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

Monday, October 31, 2011

MZone Autopsy: Dissecting the Purdue Game

Folks, this is going to be a lot more enjoyable than our first "autopsy" feature when we were forced to cut open the corpse found buried in plastic bags outside Spartan Stadium.  


1.  During the previous three seasons, last weekend's Purdue game is one U-M would have probably lost.  One of those dreaded "second half of the season" games that revealed Michigan to be imploding rather than improving.

But not this time.  Not this year.

Michigan stomped on an inferior opponent the way it should have, both defensively and offensively.  It was -  dare I say - like old times.  In talking to my former MZone cohort Benny yesterday, he mentioned that we still don't know how good Michigan is because we haven't beaten any good teams (ND falls into a "maybe" depending on which weekend we're talking about).  And while I agreed with him, I said the biggest difference is that, while we may indeed not be great team, Michigan is playing football at a level now that has the Wolverines beating the teams they're supposed to.  The teams Michigan used to routinely pound, with every game not being a coin flip.

Yes, I'm so damn scarred by the previous three seasons that, after Purdue's initial drive, I felt a flash of deja vu all over again.  But Michigan stayed the course and eventually put Purdue away, pretty much by halftime and certainly before the 3rd quarter was over.

How refreshing.

While we probably won't go 4-0 to end the season, I can honestly say I wouldn't be surprised if we did.  And, unlike years past (okay, three of them), I would be very surprised if we went 0-4.

2.  So that's what a running game looks like.  Boy, was it beautiful to see a Michigan player not named Denard tear up the opposition's defense on the ground.  RB Fitz Toussaint's 170 yard day (59 of it coming on a beautiful TD run in the third quarter) is the sort of output that U-M fans used to be used to.  If the Wolverines can make this a regular thing - and do it against high quality teams - look out.  It will take a hell of a load off of Denard.  Put it this way, if the Maize and Blue can establish this sort of ground game on a weekly basis, it's going to be fun to watch folks notice other good things which will happen as a result.  Like, "Wow, I didn't know Denard was such a good passer!"  Funny how that works.

3.  For the first time this season, injuries are a concern for the Wolverines.  Up until this point, Michigan has been beyond blessed in the health department.  Not anymore.  Safety Jordon Kovacs missed the game and is probably out for Iowa with a knee injury.  Left guard Ricky Barnum re-injured his ankle and had to leave the game.  And left tackle Taylor Lewan had to miss part of the game with what could be a knee injury.  With Michigan's lack of depth and four tough closing games, it's not good.  But as Coach Hoke said about the injuries, "That's football."

4.  The "Rocket Man" entrance of the game ball was cool as hell.

About the only negative was that this was the loudest thing inside The Big House on Saturday.  I'm actually mildly surprised nobody yelled "down in front" at the guy as he flew past.

5.  Shame on the students.  Where the hell were you?!  You can see it in the "Rocket Man" video above as well as many of the YouTube vids posted: the students simply didn't show up.  No, I'm not talking "late arriving," I mean the student section NEVER FILLED UP (the pink cancer "M" students were trying to form had holes in it the entire game).  Not gonna put up much about this now because I think this deserves its own post.  But there is no excuse and it's just sad. 

6. I think Michigan won twice yesterday: By beating Purdue and hearing about Sparty losing to Nebraska.

7. A safety?! You remember what those are, don't you?  Can you believe it had been EIGHT YEARS since U-M's defense last recorded one (vs. Houston in 2003).  I don't want to say U-M fans are shocked to see such things after Gerg and the last three years, but check out the fan video of the safety below.  There was less pandemonium by the dude working the camera in CLOVERFIELD when he was being chased by the giant monster.

8. Man, I really enjoy beating Danny Hope. Especially since we probably don't have that many more years to do it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Michigan vs. Purdue Open Thread

Michigan returns to action after a bye week for its homecoming game against the Purdue Boilermakers. Leave us your thoughts on U-M/Purdue and all of Saturday's cfb action below.

This pic just kinda felt homecomey

Friday, October 28, 2011

Know Your Foe - Purdue 2011

Saturday marks Michigan's homecoming game as the 6-1 Wolverines welcome Purdue to The Big House.  This will be the 57th meeting between the two schools, with Michigan winning last year's contest, 27-16.  But those are the facts you can find anywhere.  Below is the stuff you didn't know in another death-defying edition of Know Your Foe.

"Hey, IU -- blow me!"
History: Purdue was founded as a land grant college on May 6, 1869 when the Indiana General Assembly accepted a $150K donation and 100 acres of land from Lafayette businessman John Purdue to establish a college of science, technology, and agriculture in his name. But it wasn’t just the Morrill Act and Purdue's love of education that got the school started. It was spite. Purdue had been denied a professorship at Indiana University. So to help Indiana students have an alternative to the school in Bloomington, Purdue donated the money and land to help start the school that would bear his name.  Classes first began at Purdue on September 16, 1874 with 39 students. Purdue issued its first degree, not surprisingly a Bachelor of Science, in 1875.

As a side note, Mr. Purdue’s is buried on campus near the Union Building, which is surprising since we at the MZone thought it was hidden inside that giant drum they wheel around the football field.

Location: West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue is the flagship of the six campuses within the Purdue University System, one of the largest university systems in the United States. It is situated in Tippecanoe County about 65 miles northwest of Indianapolis. The place is named in honor of General Lafayette, a French military hero who fought with the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.

Can't be all bad in WL, right?
While Andy claimed in a previous KYF to have known some nice looking Purdue grads, he also noted this in no place to go looking for girls. According to the 2000 US Census, for every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 137.2 males in West Lafayette.  This unusual distribution can be explained by Purdue's strong academic programs in male-dominated fields such as engineering.  Whatever the reason, the MZone hereby motions to rename West Lafayette as Sausage, Indiana.

Nickname: Boilermakers.  The nickname dates back to 1891 when a local reporter referred to the football team as “Boiler Makers” following a 44-0 whitewash of Wabash College. The title of the story was called “Slaughter of Innocents” (which is an apt description of the previous three years of Michigan Football). The next year the student newspaper (still called the Exponent) began using the name and it stuck. As far as nicknames go, this one is a true original. Purdue is the only college known as the Boilermakers.

Before becoming the Boilermakers, Purdue’s sports teams had a bunch of silly industrial/farming names, including the surreal “Clod Mashers and Lunch Punishers from the wilds of Tippecanoe County”. Other names were the Corn Huskers, Rail Splitters, Haymakers, LogHaulers, Blacksmiths, Sluggers, Hayseeds, Pumpkin-shuckers and my personal favorite: Cornfield Sailors...not that there's anything wrong with that.

Kiddie ride? Nope. Purdue's mascot
Mascot: The Boilermaker Special has been the official mascot of Purdue University since 1940. It essentially is a Victorian-era railroad locomotive built on a truck chassis. The Special was originally designed to demonstrate Purdue's engineering programs. It is "street legal" and can be driven on expressways at a top speed of 65mph and it attends all of Purdue’s football games home & away. Hats bearing the logos of defeated opponents are attached to the Boilermaker Special's cow-catcher (which leaves it pretty empty some years). There is a smaller version (called the X-Tra) for indoor events. The Special is operated, maintained, and funded by the unfortunately named Purdue Reamer Club.

