Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mail Time!!

Finally! The weather is starting to break, the Tigers are beating the Indians into a bloody pulp, and the stress and agony over final exams are starting to subside. Spring is definitely here to stay. Blogging has been somewhat light recently but look for it to pick up as classes end.

I also want to thank everyone who has been regularly checking the blog and those who have been providing feedback. We work hard to keep the Blog as current as we can and really enjoy the comments from everyone who has been reading
Due to the recent surge in popularity of Maize and Blog, our faithful readers have been kind enough to send us their feedback. Having finally been able to sit down and go through the messages, here is the long awaited first "Mail Bag" of spring.

Who do you think deserves to be Michigan's Athlete of the Year?
-Mary Sue C., Ann Arbor, MI

As far as male athletes go, it has to be Kevin Porter. Although my distaste for hockey in general is high and its lack of popularity nationally makes it hard to follow, no Michigan athlete has done more with less this season. Most people wrote him, and his teammates, off in mid-October with 12 freshman coming in, but Porter put on the blinders and went to work as Michigan Hockey's Thoroughbred. He led the nation in points and goals, and was named National Player of the Year by multiple news organizations (including the Hobey Baker Award). The one person you could make an argument for here is Zach Putnam from Baseball, but his year isn't over and Porter would be hard to beat regardless.

For the Women: This one is a little more difficult. Jordan Taylor in Softball has played extremely well for a freshman in her first season, but it has yet to be seen what she can do down the stretch. That said, Katie Brudzinski wins my vote. She led the Volleyball team to the program's best record in its history and leaves Michigan as the all-time kills leader. She also wins this years "Wayyyyy too Excited to be interviewed for a student station" award thanks to an interview she gave for WOLV's Sportsnite program. Nevertheless, she's a great player and good person who is definitely deserving.
How good do you think my chances are at winning All-Conference honors my first season at Michigan?
-J. Taylor, Valencia, CA
I think your chances are similar to those of the Tigers in this game I'm currently watching: Really good, but stranger things have happened (Thank You, Jason Grilli). But if the Michigan women are Big Ten softball champions, you will be an instrumental part in that win and will not be overlooked by the voters.

Oh... and a word of advice: Make sure to eat the muffins at West Quad. WCBN cook and nutritionist Stu Zaas claims that the muffins will be a key to victory down the stretch and is working in conjunction with cafe personnel to make sure they are available before every start.

Of the new coaches (hired in the last year) at Michigan, who will have the worst season of all them? It's not me, is it?
-Rich R., Ann Arbor, MI

No, I don't think you will win "Goat-Coach of the Year" at Michigan next year (name change of this award to the "Amaker Award" is pending). I think Greg Ryan in women's soccer (formerly the U.S. national team coach)will have the worst season. You remember Ryan: He was the guy in last year's women's world cup who played 65 year-old Briana Scurry in favor of Hope Solo against eventual champ Brazil... and Solo just happened to be the tournament's best goaltender up to that point. It would've been just like what happened in Mighty Ducks 2, when Coach Bombay called in Julie the Cat for the shootout versus Iceland...if Julie the Cat had fallen on her face while skating from the bench to the net, and then gotten beat five-hole to lose the game. That's pretty much the equivalent to Scurry's performance in the U.S.A's 4-1 semi-final beat down. However, the outlook for the Michigan team is much better. They have a young, talented team, but are another year away from a breakout season. I think I might make it out to a couple matches, perhaps with my "Briana Scurry got you this job" sign.

Who will have more wins this season? The Lions or the Wolverines?... and sorry if this message gets cut in the middle. My hideout- er, I mean "off-season summer house in the hills" - doesn't get good Wi-Fi signals.
-M. Millen, undisclosed location

It's tough to say at this point. The Wolverines are a young team and the Lions just got rid of just about every recognizable player on the roster. They looked like the Florida Marlins of the NFL the way they were cutting payroll this past off season. I think it'll be a rough fall for either team, but I think Coach Rod's system will be one that Big Ten coaches aren't used to seeing from a Michigan team and will help garner a few surprise victories. But with the Lions... its the same crap, just different year. Maize and Blue with the edge.
If you would also like to contribute to the Mail Bag, post your questions in the "Comments" forum below. My e-mail inbox is undergoing renovations (making the big Gmail switch), so for the time being the Comments box will have to do.


Anonymous said...

Who is finishing higher this season, softball or baseball?
-Troy M., Saline

Anonymous said...

why do you have comments about every sport but womens soccer, only negative things to say about the coach which has abosuolutley nothing t do with U of M ssoccer. Matt Boyer needed to go to a few games and think before he speaks.