financial standpoint, it pretty much doesn’t matter to Fisch what his Michigan salary is – in 2015, he’ll be getting the Jacksonville money either way. From Michigan’s side, Michigan now has motivation to pay Fisch as little as possible, since they still get the full benefit of Fisch’s services, while the Jaguars have to pick up the tab. Fisch doesn’t care, so the only real obstacle to Michigan paying Fisch $1 for the year would be the Jaguars.

Michigan gave him something plausible—200k, just over what JayBaugh is making. Otherwise he'd be making in the 300-400 range the rest of the staff is, especially with the "passing game coordinator" title.

This is a nice change from the previous regime. Brandon paid way over the market for Hoke and then did the same with Borges, giving him a ludicrous bump after his first year. (One that ended with Michigan gaining fewer than 200 yards, remember.) He paid people to make them look like they were good ideas. Now Michigan is saving money where it can, like on Fisch's contract, so it can pay the right amount of money to people who are likely worth it.

Something something master… slingers? I'll work on it. 6'10" German F Moritz Wagner was at Crisler over the weekend, hanging with the governor:

It's hard to tell how big of a prospect Wagner is. An NBA scout who Evan Daniels pinged makes him sound a bit developmental:

“He’s a versatile kid who knows how to play ball,” a NBA scout that has evaluated him multiple times told Scout. “He’s not an athlete, but with his length and coordination he manages to deceive his opponents and get to the rack quite easily. Once he becomes a more consistent shooter he will be a nightmare on the wing.”

“He reads the game well, gets his teammates involved and is unselfish player,”

Sounds a bit like Chatman, actually.

Hackett on Project Unicorn. This is a very smart section of his radio interview:

"It was more about "What did the institution need?"," Hackett said. "It can't afford to experiment a lot more. If you look at the last seven years going back to Rich Rod's arrival, there was a seven year period where these were experiments that we weren't sure were going to turn out. There was a gradual decay of "something" because of that. You can call that "winning", you can call that "fan support", you can call it "enthusiasm for Michigan's history". This is the winningest program ever in this sport and it carried the day for a long time. It wasn't behaving that way now though. That Sunday night (after the Ohio State game) I called the President and told him that I don't think we can experiment anymore."

The rest is history.

Etc.: Tom Crean and Indiana fans aren't really having a good time together. I almost feel bad for the guy. The Aubrey Dawkins show.



March 10th, 2015 at 4:08 PM ^

That Harbaugh playing catch story sounds an awful lot like the bit that Peyton Manning did on SNL a few years back.  The scene in my head, as described above, is absolutely hysterical.

Found it!


Yostbound and Down

March 10th, 2015 at 4:07 PM ^

Well Jim Harbaugh owes me a keyboard now, and a new cup of coffee. That is an absurd story.

Can just picture him walking over to those guys laughing and sipping sangria and glaring. "What's your deal?"


March 10th, 2015 at 6:31 PM ^

I won't repeat it like it's gospel until confirmed, but I also don't care if it's confirmed.  It's a funny story and right in line with Harbaugh's character.

I can relate, really.  Well, it depends.  If the girls just want to toss around to kill time I'd put an arc on the ball.  But if they show some spirit I'd let loose (so it'd be, like, a whopping 7mph faster but still).  The way I do things, I can't think of any context where half effort makes any sense.  FWIW, if they stuck around for 5-10 minutes they weren't daunted by the fireballs he was throwing, so good on them.

I remember one published news story where an NHL team was doing off-season scrimmages and needed a stand-in goalie.  The only guy they found was a 13-year-old who'd finished his game and hadn't yet taken off his armor.  So they enlisted him.  Of course they destroyed him and the kid said it was painful (literally), but he also had the time of his life.  I'd imagine his next game everyone looked like they were in slow motion.


March 10th, 2015 at 5:48 PM ^

I don't know how Beilein does it. Spike, GRIII, Nik, Caris, Trey, THJ, and now Dawkins. All these dudes playing way beyond what their recruiting rankings (when they committed) ever would've indicated.

Honest, if I was a mid-major coach, I'd just follow Beilein around and find the guys who were Beilein's 2nd or 3rd choices. Didn't some dude he passed on start lighting it up at Wyoming? Seriously, just pick up Beilein's scraps. You'll probably win your mid-major league

Blue Durham

March 10th, 2015 at 6:30 PM ^

Regarding the coaching hires from the past 7 years, any program would like to be "on the cutting edge." Certainly a University that considers itself the "leaders and the best." But that also entails taking the accompanying risk.

