Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Mixer: Finals Edition

It's Finals Week!!! That means a real lull in blogging and everyone too busy to celebrate the end of school/college. I'm sick of seeing the old baseball post remain at the top, so it's time for another edition of The Mixer!

I don't know how much longer I'll be blogging on this site (my next blogging site is in the works), but I just want to thank everyone who has visited our site regularly. I always enjoy hearing feedback from our listeners on MGoBlue or from our weekly shows. You guys have been awesome and it has been a great ride.

OK, put the tissues away. Time for The Mixer!

The week that was....: Hash Bash is a huge "tradition" at U of M, and I would be remiss not to acknowledge this. Now, in full disclosure, I DO NOT smoke weed. But I will never forget the first time I saw 60 year-old men in rainbow t-shirts walking down State Street my freshmen year. Only in Ann Arbor. I'll miss it. Anyways, here is the Family Guy song from last weekend (one of their best):

Cavs Playoff Proposal: I'll be at the Pistons game this Friday to watch LeBron complete Leg 3 of a first round sweep. It's so depressing to watch the shell of a championship team limp into the off-season. However, I'm still amazed at how loose the Cavs are right now. So much pressure to win the first professional title in their city going back to the 60's, yet they still have the sense of humor to do this...

Shameless Self-Promotion: Two new stories up from me this week. I told you guys about the Captain's Corner story I was working on, and that just got put up on MGoBlue. The video is in the Multimedia player in the right margin of the page.

The other story is about Michigan Soccer Captain Katie Miler and her college career. I really enjoyed doing both stories, and it took me a long time. Enjoy!

Good-Bye, College: Can anyone think of a more over-used song in heart-warming slide shows than "Time of Your Life (Good Riddance)" by Green Day? I really feel like it was a good song that was killed by radio over-play...but then people just kept on drilling it into every emotional class video project and MTV reality show finale. Well, you won't get that from me. But I did have some of the best times in Ann Arbor in my last two years among friends at the Ann Arbor bars and restaurants. Here's a good example:

One of the greatest bar scenes from a movie ever created. We had plenty of these types of nights while I was here, too.

As for those staying behind, make sure you get your Ann Arbor Bucket Lists finished before it's too late. Here's one example:

The video quality is low, but that's what you get when you use iMovie to edit a project.

Hopefully, I'll post one more time before the year is over. Also, baseball coverage this weekend.

Until Then,


Saturday, April 18, 2009


By far, the largest crowd of the season is expected at Ray Fisher Stadium for the 2nd game of a 3 game set between Michigan and Michigan State. Join WCBN for LIVE coverage of the game and the pre-game ceremonies where former Michigan pitcher Jim Abbott will receive the honor of having his #31 retired.

Friday, April 17, 2009

More Paulus

Well, I was putting the finishing touches on a beautifully written blog post and was about to hit the "Publish Post" button when I saw that Rob had created a post of his own...basically taking all of my same thoughts and stealing my thunder. There goes an hour out of my day. Thanks, Rob!

In all seriousness, Rob did a great job of showing why Paulus and Michigan do not mix. I agree that he should not come to Michigan and a scholarship should not be offered (Way to drop the ball on that story, ESPN!). Forcier and Robinson need time to learn and get experience and this would just cut them at the knees in getting a chance to play.

Lastly...Billy Gillespie? Really?!? This could be the coldest thing Rob has ever said about anything outside the state of Minnesota. But back to Paulus.

I'm willing to go a step further. Not only should Paulus not play for Michigan....He shouldn't be playing football at all!!! The fact the Green Bay Packers told this kid he had no shot to be drafted should have been a huge hint a Duke grad could follow.

Watch this interview. Does this look like a guy who seems confident in his ability to play football?

It's like you can almost see Paulus thinking "What the ^#$% am I getting myself into?" just by looking at his face. I don't think he can be a football player, and that interview shows that he probably doesn't believe it himself.

Here's something Paulus DOES do well: Basketball! Sure, he got bounced from the starting lineup at Duke this past year. But he was arguably the best sixth man in the nation. (Note: UNC's Ed Davis is not a Sixth Man. After the whole Marvin Williams departure of 2005, I'm buying into the conspiracy that Roy Williams was trying to keep Davis from jumping early because he knew his team was going to lose ten guys this year. After that Final Four, you cannot tell me Deon Thompson is better than Davis. It's not possible.) Paulus should head to Europe for a couple seasons and refine his skills. Great example of what Europe can do for a guy's skills is Will Bynum in Detroit. Coming out of Georgia Tech, Bynum didn't have the necessary skill set to make it in the NBA. But after he played in Europe for a few seasons, he developed a great first-step and a smooth jump shot to compliment his speed. Now he is arguably the Piston's starting point guard next season, after Stuckey took nights off this year and the "Iverson Experiment" went south.

