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Date Title Body
09/17/2018 - 11:54am I get to one game every…

I get to one game every other year.  I had 4 of these toddlers in front of me on Saturday.  They were actually pretty nice guys, but as soon as something went sideways there was a lot of booing and f'ing offense, f'ing Harbaugh.  That was frustrating to sit through and have my kid hear and see.

09/17/2018 - 10:24am I'll answer my own question…

I'll answer my own question to close the loop for others that find this via a search.

We decided on a two car tailgate at AAGO instead of the Stadium course.  The AAGO website said their gates opened at 7:30, though we showed up at Gate 2 (on Main St across from Pioneer) around 7:10 and pulled right in with no line.  There were already a number of cars parked and in the process of setting up, so they must have opened at 7 or even earlier.  I expect some or most of these were season pass holders.  We were told that Gate 3 (also on Main St., but a little further south) opened at 7:30.  We had initially gotten in a line of cars on Main St. that we thought was gate 3 for the AAGO, but was actually the gate for the University course entrance which is south of the AAGO gate 3.  A nice guy in a pickup in front us told us we were off by a few gates.

When we pulled in to Gate 2, the attendant initially told us to head in the "next car" direction (like parking in the United Center parking lot).  Given it was expected to be a hot day, we said we'd like to be under some trees for shade.  They then directed us to a different area and gave us vague instructions on where to park, but really let us make our own space.  We ended up with a great spot under a few big trees that were very welcome once the sun came out.

We set up our site from our arrival around 7:10 until 7:45 and then had a friend pick us up to head back to the house to retrieve the kids and rest of the group.  We got back to the golf course around 10:15, and even then, there was still a decent amount of space available at AAGO and no line to get in.  At that point, Gate 2 was closed and all cars were entering at Gate 3.  The university course looked even more wide open.

Despite the actual game being a slog of commercials, reviews, and injuries, we had an awesome time tailgating.  We made sure to introduce ourselves to our tailgating neighbors early which helped add to the friendly vibe in our area.  

I'm sure there are many other awesome places to tailgate in the country, but on the golf course in AA on a nice September Saturday is about as good as it gets.


09/14/2018 - 7:23pm Though I’m not exactly sure…

Though I’m not exactly sure what V-neck jeans are, they sound a little too revealing for me. 

09/11/2018 - 10:40am I would have loved to have…

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for that Harbaugh / Beilein conversation:

Jim: great to see you up and around John

John: thanks Jim. Congrats on the game today. 

Jim: yeah, yeah, acquitted ourselves well, drank milk, steel on steel, etc. hey, how’s that scar of yours? Must be pretty awesome to have a battle wound like that. Can I see it?

john:  I don’t think that’s going to happen Jim. 

Jim: come on, I’ll show you my three best scars if you show me the zipper. 

John: it isn’t going to happen. 

Jim: don’t you basketball guys practice shirts and skins? I’ll check it out then.  Cool, looking forward to it. 

John: sure, that sounds like a plan. 

John goes in for a handshake, Jim gives a bear hug and John winces with pain. 

End of scene

09/09/2018 - 5:24pm PSA - one of the university…

PSA - one of the university lots by the lake and next to the turf sports fields now has a building on it. I still don’t think parking is an issue, but this particular lot, which I’ve used the last few times we’ve played in Evanston, is no longer an option.

08/31/2018 - 10:44am My first real Michigan…

My first real Michigan Stadium memory is the ND game to open the 1985 season. A 20-12 victory.  We sat as a family in the north endzone.  A group of guys behind me spilled a beer on my program and I dropped a souvenir cup full of soda about 10 seconds after buying it.  Despite that, it was a great Saturday.  I still have the plastic cups at my mom's house.  My favorite is one with pictures of Michigan Stadium, Crisler, and Yost with the capacity of each listed.

My dad indoctrinated me at an early age and he always seemed to dislike Notre Dame more than any other rival.  I'm glad they're back on the schedule.

