Saturday, September 13, 2008

WTI: Ineligible Downfield Receiver Jesus

Craig:  Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Whatever This Is: I'm Craig, and I'm a Virgo...
Geoff:  And I'm Geoff, a Taurus. I enjoy long walks on the beach and watching Jimmah! Clausen bleed.
Jeremy:  I'm a Gemini with similar interests to Geoff. Especially the last one. But especially the beaches.
Craig:  We will get to the offense and Notre Dame in a few, but first, the band!
Geoff:  I think we started off with a couple of strong shows, even if one of those was a surprise.
Craig:  I had the interesting thing where I sat diametrically opposite to my previous seats, so I have been Northwest and Southeast corners during the last two weeks
Craig:  The first show was the Who, one I was pre-disposed to enjoy
Jeremy:  The Who show had identifiable sets, like a pinball path for a large silver ball to travel through and empty out of at the end of the song
Geoff:  Yeah. I enjoyed the GO BLUE set it ended with.
Craig:  I thought the set was solid...But I always think I am more critical of the band when the team is losing at half-time...
Geoff:  The crowd is more receptive when the team is winning, and that can affect perception.
Craig:  I also felt that it, ironically, lacked a little bit of volume (considering the band being covered), but I chalked that up to seat position
Geoff:  I thought the Who show was very good in practice, but a bit more subdued at halftime. I'd say it was decent volume, but by no means overpowering
Jeremy:  I think they've increased the volume from last year, but not quite to the point where it needs to be. (That point is peeling the faces off Row 90 during M Fanfare.)
Craig:  But I did think the arrangements were exceptionally sound and crisp. It did not sound like someone's artistic interpretation of the works of Pete Townshend, but rather a faithful rendition, lovingly performed, with appropriate flourishes along the way
Geoff:  Pregame volume seemed good, but tones and colors seemed to still prevail in halftime.
Geoff:  You can count on Boerma for good arrangements. I always trust that the music side of things will be taken care of.
Jeremy:  Yep, Boerma's made a career out of great arrangements.
Craig:  This week's show I thought proved to me an interesting notion...Stripped of their lyrics, boy band songs are exceptional pop music pieces. And I thought that a not insignificant portion of the student section was clearly in to it.
Jeremy:  I had seats in the student section. The vast majority of the girls LOVED it. The guys grumbled at first -- probably just as they did on family car trips when their sisters made them listen to these same songs -- but eventually embraced it.
Geoff:  Boy band songs are written by professionals who know how to structure a song and build it out of the right chords.
Craig:  Trained professionals Geoff?
Geoff:  A crack technical staff.
Craig:  As opposed to a technical staff on crack...zing!
Craig:  I will be interested to see how the show plays at Notre Dame Stadium
Geoff:  I think the show worked so well because of the commitment of the band, the quality of the arrangements, and the tongue-in-cheek acknowledgements of how cheesy the songs are.
Jeremy:  I think once people realize this is an over-the-top homage and not a sincere, heartfelt performance, they warm up to it.
Geoff:  See, that's always the question I've had since we saw the lineup. It sounds like a good one to do at home, because you can rely on the friendly audience and your target demographic in the student section to see it through. Obviously, this wouldn't play at all at Spartan Stadium or the 'Shoe, but I don't know what to expect from Notre Dame.
Craig:  I'm suspecting polite indifference.
Jeremy:  and ND fans are nothing if not polite.
Craig:  Then again, I will also be interested to see how the offense plays this weekend at Notre Dame Stadium...
Geoff:  We have an offense?
Craig:  Rumors on the internets say...yes!
Jeremy:  The forecast calls for a 90% chance of rain, which might help us, since it's not like we'd complete a forward pass anyway.
Geoff:  An important point. Tacopants had EPIC stats last Saturday.
Craig:  It's just sad that Tacopants is ineligible for the Heisman.
Geoff:  The rain might require something of a running game from us, and I'm not entirely comfortable with that either.
Craig:  You need Hosses on the offensive line, to quote Keith Jackson, and we have Little Joes.
Craig:  But the maddening thing was, the first series, the offense looked like an unstoppable juggernaut
Craig:  Starting with a 50 yard play by Odoms
Geoff:  If the line can even be passable, we have enough guys that someone will come through, I have to believe. And if Threet decides to keep his passes low enough that air traffic control doesn't get involved, I think he could be a Division I (FBS) quarterback.
Craig:  He needs less tangy zip is what you're saying.
Jeremy:  I wasn't terrified of the UFRs. Rodriguez is making good calls, we just have to MAKE PLAYS.
Jeremy:  And not ask Steven Threet to run the option in Hurricane Katrina.
Jeremy:  mgoblog probably made that joke already though.
Geoff:  It's one worth repeating
Geoff:  /choking sounds
Craig:  Maybe this is where we need a Grady?
Geoff:  This is where you'd expect him to be more effective, but I'm worried that he hasn't shown the vision you need with a suspect line.
Craig:  Yes, find the hole, hit the hole.
Craig:  I think, end of the day, I don't think any of us truly realized how spoiled we were in the Henne/Hart/Long era
Jeremy:  were we as spoiled in year 1 as we were in year 4 though?
Craig:  Year 1 had Braylon...
Geoff:  Not as spoiled. But we still made a Rose Bowl.
Jeremy:  right, thanks to Iowa.
Geoff:  Right now we're crashing back to the early Navarre Era
Craig:  As much as I was maddened by the inability to complete a ten yard pass, it really isn't fair to Threetidan that Mathews was out and Hemingway's appearances were as brief as his namesake's sentences. Period.
Geoff:  Losing your (arguably) top two receivers will punish any offense, let alone one as green as this one.
Jeremy:  And then your left tackle goes out with an elbow injury.
Geoff:  At this point, I'm hoping that the offense does enough not to beat itself and that the defense has a good day.
Craig:  I have read repeatedly that Michigan's defensive line will be the best unit on the field, and that will be enough to carry the day I agree on the former, and hope the latter is correct.

