Thursday, August 28, 2014

The FMQ!!! I know it's Thursday....

After all the legal crap, all the off-season BS, all of the BS in general that every talk radio program has to make up and continue to drone on about, we can finally say these words:

While I have been anticipating the beginning of this season, when the starting line-up and depth chart came out and I saw that a true freshmen Mason Cole was starting…Well, my heart sank a little.  Either this guy is really, REALLY Good, or Michigan is in for another long season.  But, hey, I can’t let myself get pessimistic this early!  Come on! 

I know this is Thursday, but there is a Big Game tonight worth tuning in for:  Texas A&M at South Carolina.  So, gear up and get the TV set ready!  Columbia will be rocking tonight and I kind of wish I had scheduled a plant trip due to the fact that USC is right around the corner…but tickets are probably hard to get.
I haven’t picked my “Final Four” as has been the norm on ESPN and the BTN this week.  What’s the point?  We have to play the games….What I will do is this:

Here’s who might surprise you and NOT be in the Final Four (in this order):
1.     MSU – The game against Oregon is key.  Yes, they could win the B1G, but a loss to Oregon might make the argument for a “1 loss SEC team” that much easier…Sparty needs to beat Oregon.  And I’m still not 100% convinced Sparty is the new “Elite” in the B1G…Sparty is as Sparty does…

2.    Stanford or UCLA – Pick du jour of the Pac12, and I’m not saying I don’t like it…Just saying that UCLA/Stanford has a stretch of games that, well, if they run the table, it will be very impressive.  Oregon is still a good pick and could be in the Final Four….

3.    Auburn – Let’s not forget that last year’s Auburn team had some incredible luck going for it.  Just sayin’…

4.    FSU – This one is a stretch, with the Seminole’s schedule I really don’t see who can beat them…but if Gatorland can get rolling late in the season, a 1 loss ACC team with that loss to an SEC team wouldn’t look good.  Watch out for opener against Gundy coached Okie State…
Who MIGHT Surprise you and make it into the Final Four

1.     Wisconsin - The only ranked team after LSU should they pull off the miracle in Death Valley against LSU Saturday is Nebraska….Look at the schedule -  it’s ugly - Good…No ohio, Sparty, Penn State or Michigan, but they get BOTH newcomers (Maryland and Rutgers) as their crossovers, fergodsakes…If they beat LSU and get by Nebraska in November, they will easily make the B1G Championship and anything can happen. 

2.    USC  - Sarkisian has talent and USC could be a potential dark horse…even without balcony leaping Shaw on the defense...

3.    Florida – That would really tick off the Gatorland collective that’s ready to boot Muschamp to the curb.  But again, in the weak SEC East, staying alive and winning the SEC championship is possible.

4.    Michigan – Yep.  I’m sticking with this.  IF the defense can win some early games and give the O-Line time to gel, anything is possible with a 5th year QB and the offensive skill players Michigan has.  Don’t believe me?  Auburn wasn’t in the pre-season Top 25 last year and Sparty dropped out of the Top 25. 
Now, that being said, the FMQ had an extremely lackluster season last year and it reminds why I do this for fun and not for real.  Never the less, I reviewed the last 4 years betting the other night and really, last season was a bit of an anomaly.  I had been in the green for two seasons and last year near the end of the season, things really spiraled out of control with some very poor choices.  This year’s three cardinal rules for early season games:
1.     When in doubt in games with HIGH SPREADS, take the points.

2.    When you’re thinking about laying the points, see rule 1.

3.    Be sure to slap myself if I lay a bunch of points….You know, like JLS (unless I'm really sure about it!!  Even then, I should probably slap myself a little!)

This week’s kick-off classics  (Needless to say, after looking at LSU vs. Wiscy, I’m not betting it!):
WVU (+25) @ Bama:  This is one of those games where I really need to follow the rules above.  No one’s played a game.  Everyone THINKS Bama’s offense is going to pick up where it left off without AJ McCarron.  When was the last time Bama started a QB besides AJ?  I’m not saying WVU is gonna’ win, but man, can’t they keep it closer than 25?
Take WVU and 25 for $30

Miami @ Louisville (+4):  Saw this spread and was trying to figure out who thought Miami on the road in an opener would actually be good?  I think Louisville at home under new/old coach Petrino getting points is a gift.
Take Louisville and the 4 for $30

FSU @ OSU (+17.5):  Here’s another one – A Gundy coached team getting double digits against last year’s National Champs…yeah, there’s plenty to get pumped up about and I think Okie State can keep it closer than that…
Take Okie State and the 17.5 for $30

