Monday, March 06, 2006

Game 2

While Donovan McNabb did not dry heave, he came damn close. 3 Ints as the Pats ran it up on the Eagles 35-24. Player of the Game: Bethel Johnson. If reggie Bush were ten times better, he would be half as good as Bethel. 86 yds 2tds and a rushing td. McNabb, in addition to the ints, also had 1 td and 2 dry heaves. Big Dick Seymour also made an impact by exploding off of the defensive line and coming on McNabb's backside. Brian Westbrook played his ass off by running for 83 yds before the 4th quarter, during which he realized....he sucks. Also, Reggie "My Shit is" Brown played well.

Friday, December 17, 2004


If you ever wonder what sets college sports apart from all other sport, it's recruiting season. The NFL and other pro sports have offseasons, but player acquistions come in mainly two tiers; drafts and free agency. This is different from recruiting, the only method to acquire players in college (the amount of transfers is negligible). Also, college recruiting is defined by having much less limitation on the amount of talent one team can gather. Take for example the Fab Five, who made Michigan basketball wildly popular (and successful) in the early 90s. No pro sports team (except perhaps the Yankees), can compile such an assemblage of talent in one year. And obviously the great talent a team recruits is crucial to how it performs during the actual season. As one can see, without Fab Five level talent, or even the Jamal Crawfords and Tractor Traylors of the world, Michigan basketball has been relatively mediocre in recent times (yes NIT championships are mediocre). To get a glimpse of the basketball team's lagging performance relative to the late 80s and early 90s, check out Neal Patel's blog site.

UM doesn't acknowledge us anymore even though we did 10 times more for the school than Mary Sue Coleman ever will.

Thankfully the football team has not fallen on hard times (knock on wood) during my time at UM, and I again need to emphasize their success is very much due to recruiting. When you have guys like Herrmann and Gittleson submarining various aspects of the football season, yet are still able to win a conference title, that says quite a bit about the talent the team has. Having a top 5 recruiting class last year paid nearly instand dividends; Henne and Hart are the most memorable freshmen duo nationally since Webber and Rose (and yes I consider them a duo because they were the two superstars of the Fab Five, Webber being the incredible talent and Rose being the clutch performer), and Michigan won the Big Ten with very much help from them.
So what's cooking now in Michigan recruiting? UM has already committed superstars Mario Manningham, a gamebreaking wide receiver, and Kevin Grady, who is foregoing his second semester of 12th grade to join the Michigan football team. Grady, while young, is already a legend, having averaged around 2000 yards and 35 touchdowns a season throughout high school. Read that again. Those are career stats in one season! Whispers are developing that Grady will push Hart for playing time, much the same way that many suggested Henne would make a push for time this year. I am simply looking for the best backfield this school has had since Wheatley and Biakabutuka.
As far as what's left on the recruiting agenda, UM lost out on Justin King, the top cornerback in the nation, who went to Penn State. They offset this lost (only somewhat), by signing Brandon Harris, who you can read about on Ajai's blog. But the key remains Victor "Macho" Harris, one of the elite cornerbacks in high school, from Virginia. Michigan is in stiff competition with UVA and Virginia Tech for his commitment, but I can honestly say he is the type of player on and off the field that a Michigan fan like myself would love to have. Harris risked his life to save his family from a kitchen fire, and that demonstrates great character and unselfishness, as he could have easily lost his athletic future that includes millions of dollars. Luckily, Harris will be able to play again with no effect, although he will need some cosmetic surgery. One can only hope that if he risked letting a fire waste his talent, he'll risk letting Jim Herrmann do the same. Just kidding; the great players even Herrmann can't mess up.

Jim Herrmann is already wondering how he can ruin Victor Harris into being the next Markus "I suck so bad that getting shot in my back made me a better cornerback" Curry

Saturday, December 11, 2004


I hate to write about Notre Dame so much, but recent events involving their coaching situation obligate me to do so. Today, they agreed with New England Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis on a deal that will make him the new head coach. Now on one level the hiring hurts for me because it means Michigan will get continually outcoached every year it plays Notre Dame now. It also just hurts because I'm a Patriots fan, and I hate to see a great coach leave. But I can't really complain about anything at this point because the Patriots already have 2 Super Bowls and the Red Sox just won it all (wish they still had the legendary Carl Everett though). I shouldn't even complain about the Celtics, since they made the conference finals 3 years ago (of course I am always thankful for Ricky Davis, who buys out a section at games for "Ricky's Renegades." I don't think "Renegades" is a nickname).

