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Right in the giblets

It came down to lack of depth.  We don’t have the depth to replace the key injuries and just didn’t have the talent on defense to hang with the big boys.   We were exposed.  But we’ll be back with more guys.  Harbaugh and crew have done a remarkable job this season with what we have.  At kickoff today of the final game of the regular season we were in the B1G and even playoff discussion.   Sights and sounds:

Honoring Legends:  Talking with those involved, sounds like #1000SSS did a great job taking care of the families of the Legends this morning and for the game.  Here’s the Oosterbaan crew including my man Ben McCready (47), godson of the great Bennie O.:

IMG_8232 Bennie and Fam

Again, the Legends program did a great thing by putting these great players in the forefront.  The other bonus was building new relationships with the current families and in certain cases, with the student athletes who got to wear the coveted jerseys.  McCready shared this note he received recently from Capt. Jake Ryan:

“Ben – I just wanted to write and tell you it was an honor to wear the #47 jersey at Michigan. I was excited when Coach Hoke asked me and I wanted to represent Bennie in the best way on and off the field. Thank you for such a wonderful opportunity and Go Blue! – Jake”

It was a delicate thing to do.  Of course Mark Harmon didn’t make it back so I’m not sure how the Harmons feel about the whole thing.  I’m good with the re-retirement and I’m looking forward to the ceremonies for Woodson (and of course Peppers).

Twenty One – Also a nice, brief acknowledgment of Desmond today.   I wonder if they are going to keep the flags outside the stadium?  I doubt it given they have set up permanent displays in one of the concourses:

Flags best

Traditions.  Michigan Marching Band tradition dictates that the drum major must toss his mace over the goal post and catch it.  If he does, Michigan wins.  If not, ugh:

Michigan mace fail

It’s happened before I know, including before the 2007 Appalachian State game THE HORROR (back then I referred to the mace incorrectly as a ‘baton‘) but was corrected later on.

Season Ticket Holders – During the 3rd quarter, they asked the season ticket holders to stand, then remain standing based on longevity (10 years, 25 years, etc.).  Nice touch (and nice marketing!). 26 here.

The King.  Came to see Peppers:

2015-11-28 10.53.45 Elvis

And Peppers was fun to watch:

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#ChadTough – Beyond the retirement of #21 (and the re-retirements), there’s no other Michigan entry in the Uniform Timeline, but props to the folks in Columbus – very cool that the Buckeyes affixed these to their helmets today:

Chad Tough

 

CU7uEWBUAAAD_QH

Mood.  Back to 80:

mood data

Work! Work it Girl!  If you carried a camera into the media entrance, the officers asked you to take a photo to prove the camera wasn’t something evil.  So naturally I pointed the camera at the officer and asked her to give me her best:

cop

Big Nice Nut – For those who didn’t watch on TV, Big Nut and his buddy were in the first row in the south end zone:

stubhub

Dead serious:  I chatted up Mr. Nut and he was genuinely a nice dude.  Sorry.  Either way, damn you Stubhub!

Elsewhere:

Ace:

For the tenth time in eleven years, Ohio State won The Game. The Buckeyes ran at will; Michigan couldn’t trust its run game enough to even use it without ample trickery. While Michigan’s 9-3 record and obvious team-wide improvement stand as a testament to the remarkable work of Jim Harbaugh, today’s game showed just how much ground the program must make up on their chief rival.

MBN:

The Wolverine defense looked utterly confused and all around gassed during the game. There was no answer for the Buckeye’s zone read, and power runs.  Ohio State scored on six consecutive drives, aside from the end of the first half, which put the pressure on the Wolverines offense to make plays.

The Wolverine offense was able to march the football down the field, but had troubles finishing off drives in the redzone. Michigan settled for two field goals in the game while down in the redzone.

