Let's Hear it for...

Bill Martin...

He's reportedly kept the Michigan Athletic Department under budget for the 8th consecutive year. From mgoblue.com...

Total revenues for FY 2009 are budgeted to be $90.5 million and total operating expenses are budgeted at $80.2 million. The Athletic Department is a self-supporting unit that does not receive financial support from the University's General Fund budget.

"We are pleased to project another operating surplus for FY 2009, the eighth straight year of operating surpluses," Athletic Director Bill Martin said. "To achieve competitive excellence requires a significant financial commitment. We are proud to be able to field an outstanding, well-rounded athletic program, build new facilities and fund all our sports to the full NCAA scholarship limit."

In the fiscal year that ends June 30, 2008, Athletic Department revenue will have provided $14.06 million in athletic financial aid—including tuition, housing and books—to 481 student-athletes who compete in the 25 men's and women's sports.

Good job. Way to...do...your job.

Jim Delaney...

What started out more than a year ago as a power struggle to see who would cave first, the Big Ten Network is coming to Comcast. Props to Delaney for being arrogant and stubborn. You outlasted your big business cable company counterparts.

While I can't say I watch the channel everyday, when I do tune in, I am typically impressed. The fit and finish of the programs, and production value is usually very high. The on-air talent is pretty good, and they're not taking commercial breaks more than anyone else. So you don't feel like its a bargain basement network.

1997 Michigan Ball-Boys...

Apparently, during that year's Northwestern game, these two ball boys on the Michigan sideline noticed that someone on the NW sideline had been able to forecast Michigan's runs/pass plays.

Here's the free press article. Quote...

"There was a guy on their sideline that day, and he had our signals down pat," Datz said. "Every time, he would scream into the defense what we're going to do -- pass or run -- and he was almost always right. ...

"They were blowing up draws, calling our counters and destroying our screen passes -- all a big part of our plays that year. I was just screaming mad. Youtan and I are thinking to ourselves, 'This guy has us.' "

They somehow needed to inform the U-M coaches. So early in the third quarter, according to the managers, Youtan ran around the field to talk with Magnus.

Magnus' job was to hold the cords to Carr's headphones. He, too, was expected to keep his mouth shut, stay out of the way and keep the wires from entangling the boss.

But Magnus decided the information was so important that he had to approach Carr.

"Your heart skips a few beats," he said. "But it's a fairly stressful issue if they know all our plays."

So he took the plunge and told Carr what Datz and Youtan had observed.

"I absolutely remember that," Carr said recently. "The reason I do remember it is I don't ever remember anybody else offering advice or information during a game.

"Those are all bright guys that get into those positions. But that's the only time I remember one telling me something."

But that still wasn't enough for the coaches to change their signal calling. So later in the quarter, Datz said he ran around the field to repeat the message to Magnus.

The play that finally sold the U-M coaches on the need to adjust came on a third-and-25 with less than three minutes left in the third quarter. That's when U-M tailback Clarence Williams ran a sweep -- an odd call for that down and distance -- and two Wildcats grabbed him behind the line of scrimmage.

All kidding aside, but how surprised are we that someone on the other sideline knew when Michigan was going to run or was going to pass. The drunk 50 year old guy behind me is pretty good at calling those too.

Either way, its an interesting story.

The author of this blog turns one year older tomorrow. So, enjoy the weekend. Enjoy your summer solstice. And enjoy the longest day of the year. Throw a few back for the old Maize & Blue!

Cheers!

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