Friday, August 31, 2007

Autumn Thunder Makeover Rescheduled.

In the first post I admitted to being really crappy at HTML. That still holds true. I've tried to make some site changes myself, and after a week, I give up. I'm turning to professional help. The makeover will happen soon though, and it will be awesome.


Sam McGuffie is injured! If football didn't start tomorrow I'd be in a heap on the floor crying. Goddammit, this just isn't fair for the guy. He has his whole season ahead of him and he gets injured the first game.

Get well Sam! Autumn Thunder sends you the best of vibes for your recovery.

Welcome J.B, Fitzgerald, You Look Like The Thing.

It's clobberin' time!

Well, he does, doesn't he?

The Chadman Cometh.

A general who faithfully served his troops for years.

How many times have I taken Chad Henne for granted?

God, I can't even begin to count. It's no secret that I hold Mike Hart on a pedestal. We all do, don't we? Maybe because of this undying adoration for Hart, I have glanced over one of the finest players to ever come through the tunnel in Michigan Stadium on a Saturday afternoon. One of the worst things we can do in life is not appreciate the gifts we are given. Chad Henne is a silent, deadly, big-chinned gift - and when he leaves us, there will be a void that is extremely tough to fill, even though we do have a giant Texan waiting in the wings.

For the last three years, I took comfort in knowing that Henne was at the helm of the offense. I had confidence that he wouldn't blow a big game, and that he was a talented guy who would leave his blood and guts on the field for us week in and week out. Was I happy to have Henne as "my" quarterback? Damn right I was. As long as he could hand the ball off to Hart. Or throw a bomb to Braylon. Or loft a perfect strike into the hands of Super Mario.

I just wanted Henne to make other people good, and I realize how selfish that is now. I never wanted Henne to scramble for the first down - I always cheered for Hart to get the glory. I never wished for Henne to throw a magnificent rainbow pass 30 yards downfield with a perfect touch - I wished for Braylon to make a miracle catch while doing 6 backflips and thinking about which charity he would donate to all at the same time. A few weeks ago I realized that I was subconsciously using Chad Henne's amazing talent as a tool to be happy as a Michigan fan - but Chad was never the reason for my happiness. I think that will change this year.

Henne and his Band of Brothers.

There's something different about Chad lately. He seems a little cockier. A little more sure of himself. How Henne got his groove? I don't know. I don't really care, either. I'm just glad to see the swing in his step again. Maybe it's the new 'do. Maybe it's the three-day stubble he's always wearing, which makes you think he's up all night studying playbooks, watching film, and going days without even a thought of leaving the athletic campus. Perhaps it's that grin in his eyes we see in all the media day pictures which seems to say "This is my year. This is my team. This year, I'm going to give you what you've all been waiting for."

I'll be rooting for you tomorrow, Chad. Mayber it's too little too late - but it's better late than never.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Autumn Thunder Makeover Pending.

Life certainly has been crazy this week. Between a hectic time at work, trips to the vet to get Mikey and Woodson fixed, and other things which make life zany, I've been bad about posting. My apologies.

I'm also taking this week to revamp the site before the season starts. By kickoff time on Saturday, Autumn Thunder will have a fresh face and will be more functional than ever. Thanks for your patience.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"Michigan Fan Day" or "How I Went Through Hell To Meet Mike Hart."

Today, I achieved a goal which I set for myself a long, long time ago - I met Mike Hart.

Yes, it was only for a few seconds. Yes, he didn't say much to me, or look me in the eye for more than half an instant, or even say thanks after I wished him a great season. But I met Mike Hart, and have proof of this meeting which shall forever be memorialized on an authentic Schutt Pro-Air 2 Michigan football helmet (thanks eBay!) inside UV resistant glass casing fit enough for the Museum of Modern Art.

This was perhaps the longest weekend I've had in a while. Perhaps if Mike Hart knew what I went through to make this 6 second meeting happen, maybe he wouldn't have been so dismissive, and maybe he might have even said something back to me after I told him how thrilled I was to finally meet him in person.