UCLA (-21) @ Virginia:  Okay, I might have to slap myself here.  Virginia finished last year in brutal fashion and lost a lot of games by a lot of points.  UCLA, on the other hand, finished on a roll.  I like UCLA and I will now slap myself as I lay the three TD’s
Take UCLA and lay 21 for $30

Arkansas (+21.5) @ Auburn:  Again, first impulse was to lay the points, but then I remember that Brett Bielema has to win some games at some point, doesn’t he?  And if he wins, well, doesn’t he have to keep some of the one’s he loses close as well? 
Take Arkansas and the 21.5 for $30

App State @ Michigan (-35):  Jeez…App State is not the same team they were when they came into the Big House in 2007, put the BTN on the map, and shocked the world.  There, I said it.  So, based on that and based on the fact that there’s a lot of pent-up frustration on this Michigan team and among the fan base, look for a rout in the Big House.  Slapping myself again,
Take Michigan and lay the 35 for $30

PARLAY:  Arkansas - OSU - UCLA for $20
Starting Bank:   $1,000
Total Bet:  $200
Bank:  $800

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Last Monday Before the Real Deal!!!

Michigan Tickets for App State STILL NOT SOLD OUT!

Well, DB, I hope you’re happy.  With less than a week to go, Michigan has still not sold out the App State game in what YOU THOUGHT would be a cute re-match on a holiday weekend, no less.  What’s the plan now?  Donate the tickets to a worthy cause just to keep the 100,000+ sell-out run alive?  And then have a bunch of obvious no-shows in the stands?  Yeah, that’s brilliant.  You better hope that Hoke and company develops this team this year and saves your bacon.  I’m calling you out, DB.  And I’m going to challenge you to the following:

1.     Be honest, for a change, and recognize that Ticket Prices and the cost associated with attending a game are TOO DAMN HIGH!.  State unequivocally that mistakes have been made and that the ticket buying public is getting the short end of the stick in this whole deal.  A three-fold increase in 15 years?  Come on…Even the most avid fans have a tough time swallowing that.  For comparison: (and I have the ticket order sheets to prove it!)

Tickets (1999):  $360 for two Season Tickets in the End Zone ($30 each – 6 home games.
Parking Pass:  $120 ($20 for each home game)

Hot Dog:       $2

Coke: Souvenir - $4  Regular - $3

Total Budget (assuming two dogs and two cokes per game)

            $360+$120+$24+36=  $540

Tickets:  $1050 for 7 Home Games +  $300 for PSL’s!!!
Parking Pass:  $280 for 7 games ($40 each)
Hot Dog:  $4
Coke:  Souvenir - $9 !!! Regular - $5
Total Budget:

$1350+$280+$56+$70  = $1,756!!!

And I’ve left out all the incidentals due to the fact that they are there regardless and haven’t gone up as much in comparison.  Drop the concession prices and reduce the ticket prices and you might entice a few season ticket holders to stop thinking about, “Well, my annual entertainment budget is $X and I’m spending this much on Michigan.  IF I didn’t spend it on Michigan Football, what else could I do?  Hey, that $1,756 buys a 70” HDTV at Costco!!!

2.     Scheduling.  God, please  - PLEASE – Let this be the last stupid and moronic thing you do as an AD.  Scheduling the likes of App State, I mean.  I’ve had to listen and watch way to much in the last two weeks and there’s still 5 more days before game day.  Don’t ever do something like this again.  I would prefer an SEC opponent, a Big 12 opponent and the B1G has a Pac12 agreement which is good for the future.  I also wouldn’t mind getting rid of the MACrifice and would enjoy seeing anything else on the schedule.

3.    Stop being jerks with respect to getting into the stadium.  At least you let the Seat Cushion thing go last season, but I have a sneaking suspicion that you’re going to try to enforce more and more.  Don’t do that.

4.    If a fan wants to bring in a bottle of water vs. having to pay you $4 for the same bottle of water, let them.  Or sell water for a buck, whichever.
This isn’t a complete list, but it’s a start….Read it.  Do it.  Adding Wi-Fi to the stadium experience isn’t going to solve your problems, DB. 