Just to be confusing, the official mascot of Purdue athletics since 1940 has been Purdue Pete. He began as a logo for the campus bookstore. He made his first physical appearance as the athletics mascot at a pep rally in 1956. Pete has lost his head several times, literally. They lost his original paper-mache head in 1962 on the way back from Iowa City. The head was in the back of the Boilermaker Special when a strong gust of wind blew it out into the road. The crew stopped the Special and searched for hours for the head without any luck. The only thing they found was little piece of the shoulder pad.

About the only think missing from Purdue Pete, in our opinion, is a super 'stache in honor of the apparent coaching pre-req at PU.

Colors/Logo/Helmet: In 1887 Purdue University adopted its school colors, Old Gold and Black. These distinctive colors were inspired by the brass and iron found on the steam engine Lafayette that passed through the state (OK, we get it -- you like trains). Unlike Big Ten teams Iowa and Minnesota, the Purdue gold is actually gold, not yellow.

They use a “forward moving P,” as their primary logo. This logo is nice clean and basic. They have also used various versions of a train engine as an alternative logo. Again, it is a uniquely Purdue symbol and there is no confusing it with any other college logo.

Considering they have not had a ton of success as a football program, they have a pretty stable helmet history. In the early 1950’s Purdue’s helmets looked a little bit like the Michigan helmets without the wings. They went to a “numbers on the side” period in the 1960’s until they went with the current gold with a black P in the early 1970’s. However, for some reason during the last two years of the Fred Akers era they had a two-year fling with black helmets (1989 and 1990).

When Drew Brees led Purdue to the 2001 Rose Bowl, they wore a special “Rose Bowl” version of the helmet. I think it looked great because it combined the classic Purdue style with the very special (and rare, as it only happened once before in '67) occasion of the Rose Bowl visit.

Fight Song Hail Purdue! is the official fight song of Purdue University. The lyrics were written by James Morrison, to the tune set by Edward Wotawa in 1913. The song was initially titled "Purdue War Song" and was dedicated to the Varsity Glee Club, of whom Wotawa was a member.  The lyrics also talk about friendship, and time spent together, so it starts to devolve into a poem a guy would write to a girlfriend he just dumped, but overall a solid fight song.

Hail Purdue
To your call once more we rally,
Alma Mater, hear our praise;
Where the Wabash spreads its valley,
Filled with joy our voices raise.
From the skies in swelling echoes
Come the cheers that tell the tale,
Of your vic'tries and your heroes,
Hail Purdue! We sing all hail!

Hail, hail to old Purdue!
All hail to our old gold and black!
Hail, hail to old Purdue!
Our friendship may she never lack,
Ever grateful ever true,
Thus we raise our song anew,†
Of the days we've spent with you,
All hail our own Purdue.

When in after years we're turning,
Alma Mater, back to you,
May our hearts with love be yearning,
For the scenes of old Purdue.
Back among your pathways winding
Let us seek what lies before,
Fondest hopes and aims e'er finding,
While we sing of days of yore.

Academics: The reputation of Purdue as a top engineering school is well known. It was the first university in America to award an aviation engineering degree under the direction of the Wright brothers. Purdue was the first university in the country to offer college credit for flight training, and the first to offer a degree in aviation. Over the last ten years, Purdue has awarded more aerospace engineering degree than any other school, and awards more engineering degrees to women than any college in the country. It’s known as the cradle of astronauts, and has one of the largest international student populations of any public university in the U.S.

According to the latest US News and World Reports rankings, Purdue comes in #62.  Not exactly Michigan, but more importantly to John Purdue -- higher ranked than Indiana!

Athletics: Purdue was a charter member of the Big Ten and played a central role in its creation. They have an intense rivalry with Indiana in all sports. The Boilermakers battle the Hoosiers on the football field each year to win the Old Oaken Bucket. Purdue leads the series by a wide margin. Found on a farm in southern Indiana, the oaken bucket is one of the oldest football trophies in the nation. The winner of game gets to add a bronze "P" or "I" chain link and keep the trophy until the next face-off. Ironically, the first competition in 1925 led to a 0-0 tie, resulting in the first link on the chain being an "IP."

It is good that they battle so hard with Indiana, because in over 100 years of Big Ten football the Boilermakers haven’t really battled anyone else. They have won only one non-shared conference championship (1929) and have only shared of seven others. Only two of those co-championships have taken place in the last 55 years.

But in basketball it is a different story -- Boilermaker Basketball teams have won more Big Ten Championships than any other conference school, with 27 (Men 21 and Women 6). The guys have been to two Final Fours and the ladies three. The Purdue Women won the NCAA title 1999 while the Men were voted NCAA Champs in 1932 (before the NCAA tourney).

The rest of the Boilermakers athletic teams are just plain weak. In this century, they’ve only won a handful of Big Ten titles. They show no historical conference dominance in any sport. Their only other national championships have come in golf (1961 Mens and 2010 Ladies).

Purdue's Popcorn Engineer
Famous alums: Purdue alumni have headed corporations, held federal offices, founded television networks, and flown through space. Purdue’s distinguished faculty have won Nobel prizes, solved long-standing riddles in science, headed government agencies, and received countless awards. Famous Purdue people include: Russell Games Slayter, inventor of fiberglass; Harold Gray, creator of Little Orphan Annie; George Peppard, movie actor; Orville Redenbacher, popcorn king; and Ruth Siems, inventor of stove top stuffing. They have a nice list of famous athletes including legendary basketball coach John Wooden; NFL Hall of Fame coach Hank Stram; and Pro Bowl QBs Drew Brees, Len Dawson, and Bob (you can call me Brian's Dad) Griese. I would be remiss without mentioning that former Lions QB and current SEC lobbyist Gary Danielson went to Purdue. It is sad to see that a guy that went to high school in Michigan and attended a Big Ten School can be such a blow-hard against his midwestern football roots.

As I mentioned above, Purdue is known as the "Cradle of Astronauts". They have graduated 22 NASA astronauts, including the first and last men to walk on the moon. Pretty impressive. The most recognizable Purdue Space Man is Neil Armstrong. So yes, Purdue beats Michigan in the race to space -- but they have no US Presidents.  White House, Bitches!

The Game:  The previous two years, this is the point at which the bottom begins to fall out of the Michigan season: quick start, crappy ending.  But I just can't believe Brady's Boys will let that happen.  I can't.  Not again.  Not on homecoming.  Against a Danny Hope-coached team.

This game will be no cakewalk as Purdue stepped up and smacked Illinois last weekend on the road.  But that's more of a Zooker issue that something that can be attributed to Purdue props.

No, I think MSU was not the "beginning of the end," but rather just a stumble.  And tomorrow Denard has his best game of the season.

