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Date Title Body
04/17/2018 - 5:40am 2017 better than I thought.

I just finished watching the Amazon documentary, and I found it surprisingly good.  I was prepared to cringe and grimace at many points in the narrative.  But even if reliving the disappointments brought back the original feelings, the positive aspects far outweighed the negative ones.  I think everyone acquitted themselves well.  Harbaugh struck me as much more of a teacher who emphasizes the positive than I had imagined (or maybe feared).  O'Korn came across as a mature and supportive teammate--every bit the Michigan Man.  Speight was just fine, even admirable--not what I had expected after reading some comments here by folks who had viewed the series already.  Hamilton, Mattison, and of course Brown were  impressive.  And the players seemed conscientious, hard-working, and fully-committed, both as athletes as as students.  Most of all, they seemed like decent kids--young men whose youth still shows in their faces, and whose irrepressible high spirits are one of the things that make coaching so gratifying.

The "human interest" stories--about Larry Prout, the Chad Tough campaign, Rashan Gary's relationship with his mom, Karan Higdon's with his daughter and family--were genuinely moving (at least to a sentimental old fool like me).  They did a lot to offset the hard facts of life in a premier FBS program like ours.

I've seen a lot of documentaries over the decades, and I believe this one was designed and executed with great skill and sensitivity.  Even making allowances for the fact that constraints and priorities bent it toward serving as a promotional piece for Michigan football, it still managed to seem candid, genuine, and revealing.  Maybe I'm just too prone to suspending my disbelief when it comes to anything about the team, but I found nothing I wouldn't want viewers from other fan bases to see.  More than that, it showed the program and the University to be as unique and praiseworthy as I've always wanted to believe (but haven't always been sure) they are.

I recommend the series highly.  It'll do your soul (if you have one) good, make you feel better about 2017, and give you more hope for the future.


01/20/2018 - 11:19pm "Will you look at that?!"

--as Keith Jackson might have said. 

What great run blocking! Huge holes.

Notice the screens, the counters, the draws.  What acceleration, top-end speed, and power!

Oh, my. 

We have seen so many great ones in the past.  When again?

01/17/2018 - 2:01am Imagine...

Imagine if all of us who have CF/ME could have the emotional and financial support so generously being provided here.  It won't reverse the bankruptices or divorces, but it might help us endure the life that remains to us.

01/12/2018 - 11:58pm Only support I can offer

Unfortunately, having had CFS for almost 30 years--more than half a normal working life--I have nothing to offer in the way of support except my sympathy and encouragement. If there's a bright side, it's that CFS has been offically recognized and sufferers no longer need doubt their own sanity when trying to convey to others that "it's not all in my head." Since you're young, there's hope for, if not a cure, at least palliatives that mitigate the symptoms.

I'm happy that you have so much support, because I've had essentially none. The only thing worse than having CFS is facing it alone.

I wish you the best.


06/15/2017 - 1:13am Celebrities--or so they seemed to me...

Paul Newman

Gregory Peck

Bill Bradley

Yvette Mimieux

Mike Farrell

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Georgy Arbatov

John Gardner            

Milton Friedman

David Stockman

Jessica Lange


Gene Wilder

Marty Feldman

Diane Cannon

Michael Murphy (actor)

Michael Murphy (Esalen founder)

Dan Rather

William F. Buckley

Dom DeLuise

Tony Robbins

Lord Burke Trend

Sally Struthers

Harry Reems...


At least I think I met these folks.  It was a long, long time ago.



11/13/2016 - 8:08pm No explanation, true--but...

I agree there's no explanation (apart from all the factors that actually contributed, as noted by posters).  It's just a wrinkle in spacetime, I think, one that UM trips over time and again.  At least since 1969, when I started following UM football, we (well, UM teams) have repeatedly played down to the skill level of our opponents, thereby affording them the opportunity to use greater emotion and determination to beat us.  (WD, can you tell us how many times in the past 47 years a UM team ranked in the top 10 has been upset by an unranked team, especially a conference opponent?)

