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Jim Harbaugh: “Tom Brady can rip it”

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Tom Brady seems to be enjoying his off season. The former Michigan Wolverine served as an honory captain Saturday at the Big House while Michigan hosted Colorado.

On Friday Brady played catch with his son at Michigan Stadium, as shown in the facebook video below.

Then Saturday afternoon Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and Brady played a little pregame catch.

Regarding the pitch and catch session with Brady Harbaugh said post game, “Two great thrills, two great thrills, looking back in my career of playing catch with different peope that was right there with playing catch with my dad.”

“Tom’s got a good arm by the way. He can rip it, he can throw it well. I wish I wouldn’ve given him the wind. Big thrill.”

“His (Brady’s) pregame talk was outstanding. It was very good, very from the heart.”

 

Michigan is young, talented and untested

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—There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the Michigan football program. The six days in between games are almost assuredly going to be filled with some Jim Harbaugh related headline as was the case this week.

Colorado put out the fake depth chart with old cartoon characters and what not. Harbaugh said it wasn’t very amusing and we expected the Wolverines to trounce the Buffaloes. Then an actual football game took place.

The Buffaloes took an early 14-0 lead. And with that all the early season promise Michigan had shown seemed to be in jeopardy.

Michigan put a score on the board in the first quarter with a blocked punt return for a touchdown, but then Colorado made it 21-7 with a long ten play drive culminating in a touchdown.

Then Michigan put their foot on the gas. They scored two touchdowns and a field goal to give them a 24-21 halftime lead. Momentum blue, but still a very good change for the huge upset.

Those hopes looked very promising as Colorado scored quick to open the second half with a three play drive which included a 70-yard touchdown pass from Sefo Liufau to Shay Fields.

Once again Michigan would tighten up and slam the door shut scoring three straight touchdowns while allowing none to finish off the Buffaloes 45-28.

 

 

One thing is clear: Michigan can score.  The Wolverines have scored 159 points over their first three games and that’s a school record.

“They knew it was a fight, because heard them talking about it,” Harbaugh said post game.

“I look at every football game that has ever been played, or will be played, it’s a battle seeing who the best players are in a football games.”

It appears that Michigan has two Achilles heels: It’s defense and its youth.

“That’s a veteran team (Colorado). 20 starters I believe,” Harbaugh added.

And we’ve got quite a few guys who are playing in their second or third games, young to college football I thought they acquitted themselves very well.  We’re striving to get better as fast as we can.”

Tom Brady was a guest captain Saturday for his alma mater Michigan. Harbaugh said Brady gave a “great message” going through the “position groups” and letting them know they were expected to play as the greats have played at that position in the past at Michigan.

Harbaugh added, “Tom Brady has a great arm, he can rip it.”

Michigan opens the Big Ten season next Saturday against Penn State at Michigan Stadium.

 

At peace, the Old Ball Coach Comes Home

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Steve Spurrier perhaps one day soon will be a relic of a different era.

An era we call the 1990’s.

Back then there was no hotter product than Florida Gator football in its purity of offensive attack, also known as the “Fun ‘n’ Gun” offense.

Spurrier’s tally at Florida: a national title, six SEC championships and 122 wins.

 

Spurrier left Florida in 2002 after a glorious 12-year run in Gainesville. Even then, as he sat at Redskins park, he was going over old film from ’96, the national championship year.

As history shows, his offensive genius didn’t translate into being the big head ball coach for a professional football team. Spurrier went 12-20 for the Redskins and walked away from a giant contract with apologies to Redskins fans that things didn’t work out.

Spurrier found new life after the University of South Carolina hired Spurrier to coach the Gamecooks after a three-year absence from coaching.  Spurrier found a comfortable spot at South Carolina but the old magic just wasn’t the same-all though he didn’t manage to come up with a few one-liners for the media and sideline reporters in his time. That’s not to say he wasn’t successful but it wasn’t Spurrier at Florida.

Last October Spurrier had had enough. He resigned at USC and thus began his casual saunter into retirement.

His best years were at Florida.

And now he is home.