MIKE before you Hike!!!
Twitter and the internet literally BLEW UP when Devin Gardener tweeted that until Nuss arrived, he had never identified the MIKE before.  Now, he is the key MIKE caller.  First:  For details on what a MIKE is, mgoblog does a great run down and explanation of the entire thing.  If you don’t want to link its more or less the “2nd level” defender in the middle of the defense that doesn’t necessarily have an offensive counterpart; strike that, it’s really about blocking assignments once the inside middle linebacker is called out.  And before going on that Borges rampage, it was the center’s responsibility to figure that out in the Borges offense, not the QB’s.  But generally, the QB reads the Defense and makes the call.  It’s not a huge deal, but nevertheless, it’s something Devin should have probably been doing all along.

And I Was Worried…
That there wouldn’t be enough to talk about to justify an additional post before next Monday.  But look at everything we have:

Domer academics – 4 players still sidelined
Ohio’s Miller out for the season
Sparty – Strangely quiet up in East Lansing, doncha’ think?  Of course, LeVeon Bell getting nabbed on the marijuana thing has hurt the Steeler’s chances this season…

I’m sure whatever Black Magic that Hoke and Michigan fan’s in general are being accused of, we certainly wouldn’t leave sparty off the list.  Maybe God was listening to a hard praying Michigan Fan that said they would trade their soul for three wins over its three arch rivals.  So, sparty, if I was you, I would tread lightly…These things happen in “3”’s….Not saying it will happen that way, but Instant Karma can get you anywhere…

Brady Hoke working his Black Magic….Could he also have an upside down “M” hanging in his office and is he trying to conjure the old Michigan Spirits?  Nah....

I’m actually a little surprised the domer thing hasn’t been cleared up yet.  According to Daddy Swarbucks, the investigation committee has to pour over thousands (?) of e-mails and try to figure out if there was anything in those e-mails that could be construed as plagiarism.   I’m no expert, but plagiarism is downright hard to prove, unless it’s blatant copying word for word of someone else’s work.  Too many people think identical things on any given subject, and I would think that this academic investigation team would be getting pushed hard to complete this review.   On Rock’s House, the quorum is that these 4 will more than likely all be re-instated once they are cleared of any wrongdoing. 
Still, I believe where there’s smoke, there’s fire.  And I’m willing to bet another 1 or 2 “innocent” domer players get the boot.

Ohio, on the other hand, is the first fan base to experience the “5 Stages of Slappy Fan Grief” all by their lonesome selves...  For a brief reminder, they are:

1.     Denial and Isolation – The ohio message boards are of course full of emotional outpouring for Miller (as, frankly, I feel for the guy, too – Not even I want to see a kid’s career come to an end in that fashion).  And some of the fans are simply stating that everyone fights for a starting job at ohio and Barret will be ready to go.  How long has it been since they’ve had a redshirt QB at ohio?  However, they are also extremely upbeat, with the exception of some that are in the next stage

2.    ANGER:  I would say this GIF kind of covers most of the sentiment of the few ohio people around this office.  They mostly want to know WHY WAS MILLER EVEN PRACTICING if he wasn’t absolutely 100%.  Well, Miller thought he was 100% and you can’t just take an out of shape, no practice kid and turn him loose in a football game.  They have to practice.

3.    Bargaining – Yep, lots of ohio fans in that “bargaining” stage hoping the defense can keep them in games while the offense gels…I get that.  I think that’s what every reasonable fan would be thinking at this point…until they find their defense on the field for 40 some minutes a game is unsustainable, even for the best defenses out there.  Yep, great teams usually win TOP and control the ball…somehow.  IF you can’t do that, it’s gonna’ be a long season…

4.    Depression – I think the most reasonable fans are probably right here.  They’re smart enough to know that any chance of an undefeated season (barring a red-shirt frosh year like Winston had, which, come on, that only happens once in a blue moon) just went out the window.  Now, survive the non-con and maybe you can get to 10-2, 9-3, with a couple of unforeseen losses to conference teams….

5.    Acceptance – Some ohio fans are probably down here already, but before the season even starts, it’s a tough place to put your mind.  I remember 2008 knowing that Michigan was going to lose games…But I didn’t accept the fact that Michigan was going to miss a bowl until the 7th loss happened…

So, Godspeed Braxton in your rehabilitation and full recovery…we’d love to see you in the Big House in 2015!!!
Forde Runs Down the Top 25 Most Intriguing Games

Michigan is in there three times.  App State, domers and ohio.  I hope they can win all of them. 

Bill Connely’s Preview

The Hot Seat

Not mine, somebody else’s.  But, nevertheless, great minds think alike.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Open Practice - CFP - domer Academics

Open Practice
So, on somewhat of a whim and because it was the first one ever, and I like to go to the first one of things just ‘cause, we attended the Saturday Night Under the Lights Open Practice at the Big House.  We didn't stay for the whole thing, but long enough...


