Welcome to the Friday Feedback. That’s how it goes, right?
Things are not as they seem today. I’m not Mike, something I’m thankful for just about every day, and I come without a name. How does Mike put it? I’m a “said person.” Or “Someone Who Knows” or “Somebody” or however he puts it when he tries to act a little more informed than the average person because he has a job that puts him in contact with people smarter than him. I’ve never come across someone who seems to know so much and really doesn’t know anything. Or anyone. Can someone explain to me why “sources” are needed to report the date of the spring game?
I digress. I was asked to pinch hit for today’s big occasion, the 100th Friday Feedback. I guess the Big East tournament is hard work. Every time I’ve see Mike on TV this week, he’s hunched over his seat holding his head in his hand, which isn’t easy if you’ve seen his head. Or his hands. Fortunately, all sorts of people have lined up to fill the post and do his work for him, which is the laziest thing he’s done since Texts from Game Day.
So here’s to 100 Friday Feedbacks, even though this blog has been around for two-and-a-half years and 120 or so Fridays. What do you expect from a beat guy who works five days a week?
As always comments appear as submitted — because I’m not editing them.
LJ… err, Mike. Nah, LJ; you’ll always be LJ to me.
That is how you started after all, way back when I had high hopes for your progress as part of the newspaper industry’s future. Now – what? – a big deal is 100 Fridays for this blog. It is as though Jon Landau had declared Bruce Springsteen was rock and roll’s future in 1974, and a decade later Springsteen was working with a synthesizer. Oh, wait…
A confession: Early last decade upon my return to Pittsburgh I managed to set off the New England states by correctly pointing out shortcomings as football fans. This started a stretch of several days that computer techs at my then-employer had to continuously reset my email because it had crashed as New Englanders had united to fire upon me from their computers. Their NFL team arrived in Pittsburgh, beat the one there in an AFC title game, and that event triggered even more emails from the New Englanders – these to point out how very wrong I had been about everything, ever.
Several weeks later a friend asked if I had ever seen anything like what I experienced with those New Englanders. “Yes,” I said. “I have a friend in West Virginia who drafted the blueprint by treating the University of Maryland in similar fashion.”
So, as I now blog (through clenched teeth) about men that hack away at frozen rubber pucks with composite sticks, perhaps I can finally admit that I’ve been copying off you, dear LJ, since before anybody knew you as Mike “I know WVU sports better than you know your wife” Casazza.
I doubt many of the school officials, coaches and athletes you have covered over this blog’s history will pay you any notes of kindness or offer well-wishes on this historic day. That is as it should be. Those people have lives. You should look into one, at least for Trixie’s sake. Of course, if you did, this blog wouldn’t be the first read of a WVU grad in Pittsburgh. Actually, I’m sure there are enough of my type to fill a message thread, if not the Big state of Texas (note: way inside joke).
Congrats, my friend, on many blogs well done… which is saying something given the picture of you that runs with them.
Penguins/NHL beat reporter
Newspaper guy - you all know who I’m talking about
-This is the guy who thinks that just because he writes about sports he’s due a golden glove in a softball league
-This is the guy who takes pride in mopping up fantasy football leagues, despite the fact he covers sports FOR A LIVING!!
-This is the guy who likes to tell stories to his sports crazed buddies about hanging out w/ local celebrity coaches/athletes as if it’s nothing
-This is the guy who was once offered a spot on Morgantown Dancing With the Stars and declined…as if somehow his local celebrity status allows him to decline such invitation.
-This is the guy who has been accused of being both Cuban and from New Jersey … We all know Mike isn’t Cuban!!
Which leads us into Airport Guy
-This is the guy who just can’t seem to get it right in the airport, despite the fact that thousands around him w/ significantly less airtime have mastered it
-This is the guy who enjoys airport bars waaaaaay too much!
-Lastly, this is the guy who just about every day wakes up around 10am, stretches, adjusts himself and gets to write and debate about sports all day while the rest of us actually work for a living. And usually this is done w/ beverage of choice in hand – what a life!
Mike, I would like to congratulate you and the blog and thank you for giving us office ridden sports fans something to do all day … but I would be leaving out the true stars like StraightOuttaNorthCentral, glibglub, Country Roads, and all the other blog superstars who have carried the weight of your blog for some time now. To those of you/us I say “Salut”!
Owner, Baldwin Properties
Congrats on making it to 100 Blogs. It’s not everyday someone gets on the internet to share their thoughts with the rest of the world to a certain group of people. You are certainly setting the bar.
