Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Twitter world: baking up sweet tweets

This football season, I did something I swore upon the lives of my children I would never do. No, not rooting for Sparty; my kids KNOW how loyal I am to Maize and Blue (hell, I have my 5-year-old granddaughter shouting it out as she practices to be the next star cheerleader).
No, I joined the world of Twitter, but under specific ground rules. I only tweeted during Michigan home games, joining this blog represented in the press box by podcast executive director Brian Kiernicki and podcast host Jeremy Miller, a member of the 1997 U-M national champions.
During the 3-½ hours of air time, it allowed me to share my inner thoughts, and rants at the TV screen, with them and other followers. Last Saturday was no exception, only the game was bigger. It seemed like an eternity; the game ran through two pre-programmed DVR slots into the second afternoon game (between who knows and who-could-care-less).
In truth, not much can be said in 150 characters or less and if you specify the recipient, FAR less can be explained. But I want to expand, in full blogging regalia, some of what I was thinking at the time.
More food for thought: why is ESPN Game Day on site at a game that belongs to CBS?? Why can’t it support one of its own telecasts?
Last Saturday morning, ESPN Game Day plopped itself down in Auburn, Alabama to preview THAT game – a contest to be broadcast on a rival network. For two hours, or more, it was simply a commercial for people to watch that “other” game – not the ABC/ESPN contests at that time slot.
That sounds counter-productive to me. It would have been better if that crew was in Ann Arbor, or Madison, Wisc., or on the USC campus, or anywhere else BUT Auburn. Why give your rival free publicity to steal your potential audience? Or was the thought of more F-bombs from Lee Corso (cursing the memory of the 1980 Indiana-Michigan outcome) too frightening for ABC executives?
Not even five seconds into broadcast and Spielman is already waving his school colors. Why can’t ABC find neutral mouth to put on air?
ESPN is loaded with Buckeye alumni while Desmond Howard is the only Wolverine talking college football on air (and never as a color analyst onsite). There needs to be some balance; people belly-ached when Bob Griese was permitted to call games when his son, Brian, was playing for U-M (although I understood those concerns).
But Spielman seemed to go out of his way to nag and rag on the Michigan coaching decisions. Hey, at 10-2, I guess most of those choices were right, huh?
Too many schools use “nation” for fan following! We’re bigger, better. Make it WOLVERINE WORLD!!!!
There needs to be a statute outlawing making every team’s fan base into “nation.” It’s been beaten to death (let Red Sox fans have it because it was their’s first). I like my name – Wolverine World!!!!!! Encompasses more and is better reflective of the power of Michigan alumni!
From UMGoBlog: "The Buckeyes went after that fumble like it was a voucher for a free tattoo."
My answer: “Cruel, but funny.”
I must say the UM PSA shown during time outs hasn’t changed in 3-4 years. Needs refreshing guys! Spotlight Mott’s hospital.
The 15-second public service clip that is shown whenever Michigan plays on TV – The Michigan Difference – is the exact same one, with the exact same images, for the last THREE years. Perhaps a new series could be produced that spotlights some of the best parts of the university, such as the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital … or the Ford Presidential Library … or the Ross Business School … or many outstanding research programs …
Something please other than the warmed-over visuals than needed some serious updating.
Number 856 for Horns was not expected. Biggest win by team with worst offense EVER! Little McCoy ain’t big brother.
Had someone sat next to me during the Thanksgiving farwell to college football’s third-longest running rivalry, you’d have heard that from my lips. Never has a team with as bad an offense won such a big game. I don’t know how A&M coughed (or choked) up its fifth double-digit lead of the season (out of six losses), but it did. Aggies deserve to leave the conference with its tail between their hindqaurters.
There should be a law that only fans at Fenway can sing “Sweet Caroline.” Otherwise, it’s copycat. Instead sing “Kick out the Jams!"
Why in the world are 110,000 people doing bad Neil Diamond? Can’t someone at least get some classic Motown? Or “At the Hop” by Danny and the Juniors? Imagine how THAT would sound in the stands?!?!
Shazier pulls a “Suh” ... looks around and asks “Who me???” Yeah, YOU!
OSU freshman linebacker Ryan Shazier got flagged for a personal foul (face masking for ripping Toussaint’s helmet off his head) and, in front of God and the ABC audience, got up and acted as if he was as innocent as a newborn. Palms were raised and face was contorted in that “Who me?” stare. Worst job of salesmanship since Detroit DT Ndamukong Suh tried to ignore his version of “The Bristol Stomp.”
Robinson’s TD pass total, passing Brady ... remember Brady just played 1-½ seasons.
I believe most Michigan fans forget that Tom Brady, who actually matured as a quarterback once he got to the NFL, only played a season and a half for Michigan. He sat behind Scott Driesbach and Brian Griese and became the starter midway in 1998, battling with Drew Henson.