The Rich Rodriguez hire fit into this approach/perspective and, while it didn't work out, made sense. But the Hoke hire, full of risk without the any realistic high upside, just didn't.


March 10th, 2015 at 7:41 PM ^

Best part about the Dawkins oop GIF is Spike recognizing the play at the pick and standing up celebrating a good 3 seconds before the rest of the bench.  He's a heck of a floor general and I feel he's working his way into Novak status.


March 10th, 2015 at 7:56 PM ^

There were a few things from the Hackett radio interview that had me scratching my  head.

The first was the "experiement" comment.  If you listen to his comments, Michgian would have been "experimenting" post-Hoke if he'd hired an unknown up and comer as head coach.  Other than that, Hackett really didn't elaborate what experiement took place the last seven years.  The Hoke hiring might have fit that definition, but Rodriguez certainly had a very solid resume before taking the job in Ann Arbor.  Does Hackett reallly think Rich Rod was an experiment?

Another thing that caught my attention was where he said he felt he could have helped Hoke with his coaching staff if Hackett had opted to retain him.  If Brandon had said something like that, we'd all be pitching a fit about how DB was meddling with the coaching staff (something that happened after Borges was fired and people were posting on social media how Brandon was responsible for the Nussmeier hire).

I did have to applaude  him during the radio interview with his comments on keeping up UM's academic standards ala Stanford and Texas.  It would have been nice to see what his metrics were on that issue, especially now that he has a head coach who eight years ago was saying some very uncomplimentary things about the football teams majors, etc., while he was HC in Stanford.

The other thing I was curious about was his thinking outloud about having two night games in Ann Arbor.  If I recall correctly, he said he'd have a decision in about a month and I assume he would have to consult with the Big Ten and the networks.  I also assume Hackett has spoken to the city of Ann Arbor along with U-M police and public safety.

But has Hackett spoken to the season ticket holders, alums and students about this yet?  The reason I ask is that not having a firm sense of what the important stakeholders really wanted is what got Brandon in trouble.  I can't imagine Hackett would make the same mistake, but I also haven't heard if he's reached out to those communities about this yet.  I understood people had some problem with the one night game because of distance traveled, etc., but the UTL I, II and III events were pretty successful.  Will people be willing to come to a second night game each season?

I would also love to find out what Hackett is going to do with the open non-conference scheduling slots.  If he really does want to have two night games per year and those games happen in the September/October timeframe, then it would make sense to have a really good non-conference schedule to support that goal.  Would Hackett, for example, do what Brandon did and have two Power 5 teams on the non-conference schedule (UM has Virginia Tech and Washington in 2020/1)?  There are open scheduling slots for 2018 and 2019 that he needs to fill.  What does he plan to do with them? 





kevin holt

March 11th, 2015 at 8:15 AM ^

I don't know if it's fair to ask Mitch Albom what he's talking about from that tweet (except knowing that it's him). He didn't say the Lions had won a Super Bowl. He's saying Suh isn't the player they want if they want to make a Super Bowl because he's about the money not the championships. That's not a great example of Albom's lack of understanding and I'm not sure what Mike Proppe thought he meant. (Maybe a stupid thing for Albom to say but not because the Lions haven't won a SB)

Nobody Likes a…

March 11th, 2015 at 9:51 AM ^

I just want to take a second to sit back and appreciate the der meistersinger von nürnberg reference. I know you had much Wagner to chose from and a lesser educated man would have likely tried to tie in a ride of the valkyries reference. But not this blog, not this day, not this alumni. Seriously Brian that deserves a slow clap, because nowhere else on the internet is there anyone making references to slightly lesser known Wagner music dramas in the header for basketball recruiting columns.


My fucking people! :D

Avant's Hands

March 11th, 2015 at 10:55 AM ^

That alley-oop gif is one of my favorite basketball gifs. When I saw that live I wondered what the hell Spike was doing. Then I saw Dawkins and thought no way he catches up to that. Spike threw that when Dawkins was at the 3 point line and still coming around a screen. That play did not get nearly enough attention.