Friday, November 21, 2014

FMQ - Maryland

Maryland Tickets

Presented without comment:

Okay – a COUPLE of comments:

1. Do I EVER feel like a Big Ole’ Doofus holding two Maryland tickets valued at $75 each.  Oh wait…..make that $75 PLUS the 1/7th portion of the $150 PSL for each ticket….So, if I’m doing the math right…carry the one…yeah, that’s close enough to $200 for two tix that I could have “enjoyed” for the 90% discounted Stub Hub price of $20.

2.  What really grinds my stones is the 3:30 PM BTN dictated start time.  That makes the whole thing even worse for getting out of Ann Arbor, etc.  Of course, based on what we’re seeing available ticket wise, traffic really shouldn’t be that bad!

3.  Got the PSL renewal notice in the mail this week.  January 31 is the deadline for your PSL’s….My guess is that will get extended – multiple times.  My notice went into the Circular File.    

ACC Commish Say’s “Huh, 8 Teams Makes MORE SENSE.”

I don’t really know what to contribute here except to say, “DUH.” 

Jennifer Lawrence seems to agree (PSA- “The Mockingjay” starts today!  I’ll be dragging a gaggle of girls to that tonight…)

Everyone said that 4 teams wouldn’t work when every year a power conference gets screwed.  The only way it WOULD have worked was for the Play-Off money to be distributed evenly among the Power 5 (Everyone getting an equal share regardless of whether you had a team in the Final 4 or not) with a smaller portion going to the group of 5 2nd tier conferences.  Yes, we’ll be looking at an 8 team play-off soon enough. 

However, this poses several issues.

  1. When and where will you play the 4 “first round” games?  Right now, there’s one weekend left before “Finals” and that has always been dedicated to “Army-Navy”.  Are you going to break that tradition and have games on the 2nd Saturday in December?
  2. If you go to 8 teams, do conferences REALLY NEED to have Conference Championships?  Remember:  Conference Championships were created to generate revenue.  But now the Conference Champions (and possibly the runners-up) would be looking at playing up to 15 games if they make it to the Championship Game!  You’re talking NFL numbers here….
  3. And don’t even THINK that schools are going to sacrifice a regular season “Cup-Cake” revenue generating game and go back to 11 games….Not gonna’ happen.
  4. Where are you going to play those first 4 games?  Neutral sites?  Top ranked teams’ home fields?  (My preference – home field).  But THAT will stir up a bunch of controversy because the conferences will all want a piece of that money as well. 
  5. So, 8 will happen…but it has a lot of hurdles to overcome.

This Week’s Picks!

There was a slight clerical error in the report out last week and you will see that corrected in the BANK numbers below.  Sorry for any confusion to anyone that follows the FMQ this closely.  Hopefully we can get something going here in the last three weeks that matter!

Minnesota @ Nebraska (-10):  Well, The Cornsuckers really screwed me last week.  I thought they would have at least showed up and made it a game…but NOOOOOOO….So, do I take revenge on them this week or do I fade the 10 points?  My guess is Kill’s Heroes are going to learn from what Wiscy did to the Cornsuckers and do more of the same…

Take the Gophers and the 10 for $60

Indiana @ ohio (-34.5):  Isn’t there a law against clubbing baby seals?  There oughta’ be….

Take ohio and lay the 34.5 for $30

Rutgers @ Sparty (-22):  What a weird spread….I mean, I get 21 and I get 23…but 22?  What is Vegas trying to tell me here?  A Safety is coming and that’ll be the difference?  The kitchen in East Lansing is going to get hot with Cook abusing that secondary….

Take Sparty and lay the 22 for $30

Colorado @ Oregon (+32.5):  Last chance for style points and Marcus Mariota will take it.

Take the Ducks and lay the 32.5 for $60

Maryland @ Michigan (-5):  I have absolutely no feel for this game and should probably NOT be wagering on it….however, it’s Michigan and it’s the last home game – Senior Day, bad weather, playing for their coach’s job…Still, I got nothin’…..I feel like Daffy Duck banging my head against the same wall expecting different results...Heads or tails….and it’s heads…

Take Michigan and lay the 5 for $30


Big Point Spread combo!

Miami (-5.5) – Oklahoma (-25) – ohio(-34.5) – Oregon (-32.5) $20 pays $270

Starting Bank:         $466

Total Bet:                  $230

Bank:                         $236

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mid-Week Round Up - Maryland


Damn….It’s cold.  EVERYWHERE.  Chances are if you’re reading this and you’re not traveling somewhere exotic…Wherever you are, you’re region is setting arecord cold temperature either Tuesday or Wednesday evening.

