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12/15/2018 - 8:39pm Let's not forget the origin…

Let's not forget the origin of bowl games - it was always a commercial one - in other words, it was always a "cash grab". The Rose Bowl was started in 1902 to help attract interest to the Rose Parade and to help lower the cost and the parade itself was also a commercial venture to help attract interest in the commercial flower industry - so from the very beginning it was about commercial interests - it was a "cash grab". By the way the UM under Yost led 49-0 over a Stanford team and they reported conceded ("quit" according to Wikipedia) at the 3rd quarter. That game was so lopsided that the football game was shelved for the next 13 years and other ways of attracting interest were put in - horse races, ostrich races and even chariot races ala Ben Hur. Football came back in 1916 and it has been football ever since. 

BUT never let it be forgotten that it was originally a "cash grab" and bowl games have largely been that - often gouging the schools to line the pockets of organizers who show up wearing garish sports jackets.

A lot of things are like that - over time they acquire airs of nobility and purpose but were originally "cash grabs." Anyone who has lived in Ann Arbor over the past 60 years probably has gone to the Art Fair that usually occurs in the 3rd week of July. While it now is one of the larger art fairs of the summer and has morphed into an event that covers all of downtown and south university it too was originally a "cash grab". The business down on South University during the dog days of summer noted a huge drop off in business. The students were all gone, summer classes were not at the level they are today and in 1960 air conditioning was starting to be popular but not yet common place. So to help drive business downtown they thought about holding an art fair. Originally the Ann Arbor Art Association balked noting that "no good artist will sit in the street and there were only 132 exhibitors. Over time it grew, and the success at drawing crowds was not lost on the other merchants on State and Main Street. Soon there was an Ann Arbor State Street Art Fair, Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair and South University Art Fair joining the rebranded The Original Street Art Fair.

So, let's not be too dismissive of "cash grabs" nor too high and mighty about the nobility and sanctity of certain events! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all, and Go Blue!

12/15/2018 - 4:00pm Nice story - and I'm glad to…

Nice story - and I'm glad to have read it. Behind all of the bravado and bluster, there is a real person, and that was who the father met and became friends with. The dad sounded like a really optimistic upbeat sort of person.

12/11/2018 - 3:40pm I doubt that will happen any…

I doubt that will happen any time soon - selling the franchise that is.

Why? Because it the one really valuable asset the Ford family still controls.

With each generation, each set of fund raising from various banks and credit lines, each set of cousins, nieces, and nephews, there is increasing pressure from outsiders to curtail the voting rights of the Ford (family) preferred stock and so the amount of wealth that the family can pass that comes from the auto company and its spin offs continues to diminish and becomes more dilute.

What was once a fun hobby (like owning a fancy yacht, a race horse, or one's own golf course) for the late William Clay Ford, akin to someone sponsoring their own bowling team, is now a billion dollar enterprise to turns a tidy profit each year. No, they won't be selling it any time soon - especially with the NFL rules banning corporate ownership outside of the Packers. Every team has a distinct "owner" otherwise we'd long ago have had the ATT Cowboys or Delta Airline Falcons.

Look instead for someone in the family who might have in the past looked to go into the auto business to try to learn about sports management and look to take on the task.


12/11/2018 - 3:31pm First thought that came to…

First thought that came to mind ... :)

12/09/2018 - 11:50am Just some Jive Turkey talk …

Just some Jive Turkey talk ... and their mouthpieces ...spreading lies and disinformation ... 

12/07/2018 - 12:10pm From reading the link, it…

From reading the link, it seems that the Longhorn Network - long the sticking point of any conference moves is viewed as not an important factor. That is a surprising conclusion.

If that is true (never underestimate the egocentricity of other people) why wouldn't the Big 12 find a way to cut a deal? This seems like that sort of dreamy what if "thought experiment" piece that pops up in the off season.

12/06/2018 - 4:29pm Yes, but in a different way…

Yes, but in a different way. The tourney is always played far away - on neutral courts and it would be very nice for John Beilein - makes me feel that not everything in the world must end up with corruption and corner cutting.

12/06/2018 - 11:53am Good point but hidden is an…

Good point but hidden is an ulterior motive. Now that Urban Meyer has taken another leave of absence from coaching, there was an open seat on the jive turkey roundtable and Cris Carter was just auditioning for that role.

