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Monday, January 31, 2011

Offseason

I got a note last night from Yost telling me that he is out today with "real work". He encouraged me to post something if I had it. I searched and searched, and other than semi-naked women and random Ohio criminal behavior -- I could not find anything decent to post about.

Talk amongst yourselves while we figure out what will entertain.

-------------------------------------

Edit: Well that didn't take long... the MZone had not returned when this story was written in August -- but it is timeless in the message.

Behold the story of dueling protests outside of Columbus between a strip club and a fundamentalist church:

The strippers, fueled by Cheetos and nicotine, are protesting a fundamental Christian church whose Bible-brandishing congregants have picketed the club where they work....

.....It's here where dancers strip down to panties and pasties for cash. Meske -- a tattooed mother of four -- said she made $30 instead of a couple hundred dollars last Friday with the protesters outside.
"I'm not the most beautiful woman in the world," she said. "I go out there and I try to make my money."

The only thing I have to say is: Thank God for Fox News Ohio.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dunk Fan Friday

Rather than Drunk Fan Friday, allow us to present DUNK Fan Friday.

Know Your Mascot - The Wolverine

Today's guest post comes from Friend of the MZone, Mikoyan, proprietor of the photography-theme blog, Michigan Exposures.

The Michigan mascot is the wolverine.  The wolverine's scientific name is gulo gulo which is Latin for glutton.    They are also sometimes called glutton, carcajou, skunk bear, quickhatch or gulon.  It is the largest animal of the mustelid family (weasels).



It is a stocky and muscular animal more closely resembling a bear than it's mustelid cousins.  In one Native American legend, it created the Earth.




Wolverines don't really run, they have a more loping gape.  While that may not look very efficient, it is well suited to the snowy climates they generally inhabit.  They are actually pretty fast for an animal of their size.



They have a pretty fierce reputation.  And they are built to live up to that reputation.  Their jaws are strong enough to chew through bones.  Their claws are pretty large for an animal of their size.  They have been known to either defend their prey from predators much larger from them or steal prey from larger predators.  In the book, "The Wolverine Way", the other mentions a story of a wolverine chasing a bear away from a kill and to paraphrase the author, that's pretty bad ass.  They are also known to take down prey much larger than them.

Male wolverines typically mate with 2 or 3 female wolverines and according to the book, "The Wolverine Way", they will play an active part in raising the young up until about 10 weeks old.  Sometimes, the young will reconnect with their fathers later.   Wolverine offspring are called kits and will reach adult size within a year.  A wolverine lifespan is typically 5 to 13 years.  They have pretty thick oily fur which is resistant to frost and this makes it popular.



Wolverines have a pretty well developed sense of smell and can smell carcasses under avalanches.  The wolverine will eat just about anything.

Michigan is known as the "Wolverine State" even though a wolverine hasn't lived in the state for close to 200 years up until one appeared in the Thumb.  A group of soldiers that fought with Custer was known as the "Wolverines".  The origin of the name for the state and later the team is unknown.  There are several theories for this.  One stems from the amount of fur trading that occurred in the state, some of which was wolverine pelts.  Another states that the name was given during the Michigan-Ohio War.  It is either the folks from Michigan bragging about thier fierce fighting or the Ohioans calling them gluttons.  We are not sure.

Live wolverines had a short lived appearance at games.  Fielding Yost wanted one after he saw Wisconsin carrying around a badger.  He was able to get a stuffed one in 1924.  In 1927, ten wolverines were obtained from Alaska and placed in the Detroit Zoo.  Two of these wolverines were brought to the games. Unfortunately, these wolverines grew larger and in the words of Yost, "It was obvious that the Michigan mascots had designs on the Michigan men toting them, and those designs were by no means friendly."  So the practice was stopped after one year.  One wolverine was kept at the University of Michigan Zoo for a while.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Like a breath of fresh air...

We don't talk about college basketball here very much, but when you don't win in East Lansing for over a decade, and finally win one, it is time to celebrate!

Sparty's response is an instant classic., my favorite is on page 2.

This is the internet equivalent of a UM fan walking into the Peanut Barral right now and trying to talk smack. I expect an appropriate reaction from my Spartan Brethern, but I'll offer this one:

Fuck off.

Go back to your double-wide, your 3-bill GF with fewer teeth than grades of education completed and fuck off.

Go rub one out to the picture of Bo that hangs on your wall and cry yourself to sleep in your flea-ridden blankets because you wish someday you could be truly affiliated with UM and fuck off.

Go get some sleep so you can make your shift at Walmart tomorrow morning and kindly, truly and sincerely fuck off. I harbor nothing but ill will towards that festering cesspool of human iniquity in that oozing blight upon Mother Earth known as Ann Arbor. I hate the arrogant pricks that go there and the trash bandwagon fans than hang on, grasping at success vicariously through an institution that they could never hope to be truly a part of.

In conclusion, fuck off.

UConn booster thinks he's owner not donor

As if college football didn't have enough problems with the likes of Cam Newton's dad wanting their kids to get paid, apparently some big time boosters believe their open wallets believe entitle them to act as defacto ADs in the hiring and firing of coaches.

Case in point: A major UConn benefactor wants the $3 million he donated to the school returned and his family's name removed from the school's football complex because - wait for it - they shut him out of the discussions regarding the selection of the new football coach.

See that football you're holding?  Should've bought
one of those teams if you wanted a say about coaches
No, seriously.

According to the USA TODAY article linked above, "Robert Steinbrenner Burton, chief executive officer of Greenwich, Conn.-based Burton Capital Management, said in a Jan. 19 letter to UConn athletic director Jeff Hathaway that his opinions were ignored and he did not support the way Paul Pasqualoni was selected as coach."

Boo-fucking-hoo.

Burton called the situation "a slap in the face and embarrassment to my family," and said he planned "to let the correct people know that you did not listen to your number one football donor." He called the search process flawed.

Actually, the embarrassment is Mr. Burton's behavior.  Get over yourself, jackhole.  As reader "Small Axe" said in the comment section of USA TODAY, "It's not an investment. He's not buying shares of stock. He's not a partial owner of a franchise. It's a donation to a state school. How egotistical, arrogant, entitled, and disgusting."

