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11/18/2018 - 12:54pm This Saturday will be about…

This Saturday will be about my 12th game at Ohio Stadium.  I’ve never once had an ugly or threatening experience there.  Not even close, so far as I know.

I disagree with Bando about the trend, however.  I see fan behavior getting worse, not better.  And that is everywhere.  Not at all limited to Ohio State.

OSU game days are tremendous things.  Fans who are devoted like no other.  A pre-game orchestration that is unsurpassed.  All of Mid-Ohio lives for that day.  

Ohio Stadium is massively impressive.  We have nothing quite like their Rotunda.  But of course Michigan Stadium is THE FINEST stadium in the country.  Which you quickly realize when you are in a back row of B Deck or frozen C Deck.  Or in an obstructed view seat.  Of which there are none in Ann Arbor, but a depressingly considerable number by the banks of the Olentangy.

You haven’t fully experienced Big Ten football if you haven’t been to The Game in Columbus.

11/17/2018 - 8:41pm Tom Allen is a psycho.  He’s…

Tom Allen is a psycho.  He’s a chip off the ol’ Kevin Wilson.

(Allen was Wilson’s DC when they fired Wilson.  Allen was the most psycho opposing coach I ever witnessed on the east sideline in Michigan Stadium.)

 

 

11/13/2018 - 1:28pm Well the "revelations" were…

Well the "revelations" were not just that "college FB players work hard."  The revelations were of NCAA major violations.  (Almost completely debunked, as we know.)

I don't recall players from other programs laughing; I do recall Jim Tressel going public with (appropriate) questions about whether the story was actually looking at the right rules and procedures and wondering what it was all about.

 

11/13/2018 - 12:48pm And now, The Ohio State…

And now, The Ohio State University goes into official counter-attack mode.  From the Athletic Director, to communications, to practically every player who was in a position to be a witness.  All unequivocal denials of McMurphy's story, from the people -- maybe ALL of the people -- who were actual witnesses.

Now, if McMurphy has actual sources who are credible, the pressure on him to be more public about the sourcing for his story increases exponentially.

 

11/13/2018 - 12:27pm In all honesty, practically…

In all honesty, practically every member of the Grimes family has credibility issues.  Which is why a good journalist would employ extreme caution in reporting anything about it.

But of course Courtney Smith had credibility problems, and that didn't stop McMurphy.

 

11/13/2018 - 12:23pm Is that what the nation…

Is that what the nation thought of Michigan, in the early fall of 2009?  That Michigan was a rogue program, abusing football players and wildly violating practice time limits?

Was it the case that "only Michigan slappies" doubted the Detroit Free Press' reporting?

11/13/2018 - 11:39am I think we can now add…

I think we can now add Parris Campbell to this list of people who were witnesses, and who deny any truth to McMurphy's reporting.  And 11W's Twitter account adds video of Grimes' father stating earlier this month that Urban Meyer and Ohio State had been nothing but honorable to Trevon and the family.

 

11/13/2018 - 11:13am And Austin Mack, who says he…

And Austin Mack, who says he was an eyewitness, also is denouncing McMurphy's reporting as well.

11/13/2018 - 11:09am They have a Forum topic open…

They have a Forum topic open on this story and McMurphy right now.

11/13/2018 - 11:03am That is literally what…

That is literally what Michael Rosenberg and Mark Snyder did, in their reporting debacle on Michigan in the summer of 2009.  Literally; they were contacting disgruntled former players who had left the program, many of them transfers.  Rosenberg and Snyder wouldn't tell us who they were, but in at least one case -- Toney Clemons who had transferred to Colorado -- it was just a clusterfuck of misinformation wherein we got a window as to how the reporters got it wrong.  Clemons outed himself, and then the more he answered questions, the more weird the original story got.  (Clemons said that yeah sure he was in Schembechler hall all day on Sundays after games.  And that was seen as some sort of confirmation of the original story.  Except that there is absolutely nothing wrong with players hanging out in Schembechler Hall all day on Sundays.  And when it was investigated, the NCAA confirmed that.) 