This will be the second football season since my dad passed.  Over his last few years, he struggled to keep up with the details of the team (players, schedule, etc.) but he always watched and we still usually spoke after the games for a brief discussion.

I feel fortunate to have a handful of good friends from my grad school days at Michigan that like Michigan football as much as me, so our texting during and after the games has helped fill that void.

I'm excited for the season to start and look forward to seeing what the team can accomplish over the next 13 weeks.

08/30/2018 - 10:32am Congrats.  Sometimes it will…

Congrats.  Sometimes it will feel like each day is 48 hours long and then before you know it, 5 years will have passed, so try to find the joy of the situation, even in the tough times.

In my opinion, being a good parent isn't difficult but it can be hard.  It requires being present for your kids as much as you can, often times forgoing something you'd rather be doing.  Sometimes I feel like my ass is cemented to the couch, but once I get up and get moving for my kid, it's a decision I never regret.

As for advice, talk/read to the kid as much as you can and try to avoid the baby talk.  When my son was an infant, I told him every story I could think of.  I just wanted him to hear as many words as possible in that first year.


08/17/2018 - 4:58pm The second throw in his…

The second throw in his senior year highlights is insane.  Barely plants his feet and proceeds to accurately throw it 60 yards.

08/13/2018 - 6:34pm Prediction: Gary or Winovich…

Prediction: Gary or Winovich coming hard off the end will intercept one of those weak forward laterals and take it to the house.

08/08/2018 - 3:48pm Linsanity probably doesn't…

Linsanity probably doesn't count as he's had a solid career, but those few weeks in early 2012 were incredible!

06/12/2018 - 6:55pm We had a 1977 Olds '98…

We had a 1977 Olds '98 Regency.  Red with black velour interior. The front seats were like Lazy Boy chairs.  I have no idea how my parents stayed awake driving us around in that car.  I missed driving it by about 1 year.

06/12/2018 - 6:50pm Answering my own question.

Answering my own question.

I deleted the (didn't have "www.") from my browser memory and retyped  This solved the problem.

06/12/2018 - 3:43pm Edit to above: “issue”…

Edit to above: “issue” should be “option”

06/12/2018 - 3:40pm Tailgating heads up.


Tailgating heads up.

For the last few UM/NW games, there’s been a big contingent of Michigan fans in the parking lot by Lake Michigan, a little past the NW swimming facility. Well, there is now a shiny new building on that parking lot, so that location is no longer an issue. 


06/12/2018 - 3:36pm I have an ‘09 BMW 535xi…

I have an ‘09 BMW 535xi. Given my frustrating logical nature, I expect it will be the most fun car to drive that I ever own. It’s a perfect balance of power, comfort and utility. However, if it had a manual transmission, it would be truly incredible. 

Oh, and real cup holders. 

06/12/2018 - 3:16pm Desktop version?

When I go…

Desktop version?

When I go to on my desktop, I am getting the throwback format/background with the May 31st Hello Zach Carpenter post. The only site links are to Podcasts, Mgostore, MyFace (sic?), and Contact. I can’t find a way to access the boards on the desktop. 

I was able to successfully follow the instructions for the mobile app, so have been using that, but would like to solve this desktop issue. 

Any advice?  Thanks

06/01/2018 - 2:10pm Pavillion

Nova has been doing a major renovation of the Pavillion that will be complete for this coming season.  I wouldn't be surprised if they want to get a marquee game in their shiney new facility.

That being said, nearly every big game for the last 25+ years has happened at the Spectrum/ CoreStates Arena/First Union Center/Wachovia Center/Wells Fargo Center (that's what happens when you name a place after a small regional bank!).

05/31/2018 - 2:13pm Franklin sports mini grip

Franklin Sports Mini Grip

LOVE this football. I just played catch with my 8 year old this weekend with it.  He can throw a nice spiral with this but struggles with others.  It's soft enough to use inside but just enough weight that it can get through a moderate wind outside.  We have three of them lying around the house and use them all the time.

