Friday, October 03, 2008


Craig:  Hello and once again, welcome to this, well, "comeback" edition of Whatever This Is. I'm Craig, and I'm a believer...
Geoff:  The single biggest comeback in Michigan Stadium history
Jeremy:  And what an emotional rollercoaster it was. When the lows are that low, the highs are that much higher.
Geoff:  -7 yards passing.
Craig:  Oh yes, oh yes. That's unpossible! And the run was going nowhere and balls were flying out of hands and I was staring 3-9's gaping maw in the face
Jeremy:  I was thinking about the S-word, and wondering how long it had been since we'd faced one. But then the second half happened!
Geoff:  1984. I looked it up.
Jeremy:  And that was on the road (home was 1960s, IIRC). [1967, 34-0 vs. MSU -ed]
Geoff:  That second half was wonderful. Everything started clicking. Once Threet was able to establish a downfield passing game, it opened everything up.
Craig:  Indeed, and I think that leaves us with a larger question
Jeremy:  Where do we go from here?
Craig:  While we can appreciate and enjoy the glory of last Saturday, so we have any sense of what it means for the short and long term future of this team. I'm taking the view that this is a perfect coaching win for Rich Rod: No quit from his team, but plenty of room for improvement
Geoff:  I think it shows that the offense is a work in progress and will advance in fits and starts.
Jeremy:  all season we've been subjected to brief glimpses of what can happen when, to quote David Boston, our offense and defense is clickin'.
Craig:  I think it is important that I feel we've seen growth, if painful
Jeremy:  It manifested for 20 minutes on Saturday and it was enough to pull out a win against a ranked opponent, but is it unreasonable to expect that level of play continuously for the rest of the season?
Craig:  That level? Yes. A level near that? No.
Geoff:  Yes, it is, unfortunately. It's not unreasonable to expect that level of intensity, or for them to bring that attitude on every down, but the execution errors aren't going to disappear for a while. At the same time, we should see them diminish throughout the season.
Craig:  We hope
Jeremy:  One thing that has been continuous, and we can keep counting on, is the obvious Barwis Effect in the 4th quarter.
Craig:  And the great thing about the Barwis Effect is that it now is tangible. The players believed it, but now it has a manifestation.
Jeremy:  My favorite moment was after Wisco's false start late in that quarter. After seeing the flag, Terrance Taylor points down the field, and struts -- arms swinging in front of him, legs kicking high -- STRUTS to the new LOS. As if to say "I could do this all day."
Craig:  But, I think we also need to realize, there was a bit of luck in that comeback. Michigan DID make the plays, but Wisconsin had some drops which cost them. Whether drops are "luck" remains to be seen, but there it is...a letter opener.
Craig:  Now, amazingly, lost in the sheer joy of Saturday was an exceptional halftime show, even if pre-game had a bad bad omen.
Jeremy:  Clearly the motivation came from everyone being able to Twist and Shout during halftime. Everyone around me had a sense of "screw it, let's dance," and really enjoyed it.
Geoff:  I was all ready mock the Wisconsin band for their lost plumes and then Cody loses his.
Jeremy:  Doing two backbends in one game may have made up for it
Craig:  My future brother in law noted that plumes always had to be paper clipped in and that kind of thing was inspected.
Geoff:  Yeah, we had plume locks inside our hats. I don't know how the drum major's is set up.
Jeremy:  Yes, the "plume lock" was an elaborate contraption.
Geoff:  The show took a while to set up, and the people around me weren't feeling all that patient until I told them what was going on, but everyone around me really enjoyed it.
Craig:  The Wisconsin fans around me were NOT getting that it was an homage to Ferris. I LOVED March of the Swivelheads, and thought that the movie clips were not only spot on, but had a great sense of both humor and inside baseball knowledge.
Jeremy:  The show managed to contain a larger MMB theme while successfully parodying a movie AND making fun of Big Ten schools.
Geoff:  Those were very well done. I wish we could have a copy of the show cut together and posted online.
Jeremy:  I'll admit I was skeptical -- would enough people get it? would it actually be funny? skit shows are risky! -- but quite pleased with the outcome.
Geoff:  "Jim Tressel? The wine cooler king of Columbus?"