I would like to say that Michigan looked good.  Unfortunately, I can't. I can honestly say that “Parts” of Michigan looked good.  However, the starting O-line didn’t look great, at least not to me.  I don’t know how much of that is the defense knowing what’s coming and more or less having familiarity with the person across from you.  So, on the other hand, the starting Defense looked okay against the demo-offense. 
Devin Gardener did not look great.  In fact, I think the best pass he threw was an interception to Red Shirt Junior Blake Countess.  Countess made a nice move on the ball and snatched it away from the intended receiver.  Morris looked a little better, IMHO, and I have a sneaking suspicion that we might see more of Shane than less as the season progresses. I’m not saying there’s a QB controversy, but at the first sign of Devin having problems, I don’t think Hoke or Nuss will hesitate to try Shane out….

Overall, there was some sloppiness and I’m glad they still have two weeks left to work out some of the kinks….
Guys that stood out and played very well, at least to me:

WR Funchess (87) – Well, yeah….Nice long catch that was semi - circus like....
Soph WR Da’Mario Jones (10)….Mario…Wasn’t there a Mario M-something that we all liked?

Frosh Peppers (5) - Yep, he’s the real deal…
Frosh TE Bunting (94)  - BIG GUY….Roster says he’s 6’7” and 227…He’s all of that…

Frosh QB Speight (19)  - Another Big Guy.  6’6”.  Could be pretty good in a year or two…

CFP Is Upon Us
Dennis Dodd did a great write up recently as to what we can expect entering the new “CFP” system this season.  While it hasn’t entirely sunk in to the mass population yet that we won’t get a Sunday Night BCS special, I think it will begin to sink in once ESPN starts talking about it on Saturday Morning Game Day.  Not only that, but we are going to have to wait until Tuesday evening for the 13 man committee’s revelation of their Top 25. 

Wow…Drama and intrigue on Tuesday evening.  Must be why they moved the World Series of Poker to Sunday Night. 

I also wonder how long we’ll be stuck with a 4 team play-off.  It simply doesn’t make sense that all the Power 5 Conference Champs don’t get a shot at the National Title.  My guess is that we see the whole thing collapse and go to 8 teams within, say…Hmmmm.  I will say less than 8 years or whenever the SEC doesn’t get a Top 4 Spot – Whichever comes first.  And I do believe that the SEC could get shut out of the top 4.  Yes, it’s possible if the committee is doing their job and looking at SOS and who’s played who.  That 8 Game in conference schedule will hurt the SEC eventually…I believe the committee will see to that.

Anyway, as we enter the 2014 “Brave New World” of a college football play-off, I couldn’t help but think of what the last 10 seasons would have looked like with a 4 team play-off in place.  So many questions, so difficult to make up perfect scenarios…

But if it did, would those seasons have changed at all?  Let’s reflect on them here…

FF:  FSU, Auburn, Alabama, Sparty

Match-ups:  FSU- Sparty & Auburn  - Bama in an Iron Bowl re-match
MMQ Prognostication:  My gut tells me that Bama would not lose on a neutral site against Auburn, but that would have been a long lay-off for everyone, so I’m not sure.  Definitely the hardest game of the two semi’s to predict.  I think Sparty’s D can’t contain Winston and its FSU and Auburn in the same finale.  With FSU coming out on top.

FF:  domers, Alabama, Florida, Oregon

Match-ups:  domers – Oregon & Alabama – Florida
MMQ Prognostication:  Oregon’s offense tears through Manti Teo and the domer’s defense like just like Teo’s girlfriend:  As if it didn’t exist.  Florida plays an inspired game and upsets the Tide…but they can’t stop the Ducks in the finale and Oregon would have won its first CFP National Title!

FF:  LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State, Stanford

Match-ups:  LSU vs. Stanford & Alabama vs. Oklahoma State
MMQ Prognostication:  Again, Alabama and LSU were pre-ordained into the National Title Game after the 6-3 yawner in Tuscaloosa.  But, if LSU came out as flat against Stanford as they did against Bama, Andrew Luck and The Cardinal would have made the finale.  Bama vs. Okie State would have been another story, but I like Okie State in a nail biter ….And maybe even edging out Stanford in the National Title Game.

