Well since a lot of people are not on fb but want to see the house, here are some pics for y’all.
I am un-doubt-ably a Michigan fan, but I do (maybe I should say did?) have a lot of respect for Penn State. I have no knocks on them because they have a poor record against Michigan and we are not really rivals. But these past 2 years, it’s really hard to keep that respect alive. The whole Jerry Sandusky deal – yes he’s a bad guy and it’s open for debate if Joe Paterno is equally at fault, but to punish the team? Take Joe Pa’s wins away (the ones that the TEAM earned)? That is not fair. What the NCAA did was unfair to the players. Then Bill O’Brie n came in and managed to field respectable teams, despite the restrictions in scholarships, the “free pass” the NCAA gave to players to transfer. Quite possibly the best story is the freshman QB they have, not only staying committed, but also getting his fellow freshmen to stay.
Then bill O’Brien leaves for the NFL. At first, I thought it was rather unfair that he would bolt a team that he has built into a respectful team, and let down the players he convinced to stay, the guys he recruited for another job. Then the reports came out about “Paterno loyalists”, and heck yeah, any coach in their right mind should leave. I am not sure I agree with all of his comments made (see article and countless others like it), but these people were not going to be happy, no matter what he did. I do not think they realize how lucky they were to have Bill O’Brien as their coach! After this came out, I am not sure who would want to coach there? They have a fantastic group of players, but if the fans cannot get behind their coach…?
Now, before I have the PSU fan readers all up in my business because “why is a Michigan fan writing this… she doesn’t know the first thing about Penn State”, I do not disagree. I couldn’t care less what happens over there, you are right. But I do know a thing or two about fans, good coaching, tradition and all that. I can safely say that I really wanted O’Brien to be the head coach of the Lions, way back at the beginning of December. I realize all of the great tradition Penn State’s football program has and I also know what it means for a coach to come in and mess with traditions. But, O’Brien did not miss a step with anything. Winning, graduation, player retention, and draft picks were a priority for him. What more could you ask for.
I now condescendingly say “best of luck with your new coach and your future.” I think you lost your best chance.
I have to start out by admitting that for the past few days I have been like a kid in a toy store picking out my Christmas present (apparently that’s a thing now). I have been waiting pretty much my entire life for the Wings to play a hockey game at Michigan Stadium. With the tease of the classic last year, the suspense has been building and buy did we nail it!
I think I was more excited about the alumni games at Comerica Park once I started to see the rosters. The first game had great players (Red Barinson, and Jiri Fischer making a comeback), but the 2nd game was certainly the premiere event. The Wings side was stacked with all of my heroes – the Russian 5, The Grind Line, Lidstrom, Homer, Shanny, and of course, Stevie Y! It was like the dream team of Detroit Red Wings. Since I was working, I DVRd both games and I am pretty sure that the 2nd game will never come off it!
The actual game lived up to hype and the Michigan weather put on a show also. Detroit lost in the only way Detroit knows how to play this season – in a shootout. The game was filled with constant snowfall but the “grounds crew” did a great job with the ice it seems. No snow forts, snowball fights or guys losing edges.
The only thing missing, someone doing the Desmond Howard Heisman pose! It was a great day to be associated with Hockeytown.
This week, the BigTen Network reminded Michigan fans of the past injustices committed by the BigTen Conference in their documentary “Tiebreakers”. It recounted the decision to send Ohio to the Rose Bowl and leave Michigan at home following the 10-10 tie. If you are not familiar with this game, google it.
During the first half of the football game between these 2 schools, Ohio lineman Marcus Hall decided to salute the Michigan crowd on National TV with a double bird as he walked off the firld for being ejected.
Now, any time a player does this in the NFL, they are fined. In college football, since players are not paid (HA HA HA HA It’s Ohio, we are talking about… of course they are paid!), they cannot be fined. On Saturday, The head Buckeye cheater himself, Urban Meyer announced that he had “talked with all the players involved but no suspensions would be handed out”. He, in essence, left it up to the conference.
Sometime this morning, the B1G decided that it is perfectly OK to throw punches, then give 2 middle fingers to the crowd while walking off the field, all on national TV. Noted. The BigTen just want Ohio to win the Championship game and go to the national title game to make the conference look good.
To that, I say GO SPARTY! I hope MSU destroys Ohio this weekend! Hall made a joke of his team (they are a joke) and the conference for not suspending him (at least), or his friends for their actions Saturday.
The BigTen Conference, proving that they are all about winning since 1974.
College football fans, how we doing today? That was an excellent last weekend of the regular season. Rivalry week certainly lived up to its hype.
