Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Head Honcho

Sooo, I had a meeting today with the Head Honcho. He caught wind of the blog. Bluntly, he wasn't too excited to hear I have one. Kind of questioned my motives for doing it. Anyways, We've come to an agreement that the blog Can and Will stay, BUT (there is always a but and a big one at that) There are going to be 0 football talks regarding opponents and teammates. Everything must be from personal experience. My blogs can only represent my opinions and not those of the teams or coaching staff's. And it must not be a distraction to academics or football.

With that said... Anyone have any topics they want me to talk about? Not regarding any of those things stated above...


  1. Are there things players can do to avoid injuries or is alot of luck involved?

  2. A post concerning Cal's recent road woes would be interesting. Why do you think that the team has so much trouble beating teams it enjoys a decided talent-advantage over when those games are played on the road? Also, how on Earth has Oregon St. dominated Cal to the extent it has the last decade? And how is it possible no JT team has ever won in LA? Not to be too negative, but these questions are on the mind of most serious Cal fans, I assure you. Although as you now post on BI, I am sure you get that. ;-)

  3. I'd always be interested in hearing what it is like for you personally to be a football player and a student. How do you strike the balance? How are you treated by fellow students? How do you prepare your mind, your body, for the punishment? What is especially rewarding about a past game or play?

    Your personal perspectives still provide a lot of interest to me, as it is still an insight into the experiences of a team member. I have a great reverence for the ideal of scholar/athleticism, and one of the only things that allows me to be such an avid Cal fan is the belief that many, most of the players are getting their degrees and sharpening their minds and thinking skills as well as their athleticism. One of the many reasons I detest U$C is that I grew up with some absolutely lousy students, who went to U$C for the image and the paper, but who coulnd't catch me in a game of "How do you spell ""Dog""?" Just a pathetic excuse. I give grudging respect to Stanford (Having done my MA there) because it is at least a first class academic institution that expects it's students to perform in the classroom like they do at Cal.

    Anyway, you get my point. Your views are valuable, even if you can't tell us what it is like to play with Kevin Riley or what the coaches think of UCLA.

  4. Nathan's questions are certainly on the mind of this serious Cal fan. Mike, as a 5 (soon to be 6) year player and a team leader, you're in a unique position to answer them while following the guidelines (avoiding second-hand locker room gossip, internal confidentialities, jabs on other teams and specific teammates). Noise-level in a place like Autzen is a factor (bigger factor than I realized before your previous post), but what else in your informed opinion has caused these road woes? The team identifying and addressing the causes head-on could mean the difference between a 9-3 and a 11-1 regular season this year.

  5. Mike I wasn't surprised by JT's reaction. His concerns are very valid. I admire how you have been able to share insights to an athletic's life without jeopardizing your team mates or putting down your opponents. I was expecting that your blogging would be less frequent once school starts, but you probably have nothing left to do academically in your 6th year :-) Go take a ballroom dancing class :-)

    Here's to a great fall camp and an awesome season!

  6. A couple of these comments I find annoying. They strike me as "typical Cal fan" comments. What I mean is this:

    Cal fans tend not just to be intelligent, but also analytical. That works just fine if you're working in engineering or studying chemistry. But it becomes intolerably annoying when applied to Cal football in conjunction with incessant prognosticating, theorizing and general hand-wringing over perceived shortcomings.

    Do you think the starting LT of the football team has any freaking clue why the team imploded two seasons ago, or why we haven't won in LA, why OSU plays well against us etc.? I mean, yeah he was on those teams, but think about it, if he had some magical understanding of how to fix it all, you think he'd 1. hold it back from the rest of the team, or 2. publish it on a blog?!

    Furthermore, consider his possible answers to that ridiculous, loaded question like that. "Yes, I know why we can't win in LA." or "No I don't know." Is either of these answers going to satisfy you? We still lost, didn't we? Or would you be content to respond, "Oh Mike doesn't know why USC keeps beating us, I guess that's why we keep losing." Or conversely, "Damn, I can't believe Mike knows why we keep losing to USC. I'm really glad he posted the reason on his blog. Although I wonder why with this super magical power he doesn't personally ensure that the team is undefeated this season."

    I think the typical Cal fan is simply not happy unless he's unhappy. Fans, you should really think about applying your passions toward Cal football in a productive manner.

    I think Mike is doing an awesome job with this blog and certainly doesn't need to infuse it with inane drivel about why-didn't-we-do-this and why-didn't-that-happen. Theorizing about past failures accomplishes nothing in football.

    This blog is about a personal perspective into football as well as a positive outlook on the future. Thanks Mike for doing it.

  7. I suppose I sometimes can be overly analytical, but being underanalytical can also be a problem. "Theorizing about past failures" is not "inane drivel"; id'ing the causes and doing something about them is what will keep failures from being repeated. The best, most significant, way to have a "positive outlook on the future" is to make sure substantive steps are being taken to justify having such an outlook.

    Mike asked for topics, and nathan and I responded with something we find to be of great importance. Maybe Mike's answer is I don't know or Haven't really thought about it or Probably not a good idea to talk about it here, and if that's the case I'll still visit his blog regardless and continue to be educated and entertained by his covered topics.

    Btw, I am happiest when I am happy.

  8. My first inclination would be to write about the "american right to freedom of speech" ...just kidding... Coach Tedford is right in his advice. Stay away from providing insight into other's opinions or personal performance. Do not be disparaging. The blog is about your experience, your challenges and your ability to keep it all in balance. I think you are doing an outstanding job, and your personal insight is rewarding enough to the fans.

  9. what about blogging about which schools have the hottest cheerleaders? i think these sort of topics are 'safe' by JT's rules...

  10. On the other hand, you have already well outstripped the Head Honcho's blog contributions from last year and you're barely 1/3 of the way through August.

  11. Dear a.,

    My main contention is that that type of analysis is best left to journalists and bloggers on all the other sites out there that post loads of content with regard to Cal football. Of course, the most important and in-depth analysis of past tendencies and failures would ostensibly be conducted by the coaching staff. It would not be conducted by any players and most certainly wouldn't be blogged about by a player.

    The reason this blog is awesome is that the perspective is very different coming from a player. I think we all dig the fresh insight.

    And of course any sort of analysis of past performances would probably not be kosher with JT anyway.

    I'm more interested in topics that can't be read about elsewhere. I don't need this blog to find out what went wrong in 2007, why we can't beat SC etc. because that crap is discussed ad nauseum elsewhere. There are some very good blogs out there that address this stuff in great depth. I'm hoping this blog continues to provide unique coverage.


    So Mike, as far as possible topics, how about the most ridiculous fans you've come across, what technique improvements you've made since coming to Cal, the general difference between high school and college, what makes an outstanding D-lineman (without naming names) and what makes an outstanding O-lineman.

  12. Oh yeah, here's another question I have, but I'm not sure if it's OK for you to answer. Anyway, is blocking for Jahvid different from blocking for Forsett or Lynch? I mean this in the sense that Best hits the holes so quickly; does that change what you do or perhaps the timing of what you do? Thanks.