Unverified Voracity Sells A Work Comment Count

Brian August 14th, 2015 at 12:17 PM


[Eric Upchurch]

"When did you sign a contract?" /looks at Hackett… "YESTERDAY". The WSJ has the first shot at an excerpt from John Bacon's upcoming book, and they go with the courtship of one Jim Harbaugh:

In December, after Michigan finished a miserable 5-7 season that resulted in coach Brady Hoke’s firing, Hackett and Harbaugh had long talks on Saturday nights, developing a good rapport. (To avoid anything leaking to the media, Hackett always referred to Harbaugh internally as “Unicorn,” which reflected Hackett’s belief that Harbaugh was a one-of-a-kind candidate.)

“The interesting thing is,” Hackett later told me, “we never talked specifically about Jim being head coach. We talked about what Michigan needed. After a few weeks of this, we’re going back and forth and getting really excited about the possibilities, and Jim says, ‘We’re getting excited about this, aren’t we?’

“Yes we are,” Hackett said.

“You didn’t offer me the job, did you?” Harbaugh asked.

“No, I haven’t.”

“I didn’t accept, did I?”

“No, you didn’t.”

It wasn’t an agreement, by design, Hackett says, “But that gave me the confidence, no matter what pressure the media was putting on me, I could stick to my guns.”

Hackett was truly the right guy at the right time.

"So unlike him." The Indy Star remembers when Jim Harbaugh punched a guy, specifically one Jim Kelly, then a broadcaster:

"Even though Kelly certainly earned it for publicly questioning Harbaugh's pain threshold, it was costly and so unlike No. 4.

"But, obviously, even a coach's son and the ultimate team player had a breaking point.

"'I don't think you can use this season as an excuse for what I did,' Harbaugh said, refusing to provide any play-by-play on the altercation. "I've never been a fighter, but it happened and it's over.'"

And then:

"I regret throwing the punch, but I felt I had to do something since my toughness was being questioned," Harbaugh said. "I regret that I have a crack in one of my bones in my hand."

A truly disturbing incident, one that had a great impact on his future aspirations.

Mother said we can go to Six Flags now. Mother says we can buy timeshare in a Segway. Mother says I have done good and my sleepwalk murders have been redeemed. I still think I never done no sleepwalking.


Sadly, interested buyers, it turns out that you're already out of luck, too. The $1,500 piece of ... art ... has already been purchased by a 1965 Michigan grad and season ticket-holder.

The buyer, Roger Mayerson, told Putnam he simply knows what he likes.

"I think it's going to be quite a conversation piece," he said.

But I do want to ride a Segway.

Bring your Champion-type substances. BYCTOM previews the Northwestern schedule this year. On Michigan:

I can't wait to hate Jim Harbaugh.  He comports himself like a nineteenth-century military officer just returned from some colonial posting no longer able to function in the West where he has to answer to a doddering hierarchy of muttonchopped generals with disastrous plans.  Even by the insane standards of football coaches, whose lives revolve around yelling and watching film and taking fanboats to the east end of nowhere to convince a 300-pound 16-year-old to allow himself to be yelled at by them for the next four years, Harbaugh is intense.  He seems to strive to exist in a world of wide-eyed zeal, where humans only communicate in elaborate football play argots, where discourse is limited to talking about how determined you are, and where the punishments for variation in pants style are unspeakably draconian.  He is also a very good football coach and that is intolerable.

I will get you to read this blog if it is the last thing I do.

While I love this quote… OSU has a depressingly likable team this year, a fact that was emphasized by this quote from Josh Perry:

However, it is in fact very much like it went to crap and dilapidated and then some hipsters…


…moved in and renovated it.

OSU-Michigan, 1977.  Specifically, Ufer going bonkers at the end:

Sigh. Anonymous Big Ten coach quotes from Athlon have dropped this year, and like most things they will make you upset about the coaching over the last few years:

"I think Devin Gardner was better than people gave him credit for. He is a unique athlete who was capable of throwing the ball. He could have been a great college football player in the right system.”

“They had one of the most dangerous receivers in the league in Devin Funchess. They had two or three five-star running backs. They had a slot receiver (Dennis Norfleet) who could make some plays. So I don’t think it was a lack of skill.”

“They lacked confidence. That was a big problem.”

“It’s not like they were horrible. By no means did I think they lacked talent.”

There are a couple mentions that the talent level was down "a bit" and the like, but the overall picture painted is one of Big Ten coaches marveling at how absurdly bad Michigan was despite having good players last year.

There are exceptions. I am generally opposed to police militarization, but in some circumstances they need all the help they can get:

Should have asked for some airstrikes, too.

On Maize. "Distinctly golden."

Etc.: The Lions are going full Brandon. Cordell Broadus made it about as long as Tony Posada. More from Stagg vs Yost. I talked to Concentrate about the reduced stadium capacity. Jordan thing. I'm confused. Hooray Jordan thing, say recruits. Okay, I guess.


