Tuesday, September 30, 2008
There is a fine line between being a fan and being an idiot. I find the type of fan that would boo your own players one minute and then cheer loudly for them the next minute to be -- untrustworthy.
A few simple thoughts I would ask you to consider:
1) Booing your favorite college football team in your stadium is not acceptable. These are 18-24 year old kids working their asses off. Yes, your purchased ticket gives you the right, but it is not OK.
2) The players can not tell the difference between booing the coaching and booing their play. That excuse is off the table.
3) It is OK to boo a bad call by the ref and poor sportsmanship.
3) If you feel frustrated with the quality or style of play, I would suggest you talk to the person next you about suggestions for improvement, stand up walk out and get a coke, or yell something constructive like DEEEFENSE or LET'S GO BLUE.
4) You do not know more about football that the current staff of coaches. You may have coached your kids soccer or baseball team, but you do not know more about THIS team at THIS moment.
5) You are not a better football player than the dudes in the cool winged helmets. You may have played in high school or even in college, but you could not play QB better than Steven Threet right now.
If you disagree with me, I assume it is because you have a passionate love for the program. If this is the case, look at it simply as an investment in our future... What recruit in his right mind would want to come to play for a school that has idiotic booing fans when they can choose another place with passionate adoring fans ?
This system re-construction project is going to take a long time. The debate on "is RR the right guy" or "should it have occurred this way" has long past, get over it. In the future, there will be pathetic moments like the first 10 minutes of the Notre Dame game -- AND there will also be glorious moments like the 4th quarter of the Wisconsin game. If you can't take the bumpy ride, do us all a favor and hop off the bandwagon. There will be plenty of room for you when things get better.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Deflated. Poor Wisco and it's fans.
D = 500th game, part A and part B. Crazy win.
Defense wins the game. How they were able to keep Wisco to 19 points in the first half is beyond me.
Don't be fooled though: Michigan has one of the nation's worst offenses, ranking 93rd in scoring and 110th in yardage. To compound that, only three teams -- Hawaii, Washington State and Wyoming -- have lost more turnovers per game than our 3.5.
Don't stop believing......
I'm off for a few days to celebrate the Jewish New Year. Id sa'id to our Muslim friends too!
This offense will be a lot more fun to watch when we have a quarterback that can run it correctly all the time. I am happy the Threet turned it around in the 4th quarter, but that was painful to watch most of the game.
The much talked about Barwis conditioning program showed up in the 4th quarter. The harder you work, the luckier you get.
Senior Terrance Taylor had some choice words at halftime. When you lose it is a further erosion of family values -- when you comeback and win it is called leadership.
Michael Phelps must have a contract with someone other than Adidas. Note the generic #8 jersey.
Penn State looked good even if I had to watch their HD offense in non-HD - but I don't think they are better than the Bucks.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Expert: Fady D. Isho
Subject: Badger vs. Wolverine
It has been two long weeks since Fumblepalooza '08 and I am ready for some football. Wisconsin is currently the highest ranked team in the Big 10 conference and everyone expects them to dispatch the young Wolverines quickly and easily. But Rich Rodriguez's Wolverines are rested and improving. We have dominated this series holding an all time 48-12-1 record. Before these two weasels slug is out on the nicest plastic grass in Washtenaw county, you need to know a little more about Wisconsin:
You can't do a Wisconsin KYF without quoting our KYF founder Benny: What other school could possibly have a logo/seal that looks like a beer label?
History: The University of Wisconsin was born on the same day as the state on March 13th, 1848. The school was decreed in the Wisconsin Constitution, requiring a prominent public university “at or near Madison". Nelson Dewey (Wisconsin’s first governor) signed the act that formally created the new university, and its first class, with 17 students, met in an existing Madison school building on February 5, 1849.
Location: Madison is far and away the best college town I have ever had the pleasure to visit. Mad-Town holds a distinctive place in my heart because it was the first place that I ever bought and drank a beer legally (18 year olds were grandfathered when the state went to a 21 year old drinking age). Every person I know that went to UW holds Madison in very high regard, despite the brutal winters. Wisconsin was named the number one "party school" in the May '06 issue of Playboy. In 2007 the Princeton Review awarded Wisconsin the first place prize for beer consumption. For my tastes Madison has everything you look for in a college town: a great campus, many big trees, classic building architecture, a funky liberal political slant, serious tail-gating, quality restaurants, loads of entertaining college bars, and an easy to walk to the football stadium.
