Unverified Voracity Wins Invincibly Comment Count

Brian September 21st, 2009 at 10:45 AM

Word. Stuart Mandel points out something that's been bothering yrs truly:

I've yet to hear a logical explanation for why ESPN has chosen to relentlessly interweave snippets from sappy 15-year-old Dave Matthews songs like Ants Marching into its college football broadcasts. It's true that when I hear that familiar fiddle, I do think of college -- as in, people blasting Under the Table and Dreaming in my freshman dorm hall at 7:30 in the morning -- but not football.

It's hard to think of an act that would be more ill-suited to hype me up for college football than Dave Mathews Band. It is wussy music. Every commercial break should be filled with snippets from Pat Benetar's Heartbreaker:

I mean…

You're the right kind of sinner, to release my inner fantasy
The invincible winner, and you know that you were born to be

INVINCIBLE WINNER! Anything that sounds poorly translated from the Japanese and would conflate Taylor Potts getting his brain scrambled by Sergio Kindle with sex given the context is an invincible winner indeed.

The Chesney has stopped, though, which means at least one person at ESPN isn't a lizard monster from the fourth dimension whose five senses replace hearing with evil. And thank God for that. Seriously, was that just an opening weekend thing or did ESPN see what they had wrought and repent?

Lines of note. Michigan is –18 against Indiana—vote of confidence. Illinois is –15 against Ohio State, Wisconsin –3 against Michigan State, Notre Dame –7 against Purdue (road game, implies that Michigan should be a 10 point favorite at home given the ND line pending changes in opinion on the two teams and since that's minus Mike Floyd it'll probably be more than ten, though that's obviously a long way off and this entire highly speculative aside is of debatable value), and Penn State a whopping –11 against Iowa, which uh?

This is strange. So Tim Staudt, who writes for the Lansing State Journal, took time out of his column to defend one Rich Rodriguez against the rampant Detroit media. For serious. His target is the recent News story that Friday's UV shrugged at:

Don't football coaches have a right to seek the best mortgage for their homes they can find? The News' argument is that Martin might not fire those coaches if he thinks it's in Michigan's best interests, because maybe they'll end up defaulting on their loans without employment. Another example of why some distrust the media.

That's strange enough. The stranger part: I don't agree with him. The News article was something worth publishing a story on, as it does represent a mild conflict of interest and apparently caught Bill Martin contradicting himself. It did not get splashed across the front page and turn into a national news story. The thing properly frames the importance of its content:

"In the scheme of conflicts of interest, this doesn't seem that major," Lowenstein said.

I guess you could interpret the article's attempt to justify its existence (noting that Martin's ability to make decisions about firing any of the coaches who have loans out could be compromised) negatively, but I didn't and neither should the fanbase at large. If Michigan fans complain about everything we just come off like whiners.

Also the moon landing is fake. Braylon Edwards, meanwhile, on said hunt for witch-type object:

Q. What’s your reaction to the allegations from former Michigan players that Coach Rich Rodriguez required players to work out more than N.C.A.A. rules permit during the off-season?

A. I don’t believe that guys are working extra hours. Everybody works hard. For this to happen like this and get out, that’s not the case. I don’t believe it to be the case. I believe that this is an inside plot to get him fired. I went to Michigan. I’ve been to college and everybody works hard.

The only thing left to discover is which message board lunatic Braylon is.

Band stuff. Whenever I write about the band the comments turn into a war zone and people send me emails ranging from "word" to "I have lost all respect for you," and it generally seems not worth it. So I'll refrain from offering further opinions, but I will clarify some old ones and point you to some good work elsewhere.

The clarification: man, I don't know about bands. I don't know if piccolos are loud or quiet or if the band can or should increase the brass. I do know that a lot of different people who do know about bands say that there's no reason the band can't be louder, and I have been around plenty of bands that seem louder than Michigan's. So I don't think it's impossible. It's just about what you want to prioritize.

The other work: Hoover Street Rag pinged both Haithcock and Boerma. There's plenty of news in it, couple with denials that they've decreased emphasis on noise and some indications that the prevalence of piped-in music is beyond what the band was told would occur.

One thing I will note: I hate that "Thunderstruck" plays before the teams runs onto the field. Previously, the crowd chanted "let's go blue" as one of the drummers beat out a slow, menacing beat. I like that better than wishing Michigan Stadium's speaker system didn't suck.

Mr. Punchypants. Not to further NDNation's delusion that Michigan possesses less sportsmanship than their personal-foul-magnet warrior-poets by bringing up last year's incident, but remember this?

Rodriguez said Monday morning that he wasn't sure if Butler would face further disciplinary action, since the Big East officials working the game did not specify, in writing, the reason for the ejection. Later in the day, though, a Michigan sports information official spoke was told by the Big Ten that Butler was flagged for a flagrant foul, and will not face an automatic suspension. If Butler had been ejected for fighting, he would have been suspended from the first half of the team's next game.