I have many issues with the message boards associated with the important college football blogs. (MGoBlog, ElevenWarriors, etc.)  But MGoBlog's exposure of the recklessness of Rosenberg remains one of the best moments in the history of the blog and in the history of reporting on Michigan athletics.  One of Brian Cook's finest hours, ever.

The blogs are good at Fisking stories like this.  It is one of the better things that the college football blogs can do.

And now, I will watch ElevenWarriors for its counter-reporting on McMurphy and his ongoing story.  They have caught him in some reporting errors and excesses in the recent past, and I will watch closely to see if they do some more of that.

In the meantime, current Buckeye Johnnie Dixon says that he witnessed the altercation and McMurphy has it wrong.  Johnnie Dixon is going public and on the record; McMurphy is still relying on anonymous sources.

 

11/13/2018 - 10:04am Except that it isn't even…

Except that it isn't even true.  People forget that Leach was drafted by the Denver Broncos but never played with them because he was drafted by the Detroit Tigers and given an even bigger contract.

The quarterbacks that followed Leach were the mashup of B.J. Dickey, John Wangler, Rich Hewlett and then Steve Smith.  Until Harbaugh came along,

11/13/2018 - 9:55am Well, the important stats…

Well, the important stats from Rick Leach's four years as a starter were that Michigan won or tied 3 times for the Conference championship; he beat Ohio State every year after his freshman year, and he finished 3rd in the Heisman Trophy balloting (while getting ready to be drafted into major league baseball, as a two-sport All-American).  He set total offense records that would stand 

Typical Leach stat line would be from the 1976 Michigan-Ohio State game.  Leach was 0-6 passing on the day.  And Michigan dominated the Buckeyes, 22-0.

Compared to his predecessors, Leach was a really good passer, and set a bunch of Michigan passing records at the time, including the then-existing record for touchdown passes in a season.

11/12/2018 - 8:24pm It will come as a shock to…

It will come as a shock to everyone at the University of Arizona, that Coach Rodriguez had a secretary at Arizona State University.

I really don't know what to do with you, you miserable little turd.  Of course, the allegations against Coach Rodriguez had nothing to do with "sexual assault" in any way, shape or form.  I could alert the mods to try to have your post taken down.  But that might deny me the fun of running you down, on exactly where you got the notion of repeated "sexual assault."

But you're not a serious person here.  You're obviously too dumb to worry about.

So I am just going to leave this with you.

 

11/11/2018 - 12:26pm That is a really odd…

That is a really odd calculation over at 538.

I expected to find that they expected us to have a harder time "winning out" with OSU on our  schedule.  But they give us a 42% chance of winning out, and Georgia has a 31% chance of winning out.  (Georgia has a 31% chance of beating Alabama in the SECCG?!?  No wait; it must mean that a 2-loss Georgia team might still have a chance.  But not if Michigan wins out.  At least not as far as I can imagine.)

 

11/11/2018 - 11:53am So next week Georgia plays…

So next week Georgia plays UMass.  S&P+ rank: 110.

11/09/2018 - 12:33am Well, we could take a shot…

Well, we could take a shot at Title IX.  I'm certainly willing to give that a go.

11/09/2018 - 12:33am Well, we could take a shot…

{double post}

11/09/2018 - 12:19am Huh?!?

Your post WAS benign…

Huh?!?

Your post WAS benign, correct, helpful and instructive.  I liked it; I agree with it.  I think others are liking it.  I upvoted you!  How did I take a shot at you?  I wrote a nice comment to you, and I meant every word of it.

?

 

11/08/2018 - 8:08pm Well I really like having…

Well I really like having Warinner here, and I'd hate to see him go.  Knowing something about how he had done at OSU, I had very high hopes when he came to Ann Arbor; hopes that have very much been met. 

But this seems like a really good time to examine all of the comments on this page, along the lines of, "Get out the money cannon and pull that trigger!"

College football is getting more and more expensive.  We seem to be more or less slaves to television money, and we all know how television is ruining the in-Stadium experience.  And to even get that ever-more-compromised in-Stadium experience, we are charging more for ticket prices, and more for PSD's; meanwhile all across college football, attendance is flattening or falling off.  Every single Michigan fan of a certain age -- start with John U. Bacon -- can talk about how Michigan football used to be the best bargain in sports in the state.  And how young kids could easily go to the games and have casual fun.  And breed Michigan football fanatics.  Now, young families and interested kids are almost entirely priced out.

