Had a very nice time at the Michigan football bust. Wasn’t sure what to expect, but it moved quickly, the food was excellent and I enjoyed the speeches. It’s a well run event all told.
- The media got to ask a few questions of RR before the event. He mentioned that Vincent Smith will be out through the spring with a torn ACL from the Ohio State game, and that he’s chatted with Donovan Warren about the NFL draft. Later, I believe it was Mark Snyder of the Freep, got a quote from Warren saying he was “leaning heavily” toward the NFL.
- Brandon Graham will graduate in May and will work out in Ann Arbor with Barwis. Said something like, ‘my agent will bring everything to me.’
- Saw B Minor walking to the autograph room. Looks like his shoulder is still bugging him.
Notes from the Event:
- Attendance-wise, it was my first time at a Bust, but I thought it was pretty solid crowd. John Borton of The Wolverine told me he’s seen much larger crowds but said it was still a good crowd (especially given the season).
- Derrick Walker was the MC for the event and did a fine job, primarily focused on keeping things moving which is appreciated.
- D-Walk brought up the first game of 1989, the Rocket Ismail game of course. After the first Rocket touchdown Bo was asked if they were going to kick it to him again. Bo said, "kick it to the son of a bitch again.” Crowd loved it. I hated it
- Most of the seniors thanked God first in their words.
- Of the former players, it definitely looks like Mark Messner and Michael Taylor could still play a few downs.
From the speeches:
- While everyone in the chat room was begging David Cone to drop rhymes, he gave a straight-laced, very well delivered touching speech. Rapping jokes aside, my man D Cone has skills as an orator.
- Olesnavage had a great speech, funny, self-deprecating, etc. A great lead in for Mesko who came later on.
- Kevin Grady said it felt like his four years have been eight, gave the shortest speech of the night. Basically hi, thanks and good bye.
- Ohene Opong-Owusu got up there and cracked up the crowd by basically dropping his resume on the podium, looking for a job (econ major).
- Brandon Minor thanked Barwis for the “Advanced Navy Seal training.”
- Moosman won the Ufer spirit award, delivered a fine thank you and speech.
- Stevie Brown won the Zatkoff Linebacker award, and I think was the only guy to thank coach Greg Robinson.
- Zoltan Mesko probably had the best speech of the night. A solid joke up front then broke down thanking his parents, who fled Romania to get to the US, for all the opportunity they gave him. He joked that he’s going to write a book 40 years from now. Thinking back to Romania, he never thought he’d get a scholarship for “kicking a ball in the air.”
- Graham got a standing ovation when he approached the podium. He gave a great speech, was one of the few with a message for the players that will return: "I’ll be watching every game [next year]" and he asked them to "go get that national championship.”
- In a bit of a comical moment, the U of M Detroit Club did a nice thing by awarding three men from ‘55, ‘65 and ‘66 their long deserved but never delivered M rings, but….they didn’t have the rings on hand. Umm. Guess they needed a little more runway.
- Rodriguez was the last to speak and demonstrated that he’s an excellent speaker. He set the right tone, didn’t shy away for the struggles and what everyone wants: wins. He started off with a shot at the media and shared, "I am not a candidate for the Notre Dame job.” He got a bit choked up at times. A few notable paraphrased quotes (I don’t have all the audio):
- "I didn’t cross the WV border and start taking stupid pills"
- "There isn’t a team in America that outworked this football team"
- "there is no sense of entitlement from these seniors. They earned that M ring. I’m proud of that."
- "that’s the start of us building championships"
- "They are working and behaving like Champions"
- "The championships will come. "
- "We’re going to have these busts celebrating Rose Bowl championships, and national championships".