John U. Bacon:

Submitted by w2j2 on September 9th, 2011 at 10:46 AM

George Will recently wrote that when archeologists excavate American ruins centuries from now, they may be mystified by the Big House in Ann Arbor. “How did this huge football emporium come to be connected to an institution of higher education? Or was the connection the other way?” 



September 9th, 2011 at 10:59 AM ^

centuries from now, the big house will seat over 500,000 sentient life forms applauding the wolverines' latest inter-gallactic championship season, coached by Infinite Chancellor Zoltan.


September 9th, 2011 at 11:07 AM ^

Classical societies, especially the greeks, often linked athletic and intellectual success.  Not much different here. 

I think we are somewhat unique in the world today, but I don't know if that makes us seem alien at all. 

Maximinus Thrax

September 9th, 2011 at 11:14 AM ^

Genius, George.  However, unlike in the excavation of ancient cultures where written contemorary accounts were extremely rare, and thus unlikely to survive millenia, our culture has a superabundance of written records likely to survive as long as humans do.  Just another gratuitous bit of pseudo-intellectual buffoonery by George.


September 9th, 2011 at 11:23 AM ^

Actually, with the rise of electronic storage of documents and digital media, the amount of data which will survive is hypothesized to decrease.

For example, the best source to understanding the daily lives of Civil War soldiers is their diaries and letters. Now almost all communication is via phone and email, of which there is no hard copy.


September 9th, 2011 at 11:35 AM ^

As they say to writers, if you want to be read 100 years from now, make sure you get published in hardcopy.

Despite promises otherwise, old electronic media notoriously gets dropped by the wayside, due to budgets, incompatibilities, inconvenience, and just plain laziness. 

Sad as it may be, MGoBlog may be lost to history, but my 5 year old daughter's drawing of a wolverine will endure.



September 9th, 2011 at 11:16 AM ^

Being an archaeologist....

Post-Processualists will ignore all the facts and rational explanations, allowing theory to dictate their hypotheses and conclusions. Most likely attributing the stadium somehow to being a temple to the masses, a place where equality was shown via the identical seating, and that the VIP Box's were of "cultic" significance (most likely to a "Mother Goddess"). This attributing of the VIP Box's to "cultic" significance will be used as a means to continue their theory of equality for all within the temple, rather than admit some were above others in status. Sports will not factor into the equation as sports, especially violent ones, would be seen as being "violent" and "male-centric" and thereby, implausible to have entertained the masses.

"New" Archaeologists, will correctly collect data samples. Using math, statistics, survey, and close analysis of finds. This would take extensive excavation and documentation. With a conclusion being drawn based upon the results. Theory will be evident to an extent, but will not be used to draw conclusions. Conclusions they would state would probably read much more like a statistical survey report, rather than a "story". Most likely, they will the closest to being right. Tieing the stadium to sports venture which was immensely popular in the 19th-21st centuries. That the stadium was a place for the masses to rally around the local organization (the University) which dominated social life within the city.


I could have done better.. But I am busy reading excavation reports from the Wadi Araba, Jordan.. thrilling I know.


September 9th, 2011 at 11:22 AM ^

What does a normal day look like for a real-life archeologist?  I presume you're not running around like Indiana Jones, stealing priceless treasures.  Are you unearthing dinosaurs or ancient civilizations?  Inquiring minds want to know . . .



September 9th, 2011 at 11:26 AM ^

My daily life consists of reading tedious documents and survey reports... I do have a lead on where the Lost Ark is.. I saw it in a documentary, apparently its buried in a government storage facility.



On excavation and survey I am riding camels, with a fedora, and fighting off Asps in the Wadi Araba (extremely remote and inhospitable region of Jordan).. Finding ancient settlements, mapping ancient (primarily Roman and Nabatean) road systems..


btw.. Archaeologists study human civilization and humans.. Paleontologists dig up dinosaurs.


September 9th, 2011 at 11:46 AM ^

" Tieing the stadium to sports venture which was immensely popular in the 19th-21st centuries. That the stadium was a place for the masses to rally around the local organization (the University) which dominated social life within the city."


sound more like a story than a statistical report?  Just asking  ;)


September 9th, 2011 at 12:06 PM ^

In a few centuries, peeps will unearth samples of George Will's writing and wonder aloud how dumb people were back in his day

Will has always beenan  anti-football, baseball is the best sport type of sports fan. He'll be watching Tony LaRussa make 18 pitching changes tomorrow while the rest of the country enjoys the true national pasttime in stadiums all over.


September 9th, 2011 at 12:18 PM ^

C'mon man, it's fine to love football, but leave the baseball bashing out of it. You're being a "football is the best sport" type of sports fan. If a sport is awesome, then it is awesome. It's just that simple!

Baseball is a great sport and, while football might enjoy greater popularity today, it will always be America's national pastime. Indeed, it had earned that title before football was even invented.

Can't we all just get along? In the name of solidarity: TO HELL WITH NOTRE DAME!


September 9th, 2011 at 12:41 PM ^

Bacon has been exiled to Drew Sharp land in the press box.  His seat was given to the guy this blog just hired a couple weeks ago. 

I think Bacon is awesome (as I think most Michigan fans/alumni do).  Our current athletic department apparently disagrees. 

I guess the sarcasm tag is more necessary than I realized.


September 9th, 2011 at 12:46 PM ^

Oh, okay.  I don't always keep up on the office politics of the department; thanks for the explanation.

Sounds more like a Dave Shand situation than a Drew Sharp one--an actual friend of the program who has offended the AD, and has been made to suffer for it.


Blue boy johnson

September 9th, 2011 at 1:53 PM ^

Bacon stated Sunday morning he thinks any coach deserves at least 4 or 5 years to get his program in place, such thinking could easily put him at odds with the current regime. I agree with Bacon, and on principle, I would have given RR a 4th year. However, after 3 years of epic failure on the D, I couldn't muster much an argument to retain RR.

RR was never Brandon's guy. I don't know, but believe RR would have gotten a 4th year had Martin still been AD.


September 9th, 2011 at 2:15 PM ^

I just don't see how Bacon holding a relatively innocuous opinion (we should have supported our coach better and maybe seen what his players could do as upperclassmen before firing him) justifies Brandon making him persona non grata.  Bacon is a faculty member and has been a fantastic ambassador for UM athletics for well over a decade.  Treating him like Drew Sharp is fucking ridiculous.

At this point though I expect nothing less from our fearless leader.