In a statement, the school said "In the end, the decision was appropriately made by the university in the best interests of UConn and our football program,"

Exactly.  Although it apparently came as a shock to Mr. Burton that the decision wasn't made in his best interests.  Because there's more in the USA TODAY article:


Burton, a printing industry executive, and his family have given more than $7 million in donations for scholarships and other programs, including $2.5 million in 2002 to kick off construction of the football complex.

That's over, according to Burton's letter. And, he blames the athletic director, saying he is "fed up" with Hathaway and would have fired him long ago, if he'd had the authority.

Burton says his family and friends will no longer donate for scholarships and coaching clinics, will pull their advertising from the football program and will transfer current scholarships away from football and into the business school.

It couldn't immediately be determined Tuesday how many football players that would affect and whether other scholarship money would be available.

Burton said his company will also start sending its managers to Syracuse University's business school for training instead of UConn, and will no longer pay for its $50,000-per-year luxury suite at Rentschler Field.

"You already have many other empty boxes at Rentschler. My box will just join the list," Burton wrote.

Sounds like a heck of a guy.

Naturally, Mr. I Have Money So That Means I'm More Important Than Everybody Else is suing UConn to get his ownership stake "donation" returned and the family name off the building.

I hope UConn does take his name off the building, but keeps the money.

(HT: USA Today commenter Lakin for title idea)

MGoBlog back online, MZone plot fails

BREAKING NEWS:

(from AP wire services) Ann Arbor, MI - The MZone's attempt to overthrow MGoBlog as the leader and best Michigan site failed when proprietor Brian Cook was able to thwart the much smaller blog's nefarious plan.

After the hiring of new football coach Brady Hoke, the MZone's Elite Cyber Warfare Team was quickly able to figure out that Cook's master password for the MGoBlog empire had been changed to DaveBrandonSucksBigGiantMonkeyBalls.

As a result, the MZECWT was able to take over Cook's site with the same ruthless efficiency in which it recently sabotaged Iran's nuclear reactors, a brilliant cyber attack that much of the world wrongly credited to the Israeli's. 

In the shocking clip below just obtained from BloggiLeaks, Cook learns for the first time of Yost's audacious attempted coup d'blog.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wallpaper Wednesday: Blessed


Sorry for the tardy wallpaper post today, it is a long story, and it ends with me walking on Las Vegas Boulevard at 6AM to get back to my hotel. Better late than never. Special shout out to my friend Dusty for this great wallpaper. If you are a twitter user - follow him @DJTerrell

BONUS WALLPAPER WEDNESDAY

MZone reader Mikoyan sent us this wallpaper in response to our plea for post submissions.

Help for a blogging cohort

If you've tried to access MGoBlog over the last 48 hours or so, you may have noticed this warning pop up:


Now, contrary to initial reports, this attack is not - I repeat, NOT - being orchestrated by AD Dave Brandon in the wake of MGoBlog's criticism of Brady Hoke's hiring.

But whatever is going on, it's certainly causing some headaches for Brian, the site's founder and proprietor.  Just saw the following posts on his Twitter account:


Clarification: need help removing malware from site. We've been baning our heads against it for days.
I need help. Does anyone have suggestions for someone I can hire?

Thus, just trying to pass on the call for help if any of our readers are experts in this field (plus, Brian has a shitload of readers and real honest-to-god companies advertise on his site so he can probably actually pay you as opposed to simply HT'ing you next to a picture of a naked co-ed)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Family Portrait


I saw this gem the other day on one of my favorite daily blog reads (uniwatchblog.com). It is a scanned image of a 1969 college football postcard set produced by a Texas based artist . I am not sure which mascot character I like best: the brain surgeon Sparty or the brooding Hoosier with the straw in his mouth. Also, you have to admit the buckeye head looks a lot like something that Mascot Man made in an unreleased video.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The MZone Needs YOU!

The common perception of a blogger is that of a strikingly handsome, fabulously wealthy individual who hob nobs in the top social circles - sort of the cyber version of the Dos Equis man.  Thus, you may be surprised - dare I say shocked! - to know that I have another job which requires my attention from time to time.

This week is one of those times.  And with Andy also on the road for work, posting may be light for the next couple of days.

But it doesn't have to be that way.  You, the loyal MZone reader, can help.

Have you ever wanted to be a world famous blogger, impressing women with the mere mention of your MZone involvement?  Now is your chance.  We're looking for a few good bloggers to contribute here at the MZone, especially during the off-season.

So, c'mon now.  Chip in.  Team effort. 

Give me your tired, your poor excuse for a Photoshop
Your muddled rant, yearning to breathe fire at Buckeye fans
The wretched refuse of your video editing skills uploaded on YouTube
Send these, your homeless guest columns, for posting to me
I lift my blog beside the golden keyboard!

The most interesting man in the world...
unless an MZone blogger is in the room

Sunday, January 23, 2011

NFL Championship Sunday Open Thread

Since there really isn't any college football available, I have been forced to turn my attention to the NFL. Without a doubt, this is the best weekend of NFL football all season. I honestly don't care who wins, but I would love to see Charles Woodson and Braylon Edwards get a chance to match up in the Super Bowl.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Beer Bong Fridays

Not that there's anything wrong with this.



Uh, guys. Seriously. I...

I'm not gonna say it.

Okay, I'm gonna say it - doing a beer bong from between your friend's legs - and then posting a video to YouTube of you and the guys having a wild night of doing beer bongs from between each other's legs - probably isn't your smartest move if you're a straight male.

Oh, yeah, and calling it "Blowjob Beer Bong" doesn't help. Again, if you're straight.

Now, this is how they do it at Wisconsin. Notice the lack of dudes' crotches during the beer bonging attempt. I'm just sayin'.



Sure the women are plastic (and so are the breasts) but at least there are no frank and beans remotely close to the bong hose. Again, just a tip.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Holy "crap" - he's back!

Last fall, we brought you this video of some Buckeye fan who calls himself Mascot Man and dances around by himself in his one bedroom apartment to old Village People tunes.  This clip fell into the "so bad it's good" category.

