[Ed. Bumped up – I wrote this on MVictors just after I heard Bo passed away 10 years ago on November 17, 2006]
NOVEMBER 17 – What an empty feeling here at noon on the Friday before the biggest game that may ever be played against Ohio State and Michigan. I just heard on WTKA 1050 am that we lost the man that single handedly restored Michigan Football to its rightful place.

I had the pleasure to be in school for Bo’s final season. He is and was the heart and soul of Michigan football, and his legacy will reign in Ann Arbor forever.

I actually heard Bo live on WTKA this morning giving his thoughts on the game…he sounded a little rough. I remember thinking ‘Wow, Bo is getting old’. I understand he was in his car on the way to the taping. He collapsed at the TV station minutes later.

For whatever reason, coincidence I assume, perhaps it was stressful on him, he collapsed again during the taping of his TV show. This is pretty shocking, and the timing of this is really crazy, and this turned this into a really sad days for college football.

For those of you outside the football program. Yes, Bo Schembechler was still an active part of the team and the program. Look no further than this week’s Sports Illustrated:

The Football Complex..is named Schembechler Hall, where 77-year-old Bo keeps an office and occasionally pokes his head into metting rooms.

So where does this leave the game? Well, the game will be played. Michigan will play their asses off. Carr won’t give a rah-rah ‘Do it for Bo’ speech, he might remind them about the legacy that Bo leaves, and have them remember why they chose to be part of this program, and perhaps Carr will ask them to remember the time each of them had with Coach Bo. The players will understand and they will play like champions, win or lose.

A favorite memory of mine? When Bo was part of the Tigers organization and everyone was bitter at Bo and blamed him for firing legendary radio man Ernie Harwell (which Bo denied to his death that this was his doing). One of my roommates defended Bo and instead turned the attention on Harwell, of whom he called “An Old Coot”. Rogie, this was an instant classic.

Another great memory and he’ll leave this forever: When he first started at Michigan, players were quitting the team in droves, complaining about the workouts Bo put them through, Schembechler made a promise. He hung a sign in the locker room that read Those Who Stay Will be Champions.” After one game this year I saw an ex-player with a hat that simply read “We Stayed”. I love it.

Here’s an encounter I had with the legend not too long ago, inspiring this post:
Seeing Bo Schembechler

Update:  Now Mlive picked up the story, so go there for more details: From MLive

Original Post:
So, you debate whether to post a link to stuff like this. I didn’t sign up for this to get personal or embarrass individuals, and perhaps I’ve crossed that line a couple times. A friend of the site forwarded this story along. When Jim Cnockaert was let go from the Ann Arbor News in 2003 there were rumors that he was found with porn on a work computer. To me, it was scuttlebutt, nothing more, I don’t know if any specific charges were brought against him or if anything proven. He suddenly moved on and I don’t know if any formal reason was given. Apparently he lost another job in spring 2008 at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle for allegedly the same type of issue. He went on to a new gig in Virginia, but this time he’s being brought up on federal charges for the Bozeman incident:

Cnockaert, 54, was fired from the Chronicle last spring after a co-worker told supervisors that she saw Cnockaert viewing child porn on a computer in the newspaper’s advertising department. According to court records, Chronicle publisher Stephanie Pressly and managing editor Nick Ehli confronted Cnockaert, and he acknowledged that he had used the computer to view pornography.

It obviously doesn’t look too good but he’s pleaded not guilty to the charges. I don’t know Cnockaert, but as we all know the local sports writer is an important part of the culture of M athletics. Love or hate, there’s a relationship that develops there. Here’s to hoping that if there’s some truth here, Cnockaert finds some help.

Update 11/18: mgblog is posting he’s got solid sources confirming McGuffie is gone.

[Ed 11/17/08: This is blog, this is a rumor, many insist it is silly. That’s fine, but this is crap that people talk about at Fraser’s and at tailgates and I’m talking about it. I have no evidence that McGuffie is seriously considering transferring and I hope he doesn’t.]

Original post 11/16: There’s been a lot of Sam McGuffie talk about and I’ve heard Fred Jackson was puzzled by the freshman’s request to not play Saturday.