Apparently, this next particular event has only happened on several occasions in history:  All 50 states will experience sub-freezing temperatures (That includes Hawaii – top of the volcanoes drops below 32 all the time).  The appropriate term at this point in this blog should be well-known at this point:

Well That’s Fantastic….

And I don’t mean that in the good sense…..I’m sure some people will be breaking out the cold weather gear for Saturday’s games…even though we’re supposed to get a slight warm up…..All of the following are probably appropriate attire!


(You keep warm what you want to keep warm – I’ll keep warm what I WANT to keep warm!)

Anyway, onto some football related stuff.

CFB Play-Off Final 4

In case you haven’t seen it: 

  1.  Alabama
  2. Oregon
  3. FSU
  4. Miss State
  5. TCU
  6. Ohio
  7. Baylor

Baylor REALLY screwed…their non-conference is really hurting them.  There’s a possibility they can creep in, but not looking good.  I guess the committee is working off the BCS page at this point…Interesting to see how it will all play out…

Frank Clark

Yes – I know that he had to be kicked off the team.  But I was really pulling for this kid.  He grew up on the streets of LA with a non-existent home life and a drug addicted mother.  That he somehow found his way to the University of Michigan was a miracle itself and it made you feel good about the things that a football program can do for a kid like this.  But, he couldn’t shake his street side and had issues with stealing and the final straw, the domestic abuse charge that actually makes you cringe a little if you read the whole thing.  It’s unfortunate because even if he manages to get all this straightened out, I’m not sure the suddenly PR happy NFL will touch this guy.  Maybe the CFL will take a gamble and he can keep himself on the straight and narrow.  Whatever the case, I wish him well and I’m not going to be one of these fans that has the attitude, “Good riddance – hope you rot in hell.”  That’s the easy way out for the fans to feel good about themselves.  Not doing it here….

Not saying it’s right, either.   Just sayin’…..

Pat Forde Agrees with the MMQ

Pat Forde ranked the top 5 Dumpster Fire programs in his weekly round-up on Tuesday and named Michigan as the number one program that is in a world of hurt!  The problem is, he didn’t really provide any solutions, not that anyone can nor is anyone expected to, other than the new interim AD who currently has the weight of the UM athletic department and the rudderless football program on his shoulders.  While I ‘m sure Hackett jumped at the chance, did he understand how bad the situation was when he leapt?  Does it matter if you make good decisions and do the right thing?  I suppose not, but again, he’s not an AD and that’s been the problem at Michigan (not having an AD that knows sports) for like….forever.  I guess if I WAS Hackett, I would immediately find someone outside of the department and outside of Michigan that knows athletics to come in as a “permanent assistant” that would be there to manage the athletic side of things and stay on as a carryover for the permanent AD once that individual is identified.  This way, you’ve got someone that is thinking nothing but sports and he or she might be better qualified to find the right fits and make the day to day decisions better than Hackett ever could.  Again, just sayin’ if I was King for Just a Day….

But, getting back to Forde:  The one issue he didn’t mention was the Schlissel side of this mess.  I’m not yet convinced that old East Coast Mark has the stomach that is required to have to deal with the Football Problem on a daily or weekly basis.  His predecessor(s) should have made him aware of that issue before he took the job.  If footballs doing well, no problem.  If you have any kind of issues going on in Football  - prepare to be time strapped and pressured by a lot of people.  We’ll see how Mark does, but right now, he’s only earned the BranDictator forced resignation points, which after E-MailGate, was a no brainer. 

And Speaking of Hackett

And if you like those “Feel good kind of thingies that corporate people are supposed to do and say and write”, here’s Hackett’s attempt to calm the turbulent waters. 

Again, in my opinion, actions always speak louder than words and the new AD search is probably a backseat to the most glaring issue:  The removal of the current head coach and the search and hiring of a new head coach.  Yes, it’s wasteful and it will take the new guy time to re-build or fix whatever is wrong now.  But Hoke has demonstrated he can’t do it at this level and he needs to go. And Hackett needs to make a list of candidates…quickly.