I think this can work for Paulus. He is a tough guy, a smart basketball player, and has a great three point shot in his arsenal. With a little refining, I think he could definitely "pull a Bynum." OK, so he'll probably end up playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv or throwing alley-oops to Josh Childress on Olypiacos in Greece.

But it sure beats getting beat on by Will Campbell and Brandon Graham every week.

The Greg Paulus Debacle

Greg Paulus... Rich Rod... really? Look, I understand Michigan has the scholarship available. I get that Michigan has no depth at QB. I get that Paulus threw for close to 12,000 yards and 150 TD's at Christian Brothers Academy, but that was in 2004, wasn't it?

What we know for sure: Greg Paulus visited Michigan Football spring practice last Tuesday (4/7).  Paulus did not conduct an official workout, rather had a lengthy conversation with the Michigan coaches, namely Rich Rod. From all accounts, everything went well.

What G-Paul says: Rich Rod has given him the opportunity to play football at Michigan next fall. A scholarship has been offered and Paulus will have the chance to compete for the starting QB job.

What Tate & others say: Forcier told the Michigan Daily that the Michigan coaches told him that Paulus had not received an offer. In addition, I was told by a reliable source that an offer to G-Paul has not been made (as of Thursday morning).  Now this doesn't mean that Paulus won't receive an offer this weekend or next week, but as of now no offer to G-Paul.

My Take: Plain and simple, I don't like it.  The circus around Rich Rod only continues exactly at the time when it seemed the Wolverine fan base was starting to rally around him, with an estimated 50,000 attending the Spring Game last Saturday and a QB in Tate Forcier off to a great start. My concerns over G-Paul are as follows. First, the physical challenges. Paulus has not played football for 4 years. Sure, he was great in high school but that was against mediocre opponents in northern New York. He's only 6'1, 170 lb., that's smaller than Tate. Even G-Paul's high school coach questioned how successful he could be in a spread offense on the college level, specifically at a place like Michigan. Second, timing. Even if the NCAA grants G-Paul eligibility (which is another issue in it of itself), he will at most only receive one year. Paulus has missed all of spring practice and will basically be in the same camp as Denard Robinson in learning the complex Michigan spread offense in a short amount of time. Third, stunting the growth and alienating Tate Forcier. While Tate is far from a sure thing, I'm fairly confident in his abilities after watching his performance in the Spring Game last Saturday, 11-13, 130 yds that included a 60yd play-action TD pass to Roy Roundtree. Some of the initial quotes by Tate on the Paulus saga are understandable. How would you feel if you were the top QB in Spring and then suddenly, out of the blue, you would have to compete for the job with a guy who hadn't thrown a football in 5 years? Look, Paulus is the same guy who was mediocre at Duke, losing his starting point guard job his senior year to Nolan Smith and Elliot Williams. No thanks.

To me, this seems like a short-term fix when Rich Rod should be thinking about the the long-term. Is Michigan really better off going 8-4 with Paulus for 1 year, as opposed to Tate going 7-5 or 6-6 in his 1st of 4 years in '09? If G-Paul is willing to come to Michigan as the 3rd string, yes 3rd behind Forcier and Robinson, then fine, but if not join the Packers. Overall, I have always felt that Rich Rod was never a great fit for Michigan. His margin of error will always be thin, especially when compared with Lloyd Carr. It won't be as easy for Rich to get away with a 7-5 or 8-4 season in the years ahead. Frankly, Rich Rod should have made a gradual shift to the spread offense, playing to the strengths of the talent remaining on the team. Isn't that what great coaches do best? Instead, a huge roster turnover happened with transfers in Mallett and Threet, amongst others. His judgments have been highly questionable thus far: selecting Shafer and Robinson as defensive coordinators and picking Sheridan over Threet to start vs. Utah in the opener last year. My biggest fear now... Billy Gillespie. Yes, the former Kentucky basketball coach. Gillespie is a great coach but failed to fit in properly or live up to expectations in Lexington, causing his firing after 2 years. I have no doubt that Rich Rod is a great coach and has recruited great players, but a 6-6 or (god forbid!) a 5-7 season in 2009 and I'll really begin to doubt whether he's the right fit in Ann Arbor.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Michigan-Eastern Michigan Baseball LIVE on WCBN at 3:00

Weather permitting, join WCBN for LIVE coverage of today's Michigan-Eastern Michigan baseball doubleheader. Both games can be heard on the WCBN Sports Stream and with coverage beginning at 3pm.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

NHL Playoffs Preview Podcast

WCBN tackles the 2009 NHL Postseason.  Round-by-round predictions are made and a surprise Stanley Cup Finals matchup unfolds.