Craig:  O-H-Oh-no!
Craig:  I agree, high risk, but I felt high reward. Cody did a fine job with his bits.
Craig:  By the way, did anyone else enjoy "Lloyd Carr: Associate Athletic Director" I know it's his new gig, but it was just "Wait, who is this random person??"
Geoff:  Yeah, it's another thing to get used to.
Jeremy:  What did you think of turning the MMB into a jukebox with the "request a song" feature?
Craig:  I thought it was a back door way for AT&T to get advertising in to Michigan Stadium without actually doing it.
Geoff:  Until "Across 110th Street" is an option, disapprove
Craig:  I am glad to see Cowbell quickly went away. And co-sign on Geoff
Jeremy:  I appreciated it both for its ability to get people to pay attention - if briefly - and for how it unceremoniously swept the cowbell gag under the rug.
Jeremy:  Apparently there's a similar deal for hockey band coming up where the right price will let you request two songs that they play (plus tickets and other incentives).
Geoff:  I hope they switch up the options week to week.
Craig:  I do as well, and honestly, I couldn't hear it, even though I knew what was going to win as soon as the options went up
Craig:  I shall look forward to the hockey band deal. I will request the long version of I Can't Turn You Loose for Halloween
Jeremy:  As long as they follow that up with the full Varsity
Geoff:  I was afraid Zep and Journey would cancel each other out, leaving NSYNC. But I underestimated the cultural impact of The Hills.
Craig:  And the fact that Brock Sampson was not in the house
Craig:  Now this week we see Illinois and the Blast From the Past. Geoff, this will be your first Blast, correct?
Geoff:  Yes, actually.
Jeremy:  Third for me. I couldn't wait; I'm a sucker for being able to play the Victors in the stadium.
Geoff:  Our show this week will be a medley from Jersey Boys.
Craig:  And I will not be on the field because, contrary to popular belief, I am just a fan, not an MMB alum. I mean, I'll be at the game, I have kicking seats this week
Craig:  I am hoping that the 75th Anniversary of "Temptation" gets mentioned this week
Geoff:  Me too.
Craig:  Have we mentioned that to someone with the authority to actually do something about it?
Jeremy:  Consider this the mention, readers.
Craig:  Will either of you be able to take cameras with you for your seats? Because now that I know how to do it, my panorama from the 47 is going to be sweet, I hope.
Jeremy:  oh, definitely. Part of the fun is how much more relaxed it is than having to perform in full uniform.
Geoff:  Do we have any expectations for the game itself?
Craig:  I think this is going to be another battle. I think Michigan will be brimming with confidence, tamped down by the fact that they do not start the game at halftime
Craig:  If they can get decent contain on Juice, I think that Michigan will have a good shot to make things happen. The offense will need to manage the game. 17-14 either way seems reasonable to me at this point
Geoff:  Arrelious Benn worries me. I don't think we've seen a receiver of his caliber yet this year. I expect to see a lot of Donovan Warren on him.
Jeremy:  The ground game should have more success this week. We stared down the "Inevitable 2nd and 12" too much on Saturday.
Craig:  I do have one other larger question: If Stephen Threet does nothing else in his career (which I hope is not true), has he secured a place in Michigan lore after last weekend?
Jeremy:  I say yes. He was Saturday's Phil Brabbs vs Washington.
Geoff:  You make a very good point, Jeremy. Stephen Threet will definitely be remembered for this moment. Beyond that, he'll have his stamp over the whole first year of the Rodriguez administration.
Craig:  I say yes, just because the image of the double crossed arms on his scramble will be locked in my head. The rarity of a Michigan quarterback taking off down the field, coupled with someone desperate not to fumble was a perfect marriage of what had happened and what was happening in that game.
Geoff:  I have to say, if Threet's ceiling is Navarre+, I don't mind that.
Craig:  Agree. When we do a WTI from the Vault, John Navarre will definitely be a topic, him versus Dennis Franklin for most underrated Michigan QB post 1968.
Craig:  But until that time, we're off for another week. I'm Craig...
Geoff:  I'm Geoff
Jeremy:  I'm Jeremy. Go Blue!
Craig:  Good night Ann Arbor! We love you!

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