Michigan Arrogance

August 14th, 2015 at 5:56 PM ^

IIRC, back int he day it was easier to just show the stadium scoreboard to display the score on TV (as opposed to a CG graphic). So ABC would just prop up a little sign when they had the game so everytime to score was shown on TV, it also said "abc". I'm sure they needed permission from M, but I doubt they paid any fees for that.


August 14th, 2015 at 12:24 PM ^

Who hired Hackett?

Just curious, as Brian said, he was truly the right guy at the right time.

Great to see great talent stepping up to fill holes when needed.



August 14th, 2015 at 2:36 PM ^

that he was chosen by a group that knew UM football, knew Hackett and had enough clout to get the ear of POTUM. We know he didn't choose him as he barely knew what "sports" were at the time (I kid, he seems great but that was the big story about him st the time). I'd guess guys like DeBord (like it or not), Carr, respected/involved alum donors and the like said he was the type to undo the bad Brandon stuff while being as efficient, effective and decent about it. I often wonder exactly WHO, as well.


August 14th, 2015 at 12:28 PM ^

2 Crisler 2 15-17

15 Yea and forsooth, Maize shall be represented as a golden yellow, 16 and yellows of pale or brighter shades are an abomination, 17 and Harbaugh did say, "I am the maize of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in scarlet, but will have the light of life in football." 


August 14th, 2015 at 12:34 PM ^

I'm pretty sure I've had text convos similar to this one with prospective GFs. Just throw an additional word in front of "job."


"We’re getting excited about this, aren’t we?"

“Yes we are,” Hackett said.

“You didn’t offer me the job, did you?” Harbaugh asked.

“No, I haven’t.”

“I didn’t accept, did I?”

“No, you didn’t.”

yossarians tree

August 14th, 2015 at 12:53 PM ^

Brian, you have won me to BYCTOM. What a great read.

"He comports himself like a nineteenth-century military officer just returned from some colonial posting no longer able to function in the West where he has to answer to a doddering hierarchy of muttonchopped generals with disastrous plans."

Hmmm...makes me want to brood and read Graham Greene novels.


August 14th, 2015 at 2:13 PM ^

Also sold on BYCTOM, thanks to that quote.  For me, it conjured a combination of Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant" and Kubrick's Paths of Glory.  Neither are 19th century but that's a problem with me, not the text.


August 14th, 2015 at 12:36 PM ^

What's not to love about the man!?

Excitedly: "Hold onto your kilohertz" is uniquely Ufer.


Fond memories of fall Saturday's with the voice of Ufer painting a very maize and blue picture. 


He was a gem. 


August 14th, 2015 at 12:53 PM ^

The Michigan - Ohio State rivalry did go to crap. When one team wins 12 of the last 14 meetings and 2 national titles while the other team is middling to bad, it's not a good rivalry.

Basically, we are to Ohio State what Minnesota has been to Michigan for ages. Sometimes competitive but only very occasionally successful.


August 14th, 2015 at 1:17 PM ^

so when michigan won 10 out of 13 years with john cooper coaching it ceased to be a rivalry? that is why it is a great rivalry, it extends over decades with ups and downs for both teams. i love people who focus so much on the last decade of these rivalries like the rest of history was erased.


August 14th, 2015 at 1:27 PM ^

Ohio State was still a good team/program during those years though. The games had impications for both teams for bowls and conference championships. That's not the case in recent years. It's a one-sided game where the only intrigue for people outside of Michigan and Ohio is the unrealistic chance of Michigan pulling off an insane upset over a powerhouse program.

Kilgore Trout

August 14th, 2015 at 1:41 PM ^

To say they've all been one sided games in this stretch is going a little far. Other than Rodriguez's two trips to Columbus and the Chad Henne rubbar arm game, they have all been competitive games. Not denying the point that you have to actually start winning some of these games, but to say that the actual games have all been one sided is inaccurate. 


August 14th, 2015 at 1:54 PM ^

It's been one-sided because the games only have implications for one team in the postseason. The games haven't been a battle of top-tier programs. It's been a battle of Michigan just trying to play spoiler and Ohio State playing for championships.


August 14th, 2015 at 2:53 PM ^

2002 - Duh, OSU goes to NC game or UM keeps them from going.  HUGE.

2003 - Both teams in top 5 I believe.  Rose Bowl on the line as well??  BIG

2004 - Not so much.  Troy Smith burst on the scene and OSU won easily.  But it didn't mean much in the national picture for either.  OSU went to the Alamo Bowl and was already bowl eligible before the game.  UM lost but still went to Rose Bowl.  MEH

2006 - DUH

2007 - Umm, not sure what the big implication for either team was. MEH

For the record, I'm going with national implications/BCS bowls/etc  as big implications.  Obviously an unranked OSU squad upsetting a top 15 UM team in 04 was big for OSU specifically.  And in 07, I remember the game played in a monsoon and Wells running all over the place but not much other offense on either side.  OSU did get a share of B1G with the win and a Fiesta Bowl birth so I suppose that counts but it didn't seem like more than that during the game.