I've owned virtually every kind of football out there.  Composite, leather, nerf, nike, wilson, full size, high school, pee wee, "The Juice", "the Duke", XFL game ball, Arena 2  game ball.  This Franklin ball is my favorite of them all. 


05/27/2018 - 4:51pm Very provincial

This is just one guy’s opinion, but I’d be sure the non-job aspects of the move make sense.

I lived in Boston for one year in my 20’s and found it challenging to make friends there. Unlike many other big cities around the country, it felt as though a very large percentage of people in Boston had strong ties to the area (grew up or went to college). As a result, they had well developed groups of friends with long histories together.

I compare that to Chicago where I moved a little later in life. It felt much more like a Midwest melting pot with people coming from 6-7 different states and therefore more open to newer friendships.

Cost of living is definitely going to be higher than Little Rock. I’d check a number of different COL calculators to see what they say. If you’re making this big of a move, you don’t just want to be “even” in your living standard. I’d think you’d want to be able to make some upgrades.

All that being said, Boston is definitely a cool city. Lots of history, great day trips in many directions, rabid sports town. Assuming you’re a college football fan, the northeast is not all that concerned about the sport.

05/23/2018 - 10:37am 2005 Highlander

Definitely not the flashiest car. Bought it as a demo with 10k miles on it in June 2005. Have driven it in the city nearly every day for the last 13 years. Mileage isn’t too high, but LOTS of stop and go. Aside from oil changes/brakes/tires we’ve had to put less than $2k in repairs into it. I’ve considered getting rid of it for the last 3 years, but I just can’t bring myself to let it go. It’s too reliable, pretty comfortable and surprisingly utilitarian.

05/21/2018 - 5:37pm DePaul may sneak up on people

Went to the Nova / DePaul game last December at their new arena in downtown Chicago. Nova won handily, but DePaul had more than a pulse. Between some of the younger guys on the team and the new arena which should help with recruiting, they might surprise some people in the coming seasons.

05/15/2018 - 1:02pm This ^^^

Changing the speed of the fan and which set of vents is being used nearly requires pulling out the owners manual on some models.  How about a few switches and knobs to keep it simple!

05/09/2018 - 11:12am Be a tourist

I enjoy traveling by myself for work a few days at a time.  Longer than that can get a little monotonous.  When a trip gets scheduled, I generally try to spend 15-20 minutes getting a little more familiar with my destination if I've never been there before.  I also check sports and concert schedules.

In the past, I've done:

Seattle - Space needle and Chihuly musueum, next night Mariners game and Pike Place market

NYC - Empire State building (been to NYC many times, but never been to the top of the Empire State Building.  Went on a random week night in the fall and it was almost completely empty - pretty cool experience)

Dallas - Maveriks game, was able to buy midcourt seats on Craigslist and sat with a random couple who fortunately were very nice

Houston - Astros game - bought very good good seat right before game started

Salt Lake City - Did a tour of Temple Square

Burlington VT - had a full day to kill due to very random events and went snowboarding at Stowe

Silicon Valley - had time to kill between meetings one weekday afternoon and stopped by Stanford's campus and football stadium.  Asked if I could walk around the stadium, was initially told no by a woman at the ticket window.  Then she said, hold on, go to the gate on your left.  A stadium employee ended up giving me a private tour of the stadium. Also, the Standford campus is pretty awesome.  Whenever UM is competing with Stanford for a prospect, based on my limited experience, I assume Stanford will win.

Detroit - obligatory side trip to visit Ann Arbor

If I'm in a random small town, it seems like there's always a mall nearby.  It's hard to find time to shop for myself when at home, so I will do some clothes/shoe shopping at my own pace (very nice compared to having kid and/or wife along).

I also like going for a run outside whenever possible. It's a great way to get a different feel for the place and can help you get your bearings.

05/04/2018 - 9:48pm Weird kids

I don’t know a ton of them, but most of the kids I’ve met from Chicago undergrad are a little odd. They’re clearly extremely smart, but the social skills are peculiar.

