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Weekend Update: Salacious Details Of U-M’s New Weight Rooms

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Michigan Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys Facility Tour
“Prepare to finish” is a great slogan for a weight room, and not a very good slogan for a German embassy.
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
New Michigan weight rooms will feature a jacuzzi, DJ booth, milk dispenser

Ann Arbor, MI -- To be serious for a second: football weight rooms are like smart phones right now; in an arms race fueled by competition and money, they’re morphing into a very different kind of apparatus than they were originally intended to be.

And after Michigan’s Board of Regents approved a massive renovation of Oosterbaan Field House on February 16th, it’s now Michigan’s turn in the spotlight to show what they can craft. Sure, there will be the usual hydrotherapy, expansive sports recovery facilities, and it will all be a part of the largest weight room complex (for a moment) in the country. But you also need a few bells and whistles, too, and Michigan will be all decked out for not actually lifting weights in style.

First, there’s a 2,000-square foot underwater jacuzzi room, which will feature air masks decked out with Beats By Dre. Then, there is the Eternal Rejuvenation Room, which uses eternal life technology just for the football players. There will also be a dance floor, D.J. booth, and cookies.

Players will also have access to a constant supply of whole milk. “We were thinking about having live cows, actually,” said a secret source inside the Board of Regents, Andrea Newman, “but, turns out it was a health code thing. Couldn’t do it.”

Besides, as Michigan students fairly pointed out, the Ohio State Buckeyes had other things to do.

“Overall, this is a great step forward for the football players and for recruiting, but we need to do more,” said Amanda Vargas, a student at U-M. “Players need to get paid, too, and if the team loses, we shouldn’t criticize them.”

“I’m really impressed by the plans,” said a Michigan insider who’s seen the schematics, “although it appears there’s only one rack in the back corner for actually lifting weights. Not sure what that’s about. Still, the movie theater design is great, and it should be great for recruiting, so good job.”

Warde Manuel had no comment about the plans.

NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons
What’s bringing middle-class white men and black athletes together? Hatin’ Roger Goodell. Thanks, Roger, you da best.
Eric Seals-USA TODAY Sports
Football withdrawal affecting millions, forcing them to watch basketball instead

New Orleans, LA -- A silent epidemic is taking over our country: overdramatic sports writers. In the meantime, not having good sports to watch has been a problem, too.

Even though ratings were down for a noticeable portion of the season, football fans have had a hard time finding what else to put their energy into instead. The main sport happening right now is basketball, but their ratings are down, as well.

To get a better idea of why that might be, I walked over to Huck Finn’s Cafe in the French Quarter to talk to some local sports fans in New Orleans. The home-town NBA team, the lowly Pelicans, saw their fan base get energized this week after a fleecing trade that brought Demarcus Cousins over from Sacramento in exchange for barn wire, computer parts, and a praying mantis with good free throw shooting ability named Dave.

For the locals, this means more attention, a little second-guessing, and pressure on Alvin Gentry to turn the season around.

“Getting Cousins and Anthony Davis together is exciting ... for about a half,” said one patron, Ryan Andersen. “But with the way the game is, the tension just isn’t there. I mean, I’ve been trying to get hundreds of people to take my bet that this year’s Finals will be Cavaliers vs. Warriors, but no one’s been dumb enough, unfortunately. Also, because I would take their money up front.”

“The problem for me is that no one cares, and it’s that shared engagement that makes any game fascinating,” said Steve Millson. “When I turn on Premier League soccer, I don’t know the details, but I get that it matters to a lot of people who live there. Down here, when someone says ‘Who dat?’ at a Pelicans game, they really don’t know who that is.”

Manchester City FC v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Second Leg
Sergio Aguero famously gave the winning goal in the final minutes of the season to give Manchester City the Premier League championship in 2012.
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

“To me, the problem is that we can’t pay people under the table to hurt each other intentionally,” said Gregg Williams, a disgraced former native. “What the hell, man? I’m still bitter.”

At least a few people got a head start on cutting the cord from the NFL after a season where everyone finally seemed to reach their limit of commercials, sloppy play and dumb penalty calls by the refs. But it’s not clear where that interest and energy is going to go instead.

“I can still get my fix of hard-working, competitive, tough-minded people from, umm, really it’s just Master Chef Junior now, I guess,” said Daniel Pinkney out of Dexter, Michigan. “So there’s that. Also, kind of a niche sport, but I love this Oprah vs. her body weight thing that’s going on. She’s winning, but she keeps losing eventually and has to start over every time. I swear she’s lost thousands of pounds!”

