Rants, comments, thoughts and funny - mostly funny - on all things Michigan and college football.

If you have ideas, tips, links or pictures for the blog, e-mail us at: MichiganZone at gmail dot com.

Thanks for checking out the M Zone. And if you enjoy the site, please pass the link on to a friend or two. We'd sure appreciate it.

Twitter: @MZoneBlog


Best Of Tat and Tresselgate

M Zone Videos

Best Of MZone 2.0

Best Of The Original MZone

Tosu Favorites

MZone Archive

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Best and Worst College Football Fans in America

This is the first of a two part post looking at my picks for the classiest and most classless fans in college football that I've personally encountered. In order to recognize the best, one must be familiar with the worst. So, today, here are the three worst fan bases I've come in contact with.

1. Ohio State - THE Rudest Fans in America

Used to be, I always wanted Ohio State to win every game each season...except one. In fact, leading up to our annual showdown with the Bucks, I never understood Michigan fans cheering with glee whenever I was sitting in the stands at the Big House and the stadium announcer came over the PA system to reveal Ohio State was losing or had been upset . Made no sense to me. Because I didn't want to beat a three or four loss Tosu squad at the end of the season, I wanted to dash the hopes of an undefeated team playing for something truly meaningful.

And let me also say, like a guy defending himself against charges of being a racist, "Some of my best friends are Buckeyes." One was my roommate for a couple years out of college, one was in my wedding party and another is work colleague. All very good friends to this day.

Yet, having said all that, I now hope Ohio State loses every game. Even though it looks bad for the Big 10, I openly root against them in their bowl games. And it's all for one reason: their fans.

Over the years, I've grown to really dislike Buckeye fans. And it all stems from one too many bouts of abuse attending games in Columbus.

Sweeping generalization? Sure. But once you get attacked and barked at by the neighborhood dog enough, you begin to loathe the creature each time you pass. Hey, there's a reason the Ohio State mascot is a nut: because their fans are crazy. And not in a good way. More in that, "Shit, we had to bail Stank out of jail again after he got into another bar fight last night" way.

Funny thing is, I used to respect Ohio State fans. They love their team and they are LOUD. But, in my 5 trips to the 'Shoe, they are also the most abusive fans I've ever come in contact with at a sporting event. The things that I've personally experienced in Columbus which have brought me to my current feelings are as follows:

* My uncle was once hit in the back by a thrown full beer bottle before The Game. Now, maybe whoever threw it was aiming for a trash can somewhere, but I think it might have had something to do with the maize and blue color of his jacket.

* A few years before it burned down in '96, I was at Papa Joe's, an Ohio State watering hole the night before the big game when a waitress ran over to me and advised me to turn my Michigan shirt inside out. I thought she was joking. She wasn't. Said it wasn't safe. When I actually asked if she was joking, she shook her head and said it would be the "same if a Buckeye fan was wearing an Ohio State shirt in Ann Arbor." Not that she believed me (or any Ohio State fans reading this will) but I told her, actually, it was very different.

* Before the 2002 game, when a win would send Tosu to the BCS title game in Tempe, it seemed every fan in Columbus was carrying a bag of Tostitos (or making a fashion statement by wearing an empty one on their heads). Well, before kickoff, I was standing on Lane Avenue near the Varsity Club when a group (plural) of rather large Buckeye fans spotted the Michigan shirt under my jacket (for safety purposes, I had given up wearing a Michigan jacket when my uncle got pelted with the beer bottle). One of them ran up to me and threw a handful of Tostitos in my face. I felt my fist clench but, being surrounded by, oh, about 10,000 Buckeyes, I realized whatever swing I got in would be my last. And hey, the Buckeye guy was really cool. He just laughed, went to wipe the Tostitos off and said, "Hey, man, I'm just fucking with you."  Gee, thanks, dick.

* I have been flipped off and told to fuck a) myself b) Michigan c) numerous other things more times than I can possibly count while walking near the 'Shoe on gameday. And while I expect it from the drunk frat guy crowd, I'm always surprised when it's a co-ed or the elderly (along those lines, another 2004 incident too "good" not to share is, after we lost, Benny, Wangs and I were rushing out of the 'Shoe with seconds left in order to beat the crowd. Passing an elderly couple (70+), the woman, seeing our M gear, shouted, "Go back to Michigan you big losers!" Couldn't believe it.)

As I tell people all the time, the thing that always surprises me the most is that I hear "Fuck Michigan!" more than "Go Bucks!" before The Game in Columbus.

Again, those are my personal firsthand experiences in Columbus over the years. And I'm not alone. My friend who was in the Michigan Marching Band told me about dodging debris and loogies as they took the field. We all know about the Michigan team bus being subjected to drug/bomb sniffing dogs in '04. And, lest one think it's strictly M fans that get such special treatment in Columbus due to our long-festering rivalry, Texas fans were treated so poorly that the THE OSU President wrote an apology to one Texas fan.

The ironic thing is, get Buckeyes away from the 'Shoe and they seem like nice folks. But put them within a few square miles of the stadium on a football Saturday and mob rule takes over. I'm sure theories abound, but I honestly wonder why that is. And as stories continue to mount (like the Texas mention above), the university sincerely needs to address this problem before somebody gets seriously hurt. Whether they want to admit it or not, there is a problem in Columbus on gamedays.

Funniest Columbus Memory: In town for what turned out to be John Cooper's final M/OSU game, one of the local radio stations was only playing songs from years in which Ohio State beat Michigan. But, since Coop had only won The Game twice in 13 years, it was like listening to an oldies station. I don't know who came up with that idea and thought it was a good one, but as a Michigan fan, it was hilarious. And I've never heard so many Beatles tunes on a Top 40 station before in my life!

Ok, after that pick for #1, I must tell you that my other two picks pale in comparison. They aren't even "bad" so much as annoying. Put it this way, if this were a scale, with what I've encountered at THE Rudest Stadium in America being a perfect 10 for classlessness, my next two picks are simply in the 3 range.

2. Michigan State - That Annoying Little Brother in the Backseat During a Looong Car Ride

Again, it's almost unfair to put them here in light of how bad things are in Columbus. "Abuse" in East Lansing is mostly of the good-natured variety. I've never felt afraid for my safety (or that of my vehicle) in EL. However, while it hasn't affected me personally, they really do just love to set their furniture on fire regularly. And the "Fuck Michigan!" so popular in Columbus is more of the "Michigan sucks!" sort of cheer on the banks of the Red Ceder.

Then again, maybe I'm just including them because they never admit that Desmond Howard was indeed tripped on that 2-point conversation play in '90 and without Clockgate, time would have expired in '01.

3. Illinois - But Only During the Mike White Years of the '80s

For a brief, fleeting moment, Illinois reached for the upper echelon of college football in the '80s. As such, like the ugly chick who becomes suddenly hot in some college football fairy tale, their fans took out their years of frustration on Michigan fans during those few heated contests in the 80s...before the team returned to its usually mediocrity.

Admittedly, I only went once and, since I was just a kid, my memory of specifics is about as hazy as writer James Frey's on the Oprah Winfrey Show, but I just remember their fans being off the deep end the year I went and nobody wanting to travel down there again.

Coming soon, my picks for the classiest fans I've ever encountered.

M Zone Pre-Signing Day Diversion: The Year in Movies

With signing day still a week away and Oscars noms on the horizon (and a shitload of time to kill in the off-season), regular M Zone reader PajamaGuy suggested we post a link to his site taking a look back at The Year in Movies, 2005 Edition. Since it saved us actually having to come up with anything else ourselves for today and being the lazy bastards we are (especially Wangs), we quickly agreed.