I recall one year (don't know which) when Michigan had risen to #1 in the polls just before the Staee game.  It was in Ann Arbor and on national TV.  A homemade banner high in the north end zone read, "No. One vs. No One."  An omen, and not a good one.  We lost.

I couldn't predict Iowa would have won on Saturday, but I've had a bad feeling about it since I looked at the 2016 schedule for the first time.  (WD, what's our W-L record at Iowa, especially when we're ranked higher than UI is?)  We do not play well against teams widely perceived to pose little threat.

Of course, that's most teams.  But there's always a snake in the turf somewhere, and too often it seems to have been black and gold.

08/04/2016 - 12:54am Just match them, please.

The endzone and home jerseys.  Too great a divergence will not look good.

08/04/2016 - 12:51am Not so fast...

Not so dark it looks like Notre Dame, please.  Or Navy.  The offical color is "Lapis Lazuli."  Darker than royal, bluer than navy.

08/04/2016 - 12:48am I'll say it again--

I'm OK with the way this maize looks.

08/04/2016 - 12:30am I'm ok with that maize

if that's what it looks like in natural light.  Yellow enough for all of us can still see and remember colors--or think we can...

08/03/2016 - 1:09am Rankism.

Rankism is the phenomenon in which a person's expertise in one area (say, in acting) wins them unwarranted deference and status in another (e.g., politics).  Tom Brady may be the GOAT QB, but personally I find his alleged friendship with Mr. Trump a bit disconcerting.  Coach Harbaugh may be the GOAT of Michigan and college football coaching, but that merely gives him influence--not authority--over sartorial decisions with regard to uniforms.  All fashion in the 70s sucked, and that includes our road uniforms.  I saw them up close, and the team might as well have worn all dishwater gray.  Bring back the maize pants, and get the maize right while you're at it--it's the color of ripe sweet corn, not the orange/gold of feed corn.

Yeah, national championships are nice, but personally I prefer tradition over championships.  Tradition, whether its ours or Notre Dame's or anybody else's begins with not compromising the values of distinctiveness and recognizability.

And remember this, Jimophiles:  No man is bigger than the team.  Not Bennie or Fritz or Bo or Jim.  The University.  The Tradition.  The Team.  Then the man.  In that order.

08/03/2016 - 12:57am Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.

Maybe we should put some more thought into how we express our appreciation.  The novel mentioned above is worth reading.

07/24/2016 - 1:12am I remember every one of them.

I was in a comparative econ class with the late Tom Slade.  Good as he was, the next year he gave up the starting role to Denny Franklin.  I saw Tom Darden's over-the-receiver's shoulder interception to seal the win against OSU in '71.  I was in line at the register in the Corner Market (at South University and Washtenaw), now long gone.  I finished paying and turned around to look right into Paul Seymour's belt bucklet (or so it seemed;  I'm 6'0", so that would've made him 8 feet tall, at least).  He looked very unhappy.  Perhaps he disapproved of my long hair.  Unfortunately, Billy Taylor did time for armed robbery, but to his everlasting credit he straighetned out his life and ended up getting a doctorate in educational leadership and founding a substance abuse program.

07/24/2016 - 12:57am Hey, I got a BGS.

What's wrong with General Studies?  An undergrad education is supposed to be broad and varied.

07/22/2016 - 12:43am Yes!

Absolutely.  A million upvotes for you.

07/22/2016 - 12:40am Welcome to Rowan University PMS 7406

Accordnig to, PMS 7406 has a RGB equivalent of R 227, G 186, B 18 and a HEX humber of e3ab12  (  This dark mustard yellow is even darker than what the folks at Rowan University call  "Rowan gold," which is also called PMS 7406 nut has an RGB of R 227, G 213, B 28.  Try these colors on your monitor and see what you think. 

I haven't seen anything so dark and dreary since the Notre Dame and Georgia Tech golds of the 1960s.  I really hope the uniforms don't turn out to be so drained of life that even the wing pattern on the helmets no longer dazzles anyone.

Hope I'm wrong abut this, but Howard and Woodson did not wear a maize that looks anything like this.  Maybe Harmon did.

06/22/2016 - 1:50am Wrong colors...

