Monday Quick Hits: Germany Breaks Cold War Attendance Record

By · Monday, May 10, 2010 · 2:23 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • The hockey attendance record set by the Cold War at Spartan Stadium in 2001 is no more.  That is because Germany broke the record last week when 77,803 fans came out to watch the United States and Germany play in the opening game of the IIHF World Championships.  The record Michigan and Michigan State set back in 2001 was an attendance of 74,554 people.  That record had stood ever since but now moves down to No. 2 on the list.  Even so, Michigan and Michigan State should easily take the record back this December at Michigan Stadium.  Already more than 100,000 tickets have been sold to the event, so barring some really crappy weather, this new record of 77,803 should go by the wayside with ease.
  • It’s been a while since the last Rich Rodriguez controversy, so naturally this weekend there was a story written about how Morgan Trent was one of the players focused on in a book about the draft.  The story mentioned that the end of the book included something very interesting about Trent, Rich Rodriguez, and Lloyd Carr.

    At the end of the book, Deren describes the scene with Lloyd Carr, the former Michigan head coach that recruited Trent to Ann Arbor, breaking the news to Trent that current head coach Rich Rodriguez did him no favors.

    “Rodriguez had bad-mouthed him to every NFL scout he could,” Deren writes. “Rodriguez claimed that Morgan was lazy, he had an attitude problem and he was a big reason the Wolverines finished with a 3-9 record…”

    Trent admits the words were “jarring,” and they were hard to understand given that he was so serious about his career that he actually moved in with his brother and sister-in-law and their two small children while going to Michigan.

    But Trent was also worried about what Carr thought about his words showing up in the book. He talks to him, not Rodriguez.

    “I really like Coach Carr. He’s been very good to me,” Morgan says. “I think at first he was wondering, but I let him know it didn’t put him in a bad light. I would never do something like that to Lloyd. He’s great.”

    The claim here is that Carr let Trent know that Rodriguez had trashed Trent to NFL scouts.  Trent’s position coach from the Bengals didn’t talk to Rodriguez during the pre-draft process, but he did give some interesting insight about the situation.

    “When there is a coaching transition and the team ends up not having success, you have to step back and try to decipher what the truth really is,” Coyle says. “There was a lot of heat on those people and there was some pointing of blame. Plus, the players were somewhat chagrined, so you had to look at everything.”

    Rodriguez denied the supposed comments, saying the following:

    “The comments attributed to me are inaccurate and absolutely ridiculous.  I said just the opposite about Morgan Trent to NFL scouts and wish him well with the Bengals.”

    As Brian pointed out on mgoblog, by the time Rodriguez’s supposed comments got to the author of this book, they had been passed along by four or so different people, meaning the chances of them being 100% accurate weren’t great anyways.  What’s more, as Tim pointed out in the comments section on MVictors, this may be a case of Rodriguez giving an accurate assessment of Trent rather than badmouthing his former player.  It’s not like Trent was some great player that somehow fell to the sixth round of the draft.  He was a guy that struggled throughout his career and was downright awful in 2008, his final year at Michigan.  It’s no secret that Trent isn’t a fan of Rodriguez, and although this whole story is annoying in the sense that it’s more bad PR for Rodriguez, it’s not all that surprising given who the player involved is.

  • Michigan’s deal with adidas is at the top of the list when it comes college apparel contracts.
  • Manny Harris is officially gone since the deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft was this past Saturday and no change to his status was made.
  • E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson, on the other hand, are both coming back to Purdue after originally declaring for the NBA Draft.
  • Apparently some “unnamed sources” from the Big 12 are upset that Nebraska and Missouri are so publicly interested in Big Ten expansion.  This all boils down to the fact that revenue sharing in the Big 12 isn’t equal, which is why Nebraska and Missouri have an interest in giving themselves leverage.  By expressing interest in potentially joining the Big Ten, they have quite a bit of leverage since they can threaten to leave the Big 12 if things go unchanged.  Of course, for that to actually work they would need to have an invite to the Big Ten waiting for them, and right now nothing is official.  We’re still in the rumor phase of possible Big Ten expansion, and these “unnamed sources” don’t like hearing Nebraska and Missouri mentioned so often.  I don’t know what will eventually happen with Big Ten expansion, but there could be chaos across the land of college sports, especially with the Big 12, regardless of what the Big Ten actually does.