Speaking of New Coaches

Did I say something about new a new coach?  Oh, no….Everyone else did.  I vaguely remember seeing all the stuff regarding who Michigan would get after the Rich Rod dismissal, but to me, anyway, I felt BranDictator’s choice was obvious – He was taking the guy that people thought could bring this program back together which was Hoke when it was clear that Harbaugh and Miles were non-options.  So, there wasn’t as much speculation.  This time…Wow, the list is as long as a line at 3:00 AM outside of Walmart the day after Thanksgiving….

First – Don’t believe anything that’s being said or written unless it has the initials “Sam Webb” after them.  I wanted to get excerptsfrom the article, but couldn’t get it to open. Here’s the link….

Sam seems to know someone inside and right now, the oracle is saying that Hoke is PROBABLY gone, but that decision is still being evaluated and a search for someone to replace him still needs to happen. 

This makes me ill…We’re going to get to watch and see how Gatorland handles their situation at the same time as Michigan is handling theirs.  My feeling is Florida is in the lead right now due to the fact they’ve fired Muschamp, but are letting him coach his last two games.  Gee, what a novel and innovative idea!  Get the kids to rally around the coach and maybe pull an upset off down in Columbus with a spirited try….Otherwise, it’s all elementary.  I guess if we lose to Maryland there will still be time for the pre-rivalry firing???  Michigan is somehow a 5 point favorite in the 3:30 start on Saturday….I hate 3:30 November start times against non-rivalry opponents….they suck.

Florida probably, and I’m guessing here, has already spoken through the back channels to SOMEONE regarding the head coaching position.  That’s how Foley did it before with Urban Legend Meyer, if you can recall back that far.  When the Domers came knocking on Urban’s door at Utah, Florida had just decided to can Ron Zook.  There was no “official” word that Florida had spoken to Meyer, but when the domers called, Urban Legend had to explain that he’d “made another commitment.”  It was a comical affair with the domers coming out of it with “timing and no back channel contact” egg on their face.  I’m sure Foley has a target in mind and that individual is either coaching right now and won’t “leave” his position for Florida until his responsibilities are complete.  Just the way class guys handle it.  Not like Petrino or Graham that leave a note on the door saying, “Thanks, it was great.  I’m outta’ here!”

So, yes, Michigan is once again is probably behind…unless they are way ahead and no one knows it.  Which, I’m guessing is extremely doubtful.

Speaking of Maryland

Last home game of the season and quite possibly, the last home game for many season ticket holders, at least some of the ones that I’ve spoken with, that are all thinking the same thing:  I can get a way better deal through the aftermarket and go to the games I want to go to if I choose to give up my season tickets.   They just aren’t that hard to get and juggling games in the fall is difficult.  Michigan will continue to put fannies in the seats, just not as many as usual.  And wrapping up a season with a home game to Maryland just isn’t a great idea.  That needs to be studied and a better final home game opponent will be necessary in the future schedules. 

Of course, Season Ticket Holders received this (Hackett already at work or other forces that had been telling BranDictator this the entire time?). 

Which now tells us that the cost for the programs is at or below $2 and the cost of a coke and a dog or popcorn is below $5.  Which, duh.  In addition, for anyone that hasn’t “Been on the Field”, Michigan is allowing season ticket holders 30 minutes of field access after the game.  I’m not sure if this is too little too late or if people will actually change their mind and go. 

Come to think of it, the field access is kind of dumb.  Depending on how many fans decide to “Take the field”, it could take 30 minutes just to get them out there.  Hackett’s trying.  I’ll give him credit for that.  But, I dunno…..

Monday, November 17, 2014

It Was a Bye - But So Much Action!

 Where to begin?  How about this:


Here’s my entry as an Amateur into the “Siesta Key Sand Castle Crystal Classic!”  You could have up to two people on your sand castle team and up to 5 hours to complete your entry.  Unfortunately, Eann wanted to walk and do a little shopping and told me to “Have Fun!” which, I did.  But these people had no idea that alcohol and football was on at noon.  I did give up a morning of “Game Day” to play in the Sugar Sand of Siesta Key…My entry “Fantasy” was supposed to be a mythical sea creature that roams the ocean with a kingdom of other mystical inhabitants on his back…Looked great in my mind’s eye…not so much in the actual sand.

The winners for the amateurs were right next to me….I shoulda’ done a mermaid…always a crowd pleaser…

Next year, I have to say, if you’re looking for a nice weekend in Florida, this event was a lot of fun to hang out and and just be a beach bum – Great food, music, sun and sand….Again…Just sayin’…


No Michigan stuff to report…Except that Clark Domesitc Abuse Thing…And he’s probably off the team.  Oh, and that Schlissel comment on the football players not meeting academic standards that he later took back after getting the right information.  And the fact that Hackett still hasn’t made a move yet on Brady.  Which, after the Gators canned Muschamp, the Clark stuff….