It’s hard to believe 9 years ago you were writing three page stories on my beloved Mountaineer Maniacs for the DP. I will share my joy through a song from my favorite Peas with Black Eyes.
“I”ve got a feeling, woo hoo, that this blogs gonna be a good blog. Tonight’s the night, let’s live it up. I got my money let’s spend it up. Go out and smash it Like oh my God. Fill up my cup, mozoltov.”
Congrats! I look forward to 100 more ramblings about WVU, especially if Herd91 continues to post comments.
First Executive Director of Mountaineer Maniacs
Back in 2005 I remember sitting in my Anthropology 201 class my Junior year at WVU. It was a class full of about 150 students and the teacher was lecturing about who knows what.
While sitting there in my seat I was dosing off and happened to look down to the newspaper in front of me on the floor. It was from the Dominion Post Sports section and the headline happened to read “What happened to Mike Ganseys’ game!” Written by the infamous Michael Casazza. While I didn’t want to read it, I couldn’t help myself and just had to see what was said.
Now at the time we were really struggling in Big East play and I was not playing very well personally. We stared the season 10-0 and had really fallen off by now. In the article he said all the right things: team struggling, Gansey game gone, wasted hot start, etc.
After I read this I was livid. I wanted to prove this joker wrong. Isn’t that part of the job for reporters, to get under people’s skin like he did mine? Actually he wrote the facts and that’s his job. But for me I was upset and in a way he motivated me even more by writing this article.
So fast forward to the end of the year. My game eventually came around and the Elite Eight is where we ended up so all was good! But after reading that article in mid-Feburary of 2005, I never thought I would become such a big fan and friend of Mr. Casazza.
To this day one of my favorite articles by Mike is the famous Bagel that was dropped in the trash at the Big East tournament pre-game meal in 2005. Not because I was the one that dropped the bagel but it was the reason why we went so far in the Big East Tournament that year! (Yes I’m superstitious to a fault) It has been well-documented on Mike’s blog and for good reason.
Some may or may not know this but Mike and I share a sad but common bond. We are die hard Cleveland fans! All the suffering year after year, we are the ones that go live through it. Like back in 2007 when the Tribe was up 3-1 on the Red Sox in the ALCS and we both told each other this was our year! Or when the Browns drafted the next Joe Montana in Brady Quinn to team with coaching guru Romeo Crennel! (Wait, did I just say that?) We still had high hopes before every season for our teams but never seemed to be the ones with the last laugh.
Whenever I get back to Morgantown we try to get together. We talk regularly about the current Mountaineers as well as everything else related to sports. Even I can say his journalism expertise has rubbed off on me a little bit. I write my own blog right now!
Today is a special day for someone that works very hard at what he does. Thanks for sharing our sob Cleveland sports stories together, as well as writing all the great blogs you have written in the years!
Starting guard Erie Bayhawks
Mike, Congrats on your 100th Friday Feedback. Thanks for the publicity you gave me a few years back about teaching class. It’s turned out to be a very nice side project for me and I thank you for the compliments and the added exposure.
Associate Sports Information Director
West Virginia University Athletic Dept.
What can you say about a man who is admired, revered, and loved by everyone? I can start by saying he’s not the man we’re honoring today.
100 Friday Feedback blogs, honestly, congratulations. You deserve the highest of praises for taking 30 seconds of each Friday to cut and paste a WVU sports press release and then asking for everyone’s comments.
That’s quite a work day. Part-time telemarketers everywhere are jealous.
I don’t want to say Caz has it easy, but he gave up a full-time job (with benefits) of being a tree to become a blogger.
I have to pause for a second, John Beilein just lost another game and Caz has to blog about how he is doing wonders for the Wolverines.
Hey, could you please do another blog on how unlucky you are when you travel? Mike, you’re traveling woes have nothing to do with you being unlucky. It’s because you look like bin Laden.
The second you walk into an airport, 100 security guys are on their radios screaming, “We got him.”
Seriously, you have created your own little niche in the Internet world that you should be proud of. You are now on equal footing with Ask Jeeves. Good job.
OK, honestly, congratulations. There is no one else in this state who could have created an informative and entertaining way to report on WVU athletics as you have. Here’s hoping for more success in the future.
Dominion Post/Best man
This guy just doesn’t get enough credit. Look at his record. No, not that one. . . hey, everybody marauding High Street runs afoul of CSI: Morgantown at some point.
Rather, look at the who’s who fleeing WVU’s campus since Casazza came on the beat: John Beilein, Pac-Man Jones, Jason Gwaltney, Rich Rodriguez (gee, Simba, it’s still in the past, but you don’t think he worked his Mountaineers more than 20 hours a week, do ya?), three different presidents, two legal counsels, one Mike Brown, a Doc Holliday and Chuck Finder.