Friday Quick Hits: The Big Chill Eclipses 100,000 Tickets Sold

By · Friday, May 7, 2010 · 1:33 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Over 100,000 tickets to The Big Chill have now been sold, causing a ticket freeze so incoming students have a chance to purchase seats with their football or hockey season-ticket packages.  By the time that happens and the public gets one last crack at tickets (via a waiting list), chances are the total number of tickets sold will close to or at a sellout, which is pretty awesome.
  • The NCAA hockey tournament might be changing a bit in the future.
  • Michigan State lost another player to the NHL.
  • The Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein did a Q&A about Big Ten expansion.

Monday Quick Hits: More Big Chill News

By · Monday, May 3, 2010 · 2:42 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Close to 96,000 tickets have now been sold to The Big Chill.  It’s only a matter of time until the ticket counter goes over 100,000.
  • Michigan is going to wear throwback jerseys from the 1940s in The Big Chill game against Michigan State.  (Lots more about the game can be found in a great article at Athletic Business.  Hat tip to The Blog That Yost Built.)
  • Three high school hockey games are going to be played at Michigan Stadium on December 5, six days before Michigan and Michigan State hit the ice.
  • The CCHA has essentially adopted the Big Ten basketball tournament’s setup for its playoffs since it will only have 11 teams starting next season.  Like the BTT, five teams will receive a first-round bye.  The 4 and 5 seeds will be scheduled to play each other from the beginning of the playoffs, but they won’t have to do the series until the second week of action.
  • Brandon Graham (pictured here with fellow senior DeShawn Sims) graduated and met President Obama, who spoke at Michigan’s commencement, on Saturday.
  • Donovan Warren, who is going to play free safety for the Jets, is blaming the NFL’s Draft Advisory Board for his decision to leave Michigan a year early only to go undrafted.
  • Anthony Wright’s basketball career at Michigan may be over, but with another year of eligibility left, he may play for one more season at a Division II or NAIA school.
  • Michigan’s lacrosse team is the top overall seed in the MCLA tournament.

Hockey Quick Hits: Big Chill Eclipses 90,000 Tickets Sold Mark

By · Wednesday, April 28, 2010 · 2:30 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • The official website of The Big Chill at the Big House launched last week, and one of its features is to keep track of how many tickets have been sold to the event.  Before tickets went on sale to the public a week ago today, more than 60,000 tickets had already been sold.  Now, just one week later, more than 90,000 tickets have been sold, meaning that old attendance record the Cold War set (74,544) looks like it will be absolutely demolished this December.
  • Arby’s is the presenting sponsor of The Big Chill at the Big House.  I wonder if we will get free curly fries if somebody scores a hat trick.
  • Dave Brandon wants this event to be more than just a hockey game, and some of the other activities that could go along with The Big Chill include “parties, tailgates, player reunions and public skating sessions as well as an alumni game.”  Sounds like this will be a good way to have some fun before finals start up.

Season Tickets Info Out for Football, Hockey, and Basketball

By · Wednesday, March 17, 2010 · 3:32 PM |  Share | 7 Comments 

Season tickets for students are now on sale for football, hockey, and basketball.  Last year was the first time that football and basketball tickets could be ordered at once, and now hockey is part of that group as well.  Also, along with info about season tickets, the student ticket policies for The Big Chill at the Big House have been released.

Students will receive a ticket to The Big Chill at the Big House in both their football season-tickets package and their hockey season-tickets package.  That means that if somebody orders both football and hockey tickets, they will receive two tickets to The Big Chill at the Big House.  In addition, those who buy hockey season tickets can order additional tickets for $10 a pop in case friends from MSU are coming to town for the game or something.  Since IDs and validations won’t be required for this game, non-students can sit in the student section by just having a ticket.  A student ticket will allow you to sit anywhere in the student section (which is basically the same as it is for football games) since it is general admission.  That means if you want to sit closer to the middle of the field and therefore on less of a bad angle to the rink, it’s probably going to be a good idea to get to the game nice and early.

For football and basketball season tickets, the policies haven’t changed as far as I can tell.  The only really noteworthy thing on the football policies page is that away tickets can be applied for from April 5-9 for students interested in going to see Michigan play at Notre Dame, Indiana, Penn State, Purdue, and/or Ohio State.  On the basketball policies page, the only noteworthy thing is that the two premium games currently mentioned are Michigan State and Ohio State.  Kansas is supposed to play at Michigan next season as well, so either that isn’t going to be a premium game or it simply wasn’t mentioned.

