photo via Macaroni Tony


photo Paul Sancya (AP) via ESPN

So from the recent comments of Mary Sue Coleman and Dave Brandon, rest assured that the ‘92 and ‘93 banners will remain on the shelf at the BHL evermore. But DB opened the door to honoring the controversial quintet in some other way:

Are there (different) banners we could put up, though? Yeah, there are," he says. "I’d love to celebrate the Fab Five. Are there conditions on which that has to happen? For sure. But we’ve been very open and vocal about that, and there’s just nothing new on this subject.

Brandon’s conditions are tied to Chris Webber admitting to taking money from Ed Martin and apologizing in some form.   Don’t hold your breath.

Based on the calls to WTKA I’m guessing most of you would just like to see nothing happen and move on.   I get that.  I’m ok with leaving the banners at the BHL but I would like to see these guys honored in some form or another.  (I openly admit my huge bias—I was at U-M during the heyday of the Fab Five).

A suggestion—when the time is right, why not retire #5 as a ceremonial nod to the group and a not-so-subtle tribute to Jalen (who wore #5 and was the leader of the crew) for all he’s done in the community?   You could drop each guy’s name on the back and send it up to the rafters:fab five jersey

It would of course be splendid if the announcement were tied to some donation or foundation created by Webber (a la Griese-Hutchinson-Woodson) to benefit U-M.   And while were on the topic of smiles and rainbows, it’d be even splendider if we all got a free pizza out of the deal.

All this said, I don’t blame anyone for being entirely sick of all the jersey honoring/retiring/#1-ing/Legending talk.   Those who read this site know I write about this kind of thing now and again and even I’m growing weary. 

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A few audio clips from the Q&A in the aftermath of Jalen Rose’s Ann Arbor premiere of tonight’s ESPN Fab Five documentary.   More commentary, photos, etc. here.

In order:

1.  Jalen On Chris Webber, why he hasn’t seen documentary and the time he still needs.  He says there’s no beef with the team or whatever.  Jalen just says that Chris isn’t ready to talk about it, says he’s still carrying a lot with him especially after to the two finals losses at the timeout.  Jalen hoping he finds some way to “release” all that weight.

2. Jalen on the trip to Europe right after the 1991 Finals and how he feels they were exploited.

3. Jalen on how ESPN feels about the Duke/Uncle Tom comments and his message to the Duke guys he works with.   He told ESPN, “Ya’ll better not fire me on Monday..”

4. Jalen on the content he wishes they could have fit into the film but didn’t make it.  Jalen says there are a lot of things, but he definitely wanted to point out how life was in the early 1990s (pre-internet, how people felt about the music.)

5. For fun, someone asking Jalen if he would have called the timeout if he were in the same situation as Webber.  Basically Jalen won’t answer but Jimmy King is sitting  behind him shaking his head “No, no no no no” and the crowd loves it.



A big thanks to my friends at Moe’s/Underground Printing.  This afternoon I joined a couple hundred folks in the Michigan Theater to catch a pre-screening of ESPN’s Fab Five documentary.  Good news/bad news/good news: it was scheduled right during the Ohio State game today.  (Jalen arranged for a TV during the reception so folks could catch the last few minutes of the game—no one really bothered).

I’m not going jump into a deep dive on the Fab Five’s legacy given the Ed Martin scandal. I still struggle with Webber’s general attitude about the whole thing and think Fisher deserves a lot of what he got…but all that said, man, these were some good times.   I was a student during this era and I’m a part of the mullet-rocking, painter-hat-wearing crowds in many of the clips including in New Orleans for the 1993 Final Four.  What a ride.  It’s hard to believe we’re still talking about it.

I know many fans—friend and foe—are interested to see how “fair” they treat the Ed Martin scandal.   Of course everyone’s scale for what’s fair starts with how they feel about the Fab 5’s legacy today.  Since Webber didn’t contribute to the film you get a lot of Jalen’s view: Ed Martin was a father figure type who helped him out with a few bucks.  And Mitch Albom’s view: he suggests that Webber probably got the bulk of the money after he declared for the draft because he never saw evidence of it beforehand while covering Webber and his family.   Webber’s view would be interesting because he first lied to the grand jury about getting money, then later he painted Ed Martin as a scoundrel preying on young athletes.  It would have good to have Webber talk to this today.

A few thoughts on the film:

  • It is wonderfully produced and put together.  Some of the footage is epic including the clips from the European trip after the 1992 Final Four.  They include an eerie clip that follows Webber off the court into the bowels of the Superdome after the UNC game.  It’s very entertaining and a high quality production.  Make time to see it.
  • The first couple chapters are hilarious – I mean some really funny stuff.  Maybe notsomuch for Duke fans, etc., but I busted out laughing a few times.   The content from Ice Cube and Chuck D. was excellent.
  • Ray Jackson admitted he actually considering transferring during his freshman year (before he was put into the starting lineup) because he was frustrated with playing time.
  • They have an early clip of Webber—I don’t know, maybe 7th grade or something—when he goes the length of the court and throws it down the 5’2” kids look on.  It’s hilarious.
  • They get into the timeout quite a bit.  Jalen/Jimmy say it was made very clear that they had no timeouts before stepping on the court.  The guys on the bench (Eric Riley, others) say they couldn’t hear anything Fish was saying.  Afterwards someone asked Jalen if he would have called timeout if he had the ball.  Jalen wouldn’t answer but Jimmy King was behind him shaking his head “No-No-No-No” which made everyone bust out laughing.
  • I would have liked to see a little bit more on the students/fans, but they had some good shots.  If you watch the scenes of that early game against Duke at Crisler when they were all freshman – look at how prominent the student section was and how they are going absolutely wild.   It got like that a lot.   I chatted with Jalen afterwards –he too remembered how we used to line up outside Crisler a couple hours before the game to get in position for the best seats.


  • Jalen used the event to promote his charter school – the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy – which will open this Fall with its first class.   Jalen likened it to adopting 500 kids.  You have to take your hat off to Jalen who’s truly making a difference in Detroit.
  • Teammates Jimmy King and Dugan Fife were on hand afterwards and took a few questions along with Jalen.
  • Former AD Tom Goss was on hand.
  • Jalen confirmed that Chris Webber hasn’t seen the documentary yet—he’ll watch it Sunday like everyone else.
  • Rose signed my vintage ‘92 Rawlings Michigan #5 jersey after the film and I love it:


    Fife, King and Jalen taking a few questions afterwards:


Fife and Jalen talking business during the reception:


* Mike Rothstein from discusses the film
* UM Hoops reviews an advance copy

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