Unverified Voracity Is Very Excited About "Let's Go Blue" Comment Count

Brian December 4th, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Slidin' in your DMs like... Via Ace:

Oh, no reason. Wolverine Historian with a two-part Harbaugh tribute:

Hire this man. I would seriously give Ryan Van Bergen a job in the athletic department today:

"In my opinion, and this is going to upset some people, there have been times last three, four years, the environment has been almost toxic with the negativity surrounding the program," Van Bergen said.

"Everything about Michigan poises it for success. The things that obviously are contributing to our recent misfortunes have nothing to do with if we're able to recruit and our facilities. There is blame to be shared among everybody — players, coaching, administration and fans. Everybody who supports the Michigan program needs to evaluate how they're doing it. If they're being negative about it, change that."

Van Bergen has credibility as a guy who's been under all three of the recent regimes, was willing to tell it how it was when Hoke was there, had a superior senior year under Hoke, and will be honest about the issues facing the program even if they're inconvenient.

One less way we can differentiate ourselves from Ohio. This is potentially lame:

Michigan student-athletes at public universities would not be allowed to unionize under state collective bargaining laws if a bill introduced Tuesday in the Michigan House of Representatives becomes law.

House Bill 6074 would require all student-athletes be classified as “students” and keep them from becoming employees of universities. Because the student-athletes could not be classified as public employees, they would not be entitled to representation or collective bargaining rights under state law.

I'm not sure if that's the way the law-type thing works. Seems like work is work and a legislature can't wave a wand and declare it not so, but I'm just a common sense type guy, not a law-talkin' one. The guy who sponsored this legislation has the usual mish-mash of non-sequiturs—most college athletes don't go pro in their chosen sport—and false dichotomies—is college about getting an education or making money—in its defense, and I dislike him.

Well, yeah. Fred Jackson in the aftermath:

"I expected a decision to be made today, but I didn't know which way it was going, one way or the other, I had no idea," Jackson said reporters. "I didn't really expect it. I know we didn't play as well as people would like to see us play. I also understand that it's all about winning and losing.

"We didn't win enough games."

Ah, Fred. In four sentences he says 1) he had no idea, 2) he didn't expect it, and 3) they didn't win enough games. Truly a closing statement worthy of a man with sixteen different beverages on his desk, telling you that every back he ever coached was Adrian Peterson on top of a surly dinosaur.

Engineers in the marching band, you say? I am subscribing to your newsletter.

Nooooooo. David Jones has an entertaining article on the enormous, ridiculous Land Grant trophy, which is just getting to the age where its ridiculousness is a real asset instead of a detriment. Jones details its origin story

When Hoffman picked up the shiny new Land Grant Trophy from a local Lansing sporting goods shop in 1993, he realized it wasn't quite what he'd pictured:

"I thought, 'My God, that's big.' I'll take the blame for it being so big and heavy," said Hoffman when reached on Tuesday in Cleveland where he's in semi-retirement.

The shop owner, whose name escapes Hoffman 21 years later, had taken all of the specifications and come up with something like a paneled rec room from the 1970s with knickknacks and photos attached to it – a Nittany Lion figurine mailed by Thalman, a Sparty gladiator statuette, a generic gold football player tacked on top, photos of Old Main and MSU's counterpart building – all built into a boxy wooden structure. And it had these decks and levels built onto it, like a committee kept deciding to add more stuff.

…and then suggests the thing might not be long for this world:

Alas, I come to you today with a heavy heart. Because I've been informed by powers greater than I that the end may be near for the LGT. For many of us, we'll feel as if an old friend is moving away. A particularly ugly old friend. It's going to be like comedians saying goodbye to Dan Quayle.

But Penn State officials have, as officials like to say today, "reached out" to Michigan State officials about the future viability of the LGT, "moving forward." When you have a traveling trophy, it's probably best that it can be transported in something other than the bed of a semi-tractor trailer.

To which I say fie. The Land Grant trophy may be the ugly duckling of the trophy world, but it has a charm the "Freedom Trophy" lacks. Keep it.

I know problems. You have problems. Interesting Tim Kawakami article on the dysfunction in the 49ers front office, which is far from all Harbaugh:

York doesn’t like talking to the local media (but Harbaugh’s camp is sure York loves secretly talking to the national media and I can’t disagree with Harbaugh’s camp on that).

Baalke despises almost all media–Baalke really doesn’t like most people, period. He’s a pure scout, cold, clipped, anti-social and often angry.

That works tremendously in the film room or out on the road scouting (Baalke probably is on the road more than any GM in the NFL), but maybe not so well when personalities and philosophies have to be managed.

Oh, and you might’ve heard that Harbaugh is volatile and occasionally crazed. That Harbaugh actually likes it better when things are rattled and people are on edge, all the better to find out what his associates are made of.

