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Date Title Body
10/09/2018 - 8:18pm Was playing a pick-up game…

Was playing a pick-up game of baseball a little over 60 years ago; left field. Pop fly between third base and left field.  Ran in to make a diving catch.  Dove into the knee of the third baseman running toward me looking back over his shoulder for the ball. Definitely got up wobbly. Player and spectators gathered around and someone asked me what time it was on the outfield clock. I saw two clocks and answered, "which one".  At which point they told me I should probably not play any more, and I should go home.  I walked home, about 7 blocks, including across a busy street, where my mother asked, Who won? "I don't know." What was the score? I don't know? What happened? I don't know. How did you get home? I don't know. She took me straight to the doctor.  Diagnosis - Slight concussion with temporary amnesia.

That and some other experiences, like lying unconscious overnight in the hospital, led my parents and our doctor to conspire against me when I wanted to go out for high school football.  Love the sport though.

We have known about the seriousness of concussions for a long time.

10/02/2018 - 2:25pm Perhaps he can turn downhill…

Perhaps he can turn downhill after the reception.

04/23/2018 - 12:03pm Response to #13

I don't think you comprehended the last phrase in his response.  To me "... we'll put them in positions to make more plays" is the coaching staff accepting responsibility for not putting players in position to make more plays last year.  That means designing plays the players can succeed at; not passing in the rain; simplifying offensive scheme; designing routes for receivers that will get them open; coaching better, etc.  That's all on the coaches.

04/23/2018 - 11:59am Response to #12

I don't think you comprehended the last phrase in his response.  To me "... we'll put them in positions to make more plays" is the coaching staff accepting responsibility for not putting players in position to make more plays last year.  That means designing plays the players can succeed at; not passing in the rain; simplifying offensive scheme; designing routes for receivers that will get them open; coaching better, etc.  That's all on the coaches.

03/24/2018 - 6:58am Whew!


01/04/2018 - 1:24pm Other moving parts

Do we know if our receivers can run those routes, escape at will, etc.?  I'll take that No. 1 receiver.

01/03/2018 - 8:08am Players have to be placed in a position to succeed

IMHO a head coach has three jobs, (1) recruit, (2) teach, and (3) take the results of (1) and (2) and (3) put them in a position to succeed.  I do not know enough about (1) and (2), but Harbaugh seems to fail at No. (3).  Passing in the rain is not the way to put your players in a position to succeed; i.e. make plays.  All the examples above are examples of putting your players in a position to fail. There are many more; i.e. run slow developing running plays against South Carolina's defensive front.

As an aside, this is an area where Dantonio excells, and Chryst. Take the talent level of your players and teach them, and design plays for their skill levels, and put them in a position to succeed.  Meyer, not so much. Even with his high level of recruits, he manages to screw up at least one game a year, most years.  And OSU seems to play lackluster football (compared to talent level) much of the time.

Harbaugh seems to believe that he can take the players he has recruited, train them the way he wants them to play, line them up and play the schemes, systems, and plays he wants to play.  Sometimes (oftentimes) what you have to work with cannot play the game you want them to play; i.e. make plays.  All three facets have to work together.  (1) an (2) won't matter if you can't do (3).


11/01/2017 - 9:56am Youth

This excellent post goes a long way toward explaining why young offensive linemen and backs take time to develop.

02/15/2017 - 8:55pm Soooo . . . What PF is saying

Soooo . . . What PF is saying is that any high school coach who has a really good recruit (basketball, football, hockey, etc.) is precluded from taking a college coaching  job in a sport in which his son or daughter is involved.  PF would significantly limit the employment opportunities of a father (or mother)  just because they have athletic children.   Hummm.  Where's the ethics in that.  He's only mad because it's Harbaugh.

10/06/2016 - 4:32pm glad he caught it

I'm glad he caught it.  Apparently the Wisconsin coach responded to his receiver's complaint about the coverage with "He caught it."  As in, you have no complaint, he caught it.  If Lewis had not caught it, it could have looked a lot more like pass interference.  They both have a right to the ball. Catching it looks much more like he was trying to catch it, as opposed to trying to prevent the receiver from catching it.

10/05/2016 - 8:13am Pass Interference

Gotta love the definition of pass interference. "Any action that inhbits an elligible receiver from making a reception."  By that definition any interception would be pass interference.  It inhibits an elligible receiver from making a reception.

