Dying a Slow Death?

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Dying a Slow Death?

Postby Yooper at Heart » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:31 am

Hey all...longtime visitor to this board but have only started posting within the last year. Wanted to get some discussion going on something that has struck me this season - is high school football in the U.P. dying a slow death? I ask this question for a lot of reasons (which has been discussed some previously), including but not limited to:

* - Traffic on this board seems to be way down this year. I know other social media sites have taken away traffic on message boards, but it seems really pronounced this year. It just doesn't seem as many people are into it as before and I would assume that trickles down to the kids. You can also make the case that traffic in some threads is down because FDF isn't posting here anymore, but that's another story.

* - The dissolution of the MPC. This has had far more collateral damage than the nearsightedness in Bruce Crossing that fateful day when the decision was made to turn the WestPAC into a closed conference. I think the damage will be even more pronounced in the long run than just losing the long-standing rivalries that were blown up just for the potential to get creamed in the playoffs. We now have Hancock-Iron Mountain instead of Iron Mountain-Kingsford. Few other than parents are going to make that drive for a game, which leads to an even further erosion of interest. Negaunee playing Ishpeming and Westwood in what are non-conference games and not playing Marquette at all? You can hear the yawns all over the Iron Range.

* - The scheduling issues of the GNC can't make it easier for the U.P.'s marquee programs. You have to give Kingsford credit for taking on all comers, but does the average fan care they are playing good competition? They only know 0-3. That keeps the average fan home.

All of these things compound over time and I'm afraid that eventually many kids and parents, and eventually schools, will say the juice isn't worth the squeeze. You'll have a lot more Manistiques than stable programs in the next 5-10 years at this rate. Am I off my rocker?
Last edited by Yooper at Heart on Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dying a Slow Death?

Postby Hambone » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:45 pm

I wish we had a like button, because that is one solid post.....

Traffic is down, there are a lot of "old timers" that still post. Young people don't post on message boards, they prefer to do things like Snapchat where they don't have to put out any thought or effort into what they put out there.

I stand firm in my belief that the West PAC/MPC merger was the worst thing to happen to UP HS football. Filling schedules is one thing, killing long standing rivalries is another. Teams that are 5 minutes apart don't play each other any more, if you don't see anything wrong with that I can't help you. The day will soon come when the West PAC AD's that asked for this lose control over their conference to the MPC and the other AD's.

Unless someone, like the MHSAA intervenes the GNC schools are in a world of hurt scheduling games starting in 2020. There will be one week to try and get a game with Wisconsin schools, after that good luck and plan to spend a lot of time traveling below the Bridge if you can get games.

Attendance is down, unless to get two really good teams playing. I don't see any chance of any real rivalries starting under the new MPC/West PAC merger.

I've been around HS football for 40 years, it's my favorite time of year. I've been to games with 3000+ fans that now draw 500. People tell me that kids have changed, but in general all people have changed. Our population in the UP is aging, the younger generation doesn't come out and support the schools like they did years ago. I hope I'm around to see it swing back in the other direction.
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Re: Dying a Slow Death?

Postby Yooper at Heart » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:48 pm

I think what you will see happening with the GNC is some sort of double round-robin schedule. You may not play everyone twice, but you will see perhaps playing two teams twice and two teams once. I couldn't see them playing a full double round-robin for eight games against each other, but you never know. It may be more palatable than running below the bridge all the time.

My experience is whenever decisions are made for everyone's own self-interest instead of the good of the whole, the entire thing eventually collapses. Doesn't matter if it's sports, business, whatever.
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Re: Dying a Slow Death?

Postby GNCrocks » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:18 pm

One solution to the GNC would be a Eastern/Western Conf. Merger with Northern Lower Peninsula schools and the Soo. By the way this was very close to happening last year AD's were all on board but 2 of the 5 school board superintendents killed it. These northern LP Class B schools are going to start having the same issues not as far as scheduling they will find game but their choice is going to be get clobbered by Large Class A schools looking for easy 6 wins or play Class C schools and get no playoff points and never host a home game. Independent schools, other schools new to Class B and teams who want out of the Big North can make this happen.