The Mixer: Late Edition

With school coming to a close, I've been backed up on school work and the holiday weekend set me back. I was going to do a Mixer with a Masters theme last week. But seeing as we pimped out our web page to look like a Masters' jacket and beat you senseless with non-stop golf all week, I thought I'd just stick to what everyone is used to seeing.

...Speaking of what you are used to seeing, this web page seems to be having an identity crisis with its look. I think we've had 5 different web layouts in two days with three different color schemes. I don't call the shots on this blog, I just write for it. However, based on the color scheme, it looks like we've decided to start covering Syracuse athletics. Awesome. Go Orange.

Anyways, here is the Mixer...better late than never.

Baseball woes: Michigan Baseball dropped 3 out of four games last week, the first coming against MAC opponent CMU. I figured we were in trouble because this was a mid-week MAC game, but things went from bad to worse when I saw CMU was pitching their freshman phenom (drafted by the Royals in the 30th Round last year) and Michigan had put "Staff Day" where you would usually see the starter's name. Can you say "White Flag?"

As if this wasn't bad enough, Michigan decided to start freshman Kevin Vangheluwe. Hearing this, I thought "That name sounds familiar... where do I know this kid from?" Then I remembered....

Our boy is the one on his backside in the back row. He is also the one messing around with the chair. The video ends before Vangheluwe would eventually take off his shirt in strip-tease fashion. Thank me later for not including this.

RIP "The Bird": Today was bittersweet for me with the passing of Mark "The Bird" Fidrych. I grew up listening to stories about that magical 1976 season when The Bird won Rookie of the Year and started the '76 All-Star game. The Tigers weren't great back then, but The Bird gave people something to look forward to during a time when the city needed something to root for. It wasn't exactly like the '68 Tigers, when a championship was a calming influence to a city ripe with racial conflict. But Fidrych united people similar to the way that championship did. People loved the lanky 21 year old with shaggy hair and quirky antics, and the question "Hey, when's The Bird pitching this week?" was heard throughout auto plants all over Detroit. He'll never be in the HOF, but he will always be in the hearts and memories of Tiger's fans. God bless you, Bird. We'll miss you.

E:60 is Back!: Probably my favorite show on television, E:60, is back with a new season tonight. I'm not a big fan of Jeremy Schaap, but I really enjoy the kind of reporting they do: the longer, feature stories that give deep insight into topics that are interesting, but I might not have otherwise thought about. Being someone who does sports reporting, feature stories of this length and size are incredibly difficult. I have a huge amount of admiration for what they accomplish with the video they get and the people they interview. I highly recommend tuning in this season. Here are two of my favorite stories they've done so far. First, they profiled Kelly Pavlik and his hometown...

My family is originally from Youngstown and Warren (Ohio), so this story hit home. But beside that, Pavlik's attachment to his hometown is fascinating (as is the city itself).

...And, to end things on a lighter note, here is one of the features Bill Simmons did for the show on Prop Betting. Love him on the podcasts and articles, but I really like him doing these features, too. I just hope they don't over-expose him like they do Stephen A. Smith.

That's all I got. Baseball this week... also, look for a story I got coming up on MGoBlue about the "Captain's Corner" blog that has gained some recent popularity.

Until then...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Michigan-Illinois Baseball Highlights

Listen HERE to highlights from the final three innings of Michigan Baseball's 4-2 win over Illinois on Friday night.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Masters Preview Podcast

Less than 1 day 'til the start of the 2009 Masters.  Listen to WCBN get you set for the 75th playing of the year's first major, with a look at the compelling storylines, the Augusta National golf course, 1st round pairings and predictions.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Best Ball Challenge and Streak for the Cash

To all the readers out there,

We hope you guys are enjoying the Master's coverage this week. For those of you who aren't golf fans, I'll be posting a baseball story from this past weekend tomorrow... as well as a Masters Edition of "The Mixer." So be sure to check back in for that.