The last thing worth mentioning is that the design for the football student shirt has been released.  It’s a definite upgrade over what we had last year, although I’m still personally not a fan of having the schedule on the back.

Tuesday Quick Hits: Seating Chart Out for Big House Hockey Game

By · Tuesday, March 2, 2010 · 2:31 AM |  Share | 1 Comment 
  • The seating chart for The Big Chill at the Big House has been released.  My initial impression is that hockey season-ticket holders are going to have great seats, but it looks like student hockey season-ticket holders may get the shaft.  The student section is going to be the same as it is for football games, and there is no indication that students with hockey season tickets will get to sit in the “Hockey Season Ticket Holder Seating” section, which are really the best seats in the stadium for this event.  I’d imagine that all students will sit in the student section, which I will just say right now as a hockey season-ticket holder that I am not thrilled with that news.  I would much rather sit in the seats that will have a great view than off in the corner, and I’m sure the rest of the hockey student section would agree.
  • The public sale of tickets to this game begins on April 21.
  • Bryan Hogan missed practice on Monday, meaning Shawn Hunwick will start for Michigan this weekend.  I just hope Michigan makes it to the next round and Hogan is healthy enough to return by then.
  • Sunday’s game against Lake Superior State, which will only be played if the first two games of the series are split, has a start time of 7:35 p.m.  It doesn’t appear that Sunday’s game will be televised.
  • Seniors DeShawn Sims, Zack Gibson, and Anthony Wright will be honored tonight before the Minnesota game. (Although Wright has a year of eligibility left, this is apparently going to be his final season since he is technically a senior and will graduate in a couple months.)
  • Originally it was reported that Ben Cronin would be spending his spring break in Haiti, but as it turns out he is in New Orleans instead.  Also part of this mission trip are football players Craig Roh and Jordan Reilly.  You can read Cronin’s thoughts on the trip on MGoBlue.
  • AnnArbor.com sat down with former Michigan kicker Philip Brabbs, who is battling multiple myeloma.

Hockey Quick Hits: Michigan Loses to Nebraska-Omaha 4-3

By · Saturday, February 13, 2010 · 2:13 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan had a chance to move into a tie for third place in the CCHA last night, but instead it lost to Nebraska-Omaha and dropped down to sixth in the standings.  Early on against UNO it looked like Michigan came ready to play, taking a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Chris Brown.  Actually, Michigan dominated the play from the first faceoff to Brown’s goal, but it was really downhill from there, starting when UNO capitalized on an awful turnover right in front of Bryan Hogan to tie the game up a minute or so after Brown’s goal.  Then, two or so minutes later UNO scored again, this time thanks to an unlucky bounce off of Tristin Llewellyn’s stick.  He tried knocking the puck away on a centering pass, but instead put it right into his own net.  The Mavericks added a power-play goal before all was said and done in this period to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.

    Louie Caporusso scored his third goal in two games early on in the second period, putting Michigan right back in the game.  That didn’t last for long, though, because UNO scored another power-play goal about four minutes later to once again take a 2-goal lead.  That was it for the scoring in the second period, but in the third period Michigan closed the gap to 1 goal again when Steve Kampfer scored on a 4-on-4.  Kampfer was checked from behind only minutes earlier, drawing a 5-minute major and giving Michigan a golden opportunity to get back in the game.  Michigan did inch closer despite the fact that it took a penalty to negate its power-play.  Following Kampfer’s goal, Michigan actually took another penalty and was shorthanded for a little bit before things went back to 4-on-4.  At that point another UNO player was sent to the penalty box, giving Michigan a power-play and eventually a 5-on-3.  Unfortunately, Michigan couldn’t cash in on the advantage and was unable to score again during the rest of the game, meaning the final score in this one was 4-3 in favor of Nebraska-Omaha.