The Game: Michigan vs #3 Ohio
StateGoing into the game, no one had Michigan even in this game. We’d lost to Penn State, MSU, Iowa (IOWA!?) and Nebraska; looked awful in wins against Akron and UConn; and just squeaked past Northwestern. The offensive line could not stop a second grader, Devin Gardner isn’t the most prolific QB, we don’t have a running game and our kicker was hurt this week during practice. EVERYTHING was against Michigan, but this is THE GAME. Michigan held their own for all 60 mins. I would have to say it was the team’s most complete game of the season as everything seemed to come together. When a player made an individual mistake, his team mates were there to pick him up. When the defense faltered, the offense answered. Devin Gardner was by far the player of the game. He wanted that game badly. He was shouting at his team mates, motivating and holding them accountable. And oh yeah, he hurt his legs! Final score 42-41. Michigan faithful have hope and Ohio survived a scare.
Iron Bowl: #4 Auburn vs #1 Alabama
Typical SEC showdown. All the marbles on the line – chance to make it to the SEC championship game, perhaps a national championship. As an SEC-hater, I did not pay too much attention to this game, but as a college football fan, I had to turn it on in the 4th quarter. The game was tight throughout. The final seconds were great – Alabama threw the ball, player may or may not have gotten out of bounds with 1 second left. The refs gave ‘Bama the second. All during the review, the announcers were saying that Bama would be in trouble if the game went into OT because the kicker was anything but automatic. Yet, when Alabama lined up for the last play, they were in kick formation. Of course, the field goal missed, but what happened next made the game an instant classic and will probably rank as one of the best finishes in football (maybe sports history). Auburn lined up a player on the end line of the end zone. Chris Davis fielded it at that point and took it 100 yards (NCAA does not account for how deep he was in the end zone, but it was actually 110 yards) to win the game for Auburn. WHAT.A.FINISH!
The most interesting conference championships are in the SEC, ACC and BigTen.
ACC: Lets assume for a second that FSU beats Duke – no one in their right mind will pick Dude, though I am a giant fan of upsets and would be estatic if Duke won – they are a great story this year. FSU finishes undefeated and rightfully goes to the BCS championship game. No one argues that.
BCS Championship: FSU vs TBD
Now, the rest is where it gets hairy. Let’s start with
SEC: The match-up is #3 Auburn vs #5 Missouri. I think Auburn will be the favorite. If Auburn wins, do they deserve to go as a 1-loss SEC team? I think so. They had a tougher schedule and beat more notable teams.
BCS Championship: FSU vs Auburn
If Missouri wins, then I think it comes down to what happens in the B1G.
BCS Championship: FSU vs TBD
BigTen: I think the world is not even considering this game. Everyone assumes that OSU will stop all over MSU, but as a B1G follower, I caution it. OSU is thinking towards a possible national championship. MSU has waited so long for an opportunity to go to Pasadena (longer than I have been alive) and will throw everything at OSU. MSU has an excellent run defense (OSU’s strength is the run) and Connor Cook has come on strong as a QB. This will be closer than the experts think and I would not at all be shocked if MSU won. Oh, and then there is the added complexity with the possible suspensions being handed down by the BiigTen for Ohio players.
I already said that if Auburn wins the SEC, they get FSU in the championship, no matter how this game goes. So, lets say Mizzu wins
BCS Championship: If Ohio wins, FSU-OSU
If Michigan State wins, Ummmmmmmmmmmm *head explodes*
Then to throw a wrench in things, what if Duke pulls the major upset, Missouri beats Auburn and Michigan State beats Ohio!? If that happens, college football is just going to end! WOW.
There is so much to look forward to and watch for next weekend!
Finally, the other thing that happens at the end of the college football season is the Heisman Trophy being awarded. I am pretty tired of the young QBs winning it (SEE: Tim Tebow, Johnny Manzel). I think the best player on the field this year has been Jameis Winston (FR. QB FSU). The Heisman trust will likely be hesitant with him because of his off the field issues and the trophy has been tainted in the past with Reggie Bush and Johnny Football. But who is behind Winston?
Johnny Football (SO QB TAM): his stock dropped dramatically with the losses and I think people have a genuine dislike of him for how he carries himself. I think he is off the list and does not get invited
Marcus Mariota (SO QB ORE): like Manziel, his stock dropped with the losses and the injury. Also, the west coast does not get much love. He does not get invited either.
AJ McCarron (SR QB ALA): I sound like a broken record – his game last night lowered his chances – he did not have a great game and was outplayed by Auburn. He gets invited, but does not win it.
Aaron Murray (SR QB GA): With his injury last week, he was knocked out of contention. Leading up to last week, he was probably #4 or #5 anyway.
So who else can we consider? Like I said, I am pretty tired of the young QBs winning it, so here are my picks:
Jordan Lynch (SR QB N-ILL): How can I pick a player from the MAC? The Heisman trophy goes to a player that his team could not do without. Lynch will have his team playing in their second straight BCS game, holds some ridiculous records and is their team. Because he is from the MAC, he does not get much TV time, but I think he still needs to be invited
Andre Williams (SR RB BC): The only non-QB on the list, I only found out about him yesterday watching GameDay. He has great stats, and had he not gotten hurt in the 3rd quarter yesterday, would probably be a strong #2.