How can Hoke still be the coach of Michigan? 

Can anyone riddle me that?  Please?

Sigh….I guess we’re in the “Wait and see what happens in these last two games.  But that’s not going to change any of the fans minds or the data and statistics that show a coaching regime that has steadily regressed from the Rich Rod days in terms of offensive performance.  The wins and losses aren’t any better, either.  Yes, defense.  But when you are trying to run a TOP type of offense, well, defense is always going to benefit from that.  But, enough. Let’s get to

The Rest of the Mess

I have to start out with Wiscy’s SUPREME DOMINATION of their newest “Arch Rival” for the “Freedom Trophy” and the fact that the Cornsuckers just didn’t show up.  I mean, Melvin Gordon is a name we all know and rolls off the tips our our collective tongues when it comes to the all_time dominant running backs of the B1G and all of NCAA football….NOT!  But what he did on Saturday (408 yards in only 3 quarters) was a NCAA record!  Ladanian Tomlinson held the prior record at 406 yards….Cornsuckers more or less never knew what hit them….I wonder if Wiscy fans are a little more than pissed that Gordon only got the ball for one carry in the LSU 2nd half?

The Gophers tried to take care of the suckeyes…but it wasn’t meant to be.  I do believe Minnesota gives some other teams fits in the West however….

Penn State – Congrats!  They are Bowl Eligible which is great for that school and Franklin in particular.  I’m happy that the Lions are finally turning a corner on one of the darker periods of that institutions history.  With a rag-tag and scholarship depleted team, no less!

Northwestern…seems like they played somebody that was supposed to kick their butts by like 3 TD’s…Who was that?  Oh, Yesss…..the domers laid the proverbial “Egg” at home in what can only be considered the worst home loss under the B. Kelly coaching regime!  I’m looking for other candidates for “Most embarrassing loss at Domer Stadium under Kelly” and if you have any you want to send in, please do so.  How absolutely wonderful this loss was to watch…in OT no less and with two fumbles to seal the domers fate!!!!

Miss State couldn’t deliver the goods in Tuscaloosa…But no one really expected them to.  Again, this loss was necessary for the great “Everyone has two losses” SEC West master plan…so, that’s okay.  I still think Bama struggles with Auburn in the Iron Bowl.

If you stayed up for FSU and Miami, well, you saw that FSU did it again.  Down early, stayed in the game, and came back and won.  Say what you want about Famous Jameis, but the kid wins.  Wonder who’ll be lucky enough to grab him if he falls in the NFL draft?

And right after beating up on the dick-tripping domers, the Arizona State Sun devils promptly go up and lose as double digit favorites to Oregon State up in Corvalis….It’s the whacky world of college football which eventually leads all fans to

The 5 Stages of Slappy Fan Grief

  1.  Denial and Isolation:  Well…Arizona State has to be here.  After looking like a pretty good candidate to sew up the Pac 12 South Bid…You know those fans are thinking they still have a shot.  Miss State fan is here as well.
  2. ANGER:  MICHIGAN FAN….Still here…AIN’T LEAVING!!!!  The Clark fiasco really needs to reflect on Hoke here to a certain extent.  I mean, we just can’t let that slide.  Cornsuckers HAVE to be here after giving up that many yards on the ground.  Black shirt…What’s that even mean?  Domers are in the angry section in FORCE.  I trolled over to ndnation on Saturday night and the “Fire Kelly” haters were all alive and well.  The domers that can’t stand Kelly want him gone…and they want Harbaugh!  Or Stoops! Or anyone that’s “proven” they can do it at this level…..I just don’t see the Irish paying for Three coaches at once.  Let’s not forget they are still paying Charlie…. 
  3. Bargaining:  I wanna’ say that if your TCU or Baylor, you know you’ve got more than a fair chance of making the Final 4.  And frankly, I still think it should be based on the head to head match-up.  Not some other game against some common opponent.  That’s just dumb…..
  4. Depression:  Michigan would like to welcome the domers, Auburn tigers and unfortunately..the Georgia dawgs with the loss of Gurley….ACL – out for the season.
  5. Acceptance: Everyone STILL sitting at 5 wins figuring out whether or not their team can win 6. 
The MMQ’s Top 10

Okay – Miss State losing makes for an interesting 4th team in….And I’m going to use some of the same logic that the committee is using just to show THEM how screwed up what they’re trying to do with Baylor and TCU is!!!!