In Case You Missed It

The picture below was sent to us by M Zone reader Ken. It's from the Fiesta Bowl this year and obviously is a reference to AJ Hawk "dating" Brady Quinn's sister (they've since broken up).

Our favorite part about the pic is, the Buckeye holding up this classy sign appears to be a woman! On the positive side, with so many choices for the "B" and "C," it could have been worse.

Monday Madness in M Zone

Scroll down to find:

* A Pennsylvania town changes its name to support its team. Is Columbus next?
* Hmm, what if we combined our favorite dumb cheerleader with our favorite porn cheerleader? We think it might go something like this...
* Too little, too late: Sun Belt conference admits refs made mistakes during Alamo Bowl

Pennsylvania Town Changes Name to Show Team Support

The town of Washington, Pennsylvania, after a unanimous vote by its mayor and city council, is changing the city's name to Steeler until February 5th in support of the Pittsburgh Steelers and their upcoming Super Bowl appearance.

In a related story, officials in Columbus, Ohio are deciding whether or not to change the name of their city to Fuckmichiganville.

Three's Company

Because we just couldn't resit combining our two favorite cheerleaders...

Monday, January 30, 2006

Upon Further Review: Remember the Alamo

In the wake of questionable officiating during last month's Alamo Bowl between Michigan and Nebraska, the Sun Belt Conference reviewed the game and admitted its refs probably made four incorrect calls. Coincidentally, all of those calls went against Michigan. They were:

* A first-quarter run by Nebraska's Cory Ross that should have been ruled a fumble.
* A second-quarter Michigan pass that was ruled incomplete but should have been called pass interference.
* A fourth-quarter punt to Michigan's Steve Breaston, who was interfered with, but there was no call.
* On Michigan's fourth-and-8, fourth-quarter pass to Mario Manningham, where replays showed interference but none was called. That play occurred with 2:39 left.

Oddly enough, the Sun Belt review deemed the lateral-filled last play of the game, probably the most scrutinized, as being called correctly.

To read the full report, check out the release here on the official Sun Belt Conference website.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Friday in the Zone

* Is there a Michigan connection to the ASU Cheerleader turned XXX star?
* Don't mess with Snoop Dog's football team

Is that a...Michigan t-shirt?!

Took another look (or 30) at those pics of the ASU cheerleader-turned-porn star and, upon further review, is the guy wearing a Michigan t-shirt?!

Baggy, you worked in intel, didn' t you? Get some people on this. This is important!

Finally, an off-season topic worth discussing, studying...studying...studying some more...

Please note: I've done my best to edit the photos below so as to make them R-rated rather than X-rated (while still retaining the artistic integrity of the work).

Friday, January 27, 2006

Fo' Shizzle My Nizzle

As shocking as this may be to believe, a charity football game in Miami coached by rappers including Luther "Me So Horny" Campbell and Snoop Dog was canceled in mid-game after a fight broke out on the field between the two teams.

In a related story, Marcus Vick and Maurice Clarett have inquired about joining Luther Campbell and Snoop Dog's football team.

More? Sure...

In another related story, Miami Hurricane coach Larry Coker wanted to know what his team was doing playing in Snoop's charity game.

New for Thursday

Scroll down to find:

* BaggyPantsDevil continues his long-overdue report on the Alamo Bowl with monster praise for Husker fans
* Is Michigan basketball back from the dead?
* A letter to fans of a Horns site regarding "CheerGate"
* Recruiting - The Next Step
* In another Too Funny Not To Post addition, read about the "advertising crack dealer"

Shameless Worship of Cornhusker Fans

As a college football fan in general and specifically a Michigan fan, there are several schools that I just have to hate. First and foremost is Ohio State. No reason is needed here; it’s tradition, although the troglodyte nature of many Buckeye fans sure makes it easier.

After that, the reasons to hate a school can be superficial—even stupid—and may have nothing to do with the football team. Oregon just rubs me the wrong way now. All that Nike gear, the bushels of Phil Knight’s cash, and those god awful uniforms that are a blight on college football just sicken me.

Miami is easy to detest as well. The swaggering gangsta vibe is made all the more irritating by the fact that these playas spend their winters in southern Florida surrounded by hot, gang-bang craving co-eds. I’ll admit it, I’m a hater.

Then there’s Nebraska, the team of pumped up misogynistic criminals and whiney transfer quarterbacks. (A quick aside here, I work with a gentleman who used to be a Lincoln police officer who responded to the call against Lawrence Phillips and he said Scott Frost was hiding in the closet at the time.) It’s appropriate that their color is red, I’ve always thought that if the old Soviet Union was ever going to field a college football team, it would have been the Cornhuskers. The way the bulky, ruthless Nebraska teams bullied their cupcake opponents and girlfriends was reminiscent of Red Army tanks rolling through the cities of eastern European countries. They even have that whole paying lip service to the benefits of an agrarian lifestyle thing going on. They just needed to replace the “N” on the helmets with “CCCP” for the transformation to be complete.

Then there’s the 1997 season. This season was shocking to me because the team I was rooting for was actually winning every game. There was no choking in the big game against a quality opponent and no mailing it in and losing a shocker to some unranked team of nobodies. This was prior to the era of the fourth quarter collapse. Michigan won every game. Michigan played ridiculous defense. A Michigan player won the Heisman Trophy and, since he wasn’t a quarterback or running back, he actually was the most outstanding player that year. This was a dream come true.

Then came the final Coaches Poll. Somehow, Nebraska snuck in there and was proclaimed the national champion. Of course, it had nothing to do with Tom Osborne retiring and getting a nice little send off from his fellow coaches. Of course, it had nothing to do with Phil Fulmer still being pissed because Peyton Manning didn’t win the Heisman (or maybe he was pissed because his pulled pork platter was a few pounds too small that day). But, it happened. There always seems to something bad around the corner for the team I root for—lately they just flat out lose—but back then, when they won everything, that Coaches Poll was it. The AP poll seemed like a consolation prize.

So, I definitely have a historic dislike of Nebraska that has only gotten worse lately. They’ve abandoned their traditional power run game for the West Coast Offense (which I hate) and have an idiot of a coach in Bill “Cutthroat” Callahan. Nope, I don’t like Nebraska one bit.

But, Nebraska fans are the gold standard of all fans, people. These are the fans that every team should want. They are numerous, they are loud, they are passionate, they are unified, and they are well behaved. There were a few in the hotel I stayed at. I barely noticed their red t-shirts as they politely made their way through the breakfast buffet that morning. Then, later in the day as I was searching for a parking spot, I saw more of them, a lot more. While I sat in traffic, squads and platoons of red-clad football fans were making their way to the Alamodome.

I expected that there would be a lot more Nebraska fans than Michigan fans but it looked like they outnumbered Michigan fans at least 5 to 1. Still, there was nothing the least bit menacing about them, they were just on their way to a regular old football game. I never heard any taunting or profanity from any of them and they certainly wouldn’t dishonor their team by throwing anything at anyone. I’ll admit it, I am envious.

Once in the Alamodome, they ceased to be a group of people and became a single, huge, red, living multi-cellular organism. They cheered, booed, chanted, and even moved in unison. It was impossible to not be impressed, I was spellbound. I can’t help but wonder if they practice together or something, since that kind of precision and synchronization can’t just happen spontaneously. Can it? I’m sure everyone watching the game on television could hear how loud they were. They were deafening.

And after the game, as I glumly walked to my car, they went right back to being nice, normal, boring individuals. The only celebration I heard was the occasional, drawn out cry of, “Goooooooo Big Red!” That was it and it was never directed at any of us poor, pathetic Michigan fans.