But the sequel below is crap.  Literally.



Wow. I mean...wow.

Let's see if we can sum up how the creative process went to produce the comedic masterpiece above:

* In a bolt out of the blue on par with the flash of genius that struck Newton after the apple struck him, the idea hits Mascot Man (probably as he sits on the toilet).  
* He immediately writes this "shit" down so the moment of inspiration doesn't elude him.  
* He spends the time to make - MAKE! - an M-shaped fake turd, probably giggling the entire time at the shear hilarity of it all.
* He next dresses up in his paper mache costume
* He sets up his video camera in the bathroom
* He then shoots this turd (of a video)
* He then edits this turd (of a video-slash-video of a turd)
* Unable to wait for the millions of Internet viewers, he immediately shows the finished video to his girlfriend, shows it to a friend that is a girl, IMs some dude he friended online last week playing Farmville (who immediately unfriends him)
* Uploads it to YouTube
* Keeps hitting refresh on his YouTube page for 8 straight hours, wondering how in the hell this thing isn't going viral like the kid who got stoned at the dentist
* Returns to work at Subway the next morning
* Starts thinking of next bit of Buckeye-theme Internet magic on his lunch break

Finally - a couple Wolverines that can beat up a Buckeye

The Detroit Zoo's wolverines take on a treat-filled Ohio State pinata.



UPDATE: There is no truth to the rumor that Mattison wants Hoke to offer these two furry critters.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wallpaper Wednesday - This is MICHIGAN



Q: People nationally have said that this isn't an elite job anymore. Why in your mind isn't this an elite job?

COACH HOKE: Who says that? (laughter) And I'm being serious.

Q: ESPN --

COACH HOKE: God bless them. They have a job to do and they have an opinion that they might have. But this is an elite job and will continue to be an elite job. This is Michigan for God's sakes. It's what this is all about. You know, people can say what they want to say, and people are going to have opinions; shouldn't have hired him, he doesn't know what he's doing. Doesn't mean a thing. All it means is when we get together, those 115 kids and we start our preparation and we start the things that we have to do as a football staff, as a team, then we'll decide. But it baffles me how people with make a comment like that, and I'll probably get bashed in the press from it, but they are wrong. This is Michigan.


Go Blue!

Mattison hired as DC, stuffed animals back to children's closets

Brady Hoke hired Baltimore Raven defensive coordinator Greg Mattison for the same position at Michigan and already area toy stores are complaining about a drop in stuffed animal sales.  Mattison returns to A2 where he was on Mo' and Lloyd's staffs from '92-'96.

Yes, it's Jaunary 18th but if this article by Angelique Chengelis about Mattison doesn't fill you with Hoke hope and defensive promise, I don't know what will.

As MGoShoe said in response to one of our tweets on the hire, Trying to not be irrationally exuberant, but not succeeding.


This man will NOT be using kiddie toys on the sidelines

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Now playing in the MZone Theater: The Incredible Hoke!

"Don't make me angry, Drew Sharp.  You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."

Ed. Note: I somehow talked my old blogging cohort, Benny, into doing the 'Shop above. He assures me this is a onetime deal. But maybe if we push him...

MZone Mythbusters (plus I'm a f@#king psychic)

As previously noted, I'm disappointed by the reaction of some in the Maize and Blue community who have greeted Brady Hoke's hire with all the excitement of a cholera outbreak.  In spouting their pessimistic opinion regarding Michigan's Hoke-led future, some justify the initial negativity by claiming the oft-repeated assertion that Rich Rod got the same "welcome" from the moment he was hired.

But is that true? 

To find out, as least as far as the MZone is concerned, I went back into the archives to unearth what I wrote about Rich Rod in December, 2007.  On Monday, December 17th, in a post entitled "The Rodrigeuz Era Begins," I wrote the following (bolded text added to original):

What a weekend.

From the depths of despair for many Michigan fans as the Wolverine coaching searched dragged on almost four whole weeks (which is equivalent to 8.3 years in today's Internet-fueled sports world) to the heights of ecstasy as U-M landed a coach who apparently believes the quarterback is allowed to stray outside the pocket by more than 4 feet (and not just to take a sack).

So, is it a great hire?

It's too early to tell. Just as it would have been impossible 48 hours after the fact to tell if the hiring of Mike DeBord would have been the first sign of the Football Apocalypse. We won't know how good this hire is until about three years down the road.

'Bama fans nearly wept with joy after their school lured Nick Saban to Tuscaloosa. But after a 6-6 season, including a loss to Louisiana-Monroe, now they might just be weeping, period. Pete Carroll was USC's 38th choice when he was hired to coach the Trojans. Southern Cal fans wanted the AD run out of town for picking some failed NFL coach to lead them. The end was near - the end of being average as Carroll returned the team to new found glory. And after Bo Schembechler was hired way back when, the headline of the Detroit Free Press screamed, "Bo Who?" Gee, I didn't know Drew Sharpe was that old.

So while we can be excited, whether or not it was great is yet to be determined.

I will say that our offense is going to be like nothing you've ever seen in A2 before (unless you're talking about Oregon, Syracuse, Appalachian State or any of the other spread offenses that have shredded the Wolverines in recent years). The only problem is, do we have the personnel to run it next season? If Rodriguez tries to reinvent the wheel too soon, well, talk to Husker fans about that one.

I will say that I like the hire better than Miles
(who, hopefully, will stop holding press conferences now). From all I've heard, he's a great guy and a good coach. My one nagging concern is his record in big games, which is the main issue many folks had with Carr the last couple of years. West Virginia usually played a non-conference schedule that would make the K-State non-con cupcakes from the Bill Snyder era look like murder's row. Then they duked it out in the still-a-bball-league Big East. Yet they still managed to struggle in key or big games.

This season, the best team from a ranking standpoint they played was 18th ranked South Florida. They lost. They only had to beat 28 point dog Pitt - coached by Dave "Has he EVER had a winning record?" Wannstedt - at home to reach the BCS title game. They lost. Yeah, I know Pat White was hurt. But they were playing 28 point dog Pitt at home - a team coached by Dave Wannstedt! WVU's big wins this season were over Cinci and UConn (yes, in football).