10/09/2015 - 12:23pm No Yelling

Reminds me of one of John Wooden's coaching rules:  At least 70% of everything to tell a player should be positive and constructive,

10/09/2015 - 12:23pm No Yelling

Reminds me of one of John Wooden's coaching rules:  At least 70% of everything to tell a player should be positive and constructive,

09/02/2015 - 10:57am Final Score

Utah fans predicting a 31-17 final score are right on in my book.  Just have the wrong team winning.

01/28/2015 - 8:11pm Top Journalism School

is the University of Missouri.  But spending an extra $120,000 for your education over U of M is a no-brainer NO.  If you are going to grad school, it is a bigger NO.  Grad school attended is much more important than undergrad.  As in "What have you done lately?"  Get good grades in undergrad and spend your money on the best grad school.

01/06/2015 - 12:17pm Wednesday Evening

Seems like he just wants to introduce the whole staff to the team at their first meeting tomorrow evening.

01/06/2015 - 12:17pm Wednesday Evening

Seems like he just wants to introduce the whole staff to the team at their first meeting tomorrow evening.

01/02/2015 - 3:39pm More a comment on the NFL

If this were to be true, I would take it that being an NFL head coach is not what it's cracked up to be.  Have to put up with owners, GMs, lack of enough control, etc.  Might be more fun to be a college coach if you can be paid the same.  I think these factors caused Jim H. to start thinking about returning to the college ranks several months ago.

02/26/2014 - 8:23pm Einstein

Insanity:  Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

04/09/2013 - 8:02pm Won

4 - 1

03/30/2013 - 8:25pm B1G

Six of the top 18 NCAA teams are B1G teams!  UM far and away the best.

11/25/2012 - 2:42pm Fired

Just curious; has Hoke ever let a coordinator go?  He doesn't seem to be the type to do this, barring egregious circumstances.

11/25/2012 - 2:11pm On the Field

Perhaps Hoke should get Borges down on the field so he can maybe keep  the play calling "on message."

11/25/2012 - 1:44pm Choosing plays

Borges's principal sin in my opinion is not putting his players in the best position to succeed.  I believe he knows how to do this.  (See first half)  Then in the second half he runs between the tackles at 4 critical times; i.e. the weakest part of our game into the strongest part of their game.  That is putting our players in the worst position to succeed.  What is going on here?

10/20/2012 - 8:34pm Outsmarted

I thought we got outsmarted coaching wise most of the game.  Then with 3 minutes left MSU outsmarted themselves by throwing a pass that went incomplete and allowed us enough time left to win the game.

09/06/2012 - 12:40pm Huh

If we beat MSU and OSU, what 4 games are we going to lose?

08/28/2012 - 3:37pm Second Game

How about suspending him for the second game.  That way it wouldn't impact the team as much.  [Second game easier than Alabama.]  It was Fitz who is subject to punishment, not the team.

08/28/2012 - 6:25am Fitz

Then suspend Fitz for the second game.

08/17/2012 - 8:44pm Assault and Battery

Assault is the threat of harm, verbal or otherwise.  Battery is the touching.

06/30/2012 - 7:51am Just explaining

I don't think he was defending those who did nothing.  He was explaining or observing why they may have done nothing.

04/30/2012 - 9:34pm Seriousness of concussions not new

I desperately wanted to play football in high school in 1955.  I had had two prior rather serious concussions, one as a result of a bicycle accident where I was unconscious for 9 hours in the hospital; and another diving into the knee of another baseball  player trying to catch a pop fly.  Even back then my General Practitioner doctor wouldn't let my parents let me play.  The seriousness of concussions is not new.

04/04/2012 - 9:43am Why???

I never understand all the obsession with failure to redshirt, especially with Hoke and Co. doing the recruiting.  From this point forward there are always going to be capable players in the pipeline.  Let the young man graduate and get on with his life.

04/01/2012 - 8:01pm Saturday vs. Purdue

My wife and I attended the match on Saturday.  Lots of fun, and pretty good crowd on hand.  It was a little shocking to see Bernstein serving underhand right off the bat.  Not a real tennis player myself, but it was immediately obvious when he repeated that serve he had a shoulder problem. He didn't hit any overheads either, which can be a problem in doubles.  The guys all hung pretty tough.  As I recall, all three doubles matches had UM trailing at some point.  Even King and Bernstein were down 1-4.  Two of the three obviously rallied to win the doubles point.  Lot of fun.  Go Blue.