I’ve thought a little bit about this strange phenomenon of how can a crowd be so polite and sedate one moment and so ear-scorchingly loud and fiery the next and I’ve come up with the theory that it’s all in the demographics. I estimate that Nebraska fans were about two-thirds college age males and one-third families of mom, dad, and their two and a half kids. I’m figuring this to be the ideal demographic for a fanbase.

First, the college age males—always the most rambunctious and a dangerous segment of a population—provide the energy, the fire, the noise. These are the guys who do what fans are supposed to do, yell and yell loudly. They’re young, they’re stupid, they’re fueled by hormones and alcohol so they have no reservations about screaming their heads off for three hours straight. The problem with these fans is that if there’s too many of them, total mayhem ensues. You’ve got stadiums being torn apart, cars being overturned, couches being burned, urine and feces as substances to throw at people. Too many of these clowns around will make one seek shelter in the quieter places of the world like Baghdad or Kabul.

This is where the Nebraska families come in. They provide the balance. They’re the yang to the frat boys’ yin (I had to look up which one was light and which one was dark). The presence of all these mother and father figures keeps things under control. “Don’t piss in the bottle and throw it, mom’s watching!” “Don’t smash that windshield on that car, dad will kill you!” Nebraska gets the riot of noise and passion without the actual riot. And, I’m sure that all that youthful energy gets the Nebraska housewives and insurance salesmen screaming there heads off every now and then.

Anyway, that’s my theory. And, although I am really, really pissed off about losing and those damned Sun Belt Conference officials, at least a nice bunch of folks who really love their football team got to enjoy a win that evening.

Pulling Over the BBall Bandwagon. Who's With Me?

We rarely talk about Michigan basketball here in the M Zone (because we haven't had much of a team in a long time). But after the team's big victory over #12 ranked MSU last night (only their second win in 14 tries versus the Spartans), that might have to change.

Has the ship been righted and are the Wolverines for real this year? Or was this just a fluke?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

To Hornfans.com Readers...

It has come to our attention that some folks on a Texas fan board think we here at the M Zone "copied" the pictures for our 1/20 post featuring the SC Song Girl throughout history from their site. Normally we would simply ignore such comments but, after checking out their site and seeing the pictures they had posted, we can certainly understand why they might believe that to be the case. However, it's not true and we wanted to set the record straight. Thus, below is an expanded version of a response first published under the comments section of the original 1/20 post.

Last week, after New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin said he wanted the hurricane-ravaged town rebuilt as a "chocolate" city, late night talk show hosts had a field day. You couldn't turn on Conan, Leno or Letterman and not see them all doing variations of the "Willy Nagin and the Chocolate Factory" joke, or bits comparing Nagin to Pat Robertson, or one-liners saying Nagin wanted New Orleans to be a chocolate Sunday with himself as the nut on top. I also saw many op-ed cartoons making the same jokes. And I bet at every comedy club across America, less famous comedians have been doing similar Nagin material as well.

But that certainly doesn't mean any of them stole the idea from the other. It was simply an easy and ripe set-up to similar variations on obvious punchlines.

The same thing happened here.

It didn't take a rocket scientist or creative genius, when thinking of inappropriate places for someone to "cheer" in famous pictures, to pick many of the same photos. In fact, that would be like saying whoever posted the photos on the Horns site ripped off putting her in the Hindenburg, Titanic, Kennedy, etc. photos from one of the many WTC WALDO guy pics which circled the Internet a few years ago.

So, whether those who made the accusations believe it or not, we had done a couple stories on the SC girl before, saw some funny pix of her on Trojanwire, put a link to that site to credit them for the first ones we saw (see below) then came up with the ones on our site on our own.

And if folks doubt that, I guess the conspiracy theory version of what happened is...what? That we saw these pictures on the Longhorn board first, but instead credited Trojanwire for a couple of them (yet were honest enough to post a link back to that site and not simply steal them, nor just change them then claim them as our own, nor even merely copy and paste them here). Then after that, the theory must be, we took the time it takes re-edit other pictures we saw on the Horn site just differently enough so that we could post them here and take credit?

Sorry, folks. No conspiracy, no thievery.

Finally, I did check out some of the pics on the Horns link that was sent our way. Very funny, especially liked the OJ one (which was one we were going to do, but didn't have time) as well as the famous Vietnam photo (hadn't thought of that one, clever).

Oh, and by the way, we also had done our own Abu Ghraib photo (now shown here) which we initially didn't post due to taste concerns (and lack of feet) as well as two more WWII pics which we had initially posted then took down (again, due to taste concerns).

Anyway, hope this clears it up. And thanks for stopping by. We appreciate your comments.

Where Does Recruiting Go Next?

We all know grown men act like little children when following the recruiting of high school kids for their favorite team. Well, House That Rock Built has a hilarious look on how far it could go. Check it out.

Too Funny Not To Post

Every now and then folks, we stumble across something that has nothing to do with college football (or pornstar cheerleaders) but is simply too funny not to post.

Here is a link to a story about a crack dealer in Kansas who got arrested because the cops caught wind of him, get this -- handing out business cards! Genius, pure genius.

New Today

Scroll down to find:

* When Cheerleaders Go Bad
* Could the Wolverines Learn a Thing or Two from the Pistons?
* SC Strikes Back in the Billboard Wars

When Cheerleaders Go Bad

This is the first in an occasional series looking at the folks behind the players in college athletics.

Get to Know: Courtney Cox (no, not that one)

We've been talking about cheerleaders a lot on this site lately, namely the SC Song Girl who cheered for the wrong team. But there is another cheerleader who gets around way more than the Photoshopped SC girl ever did. She showed up in my inbox about two months ago. But when her pictures were submitted to us for the M Zone All-Hotness Team, we thought it was time to "expose" her story...at least the parts we can show on a sometimes R-rated - but never X-rated - website.

Now, you may already know the tawdry tale of former (very former now) ASU cheerleader Courtney Cox (the blonde above). And yes, her real name is Courtney Cox which she changed so as not to be confused with the more famous actress (a great irony when you read about her new profession).

Better known professionally now as "Courtney Simpson," it seems Miss Cox decided to try her hand (among other things) as an "actress" in adult XXX videos. And, in one of one of the first starring roles in Double Dutch, she wore her ASU uniform while "performing" (below).

Needless to say, the folks at Arizona State were not amused. Especially since ASU cheerleaders are required to sign a pledge stating, "I know that I am part of a team representing ASU and will therefore always try to present myself in the best interest of the university."

Now, we at the M Zone are pretty, pretty, pretty sure that starring in said adult video wearing your team uniform (believe us when we say those were about the ONLY pictures we could show) would most likely not present the university in the best light (well, at least to some people).

But miss Cox was undeterred, adding such noteworthy titles to her resume like 2-on-1 #22, Oral Antics and the simply titled Vault of Whores (which to our surprise, had nothing to do with the Tri Delt house).

Well, hope you enjoyed this look at someone outside the limelight of college athletics. We know we did. And needless to say, unlike the SC cheerleader, we won't be Photoshopping Courtney into any of our pictures.

If you'd like to see more of Courtney "Simpson," she's quite popular on the Internet. And if you'd like to hire her for your next corporate video shoot, be sure to check out her "resume page" on LADirectModels.com (sorry, we're not putting up the link but it's, uh, "informative" and DEFINITELY NOT FOR WORK).

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Listen to the Pistons

This article on Sunday's Pistons victory over the Rockets was published in Monday's Detroit News. It describes an alley-oop from Rasheed Wallace to Ben Wallace that was successfully executed in the final minute with the Pistons up by two points. The article includes the following quote from Pistons coach Flip Saunders, which made me think of what was lacking in Michigan's 2005 football team:

"That play showed the mentality of our team," Saunders said. "Joe Dumars and I were just talking, and we were saying, you can't be afraid to win a championship. And what I mean is, you can't be afraid to make plays."

