Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Good And Bad Of U-M's Bowl Victory

Michigan’s New Year’s Day bowl victory over Florida was a good-news, bad-news tale.
It was good news because it sent Lloyd Carr off into retirement on a high note. Carr did an excellent job of carrying on Michigan’s tradition. Despite being a bit dour and somewhat prickly, he was a credit to both the school and this state. We owe him a debt of gratitude. The losses to Ohio State and his bowl failures late in his tenure will, unfortunately, be part of Carr’s legacy. But so should all the good things he did - the Big Ten titles, the national title, Michigan’s unique consistency.
The win over Florida was a reminder of all those good things - and what the Wolverines are capable of producing when they get their collective act together. It was also good for the Big Ten, destroying a lot of myths about the superiority of SEC football. I have a great deal of respect for SEC football. It might even be the best conference in the nation. But the Big Ten is still formidable. This was a reminder - for myself included. Honestly, I thought Michigan was going to get crushed in this game.
As for the bad news part, I couldn’t help but wonder how Michigan’s fate the last couple years of Carr’s regime might have been different if he threw caution to the wind like he did Tuesday. It was as if the chains had been taken off of Michigan’s skilled players - on both sides of the ball. It seemed to make all the difference in the world.

Random Thoughts

- I didn’t like the outdoors NHL game in Buffalo, I loved it. Would love to see them do it at Comerica Park with the Red Wings. It reminded me of the fun of playing pond hockey, which I still do every now and then. Obviously, Sydney Crosby is a great player. The numbers speak for themselves. But I think he is even greater after seeing some of the moves he put on Tuesday. What a talent.

- All you need to know about the Lions is how much money they are paying Cory Redding and Jeff Backus. And how remarkably unproductive they are compared to their hefty paychecks.

- Tigerfest is coming up in a couple weeks. Spring training is just around the corner. Still wonder what the Tigers will do to augment their bullpen. Still wonder where the future lies for Brandon Inge.

11 Comments:

Blogger Fred Brill said...

Book,
Happy New Year.

Anxious to hear your thoughts about the Giants - Pats game last weekend - and the perfect season.

3:50 PM 
Blogger Eric Chase said...

Hey PC, Happy New Year! I second your enthusiasm about the NHL game yesterday, but when are the league's marketing people going to get it. Last year they played the All Star Game against American Idol and now a marquee event on a day synonomous with college football. At this point we're going to playing Game 7 of the Cup finals on Memorial Day, at noon, against baseball.

Thoughts...???

6:30 PM 
Anonymous Tim said...

Pat,

I also enjoyed very much the pond hockey game in Buffalo. It reminded me of times of playing out at Kent Lake. What great memories those were. I tend to forget about how bad the ice was and major ruts in the ice would risk breaking your ankle. Peppermint schnapps was also involved frequently.

I found the Cold War to be more exciting than the Winter Classic though. Would definitely love to see Wings-Leafs or other original six teams but it should be out of doors.

6:52 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Right back at you, Fred, on 2008. I thought it was an excellent game. Both teams certainly went all out. Wonder, though, if the perception of that game would have been different if Manning or Brady had gotten hurt. But the chances are against it. I have a feeling the Patriots will lose before the Super Bowl. They almost seem too good to be true.
Caputo

11:55 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Eric Chase,
That was the strange part about it. It made no sense to put that game on when they did - and somehow it was perfect. I was lukewarm to that game. Flipped it on almost by accident just going through the clicker - and couldn't help but watching.
Caputo

11:56 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Tim,
I watched the cold war and liked it, but not as much as this game for reasons I, honestly, can't explain. There is nothing like playing pond hockey. It is so much fun. I just hate shoveling off the snow.
Caputo

11:58 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To me part of the difference with the outdoor game was how it was shot - More of the overall rink seemed to be shown, and it was easier to see plays develop then the indoor shots which follow the puck tighter. i had an easier time watching plays develop.

I'd be interested to know the economics involved - That can't be cheap to set up temporary refrigeration for one game - hard to see how they can make money with this type of a one shot exhibition.

Thats the key to seeing it more often. Make it profitable and promotable. I'm sure Illitch's new marketing guru was watching.

Allan

7:17 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Allan,
Great point about a better view on TV. It does seem like the NHL often struggles with getting the proper camera angles. They made a lot of money on this. The added expense was easily outdone by the added revenue of 71,000 tickets sold at an average of $75 per ticket.
Caputo

10:18 AM 
Anonymous Marty said...

Pat,

The Tigers will augment their bullpen by keeping Inge and making him a reliever. He has experience in the role, albiet from a long time ago. Oh wait, I thought that Matt Millen was running this team for a second! Dombrowski would never do something that dumb, forget I said anything.

-Marty

p.s. Just having a little fun. No need to be angry at the Lions when they provide so much Mel Brooks type entertainment.

1:50 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Marty,
LOL. If Millen were the Tigers GM, they would have lost 100-plus games seven years in a row.
Caputo

10:36 PM 
Anonymous Marty said...

Darned straight!

12:23 PM 

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