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Stadium and Main: Back Without a Vengeance

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Back Without a Vengeance

End winter hibernation...

Spring Game Stuff

I’m a bit disappointed that the Spring Game won’t be at Ford Field this year, but that shouldn’t end the conversation. In fact, this should just be the beginning. The same construction issues will prevent next year’s Spring Game from being played at the Big House, so the folks in charge need to be planning a Spring Game at Ford Field in 2009, like, now. And the fans need to demand that it happens. The “we didn’t have enough time to plan it” excuse won’t cut it next year.

I’ve heard some people say that if the Spring Game can’t be at the Big House, then it shouldn’t be played at all. For real? It’s called marketing, people. Despite what you think, feel, or remember, I assure you that there are plenty of teenagers (soon to be playing football in college) who don’t know that Woodson won the Heisman. It’s time for us to enter the 21st century and stop acting like we’re above promoting our product. In terms of recruiting in and around Detroit, I think the Ford Field idea is a slam dunk. Heck, it would be a slam dunk in the eyes of the entire state, if they can pull it off the right way. Or maybe you’d rather sit out in the rain on a 42-degree day at Eastern Michigan’s stadium?

Jersey Talk

The anticipation for the new adidas jerseys got me thinking about the all-white jerseys that Michigan has sported a few times in the (distant) past. I found a good post about it on The Tunnel. Are the white pants magical?

Check out this video of Michigan Football in the 1970s – the all-whites are in full effect at 1:38, 2:33, 3:16, and 3:42. I like them, but don’t love them. They’re a notch below Penn State’s and Texas’, which set a high bar for road uniforms.

So when will the new adidas uniforms be unveiled? Based on some past adidas actions, probably not until the summer (duh). Here is what my limited research uncovered:

- Texas A&M announced the designs for their new adidas uniforms on June 25th of this past year. However, adidas was already selling A&M replica jerseys as early as April?

- Temple unveiled their new stuff a month later, on July 25th.

- A few years back, Kansas apparently waited until their media day: August 14, 2005.

- NC State didn’t unveil anything until the week before the season, back in 2004.

Taking the info above into consideration, maybe we'll see ours in June or July? Since we’re a big program, and some fans are freaking out about this, I wouldn’t expect adidas to make us wait until August. I guess the official contract begins at the end of the spring sports season (whenever that is), so maybe we’ll get an early surprise in the coming months?

The Scandal That Wasn’t

The whole Ann Arbor News “academic drama in the athletic department” story was fairly weak, but it did raise some good points. Brian had it right, I think. The system is inherently flawed, if not broken. As they used to say in 2002, don't hate the player, hate the game. But I wanted to add one unrelated thing:

This was sweet… “A university spokesman said Coleman was too busy to be interviewed, but eventually offered to answer questions via e-mail. The News declined.” Huh? If you’re looking for credibility and the trust of your reader, you might want to let the president of the University you’re attacking respond in any way that they can (or wish to), especially when the quote above was at the beginning of what was advertised as a 4-part series. I’m not saying that the whole series was a “hack job,” or whatever the term du jour is. It had some specifics that I didn’t know, but it focused on a system that everybody and their grandmother is already aware of. What I’ll take away from the series (or the quote above, at least) is that it reminded me how writers at the Ann Arbor News sometimes say stupid stuff.

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