Here’s the deal–if McGuffie wants to leave that’s fine. There were a pile of backs ahead of him on the depth chart when he arrived. From what I could tell, he busted his ass and in the eyes of Jackson and RR, he did enough to earn a start in the opener despite the political fallback that could have resulted with all the other guys that had been there (and playing for Jackson BTW). What else could a guy ask for? Ninety percent of guys transfer because either they’re not satisfied with their playing time or there’s been a coaching change. These coaches obviously like the kid and demonstrated that if he works hard and performs he’ll get the ball. He was getting a fair shake from the coaching staff so I take it must be something bigger.

If he doesn’t like the school, the weather, is homesick or all three, I wish him well. Go home and play somewhere that you’re comfortable.

Harry Kipke Wheaties Card 1934
Harry Kipke, 1935 Wheaties Card – being auctioned on eBay

Well quite a few in the media are pounding the most-losses-in-129-years bongo. That’s true of course but Rich Rodriguez’s 2008 debut will not be the worst season in Michigan football history. The percentage of games in the loss column is certainly among the worst but consider that Michigan didn’t consistently play more than eight games for the first 62 years of its existence. If we’re going to toss around the 129 years number, the worst season record-wise belongs to the 1881 team that played and lost three games, scoring just four points to 28 for our opponents (Harvard, Yale and Princeton). But since there wasn’t a coach or a conference or any known photos of the 1881 team, we’ll have to look a little further down the line for a comparable loser.

The next edition of eBay Watch starts with a spicy and pricey number, a 1935 Wheaties card depicting Harry Kipke, the former Michigan punter and coach. The description doesn’t give a lot of detail, it simply says “This is a card cut off the back of a Wheaties Cereal Box” yet the seller would like a cool $149.95 for it, take it or leave it. I think that’s a stretch and you better be a smooth brother if you’re gonna convince your old lady that $150 for the back of a cereal box is a good play.

Harry Kipke’s 1934 outfit is probably the definitive low point for Michigan football [see my post ‘The Fall of 1934‘ for more on this season]. The Gerald Ford-led team went 1-7, scored just twenty one points while being shut out in five of the games. Kipke’s 1936 team also went 1-7 but played just five league games and scored a few more points than Ford and company.

What’s remarkable about the 1934 skid was that Kipke’s teams had lost just a single game in the previous four seasons, winning two national championships and four conference titles in the stretch.

Normally I’d go on about the season but I’ve already pounded this period into the keyboard on several occasions, so please dig in if you’d like more:
1930 Michigan Football Jersey
1933 and the Dickinson Formula
Norm Daniels’ 1931 Jersey
On the Meyer Morton Award
The 1930 Schedule Bot!
The Fall of 1934

One topic I haven’t dug into is Kipke the player and I will get into this in the future. He was a fine halfback but a phenomenal punter. His punting prowess placed him on the 1922 All American team, and legendary Walter Camp called Kipke the greatest punter in football history.

Click Here

Update 9/11/2011 – The Big Man was on the field for the epic 2011 Notre Dame game – more here.
Steve Everitt, Michigan football
Former Michigan offensive lineman Steve Everitt (89-92) was one of the honorary captains at today’s game. A few quick stories:
* After a bowl game (I believe the 1993 Rose Bowl in Everitt’s senior year), ABC was doing a post game interview when a deep voice bellowed, “EVERITT RULES!”
* He lost his helmet and had his jaw shattered in the middle of the 1991 Notre Dame game. Doctors put three plates to stabilize his jaw and they gave him a special chinstrap. He returned to play 20 days later. One of the screws they used to insert the plates came loose and has yet to be found.
* During a trip to the Rose Bowl, Everitt climbed that hill that has the Hollywood sign. Someone got a pic of Everitt dangling from one of the letter Ls.
* While playing center he broke his snapping hand. He learned how to snap with the other hand and didn’t miss any action.
* The sideline Wok microphones were aimed at the offensive line one game, I don’t know the circumstances. The team is watching the game film. Everitt pancakes a guy from the other team, gets right in his grill and asks him over and over, “YOU LIKE THAT, HUH? YOU LIKE THAT, HUH?”.