Also, Ann Arbor >>> Hyde Park. I love Chicago, but living in Hyde Park is not ideal. If you live in the nicer parts of Chicago, the commute to campus is not fun.

UChicago feels like a better place for grad school. I think Michigan provides a more fun, stereotypical undergrad experience and Ross BBA is top notch.

05/01/2018 - 7:11pm 1990 Illinois

My dad and I went to that game for our 1x year big house visit as we had to travel in from out of state.

The morning of the game I was pretty sick, but there was no way I was going to miss it. Before the game, a family member gave me some cold medicine (first time I ever took it, I was 15 or 16) and I ended up passed out in the stadium for nearly the entire game.

04/26/2018 - 3:03pm Red Oaks on Amazon Prime

Coming of age story really well done with a mix of comedy and drama.  It's set in the mid-1980's at a country club in north New Jersey.  The writers do just enough to embrace the 80s, but don't go so far as to make it an over the top homage to the decade.  I'm through seasons 1 & 2 and am hesitant to start the 3rd and final season because I don't want it to end. 

Agree with others on Ozarks on Netflix, you'll be left wanting more after finishing the 1 season that's been done so far.

04/19/2018 - 11:49am Get there early

All the typical places have been mentioned, and they’re all good spots to watch a game. However, for football games, they get very crowded so get there early. On more than one occasion and more than one bar, I have been shut out because I got there too late.

04/04/2018 - 8:13am Very few set plays

I’ve watched a ton of Nova and Michigan over the last few years (grad of both schools). Watching and trying to follow Beilein’s offenses has made me appreciate how intricate and complicated his system appears to be. This has obviously been discussed here at length.

I’ve never gotten he same impression from Nova’s offense. My limited understanding is they have a few basic spacing and motion concepts / rules that they teach but few actual plays. As we saw, this Nova team had a core of versatile players, four or five of whom will play in the NBA, that executed on these rules with incredible success.

With regards to recruiting, there is a good ESPN article about how Wright changed up his tactics and focus over the last 5 years. After the good run in 2009, they were able to get the top of the top players. They then proceeded to have a losing record a year or two after. Wright realized the guys they brought in weren’t a good fit for what made him successful and made the changes that got him to where they are today. Whether those changes included adding or removing bagmen from the staff is TBD.

03/30/2018 - 5:40pm Nova and Michigan fan

I am grad of both schools and have watched probably 75% of both teams' games this season. 

My take on Nova has changed dramatically over the last 4 weeks.  Prior to the Big East tournament, they were an offensive juggernaut that played defense primarily because that's what you do when you don't have the ball.  It felt half hearted at times and teams frequently got good open looks on them. They won by not turning the ball over, making a ton of threes, and taking advantage of opponents' self inflicted mistakes.  When they weren't shooting well, they either lost or came very close to losing.  When their offense was on, they blew people out. 

Then in a press conference before the Big East Tournament, Jay Wright acknowledged his teams shortcomings on defense and he challenged his team to step it up.  And to their credit, the players responded.  The defense they played in the BET and first four game of the NCAA is exceedingly better than what I saw all season.

I LOVE this Michigan team, especially how they have figured out how to win ugly.  I would argue Villanova has finallly figured out how to win ugly.

If we could get Michigan and Villanova in the championship game and have the non-ugly versions of both teams show up, it would be an incredible event. 

03/29/2018 - 5:57pm Congrats

No advice other than to say Ross will absolutely serve him well, regardless of his field of choice.  Alumni are everywhere and getting the NY or Chicago will be no problem.

03/26/2018 - 3:17pm Lateral quickness and heart

There have been multiple instances where I was sure Z was beaten by an opponent as they drove to the basket only to see him recover and force the offensive player to abandon their initial plan of attack.

Not only does this require incredible lateral quickness, it also requires determination and heart.  Defense is a mindset that often times isn't rewarded with traditional stats.  Somewhere along the way, his coaches (father, Belien, Yaklich, or someone else) told Z that he has the potential to be an elite defender.  It was then Z's decision to make that happen.