And there are some nagging questions about his defenses. While known for his offenses, stout defense, a Michigan staple (except against teams coached by guys running offenses like Rodriquez), weren't his forte.

So, while I'm optimistic, I'm also realistic. Coach Rod, as he is known, has my full support (except for his nickname. He sounds like a porn star). I sincerely hope this is the genius hire the "sky is falling" crowd thinks it is (who apprently thought Michigan AD Bill Martin was going to pick a name out of a hat containing only Pop Warner youth league coaches once Les Miles didn't work out). Whatever happens, it's going to be fun as hell to watch.

Now only time will tell if that fun translates into something much, much bigger.

Okay, besides the fact that I really should trade in my blogging keyboard for a sign out front advertising my services as a psychic, I'd say that's a pretty fair, accurate and positive piece.  Compare that with what's been written about Hoke by those who hate the hire. 

Two days later, I had this to say after Rich Rod's introductory press conference in a post entitled, "First Impressions: I Like Him:"

Watched Rich Rodriguez's introduction/press conference in A2 yesterday and was very impressed with what I saw. Yes, he might need a little lesson about M history, but he's an engaging guy and his football record reflects that of an outstanding coach.

Basically, if we're going by Gut Feeling 101 - I liked him. A lot. How could you not after watching that?

Welcome to A2, Coach. Best of luck. I'll be cheering my ass off for you next season.

There you go.  Our first two posts on the Rich Rod Era.

So who were these blogs, news outlets or sports writers - outside of Drew "Annoyance Journalism" Sharp - against Rich Rod from day one?  Do they exist?  Or is this simply something that has been repeated with such frequency, sheer volume has folks mistaking it for fact?  In an admittedly cursory check, I couldn't find the anti-RR stuff in the wake of hire.  

Granted, as Rich Rod's messy divorce from WVU dragged on (and on) and more players left A2 for a variety of reasons (even transferring to Tosu!), folks admittedly got nervous very quickly, including yours truly.  Then when the 3-9 debacle hit, it grew.  But aren't such concerns reasonable when given actual reason for said concern?  

Thus, if some "sky is falling" folks want to treat Hoke the same way Rodriguez got treated when he got here, fine:  Give him your full support and get ready to cheer your ass off for him and his squad come fall.  And if actual events of his doing - on or off the field - demand a re-evaluation, that's fair.  But not until then.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Shouldn't this be child abuse?

Are you a Buckeye fan who wants to start training your child in the ways of the Dark Side, but he's still a tad too young for his first "Fuck Michigan" shirt?

Well, until that first birthday rolls around, you can get the future tattoo-trading Tosu-student to-be started on that long road toward moral decline with The Ohio State Sweater Vest Onesie shown below.

He wouldn't be smiling if he knew what he was wearing

I wonder if the apparel also comes with The Ohio State Parenting Handbook which includes such chapters as "Punishing the Buckeye Child" in which Tosu parents learn that when the little Woody does something wrong, you don't send him right to his room or put him in timeout.  Instead, you let him continue doing whatever he was doing him but let him know he's in really big trouble down the road when he turns four.


And to really up sales, for a limited time only, The Sweater Vest onesie should also come with a "Championship Rattle" that the Tosu Toddler can then sell when he or she gets to pre-school or trade for things with other toddlers.

Order now!  Operators are standing by!

(HT: @chengelis)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Braylon flips out


Nice win by the Jets tonight. Next week's championship games will be a lot of fun to watch, if you count Bears backup QB Todd Collins, there are Michigan players on each team's roster. The Steelers (Woodley), Packers (Woodson), and Jets (Braylon Edwards and David Harris) have former Wolverines playing important roles.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A $2.5M buyout ain't what it used to be

MZone reader SiC sends us the pic below that's making the inbox rounds in C-bus.  Thus, there is no truth to the rumor that this was taken at the State St. exit off I-94 this week.


ED. NOTE: The pic above will make no sense at all if you're not familiar with this story.

ED. NOTE II:  As noted, SiC got this via email and thus wasn't sure of the attribution.  But if anybody knows, email me to I can HT.

MZone Exclusive: Dave Brandon's Not Here

As Michigan fans know, before Brady Hoke was hired, there was a meeting between U-M athletic director Dave Brandon and LSU coach Les Miles.  And what did or did not happen at that meeting is the subject of much speculation.  Was an offer made or not made to Miles to coach Michigan?  Was it just a courtesy meeting?  Did Brandon burst out laughing when he saw Miles clap his hands?

Whatever happened, Miles didn't end up as Michigan's coach.  But why?

Well, as you know, Miles is a unique bird.  From the bad clapping to the grass eating to the doesn't-know-how-to-wear-a-hat thing, he marches to his own drummer.  But we didn't know how odd he was until the MZone obtained this exclusive audio recording from that meeting when Brandon showed up at Miles' Baton Rouge office earlier this week.

After listening, we think it's easy to see why a deal didn't come together.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Will some UM fans one day wish they hadn't "shouted at the airport?"

I've been disappointed by the harsh criticism of the Hoke hire in some Michigan quarters.  Obviously one doesn't have to do cartwheels if they disagree - that's what being a sports fan is all about.  But some of the shrill negativity from Day 1 is sad (and no, Rich Rod didn't face such a "the sky is falling!" response immediately following the announcement of his hiring and his first press conference.  But more about that in a post next week).

Judging by some reactions, one would think Dave Brandon hired me (I got a call, but no face-to-face).  Hell, Fox News wasn't this harsh on Obama until at least six days after his inauguration.

But history always has the last laugh.  

When Gene Chizik was hired at Auburn in December 2008, the first video shows the "welcome" he got from one Tiger fan.  This, uh...passionate fan...showed up at the airport to heckle AD Jay Jacobs as he arrived back upon the Plains with his new coach.  The fan was less than thrilled by the selection of Chizik, a former Auburn assistant - an "Auburn Man" if you will - who just went 5-19 at Iowa State.