FF:  Auburn, Oregon, TCU, Stanford

Match-Ups:  Auburn vs. Stanford and Oregon vs. TCU
MMQ Prognostication:  I don’t see this one finishing any differently than it did.  Auburn handles Stanford and Oregon handles TCU.  Auburn’s Defense proves to be the deciding factor over Oregon’s Basketball on Grass offense…the SEC wins again!

FF:  Alabama, Texas, Cincinnati, TCU

Match-ups:  Alabama vs. TCU and Texas vs. Cincinnati
MMQ Prognostication:  Well, this one is easy AND hard.  Alabama was clearly the team to beat in 2009, as I recall.  So a good Horned Frog team would have lost in a landslide to Bama.  I do think that a Brian Kelly led Cincinnati team would have pulled off the upset of the Longhorns, but still, Bama would have dominated them in the finale.

FF:  Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Alabama

Match-Ups:  Oklahoma vs. Alabama and Florida vs. Texas
MMQ Prognostication:  This is interesting.  I see all sorts of crazy scenarios here, but I will stick with Florida beating Texas to get into the Title Game.  It’s the Oklahoma  - Bama match-up that’s difficult.  Stoops’ teams never play well with big stakes on the line come January 1st, and my guess is this time would be no different.  The Sooners lose to Bama and Florida gets to do something that’s really sweet:  Beat Bama twice in the same season. 

FF:  ohio, LSU, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma

Match-ups:  ohio vs. Oklahoma and LSU vs. Va Tech
MMQ Prognostication:  I remember this season and I remember that this was a very good Va-Tech team by the end of the year.  And I think that Va-Tech team would at least give LSU a run for it’s money.  Yeah, they beat LSU.  Even in the midst of the Tigers playing to keep their coach from leaving for the University of Michigan….The Sooners handle the suckeyes and Stoops wins his 2nd National Title over Beamer!!!

FF:  ohio, Florida, Michigan, LSU

Match-ups:  ohio vs. LSU and Michigan vs. Florida
MMQ Prognostication:  Most of you who aren’t Michigan Fans won’t want to read this as I’m sure you know where it’s going.  LSU loses in a tightly fought battle against the Red Vested lying sack of testicle sweat led suckeyes and Michigan defeats the Pre-Urban Crime led Gators with the amazing ’06 defense.  In the title re-match, Michigan gets its priceless moment and defeats the hated Sweater Vest when it really counts and claims another National Title!!

FF:   USC, Texas, Penn State, Ohio State

Match-Ups:  USC vs. ohio  & Texas vs. PSU

MMQ Prognostication:  Wow…USC was very, very good, but ohio wasn’t that bad that year, either.  I do think the Trojans beat ohio and Texas edges the Nittany Lions (Remember that the only blemish on the Lions record that season was in Ann Arbor!!!).  And I think Young figures out the same game ending plan to beat the Trojans and Texas goes on to win the National Title.


FF:  USC, Oklahoma, Auburn, California
Match-Ups:  USC vs. California & Auburn vs. Oklahoma

MMQ Prognostication:  This is probably the greatest wrong that will be righted here by the MMQ.  Yes, the Trojans will defeat California, but the Tigers of Auburn will upset the greatly over-rated Sooners and give the Trojans a helluva fight in the Title Game.  In fact, let’s do it:  The SEC wins another one and takes one away from Pete Carrol.

So, for the last 10 years, where does that leave us?  It would appear that in 6 of the seasons, the play-off wouldn’t have had much impact on who the overall champion was…but in the other 4, fireworks abound!  And that’s why the beginning of the CFP era should be fun.

Domer Academics

Hee-hee….This is one I would be remiss if I didn’t mention.  I didn’t hear about this until I was in the car on Friday or I would have posted then.  In case you haven’t heard, there’s been an ongoing investigation down in South Bend regarding Academic Fraud.  As Yost tweeted, “I guess Academic Integrity at Notre Dame is about as real as Manti Teo’s girlfriend.”  The 4 players, starting cornerback KeiVarae Russell, leading returning receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive end Ishaq Williams and backup linebacker Kendall Moore were being withheld from practices and games until the university completes an investigation into whether papers and homework they turned in were completed by others.
Another cheap shot coming:  Can the domers really be trusted to conduct their own investigation?  
And of course, my guess is that if they do conclude there wasn’t any wrongdoing, it’ll probably happen sometime during the week of September 2nd in order for the starters to get in a full week of practice before Michigan comes to town.
Here’s a link to Kelly stating that there’s nothing wrong with recruiting in domerland.
I will miss playing them after this season…..