Is Charlie Weis(s) the King of Madison or the new ND Coach?

So why worry about Charlie? Most people, unless they follow sports closely, have no idea who he is. This is especially true for the great people of Bethesda, MD, who only know of Charlie Weiss, a fellow that my co-blogger and i have been friends with since high school. Bethesda Charlie goes to Wisconsin, and is the only reason their football team started out 9-0. I'm not kidding; all i will say is you shouldn't think that Jewish guy that ran for 170 yards against Penn State is actually named Matt Bernstein. So Bethesda Charlie is a legend, and I can only say that the same SHOULD be true for New England Charlie.
The only reason Weis is not a head coach in the NFL already is the fact that the Patriots kept playing past the league's "interview season," and before that he was considered too overweight. The overweight perception was according to himself, and he even got gastric bypass surgery, nearly dying in the process, to make himself a more appealing head coaching candidate. But here are the reasons to fear him as the ND Head coach:

  1. NFL Players he touched and turned to gold: He was NE Tight Ends Coach when Ben Coates had his Pro Bowl seasons, coached Terry Glenn when he set the rookie record for receiving, coached Curtis Martin for half of his hall of fame career, coached (the unredeemable) Vinny Testaverde to a 30 TD season, the list goes on. Don't forget that he coached Michigan's own Tom Brady, two time Super Bowl MVP and world's most eligible bachelor, which will especially hurt when ND is recruiting QBs.
  2. On the subject of Weis and ND recruiting players that Michigan is recruiting, they can simply pitch the fact that Weiss, having 20 years of NFL experience, is a better road for them to succeed in the NFL. This worked for Pete Carroll, a bad coach when he was in New England; it will work for Charlie.
  3. Kirk Ferentz, Nick Saban, Pat Hill. Is there a pattern? All three coached for Belichick at some point. Ferentz at Iowa just pulled off the best coaching job of the year, and most Big Ten followers should take note. He is far and away the best coach in the Big Ten, and probably one of the top 5 nationally. Another member of that top 5 would be Mr. Saban, who won the national title at Louisiana State last year, and is deservedly the 2nd highest paid coach in college football. This is the same Saban who was coaching at Michigan State before the clueless Bobby Williams, and gets great talent everywhere (at State he was responsible for getting Derrick Mason, Plaxico, Jeff Smoker, TJ Duckett, etc., all of whom burned Michigan badly). And Pat Hill, while he coaches at Fresno State, has had a 10 win season and sent David Carr to the NFL. These three have all been successful, and Charlie Weiss will be as well.
  4. Weis is one of the kings of the trick play: a 20 yd pass TO Tom Brady in the 2001 AFC East division clincher, getting David Patten to run, throw, and catch for TDs against the Colts earlier that season, the direct snap to Kevin Faulk on the two point conversion in last year's Super Bowl, the list goes on. You may think that to be useless information, but remember in college football, trick plays in rivalry games are like magic bullets. If they work, there's a good chance your team is winning. I have no doubt he will pull them out against Michigan, and I have no doubt that if Jim Herrmann is still prancing the sidelines, we will lose.

I am certainly not saying Michigan will never beat ND again, all I am saying is that I worry they have a strategic advantage each time the two play. For now, Michigan still has the talent advantage, but who knows what can happen now that Lloyd gets to recruit against a proven NFL winner at one of the best tradition programs in football, instead of an inept, aloof coach that is unaware of the difference between Stanford and Notre Dame. Of course this hiring hurts me even more than other Michigan fans, because ND's gain hurts the Patriots. The only positive effect is that the Michigan-ND rivalry will be great as it once was until its discontinuation in the early 90s. Certainly, the effects of the Weis hiring are going to be wide-ranging.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Serial Streaker

