Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hockey Previews 2013: Midwest

Huntington Center - Toledo, Ohio

St. Cloud State tied with Minnesota for the WCHA regular-season title, so seeing them as the 13th overall seed is kind of strange. But the Huskies were swept at New Hampshire and split with RPI, so that'll tank your Pairwise ranking. St. Cloud was reasonably consistent in the regular season before falling to a Wisconsin team on a mission in the WCHA tournament semifinals. Drew LeBlanc (13-37--50) and Nic Dowd (14-25--39) are both scoring at better than 1 ppg, while Jonny Brodzinski (21-11--32) is the goals leader. Ryan Faragher (2.29 GAA/0.914 SV%) is your netminder here.

Minnesota State is the contrasting case to St. Cloud: They went 1-0-1 versus RPI, beat Brown and UConn at the UConn Hockey Classic, and swept Providence to get a big Pairwise bump. Otherwise, they're in the logjam for 4th in the WCHA, tied with DU and Wisconsin. The dangermen for the Mavericks are Matt Letner (17-30--47) and Eriah Hayes (20-16--36), with Stephon Williams (1.96 GAA/0.925 SV%) handling most of the goaltending duties.

Miami won the CCHA's final regular season championship, but fell hard to Michigan in the tournament semifinal, 6-2. This edition of the RedHawks isn't quite as high-powered as years past, but Riley Barber (15-23--38) and Austin Czarnik (14-24--38) provide plenty of spark. Ryan McKay (1.37 GAA/0.948 SV%) and Jay Williams (1.94 GAA/0.924 SV%) have split time down the middle. McKay got the starts in the conference tournament, but was yanked after giving up 4 to Michigan, the first time he gave up more than 2 all season.

Notre Dame finished just 3 points behind Miami in the CCHA, and won the final Mason Cup in a textbook suffocation of a Michigan team that had caught fire at the end of the year. The Irish played an aggressive nonconference schedule, splitting with North Dakota and Minnesota-Duluth earlier in the year. Anders Lee is still around (how is he only a junior?!), and leads the team with a 20-18--38 line. Junior Steven Summerhays had a couple of bumps in the road in February, but has kept everyone else to 3 or fewer goals, carrying a 1.94 GAA/0.922 SV% line.

Hockey Previews 2013: East

Dunkin' Donuts Center - Providence, R.I.

Canisius finished 12-13-2 in Atlantic Hockey, and have earned the program's first *ever* tournament berth via a Cinderella run through the conference tournament. The Griffins are on an 8-game winning streak, trouncing Mercyhurst 7-2 in the tournament final. Junior Kyle Gibbons (20-22--42) leads the Griffins in all major offensive categories, and no one is within .25 ppg of him, and Tony Capobianco (2.35 GAA/0.930 SV%) has been the guy in net all season.

Union is your ECAC tournament champion, defeating brown 3-1 in the final after lighting up Yale 5-0 in the semis. The Dutchmen had an aimless December through February, but got it together for the tournament. Senior Wayne Simpson (16-17-33) is your G/P leader, though junior Daniel Carr is close behind at 16-10--26, and three different defensemen have 18 assists. Colin Stevens (1.62 GAA/0.931 SV%) has seen significant game action, but Troy Grosenick (2.06 GAA/0.928 SV%) has been in net for the big moments.

Boston College finished second to UMass-Lowell by a single point in the regular season and dropped the semifinal of the conference tournament to hated crosstown rival BU, but it's useless to talk about things like this when it comes to the Eagles. What really matters: BC has won 2 of the last 3 / 3 of the last 5 national championships. Parker Milner is lugging around a pedestrian 2.59 GAA/0.912 SV%, but he won a national title last year. Johnny Gaudreau (20-30--50), Steven Whitney (26-19--45), and Pat Mullane (16-27--43) are your biggest dangermen.