They can't seem to get the maize or the blue right--unlike UM, which at least gets the blue right...

06/22/2016 - 1:47am Colorado State?

You mean the Rams?  Or do you mean the CU Buffs?  As for the latter, their gold has got too much of a green tint to it.  I also don't like the "silver" they added to their jerseys.  Black and a proper gold is the best.

05/23/2016 - 12:52am Terrrrrrific!

Here--in the town where I was born, just recently named the second poorest community in the country--the football team of my father's high school did something remarkable, with the help of a remarkable man.

Why can't we do this in every community where it would make so much of a difference?

03/21/2016 - 12:32am That's more Aussie.

Brits have always been traditionalists:  Marmite for them.  (It's meaty.)

03/03/2016 - 12:38am More like the breadth of a hair, actually,

than like its circumference.  And while we're at it, could people start *honing* their skills and *homing* in on the truth, not vice versa.  Thank you.  Continue.

02/27/2016 - 1:16am I second that.

I had to say that.  Old enthusiasms die hard.

02/25/2016 - 2:32am He can be the exec producer.

The line producer does all the real work.  The exec often just nods approval.

02/25/2016 - 2:15am Amen to livin' large.

What was it, about 72, 73 today?  Hasn't rained in a month.  

It's been more than 40 years since I left MI, and I still can't bear the thought of snow, slush, and a low, gray ceiling.  

Put a Truman Show-type bubble over A2, hang an artifical sun, and maybe I could tolerate it.  But only on football Saturdays.

02/24/2016 - 12:50am It's not walking distance, exactly.

Unless you're Abe Lincoln, I suppose.  BS is on the river.  You could get in a canoe and in a couple of hours make it to the lake.  I did it once.  But Lakeshore, St. Joe, and Benton Harbor are all closer.

02/21/2016 - 1:03am Baited breath sounds like

sombody ate earthworms or something else lacking in appeal to anyone but a fish.  I guess "baited" is becoming accepted, but it's always been "bated" breath.

02/21/2016 - 12:39am Most places will allow it.

It's on his dime.  They pay tuition for 4, maybe 5 years.  That's why it's not common.

There was a guy in Oxford when I was there who after 10 years had not gotten past the first chapter of his disseration.


One of my classmates at Hopkins never finished his dissertation, and he knew his stuff.  Some people just can't make it over the hump.

02/21/2016 - 12:15am I'll sign the letter.

Turn your great post into a letter to Weinreb, Sankey, whoever.  Post it.  We'll sign it.  You send it.

Thank you.

02/17/2016 - 11:50pm "Based on coverage principles..."

What are those principles, Space?  Can you summarize them?  Thanks.

02/17/2016 - 1:04am Jesus

was the mascot they all wanted, so they agreed no one could have him.  Tigers came in second.

02/14/2016 - 1:27am Couldn't trust either one.

As the Russians said, there was no news in Izvestia ("News") and no truth in Pravda ("Truth").

02/11/2016 - 11:08pm The purpose of geckos

is to eat the big (and small) cockroaches.  Let it roam the house at night.  The sound of eating is highly satisfying.  (Just don't scare yourself when you turn on a lamp.)

02/09/2016 - 11:49pm Families?

Spoken like a dad, Stephen.  But when I was in college, I wanted nothing more than a week in Florida.  I certainly did not want to see my family in the same weather A2 was having.  They could wait till May.

01/30/2016 - 2:19am Well, I'm a grad of the grad school

at JHU, and I like what I've seen of Schlissel.  I'd happily forget about some of the undergrads I encountered there.

01/30/2016 - 1:53am Pong.

That was our game in college.  Wait, no it wasn't.  Hadn't been invented yet (unless they had it on the dual IBM 360s we programmed with punch cards).  I guess we just played poker.

01/26/2016 - 1:09am Maybe, maybe not.

I dunno, WD.  Kids today look a lot different than when I was a freshman.  They're bigger, faster, and more experienced--some with 8 years of youth football experience.  And youth football coaches are teaching kids stuff that 10 years ago they didn't learn until they got to the varsity level.  They have spring practice.  They practice 6 weeks in the summer.  Kids also start going to camps much earlier, even if they're only local ones.  And they start training (core strength, speed and agility) in youth football.

