Lloyd Carr retired two seasons ago but his shadow still looms large over the Michigan football program.
Just ask former Wolverine QB Rick Leach, who this week blasted the former coach on local sports radio.
Leach, who has been a vocal supporter of Carr’s successor Rich Rodriguez, accused Carr of high treason for attending the Michigan/Iowa game and having “…the audacity, the unmitigated gall…” to not sit with the Michigan contingent.
It’s an ironic turn of events for two men who are both so closely identified with Michigan football. Leach for his outstanding college career and Carr for leading the Wolverines to the 1997 National Championship.
Leach, who is revered by many Wolverine fans, seems to represent a vocal minority of Wolverines fans who were critical of Coach Carr and pushed for his departure. What’s puzzling is why nearly two years after Carr’s retirement that the attacks continue.
My impression is that Leach wasn’t exactly one of the Lloyd’s favorite people. When Rodriguez become coach Leach got a new lease on life as a program insider. Since then Leach has been front and center in defending Rodriguez while continuing to take shots at Carr.
But Leach’s campaign against Carr will do nothing to stop the Detroit Free Press’ inquisition of current Coach Rich Rodriguez.
His radio tirade only exposes a fissure between two legends of the Michigan football program.
In times like this I wonder what Bo what would say about the situation.
My guess is he’d chide Lloyd for his choice of seating at the Iowa/Michigan football game.
But it wouldn’t anything compared to the ass chewing that he’d give Leach.
Just wanted to take a few minutes to share some thoughts on the recent flap with the Detroit Free Press and give a few recommendations and how to move forward.
First let me say that I’m a big fan. After your messy departure from West Virginia I wasn’t sure what to make of you. But after meeting you a few times and seeing how you run practice a few things are clear:
1. Your offense will soom be tearing up the Big Ten like Jim Brandstatter tearing through a complimentary buffet.
2. QBs are an endangered species in your offense- you better stock up…
And now on to some things you can work on.
Great idea banning media from practice.
You can’t trust them!
Well, except for me.
Next up press conferences.
Rich 99% of the time you rock in press conferences. Seriously, you’re funny self depracating, and knowledgeable.
It’s that other 1% we need to work on.
Trouble began when you announced the dismissal of Justin Feagan. You obviously wanted to move on to another subject but that pesky media just kept hammering you until you sheepishy asked if it was alright move on and keep the day positive.
Now I don’t know how things rolled for you at West Virginia but whenever you ask the media here to move on from something a strange transformation happens. Their eyes glaze over and they start having visions of Pulitzer prizes and movie deals. All kinds of crazy ideas ideas of linking Michigan football to the wall .
By Andy Andersen
In what was one of the most exciting games in the modern Wolverine/Irish football series, Forcier, Stonum, Mathews and Minor played major roles in a 38-34 victory. Michigan finally prevailed at least partly and maybe mostly due to the outstanding performances of the quartet mentioned in the title above. Other games in the series have been close and featured outstanding performances, but this one was exciting alpha to omega, featuring two outstandingly productive offenses, and defenses with just enough stops at critical junctures to keep it close, to keep it interesting, to keep it winnable.
It is hard to say the Wolverine defense was outstanding, although at the end of the game they stopped ND enough to enable victory before and after the Tate/Mathews pass/catch that put the Wolverines up for good. An outstanding Stevie Brown hit put the ball on the turf, and when recovered, gave M?s offense good field position to begin one scoring drive. The defense played hard and never quit, but yielding a total of 590 yards meant it had some problems.
Even so, the eighteenth ranked Irish are a talented, and experienced team. Their improving QB Jimmy Clausen and outstanding receivers had M’s CBs for lunch, racking up 336-yards passing, and 3 TDs, but M?s CBs had enough break ups to win. With an effort and production like ND?s, one wouldn?t expect to lose. ND receivers Floyd and Tate are extraordinary. Their lines are huge. Notre Dame rushed for 154-yards missing Aldridge, their best back. But all that turned out to be a losing combination, as the Wolverines were capable of putting on an offensive show of their own.
