Grit Pantheon/MGoBlog Hall of Fame, Part Deux

Submitted by Ezeh-E on March 29th, 2012 at 12:19 PM

DISCLAIMER:  I didn't read all the discussion at the end of the original MGoBlog HoF article, so someone may have already proposed this.


So there was talk awhile back about having an MGoBlog Hall of Fame that was spawned by the little talked about Grit Pantheon.  It seemed like there wasn't too much agreement about what should constitute the rules of admission for the MGoBlog Hall of Fame, which is fine.  We're a rowdy bunch.  I wanted to propose a radical solution:  we do it like the Catholics do sainthood (i.e., requiring two "miracles").  Don't worry, I hate Notre Dame, and this is not about them.


Before you start burning your couches and tweeting me with advice to FOLLOW MY HEART, hear me out.  Instead of making admission to the HoF weighted heavily statisical element (# of sacks, tackles, yards, two-time All-BIG -- things that are ultimately not awe-inspiring), I'd prefer to hit on the emotional aspect of certain players' contributions, since that is why I watch sports.  I don't watch to find out if Denard gets 120 yards rushing or 140 yards rushing.  Plus, statistics are often taken out of context, like using a comparison of the passing yards of pro QBs now vs. 1970s.  Would you rather have Roger Staubach or Fran Tarkenton as your QB or Matthew Stafford?


To give the criteria for these "miracles" some context:  I think that any play/game/act of heart, selflessness, or pure grit that appears to divinely (don't hate me Atheists) inspired counts as a "miracle".  Actually, I'd prefer to call this a "grit point", but I'm partial to grit as well as shrimp and grits.


Examples of obvious grit points/miracles:  Charles Woodson's one handed interception against MSU, Molk playing the Sugar Bowl with a shredded tendon, Desmond's Catch, Denard's 1st play from scrimage, that play in hockey back in the 90s where our guy lifted the puck up on his stick and wrapped around to the top corner (sorry, I don't know my hockey history well), Hoke's reaction to Hagerup dropping the snap against Ohio, the Kork Coupons MGoMeme, etc.


Other, more debatable acts of grit/miracles:  Van Bergen going beast on Indiana after letting in a touchdown in 2009, Denard patting Gholston on the ass after Gholston tried to break his neck, Vincent Smith handguns, Bloody Novak, Kovacs 4th down stop on the option against Northwestern, Dennis Norfleet's bouncing back up and cactching the winning touchdown after slamming face-first full speed onto the concrete at the Florida Max Preps, Taylor Lewan's playing hurt against MSU, Martavious Odom's block against Minnesota in 2008, Gibbons' redemption, All of Notre Dame game 2011.


The players who would've made it on stats will still likely make it because you don't accumulate stats like that without some defining moments.  But this way, we don't get caught up on the details.  Players like Charles Woodson, Desmond Howard, and Denard Robinson have at least three obvious miracle plays already.  Kovacs probably makes it.  Players like Van Bergen, who I personally believe should be in the Grit Pantheon may or may not make it based on fan-base perception of their "great works", which is fine.  Ultimately, though, I think this refocuses the discussion on the true impact and legacy of a player rather than details taken out of context (which feels like comparing the passing yards of pro-QBs now to ones in the 1970s).


Sorry this article is football heavy.  It's just the sport I follow.  I think the Grit Panteon/MGoBlog HoF/Mount Schembechler should be graced by athletes of any sport who meet the criteria.


Sac Fly

March 29th, 2012 at 1:32 PM ^

That was the defining moment for Red and our program.

Until that point he had a stigma around the program for having the most talented teams every season, stocked full of NHL talent but they always collapsed in the tourney.

Legg tied it up against Minnesota in the quarterfinal, and we went on the smoke BU before taking down CC in the title game.

Blue in Yarmouth

March 29th, 2012 at 12:39 PM ^

but that just seems too loose for me when thinking about a HOF. I mean...2 plays? It has to be more than that. With the athletes that have played here over the years the HOF would be endless. I know they were talking about only going back so far, but still, two plays seems way too little IMHE.


March 29th, 2012 at 1:12 PM ^

I agree, but he's onto something.  There has to be an "x-factor" to the HoF induction:

Like Woodson's giving to Motts (not that he wouldn't be in regardless). 

On the other hand, Webber wouldn't make it because of his negative contribution (when he would definitely be an inductee had all that mess not occurred). 

Denard's in because of his smile and general disposition (and play on the field, obviously).

How about a guy like Tyrone Wheatley?  Does he get in?  He was a big part of my college experience and I say yes but what is his x-factor?  Maybe winning a B1G championship in track?

Just some thoughts.



March 29th, 2012 at 3:01 PM ^

Good thought Profit, as Perry def had stats, but I remember Perry as a guy who ran way too upright and didn't learn how to cut until his final season. My recollection of Wheatley is that he ran lower and harder but also had the breakaway speed. Perry didn't do much of any of that by comparison. M really hasn't had an athlete like Wheatley at running back that I can think of, although A-Train and maybe Biakabutuka come closer athletically.


March 29th, 2012 at 5:44 PM ^

No discussion of grit is complete without mention of this tough little guy. Breaking tackles to pick up the first running the draw on 3rd and 18 (3:24).