  • As touched on, Michigan is now in sixth place in the CCHA.  UNO and Alaska (it beat Ohio State 4-1) both jumped the Wolverines, moving into a tie for fourth place with 38 points.  Michigan is only ahead of seventh-place Northern Michigan by 1 point and eighth-place Lake Superior State by 2 points.  It just goes to show how one loss can quickly change the standings.  A win would have meant that Michigan and Ferris State (it lost to LSSU 4-3) were tied for third and Michigan State was only 3 points ahead, but instead the Wolverines will have to hope that win comes tomorrow and also hope that some of the teams ahead and behind them lose.  A loss for Michigan today would not only pretty much kill any hope of an at-large bid, but it would also start to make a first-round bye in the CCHA playoffs much tougher to achieve.  To put it nicely, Michigan has to win tonight if it doesn’t want an already uphill battle to become even tougher.
  • The logo for The Big Chill at the Big House is out:The Big Chill at the Big House
  • There were some interesting tidbits in the Free Press earlier this week about Michigan’s plans for The Big Chill at the Big House.

    Stevenson said the initial budget for the Big Chill is $1 million. School officials hope to draw at crowd of at least 80,000 and perhaps as many as 100,000.

    Stevenson said the same company responsible for the construction of the ice rink at Camp Randall, Ice Rink Events, will likely be used to construct the rink at Michigan Stadium.

    “Their field is crowned much more than ours, so there’s a lot more infrastructure needed here than will be needed at Michigan Stadium,” Stevenson said. “We’ve got a fairly flat field. They had to specially cut the Styrofoam to meet the crown on the field. That’s a lot more labor intensive. That’s one thing we won’t have to do that they had to do.

    “The rest of it is fairly straightforward.”

    The ice issues at Wisconsin were blamed on the public skate that took place the night before the game, so I wouldn’t expect there to be something similar at Michigan Stadium, at least not before the game is actually played.

    As for ticket information, nothing is set in stone just yet, but here is a taste of what to expect:

    The biggest decision weighing on U-M officials is what to charge for admission. Wisconsin had one ticket price — $25. U-M is considering two price levels, one for seating between the 17-yard lines, and a discounted ticket price for the seats outside the 17-yard lines and end zones.

    “Hopefully within a couple weeks we’ll have made that decision,” Stevenson said.

    Another thing to consider is what to do with suites if football suite holders do not want to use them for the hockey game.

    Wisconsin chose to leave its suites empty, rather than try to sell them to others, when football suite holders chose not to use them.

    Michigan officials are also still deciding how they will handle the distribution of tickets and where they will leave a section of tickets for Michigan State fans. U-M season ticket holders for football and hockey will be offered the chance to purchase tickets, as well as students.

    I say put the MSU fans in the end zones and leave the sidelines (i.e. better seats) for Michigan fans.

Hockey Game at Big House Officially Set for December 11

By · Friday, January 29, 2010 · 7:47 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 

Ricky Comley’s comments on the radio a couple weeks back prompted some concern over whether the second edition of the Cold War would actually happen, but it was announced earlier this week that the game is officially a reality.  As rumored last week, the game will take place on December 11, 2010.  The start time for the game is scheduled for 3 p.m.  Below is more information on what is officially being called “The Big Chill at the Big House” (which, in my opinion, is a pretty lame name; Cold War II would be much better).

The playing surface will be placed in the center of Michigan Stadium. The red line (center ice) will run on top of the 50-yard line, and the end boards will extend to reach the 17-yard lines.

The Big Chill at the Big House will serve as one of Michigan’s two scheduled home games against Michigan State in the 2010-11 season. Additional games between the archrivals will be contested at Yost and Munn Ice Arenas (one each), plus the annual game at Joe Louis Arena. Dates are yet to be determined.

Detailed ticket information will be announced on MGoBlue.com and MSUSpartans.com by the end of February.

My initial thought on this is that I’m thrilled the game will in fact happen.  It should be a very fun event assuming everything goes according to plan and the weather cooperates.  Ever since the game at Spartan Stadium back in 2001 I’ve been anxiously awaiting a return game in Michigan Stadium.  Now that it is finally going to happen, I can’t wait and will be counting down the days until hockey comes to the Big House.

Beyond that, my only other thoughts on the game really involve the ticket situation.  As the quote above states, we will know more next month, but I still have to wonder how the tickets will be sold and what the seating setup will be like.  Will the student section be similar to how it is for football, or will students (namely hockey season-ticket holders) get seats closer to the middle?  Similarly, will hockey season-ticket holders automatically get tickets to this game or will they all be sold separately?  Personally I’d give everybody that has hockey season-tickets a ticket to this game and give them the best seats in the stadium, but in reality I’d imagine it will be more like football where money is the deciding factor for most of the aspects of how the tickets are sold and where people will sit.

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