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday 8-15 Odds and Ends


In a first ever move by the University of Michigan, there will be an open practice at the Big House on Saturday, August 16th  starting at 8:00 PM.  If it’s a standard 2.5 hour practice, that’ll get you out into the city of Ann Arbor around 10:30, assuming you stay the entire time.  This could be fun and a great way to spend a late summer evening.

I’m shocked, in a way, but in another way, it was inevitable.  Open practices are commonplace at a lot of other institutions and it wouldn’t be surprising to me if the new OC Nussmeier had a big say in making this happen as the Crimson Tide have been doing this for years, as do a number of other SEC schools.  Coach’s autographs and other stuff will be on the agenda…I ordered my 8 tickets to at least let the AD know that they were on the right track.  Anyone looking for a couple of tix, let me know.

Michigan Players in the NFL runs down the former Michigan players in the NFL, where they are depth chart wise and more importantly, are they going to make the cut for the season.  It’s an interesting read if you like to follow the Michigan Men on Sunday afternoons…Here’s the link.


I usually don’t comment on Hockey, but this one is worthy of a post.  You may have heard that Michigan is going to play an outdoor game in Chicago against Sparty.  If you are a fan, any kind of Michigan fan, that announcement kind of had to leave you scratching your head saying,
“Wha’?????  Why Chicago???” 
I mean, the “Big Chill” put over 100,000 Hockey fans in Michigan stadium in mid-December against said Spartans….  Sparty also loaded their football stadium with fans for their outdoor frozen classic against the Maize and Blue.  And I was actually looking forward to the next one, to be perfectly honest.  So, if you were in the Michigan (or Sparty) Athletic Department, what exactly would make you sit down and say:  “Nah, we don’t want to do another one in the Big House or Spartan Stadium….Let’s go to Chicago!”  Not only that, but Michigan season ticket holders lose out on the home game against Sparty that would have been at Yost….So, Sparty fans make out AGAIN by keeping their home games and Michigan is left holding the bag….
Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot or Well That’s Fantastic!”, and don’t forget…

What The F!@#$!
DB has a lot to learn about what makes loyal fans… well, loyal.  And the way he’s doing business, I’m not sure there’s going to be a lot of loyal fans of any sport left when his tenure is complete.

By the way:  The MMQ is searching for two useful nick names that I can use for “DB”.  “Dildo Brain” is NOT family friendly, so keep that in mind when sending in your suggestions!
Csont’e York

In case you had heard the news about his suspension and were wondering about his status, this guy is done.  Regardless of what Brady said in his presser.  I mean, I get that Brady has to say that due to the Student Code and all that, but still….Watch the video (If this isn't working in your browser, here's the link to the video:

York was a highly recruited wide receiver…This is so Sparty-ish or ohio-ish that I don’t even want this kid near the team.  The coaching staff has to hold individuals accountable for their actions and from what I can see in the video that the police released, well, there’s no way the action could be justified, regardless of what York claims about the kid getting up in his face and pushing and elbowing him.
Forde Runs Down the Top 25 QB’s

Pat Forde ranks the Top 25 QB’s and strangely, after allthe polls did not have Michigan anywhere in the Top 25 as a team, Devin Gardner comes in at number 9 on his list.  I’m not saying I disagree with Forde, but if that’s true, Michigan should be ranked higher as a team based on the ability of its returning QB.  Just saying, the college game is QB dependent now more than ever and looks a lot more like the NFL all the time.  Lose your QB and it becomes a really long season….
Another Early Season Game to Circle
Don’t know how I missed this one (and thanks to the heads up from the alert reader!):
Wiscy vs. LSU in Houston…Why Houston?  Recruiting for both, perhaps?
Holgorsen Lies

In what is more or less making a “mountain out of a hill of beans”, Dana Holgorsen, head coach at WVU, made a comment on Monday that he lies to recruits all the time to a handful of beat reporters and that statement ran through the mainstream and social media like poop through a goose.  Holgorsen then made a clarifying statement that the comment was made in a joking way and that everyone “bends the rules”.
I’ll make it clear here:  Nobody will care what Dana said 4 months from now if the Mountaineers are 10-2 or better…But if they are sitting at home again, this is gonna' be a lot bigger deal…

