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Westsider Rider

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Recruiting is not for the faint of heart

After yesterday's update regarding Ronald Johnson and Donovan Warren I didn't think anything drastic would happen with recruiting and was just waiting for signing day. Until I get a few calls this morning while I'm driving to work about the Ronald Johnson situation drastically changing within the span of a day. It went from Michigan is the favorite to potentially now we are out of the running. I have no idea what's really going on here. There's a bunch of internet rumors flying around so we will have to wait and see. But if we lost Rojo it would be a big loss but not that big if we were to pickup Donovan Warren.

Unlike with Rojo, our momentum seems to be gaining with Warren and that is a good sign. Corners are of desperate need and if we lose out on Rojo but pick up Warren I'll call it even and move on. If we were to strike out with both though then there would be need for concern. I try not to get worked up over every little rumor online like I did a few years back. Recruiting is very fickle and a heavy lean/silent commit one day can change his mind and go somewhere else very easily. I've said it before and I'll say it again when it comes down to it I want a kid that wants to play for Michigan. If they're easily swayed by a coach smooth talking them or being told about the cold weather and not wanting to play for us then I don't want them. I know recruiting is as tough as ever now but if a kid doesn't want to play for what I believe is the best school in the world then that is their loss. Michigan will go on and one player will not make or break a recruiting class as much as recruitniks say it will. Someone else will have to step up and make plays for our team and hopefully there is someone on our roster right now or incoming that will.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I was ready to write about the disappointment of the weekend from the Lakers as they blew not one but two home games that they should have won, both in overtime. About how the Lakers continue to play down to the level of their competition and blow games they shouldn't (Friday night versus Charlotte) or how pathetic it was in allowing all the offensive rebounds to keep San Antonio in the game on Sunday or how after finally getting Lamar Odom back after his knee injury that night we end up losing Luke Walton for a week or two. But instead as I'm about to write all this up I see the headline flash on ESPN.com Bryant suspended one game for hitting Ginobli.

Anyone that watched the game, even Spurs fans will tell you this was not an offense worthy of a suspension. I cannot believe the league is trying to pull this garbage. For those that did not watch I'll reset the scene for you. Game tied 2.7 seconds left Lakers ball. Inbounded to Kobe who does a pump fake to get by Bruce Bowen and then as he's about to shoot Ginobli comes from behind and blocks the shot. Kobe on his follow through ends up hitting Ginobli in the face who is behind him, unintentionally. I don't understand how the league can deem an unintentional hit to the face warrants a suspension. There are numerous other incidents across the league nightly that are more worthy of a suspension than this but the league singles out Kobe and pulls this crap. I don't know what else to say.

Onto some more positive news is the stretch run of recruiting. Ronald Johnson is back from his Florida visit and will be making his decision known on Sunday at his church. Things still look positive for the Maize and Blue and I feel good about our chances here, let's hope thingis hold up the way they should. The surprise of the weekend was the rumors that Donovan Warren from Long Beach Poly was considering making another visit out to Michigan this week. Unfortunately he wasn't able to get a flight to do so but the fact that he was thinking about making the trip is a very good sign. I'm still doubtful that we get his signature but the chances have definitely increased. LB Poly is a feeder school to USC just like Glenville is to Ohio State so stealing Warren would be HUGE, especially considering our need for CB's. I had written him off early but I'll be keeping an eye out with some hope, he's rumored to announce on Thursday.

The basketball team lost on the road again and now faces Iowa this week. I consider this a must win before the team travels to Ohio State next week. We must take care of business at home to have any chance at making the NCAA's, something that many fans have already given up hope on but I'm an eternal optimist when it comes to our basketball program. I've been saying next year is the year every year since I first got there in 1999 and I have yet to see an NCAA berth. I'm still holding out hoping we can do it.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

And we're back

Been out of commission since the last post as I had a concussion last week. A lot has gone on since then the Lakers have looked great (win at San Antonio) and then looked terrible (losses at Dallas and New Orleans/Oklahoma City). The following are pictures from the Lakers-Nuggets game on 1/5 that I meant to put up earlier. Regular posting will commence next week.

Pre-Game Intro for Kobe

Lakers getting their last instructions from Coach Jackson

Kobe shoots a Free Throw

AI at the line

Ronny Turiaf's turn

Bynum at the Line


Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday Roundup

Plenty of stuff going on in the sports world the past couple days. I'll start with the horrible road trip by the Lakers. I was going to give this its own post but decided against it because there's not much to say. The Lakers played terrible and just flat out got beat. They were in the games at halftime and just got blown out in the 3rd quarter. That is unacceptable. It's one thing when we were winning championships to get up for the good teams and play down to bad teams but right now every game matters for playoff seeding and we cannot afford to throw games away. Let's hope we can take care of business for this two game stretch at home against Orlando and Miami before the game at San Antonio next Wednesday.