Actually, there's no need for me to point out Chizik's record as you'll soon understand why:



But, in the wake of Auburn's national title, the maker of the new video below theorizes that that airport "Greeter" might do things a little differently if he had a mulligan:



I hope those Michigan fans who are "shouting at the airport" today regarding Hoke's hire also wish they had a do-over in the near future.

(Video HT: EDSBS)

ED. NOTE:  As Benny noted (yes, that Benny), did you hear what the guy in the top vid shouted out around the :58 second mark?

Know Your Coach: Brady Hoke

Usually, this post topic is reserved for Know Your Foe, detailing the non-X's and O's things you might not know about Michigan's weekly opponent.   But with the hiring of a new football coach this week - on the 19th in Michigan's 131 seasons of playing intercollegiate football - we thought you, the loyal MZone reader, would like to get to know your new coach just a little bit more.


HOKE'S PLAYING DAYS

Born in November, 1958 in Dayton, OH, Hoke graduated from Fairmont East High School in Kettering, OH and went on to play linebacker for Ball State where he was a four-year letterman.  He was the captain of his squad senior year and a second-team All-MAC selection.  He graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice, something that will come on handy when discussing the Ohio State team with his players.

According the Wikipedia link above, his dad played for Woody Hayes at Miami of Ohio but Brady always was a Michigan fan growing up which much have led to some interesting discussions around the dinner table.

EARLY COACHING DAYS

According (again) to Wikipedia (let's face it, there aren't a whole hell of a lot of other Hoke sources out there...yet!), Hoke began his coaching career in 1982 as the defensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Yorktown HS in Yorktown, Indiana.

Hoke's college coaching career started as the D-line coach for Grand Valley State in '83.  The following year he took the same job at Western Michigan where the coach was a guy by the name of Jack, father of Jim, Harbaugh.  Hoke stayed at Western until '86

Hoke then went to the University of Toledo and Oregon State before joining...

MICHIGAN

As you probably know by know, Hoke was part of the Michigan coaching staff from '95 until 2002.  But what you might not know, which I didn't, was that Hoke was hired, not by Lloyd Carr, but by Moeller in February of '95.   When Moeller was fired, Carr kept Hoke on his staff.  He was defensive ends coach in '95 and '96 and D-line coach from '97 until 2002.  That final year, Hoke was also Michigan's assistant head coach.

During those years, Michigan won 5 Big Ten titles and 1 NC.  Hoke still wears his NC ring each day and, to the best of our knowledge, has not sold any of his Big Ten title rings nor traded them for tats.

While at Michigan, Hoke was known as a great recruiter and was in charge of recruiting California.  One of the players he recruited was some QB you might have heard of: Tom Brady.

BALL STATE AND SDSU

In December, 2002, Hoke left A2 to coach his alma mater, Ball State for $125,000 a year (or as they call that in the SEC, "Back-up tight end money").  Taking over a team that hadn't won since '96, Hoke's first three teams struggled as well.  But in his 4th year, they went 5-7, then went 7-6 and finally 12-1 when Hoke was hired to coach San Diego State.

At San Diego State, Hoke signed a 5-year contract worth a guaranteed $3.5 Mil (or as they call that in the SEC, the waterboy's buy-out amount).  He took over a 2-10 team that hadn't had a winning season since '98.  They went 4-8 his first year and 9-4 this past season with a Poinsettia Bowl victory over Navy.  This was the Aztecs' first bowl victory since the Beatles were still together.

COACHING POTPOURRI

Coach Hoke was one of 10 finalists for the 2008 Liberty Mutual National Coach of the Year and was named Mid-American Coach of the Year in 2008 and American Football Coaches Association Football Bowl Subdivision Region 3 Coach of the Year.

His overall coaching record, as all the folks already bitching will tell you, is 47-50 (of course they always neglect to mention he took over two corpses and brought them both back to life).

PERSONAL LIFE

Hoke is married to the former Laura Homberger, who is also a Ball State alum, and they have one daughter.  His younger brother, John, is the secondary coach of the Chicago Bears.

He is said to look like Fred Flinstone, Jeff Garlin from Curb Your Enthusiasm, Steve Schirripa from The Sopranos, and a tad like the deceased Penn brother.

His Facebook page is pretty empty and he is not (yet) a Tweeter.  He got his dream job, pounds the podium when he speaks and refers to Tosu as the most important game on Michigan's schedule and "that school from Ohio."

Those who worked with him and played for him say he's a great guy and one heck of a coach.

Hell, yes: I'm excited!

Go Blue!

(Hoke Hope pic on the right via HSR)

And for cryin' out loud, if you haven't watched it yet and want to get pumped about both Michigan football and our new head coach (to hell with the naysayers), watch his introductory press conference:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Somebody's gonna get whacked. Hopefully it's Ohio State

As some already bash our new coach (the expected ones like Drew Sharp, the not-so-expected on other Michigan sites), I urge anybody who hasn't yet seen it to watch his press conference here.

I thought he was impressive.

Is he going to be the second (or third or fourth) coming of the Michigan greats who preceded him?  Who knows.  But how can you not like this guy and not want to line up behind him?

Brady Hoke assembles his coaching staff.  You got a problem with that?
ED. NOTE: The pic above is not photoshopped.  I was gonna have Andy put Hoke's face over the mug of actor Steve Schirripa, but then I thought, Why bother?

Nick at Nite to do TV show based on UM coaching search

The MZone has learned that Nick at Nite is going to be producing a television show inspired by Michigan's just-completed coaching search.  Our sources gave us an early look at the script and below are the lyrics for the theme song as well as the show's poster.

Here's the story, of a brand new AD
Who was searching for a coach to lead the Blue
All the alums had hoped for someone, like Jim Harbaugh
But that went down the tubes


Here's the story, of a man named Brady
Who was busy with a WAC team of his own
They went 9-4, with a bowl win
Yet his love of A2 was well known


'Til the one day when the AD called this fellow
And they met in San Diego over lunch
Where an offer was made to join the Michigan family
That's the way U-M became the Brady Bunch.


The Brady Bunch.
The Brady Bunch.
That's the way we became the Brady Bunch!