Saturday at the place he nicked named “The Swap”, they named the field after him. And he even did a little Usain Bolt to commemorate the moment.

At the age of 71 old ball coach looks to be at peace. Not that he ever was the sort not to be at peace, but perhaps in the kinda of place old coaches have a hard time finding.

His new autobiography is out entitled, “Head Ball Coach: My Life in Football”.

He explains that the visor was just about being different, that we’re different and we’re going to have fun playing football. In terms of the nickname “Head Ball Coach” Spurrier explains:

“The nickname Head Ball Coach sort of evolved over the years and stuck. In Johnson City, Tennessee, where I played youth and high school sports, the term “ball coach” just described someone who loved sports or taught or coached ball of any kinds. A group of us guys in high school played three sports under three different coaches. We just called them ball coaches. “He’s a good ball coach,” we’d say. We dropped the foot in football because there were good coaches in other sports. A lot of people used it-not just me-instead of using the word football. ”

“At some point I started referring to myself as just a ball coach. Later at Florida, someone referred to me as Head Ball Coach. I’m not sure who started it, but a guy named A.J. Vaughn from Jacksonville a friend of sportswriter/broadcaster David Lammn, bought me a shirt with HBC on it, and the nickname seemed to stick.”

So there you have it, the Head Ball Coach, became the ball coach, and now is the 71-year old retired ball coach and ambassador at the University of Florida.

 

 

 

 

To the chagrin of many, Joe Paterno will be honored by Penn State

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It’s the story of a universally beloved man, who by all accounts, worse sin in the eyes of many was that he was hanging around the job too long. Then in November of 2011, Joe Paterno’s former assistant, Jerry Sandusky, was indicted on 52 counts of child molestation.

It’s been a while since something was officially done to honor Joe Paterno at Penn State University. For that matter by anyone with official ties to the state of Pennsylvania.

In fact since Paterno was fired as head coach on November 9th 2011 and his subsequent death roughly 70 days later in January of 2012 Penn State has not moved towards restoring the now deceased football coaches former spot as a beloved figure in campus life. Many people would say that is the wise course of action based upon the consensus that he was aware of the sexual abuse that took place under his watch by assistant coach Jerry Sandusky for many years.

 

 

Administrators, athletic department officials, coaches, you name it, for the most part have understood that association and even comment on the record appearing sympathetic to Paterno could be, and would likely, understood as condoning the actions of Jerry Sandusky and thus unsympathetic to the victims of his horrific crimes.

Ultimately, as time moves forward the public stance seems to have softened, at least from the high plates of public anger we have seen since 2011.

And with that, Penn State released its 2016 football “promotions” scheduled.”

Bulleted for all to see if the item for Sept. 17th:

• Commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Coach Joe Paterno – Activities during the game will take place to commemorate Joe Paterno’s first game as the head football coach at Penn State — September 17, 1966.

Nothing more, nothing less was said by any Penn State official about the item. But those who follow these things closely, jumped on it, word spread, particularly on Twitter it appears and thus it became a news item just two days prior to the kick off of the 2016 Penn State football season.

Ironically, or perhaps as expected no Penn State administrator, including the school’s director of athletics, president or football coach would comment or have commented on the decision to honor Paterno. There’s still a huge hesitancy to appear sympathetic to the shame, embarrassment, horror, and disgusting crimes committed by Sandusky.

ESPN’s College Football Studio host and play-by-play man Rece Davis said Thursday on Sports Center, “I thought at the very least, the timing makes it incredibly tone-deaf.”

Davis continued, “There are very strong opinions on both sides as to what Joe Paterno’s culpability was and how he should be treated in terms of the memory and legacy of Penn State.”

“At this time with the documents that are unsealed there are still cases out there that are to be settled both civil and criminal, and it just seems like a tone-deaf move and not the right time.”

“I think that if you come to a place eventually, and i’m not sure if Penn State will come to this place. If they come to a place that you fully recognize and honor Joe Paterno again, I don’t think you try to just slide it by as an “Oh by the way we’re going to do this.”

“It seems to be maybe, they are testing the waters to see what the reaction would be to do something like this.”

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