Michigan - 34
Purdue - 24

Thursday, October 27, 2011

25 Things We Love About Michigan Football Saturdays: #15 Carl Grapentine

You remember this list, don't you? Well, I barely did. Heck, I had to go back and look at my notes to remember where we were on our countdown. But I'm up to speed and we continue today with...

#15 Michigan Marching Band and Stadium Announcer Carl Grapentine

"Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the Michigan Marching Band. Baaaaaand, take the field!"

You just got chills, didn't you? Yeah, me, too.

When you hear Carl Grapentine, the Michigan Marching Band and Big House announcer, utter those words over the stadium PA system on Saturday, all will be good in the world.  The game will be mere moments away.  And Grapentine's soothing baritone will have just set the stage.  Like your mom saying grace before Thanksgiving dinner.  You wouldn't even think of touching the turkey until mom had her say.

Same with Carl in The Big House.

For me, the game doesn't start when the Wolverines run out of the tunnel.  Or when they race under the "M Go Blue" banner.  Or even at kick-off.  Nope.  I'm in full game-mode as soon as I hear Grapentine.

According to the Michigan Marching Band website, "Grapentine has been 'The Voice of the Michigan Band' since 1970 when he was appointed to the post by Dr. William D. Revelli.  An alumnus of the University of Michigan School of Music, he played oboe in the Symphony Band and Symphony Orchestra, and was baritone soloist with the Men's Glee Club during his student years."  Having outlasted Bo, Mo, Carr and Rich Rod, Grapentine is as much a part of the band and the gameday experience as anybody down on the field forming the giant block "M".

In 2006, Grapentine added to his duties when he became the stadium PA announcer, as well.  He took over for Howard King, who was The Big House public address announcer for 33 years, from 1972 until his retirement at the end of the 2005 season.

In this capacity, Grapentine is responsible for this other chill-inducing announcement...

"Good afternoon.  And welcome.  To the University of Michigan football stadium.  And this, the 57th meeting between Michigan and Purdue.  Now for the starting lineups..."

Then, after the teams are introduced on Saturday...

"...And in his first season as head coach...Brady Hoke!"

Here come the chills again.

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting #15 on our list of the 25 Things We Love about Michigan Football Saturdays...Carl Grapentine.

ED. NOTE: Notice how he no longer says, to my knowledge, the exact number of members in the MMB as he does in the above older recording. Anybody know when that stopped and why? Or am I just not paying attention like I should these days?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Danny Hope's Next Job

As our friend Michigan Sports Girl of @SupportBradyHoke pointed out, apparently a super 'stache must be part of the job description for the Purdue head coaching job (which makes them look like a motorcycle cop, giant douchebag, or both).

Here's current coach Danny Hope...

"Step out of the vehicle please, ma'am."

...Who replaced Joe Tiller...

"He said, Step out of the vehicle.
Don't make me tase you!"

...Who was often mistaken for actor Wilford Brimley...

This is NOT Joe Tiller, though Purdue teams often play
like the cast of COCOON
...But never Sam Elliot from The Big Lebowski...

"Way out west - West Lafayette,
actually -  there was this coach..."

But let's face it, the Purdue head coaching job isn't exactly a long-term employment opportunity.  So the MZone brain trust got together to bat around some suggestions for Hope when the time comes for his inevitable post-Boilermaker job search.  Let's face it, with his look, he should have no problem landing one of the jobs below.


As mentioned above, this really is the obvious choice.  But it goes both ways.

Danny Hope's next job...or Purdue's next coach?


Sure, the time travel part might be tough. But with Hope's look, it might be worth overcoming the technical difficulties.

"Wanna see my 4-4 stack?"


Again, there are the time travel issues. But if Hope's only "attribute" is the 'stache - thus ruling out the 70s porn star - might be worth a shot.

...Especially when you consider that Joe Tiller pulled a SOMEWHERE IN TIME and is currently William Howard Taft in an alternate reality...


Might be some overlap here with the 70s Porn Star.

"Is that a candle?  You tell me."
So, did we forget anything?  Leave us your suggestion for Danny Hope's post-Purdue job in the comments section.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Is Purdue Coach Danny Hope Doing Herman Cain Ads?

Is this same guy?  Or is the 'stache throwing me?

Okay, I admit it was a stretch. But I'd just read about the Cain ad today and it was so shockingly bad, I had to figure out an angle in order to post here.  Put it this way, I think they'd have been better off hiring our inhouse video crew at the MZone.

ED. NOTE:  Please note this is not a political statement either way (that way lies madness on a cfb blog).  Rather, this is a statement about really shitty political ads, whether or not you're yea or nay for the candidate involved.

MZone Poetry: Tradition

When they came for our home jerseys versus Notre Dame
I remained silent
Because I was told it was a "one time thing" for the inaugural night game in The Big House.

Then they came for our away uniforms in East Lansing
Still I said nothing
Because at least our bumble bee shit looked slightly better than the Baylor shit MSU was wearing.

Then Dave Branding Brandon started putting ads on the uniforms
But there was no way to stop him
Because he no longer cared what the fans thought when he realized some stupid people would pay $90 for anything, tradition be damned

Depending on when you procrastinate at work read the MZone today, you might still be able to vote in our online poll about U-M's uni carousel.  It closes this morning.  Look for the final tally in the upper righthand corner when it does.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Does Dantonio Difference make MSU the new center of evil in U-M's universe?

Admit it: MSU's miracle, Hail Mary, lucky-bounce, review-aided victory against Wisconsin felt like a loss -- for Michigan fans.  Obviously not as painful as a U-M loss, but it was disappointing enough that I was bummed by the outcome.  And I don't think I've ever felt that way before about a Michigan State game in which Michigan wasn't involved.

Prior to this year, I didn't really pay much attention to Sparty games outside of one Saturday each fall.  But something has changed.

And no, it's not just State's current four game winning streak.   Part of that, I must sadly accept, is due to U-M's on-field decline that started during The Dark Period.  Another part of it, I must grudgingly admit, is MSU coming into its own.

No, the biggest reason for my growing dislike -- nay, disdain -- for all things Sparty isn't just the "L's", it's due to the head Spartan, Mark Dantonio. 

First off, his perma-scowl makes him look like he's getting a never ending prostate exam.  Even when he wins he comes off as the dicky neighbor who used to threaten to keep your football if it touched his lawn when you were a kid.

Second, any coach that gets into a back and forth in the media as Dantonio did with Mike Hart after the infamous "Little Brother" comment, is a d-bag.  You're the head football coach, are you really going to get into it with some 21 year old college student?  Show some leadership.

Most importantly, there's the way he runs his program.  And no, it's not just the "Gholston Thing (although does anybody -- even MSU fans -- think for a second that Dantonio would have sat Gholston if the B1G hadn't stepped in and suspended him for the Wisco game?  Ha!).  It's a defensive coordinator seeming to condone late hits and injuring opponents.   It's players like MSU safety Isaiah Lewis saying they're going to "hurt" an opposing QB.  Lemme guess -- it's all just a "bad choice of words" as Pat Narduzzi claimed, right?  Nice try.  That kind of cheap thuggery is a reflection of what trickles down from the top.  What a coach lets his staff and players know is okay.

