Tuesday, May 31, 2011

OSU coaching futures

In case you hadn't heard, Jim Tressel resigned yesterday. They've promoted Luke Fickell to interim head-coach (he was already slated to coach the 5 games for which Tressel was suspended). But I don't think anyone expects Fickell to be the long term coach.

Yahoo Sports, among others, looked at the potential replacements for Tressel. After watching the pains Michigan has gone through TWICE in the past 4 years looking for a head coach, I think OSU landing Urban Meyer would be a huge blow to Michigan's esteem.

In 2007, Michigan was turned down by Greg Schiano and depending on who you believe Les Miles. They "settled" for their third(?) choice - Rich Rodriguez. For numerous reasons (see mgoblog circa 2008-2011) this did not work. The next search appeared to have Jim Harbaugh as the primary target. I'm not convinced that David Brandon ever even talked to him or Les Miles and we ended up with Brady Hoke as the head coach. Prior to the debacle in Jacksonville against Mississippi State, I said I would prefer keeping RR to hiring Brady Hoke. Afterwards, I agreed with jiMpossible, that RR had to go.

For Michigan with no sanctions hanging over them to end up with a coach with a 47-50 record at schools like Ball State and San Diego State and OSU to end up with Urban Meyer (104-23) at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida (+ 2 MNCs) while their coaching search goes on during what we can only assume will be MAJOR sanctions, would be ridiculous.

I hope Brady Hoke is the most successful coach in Michigan football history, but his getting the HC job with Meyer in Columbus, really shows how much the Michigan name has lost luster in the past 10 years...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Desmond Howard OMG!!!

Former Michigan Heisman trophy winner Desmond Howard spoke at the Black Coaches and Administrators Convention last night. His main topic was the feeling of "Entitlement" he thinks current players have. He does not like their recruitment being treated as a major news story - like an individual player could make or break a program.

He used Denard Robinson in the coaching turnover as an example.

"I'll give you a perfect example: Michigan fires coach Rich Rodriguez. All the noise in Ann Arbor is, 'Is Denard Robinson going to stay or leave?' I'm like, 'Hey, if the kid wants to go, don't let the door hit you on the way out.' You looked fantastic for five games against nobody. That's what you did. I'm not going to deny his talents, but you ain't won nothing in Ann Arbor, son! Not so much we need to worry about if you're going to be here next year or not."
This has caused quite a stir on WTKA, AnnArbor.com and MGoBlog.

Callers and commentors were not happy with Desmond. Questioning if he was jealous of Denard, wondering why he never says anything nice about Michigan. I felt like it was almost tipping towards the way Buckeye fans have forced Kirk Herbstreit to move away from Columbus because of all the complaints and threats he was receiving.

Is anything in that quote not factual? I don't think so. I've seen DRob do some amazing things but his performance was not up the same level against better quality teams.

Is Desmond being somewhat hypocritical - after all he left Michigan early? Michael Taylor e-mailed the show hinting at that in his message. At least he could argue he had WON big games at Michigan - he had won the ultimate individual award.

Ira on WTKA was mostly upset that Desmond had chosen Denard as his example and not Justin Boren. Later Sam defended Denard and to some degree any player who would contemplate leaving in a coaching situation. I wonder if Boren falls under that umbrella? I would guess not...

Here's to hoping that DRob's decision to stay was the right one for him, but more importantly the right one for Michigan.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Throwback jerseys

Are you kidding me? Could the addidas logo be any bigger? At least there isn't an Arby's logo like the Big Chill jerseys...

Friday, May 13, 2011

OT: Sharing sidewalks

I walk to work nearly everyday, and over the course of 1.6 miles each way times over 200 days a year I occasionally come across other walkers/runners etc. It never ceases to amaze me that people when walking/running in pairs do not move into single file to allow those of us going in the other direction room to pass. I would say >50% of the time I end up walking on the grass to avoid contact.

This morning two women were walking dogs (one each). These were rather large dogs. They had plenty of time to see me coming, but they did not move into single file. I was pinned in by a fence and could not take my usual tact. As I passed - the one dog actually lunged at me and nipped at my shorts. In my frustration I actually yelled back at them (as they kept on walking) to "learn to share the sidewalk" among other things.

When Hoot and I were vacationing in Rome, we made fun of the Italians being so intent on their conversations while walking that they never moved for walkers in the other direction. Turns out American are worse, they don't move and have no reason.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

10 year anniversary of Crappy Softball

On May 3, 2001 - the miracle known as Crappy Softball first took the field. Expecting to lose every game, we somehow managed to split the opening double-header. Other than that (and 2 forfeits) we did not win another game in the spring season.

But winning games was never the primary goal. My initial recruitment e-mail specifically asked for people who never played the game. I implied getting to fly-balls before they stopped rolling would be considered a victory.

We played 8 seasons (2 seasons a year for 4 years). Pfizer got very little work from me on Fridays over the course of those seasons. I spent the majority of my day-after-the-game updating the stats and record book for the Fighting Crappies.

For our 100th game we even created a commemorative t-shirt containing the name of every player who had ever taken the field for the squad.

Memorable highlights include:

Chris Joseph complaining to Hoot about the "dead frog" in the outfield.

Joe Moonsammy and his cricket throws from the outfield (he never bent his elbow...)

The batter order was determined by order of arrival at the field.

Somehow we managed to pull of a triple play - on a ground ball not some freak line drive. I successfully let the first two batters get on base then the 3rd batter hit a two hopper right to Joe Welch at short. he tagged the lead runner, stepped on the bag and threw for first to complete the miracle.

Hoot catching her first fly ball (we got the batter to sign the ball)

Missing my first games due to taking a practice throw inches from my temple. Hoot, driving a stick shift for one of the first times, managed to get me to the ER before I lost too much blood... I think Scott Ciarkowski lead us to a split in the games.

We had 2 players get called out for being out of the batters box - there was no lines ever painted. I think I almost got ejected for complaining about the second call. I kept asking the ump to show me where my batter stood and he couldn't/wouldn't...

We almost got no-hit in a game. The ump knew it was a no-hitter because he even called Chris Ridella out for bunting. He didn't completely follow through, but the ball went to the outfield on the fly, how is that a bunt? We eventually got a hit - out of spite!

Thorsten injured the umpire's ankle on a swing follow through. Somehow we managed to get a co-workers husband as the ump for the rest of the game. I think we won when on a called 3rd strike...

Stimpy runs the bases night!

I'm sure other players would add different memories (and I welcome them to do so in the comments)

We finally ran out of steam, it got too difficult to make sure we had enough players to not forfeit (an inherent problem with a team built on not caring). And I felt the most important thing was that we never forfeit a game.

I'd happily take the field again, I miss playing - I don't miss running the team...