“Also, there was this track and field on NBC that will eventually, eventually turn into Olympics qualifiers?? I don’t even watch the Olympics, for God’s sakes. Can there just be something good on?”

NCAA Football: Rutgers at Michigan State
Dantonio took a break from getting pummeled in every direction to participate in some dodgeball.
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
Big Ten coaches get together for charity dodgeball game, MSU loses

East Lansing, MI -- The Big Ten may be considered a stuffy conference that puts too much emphasis on tradition and history, but that was proven wrong at the 47th annual Glammin’ & Bammin’ Big Ten Coaches Dodgeball Game Sponsored By Jeopardy!, which has raised money for various charities and at-risk institutions since 1970. This year’s recipient was Michigan State football.

The dodgeball game featured all 14 Big Ten football coaches, and pitted them against each other in an East vs. West format. On the one side was Jim Harbaugh, Urban Meyer, James Franklin, the always friendly Chris Ash, D.J. Durkin, and Tom Allen, who strongly resembles Ernie Johnson on steroids. Mark Dantonio subbed in when he was able to take a break from putting out the constant, eternal hellfire in East Lansing.

On the West, the team started Jeff Brohm, Pat Fitzgerald, Lovie Smith, P.J. Fleck, Paul Chryst, and Kirk Ferentz, with Mike Riley coming off the bench. The game had an undeniable undertone of the nice guys of the West versus the insane competitors of the East who will do anything to gain an advantage, but despite that, the West fared a little better than people expected.

At one point, things got dicey when Jim Harbaugh tried to invite Lil Wayne, Tom Brady, and all 44,000 Michigan students to participate. “It’s not that it was against the rules,” said Michigan fans about the initial attempt by Harbaugh, “it’s that he was too genius for the rules to comprehend. Go back and look at the rules of the game, I dare you. Nothing says Lil Wayne can’t play.”

Technically, they were right, so this opened the door for an extended, epic battle that at one point featured 300 Spartans against 150,000 Persians, and at another point featured Ron Artest losing his focus in a 2-on-2. (Artest is in yellow.)

After a scintillating, non-stop, three-week match, the East finally prevailed when James Earl Jones and Meryl Streep teamed up against P.J. Fleck, with Jones shouting, “Hey, Fleck - row this!”

Unfortunately for MSU, the event ended up costing money rather than raising it, so the program got no funds.

“Hey, why couldn’t the rest of the movie have been this good?” ~Every James Bond fan, at some point

THIS WEEK’S TEAM IN PLAY: Replacing Daniel Craig as 007

Surprising and disappointing news this week for Michigan fans: editor Aaron Jones reported this week that Jim Harbaugh is a leading candidate to become the next James Bond.

The search began in earnest after Daniel Craig said on Tuesday that he will not be back in the titular role, but will instead pursue sequels for Cowboys & Aliens and Layer Cake. (“xXx? I’ll be back as XXXX!”) He’ll also star as the lead in a biopic about Matthew McConaughey, called “Lincoln.”

With Craig now firmly out of the picture, that leaves a valuable window of opportunity for Harbaugh, who said this week he was “enthusiastic to even be considered.” Several other contenders in the mix include Benedict Cumberbatch, Melissa McCarthy, Angela Merkel, Tony Kornheiser, John Oliver, an obscure New Yorker named Cosmo Kramer, Tom Hardy, the Dalai Lama, and Eddie Murphy as Donkey. Cumberbatch is said to be the favorite, according to Vegas.

The New Yorker Festival 2016 - Daniel Craig Talks With Nicholas Schmidle
“Life’s hard.”
Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for The New Yorker

“I’m really looking forward to the chance to compete and work hard,” said Harbaugh to the Daily Mail. “I mean, how many people get a chance to be James Bond? Nobody.”

When the Daily Mail reporter pointed out that a few actors have, in fact, definitely had a chance to play James Bond, Harbaugh just repeated “Nooobody” louder and longer than before.

“I’m looking forward to being the next Bond, reprising my role as Dr. Strange, and participating in every show that’s on the air on BBC,” said Benedict Cumberbatch to a small group of 18 million followers. “It’ll be a hoot, perhaps.”

Melissa McCarthy could not be reached for comment as she was busy saving the highly endangered slowly-defecating worm, while Tony Kornheiser made a point of saying, regardless of whether he’s picked, he’ll try to do better next time. Tom Hardy, when asked whether it was his dream job to play James Bond, said “hhnjh hllh grggf hhaah rtfg aahrbflmgb, aarplfl eah aahb errjsshnt.”