And don't forget last season, when Dantonio reinstated Chris Rucker on the team the day he got out of prison and just two days before the big Iowa game for Sparty.  One gets the feeling that a "violation of team rules" in Dantonio World depends on a) the talent level of the player involved and b) who knows about the infraction outside of the Spartan family.

Again, while losing sucks, my growing disdain is not just because of the current four game slide to Sparty.  During The Dark Period, Michigan lost two in a row to Illinois and squeaked out a 67-65 victory last season.  Whatever.  Back-to-back losses to Purdue -- a team coached by Danny Hope?!  Sucks but what'cha gonna do?  And after Michigan owned Penn State during the Carr Era, Penn State currently has a three-game winning streak over the Wolverines courtesy of the Rodriguez Experiment.  Oh well.

But mix a losing streak with the Dantonio Difference and now we have something to really fan the flames: a villain.

Every story of good vs. evil needs a villain.  Until this season, it was Jim Tressel. His holier-than-thou attitude was a phoney mask Michigan fans saw through and loved to hate.  Of course with Tressel now working the replay booth somewhere, I just can't get that worked up staring across the field at some shitty Scarlet and Gray/Grey Nike Pro Combat-clad Buckeyes surrounding their head coach, Happy Gilmore (which won't matter next year, anyway).

Oh sure, I still despise OSU and want to beat them as bad as ever.  They are still -- and will always be -- Michigan's main rival.  It is, after all, The Game.  But the "hate" has been dialed down a notch.*  And for now, at least, it has been replaced.  It's void filled by the Dantonio Difference, making MSU the new center of evil in U-M's universe.

East Lansing after the latest campus riot

* Don't worry. Just a notch.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bye Week Friday

Light posting today. Like the football team, gonna take it easy. But I'm not going to totally leave you hanging.

First of all, remember the old days of Beer Bong Friday?  Well, today we cheat a bit with Shotgun Friday and this attractive Sparty co-ed racing the dude from CLERKS who is not Silent Bob.

Next, have I been living under a rock? Because I've not seen the FOX Sports Detroit Girls before stumbling upon the video below.  Helloooo.

Finally, an MZone quiz...

Drew Sharp was up to his usual asshatery following Michigan's loss to MSU. In reading these two articles, you almost get the sense that he wrote them in August and couldn't wait for Michigan to stumble so he could post them.  Which is par for the course when it comes to Sharp and his practice of "annoyance journalism." 

Well, after the two stories in the Freep this week, MZone reader Joe sent us the picture below with the following question:

We had a guy at the Free Press parking lot and found these two cars.

Can you guess which one is Drew Sharp’s?

ANSWER: Trick question — they’re both his. Apparently he must've been drinking his I-Love-Bagging-On-Michigan-Because-Somebody-Was-Mean-To-Me-Once-While-I-Went-There-Or-Something-Like-That Kool-Aid and had to get a cab home after the Sparty win. So both were left at work.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Guest Post by Stephen Colbert: Matt Millen proves he's still a football genius

I knew we had a following here on the MZone.  But I had no idea how big it was until I got a request from Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert to do a guest post.  Wow.  We're honored and humbled.  Take it away, Stephen...

STEPHEN COLBERT:  "Thank you, Yost.  Ladies and gentlemen, as you know, Matt Millen's eight-year tenure with the Detroit Lions led to the worst eight-year record in the history of the modern NFL at 31-97. At least that's one way to look at it if you want to focus only on the negative. 

I prefer the to look at the positive.  I mean, if the man didn't know football, would he get hired by ESPN?  So when Millen speaks, I think we should all pay pretty close attention and drink from the Gatorade bottle of genius.  Like this week when he talked with Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbsteit about William Gholston's actions during the Michigan-Michigan State game.  Jimmy, roll the tape..."

STEPHEN COLBERT: "Yes.  Millen's right.  That stuff happens. Cold cocking a dude in the face and trying to break a guy's neck is just young exuberance.  Gholston was a little bit fired up.  We've all been there.  Remember in your youth, that first job out of college?  You had a great day at work, but waiting at the elevator to go home, Judy from Human Resources pushes the "up" button instead of the "down" button by mistake -- so you punched her in the jaw.  Young exuberance.  Or that time in the break room, when you saw Steve from Accounting going through your lunch bag -- pure instinct made you grab him in a headlock and try to crack a vertebrae or two.  You were simply fired up.

And as Millen pointed out, Gholston's a heck of a football player.  People are only singling him out because he's good.  We all know if he sucked, we'd just suspend him without even having this discussion.  Where's the due process in that, America?

Folks, as the old adage goes, when it comes to football -- listen to Matt Millen.  The Lions did.  If they didn't, they wouldn't have sucked so bad as to be able to have enough high draft picks to choose 642 receivers over a three year period until they got it right with Calvin Johnson.

Plus, if you suspend Gholston here, you're just going to have to start enforcing all the rules.  And if you can't catch them all, I agree with Millen: don't enforce any of them.   It's part of the game.  Like stabbings and carjackings are part of city life.   In fact, I don't even know why we bother arresting anybody because that shit happens every night in every city.  All or nothing, people.

And you heard Millen -- he had it done to him.  Which makes it alright.  That's why he's laughing throughout the entire clip.  Because punching someone in the head and trying to paralyze another human being is funny if it's done on a football field.  So c'mon, Nation.  Get a football clue.  Listen to Matt Millen."

UPDATE: Sadly, the Big Ten did not listen to the Mr. Football, Matt Millen, and suspended Gholston for one game -- Saturday's showdown with Wisco. No word yet if this "completes" MSU's investigation into the incident or they're still searching for their game tapes.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Brady Hoke does not do push ups, he pushes the earth down

ED. NOTE: Some Michigan "fans" are using the loss to MSU as the opening they craved to question Hoke's hiring -- still (absolute dumbest tweet I've seen by an alleged U-M fan this week: In the next 2 years I know that Hoke will underperform what RR would have done. After that I have no idea).  But we here at the MZone still believe. That's why the post below that our friend Michigan Sports Girl put in the queue last week still holds true today.

So, upon reading Yost's recent post about our unflappable head coach, it got me thinking.

It brought to mind another undeniable bad ass to whom the world and all of its inhabitants owe all of our earthly freedoms: the one and only Chuck Norris.

I am quite a fan of Chuck Norris Fact sites. They're everywhere, and they are endlessly entertaining. Norris' level of tough was once thought to be unattainable by any human being -- until I began to see some similarities between Chuck and our now-fearless leader. Could there actually be a parallel between one Chuck Norris and the King of Toughness and 'Payshun' himself, Coach Hoke?

A story then popped into my mind. Back when Coach Hoke was an assistant at Michigan, he was the head coach of one of the intra-squad teams heading into our annual spring game. In the Lloyd Carr days there was a tradition (a tradition actually brought back with Coach upon his return to Ann Arbor) that whichever team won the game that day got to eat steak at the barbecue that night. The losing team? Banished to the more simple backyard fare of hamburgers, hot dogs and a steaming hot helping of shame coming from the endless taunting of the winning team around the picnic table.