And when you look at Athletic Department expenses, one of the most massive expenditures (and getting bigger and bigger all the time) are coaching salaries.  People talk about all the revenue, and how players deserve to share in the revenue, and how there is this enormous gulf between coaches who are getting paid millions, versus players who are paid absolutely nothing...

But in this thread we see the fans' perceived imperatives, in paying coaches.  They want somebody, anybody, to pay what it takes to hire/retain hot coaches.

Something's gotta give.  And I haven't seen a single post in this thread yet that acknowledges that fact.

 

11/08/2018 - 7:57pm Well you are definitely…

Well you are definitely right about that and I am your first upvote.  You should get many for this rightful observation.

I hope that we are somehow wrong about my supposition that the UMCGD has been cut out of this completely, but it seems that the writing is on the wall.

A really cold, ugly decision by somebody.  I cannot believe that we are just now figuring this out, and there hasn't been more talk about it.  I haven't heard anything, at least.

11/08/2018 - 4:29pm Massive parking there, too. …

Massive parking there, too.  Are you listening, Warde Manuel?  P-A-R-K-I-N-G.

11/08/2018 - 4:02pm Gigantic catering facility.
  1. Gigantic catering facility.
  2. Convenient location for Ann Arbor and Detroit at once.
  3. {See my post above, re: "University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit"}
11/08/2018 - 4:00pm No, and there is no "M Club…

No, and there is no "M Club of Livonia."  The venue was the Laurel Manor Banquet and Conference Center.

Now here is the part I am interested in...  The host organization for the Annual Football Bust was the University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit.  And it was a major fundraising cornerstone for them.  Are they now being cut out?  I don't know.  I don't want to say anything hostile or critical without knowing.  I get regular mail from UMCGC, and I don't recall this notification from them.  If they are still involved as before, great.  If not, I think that is an issue that bears discussion.

 

Edit. - I do not see this event listed on the website of the University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit.

Hmmmmmm…..

 

11/06/2018 - 5:01pm Indiana is Senior Day for a…

Indiana is Senior Day for a bunch of really hard-working guys, and I would focus on that.  Guys who have worked their asses off for 4 or 5 years, and not just on the Revenge Tour.  People should make an effort to fill the Stadium early that day and give them and their parents the ovation they deserve.

11/06/2018 - 12:30pm I don't think that constant…

I don't think that constant unremitting pressure and complaining to someone like Warde Manuel, from his most important base of support, is "empty posturing."  For my part, I wouldn't have any expectations whatsoever that there would be any major change in television contracts.  Only a minor change, and only for the most reasonable of causes; the simple courtesy of allowing ticket holders the opportunity to plan a weekend for which they have paid a lot, in advance.

For any out-of-town Michigan alum, the status quo is like buying a trip to Disneyworld, and letting Disneyworld tell you six days in advance which say your room will be ready.

And further (paraphrasing you): Are television networks ready to completely walk away from broadcasting Big Ten football games in order to avoid an accommodation on kickoff times?  If that's not the case, then we are back to serious negotiations and bargaining over the right to get better advance notice on game times.

11/06/2018 - 11:32am Uh…. I reeeeeeaaaalllly don…

Uh…. I reeeeeeaaaalllly don't think that the sudden departure of Frank Beckmann had a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g much to do with Dave Brandon.  Just the opposite, if you catch my drift.

 

11/06/2018 - 11:28am Jalen Rose for... football?

Jalen Rose for... football?

11/06/2018 - 11:25am No I think that Dan Miller…

No I think that Dan Miller would be the exact wrong guy.  College football is not, or should not be, a business.  Dan Miller is fine for the NFL.  Which is to say, precisely wrong for college football.  For college football, I want someone who is devoted to the program and its history, and not to draft projections.

11/06/2018 - 11:23am It's true; I listened to the…

It's true; I listened to the SMU game on radio this year, on a day that I was too sick (weird early-season flu) to go to the game.

I actually love the chance to listen to a game or two on the radio every year.  Radio is fun, when it is done by the best announcers.

At one point in that game, Brandy called Shea Patterson by the wrong name.