There's a lot of talk about changes in the Michigan coaching staff as well as in our secondary. Rumors are all around about movement from DB and LB coaches to OC and OL as well. It will be interesting to see how everything shakes out. There is also talk of some members of the secondary that will not be returning next year as well. Which means come on down RoJo we've got immediate PT for you.

The big news of yesterday was David Beckham signing to play for the LA Galaxy. I love watching soccer when the World Cup is on or the Champions League but have never watched MLS. I think this will have some impact but not as big as the MLS would like to believe it will. It does generate more interest for soccer in the U.S. but unless the rest of MLS becomes better it won't do much. Sure I may go check out a game at Home Depot Center now because of this but I don't think it will take the place of baseball during the summer for me. Granted I still think that NASCAR is stupid and don't see how watching cars drive 500 laps around an oval is any fun to watch so I may be wrong.

The Dodgers announced new seating in the Right Field Pavillion that will be all you can eat. Unfortunately it won't include beer, only hot dogs, nachos, peanuts and soft drinks. It sounds like a good idea at first but when you think about it, it isn't. It will cost $35 pre sale or $40 on the day of the game to sit there. These are the second cheapest tickets in the ballpark usually that ran $8 a piece last season if I remember correctly. So take out $8 and you're charging $27 or $32 for all you can eat ballpark food. For some it may be worth it but for most it won't. Say you get a hot dog, nacho and a soft drink that still doesn't add up to $27. Some people will probably fall for it but most I think won't. The seats aren't that great, you could take the same money buy a better seat and still eat a good amount at Dodger Stadium. This is a mistake by Dodger management, I think the better way to go about this would have been to use some premium seats to entice fans with good seats and all you can eat food. The food is not enough to offset the bad seats. I'll probably end up going to one game with this promotion and then come back home so sick of hot dogs and nachos that I'll never want to eat them again.

Jersey list updated again, now up to 67 with the additions of a Kobe Bryant Road 24 Authentic and a Vince Young Alternate Authentic

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Ryan Mallett Impressive in U.S. Army All American Game

It completely slipped my mind that the U.S. Army All-American Game was on TV on Saturday so I forgot to set my DVR before I had to get to work. After the game I got a call from one of my friends who watched it and was so hyped up about Mallett coming in and said I need to get a copy of this game somehow because he looked so good. It was very good to hear but I tried not to get too ahead of myself as it was just an exhibition game. Then I spoke with one of my USC friends about it and even he raved about Mallett so I knew this was the real deal. For those like me who weren't able to watch it, the Michigan Zone has a video up of Mallett's highlights.

It's great to know he's already enrolled and started classes this week. Now the question is do we redshirt Mallett or does he immediately come in and become the backup to Henne so he can get some game action in this season before he takes over in 08? I have heard arguments on both sides and it does make sense to get him some time in this year so he can get his feet wet so I am leaning towards that way. As my friend said "It doesn't matter because if you redshirt him he might be gone after 3 years anyways." We can only hope he produces as much as the hype that he's bringing along with him.

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Nice Tackle Roy Hall

For those that haven't seen this below is the picture of how Ted Ginn got hurt during monday's NC game. Great tackle by Roy Hall, too bad he's on the same team.


Our last two games in pictures (Part 2)

I'm sure I, along with every other Michigan fan was ready to take the awful taste of defeat out of our mouth after the Ohio State game but once again we couldn't get the job done in the Rose Bowl. It still sucks ending the season with an L but there aren't many other places I'd rather be on January 1st than in Pasadena. The first two pictures are from Lawry's where the Beef Bowl is held, they have a dope display which has the pennants of the teams that participated in the last 3 Rose Bowls as well as an autographed football by the teams that played in the previous year.

Beef Bowl Display at Lawry's

Michigan signed football

Flyover Pregame

Pregame Huddle

Second Half Huddle

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Our last two games in pictures (Part 1)

It's somewhat painful but still I took these pictures at the Ohio State game and the Rose Bowl so I figured they might as well be posted. Seats were nothing like the Notre Dame game so they are not nearly as good as that game. Since we were down and I was too into the game no game action shots this time around, everything is pretty much pregame.

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Final Top 25

Wow, that's all I can say. I'm still in shock as Florida just pwned Ohio State last night.

