Sunday, August 08, 2010

Football players preparing to play football on the football field (and notes)

Prognostications are a nice divergence as we await football season. Media meetings whet our appetite for the game we love...and practice (not a game) tells us we're getting close, very close to something real and tangible in the college football world being upon us.

Danny Hope's second camp began today with unusually-temperate weather as August camp kicked off with low humidity and temps in the 80s...a nice way to start it off. The media was allowed into practice for a half hour- better than nothing, I guess, and better than just hearing about practice via Hope's reports. Last season, we pretty much heard that everyone was awesome in camp, but no one got to see just how great these guys were except the coaching staff and players. So I'm glad Hope's not completely continuing that tradition that marked Tiller's final years on campus. A bit of transparency ain't so bad.

Here are a few highlights from the first day back:
-Hope thinks the team looks very fast and talented...even in the positions (DB, specifically) where there's not a ton of experience.

-Everybody likes Justin Siller's potential at WR...Here's something to think about:
We could regularly see a group of receivers/TEs like this: Cortez Smith (6'2" 180) Keith Smith (6'2" 226), Justin Siller (6'4" 220) and Kyle Adams (6'5" 251). That's significant size, solid hands, decent speed and really tough match-ups for a small defensive backfield to handle. Then, if DBs start attempting to jump routes, we'll see a little O.J. Ross or Gary Bush sprinkled in...I like this receiving corps quite a bit.

-Ralph Bolden's not doing too much at this surpise.

-Ryan Kerrigan and Gerald Gooden are good.

Even if we only get morsels at this point, this is info that I love to gobble up...Just 27 days until kickoff.

Feeling Old
I had a birthday last week that places me in the dead-center of my 30s...but that didn't make me feel as old as watching Jerry Rice and Emmit Smith get placed in the hall of fame. I'm now to the point where each year, the NFL season is kicked off by having at least a couple of players inducted to the HOF that I remember watching in college or getting drafted.

I don't read a ton of other blogs- heck, I don't even get over to H&R often enough. But, I read that the Uof M faithful really didn't like Danny Hope's comments during the media days about Purdue not having a General Studies major while every school in the conference, except two, do offer such a course of study. Problem is, Hope really didn't directly point at Michigan in this case. No matter.

MGoBlog's post smacks of great insecurity here, but worse, their commenters sound bitchy and are making it tougher and tougher for me to continue to respect UM's fanbase. I've had a few co-workers and friends who graduated from a general rule, I used to like Michigan and its fans. I've always dismissed stories I heard of them being a bunch of whiny rich kids...but they sure sound like it in this case.

Sure, they're upset that the Roy Roundtree/Rich Rodriguez era has the Wolverines 0-2 versus Purdue...that's frustrating when your program is one of the most-storied in college sports. You're supposed to be one of the most-talented teams in the America, are paying a coach a boatload, kicked a pretty-damned good (and clean to boot) coach to get to the current head man, yet can't win the games you're supposed to...can't even make it to the post season. Yeah, they're angry about Hope calling DickRod to the carpet, understandable too. But read some of the comments...there's a lot of vitriol in Ann Arbor for Purdue and specifically, Danny Hope.

Hey, I don't get into the business of hating people...even cheating coaches who steal players in the 11th hour, that stuff happens. But, the more I read about Rodriguez and the more I read from Michigan fans, the more I think they deserve eachother.


BoilerUpAT said...

Wow. Reading the comments there makes me think they are a bunch of whiny little bitches. Instead of focusing that much attention on little ol' Purdue and their head FB Coach, how about worrying about the fact that you have a dirtbag leading the way of your team, you are under sanctions, and haven't been to a bowl game in 2 years?

If they are so worried about us then settle it on the football field.

chops1221 said...

So 9 out of 11 schools in the B10 have General Studies, and these UM fans assume Hope is talking about them? Sounds like Hope might not be the arrogant one.

Also, why does everyone keep assuming he was talking about other B10 schools? This might have been a poorly worded shot at the SEC.

Plang said...

I am very psyched about the passing game this year. As long as Marve puts it close to the receivers (if they can catch his bullets), they will have great success.

As for UM, listening to EsPN radio on Friday it sounded as if RichRod is on the short lease. Especially now with the NCAA coming down on WVU for voilations during his tenure there. Rodriquez has this year to get on the winning side of things at UM. Period. The folks thaere should be worrying about that instead of Hope.

Kevin said...

I went to the Purdue/Michigan game last year. Two years before that I lived in Canton, MI which is about a 5-10 minute drive from Ann Arbor. It's a very beautiful place, and the fans that I knew were classy (or so I thought). I was lucky enough to get UofM alumni seats on the 50 yard line for FREE, from a good friend of mine whose parents are 40 year alumni and whose family were season ticket holders for over 60 years! I had the privilege (or so I thought) to tailgate on the famed golf course across the street from the game.

So my wife (Ohio State Alum) and I go to the game, and enjoy ourselves fully. Not just because for once we have a common hatred of the same team, but also because this was history unfolding before our eyes. I was euphoric at the end of the game. I didn’t jump up and down, didn’t taunt, I just quietly went back to our vehicle. Our car has a Purdue Alumni license plate cover on it (I won that argument), and it was completely covered in trash, beer, mustard, and ketchup. I was completely pissed off. My wife even admitted that she would see this kind of behavior at OSU, and that she thought UofM fans took pride in how classy they are. Well, not that day. The only thing that made it better was that my buddy insisted that he wash my car because he felt so terrible. That made me feel good, but the laughing and taunting, and nice decals comments on the way out of the stadium didn’t seem to help my mood.

I’m with Coach Hope, F%^K Michigan, Boiler Up!

Ryan said...

You lived in SE Michigan and thought that Michigan fans were classy? Maybe the fans in Canton are different than the ones in Northville...but I doubt it. Michigan fans have always been self-entitled, arrogant pricks. Maybe more people are just starting no notice in now that they suck at everyone and are throwing tantrums.

Ryan said...