  1. Oregon – Mariota for Heismann…Just cause…
  2. FSU- Until they lose…I don’t care how they win.  They’re in the Final 4.
  3. Baylor – They are the best one loss team with the best performance Saturday,
  4. Miss State – Yep – They are still in because they have the better record over tougher opponents.  Bama still not there until they beat Auburn!
  5. Alabama – First team Screwed – even though they won the head to head…If you’re not putting Baylor in, I don’t have to put Bama in….Not convinced they can win out…If they do, they’re in.  Relax Bama Fan….
  6. TCU – Not seeing how they get in….just not seeing it…
  7. Ole Miss – Best 2 loss team out there.
  8. Ohio – Really don’t see how as a 1-loss team from the B1G can make Final 4…lost to Va-Tech hurts…bad
  9. Auburn – Wanted to rank lower….

Idle Thoughts From Saturday

-You can't Drink All Day....
-Unless you start in the Morning...

-Sand is nicer than snow…
-I mean, yeah, it gets everywhere, but Siesta Key sand is like Powdered Sugar…
-Voted one of the world’s 10 best beaches.
-Hard to argue.
-Unless you like sea shells….
-Not a lot of those here.
-But great sunsets…
-And views.  The views are awesome.
-And, well, you know….Other views…
-Oh wait – I’m supposed to be idle thinking football.
-Yeah, that’s not going to happen right now.
-Nice tiki bar with a view of the ocean…
-Cold Margarita…
-On the rocks…None of that frozen crap….
-Jimmy Buffett would be proud.
-Okay – It’s now snowing in Minnesota
-And they keep showing a Gopher Coach eating a Dilly Bar.
-That’s ice cream…and Gophers for you.

-I really am finding it more and more difficult to not find an excuse at some point and just say, “Screw it.  I’m moving.”
-And looking at the temps and weather in Michigan do that to me…
-I mean, the holidays with snow are nice and all…
-I just want winter to be over on March 1.
-I mean…OVER.
-Okay….Am I really going to watch football here?
-Aren’t there better things to do?
-There’s a party with Sand Castles…
-Yes – That’s better.

The Hot Seat

Barbara Palvin was in a contested battle this week and tied with Emily Ratajkowski.  They had three votes each….so Barbara will still be on the ballot or will need to win another week when she’s not the nominee….And it’s going to be tough this week as the MMQ is rolling out a slightly oldie, but a goodie….UFC Ring Girl Brittany Palmer!!!

Gone List:

  1. Muschamp
  2. Weiss
  3. Jones
  4. Others….

Hot Seat Rank

Brady Hoke – It’s a foregone conclusion…         

  1. Beckman:  He’s got problems….
  2. Hazell:  Purdue beat Illinois….
  3. Norm Chow:  Hawaii. 
  4. Mike London:  Needs wins…


Man….I was this close to making some money this past weekend…And again, it just didn’t work out perfect.  Oh well….That’s life in the Big City…

Nebraska @ Wisconsin (-6):  Take Nebraska and the 6 for $50

OUCH!!!!!   LOSE BAD……

Ohio @ Minnesota (+12):  Take ohio and lay the 12 for $50

DOUBLE OUCH!!!! I should have taken the Gophers….LOSE….

Miss State @ Bama (-7):  Take Miss State and the 7 for $50

WIN!  Bank $95

FSU @ Miami (+2.5):  Take FSU and lay the 2.5 for $50

WIN!!! Bank $95

Parlay ALL (4 way Parlay pays 12-1)

FSU-Nebraska-Ohio-Miss State   - $30


Starting Bank:           $306
Total win:                   $190

Bank:                          $496


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mid-Week Round Up - Bye #2

I was sitting last night as I was typing this and a thought hit me:  There’s really a lot that happened last Saturday and because Michigan is such a small part of everything else that actually matters in College Football, I almost feel like I’m wasting my time when I comment on Michigan’s game on Mondays.  And to repeat myself:  That wasn’t a game.  It was torture.  I’m actually glad I was doing something productive for the first and part of the 2nd half.  That way I can say that the time wasn’t completely wasted. 

However, let’s get to everything else that is either current or that we can have some fun with!  In no particular order:

MMPG – Austin Hatch Makes a Free-Throw!

