Conflicted Michigan fan

This has already been an upsetting season for Michigan fans.  This pains me to put these stats up, but it is necessary:

  • 2 offensive TD against Power 5 teams + ND (shutout by ND)
  • First shutout since ’84
  • 3 losses in the month of September – never happened in our 135 year history (not even under RR)
  • Utter emptiness in the stands: so much so that we have to offer buy 2 cokes, get 2 tickets to fill it

But here is where I am conflicted.  Michigan did not play awfully against Notre Dame:

NDStats

The place we lost is in turnovers.  Turnovers kill us.

Against Utah, same story.  The box score shows that turnovers are awful.  Up until this point, I was content with letting Hoke keep his job.  Devin Gardner has always been prone to throwing INTs.  His form is just not that of a great passing QB.  But, he is still Rich Rod’s guy.  We have Russell Bellomy and Shane Morris waiting in the wind as Hoke’s guys.

But this past week, things are starting to change for me.  Losing is one thing.  I know that fixing Rich Rod’s foundation is going to take way longer than my fellow Michigan fans want.  I also know that having 3 coaches in the 7 years since Lloyd Carr retired is not good for the program.  But the way Michigan lost today was really embarrassing.  Again the stats:

  • 171 total yards (I guess a pro is that we had a balanced attack)
  • Still 2 turnovers

But it was the intangibles that got me worried about the future.  There is no leadership.  Guys are not holding each other accountable.  Shane Morris was on the sideline smiling and laughing.  Is it FUN to lose badly?  Devin Gardner wore the headset, but I never saw him talk to Morris on the sideline.  As much as I cannot stand Jameis Winston, at lease her was out there cheering on and helping out when he was suspended last week.  Also, I cannot be sure, but the O-Line seemed to work harder when Gardner came in at the end.  If these things are going on, then maybe Hoke has to go.  But for this, not because of his record.

Regardless, this is NOT Michigan.  I will still always be a loyal Michigan fan, but this is hard to watch.

So comment: should Hoke be fired?  If so, who should replace him?

Women in Science

I do not generally have conversations about women vs men or whatever.  I like to think of society of being equal, but I know this to not be true.  Recently, there was a viral video released as a Verizon commercial.  It took me a week or so to get around to watch it but it struck me hard.  In case you have not seen the video, you can watch it here.

Let that sink in and gather your thoughts an emotions.  Basically, as this girl is growing up, she is told she should not do things because that is what boys do.  She should focus on being a girl.  I was fortunate enough to grow up with family who encouraged me to explore my love of science and math.  Through college, I strived to help get girls involved and excited about science.  I wrongly believed that schools should help.  This commercial has shown me that I am wrong.  Schools can do all they want, but if the girls are getting negative reinforcement at home, that will do nothing to help the 18% statistic shown at the end.

So, I thought that was the end.  A few days later, I received an email summary from LinkedIn with a link to words that every girl should learn.  This seemed like a very good “next step to the commercial I had seen earlier”.  The 18% of girls who make it out of school, go into very male-dominated fields.  And male-dominated it is.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of males in leadership positions who consciously or un-consciously do not respect the young women they lead.  All too often, the young women are talked over, interrupted, ignored, etc.  This can be pretty frustrating so this article discusses suggestions for combating this.

“Stop interrupting me.” 

“I just said that.”

“No explanation needed.”

While these things are pretty hard to say, it is important to defend yourself otherwise you get walked all over.  This goes for men and women both.

This had to be the end, right?  The next night, I saw this plot sent to someone on facebook.

iq-by-college-major-gender

 

 

I had many thoughts about it:

1. Sweet, I have the highest IQ in the world! (Well people with my degree)

2. Wow, there are hardly any fields with fewer girls than Physics

Then, I started to think about it more.  Why is it that as there are more female majors, the IQ drops?  Is it because women are dumb?  I really hope not.  I think it goes back to society.  There is a common saying out there; “dumb blonde”.  Basically, blonde girls are allowed to be dumb.  Why?  There is no male equivalent.  Is a boy acted like a “dumb blonde”, he would be an outcast.  So is this plot because of society?

 

So, what do you guys think?  The facts show that there are not enough girls going into science and engineering.  So what can we do to reverse that trend?

 

Sources:

Video

Article

Plot

House Pics

Well since a lot of people are not on fb but want to see the house, here are some pics for y’all.

Pulling my car in the garage the day I got the keys.  Lots to do, but excited to have a big garage!

Pulling my car in the garage the day I got the keys. Lots to do, but excited to have a big garage!

Sweet garage setup.  Lots of sticks and bikes finally hung.

Sweet garage setup. Lots of sticks and bikes finally hung.

Adding character to my back fence.  Need to get Lions and Wings flags to add to the collection.

Adding character to my back fence. Need to get Lions and Wings flags to add to the collection.

Gnomes guarding my fire place.

Gnomes guarding my fire place.

20140209_193657

Penn State

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.

Hockeytown plays host to NHL’s Winter Classic

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.

BigTen, I flip you a bird!

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.

Stay classy!

College football: Rivalry week, Conference Championships and the Heisman

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 State
Going 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!

Conference Championships
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!

Heisman Trophy
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!

Hazee

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.

Triathlon

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:

The transition area... what a mess but also kinda worked.

The transition area… what a mess but also kinda worked.

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.

Swim:

I look like a tired, wet, defeated cat or something... yuck salt water

I look like a tired, wet, defeated cat or something… yuck salt water

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!

Bike:

My face looks rather funny (maybe still spitting salt?), but I was having a nice relaxing time on my bike.

My face looks rather funny (maybe still spitting salt?), but I was having a nice relaxing time on my bike.

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.

Run:

This is the pic that got sent to everyone and their brother by Dewey.  Apparently I look dead?  Maybe.

This is the pic that got sent to everyone and their brother by Dewey. Apparently I look dead? Maybe.

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!

The finish:

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…

The extras:

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)

The gang.  Good job David and thanks everyone else.

The gang. Good job David and thanks everyone else.

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…
2. Triathlon
3. Palm Springs Century

Michigan-ND Under the Lights Part II

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.