Monday, October 31, 2011
|(Great photo of Mike Martin and Denard Robinson from John T. Greilick of The Detroit News)|
2). "Seven Nation Army", no. "Hardest Button to Button", yes.
3). Students, seriously, get to the game on time. I will be an old man and tell you that it's embarrassing to see the alumni in the seats before kickoff and a student section that is less than 50% full. Rocket Man could have safely landed in the student section with no collateral damage. I don't care that it's Halloween weekend and some how in the last ten years, Halloween became a big deal on college campuses,* you make claims about being the engine that makes the Michigan Stadium experience go? Get there. Plan ahead. Take the time. Leave your pre-game fifteen minutes earlier, but be there for kickoff, even for Purdue, even in the cold.** Otherwise, you're leaving yourselves open to the criticism you receive.
(*-As was once said to me by a fellow member of the Class of 2000: "I don't have a lot of regrets about college, but I do lament that we went to college in the era of shame based clothing.")
(**-Five years of student tickets 1996-2000, never got there late, never left early, not even during Syracuse 1998. You can do it if you want to do it.)
|(It's casual Devin and striding Denard! David Guralnick/The Detroit News)|
|(Michael Shaw finishes in style. John T. Greilick / The Detroit News)|
Onward to Iowa. RIP GopherQuest. Leading the Legends in the first week of November, yeah, it's a pretty good feeling.
Monday, October 24, 2011
So we're going to read it (fair warning, we're not going to review it until we're done, and that may be a while, it's just the nature of my life at the moment). I'll happily discuss the book with you, but be advised, in any conversation of this type, I will prefer sourced notions to speculation.
Here we go...
Saturday, October 22, 2011
- Download the following large, mirror-image version of the picture by clicking below:
- Purchase an inexpensive T-shirt from a craft store or elsewhere.
- Purchase iron-on printer paper (e.g. Avery 3271) from your local office supply store.
- Print the mirror-image version on the iron-on paper. Follow the instructions that come with the paper to make the T-shirt transfer. Kids, make sure to have parental supervision.
- 16 (atomic number): Uniform number.
- 193.00 (atomic weight): Robinson's listed weight.
- +3, +7 (ionization states): probable outcomes of offensive drives led by Mr. Robinson. The +3 is outlined because it's not very stable.
- 2316, 1693 (boiling/melting points): Robinson's regular season passing and rushing yards for the 2010 season.
- 4.44 (electronegativity): His fake 40 time.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
|"You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."|
"Lot of talk about Michigan State being unduly physical, even dirty. Whatever. I say embrace it as your identity.That's when it occurred to me, Wetzel is 100%, absolutely correct. This is exactly what Michigan State needs to do. They must embrace this role. They must become the Big Ten's bully, the most physical team, the dirtiest team in the conference.
Denard facemask twist was over the top. The other stuff, I don't know. MSU is never going to get a bunch of speedster, have to be tough.
Michigan State deserves whatever penalties and suspensions they get. Mentality of playing on (or over) the edge is working though."
The reason is simple: Michigan State's current national identity, as much as they have one in football, is built around essentially "Sparty, no!" That's not just with Michigan fans, when Rece Davis says it on College Football Final, you have an identity crisis. You will not embrace the Little Brother standard, and that's probably wise, because no one wins with that. But pure evil, goatee wearing evil, yes, that is what Michigan State football could be.
|Seriously Sparty, you know you want tell people to bite your shiny bronze age ass.|
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Sunday, October 09, 2011
|Devin Gardner, doing Devin Gardner things. We aren't sure what they are yet, but we like them.|
|Uh oh, Mr. Persa hears footsteps.|
Photo from AnnArbor.com
*-From USA Today: "The Wolverines have outscored opponents 62-7 in the fourth quarter."
*-I'm sorry Big Ten, I tried using the new vernacular, but it just feels wrong. Not just the name, but the notion of divisions is utterly foreign and confusing to me. I'm sure it will grow on me, but the notion that for two weeks in a row, on some level, I should be rooting for Ohio State because they were facing teams in Michigan's division just felt wrong as well. But nevertheless...
But there's something else going on with this Michigan 6-0 start and I want to toss out a theory. This is not a residual of the "Summer of Hoke" lovefest, or the "Anyone but Rodriguez" notions of others. My working thesis is simply this: Michigan is 6-0 and, outside of Michigan's core fans, very few people in Metro Detroit care right now.
Why is this? Well, blame the Lions, and blame the Tigers. The fact that the Tigers are still playing into October, at least for another week, has drawn many of the column inches and focus of the sport talk radio callers. * And that might be enough, but then the Lions being 4-0* for the first time since 1980 and the NFL can trump all when your team is winning, especially in Detroit, where we've waited so long for something resembling competence in our NFL franchise. You only have so much you can focus on as a sports fan, only so many free cycles you can allocate, and Michigan isn't getting them from your "average" Detroit sports fan.
*-I had my wife's car on Friday to get the oil changed after work. She does not have Sirius like I have in my car, so I was listening to 97.1. After deciding I hated myself, I realized that sports talk radio just edges out local newspaper online comment section as the worst thing in the history of ever that doesn't actually involve people dying.
**--Going into Monday Night Football, the Lions are 4-0, Michigan is 6-0 and Sparty is 4-1, so that's 14 of the 22 available wins for the year. If this keeps up, we're going to party like it's 1999.