In Memoriam:  Robin Williams
I know this is a sports blog…But some people touch everyone’s lives and should be paid tribute…
By now you’ve heard about the tragic passing of Robin Williams.  He was an individual like no other…his energy when he was performing live on stage had no equal.  And he was as multi-talented as they come, making one of his initial appearances in dramatic acting in what many consider to be one of his best roles:  The Dead Poet’s Society.  I think I enjoyed him most in this movie as the “out of the box thinking” English teacher that opened young men’s eyes to the fact that the world is not only what you read about in a book or a classroom but it’s really about taking the education you get for all its worth and making a difference.   Truly good, inspirational teachers are so hard to come by and every aspiring teacher thinking about entering the profession should be required to watch this movie.  And a few that have forgotten that teaching is supposed to be a noble cause and not 8 months of work with 4 months of vacation should watch it, too.  I can remember 1 or 2 inspirational teachers from my elementary and high school days…but they were rare. 
Carpe Diem

Encouraging someone to “Seize the Day”, for tomorrow is promised to no one…and in the end, we’re all just pushing up daisies…

And to find a teacher that will take the time and “unearth” the potential that they see in individuals…well, that’s rare indeed.  I know it’s Hollywood, but this is still a great scene…with a very young Ethan Hawke…

Oh Captain, My Captain…
And because true inspiration can and will force even the humblest of individuals to rise up when they recognize and know it’s the right thing to do….

But, I really want to end it on a lighter note and have you watch Robin go through everything from Soccer, Football, Ice Skating and why we loved him best when he was just being himself….

Monday, August 11, 2014

It's Getting Closer!

It seems that my blog notices alert everyone to the fact that as Football Season gets closer, the end of summer is also approaching, and this year, it seems to be approaching WAY TO FAST!

I think it has a lot to do with the fact that winter lasted SO LONG and spring was so utterly lousy in Michigan that once summer got here, it was like, “Whew….”  But now, it’s almost over and we hate to think about another 9 months of what it seems like we just went through…
Never the less, time slowly marches on and it got me to thinking a little bit nostalgically about the number of Michigan games I’ve attended (I have no clue and I’m not about to try to add it up today…maybe another time) and of the ones I’ve attended, which are the most memorable and why…So, why not an “MMQ Top 10 Game Memories!”

1.     1997 Michigan vs. ohio:  Yeah, this has to be number 1.  From the tailgate pre-game to the tailgate post game and everything in between, it was an incredible game and full of memories.  It was a chilly day in November and late in the summer of ‘97, my wife had promised her oldest brother her ticket to The Game.  Little did she know that Michigan would be playing for an undefeated season.  Needless to say, I remember a lot of details about that game including the “call” by said brother in law prior to the punt when Woodson returned it for the TD.  My wife and a bunch of her friends then showed up in the stadium and had somehow canoodled their way past security and got to our seats in time for the final seconds in 4th quarter countdown.  I’m not going to say how many fifths of Big Game were consumed that day by the Tailgate Crowd post game, but it was more than 1 and less than a case…Yep, great memories…

2.    2011 Michigan vs. ohio:  First Michigan –ohio game attended by my oldest daughter and they won!  That has to be up there and will always be one that stands out.  And this photo is pretty cool, too, taken in the aftermath of the victory…

3.    1979 Northwestern:  Why?  This was my first game in the Big House.  Chris K’s old man had 4 tickets and asked me to go.  I jumped at the opportunity and I don’t know if there’s any way to describe walking through the section gate into what appears to be a much smaller structure from the outside (well, it used to look smaller!) and getting your first look at the sun-drenched field and 100K+ seats…I won’t say it was like walking into St. Paul’s Cathedral in Rome (because I haven’t done that) but it has to be a similar feeling and one that can’t be replicated and one that I’ve never felt anywhere else in all the stadiums I’ve walked into…Well, maybe the Rose Bowl.  It’s just something that sticks with you for life. 

4.    1983 ohio:  MY first ohio game.  Another high-school buddy’s dad got tickets on the visitor sideline on about the 45 yard line maybe 30 rows up.  Put it this way:  We were the first row behind a sea of red where the visiting fans get several rows of seats behind the visiting team.  We were close enough to throw snowballs at the suckeyes(because it had snowed the night before!) but we refrained, mostly because there were adults present.  The student section did no such thing, and in what can only be described as an early alcohol induced irresponsible act of hate, they started pelting the suckeye band with snowballs!  The announcer of course tried to half heartedly stop the ruckus, but it wasn’t until after all the snow was gone from the student section bleachers did the snowballs finally stop.  Michigan went on to win and beat Art Schlichter and Earl Bruce in a close one…

