By Neal Rothschild, Daily Sports Editor
Published November 27, 2012
This means it’s time to read ‘Where Are These Guys Now?” As always, you may be treated like royalty when you come back to campus, but it doesn’t mean you won’t get solitary confinement in Dennison from me.
Polarizing former Michigan basketball player Chris Webber is in the news. He was profiled for last week’s issue of Sports Illustrated and divulged that he’s been working on a documentary for the past six years and is writing an autobiography. Not to be disregarded is his current stellar television work as an analyst for NBA TV and TNT. Webber has turned off many a Michigan basketball fan for his refusal to own up to benefits allegedly received from booster Ed Martin, for his reluctance to discuss the subject and probably still for The Timeout. Definitely still for The Timeout.
Webber was the only Fab Five member to not be interviewed for ESPN’s 2011 documentary on the team. But with the latest news, could it be that Webber was merely withholding information for the sake of his book sales? Seems pretty likely to me. It’s hard to imagine that by time the book hits shelves we still wouldn’t have his full perspective on the scandal. For this here spurt of publicity, Chris, you get a life-sized cut-out of yourself on the Diag.
Frequenter of the blog Tom Brady was plastered all over our TV screens this Thanksgiving evening, and the results were positive for him, but not so much turducken-lovers everywhere. He dissected the New York Jets’ secondary for 323 yards and three touchdowns in an easy 49-19 win, but there’s more. He was named along with two others as some sort of contrived Player of the Game and his reward was getting a leg of that John Madden-tradition-created Turducken that seemed to be sitting outside at MetLife stadium for about three hours. Brady didn’t appear pleased with it, waving the leg around like a wand, so after a couple bites like this one, he quit eating that cold turkey, cold turkey. For having unappetizing food thrust upon you, Tom, you get five free meals at East Quad.
David Baas, Michigan offensive lineman of the early 2000s and current center of the New York Giants, had a strong game as the Giants trounced the Packers, 38-10, in what was supposed to be a compelling Sunday Night game featuring two of the league’s best teams. The Giants passed and ran their way to a dominant performance, snapping their two-game winning streak. For your stellar protection, David, you get a job with DPS.
The Big Ten/ACC Challenge starts today, and I know what you’re thinking: no Michigan alums will be playing in that. But hold it right there, I did my research. An arcane loophole in the Where are These Guys Now rulebook allows for the inclusion of relatives of professional sports hall of famers. With that, former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin’s son Shane is Miami’s best player. The point guard will take on Michigan State on Wednesday, tracing in his father’s footsteps in this vague, somewhat logical way. For your pursuit of taking down Little Brother just like your big father, Shane, you get the Paul Bunyan trophy.
With the NFL season heading into the home stretch, we can evaluate this batch of Wolverine rookies. I use the word “batch” lightly, as there are really just two players that see the field. The first is Mike Martin, who has been on a downward trend this season. As the Tennessee Titans continue to free fall, as does Martin’s productivity. The defensive tackle had two sacks in the first five weeks and hasn’t had one since. He peaked by playing 75 percent of the team’s defensive snaps in week six, but has seen his playing time cut since then, now playing well below half of the snaps. Center David Molk was able to get a spot on the San Diego Chargers roster, but he hasn’t made much of an impact. He plays mainly on special teams and has only been on the field on offense for a handful of snaps. Neither defensive end Ryan Van Bergen nor wide receiver Junior Hemmingway were able to hop onto NFL active rosters this season. So for a group of seniors that brought Michigan its first BCS bowl win since 2000, you’d have expected a better NFL output. Maybe I’m being harsh and unfair. Regardless, solitary confinement in Dennison for these guys.