My journey through Hell to meet Mike Hart all started Friday morning when I found out Northwest Airlines had not processed the reservations I made for myself and my girlfriend almost three weeks ago.

(Thanks, idiots.)

I went into a panic at my desk at work after I got off the phone with one of Northwest's customer service peons because the airline was going to screw me out of my only chance to meet my favorite player of all time on his last fan day at the University of Michigan. I scrambled around the internet like Vince Young, racing from one discount travel site to another in hopes of finding 2 semi-affordable plane tickets to Detroit for that very same day.

I managed to score two tickets through United Airlines (ughhhhhhh) at about $400 a pop from Travelocity. The tickets called for a layover in D.C. and the normally 2 hour trip would take 5 hours. But Goddammit, I was meeting Mike Hart no matter what the cost or inconvenience. Besides, I could pack my lunch for work for the next month instead of going out of the office to eat to recoup back the money I splurged on the tickets. It would be worth it just to say hello to him.

So at 4:30 PM on Friday my girlfriend and I started our trek from Brooklyn to La Guardia airport in Queens. This included an hour subway ride, and then we had to transfer to a bus - only the bus never came. (Damn you, NYC public transportation!!!!) By some miracle, I was able to score an empty cab while standing on a highway in Queens during rush hour and get my girlfriend and I to La Guardia airport just in time to make the flight.

An empty cab on a busy NYC highway when I needed a cab more than ever? God was sending me a flashing neon sign that he wanted me to meet Mike Hart. Everybody knows that you don't ignore God when he's acting in mysterious ways. So we got in the cab, and I started to get the feeling that everything was going to be ok. I couldn't have been more wrong.

The plane boarded half an hour late. The cab ride miracle was superfluous. Why was the flight delayed? It turns out some stewardess wasn't where she was supposed to be and held up 200 people from getting to their destinations.

That very same stewardess was quick to provide very complacent and unapologetic answers when people asked if they would be able to make their connecting flight to Detroit because of the delay during boarding.

"Ummm, I don't think so. It's not really realistic. But hey, there's always hope!" she stupidly giggled. I silently swore to myself then and there that if that bitch kept me from meeting Mike Hart, I would tackle her on the runway harder than LaMarr Woodley ever tackled a quarterback in his entire life. Vengeance would be mine. Blood would be spilled. Justice would be served.

Fortunately for the stewardess, the captain of the plane had one hell of a lead foot. We made up 15 minutes in the air, and my goal of meeting Mile Hart was kept alive. My girlfriend and I made our connecting flight.

Next, came two hours of boiling frustration.

The connecting flight to Detroit boarded on time. (A United Airlines miracle!) We taxied to the runway, and then the plane stopped. One of the stewardesses (what is it with these women!) thought she smelled leaking fuel and alerted the captain. The maintenance crew was called to the scene, but they couldn't fix the problem on the runway and the plane had to be towed back to the gate with all the passengers inside. Mike Hart seemed to slip further out of my grasp.

45 minutes later, the leaking fuel problem was solved. But the plane had lost so much gas, we needed to have a fuel truck come over and give us a fill-up. 30 more minutes passed. I was about to explode like Alan Branch did on Anthony Morelli last year.

To top it all off, when the fuel truck was filling the plane, some jackass pilot double parked his jet in back of the plane in which we were riding. I didn't think it was possible to double park a jet aircraft because of all the tower supervision, but apparently the imbeciles at United Airlines had found the secret. 45 more minutes passed while nobody moved the offending aircraft. I was ready to knock some heads like Crable did to Troy Smith 9 months ago. Rage! Rage! Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaage!

Long story short, the trip from New York to Detroit took 10 hours. My girlfriend and I arrived at her parents' house (bless their souls for picking us up from the airport at 1:30 AM) at 2:30 AM. We were in bed by 3 AM, and were out the door at 6:45 AM to get to Michigan Stadium and get in line to meet the players. We got 3 hours and forty-five minutes of sleep after that hellacious ordeal. But you know what? I would have went on no sleep at all for the chance to meet Mike Hart.

My girlfriend and I got the stadium by 8 AM, and waited an hour and a half in line to enter the gates. Then we waited an hour in the running backs line.