If you’re a Michigan Fan and want something to feel good about on a Wednesday, well, here you go.  If you’ve already seen this on the multiple news sources and even the Today show… my apologies…no, I’m taking that back.  Watch it again.  It will make you feel even better.  Hatch got into the Wayne State Exhibition game on Monday night in the last two minutes….and, well, the Video says it all. 

(Reset – Hatch is the Indiana kid that went down in his Dad’s plane, lost his family and Beilein went ahead and honored the scholarship he offered Austin.  Hatch wasn’t supposed to be able to play hoops due to the injuries he suffered, much less on a college team.)

And Beilein has the presence of mind to sub him out so the Crisler Crazies can give him a much deserved ovation!!

Good Job Austin and Coach Beilein!

Brian Kelly Hangs Gholson Out to Dry!

In case you haven’t see or heard it…It’s bad.

 I mean, I get that a coach can get frustrated.  And anyone who is frustrated will say bad things or things that shouldn’t or otherwise wouldn’t be said, even though you know exactly what the person is thinking when they say the politically correct thing.  But Brian Kelly sounds kind of like the “Drunk Uncle” in the post-game presser when he calls out Gholson and says the kid needs to stop turning the ball over!   And when a reporter tries to give him an out by saying the tipped ball INT for a TD wasn’t Gholson’s fault, Kelly body slams Everett again!  Classic Kelly….Yeah, I wanna’ go play for this guy!  Gholson admittedly took responsibility for the turnovers and the loss, however, so he has no issue with his coach….

Dan Wetzel Nominates Bob Stoops For Michigan Job

This….Is weird.  Read the article. 

I’m not saying I wouldn’t take Bob Stoops.  I just don’t like people in the press randomly handing out the Michigan job to every Bob, Jim, and Harry that is out there.  First, you have the San Fran bear writer saying the Jim Harbaugh will be the next head coach at Michigan.  Then Wetzel with the Stoops thing and also stating that Harbaugh is a pipe dream for Michigan.  I guess it’s just easy to figure that Michigan is a pretty good gig for a coach that can coach and recruit and Wetzel figures a change is good for….everyone.  Hottest rumor on all the Gatorland message boards:  Rich Rodriguez is in play and is Florida’s next head coach if Muschamp gets fired….Hee-Hee.  They get an offense back in Florida…but kiss that killer “D” good-bye with Rich-Rod, Gator Fans!

So, Who IS Michigan Going to Get?

Ah….Great question… 

I almost want to follow up with “Next Question” because I really don’t have a clue.  I could make a list, put odds on it and follow along like I did when Bill Martin finally got Rich Rod, or I could go the route I took when it was sort of obvious that BranDictator went with someone he could control and be “Bigger” than when he hired Hoke, but this time I think it’ll be different.  Meaning that the coach could come completely out of left field.  Of course, that assumes that Hackett is going to do the right thing and let Brady go, which still has to happen.  Let’s face it:  The only B1G team Brady has been successful against is Northwestern (no losses).   Add to that and one of this season’s B1G losses is the only B1G victory of the season for that institution:  Rutgers (1-4 in B1G play).   Michigan has sent out the early renewal notices and rumor has it that the Football renewals for next season are way down.  Not surprising when you learn that Stub Hub would have saved you about $600 on the price of an average End Zone Ticket.   Expect a lot of non-renewals.  Too many people have found more attractive options for watching College Football on Saturdays.  And going to Ann Arbor and spending an entire day 6-7 times per season turns into a chore vs. fun for many of the fans.  In the less is more world, it was better for the fans when there was only 5 or 6 home games…  So if you want to get fans back, you need to get rid of Brady, make going to the game affordable and most importantly, fun again. 

I will say that on a short list of “Flyers” that may not be on your radar but are other people’s who follow this kind of thing (These are all at least a 100-1 shot by the FMQ’s calculation):

P.J. Fleck – Western Michigan.  Has the Broncos doing pretty well this season and more or less turned the program around from 1-11 last season.

Jim McElwain – Colorado State.  When he left Alabama and the tutelage of Saban, everyone said watch this guy.  Well, we’re watching and he has the Rams at 9-1 and on track for the best season in a decade.  He’ll be a hot name for a big job when the time comes.

David Bailiff – Rice.  Don’t be surprised if he leaves Rice and tries to resuscitate SMU.  But, he has Rice winning and that’s not easy to do….

Pat Fitzgerald – Northwestern.  Yes, he has the backing of the AD and the President, but even Fitzgerald has to get tired of trying to make it all work at a University that just doesn’t care that much about football.  Would I take Fitzgerald?  In a heartbeat – even though Michigan just beat him.