Tate Forcier and the offense countered with outstanding poise and ability in only his second game wearing the winged helmet. He was 23 of 33 for 240 yards and 2 TDs, and rushed 13 times for 70-yards, and a 31-yard dash up the middle for a TD to kept the Wolverines in the game on fourth and three. He made some mistakes, but always recovered (even after an untimely drive killing fumble and an interception), and played with more poise than can be realistically expected of a skinny freshman. He simply produced all that was needed to defeat a talented Notre Dame contingent when it was needed. The kid is a winner. He is going to get nothing but better with experience.
Tate took the majority of the snaps at OQ, but Denard Robinson contributed with a few runs. He has to throw the ball now and then so they do not crowd him all the time on his runs. Once they had Denard in the gun and Tate split left but the play failed. Tate also had a very decent quick kick that did not fail and was very effective. His quick kick traveled 50-yards and gave Michigan critically needed field position.
Darryl Stonum ran a kick off back 94-yards for a TD in the first quarter, and he collared Tate?s pooch punt at about the ND 3-yard line. I had no idea he was that fast. The run back gave the Blue a 14-7 lead in the first quarter, and ratcheted up the crowd enthusiasm to deafening peaks. He also had several key catches, left the game dinged, but not before he had caught 4 for 54-yards.
Greg Matthews did not gain much yardage corralling many punts, but dropped none, and had an outstanding leaping pass reception. He collared 5 passes for 68-yards and caught one TD, with a long reception of 40-yards. He managed the winning TD with seconds left on a 5-yard Forcier pass. I remember about 11 seconds on the clock when the play ended, later that was reduced to 9 seconds as ND took the subsequent snap.
At a critical juncture, a wide open Greg did not look for a Tate pass when he was in route, but appeared to be looking to block. The interception happened at a critical junction, ending a drive late in the game. Fortunately for both Greg and us, he snagged the game winner later. Vindicated!
That Brandon Minor is Michigan’s most effective running back when healthy was demonstrated Saturday. He had 16 carries for 106-yards, a TD with a run of 32-yards.
They would not have won without his runs.
While the above players made the most visible contributions to whacking ND, this is still a team sport, and the rest of the team presented great effort, too, did not fall apart under pressure, and also showed great team unity.
Brandon Minor opened the scoring on a two yard run, after a 79-yard drive featuring a 40-yard Mathews reception. Olesnavage hit all the afternoon?s EPs and it was M 7, ND 0.
ND began to move the ball at will, dominated the statistics, and soon registered 2 TDs to take a 17 to 14 lead. It seemed they would prevail. There were dominating offensively and would not be stopped. They then hit a FG to make it ND 20 M 14, and it was looking like last year was coming back.
M finished the scoring for the half, on as Olesnavage hit a FG for 39-yards. The half ended M 17, ND 20.
Many felt we would see just how good Rodriguez was in answering the question as to whether they could adjust at the half and hang in there? Or, overwhelmed, would they quit.
Tate Forcier expanded M’s lead to 11 again on a 31-yard run up the middle to cap a 6-play, 64-yard drive. A beautiful run, and the crowd went nuts. M 31, ND 20.
The euphoria didn?t last long as ND produced a pair of scoring dives, with ND hitting a pass, (the 2-point conversion failed) and then scored a TD on a run (two point conversion good). Now it is getting more desperate all the time. No more lead. And it was getting late in the game with M 31, ND 34.
But no nerves Forcier went to work as this team produced a stunning victory against a ranked opponent, marching on a nine play 58-yard TD drive that was outstanding in its effectiveness. Tate?s 5-yard completion to Greg Mathews for what proved to be the winning score brought a joyous pandemonium to the crowd the likes of which has seldom been seen. M 38, ND 34.
ND used up the 9 seconds remaining and M had prevailed. The pass to Mathews was preceeded by an 18-yard strike to LaTerryal Savoy that put them on the 5. Another vindication as Savoy earlier in the drive has one bounce of his chest in the end zone.
It is beginning to seem that Michigan is developing well and may end up being a force in the Big Ten by the end of the season, if things fall their way. But before that we have Eastern Michigan. Can you appreciate how badly Coach English wants to down the Wolverines? They played well against Northwestern. Toledo and Appalachian State taught there is no such thing as a gimmee. One more win will match last year?s total wins.
