[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

13. October 2009 · Comments Off on The Boot & The Blame · Categories: Archive 2009, Media

The media are now kicked out of practice for the rest of the season, maybe forever, thanks to someone who spilled the beans on what they saw during the 30 minute glimpse of practice afforded to the writers on Wednesdays.  According to mgoblog:

You know, I saw this Daily article detailing this new pitch play Michigan was working on, and I thought "that’s really cool, I wonder why more practice articles aren’t this specific":

In a rotation that was repeated about four times, a quarterback and running back lined up to practice a simple outside pitch play. Though the play was basic, the pairings were different than usual.

And then Michigan ran that pitch play to pretty good effect against Iowa and then Rodriguez closed practice for the rest of the year. Oh, that’s why.

Brian also mentioned that “blogs” might have been mentioned, but don’t look at me, Homes. 

Unless…Rodriguez got wind of these little plays I showed diagramed on this site last week:

plays

If so, 1,000 apologies to RR, Angelique, Wojo and the rest.

Related:
Angelique talked about her understanding of the rules of what you can report from practices in the wake of the boot on WTKA radio.

The Free Press is now saying that word that Greg Paulus visited Michigan yesterday and is considering playing for Rich Rodriguez is a April Fools joke?  On April 14th?  Really funny.

The original Freep headline read:  ‘Ex-Duke Point Guard Paulus may play football at Michigan’.   The new headline reads: ‘Greg Paulus’ Michigan football workout reported as April Fool’s Joke’ and includes this:

Editor’s note: This story was originally published by Fox Sports as an April Fool’s joke. We apologize for the mistake.

Hilarious.  What’s odd about the Free Press retraction is that there’s no retraction on the FoxSports.com piece that broke the story, at least not yet.   This rumor spread like wild fire, boiling all the way up to Dan Patrick’s tired radio show prompting a poll question:

image

What a circus, man.

Update (a few minutes after posting this): My nerves, now the Free Press is retracting the retraction, going back to the original heading with the following note:

Editor’s note: We have talked with an editor at Foxsports.com and have learned this story is true as reported. Again, apologize for the mistake.

Update #2, around 12:30pm: Freep has now pulled the retraction editorial note with this:

Editor’s note: Story updated at 11:31 a.m.

Already busted, homes.

Related: Carty weighs in on this, including the eligibility rules. One more take on this, I suggest we wait to get some more details on why he was at practice before we jump to the conclusion he wants to play for Rodriguez, and Rich Rod wants him on the roster. He may have been in town to get some advice, or to hit Zingerman’s, or to hang out with Peedi and Fresh.

Related #2:   Paulus on Dan Patrick 4/16.

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Can someone clear up the pronunciation of Tate Forcier’s last name?  I thought fans and media settled nicely on the Frenchish “FOUR-see-eh”, which is backed up by the pronunciation guide listing for his brother Jason in the 2006 Weekly Releases:

forcier

But then I heard the podcast of former AA News columnist Jim Carty (who probably takes such things seriously and must have bumped into brother Jason on his beat) who on WTKA Monday referred to Tate as “FOUR-sear”.   Ben Holden did the same today WTKA’s Big Show.

Then I stumbled onto this on mgoblog, where Brian’s uber-assistant Tom VanHaaren recently was asked this question in the comments of a blog post.   Clear as mud:

User ‘MH20’: ..BTW, did you ask Tate off the record how his last name is pronounced?

TomVH:  Yea I actually did, and it didn’t settle anything. He said it’s either For-see-ay, or For-see-er. He said either pronunciation is fine. I think he says For-see-er though, FWIW. That’s how I’ve been pronouncing it when I read it to myself on here.

Update 2/18:  Sean at MSC pointed out this column from Angelique, which starts this way:

Tate Forcier doesn’t really care how you say his last name.  Tate Four-See-A. Tate Four-Sear.

So which is it?

“I don’t care,” he said, smiling.

But how does he introduce himself?

“I say Tate Four-See-A — it’s easier,” he said, laughing. “Four-Sear, it’s like, I don’t know, I don’t feel it.”

I’m going to call him “FEISMAN”.

John Heuser’s piece in the Ann Arbor News, discussing this week that Rich Rodriguez’s compensation tallied up to $6.6M, was thoroughly blasted in the blogosphere– see Brian Cook’s posts on mgoblog and AOL, and the gang at Wolverine Liberation Army.