Here is an example of a what I am talking about.
GNC West
Kingsford
Menominee
Gladstone
Marquette
Escanaba

GNC EAST (examples only)
Soo
Cheboygan
Cadillac
Gaylord
Boyne City

You would only play 2 teams from the opposite division each year (thinking of travel), you would play 3 if you took first in your division in a week 9 championship game.
1. You would play everyone in your Div (4 games)
2. You would be "Hitched" to a team from the other Div for 4 years (random draw) and play 4 home/away/home/away with them (1 game)
3. You would only play 1 other cross divisional game, a different team during those for years. (1 game)
Example if Escanaba was "Hitched" to the Soo for 4 years. Their 4 year schedule would look like this. 1. Soo/Cheyboygan 2. Soo/Cadilac 3. Soo/Gaylord 4.Soo/Boyne City (If your hitched game is home, your other is away)
4. Week 9
GNC West 1 plays GNC East 1 (only cross divisional game in week 9) Call it the GNC Championship Game
Within your division then...2 plays 5, 3 plays 4 (yes this would be a rematch game)

5. You and your cross Div HITCHED team could always swap weeks 4 with 2 or 1 to asst one another with scheduling, as you would be HITCHED to them for 4 years.
6. Worst Case scenario you would only play a cross division team on the road for 2 games. (taken the travel nearly out of it) If your HITCHED team was a home, your cross divisional game would be the only one on the road. The only other way it would be a 2nd game would be if you made the GNC Championship game and it was your divisions year to be the road team.

Schedule would look like this
1. open for scheduling (traditional rivalries, if still alive)
2. open for scheduling (open to schedule)
3. Div Game
4. HITCHED Game
5. Division Game
6. Division Game
7. Cross Division Game
8. Division Game
9. GNC Championship week. (only first play teams play cross divisional) all other games are inter-divisional 2 plays 3 and 4 plays 5. Or if you wanted you could do 2 vs 5 and 3 vs 4. Would be interesting for teams needing playoff hopes.
Even years East hosts, Odd Years West hosts.

You can go on and on about how this school or that would never do it, but keep in mind this was (not the scheduling part) all but a done deal 8 months ago.

I have also attached a 4 year Example of an Escanaba Schedule keeping rivalry with Alpena in Week 1 and finding a random game for week 2.
esky ex.PNG


Menominee Example
menominee example.PNG


GNC East Example (Cadillac)
cad ex.PNG
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Re: Dying a Slow Death?

Postby upfootball » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:02 pm

Yooper at Heart. You see it straight. You are correct across the board.
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Re: Dying a Slow Death?

Postby GNCrocks » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:09 am

GNC East
Soo
Petoskey
Cheboygan
Boyne City
Alpena

Remember this post....
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Re: Dying a Slow Death?

Postby ftballfan » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:57 pm

GNCrocks wrote:GNC East
Soo
Petoskey
Cheboygan
Boyne City
Alpena

Remember this post....


Gaylord instead of Boyne would be more likely IMHO
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Re: Dying a Slow Death?

Postby u.p.power » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:26 pm

do you really think this will happen, it would be awesome. :?:
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Re: Dying a Slow Death?

Postby big papa » Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:02 am

There is something seriously wrong when Marquette has to go to Lakeland WI and Negaunee is playing Gogebic in the same weekend when they’re not playing each other this year. I have bitten my tongue long enough. Negaunee AD is totally incompetent and should be fired. Period. If for no other reason than the magnificent rivalry between Marquette and Negaunee coming to an end because of him. Not to mention the demise of the best lower division conference in the State , of which he was a major contributor. Sorry everyone, playing l’anse and gogo just don’t quite cut it for me. And that ain’t the kids fault, it’s the admins fault.
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Re: Dying a Slow Death?