Quinnipiac finds itself in the unusual position of leading the nation in the Pairwise. They went 1-0-1 against Ohio State, swept Nebraska-Omaha, and eked out a win at Maine while dominating their ECAC schedule. It's a pretty good way to get the #1 overall seed. KRACH has them at #2 overall, so it isn't all smoke and mirrors, but they still have something to prove in the tournament. The Bobcats will try to do that behind senior Eric Hartzell (1.52 GAA/0.934 SV%) in net. Quinnipiac doesn't score a lot of goals -- senior Jermey Langlois 0.79 ppg (12-18--30) is scoring at the fastest clip, but they really don't let in many either. Should be interesting to see this play out.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Hockey Previews 2013: West

Yale comes into the tournament scuffling. They had a 5-game losing streak in February, then lost to Union and Quinnipiac in the conference tournament. Their best result all year is probably a 3-3 tie with BC. But KRACH still has them as the #13 team in the country so...? The Elis are top-heavy in their scoring, with Kenny Agostino, Andrew Miller, and Antoine Laganiere the only guys with 10+ goals, and only three more guys (including defenseman Tommy Fallen) with 10+ assists. Senior goalie Jeff Malcolm has been putting up a 2.42 GAA / 0.914 SV%, so nothing extraordinary there. Yale doesn't look like a tough out on paper, but a senior-heavy team shouldn't be overlooked.

Niagara finished 7 points ahead of runner-up Air Force in the Atlantic Hockey regular season before coming up short to underdog Canisius in the tournament, and a win against the Falcons is probably their most impressive result. Ryan Murphy (15-21--36) and Giancarlo Iuorio (21-13--34) are by far the offensive leaders, and Carsen Chubak (1.91 GAA/0.939 SV%) is the guy in net. The Purple Eagles didn't play a name-brand non-conference schedule, so this is a wildcard.

North Dakota wasn't a dominating machine at any point in its schedule, but showed flashes of brilliance, like a 6-1 demolition of Denver at Magness. The Fighting NoDaks feature a high-powered offense lead by seniors Danny Kristo (26-26--52) and Corban Knight (15-33--48). Clarke Saunders (2.26 GAA/0.916 SV%) and Zane Gothberg (2.46 GAA/0.920 SV%) have split time in net, with junior Saunders getting a few more games than the freshman.

Minnesota tied for the regular season WCHA title with St. Cloud State, along the way becoming the #1 team in the country in KRACH and #2 in the Pairwise. They came up short to Colorado College in the seminfinals of their final WCHA tournament, but have had a solid season throughout. Erik Haula (16-35--51) has a massive number of assists, while Nick Bjugstad (21-15--36) is the goals leader. Freshman Adam Wilcox (1.88 GAA/0.921 SV%) is the clear #1 netminder.

Hockey Previews 2013: Northeast

Verizon Wireless Arena (Manchester, NH)

Wisconsin finished tied with Denver in the WCHA, and with a better overall record than the Pioneers, but the vagaries of the Pairwise make the Badgers a 4 seed and the Pioneers a 2. Wisconsin struggled through a very slow start and were winless through October and November, excepting a lone 2-0 victory at Minnesota. But they put together a North Dakota-like late season and are now on a 6-game winning streak that included the WCHA championship. Junior Michael Mersch is by far the leader in goals, with a 23-13--36 line, with fellow junior Tyler Barnes trailing at 15-15--30. No other Badger has more than 10. Mark Zengerle is the assists leader (9-23--32) and super-frosh Nick Kerdiles is the assists leader at 10-22--32. Sophomores Joel Rumpel and Landon Peterson have been splitting time in net, but Rumpel has been the go-to guy down the stretch with a 1.85 GAA on a .933 SV%.

Denver started strong, but had a rough patch of an 8-game winless streak in late November/early December. The Pioneers have been more up than down after that, but still lost in the first round of the WCHA playoffs to Colorado College. If anything, they'll be well-rested, having not played since March 17. Six different Pioneers have more than ten goals, and the leader in that category is senior Shawn Ostrow (15-11--26), while junior Nick Shore is the points and assists leader (14-19--33). Sophomore goalie Juho Olkinuora is the main netminder, with a 2.28 GAA and 0.929 SV%.

