My shot at "Cool story, bro"

Submitted by 1M1Ucla on April 7th, 2015 at 6:47 PM

So my wife, eldest son and I hauled over from Chicago on Friday afternoon.  We dropped MGoSon at Ashley's to meet some friends and drink their beer, then the missus and I wandered around town a bit checking out what has changed since our last visit: 2008's Wisconsin game.

A lot has changed and a lot hasn't changed, in a nice mixture from my perspective.

We checked Yelp for dinner ideas and wound up choosing the Chop House on Main -- whoa, price check on all the damn aisles -- those prices impressed me and we have dinner out in Chicago and burbs a lot.  Bless their cotton-picking Maize and Blue hearts at the Chop House.

Anyway, we were seated at a table for two in the front window.  We ordered, had a coupla glasses of red stuff, and were into our salads when a big honking limo pulled up outside and the right rear door opened.  The first man trying to get out was struggling because his feet and legs were too big to pull out of the space and get out the door.  Once he was out and standing, it occurred to me that the guy looked an awful lot like Bubba Paris...and the next guy looked a lot like Eddie Muransky.  Another 4 or 5 huge guys exited the limo, but I didn't recognize them.

A few minutes later, another five really large guys came down Main from the south.  I think one fellow was John Elliott -- among a bunch of big guys, he was clearly the biggest.

More and more of similarly sized fellows came in, most of whom I did not recognize, but a few I did included Drew Henson, John Wangler, Tony Leone, Ron Simpkins (I think), Stan Edwards (also a guess).  One guy was the largest human being I have ever seen in my life, easy 6' 7'' and completely filled the double doors on the restaurant.  With the number of my-era 70's guys there, I was looking for Mike Jolley, Butch Woolfolk, Billy Dufek, Rick Leach, Russell Davis, Andy Cannavino and some others, but didn't see/recognize them.  One guy might have been Kirk Lewis and another Jeff Bednarik.

All these guys disappeared downstairs into the cigar room, followed by a flock of wait-persons.

A bit later, a little short dude with straight reddish hair in a grey sweatshirt and briefcase headed out -- John U. Bacon, apparently feeling underdressed with all the guys in blue blazers because he was back in about 20 minutes later with his blue sweater and khakis on.

A bit later still, another group in blue blazers came up.  This crowd was different, though.  There was an older square-jawed gent with his wife and a somewhat younger square-jawed gent with piercing eyes.  Obviously, it was Jim Harbaugh and his folks heading in to join the crowd.

The Chop House emptied in moments, patrons leaving steaks and wine unchaperoned to go meet, ogle and take pictures with the Coach.  Jim was extremely kind and outgoing with everyone who came up.  He chatted and posed for pictures with diners out on the sidewalk for about 15 minutes before heading inside and downstairs.  I left the table to go say hi and shake hands, and also chatted briefly with Jack Harbaugh.  Jack had been on the staff back when I was in school and I knew him a little bit.  He was gracious enough to pretend to remember, so I could tell my wife.

So, anyway, there must have been nearly 100 guys there down in the cigar room and going in and out.  I wish I could have recognized more, but they and I are older now and much different than before.

My wife was thrilled -- she and I dated in college when a lot of those guys were there.  She excused herself to powder her nose -- downstairs, of course -- and came back saying she had said hi to Jim and Wangler.  Great news for a old, short, balding, bearded, low-on-the-roster baseball player with a pretty wife.  She did come back, though.

So, great night all around.  Lots of good guys enjoying each others' company and telling stories, having drinks and sharing cigar smoke.

Oh, yeah, one more thing -- Jim was talking to a guy whom I thought was Brandon Minor, a guy I always respected for giving so much in tough circumstances.  Presumptive Minor said to Coach that it was an honor to meet one of the alltime greats.  Coach's response was that he was honored to meet one of the greats himself.  

I wish I had talked to Brandon.



April 7th, 2015 at 7:08 PM ^

I was just thinking about Brandon Minor yesterday when analyzing the current talent on the Michigan roster.  IMO, the cupboard is far more bare than it was in 07 when RR came in.

There are no Brandon Minor, Carlos Brown, Jr. Hemingway, Molk, Martin, RVB, Brandon Grahams etc. on this roster.  Perhaps some of the guys could step up, certainly on the DL and defense there is a alot of potential....but offensively...the cupboard is extremely sparse, lacking skill and playmakers, as well as shockingly poor OL play.