However, nothing can diminish Robinson’s sparkling career numbers (329 completions, eighth all-time; 4,814 yards; eighth all-time; 38 touchdowns, sixth all-time) and his accomplishments having undergone a major change of offensive philosophy after two seasons. With some tweaking (not tweeting), he will be an absolute offensive beast as a senior and one of the odds-on 2012 Heisman Trophy favorites.
Must be said that Ohio State is playing more on pride than actual talent. Its O-line has been equal to UM defense since 1Q.
I tweeted that the Buckeye front line was falling apart quicker than the fa├žade given by Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky. After all, the Bucks DID have several top-flight recruiting classes and there WAS lots of talent on the field, dressed in Scarlet and Gray.
And despite one’s animosity towards that program, it must come with lots of respect. After all, OSU did won the last seven meetings, did win a bunch of conference championships and felt the same way about Michigan as the Wolverines felt about them. Those kids weren’t going down without a fight.
Hey, ABC!!! STOP TALKING ABOUT URBAN MEYER ALREADY! That was only the umpteenth time! Enough already!
I swear to God, the ABC on-air crew could not stop itself from bringing up Meyer’s name and no-show presence throughout the broadcast. It felt like “Coach” “Urban” “Meyer” was inserted into every third sentence.
Of course, after he basically LIED the week before about having no interest in the job or no contact about it, no one should be shocked that before the sun rose Monday in Columbus, he had agreed to be the new head coach at Ohio State. It was the worst-kept secret in America.
That said, the new sheriff in town resides in Ann Arbor and the word needs to be sent to all corners of the Big Ten, including East Lansing (the next streak to be ended) and Madison. The road to the Big Ten title not only runs through Ann Arbor, it will stay there for the next few years to come. Meyer going to Columbus will NOT change that!
That took longer than the entire Journey Greatest Hits album.
Since I am basic old school, the thought of classic rock tunes blaring over the Michigan Stadium public address system, during timeouts or play reviews, is unsettling. Why? And when to heard almost the entire version of “Don’t Stop Believing” during the Toussaint touchdown review (yes, his knee hit before the ball crossed the goal line) means the referee was taking too much time.
It should be like Final Jeopardy; play 60 seconds of that ditty and let’s have your answer!
In this rivalry, that spiking the ball on 3rd down will be the same as Chris Webber’s TO call vs. UNC in NCAA hoops final. DUMB, DUMB, DUMB!
There have been iconic moments in this rivalry – Woody ripping apart the first down markers at the end of the 1971 contest comes to my mind. Everyone has their own special moment.
Ohio State fans will have to ask themselves and their team what happened in the final minute when the Buckeyes had the ball, and a chance to WIN the contest. After a short second-down completion, and the clock ticking under 60 seconds, quarterback Braxton Miller went to the line of scrimmage (on THIRD down) and spiked the ball into the ground, stopping the clock.
Why did he waste that play, leaving him only one more chance to get a drive-sustaining first down? Who made that call? An untrained freshman? An unproven coach (who looked pissed but not shocked that it happened)? It appeared as if a two-minute drill was foreign to the OSU offense, so who was to blame?
Those are the kind of gaffes that will keep the best of Buckeye fans warm on Columbus sports radio talk shows throughout the winter – warm from inner anger that U-M fans have felt for the last seven years. Those same fans should remember that it took a SECOND coaching change to remedy Michigan’s woes.
Finally a tweet from the Nebraska game one week earlier where I asked whether a team that cannot win its conference, or its own conference DIVISION, should be allowed to play for the BCS National Championship.
Sorry to disappoint all those Roll Tide backs, but you get ONE shot at the apple … er … crystal; two chances is one too many. In this season where only one school has stood above all others (LSU – a legitimate number 1), to have a post-season rematch is cheating the fans.
The first LSU-Alabama affair was so tight of a defensive battle, it was impossible to squirt liquid through the respective water bottles. Tension is one thing but, for most of the contest, it was not compelling. Kicking field goals does not make for good television (which is the lone purpose of holding the BCS game).
So Oregon, you’re out. Alabama, you’re out. Anyone already on LSU’s schedule is out! USC, you’re not eligible. Big Ten title winner, you’re just not good enough this season.
Oklahoma State, you might have a puncher’s chance if you beat OU in “Bedlam.” That offense versus LSU’s defense would be quite entertaining.
Of course, if Georgia throws the monkey wrench of all monkey wrenches and beats LSU in the SEC title game, then throwing darts at a board might be the only solution to the final pairing. Personally, I root for chaos!
I shall put the Twitter account away until the next home game, or if I can secure tickets for the Alabama affair in Arlington, Texas come September. But I’ll bring my son because he can actually type on those ridiculously small smart phone keypads.

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