12/02/2018 - 11:45am There is a pool of kids who…

There is a pool of kids who can play extremely well and can also qualify without a lot of smoke and mirrors. The problem is that this pool is not large and year to year is pretty limited in some categories - like defensive linemen, running backs, etc. BUT that number is still more than the typical 25-26 football recruits each year. In theory it can be done, but it is hard, not easy and probably take longer to establish. 

The other pathway is faster - juco transfers, lowered standards - heck don't bother, go the UNC route and create a completely fake phone degree concentration. (how that hasn't led to sanctions is still mind blowing) 

I think the trips do matter to the kids in this pool and their families. 

Finally, check out the latest issue of M magazine, the official magazine of the Athletic Dept.  There is a pair of great where are they know pieces on Dave Gallagher and Stefan Humphries - I think the kids we are trying to recruits want to have these types of options in their future.

12/02/2018 - 11:34am It is one of the many…

It is one of the many legacies. UM Athletics has always been strong across many sports. Most people started hearing about the cup during Dave Brandon's reign when decided that would become super important publicly. But it is something that was already big. Check out the official home page.

Since we are now off the usual topic of the major team sports, the UM Chess Team tied for first at the Ivy League Chess Challenge. They lost to Princeton on tied breaks.

Ann Arbor's own Atulya Shetty on board 1 was undefeated and scored 4 out of a possible 5 points.

The team finished tenth in most recent Pan-American Collegiate championship which was held at that place down south. I know that may not seem like much but if you look at the cross table, college chess has now seen an influx of money and scholarships (yes, you can get a scholarship to play chess at these places but typically you have to be really good - international master or grandmaster strength) - the top teams, Webster Univ. Univ. of St. Louis, Texas Tech, Univ. of Tex Dallas, etc can field multiple teams all with grandmasters. (a grandmaster or GM is about 10 standard deviations better than the average player)

So the next time some scandal breaks in college sports about recruiting, money, and people getting poached, it is not just the sport but partly the effect of money, booster, supporters and administration wanting to upgrade the results. 

11/22/2018 - 8:21am Almost an ideal situation:

Almost an ideal situation:

A Rutgers win or close lose will:

1. annoy the MSU fandom and send them to even higher levels of rage about the OC.

2. probably ensure Chris Ash will be back - he has already declared that he's keeping his OC.

11/18/2018 - 9:48am Are we sure that was a Mike…

Are we sure that was a Mike DeBord offense out there? Did a Skrull replace him? Is there a giant seed pod husk somewhere where a Bodysnatcher has taken over his existence?  Where was this quick moving and flowing offense back when he was in Ann Arbor?


11/18/2018 - 9:32am Glad to see Coach Harbaugh…

Glad to see Coach Harbaugh had his priorities straight at the press conference. He went straight to the most serious injury - the kid carted off for a cheap shot.

That is why he is a head coach.

11/17/2018 - 11:05pm I'm curious:

1. Who reviews…

I'm curious:

1. Who reviews the referees? Is there a Big Ten head of referees that looks at each game and grades out the teams?

2. How competitive is it to get a Big Ten referring gig? From reading articles about MLB umpires, it can be a long haul but they have a lot of people. 

3. How much turnover is there? When the basketball ref Ted Valentine didn't get another contract that made news - so is it rare for there to be an annual turnover?

Ideally you want a ref team that is experienced, so they know the tricks and aren't fooled; mature enough not to be drawn into making themselves part of the game; fit enough to keep up with the game; knowledgeable about the teams/venues but NOT too cozy or chummy.

Being a ref is a tough job, and maybe it is time to make it a full time one - AND make it more competitive by turning over the lower scoring teams each year and opening it up for new blood/fresh eyes.

11/12/2018 - 7:43pm Two years ago, who were the…

Two years ago, who were the lead RBs at the Rutgers game: Chris Evans, Karan Higdon with Ty Isaacs. Right now it is Chris Evans, Karan Higdon, and Tru Wilson as the main rotation with O'Maury Samuels in some spots. He probably can't crack the line up because of non-ball carrying issues. 

He is a true Freshman - so he has time. It isn't like in the past where RBs tried to become featured backs to draw notice from the NFL - (1) the NFL isn't valuing the run as much as it did in the 1970-1980's thanks to rule changes, and (2) there are a lot of good backs every year that no one is paying top dollar for limited backs - they ideally want someone who can run and gain tough yards, has enough speed to break a few long runs, be a really good pass catcher and a good pass blocker. Look at James White out of Wisconsin for the NE Patriots. He was a thousand yard runner for Wisconsin but has made a nice 5 year career thanks to his pass blocking, and pass catching.