Before the game that year, Coach rallied his troops in the locker room for his pre-game pep talk. After a fiery speech that more than sufficiently hyped his corps of Wolverines, he proclaimed: "Men, tonight we eat steak." He then turned his head, pulled out a large bottle of A-1 Sauce, and proceeded to DRINK THE ENTIRE BOTTLE in one swig.

That is one bad-ass coach.

So, here are some Brady Hoke facts that you may not know:

*Coach Hoke and Superman once fought each other on a bet. The loser had to start wearing his underwear on the outside of his pants.

*When all else fails, Coach Hoke doesn't.

*Coach Hoke does not wear sunglasses. The sun wears Coach Hoke glasses.

*If paper beats rock, rock beats scissors, and scissors beats paper, what beats all 3 at the same time? Answer: Coach Hoke.

*When Coach dives into a pool, he doesn't get wet. The water gets Hoke'd.

Please feel free to leave your best Coach Hoke facts in the comments below.

][V][ GO BLUE!

ED. NOTE, PART II:  This just sort of screamed out for a re-posting of the video below that the MZone made back in June.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

MZone Poll: Michigan Uniform Carousel

We were told it would only be one game, remember?

When it was announced that Michigan would be wearing "Throwback" jerseys for the Notre Dame game this year, fans were told it was a one shot deal.  Something "special" for the first night game in Big House history.

We hated them.  And we weren't alone.  As Brian at MGoBlog said:

Tomorrow we'll enter the ranks of schools that dress up like clowns for a little bit of money from a shoe company. 

Bingo.  They weren't about honoring tradition, they were simply about making an extra buck.

But it was only a one-time deal, right? 

Then these trotted out onto the plastic bag-strewn shithole masquerading as a football field Spartan Stadium for the Michigan State game:

If you woke from a coma and turned on the TV, you probably thought Baylor was playing...some DIII school doing their Michigan impression (NOTE:  You might have also thought that no matter what U-M was wearing after watching the O-line play.  But that's for a different post).

Who knew the MZone was so prescient when, in a post lambasting MSU's "Pro Combat" uniforms before the game, we said this:

Of course the response from the ADs and shoe companies is that "it's only one game a year."

Sure, for now.  Because it's a slippery slope.  All these ADs love them a couple extra dollars, even if they're selling out 8 home games a years x110,000 seats.  So I don't think it's a total stretch to someday see even the Wolverines in "throwback jerseys" for ND, "pro combat" unis for MSU, and a "hey, stupid people might buy this!" look for OSU, leaving longtime fans staring at the colorful promotions running around down on the field and asking themselves, Who the hell is that? 

Michigan has now played two of its three biggest rivals -- Notre Dame and Michigan State -- and in each instance, nobody looked like Notre Dame, Michigan State or Michigan.  Instead, they looked like gimmicks used to put asses in the seats at some arena league football game.

Michigan is consistently rated as having one of the best - if not the best  - looking uniforms in all of college football.  Yet in our biggest games this season, we've instead dressed in costumes.

How sad.

But what do you think?  Do you like the different looks and unis?  Sometimes?  Never? 

Leave us your thoughts in the comments section and be sure to vote in the poll in the top right-hand corner of our main page.

Better Late Than Never: MSU Healing Pictures

I had no idea how, uh, "important" this feature was to our readers.  But your tweets and comments were heard.  For those of you who might be new to the site, allow me to recap:

Back during the days of  The Original MZone (respect), Benny and I put up some pictures of attractive coeds after a tough Michigan loss (I can't even remember which one now) as a way to help "heal" the wounds of said loss.  And it really seemed to help our readers...cope.  When The MZone went dark, the feature was continued by Andy and T9 on Spawn of MZone (sadly, this was during the darkest days of the Rich Rod Regime and thus rather than something put up a couple times a season, the posts might as well have just been re-titled "Monday").

Flash forward to the present and, judging by your "outrage" at the lack of said pics/feature in the wake of Saturday's MSU loss, the feature is more popular than we ever imagined.  Who am I to argue?  So see below.  The voice of the people was heard!

Please note that I can't even take credit for finding the pictures today.  Rather, I got the following email from MZone reader Joe...

In case you didn't have time to research this week:

...with, let's just say, a lot more than the pictures I used here embedded in the email.  Well done, Joe!  See, folks, it's this kind of selfless act that defines a horny dude a Michigan Man the MZone reader.

ED. NOTE: For those of you who inevitably comment after the healing posts, "Dude, you should put up a 'NSFW' to warn people reading the site at work!", there's more risque stuff on Telemundo. Much more importantly, if that's your first thought upon seeing the above, it's either a) time to quit your current job if someone is looking over your shoulder that much or b) finally the sign you've been waiting for to go out and start your own company.

You're welcome.

Monday, October 17, 2011

MZone Autopy: Dissecting the Michigan State game

We present a potential new feature: The MZone Autopsy, in which we reveal what we learned after dissecting Michigan's previous game.  Unfortunately, the corpse on the table today is U-M's following the beating (both literally and figuratively) the Wolverines received from MSU.

So put on your surgical masks and some rubber gloves then gather around the table. This isn't going to be pretty.

NOTE:  If you forgot to bring your rubber gloves, simply use two of the 864,000 plastic bags that were blowing around Spartan Stadium on Saturday.


1.  Michigan got beat.  Period.  State was the better team on Saturday.  Period.  Yes, we were still in it in the 4th quarter and had a chance, but that doesn't change the fact that the better team won the game.   Period. 

2.  Were these Big 10 ref trainees working the game?  Again, that's not to blame them for the loss (see #1), but WTF?!  Some of the worst calls/non-calls:
-- The dropped lateral that would have resulted in a Michigan recovery, but instead ended up leading to an MSU TD
-- Taunting Denard during the INT return for a TD
-- The new "prison yard rules" we were playing by.  Because it seemed like only a shanking was going to get somebody booted from the game.  Hell, William Gholston twisted Denard's facemask AND punched Lewan yet was still in the game.  There was less dirty play in The Longest Yard (the original one, not the crappy remake).  

3.  I actually think I dislike Mark Dantonio more than Tressel when he was a around.  Because the mentality that it's okay to play like thugs starts at the top as evidenced by Dantonio saying this in our latest MZone video...

A "cleanly played" game.  Really?  Holy shit, I'd hate to see what he considered dirty.

MSU had five 15 yard personal foul penalties for their BS.  But, according to MSU DC Pat Narduzzi:

"That's what we try to do," Narduzzi said after Michigan State's 28-14 win against Michigan. "Sixty minutes of unnecessary roughness. I'm just happy it didn't get called on every snap."

Yeah, I know Hoke didn't call them out about it.  That's just class.  Don't confuse it with fact.

I wonder if Dantonio is going to call Gholston a "tragic hero" if when he gets suspended by the B1G for his douchebaggery?  

