Sit back, crack a brew (or two), fire up the grill, and enjoy celebrating our country’s independence with those fireworks you bought in Ohio (the one thing that state is good for). Stay safe, and have a great weekend.
Fixing up a couple things on the blog, so if stuff looks funny for the next couple days, it’ll be back to normal (and hopefully improved) by the end of the weekend.
You’ll have to bear with me on this one, but with the blog turning one year old today, I wanted to take a look back at some of my favorite posts here at TWB. I must say, it’s amazing how much of my material sounds completely idiotic in retrospect — I hope none of you dig through the archives as thoroughly as I just did, or you may never take anything I say seriously again. Luckily, I get to handpick these things, so here are my favorites from the first 365 days of the blog:
- How Much Can We Expect Tate Forcier to Improve? (12/10/09) — I spent far too much time crunching numbers on past true freshmen starters for this post, so please humor me and check it out if you didn’t see it originally.
- Mike Hart Good, Johnny Sears Bad: A Look at Michigan’s 3-Star Recruits (6/6/09) and Finding Gold in a Turdpile: A Look at WVU’s Recruiting Under Rich Rod (6/9/09) — A two-part look at recruiting, specifically addressing the hand-wringing over Rich Rodriguez’s three-star heavy class.
- Projecting Michigan’s 2009 Recruiting Class (6/21/09) — Taking a feature from my old blog, I took data from a decade’s worth of Michigan recruiting classes to project how the 2009 class would turn out. Just a season in, I’m already hilariously wrong on a lot of it.
- Putting Michigan’s Recruiting Class in Context (2/4/10) — A look at how Michigan’s 2010 recruiting class stacks up against other top-25 classes by teams coming off consecutive losing seasons.
- Square Pegs, Round Holes, and Jim Carty (8/12/09) — Law school was the right choice.
- #55 (11/23/09) — The culmination of my man-crush on Brandon Graham, in the wake of the Ohio State game.
- Top 15 of the Last 15 — A pre-2009 look at the 15 best players on each side of the ball from 1994-2008. The recap post also includes a highlight video I threw together of Charles Woodson and Braylon Edwards.
- Michigan’s Team of the Decade: Offense and Defense — Self-explanatory.
- Michigan State to Change Helmet Logo — This post somehow found its way onto SI’s Hot Clicks, which was pretty cool. Also, MGoGriff’s photoshop skills totally outclass mine.
- Just For Fun: Jimmy Clausen’s Tiny Hands — I may not like you, Jimmy, but you certainly have provided tons of great material over the last few years.
- This Had To Be Done — The photoshop pictured at the top of the post. I may have been swept up in the post-ND euphoria.
- Fun With Team Photos — A series born out of summer boredom. Not actually photoshop, but if you like hilarious facial hair, I’d recommend hitting that link.
- Tate Forcier: Weapon of Choice (bonus: Christopher Walken Edition) — For a very long time, this was the most popular post ever on the site. Considering it’s spring game highlights of a true freshman quarterback, this probably says something about the blog and Michigan fans in general. I’m not going to try to read into it.
- At a Loss for Words — When I said I may have been caught up in the post-ND hype, well, I wasn’t lying. I can still watch the highlights all day, though.
- Denard and Tate: The Trans DF Express — Post-Western game highlights of our two young quarterbacks, set to some classic Dungeon Family hip hop.
- It Could Be Worse: A Video — I probably owe Glenn Winston a royalty check or something. Sparty, no!
That’s all I’ve got for today. Thanks again to everyone who has stopped by the blog this past year, and I hope that next year’s best will involve a lot more winning.
Just one year ago today, after abandoning my old digs at The Ace of Sports and getting the go-ahead from my employers at The Wolverine, I started posting on this blog. To be honest, this “birthday” of sorts snuck up on me — I was moving things around on the sidebar a couple weeks ago and noticed that my archives went back to April 2009. So, I almost missed my blog’s first birthday, which would have been rather sad. Since I did manage to notice it, I’d like to share a few thoughts, and thank, well, everyone.