UPDATE: Rob and I will be doing a podcast to preview the tournament this week, making our picks and hopefully throwing in some fun "off-the-course" stuff along the way. Should be up later this week.

Also, I just created groups for "Streak for the Cash" and "Masters Best Ball Challenge" on These things have gained quite a bit of popularity among our staff at WCBN, so I figure we'd extend the opportunity to compete with us to our readers. To join, CLICK HERE and then go to either the Streak or BestBall main page. After that, search for our group in the search bar area after filling out a Best Ball roster. Each group is named "WCBN Sports" so it shouldn't be hard to find.

Note: You must have an ESPN account to join. This takes two minutes and is free, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Hope to see everyone in the game!

Countdown to The Masters: 2 Days

We're now less than 48 hours away from the start of The Masters.  Today, a look at the Round 1 Pairings and the long-range weather forecast.

Notable Round 1 Pairings:
8:00am- Woosnam, Reavie, Baird
9:28am- Player, Donald, Ames
9:50am- Langer, Norman, Westwood
10:12am- Rose, Stenson, Cabrera
10:23am- Vijay, Ogilvy, Els
10:34am- Weir, Harrington, Imada
10:45am- Mickelson, Villegas, Furyk
10:56am- Appelby, Wilson, Garcia
12:02pm- Mediate, Couples, Newman
12:35pm- Romero, Weekley, Campbell
12:46pm- Crenshaw, Casey, Stricker
1:41pm- Immelman, Scott, Lee
1:52pm- Tiger, Cink, Jeev Milka Singh
2:03pm- Kim, Mcilory, Ishikawa

Weather (Subject to change):
THURSDAY- 77, Partly Cloudy, 13mph
FRIDAY- 77, Scattered T-Storms, 12mph
SATURDAY- 79, AM Clouds/PM Sun, 11mph
SUNDAY- 73, Partly Cloudy, 8mph

Enjoy the Par 3 Contest on Wednesday. Coverage begins at 3pm on ESPN.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Coundown to The Masters: 3 Days

As you may have noticed, we have switched the background color of our site from blue to green in tribute to Masters Week (and Michigan State tonight???).  While it may not seem like it with a snow storm outside, spring is officially upon us with the start of The Masters later this week. WCBN will continue its tradition of comprehensive coverage of the year's first major. In the days leading up to the start of play on Thursday, I will provide you with some images from Augusta National Golf Club. On today's docket: Amen Corner, Butler Cabin, Magnolia Lane and the Green Jacket.

Friday, April 3, 2009

20 Hour Rain Delay

Huge rains in Ann Arbor forced Baseball to cancel today's game in favor of a double header. It stinks that we won't be on MGoBlue today, but we'll be back tomorrow (at the very least, through this website tomorrow).

Check back tomorrow for the link and cheer up!....It could be snowing.

UPDATE: Rob just informed me that we ARE ON MGOBLUE tomorrow for radio coverage. We are getting the call up from the minors for this one. Looks like platoon duty is still in full effect.
Jeremy, Rob, and I will be there tomorrow starting at 12:05pm.

Tune In!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Michigan Athletics... According to Me

While it has been a rough week for me personally, with school work starting to pile up, I still made time to make my usual rounds through the blogosphere and podcast universe. A couple things I especially liked this week:

For those of you who haven’t made this connection themselves, I’m a huge Bill Simmons fan because….well, because I’m a huge fan of pop culture and sports (When my family plays “Trivial Pursuit: DVD Pop Culture Edition,” it’s my four family members vs. me. Not trying to brag, but this is the only way to make it fair). Simmons is the best in the business at blending these together. Anyways, Simmons does a great job of talking to former ESPN ombudsman LeAnn Schriber in his podcast this week. I really enjoyed the past few podcats because he has been critical of ESPN with John Walsh and Schriber. He gives his “gripes” with ESPN, and proposes changes to their coverage.

This made me think of the web site I work for (, and some of the changes I would make or things I would do differently if I were in power. Granted, Simmons has way more power at ESPN than I do at MGoBlue. Lemme put it to you this way: People beg Simmons to write more columns and do more podcasts. At MGoBlue, I’m the one racing just to do post-game coverage. So, his suggestions might actually get picked up. Mine have a much slimmer chance.

Awesome. Glad we cleared that up.