Who do I invite to New York? Jameis Winston, Jordan Lynch and Andre Williams. Who do I award the trophy to? Lynch, just because of Winston’s off-field problems.
Enjoy the last week of football. I know I will!
I know its been a while but this post is written with a heavy heart. Yesterday, our family’s cat of 16 years was laid to rest. He had been battling cancer, arthritis and old age.
I remember the day we brought him home like it was yesterday. We had picked him out and on the way home from the Michigan Humane Society, mom was telling my brother and I what it was like to have a kitten. At first they would be shy and it would take a while for him to come out of the cage. He would be a little scared of us. He would take a while to slowly explore the house. Boy was she wrong! Hazee marched right out of his cage like he owned the place. If we left him alone in his room, he would “boing” the door stops until we came back. Right from the start we knew he was a people cat and lots of trouble.
Growing up, I had a bunk bed and so I taught Hazee to climb the ladder to the top bunk. Little did I know, this meant that any time there was a ladder out in the house, Hazee would be at the top of it – yes, this even included when it was out to change the light bulb in the ceiling fan in the vaulted family room!
Alan learned first hand that we could not leave the shower running and go into our room to get clean clothes. Hazee LOVED water. Showers, baths, buckets… anything with water, he was in. Weird, right?
We also learned that Hazee could not be bothered with fish. His human food of choice was bacon. He’d come running as soon as he smelt it or heard the word. I am sure he is enjoying daily bacon in heaven. He also liked to eat lamb chop off the bone as long as you held the bone.
Hazee had a love for boxes, like any other cat. When I moved every 3 months for school, he was most helpful, but you always had to make sure he was not left inside one when loading up the car. He also seemed to love physics. When I worked on homework, he was always there by me, as if helping.
Hazee also liked “reading the newspaper”. If you had it on the floor, he’d come and rearrange it for you because you were clearly reading the wrong page. When on the couch, he would bat at it until you gave him attention. When mom got a kindle, he was most displeased until he learned how to turn the pages himself.
And then there were his toys. He always loved the feather on a stick. He would attack it and lick it until it was so wet and soggy it was gross. He loved anything that squeaked and had feathers. When he was a kitten, he had this turkey that was bigger than his face, but as soon as he got one, the feathers would be gone. After they stopped making turkeys, it was plastic mice. There were 3 and every night after we all went to bed, he would carry them all up the stairs and leave one outside of all of our rooms, as if to protect us. but oh no, he was not quiet about it. Squeeking, meowing all the way up. But that was Hazee – very talkative and loud.
Towards middle age, I decided to try and teach Hazee tricks. He could sit, high five, sit up, and lay down (though he hated to do that). What cat does tricks?
Later in life his health started deteriorating but he still remained the same cat. Still a slave driver to my mom and still very talkative.
16 years with Hazee were great. I know I will miss him a lot.
I completely neglected to write a post about my first triathlon that I did a couple weeks ago. I guess you could safely say that I did not drown or get eaten by any sharks. The swimming went a lot better than I had hoped.
Pre-race transition setup:
I knew i had all the gear I needed in my backpack but I really wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. I walked around the racks and found the 2 racks for women under the age of 30 (yeah, 2 was not even close to enough!). There were some really nice people around that gave me tips and I watched and eventually got my stuff out and ready to go. It was really dark so it was hard to see the water, but I didn’t really want to see it to psych myself out. About 1/2 an hour before the start, David and I began the 1/2 mile hike down the beach to the start and got all snuggled up in our wetsuits. Thankfully David’s wife and brother were there to assist because I was a helpless person getting all dressed. We took a quick dip in the ocean to discover that it was not too cold. I also discovered that it was almost impossible to see anything in the ocean! Great.
At 7:12AM the pink hat heat took off and I just followed the pack. Went into the swim position when the others and just went after it. Once I rounded the first corner, my goggles fogged up so badly that even if I wanted to see, I could not. I just followed the pink hats because I figured they’d be going the right way. All too soon I realized we were half way through it and I felt good, but that was short lived. My calf started to cramp up a bit and i got a little worried. I heard the next heat begin so that also worried me because I knew they would catch me and I had no idea where I was. I decided to take a quick break, tread water, unfog my goggles and figure out where I was. I did all of that and began swimming again. All was good. Rounded the last corner and all hell broke lose. The next pack caught up and I got kicked, punched, swam over, etc. All I wanted to do was touch the ground. When I finally did, I started coughing up all the salt water (yuckie) that I had shoved in my mouth in the last bit. The run/walk up the sand was brutal!