Hey, ohio and Minnesota  - Do You Want These Games Back?

In the world of, “Jeez – I wish I could get a do-over”, ohio for sure wishes they could get another crack at Va-Tech and Beamer’s boys.  And the Gophers are still scratching their heads and trying to figure out how in the world they lost to the lowly Illini….That would have really made Saturday’s game in Minneapolis interesting with an undefeated suckeye squad facing a 1-loss Gopher squad with that only loss being to TCU, which, you know, legitimate.  Maybe even Game Day would have made another trip north….Now all we have is a 1-loss and two loss teams that are playing for national respect. 

Good luck with that….

This Week’s Picks!

The FMQ has been just awful this year.  I can’t think of a season where we’ve “posted” so many times – that’s hitting the number on the spread where it really wouldn’t have mattered who we picked, Vegas won because they nailed the spread.  That being said, I’m thinking of narrowing my picks down and laying heavier steam.  That sort of worked one year…so Why Not?

Nebraska @ Wisconsin (-6):  This one is hard for the Ole FMQ to wrap his little noggin’ around.  I figured that Nebraska was the better team here as I think Wiscy has had some injuries and Stave is…well…Stave and could have a mental meltdown at any moment.  So, that being the case and seeing as how this is the 4th meeting in this “RIVALRY GAME”, I’ll take the road dog and the points.

Take Nebraska and the 6 for $50

Ohio @ Minnesota (+12):  I really don’t know what to make of this spread, either.  Yes, the Gophers are 1 dimensional.  But they do that 1 thing pretty well.  And they passed like idiots against Michigan when Michigan made it clear that the Gophers weren’t going to run.  It’s the other side of the equation that I can’t figure:  Is ohio really for real on offense or did Sparty just not prep well?  And can the Gophers fare any better against Barrett? 

Take ohio and lay the 12 for $50

Miss State @ Bama (-7):  This is the game of the day and it’s on at Noon!  I’m going to have to drag myself away from Sand Castles and the beach and find a nice Tiki Bar and stool to plant myself on for this one.  I don’t think Bama is that good, based on the fact that LSU owned them in the 2nd half.  If theHatter had stuck with his game-plan in OT, you know, rushing instead of passing four straight times, I wonder if the outcome would have been different.  Mullen has been looking forward to this….

Take Miss State and the 7 for $50

FSU @ Miami (+2.5):  The Game that will knock the Noles out of the Final 4….NOT!  I’m not buying the hype that Miami is that great and that the Noles are ready to fold.  Famous Jameis, love him or hate him, knows how to win football games.  I’ll stay on the FSU train for another game, even if they are playing on the road…It’s still in the same state!  And have you seen Miami’s fans during home games???  The team hasn’t, either.

Take FSU and lay the 2.5 for $50

Parlay ALL (4 way Parlay pays 12-1)

FSU-Nebraska-Ohio-Miss State   - $30

Starting Bank:           $506
Total Bet:                   $200

Bank:                          $306

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tradition - You Can't Force It Or Make It Up

As I was surfing yesterday, an article from Yahoo Sports caught my attention and I was kind of surprised by it.  I mean, I figured it HAD TO BE A JOKE….

But let me back track a little right now.  I ran into a reader of the blog last week who mentioned that the Ole’ MMQ didn’t have his usual “POP” that he used to have.  That the “Devil May Care” attitude and tongue in cheek repartee that he used to have seemed to be missing.  He more or less said that he felt like he was reading another sports page and that’s not why he read the MMQ.  He wanted fun!  He wanted jabs!  And he wanted it to be over before he was ready to be done reading…which I thought, “Yeah, that’s the way I used to write. 

Wha’ happen’d to that guy?”

So, I went back a couple of years and read some of the older entries, which I admit I hadn’t done in quite some time.  Everyone needs to reflect and look at past work, regardless of where you stand today.  Do it.  Look back at some of, well, anything that you’ve done in the past.  You’ll either find something that you know you’re doing better today or you’ll find something that you used to do a lot better than and it will remind you that you need to start doing more of “THAT”, whatever “that” is.