Playing tight defense is exhausting and it's very easy to take a play off every now and then.  Z appears to subscribe to the 100% full effort 100% of the time.  It's really a joy to watch.


03/25/2018 - 12:14pm Time zone

If planning travel, note that the 6:09 and 8:49 times listed are ET and San Antonio is in CT.

03/22/2018 - 5:20pm Notre Dame and Texas A&M

Two alumni bases that LOVE their class rings

03/12/2018 - 10:01am Scouting

Honest question: for a team like Montana that doesn’t get a lot of national coverage, where does the Michigan coaching staff get video to use in scouting? Do teams still trade footage or is there some type of a central clearing house that teams have access to?

03/09/2018 - 8:59am Nova was an 8 seed

Lowest seed to win the whole thing.

03/08/2018 - 9:23pm Benefactors

Aren’t two of the three founders of YouTube Illinois grads? Though, I have a feeling they didn’t spend a lot of time at sporting events...

03/07/2018 - 1:43pm Nova undergrad grad here

I’ve watched nearly all of Nova’s games this year and don’t like their chances. I have no stats to back this up, but to the eye they seem to be the quintessential “we’ll outscore you team”. Their d has been pretty suspect all year and if their outside shots aren’t falling, they’re in trouble.

I’ve also watched nearly every Michigan game and their defense seems significantly better (again, I don’t have stats to support this). If the shots aren’t falling, I like their chances to win ugly.

In a one game tournament, I like Nova. But with the need to string together 6 good games, I’d put money on Michigan before Nova.

02/27/2018 - 12:36pm Cranbrook-Kingswood isn't the school

But, I just checked it out the website and it looks like an impressive place. 

What's the reputation of the school?  Is it 1) academically challenging and they send kids to top colleges, 2) a place to park trouble makers or 3) somewhere in between?


02/26/2018 - 5:02pm Single sex classrooms

I grew up going to a grade school that was co-ed, but boys and girls were taught in separate classes. I then went to an all boys high school. I loved it and, looking back on it, I thought it was beneficial to my development.

When it came time to choose a school for my son, we chose a similar set up. Co-ed school with single sex classrooms. There aren’t many of them left and I feel fortunate we have this choice where we live.

The teachers in his school have incredible experience dealing with the energy of boys. And, more importantly in my eyes, he’s not being compared to girls who, in almost every way, are likely better behaved.

02/22/2018 - 2:20pm 2015-2017 First Round Draft Pick Watch List


1st Rd Picks
Kentucky 9
Duke 7
Arizona 3
Syracuse 3
Utah 3
Washington 3
Gonzaga  2
Kansas 2
Louisville 2
Michigan 2
Texas 2
Vanderbilt 2
Wisconsin 2
Arkansas 1
Baylor 1
Cal 1
Colorado 1
Creighton 1
Georgia St 1
Indiana 1
Marquette  1
Michigan St 1
Murray St 1
NC State 1
New Mexico St 1
Notre Dame 1
Ohio St 1
Oklahoma 1
Providence 1
Purdue 1
St. Joes 1
Villanova 1
Virginia 1
Wake Forest 1
Wyoming 1
Foreign 15
Total 90


02/17/2018 - 9:10pm Was at the NW / MSU game

1. Felt like a neutral site game at best, but man MSU fans are loud. Allstate Arena is not a good venue, but credit to MSU fans for showing up. >12k fans has to be highest attendance for NW all year

2. NW was on fire in the first half. Truly couldn't miss. Reversion to the mean was just waiting to happen.

3. NW was in foul trouble at halftime and it got worse early in the 2nd.

4. MSU did this without Bridges. He was in early foul trouble and never got going.

5. I was with NW alums and it was really hard to watch them suffer through the collapse.

I won't forget this game.

02/13/2018 - 10:58am Dinkel’s

Had one from Dinkel’s Bakery in Chicago on Sunday. It’s an old German (not Polish) bakery, but they know what they’re doing when it comes to pastries. Good stuff!