As the OP rightly notes, Brandstatter always was and still could be a wonderful radio commentator.  But he is not and never was a play-by-play man, which is an entirely separate skill.  And he is filling the shoes of Triple Hall of Fame broadcaster Frank Beckmann.  Not enviable.

Perhaps somebody thought that Brandy filling in for Beckmann would be like Carl Grapentine taking over for Howard King.  We should be so fortunate.

 

11/06/2018 - 11:16am I have listened to a number…

I have listened to a number of OSU games done by Paul Keels.  He's very, very good.  I actually remember him doing general sports reporting in Detroit; he was good.  And I remember him doing U-M basketball; he was great at that.  And oddly enough, I don't recall him doing Michigan football (even though he did it for six years I think) and I think the reason for that is because in those days when I listened to games on the radio, I always listened to Tom Hemmingway and the late Tom Slade -- THE BEST radio team Michigan has ever had.

The funny thing about Keels in this era of big college football blogs is that I see a lot of complaints about Keels from folks like the 11W crowd.  Keels has some fans, as he should, but a mystifying number of detractors.

 

11/05/2018 - 5:34pm I suspect that the technical…

I suspect that the technical explanation was, "Nobody was looking."

11/05/2018 - 4:31pm No argument from me; I…

No argument from me; I thought it was clear.  And in my full-field viewing, it looked as though the refs made the call immediately and without question.  They were whistling the play dead even as the returner started to run.

It is always an interesting topic for me, how susceptible a television audience is, to suggestion by the announcers.

 

11/05/2018 - 4:09pm There is a phenomenon known…

There is a phenomenon known as "roll off" in election science.  It's not complicated; it is the phenomenon in which voters cast votes for well-recognized races at the top of the ballot, but do not cast votes for lesser-known races at the bottom of the ballot.  Roll off, the political scientists tell us, is even more pronounced among voters with less education.

But no one needs to worry about roll off when you have straight-ticket voting.  If you have a social structure in which you can enforce a strong ethic of straight-party voting, your side will have a very large advantage in the down-ballot races that are routinely subject to roll off.

49% of voters in Michigan used straight-party voting in 2014, but I could not find the partisan breakdown.  I would really like to know. I am guessing that it is at least 65-35 Democratic.

But however you slice and dice the numbers, the absolute, inescapable and irrefutable conclusion is that with straight-ticket voting in Michigan, Democrats in down-ballot races get a bump of many thousands of votes, all other things being equal.  In Detroit, in the low-turnout 2014 midterm, just 31% of eligible voters turned out.  About 167,000 total voters.  Of those, 122,000 cast "straight ticket" votes, and of those, an eye-popping 97.35% were for the Democratic Party via a straight-party vote.  So of those votes, there would have been zero roll off.

Amazing, isn't it?

 

 

11/05/2018 - 1:58pm Come on;

Chris Webber wasn…

Come on;

Chris Webber wasn't indicted for making a mistake when he was 18 or 19.  (Technically not a kid but whatever.)

Chris Webber was an adult, with an agent and lawyers, when he lied to University of Michigan investigators and a federal grand jury.  Chris was a millionaire adult when he committed his federal crimes!!

I think a lot of younger fans conflate the time period in question.

Chris knew Ed Martin from the time he was 12 or 13, I think.  That would be from around 1985-86.

Chris was at Michigan from 1991 to 1993.

He was drafted into the NBA, and over a 15-year career, he made $176 million, if Wikipedia is correct.  His NBA career spanned from 1993 to 2008.

And it was in 2002, that he was charged with perjury and multiple other federal felonies.  As I said, Chris was a millionaire and very much an adult when he lied to University investigators and the US. Attorney's office, and the federal grand jury.  Chris was really, really lucky he got the plea deal he did.  He did plead guilty, to reduced charges.

11/05/2018 - 1:45pm I say again; how many…

I say again; how many letters?  By whom?  What are the exact terms?

The proponents of the Fab Five are trying to make the case that there was significant, widespread hatred/prejudice from some quarters.  I had season tickets in those days and spent quite a lot of time on campus, and I saw NOTHING LIKE THAT.  