Seemingly an eternity later, it was my turn to meet Mike Hart. It was the moment of truth. It was the holy grail of the Michigan Fan Day experience.

"It's awesome to meet you Mike!" I said with the excitement of a 5 year old boy on Christmas morning. I handed him my shiny new Michigan football helmet to sign. He quickly scribbled 'Mike H 20" on the side. "Thanks! Have a great season. I'll watch every play." I said.

There was no response from Hart. No "thanks man!" No "alright, see ya later." Hart just nonchalantly handed me back my helmet and motioned for the next fan to come his way so that he could bless whatever Michigan chachki they might present to him. 6 seconds, and it was all over.

If Mike Hart knew what I had went through to meet him, maybe things would have been different this morning. Maybe he would have been happy to meet me too, and maybe he would have said how honored he was that people are willing to come from halfway across the continent just to say a few words to him and have him write his name on some of their stuff.

Am I upset? Not really. How can I be? I realize that this was a hectic day for him, and that he can't concern himself with the troubles of pissant fans like me. He has an entire program to carry. He has thousands of smiles to put on a nation of Maize and Blue faces. He has an archenemy to defeat, a bowl game to win, and a championship to claim. I'm just a grain of sand in the Mike Hart desert. A drop of water in the Mike Hart ocean. A smiling face that he'll probably neither see again nor remember.

Was it all worth it for 6 seconds?


Plus, I also got autographs Donovan Warren and Junior Hemingway before the ushers kicked me out of the stadium. Sweeeeeeeet.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hip-Hip-Hair-ray for Brian Hoyer!

It's official: Brian Hoyer, the new MSU quarterback, is quickly losing his hair. I feel bad for this guy, even though he does play for the Spartans. No college quarterback should be losing his hair during the best part of his life. This is Hoyer's greatest opportunity to get some serious co-ed funtime, and his humongo forehead might seriously impede this.

Brian Hoyer, I'ma do you a favor. Here are some new looks for you that you can try out instead of the old "I'm losing my hair, so let's buzz it and hope nobody notices" trick.

This is standard issue Brian Hoyer. Pretty meh looking and needs a little excitement in his coif.

The James Brown: Brian, if it worked for the Godfather of Soul, it can work for you. After you get sacked, you can pop up again, yell "OWWWWWWWWWW! I feeeeeeeeeel good!" and then one of the assitants can come over and put a cape on will be awesome.

The 70's Pimp: With this haircut, when you're calling plays in the huddle, you can say cool things like "I'm not a snitch - I'm an urban informant." Plus, it's extra padding inside your helmet for when you get nailed by a linebacker. Fashion and function.

The Beethoven: Nothing commands respect like a big fluffy mass of gray hair. You can look distinguished and eccentric at the same time, plus it's great for tossing passionately when you want to write a song about how much your team is going to suck this season.

The Brian Setzer: It's a fun mixture of surfer dude attitude and 50's rockabilly rebelliousness. It'll be perfect for when you're jumping, jiving, and wailing under a big pile of defensive tackles.

The 80's Punk: Take your helmet off and ram someone headfirst to cause some serious damage.

Brian, I hope this helps. Remember - if you do well at MSU you might become a free agent in the NFL someday and be able to afford some plugs!

Marques Slocum: Keepin' It Gangsta!

Learn 2 Spell or Die Tryin'!

Sometimes, the material just presents itself! Muchas gracias to Orson at EDSBS for digging up this gem.

More fuel for Harbaugh? Sigh.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Chad Henne OK With Not Being Captain.

Captain Shmaptain! Who needs it?

It was announced today that Mike Hart, Jake Long, and Shawn Crable are the captains of the 2007 Wolverines football team. Was fourth year starting quarterback Chad Henne dejected about the decision?

"I was bummed when I heard the news. But I talked it over with a few people, and you know what? Not being captain isn't the end of the world. As a matter of fact, not being a captain can sometimes be a good thing."

