- Hannah Chin/Daily
BY ANNA ROZENBERG
Daily Staff Reporter
Published February 17, 2011
Avatar aliens, “Thriller” dancers carrying glow-sticks and Harry Potter-wannabes rapping about Quidditch took the stage at last night’s annual “Mock Rock.”
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Hosted by the Student Athlete Advisory Council at Hill Auditorium, Mock Rock showcased 20 varsity and club varsity sports teams that performed original skits to raise money for charity. This year’s funds — so far estimated at more than $100,000 — will go to the Child and Family Life program at C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital, the Michigan Autism Partnership and Student Athletes Leading Social Change.
LSA senior Taylor Day, one of four event chairs for the SAAC, said in an interview before the event that the “biggest underlying goal is to raise money for our three charities.”
The SAAC has been fundraising since December, and student-athletes raised their own money prior to the event. Donations are also still being accepted.
Current Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Dhani Jones, a University alum, was the event emcee. SAAC asked Jones to host Mock Rock in order to spark fundraising for the event.
Each Mock Rock judge — including new Michigan football head coach Brady Hoke — had a connection to the University.
“We thought it would be a great way to get him involved and make him feel welcome,” Day said.
Other judges included Jan Brandon, wife of University Athletic Director Dave Brandon, Dan Sygar, Letterwinners M Club president and a University alum, and Elise Ray, an Olympic bronze medalist and University alum.
Before the event began, the auditorium filled with student-athletes waiting for their turn to perform. LSA freshman and Michigan wrestler Jordan Smith said he was enthusiastic about going on stage.
“We’re going to be really funny. Probably the best one out there,” Smith said, of the wrestling team's act.
Smith said the team members put together their skit in about an hour.
“It was rigorous though,” he said.
But other teams, like the Michigan Marching Band, spent multiple days practicing each week for the past month to prepare. The work paid off as the band took first place for their “Barbie and Ken” Michigan-themed skit.
Engineering senior Kristen Angonese, a member of the Michigan Marching Band, expressed her excitement after the show.
“The last couple years we’ve been doing really well, but it’s nice to finally win,” she said.
Other performances were the men’s rowing team’s Pokémon skit, which included elaborate costumes and girls dressed as lightning and fire being carried across the stage during the Pokemon battles.
Many skits included partial nudity. The men’s swimming and diving team ended with each member in a skimpy Speedo during their “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” skit.
“I hope our (football) players don’t come out in what they had on,” Hoke said while judging the men’s dwimming and diving skit.
LSA senior and Michigan football player Ryan Van Bergen said the football team had three practices a week to prepare for the event. The team finished in second place with its “Hidden Talents” song and dance act.
“We found a place for everyone who wanted an opportunity ... kind of a hodge-podge of everybody,” Van Bergen said, adding that many of the players have hidden musical talents.
University alum and former Michigan football player Zoltan Mesko, who is a player with the New England Patriots, was also a judge at the event. After the show, Mesko said he enjoyed the experience and would definitely participate as a judge in the future.
“I thought there (were) some surprises,” Mesko said. “There were a lot of non-dancing acts.”
ESPN analyst Adam Schefter, a University and Michigan Daily alum, also judged the teams at Mock Rock. It was “a great night for a great cause,” he said.
“You can see a lot of work went into this,” Schefter added.