03/23/2012 - 7:36pm Redefine

Cultures redefine words all the time.  Enormous means large.  Enormity means largety.

03/19/2012 - 11:27am Megatron II

Devin just got a look at Calvin Johnson's contract.

02/28/2012 - 3:48pm Ben Braden redshirt

One of my pet peaves is the incessant clamboring for fresh recruits to redshirt their first year. That is simply asking a young man to spend at least 5 years in college.  If he can graduate in 4 years, it seems selfish to me as a fan to ask him to hang around so my team might be better 5 years from now.  If the recruit and the coaches think that is in his best interests to do so, fine.  But if that recruit thinks it is not in his best interest, that should be fine also.

It might be different if we only had a few high quality recruits.  Then we might be success-starved if they didn't hang around for a bigger, stronger, fifth year.  However, if we can continue to recruit high quality players, they will all be pushing for playing time early.  When Ben Braden is in his fourth year, he will have three years of top quality recruits right behind him. Keeping him for another year, it seems to me, would be frustrating for the guys behind to looking for playing time, and, apparently, frustrating for Braden who wants to be in a position to move on.

Couple of years ago lots of bloggers wanted Gardner's redshirt saved, so he would be around an extra year.  Now Gardner almost seems like an afterthought with Morris in the picture.  Who needs Gardner's redshirt.  Take a longer view of things, folks.

All of this brings up an interesting subject.  What is the ideal recruiting / playing cycle for an athlete.  Let's say you sign all 5* players, one for each position of the team every year.  Fans would want them all to redshirt year one, scout team year two, special teams year three, two deep year four, start year five.  Then off to the pros.  Repeat year after year, after year.  How many 5*s are going to settle for that pattern?

Maybe you cut that down a year; skip the redshirt year.  That gets your 5* backups playing time sooner.  But maybe you can't even recruit 5*s the second or third year in this cycle  because there are too  many 5*s ahead of them.

Maybe you cut that down one more year and send your 5*s off to the pros after three years.  This makes it easier to recruit  5*s behind the ones leaving early.  That would jeopardize you ARP, however.

Maybe you recruit only 4*s who will stay the full four years.

All this is highly theoretical, of course, but so is the reason we think in year zero, that a player needs to redshirt.


02/25/2012 - 12:29pm Coach Funk

I think you have to attribute a lot of the O-line recruiting success to Coach Funk.  If you are a quality recruit and you follow  this blog at all; it couldn't have hurt that Funk's presentation at the coach's clinic last week was all business and not a single swear word used.  That has to mean something to parents, too.  I like the way this is heading.

02/21/2012 - 8:11am Quality

That is one intelligent and perceptive young man.

02/06/2012 - 10:43am There's always a frosh who's . . . . .

I remember the anguish a year or two ago when everyone was castigating RichRod for playing Gardner as a freshman and possibly ruining a redshirt year.  "We have to save that redshirt so we have Gardner for an extra year."  Now some are wanting to push him out of the way to make room for another frosh.  You know what, there will be another hotshot quarterback we recruit in another year or two whom everyone thinks should start as a frosh.  Funny how what goes around comes around.  I  am content to  let the coaches recruit and play the players they think give UM the best chances to win.  Go Blue.

02/03/2012 - 9:06pm Looks like

Looks like I had it right last night.  Diamond full of himself.

02/02/2012 - 7:39pm Sounds like ..

Sounds like Mr. Diamond is a little full of himself.  Evidence: his recruitment overall; having to have his own personal  signing day; now this.

01/07/2012 - 3:17pm Denard

If Denard's first pass to Junior had been Stafford to Calvin, it would have been a great pass and a great reception taken away from a defender.  The second pass to Junior, had it been from Stafford to Megatron would have been "perfect, put in there  where only the intended receiver could catch it."  If you take away some mysterious bias that Denard is not a very good passer, both of those plays were great on both ends.

12/21/2011 - 7:47pm Why Carr was silent.