Nickname/Mascot: They call themselves the Badgers. The badger is actually quite similar to a Wolverine -- in that they both belong in the carnivorous mammals Mustelidae (Weasel) Family. Badger meat was once a main meat source in the Native American diet, but since Badger are now a protected species in North America – it is difficult to find their meat at a standard US grocery store.
The cute Wisconsin mascot is named Bucky the Badger (official full name is Buckingham U. Badger). He was first drawn in 1940 by a local artist named Art Evans. An actual badger from Eau Claire was used at the first football games that year, but the badger proved to be too much to handle and was retired to a zoo. After that, the school replaced the live badger with a live raccoon named Regdab ('badger' backwards). In 1949, a Bucky head-piece was created and a contest was started to properly name the mascot. In 2006, Bucky was inducted as a charter member of the Mascot Hall of Fame's College Division
Colors/Logo: Yet another opponent that wears variation of red, this one is cardinal and white. Their logo is a stylized “motion W”. Wisconsin actively protects their W trademark, even to the point of pushing the CLC taking other colleges and high schools to court and forcing them to change their logo. So far, they have been in disputes with schools in New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Iowa, Texas, and West Virginia.
Helmets: Wisconsin's helmets have evolved over the years from a strangely cool W on the front to a several versions of the W the sides of the headgear. The current “motion W” design was introduced in 1991 and has become the standard.
Wisconsin wore those funky W in the front 1960's style “throw back” helmets in their 2005 game against Bowling Green. They won that game 56-42, which was the second-most points scored at Camp Randall Stadium, trailing only the 1890 shutout of UW-Whitewater by the score of 106-0. They have not worn them since. If Wisconsin was Notre Dame, they would wear those helmets every couple of weeks.
Red helmets were used at occasionally in each year from 1967 through 1970, but not during every game. And during the 1969 season, one Wisconsin player was presented the "Savage Award" after each game, which entitled him to wear a black helmet for the rest of the season. Imagine the confusion of playing a team with players in several different color helmets ? The 1969 Badgers were 3-7.
Fight Song: "On, Wisconsin!" is the name the Badger's fight song. It is also doubles as official state song. That title originally gained fame as the battle cry that Lieutenant Arthur MacArthur, Jr. used to rally his US troops in the Civil War Battle of Chattanooga at Missionary Ridge. He won the Medal of Honor for his actions. He later became an Army General, and had a son named Douglas (who also became a General and won a Medal of Honor) that turned out to be a pretty good solider.
The tune was composed in 1909 by William T. Purdy, with the intention of entering it into a competition for a new fight song at the University of Minnesota. Carl Beck, a former University of Wisconsin-Madison student, convinced him to withdraw it from the contest at the last minute and allow his alma mater to use it instead. Beck then wrote the original, football-oriented lyrics.
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Plunge right through that line!
Run the ball clear down the field
A touchdown sure this time. (U rah rah)
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Fight on for her fame Fight!
Fellows! - fight, fight, fight!
We'll win this game.
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Stand up, Badgers, sing!
"Forward" is our driving spirit
Loyal voices ring.
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Raise her glowing flame
Stand, Fellows, let us now
Salute her name!
Academics: Considering the size of the Wisconsin student population (41,000+ enrolled) coupled with the volume of beer consumed, the academics here are not bad at all. Wisconsin is currently ranked #35 in the US News National ranking (tied with Georgia Tech, Lehigh, UCSD, and Rochester). This places them as the 3rd highest ranked Big Ten School (Behind Northwestern and Michigan). Students and alumni really pump up Wisconsin by saying it's a great combination of academics and a fun party school. And if you have ever been there, you would agree.
Athletics: Wisconsin competes in the Big Ten Conference in all sports except men's and women's ice hockey and crew. Before the 1990s, Wisconsin was a perennial Big Ten football doormat, competing with Northwestern for the distinction of favorite homecoming opponent. All that changed with the arrival of Barry Alvarez; they have won three football Big Ten titles, three Rose Bowls, and a Heisman trophy. They have consistently fielded quality football teams. This football success has spread to other sports. In basketball they have been to the NCAA tournament for nine straight seasons, and they made it to the Final Four in 2000. They also have a National Championship in basketball, in 1941. Their hockey teams have always been strong, and in 2006 they made history when both the men's (their 6th) and women's (their 1st) hockey teams were crowned NCAA National Champions. They have also won recent National Championships in Cross Country, Indoor Track & Field, and Soccer.
