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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)


phil said...

Yost - you've peaked my interest in this wheat farmer, Bill Simmowitz. What defensive scheme does he run? What's his special teams philosophy? We better jump on this before the Lions make a move.

wingedhelmet said...


More bad news the WWL and a certain former OSU QB have reported that Bill Simmowitz has informed his farm hands that he will be coaching the Wolverines.

Tom C said...

Z plane is in South Carolina. I think it means Andy's wife is on vacation.

srudoff said...

"Dave Brandon is playing this so close to the vest"


Andy said...

She wishes

Ramona said...

I actually listened to the sports channel 97.1 in the car while driving to work today (in other words, voluntarily listened to sports chatter WITHOUT my son in the car) and it seems that every male in SE Michigan over the age of 3 is consumed with this coaching search. Maybe the wheat farmer will turn out to be some sort of dark horse coaching genius.

surrounded in columbus said...

isn't Lloyd vacationing on Hilton Head? maybe it's all a ploy to bring him out of retirement?

wingedhelmet said...

This could get worse DB could hire Andy Reid.

Dierdorf said...

I must have missed the "financially well-endowed Michigan alum" course at RBS. Nice plane.

IamCris said...

you all need to just chill, for very important decisions in life you need to take time and have all the information possible to receive the desired outcome from said decision. impatience is not going to help speed the decision along whenever it may happen it will.

Ron said...

We all agree these things take time and should not be rushed. However, that time should've been taken months ago, so that a coach could be hired right now, before the recruiting class is ravaged.