4.  O-line?  We don't need no stinkin' O-line!  The weakest link on the field -- even more so than Denard's passing -- was Michigan's offensive line.  Simply put, they got destroyed.  Blown up, sir!  Yes, I know Denard had a horrible passing season day, but when you have .0003 seconds to throw, you'd be hard pressed to hit a moving target, too.

5.  Despite Chris Spielman being a complete tool during the broadcast trying to stir up trouble, a) there is no QB controversy and b) I didn't have a problem with bringing Devin in on a number of plays.  It's just something different teams have to prepare for.  Did he make some bad plays, like going over the LOS on the "TD" pass?  Sure.  But so did the entire team.  I don't think Hoke/Borges were creating problems using him, I think they were trying to find solutions to an offense that simply wasn't working.  A weak passing game was even worse with the wind.  I think it was reasonable to attempt to find something -- anything -- that would work. 

6.  Some Michigan fans need to channel The Dude and relax (or I need to set my Twitter feed to Asshat Blocker).  Frankly, I'm stunned by how quickly some fans jumped ship (if they were even on board to begin with).  Trashing Hoke after his first loss?  Comparing Borges to Gerg after one bad game?  Seriously?  In case those folks missed it, "Offensively inclined" Michigan scored 17 points vs. MSU last year -- a staggering 3 points more than Saturday. 

7.   As somebody said in (I think) the comments section and continuing the above (in what could really be labeled as 6B), is anybody really surprised?  By that I mean, did anybody think we were going to go 12-0 and contend for the B1G/National Title?  This was the 108 ranked defense in the country last year.  I think by all measures they've radically improved, and not simply because "they have a year more experience."  And the offense, as potent as it is/can be, struggled mightily against the better teams.  So while we can and should expect improvement, just because Hoke seemed to have, as Brian said, a horseshoe up his ass, we can't and shouldn't expect miracles.

If someone would have told you that we'd be 8-4 this year, but show improvement across the board while building a solid foundation for the future, I think most sane fans would have taken it.  I still think that's where we're headed.

8.  I have no problem with the 4th and 1 bootleg call...now kinda.  I was pissed at the time like, probably, many/most of you.  "Why didn't he just sneak it?!?!?"  But while performing this autopsy, I've changed my tune a bit.  We're all pissed because it didn't work.  Because MSU lucked out and had exactly the correct call at precisely the right time to counter it.  That's football.  Put it this way, you know "The Catch"?  The 4th and short Grbac-to-Desmond TD vs. Notre Dame that we all have probably seen 700 times (and still get chills watching)?  Well, if that pass is about 6 inches further out, we're still bitching about why Moeller didn't run a safe play and just pick up the first down.

When one of these gutsy calls work, it's a highlight for generations to come.  When it doesn't work, you're an idiot.  That's football.

But if only he he'd snuck it!...

9.  Please stop with the "special" jerseys/uniforms/whatever.  Michigan has now played two of its three biggest rivals -- ND and MSU -- and in both games, neither they nor Michigan looked like themselves or Michigan.  These Pro Combat/Legacy/Throwback/My Shoe Company Needs to Sell Shit looks are getting out of hand. 

10.  Seriously, what the f*ck was up with the plastic bags in Spartan Stadium?  It was like the landscape from MAD MAX blew across the field for the entire game.  Pick up your trash, East Lansing.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

BREAKING: Mythical Walmart Wolverine Captured Live on Video

POST-GAME UPDATE: Well, in the wake of...uh..."that"...might as well laugh -- at ourselves.  Below should help.

We've all heard rumors about the mythical "Walmart Wolverine."  Sporting their strange-shade-of-overly-bright-Michigan attire and acid washed jeans.  Masturbating to Pop Evil.  Yelling "F*ck INSERT OPPONENT HERE!" like they were Buckeye fans.

But, like Bigfoot, I thought -- nay, hoped -- they were a figment of a jealous MSU imagination.  Sadly, I'm here to report that they are real.  And below is the video proof.  Captured on YouTube for all the world to see.

It pains me to post this.  It really does.  I'd much rather post this video of an adorable 5-year-old singing The Victors.  Or the dude from OFFICE SPACE and his Michigan cubicle.  Or a frightening look at what life would be like if you were trapped in a Broadway musical this weekend.  Or what passes for a wild and crazy night in the dorms at Spartyville.  Or this clip of an MSU fan who apparently traveled in a time machine from the set of FLASHDANCE, circa 1983, to share her opinion on the M/MSU game.  But the journalistic integrity you've come to expect of the MZone demands I share the video below immediately, shining light where there is darkness.  Oh sure, if this was an OSU fan, I'd be giddy to pass it on.

But it's not.  Not today.  It's a Michigan fan.  A Michigan fan and his 12 gauge shotgun.

Ah, yes -- "Go Blue, bitches!" The famous cheer Fielding Yost brought with him to A2 along with the Winged Helmet. 

All I can say is God help us if we lose since we lost today.  Because I promise you - PROMISE YOU - this motherf*cker is going to wind up in the inbox of every Michigan fan 600+ times over the next couple months.

POST-GAME UPDATE II:  I sure hope somebody took his shotgun away after the game today.

Michigan vs. Michigan State Open Thread

Doesn't get any better than this: Undefeated Meeechigan vs. the 4-1 Jolly Green Giants from East Lansing.  We're going to need a "super" performance from Denard in order to have a shot in front of such a hostile crowd.  Let's just hope all that green isn't Kryptonite!

Leave us your thoughts on M/MSU and all the action on Saturday.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Know Your Foe: Michigan State 2011

Your 6-0 Michigan Wolverines pay a visit to Little Brother this Saturday in East Lansing. Sadly, while Michigan holds a 67-31-5 record all-time in this family feud, the Maize and Blue have come up short in the last three meetings.  Of course you already knew that if you live with, work with or know any Spartans.  They've been most helpful in reminding Wolverine fans of our recent shortcomings.  But forget all that for now.  Instead, sit back, relax and read the one blog post that Paul Bunyan would read if he wasn't a trophy: this week's thrilling edition of the MZone's acclaimed KNOW YOUR FOE.

History: Mandated by the 1850 State Constitution, Michigan State University was founded in 1855 as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan. It was the nation’s pioneer land-grant university and the prototype for the entire land-grant system created when President Lincoln signed the Morrill Act in 1862. The act granted lands to each loyal state to support a college “where the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts . . . in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions of life.

In layman's terms, that roughly translates to: if you can't get into Michigan, go to Michigan State.

In 1857 the college opened with three buildings, five faculty members, and 63 male students (NOTE: we're pretty sure one of those three buildings was burned down that fall during the first year of Ye Old Cedar Fest).

In an impressive show of patriotism, in 1861 the entire first class of 63 left the school before their graduation ceremony to enlist and fight in the Union Army. They all graduated from MSU in absentia (this explains why Michigan State students today are often absent from classes on Thursdays and Fridays after getting shitfaced at the local bars on Wednesday and Thursday nights: it's to honor those initial 63 Spartans). 