I can't mention Wisconsin sports without mentioning the 5th quarter. This tradition has become nationally famous. Win or lose, fans sing, dance and cheer with the band as they play fun stuff like The Bud Song. Originally, this post-game concert was designed to give the fans something to listen to on their way out of the stadium, but it developed into a huge post-game party. I know many students that would miss the game and show up late in the 4th quarter to enjoy the band.
Famous alums: The Wisconsin list of notable alumni is a solid mix of folks that includes 12 Nobel Prize winners and a 7 Pulitzer Prize winners. Famous names of note are aviator Charles Lindbergh, Harley-Davidson founder William Harley, historian and author Stephen Ambrose, MLB commissioner Bud Selig, 1970s rockers Steve Miller (left six credits short of a degree) and Boz Skaggs, Wizard of Oz munchkin Meinhardt Raabe, and architect Frank Lloyd Wright (he attended, but did not graduate).
Yes… Wisconsin has three astronauts the most famous being Apollo 13 hero Jim Lovell (attended for 2 years but transferred to the Naval Academy). No… former US Presidents, but they have a kick-ass statue of Abe Lincoln and they did give US Grant an honorary degree in 1879. In addition, they can claim Iajuddin Ahmed, who is the current President of Bangladesh.
The Game: Two weeks ago I would have not given this Michigan team a chance in hell against an experienced and talented Wisconsin team. But proving that my perceived current level of pain (quite low, thanks to the bye week) and can alter my recall of past pain (ouch… Notre Dame Fumblepalooza) -- I have somehow become optimistic about our chances.
Here is my logic: Wisconsin is not a dynamic passing or speedy spread team -- they run the ball in the classic Big Ten manner. If anything, we should be able to stop a predictable run offense. Combined with the dynamic improvement of our offense witnessed during the ND game, I will not be shocked if we pull out an upset victory in a close game. The education of Steven Threet and the growing legend of Sam McGuffie takes another positive step.
Michigan 23 Wisconsin 20
Go Blue !
The Miller family farm, ca. 1902 at the future site of Michigan Stadium. The buildings stand at the approximate site of section 23. John Miller, whose father built the house, was a ticket attendant at gate no. 6 on opening day and manned the post for fifty years.
A few fun facts:
1) The stadium is actually built on the site of an underground spring/lake. Because of the high water table, the ground had to be lowered, which is why the bowl is underground and not above ground. Legend has it that there is still a steam shovel used during construction stuck in the quicksand/muck beneath the stadium.
2) The first game at Michigan Stadium was October 1, 1927 against Ohio Wesleyan. Michigan won that 'contest' 33-0.
3) Fuzzy Math???? Need some fact checkers please.....according to the Bentley's web site, the record thru 2006 at the Big House is 373-109-15. If you include the 5-3 record from the 2007 season as well as the 1-1 at home this season that brings the total up to 379-113-15 which would make tomorrow's game the 508th game????? and not really the 500th.
4) Most wins coached in the stadium? 129. Fielding H. Yost
5) Most losses coached in the stadium? 26. Bump Elliott
6) The last time there were fewer than 100,000 fans in attendance was Oct. 25, 1975. "Only" 95,857 were on hand for the 55-7 Michigan victory over Indiana.
7) The NCAA regular season attendance record was set against tUOS in 2003 when 112,118 were in attendance.
8) With attendance over 100,000 for each home game, Ann Arbor basically doubles in size. For the 3rd year in a row, Verizon will be activating a COLT (cell on light truck) on game days in order to handle the increased capacity of those in the stadium trying to use their cellys!!!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
McCain vs. Obama: yawn.... stretch/scratch... boring...
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The 1898 Wolverines were the first great Michigan team. They went 10-0 and won the Western Conference (now known as the Big Ten) championship. They outscored their opponents 205 - 26. They won their first meeting with what would become Michigan State (39-0) and they also shut out Notre Dame (23-0). The team finished the season by traveling to and beating Amos Alonzo Stagg's University of Chicago team 12-11. The winning touchdown was scored on a 65-yard run by Charles Widman (2nd row, 2nd from the right).
For such an important game, the Michigan Central Railroad set up special trains to take fans to Chicago for the game. One of those was a Michigan Music student named Louis Elbel. After the game everyone was going crazy and Elbel recalled, "somehow I had the presence of mind to write down the notes of that song. And, when I got to South Bend the next day, I not only tried out the song on my piano, but finished the entire refrain. Then the idea of a big march came to me, and I completed the whole work on the train that took me back to Ann Arbor for Monday's classes."
