I know you thought this would be yet another series that never got off the ground but, ha! You were wrong! We may be slack-asses but, hey, we're your kind of slack-asses, right? That's why you keep coming back.
So today we're sharing the second of our "Better Know A Blogger" series, featuring the Big Ten blogger network. If you're not aware of the Michigan blog, MGoBlog, well, you just haven't been paying attention. Even OSU fans and blogs respect the work Brian does there and if you spend some time on his site you realize just how much work he must put into it. I asked him if he could share some time with us and he graciously agreed. And I didn't even have to put out.
Boiled Sports: Why "MGoBlog"?
Brian, MGoBlog: “MGoBlue” is a common thing to see on bumper stickers or posters or any sort of general what-have-you in the Michigan fan community. The official site is “MGoBlue.com.” It just seemed like a natural decision. I didn't realize it at the time, but it was an inspired choice. It's short, easy to remember, and super-easy to google. I now know why Web 2.0 startups invariably make up a word like “frozzbatozz!”
BS: “Upon Further Review” is brilliant for the true UM football junkie. How long does a “UFR” session take you? And is it your favorite ongoing feature? If not, what is?
B, MGB: I've never really timed it but on the order of several hours, depending on the importance of the game. I don't put much effort into figuring out what goes on in the fourth quarter of the EMU game. It don't know if it's my favorite ongoing feature – game columns are much more fun to write – but it's the most important. Without it I'm just a guy on the internet; with it I'm a guy on the internet who knows more than you about Michigan football.
BS: When you think of Purdue athletics, what do you think of?
B, MGB: Severe underperformance against Michigan, mostly. There have been some close games in the series, but it seems more often than not I'm way more nervous going into the Purdue game than the game itself warrants. Dropped passes, missed field goals, self-destruction of all kinds. It always seems like Purdue is this close to breaking through, but they never do. [Sniffle. We know. -- ed.] Also: life insurance.
BS: As a fan, would you rather see UM go 7-5 and go to a mediocre bowl but beat Ohio State to ruin a perfect season…OR… go 11-1, play in a Jan 1 bowl game but lose that one game to the Buckeyes?
B, MGB: 11-1. Is this seriously a question?
[At this point, I said, "Yes, it's really a question...bitch," then took a swing at him. Brian, to my surprise and ultimate detriment, turns out to be a fesity fighter. After thoroughly bloodying me, he pulled my face out of the urinal he was submerging me in and said, "Okay, NOW, do you want to continue the interview?"]
[Ed. note: The above paragraph is not true.]
BS: In a paragraph or two, sum up Michigan fans feelings, expectations and hopes going into the RichRod era, specifically for 2008.
B, MGB: In 2008? Most feel apprehensive, expect mediocrity, and hope to extend Michigan's nation-best bowl streak. Three returning starters on offense and one bullet each at a number of key positions, mostly QB and the offensive line, means Michigan is an injury or two away from mass chaos.
But Penn State manages to cobble together Alamo Bowl or better season with only the faintest tinge of an offense, and Rich Rodriguez is not Charlie Weis... those expecting a real soul-wrencher a la Notre Dame last year will be disappointed.
BS: Many of us know you shut the site down and had pink colors and kittens up after the Appalachian State game. Will that sting ever go away? Or has it already?
B, MGB: The shutdown was just to turn the comments off. Anyone who has The Horror happen to them and then does anything but not think about football for a few days (or months) needs help; if one person said “f-ck it, let's go bowling” because of it, mission accomplished. The kittens were just an attempt to be funny, because it was either that or spittle, and who needs spittle at a time like that?
But that's pretty much faded. Every coach associated with the loss is gone. It's a new era, a clean break, and that game may have saved us the specter of Mike Debord as the head coach. If Rodriguez pans out, Michigan fans may actually look back on that day as a positive.
BS: Best moment for you personally as a Wolverines fan? Worst moment for you as a Wolverines fan?
B, MGB: Best: walking on the field after the Ohio State game in 1997. Worst: the Horror.
BS: Do you have a college program other than your true love that you kind of have a guilty pleasure for? For example, despite all the haters, do you have a soft spot for Florida football or North Carolina basketball or something like that?
B, MGB: No, I think that sort of thing is reserved for fans of non alpha-dog teams. I've already got the team that can win big and has to win big for me to be happy. Picking another one would be like those guys who were Laker and Yankee fans growing up.
I have proof I'm not that person: when I finally got fed up with the Red Wings due to a combination of excessive payroll, horrible fans (quietest group of corporate lawyers in the NHL) and their constant importing of people I loathed (Chelios was the last straw), I went searching for another team and struck upon the Edmonton Oilers, then a hopeless small-market team getting killed by the Candian dollar and never going anywhere. The US dollars collapse and the CBA have evened things out, but at the time I was signing up for unending pain. This is why I can't get into the EPL, too. I won't pick one of the Big Four, and picking anyone else is pointless.
I do have some secret favorites, but they vary by situation. I think I'm going to be pulling for Georgia Tech over the next few years because I'm a sucker for an oddball system (and it's a dork school). I hated Nebraska when they were unstoppable but now that they're adrift, I feel for their excellent fans. If they go back to the option I will pull for them. And, ironically, I like West Virginia. The team has no talent but plays fast as hell and wins. It had Owen Schmitt on it. And the state is tiny and full of loons who sing 'Country Roads' unironically after games and care so much they'll kill you... what's not to love? They even have nice colors.
BS: In your opinion did Lloyd Carr stay too long? How will he be remembered by the UM faithful?
B, MGB: Carr obviously held on a year or three too long, but I think most Michigan fans will remember him fondly. Despite the disappointing finish to his career, he did have a national title and Michigan had something like the 7th best record in college football over his tenure. His overall record versus OSU was 6-7... not exactly Cooper.
Moreover, I think he just fit with the fanbase. He was cranky but erudite and passionate about college football. He railed against the increasing corporatization of the game. He read serious books. And when Bo died he gave a speech that I'll remember for a long time. I'll always want Michigan to win no matter who the coach is, but I wanted Lloyd to win. That ain't gonna happen with Rodriguez.
BS: Most of those of us who write one of these blogsites have a steady list of sites they visit every morning. What are some favorite blogs of yours to read? List as many or as few as you’d like.
B, MGB: The usual: Sunday Morning Quarterback, EDSBS, Black Heart Gold Pants. Eleven Warriors and Our Honor Defend are the best OSU blogs; Mvictors, Michigan Sports Center, UMHoops, Varsity Blue, and the Blog That Yost Built are go-to Michigan blogs. Hey Jenny Slater, Rocky Top Talk, Burnt Orange Nation... uh... Inside The Hall and Spartans Weblog, PJS and Gopher Nation, Garnet and Black Attack, the Joe Cribbs Car Wash, Get The Picture, Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician... there are literally too many to name. And I have to pour some out for dead homies Big Ten Wonk and RBUAS.
Also, a confession: I read Go Fug Yourself.
Previous subjects of the BS Interview Series:
Lake the Posts