Nothing makes my day better than some news about Michigan Football. All it would take to make my day is to come home and find out that we got Victor Harris, or that Jim Herrmann and Mike Gittleson fought each other to the death over the meaning of the word stupendous. So yes i did get news yesterday, and while it wasn't as good as either of those two, the unintentional comedy is about as legendary as it's ever going to get. Just imagine if you rooted for a team and read in the news that one of the players got arrested for serial streaking. By streaking i mean walking up to a girl next to her window, and removing all the clothes from your 6'2'' 300 pound body. That's Larry Harrison for you. 1/15 of him at least. What inspires such a man (or at least one that police say looks exactly like him) to expose himself to 15 different women? I don't know why any man would think to do this more than once, but i certainly understand why Lloyd had to suspend him immediately. Harrison obviously has some sort of problem, considering that reports of the Ann Arbor Serial Streaker (A.S.S.) have been ongoing, which would have caused any rational streaker to stop. Regardless, it's doubtful he will be playing the Rose Bowl now. So you've got to be wondering, considering i hate Marlin and Curry partly for their off-field transgressions, how mad am I at Larry Harrison?
To be honest, I'm not angry at all. This is the funniest story i have heard in years. Imagine if a 300 pound defensive lineman walked up to you, ripped off all his clothes, just gave an idiot grin like Yogi Bear, and ran off into the darkness. I would probably have temporary vision loss, but I'd still be laughing. It's like if David Baas came out of the closet; you'd be a little disturbed (not as much as Henne having his hands on those cheeks every play), but i guarantee you wouldn't stop laughing. That's what we have with the immortal Larry Harrison. I'm not angry, because he has a problem, and he gave all of us the highest of high comedy among college athletes. For those of you that don't remember, this is only the best thing since Najeh Davenport snuck into a girl's dorm at he didn't touch the girl, he just managed to wallow around drunk in the middle of the night, drop a deuce in her laundry hamper (read that again), and leave like nothing happened. Something makes me think i might rather just be taken advantage of.

Would you rather be gang-tackled by a serial streaker or run after a guy that unloaded into a woman's laundry hamper?

Basically Harrison doesn't get to play in the Rose Bowl, so what's the defense to do? I think they won't miss him a bit, because now they can finally let Alan Branch play and dominate like he was meant to. But they should still bring Harrison. I doubt Vince Young would try running at a 300 pound serial streaker. And while my favorite sports team has always been the Boston Celtics, I think it's time to anoint a new Larry Legend.

Larry Legend has a successor.... on the Michigan D-line

Sunday, December 05, 2004

College Football Current Events

This past week, Notre Dame unloaded Ty Willingham from the head coaching spot of the football team. A lot of the media have been trying to portray this firing as some sort of racially motivated action. Sometimes a school firing a black coach could be, but race was simply not a factor in firing Willingham. Why the hell would they hire him three years ago to begin with? Did he used to be white? Don't forget, ND only hired Willingham because their first choice, George O'Leary, committed resume fraud. I won't go as far as saying ND hired Willingham because he was black, but I do think at the time race played a factor; by hiring a black coach, of which there are hardly ever more than 5 out of 115 in division 1, ND may have thought they were deflecting attention from the O'Leary scandal while getting positive media coverage for being racially progressive. Either way, Willingham is simply not a good coach. If you want an article sharing my opinion, read Skip Bayless on ESPN. There have been plenty of good black coaches in all sports (Romeo Crennel on the Patriots, Bill Russell when he was a player-coach on the Celtics, K.C. Jones also for the Celtics, Dennis Green when he was still on the Vikings, etc.).
I am simply tired that many of the media see the Willingham firing as an issue of race. Does College Football have too few black coaches? YES. Does it need more? Maybe. How can reporters be irresponsible enough to say the sport DEFINITELY needs more black coaches? College Football doesn't need more of ANY race of coach, it needs more GOOD coaches. You can't break it down by race. Are there too many white coaches? NO. There are just too many bad coaches that happen to be white. Race doesn't make a coach good or bad, so hiring simply to appease any minority would be dumb. I am not calling for Asian head coaches, and there is not a single one in any of the major U.S. sports! Shouldn't I be complaining more than guys like Mark May and John Saunders? I'm sorry that they feel this is a race issue; no college with a football tradition like ND would fire a good coach if they didn't like his race, they fire a coach because he doesn't win enough. The terribly low percentage of minority head coaches in general in College Football is not so much an indictment of racism in hiring head coaches, but of racism in the entry levels of coaching: you can say that many African Americans aren't given a chance to enter the coaching profession as assisstants due to certain people being racist, and that's what causes there to be so few black head coaches.
But i'm going to maintain that major programs like ND and Michigan have too much to lose in the modern era by making head coaching decisions on race. And the media should not try to overblow it. Like I said, if Notre Dame really fired Willingham because they don't want a black coach, why on earth did they keep him for three years? ND is not racist, just looking for an instant winner. And Michigan? The Assistant Head Coach (next-in-line of Carr) is none other than Fred Jackson, who is....AFRICAN AMERICAN. He is the next in line because he is the best qualified, not because he is any race. Obviously race is still a problem not just in coaching, but throughout society; however, I think reporters should pick their spots better when talking about it. All I care about is that the best qualified man gets the job. I like all races just as much as my own, no more, no less.
On a related and lighter note, Michigan added insult to ND's injury by beating them on the basketball court; read about UM's most exciting win of the year on Jaclyn on the Court, by blogging colleague Jaclyn Gentner.