Heuser was defended by his former colleague Jim Carty on his blog. JC called it a “meaty little story” and after acknowledging Brian Cook’s greatness took a few shots across the virtual bow.

If you read this site regularly you might recall my October 2008 interview with Dave Shand where he reveals the scuttlebutt that Michigan was going to pay the taxes on the buy-out:

Shand:…So it cost Michigan, they say $2.5 million. But I’ve heard, through back sources, that Rich Rodriguez did not realize that the $2.5 million that Michigan is paying on his behalf is taxable, so Rodriquez is going to have to pay taxes on that. Plus there’s the million and a half out of his own pocket.

That was indeed scuttlebutt at the time, but then a couple weeks later Rodriguez’s contract was FOIA’d and the terms of the buy-out were revealed. Those terms included the language on the tax neutralization [from my post on October 27, 2008]:

Thanks to the contract being available via FOIA, we know that this is true (here’s the full contract), see section 3.02, part (g):

So I, maybe you, knew this was going down. Carty suggests in the comments thread on his site that this October post was news and deserved some credit, but that the specifics revealed by Heuser make this news. Says JC:

See the difference – $4.1 million versus the initially reported $2.5 million?
That’s reporting. New reporting. Actual numbers and stuff. Journalism.

That’s fair, I agree the numbers and the terms matter and are interesting, but I also see the point of a few commenters on mlive and Paper Tiger who basically say that any dope with a calculator could have figured this out. Maybe so.

I was able to find a dope with a calculator and it confirms that last little detail that Shand mentioned when discussing the taxes, (“Plus there’s the million and a half out of his own pocket”). I’m pretty confident Michigan paid the taxes on the entire $4M, not just U-M’s portion. Heuser didn’t break out the detail of how we arrived at $6.6M and I think Carty may have missed this, he writes: “Now – thanks to the FOIA – we see that Michigan also stepped up and paid the taxes on the $2.5 million, which brings the total compensation number to $4.1 million.”

To the dope, calculated assuming Michigan compensated Rich Rod for the tax burden of the full $4M:

This assumes the highest tax brackets of course, and it assumes he had to pay for 12 months in West Virginia. If he claimed one month residence in Michigan these figures would be reduced to $6.65 or so. I don’t if the final figure reported was exactly $6.60M, but it makes sense that Michigan would cover Rodriguez at something under that full tax rate after factoring for various deductions.

Update: Yes, I hath understanding and I reckon the number of the beast, for it is a human number, and its number is six hundred and sixty-six (not six million six hundred and sixty thousand).

Related:
Jim Carty Interview – Three Parts
Dave Shand Interview – Four Parts


What a shocker!  Thanks to BiggieMunn for the scoop – word is out that WDFN 1130AM, the leading voice for Detroit sports radio, cut most or all of its local talent including the prolific drive-time standby, the Stoney and Wojo Show.

Obviously I’m stunned.   The show, which features Mike “Stoney” Stone and Detroit News columnist Bob “Wojo” Wojnowski, had been the go-to show in Detroit since its debut in April 1995.   Wojo’s paper got the scoop and quotes from the hosts:

“It’s a really sad day because I loved working at that station,” Wojnowski said. “And I know a lot of Detroiters have loved listening to the station for the past 14-15 years. It’s just another sign of the times, a very sad sign.”

Said Stone: “I will miss it terribly. People tell me the show meant something to (them). That’s amazing. Hopefully, somebody will want to pick up ‘Stoney and Wojo.”

This site has (had?) a relationship with WDFN on its Michigan football page and I’ve swapped emails with WDFN program director Rona Danziger in the past.   I sent her an email tonight hoping for some reaction.

Included in the cuts was solid mid-morning man Sean Baligian (of ‘It is what it is‘) who apparently didn’t learn of the cuts until after this morning’s broadcast.  Said Baligian, “..we’ve all been hearing rumors for a while that something big was going to happen. I didn’t think it would be like this, but I’m not surprised. Radio is a tough business, and we know things can end quickly.”

Update:  If all the local staff is let go, that would include relatively new morning host and Michigan basketball radio play-by-play voice Matt Shepard, who’s wonderfully titled morning show ‘Shep, Shave and Shower‘.

So what happens from here?  It’s not clear. WDFN’s website says “We’re remodeling..”.