"Aye Aye!" Said Mr. Smee. "Tis true. I was never a cap'n. Hook got the job and ruled the ship with an But look what happened to him! All people seem to remember is how he got beaten by a little fairy nancy and how he got eaten by a giant alligator. A mighty fierce man old Hook was. Too bad."

"Yes, that Smee chap was quite right." said William Murdoch, first mate on the Titanic. "When the Titanic colided with that iceberg and water started to overtake the deck, was I going to go down with the ship? Bollocks! That's the captain's job! People mostly forget my role in the disaster - but everyone remembers John Smith! They say 'that's the bloody idiot who can't rudder a ship for all the jewels in the Tower of London!' "

"Occasionally, reconciling with the fact that you're not the captain is tough," said William Riker of the Starship Enterprise. "Sometimes, even though you know you're totally capable of doing the job, there's someone else with a special quality that makes them the right person to lead. That doesn't take away from what you have, or who you are. It takes some time to accept this, but sometimes, a the greatest act of leadership is being willing to follow someone else."

Captain or not - Chad Henne, Autumn Thunder salutes you.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

OSU Fans of the Week!

BFF 4 Life!

College football keeps old friendships strong long after graduation day. Today, Autumn Thunder is proud to introduce the Michigan community to two best friends who went to OSU together, and remained close buddies to this day by watching football games in the bar where they first met.

Names: Jedediah McElroy (left) and Cyrus Potter (right).

Location: Columnbus, OH

Hobbies: Eating squirrels and bugs (Jedediah), watching death row executions with popcorn and soda. (Cyrus)

Ages: 46 (Jedediah) 44 (Cyrus)

Occupations: Deceased pet embalmer (Jedediah), animal roadkill scraper (Cyrus). See, they have so much in common!

Why They're Buckeye Fans: (Jedediah) "When yer life's wasted down the terlet, and you think it ain't worth livin, ya think of two things - friendship and OSU football and beer."

(Cyrus) "Hey friend, ain't that three thangs?"

(Jedediah) "Naw man. Friendship ain't no thang. It's a metephysical bond between two people that can't be categorized."

(Cyrus) "Whatchou talkin bout boy?"

(Jedediah) "Aw shuddup and get me a beer."

Isn't friendship wonderful? Autumn Thunder thinks so, and hopes you do too.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Big Billy Dollaz's Punch Out!

This game is rated D for Dollaz!

Big Billy Dollaz has once again shocked the Michigan community with the release of his new video game "Big Billy Dollaz's Punch Out."

"Yo Yo Yo! I've been droppin' Franklins and Hamiltons left and right lately. All the scrappin' and stuntin' our boys have been doin' has burned a hole in my pocket. Lawyers fees, bail money, silencing the press...damn! I needed to make some quick cash. My liquid gold fountain in my office was starting to dry up, and son, you never, never front on a man's liquid gold fountain." said Dollaz.

"So I licensed this video game. I figured with all the punches our boys have been throwing over the last few weeks, this game would be tighter than Mary Sue Coleman's ass in a press conference. Forshizzle!"

Punching him in the stomach does nothing - too much flab in the way.

"The first opponent you face is Flubber McGobbles. He's an Irish guy who kinda looks like Charlie Weis, but is most certainly not Charlie Weis, due to all that legal shizzle. He's rated really high in the game, but he never lives up to the hype."

He's a crafty one! Punch him in the brain!

"You'll also duke it out with Shifty Vesterson. He uses really good strategy in each bout and winning against him is never easy. What's that? Did you say he looks like Jim Tressel? Hellz naw! Any likeness is purely coincidental, homeslice!"

Punch him in the mouth before he causes massive damage!

"One of the toughest opponents in my game is Yappy Gumflaps. Look how big his head is! He comes out really pumped up, and he taunts you a lot. For some reason, beating him is extra satisfying these days. Oh, and he is definitely not Jim Harbaugh. Word."

Controversial or not - I am buying this game tomorrow! It will be a nice change from NCAA 2008.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Power of God Compells You!

I need a young coach and an old coach!