The Ohio State Game

Losing to OSU was the worst way to end the regular season. All the fans, including myself had high expectations for Michigan in this game, but they just got outperformed. Check it out.

A couple of reflections on this season:

-Chad Henne has a chance to be a GREAT quarterback. He already has as many 4th quarter comebacks as Tom Brady did over an entire career. He also has the strongest arm of any modern Michigan QB except Drew Henson. He gets overshadowed by Hart sometimes, but I think that is more a reflection of the media than of their performances; Hart is amazing, but Henne pulled off the Minnesota comeback all on his own, and the final overtimes of the Michigan State game Hart was hurt, and Henne took over the game (after Braylon saved them). Most of the media has overlooked the fact that Henne just put together the best season by a true freshman QB since PEYTON MANNING. If he stays healthy, he has a chance to be the #1 pick in the NFL draft.

What could have been....

-While I love the way Henne played this year, one can't help but wonder, "What if Gutierrez had been healthy?" Most people I talk to will say it's impossible for an experienced QB to do any better than Henne, but I tend to think Gutierrez was all we needed to go undefeated. Am I crazy? No. So why do I think an unproven, redshirt sophomore QB could lead his team to a national championship? Because that exact feat was just accomplished last season, by a guy named Matt Leinart. And not only has Gutierrez never lost a game, he actually beat Leinart the three times their teams played in high school! I will leave it at that; one of my future posts will have to address Gooty: The Man and The Legend.

-Fire Jim Herrmann.

-Marlin Jackson had a chance at the beginning of the year to enter the pantheon of Michigan cornerbacks, a la Woodson and Law. It's the end of the year now, but the only pantheon he ended up in is the idiots that underachieved. Most unknowledgeable Marlin loyalists defend the big plays he gives up by saying teams hardly ever throw at him, so he's bound to give up some. But those people are just unwilling to see the light; the only reason teams don't throw at Marlin more is because they have Markus Curry to throw at on the other side. Curry is deserving of a whole other column; dumb as a doornail, only has one move in coverage (tackle the receiver and pick up an interference penalty). Curry should just start each play turned around and bent over to save other teams the trouble. Anyway back to Marlin. Huge disappointment. The football team's company line last year was that "we moved Marlin to safety because he is a team player willing to do whatever we ask of him." Let me give you a translation, "we realize Marlin is too slow to cover effectively, and the only time he can be effective is when he is more physical than the receiver, but we can hide his inabilities by putting him at safety, where we once played Julius Curry." Yes, same family as Markus Curry. The only more depressing fraternal pair in recent memory is the Menendez brothers.
So Marlin moved to safety last year, and back this year. He somehow had this aura about him that he could be like Ty Law. Dead wrong. Marlin created that image in one game and has lived off of it the rest of his career; he shut down Reggie Williams in the Washington game beginning of 2002, and fans were ready to anoint him the Pope. Even I thought highly of him for the next several games; but then Penn State came along, and while Michigan beat them, Bryant Johnson had turned Marlin into his personal rag doll, and it was the beginning of the end. And Santonio Holmes, in the OSU game this year, made it even more painfully evident that Marlin will NEVER be a great cornerback: the touchdown catch, turning Marlin around like a jewish boy playing with his dradel, says it all about #3: he is a good physical player, but does not have good speed, will get torched by speed receivers, and only cares about trying to make big hits. I would say I'm glad to see him gone, but Michigan was unable to recruit Justin King, so the secondary could be poor again.
Also, let's not forget, Marlin is fairly sketchy as a person as well. He beat another person over the head with a glass bottle. That makes him just a bigger version of James Whitley, who was a big fan of threatening people with guns.