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
1) Brian Griese threw the ball 67 times and had 407 yards passing as the Tampa Bay Bucs beat the Bears in overtime. In his 14 year Hall of Fame career, Brian's Dad never threw for 400 yards in a game.
2) Amani Toomer had 5 catches against the Bengals, including a nice sideline grab in overtime. The NFL Champion Giants won and remain undefeated. The NFC East is stacked. The worst team in that division would win the others.
3) It looks like Brady Quinn may see the field sooner rather than later. Braylon Edwards and the Cleveland Browns continue to disappoint. Edwards had only 3 catches and the Browns lost in Baltimore. On sunday night I was wearing a Michigan T-Shirt and was heckled in Baltimore by tOSU fans wearing #17 Browns jerseys at the ESPN Zone near the stadium.
4) Bengals LB Dhani Jones followed up his 10 tackle performance last week with 12 tackles against the Giants. He leads the team in total tackles for the season.
5) Bengals RB Chris Perry scored his second career touchdown with a 25 yard run.
6) Lamar Woodley & Larry Foote each had a sack for the Steelers, but they lost to the Eagles.
7) Chad Henne got to play a little in the 4th quarter -- and the Dolphins crushed the Brady-less Pats.
7) The upcoming bye week is a blessing as it can't get much worse for the 0-3 Lions. How Matt Millen looks at himself in the mirror I have no idea ? Bill Ford Jr. says he would fire him. Pathetic.
Monday, September 22, 2008
But, I can't believe that she was so difficult to find... she was standing right next to Renee Alison on page 105. So... thanks to a stocked airport magazine rack, a bit of photoshop, and the magic of the Internet -- I am able to finally provide you with a look at Bobbie Korina. According to the accompanying text: Bobbie is a competitive cheerleader and has been featured on ESPN.
I don't think I saw three blonde Michigan co-eds during my entire 4 years in Ann Arbor.
For the record, while there are seven Michigan State entries, none of them is spectacular. This can not be said for Ohio State. Wow.
From the Chicago Tribune and SI:
Sophomore tight end Will Yeatman's Notre Dame career could be in jeopardy after he and freshman center Mike Golic Jr. were among 41 people arrested by South Bend Police on misdemeanor underage drinking charges early Sunday after the team returned from its 23-7 loss at Michigan State. Yeatman, who was also the lacrosse team's leading scorer in 2007, was arrested in January after driving drunk on a campus sidewalk (DUDE! T9). He pleaded guilty to drunken driving and reckless driving, although prosecutors agreed to dismiss the drunken-driving charge if he avoided more legal trouble for one year. Yeatman was suspended from spring football and the 2008 lacrosse season. He has two catches for six yards this season. Golic is the son of former Notre Dame defensive lineman and current ESPN radio and television personality Mike Golic. His uncle Bob Golic also was a star for the Irish, and his brother Jake is a high school senior tight end who has committed to Notre Dame. ''I was made aware of the situation late this afternoon and am currently looking into the matter,'' Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis said in a statement.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
The Chair of the panel is Ed Rothman, statistics professor. Ok, kids. Who remembers Ed Rothman?? Anyone out there take Stats as juniors? He taught all of us back in the day. But his real claim to fame, as any young female co-ed could tell you, was his wicked hard squash games at the CCRB--cuz that was when you could check out his wicked hot bod. sigh.
Other members of the panel include Dr. Deborah Berman, a physician who is a former member of the Women's Gymnastics team, Edie Goldenberg, a former dean of LS&A who is now a professor in the department of Political Science and Public Policy, Fritz Kaenzig the chair of the wind and percussion instruments and Professor of Tuba at the School of Music. Clearly chosen in deference to "Fritz" Crisler , and Robert Wallin Director of Academic services for LS&A. Not too shabby a team.
It will be interesting to hear their impressions of the whole "independent study" thing. I for one think it will be a fair and balanced investigation. But I'm sure that sru will claim, "Kangaroo Court" Time will tell.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
BLAH. Comcast has been out most of the morning. SORRY for the delay.
What to do on this bye-week??? Well, many of us will be mowing the lawn or grocery shopping or will be forced to spend "quality" time with the family. Bah-humbug.
For those still available to watch---The Men of Troy (who just spotted the Bucs 7 points) are taking on mighty tUOS , Navy takes on Rutgers (with our own Andy in the stands), and Sparty BETTER do it's job today against Emu and crew.
