Category Archives: Popular Culture

No Fluke?

Based on the game so far, it looks like Michigan is for real. A for-real loser, that is…

[Update a few minutes later]

A comment over at rec.sport.football.college…

[The Wolverines] are absolutely *killing* Appalachian State’s strength-of-schedule.

Heh.

At the half, they’re down four scores (32-7). I’d sure like to be a fly on the wall in the Michigan locker room.

Anyway, I’m glad I didn’t spend twenty bucks on ESPN game plan to watch the slaughter. It’s not like there were any other games there that I wanted to watch.

[Update a couple minutes later]

OK, last week, it was clear that the defense was weak. But this week, it’s clear that the offense is as well. Both Henne and Hart have produced in past seasons, so I have to think it’s the O-line.

Either way, I was laughing off suggestions that Lloyd would leave over this, but if it keeps up, and Michigan has a losing season (when was the last time that happened?), it could happen. Interestingly, his early years were his best.

[Update at quarter to six Eastern]

Well, it turns out that it’s the local ABC game, so I don’t have that excuse not to watch. Apparently, senior quarterback Henne’s been injured, and replaced. It’s unclear whether that’s a good or a bad thing. But he can’t be feeling very good about his senior season at this point…

[Update after end of game]

OK. It’s pretty clear that Michigan completely sux. The question now is, what will the Athletic Department do about it?

Well, You Can’t Say They’re Overrated Now

When was the last time that Michigan wasn’t ranked in the top twenty-five in football? I guess the question is now, how many teams do they have to beat to get ranked again? If they go undefeated through the Wisconsin game, that seems like it should be enough. In fact, assuming that Wisconsin is undefeated at the time, it should put them back in the top ten, and Saturday’s game will be viewed as a fluke. That is one advantage of an early loss. But that loss will haunt them all the way through the end of the season, in terms of what bowl they go to, even if they’re undefeated from here on out. Not that I expect that, of course.

Well, You Can’t Say They’re Overrated Now

When was the last time that Michigan wasn’t ranked in the top twenty-five in football? I guess the question is now, how many teams do they have to beat to get ranked again? If they go undefeated through the Wisconsin game, that seems like it should be enough. In fact, assuming that Wisconsin is undefeated at the time, it should put them back in the top ten, and Saturday’s game will be viewed as a fluke. That is one advantage of an early loss. But that loss will haunt them all the way through the end of the season, in terms of what bowl they go to, even if they’re undefeated from here on out. Not that I expect that, of course.

Well, You Can’t Say They’re Overrated Now

When was the last time that Michigan wasn’t ranked in the top twenty-five in football? I guess the question is now, how many teams do they have to beat to get ranked again? If they go undefeated through the Wisconsin game, that seems like it should be enough. In fact, assuming that Wisconsin is undefeated at the time, it should put them back in the top ten, and Saturday’s game will be viewed as a fluke. That is one advantage of an early loss. But that loss will haunt them all the way through the end of the season, in terms of what bowl they go to, even if they’re undefeated from here on out. Not that I expect that, of course.

Hats Off To The Mountaineers

They sure deserved to win that game. It’s not the end of the Wolverine’s season, but it almost certainly wipes out any title hopes. It wasn’t clear to me whether the defense just stank, or whether Appalachian State was that good. The coming weeks will tell.

[Update a few minutes later]

It wasn’t just the defense. Special teams fell down, too, losing in the final seconds. You don’t win national championships by having two field goals blocked in a game.

[Another update]

One more thought. When was the last time Michigan lost three straight games (over two seasons, of course). And it’s been a long time since they lost an opener as well. They usually stumble when they play the Irish in the second or third game.

[Sunday morning update]

As I note in comments, it just occurred to me that the Wolverines haven’t won a football game since Bo Schembechler died.

And Iowahawk kindly sends along this song. There ain’t no freude like schadenfreude.

“Hail To The Victors” it’s not.

[Update on late Sunday morning]

Should Michigan even be ranked now? I think not. Just shows the stupidity of pre-season polls. They can earn their way back into the top ten, but they have to run the table now.

[Afternoon update]

Here’s a Michigan fan, drowing his sorrows in…kittens.

Well, they are cute.

Batboy Weeps

An entertaining history of the late Weekly World News:

Clontz, who died in 2004, legendarily instructed his reporters to stay out of the way, let the sources tell the story: ”You’ve got to know when to stop asking questions.” If a guy called in and said Bigfoot stole his wife, then Bigfoot stole his wife. Why fact-check your way out of that one?

”We knew our core constituency wasn’t just college kids who are laughing at everything, but many people took the stories straight up and enjoyed them for what they were,” said former WWN managing editor Sal Ivone, proud author of the tortured-genius-demands-lobotomy classic. “They didn’t want to question it. So that was the way we played it.”

For a while, readers lapped it up. Circulation peaked at 1.2 million in 1988 with a front-page edition declaring ”ELVIS IS ALIVE — and living in Kalamazoo.” The tip was phoned in by a Michigan housewife.

A story would often start with a shred of truth and then a WWN writer would ”polish” it, sometimes to brilliantly ridiculous extremes. That’s why the WWN was the only media outlet to score exclusive Hubble telescope photos of Heaven.

”I always thought of it as the ultimate in wish-fulfillment,” Ivone said.

…Ivone said running characters like Bat Boy were a byproduct of reader appetites for story arcs.

Bat Boy was one of those happy accidents that could only occur at the Weekly World News. Dick Kulpa, the WWN’s graphics genius, was Photoshopping a human child’s image into another alien baby.

Tired of the same-old, same-old, Kulpa gave the tyke pointy ears, fangs and huge eyes. Ivone, who was standing nearby, muttered: ”Bat Boy!” The rest is blissful tabloid history.

It will be missed.