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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Rumors of an unfortunate nature. This is always a fine line to walk, but I think both of these nasty football-related items have tripped the threshold of credibility and should thus be reported. Keep in mind that the following are rumors of the message board variety, though they're ones that have multiple credible sources:

  • Kevin Grady tore his ACL and will miss the 2007 season.
  • Carlos Brown has been absent from practice for the past week and is likely to transfer to an SEC school so he can play running back.
As always, there is a nonzero chance both of these things are false, especially the latter since there is a chance Brown could change his mind. (It's unlikely a hypothetically torn Grady ACL leaps into self-mending action.)

There is a possibility that Nasty Happening #1 helps convince Brown to forgo Nasty Happening #2 since he'd be third string at worst this year with an eye on moving up, but that's widely regarded as a longshot. Those prone to gnash teeth at every departure of a "speed back" Michigan can't fathom using properly will do so here, but Brown was beaten out by a player in his recruiting class who showed some explosive speed of his own on a couple long runs. If he's really dead-set on being a running back he's probably wise to do it elsewhere.

The wider view: yuck. The losses are piling up this offseason. To date only one projected starter, Carson Butler, is gone, but Michigan is now dangerously thin at many positions. The backup QB is a true freshman. There are two tailbacks on the roster (a third joins this fall). The starting fullback is a true freshman. There's one tight end with a snap's worth of experience. There are only four defensive ends. While we haven't sustained major damage yet, our shields are down and the next concussion missile is destined for our hull.

At least it will be louder maybe at some point in the future and stuff. The Daily has an interesting article on the possibility of luxury box renovations embiggening the volume level in Michigan Stadium. A university professor has been drafted to evaluate the changes and he came to a startling conclusion:
The University is working with Architecture Prof. Mojtaba Navvab - who was also a consultant on the acoustics of Hill Auditorium - to evaluate the acoustics of the renovation plans. During one game last fall, Navvab stood just off the 50 yard line and took readings of the noise level. He found that the volume ranged between 77 and 87 decibels - about the same noise level as a loud office.

Using computer models of the renovation plans, Navvab predicted that the volume in the stadium will increase to a range of 85 to 95 decibels - just under the volume of the inside of a New York City subway. That means the stadium would sound almost twice as loud as it does now.
That alone should swing the opinion of anyone who is still on the fence about the changes. (Decibels are a logarithmic measure of volume for anyone doing some subtraction and scratching their heads.) One suggestion: when you go to the trouble of creating a interesting and informative graphic, maybe you should make it bigger than this?

Bobble. Our new women's coach has been immortalized in the same fashion that Bill Laimbeer has:

(He's on the left.)

One of these things is not like the other. There are five people on an ESPN front page poll asking about the "most promising teenager" in sports. Four of them:
  • The slam-dunk #1 and #2 picks in the upcoming NBA draft
  • the NHL's youngest-ever winner of the Art Ross award, a guy who scored 120 points this year
  • a two-time Grand Slam event winner and former WTA player of the year.
The fifth?

Uh... yeah. At least he's getting killed:

New blogs...? There are other things for you to examine this offseason written by Michigan students. Frequent commenter Colin has embarked on his own blogging enterprise (suggestion: adopt catchier name). Law student and former Detroit News columnist(? really? Suggestion for tons of traffic: dirt on Foster) Scott Warheit tackles mostly sports but occasionally hours of 24 at Quo Vadimus. And improbably-named freshman Ace Anbender covers the entire Detroit scene at the Ace of Sports.

Etc.: King Kaufman has an entertaining interview with blogger/author Derek Zumsteg. Branch falling in NFL drafters' eyes. Michigan Sports Center fisks Bob Becker like whoah. The NHL press is really hammering this Marty Turco, choker thing. Simmons on NBA tanking -- I'm a sucker for weird proposals to fix sports.