Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Sports Bar Westside Shouts "Keep That Paul Bunyan Trophy Michigan!"

" It's a state championship, they don't like us, and we don't like them" - Jake Ryan

    That pretty much sums it up. No one is really sure how this game is going to end up score wise. The one thing you can count on, this game will be as physical as any game we have seen this entire season. Last year's game lived up to that billing, expect the same this Saturday. Michigan State comes into this game with the best defense in the country, and an offense that seems to have found an identity under quarterback Connor Cook. 
     Michigan will have their work cut out, Devin Gardner will have to play a perfect game, turnover free, in order for the Wolverines to have a chance in East Lansing. In every way possible, this is a MUST WIN game for Michigan. A loss seals any chance of winning the Legends Division and an appearance in the Big Ten Championship game. On another level, a loss means 5 out of 6 for the Spartans, and 2 out of 3 under Brady Hoke. This will not sit well with Michigan fans, who certainly don't want to hear it from Spartan Nation for the next year. 
     Lloyd Carr always had a way of motivating his teams in an underdog role. We will see what Hoke gets out of this team come Saturday. It's time for Michigan to actually show up for a road game in 2013, play a full 60 minutes, and keep that Paul Bunyan trophy. 
The season is on the line, period, and I ask this Michigan team, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? 
We hope to see you this Saturday whether you're wearing blue or green!  Stop in to cheer on your team and enjoy our specials.  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Frustrated Fans at The Sports Bar Ann Arbor Westside!

Cheers to the Freakin' Weekend!  Was not what any of us that cheer for the Michigan Wolverines and/or the Detroit Tigers were saying, after two gut wrenching losses Saturday and Sunday.
    The Michigan loss in particular was extremely frustrating, all the questions about this team have been posed, and unfortunately answered with a 4 overtime loss to a sub par Penn State team. Michigan was in a great position to seal this game late in the fourth quarter up 34-27, with a 47 yard field goal attempt looming. With 2 timeouts remaining they received a delay of game penalty that pushed it back to what would be a 52 yard attempt, so they decided to punt. Penn State responded with a 80 yard drive that took only 30 seconds to tie the game at 34. How does this happen? How does Head Coach and Quarterback not have the awareness to see where the play clock is at. It's unacceptable. 
     We are all aware of the fact that the Michigan offensive line is not very good, young, inexperienced, whatever the reason. Then your All American Tackle sustains an injury and is out for the second half. Which leads me to this, it's time to part ways with Al Borges. His play calling was atrocious. After the 15th time your running back gets stopped for negative yardage, CALL A DIFFERENT PLAY! STOP BEING SO PREDICTABLE! I am pretty sure the Penn State defense was tuned in with all 11 guys after running the same play OVER AND OVER AGAIN. This is the fourth game that I can recall that his play calling has cost us the game. At MSU, and at Iowa in 2011, the second half at OSU in 2012, and this past Saturday. There was always the excuse that with Denard Robinson he couldn't run the offense he wanted to, and that may be true. Bottom line is, he has had windows where his play calling either didn't fit the personnel on the field, or was just plain predictable and conservative. With shaky wins against Akron and Uconn, the doubts were out there in full force. Maybe we just need to come to the conclusion that this team isn't very good, the talent is there, but maybe a year away from what we are expecting this year. In two road games this team has shown no life in hostile environments. So we are supposed to think this team can win at State? At Northwestern? At Iowa? 
     This is heading toward a 7-5 season real quick if they don't figure it out, and don't get it twisted, these top tier recruits that are verbally committed to this program will decommit in a second if we keep losing to teams we are clearly better than. This is the first time in these two and a half years under this coaching staff that I am feeling doubt creep in. How does Brady Hoke not call timeout in the fourth quarter when the play clock was running down, Al Borges is not the Offensive Coordinator we thought he was, Even Greg Matteison has us wondering. Why aren't we bringing more pressure? Is it personnel? Is it trust? You are doing your secondary a disservice when you let the opposing quarterback sit in the pocket for 8 seconds. 
     John Beilein, Head Coach of our basketball team, had to make some hard decisions after his third year when it came to his staff, Brady Hoke is going to have to do the same thing. I say bring back former players to the staff, Erik Campbell to coach the receivers, Mike Hart to coach the running backs, Marcus Ray to coach the defensive backs, and Scott Leoffler as Offensive Coordinator and Quarterback Coach. These guys have been here, been through it, understand this program, won championships, and bring a younger flavor that these kids can relate to. This weekend was tough, but we will all get back on the horse starting today when the Tigers and Red Sox play game 3 at Comerica Park, and this weekend when Michigan hosts the Indiana Hoosiers.
Hopefully we will all be a little more cheerful come Sunday.  But if our teams continue to play of our hot fudge sundaes or a brownie sundae may make it all better.
We welcome you to share your thoughts below.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Michigan's Bye Week Came at a Good Time After Two Shaky Victories. The Sports Bar Remains Hopeful Ann Arbor!