Thank goodness they started admitting
women in 1870!
Until 1870, the college only admitted men (a situation that, if you've ever visited MSU, you'll quickly notice that they've more than made up for.  Hats off, Spartans, on that front).  In 1899, the college admitted its first African-American student, William O. Thompson. He went on to teach at what is now Tuskegee University under the mentorship of Booker T. Washington.

Over the years, the official names of Michigan State University have changed and changed and changed as, like your little brother, they keep trying to figure out who they are evolved to reflect the growth of the institution:

-- In 1855, they were the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan.
-- In 1861, that was changed to State Agricultural College (although they had to know that a name like SAC wasn't gonna last for long).
-- In 1909, somebody apparently got tired off all the "ball" jokes and the name was changed to Michigan Agricultural School. 
-- By 1925, the curriculum had expanded so much, the school petitioned to drop the word "Agriculture" from it's name. However, the University of Michigan, like any big brother trying to make things difficult for his little sib, opposed the name change. As a compromise, the state government decided to call it Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science.
-- In 1955, they somehow sneaked the word "University" into their name and became Michigan State University of Agriculture and Applied Science
--  Finally, in 1964, the name was officially changed to Michigan State University
-- In the 1970s and 80s during Bo's coaching tenure in A2, they were commonly known as "Michigan's Bitch."

Location: MSU's main campus is located in East Lansing, a town so exciting they put pictures up of yard waste and its disposal on the main page of the city's website.  The original post office address was "Agricultural College, Michigan". In 1907 the city was incorporated, proposed under the name "College Park"; the legislature approved the charter but changed the name to "East Lansing".  Now it is simply called "That place U-M students go to have fun with old high school friends on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday weekends."

While we give our B1G rivals a hard time about everything else, even we have to admit that MSU's campus is beautiful.  It's especially stunning when backlit by the glow of burning couches during one of the many riots the school seems to specialize in.

Sparty has the eighth largest student body in the U.S. The student body is 52% female and 48% male (again, props) with 89% of its students coming from in-state.

Nickname:  Until 1925, they were known as Aggies.  Then, according to the school website:

The college sponsored a contest to select a nickname to replace "Aggies" and picked "The Michigan Staters." George S. Alderton, then sports editor of the Lansing State Journal, decided the name was too cumbersome for newspaper writing and vowed to find a better one. Alderton contacted Jim Hasselman of Information Services to see if entries still remained from the contest. When informed that they still existed, Alderton ran across the entry name of "Spartans" and then decided that was the choice.

Basically, Spartans, it means your school name was picked by a newspaper hack.  On the bright side, at least Drew Sharp wasn't around then.

He really does look better like this
Mascot: Painful as it is for KYF to admit, the mascot, Sparty, is pretty cool (ED. NOTE: No, Dave Brandon, this doesn't mean we want a mascot for U-M). He has been a staple at MSU athletic events since 1989 and has been named ESPN’s Mascot of the Year three times and was nominated to the Mascot Hall of Fame. Sparty has also been voted the "Buffest Mascot" by Muscle and Fitness magazine (which shows just how desperate that magazine must have been for material that month). In 2009, Sparty graced the front cover of the Wii edition of the NCAA Football 09 marking the first time a non-athlete had done so (NO, DAVE.  MICHIGAN. DOESN'T. NEED. A. MASCOT! We don't care what all the other schools are doing).

There are also two statues of a proud Spartan warrior displayed on campus. The outdoor bronze version was introduced in 2005 after the original terra cotta was moved indoors to protect it from the elements and Michigan fans vandals. It is common for alumni and Spartan fans to have a picture taken with the statue to mark major life events (first DUI, getting kicked out of school, any bar fight, etc.).  It is more common for Michigan fans to see the giant statue and think, "Damn.  I'd like to paint that fucking thing maize and blue!"  After the final home football game the Spartan Marching Band circles the statue three times before heading home to Adams Field.

Colors/Logo/Helmet: In theory, MSU's colors are Green and White, one of only four BCS schools to wear the unique combo.  But as the MZone recently reported, they sold their souls this week and decided to do their best Baylor impression while sporting Nike "Pro Combat" unis.  Thus, instead of wearing Green and White on Saturday, they will be going with Ugly on Ugly.

Put this on.  Nana made it
special for you.

As far as logos, MSU has the Spartan warrior helmet and fans often sport a block "S" as well.  Speaking of Sparty helmets, the winged football helmet actually debuted at Michigan State College on September 30, 1933 -- two years before Fritz Crisler ordered the helmets out of the Spalding catalog for Princeton University, and five years before they were introduced at University of Michigan.

Just doesn't seem right, does it?

Fight Song: MSU's fight song was created in early 1915 and copyrighted in 1919 when the school was known as Michigan Agricultural College (M.A.C.). A cheerleader named Francis Irving Lankey, along with lyricist Arthur Sayles, created the song by combining original lyrics with the melody from an early-20th century hymn called "Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus".  Since Michigan State has tried to hide its farming roots like an illegitimate stepchild, the lyrics have also changed.  I think we should all do our best to only sing the original lyrics.

Original MAC lyrics
On the banks of the Red Cedar,
There's a school that's known to all;
Its specialty is farming,
And those farmers play football;
Aggie teams are never beaten,
All through the game they'll fight;
Fight for the only colors:
Green and White.
Smash right through that line of blue,
Watch the points keep growing.
Aggie teams are bound to win,
They're fighting with a vim!
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Michigan is weakening,
We're going to win this game.
Fight! Fight! Rah! Team, Fight!
Victory for M.A.C.!
Current MSU lyrics
On the banks of the Red Cedar,
There's a school that's known to all;
Its specialty is winning,
And those Spartans play good ball;
Spartan teams are never beaten,
All through the game they'll fight;
Fight for the only colors:
Green and White.
Go right through for MSU,
Watch the points keep growing,
Spartan teams are bound to win,
They're fighting with a vim!
Rah! Rah! Rah!
See their team is weakening,
We're going to win this game,
Fight! Fight! Rah! Team, Fight!
Victory for MSU!

See: even back then they were obsessed with Michigan.

Academics: According the the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings, MSU is tied for 71st with BYU, Va-Tech and fellow B1G school Iowa, leaving them one spot of ahead of academic powerhouse Colorado School of Mines. (Mines, not Mimes.  I think they came in #56).  It has a 70% admission rate and offers over 200 academic programs.  The school is well known for its education and agriculture programs, and has the premier hospitality school in the United States.  So there's a good chance that that guy who checked you in at the Embassy Suites last week went to MSU.

Football: Michigan State started playing football in September of 1896. They won their first ever game 10-0 against Lansing High School. Following World War II, The University of Chicago decided to de-emphasize athletics and resigned from the Big Ten in 1946. Seeking to fill this void, Michigan State lobbied hard and was admitted into the conference in 1949. Clarence "Biggie" Munn turned the Spartans to a national football power. In its 113-year football history, Michigan State has won six national championships according to the list of major selectors recognized by the NCAA, including three consensus titles (1952, 1965 and 1966).