1. Florida
2. Ohio State
3. LSU
4. USC
5. Boise State
6. Michigan
7. Wisconsin
8. California
9. Auburn
10. West Virginia
11. Louisville
12. Rutgers
13. Texas
14. Oklahoma
15. Arkansas
16. BYU
17. Virginia Tech
18. Wake Forest
19. TCU
20. Oregon State
21. Notre Dame
22. Penn State
23. Tennessee
24. Hawaii
25. Boston College

There it is the last college football poll until August. It was a season of highs and lows but I wouldn't trade college football for anything, well maybe a Lakers championship this year.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Lakers gettin it done

The Lakers came through with a big 101-98 win over Dallas last night at home snapping the Mavericks 13 game win streak and pushing their own streak to 4 games. Kobe has done a great job in getting others going early so they can be ready if needed and when he needs to he's taken over in the 4th quarter which is exactly what happened last night. Early on with Bynum in foul trouble Ronny Turiaf stepped up and has 10 points in the first half. Then in the second half Sasha Vujacic took his shot as he finished with 16 including the game winning 3 pointer. He hit 4-5 from behind the arc when the team needed it. I know I've been on Sasha for a long time because he supposedly tears it up in practice but had never shown it much in games, well last night he did and I'm here to give him his props. This is great not only for last night but in the long run because I believe this could give him the confidence boost he needs to do this on a consistent basis. The Lakers will need him to step up down the stretch and hopefully this is the game we can point to and say that Sasha became a regular contributor to the team.

Next up is a quick two game road trip back to back in Memphis and Houston and Tuesday and Wednesday followed by two home games against Orlando and Miami. There's no reason why this team can't pick up all these 4 games before they head to San Antonio.


Friday, January 05, 2007

On to the next season

Yes I'm still upset, disappointed, frustrated, whatever else you want to say about what transpired on January 1st. What's done is done and we must move on now so the focus turns, mostly to the Lakers as well as Michigan's other teams (basketball and hockey) and we can't forget National Signing Day coming up in a few weeks as well.

The basketball team started off the Big Ten season with a big W over Illinois on Wednesday night. I have yet to see this team at all this season being that barely any of their games have been televised and when they were, like two days ago, I was still at work. Nevertheless I'm still following this team the whole way, hopefully we can get some things done this year.

The Lakers played a tough game last night up at Arco building a 21 point lead, then blowing it to the point they were down 4 with 6.7 seconds left but was able to tie it up and send it to OT where they took care of business and got the W. With the 21 point lead I was hoping to keep it at that level so the starters could get rested with the game tonight against Denver but that wasn't the case. The real infuriating part of the game was the horrific officiating crew. Sacramento got so many calls it was ridiculous and the Lakers got none down the stretch. How there is no foul called when Kobe drives with less than 10 to play is beyond me. At least they got the W, I would have been furious if we blew that game. We'll see how the team plays on the second night of a back to back at least this one is at home, but against AI and the Nuggets. I got lucky and scored some close seats to the game so I'll hope to get some pics up. I'll post the Rose Bowl ones as well when I upload all of them.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

It's the Same Old Song

Once again it's a different year but the same story. Michigan makes it to the Rose Bowl, I get excited since I don't have to travel for the bowl game and then we end up losing, and I've only been through 3 of these I can't imagine what the older fans go through with this. As I rolled into the Rose Bowl parking lot yesterday morning I was pleasantly surprised to see so much Maize and Blue in the crowd. I didn't expect as many Michigan fans but unfortunately for us, the fans were the only ones that showed up because the team was somewhere else maybe left on that field in Columbus on November 18th, or perhaps in Ann Arbor on December 3rd but this was not the Michigan team we had seen all season long.

Credit goes to USC for coming up with a gameplan that worked and made proper adjustments when needed, something our coaching staff did and cannot seem to do very often. One of the first plays for USC when they rolled Booty out, something I had not seen USC do all season long I thought to myself, that's very smart and we could be in for some trouble and unfortunately I was right. USC was never able to run successfully against the run defense, but they were able to pass at will. The great front four was never able to get much pressure on Booty, something I thought would give us the edge. Since Booty got time to throw he was able to pick us apart.

So here we are again, January 2nd, a good season since we made it to the Rose Bowl, but not a great one. Sadly, I am not distraught over this loss as I had been in years past. I see my brother last night take the loss extremely hard while I was pretty calm. All my friends I went with were surprised I took it so well and the reason is I'm getting used to this. It's the reality that continues to set in as I will root for Michigan until the day I die but right now we are a good, maybe sometimes even very good team/program, but we are not a great one. I can only hope that changes soon but with all the tradition that Michigan has and since we continue to win more games than we lose, I don't think it will change at all. It's sad to say but I will probably be able to recycle this post in years future, the team may change and the way the game unfolds may be different but the outcome will be the same. We will have an opportunity to make a change when Coach Carr retires in the next few years, but knowing the Michigan I know we won't.

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