Nevertheless, I know a lot of you visit and watch the highlights that are up there. So here are my suggestions on changes I would make if I ran my own website:

More Athlete Blogs: Michigan has some of the most talented and intelligent athletes in the country, so why not showcase them? For example, Tim Kalczynski wrote an excellent live blog about the Baseball team’s trip to Iowa last week. I talked to Tim about his blog in the beginning of the season. He seemed a little embarrassed when I brought it up and said he didn’t have a great passion for writing. However, I’ve talked to a lot of people who really liked this post. Shout-out to our boy FormerlyAnonymous at Varsity Blue for mentioning this quicker than I could.

But why not do this for more sports? I give Michigan Baseball SID Matt Fancett a lot of credit. He is responsible for UM Volleyball as well, and used this idea a little bit at the end of the season with the team’s two seniors (Karpiak and Hance). This season’s “Captain’s Corner” blog for Baseball has been written nicely and at semi-regular intervals. These types of blogs can be very entertaining when you get the right people to write them. UM Hockey’s Chris Summers would have been the ideal candidate for this last year…along with Eric Puls from Basketball.

I mentioned this in The Mixer last week, but I’m still pushing for it. Puls has a great perspective from his spot on the team! If he is uncomfortable writing, I’ll volunteer my services and transcribe it form him. It’ll be the most read journalist/athlete duo since Barkley and Wilbon did a book together!

…OK, maybe that’s a stretch. But there is definitely a market for more student athlete insight!

Institute a podcast: This is probably my most realistic idea I’ll mention in this post. The website tried this with the “MGoBlue Report,” but there was one problem: It didn’t physically work!!!! I tried this link on five computers, and not a single one could play this file. So I technically have never heard an episode of the “MGoBlue Report.” But I like the attempt.

Here’s my plan: Make three “multimedia podcasts” that consist of the following: 1) A normal news-bulletin type podcast giving an update on scores, injuries, highlights, etc. etc. This could be done in video form too, almost like a Michigan Sportscenter (I’d watch!). 2) A coaches show, where you interview a different coach each week and ask them questions about the team and the season (i.e. The Rosen Report for Volleyball last year). 3) A show interviewing student athletes, and/or media members that cover U of M athletics, covering a wide variety of topics off-the-field and on-the-field. This is to be hosted by Yours Truly. Or Doug Karsch. Actually, Karsch already has his own radio show. Forget him! I’m doing this show. I’m calling the shots in this “never-in-a-million-years-will-this-occur” scenario. Number 3 goes along with my point that some of these athletes are extremely interesting and intelligent and would make great guests.

My first guest on this show? Eric Puls, for reasons already mentioned. Goalie Emmy Scheidt from Women’s Lacrosse, and Matt Miller from Baseball would be high on this list as well. Miller was very well-spoken and Scheidt is the funniest athlete I’ve talked to this season. Hey, even the varsity club sports are shown some love on my show!

More money for Michigan Sports TV: I’m biased because this is the department where I spend my time. However, if the University invested in more camera and editing personnel (while keeping all the great producers/editors already there), we’d have more highlights, videos, and interviews for MGoBlue. The biggest complaint I get from viewers is the fact that MGoBlue doesn’t put up enough coverage of the smaller sports outside of football. With limited resources, and football the obvious money maker for the Athletic Department, football is what people are going to get. With more personnel, better equipment, and better compensation, this problem would end and niche viewers get to see their favorite teams on a semi-daily basis. This will increase hits for the website. More hits translate to greater advertising, which means more money for Michigan. Everyone wins.

I really enjoy working for the AD and it has been a great experience. And if nothing changes, I won’t have any problems still working there. I love that job. But if these changes come to pass, I want to be able to show them this and say “Hey! I called this….. What’s that, Bill Martin? Sure, I’d accept a full time job.”

If this were the 90’s cartoon “Doug,” this is the part where the little dream bubble pops and I realize I have 5 more pages to write for tomorrow. Dammit.

Like the blog? Hate it? Are there changes to the website you'd like to see that I didn't mention? Leave them in the comments section

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

John Beilein to Memphis???

WCBN was first on the news earlier today.

Listen: Michigan Baseball LIVE vs. Oakland @ 3 P.M.

Listen to WCBN's call of Michigan baseball today as they look to rebound following an 8-3 defeat at the hands of Bowling Green. Pre-game show at 3:00 P.M. and first pitch at 3:05 P.M. from the Fish.