Thursday, September 29, 2016

FMQ Week #5

I have a couple of truly wonderful work associates that are actually passionate about Sparty and Suckeye Sports.  Yep – they’re as slappy about Sparty and the Suckeyes as I am about Michigan.  The Sparty associate made the comment last week that after the Spartans took care of business against Wisconsin, there was NO LOGICAL WAY THAT SPARTY SHOULD BE RANKED BELOW MICHIGAN in this week’s polls (silly Sparty – Lipping off about Polls is for Good Teams!). That would be based on the fact that they took care of a ranked Domers team in South Bend and Sparty would have also beaten a Top 10 team at home and Michigan hasn’t played….Anyone. 

See?  That’s the beauty of having a Sparty around.  They’re always shooting their mouths thinking they understand logic and actually believing they can look at and evaluate football talent.  Instead, they come off looking like the whiny, little brother you kind of know (should I say “knew”) them to be. 

Needless to say, he’s chirping this week about the difficulties Michigan is going to have on Saturday now that they finally have to play a ranked team.  And Wisconsin is WAY BETTER than anyone thinks they are….Maybe.

On that last part, I don’t disagree.  And as I stated Monday, I’m not complete counting Sparty out of the B1G East, either.  Not yet anyway.

I can’t remember the last time I was really looking forward to a “Big Game” in the Big House.  Last year’s Sparty game qualified as did the OSU game, but I think we all kind of saw the writing on the wall with OSU.  I’m not commenting on last year’s Sparty game….. 

Is it 3:30, Saturday yet?

Controversy of the Week!

Again, there’s a controversy this week that I was going to keep my nose out of until I got an e-mail from a loyal MMQ Reader and former college roommate.  The Original SuperFan (Captain, US Army Reserve, Fort Jackson, South Carolina) will be attending the Game this week at the Big House and he brought it up.  You will never meet a truer, red blooded United States Patriot or a bigger Michigan Fan (well, with the exception perhaps of yours truly on the Michigan Fan part).  You e-mail me a topic, I feel compelled to throw my 2 cents in.

Some Michigan players have been raising their fists in a show of unity for the issues they
have with the 3rd verse of the National Anthem.  I’ve done a little research and the issue that SanFran QB C. Kapernick had, originally, was with the wording and the use of the word “slave”.  I think we all know the history surrounding the original penning of the lyrics by F.S. Key as he watched, in September of 1814, the British bomb Baltimore’s Fort Covington all night and there was no knowledge of whether or not the Fort had survived the onslaught until the smaller storm flag was lowered and the larger Stars and Stripes was raised.  For reference and to make the point in this discussion, I’ve included the SBB lyrics here (in their entirety – if you know all this, please skip to the FMQ’s take):

O. say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O. say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O. long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O. thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation.
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: '
In God is our trust.'
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave![19]

Additional Civil War period lyrics

In indignation over the start of the American Civil War, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. added a fifth stanza to the song in 1861, which appeared in songbooks of the era.

When our land is illumined with Liberty's smile,
If a foe from within strike a blow at her glory,
Down, down with the traitor that dares to defile
The flag of her stars and the page of her story!
By the millions unchained who our birthright have gained,
We will keep her bright blazon forever unstained!

And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
While the land of the free is the home of the brave

So, now that we’ve all had a chance to review the words, I’ve bolded the text in the 3rd vs. that has people upset.  That is, freed slaves and hirelings that were commissioned by the British to fight against us.  Reference:

According to the historian Robin Blackburn, the words "the hireling and slave" allude to the fact that the British attackers had many ex-slaves in their ranks, who had been promised liberty and demanded to be placed in the battle line "where they might expect to meet their former masters”.

So, I guess what has everyone’s panties in a twist is the fact that slaves fighting against their former owners and dying at their hands is somehow, today, in 2016, threatening black people of our nation.

Now I’m told that the spin is that it is protest against all injustice in the USA, not just with the song.  Sort of a BLM, latest hot button social issue all rolled into one….

The FMQ’s Take

First:  Frankly, I wasn’t even aware of the 3rd verse and I’m a pretty aware individual.  For C. Kapernick to pick up on it and to make the conclusion he made (that blacks were somehow and are somehow being oppressed and marginalized because of this verse) is, for me, a long reach.  I read and interpret it as, “You leave the US and sign up to fight for the enemy, you’re the enemy, plain and simple.  Black, Yellow, Green or white.  Doesn’t matter if you were a slave.  Don’t care.  You were free and you chose to fight with the enemy. That’s pretty Clear to Me.”

Second:  If he’s upset with the actual wording of slave, well, okay.  But it’s part of our heritage, folks.  And that’s how they were referred to in 1812.  Are we supposed to go back and change EVERY REFERENCE in every historical document of significance because of the word slave?  Don’t think so.

Third:  Why isn’t anyone picking up on the additional verse that Oliver Wendell Holmes added at the beginning of the Civil War? Excuse my interpretation here if I’m wrong, but isn’t that kind of exalting the end of slavery and the slave’s freedom by being unchained?  ISN’T IT????

So, where do I stand on the protest?  Look, I learned a long time ago that it’s nearly impossible to change anyone’s deep seated notions and beliefs about how they feel on certain issues and where they stand politically.  It has a lot to do with parents and your own personal beliefs, and I gave up trying to sway people to my point of view while I was in college.  I saw smart people look at the same facts I was looking at and draw a completely different conclusion(s).  Whatever.  I’ll have discussions, but I’m not going to waste any more of my life trying to change people that will never change.