New Hampshire finished tied for third in Hockey East and lost a hard-fought three-game series to Providence in the Hockey East quarterfinals. Still, they're hosting in Manchester, so to Manchester they go. Kevin Goumas (10-32--42) has a pile of points, with defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk (8-25--33) not that far behind. Three different UNH players have 15 goals -- Grayson Downing, John Henrion, and Austin Block. Casey DeSmith (2.24 GAA/0.924 SV%) handles the tools of ignorance.

UMass-Lowell had the most extraordinary season in team history this year, capturing both the Hockey East regular season title and the tournament crown as well. The first couple of months of the year weren't anything special, but the River Hawks were very strong down the stretch. The only caveat on their season is that they were 1-2 against BC, and didn't have to face the Eagles in the Hockey East tournament. Five different Lowell players are at 10+ goals, and 11 have 10 or more assists, so the scoring is pretty balanced. Riley Wetmore (15-11--26) and Scott Wilson (15-19--34) are your goal leaders and Joseph Pendenza (13-23--36) is your points leader. Freshman Connor Hellebuyck (1.39 GAA/0.949 SV%) and junior Doug Carr (2.79 GAA/0.897 SV%) have seen a nearly equal amount of game action, but Hellebuyck is almost certainly the guy for the tournament.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Too late...

There are those who are, angry, frustrated, upset, that Michigan's 22 year Streak of NCAA tournament appearance has ended.  I get that.  It's a natural reaction.  There are others who would rather celebrate what was rather than examining the particulars of how and why it ended.  I get that too.  The nature of history calls for that.  There are still others who want to focus on the redemptive aspects of the run at the end of the season.  I get that, try and find the positives in what is, ultimately, a negative result.  Ultimately, our reactions to this hockey season will be a mirror to who we are as both people and fans.

So my reflection is going to be a mirror of myself, as a high school teacher.
Little known fact by many of you, but the provisions of the Michigan Merit Curriculum say that even if you fail both marking periods of a course, if you pass a district approved (and state required) Common Assessment/Final Exam at 80%, you pass the class.  You don't get a grade, but you get the credit for passing.

Some of you already see where I am going with this.

I have seen many many talented students over the years.  I have seen many lazy students over the years.  You know what, lazy is unfair.  I have seen students who lack outward signs of motivation and engagement towards their academic success.  The scariest, most maddening type of student in my experience is the talented but undermotivated student.  They do exist.  And this kind of student is a nightmare, because you know that the student can do it, you know that the ability is there, but you need to understand why this student doesn't have the motivation.  So for the first three-quarters of the semester, you watch the student and you see the student doing work that earns a D- or E.  The student fails the first marking period.  So, responsibly, you have interventions, the two of you talk, you cajole, you try different motivational techniques, and as much as you have tried, nothing appears to be getting through.  So at that point, you keep fighting, but you have read this story before and you know the way the book ends.

Then suddenly, as if out of nowhere, our student friend has what our Southern friends refer to as a "come to Jesus" moment.  Call it an epiphany, call it a near death experience, call it a flash of insight, but the student has that moment where he or she understands what the stakes are, and he or she realizes that more than likely, he or she has blown it, but by the same token, he or she does have one shot to pass, if he or she passes the final with an 80%, he or she can still earn credit.  He or she would pass.  So the student makes a good faith effort, a truly sincere effort.  The student is showing you progress, the student is listening to your advice, the student is doing now what you always knew the student could be capable of the entire semester.

So then it comes to the final exam.  You believe in the student.  The student believes in his or herself.  The student uses the entire 100 minutes.  The student answers every question.  The student double and triple checks the answers.  The student turns the test in.

You grade it.  78%.

How do you react?  What is your conversation with the student at that point?

On one level, more than anything else, you must acknowledge that they did not reach the end goal.  If you want to call this a failure, you would be within your rights to do so.  No one could disagree.  But is that the main point here?  There will be consequences for the failure, ones which will need to be dealt with.  Or do you focus on the fact that this is a learning moment, that while the effort in the last five weeks may have fallen short of the ultimate goal, no one can take away the work put in, no one can take away from the student.  You focus on the idea that going forward, the lesson is that you can never trust everything on continuing to roll sevens every time you need them to come up.  You don't waste your margin for error until you have no margin left.  You woke up too late and there is a price to be paid.  So you pay it, you pay the price and you move forward to the next thing, hopefully smarter and wiser for the journey.