Comcast, or a wi-fi hotspot permitting, I'll be back on-line to comment, cajole, and otherwise avoid household chores with the rest of you!
Friday, September 19, 2008
Ok, ok. The truth of the matter is that if you ask any orthopedic surgeon, an anatomist, or the coach of a women's softball team they all will tell you that there is no reason why men and women should throw differently. It's all about nurture not nature. It's also what we call "proving the null hypothesis". There is no biological reason why my female sisters should throw like sissies......so STOP IT!
First a bit about the shoulder, courtesy of the gang at Wikipedia. Along with the hip, it is one of the most important joints around. The shoulder is really complicated as it is comprised of a multitude of tendons, muscle insertion points, joint spaces, and ligaments. All of this allows for a tremendous amount of rotation around the joint (360 degrees to be exact front to back) , but that leaves it open to a variety of injuries. Just ask Ben Roethlisberger....
In fact if little girls were TAUGHT how to throw overhanded, then you would actually believe that women could PLAY football. And, you would not snicker when I tell you that Ann Arbor has it's own semi-professional women's football team, The Tree Town Spitfire, of the National Women's Football Association.
So, sorry that I just tossed this post out like the girl that I am, but A) how the heck am I supposed to follow Playboy co-eds???. B) the null hypothesis is boring, C) f'n blogger ate the original well-designed version because it didn't autosave right, and D) work is the bane of a blogger's existence..............
I will try and hold down the fort whilst Andy is away with the boys. I can tell you that I tried to hang with them one weekend (as they were in A2), but I failed. By about 9 pm on Saturday night I cried uncle when they started doing tequila shots. And, I was promptly invited to leave. Now, in my defense, you must know that physiologically women cannot drink as much as men---nor, I have learned should we ever try to!!!! It's all about the alcohol dehydrogenase.
But that is for another Sports Science Friday................
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Breaking down from the data that I have been able to gather there are seven girls each from Michigan State and Indiana (they have twins), six from Penn State and Minnesota, five from Iowa and Purdue, three from Michigan and Ohio State, and two each from Illinois, Northwestern, and Wisconsin. The ratio of State to UM girls seems about right...
You can check out a sampling of the best of the B10 here - don't worry these pictures are pretty safe at home.
I have been able to locate two of the three entries from Ann Arbor:
<---- Caitlin Shannon (p. 108)
Renee Alison (p. 105) ---->
No digital sign of Bobbie Korina (p. 105) yet, but I will keep looking.
I guess there is an autograph session today in at Rick's Ann Arbor or something. If anyone can help me out here, I am sure that everyone would be very happy.
1) When Zoltan Mesko is finished, Ray Guy will be a distant memory of an average punter and uninspired leader.
2) Charlie Weis walked without the aid of a cane or crutches on Tuesday. Apparently has found a new miracle cure for a torn ACL/MCL... cheeseburgers covered in gravy !!
3) There is some concern at Auburn about the arrival of the GameDay crew. Whatever.. just show me some more Tiger Girls and everything will be OK (NSFW warning).
4) Steven Threet is the QB starter against Wisconsin. If Nick Sheridan ever sees another down of meaningful football this season we are all doomed.
5) Not sure if anyone saw it... but Ohio State lost on Saturday night to USC. The natives are getting restless and starting to tear at their own skins. At this rate, Terrell Pryor is going to be the starting QB by the Purdue game.
6) Buckeye Doug Worthington is sorry that he was "a drunk" and "a loser".
7) Iowa players are tired of getting booed, by their own student section.
8) Former Sparty Mark Ingram rediscovers the pleasant sound of prison doors being closed behind you.
9) Speaking of Sparty... Javon Ringer is a legit Heisman candidate (until they lose a meaningless game to a random B10 team) and Seven MSU girls pose in the Playboy Big 10 issue (which has an SEC Florida Gator girl on the cover?). While I have not seen the issue (yet) -- somehow they found three UM females to put in the issue. This could be interesting...
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
AC was a 3-time All-Big Ten and 3-time All-American. In 1980, his teammates voted him the Most Valuable Player Award, the first time for a sophomore at Michigan. In 1982, he was Michigan's Captain and named the MVP of the Big 10 Conference. In his career he had 36 touchdowns, 33 on pass receptions. He scored 240 points, which was a Michigan record, breaking the previous mark of 237 set by Tom Harmon in 1938-40 seasons. Michigan had a 35-13 record in his four years in Ann Arbor, won two Big 10 Championships. His teams went to four bowl games, and won the Rose Bowl and the Bluebonnet Bowl.