Other Sports: Michigan State has one of nation's premier basketball programs led by Coach Tom Izzo. They have won two NCAA titles and have been to countless Final Fours. MSU has produced many NBA all stars, led by Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.  However, last year, they were swept by the Wolverines.

The Spartan hockey team is also a national power with three NCAA titles and dozens of NHL players over the last couple of years. When Michigan used to kick Sparty's ass in football, MSU fans talked a lot about their hockey program.  Sadly of late, it is Michigan fans that must deflect football shortcomings with hockey superiority talk.

Famous Alums: Famous former alums in entertainment and news include actor James Caan, (Godfather, no diploma), Sam Raimi, (director of Spiderman, Evil Dead, no diploma) and Dateline correspondent Chris "If he shows up at your door you're fucked" Hanson.  Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane Cleveland Cavs owner Dan Gilbert also both graduated from MSU.

The list of famous athletes includes b-ball players "Magic" Johnson, Scott Skiles, Steve Smith and Mateen Cleaves (who was in high school in Flint when I was there as well); football players Plaxico "I'm packin' heat" Buress and Bubba Smith; baseball's Kirk Gibson; and a couple of Detroit Red Wings in Justin Abdelkader and Drew Miller.

Michigan State has not yet produced a United States President or NASA astronaut.

The Game: This is going to be a true test. They're pretty good on both sides of the ball. Still I believe in Denard and this coaching staff's ability to make adjustments. They'll get it done,

Michigan - 35
Little Brother - 28

Yost's Pick:  I love this team and I love this coaching staff.  They stick together no matter what the circumstances and you can see them getting better right before our eyes.  However, even the truest Blue fan must admit that their #10 ranking is based more on the Michigan name than the team on the field; and there are major weaknesses that can be exploited.  While Unflappable Hoke's steady hand is providing just the right leadership, and Mattison's Magic is working wonders at halftime, I think the fact that the game in East Lansing is the deciding factor.  And yet...

...against my better judgement, I just can't pick against these kids.  Another miracle:

Michigan - 28
MSU - 24

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Unflappable Brady Hoke

One of the most impressive things about Brady Hoke is how calm he is on the sidelines, no matter what the situation on the field.  Notre Dame up 17 in the second?  No problem.  Northwestern running wild in the first?  No worries.  The man defines cool under pressure.

Well, the MZone has done a little digging and discovered Hoke's pattern of calm in the face of chaos knows no bounds.  The dude is simply unflappable.  Behold...

Here's a shot of Brady Hoke running with the bulls in Spain.

Here's Brady Hoke playing through the American Revolution (let it be noted that the future-U.S. side was down 18 late when this was taken, making Hoke's demeanor even that much more impressive).

Finally, here's Hoke getting eaten by a man-eating shark near the Great Barrier Reef, yet not even breaking a sweat.  Yes, the man has ice in his veins.

MZone Caption Contest

Leave us your best in the comments section for the picture below. Here's what we came up with:

Those who can't get into U-M go to MSU, those who can't get into Blue Man Group are banished to Green Man Group.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The poll numbers are in, the people have spoken and...

Last week, we put up this post asking people their thoughts on the song, IN THE BIG HOUSE.  We wanted to get a sense of how our readers felt since yours truly actually likes the song, but Brian over at MGoBlog - in his attempt to banish it from the earth (or at least A2) - recently declared that "everyone hates" the tune.

So we put up a poll, still visible in the upper righthand corner of the MZone's main page.  And the results are in.  As you read the results and the crack MZone team's analysis of said results, we suggest you click on the video below to hear the CNN election result theme music in order to give this post a little more gravitas.

Here we go.  We're getting the final numbers from the MZone headquarters deep beneath the Michigan Union in A2 and...

In a contest close enough to be worthy of a disputed Florida election, 50% of you replied "Yes" to our question "Do you like the song IN THE BIG HOUSE?" and 49% of you said, "No."  The reason for the "missing" 1% is due to the raw count being so close, with 182 Yeas and 175 Nays.

Bottom line according to our scientific poll: some people like it, some people don't.  Thus, in true American fashion, we at the MZone are calling this an overwhelming victory and declaring a mandate by the Wolverine faithful.  As such, we will immediately push for In The Big House to replace The Victors and Pop Evil to take over for the MMB since that's what the people seem to want.*

No word yet if Brian will demand a recount.  But our hanging chads are ready if he does!

*Please note what blog you're on before rushing in a panic to the comments section after reading that sentence.

Can't we all get along?

We know things can get pretty heated during Michigan-Michigan State week.  But it doesn't have to be that way.  As the two fans below demonstrate, the game doesn't have to divide us.  It can, in fact, unite us.  According to the Detroit News website where this appeared last year:

Michigan fan Erika M. of Grand Rapids and MSU fan Michelle S. of Long Island, N.Y., walk together across the parking lot at Pioneer High School before the game. They are roommates at Michigan State, but when it comes to football they are "A House Divided," (Michelle) said.

Forget the fact that this proves that Erika is the smartest woman at MSU.  It's not about that.  It's about putting the animosity aside.  Keeping a football game in perspective.  Well done, ladies.  Well done.  We here at the MZone salute you.  For showing all of us what this game is truly about.


Okay, busted.  You got me.

This really isn't a "post" as much as it was an excuse to put up the picture above.  All that "unite us" stuff?  Absolute bullshit.  If my roommate at Michigan had been an MSU fan, I'd have had him banished to North Campus (sorry, Bursley readers).  But I figured at least with the Kumbaya angle, I could fake a "meaningful" post centered around the picture.  If I did that, nobody would notice what a cheap ploy it actually was.

Being honest with you all, it's sometimes difficult to throw attractive coed pix up on a website so noted for its journalistic integrity without folks seeing through what I'm actually doing.  I mean, I tried to write such a phony "Michigan/Michigan State week!" post using the pic below but, well...I couldn't.  And I really did try.  I looked and looked and looked...and looked some more at the picture.  Trying to come up with something.  An angle.   A legit reason to put up a picture of an attractive MSU coed that wasn't simply purient.  But I couldn't.  So I tried again.  Not for me.  I did it for you, the MZone reader.  Because that's what I do, people:  I give until it hurts.  Or until somebody walks in and finds me staring at pictures like this one for long periods of time.  But enough about what defines a hostile work environment, or what you should or shouldn't be looking at on your boss' computer during the big presentation in the conference room.  That's for human resources and a group of highly paid attorneys to decide. 

Sadly, regarding the picture below, I came up with nothing.  But I will look at this picture some more and see if something strikes me.  Anything.  Again, for you.  Not me.  And it's not like Photoshop is gonna help.  I thought of enhancing the picture with Photoshop, as we often do here at the MZone.  Buth...something...told me that no Photoshop work was needed on this picture.  None whatsoever.

And before you mock me, and question my motives - my pure, selfless motives for spending so much time looking at  the pictures above to come up with something for you - take a look at the picture below.  Because I have to wade through a hell of a lot more of the shots like the one below when searching for pics of "MSU coeds" before I find ones like the two above.

But still I do it.  Out of goodness of heart and conviction of purpose*.

*Yeah, okay, that was bullshit, too.