So, was it a failure?  Yes.  Did the team redeem themselves down the stretch?  I guess that depends on your threshold for redemption.  I will say yes, others have the right to disagree.  But as I wrote this piece, I was reminded of something I wrote five years ago, under circumstances that were both hauntingly similar and completely unfamiliar:

It's a scar, but a well-won scar; earned in battle in part because we stayed until the last man. Our numbers were diminished, but they were there. The loyal remained, the faithful held fast against the sweeping currents of reality and negativity. We could not change what had happened, we could not spin the results as hard as we tried. We looked to where all of college football lives, the past, and the future. The present is so fickle, so transient that meaning is lost as soon as the moment passes. So we examine what has been and what we hope shall be. We look for meaning in the past in a dire attempt to draw parallels to the future. But the past cannot change and soon this season shall reside there. We will tell the stories; sometimes when prompted, other times with motivations never necessarily clear to us, of what transpired this season. We will remember this season, in a context of which we are unsure now and may not know for a while, however long a while is anymore. But somewhere along the line, the memory will seep in and you won't even realize it was there until after it was gone. All you're left with is a scar, and a story about how you got it, and perhaps in the telling of the story, you can find peace with whether or not the scar was worth it.

RIP The Streak: 1991-2012

Sunday, March 24, 2013

2013 NCAA Hockey Christmas Challenge

Is your NCAA Tournament bracket busted? Has Hockey Christmas quickly turned into Hockey Passover?  Is your state not in the tournament for the first time since 1979? Well, I present the 2013 NCAA Hockey Christmas Tournament Challenge.

Instead of picking a bracket, which you can do and I am sure someone, say, Mark Coen, will be more than happen to accept your bracket, in this Tournament Challenge, you pick four schools. Any four schools in the tournament. You want to pick all one seeds? You can do that. You want to pick four schools all in the same region? You can do that? You pick four teams. For each round that a team wins, you multiply their seed by their round score. Round scores are:

Regional Semi-Final: 1 point
Regional Final: 4 points
National Semi-Final: 8 points
National Championship: 32 points

So, if you would like to play, just submit to me, via message, in the comments below, or by some other means, by Friday at noon, your four teams. No money, no prizes, just for pride. Also, please, by all means, tell your friends.

Enjoy, and a Merry Hockey Christmas to all!

NORTHEAST (Verizon Wireless Arena - Manchester, N.H.)
(NE1) UMass Lowell vs. (NE4)Wisconsin
(NE2) Denver vs. (NE3) New Hampshire

EAST (Dunkin' Donuts Center - Providence, R.I.)
(E1) Quinnipiac vs. (E4) Canisius
(E2) Boston College vs. (E3) Union

MIDWEST (Huntington Center - Toledo, Ohio)
(MW2) Miami vs. (MW3) Minnesota State
(MW1) Notre Dame vs. (MW4) St. Cloud State

WEST (Van Andel Arena - Grand Rapids, Mich.)
(W1) Minnesota vs. (W4) Yale
(W2) North Dakota vs. (W3) Niagara

The Northeast and West brackets will open play on Friday, while the other two uncap the semifinals on Saturday. Winners in each bracket will advance to the Frozen Four, which will be held April 11 and 13, for the first time at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

West and Northeast play in one National Semi-Final, East and Midwest play in the other.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Presidential College Football Draft

[Actual editor's note: This started out way funnier as an argument/discussion than as an actual post, but I put too much time in this to just let it go to waste.  So be warned, it has its moments, but not enough of them.]

Welcome to the Presidential College Football Draft.  The rules are very simple: each president will select one college football program with which to be associated.  All FBS football programs and the Ivy League schools are eligible.  No school may be repeated and we will go in Presidential order for our draft order.  With all of that said, the presidents are assembled, so let's get started.