I have a hypothesis.  Carr was initially supportive of Rodriguez.  Then all his friends, (powerful University of Michigan supporters), not knowing of Carr's initiall support came out strongly in opposition to Rodriguez.  Carr was pulled in two different directions.  Support Rodgriuez, lose your friends; or side with your friends and lose his credibility as a TEAM person.  Carr chose neither and remains silent to this day.

12/21/2011 - 12:15pm How the Pistons can win this year.

Invoke an old, well-known concept of achieving victory; The Team, The Team, The Team.  In basketball a team consists of 12 to 15 players, only 5 of which play at the same time.  In the business world a modern concept of group dynamics says that when you change one member of the team, you change all the relationships between all the team members.  Obviously the relationship to the new member changes the group dynamics.  However, changing one member of a team also changes the relationship of each of the remaining team members to each other.

Let's say you have a team of 5 members.  If you change member number No. 5 and keep the remaining members on the team, that changes not only the relationship the 4 remaining team members have with team member 5 (position number 5 ), but changing player No. 5 changes the relationship between players No. 1 and No. 2, the relationship between players 3 and 1, the relationship between players 2 and 4, all up and down the line.  Having really cohesive teamwork becomes more problematical.

Jumping to the basketball endgame; when you substitute, you have a different team on the floor and different relationships among all 5 players on the floor.  Each time you substitute multiple players, with different combinations, you have a different team.  The typical basketball team has many different teams on the floor during a game.

Teamwork wins, however.  If you have 5 players who stay together, work together, workout together, practice together, they become a better team.  AND you don't necessarily need a star player to  make it work.

Two annecdotal examples:  The Piston had 4 players in the NBA all star game a few years back.  None of them were starters, as I recall; and there was some speculation that they would be substituted in together.  Charles Barkley, among others, opined that they would get killed, presumably because they had no star(power) among them.  What happened.  When they (4 Pistons and one other player) went into the game together, they built what I recall was a small lead into what I recall was a 20 point lead, to the dismay of Mr. Barkley. Why?  I hypothesize it was because, unlike any other all star team. they had worked together, worked out together, practiced together, knew one another very well, and were extra "accountable" to one another.

Second anecdotal example: Winter olympics a few years ago.  The Swedish hockey team won the gold medal.  Why? Six or seven of those players were all members of the same NHL team, the Red Wings.  They worked out together, practiced . . . . . You get the picture.  They were a team, much moreso than any other national team in the olympics.

The only way the Pistons can win in the current situation, no star(s), good role players, is if every group of 5 players they put on the floor is as much of a team as can be constructed.  I would like to seem them use team substitution.  Contruct two 5-man teams and play them consistently, play them together, practice against one another, hold them accountable to one another, keep the units together as much as injuries will allow, major playing time minutes for both groups.  I think it may be the only way for them to succeed this year.

12/19/2011 - 12:53pm Time outs on defense with 2-3 minutes left.

I noticed that the Lions yesterday did just what Mathlete suggests.  They burned their last two timeouts with between 2 and 3 minutes left while they were on defense.  I pondered that they might want to save at least one for their possible  last drive, but they didn't.  Fortunately, Oakland's third down pass was slightly overthrown, and the rest is history.

09/28/2011 - 10:20am More Creep than Leap

I think many of us expected to see leaps of improvement with  the change in  defensive coordinators.  I think what we are getting is more Creep than Leap. We  are creeping up on  better technique, better scheme understanding, more intensity, being in the right place, etc.  You  hear this in both coordinator's post game conferences.  You see this in Roh's play (just as one example discussed at length in thisblog.)  I'll take creep, as long as it is in the right direction.   I don't think it will always show up in detaailed statistics.  But it seems to be showing up enough that we can "feel" it.  And it shows up in net points allowed, one of the statistics that actually counts.  Hopefully, we will see it on the offensive side of the ball also.  I think we will.

09/18/2011 - 9:31pm Offensive coordinator??

I bet the OP could make a lot of money being a Division 1 or NFL offensive coordinator.

10/15/2010 - 9:21am Chances of getting out of hand


10/01/2010 - 8:07am Nice work!  Thank you for the

Nice work!  Thank you for the effort put into this.

07/05/2010 - 11:03pm A reasonable chance

I believe a reasonable chance might be 4 years in a situation where the style of play of the incoming coach does not vary that much from the previous style of play.  With a complete change in style of play, players leaving as a result, leading to losing seasons in the beginning years, a reasonable chance in this case is 6 years.