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Related:

A repost, the seller informs me he still has some in stock.
A must have for any man cave, Michigan shrine, office, garage and/or living room (if you aren’t married).   It’s a bunch of pre-locker room renovation lockers removed from Schembechler Hall.  Check it out:

lockers

  Details:

Full size locker, WITH COMBINATION!!  We have proof of authenticity, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the ultimate Michigan Football memorabilia collector. It could be a very long time before they change lockers again.  Locker numbers still on them.

Dimensions:  36" wide x 24" deep x 74-3/4" tall
Weight: About 200 lbs – costs about $250 to ship or free pick-up in Detroit

It seems a local demolition company cleaned out the locker room and was granted rights to take away the lockers.  Get this—they actually crushed one of them before someone came to their senses.  The company is based in Detroit and they’ve got a few left to sell.

How much?  The seller told me asking around $800 and willing to talk if you want more than one.   They’ll even deliver in the Detroit area.

Interested to buying one of these to round out your shrine or for a gift? 

Here are a couple higher resolution photos:

locker1

locker2

For more info or to buy one if they’re still available, send me an email.  Very cool.

P.S. Yes I have one and yes, it made it inside the house into my office (!)

I was up in East Lansing for the Wisconsin game but tuned into the radio broadcast and this morning I watched the replay.  (I broke down and ordered the expanded sports package on Comcast to get ESPNU).   It’s remarkable stuff to watch to be sure and like you, I’m still very worried about what’s going to happen in the next few weeks with this defense. 

Miscellanea:

* I expected it to be close, definitely closer than the spread, but not quite like that.  I read this Saturday morning and remember thinking it was silly for Sharp to be so specific in his prediction, but, pretty much:

Drew Sharp

MICHIGAN 41, INDIANA 38

This is a game that goes down to the last possession. The Hoosiers score a touchdown with less than a minute remaining, but that gives Denard Robinson enough time for another miraculous drive.

* Love the MS Paint giant shoe sign:

IU fans
Lon Horwedel – A2.com

* After the final pass of the game was broken up, cameras panned over to their obligatory shot of the winning coach.  Greg Robinson grabbed Rich Rod to tell him something and it was kind of weird:

greg_robinson

* The other interesting sideline moment came just minutes earlier, after Taylor Lewan was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after Denard scored the game winner.  While ESPNU provided some good footage of the refs getting into it with Lewan (and Rodriguez blowing his stack), they really didn’t show what happened on the play.  Did anyone see what happened?

* Speaking of Lewan’s penalty, props to Seth Broekhuizen for killing that final kick-off and thanks to the coaching staff for not try a squib from that position.   And it looks like we finally got to see a little taste of the Will Hagerup some of us have seen in warm-ups and practice.  He did a good job today, bouncing back from the UMass UMess.

* Thanks to all the Spartan fans who informed me throughout the day that a) Denard’s going to get hurt, b) our defense sucks.  One guy who decided to wear shorts in the freezing weather tried to explain to me how we can’t win when 90% of the offense goes through one guy.  Good take, but maybe focus some of that keen analysis on your wardrobe selection.  Like this guy:

green

It’s a miracle he found his ticket in there!

06. July 2010 · Comments Off on Stadium Bridge is (still) Falling Down · Categories: Archive 2009 · Tags: , , , , , , ,

bridge
Photo: Angela Cesere | AnnArbor.com

For those out of town, Ann Arbor is in the midst of a spicey Democratic mayoral primary, with incumbent John Hieftje taking some abuse from challenger Patricia Lesko.  If you have a moment, James Leonard’s piece on the election in this month’s Ann Arbor Observer is priceless.

Anyway, earlier this week the challenger Lesko rattled off a few complaints by those around town including the state of the Stadium Boulevard bridges.  Many fans of course use the structures to get to the stadium on football, basketball and even hockey (parking at Crisler is a good way to go) gamedays.   Since March 2009 the city reduced the available driving lanes down to two (from four) for safety reasons.  They still aren’t fixed and the city has been turned down for federal funding to this point.