The math here: ejection for fighting = 1/2 of next game. Ejection for flagrant foul = no suspension. Act that should have drawn a flag—not an ejection—but didn't = 1 game.

Look, no one's defending Mouton here. Rodriguez changed his opinion after his initial take:

“It’s not a football act,” Rodriguez said. “It’s not what we’re about. And it hurts the team when you do that, and Jonas understood that. He understood it hurt the team and that you could be penalized.”

No one's claiming he's somehow ennobled the game. But these sorts of things happen in the game all the time and it's idiotic to single out Mouton for punishment when far more dangerous acts have escaped punishment, especially when the only reason people are talking about it is because a coach outside the conference is running down the professionalism of your officials. It's even more bush league to do it on Friday at 4 PM. Jim Delany's talent for terrible PR is unmatched.

More on injuries. The words that came out of Rodriguez's mouth about the injury situation:

“We’ve got a few guys banged up, but I think most of them should be okay,” said Rodriguez. “[Freshman quarterback]Tate [Forcier] bruised his ribs, got the air knocked out of him. The biggest concern is David Molk. He said his foot was bothering him, and it must have been early in the game … first half, whatever. But now it may be even more serious. We’ll know a little more if he broke it or whatever as we go along. That would be a big loss.”

Moosman is expected back this week, said Rodriguez, and would be the next in line at center if Molk couldn’t go, with redshirt freshman Rocko Khoury behind him.

Good that Moosman will be available; hopefully he can just get a half and some new blood can take the rest. Sounds like another light week for Minor, too.

And a tip of the hat to Rodriguez for throwing Tate out there one more time to handoff, thus reassuring 107,000 some people that they didn't need to find a luxury box to jump off of.

Treat it like Muppets. I tried this last year and got nowhere, but I'm with the Daily's Andy Reid on the "It's Great to Be A Michigan Wolverine" cheer:

My family has had season tickets to Michigan football games since I was two years old, and despite the myriad games I have attended, I’ve only heard that chant a select handful of times. Not coincidentally, all of those games are among the best I’ve ever seen.

Iconic Michigan games that deserve an extra bit of special celebration — 1997 Ohio State, 2004 Michigan State, 2005 Penn State.

And that’s the way it should be.

I was pretty surprised when I heard the chant surface during the post-game celebration after Saturday's 45-17 shellacking of Eastern Michigan. Sure, it’s cool when the Wolverines head over to the student section after each win. But the crowd should sing the fight song, chant “Let’s Go Blue” or something — instead of busting out the big guns for nothing.

Word. That chant first existed in the fan consciousness after the '97 Ohio State game and should be held in reserve for actually stirring events, not four-touchdown wins over MAC teams. Also, get off my lawn.

Etc.: Andy Staples has an article on the steep costs of unofficial visits and how officials should be moved up, which I'd be fine with since Michigan is increasingly recruiting kids from far away. Dior Mathis' mom is quoted. Daily continues what's apparently a series of profiles akin to the massive Pahokee piece. This latest is on Trotwood, Ohio, the home of Roy Roundtree, Mike Shaw, and Brandon Moore. Throw the English-Rodriguez postgame handshake onto the Weis-Miles/Carr-Belotti memorial Pile of Awkward, Probably Misleading Handshake Photos. Michigan State has thrown tickets to the Michigan game(!) open to the public. Right now they require you to buy a ticket to another State game; on Wednesday they'll be totally open.



September 21st, 2009 at 10:57 AM ^

I love the "It's Great to be a Michigan Wolverine" chant, and it should be reserved for special occasions. I'll forgive it for the Western game, because it just felt good. I can understand and approve for the Notre Dame game, because it was appropriate. But for Eastern...meh.

Other Andrew

September 21st, 2009 at 11:36 AM ^

We shut down State Street in front of the Union. Someone had stolen a Notre Dame flag which was first tried to be lit on fire, then tried to be ripped apart, both unsuccessfully. Eventually, someone pulled out a pocketknife and was able to stab at it, but the flag remained basically intact.

Totally agree on Brian's assessment of when it should be deployed. One of my friends started the chant in a crowded bar during the 2006 Ohio State game when we took a lead in the first half. I still partially blame him for the loss.


September 21st, 2009 at 11:10 AM ^

I have long believed that someone at ABC in the college football division loves the Dave Matthews Band. During the last two seasons of Saturday Night College Football, my buddies and I had come to believe that The Best of What's Around was stuck in the CD player in the truck and it's all they could get for bumper music. I always just presumed it was Musburger's love of red Solo cups coming to bear.


September 21st, 2009 at 11:16 AM ^

Some of us around here still enjoy DMB - it is just that we treat it like the dirty little secret that it is, and happily restrain ourselves until we climb into our cars and close all the windows.

I still expect 100% more AC/DC around football, though.


September 21st, 2009 at 11:10 AM ^

... yeah, he has a few reasons to be sore, but he also owes his current job to Michigan. His firing likely lead to a HC job much quicker than staying on and later getting the boot. And who can argue that GERG isn't a massive upgrade?