August 14th, 2015 at 3:03 PM ^

By your own admission, BCS bowls count as "national imitations". So that includes 2004 since we went to the rose bowl. When we lost, another team could have went, but they lost as well so we backed in. I think it was Iowa.

The 2007 game was for the big ten title and therefore a BCS bowl. So once again, national implications by your standards.

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August 14th, 2015 at 4:06 PM ^

2014 is pretty much the definition of a game that only has intrigue from one narrative; Ohio State's narrative. Michigan added as much interest to that matchup as Iowa State did to TCU's last game of their season in 2014. They were nothing but potential spoiler teams that fell short.


August 15th, 2015 at 2:34 AM ^

was #1 and #2.  Michigan could have won that game on the road! If it were in Ann Arbor, I think we would have won! Up until LC retired both programs were good and most of the time the game meant something. I did like 95 and 96 when Michigan upset a higher ranked OSU! OSU just made just came out better with their coaching changes. But that will change with Harbaugh. Harbaugh will make Michigan relevant in a few years, may be this year!


August 14th, 2015 at 12:48 PM ^

Looking at the picture of him by the plane -  painfully obvious choosing his clothes is the ONE thing he can't do well. The blazer/shirt are ehhh...but those jeans tho!


Mo Better Blues

August 14th, 2015 at 2:05 PM ^

One thing to add: the American use of school colors undoubtedly derives from the European tradition of heraldry and the granting of armorial bearings, of which I've made a certain hobby/study.

In heraldry, blue is called 'azure' (and would generally most closely resemble the Italian national soccer team's blue; the Azzurri, as they're called, though a Google search would quickly reveal even back then, there was variance--you'll see the French royals go with a deeper, "more Michigan" blue on their coats of arms). Also, there is no 'yellow' or 'maize', per se, but instead 'or', the latinate term for gold.

Naturally, this is a totally outdated and arcane field, and with no "real" heraldry authority in the U.S., (since it is a relic of ancient aristocracies), the colors can be whatever the hell the people wearing them want them to be as a practical matter. But as a fan and proponent of the darker, more deep golden maize color and critic of the neon dayglow yellows begun under Nike and then exacerbated by Adidas, I find it funny that people would ironically probably have a bigger issue with the dark Michigan blue vs. the original bright azure-blue than the lighter yellow vs. the traditional (or "right", as I'm going to call it) maize.

But since heraldry is mostly a forgotten artform (it used to be among the first courses taught in art schools even well into the 20th Century), obviously there's no need to stand on ceremony and people can choose whatever they like best.

Mr Miggle

August 14th, 2015 at 5:11 PM ^

That coach was exaggerating, just like some fans do. He was doing so to make a point, presumably. When fans do it, it's to show how bad our coaches were. That's not somethig opposing coaches usually do.

Gardner was obviously not a RB. Smith was a 3/4 star. Hayes was a 4*, not close to a 5* anywhere. I think Hayes was our only consensus 4* RB since Sam McGuffie. RB recruiting had been OK, nothing special, certainly not by Michigan standards,


August 14th, 2015 at 2:53 PM ^

Had no idea Jim punched anyone like that. That had to play a huge role in why Carr/UM seemed to have a "recognize but keep at a general distance" relationship with him for a long time. As much as we all love us some Harbaugh we'd be homers to not admit he could be very immature well into adulthood. Still can be, to be blunt. Yet, 99.9% of it is what I love about him!

As far as the Athlon quotes go, I miss Joe Tiller. One anonymous HC would always be very up in arms over everything to the point of hilarity. It was quickly assumed to be Tiller and the style of vitriolic hate quotes stopped when he was gone to essentially verify it. Whichever HC said that about us last year is both correct and being too kind, IMO. Tiller would have said that but tossed in a few hard insults about the staff directly and how "his team" would win a NC with "those guys". He'd call it "criminal" and wonder why any kid went to Michigan. Anonymously.

Finally, I hate to admit it again but osu has a few great quote artists. I liked that Perry quote (though I hate the term hipster) and the QB that ain't went to osu to play school is often comic gold on Twitter.

Oh, Snoop kinda hinted that his Son having deeper interests than football on his YouTube show where he smokes weed the entire time. His guest brought it up, congratulated him and after taking football, Snoop said his boy "could go NFL but doesn't really want to". Not a shock that he's not playing. Less of a shock than he not going to USC, IMO. Not sure how deep of a relationship they have, TBH.

Hugh White

August 14th, 2015 at 5:16 PM ^

Hey! That's me -- or at least my avatar -- holding the ball in the team photo from 1901 and mentioned by name in the paragraph about the white-flag ending of the first Rose Bowl Game, in the Yost/Stagg excerpt linked above!