Hopefully Lloyd and Jim Hermann were at the Palace on Sunday night.

SC Strikes Back

Somebody sent us a link to Onepeatbog.com, a Southern Cal response to you-know-what. Pretty funny.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I Drove Through THIS for Another 4th Quarter Collapse?

As mentioned the other day, BaggyPantsDevil has joined our staff. Below is his look back on the roadtrip he took to see Michigan play Nebraska in the Alamo Bowl. Oh, and if you're from El Paso, you might want to scroll past this story. Might we suggest the hot Ohio State co-ed stripping below.

As many of you know, I made the journey to San Antonio to attend the Alamo Bowl. I sure can pick ‘em when it comes to selecting my first ever Michigan game, can’t I? A disappointing game to cap off a disappointing season. Still, it was a worthwhile experience and I’m glad I was able to attend and support the Wolverines. I figured I'd post this to report on something other than the awful officiating involved with the game. Nothing particularly interesting happened to me at the game so I have to really reach here to come up with something, thus my odyssey to the Alamo Bowl.

Although these were less than ideal circumstances for my first Michigan game, I just haven’t lived any place close to where Michigan has played. This one was the closest since I moved from Michigan back in the early 80’s. So, I figured I should jump at the opportunity. Plus—and this angle is always important—my wife and I have friends in Texas so I wouldn’t be dragging her on a trip to ONLY watch a football game.

Although many Michigan fans—and Lloyd Carr himself—were disappointed by Michigan’s invite to the Alamo Bowl, there is a worse destination for mediocre Big Ten teams, it’s called the Sun Bowl. My trip to San Antonio took me through El Paso, the home of this bowl game. If you've driven through El Paso, you know what I mean and if you haven't, be grateful you haven't experienced first hand the ugliness that is El Paso.

The area probably once had that unique beauty of the desert with wide open spaces interspersed with jagged mountain ranges and brilliant blue skies. Not anymore. The first thing one notices about El Paso is that at about 40 miles out, the brown smog that shrouds the city becomes visible on the horizon. From there it only gets worse. The tangle of on ramps, off ramps, and overpasses plunging through oil refineries and unregulated Mexican factories led my wife—who is from New Jersey—to observe that El Paso is simply Newark in the desert. All that’s missing are toll booths.

There’s no way for a traveler to avoid El Paso’s ugliness. Interstate 10 can’t bypass the city since Mexico is to the south and Fort Bliss and White Sands Missile Range extend at least 200 miles to the north. Nothing for a traveller to do except plow on through as quickly as possible.

Sun Bowl Stadium is perched up in mountains that overlook El Paso and would be a beautiful stadium if a quick glance to its left didn’t reveal hills covered in Mexican slums sprinkled with huge smokestacks. Not that the American side of the border is much better.

In addition to being ugly and polluted, El Paso is also tawdry. Strip joints and porn shops are wedged alongside motels, the usual chain restaurants, and car dealerships all along Interstate 10. Now, I have nothing against adult entertainment and thought it was kind of cool that it can be found in abundance in all the Texas cities I visited—El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, and Galveston—it just doesn’t make for attractive cityscapes. I'm sure Mike Price digs it, though.

One such establishment was Gateway News and Video. Why do these places always have ‘news and video’ in their names? The video part I get, it’s the news part that baffles me. Who do they think they're fooling? Will I be able to stop in and get the latest updates on the war in Iraq? What about the Patriot Act and intelligence collection in the US? Maybe the latest on genetic engineering and cloning? I’m willing to bet that the only mention of tsunami I’ll find there will be referring to female ejaculation. Then there’s the Adult Warehouse—yes boys and girls an entire warehouse!--and its sign that read “GET YOUR X MAS GIFTS HERE.” Oh yeah, nothing taps into the true spirit of Christmas like an 18 inch double-dong and a DVD titled 'Backdoor Babes Volume 16.'

So, Michigan fans, please, no more complaining about bowls that involve going to San Antonio, Tampa, or Orlando; we could just as well wind up in this place for a bowl game. And standard disclaimer: I have met and worked with many folks from El Paso, including a detachment of Air National Guardsmen who were all full time El Paso police officers, and found them all to be first rate individuals. So, the people sure seem to be wonderful, I just think the place has been trashed.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take too long to race through the swirling eddies of plastic bags and snack food wrappers that drift along the interstate and get back to the wide open desert. Unfortunately, my trip still had approximately 12,823 more miles to go. Anyone who’s ever crossed Texas will know that west Texas is a Mad Max-like wasteland. This barren, monotonous landscape features tumbleweeds blowing across the highway—I should know, I ran right into one—driven by gusts that buffet your car as you try to escape the bleakness as rapidly as possible. Unfortunately, that's not really posible given the distances involved. Stopping for gas in this part of the state is an experience right of of a Sergio Leone movie with banging sun-bleached screen doors, creaking metal signs, and dust squalls.

One of these tiny, gas stops is Fort Hancock. The 1800’s era water tower of Fort Hancock boasted of multiple 6-Man Football State Championships back in the late 1980’s. Yes, that’s how sparsely populated this area is; they can't field full football teams. Some of the specifics of 6-man football are: the field is 40 yards by 80 yards, it’s 15 yards for a first down, all players are eligible receivers, field goals are worth four points, kicked extra points worth two and a run or pass extra point is worth one. As bizzare and alien as this game sounds, it’s nice to see that the lack of a sufficient population can’t stifle Texan’s love of football. I couldn't help but wonder if perhaps Vince Young played 6-Man football as a child and that's how he got so used to doing everything on the field.

Eventually, I made it to San Antonio and civilization. For those who have never been there, San Antonio is a lovely, prosperous city and actually does make a fine bowl game destination. Any city with a Ferrari dealership and a Mercedes Benz dealership that's the size of one of those mega-GM superstores is prosperous in my book. The Riverwalk area downtown—within walking distance of the Alamo Bowl—is gorgeous and a great place to hang out and appease spouses with shopping prior to the game and enjoy celebratory drinks after the game if one’s team actually manages to win.

On the day of the game, I learned that three hours prior to kickoff is NOT early enough to arrive at the game. The Alamodome parking lots were full and I had to spend some time in traffic before finding a place to park just down the street from the Alamo itself. I took this shot as we walked to the stadium. It was a lovely scene--historic landmark, setting sun, holiday decorations--and I was feeling optimistic and excited about the game. But, we all know how that thing turned out.

Next up will be my slavish praise of Nebraska fans.

Ed. Note: All pissed off El Paso city officials are free to send their emails to BaggyPantsDevil care of the M Zone. BaggyPantsDevil is free to send "Backdoor Babes, Vol. 16" to Yost (only because he wants to see how they tied up all the loose ends from volumes 1-15).

What's New Monday...

* The M Zone launches its Dresspeat.com campaign to right a wrong
* Listen to a rendition of The Victors that would make William Hung cringe
* BaggyPantsDevil joins the Zone


On the heels of our take regarding the entire Onepeat.com debate, college football is about to be rocked again by the M Zone exclusive below.

As many of you probably already know, controversy struck last week at the Golden Globe awards after it was revealed Reese Witherspoon wore the same dress that had previously been worn by Kirsten Dunst to the Globes in 2003.

But this barrage of media misinformation really began when E!, Joan Rivers, Nancy O'Dell and USC all failed to mention that the dress had in fact been first worn by the LSU mascot to the Globes in 2002 (as well as in their game against Florida that same year). So how can either Witherspoon or Dunst have worn the dress first if LSU already did it in 2002? Yet the "Dress-peat" talk quickly got out of control.