Well, Harbaugh has found out exactly what York and Baalke are made of. And they’ve made their decision on him.

Good luck with that, guys.

Etc.: Player react twitter roundup. Almost all about how Hoke was a great dude without any shots at the decision or fanbase. Timely M Heritage article about dudes against football back in the day. Orson goes to Tallahassee. At least Hoke recruited really well. Tinder trolling is now a thing.

Angelique on this search firm. Kansas is looking at OSU co-OC/OL coach Ed Warinner for their job. Brian Phillips on the Ray Rice tape.



December 4th, 2014 at 12:06 PM ^

That Harbaugh actually likes it better when things are rattled and people are on edge, all the better to find out what his associates are made of.

There's intense and driven and then there's total asshole.  This sounds like a move a total asshole would make.


December 4th, 2014 at 12:49 PM ^

I wonder about the context.  This is the sort of thing that can really be potrayed the right or wrong way.  Some coaches are nervous about success because complacency usually follows after.  At times it's easier to motivate a struggling team than to convince one on top of the world that it has to maintain an underdog mentality.  And then there are sadistic managers that like to operate in a permanent state of emergency.

I've never met Harbaugh, but I will say this:  Every single manager I've been under or heard of that liked to watch others suffer was a compete disaster.  Unless it's actual training, you just can't get results if you invest unnecessary time causing trouble.  If Harbaugh has had ANY success at all, at any level (rhetorical statement there), he's not likely to set productivity on fire by starting unnecessary fights.  The world of sports has enough turmoil as it is.


December 4th, 2014 at 12:11 PM ^

1) I get that the players would most likely not outwardly bash the decision to fire Hoke. That being said, I'm actually kind of surprised that none of those players who thought he was such a "great coach" didn't say, "hey, I think Coach Hoke got a raw deal", etc. There has to be some players on this team that thought he wasn't a great coach (from the x's and o's standpoint, we all know he was great man and father figure).

2) Since when do athletes need Tinder to get laid? You're doing too much, do less.  




December 4th, 2014 at 1:39 PM ^

Pure speculation on my part, but maybe Hoke himself advised the players during his farewell meeting to avoid such comments, and to avoid criticizing the AD/media/fanbase for the decision to fire him?  That seems like the best explanation for the uniformity of the players' comments in the aftermath.  Hoke seems to have handled the situation well -- he certainly saw it coming -- so maybe he realized that the players would unnecessarily stir things up by venting about the injustice of it all.


December 4th, 2014 at 2:04 PM ^

This makes sense to me. I'm sure Hoke left them with his view on how they should handle it publicly. Hackett might have as well, but I'm betting Hoke.

Also, it was telling to me that players repeatedly said, "there's more to life than football" and generally lauded Hoke as a man and mentor. I really didn't see any football-specific platitudes from the current players. That silence is pretty loud. 2011 guys did some. 


December 4th, 2014 at 2:21 PM ^

Yeah, I have to believe that UM athletes of all people know how damaging a bunch of players/former players bitching about the administration online, and were probably advised to keep it pretty clean.  Just because Tommy Armstrong went to bat for Pellini, who was seemingly blindsided by it, doesn't mean every athlete will respond that way.  I presume that Hoke told the kids to treat the situation with dignity.


December 4th, 2014 at 12:14 PM ^

I really liked that article. Phillips (in a much better way) explains what I tried to say about two Michigan incidents this summer - C'sonte York's punch and Glasgow's DUI. Hearing that York sucker-punched a guy was one thing. Seeing it on video is another. Reading that Glasgow's SUV had drunk people hanging and things spilling out of it while it swerved around is one thing. Were there video we may have been more outraged.


December 4th, 2014 at 12:19 PM ^


Totally agree on RVB. It would be good to get more people like him into the AD rather than the 3234 marketing folks that DB hired. It will be very interesting to see how Hackett changes the personnel within the department, or if it stays pretty stagnant until a permenant AD is brought in.


December 4th, 2014 at 12:44 PM ^

Well, apparently today is #NationalHireACollegeFootballCoachDay, what with Florida and Nebraska (Mike Riley???) hiring their coaches. I'm guessing we should be hearing the Harbaugh to UM announcement sometime after lunch!


December 4th, 2014 at 12:49 PM ^

"Seems like work is work and a legislature can't wave a wand and declare it not so, but I'm just a common sense type guy, not a law-talkin' one."

The University of Michigan is a public university; therefore, it is not covered by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRA is the statute used by the football players at Northwestern. Each state has the ability to allow (or disallow) unionization of state and local employees or subclasses thereof. Michigan has a statute, the Public Employment Relations Act that allows some public employees to unionize. This bill would define public employee to specifically exclude football players from those that can unionize.