While I liked parts of English's pre-game presser, he looked like he was going to do a "HEAD ASPLODE" with a few of the questions.

RichRod didn't hang 50 on the Hurons, and he probably should have. Seeing a run offense in full gear, rolling multiple RBs plus Denard was a thing of beauty. It shows how the spread can open up the box, if that doesn't sound too indelicate.


September 21st, 2009 at 11:16 AM ^

Last year, Rich Rodriguez was Tyler Durden, holding a gun to the head of the Raymond K. Hessel that was Michigan. If you do not change, drop this shitty job, do what you need to do to become excellent, you will be dead. Raymond agrees, and runs off.

When the narrator asks why he did this, Tyler notes that tomorrow will the most beautiful day of Raymond K. Hessel's life. His breakfast will taste better than any meal you or I have ever tasted.

Eastern was that breakfast.


September 21st, 2009 at 11:22 AM ^

I just bought tickets through the MSU site for our game. The seats are actually pretty good. Section 125, upper deck, but appear to be at about the 30 yard line.

First time I heard "It's great..." was after the hockey team's National Championship in 1998 in Boston Garden.


September 21st, 2009 at 12:06 PM ^

I've heard that tickets were not selling for Delaware St. as well, but a rivalry game with UM should sell out Spartan Stadium. I would love to know why ticket sales are down - I mean, MSU has stunk before heading into this game, and the place is still jammed.


September 21st, 2009 at 9:54 PM ^

That might be true, but the economy in Michigan has been pretty bad for 5+ years. There are enough alumni and residents in the Lansing/East Lansing area, not to mention both coasts, to fill that stadium. I'm not saying that MSU fans are fair-weather ones, but I think this does go to show that when a fanbase is beaten down by mediocrity long enough, it will take more than 1 or 2 winning seasons to bring them back.


September 21st, 2009 at 11:46 AM ^

I learned the chant the first week of the MBA program's leadership development program. I have been a Michigan football fan all my life but hadn't heard it before. Not even in 97 when we rolled undefeated. I was at the Iowa game with (Tim Dwight?) was rolling up yards on us and we were down at halftime. It was the quietest I've ever heard the crowd or stadium. However, I wasn't there for the horror.

I would like it to be more of a regular featured chant, but only after a winning effort and only when we are either an underdog going into the game or it is against ND, MSU, OSU, or Penn State, any team from the SEC, any team from the Pac 10, Texas or Oklahoma.


September 21st, 2009 at 11:59 AM ^

Not to be a party pooper or anything, but I don't exactly see what the fuss is about the "It's great to be a Michigan Wolverine" chant. It's not like it's an original chant -- I've visited at least a dozen other campuses for football games since I started going to college, and I'm sure I've heard some derivation of the chant in at least 4 other stadiums, which leads me to believe that the chant is rather widespread. They were even singing "It's great to be a Florida Gator" on TV the other day following their win.

Please let me know if I'm missing something. Did it originate here and then spread to other schools? That would explain the hub-bub. I'm not trying to be a contrariant -- I just think that traditions are more special when they're unique to the institution.


September 21st, 2009 at 12:29 PM ^

At the 1984 Sugar Bowl game, the MMB and Michigan cheerleaders were on a New Orleans riverboat cruise with the Auburn band and cheerleaders. One of the more incessant Auburn cheers was "It's Great. To Be. An Awwwe-burn Tiger."

The MMB adopted it and adapted it for Michigan, occasionally chanting it during marches to and from the stadium.

As a band alum, it's cool to see something that started with the band move organically into the Michigan cheering lexicon.


September 21st, 2009 at 12:26 PM ^

Let me add the chant was used at the 2000 Orange Bowl game against Alabama, which was well warranted. I agree in full, and there should be only two possible uses the rest of the season: October 24th and November 20th.


September 21st, 2009 at 12:47 PM ^

If some group of happy M fans started breaking out the IGTBAMW cheer and a bunch of "cheer snobs" tried to poo-poo their enthusiasm.

It's just an effin' cheer, people. Ligthen up.


September 21st, 2009 at 12:59 PM ^

Tried to link to the Daily "Trotwood" article but FAILED. I get a "page not found" message. Typed "two towns" and also Trotwood into the Daily search function, but got nothing. Help?

Ann Arbor Cardinal

September 21st, 2009 at 12:59 PM ^

I watched Boise State's first game - against Oregon - with an Ole Miss fan. When Mr. Chesney was shown, he looked at me and said, without sarcasm, "Now that's music". I also smile and nod when he tells me how great the SEC is.


September 21st, 2009 at 1:33 PM ^

The band has another cheer I always thought it’d be cool to hear 20-30k people yell after a win: “It’s all about Blue baby, yeah boy!”

I’ve conditioned My 3 year old son and 2 year old daughter to say this to me every night. Also: “To HELL with Notre Dame! Who said that? Bo Schembechler said that.” It warms my heart just thinking about it.

And so the indoctrination of a new generation of M fans begins…