Is Chad...Chubby???

Michigan media day was yesterday, and freep.com has some solid coverage.  I feel like detnews.com is holding back on us...maybe they want us to buy the paper or something.  Greedy bastards.  Anyway, I scrolled through the photos from the mock practice they put on for the media members, and from them I have deducted the following:

#1: They look like they are loose and having a good time...perhaps too good of a time. 

#2: Chad Henne is fat.  Trust me, I'm an authority on it.

Both of these deductions are of course up for debate. 

For the former, maybe mugging for the camera with your arm around Lloyd, smiling, laughing, playing around are OK for media day.  But it just feels to me like Lloyd is that nice old man that lives next door to you growing up.  You rake his leaves and shovel his snow and he gives you ten bucks.  That's not the Lloyd I want, at least not with the players.  I'd like him to be that mean old man that lives in the house behind you and rarely comes out...unless it's out of the back door with a shotgun if you climb over the fence to get a baseball that errantly landed in his yard.

Dear Lloyd,

Save that feel-good shit for the field...after I climb down onto it....after we beat Ohio State.

Me 


For the latter, a phone report from the Godfather was the initial tip off:

Hello. Are you too busy to answer the phone?  This is the Godfather.  I need to talk to you.  So-and-so saw Chad Henne in a restaurant and says he looks like crap.  So-and-so says he looks 25 pounds overweight.  I'm worried.  Gotta go, I'm heading to another party.  That's all buddy.  I'll be seeing you soon.  Go Blue.

I took it with a grain of salt.  I mean, the Godfather is usually drunk, especially when he leaves voicemails...then I saw the picture that adorns the top of this post.  Yes, I am aware that the beer belly you see is mostly rib protection.ร‚  But it's his face, his arms, that damn stubble.  He looks like Artie Lang.  No seriously...he does.  Sure, I've heard that he hit the weights pretty hard in the offseason.  But I'm pretty sure he didn't work out his cheeks.  Maybe he'll be stronger...tougher...but unfortunately, he won't be playing linebacker.  I know one thing: he's not going to be any more mobile.

You're Scared of Lamar Woodley

Look, even Tim Jamison has his eyes closed in the presence of #56. Yesterday was Michigan Media Day. Somehow I missed the memo. Apparently, Lloyd is softening on his stance against the press, allowing them to come in unabated by the casual fan. Previously, they have opened up media day to the general public, causing media members to wrestle with the fans to get interviews. Not so this year, as there was no public notice of the event, allowing the journalists to ask all the hard hitting questions, like asking Kevin Grady "his advice for the incoming freshman."

For much better coverage than I can offer, MGoBlue has the transcribed, and no doubt positively spun, Q&A from the day. Meanwhile, MGoBlog has a great summary made up of a combo of MGoBlue and The Wolverine.

Meet the Future

The Grass is Always Blue-er

And so it begins. Public address announcer Howard King welcomed thousands into Michigan stadium on Saturday, warming up his pipes for the first three games of the season, all of which will be played at home. The band CD blared over the PA system as we all got our first live glimpse of the newly installed field turf, and were then invited to walk upon it. I'd like to think of myself as a traditionalist and I'll tell you this...screw grass. The field is amazing...period. It has an amazing feel, almost spongy, as the ground up previously-expoding Firestone radials take the place of dirt. I felt as if I was ready to show Coach Carr my 40 time. The new field is capped off by the return of the block 'M' in the center of the field, in perfect bright maize and outlined in Michigan blue.

The team took the field at around 3:15pm to a round of cheers from Wolverine faithful, making their way to the stands for the team picture. Marlin Jackson WAS on hand, but not available for autographs or interviews. The Wolverines obviously are taking the 'ignore it, and it may just go away' approach to the Marlin Jackson situation. And with a little luck, it just might go away, or at least delay itself until it doesn't matter anymore.

