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August 08, 2005 - Image 11

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2005-08-08

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, August 8, 2005 - 11
Free trip to Chicago? I'm in

C hicago - Is that cheesy jokes BigTen. You might be saying what's the big
and repetitive speeches about deal? But the thing is, this guy was slurring
hard work and high expecta- his speech worse than any drunken sorority
tions I hear? Yep, it's that time of year girl. He couldn't think of the word parody,
again - Big Ten he didn't say anything other than "this will
Media Day. be fun" (the season I hope), and he keep
This annual two- shaking his glass and taking a swig. To be
day affair in Chi- honest, I could've used a drink also, but that
cago officially kicks would've been "unprofessional."
off the football Just as I left my alcoholicbuddy, I saw
season for those of two guys jog by asking where all the
us in the Midwest. coaches were. I told them that the Indiana
I'm not complain- MATT coach was over in the corner, to which they
ing. I mean, I basi- VENEGONI responded, "Mike Davis is here?" Evidently
cally got a free trip The Balls these self-proclaimed sports fanatics for-
to Chicago and got got it was August and that football season
to meet a bunch of started before the basketball season did.
bigwigs in the Big Ten. But that first day was Needless to say, they were disappointed to
more frustrating than watching the Michigan find out that it was a football convention,
basketball offense. because "Michigan is the team to beat and
Going in I didn't know what to the only good team." This guy's friend
expect. What I got was the 11 Big Ten responded with a bold "are you retarded?"
coaches all basically saying the same (Thanks for the vote of confidence guys.)
thing and the fluffing of soon-to-be- They were from Chicago and spoke a little
retired Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez. about how good of a guy Jason Avant is,
Alvarez seems like a nice guy - he but that it would've been be better if their
even cracked a joke to me at the end of friend J-Hood, who went to high school
the second day - but the lovefest he with Avant, was there, like I would say, "you
received was a bit ridiculous. It was like know what guys, that would be awesome if
he invented the polio vaccine instead he were here."
of turning a bad football team into an Tuesday was an earlier day - the round-
above average one. table sessions started at 8 a.m. When I got in
By the time our very own Lloyd Carr the elevator I was with the three Iowa play-
spoke - he was the last of the 11to speak ers, and I could only think about two things:
- I thought the agony was over. It wasn't. are they pissed that they have to be here so
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney decid- early, and if I hit one in the groin as soon as
ed to talk for about 40 minutes. I wasn't the doors opened how long would it take for
having that - I went out to the lobby to them to catch me (I say about 30-40 feet). f
talk to some coaches just milling about. But that's beside the point; I was excited
Although I did get to talk to Carr very that I could talk to whomever I wanted to as
quickly, that wasn't the highlight of my lobby opposed to the day before.
visit - meeting the "fans" was. There were Like I said earlier, pretty much everyone
some people just hanging around not doing was really nice, but there was one excep-
much of anything. One old man decided to tion. Minnesota coach Glen Mason was
talk to me about the balance of power in the kind of a jerk. I knew this already since I'm

from Minnesota, but I wanted to give him
the chance to win me over. Well, he didn't.
Between his not looking at me when there
was just one other person at his table, his
not answering my questions and his having
what appeared to be an incredibly bad fake
orange tan, I was not impressed. Buthey,
I'm a forgiving person. Maybe when his
Gophers team comes for its annual loss, he
will be cooler.
Other than that, I considered the ses-
sion a major success. I sat right next to
Joe Paterno and asked him a couple ques-
tions. He reminded me of every old Ital-
ian I have ever met in my life. He cracked
jokes, told stories and made everyone
feel comfortable, even a 21-year-old
"reporter" who about wet his pants when
Paterno proved his health by doing squats
in front of the assembled group.
After talking to JoePa I wanted to go talk
to my favorite coach, Carr (yeah I know I
shouldbe impartial, but I'm not a profession-
al). I want to say he recognized mebeing
that we've talked a few times, but I know he
didn't. I asked him about the health rumors
among other things, and he was very cordial
and cool. I think he was impressedby my
vast knowledge of Michigan football. After
doing the coach thing I spoke with some
players and even made a few laugh (tooting
own horn).
Mason aside, the couple days there were
fun and got me excited for the season. And I
really think that with hard work and eyes on
the prize I can really make an impact cover-
ing the Michigan football team and meet my
goals. Thanks for changing howI speak Big
Ten coaches.
Matt Venegoni would like to thank the
Big Ten coach, who shall remain name-
less, that totally checked out hisfriend (a
girl) while they were waiting for the car.
He can be reached at mvgoni@umich.edu.

Iowa linebacker Chad Greenway was an All-Big Ten selection last season.
Greenway and two teammates represented the Hawkeyes at Big Ten Media Day.

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