-Overall a great season with the freshmen backfield. No one can blame them for either of the losses. Blame Jim Herrmann. Fire him. Send out a witch hunt for him. He has less brains than hair. And I hope he somehow reads this. Actually I hope he has it read to him, because he is to *^%&$ dumb to use a computer and/or read. Him and Mike Gittleson, the team strength trainer. If you want real strength training, take a look at what the Miami Hurricanes and Andreu Swasey have been up to; that's what Michigan needs. Honestly, Michigan football can only gain from the elimination of Herrmann and Mike "I'm an awful strength coach who went to PLYMOUTH STATE. I can't be trusted to train our players. I can't even teach any classes competently. I'm from Plymouth Freaking State. You can't even trust me to empty your garbage cans. I just have a job because i keep working the Vietnam Vet angle" Gittleson? Somebody should just put those two in a room and give them a copy of Hop on Pop. Either they try to climb each other and end up hurting themselves too much to coach again, or we've bought about 25 years of dumbass-free coaching until they're done reading.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Thoughts on football

Saturday I was at Michigan Stadium for the Northwestern game, and some idiot girl sitting a row behind me shouted out "Chad Henne sucks!" Now honestly, if you are a Michigan fan, why would you say something like that? Chad Henne is only the best quarterback in the conference, and the most talented this school has had other than Drew Henson, so I turned around and asked this girl if she was kidding, and she said, "No, I just don't like him." So naturally i responded, "I don't like you either." Honestly, was this fool at the Michigan State game? Was she there to see Henne and Braylon take control of the game? I know I was, and my fellow blogger Ajai Tuli was also present for that once-in-a-lifetime experience (his first blog ever is on the MSU game). The biggest problem with Michigan fans is that they unknowingly throw around blame; people that say Henne suck are the same people that blamed Tom Brady, and then reversed field when he became a two time Super Bowl MVP and world's most eligible bachelor. I don't mean to make any presumptions about girls in general, but if you are wondering why men stereotype women as clueless about sports, that biotch was one reason.

If you think this guy sucks, I'd love to hear your thoughts on Jermaine Gonzalez

Similarly, when i hear other fans ask why Jim Herrmann has not been offered a head coaching job yet, i just want to set myself on fire. Many of the Michigan faithful love Herrmann to death because he is an alumnus turned coach. Well, let me tell you something. He is an idiot. He has no brains. Many of the fans that admire Herrmann only because he has been part of the school so long give him credit for the 1997 defense, arguably the best in school history. But when you have over 7 NFL players in your rotation (Ian Gold, D'hani Jones, William Peterson, James Hall, Glen Steele, Sam Sword, and most of all Charles Woodson, the best defensive player in college football history) that have combined for something like 5 Pro Bowl appearances, you could have had a retarded donkey running that defense to a championship.
Take a closer look: in 2000, Michigan had 3 losses. If you want, blame the one at UCLA to a young John Navarre, who threw an interception at the end. But remember that at West Lafayette against Purdue, the defense was nursing a three score lead, and blew it big time; any Michigan fan that saw this game will remember beleaguered Purdue placekicker Travis Dorsch sending the game winning field goal into the air, while ABC's cameras caught Drew Henson putting his arms up in triumph on the Michigan sideline, thinking his team escaped a defensive collapse, followed by his entire body slumping as the kick went through the uprights.
At Northwestern, the defense gave up over 50 points in a shootout, and while Anthony Thomas's fumble allowed the Wildcats to make the winning score, most everyone that has seen that game (a staple on ESPN classic) will tell you how the Michigan defense was not stopping anyone. Herrmann's defense was working with the most talented offense in school history that year (Henson, A-Train, Terrell, Marquise, Hutchinson, Backus, Mo Williams, David Brandt all made the NFL and have started at some point), and turned a 1-loss season into a 3-loss. That was the same year that the BCS shut out 1-loss Miami to have 1-loss Florida State play in the national championship against Oklahoma; a 1-loss Michigan certainly could have gotten into that game as well, and no one can ever convince me that Oklahoma would have stopped Henson and that offense. And at the very least they could have matched up against 11-1 Washington, who had Marques Tuiasosopo at QB. If you want an idea of how good that guy was and what he was on his way toward until being derailed by injury last year, read what Jerry Rice had to say. Or don't, because you only need to remember he was the last QB to beat Miami before they went on their 36 game streak, which we all agree ended suspiciously against Ohio State. I'll leave it at that.


Jeff Yang

I am a student at the University of Michigan.

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Jeffrey Yang,

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