Go Blue!

Two-Minute Drill: Coaching Conclave Concludes

When news of Brady Hoke's hiring began to spread yesterday, the final confirmation came from the smoke spewing forth from Schembechler Hall.  It changed from black to white indicating Brandon and his coaching conclave had made their selection.


No word on what color all the hot air is that's emanating from the folks slamming Hoke before he even steps foot on campus.

(HT: DC)

Raising Money for a Good Cause

Got the following email below from loyal longtime reader BP on the west side of the state:

I have volunteered for Friends and Families of Cystic Fibrosis the last couple of years which has been very rewarding.  Our largest fund raiser is coming up in a few weeks, Bid for Bachelors and Bachelorettes, here is the website for the event:  www.bidforbach.org

It is the 14th year for BID and our goal is to raise $50,000 this year.  Last year's event we raised over $35,000 and our expenses are lower this year, not to mention we have more people participating as bachelors and bachelorettes.

If there is any Michigan football home game that you would be willing to donate for the cause, it would be greatly appreciated.  With eight home games in 2011 there could be a non-conference game or two you would be willing to donate.  Attached is the donation form with our charity's federal tax ID number for your gift.  If you do donate, the tickets would be included in someone's date package or as part of our silent auction.

The date for BID is Feb 5th--if you can make the trip to Grand Rapids and attend the event, I think you will be impressed.  The event will be at Thousand Oaks Country Club, it would be great to see you.  We are offering some couples packages this year as well.

BP also stated that any Michigan sporting event tickets that one could donate (Wings, Tigers, etc.) would be appreciated.

A Few Good Wolverines

As you can tell, I'm a sucker for a good movie or TV parody.  Reader SC put up the post below on his blog, Crocker Chronicle.

In the midst of increasing speculation regarding the state of the University of Michigan football program, U of M athletic director David Brandon (pictured at left) had the following to say at a press conference earlier today:

"Wolverine Fans,

We are part of an institution that has tradition, and that tradition has to be guarded by men who wear the Block ‘M’ proudly. Who's gonna do it? You, Drew Sharp? You, Michael Rosenberg? 

I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Rodriguez and you curse our defense. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Rodriguez’s firing, while tragic, probably will win us some games. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, may just get us the Mad Hatter.*

You don't want the truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about on your blogs, you want me as the AD. You need me as the AD! We use words like Victors, Big House, and Big Ten Championships. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line! I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to bandwagon fans who rise and sleep under the very Maize and Blue blanket that I provide and then question the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a winged helmet and take a stance in the trenches. 

Either way, I don't give a wolverine's rear end what you think you are entitled to."

On completion of his comments, Brandon jumped from behind the podium and attacked Mitch Albom.

*  ED. NOTE:  SC sent this piece before The Announcement, hence the Hatter ref.  My bad just getting to it but my inbox is pretty swamped this week.

Baton Rouge Does Seem Like a Place You'd Hate to Leave

Finally, reader SG claims THIS is the real reason Les Miles stayed in Baton Rouge:


ED. NOTE:  I'm pretty sure we used this pic during The Original MZone (represent!).  But, surprisingly, I had no problem with running it again.

Da Plane!  Da Plane!

Finally, since it might have gotten buried when the Hoke selection broke yesterday, here's the post and video of Brandon's last coaching search trip which ultimately broke our coach to A2.

Wallpaper Wednesday - Denard = B10 Player of the Year

I made this wallpaper a couple of weeks ago, but the events associated with the program over the last few weeks have created a gap in this weekly feature.

It is important that the collective Michigan fan base continue to show the love and admiration to Denard Robinson. Of all the potential negative effects of this coaching change, Denard's choice to stay or go could be the most important in the short term success of the program. From my perspective, the single largest failure of the Rich Rodriguez experiment was the absolute refusal to adjust the scheme to the abilities of the players. This cost us the seemingly very valuable skills of Ryan Mallett and many others. I can't imagine that Brady Hoke and his new assistants will throw away the talents of the Big Ten Player of the Year. At least I hope not.

Denard, if you are reading this... PLEASE STAY !!!!! Michigan is a very special place and you are an important part of this program.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Brady Hoke Hired as Next Michigan Football Coach

It's official: Brady Hoke is Michigan's new football coach.

Welcome, coach.  Good luck and...

Go Blue!

Ed. Note: Much more to come.

PS  This next comment isn't a negative on our new coach but, based on the folks interviewed, did Dave Brandon really hire one of those high-priced national firms to help in the coaching search?   Seriously?  I hope the check didn't clear yet.  Put a stop on that, would ya?

Or I hope they have some refund policy or pro-rate it like, oh, 90%.  Because from all appearance he interviewed Harbaugh, Miles and Hoke.   Holy crap, I could have given DB those names.

In a related story, I'd like to announce the grand opening of MZone Coaching Search, LLC.  Our retainer is $100,000.  We are officially open for business...now.

After Miles Rejects Michigan, First Signs of MCP Reported

BREAKING NEWS:

(from MZone staff and wire reports)  Ann Arbor, MI  - Les Miles will not be the next Michigan football coach and instead will remain at LSU.  Miles becomes the second former-Wolverine-player-turned-successful-college-coach to spurn his alma mater after Jim Harbaugh picked the NFL and the 49ers over A2 last week.

The loss of Miles sent a shudder down the collective spine of Michigan fans everywhere and doctors are reporting the first outbreaks of MCP, otherwise known as Michigan Coaching Panic.  Right now the Center for Disease Control (CDC) said it only has nine confirmed cases but that number is expected to grow exponentially the longer Michigan goes without a head coach.

The MZone has independently confirmed the first case in suburban Detroit.  Doctors in Farmington Hills are treating a man who apparently was in a marketing staff meeting at an advertising firm but was secretly checking MGoBlog  on his Blackberry.  When Brian broke the news that Miles wasn't coming, sources at the meeting claim the main suddenly stood up, screamed "Oh fuck!" become breaking into a sweat and storming out of the room.

He was found moments later near the break room punching the water cooler and mumbling incoherently before medical officials were contacted.