The one Notre Dame fan I talked to after the game said he was from Pittsburg, and blasted Rich Rodriguez, saying he wouldn?t work out at Michigan. I reminded him that it seemed today that he was working out very well indeed. End of conversation.
Do you think Michigan State fans woke up today with a Chip on their shoulder? And how many Bucks got a headache that won?t quit this morning? Ah, the pleasures of schadenfreude.
This was a great weekend of Michigan Football!
This is the time of year when I get questions from people who are coming to Ann Arbor to see a Michigan football game. These are my personal recommendations. Your mileage may vary…
How do I get tickets?
It’s easy to get tickets for most games. The question is how much are you willing to pay? For the bulk of the games against minor opponents you can usually find tickets around the stadium on the day of the game far below face value. It’s simple supply and demand. There are 107,000 tickets available for every game. There are literally thousands of tickets bought and sold in the hours before the game outside the stadium and in the adjacent parking lots. It’s not unusual for tickets to be sold for far less than face value for a minor opponent. The best prices are usually found on game day right outside the stadium by people who line the streets on the way to the stadium. You’re best bet is find season ticket holder just outside the stadium who is dumping extra tickets prior to entering.
Usually tickets are sold in pairs or singles. Getting more than two together is more difficult. For big name opponents (Notre Dame, Ohio State, etc.) get ready to pay. If you want tickets in advance you’ll need to check the athletic web site, get them from a season ticket holder, or look on E-Bay.
Prior to game day you can usually find ticket scalpers outside the Michigan Union. Another place to look is check the window of the Coach & Four Barber shop www.coachand4.com on State Street by Mr. Spots.
How do I get there?
Michigan Stadium is located off of Interstate 94. Get off at the Ann Arbor-Saline Road exit. There are signs and you’ll see LOTS of cars and sometimes a blimp or two circling the stadium.
Where do I park?
Diagonal from Michigan Stadium on Ann Arbor-Saline Road is Pioneer High School. Plenty of parking is available. You can also park on the University Golf Course which is across the street. Many homeowners offer up their lawns as makeshift parking lots on game days.
As you cross the street to the stadium listen for the traffic officer as he harasses fans from the opposing school.
WARNING– In cases of extremely bad weather (I.E. after days and days of rain or sleet/snow) both of these places may close to protect the grounds. In this case parking becomes nightmare. Park at Briarwood Mall and take the shuttle bus to the game. The shuttle also runs from many of the local hotels. Shuttle Info
What about camping?
RV owners can purchase a permit to camp in a designated area at Pioneer High School. The permit allows you to stay from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.
What about tailgating?
Tailgating is allowed in the parking areas around the stadium. Fans should note that upon departing for the game it highly recommended that you secure any belongings in your trunk. Looting of coolers and other items is known to occur.
What should I see while in Ann Arbor?
If you get into town a day before the game or stay after there are number of sights to see.
You can visit
Michigan Stadium– it’s usually open 9-4:30 during the week (NOTE- since 9/11 the stadium is locked down 2-3 days before games.) Even if the stadium closed it’s worht a trip to drive by and see the massive upgrade project that is under way. Construction is expected to continue for the next several years.
Stop by Schembechler Hall (AKA Fort Schembechler). This is where the Wolverines practice. Here’s a map of the area. Much of the tall brink wall that surrounded the outdoor practice field has been removed to make way for the constructon of the new indoor practice field. It’s directly adjacent to Schembechler Hall- you can’t miss it.
If the team is practicing outdoors you might catch a glimpse of them from the overpass on Stadium street.
Yost Ice Arena (Web Page) named for Michigan Immortal Fielding Yost has a number of displays of Wolverine hockey memorabilia and is open practically all of the time. Behind Schembechler Hall is Oosterbaan Field House (Web Page) an indoor football field. Sometimes you can sneak a peek of the field but football practices are closed.
Behind the Ticket office is the outdoor track where Jesse Owens once ran at the Big Ten Track Championships. Adjacent to the outdoor track in Revelli Hallwhere you might be able to catch the marching band practice.