15. November 2008 · Comments Off on Broncs Cheer · Categories: Archive 2006, Archive 2008, Coach Berenson, Hockey · Tags: , ,

Western Michigan vs. Wolverines Hockey at Yostphoto: mgoblue.com

I went to Yost to see a rout last night, instead I witnessed a Western Michigan squad gut out a tough 2-1 win. For the biggest run down of notes and analysis you’ll get anywhere, go to The Blog That Yost Built.

My takes:
* Western celebrated like they just beat the Russians after the game, piling on their goalie Gill and one guy scrambling to grab the puck for a keepsake. I think I saw one guy try to cut the net off the goal (can they do that?) and another dude trying to jam the Score-O board into the team bus. Guys, great win but act like you’ve been there before.
* We saw the 2008 debut of the women’s synchronized skating team at Yost, giving a solid performance with only a couple slips. One gal went down pretty hard at the end, tried to get up only to be denied her footing. She finally made it back to the group to the relief of the crowd but her frown revealed she was hurt or pissed or maybe both. I think they should spice up the show by skating in a costume-wearing villain character, perhaps a guy in a wolf getup or a sweatervest and have the girls somehow subdue the rapscallion.
* The Michigan players fought hard, out shooting Western 34-17, but I think they can find another gear and I suspect they’re going to see this guy today at practice:

Continuing the interview with former News columnist Jim Carty. In Part I we talked about his decision to leave the News, on his new blog, the day Lloyd Carr canceled his subscription and his feud with Bill ‘Huge’ Simonson.

In Part II we talk about some of his critics and its affect on his personal life, on his access to the team at the Capital One Bowl, on the accusations the News misled some student athletes during the athademics series, and finally, on dubbing Michigan athletic director Bill Martin ‘Barnacle Bill’ during the coaching search:

MVictors: How big of a concern was some of the criticism of your work at the News reaching your family?
Jim Carty: My kids I think are too little at this point, my oldest daughter is eight and I don’t think she’s ever been aware of the controversy I create. She just sort of thinks it’s cool that I worked for the newspaper and didn’t understand why I would go back to school.

At one point during the Bernard Robinson thing, when I was writing that he should be kicked out of U-M, there were some phone calls to the house that really freaked my wife out. And in general, during the backlash from the project [academic series] I think that was very disturbing to my wife. But you know, those are minimal things. I don’t want make it seem like in any way, shape or form being a columnist for the Ann Arbor News was a negative experience for my family. It was overwhelmingly positive.

MVictors: Has “cartyhater” extended the virtual olive branch like Huge?
Jim Carty: I wonder what he’s doing these days? He did not. But one of my really crazed stalkers sent me an email. This is guy that the people I worked with were really afraid was dangerous. He sent me an email talking about how much he was going to miss me, and our “relationship”.

MVictors: Oh boy.
Jim Carty: And yet, he almost immediately began writing to Pete Bigelow and John Heuser, so I guess I really wasn’t that much of a part of his life after all.

One of the most surprising things about my exit for the News is that I got more than 300 emails for readers, and to me at least, they were stunningly positive. Probably 15 or 20 to 1 positive. Many, many people praised the academics project, which I never would have expected. A lot of them do follow the blog, some send email from time to time. What’s interesting though, there were people who were readers who emailed me if not on a daily basis, a couple times a week who have completely dropped out. They were in it for the U-M football, I was just a conduit to that.

MVictors: The scuttlebutt on the message boards insisted they knew you were frozen out of the football program by Lloyd Carr, I heard you laugh off the suggestion on WTKA.
Jim Carty: It’s a fascinating thing because I had one emailer just relentlessly pound me on the idea that John and I were frozen out of the end Lloyd’s era, and he knew it because someone from one of the Detroit papers had told him. He wouldn’t give it up. It’s very odd, how do you convince someone of a different reality?

I will say this. There seems to be this idea the John and I were not allowed in the post game locker room at Lloyd’s last game. Maybe that’s true. All I can say is we didn’t ask. [laughs]. I went to the post-game press conference, John talked to players as they were boarding the bus. There were two reporters I think, Larry Lage, who set it up in advance who did a very ‘inside the Wolverines’ thing the whole bowl trip, and I think Mark was in the locker room after the game. We just hadn’t asked. If I had asked, would we be allowed in? I don’t know. Nobody told me I couldn’t.

