Stupid

First of all, where's Bill Martin?  I think we're still paying him, right?  Regardless, Dave Brandon (are we paying 2 AD's?) led the presser today that ultimately revealed a notice from the NCAA that contained ticky-tack violations, and no surprises beyond our internal investigation.   It seemed to outline a loosely managed paper trail that blurred the lines of what "stretching" is and when it is or isn't ok to punish an athlete. 

How many feel good stories were there about 6am summer stadium laps under Lloyd?  Braylon.  Arrington.  Askew.  Just to name a few.

Complete and utter bullshit.

In an anonymous survey I conducted with my own common sense, I concluded that every other team in the country blurred the same lines.  The difference between Michigan and everybody else?  Rosenberg's hard-on for a local pulitzer.

More later.  Maybe.

Update:  Violations allege Michigan went over the 20 hour allotted practice time by 20 minutes...in October of 2008.  I think the investigators just wanted to come to Zingerman's.

Rodriguez Inks Class of 27

LOI's are in for 27 new Wolverines.  Biggest class ever.  15 of them play defense.  Warm bodies = less starting walk-ons.  I'm not a big fan of starting walk-ons, so, ya, successful class.

The prize of the 15 would-be defenders?  Demar Dorsey, who saved the day and wiped a little egg off of our faces after perceived lock CA-S Sean Parker LOI'ed to UW at 9am.  Dorsey, at #12 overall and the #2 safety according to ESPN, is the highest rated recruit in Michigan's class.  He is also the highest rated recruit to sign with ANY Big Ten team.  In the words of Rittenburg, "a big, big score for Rich Rodriguez."

I don't know what it is, but I really like the looks of this class on paper...and youtube.  Nothing too gaudy.  Simple guys with a specific skill set made for a complex system.  Against everything I believe in, I've google-stalked the lot of them, watched some highlights, read some coach quotes...  Yes, following recruiting makes you less of a man, and there's a whole lotta folks that should be turning in their man cards tomorrow...we crashed MGoBlog before noon.

Devin Gardner leads the offensive side of the group, and he is already eating Blimpy Burger with 6 other early arrivals on campus.  The class includes a couple of running backs, just in case that surgery doesn't go well for Vincent Smith.  And it's always good to snatch another rabbit chaser from Pahokee...we did that with DT Richard Ash.  Also of note, the lone inked offensive lineman's last name is Pace.  These things just seem to add up for me.

The 3pm presser didn't go so well though.  Coach thought that for some reason he'd get some softball questions, handshakes, and congratulations from the media after landing Dorsey.  Instead, Dorsey's "checkered" high school past was brought up.  Demar was acquitted for a couple of felonies back in high school.  Rodriguez said he checked him out and said that everything was ok.  Guess who else checked him out?  Pretty much every other coach of a major program in the country.  Of those coaches, how many would have turned down a letter of intent from the #12 player in the nation?  ZERO.  Either way, Coach wasn't ready for it.  He probably should have been.  He should know better by now.  He should know that there can be no good until good comes on Saturdays with regularity.

Instead of being able to celebrate his second full class as a coach at Michigan, he instead had to defend a player that was found INNOCENT in a Florida court, and that won't set foot on the practice field until August.  There's a big price to pay in Ann Arbor for only mustering 8 wins in two seasons...and Rich Rodriguez has his wallet open.  This man can do no right until this team wins.  It's a policy that is tough to like, a bitch to endure...yet hard to argue with.

Welcome fellas...and GO BLUE!

A Tailgate to Remember, A Season to Forget

It's Thanksgiving week, so I just want to take a second to thank everyone that participated in our transition year of tailgating as we left the golf course for greener (actually more asphault colored) pastures.  You guys really blew my mind this year with the turn out, the donations, and the enthusiasm.  So much so that we are going to have to move this thing to a bigger venue.  Stay tuned this offseason to find out where we end up.

I want to also give special thanks to a few folks...


  • Gus, Mel, and the gang from New York.  You guys were all amazing.  Your hard work and generosity made things so much easier for me this season, and I would like to express my deepest gratitude for everything you did, up to and including the massive amount of filet mignon you showed up with for what was truly a grand finale of tailgates this past Saturday.  We look forward to many years of having you as part of our group.  It's nice that after all of these years to have the tailgate family still growing.

  • Our hotdog crew, Joe and Jeff, who feed 100+ people in the postgame.  I can't even imagine what the count was in total dogs for the season....not to mention the pounds of scortching hot peppers.  How ever many it is, it's a huge load off for me, especially in these past couple of years when all I want to do after the game is curl up in a ball and cry.

  • My load-unload crew of Kristen and JJ, who while noticeably absent for several games, occasionally provided the manpower needed to unload the car and get me to the couch as fast as possible after returning from these on the field debacles.  OK, really it's only JJ, but Kristen does provide inspiration through her motivating dialogue, like "hurry up I want to order Pizza House."  Love you both...wouldn't be the same without you.

  • Also, thanks to any and all of you that helped with setup and takedown...too many people to name, but you know who you are, and it is much appreciated.

  • Finally, thanks to James Dickson of AnnArbor.com, who has put my name in the paper more times in the last three months than I'd like to admit.  He's become kind of an embedded tailgate reporter at UMTailgate.com, and his articles are all great reads, especially when they include quotes from our group...like this week.

Commence the run to the Final Four.

GO BLUE!

Cissseeya

More bad news for a thin defense, as Cissoko is out at Michigan, becoming the 7th loss from the class of 2008 which was mostly a product of the previous regime.  This news, along with the 2007 class, which had unceremonious exits of Mallet, Tony Clemons, and Marell Evans (among others) means that the cupboards are WAY more bare than you know.  Which, if nothing else, means that my plea for patience with Coach from Monday is not a request...it's really your only option.

The fact that Coach is not keeping problems around, no matter how many stars they had on rivals, and no matter how thin we are at the position where the problem resides, is a good sign for those that are interested in keeping the tradition of creating a group of men that are leaders on and off the field.  In short, he is not Dantonio, who reinstated Glenn Winston basically minutes after he was released from prison.

Of course, you won't hear about how Rich Rod made the right decision by removing a player that was missing class, missing workouts, and missing study table.  The precedent has been set with the media, as the Feagin story resulted only in the perception of Michigan having recruited a drug dealer, with no props for his immediate dismissal.  And Kurt Wermer's bashing of the staff on his way out significantly outweighed the fact that the idiot was academically ineligible before he "left."

This week, you'll likely only hear that Michigan has another player that is transferring.  But that is not the truth.  He was "fired" before he "resigned."  I only hope he has the stones to own up to it for the sake of this program...that way Snyder can bury it on the back page if he has time to write while assisting the NCAA with the workout investigation.  Just remember folks, the story of Michigan getting back to being Michigan isn't nearly as sexy as Michigan in turmoil, Michigan failing to regain their dominance, or Michigan falling off the college football map.  They want us to lose.  They want Rich Rod to fail.  They want us to fail.  And you, yes YOU, can either stand there and take it, read it and believe it...or you can fight for THIS TEAM.

"This team" means "this staff."  The two are not mutually exclusive.  So the question is...are you really ALL IN?