He'll have an advantage over the younger new guys because he'll know the system, know the plays, and know the assignment issues (like pass blocking, chipping, releasing etc.). It is impressive that Tru Wilson has done as well. 

Great running backs are born - there is something special about that burst of speed, agility and vision but Good running backs are made - through coaching and teaching, and learning. There are only a few lightning-in-a-bottle guys and we'll know right away -but for everyone else, it is still the same story - study, practice and hard work.

11/12/2018 - 7:28pm That whole news conference…

That whole news conference complete with the background, his neck brace, the road rash on his face, belongs in the life-is-stranger-than-fiction hall of fame. One cannot have written this without being attacked as being too contrived and far fetched.


11/12/2018 - 7:25pm Wow, so was he contractually…

Wow, so was he contractually obligated to do the show?

11/11/2018 - 3:26pm Thank you for doing this.

Thank you for doing this.

Realized something while watching the replay and how the long shadows cast by the setting sun seemed to go almost in the direction of the field. For uncovered field stadiums aren't they usually sited so the field runs North-South so the sun is not aiming into the eyes of the players?

On Google Maps it looks like there is plenty of room to angle the stadium. 

11/11/2018 - 3:21pm I understand the fans…

I understand the fans locally may not be happy with Rutgers and how the football team is doing. Curiously, as a UM Wolverine fan, I don't mind if they are bad. We have to play them every year in a division with OSU, MSU, PSU and a Indiana team that usually is at or above 0.500. It offers an every other year trip to basically NYC and a direct path to a rich recruiting ground. So why not?

1. The Scarlet Knights are better - simply because they now have at least three players on the team who could legitimately play for other Big Ten squads - heck even Michigan - RBs Pacheco and Blackshear and that defensive back Young.

2. They are not well coached - but that is OK - they soak up some so-called two star and three players who might blossom on a rival team but there they languish and won't end up hurting the Wolverines down the line. 

11/11/2018 - 11:36am He must be great at one-on…

He must be great at one-on-one interviews because he seems to keep getting jobs that will pay him millions to leave and not be there. That's a topic that some of the business schools should look at.

11/11/2018 - 11:29am He'll probably take a rest -…

He'll probably take a rest - might see him around here for a year, or do some TV work and see who really is serious about building a strong team. He had a good situation in Baltimore with a good GM. 

They did win a SB and had some great teams; the decline in the defense, the whole Ray Rice scandal, and Flacco being a normal human being QB who didn't continue to improve with time, so it was time. Ozzie Newsome will no longer be the GM and the window on Flacco is closing - so a major rebuild is in the future. They have Lamar Jackson but it sounds like he isn't Patrick Mahomes (yet?)


11/10/2018 - 5:00pm Blackshear and Pachecho -…

Blackshear and Pachecho - only guys who can break plays.

11/10/2018 - 4:55pm YES! Close them out


YES! Close them out


11/10/2018 - 4:52pm They are running at Winovich…

They are running at Winovich -

11/10/2018 - 4:47pm Wow, he was WIDE OPEN!

Wow, he was WIDE OPEN!

11/10/2018 - 4:42pm Look at the Northwestern…

Look at the Northwestern game - the Wildcats are a good team but NOT great - but they were amped up to the max in that first quarter.

11/10/2018 - 4:35pm Yes, he looks sharp.

Yes, he looks sharp.

11/10/2018 - 4:30pm Everyone is trying to be a…

Everyone is trying to be a superstar ... just play ....

11/10/2018 - 4:22pm Don't panic - c'mon - you…

Don't panic - c'mon - you are beating them up on the line - keep it up.

11/10/2018 - 4:07pm Question for anybody whose…

Question for anybody whose been at the Rutgers Stadium.

Just saw the Scarlet Knight punter shielding his eyes from the sun. Aren't stadiums usually sited on a north-south axis so that doesn't happen? Was this some accident of design or due to limitation of the land available?

11/09/2018 - 8:11pm Probably Jim and Dan are…

Probably Jim and Dan are here for a while - not quite Ernie Harwell like but you get the idea.