OK, fine, so the "average" Detroit sports fan doesn't care, but what about the college football world? Surely someone has noticed the Michigan football renaissance? Well, yes, several have, there's no way to say it's been ignored, but let's just take for the sake of argument that Michigan really is the 11th best team in the country right now. Look at the ten teams ranked ahead of them: LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Boise State, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Clemson, Oregon, and Arkansas. In each case, they have at least one great story that can be discussed, be it a Honey Badger, the greatest defense in the history of the world, the implosion of the Big XII, Russell Wilson's War, the Rodney Dangerfields of the BCS, Justin Blackmon, Andrew Luck, how the heck is Clemson in this mix, the spread and shred Ducks, and the fighting Petrinos. This doesn't even count Ohio State's continuing NCAA troubles or conference realignment also eating into the timeline. Michigan has some compelling angles from a national sense, the Brady Hoke Secret Service angle, the Brady Hoke hat thief angle, the wither Denard Robinson? angle, the Greg Mattison angle, the return to Michigan being Michigan angle, there's a lot of possibilities, and as you can see, they are getting some run. But the smoke and mirrors feel of this, the notion that Michigan is 6-0 by luck more than skill or design, especially as they needed comebacks against the two "real" teams that they have faced (Notre Dame and Northwestern), well, there's a lot of reason that Michigan might only be the 11th best team in the country yet, and even then everyone is still not sure if they are.
So this Saturday becomes the first real test of Michigan's 132nd team, a trip into the dark recesses of this state's soul, a place where they know they are hated with a deep and bitter passion that stems from a combination of envy and frustration*, where the team in black and bronze will try to send a senior class off with four straight wins over Michigan, one where Brady Hoke will try to do something that Bump, Bo, Mo, Lloyd, or RichRod couldn't do, beat Big Ten member Michigan State in his first season as coach.**
*-If you're a Michigan State fan, it has to gnaw at your very soul that you have your best team in decades in 2010, and you don't get to go to the Rose Bowl because of the tie-breaker rules, you don't get to go to a BCS bowl because Ohio State gets picked ahead of you, you get killed by Alabama in your bowl game, and then Rodriguez's dismissal and Hoke's hiring and the the OSU issues, steal all of the off-season headlines. Michigan State is 4-1 and they just got back into the AP poll this week after the Notre Dame loss in Week 3. The lack of respect is arguably palpable and tangible, and yet, it doesn't seem like they can do anything about it. The best press Michigan State has had all season is from Kirk Cousins' speech at the B1G kickoff luncheon. What's worse is that because of the Lions and Tigers, Michigan State, which already doesn't get the Detroit area coverage that Michigan does, will potentially be a smaller story and if Michigan State wins, right or wrong, a lot of the focus will end up being on why Michigan lost rather than how Michigan State won. Sorry Sparty, I don't make the rules, and remember, there's a reason that "Sparty, no!" is a meme.
**--Rich Rodriguez, 2008, L 35-21
Lloyd Carr, 1995, L 28-25 (DAMN YOU TONY BANKS!)
Gary Moeller, 1990, L 28-27 (DAMN YOU EDDIE BROWN!)
Bo Schembechler, 1969, L 23-12
Bump Elliott, 1959, L 34-8
(Every coach from Yost (State Agricultural College) to Little (Michigan Agricultural College) to Kipke (Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science) to Ooosterbaan all beat what we no know as Michigan State. Yost's Michigan team didn't play SAC in his first season at Michigan. He made up for beating the Aggies 119-0 in 1902.)
So in locker rooms in East Lansing and Ann Arbor, a pair of countdown clocks each wind toward the inexorable conclusion at noon on Saturday. A pair of teams whose destinies are intertwined. The build up is immense, and yet, it nothing like it might have been in a different year. But hey, no pressure.
Thursday, October 06, 2011
Monday, October 03, 2011
A secret society of the eight wealthiest mascots in the Northeast has just convened at an estate in Providence, RI, otherwise known as John Marinatto's basement. Chip crumbs, an almost empty bowl of mango-peach salsa, and an apology note to Sean Keeley form a still-life on an otherwise empty table. The basement itself is a 16-sided room, from which the mascots control the Northeastern bank money supplies, Fort Dix, ESPN and the Wesleyan College student newspaper.
On the walls of this room are eight seals. They are known as The Octosigillion.
Parental discretion is advised.
(holding a copy of C.F. Gauss's Disquisitiones Arithmeticae)
Listen up, ladies and gentlemen and neuters. TCU's going to be joining us soon, so we have to renovate this room so that it is a regular 17-sided polygon. In order to do that, the contractors have asked us to rate ourselves from best to worst-designed. Since we don't have names, I propose we adopt the names of our school's mascots for this discussion. Are you OK with that, Otto?
Sunday, October 02, 2011
|(AP Photo/Tony Ding)|
Saturday, October 01, 2011
The Michigan Marching Band is already loaded in the tunnel, ready to take the field missing one of its own. As I'm sure you've all heard, trumpet Patrick Fleming was killed on Monday on US-23.
I didn't know Patrick, and I've been struggling with what to put up over here. He sounds like a remarkable guy, having the dedication to work full time, take classes at UM-Flint, and on top of it all he put in the hours and hours needed to excel in the MMB.
Tributes have been pouring in from all over. MSU's band played "Amazing Grace" in his honor. Groups from the State band and OSU's band traveled to practice on Elbel Field to lend their support. Patrick's spot will be empty on the field and all band members are wearing armbands and trumpet pins in his honor.
I don't know what more to say. But stay safe out there; we need you all.