Perty impressive list.
And he’s working on that Hertzel fella.
Is Jack Bogaczyk still wearing those Andy Williams Collection sweaters to cover ballgames, too? Yeah, Casazza hasn’t had time to deal with that yet. Busy with all that investigative journalisming, ballgame covering and Friday Feedbagging, or whatever it’s called.
A hunnered Feedbarks? Gee, maybe Hundred, W.Va., should declare Mike Casazza Day just for this occasion.
Congrats, man. And, hopefully, no one threw anybody under a bus without knowing the full story (mine!), no pitchforks were raised in illogical anger, and no torches got lit over the mere mention of a certain reporter’s name.
I want to take this opportunity to share 10 things blog readers may not know about Mike.
1. Mike falls down whilst playing softball. A lot. And it’s not because he is clumsy. It is how he covers for his errors.
2. Mike has baby hands. Don’t ask him to CTRL/ALT/Delete. He probably doesn’t have a wide enough span.
3. It takes no less than 30 minutes for Mike to brush his teeth. Jann Barber is pleased by this.
4. Ever wonder what makes Mike angry? Ask him about the time Kevin Pittsnogle lied to him. Oh, and ask him about kickoffs. Kickoffs.
5. If you say a sentence to Mike — any sentence — he can immediately repeat back to you the first letter of every word in that sentence in order.
6. Mike is imaginative. Sure, you know this already. But you don’t know where his imagination takes him. For example, when faced with a snow-covered satellite dish and no practical way to get to it on the roof in a foot-and-a-half of snow, he thought he might climb a plastic deck chair onto tree limbs then scale the limbs over to the roof. This picture depicts how far he got with that idea.
Plan B was throwing snowballs at the Dish until the snow slid off. This eventually worked, but service was not restored due to ice on the dish that couldn’t be removed by snowball bombs.
7. You think this is Mike’s dream job? Wrong. He wants to open a food delivery service in the Outer Banks. I can’t give any more details than that … wouldn’t want to give away his secrets (and his retirement income).
8. Mike loves ECU’s football team’s entrance. He’s good for an excited description of it at least once every football season. Maybe twice if Mylan Puskar Stadium’s show is particularly awful.
9. People often wonder if they can talk to Mike about something other than sports. Of course they can. Politics and religion.
10. Wanna know what excites Mike? Most of the time he could care less who is playing in the NCAA men’s basketball championship. But he will stay up late, watch all the hoopla after the game, and sit on the edge of the couch cushion until Luther Vandross starts to sing “One Shining Moment.” He loves that “moment” in college basketball so much he used the song for his entrance to his wedding reception. Ok, actually, this was his wife’s idea. But she thought of it only because of his love of the “moment”.
I should add that Mike is the hardest working person I know. He isn’t like most of us who have our work routines with Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 type schedules. He doesn’t have an off switch and he wouldn’t be able to use it if he did. I think that is a big reason why this blog is so successful. It’s a way for him to constantly mull over various occurrences, conversations, events,etc. and have an outlet for his musings. Lucky us.
I don’t pass out compliments randomly or frivolously. That said, you exemplify all that sports journalism should be. Congratulations on your one-hundredth blog Friday Feedback. ”You have come far, Pilgrim.”
For a reason or two, you asked for a contribution. I cannot assume that whatever I write is such or will be such a thing … it smacks too much of ego, perhaps, and also maybe that of a self-serving intent. People should give because they believe in what they do, the foundation and principles of the recipient and expect nothing in return. You are one of the few who meets
such a standard. The vast majority of WVU athletics, particularly its student-athletes, also, meet such a standard. Gotta love these kids.
I have always looked at WVU Athletics, such has been reflected within my posts and characterized by glub as being ‘cosmic’, as an observation of events and people. Glub, all I have to say to ‘cosmic’ is that if you reference it as a Flash Gordon type of cosmic, I promise to hunt you down without mercy. ::chuckling:: Everyone should be enabled to have ‘out-of-mind’ experiences now and again.
Erinn, I told Mike that I would not mention to you his remark made to me that you have Hobbit feet. I think it was in retaliation to some reference of size of hands and that paybacks can be a bitch. You may want to seek clarification of that from him. Naturally, I am teasing … maybe. I must say that a few times, you have let your writing skill, mind, and education
cut loose. People should see much more of that within the blog. Your ‘Kilroy is here’ impersonation exhibited during last year’s Villanova ballgame cannot be underestimated, either.