Postby Respect The Rock » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:06 am

When Negaunee, like every other team in the conference, joined the West PAC, their 9-game schedule was automatically set. They don't have the freedom to schedule non-conf. games dumbass. They did this so they could guarantee themselves 9 games in the U.P. and not have to travel to Wisconsin or the Lower Peninsula to fill their schedule or end up like Ishpeming, struggling to put together an 8-game schedule. Know what you're talking about before you criticize someone. You're the incompetent fool.
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Re: Dying a Slow Death?

Postby yoopernib2 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:23 am

Respect The Rock wrote:When Negaunee, like every other team in the conference, joined the West PAC, their 9-game schedule was automatically set. They don't have the freedom to schedule non-conf. games dumbass. They did this so they could guarantee themselves 9 games in the U.P. and not have to travel to Wisconsin or the Lower Peninsula to fill their schedule or end up like Ishpeming, struggling to put together an 8-game schedule. Know what you're talking about before you criticize someone. You're the incompetent fool.

The GNC crowd has a strong dislike for the West Pack for that reason(guaranteed scheduling) instead of trying to grow their conference they just talk about how the West Pack is doomed for failure. To that I say nothing lasts forever. And now one of the teams in this so called closed conference has scheduled a game against a GNC team. Good luck Lake Linden Hubbell!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Dying a Slow Death?

Postby big papa » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:44 am

Exactly my point! There are/were about a half of dozen “elite” programs in the Yoop that didn’t have to take marching order from anyone. Negaunee being among them. Which goes right back to the AD being incompetent. When you’re getting ordered by l’anse and Hancock who your gonna play, that’s a real problem.
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Re: Dying a Slow Death?

Postby upfootball » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:18 pm

I have missed the likes of big papa. Good to hear from you again!
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Re: Dying a Slow Death?

Postby upfootball » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:34 pm

Respect The Rock wrote:When Negaunee, like every other team in the conference, joined the West PAC, their 9-game schedule was automatically set. They don't have the freedom to schedule non-conf. games dumbass. They did this so they could guarantee themselves 9 games in the U.P. and not have to travel to Wisconsin or the Lower Peninsula to fill their schedule or end up like Ishpeming, struggling to put together an 8-game schedule. Know what you're talking about before you criticize someone. You're the incompetent fool.

Really? Know what your talking about? You should take your own advice. Marquette, Kingsford, Menominee, Gladstone and Escanaba have openings every year. Why would Negaunee have to go to Wisconsin for a game? Marquette and Gladstone were going to drop them? Please. When Negaunee joined the WestPAC, the schedule was not automatically set. The AD's came up with this incompetent crossover plan after the league was formed. Now you have Manistique who couldn't get a team together this year. Lake Linden is so tiny it will be a small miracle if they play 11 man next year. They would be in the SMALL division of 8 man if they chose to switch. Think about that! Bark River has a poor team this year an is forced to play Iron Mountain... to replace Kingsford? This is a great system for the larger schools in the WestPAC and Ishpeming who keeps their rivals. It's a load of crap for everyone else. This is sustainable? It doesn't take any sort of intelligence to see that it isn't. Can you imagine forcing the WestPAC Copper teams to play 2 games against the GNC schools? They would fill their drawers.
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Re: Dying a Slow Death?

Postby haulpack » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:42 am

Whew,all of this arguing and anger makes me wanna have a cold refreshment or four,cheers! :P
"A fool and his money are soon parted,so just how long have you been broke"
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Re: Dying a Slow Death?

Postby pondrocket14 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:29 am

Can you imagine forcing the WestPAC Copper teams to play 2 games against the GNC schools? They would fill their drawers.

Sorry. I dont see Calumet or Westwood being scared to play anybody in the GNC. Cal has played Gladstone and Mqt many times and have enjoyed the rivalry. Hancock should have beat Meno last year if not for a coaching blunder.
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Re: Dying a Slow Death?

Postby big papa » Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:36 pm

Your right about Cally. But don’t forget Westwood is an old MPC team. They’re having an unusually good year. And this is the first time in probably 40 years that both Menominee and Kingsford are down in the same year. That ain’t happening often.