With the first pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, George Washington selects
the Washington Huskies:

"They say the name on the front of the jersey is more important the name on the back, and while that's true, when the name on the front of the jersey is BECAUSE of the name on the back of the jersey, all bets are off."

With the second pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, John Adams selects
the Harvard Crimson:

"Sorry Johnny, but age has its privileges.   Fair Harvard holds sway."

With the third pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Thomas Jefferson selects
the Virginia Cavaliers:

"What's that?  Mr. Jefferson's University?  Why I am a Mr. Jefferson.  Thank you very much.  Wahoo!"

With the fourth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, James Madison selects
the Princeton Tigers:

"And the Tigers come at night, with their voices soft as thunder.  And they tear your hope apart.  And they tear your dreams to shreds."  Yes, I am singing a song from a musical written centuries after my death about events that happened years after my death.  Princeton also didn't have a football team in my lifetime.  Deal with it.

With the fifth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, James Monroe selects
the Virginia Tech Hokies:

"You know, I was on the Board of Visitors for UVa.  I'm just saying.  I mean, I guess I could have picked Marshall, but no, forgot you John Marshall.  Fine…I'm a Hokie.  Era of Good Feelings, indeed."

With the sixth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, John Quincy Adams selects
the Massachusetts Minutemen:

"Whatever, dad.  Whatever."

With the seventh pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Andrew Jackson selects
the Tennessee Volunteers:

"So, wait, you're telling me that I can have my home state's school, nicknamed for my men who fought alongside me at New Orleans, and we can play a team called the Seminoles?  In."

With the eighth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Martin Van Buren selects
the Syracuse Orange:

"New York is still one America's population centers, no?  We still have fine college and universities  in this state that enjoy the game of football?  But this, THIS, is New York's team.  Fine.  What the hell is that that large orange mass?  Never mind, some things are better left not being known."

With the ninth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, William Henry Harrison selects
the Purdue Boilermakers:

[editor's note: After noting he selected the Boilermakers for their proximity to Tippecanoe, one of the sites of his greatest triumphs, Mr. Harrison's remarks went on for approximately four hours, a solid 90 minutes of which was extolling the virtues of a school courageous enough to make an inanimate form of transportation as its mascot.  He then walked off the stage, collapsed, and was never heard from again.  So Purdue was a perfect fit.]

With the tenth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, John Tyler selects
the Texas Longhorns:

"Well, since none of you seem to want to annex the Longhorns, I will select them.  That's a little annexation humor.  Very little.  I should go now.  Someone named Mack Brown is offering me as a safety."

With the eleventh pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, James K. Polk selects
the Boise State Broncos:

"I know many of you are expecting that given my fervor over the Oregon Country, I would naturally select the brave Knights of Eugene.  But, I am scared to death of Ducks.  Therefore, I, instead, cast my lot with another team from the great Northwest, one also frequently referred to as a "dark horse", one with a horse as its mascot.  Boise State it is."

With the twelfth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Zachary Taylor selects
the Stanford Cardinal:

"I have been told that I have many fine choices available to me.  I have the Louisiana State Tigers from my adopted home state of Louisiana, coached by a man also considered by many to be a little off-kilter.  I could select the "War Hawks" of Louisiana-Monroe.  But no, in honor of my victory at the Battle of Palo Alto, I will select another Palo Alto victor, the Stanford Cardinal.  Now where's my bowl of cherries?"

With the thirteenth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Millard Fillmore selects
the Buffalo Bulls:

"Hey, did you guys know that I founded the University of Buffalo.  Wait, University AT Buffalo, AT Buffalo.  I always screwed that up.  I can't believe they still haven't fixed that.  Guys?  Guys?  Wait, come back!!!"

With the fourteenth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Franklin Pierce selects
the Dartmouth Big Green:

"As the Young Hickory of the Granite Hills, I must represent the fine people of my home state.  Plus, given my love of a good drink after dinner, I give high marks to the school's unofficial mascot."