I got to my bike and just wanted to sit and catch my breath. But I realized I did the toughest part and the rest was easy. I washed my feet, threw on socks, shoes and a helmet and took off on my bike. I did a lot of passing and making up of time. The bike part was really flat and wide open so easy. I had to stop myself from sprinting the whole thing because it was getting hot and I still had to run. All too soon, the 2 laps were over and it was time to run.
The bike-run transition was easy. Finding a place for my bike was tough because there were bikes everywhere. I slipped out of my bike shoes, put on the running shoes and off we went (yes, I remembered to lose the helmet too). The run was un-spectacular. The route was boring because we just ran along the bike path, got to a spot, turned around and ran back (2 loops). I think it was about as fun as running on a track, actually. I quickly settled into a pace and got through it. There were times when I had to slow to get around people – the bike path was too narrow for the amount of people and I was not about to run on the sand!
After the last loop, you make a left turn and run to the finish. That is pretty deceptive because there are a ton of people cheering on all sides and the finish marker was not as obvious as I would have thought. It also did not help that I was running around tall people…
I have to say, before the race, I was bummed that I would not have a cheering committee. Usually my parents are loud and obnoxious (“SHE’S RIGHT BEHIND YOU!!!” when there is no one in sight) but they were obviously not there. But I soon found out that David’s family and Dewey and Nita more than made up for it. They were not as intimidating as my parents but provided lots of encouragement throughout. Big shoutout and thanks to them. (also photo cred to them)
Triathlons are not places for fancy bikes that you want to keep in perfect condition. I love my bike but I will admit, I got my frame for $99, and it’s now down to $89. I got a nice scratch down the top tube and one on the wheels (I am more bummed about the wheels because those were more expensive. If you want to keep your bike nice, keep it home and away from tri’s.
Sports accomplishment rankings:
1. Crim – still #1. It will take a lot to de-throne this one…
3. Palm Springs Century
Last night was UtL ptII and it lived up to the hype. Michigan had to win this to prove the rivalry. The defense looked strong, the offense looked good and it was an overall team win.
Before the game, Tom Harmon was honored and his son, Mark (I had no idea he was Tom’s son) made a speech – ESPN did not play the audio but that was cool. And, even cooler yet, Devin Gardner was picked to wear 98 and that is only fitting. Harmon was a do it all player – QB, RB, Kicker, Punter, etc. In this day, there are not too many multi-position athletes but Gardner is as close as it gets. Recruited as a QB, sat behind Shoelace, switched to receiver last year but when Robinson got hurt, he jumped right back to QB. Such a selfless player and well deserving of ole 98.
Great win. Great night. Bring on Akron.
This time next week I will be done with my first triathlon, back at work and hopefully feeling proud of doing the triathlon. 6 days from now I will be doing this thing. At this point, I have to rely on my training. There is nothing more I can do for myself to build up. Just have to keep a tapered pace all week and not injure myself. Easy swims, short bike rides and death-march runs. Anything to keep the heart pumping.
The week before a big event such as this one, you are supposed to be getting plenty of rest, eating the right things and just maintaining minimum workouts. True to Linda form, that won’t quite be happening this week. I will be doing the minimum workouts, trying to eat good meals, but rest will not be happening. It will be a busy week at work and lots to do before the weekend. The nights before, I will be meeting a good friend in San Diego and the night before the event is the big Michigan-ND game (speaking of which, I am excited about our defense this year!). I am not sure what I got into with all of this travel right before, but I am young and this is good for me. Also, when the tri is over, I will have only 1 night in LA before it’s a quick turn-around to San Diego and to our Mexico plant.
So 6 days… let the nerves begin!
Yesterday, perhaps fittingly on the same day as the Crim, I decided to give the triathlon my first full practice run. We got to a beach in Oxnard mid-morning and while pacing out 1/4 mile along the shore, I could not help but to think to myself “wow, those are big waves”. David and I got our wetsuits on and Dewey was ready to go and we started walking out to the ocean. Pretty quickly I was swept off my feet and doing summer-salts and cart wheels in the ocean. I was already shaken because of the ease I was knocked over. Dewey came back over to me to give some pointers. I was swept off my feet more times, pushed in, knocked over and otherwise destroyed several more times before I finally gave up. There was no way, even is someone towed me out past the breakers, I was going to survive the waves and swim 1/2 mile. So I stumbled back to shore, clearly defeated and stared off at the waves. Then I walked along the shore, kicking the sand and otherwise being upset that I let the ocean beat me.
The next too legs (bike 11 miles and run 3 miles) was easy. Those are 2 things I can do in my sleep. All I could think about during the other legs was how I failed to try swimming in the ocean. This “dry run” was supposed to ease my swimming fears but now so much. 14 days and I have lots to figure out.