5.    1984 Miami:  First Game as a student…I remember a crowd from my residence hall and I getting there about an hour and a half early to watch warm-ups and walk around the stadium.  It was a huge game as Miami was the defending National Champ and Michigan had more or less had a so-so season in 1983.  Michigan, led by Jimmy Harbaugh, went on to defeat the Hurricanes in what many considered to be a huge upset…

6.    1984 Sparty:  My First Sparty Game.  This one stands out because I don’t think I ever sat in my assigned seat after the first game as a freshman which was the Miami game, and I had moved down to closer to the action in about row 10, along with some other students I knew.  I remember there had been a pre-game “kill the keg” warm-up in one of the dorm rooms and as students, we were ready for Sparty.  Unfortunately, I remember all too vividly the fumbled ball and Harbaugh going into the pile with his arms stretched out and I remember seeing him taking the hit that would break that arm.  Sparty won the game and we lost Harbuagh for the season…I was devastated.  It was a long season after that…

7.    1985 domers:  My first domer game.  I remember being really nervous pre-game.  It was supposed to be a close game and it was.  Gerry Faust was still the coach and I vaguely remember a call late in the game going against the domers and Faust went nuts.  And of course, the crowd went nuts.  Beating the domers was a great feeling….

8.    2011 domers:  Under the Lights I.  Need I say more?  If there was ever a game in Michigan stadium that had a last two minute back and forth with respect to scoring and an emotional roller coaster ride, I certainly can’t remember it.  Yes, one that I’ll never forget.

9.    2005 sparty:  Wow…I will never forget walking into Michigan stadium at 2:45 or 3:00 ish in 80 degree weather in a jersey/t-shirt combo and shorts.  And then, in what can only be described as a “Typical Michigan Fall Day”, the temperature dropped about 30 -35 degrees as the game entered the 4th quarter. Everyone was feeling it and of course the crowd was sobering up, also.  Down 17 with about 8 minutes left, SOS showed up and Michigan came back to force OT.  Edwards and Henne worked things out and Michigan pre-vailed in the 3rd OT to cap off what has to be the best game of that series.  Eann was freezing by the end of it and I remember walking out of the stadium and feeling a little warmer with each step…but it was a great feeling.

10. 1985 ohio:  My brother came up to Ann Arbor for The Game as I had somehow scored him a ticket.  I was now attending the game with Superfan and Tom H and we again sat down close to the action.  I will never forget the throw from Harbaugh to Kolesar late in the 3rd quarter that resulted in a 77 yard TD where Kolesar ended up right in front of us.  Also, something happened involving a jar of mustard...Yep, that was a good one.

Honorable Mentions:  In no particular order and because as you start to recall games, there are so MANY memories that continue to pop in there:
-Desmond Howard and the pose against ohio in 1991

-Desmond and the Interference against sparty that WAS NOT CALLED in 1990
-Michigan vs. Colorado in 1994…Yeah, I know..But I’ll never forget how quiet that stadium got….

-Illinois in 1999…And if Touchdown Tom Brady had been allowed to play that entire game, Michigan would have won!  I was not a Drew Henson fan…
-Iowa 1997 – Michigan came back and scored 21 unanswered in the 2nd half to win…and there was a pass interference on the last drive that as I remember, was kind of a gift.  Everyone from Ann Arbor owes that ref a beer whenever he’s in town!

Penn State Uniforms Announced
I think everyone knows where the MMQ stands on “Non-Traditional Uniforms” and the money grab that they have become…But if you are unable to infer my true feelings from the multiple statements that I've made in the past…

Lemme ‘Splain:  THEY SUCK!!!
However, for those of you that like this one-off memory that you can buy and say you were there…Here you go.

Judge Rules AGAINST the NCAA

In what was probably the easiest verdict to predict if you were following along, the Federal judge in the O’Bannon  Trial ruled against the NCAA and for the student athletes to own their likeness and rights to anything they do on the court – more or less telling the NCAA “Your business practices are not only illegal, but you’re full of crap, too.”  It goes without saying that this is a bigger deal than the NCAA is letting on, and will forever change how athletes will forever be rewarded for their image should the universities continue to use them.  How much it changes is hard to say.  The NCAA will continue to waste everyone’s time and appeal, of course. 
Can You Say – Trebuchet?
I had a nephew who just turned 6 and it got me to thinking about a good birthday gift.  BB Gun seemed like a bad idea; ditto the Potato Cannon.  I had some left over wood laying around and I said to myself,
"Hey!!!  What kid DOESN’T need a Golf Ball Trebuchet!!!"