I have no proof to substantiate this claim, but I'm pretty sure that Football Satan is exerting his demonic will over our Wolverines. Arrington? Ok, I can believe that. Chris Richards? Carson Butler? That took me by surprise. Obi Ezeh? LaTerryal Savoy? I never pegged them as bad seeds. Now Quentin Patilla and Robert Thornbladh? Come on!!!! Supernatural forces must be at work here. When the Miami Hurricanes look like Altar Boys compared to the Wolverines, you know the Dark Lord is playing puppet master with some Maize and Blue souls. Somebody get an exorcist!

Kill! Kill! Kill!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Carlos Brown Is Fixed!

No More Fumbles for Carlos.

We were all disappointed today to hear that Carlos Brown broke his hand in practice. But, thanks to experimental surgery at the U of M hospital, Carlos Brown is ready to go and better than ever.

"It hurt so bad when my hand was broken! I didn't know what to do." said Brown as he crushed a bowling ball to dust with his new robotic fist. "But then strength coach Mike Gittleson came up to me and told me about this bionic arm thing they could do for me at the hospital. I was like 'hellz yeah!' Hook me up!"

"I told Carlos we could rebuild him. Faster. Better. Stronger." said U of M Chief of Medicine Jonathan Champaign. "I think we're all happy with the results. I just hope he doesn't stiff arm anyone this year. He could probably rip someone's heart out."

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Last Season?

L-R: Hart, Long, Manningham, Lloysus, Arrington, Henne, Mathews.

It appears that Lloyd's time with the Wolverines may be coming to an end after 2007. I have nothing to say about this that hasn't been said - But hey, look at that picture!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

When Good Wolverines Go Bad.

Step one: Think. Step two: Act.

LaTerryal Savoy was charged with indecent exposure and Obi Ezeh was charged with DUI. Come on guys! The season is 3 weeks away! Granted, if we lose both of these guys to suspension, it's not a deal breaker for the season - but still - it's disappointing to see such poor judgment when football season is getting so close. I sure hope nobody really important (cough cough Arrington cough cough) does anything stupid in the next few weeks.

Maybe this will serve as a wake-up call to the rest of the team, and wipe any mischievous thoughts from their brains which may have been brewing for the last 9 months.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Actual News: LaMarr Woodley Participates In Unveiling of Worst Mascot Ever!

Look how embarrassed he is. Poor Woodley!

Look out mascot world, there is a new contender for the title of Worst Mascot Ever Invented! Meet Steely McBeam, the new mascot for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Steely is a giant construction worker with a jaw bigger than Chad Henne's and skin yellower than most characters on the Simpsons. True, Autumn Thunder is a Michigan blog, but since Michigan man and Steelers rookie LaMarr Woodley helped unveil this gigantic embarrassment, Steely makes his AT debut today. Congratulations, Steely.

"It was so freakin' ugly I didn't quite know what to do," said LaMarr. "I threw up in my mouth when I saw it for the first time. After the unveiling, I went home and reflected on how awesome it was to play for Michigan, who knew that if you can't have a good mascot, don't have one at all."

They should have named him "Ugly McSuck."

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Charlie Weis Gets Helper Monkey; Eats It!

Man vs beast: survival of the fattest.

Because Charlie Weis was unable to perform many normal daily functions due to his weight problems and poor health in general, he was issued a helper monkey from the Helping Hands monkey assistance program for the start of fall practice. "Oh man, I was so excited to get him!" said Weis. "I named him Rockne and for a few days, he was a real help."

"But then, he stopped being helpful. I asked him to do normal everyday things which should be easy for a monkey if a guy like me is paid to do it. I said, "Monkey! Help me pick a starting quarterback for the 2007 season! I don't know what to do! He did nothing. The next day I said Monkey! Tell me how to stop losing bowl games! Still nothing. The next day, I said Monkey! Drive my Lexus to Wendy's and get me 15 Baconators and 10 Frosty Floats with Diet Coke! Then the little bastard flung his feces at me."

"So what did I do after that?" commented Weis. "I slapped a hot dog bun on him and ate the little critter. He helped curb my appetite."

Someone alert PETA!

Sam McGuffie Moves Into The Top 100!

He's here to kick ass and chew bubble gum. But he's all out of bubble gum!