The CDC is urging anyone with family or friends who are Michigan football fans to check on them immediately and make sure they are okay, especially if they live alone.  The first step is just to reach out and talk to them, and tell them that it's going to be alright.

The CDC also put up a list of "warning signs" so individuals can better spot if their Wolverines are suffering from MCP:

* Chest pain
* Uncontrollable crying
* Mumbling "Motherfucker!, "What the fuck?!" or any other use of the f-bomb to oneself over and over.
* Spending every waking hour on various Michigan sites, message boards and news outlets hoping to get the latest tidbit of information while repeatedly clicking "refresh" on said sites like a lab rat pressing the crystal meth lever in a science experiment.

Please stay tuned to the MZone as this crisis continues to unfold.

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE:

No joke - it's Hoke!

On to plan "C"...or is that "H"?

Just in case you have not already heard the news, Les Miles joined Jim Harbaugh in the "Thanks, but No Thanks" club today. I understand and respect their professional choices, but this coaching search business is starting to feel like a repeated knee to the baby maker.

For the love of GOD, enough is enough -- not so sure how hard it is to choose someone that is both competent and interested.

On the bright side, it is nice to see coaches with a Michigan degree getting paid handsomely for their skills and experience. Harbaugh got a nice fat paycheck on Friday from the San Francisco 49ers and this latest news marks the second time in just over three years that Les has used his Michigan degree to get a nice healthy raise from the fine folks at LSU. And for the record, if anyone ever mentions Les Miles as a future Michigan football coach, ever again -- they need to slapped.

ED. NOTE: In an update to this post on Sunday, third generation wheat farmer Bill Simmowitz has also passed on the position.


(HT: WH)

MZone Exclusive: "Michigan Plane" Makes Secret Stop in Coaching Search

If you've been following this or other Michigan blogs during The Great Coaching Search of 2011, you know that many U-M fans have been scouring flight tracking websites in order try to figure out where AD Dave Brandon's travels are taking him and, thus, who he's talking to about Michigan's vacant head coaching position.

Much of the tracking chatter has centered on a wealthy alum's so-called "Michigan plane" that has been spending a lot of time in Baton Rouge, home of LSU and potential coaching candidate Les Miles.

But the MZone has learned that's not even close to the most interesting stop for this private jet.

When Dave Brandon said he was conducting a national search, he wasn't kidding.  The MZone has obtained the exclusive video below of an until-now secret stop on Brandon's far reaching quest to replace the fired Rich Rodriguez.

Folks, after you watch, we think you'll agree that Michigan's AD is leaving no stone unturned to find the best coach.

Auburn wins BCS title giving SEC 5th consecutive crown

So there was that.

Auburn 22, Oregon 19.

I've never watched a more anti-climatic game that came down to the very last play. Just seemed...inevitable. And having the "Hey, I thought the play was over!" play basically decide the game was so fitting.

But props to Auburn on doing what they did all season: just win, baby.

Sadly, this marks the 5th straight BCS crown for the SEC and their 136-man recruiting classes. So until somebody else steps up and takes a title, the SEC is Zod and the rest of the conferences are The Man of Steel in Superman II right about now:

"Kneel before Zod!"

Monday, January 10, 2011

Damn, I'm handsome

Our friends at MVictors have been doing some great work lately.  Last week, Greg started a March Madness-style bracket of potential coaches and it's down to the final four.  Today, they had a guest post up about how this isn't the first time in Michigan's history that there have been "factions" over the football team.

But my favorite part of that post was the video below showing a photo compilation of yours truly from 1901 through 1940.  Damn, I look good.  And haven't aged a day some 71 years since that last photo.  I'm just sayin' ladies.

Where's Brandon?

Ed. Note: This was going to be a much bigger post complete with another exclusive MZone video.  But, alas, due to a @#$% computer issue, this is it until I punch my fucking foot through the fucking monitor correct the problem.

As we noted over the weekend, Wolverine fans have taken to flight tracking websites in an effort to figure out who Michigan's next football coach will be.  Folks are getting all Da Vinci Code trying to ascertain where AD Dave Brandon is and who he's talking to.

But instead of just blowing off work as you spend hour after hour focusing on Michigan and its search - all while pretending to be working on your TPS reports - now it's starting to cut into family time.

Well, MZone Children's Books, a division of MZone Publishing, has just released a book so that your kids - you know, those little creatures who live in your house that you've been ignoring since Rich Rod was fired as you constantly hit refresh on MGoBlog looking for updates - can play along in your search for Dave Brandon while you obsess over it on your computer along with the rest of the Maize and Blue Faithful


"Daddy, look! I found him! Here. Visiting this school in Akron!"

"No, Timmy. He wouldn't be there. That's the home of a crappy MAC team. But keep trying."

"Here he is! Is this him, Daddy? In Palo Alto? (AFTER A SECOND) Daddy, why are you crying?"

Sunday, January 09, 2011

In Plane Sight

As Michigan's coaching search enters its make-or-break week, in a desperate need to fill the information vacuum, I love all the folks using flight data like a Ouija board.   I've gotten a few good laughs reading all the chatter about some dude (it's always a dude) going to PeopleWhoUsedToListenToPoliceScannersButNowTrackFlights.org, finding any flight leaving any airport within 60 miles of Ann Arbor, then using the flight's ultimate destination to make a prediction about about who Michigan is talking to with about as much accuracy as Kirk Herbstreit

From GoBlueNbyNWfan: A small crop duster piloted by man wearing an "M" hat left Willow Run airport yesterday then flew real low over a farm outside Monroe.  Pretty sure this means UM interested in 3rd generation wheat farmer Bill Simmowitz or the ghost of Cary Grant.

My favorite Flight Tracker story thus far the one on Friday about this plane...



...being spotted in Baton Rouge, home of LSU, before departing the same day.

The plane is owned by Richard H. Rogel, a financially well-endowed Michigan alum who personally donated $22 million to the school in 2004.  According to the SportsByBrooks link above, Rogel is also a member of the U-M’s “Director’s Cabinet in the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Naturally, this meant the flight had something to do with Michigan pursuing Tiger coach Les Miles for its coaching vacancy.  Just one little problem with that conclusion: Miles - along with probably anybody else in the LSU athletic department one would reasonably expect to discuss the matter with if it was true - was in Dallas for LSU's Cotton Bowl game that day. 