Last season I coached freshmen at a California high school (not the division for the largest schools, but the next biggest).  We had a center and an RB/DB who started on the varsity this year, as sophomores.  The DB played corner.  He was also the kicker.  (If I recall correctly, he kicked a 40-yarder as a freshman).  And that was his first year playing organized tackle football.  The guy who started at center had already been getting letters and phone calls from schools as a freshman.

My freshman team had a lineman who weighed 300 lbs, and he was quick enough and light enough on his feet to have been a running back.  We had another who was 280 or so.  We played against a team that had a 6'8" DE.

It still likely is true that recruiting starts too early.  But when guys come back as sophomores, most of them aren't even recognizable.  My varsity team when I was 17 would have had a tough time beating my freshman team from last year or this past season.

This ain't your grandpa's football anymore.



01/10/2016 - 10:35pm I met her.

Shirley.  And she didn't mind being called that.

01/10/2016 - 12:39am Yellow and black?

More like maize and black, now that we've toned down our color of corn.

01/03/2016 - 10:50pm Oh, man, don't even joke about that.

I'm too old.  It'd kill me.

01/03/2016 - 10:42pm I love this GIF.

Thanks, young feller.

01/02/2016 - 9:54pm Ten years as a backup.

With the Patriots.  Behind Tom.

12/10/2015 - 1:24am Well thought-out, and well expressed.


11/28/2015 - 11:09pm Me, too. It seems like just yesterday

we were waiting for the long summer to pass and the season began.  I am dreading another nine months (excluding this season's bowl appearance) without football.  When you get old like some of us guys, you never know when it's going to be your last season.

11/17/2015 - 12:29am Oregon's pull on California

has always been strong, for both athletes (e.g., Dan Fouts) and non-athletes.  Maryland isn't able, I think, to recruit NJ, OH, and PA the way OU can tap into California.  There are 38 million  people here.  All the good HS football players can't go to SC, UCLA, and Stanford (so they go to OU, OSU, UW, AZ, ASU, Utah...).

11/10/2015 - 11:08pm Also Richard Burton's birthday.

Why do I remember?  Because it's also the birthday of my first girlfriend, in high school.  My birthday's the same as Elizabeth Taylor's.  (At the time we thought that was cool.)

Of course, that was 40 years ago.  I haven't talked to her since.  Today as previously, I tried to contact her via email and her Facebook page.  She won't reply.  She lives in Ann Arbor.  If you see her, could you ask her why?  I don't mind if everybody else knows.


11/03/2015 - 12:06am You may have died?

I will have.

10/30/2015 - 1:55am Excellent.

Somebody finally defined "irony" correctly.  A million upvotes for you, OC.

10/30/2015 - 1:39am Oh, man. Wasn't the Delta folks.

Not as much as it was the drug business from Chicago and Detroit moving into fertile grounds in BH.  There were plenty of solid blue collar families in BH until the decline in the US auto business in the 70s killed AUSCO (Auto Specialties).  You know how many businesses depended on the Big Three manufacturers?  A lot.  Then Whirlpool closed its manufacturing in the area and shipped it to points south.  Had nothing to do with the Delta immigrants.

You wanna blame somebody, blame the auto execs who turned communities like BH into ghost towns where only the pushers and the addicts and too-poor-to-get-out folks would live.

And while we're talking politics, how about the wonderful representation BH has had in Congress from hostiles like Hutchinson, Stockman, and Upton?!  You think they've done anything for BH?  I know--I sat in one of their offices in D.C. and watched it play out.

10/30/2015 - 1:29am Me, too!

And I also lived in the Rockies--Colorado--for 15 years.  A bit different from the Twin Cities.

10/30/2015 - 1:27am Chet Walker of the Bulls pre-Jordan.

L.C. Bowen followed Walker to Bradley Univ. in the late sixties.  Smooth as silk jumper.  (I used to play out at Benton Township during the summers.)  He, Perry Dodd, and other guys I've forgotten now led BH to consecutive Class A championships in the mid sixties.