As an aside, I was finding myself maddened by the defense until I stepped back and said "Wait, they've allowed two field goals. That's pretty darn good." Sometimes you just need to take a breath
Jeremy:  the rain in the forecast could make mean Yackety Sax gets looped three or four times in this year's version.
Geoff:  Brian's made some good points about our defense: The line has been dominating, even if it hasn't been obvious at the time. Linebacker play has been spotty, corners have been good, and safety has been an adventure.
Craig:  That's very true.
Craig:  By the way, can either of you give me a worry/no worry on Lopata after last Saturday
Jeremy:  I feel like his UFRs assign points based on his seething rage at the time. Since we won, we saw -1s for Stevie Brown where we'd otherwise see -3s. What I'm saying is, he was worse than he looked on paper.
Geoff:  If the rain comes on, that could limit the vertical passing game from ND, which was a significant threat versus SDSU, receivers would have a tougher time making the cuts to get away from out defenders, and we should (SHOULD) have an easier job at containing.
Geoff:  I don't know what to make of Notre Dame's running game, since they didn't try to do anything with it.
Craig:  Notre Dame, confusing, or very confusing?
Geoff:  But Armando Allen got his bell rung pretty good on one carry, so you'd expect him to be slightly limited.
Craig:  I mean, it's already the weekend that the statue of Dr. Lou is being unveiled in South Bend...
Jeremy:  Forgot to bring this up during the band discussion period, but what of the "don't fear the reaper" interlude?
Geoff:  I miss "Respect" on the one hand, but it wasn't exactly a well-known tradition.
Craig:  I've already said my piece. Teach the band "Across 110th Street" and have that back the highlights between the third and fourth quarter
Jeremy:  That's... that's just beautiful. I would cry.
Geoff:  This is a fantastic idea. We can't do the organ part perfectly, but it would be magnificent.
Craig:  It's the essence of the thing.
Craig:  I know it seems like a ridiculous notion of a "Michigan Tradition", but when my phone rings with that song, people look at me and say "Michigan Replay?!?" and then say it's awesome.
Craig:  So I mean, I have to go with that. Plus, you cannot benefit from random appearances by Presidential Candidate Yaphet Kotto.
Jeremy:  it would certainly be better than pumping in the rawk music.
Geoff:  Broseph, ya gotta have the rawk!
Craig:  No, really, you don't.
Craig:  Actually, I think this week showed me the difficulty in putting Michigan traditions down on paper
Craig:  We want to help, and we like to think we are, but there's not always the consensus that we believe there to be.
Geoff:  I would just like to avoid jumping off the bridge that assumes we won't get a ten-point lead for the rest of the year.
Jeremy:  I can't complain about enthusiasm in the face of miserable circumstances, but let's not sell ourselves short either.
Craig:  It's still a lot of football left, things will get figured out.
Geoff:  Do we have any expectations for what we'll be seeing out of the Irish this weekend?
Craig:  You mean besides Clipping Jesus?
Geoff:  Illegal Participation Jesus
Craig:  Personal Foul: Leverage Jesus
Jeremy:  Holding Jesus
Craig:  Beyond that, I have no idea. It'll be wet. I know that much.
Geoff:  I figure we'll see a lot of blitzing, which could work in our favor if we manage not to soil ourselves.
Geoff:  On the other side of the ball, Clausen will air it out if we give him time. But with our line, we've got a shot.
Craig:  He can throw that fade, as you have mentioned
Jeremy:  SDSU's corners weren't exactly making plays either.
Geoff:  I guess we'll see on Saturday.
Craig:  On the third annual HSR Road Trip!
Geoff:  Go blue
Jeremy:  Go Blue!
Craig:  Go Blue!
Craig:  So with that, we bid you all good night!

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