We do not possess hatred for Witherspoon or Dunst. The media's constant "dress-peat" hype has simply gone too far. And we just want to set the record straight.

Thus, we are purchasing a classified ad in the LA TIMES and The Advocate in Baton Rouge because we want to see if people really will give money to anonymous people on the Internet for something as crazy as this.

Make donations to DresspeatBS *at* adelphia *dot* net via PayPal.com

All donations made via the PayPal link in excess of the ad costs will go to us here at the M Zone to spend on something else we think of for this site. What that is is none of your business. Just give us, people you've never met, your money.

Thank you in advance for your support of this worthy cause.

Also, if anybody could please send this to Richard Manship at WBRZ in Baton Rouge, we'd appreciate it. We hear he loves giving away thousands to anonymous people on the Internet (as well as covering them for his news outlets).

Geaux Reese!!!

Hook 'Em Kirsten!!!

Go Tigers!!!

Go Free Money to Anonymous People!!!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Where's Simon Cowell When You Need Him?

Check out this, uh, "rough" rendition of The Victors.

Somewhere, Louis Elbel is rolling over in his grave.

Speak of the Devil

Frequent M Zone contributor BaggyPantsDevil has joined our merry little band. So be on the lookout for his "The Devil Speaks" columns.

Welcome aboard.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

USC Song Girl Has Cheered At Wrong Times in Past

(from M Zone wire reports) Los Angeles, CA -- By now, most college football fans are familiar with the infamous USC Song Girl caught cheering for the wrong team during the Rose Bowl.

But we soon discovered via TrojanWire.com that this was not the first time she was busted cheering at the wrong time. Thus, we at the M Zone knew there had to be more. So, with help from the crack investigative reporters at WBRZ, we have uncovered additional shocking photos from her checkered past.

UPDATE: To any Texas fans stopping by from Hornfans.com, please check the comments section or this post in response to several of your comments on the above.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Reason Tressel is Winning Recruiting War in Ohio

Great stuff over on EDSBS as why Tressel is beating Lloyd to all the top recruits in Ohio.

What's New Today

Scroll down to find:

* Michigan claims another National Title - No, not in any of those sports
* Photos Reveal Rose Bowl Not First Mistake of SC Cheerleader
* We hand out our first Rick Neuheisal Professional Integrity Award
* Mr. Gold takes an early look at Michigan's 2006 recruiting class

As always, thanks for reading.

Michigan Brings Home Another National Title!

(From M Zone wire reports) Ann Arbor, MI -- After a 7-5 season on the football field, Michigan fans have to look for championships wherever they can find them these days. And we at the M Zone have found one for you:

Michigan alums Jason Coben and Nick Velissaris won the World Series of Beer Pong near Las Vegas earlier this month, collecting the $10,000 grand prize in the process. They beat out 160 others to claim the coveted title sponsored by BPong.com.

After being crowned the best of the best in this rugged competition, Coben and Velissaris said they will immediately start training for next year in an attempt to win again, going for the "two-peat."

Upon hearing this news, "Steve" at One-peat.ass became enraged claiming that too many people were not giving enough attention to him and his 20-something buddies crammed into their two bedroom Dallas apartment who sit around reading old copies of Maxim and talking about the hot girl in human resources who won't give them the time of day. Thus, "Steve" set out to raise $10,000 anonymously to put up a billboard proclaiming nothing of importance but making him feel he did something worthwhile for the first time since he got his buddy "Scooter" into his fraternity pledge class.

Luckily though, upon hearing the news of anonymous people asking for money, the crack investigative team at Baton Rouge TV station WBRZ dug into the story making sure to keep "Steve's" true identity hidden from the likes of The Riddler and Mister Freeze. Upon finding out absolutely nothing from his station's story that wasn't already posted on a website registered anonymously, WBRZ president Richard Manship said that was good enough for him and pledged $1,000 and any remaining journalistic integrity he might have left.

SC Cheerleader Showing Up Everywhere

Remember the infamous USC Song Girl who was caught apparently cheering after a Texas TD? Well, the good folks at TrojanWire.com have discovered this wasn't her first inappropriate cheer. Funny stuff.

M Zone Rick Neuheisal Professional Integrity Award

Remember how good ol' Coach Neuheisal used to get around those pesky NCAA rules forbidding coaches from visiting recruits in their homes before a certain date? He'd sit across the street from their homes in his car, call them on his cellphone and tell the kid to look out the window so they could see him. Sure, technically Neuheisal didn't violate the letter of the law but he broke the spirit of the rule.

Well, it is to honor that sort of ethical compass that we here at the M Zone are pleased to hand out our first ever Rick Neuheisal Professional Integrity Award.

The envelope, please.

And the award goes to...

Richard Manship, President of WBRZ-TV and The Advocate newspaper.

As the President of the ABC TV affiliate and leading newspaper in Baton Rouge, home to LSU, his "news" organizations covered the Onepeat.com billboard story mentioned so often here. The story was an obvious one for his "news" outlets as LSU was the "offended" party at the core of the Onepeat campaign. But it was the "professional" way Mr. Manship's media companies covered the story that drew our attention and led us to bestow this award upon him.

As you know if you're a regular M Zone reader, we here disagree with the Onepeat premise. Furthermore, we questioned - and still do - the motives behind the folks doing this. Rumors swirled that the site's founder, the mysterious Dallas-based "Steve," was actually a UCLA Bruin. If true, that would certainly cast a different light on the reason for the billboard, making it not an attempt to "clear the air" and "right" some perceived slight to LSU by the media regarding the 2003 season but, more likely, "little brother syndrome" from living in USC's long football shadow the last couple of years. Such a disclosure might (rightfully) affect many people's desire to give money to the "cause."

In addition, asking for $10K anonymously on the Internet should be something legitimate news organizations, if they're inclined to cover the story, should want to know much more about in terms of who's behind it and why. Seems to us, a lowly blog (with a humorous bent at that), to be basic journalism.

So, naturally, when we found out Mr. Manship's TV station, WBRZ, did an interview with "Steve," we watched with baited breath to get more facts about this story. But, alas, it was if they were protecting the identity of a government informant. They had him on over the phone, didn't bother to get a last name and provided not one iota of anything to back up "Steve's" stated intentions or background. My three year old nephew gets more information from strangers when he answers the phone at my sister's house (If you haven't seen the "story" above, it really is worth watching for the humor of it all).

Next, Mr. Manship's newspaper, The Advocate, had BUSINESS WRITER Ted Griggs do a story on Onepeat.com revealing...nothing more. Griggs says the site's creator ("Steve") is remaining anonymous although he doesn't say why. He mentions that "Onepeat.com has been fodder for a number of sports blogs, many of them critical" but doesn't give anybody else's point of view as to their reasons for that. Then, finally, at the end of his story Griggs mentions, oh by the way, that Advocate President Richard Manship is donating a $1,000 to this anonymous website to help with the cause. Yeah, better not ask any important questions.

Does that raise any ethical questions? I think so. Then again, Mr. Manship is no stranger to such ethical issues at WBRZ and The Advocate. Last year, a weatherman at his WBRZ TV station had filled out a Neilsen ratings book causing the rating firm to have to reissue ratings due to the obvious bias against local competitor WAFB. When Mr. Manship was asked if there would be any disciplinary action taken against the weatherman in question, Manship said it was an internal matter and added, "I have bigger fish to fry."

Maybe those fish included billboards.