It was recently announced that Sam McGuffie has moved into the top 100. Not that the ranking matters that much, but congratulations Sam! Your awesomeness is growing by the day. Sam McGuffie has a fistfull of boomstick and he's going to unloaded it in 2008! SWEET.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Notre Dame DL Caught Red Hand-ed!

WWJD? Certainly Not This.

Notre Dame's defensive line took a hit this week as projected DT starter Derrell Hand was suspended from the team after he was caught in a prostitution sting. You should have used your hand, Hand! Too bad for the guy - he didn't get screwed...but most likely, his scholarship and chances to play college ball did.

"I understand how hard it is to resist temptation," said ND coach Charlie Weis. "Derrell probably felt the same thing looking at those skanky whores as I do when I look at a big juicy hot dog. It's hard to say no!"

On the Autumn Thunder soap box for a second - if you're a projected starting player for the college football program who some would claim is "America's team" and you can't get laid without coughing up some dough, something is wrong. Is this guy a total idiot? All he has to do is walk up to any woman in South Bend and say 5 magic words: "I-PLAY-FOR-THE-IRISH." BOOM! Pants on the ground. If touchdown Jesus is rockin', don't come a knockin.'

Saturday, August 4, 2007

OSU Fan of the Week!

Business in the front, tailgate in the back.

Many thanks to Gary and Seth who reminded me that the OSU Fan of the Week should not be neglected. Well fellas, the truth is, I just had a near-impossible time finding someone who admitted to being an OSU fan! I got a lot of "ew!" and "oh come on, you can't be serious." But after weeks of searching, Autumn Thunder proudly presents...

Names: JimBob Hackenfield.

Location: Columnbus, OH

Hobbies: Bowling league, playing with his jug-band, and seeing how far he can spit tobacco into the wind.

Age: 39

Occupation: McDonald's fry-alator cleaner.

Why He's A Buckeye Fan: "I loves them Buckeyes! Watchin' them play is better than doin' the horizontal diggity-dance with yer sister. Ooooooooooooooooooooohweeeeee!"

It's good to be back on the wagon. Stay tuned for the next OSU Fan of the Week, which might not be next week...but rest assured, it's coming.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Determined To See The Field!

Low on scout ratings. High on evil genius.

When Michigan picked up two-star running back Mike Cox just hours after my personal Jesus Sam McGuffie committed, many people, myself included, were wondering why did this kid choose to come here? He'll have to contend with Jumpy McAwesome, Carlos Brown, Kevin Grady, and Brandon Minor if he wants to see the field. After a catching up with Cox, Autumn Thunder has learned he's a man with a plan.

"Well," said Cox, while carrying a suspicious package from ACME out from the post office, "I do have a well-though-out plan to see the field. Does it involve hard work? No. Does it involve training and hours of film review? No. But just trust me. I know people don't expect much out of me, but that's fine for now. Hey totally random question - what size bear trap do you think it would take to snare Kevin Grady? Large sound good? Has Carlos Brown had mono?" Then he started to cackle with madness and his eyes had a maniacal glow.

"Michigan fans will know the name Mike Cox very soon," he remarked. "Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go find Brandon Minor...Muahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Ha! Ha! HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Hart Pulls No Punches For Harbaugh!


Mike Hart wears his heart on his sleeve. He doesn't duck questions, and he always speaks his mind. I've always loved that about him. After reading his comments during Big 10 Media Day, I can't help but wonder if he's crossed the line between honesty and lack of discretion regarding what he said about Jim Harbaugh. Hart made valid points - Harbaugh's assertions about Stanford were self serving, and he did take a Michigan transfer student into the Stanford program while at the same time criticizing the academic credibility of Michigan football players. But Mike, you didn't show much class out there today. I hate to say it - but you almost sounded like a bitter, whiny jerk.

To an extent, we all feel a sting from Harbaugh's words. But the true mark of a Michigan man is to show class at all times, even when you're boiling with anger and have a chance to take a public shot at the source of your frustration.

I know that criticizing Mike Hart on a Michigan blog is punishable by 40 lashings. I will go to confession tomorrow and repent.


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