Michigan Central Campus has a number of places to visit. Start at the Michigan Union (Web Site). Check out the place where President John F. Kennedy announced the formation of the Peace Corps marked on the front steps. Stop by and spin the Cube in the courtyard outside. A little ways down from the Union is the Kelsey Museum of Archeology which houses some nice artifacts. Across the street is the Angell Hall an impressive looking building whose design is reminiscent of a Greek temple. Behind Angell Hall, is the Michigan Diag. Note the Block ‘M’ engraved in the center, legend has it that if a freshman steps on the Block M they will fail their first exam. The Diag is home to all kinds of demonstrations and can be quite entertaining, especially on days when speaker will lecture passersby from the cement benches that surround the Diag. Adjacent to the Diag is the UGLI (undergraduate library) and also visible is the Michigan Bell Tower. The best museum on central campus is the Natural Science Museum which has a great a collection of dinosaur skeletons and even a stuffed Wolverine! Drive down Washtenaw away from campus and look for the Rock. It is a campus tradition for students to ‘paint the rock’. Legend says that it actually started out as a small pebble but has grown to its enormous size from the millions of layers of paint that have been applied over the years!
Ann Arbor Nightlife
If you’re looking to sample Ann Arbor nightlife Thursday night is the big bar night on campus. There are a number of bars and restaurants to sample.
Scorekeepers is a large sports bar and grill with music, multiple televisions, and pool tables. While you’re there take note of the large window in the front, former Wolverine Brian Griese threw a beer bottle through it after being kicked out of the establishment one night prior to the 1997 season.
Dominick’s (812 Monroe/734-662-5414) is a campus tradition located across from the Law School. Another campus favorite is Ashley’s (338 South State Street/734-996-9191).
Another campus haunt is Rick’s American Cafe (no web site) just ask around. Frankly, it’s a pit but don’t let that deter you- it features live music and sticky floors that will remind you of your college days. Outside of Rick’s is where former Wolverine captain Bennie Joppru allegedly got into a knock-down drag out fight with a member of the Wolverine wrestling team.
After a evening of carousing you may end up at the Brown Jug (1204 South University/761-3355) which is open until 2 AM. Yes, it takes its name from the trophy that Michigan and Minnesota play for every season. Rick’s and the Brown Jug are all within a block (and stumbling distance) of each other.
Where should I eat before the game?
Many people tailgate before games but if you want to grab some food these are some popular choices:
- Maize and Blue Deli- $ http://www.maizeandbluedeli.com/ 1329 S. University/734-996-0009.
- Dimo’s Deli- $ 2030 West Stadium Boulevard/734-662-7944. My personal recommendation. Get the burger!!
- Angelo’s– $ 1100 East Catherine at Glen/734-761-8996. Order anything that’s made with the homemade bread.
- Weber’s Inn- $$ 3050 Jackson Road/734-769-2500. Offers an all-you-can-eat brunch. You can also park there and grab the shuttle over to the stadium.
- Dibella’s– $ 904 West Eisenhower Parkway/734-997-9011. My new favorite sub place. Stop in and eat or grab these for your tailgate.
- Damon’s- $$ 3150 Boardwalk/734-827-2277. Damon’s has a great carry out if you want pick-up food for your tailgate. Get the ribs!
$= $5-$10 Entrees $$= $10-$15 Entrees $$$= $15 and Above Entrees
What radio stations cover Michigan Football in the area?
Many stations carry the games but the local Ann Arbor sports station is WTKA. “The Ticket” AM 1050 talks about Michigan sports pretty much all the time.
What should I do on Game Day?
On Game day you have a few options. Decide if you want to see the band take the field. A truly awesome sight. If not you can follow the band as they march to the stadium also very cool. if you get to the Stadium a few hours early you can greet the teams as they arrive for the game (the stadium tunnel by Crisler Arena). Also note that since 9/11 the items that you can take into the stadium has been reduced.
Also note that due to the stadium upgrade project the athletic department strongly recommends that fans try to enter the stadium an hour before the game.