Also, I’m pretty sure Jimmy H. is doing the right thing by letting the players do this.  What’s his alternative??  If it comes out that he told them “NOT ON MY WATCH!” he’s sending the wrong message.  SuperFan asked me to ask a simple question:  What Would Bo Do?    Well, we actually have a little something there:  Bo tried to get all the players on his teams to shave their facial hair when he was coaching and Michigan.  No Facial Hair for ANYONE!!!  QB Jim Betts told Bo that facial hair was part of their Black Heritage. 
Bo decided it wasn’t worth arguing about and that the Black Players could keep their facial hair, but White Players had to shave theirs off because they didn’t have any heritage!!!

So we have our answer!

However, I would do it this way if I was Jimmy:  Many other people, Fans and players have a lot of respect for our Country, the Flag, and the National Anthem.  The University of Michigan is actually one of the very few Universities where both teams are on the field for the National Anthem, so it’s a privilege for Michigan Football players to be out there.  Therefore, if you don’t want to stand with your hands behind your back or over your heart, fine.  But here’s the deal, as a coach, I can’t let you put a rift in this team and locker room by demonstrating on this field right before a game.  If you choose not to respect the flag and honor the National Anthem, stay in the locker room until after the song is over.  Meaning you don’t get to run out of the tunnel with the rest of the team and you will have to come out right before kick-off. 

No disruptions for the fans and the players that choose to honor nation and flag can do it on the field. 

That’s my take.  But if you want a flip-side take (Always see both sides – I’ve learned that too, in life), here’s a pretty good introspective from another person. 




WOOOHOOOO!!!!  What a Weekend for the FMQ!!!  All the larger unit bets came home and we HIT THE PARLAY!!!

In the immortal words of George Peppard as Hannibal Smith, “I love it when a plan comes together!!!”

Last week’s results and where we stand:


This week, the spreads are a little tighter and I was 4-7 overall on my picks.  Which in betting terms is not so good.  So, fewer games and only betting the “locks”. 

I know, I’m laughing in my own head because there is no such thing…..

Thursday Night Lights!!!

Connecticutt (2-2) @ Houston (4-0):  (-27.5)

This game is intriguing.  At first I was thinking UCONN as they’ve kept every game they played in close, and then I looked at who they’ve played.  And they have scored over 28 points in a game all season.  Herman looking for LSU Coaching Style points in this game, not to mention CFP points. 

Take the Cougars and lay the 27.5 for $50

Friday Night Lights!!!

Stanford (4-0) at Washington (4-0):  (-3)

Stanford is GETTING POINTS ON THE ROAD.  Yes, you read that right and it took me by surprise, also.  I believe that Washington and former Boise State HC Peterson are good, but they AIN’T STANFORD good, yet.  Husky stadium will be rocking, but McCaffery and the Cardinal will be too much.  Going with the outright upset here.

Take Stanford and the 3 points for $50


Domers (1-3) @ Syracuse (2-2):  (+10)

This game initially intrigued me, then I said no.  Then I looked at it later and said, well, maybe.  I think the Cuse is better than they looked against Louisville and I’m not entirely sure that Kelly hasn’t lost the locker room.

Take the Orange and the 10 for $25

FREEZE GOPHER (4-0) @ PSU (2-2):   (-3)

Based on what this fan saw from PSU last Saturday, the never say die attitude is GONE from Franklin’s staff.  Yes, Penn State moved the ball, a little, but they’re not good.  With a depleted Defense on PSU, Claeys may be able to play keep away by running the same play Michigan ran 8 times in a row.  Look for a low scoring TOP game with the Gophers coming out on top!  (The Minnesota Connection should love this pick)

Take the Gophers and the 3 for $25

Louisville (4-0) @ Clemson (4-0):  (+2)

Somebody thinks Louisville is pretty good.  This line opened Clemson (-3)! And has moved to Clemson (+2).  I hate, hate, HATE to follow the money here, but man, Clemson has not impressed me nearly as much as Louisville has this season.  And Petrino has already won the HARD game and destroyed the Seminoles.  I dunno if I’m crazy, but this might be a gift right here.

Take Louisville and lay the 2 for $25

Cremesicles @ Georgia (+3)

Cremesicles beat Gatorland with a huge come back win.  Georgia is hurting and was embarrassed by Ole Miss…..This is another game I couldn’t ignore. 

Take Tennessee and lay the 3 for $25

Wiscy (4-0) @ Michigan (4-0):  (-10.5)

This spread is about what I thought it would open at (actually opened at 10 and the hook got added about an hour later) and it hasn’t moved.  So, I looked at this match-up and learned the following:  Wisconsin has done okay ATS, they’ve beaten LSU (don’t really know how good they are) and with the help of a scoop and score and a botched punt by Sparty, they destroyed Sparty, 30-6.  Take out the 14 points and it’s 16-6.  On top of ALL THAT, You could explain to me till you were 1,001 years old and NEVER, EVER convince me that a good team in any way, shape or form almost loses to an 0-2 Georgia State team at HOME.   Vegas knows something…I do, too.  (I think).

Take Michigan and lay the 10.5 for $75


3 teams pays 6-1

Michigan – Houston – Louisville for $50

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