Happy Birthday to my favorite Michigan Player of all time !!!
Bob Ufer's call of Carter's 1980 touchdown against Northwestern.
For as long as I can remember Michigan has been blessed with outstanding offensive lineman. It is as much of a Michigan tradition as the winged helmets or the fight song.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Winner will be selected by T9 and will receive 35 Spawn Points (same number of points USC hung on TUOS on Saturday night) redeemable for future prizes and the coveted title of KING (or QUEEN) of CAPTIONS.
You would think they would have had better luck with their highly recruited invisible running backs.
2) Eagles rookie WR DeSean Jackson is a hot-dog of biblical proportions. If you did not see it, check out the video. It cost me a fantasy football win.
3) Nice to see Charles Woodson making an impact on the 2-0 Green Bay Packers. Even if it was at the expense of the Detroit Lions.
4) Sorry T9, but how bad are the Lions ? Does anyone think that Matt Millen should be allowed to show up in the office ever again ? Wow.
5) After 4 years, Chris Perry scores a touchdown for the Bengals.
6) Brian Griese leads the Bucs to a win and earns another start in the NFL.
7) Wolverine hunter Troy Smith lost nearly 20 pounds when a blood clot on the internal jugular vein in his throat caused an infection in his lungs. No word on if Teddy Ginn's Dad was there to give him his medicine.
Monday, September 15, 2008
We need this guy to conduct all of our post game press conferences going forward.
Reporter: This game against Notre Dame ?
Yes, you mean the one in which we fumbled the ball ?
Well, that is not very typical I want you to know...
Reporter: How is it untypical ?
Well, there was a lot of noise, we have a lot of freshman, and they fumbled the ball.
Reporter: Don't other teams have freshman and play in loud venues ?
There are a lot of good teams all over the country, just not this one, because they fumbled the football.
Reporter: Is this a good football team ?
Well, I was thinking about the other teams.
Reporter: The one's that are good
The one's that are not freshman and don't fumble the football.
Reporter: Well if your freshman fumble the football, why play them ?
Well some of them don't fumble to football at all.
Reporter: Did they get to play ?
Reporter: What type of practice drills do these freshman that fumble the ball get to ensure they hold on to it ?
Very rigourous ball security drills.
Reporter: What type of drills ?
Don't fumble the football to start.
Reporter: What else ?
Well, we have highly technical materials they wear on their hands.
Reporter: What materials ?
Butter is out.
Reporter: And ?
No butter derivitives.
Reporter: Like oil ?
No Oil. No petroleum jelly.
Reporter: So the allegations that this is not a good football team ?
Absolutely ludicrious, these are all very good football players.
Except, they fumbled the football.
Given all the slots needing to be filled, a 6-6 team is bound to make it. OR to put it another way we just need 5 more wins to keep Michigan's bowling streak alive.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Today is the 42nd birthday of Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Michael Shea, USMC. It also marks the 4 year anniversary of his death after he was hit by rocket fire near Fallujah, Iraq. Kevin is buried in Section 60 Site 8002 in Arlington National Cemetery outside of Washington DC. He was a fine Marine Officer, great Husband, loyal Son and loving Father. Most of all to me -- he was my Friend.
I first met Kevin while we were both at the Marine Corps Office Candidate School in the summer of 1988. We were both over sized for your typical Marine officer candidate and became fast friends after attempting to beat each others brains out with pugel sticks in a strange competition that only Marine Drill Instructors can fully appreciate. As young Lieutenants we were stationed together at Camp Pendleton before and after the first Iraqi war. Kevin Shea is one of my heros.
Kevin Shea was also a college football player. He played for the Air Force Academy Falcons and competed in the 1987 Freedom Bowl against John Cooper's last Arizona State team. Like most service academy football players he played the game because he loved it, not because he needed it. Kevin was a classic max effort "force the option pitch and chase down the running back from behind" type of defensive end. He also played on the AFA National Champion Rugby team. Upon graduation he completed the difficult and rare cross service transfer to the Marines because the Air Force didn't have infantry officers and he "was allergic to office work".
The next time you turn on a college football game and see Navy, Army, or Air Force playing -- watch closely the passion these guys bring to the sport. I can't watch a service academy football game any more without thinking about the players in the context of Kevin Shea. What they do with what they have is amazing. What they will do is even more amazing.
Semper Fi and Happy Birthday buddy.