MVictors: So it’s not like there were 50 media members in the locker room?
Jim Carty: No. I can say this. Probably two days after that last game I got a call from someone really close to Lloyd saying they were calling for Lloyd to tell me how much he really appreciated my last column and something else we did that month that was rather private, that I’d rather not say. But I haven’t seen Lloyd seen the academics project ran, and if he’s not really pissed off at me I’d be surprised.

If he is pissed off at me, I’m not happy about that. He’s think he’s a good man, he’s been very good to me, very good to me, much better than people realize. I certainly don’t want him mad at me, but I understand if he is.

MVictors: You know Lloyd Carr pretty well, you know his personality.
Jim Carty: I don’t know. I think reporters often overstate how well they know the public figures they cover.

MVictors: What do you think he’d say about Jim Carty right now?
Jim Carty: I don’t know. That’s a really good question. I think he’d say that he really enjoyed a lot of my work but probably he thinks I was overaggressive, maybe even irresponsible. But that’s a guess on my part.

MVictors: Dave Shand’s firing from WTKA (allegedly at Bill Martin’s request) got about as much attention in the News as a Detroit Shock WBNA title. Why hasn’t the News really picked up the story, is it because Bill Martin’s involved?

Jim Carty: I don’t think it’s to protect Bill, since as far as I know he’s not speaking to the paper [laughs]. On the whole, I think if you looked back at how the News has treated news out of TKA, it would probably be in line with that. When Dennis [Fithian] quit we ran a paragraph, when Jeff Defran quit we ran a paragraph. [Note: Fithian and Defran were actually fired from the station, Jim knew this, just misspoke.]

MVictors: Shand didn’t quit.
Jim Carty: That’s true, but we also have run full articles on the lawsuit. We have. [I gesture that the Shand articles were eency, weency]. Yeah, but I think if it gets to a trial I think it’ll get significant coverage. And if they don’t cover it, I’ll go down and cover it on my blog.

MVictors: After the academics/athletics series was released Chad Kolarik claimed he was misled by John Heuser in his interview for the series. Sam Webb peppered you on the radio and you defended the News be didn’t give many specifics. Now that you’re gone from News, anything you want to say to set the record straight on that?
Jim Carty: I should say that it wasn’t just Chad. I believe Greg Mathews also claimed he was misquoted. I believe they both claimed they were led to believe it was somewhat of a more positive story about Professor Hagen.

When I was working for the News, I was in a position where I was limited by policies to the News. Quite frankly, there were times I would go on ‘TKA and people at the paper would not be happy. What I was saying in relation to that was being very, very closely monitored.

If I had a regret about the project, I think the paper’s management did an extremely poor job of defending John Heuser who did both those interviews. I think they acted very corporately. I think that they let John hang out there in an unfortunate way. It would have been extremely easy to run the run the transcripts of those interviews, and prove that no such thing like that ever occurred. No such thing like that ever occurred.

I will say this. In 20 years of doing this, I have never worked with a more ethical person than John Heuser. He is a former Naval officer. A tremendous family man. A University of Michigan journalism graduate, when they had a journalism program. I would bet my life on it that he didn’t mislead those kids even if I didn’t hear the transcripts. But since I did, I know it was mishandled. I guess the bottom line on this is that John right now has more ongoing relationships with former Michigan players than any reporter that I’ve ever seen cover Michigan. It’s because they know he’s a really good guy and he’s always treated them fairly.

There are times you are forced to be things in a business sense that you wish you didn’t have to do. Would I like my own kid to be put in the position that those kids were in? No. Would I like my kid to have their own transcript run in the News the way Perry Dorrestein’s did? No. But yet I would defend those decisions as the right thing to do for the next kid. Whatever we did or didn’t do with Perry Dorrestein’s transcript was much less damaging than what Michigan’s done with him. To basically just put him in a clown class to keep him eligible. I don’t understand why no one took a step back and said, ‘Why wouldn’t it have been better with this kid with a 1.8 to just sit that year out and work on his grades?’. Long term that would have been the best decision for the kid. Not doing that is ultimately going to be more damaging to him than what the News did. [laughs] But that’s a self serving position, I recognize that.

