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Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Avalanche. You can note on the right sidebar a number of new clip reels put up by Wolverine Historian recently. And there's more, oh, more. How about a five part retrospective on 1997?

There are more parts: part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5

Raise your hand if you're shocked. Mario Manningham attended UAB during his Michigan career, if you know what I mean:

After hiring an agent, however, Manningham showed up in better physical condition at his pro day and ran considerably faster. He also distributed a letter to NFL team officials admitting that he "wasn't straightforward" during team interviews at the Combine, had failed two drug tests while at the University of Michigan and apologized for any confusion he caused as a result of being “nervous and scared.”

“I don’t use marijuana anymore — and I have passed tests since,” Manningham wrote in the letter. “I know what is at stake for me, and my career. I am learning what it is going to take to be a professional. I am writing this letter because I just want a fair evaluation, and I want to be accountable for my actions. I am willing to be re-interviewed, re-tested, and to undergo any evaluation any team wants me to undergo.”

The way we hear it, Manningham, despite handling the situation poorly at the Combine with little guidance, is viewed as less of a character risk than Talib, who has been removed from more draft boards than Manningham, based on conversations PFW has had with nine NFL teams.
I guess now it can be told: multiple tipsters reported during the season that Manningham's suspension for the EMU game was the result of Manningham (and housemate Johnny Sears) getting evicted for blazing constantly.

Manningham's senior season was odd. Many Michigan fans crabbed about Manningham's demeanor, attitude, and production. While the first two items might have been legitimate issues, the third... uh...

The Horror3660
Notre Dame
Penn State
Michigan State
Ohio State

Manningham also had 53 yards rushing on a combination of jet sweeps and technically backwards passes in the Florida game.

Bolded are the games piloted by Ryan "Whoops" Mallett; but for one 97-yard touchdown horrifically misplayed by a Wisconsin safety they -- when taken with two games in which Henne was doing his best Whoops impression** -- represent the only games of the year in which Manningham's total contributions were less than excellent. The only thing that held him back this year was incompetent quarterbacking.

If this is Mario's brain on drugs, whichever team drafts him should include a kilo of pot in his rookie contract. He's stoner Popeye.

*(post-apocalyptic oregon game)
**(one of those horrible games from Henne was due to a separated shoulder, duly noted.)

Oh, like, duh. This is as shocking as Mario Manningham's pot use. Re: AANews eighty-part investigative series launched in 1856:

Michigan notified the NCAA and the Big Ten about issues raised in the newspaper before the series was published, according to Kelly Cunningham, a university spokesperson.

A statement posted Tuesday on the university's Web site read, "Based on the university's extensive internal review and findings, neither the NCAA nor the Big Ten intend to pursue this matter."

And that's that.

It's like the Marines except with less Demi Moore, who wasn't even a Marine in that one movie but she was bald so close enough. Rodriguez apparently has a press conference every time Michigan practices or he has to make a sandwich. (MGoBlue is archiving the audio here.) In the latest, he was asked about the offensive linemen who have fled in terror:
"I don't know if it's so much about the style (of offense) the guys who stayed, they just like to work," Rodriguez said. "They don't mind being pushed and demanded to take themselves to a place they can't take themselves. You don't have to be a certain style or size of player to do that. You just really, really have to want to play."
Herein, I think, are the seeds of Rodriguez's success at West Virginia and a reason his behavioral outliers are Chris Henry-extreme. He's looking for people who are kind of deranged in the same way investment bankers or politicians are. Really driven people are often driven because they've been damaged in some way -- for evidence check any movie montage ever. Sometimes this turns into Owen Schmitt and other times you get Henry.

Other items:
"I think we had a lot more guys interested in talking about how tough they are than showing it," Rodriguez added. "So we have to explain the difference to them. I didn't think it was a very good scrimmage. It wasn't a waste of time, because there are some things we can teach off of and all that. The intensity level that we expect to play at, it wasn't even in the same atmosphere."
It's redundant at this point to say "wow, there's a new sheriff around these parts!" but like... dude.

A small glimpse into one of the practices:

We are your sport-specific rulers. I ran across something called "Sports Tech Now" and what appears to be an attempt to order the top sports blogs based on different traffic metrics. I'm not sure what their methodology is -- it doesn't help that I can't figure out how they picked MGoBlog #10 because of the mirroring I've got going on with -- but let's 1) assume they're right or right-ish, and 2) remove the general/"lookit the boobs" blogs like Awful Announcing, Deadspin, and Busted Coverage to look more closely at sport-specific blogospheres. We get this:

5 MLB Trade Rumors MLB 88441 70773 38969
8 Kissing Suzy Kolber* NFL

10 MgoBlog* College Football

13 Mets Blog MLB 41652 28659 47146
14 Homer Derby MLB 21005 26107 247032
15 EDSBS College Football 19742 22714 139202
17 Fan Blogs College Football 22940 19652 323302
18 Burnt Orange Nation College Football 10240 14953 259662
19 Football Outsiders NFL 21567 14771 136496
20 Minor League Ball MLB 11957 13596 138590
21 Baseball Musings MLB 11449 13458 229790
22 Golden State of Mind NBA 12699 12574 111052
23 Fire Joe Morgan MLB 16602 12067 143345
25 Need 4 Sheed NBA

And though I love FO, I don't think it qualifies as a blog and mentally remove it. The top 25 is then dominated by baseball -- no surprise -- with college football a close second. I mention it because I've always thought the CFB blogosphere was a particularly vibrant one, out of proportion to the sport's media profile.

Etc.: Enormous Daily piece on Bill Martin; Iowa's attrition is an interesting case study on APR danger.