Bottom line on my comments is the Neg AD was too lazy to go looking for a couple games so demo ing the MPC was the easiest thing to do. That’s a f’in disgrace. It’s gonna also ruin the smaller West PAC schools sooner or later. Probably sooner. I’d rather get beat by Marquette than beat a l’anse or gogo
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Re: Dying a Slow Death?

Postby upfootball » Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:19 pm

pondrocket14 wrote:Can you imagine forcing the WestPAC Copper teams to play 2 games against the GNC schools? They would fill their drawers.

Sorry. I dont see Calumet or Westwood being scared to play anybody in the GNC. Cal has played Gladstone and Mqt many times and have enjoyed the rivalry. Hancock should have beat Meno last year if not for a coaching blunder.

Well, I say.... saying it and actually doing it are two different things. Calumet having a great season in the WestPAC, but they could easily have been the last place team of the GNC this year. Of course none of us will ever know now will we? Calumet got to play Menominee in the playoffs only a few years ago. I think it was over in the 2nd Qtr. If they played again this year with Menominee at 1-6. I'd say it would be a pretty good game.
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Re: Dying a Slow Death?

Postby tdh74 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:05 am

big papa wrote:Your right about Cally. But don’t forget Westwood is an old MPC team. They’re having an unusually good year. And this is the first time in probably 40 years that both Menominee and Kingsford are down in the same year. That ain’t happening often.

Bottom line on my comments is the Neg AD was too lazy to go looking for a couple games so demo ing the MPC was the easiest thing to do. That’s a f’in disgrace. It’s gonna also ruin the smaller West PAC schools sooner or later. Probably sooner. I’d rather get beat by Marquette than beat a l’anse or gogo


Even though you would rather get beat by Marquette than win over L'Anse or Gogebic, Negaunee wouldn't. The AD is only partly to blame on this. He's just a puppet for the coaches. They would rather beat on the Gogebics of the UP than face tougher competition and maybe even get some more playoff points by beating a larger school. Coach Jacobson is out to protect his legacy. I don't expect that he'll be there much longer. He's running out of talent and Negaunee football has lost its luster over the last few years. I'm hearing that a lot of kids are getting tired of being judged by their last name or who their parents are drinking buddies with instead of talent. As long as that core group of coaches are there, they will never lobby to renew the Marquette game or play any GNC school!
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Re: Dying a Slow Death?

Postby yoopernib2 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:45 am

tdh74 wrote:
big papa wrote:Your right about Cally. But don’t forget Westwood is an old MPC team. They’re having an unusually good year. And this is the first time in probably 40 years that both Menominee and Kingsford are down in the same year. That ain’t happening often.

Bottom line on my comments is the Neg AD was too lazy to go looking for a couple games so demo ing the MPC was the easiest thing to do. That’s a f’in disgrace. It’s gonna also ruin the smaller West PAC schools sooner or later. Probably sooner. I’d rather get beat by Marquette than beat a l’anse or gogo


Even though you would rather get beat by Marquette than win over L'Anse or Gogebic, Negaunee wouldn't. The AD is only partly to blame on this. He's just a puppet for the coaches. They would rather beat on the Gogebics of the UP than face tougher competition and maybe even get some more playoff points by beating a larger school. Coach Jacobson is out to protect his legacy. I don't expect that he'll be there much longer. He's running out of talent and Negaunee football has lost its luster over the last few years. I'm hearing that a lot of kids are getting tired of being judged by their last name or who their parents are drinking buddies with instead of talent. As long as that core group of coaches are there, they will never lobby to renew the Marquette game or play any GNC school!

This one's for my friend Upfootball. Remember my friends in Negaunee if you want a school that doesn't care what your last name is or who your parents are drinking with just go a little farther West where all we want are good football players!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Dying a Slow Death?

Postby MNYooper » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:09 am

Great thread of righteous opinions...I agree with Haulpack, you need a malted beverage to go with this one!
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