Actually, when you get right down to it, I guess my beef about this isn't even really about the billboard. In the end, who really cares? My profound disappointment is with the media and news outlets covering this "story." Because if they can't ask the tough questions - or get more information out to the public than any one of us can get from an anonymously run website - about the Onepeat.com stories of the world, how can we trust them to inform us and get to the bottom of the big stories?

Anyhoo, it is for these reasons we present Richard Manship with this award he so richly deserves.

Congratulations, Dick!

Note: "Steve" now claims he's an LSU alum in recent articles, something unmentioned in the first stories. A Seatlle-Post Intelligencer story says his allegiance is "unclear."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Attracting Quality Recruits

Wednesday's Detroit News featured this article on 2006 Michigan football recruiting, just a few weeks before the national signing day of February 6th. It notes that we have gathered another strong class, which could rank among the best in the nation if we reel in a few remaining targeted stars.

I am always torn about these rankings. I want Michigan to rank high, as that suggests we will continue fielding solid teams, capable of challenging for national championships (or at least building double digit fourth quarter leads.) But I also find the whole process of middle aged men chasing teenage boys around the country and then rather arbitrarily ranking them pretty ridiculous. Does it really matter if one guy says we're #4, another says we're #8 and still another that we're #13? Or even #17, as we are currently ranked at rivals.com?

If that relatively low ranking alarms you, consider this: we have fewer commitments than any other team ahead of us, with the exception of USC (#2). It seems likely we will add more players between now and February 6th than those teams above us. Plus, we have more of the elite players than almost any other school and are still in the running for others.

Looking over articles on 2006 recruiting led me to remember recruiting classes of the past. I don't know who this Mike DiSimone is, but he has a pretty thorough and interesting Michigan football website, which includes detailed information on recruiting classes stretching back over ten years.

Get to know: Auburn University

In an effort to educate our readers on some of the college football traditions they might not be familiar with at other schools around the country, this is the first in an occasional series.

Today's school: Auburn University

Like many college football fans across the country, we at the M Zone have always been a little confused about just what the mascot/nickname at Auburn University really is: the Tiger or the War Eagle.

And raising the question must be a sore subject because, on Auburn's official website, they devote an entire page to the explanation. Apparently their nickname is the Tigers while "War Eagle!" (and never "War Eagles!" with an "s," another testy issue) is their battle cry. Like that one friend who always corrects you by saying his name is "Michael" not "Mike," this must be a huge problem judging from the tone of the page (and don't even ask about "Plainsmen," yet another sometime Auburn nickname from long ago).

Luckily, Auburn officials clear it all up, summing up their mascot situation this way: "It may be confusing to an outsider, but to Auburn people, it is very simple. That's why War Eagle VI, Auburn's golden eagle symbol, is named Tiger!"


That's where we come in.

In an effort to make things easier for college football fans everywhere (and save a page on the Auburn University website), we here at the M Zone have come up with a simple solution that should please everybody: combine the two mascots. Duh.

That's why we're proud to present below the first rough looks at the new - say it with me - Auburn War Tig...eag...er!

Followed by, "Go Plainsmen!," the new battle cry.

See, that's what we do here at the M Zone, folks - we give.

UPDATE: First of all, thanks to both Alabama and Auburn fans for all your comments. We had no idea how much bad blood you guys had for each other. Truly impressive. As such, we have put up a post about a "BCS" match-up between the two schools.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Best Recruiting Video EVER

As you know, Buckeyes and Tosu take quite a bit of abuse here in the M Zone (all justified, naturally). But, after viewing the video below, I may have to reconsider my dislike. And just try to get the damn song out of your head after you watch it.

Folks, this is the best thing to come out of Columbus since, uh, umm, uh...let us get back to you on that one.

Click on the picture below to view.

P.S. You're welcome

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Monday - M Zone Closed for the Holiday

Since we'd rather procrastinate on company time than our day off, check back Tuesday for new stuff here in the Zone including one of the following:

* The best recruiting video ever (and you might be surprised about the school)

* Our new mascot idea for one of the SEC powers

Monday, January 16, 2006

For Your Reading Pleasure This Holiday Weekend

Couple of new things this weekend, most about the Onepeat.com drive.

* A Note to Our Readers
* An Open Letter to "Steve," the Onepeat site's founder
* Why Yost is Opposed - A slightly different take than Benny's position
* Hack Reporting - read about a Louisiana "newscast" interview with the mysterious "Steve" (must read for how not to report)
* Snopes.com weighs in on the SC Song Girl photo

Update: Check out the comments to this post between Yost and "Not Steve. We especially love how under the "Open Letter" post he claims he's not the guy who owns the site but in his first comment under this post, he says ESPN is about to do a story on Onepeat.com. Really? And how would he know this information if true? I guess we must have missed where they teased that upcoming story on SportsCenter tonight. Then in the next sentence he states that even the NY Times has asked for an interview. Really? Asked who? And again, how did he know this? Must've been front page news today. But, naturally, we all missed it."

To our readers...

Some joker posting under the name "Anonymous" - who we believe to either be "Steve," the founder of Onepeat.com, or one of his henchmen - keeps commenting on our site. While we welcome all points of view and are loathe to delete comments even if we disagree, we start to get a little ticked when this windbag keeps putting up the same 9 page essay over and over again on our site to "prove" his point.

Thus, it has been deleted everywhere but in its original comment under our first post on this story if you care to read it. Or might we suggest you actually try the Onepeat.com website where the same thing was posted by one of the site's moderators (shocking, I know).

I hope folks take this sort of behavior into consideration when deciding whether or not to donate to his "cause." And I'm beginning to feel sorrier and sorrier for the 99.9% of decent LSU fans who are being unfairly tarred by this person claiming to speak for them.

Thanks for reading.

The M Zone Staff

An Open Letter to "Steve," the Onepeat.com Founder

Dear Steve (aka The Great Defender of Tiger Honor),

Since you've visited our site and left us a few comments, one question:

Did you attend or graduate from LSU? And if not, what school did you go to?

We notice that your site says, "Geaux Tigers, Hook 'Em Horns, Go Bruins" and we were just curious what the Bruins have to do with this "debate" you're so passionately behind. You wouldn't be a UCLA alum, would you?


Your friends at the M Zone

P.S. Since we doubt we'll get an answer, any of our readers know "Steve" and where he went to school?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Why I'm Against Mr. Onepeat

While Benny weighed in with his opinion (and much-better-than-my Photoshop skills) below about why he thought raising $$ for putting up the anti-SC billboard was so out of line (you should have seen what he wrote before he toned it down), I think it's misguided for slightly different reasons.

First, the joke is now old. And while Mr. Onepeat may think (or at least claim) he's righting some great perceived wrong, when you get right down to it, this is $10K on nothing more than funny smack talk. Smack talk that everybody who follows college football has seen. Now, had the billboard suddenly appeared out of the blue right next to the SC campus after the Rose Bowl, that would have been something pretty damn hilarious. Folks would be still be talking about it. But that didn't happen. Now "Steve," the person behind the Onepeat.com site, has turned a clever Internet joke with a point of view into a pseudo-crusade.

Of course, if "Steve" says it's not a joke (or doesn't realize it), then we're getting into scary territory. Because a) whose mind is he trying to change and b) does he really believe his billboard will do that?

Second, and more importantly, my biggest beef is that I believe Mr. Onepeat's motives are disingenuous. He claims on his site that he's doing this simply to "set the record straight." But for whom? And why? What "record" was out of whack and who has been clamoring for it to be "fixed?"

In fact, this whole thing is starting to remind me of David Letterman's interview with talk show host Bill O'Reilly on the Late Show last week when, toward the end of this feisty exchange, Letterman said to O'Reilly, "I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap."