Huggins, you do look as though that you have lost some weight. Way to go, Bob! By the way, Richard Simmons would like his “manmu” back that you wear at every ballgame. Incidentally, love your Thunder on the Mountain recruiting philosophy, “Gonna recruit me an army of tough sons-a-bitches”.
Bill Stewart. With so many collegiate programs looking like professional sports farm clubs, this is a man who is needed. These are universities and a head coach, I believe, needs to be a humanitarian and educator before that person is a tactician. I see that benefit exhibited, for example, in Devine and Sanders. Glory on the field of play is fleeting. Knowledge is forever. I like to believe that if Stewart had been the head coach during Chris Henry’s time at the university, Henry’s life would have been much different. It does not take much to alter a life … perhaps to even save a life.
Scooter, two words … Defensive Fullback. I am very proud of you and of your brother. While Jason’s wishes to play ball may not have turned out the way he wished, sometimes the best wishes are those that are never granted. Scooter, I know that you will be back full bore, all go, no quit and with a large grin across your face.
Student-athletes are under tremendous pressure these days. Anyone with an Internet connection has been enabled to subjective analysis of these kids. Perhaps, every now and then, it should be remembered that a kid’s performance on the field of play is, perhaps, a hundred fold better than any best play exhibited by the person making the critique. I must remind myself of that now and again. It does not mean that everyone should take on that regurgitating-syrupy-always-on cheerleader persona. It simply means that balance should exist in all things.
The university is presented with timing and tremendous opportunity. I hope that it does the right things. Clements, if you would like to know what a nobody believes, let me know.
I could live a thousand life times and never repay what these kids have done for me over the years and how they, without knowledge of the fact, have helped and inspired. I owe each and every one of them. Thank you.
Finally, Jerry, come back home, come full circle.
Many here today will honor the Friday Feedback for all it has done in its first 100 editions to enhance the lives of Mountaineer fans near and far.
I won’t. I’ll simply point out all the wrath that has been left in Ye
Olde Feedback’s wake.
Rich Rodriguez was a central figure in the Feedback’s infancy, and
nothing good has happened to him since. When the Feedback began, Rich Rod was a beloved native son leading his alma mater to never-before-seen heights. As FF picked up steam, Rich lost the biggest game of his life, took some poor advice from a pseudo-agent and was soon not only reviled in one state, but two!
Other victims of the FF include former WVU President Mike Garrison and soon-to-be former WVU AD Ed Pastilong. Heck, just this week the Feedback tried to stir the pot again with Mike Carey.
(Dear Friday Feedback,
I admire your work.
Sincerely, Gen. George T. Sherman)
Perhaps the Feedback should take a page out of Tiger’s book and hire Ari Fleischer to repair its image?
Anyways, congratulations Friday Feedback for making it to 100 without so much as a letter of reprimand from the powers that be. Contrary to the opinion of some, that is indeed a big deal.
Arkansas Tech Men’s Basketball (29-1, No. 1 in Division II)
(6:05 AM): Who knew this feature would become such a phenomenon? Dare we say it has surpassed CEJ in cultural relevance? Congratulations on hitting the
(6:06 AM): Century mark…you are now eligible for syndication.
It all started one day when Rob Rossi, who once worked for me at the Dominion Post but has gone on to reach heights no one ever could have imagined, considering that no matter what word he tried to spell it came out GFAD, which I never did understand … anyway, he came to me and suggested that I hire this kid from Virginia as a sportswriter.
To say I was impressed when he came by the office is to put it mildly. Unshaven, fly open, hadn’t had a haircut in a month, he walked in and asked me if I had money for a bus.
I hired him on the spot. He reminded me of myself.
And I was right.
Oh, I don’t want to say that he was slow … but he once was caught on a broken down escalator in a department store for an hour and a half, until the fire department came and rescued him off those unmoving stairs.
He invited me to his house one time, showed me his collection of books. It was quite impressive, except that he ran out crayons.
Anyway, he became a sportswriter at the D.P., and he was an immediate hit, especially with Barb Born, but that’s another story entirely.
Anyway, it’s funny, we became close for a boss and a worker and we discovered that we both had the same favorite day – the day we left the Dominion Post.
Mike, of course, on gone to be this big city sportswriter, a guy who actually wears a suit jacket to events at times. Of course, that only means Erinn didn’t iron his shirt.
Now he’s done 100 or a thousand or however many blogs it is and I think that’s a great thing.
I might even read one of them one of these days.
Times West Virginia
Enjoy the weekend!