I hope actually Devin is considered for a BTN position. I see a lot of ex-OSU people and he could hold his own.

11/09/2018 - 8:06pm The Health Insurance…

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA) is Federal law that provides for data privacy and security for safeguarding medical information. Basically it the official law that says, a person's medical information is theirs alone and none of anyone else's damn business.

Violations can lead to severe penalties and punishments for the people and the institutions where these occur.

Wow, that's all serious and dour. So here's a joke. A vet went to the zoo to check on several of the animals. On the way out, the zoo director stops the vet and asks "so how are the animals doing doc?". The vet answers "Sorry, can't discuss that with you, it would be a HIPPO violation."


11/08/2018 - 9:35pm Sure ...Harbaugh is also…

Sure ...Harbaugh is also looking at a NFL job, so-and-so is looking to transfer, what's-his-name is in line to be the next HC at Maryland, etc. etc.

Let's just enjoy this season. If he chooses to leave, OK, congratulations and thank you for a great job. But I doubt it. For a lot of these coaching lifers, they reach a point where they aren't chasing that big job anymore - they are looking for a good position - a place that pays well, has good facilities, good support, and good recruiting but most of all, a HC they get along with. Don Brown seems to have found it. Greg Mattison seems to have found it. The guys who are hungry to be the HC at a program, you won't really be able to keep them with just money - they do want to go and see if they can be a HC. Look at Pat Narduzzi. He could have stuck around at MSU or taken his skills as a DC to somewhere that wanted his type of defense, but he wanted to be a HC so he took the Pitt job.

Kansas no doubt could pay more than what any assistant makes, but it also brings a lot of headaches, a lot of why-haven't-you-won-more-yesterday fans and alumni and AD that would some immediate bench mark like beating Kansas State and Iowa State.

If it were simply about money, a lot of programs would be in better shape (e.g. USC, Texas, Florida, ...)

11/08/2018 - 9:14pm All of Development (that is…

All of Development (that is philanthropy) is now being centralized and coordinated, not just athletics. It is happening to the various medical alumni groups. A high profile event that could be a really nice "development" event where potential donors could be invited will all probably be taken back under the official UM umbrella. 

Having a local alumni group handle the details is nice, and quaint but introduces a layer of potential issues that the chiefs of the Development office prefer not to have to deal with. 

It is just a natural evolution of events with national signing day becoming "an event".

11/08/2018 - 9:08pm Thank you, I hope you'll be…

Thank you, I hope you'll be here all week ... and don't forget to tip your waitress.

11/08/2018 - 5:25pm Thank you again, and it…

Thank you again, and it shows how a little curiosity helps - linking the video to the descriptions is amazing. I wonder what the "official" team video break downs look like.

11/08/2018 - 3:14pm Since you note, it…

Since you note, it might worth seeing this post by one of their beat writers.

"ADDENDUM NO. 3: "Joining the Big Ten has led to increased spending on athletics, and that's a waste of money that does nothing to help the central mission of the university."

You know what the overall Rutgers budget was last school year? $4.4 billion. The athletics budget was $100 million. Not quite loose change in the sofa, but still, it's hardly impactful."

11/08/2018 - 2:47pm Great job! Thank you - I…

Great job! Thank you - I love this sort of stuff. Please keep this up.

11/08/2018 - 2:41pm Nice as always.

For the…

Nice as always.

For the running QB category

Quarterback Dilithium Level (Scale: 1 [Navarre] to 10 [Denard]): Sitkowski didn't run at all. 

So you are saying Rutgers is on impulse power?

11/08/2018 - 2:33pm GREAT post - really great!

GREAT post - really great!

Nice pictures.

Two questions: 

1. Is the Scarlett Knight a position like the drum major is for the Michigan Marching Band? Do kids try out each year? I imagine it helps if you have equestrian experience.

2. The whole Stripe the stadium thing - was it supposed to be alternating sections of Scarlett and Black?

If you go to this game, please post a follow-up.

11/08/2018 - 2:22pm Just need a simple decision…

Just need a simple decision tree ...

1. Shea Patterson - DO NOT RUN during the next two games unless there are 25 yards of green ahead of you and then get out of bounds.

2. Future back ups - Is it a TouchDOWN? Is it a First DOWN ? IF it is neither of these, then GET DOWN. I believe they tried to do that with Mariotta or RGIII ... didn't work out unfortunately....