A quick edition of eBay Watch features an auction of a mildly stained ticket from the Michigan-Ohio State game held in Ann Arbor on October 22, 1927. It has a little more significance than just an old piece of memorabilia from college football’s greatest rivalry. This game marked the official dedication of Michigan Stadium. Here’s the stub:


1927 Michigan Ohio State

Bennie Oosterbann captained the crew that roared to a 21-0 victory to officially break in the giant stadium, which of course is currently going through some major changes. We’re fortunate to have few excellent sources of information on this game.

First, the Bentley Library has an outstanding summary of the dedication. Just a taste:

General admission tickets sold for three dollars. The 11,114 student ticket purchaser had to pay a fifty cent surcharge on the normal $2.50 price for this and the other “big games” of the year. The box seats in the lower rows went for four and five dollars. More than 17,000 tickets were sold at Ohio State.

Nearly one thousand Boy Scouts, from all over Michigan, plus a few from Toledo, Cleveland and Columbus, were on hand to usher the ticket holders to their seats. A crowd of nearly 85, 000 was on hand as the dedication ceremonies got under way at 2:00.

Next, the Bentley site republished the Detroit Free Press article on the big day, click here to read the whole thing. An excerpt:

This day, however, the new castle of athletics was formally anointed. While one cheering block pelted the other with yells and massed bands played Michigan hymns, the stadium was properly and thoroughly dedicated.

It was properly dedicated because there were no speeches for one thing. No gentleman mustered sufficient brashness to think he could successfully pit his voice against the roar of the thousands Perhaps it was brashness that was lacking at that, it may have been the understanding that whatever might have been said with mighty word or tidy emphasis would be so much wasted breath.

Finally, the great WolverineHistorian pulled together this beauty of a video of Dedication Day and posted it on YouTube for all to enjoy:

Here’s the full auction for the 1927 ticket stub, there’s been quite a few bids already.

Related:

Thanks to Craig Ross (the author of The Obscene Diaries of a Michigan fan) for pointing this out. Earlier this week Colin Cowherd was talking about the necessary separation of communication between fans and folks like owners and the media. The ESPN radio host discussed his own experience and loosely mentions the incident years back between he and the now defunct M Zone. He tells his listeners, “that guy, at the M Zone, is the reason you guys can send me emails all day and I can’t send them back.”

Here’s a snippet of the audio (from ESPN’s free podcasts):

[display_podcast]

.
Of course he didn’t really explain the story or why he was peppered with email. Cowherd says, “I don’t even know what happened”. Right. His show completely ripped off a post on M Zone back in 2006 and provided no attribution for the source. M Zone and Cowherd eventually smoked peace pipe after Cowherd took responsibility for borrowing the content.

Maybe the feud’s back on!?

I’ll stop there. This may be old news but I got a kick out of it. I’m going to shoot an email over to the excellent offspring of the M Zone to see if they want to break this down and get some takes from those directly involved.

Update 1/18: Andy at Spawn of MZone is on it and posted a reaction here.

Just posted on YouTube, a quick interview with Ohio State center B.J. Mullens this week on the upcoming Michigan game.

Interviewer: Let’s be honest, give me your thoughts on the University of Michigan.
Mullens: They suck. I mean come on. We’re going to go up there and beat them pretty bad. That’s a rival and that’s how it’s going to be.
Interviewer: Do you give a damn for that whole state?
Mullens: No. Not at all.

So that’s fine, I don’t have an issue with a Buckeye trashing Michigan or vice versa, even dropping a “sucks” here and there. But the final question inadvertently produces a great moment in the history of this rivalry:

Interviewer: In as many S.A.T vocabulary words as you can, your opinion of Michigan.
Mullens: Boo.

Isn’t that grounds for an NCAA investigation? A cow could have scored as well on that question. I love it because you know the interviewer is a Buckeye grad, yet he inadvertently delivers a perfect Stuttering John question.



Update 1/17: Good question from Biggie Munn, ‘what in the hell sport did this raj cat play that he did not lose to um in 4 years?‘. Midway through the interview Raj offers that he “went four years and never lost to Michigan”.

Best I can tell Raj was in the homecoming class and his bio reveals he’s a super huge Buckeye fan. Beyond that, I doubt Raj was raining down threes or delivering touchdown dances on old Mich during his time in Columbus.

As for BJM, I consulted some folks at the Princeton Review and they confirmed that the S.A.T would give zero points for that answer. Had the question been, “What do ghosts say?” or “Who’s your favorite golfer?” or, “Name a key character in To Kill a Mockingbird?” or even, “What’s a common urban term for one’s ladyfriend?”, BJ would have been offered some credit.