Further, it is not a requirement  that mandatory bargaining unionization be allowed in the private sector. Theoretically, Congress could repeal the NLRA and other federal statutes that allow unionization (the NLRA is the big one, the airlines and railroads have their own statute, and some federal workers have limited collective bargaining rights).

The difficulty with college football unionization is that only your private universities like Notre Dames, Stanfords, and Northwesterns would be under the NLRA. The various state universities would be a quiltwork of whatever law their respective legislatures enact (good luck unionizing the SEC states). It is possible that Congress could enact a law allowing unionization of college football players, but that is exteremely unlikely. Another possibility is that the NCAA could require it, but there would be significant political and legal hurdles to this as well.


December 4th, 2014 at 3:16 PM ^

Good post. The key point is that the collective bargaining laws define employers and employees, not work.

The NLRA defines employer to "include[] any person acting as an agent of an employer, directly or indirectly, but shall not include the United States or any wholly owned Government corporation, or any Federal Reserve Bank, or any State or political subdivision thereof, or any person subject to the Railway Labor Act [45 U.S.C. § 151 et seq.], as amended from time to time, or any labor organization (other than when acting as an employer), or anyone acting in the capacity of officer or agent of such labor organization.

"The term 'employee' shall include any employee, and shall not be limited to the employees of a particular employer, unless the Act explicitly states otherwise, and shall include any individual whose work has ceased as a consequence of, or in connection with, any current labor dispute or because of any unfair labor practice, and who has not obtained any other regular and substantially equivalent employment, but shall not include any individual employed as an agricultural laborer, or in the domestic service of any family or person at his home, or any individual employed by his parent or spouse, or any individual having the status of an independent contractor, or any individual employed as a supervisor, or any individual employed by an employer subject to the Railway Labor Act . . . ."

With these provisions, Congress allows states to legislate in the uncovered areas (there is no pre-emption). Michigan did so when it enacted PERA. The proposed amendment emphasizes that college athletes will not be included under the coverage of PERA. (I don't know whether a statutory change is necessary or not).

It should also be noted that anyone can join any union that will accept them as members. The laws address whether an employer is required to negotiate with a representative. Athletes could join together in a group and enter into discussions with an administration without any coverage under a collective bargaining statute.

Naked Bootlegger

December 4th, 2014 at 1:03 PM ^

The juxtaposition of crazy, dancing, "Let's Go Blue" UM fan with her surroundings is stark.  And awesome.  Everyone else has a glazed look.  They clap and raise fists as if the drudgery of the task has beaten them into dull oblivion.  AND THE GAME WAS STILL CLOSE!  C'mon, fans.  Learn a lesson from this wonderful, vibrant, dancing fanatic.  In my view, she has risen to lofty heights of UM fandom a la Lloyd, Face-Palm Guy, Rapture Dude, etc.   Rock on, I say!


December 4th, 2014 at 3:53 PM ^

She certainly deserves an identity, but I think her title should be shorter. "Grooving Let's Go Blue Girl" is descriptive, but a little too wordy.

Lloyd Brady ... Facepalm Guy ... Rapture Dude ... all short, catchy, and easy to remember. She needs a similar one.

Ideas, people - we need ideas here!


December 4th, 2014 at 1:29 PM ^

Sometimes the pep band is too peppy immediately after something terrible happens, like the other team goes on a run and we call time out, and it's hard for me to not clap robotically/sarcastically... I imagine that was the case here - I remember a lot of those moments during the game. Glad she has enough pep but sometimes I feel like I'm clapping a lie. Get it gurl!

Everyone Murders

December 4th, 2014 at 1:21 PM ^

I liked this bit about the LGT:

When Hoffman picked up the shiny new Land Grant Trophy from a local Lansing sporting goods shop in 1993, he realized it wasn't quite what he'd pictured: "I thought, 'My God, that's big.' I'll take the blame for it being so big and heavy," said Hoffman when reached on Tuesday in Cleveland where he's in semi-retirement.

I'm assuming this went down like the guys in Spinal Tap designing the stage set for Stonehenge where the dolmens drawn on the napkin's dimensions are accidentally expressed in inches rather than feet.  ("We have a Stonehenge that's in danger of being trod upon by a dwarf!") 

But with the LGT it was done in reverse.


December 4th, 2014 at 1:24 PM ^

Those tribute clips got me to thinking: does Harbaugh have any eligibility left? Would he consider coming back to play QB instead of to coach? Or both?


December 4th, 2014 at 1:33 PM ^

The kids with the Tinder posters were really funny and good sports. The Penn State goalie seemed to get a good laugh out of the Tinder pics, and it made for some great interactions between the student section and Mrs. Robinson... 


December 4th, 2014 at 2:50 PM ^

"In my opinion, and this is going to upset some people, there have been times last three, four years, the environment has been almost toxic with the negativity surrounding the program," Van Bergen said.

Brian and the MGoBlog, Van Bergen, is talking about you.