Well, I'm beginning to believe Mr. One Peat is no great lover of the Tigers or the 'Horns (why they're included in this pledge drive, I don't know). But, rather, I'm now inclined to think he's a Bruin who simply hates SC and finally snapped living in the long shadow cast from downtown LA all the way to Westwood by Trojan football these last couple of years. Which would be fine if he was up front about it.

Instead, he's trying to wrap himself in the Purple and Gold while riding the post-Rose Bowl enthusiasm in Austin, not to right some wrong but, to settle crosstown scores. I don't believe he cares the Tigers had to "share" the National Championship in '03 and, as I said, the Horns don't have a dog in this fight. No, all signs point back to a dishonest fan from Westwood.

If you doubt me, go to the Onepeat.com site again. It says "Geaux Tigers, Hook 'Em Horns and Go Bruins." Even the Sesame Street characters would point out "one of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn't belong." And that thing would be UCLA's seat at this table...unless of course that was the real motivation at work here.

Which is why I think the whole Onepeat campaign is, to quote Mr. Letterman again, "crap."

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Hack Reporting at its Best

Beating this story to death like Greta Van Susteren when an attractive white woman goes missing, here's one more post regarding the whole Onepeat thing that will just make you shake your head.

On the Onepeat.com site is a link to an interview the founder of site, "Steve," did with Baton Rouge TV station, WBRZ, an ABC affiliate. I tuned in to get some more information about who the person behind this site really was. To try to get a sense of his motivation for the post I wrote above. But, watching the video of the "news segment" online, the anchor starts off by saying something like, "We're excited about this next guest. On the phone with us is 'Steve' from Dallas, the founder of Onepeat.com."

And then "Steve" goes on to spout the same stuff I covered in my post above. My problem from a news standpoint is -- this wasn't a talk show, it was the station's NEWScast. As such, even for a fluff piece like this, one might expect, at the bare minimum, oh, some actual reporting. Like, you know, the guy's full name. Nope, just "Steve." Who the hell is the news director at WBRZ? "Says his name is 'Steve' on his website, so it must be true."

How embarrassing from a journalistic standpoint. The guy's not fucking Deep Throat, he's some clown trying to put up a billboard for chrissake. Apparently, "revealing" such basic information in a "news" story - like the full name of the man you're interviewing (which could lead to motivation or what school he attended) - might threaten national security in the eyes of the crack investigative team at WBRZ. But they protected "Steve's" identity like he was in the Witness Protection Program and there was a hit out on him by the Gambino family.

Hey, I wasn't expecting a 60 Minutes expose, just Beginning Journalism 101. Yet credit the anchor for digging into the story later in the interview when he asked something like, "So, Steve, I take it you're a Tigers fan?"

Oh, brother. Hey, well done, Murrow R. Murrow.

Breaking News: SC Song Girl Photo

Snopes.com, the best source on the Web for finding out whether that chain email in your inbox is true or false, has weighed in on the SC cheerleader seemingly cheering for a Texas TD.

They say the answer in inconclusive since we don't know the context (was it really a photo of a UT TD or just a close try for a first down that, from her angle, she thought had been stopped).

The plot thickens.

P.S. If you're not a Snopes.com reader, it's a great site. Very handy for that one person who forwards you all that Internet crap with 6 feet of headers, sends you the latest "100% true" story sweeping the Net. You know, guys like "Steve."

Stop the One-Peat

Wednesday we posted a link (with a follow up Thursday) about an LSU fan who was attempting to raise $10,000 to put up a billboard to show that USC had only won one national title, not two as most college football fans (and those of us here at the M Zone) had always assumed. Mr. One-Peat's thinking was, since LSU won the BCS title in 2003 when they defeated Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, they are considered the national champion in college football for that year.

Of course, he's forgetting that since there is no playoff in college football and two polls that are recognized as having the "power" to declare a champion, it's possible - even with the BCS in place - to have two teams share the mythical title of "National Champion." It's happened many times in the past, and without a playoff, it could very well happen again.

Even the NCAA doesn't seem to think there was only one "Champ" in '03. In its official record book, they list both LSU and USC as champions that year. Both teams won. As Barney and friends illustrate in the picture, they shared the title.

Now, the subject of a shared national title hits home to us here at the M Zone. The most recent football championship that Michigan can claim was in 1997 when the Wolverines shared the designation with Nebraska. With no clear-cut better team and the two teams not playing each other that year either, in a situation similar to LSU/SC in '03, the shared title was probably the best of a bad situation. Do Michigan fans think the Wolverines would have beaten the 'Huskers that year? No doubt. Just as I'm certain Nebraska fans have the same confidence in their '97 squad.

However, I don't think most of the Michigan or Nebraska fans - nor the LSU or USC fans in '03 - still feel in 2006 that their titles were or are diminished in any way because they had to share it.

Except for one glaring exception: Mr. One-Peat.

Evidently this LSU fan was upset at the national media, particularly ESPN and ABC, for continually referring to USC's attempt at a "Three-Peat" this season (even though that's what the media do, particularly the Boo-Yah! Back Back Back network). But who cares? If you're an LSU fan, it's not like they were trying to take away the Tigers' title. No matter what, the Bayou Bengals have their title. Always will. And saying that USC was going for three in a row didn't, nor doesn't, diminish what the '03 Tigers accomplished.

So enjoy it. It was 45 years since your last one. National championships, shared or solo, are often once or twice in a lifetime events. And for cryin' out loud, if you don't like what the GameDay crew is saying, turn off the TV.

Which is exactly what most LSU fans have done. But Mr. One-peat's remote must be broken and it's driven him insane. Because trying to raise ten grand, particularly in Louisiana at this time, just to put up some billboard to compensate for some perceived slight is crazy. It was hilarious as something passed around the Internet. We all got a good laugh out of the guy's point. But to actually try to raise money? Especially when everybody's already heard the joke?

So we at the M Zone have a better idea. We are encouraging everyone to ignore the "One-peat" and instead donate to either the Red Cross or the Bush-Clinton Hurricane Katrina Fund, both of which are accepting donations for the people who are still suffering the effects of Hurricane Katrina. So instead of trying to settle "mythical" slights, pass this on. Then "repeat" as needed.

Friday, January 13, 2006

"Uh, Stacy..."

This was sent to us and, while it might be Photoshopped, we laughed our asses off.

I mean, we hope it's Photoshopped. She couldn't be that stupid...could she?


On tap today:

* Another edition of The Best of the Worst Buckeye Sites on the Web
* An update on our M Zone All-Hotness Team search
* Wangs looks for any signal a coaching change is near
* LSU fans sure have a chip on their shoulder about 2003 (Note: you must check out the comments under this post. Wow. Didn't know we struck such a nerve in Tigerville).

Also, once again, when submitting pix for the M Zone All-Hotness Team, please only send JPEGs and embedded photos. No zip files. Thanks.

The Best of the Worst Buckeye Sites on the Web

Another in an occasional series here on the M Zone showcasing The Best of the Worst Buckeye sites on the ol' WWW.

Many of you probably thought there was no way we could top the first two sites we featured here (the "Screw Michigan Store" selling a full line of "F*ck Michigan" products including an infant onsey and the basic "F*ck Michigan" website). But we did. And sometimes the comedy just writes itself. Especially when Buckeye fans try to combine their hate for Michigan (large) with their creativity (not so large).

Here is a site we stumbled across with the title, "Friends don't let friends cheer for Michigan." But if you click on the link, you see, not a Michigan pic but an "alien head" next to this text:

"Having a few drarings that we drew we are deciding to start making shirts. we havent actually made the shirts but we will let you know when we are ready to sell!!
Just e-mail us about what kind of shirt you want and we will draw them for you and display them!!!"