Mayor Hieftje discussed the status last week at a public debate, from AnnArbor.com:

[Hieftje] said the city will fix the Stadium bridges next spring, after one last shot at applying for federal funding.

“I would be concerned about the Stadium bridges, too, and why they haven’t been fixed,” he said. “But I also think that it would have been foolish for the city to go forward and fix those bridges this fall, as we could have done, without waiting for the one more opportunity to get federal money that we believe is coming our way.”

So how bad are the bridges?  From the city’s website on the project:

The E. Stadium Boulevard Bridge over S. State Street, built in 1917, and the bridge over the Ann Arbor Railroad tracks, built in 1928, are located about 350 feet apart. Both bridges are functionally obsolete, e.g. they do not comply with today’s design standards and lack both the needed horizontal and vertical clearances that are required. The bridge over S. State Street is now considered a temporary structure and must be replaced. The bridge over S. State Street had a Federal Sufficiency Rating (FSR) of 2 out of 100 (with 100 being a new bridge). Any bridge with a FSR of 50 or below can be considered for total replacement.

A bridge with an FSR of 1 is apparently one of those Indiana Jones footbridges.

I use the bridges quite a bit during the year and I must say to my surprise, I haven’t felt a lot of impact from the lane reduction.  And I remember bracing for it before last season.

More concerning is what’s going to happen when they actually move to replace the bridges next spring.  Sadly it looks like the project will affect not only the 2011 season, but likely into October of the 2012 season as well.   Here’s the timeline presented in May 2010:

stadium_bridge_construction_schedule
Someone get this on Brandon’s desk, pronto

If this freaks you out, check out the detour plans for east/west traffic.   To avoid cars cutting through the neighborhoods they are rerouting traffic up to Eisenhower (basically Briarwood Mall).  What a mess.

On a cheerful note, the designs of the new bridges look cool, including nice space for foot traffic and bike lanes on either side, with a classy stairway from Stadium to State St:

stadium_bridge_plans
Bothan spies were merely injured to obtain these plans

Like anything, people will find a way to deal with it but certainly this will be a major headache for M fans through the 2011 season and possibly into 2012.   The question to me is whether the design will allow for some vehicle traffic to get over the new bridges, perhaps on one side, before they are complete in 2012.

09. November 2009 · Comments Off on Chicken Choked · Categories: Archive 2009, Coach Berenson, Fans, Hockey, Yost · Tags: , , , , ,

I sit across from the heart of the Yost student section and it wasn’t hard to make out one particular young mind on Friday night: the dude dressed as a chicken screaming into a megaphone.  

chicken

Turns out that crazy chicken was Andy Reid, sports editor of the Daily.  He made an encore appearance Saturday night but things didn’t go as planned:

Saturday night, I got kicked out. Not cool, dude.

Amidst an entire student section doing the same thing [the vulgar C-YA chant], an usher grabbed my elbow and told me it was time to leave, unless I wanted to be led out of the stadium in handcuffs.

I will admit that I stood out from the other Children of Yost. I may or may not have had a megaphone. And I may or may not have been, ahem, dressed up — if you went to the game, you might have seen a six-foot chicken standing against the glass in section 18.

But that’s even more reason to not kick me out. How is the team supposed to focus and be motivated without a yellow, fuzzy chicken standing behind the glass?

Reid suggests other things could be done to curb the nasty chant (which is delivered when opposing players are sent to the penalty box) including a message from Red Berenson.  Well IIRC, Berenson’s already asked the students to kill the chant and they do it anyway.

I think they should stop doing the C-YA because it’s tired and stale, and there are more than a few young kids at games.  I can also tell you, sitting on the other side of the ice, that you can’t make out a single word that is said anyway.  Seriously, I’m thankful Reid published the actual words to the chant so I could learn what they were saying.

The chicken will return from the State game this week and for what it’s worth, I’d take 30 chickens over these guys.

— ———————-

Related: eBay Watch: Billy Sauer’s Mask (2007)