11/08/2018 - 2:16pm Why can't it be both ... the…

Why can't it be both ... the best Star Trek train wreck movie ... and even if you are a die hard lover of Star Trek, there are a few contenders for that title.

11/08/2018 - 12:22pm If Rutgers has any ball…

If Rutgers has any ball handling issues ...


11/07/2018 - 9:16pm Oh - I thought I had…

Oh - I thought I had violated some unwritten or written rule so wasn't getting points. It turns out it was a technical glitch? So the lesson is: when things aren't working right before looking for some conspiracy or plot, look for a technical failure or just plain error.

11/07/2018 - 2:14pm It is hard to know without…

It is hard to know without someone actually stating why.

1. Playing time is certainly a factor.

2. Type of playing time is also a big factor for some of these kids - they are used to being the focus of their team, and now being a special team or even a demonstration team player is a hard blow to their ego.

3. I get the notion that the kids who really believe they have pro-potential wants to go some place to play and get credible plays on video. Troy Aikman transferred to UCLA, and look at what Shea Patterson has done.

4. For other kids who don't have much or any pro potential, I guess it is up to them to weigh what they are after - many could I suspect contribute as a special teams player - they are fast and strong, but do they want to do that? Is being a 3rd or 4th level player on a team that contends for a conference title or more enough? Or would they rather play as the 1st or 2nd string on a lesser team? 

5. Many other posters have noted that if they were as old men/women making this decision, they would prefer to be here at Michigan, but we aren't 17-19  year old. Michigan has a long history of players who came here with high athletic hopes but had peaked. Many did go on to success away from athletics - Jim Hackett - one of Bo's former OL for example.

11/07/2018 - 12:13pm I would like them to be so…

I would like them to be so far ahead and secure that we can see people we've never heard of before in the game.

11/07/2018 - 9:58am Yes, RUTGERS does count as…

Yes, RUTGERS does count as game week.

Stay with the routine and pattern - they are on a roll.

Don't get complacent and over confident.

Put the Knights away early and play a lot of the 3rd and 4th stringers.

11/06/2018 - 3:56pm Advancing the dog's skull to…

Advancing the dog's skull to spike it on a stick ... truly underrated film.

11/05/2018 - 10:15am Where ever he is, I'm sure…

Where ever he is, I'm sure Taylor Martinez understands - Nebraska had some decent QBs back in the Bob Devaney era, David Humm, Jerry Tagge and Vince Ferragamo and often less attentive fans would attribute good throws to wrong guy.

Taylor had an excellent ball fake on the spread option - and was fast enough and elusive enough to be credible running threat. He was not a good passer with a side arm 2/3rds delivery. 

11/04/2018 - 10:39am Politely disagree - things…

Politely disagree - things are finally where he wants them.

1. He has the defense that pressures, creates turnovers and helps flip the field. We have great defenders, but no on the individual caliber of Jabril Peppers and Rashan Gary played and was effective, but not a monster - but that's the point, the defense collectively was strong. 

2. He has a balanced offense - that can grind out yards, but also break long runs, hold the ball for 7-8 minute drives that keep his defense fresh and wears down the opponents. The OL is playing much better now than at the beginning - completely different group.

3. The missing piece over his first four years was the QB. He is looking for a accurate smart QB who is careful. Rudock was all that but we only had him at the end and he was gone. Speight and O'Korn seem like good guys, but had issues. Speight (looked better in the UCLA vs Arizona game) has a decent arm but he was unlucky to be hurt here. O'Korn, again, nice kid but not the level of QB that Harbaugh was hoping for. He has the receivers. He needs that accurate QB.

4. Place kicking could be less adventurous. 

If there is one criticism, is that Patterson may be a bit tentative throwing deep. Several times he waited a beat and either through behind or didn't throw. There is an odd little flip to Evans when it looked like the TE was more open 8 yards downfield - appears he is concerned about throwing an interception.

So long as he has good relations with the AD/central campus, and is in good health and his family is happy - I don't see him leaving Ann Arbor. 

Being the HC of a major storied program is to wear a lot of different hats. YES, winning is very important. But it is also important how the winning happens and the HC is also in most schools the second most famous if not the most famous person on campus. He is in very good position and if the trajectory continues he is set here for the foreseeable future - I hope so because I hope he leads the team to many such seasons and we see a restoration of the days of Bo/Mo/Lloyd.

Go Blue!