MVictors: You called Bill Martin ‘Barnacle Bill’ during the whole Les Miles thing during the coaching search. Martin doesn’t come off as a man that likes to be teased, perhaps especially in the newspaper. Did he ever confront you?
Jim Carty: I’ll say this–Bill throughout my tenure was very, very good to me. I think Bill always recognized that we could agree to disagree about certain things. But the academic series snapped it. There’s no doubt about that–it snapped it. After the coaching search at Rich’s introductory press conference in front of a couple other reporters he made a point of saying, “You know, you really didn’t understand some things and some day I’ll sit down to explain it to you.” And I said, “Why don’t you explain it right here?” And he said, “I’m not going to embarrass you in front of your colleagues.” I said, “That’s fine! Go ahead.”

That fact is that there is no explanation. He was on the boat when he shouldn’t have been on the boat and he intentionally didn’t return Les Miles’ call because he didn’t want to hire him.

MVictors: I think you crossed the line there, when called him ‘Barnacle Bill’. It struck me as disrespectful. Do you regret that?
Jim Carty: Not at all. I guess I’d say this–I respect your position. I like disagreement. I think disagreement is what drives the conversations that ultimately move us forward. I love it when somebody says what you just said, rather than when someone thinks what you just thought, and doesn’t say it. I will leave here thinking about what you just said and reexamining that position, maybe next time I’ll do something different, maybe I won’t, but at least I thought about it. That was one of the things about the job, disagreement is good, ultimately.

MVictors: A lot of people see Drew Sharp as a guy who simply looks for the controversial topic, spins it up, whether he believes it or not, just to get some attention. I think there’s many out there that lump you into that Drew Sharp bucket.
Jim Carty: Probably the most fascinating swing in my career was from the Barnacle Bill column to about a month later when I said in back-to-back columns that Rich was wrong in his positioning and needed to pay the buy-out. And if you had looked at my email the day of the Barnacle Bill column, it was hundreds of emails, it was like “You get him Jim, this is fantastic!”. Then a month later, the same exact people were like, “You’re the devil!”.

It’s part of the job. When I was writing columns about Sue Guevara’s mom dying of cancer, and Marlin Jackson growing up in poverty in Sharon, Pennsylvania and how far he had come. I don’t want to look like I’m blowing my horn but when I’m writing those columns, nobody felt like I was Drew Sharp. When I’m writing negative columns there’s an obvious correlation. I thought I was portrayed much more negatively that those final emails reflected, I was happy about that, maybe that’s just because people that like me wrote. I would be surprised if someone who read everyday, if that’s how they felt.

Coming up in Part III: We’ll talk about radio, good and evil in the world of sports journalism, bloggers and their place in the media and wrap up with a little Bruce Springsteen.

24. October 2008 · Comments Off on Rx for Pre-game: Larry Foote on WDFN (audio) · Categories: Archive 2006, Archive 2008, Detroit Lions, M in NFL, Michigan State

First off, here’s Larry Foote on WDFN back in July with his special message for Michigan State: “Go Blue and Michigan State, y’all always gonna suck.”

Here’s the unabashed Rich Rodriguez backer and current Steeler on the radio today with Stoney and Wojo:

Foote admits he like Tom Izzo and notes that they have some fine women up there in East Lansing. Hilarious moment, listen to him at the end of the interview sing the company line for the NFL.

Someone please. I didn’t hear it, but I found a bunch of folks searching and finding this site for “Lou Holtz Michigan comment” and investigated.

As posted on Deadspin, apparently Lou Holtz linked the Rodriguez regime to….Hilter:

The context of the conversation was about Rich Rodriguez’s not-so-great start as the University of Michigan’s head coach and Holtz chose this phrase as part of his analysis.: “Ya know, Hitler was a great leader too.”


The most disturbing thing here is the stupidity and ignorance of Holtz. If Holtz wanted to make a point that you need more than leadership to succeed, certainly he could have found a better parallel in the experience of another coach (perhaps one of the thousands that have been fired and then found success elsewhere). Second, how out of touch do you have to be to think that you can draw references to Hitler on ESPN and that’s somehow ok?

Meanwhile, I’ve noticed that several Texas sites are on the Holtz warpath, as traffic from sites that bleed burnt orange have been peppering my audio of Jason Peter’s interview on Jim Rome, where Peter explained an alleged situation that pretty much makes Holtz a complete putz.