If you want to see the band take the field you need to be inside the stadium about 30 minutes before game time. You can also the see the Wolverines warm up sans shoulder pads. As the band takes the field look for the Drum Major. Traditionally, to prove their mettle they must perform the following stunt. The really good Drum Majors will touch the top of their hat to the ground (not just the plume). Another thing you may see is this. The tradition of showing all 4’s on the scoreboard has become to stand as a reminder that the team must play 4 strong quarters to insure victory. At least that’s how it was explained to former Athletic Director Tom Goss when he enquired about the practice. According to interviews with the scoreboard operator, it really began as a prank to see if anyone was paying attention to the scoreboard minutes before the game.
Hopefully you’ll sing the Victors A LOT. Know the words and remember to raise your arm whenever you sing the word ‘Hail’.
What about a game program?
The athletic department sells some really cool program that cost $5. Unfortunately there is no way that you will be able to keep it from being messed after you purchase it and after the game the vendors are long gone. If you want a keepsake I would recommend ordering the program from the athletic department media relations office and having it mailed to your house. On the day of the game FREE newsprint programs are handed out that contain a few articles and rosters for both teams. Grab one of these as you enter stadium- look for the people handing them out.
What should I eat at the game?
The concessions are plentiful: hot dogs, pizza, kielbasa, etc. My personal favorite are the Mr. Spots Subs (philly cheesesteak sandwiches). I also like the Italian sausages with peppers. Michigan Stadium serves Coke products. No alcohol is served at the stadium.
What if I need cash?
There are ATM’s available inside the stadium.
Where should I eat after game?
Most people leaving Michigan Stadium will travel back to the interstate using State or Ann Arbor-Saline Road. Think about that- 100,000 people are driving by- everything you see on that route (mostly chain restaurants) will be PACKED. Restaurants along those routes include Bennigan’s, Damon’s, Max & Erma’s, The Outback, TGI Fridays, and Joe’s Crab Shack. Come to think of it just about everything in Ann Arbor is packed after a football game. Here are some places that are off-the-beaten path but well worth the wait (I’ll list by specialty):
- Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger– $ Hamburgers- 551 S. Division/734-663-3103.
- Banfield’s East- $ Hamburgers- 3140 Packard Street/734-971-3300.
- Argiero’s- $$ Italian- 300 North Detroit/734-665-0444.
- Mr. Spots– $ Philly Cheese steak sandwiches- 810 South State/734-747-7768.
- Wings Pizza N Things– $$ American- 6877 State Street/734-429-7700.
- Real Seafood Co.– $$$ Seafood, duh!- 341 S. Main/734-769-7738.
- Palio– $$$ Italian- 347 S. Main/734-930-6156.
- Champion House- $$$ Japanese Steak House/Chinese- 120 East Liberty/ 734-741-8100.
- Original Cottage Inn Restaurant– $$ Pizza, Italian- 512 East William/734-663-3379.
- China Chef- $ 2870 Washtenaw Avenue/734-434-8877. Good food, large portions, cheap prices. A little out of the way but worth the trip.
- The Quarter Bistro $$$ 300 South Maple/734-929-9200.
- Pizza House $$ /618 Church Street/734-995-4995
$= $5-$10 Entrees $$= $10-$15 Entrees $$$= $15 and Above Entrees
Hyped but overrated- think Drew Henson 🙂 These are the places that many people will always ask you if you’ve eaten upon hearing that you went to Ann Arbor…
- Gratzi– $$$ 326 South Main/734-663-6387.
- Gandy Dancer- $$$ 401 North Depot/734-769-0592.
- Zingerman’s– $$ 422 Detroit Street/734-663-DELI. New York deli- GOOD, New York Prices, OUCH
Where should I get my Michigan Gear?
No pilgrimage to the Big House would be complete without purchasing tokens of your devotion. There are numerous vendors selling stuff in and around the stadium.
- M Den– Around the stadium, no longer inside.
- Moe Sports Shops– 711 North University/1-800-319-6246 3103
What airport should I fly into?
The closest major airport is Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Ann Arbor City Airport is few miles from the stadium is the closest airport for private pilots to fly into.
Should I rent a car?
YES, while taxis are rumored to exist in Ann Arbor they’re hard to find on most days.
I hope you have a great time while you’re in Ann Arbor. Enjoy the game!