Even better, the shirts are only $5! How can you go wrong? So, we decided to have a look around the site of this obvious Buckeye English Lit major to see if his artwork was as good as his spelling. There are nine masterpieces showcased and here are some of our favorite designs. Let's start with "Draring #1" (Their spelling, not mine). The text reads:

"We like Ohio State football, so if you are a michigan fan go ruck yourself!!! Here are some cool drarings that we have made!!"

And here is the first of those "cool drarings."

Yes, we know they're very big on the word "THE" before the name of their school. We just didn't realize their official moniker was THE State Ohio. Then again, what do Michigan fans know. We're too busy "rucking" ourselves. But hey, it's nice to see someone as bad at Photoshop as we are.

Now, this shirt below, I can't for the life of me understand how they intend to sell it for just $5 as it's a two-sider. On the front of "Draring #4&5" is:

Now, when I first saw this, I mistakenly thought it meant THE State Ohio was a toilet (at least we agree on something) while Michigan was the blue bowl cleaner. Then I saw the back of the shirt:

That's when I realized Michigan was shaped like Long Island in the eyes of this artist. Oh, wait, let me see that again...is he...is he saying...that Michigan is a big piece of shit with a chunk of yellow corn in it?! ha..haha...HAHAHA! NOW I get it. LOL! The subtle genius of it all. Like any good art, sometimes you miss the complexity with only one viewing.

Next, after "Drarings #4&5" was "Draring #9" (yes, they're numbered this way). Under the text, "Homestar Hitler!!! HAHA!" was this little gem:

Because nothing, and I mean nothing, says funny like Hitler. Seriously, this was almost as funny as the outtake reel on the Schindler's List DVD.

But our favorite (if you force us to pick just one) was the last one, (naturally) "Draring #7":

I liked this one the most because it really captured, in a very beautiful way, the class of THE State Ohio fan. You have the Columbus Salute - "F*CK MICHIGAN" - boldly displayed (no more of that "ruck" crap, I tell ya. For the actual shirts, it's "F*CK" all the way, baby!). Then you have Brutus holding a machine gun which, as evidenced by the bullet-riddled body at his feet, he's just used to shoot the Michigan fan on the ground, saving one shot to blow a hole in his face. But personally, what spoke to me, what said, "Bravo!" was the sly wink Brutus is giving after uttering his favorite phrase following the murder.

Sometimes you can't utter the word "genius" enough. This is one of those times, folks.

If you've stumbled across a site that you feel we should feature, please email us.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Hasty Scheduling of Vandie Signals New Coach for Michigan

In an unusual manuever, Bill "I'm not the bookie" Martin announced that Michigan would be naming a new head coach shortly by hastily adding Vanderbilt to the 2006 schedule. The last time these two teams met was 1969 (note to self: confirm Vanderbilt still has a football team) , Glenn "Bo" Schembechler's first game as head coach.

Insiders say that scheduling the Vanderbilt [do they have a nickname?]'s is similar to the white smoke (or is it grey?) signal from the Vatican announcing the Cardinals picked a new Pope. Michigan plays Vandie on rare occaisions. Before the '69 game (that sounds fun), Vandie and Michigan played in 1923 (you may remember that game, Yost). In '69, the two teams met in Ann Arbor, on a Saturday, Sept. 20. In '06, the two teams will also meet in Ann Arbor, on a Saturday, Sept. 02. The hasty scheduling of Vandie on this particular date can only mean one thing: Michigan will have a new coach this Fall.

Who will it be?

Interestingly, Middle Tennessee State's 2006 schedule also includes a September 2 date with Vandie. http://goblueraiders.com/?go=Schedule&Sport=Football&season=2006. The internet don't lie.

Who will show up? Where? Who will be Michigan's new coach? Does Vandie have hot cheerleaders? Stay tuned.

M Zone All-Hotness Team

Ok, after one day, let's just say the University of Texas has jumped out to a very comfortable lead. National Champs and girls that attractive?! Uh, grad school, who's with me? Wangs? King? Anybody?

But it's far from over (and we like getting the pics!) so keep sending them in.

P.S. And we have something in our inbox still from ASU. This could be very good. I've been to Tempe many times. Yes, this could be competition.

LSU Tigers Still Peeved about '03 Split (Yes, it was a split)

Wow, who knew such a simple couple line post would cause so much pain in Baton Rouge. Sheesh. Check out the 9 page comment from the Tiger fan (under the Pete/Repeat post below).

Also, they get pretty testy about it on their own boards. Here is a link to a run on TigerDroppings.com (The Poop on LSU Sports) about the '03 title.

Hey, forget the '03 title talk for a sec -- TigerDroppings? Guys, it's really hard to take your complaints and rants seriously on site named after animal crap. What, was TigerTurds.org already taken?

Hump Day in the Zone

UPDATE: When sending pictures for the M Zone All-Hotness Team mentioned below, please only send JPEGs or pictures embedded in the email itself. No zip files.

As shocking as it may seem, neither Maurice Clarett nor Marcus Vick (nor, surprisingly, any Seminoles) got in any trouble with the law in the last 24 hours. Thus, since we weren't forced to "stop the presses" (and fire up Photoshop) to run something on that, below is the promised, double secret probation picture revealing Lloyd's plan to turn things around against Tressel and Tosu in '06. So simple...and yet so brilliant. Like Michigan's offense.

Also today:
* Maurce Clarett 2006 Fiesta Bowl viewing party
* Onepeat? (Texas and Tiger fans will love it, SC fans will hate it)

And while we have your attention before you start scrolling down and looking for pictures instead of reading all this text bullsh*t (lazy bastards), in the coming days/weeks/slow days when the folks above don't get arrested again, we at the M Zone are working on a Hottest Co-eds in the Country post. Not for you, for us. It's winter and we went to Michigan. 'Nuff said.

Now, while there was debate within our ranks on whether to simply give the award to Florida State based on what we heard/saw after our FSU Cowgirls post below or the entire Texas Pom Squad, we here at the M Zone have instead decided that if we get enough picture submissions from you, our loyal readers, we're going to name our first M Zone All-Hotness Team.

Here are the rules (and they're pretty loose, like Wangs' mom):

Any pictures of co-eds submitted must be sporting something identifying their school and have either the words "M Zone" visible or something with a recent date (like a newspaper or TIME) so we know the co-eds are real and not from the Victoria's Secret catalog. Also, as much as this is going to piss off The King/Loef/What'shisnametoday?, no nudity. Yes, it pains me to type that, but we have some (very few) scruples here (again, very, very few).

Email pix to the address at the left. And if we don't get enough submissions, oh well. We tried. You just have to admire the stones to even try to pull this one off.

Finally, a sincere thank you for all the kind words regarding the posts we've been putting up lately. Glad folks enjoy the site (except for the Vick and Clarett families...and probably Jim Brown).


THE M Zone Staff

Carr Makes Big Change in Bid to Beat Buckeyes

(from M Zone wire reports) Ann Arbor, MI -- After losing four out of five games to arch-rival Ohio State and their head coach, Jim Tressel, Michigan coach Lloyd Carr has decided to try anything in order to turn the tide as evidenced by the just-released photo on the left.

When asked about his new sideline attire, Carr first swore at this reporter and said he doesn't talk about injuries. After being reminded this was the offseason and I wasn't asking about injuries, Carr called timeout, hoping for a review of this post while demanding two comments be put back on this blog.

When the comments were added back, Penn State fans went into a frenzy, but were relieved that at least they had something to bitch about on their message boards for the next 12 years.