02/12/2018 - 4:58pm Thanks

for all the suggestions

02/12/2018 - 4:57pm Not the same trip.

We're doing this year in AZ to accommodate some guys that live on the west coast.

02/12/2018 - 4:28pm Thanks

Unfortunately, we won't be there in October.

02/06/2018 - 4:39pm The pride in their work

I'm not an engineer, but have a ton of respect for what the human mind can dream up and then implement.  For me, seeing and hearing the pride and passion the SpaceX team has in these videos is just awesome.  And then seeing the two boosters land in near unison was incredible.  If I ever get tired of watching this stuff, please check my pulse.

02/02/2018 - 3:24pm Edison Bulbs

I've been wondering what these bulbs were called.  As soon as you used the term, I was pretty confident I knew what you meant.  A quick Google search confirmed my confidence.  Thanks for the info!

01/26/2018 - 9:06am Do this all the time

It’s rare that I’m able to watch a weeknight game live. I record every game, stay off ESPN and then watch the next morning while on the treadmill. Using fast forward for timeouts, halftime and free throws, you can get through most of the game during a 40 min run. If it’s a close game at the end of 40 mins, I keep watching. If it’s a blowout either way, I don’t watch the last 6-8 mins.

01/24/2018 - 3:22pm How about cashiers?

I was in a Toys R Us between Christmas and New Years a few weeks ago. I would argue this is prime time for retailers.

I went to pay for my item and was excited to see only one other person in line. But I then realized there was no cashiers at any of the registers. In a matter of minutes, another 4 or 5 people were in line behind me. Finally, after a legitimate 5 min wait, a cashier sauntered over and started checking people out.

I really want retail to survive and, in the not too distant future, I think many of us will regret how we have collectively obliterated much of the retail landscape. However, when you make the process painful for customers, I struggle to have any sympathy.

By contrast, I was in a Williams Sonoma right before Christmas. They were over staffed (in a good way), were giving away pumpkin waffles (incredible) and trying really hard to make it a pleasant and memorable experience.

The juxtaposition of the two experiences was probably a preview of the survivors and those that end up among the list of Borders, Circuit City, and Sports Authority. The thing about these other shuttered chains is they competed with online and big box, and at least one other similar chain. Toys R Us is the last of the national toy chains and they have really screwed up what should have been an advantageous position.

11/28/2017 - 3:49pm Rochester NY to Whitefish, Montana with a return through Canada

When I was 18, my parents bought use of a ski condo in Montana for a week in a charity auction.  Since we didn't ski, we did the trip in the summer.  Car was a 1989 Cadillac Broughm (a massive sedan).  Silver with red leather seats and turn signal/high beam indicators at the corners of the hood.

Awesome three week road trip that opened my eyes to the wonder of travel and included:

  • First visit to Wrigley Field
  • Field of Dreams in Iowa
  • Wall Drug and Corn Palace in SD
  • Badlands and Mt. Rushmore
  • Glacier National Park
  • Banff and Lake Louise

My dad had a minor heart attack in Wyoming on the way out there (we thought it was the flu or a virus at the time), so he wasn't up to driving and my Mom hated driving in the mountains.  I ferried that behemoth across the great west, up and down the Road to the Sun in Glacier, and all the way across the flat lands of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  I loved every minute of it.

We must have listened to OMD's Greatest Hits double cassette at least 30 times during that trip.  Driver's choice!

My other memorable road trips:

  • Rochester to Myrtle Beach multiple times (84 Buick LeSabre and Cadillac Broughm)
  • Philadelphia to Key West (20 hours straight through) (Mitsubishi Diamante)
  • Philadelphia to Boca Raton twice (friend's '94 BMW 540i - which was an incredible road trip car)
  • Philadelphia to Atlanta (30 hour round trip for second round game of 1998 NCAA Tournament) (girlfriends '96 Volvo 850)
  • Ann Arbor to New Orleans (rented Chrysler/Dodge minivan)