But I'm more skeptical for a totally different reason.

I think we can all agree that Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon is playing this so close to the vest that his lips probably won't know the choice until the name of the new coach leaves his mouth.  That's why I can't imagine anything close to this conversation taking place:

DAVE BRANDON:  I'm thinking about Les Miles to fill our coaching vacancy so I'm going to Baton Rouge tomorrow.  But if I fly commercial, everybody will see me on the plane, and in the airport, and it will spread like wildfire.  I was able to keep it a secret for 40 days that I was firing Rich Rod,  but I wouldn't be able to keep this a secret for 40 minutes if I did that.  Any suggestions?

RICHARD H. ROGEL:  You can borrow my private jet.

DAVE BRANDON:  You mean the bright maize and blue painted Gulfstream that looks like a giant flying Michigan football helmet?

RICHARD H. ROGEL:  Yep, that's the one.  And it plays The Victors out of huge speakers on the bottom of the plane and shoots maize and blue streamers out of the nosecone as it descends.

DAVE BRANDON:  Perfect. I'll be like a NAVY Seal - in and out before anybody even notices.

RICHARD H. ROGEL:  Absolutely.  One problem Dave - Les and the entire Tiger athletic department are in Dallas for LSU's Cotton Bowl game tomorrow.

DAVE BRANDON:  Oh, I know.  I'm going down there to feel it out first with Frank Tibbeleux who heads up the stadium janitorial staff.  Do my due diligence. Just don't tell anyone.

RICHARD H. ROGEL: Scout's honor, Dave.  I'll have the jet ready.

BREAKING NEWS: In addition to Les Miles and Jim Harbaguh, third generation wheat farmer Bill Simmowitz has also rejected an offer to coach at Michigan.


(HT: WH)

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Brian, you are not alone

Brian over at MGoBlog is hearing a lot of buzz that The Mad Hatter Bad Clapper could be Michigan's next head coach...



But I wholeheartedly agree with Brian that this is not the right hire for Michigan.  For reasons like this ESPN story and all the reasons Brian states at the end of his post:

I've made my opinion clear on this: Miles is old, has enthusiastically adopted the tao of SEC, and just saw his program take a more serious hit from the NCAA than Rodriguez did. Even if it works out in five years Michigan is going to be saddled with a coach exactly as old as Carr was when he retired and will either get to experience the extended senescence of a guy who's already wacky or experience yet another transition. I would prefer Brady Hoke. 

I'm probably alone in this, I know.

Nope, you are not alone.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Harbaugh to the 49ers, Yost to the fetal position

He's going to the NFL.

Pressure on Brandon goes all the way to 11, which is more pressure because it's one bigger than 10.

Boehner chokes up after learning Harbaugh won't be coming to A2

Thanks to our long-time regulars, welcome new readers

Dear MZone Reader,

I've literally been swamped with the site this week as events in A2 have unfolded.  And while on one hand times like this are why you run a Michigan-centric college football blog, on the other hand it makes it very hard to, you know, have a life.  In addition, my esteemed cohort Andy is traveling for work this week which limits our Photoshop capabilities (and I still can't talk that rat bastard Benny out of retirement!).

Thankfully, you, the MZone reader, have really helped out.  From DC dropping everything in the middle of his work day to put together some emergency 'Shops, to Mikoyan 'Shopping DC's Dewey-beats-Truman 'Shop to create something new and his Coaching Coup D'Etat post, to all the submissions like the ones below, it helps keep the site chugging along when the workload gets tough.  So thanks, it's much appreciated.

Please know that shear volume - and that, you know, having a life thing - prevent me from responding to each and every email or using each submission.  But they all get read.

I'd also like to welcome our new readers who discovered us via Extra Mustard on SI.com.  Thanks for checking us out.  To keep up with the shenanigans around here, follow us on Twitter if you're so inclined.

Anyway, thanks again and welcome.

Yost


He's Good Enough For Letterman (I'm just sayin')

MZone reader IC sends us this video of then-Ball-State-now-SDSU-potential-Michigan head football coach Brody Hoke* reading the Top Ten List on The Late Show in 2008.

Why was Brady Hoke on the big CBS late night show?  No, Brad Pitt didn't cancel at the last minute and Hoke was the only person they could get after their first 86 choices passed.  Rather, host David Letterman is a Ball State alum and Hoke had just led them to a 12-0 regular season.



SEPARATED AT BIRTH?

Keith and the fine folks at Mustaches 4 Michigan note the resemblance between potential Michigan head coach Brady Hoke* and his finger gun, and the Penn brother who's not friends with Hugo Chavez and Penn's prop gun.  Either that or this is a still from Hoke's long lost TRUE ROMANCE audition.

You be the judge.



BEEN THERE, DONE THAT

MZone reader Scott sends us this visual interpretation of the week that's been in A2.


If Herbie says it, you can almost guarantee it ain't gonna happen.

I, State Your Blog

Finally, in a real scoop for the MZone, Phil obtained a partial transcript of Dave Brandon's 15+ hour performance review meeting(s) with Rich Rod this week.

Dave Brandon: Rich, what is the worst Michigan football blog on the Internet?

RR: Well that would be hard to say, sir. They're each outstanding in their own way.

Dave : Cut the horseshit, coach. I've got their tweets right here. Who photoshopped black smoke coming out of Schembechler Hall? Who keeps putting up Jim Harbaugh pictures? Every Halloween, they laugh at your defensive scheme. Every spring, they ridicule your recruiting record. And now, the final straw is the 3 year long “Evaluation” satire.

RR: You're talking about MZone, sir.

DB: Of course I'm talking about MZone, you TWERP!

"I want the MZone put on double secret probation!"

* I swear I did not put up this video along with the phrase "potential Michigan head football coach Brady Hoke" x2 simply to cause our friend Brian at MGoBlog or our readers such as SiC to break out in a cold sweat, smash their computer screens and/or take hostages.