April 17, 2010
NEW TURF OLD TURF
At the end of March, vandals broke into Michigan Stadium and cut a six foot by eight inch piece of turf out of the Block M at midfield. The section was replaced for the spring game with a brighter and higher quality version of field turf called Duraspine.
All the turf at Michigan Stadium will be replaced following commencement. The eight-year-old field is one of the first versions of FieldTurf and will be completely replaced with Duraspine by the season opener against Connecticut.
JIMMY KING GRIDIRON HERO
Michigan basketball hero Jimmy King is best known for his days with the Fab Five, but he made some new memories as a gridiron hero during the alumni flag football game. King had one of the biggest smiles all day, jogging down the Michigan tunnel and signing autographs for 10 minutes before heading onto the field. He even signed footballs!
With his White team trailing, King lined up on the left side and ran a deep route to the corner of the end zone. His quarterback, true two-sport star Jermaine Gonzalez, threw a deep jump ball that King plucked out the air, landing in bounds for the touchdown. King spiked the ball and celebrated his first touchdown in Michigan Stadium after scoring 1,542 points in Crisler Arena.
"That was better than scoring two points in Crisler," King said, celebrating his touchdown.
Running backs coach Fred Jackson came out of the crowd to congratulate the hoopster.
King had another chance to add to his Michigan Stadium highlight reel on the final play of the Spring Game. King went deep with a number of receivers in a last ditch bomb to tie the game. The pass bounced off some hands and into King's mitts, but he couldn't hold on and the ball fell to the ground incomplete.
"For a while there it looked like Jimmy King had some hands," opposing coach LaMarr Woodley said after the game. "Good thing when he had a chance to put the game away his basketball hands came back."
THE BEAM FAMILY
A special family was honored before the spring game -- the Beam family -- which pledged to match all donations made at the spring game with all proceeds going to the Mott Children's Hospital Michigan Football interactive play area. Andy, Jane and their two kids, Hannah (age three) and Olivia (age five), are all huge Michigan fans, but bigger fans of Mott. The Beams spent a lot of time with Mott during Olivia's first month of life and their experience with the hospital and the Michigan football program became a special part of their lives. Through their involvement with the Carr Wash For Kids, the Beams decided to increase their involvement and help out with the spring game.
"It's our opportunity to give back," said Andy Beam. "The football players take so much time out of their days to make these kids feel special. Mott is a family. There are always smiles and it's full of love."
"Everyone does such a wonderful job and we're so grateful," added his wife Jane.
The family's favorite all-time players are Desmond Howard, Braylon Edwards, Brian Griese and Tom Brady. They are also looking for big things from Tate Forcier, Denard Robinson and Obi Ezeh.
When asked what they think of the proposed "Learn What it Feels Like to Get Hit by LaMarr Woodley" interactive exhibit at Mott, Andy pursed his lips.
"Maybe it would be nice to HELP LaMarr hit someone, but I don't think I want to feel that," he laughed.
Back to the drawing board.
This spring, Mark Moundros converted from fullback to linebacker to make more of an impact with the team. His hitting has never been in question. On the opening kickoff of the 2009 opener against Western Michigan, Moundros ran down the field on special teams and made a hard tackle on the return man, knocking himself out of the game with a cut on his head.
On the first touchdown of the 2010 spring game, Moundros lined up in the linebacker spot against Michigan's offense. When the white team pushed the ball across the goal line and scored, Moundros lined up to block the point after attempt. A defensive player ran onto the field motioning for Moundros to switch sides and block for the PAT. The blue-jerseyed Moundros hopped across the line of scrimmage, crouched in his two point stance and blocked for the kick. Whose side are you on, anyway, Mark?
SEEN FROM THE SIDELINES
- The crowd stood on its feet for Roy Roundtree's entire run to the end zone after his 97-yard pass and catch with Denard Robinson.
- Even in the spring exhibition, Ryan Van Bergen was playing all out. The defensive end stormed off the field following a perceived no-call on a sack of quarterback Tate Forcier. He fumed on the sideline until he got a chance to get back into the game, then strapped on his helmet and sprinted to the line of scrimmage.
- Pierre Woods wore the same pink gloves the Patriots and the rest of the NFL Players wore for breast cancer awareness in October.
- Brandon Graham, Brandon Minor, Stevie Brown and tons of other seniors from the 2009 team supported their teammates on the sidelines during the game.
- Radio men Frank Beckmann and Jim Brandstatter didn't sit ONCE during the entire spring game. That's dedication!