I am being careful to not deny the existence of a few stray cranky letters.  And the Fab Five's defenders ought to be careful to not make too much, of a few stray cranky letters.

 

11/05/2018 - 1:40pm I was there, and have not…

I was there, and have not seen any video of the call.  I do believe you guys, as to what you saw on television.  It looked like a fair catch call to me, but I was well above him and in front of him as he moved his arm.  And I was in part following the ball's flight.

 

11/05/2018 - 1:37pm The pressure needs to start…

The pressure needs to start with season ticket holders, and be exerted strongly on the AD's.  I'd like to put the question to the TV broadcasters, but they don't have to respond to FOIA's and such.  Delany has to answer to the AD's, at least in large part.  And the question should go to Delaney, "What are our options, if we refuse TV's demands on game time scheduling?"  I know damn well that the answer isn't, "Well they won't do our games at all if we insist on that."  It is a negotiation.  And so far, I don't think that fans are putting enough pressure on the AD's and the press is not sufficiently interested in the story.  (What do the newspapers care, about what times the games are?  And we know whose side the television networks are on, in terms of their news divisions.)

 

11/05/2018 - 1:30pm Following your last sentence…

Following your last sentence, my point is that season ticket holders have financial power on a par with television and we should use it.

Of course, not every season ticket holder will credibly threaten to stop purchasing tickets.

At the same time -- and as I said -- I am not suggesting a sudden end to all TV broadcasting and revenue.  Who thinks that television will walk away from Big Ten football if we say we want control over game times?

What I am suggesting is the exertion of pressure on all of the B1G AD's, to negotiate a better deal next time.  Who ever suggested that the networks will walk away if we tell them that we will let them in on determining game times, but they need to pick those game times something like 30 days in advance.  Is it that big of a deal, to ESPN, if they agree to a noon game instead of a 3:30 game, 30 days in advance instead of 6 days in advance?  If so, then tough shit for them.

And about the notion of "professionalization of college athletics";  I am against it, in all forms.  And paying the players will only exacerbate the problem.  And if anybody thinks that we can get some free money from television to pay players, just look at what TV is doing to the games right now.

 

11/05/2018 - 1:15pm What you say is of course…

What you say is of course technically true.  In practice, it allows organized partisans to bump up vote totals in down-ballot races.  I submit that the only reason that Mike Behm is a Regent is because he was the beneficiary of straight-ticket votes for Democrats.  Behm beat Ron Weiser in 2014 by less than 5,000 votes, in a statewide election of about 5.5 million votes.  And in Detroit and Wayne County that year, the totals on Straight Ticket votes cast was 224,806 Democratic straight ticket votes, to 71,846 Republican straight-ticket votes.

Look; under the state constitution and even under the Elections Clause of Article I of the U.S. Constitution, the state legislature has the right and the power to establish the "manner" of conducting elections.

And in Michigan, this is how the majority of the legislature decided to go.

11/05/2018 - 12:45pm Right; it was the offside…

Right; it was the offside penalty on Mason.

Did the tv guys say (and did video show) that the kick receiver didn't call for a fair catch?  Because as soon as he started running, I started screaming that he can't run, he called for a fair catch.  I thought it was clear.  But I didn't see any replay.  I don't even recall the Stadium video boards showing it.

Because shortly after that, what we laughed about even harder was Bozo Franklin's decision to re-kick resulting in what turned out to be a 3-and-out  for PSU from well inside their own 30.  They should have taken the ball, and the penalty, and punted on first down.  And then go out the tunnel to the team buses which were probably nice and warm.

 

 

11/05/2018 - 12:35pm Right.  And every well…

Right.  And every well-connected season ticket holder from State College to Columbus to Ann Arbor to Chicago ought to be getting in the ears of their respective athletic departments on this subject.

To make sure that the next contract doesn't cave to such idiotic terms.

11/05/2018 - 12:33pm And Michigan is getting…

And Michigan is getting about $33 million in Preferred Seating Donations, from folks like me.  That is wholly apart from our payments for tickets, which is another $46 million.

So while I disagree with you, I am glad you called out that number because it gives me a chance to hammer it rather specifically.

TV (and apparel sales) get all kinds of credit for supporting Michigan athletics when in fact the backbone of revenue is with the season ticket holders.