Anyway, after reading about the Freedom Trophy, I saw the news that Al Renfrew died.  For those of you out there that have NO IDEA who Al Renfrew was, you’re not alone.  I was a student manager when this older guy came into the locker room after practice one day and Big John Falk simply yelled out, “Hey Al!”  I figured he was a janitor or something.  John gave me that sideways look and said, “You know who that is, right?”  I just shook my head and John said, “You know the “M-Club Banner”?  His wife made that and he’s the one that started that whole thing when the players run out onto the field under the Banner.”  I of course also learned that Al happened to be the former Hockey Coach as well as doing a bunch of other stuff for the University.  Seth does a great job of running down Al Renfrew’s life here…

That of course got me to thinking about this “Forced Tradition” that we’ve seen lately in all of college sports and this atrocity that the B1G has dubbed the “Freedom Trophy”.  Yeah, we can’t make fun of it because “Veteran’s Day” and “Freedom”.  Whatever.  I’m here to tell you that you can’t force a tradition….It HAS TO HAPPEN ON IT’S OWN!!!  Just like the banner.

And here’s another little known tradition that nobody (I searched the web and Wikipedia, Michigan’s Marching Band Site, nobody has this documented accurately – but Wikipedia is close) really wrotedown what happened.  I’m here to say that it happened just like this…Because friends of The Tailgate know the Drum Major that first did it!!!  (HT:  Lisa D!)

The year was 1993.  Michigan opened up with two home games in September.  The first game was Washington and the 2nd was the domers (JEEZ I HATE THESE GUYS!!!).  Anyway, I remember getting into the stadium a little early for the Washington game, a rarity for me these days, and watching the band come out.  I always liked to watch the band come out for the first home game because, well…. TRADITION!!!

The band comes out and the drum major takes his spot on the north side of the formation for the “Plume Touch”.   And chaos ensued…..

But before I go there - the origins of the Plume Touch are a little sketchy and it’s believed that it started sometime in the late 1960’s and the first Drum Major to do it was Mark Brown.  And he didn’t do it for every game; apparently Mark reserved the move for “Big Games”, which, okay, cool.

However, by the mid to late 70’s, the Michigan Drum Major was doing the “Plume Touch” for EVERY Home game.  And on this warm Saturday afternoon in early September of 1993, Drum Major Matt Pickus started his back bend to do the Plume Touch….

And he fell!

We’re not talking a little trip here, folks.  This was a flat-out stumble on his ass “Splat!” in front of 100,000 strong.  Matt picked himself up and continued with the show, because what else was he going to do?  But the student section let him have it and the “Boos” were loud and almost to the point of being embarrassing for this fan.  I mean, come on…he’s a college kid.

Now, some guys might just bow out after that.  Hang it up.  Hand the reins over to someone else.  They might just say, “You know what?  I’m not cut out for this.  It’s not for me.  I can’t possibly do that for every home game and run the risk of falling on my ass again.”  Some guys.  So what does Matt do?

The very next game, against the domers, Matt comes out with the band.  He takes his spot on the north side of the formation as the band is winding up the Michigan Fan-Fare.  Matt, standing tall and proud, REMOVES HIS HAT and places it on the ground in front of him.  Then, to the amazement of everyone that was there to witness what happened next, in front of the the same 100,000 that booed him a week earlier,

 Matt places his hands on his hips, Bends Backwards and touches his BARE HEAD TO THE GROUND!!!

Now, I am writing this from memory.  And I will say that the crowd was pretty pumped up because it was the domers and all.  And there was probably a Mystic-Michigan-Magic in the air…and when Matt did that, well, Michigan Stadium erupted and everyone that was booing that kid a week earlier gave Matt a standing ovation.  Because he didn’t back away from the adversity.  He met it head on and took what could have been a life-long embarrassment and etched himself into the Michigan History books…

And because he bravely faced that adversity…he unknowingly and unwittingly created a “Michigan Tradition”.

You have to audition to be a Drum Major at the University of Michigan.  One of the pre-requisites is you have to be able to do a back bend.  Not all Drum Majors have taken the hat off since.  But most are aware of the tradition and hopefully the Michigan Marching Band history has it right and tells all the Drum Majors that try out that Matt Pickus is the reason you have to be able to do a back bend and touch your head to the ground.  And hopefully, they now know the “why”.

So, don’t try to force feed any of the fans at Wisconsin or Nebraska the “Tradition” of the Freedom Trophy.  Let some students do something outrageous that starts something out…that becomes tradition.

Or the Bon Fire
Or The Little Brown Jug
Or Floyd of Rosedale
Or the Iron Bowl

Tradition, given time, will take care of itself.   But can’t manufacture it and shove it down people’s throats.

You have to let it HAPPEN….And it will....