Lloyd Carr and marquee players had autograph tables set up. These included Braylon (only the 6th player in Michgian history to wear his newly inherited #1 jersey), Tony Pape, John Navarre, Chris Perry, and a few others, while the freshman players hung around the stands. I made my way to meet Jerome Jackson and Lamar Woodley, former teammates at Saginaw High, now teammates together at Michigan. A sizable crowd had surrounded them, getting a peak at the unbelievable size of Woodley, who will turn just 19 this November.

The Polls, the Polls, the Polls

Sports Illustrated : 13th

Athlon Sports : 10th

Street and Smith's : 4th

Sporting News : 4th

Phil Steel : 4th

Lindy's : 4th

Football Time : 10th

ESPN/USA Today Preseason Poll : 7th

Only Street and Smith's picked us ahead of Ohio State, ranking them 5th. So, while the national consensus seems to be that we have top ten ability, they all seem to think that Ohio State is going to beat us for the third straight year.

Special thanks to Camp Counselor Lisa for being my assistant at Media Day, helping me steal enough schedule posters and scheduling magnets to wallpaper my apartment and cover my refridgerator.

Let the Debate Begin

Unhealthy Addictions

I can't stop playing NCAA 2003 for the X-Box. It has become a serious problem. In anticipation of the coming season, and because I can't bear to watch the Colorado game on ESPN Classic anymore, I have actually watched the computer play itself on several occasions. The realism is ridiculous, and JJ (soon to be nicknamed The Firestarter) and I have often bet on the games being played. Upon being greeted by Lloyd Carr saying "It's in the game." when I started up this afternoon, I felt the fantasy world and the real world were coming dangerously close.

Sound ridiculous? It is. But the college football and tailgating season is supposed to be ridiculous. Come one, come all, and live a fantasy life with your surrogate family. Don't worry, they're all alcoholics, so you'll fit right in. Throw all your cares aside, except for one. Rest your laurals in the hands of a group of 18-24 year old amazingly conditioned atheletes wearing the most recognizable uniforms in all of sport, and plan your Sundays accordingly, for sulking or celebrating, but know that the family will return the following week to do it all again.

The Simulated 2002 Overview

So, in an attempt to make a season preview without my Michigan tilted mind involved, I used the NCAA 2003 for the X-Box. First, let's look at the the final season rankings up to Michigan after all of the games were simulated.

1. Texas

2. Florida

3. Miami

4. Oklahoma

5. Oregon

6. Utah (yes, Utah)

7. UCLA

8. Ohio State

9. Florida State

10. Marshall

11. LSU

12. Michigan

Texas wins the National Championship, beating Miami in the Fiesta Bowl. Florida QB Rex Grossman wins the Heisman, throwing for 4587 yards and 51 TDs....thats alot of friggin' TDs.

Michigan's game by game analysis will come week by week as the season progresses, but Michigan will end the season with 10 wins, and 3 losses. Michigan earned a bid to the BCS, and travelled to New Orleans for the Nokia Sugar Bowl. They reached as high as #4 in both polls during the season.

Statistically...

John Navarre completed just over 50% of his passes (157/302) throwing for 2216 yards with 18 TDs and 13 INTs. Spencer Brinton received limited action, going 24/42 with 1 TD and 1 INT. Ronald Bellamy caught the bulk of the receptions, with 660 yards and 8 TDs.

Chris Perry leads the team with 979 yards rushing and 11 TDs. BJ Askew came in with 439 yards and 6 TDs.

Defensively, Marlin Jackson lead the team with 6 INTs and 2 defensive touchdowns. Victor Hobson lead the team in tackles with 61.

On the special teams front, Philip Brabbs went 15/22 on field goals, his longest being a 44 yarder.

Summing Up

What does this all mean? Well, considering the lackluster output by the offense, the defense must have stepped up and scored some points as well as giving Michigan some solid field position. That may be the story on the field this year. However, I would hate to weather those 13 interceptions given up by John Navarre. So there it is, the season in review...er, uh...preview. Whatever, August 31 is coming up awfully quick, so I will have to set down the controller, and pick up my mug. Note to Godfather: Bring enough Coke.

Next week: Washington preview

GO BLUE!!!

The Webmaster