Of course, I am not suggesting that there be no television, and no contract.  I am suggesting that the terms be altered in a way that is merely about game times, to provide ticket holders with nothing more than an ordinary, decent amount of courtesy in making their schedules.

And I'll let Brian Cook talk about commercial interruptions.

 

11/05/2018 - 12:27pm Well if it is just a matter…

Well if it is just a matter of "following the money" I say to you and the MGoBoard and the Athletic Department, there is more total revenue from ticket sales, PSD's and general unrestricted donations at Michigan, than there is from these goddamned television contracts.

Per the Department's own revenue estimates in the Budget approved by the Regents.

 

11/05/2018 - 12:17pm WWII did some crazy things…

WWII did some crazy things to college football personnel and eligibility.  He is an icon at Camp Randall of course.  Named the street/square next to the Stadium for Crazy Legs.  A great football player, who I never even think of as one of the Michigan greats, because of the weird eligibility/transfer thing.

 

11/05/2018 - 12:08pm To hell with all TV…

To hell with all TV contracts.  I have guests from out of town.  Chicago, in fact.  The difference for them, between a noon game and a 3:30 game, is the difference of whether they get a room on Friday night for a noon kick, or a room on Saturday night for a 3:30 kick.

To the University of Michigan Athletic Department: You are insulting your most important demographic, your critical core supporters, with these contractual concessions to television contracts.

I cannot imagine Fox or ESPN/ABC or especially the BTN saying, sorry, we won't broadcast Big Ten football, if in the next contract the Conference says, "Our fans demand that we have 30 days' notice of game times, and we want individual-school vetoes on night games.  Take it or leave it."

It is time to stop B1G football ticket buyers from getting jerked around by TV contracts. 

 

11/05/2018 - 11:59am You don't know Bando, like I…

You don't know Bando, like I know Bando.

 

11/05/2018 - 11:58am Thank you very much.

Thank you very much.

Straight-party voting is almost non-existent now in the 50 states.  Michigan and North Carolina have been engaged in major battles to do away with it.  It leaves (I think) Texas and West Virginia as the only states that still have it.

A couple of years ago, Kansas Secretary of State (now running for Governor) Kris Kobach tried to get legislation passed to introduce straight-ticket voting in that state.  Obviously, going against the larger national trend to do away with it.  And Kobach's critics were unsurprisingly strident in their protests, saying that straight-ticket was a lazy option, and was intended to skew down-ballot races via a larger partisan majority in the area.  That it was a partisan power grab, essentially.  The exact same arguments that were being advanced in the Michigan federal court litigation (adding the "racist" and "long lines at polling places" arguments).

 

11/05/2018 - 11:44am He had a big smile, because…

He had a big smile, because he got what turned into a big ovation.  Exactly like I said.

 

11/05/2018 - 11:43am No, I didn't.  However, I…

No, I didn't.  However, I would like to question you on whether there actually were any "letters in the Fab Five documentary"?

The documentary didn't quote or display any letters, did it?  Did the documentary give any numbers on letters?

I call bullshit on that story as being of any consequence.  Those days were pre-internet.  Occasionally, a crank or two would write a cranky letter or two.  I really want to know how many letters were there?  How many letter writers were there?  And what, exactly, did they write?

In the age of the internet, we wouldn't give a passing thought to a tiny number of cranks who wrote an email for, or against, a Colin Kaepernick or any other athlete involved in social activism.

The whole mythology surrounding the Fab Five needs to be examined closely.  We had the myth that Chris Webber couldn't afford a pizza.  And then the myth that large numbers of Michigan fans and even alums were writing racist protests in relation to the players.  Without a bit of hard evidence for either thing.

 

11/05/2018 - 10:50am LMFAO.

I actually didn't…

LMFAO.

I actually didn't realize it when I posted my comment just a little while ago, because I hadn't read Seth's posting of the MGoPodcast interviews with the (R) and (D) U-M Regent candidates.

But now that I have seen that, I note that just like me, Seth called attention to the fact that the university board elections should be watched closely now that Michigan has done away with straight-ticket voting.

Hahaha!  I guess the message depends on who is the messenger, eh?