With the fifteenth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, James Buchanan selects
the Penn State Nittany Lions:

"We Are!  Why are you booing me?  Come on, We Are!  That's it, I'm outta here!"
With the sixteenth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Abraham Lincoln selects
the Illinois Fighting Illini:

"While I was flattered by the good people of Nebraska's point that their stadium resides in a town called "Lincoln", I must stick by the good people of my home state.  And seriously, it's not like any of you would pick Kentucky or Indiana football if you had legitimate other options.  Now, I've been told that my school plays for a 'Land of Lincoln' Trophy.  Can I see it?  Oh, it's in Evanston.  Maybe I should have given this more thought."

With the seventeenth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Andrew Johnson selects
the North Carolina State Wolfpack:

"Got to stick with my Raleigh dogs!  [resigned expression] Look, it was this or Vanderbilt and Vanderbilt made it clear they didn't want me."

With the eighteenth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Ulysses S. Grant selects
the United States Military Academy Black Knights:

"Feels good!  Feels good!  Beat Navy!"

With the nineteenth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Rutherford B. Hayes selects
the Ohio Bobcats:

"I wanted to select a school that has represented the great state of Ohio with pride for many years.  Thus my selection of the University of Ohio, a school nearly as old as the state itself, a source of joy for my people for many years.  Why are all of you chuckling so loudly?  Did I screw this up?  Harding, what did you do?"

With the twentieth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, James A. Garfield selects
the Kent State University Golden Flashes:

[editor's note: the joke is there, make it yourself.]

With the twenty-first pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Chester A. Arthur selects
the Rutgers Scarlet Knights:

Vermont's lacking in FBS teams.  Canadian teams don't count.  New York City doesn't have a team. A good team. So we'll go with Rutgers, because, yes, New York City market.  Yeah.

With the twenty-second pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Grover Cleveland selects
the Cornell Big Red:

"It was the last option we had in upstate New York."

With the twenty-third pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Benjamin Harrison selects
the Miami University RedHawks:

"What? I went here.  Cradle of Presidents too."

With the twenty-fourth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Grover Cleveland selects
the Cornell Big Red:

"I'm getting a feeling of déjà vu.  It'll pass."

With the twenty-fifth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, William McKinley selects
the Akron Zips:

"Hanna told me to pick them.  Sort of a front porch team for me.  Plus, Terry Bowden and I went to school together."

With the twenty-sixth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Theodore Roosevelt selects
the United States Naval Academy Midshipmen:

"Great White Fleet, Naval History of the War of 1812.  Yep, the Middies are my team.  Plus, seriously, I love the triple option."

With the twenty-seventh pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, William Howard Taft selects the Yale Bulldogs:

[Editor's note: Taft proceeded to sing "Boola Boola" for approximately 20 minutes.  He also claimed the only words in the song were "Boola Boola."]

With the twenty-eighth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Woodrow Wilson selects the South Carolina Gamecocks:

"The League of Nations will likely need to take a long look at whether weaponizing Jadeveon Clowney constitutes a grave risk to world peace.  But for now, he's with me, and I'm off with HBC to play 18."

With the twenty-ninth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Warren G. Harding selects the Ohio State Buckeyes:

"The Buckeyes of Ohio State represent everything my administration was, free of corruption, cronyism, and generally considered to be a pillar of strength in his history of this great land."

With the thirtieth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Calvin Coolidge selects the California Golden Bears:

"What?  My name's right there on the helmet.  See."

With the thirty-first pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Herbert Hoover selects the Iowa Hawkeyes:

"Three reasons: 1). I grew up minutes from Iowa City in West Branch.  2). America needs farmers.  3). Amazingly, I'm still more popular than Ferentz."

With the thirty-second pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Franklin D. Roosevelt selects the Georgia Bulldogs:

"During my time in Warm Springs, I got to know many of the good people of Georgia and they do so love their Dawgs.  I select them with the knowledge that Mark Richt has lost control of well, everything."

With the thirty-third pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Harry S Truman selects the Missouri Tigers:

"The mascot is named for me.  How was this not going to happen?"