After the bye week, this Michigan football team has left us with a lot of questions. 

Is this team any good? 

Are they too young to compete for a Big Ten Championship this year?  ( 61 of 85 scholarship players are either true/redshirt freshman )

Is Devin Gardner better than he has shown in the first four games? 

Is Fitzgerald Toussaint the guy to carry the load, or should Derrick Green and/or De'Veon Smith be getting more looks? 

Does the Notre Dame win mean anything now that they are 3-2? ( and probably should have lost to State )

   With the conference slate starting this week with a home game against Minnesota, Michigan is looking to bounce back from two shaky victories, dropping them 7 spots in the national rankings. After the first two games, Michigan nation was rolling with enthusiasm and all the optimism possible. After the last 2 games, they are ready to shut the program down, with a zero in the loss column mind you.

    The bye week could not have come at a better time. Taylor Lewan, Devin Gardner, and other Wolverines I'm sure needed a week off to heal, and the coaching staff needed a week off to figure out better execution on the offensive line. Does Jack Miller need to be replaced at center? Is the core of our offensive line going to improve as the season progresses? The Connecticut staff came up with brilliant game plan in my opinion, blitz the middle of that line relentlessly and make those young kids adjust and pick up the stunts. It worked for three quarters. You can question Gardner's decision making ( and he made some bad ones ), but it's hard to play that position when your line doesn't block for you. In the end, our depth, and their lack of depth led to a comeback victory.
    The bottom line is this, the season starts now, somehow Michigan got through the first four games unscathed. Michigan Nation believes in this coaching staff, and in this team. The reality is, it's impossible to know how this season is going to turn out. Is there enough talent to win our division and get to the Big Ten Championship game? I say yes. Is there enough experience in big game situations to get us through a grueling conference schedule? That remains to be seen. I think we'll handle the Gophers, but they're better than they have been in the last 2 years under Jerry Kill. Going to Penn State is going to be tricky, Coach O'Brien has that team believing. Indiana has a big play spread offense, will they pick us apart if we can't pressure their quarterback? And then there is November, starting at Michigan State, in my opinion, the best defense in the country, and their season is made if they beat us. Home against Nebraska, the Black Shirts have struggled, but still a talented group overall. At Northwestern is going to be a nightmare, big talent, great coaching staff, and revenge on the brain after Michigan stole one from them last year. Iowa seemed like a gimme, but Kinnick stadium is a tough place to play regardless, and Iowa looks better than we originally thought. If Michigan sleep walks or looks ahead, they will lose. And after all that, and that's a lot if you ask me, there is the finale against the Buckeyes. This team is loaded. Braxton Miller, Devin Smith, Corey Brown, Evan Spencer, Chris Fields, Jordan Hall, Dontre Wilson, Ryan Shazier, Bradley Roby, CJ Barnett, just to name a few. When they go fast tempo it's literally scary. The only way to beat an Urban Meyer coached team is to step up and punch them in the mouth. I think Michigan did that in Columbus last year, but with some terrible play calling in the second half, they came up a little short. It is a mix of some favorable home games mixed in with some tough road games. This teams character will be tested, It will be interesting to see how they respond to adversity, and there will be a lot of that, believe it!
It's all in front of us, and like the rest of Michigan Nation, I can't wait!  I hope you will join me at The Sports Bar - Westside to TALK SPORTS!  While you're here enjoy a burger, steak, salad, or one of our specials.  The atmosphere is fun and the food is filling!