Looking at my stat counter never ceases to amaze me — in one year, the blog has grown from nothing and now has a hair over 264,000 views, without me doing too much in the way of self-promoting and advertising. I know that sounds arrogant and self-serving, but I don’t mean for it to come across that way at all. I want to thank all of you who have read the blog, told a friend about it, re-tweeted my posts, emailed an article, or in any way helped spread the word about the site. I still find it incredible that people take my work (if you can call it that — I don’t really consider writing about what I love to be “work”) seriously and enjoy (I hope) reading what I have to say. Just seeing the traffic to the site grow, getting emails from readers, and reading your comments is perhaps the most rewarding thing I’ve been able to do in my young life. I just want to thank all of you, the readers, first and foremost — without you, I’d just be some lunatic fan pouring far too much time into an online diary. So yeah, thanks for making me not feel like a crazy person, and for making this a truly rewarding experience.
I’d be very remiss to not mention the guys at The Wolverine. This blog started as a side project while I was an intern for them last year, and their continued support has been a huge reason why the blog has been so successful. They’ve opened up a ton of opportunities for me, including getting me into the press box at both Yost and the Big House, something I never imagined I would be able to do when I started college. I’ve met a lot of my sports heroes because of The Wolverine, and made a lot of lasting memories since I started working with them in the summer of 2008. I feel privileged to be able to have worked there, and really appreciate all they have done for me as an aspiring writer and as a lifelong Michigan fan.
I’d also like to thank all the Michigan bloggers out there who have helped out the blog by linking to the site and helping get me established as a part of the Michigan blogging community. In particular, Brian Cook at MGoBlog, in addition to being the inspiration behind me starting my own blog (like every other Michigan blogger out there, I know), has thrown a ton of traffic my way and even let me into the blogpoll. I got to do a podcast with him for the Michigan Daily last summer, and he provided some unsolicited advice about blogging afterward — he didn’t have to do that, and it’s something I really appreciate. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting Greg from MVictors because of the blog, and he’s been great about offering advice or just talking shop when we run into each other. Also, UMHoops‘ Dylan, a friend from high school, has been a huge help when I have a technical question about blogging, and he even referred me to FanVsFan, as well as linking over to the site many times. Though I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting the guys at Maize n Brew, Michigan Sports Center, UMGoBlog, The Blog That Yost Built, and any other site that has directed readers my way, a big thank you goes out to you all as well — it really is great to be a Michigan Wolverine.
Finally, I have to thank John U. Bacon, the tremendous author and radio host who also doubles as a Golden Apple-winning professor here at U-M. I was lucky enough to get into his History of College Athletics class as a sophomore, and taking that class really inspired me to take this sportswriting thing seriously. On top of teaching the best class I’ve ever taken, Professor Bacon has gone out of his way to make himself available if I need guidance or advice, and for that I am truly grateful.
There are probably several people I have forgotten to thank, and for that I apologize — if you run into me at one of Ann Arbor’s many fine drinking establishments, the first round is on me. I hope that all of you will continue to find my blog to be worth reading, and that this next year will be even more rewarding than the last.
It’s spring break here at Michigan, and I’m taking some well-deserved time off to head up north (yes, I’m a very typical Michigander). I will be back posting regularly on Monday. For coverage from last night’s basketball victory over Minnesota, make sure to head over to UMHoops. Have a great week, everybody.
You may be noticing a few changes to the site in the last day — namely, there are now some ads on the sidebars. Believe it or not, I’ve been keeping this blog up on my own time (read: for free) for a while now, but with the amount of time and effort it takes, I figured it’d be nice to see a little monetary reward for my work. So, I’m excited to say I’ve joined the FanVsFan Network, who’ll be helping me promote the site and, yes, add advertising. I’ll be tweaking the ads on the sidebars over the next couple of days as they integrate my site into the network, so if things are a little screwy, I’m working on it. In the meantime, please consider clicking an ad every once in a while if you want to support the site. Thanks for your support.
I’m currently stuck in the Detroit Metro Airport, waiting on a delayed flight to Fort Lauderdale so I can attend my cousin’s wedding Saturday afternoon (yes, I have already given him grief for scheduling a wedding during the fall … even worse, he’s a die-hard Florida fan. I thought he knew better). I probably won’t have any more content for the rest of the day, but I should have a preview post up tomorrow as soon as I find a place with wi-fi. Hopefully the hotel or a nearby bar will be carrying the Michigan game on Saturday, otherwise I’ll have to follow along on my laptop before heading to the wedding.