With the thirty-fourth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Dwight D. Eisenhower selects the Columbia Lions:

"Since I can't select my beloved Black Knights of the Hudson thanks to ol' Sam Grant, this will have to do.  They were good.  Well, they were not terrible, when I was their President."

With the thirty-fifth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, John F. Kennedy selects the Rice Owls:

"Why does Rice play Texas?  Seriously, let's call John Tyler and schedule a game." 

With the thirty-sixth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Lyndon B. Johnson selects the Texas State Bobcats:

"Back home again in the Hill Country."

With the thirty-seventh pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Richard Nixon selects the Southern California Trojans:

[Editor's note: The entire room bursts into a knowing laughter and Nixon proceeds to do a furrowed brow, shrugged shoulders look.  He mutters something about "You won't have the Trojans to kick around anymore."  Somewhere, Lane Kiffin smiles.]

With the thirty-eighth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Gerald Ford selects the Michigan Wolverines:

"Why does this jersey say Morgan on the back?"

With the thirty-ninth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Jimmy Carter selects the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets:

"Of all of the schools I attended, this was the most difficult academically.  And that was before I had to figure out Paul Johnson's triple option attack."

With the fortieth pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Ronald Reagan selects the Notre Dame Fighting Irish:

"Some time, Rock, when the team is up against it, when things are wrong and the breaks are beating the boys, ask them to go in there with all they've got and win just one for the Gipper."

With the forty-first pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, George H.W. Bush selects the Texas A&M Aggies:

"You know, even with this, they still won't let me keep the dog out of my library."

With the forty-second pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Bill Clinton selects the Arkansas Razorbacks:

"Woo. Pig. Sooie!"

With the forty-third pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, George W. Bush selects the Southern Methodist University Mustangs:

"Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in back in the 1980s at SMU was called 'walking.'"

With the forty-fourth and final pick in the Presidential College Football Draft, Barack Obama selects the Hawaii Warriors:

"It was this or Kansas.  I'll take Norm Chow 100 times over Charlie Weis."

This concludes our draft.  Thank you for attending.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

An incomplete inventory of Brady Hoke's Office Bookshelf

Based on this video
An incomplete, but hopefully accurate list Things on Brady Hoke's Bookshelf: 

  • A replica of a Navy SEAL Trident
  • A copy of The Big House: Fielding Yost and the Building of Michigan Stadium by Robert M. Soderstrom
  • A copy of the Michigan Football Vault
  • A copy of Jim Brandstatter's Tales from Michigan Stadium
  • A photo of Charles Woodson's LEAPING Interception vs. MSU 1997 
  • A photo of a real wolverine in the wild
  • A photo of the Rose Bowl marquee
  • A copy of Michael Rosenberg's War As They Knew It
  • A photo of the offensive line in the trenches vs. MSU (year unknown)
  • An Under the Lights stadium poster
  • A photo of Charles Woodson with Heisman Trophy
  • A photo of Desmond Howard in Heisman pose
  • A photo of Jake Long
  • A replica helmet from 1950
  • A replica Ron Kramer helmet from 1956
  • A replica Don Moorhead helmet from 1969
  • A replica 1997 helmet 
  • An original redwood seat from Michigan Stadium 
  • A photo of his daughter 
  • A poster of the 1/2/98 Detroit Free Press front page 
  • A Personalized Michigan license plate that says THETEAM
  • A photo of Charles Woodson's INT vs WSU in Rose Bowl
  • A photo of Jerame Tuman
  • A 100th Game Game Ball from OSU 2003
  • A paper cutout of the Michigan helmet wings, side view
  • An additional game ball
  • 1997 National Champions hat (navy blue)
  • A copy of the Sports Illustrated 1997 National Champions commemorative issue.
  • A copy of the Alabama Game Week plan.
In addition, photos on the wall adjacent to the bookshelf, Team 133 congratulating Brendan Gibbons after his Sugar Bowl winning kick, a sea of helmets picture, and some others.

I will say, Brady Hoke's office is like the dream version of what I would want my office to be.