Hopefully Harbaugh can turn that around...


April 7th, 2015 at 7:54 PM ^

By at least one measure, the '08 team was the least talented of any in recent memory.

Look at the next five NFL drafts ('09 to '13) and tell me how many high (first three rounds) draft picks you see. (Sorry -- I know at least some people will complain about this measure.) I count Brandon Graham, Jonas Mouton, and Mike Martin over *five* years.


April 8th, 2015 at 7:58 AM ^

How many guys on this year's team so you expect to be a first, second, or third round draft pick over the next five years? Jabrill is this team's Brandon Graham. Beyond him, I think the best odds are for Jourdan Lewis, Mason Cole, and Jake Butt. I'm not confident that any of the three will make the third round (though I certainly hope so). We have a lot of athletes with potential (guys like Taco Charlton, Willie Henry, Lawrence Marshall, and Derrick Green), but none of them have done enough yet to be in the same conversation with folks like Mike Martin.

steve sharik

April 7th, 2015 at 9:42 PM ^

IMO, the cupboard is far more bare than it was in 07 when RR came in. (O)ffensively...the cupboard is extremely sparse, lacking skill and playmakers, as well as shockingly poor OL play.

The most talented player on the 2008 offense was probably David a rapper.


April 8th, 2015 at 8:26 PM ^

Cone was not even the starting QB.  Do you remember 2008?

Scheme aside... let's compare offensive rosters.

2008  Steve Threet

2015 Shane Morris

Advantage Steve Threet.  More Accurate passer. 


2008 RBs - Minor, Brown, McGuffie, Cox (NY Giants), Grady

2015 RBs - Green, Smith,Injured Johnson,  Isaac, etc.

Advantage 2008 group.  Grady and Green are push, both 5 star busts.  Issac is an unknown.  Smith is a slower version of Brandon Minor.  McGuffie is in the CFL.  Cox in the NFL.

WRs 2008 had Clemons, Hemingway (NFL), Matthews, Odoms, Rogers, Roundtree and a sober Stonum

The 2015 group is not even close to that level of talent.

2008 TEs (poorly implmented in RRs scheme) Butler, Koger, Moore, Webb etc.

2015 TEs Butt is very good, Bunting etc. unproven. 



2008 Molk, Omameh, Schilling (all NFL currently) etc.

2015 any NFL talent on that line?  eh Cole probably, Glasgow maybe if he stays sober

RR wasted a decent roster with his scheme (albeit the one that he was hired to run).  This was AFTER Arrington, Manningham and Mallet bolted.

2008 had more overall talent on offense than the current team does.  This is simply a fact.


April 7th, 2015 at 6:59 PM ^

I was in A2 for the spring game this weekend and it was crazy! Lots of former players. We were hanging out with Prescott Burgess, Rondell Biggs and several others in Melange. All of them were very cool and welcomed the fans. They are just as pumped for Jimmy!

P.S. There is one former QB now on a daytime soap. I cannot remember his name. Does anyone know who that might be?


April 7th, 2015 at 6:58 PM ^

Anybody else have the same reaction that I did to a story involving all these great names under one roof?

"And then what happened?"


April 8th, 2015 at 9:07 AM ^

True story, my brother met Jimmy Johnson in Miami the night before the Super Bowl a few years ago and charmed him into giving him 2 tickets to the game.  Of course, my brother was a fighter pilot and could sell a katsup popcicle to a guy wearing white gloves, but....


April 7th, 2015 at 8:00 PM ^

Illuminati has the letter "m" in it.

Michigan begins with the letter "m".

The University of Michigan is located in Ann Arbor.

The name Ann Arbor  has 2 "A"s.

The name Ace Anbender also has 2 "A"s.

What shape is seen in the letter "A"?

That's right.

A triangle.

The Illuminati is a triangle.

What is the opposite of a triangle? A circle.

What letter is in the shape of a circle? The letter "o".

Ace Anbender works for Mgoblog. The name Mgoblog has two "o"s.

What else has two "o"s in it?

That's right.


Brian Cook and Ace Anbender = Illuminati CONFIRMED



April 7th, 2015 at 7:01 PM ^

Tells you a lot about Michigan men. Most people with notoriety can't stand when people interrupt their night bc they want something for themselves. Seems like all of those guys welcomed the attention and were happy to mingle. This is definitely a cool story bro.... But I met BO and some guy named Charles Woodson.