This is not a rumor and this is not speculation. AnnArbor.com has reported that former EMU wide receiver Kinsman Thomas pled guilty to two counts of aggravated assault yesterday.
On December 14, 2011, a male EMU student reported that, while walking alone along the south side of Pease Auditorium (that’s the side facing Cross Street) at about 4:40 am that morning, “he was struck from behind and pushed to the ground by three men” who he described as having athletic builds, in their late teens or early 20s. The attackers took his bag, which contained a laptop computer.
On Monday, April 16, warrants were issued for the three attackers, described at the time as a 23-year-old EMU student and a 19- and a 21-year-old non-student. We now know that Thomas was the 21-year-old non-student. The charges against each were assault with intent to rob while unarmed and unarmed robbery, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years.
Yeah yeah Wednesday Thursday blah blah. “Tuesday Tidbits” is not a description, it’s the name of a feature. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
The rest of the story is that I got so caught up in all the NFL drama, which I found particularly interesting given T.J. Lang’s involvement, that I just never got around to writing up the tidbits. Speaking of Lang and the NFL, we’ll start there with an update on the story.
You may recall (I hope you do, it was only a few days ago) that one of Lang’s tweets invited NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to fine him (“Fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs.”), and indeed, given the NFL’s history in cracking down on criticism of officiating, a hefty fine seemed likely. This morning an NFL spokesman announced that none of the Packers players would be fined for their post-game comments. Let’s face it, this is probably about as close as the NFL is ever going to get to a mea culpa.
Last minute update: The NFL has announced that they’ve reached a deal with the real officials, who will return immediately.
After 39 years with the EMU Athletic Media Relations Office, Jim Streeter is retiring effective October 19. A 1973 EMU alumnus with a major in physical education and minors in journalism and history, “Streets” is EMU’s fourth Sports Information Director/Media Relations Director, heading up the office for 37 of its 52 years. Personally, in covering EMU athletics on Eagle Totem, I’ve worked primarily with Assistant Media Relations Director Greg Steiner, but the few times I’ve dealt with Streeter he’s been unfailingly kind and helpful. I join many others in wishing him the best in his retirement.
EMU alumnus and starting guard for the Green Bay Packers T.J. Lang made headlines in a way that no EMU football player has since…well, maybe ever. Just in case you missed it, here’s our story so far:
1. The NFL owners are engaged in a contract dispute with the officials. The owners locked the officials out, and hired replacements.
2. The replacements don’t have experience officiating game play at anything near this level — most of them have only officiated high school and Division III football, with a few having experience in the XFL (indoor pro football) and Division I. Also, apparently some of them previously officiated the Lingerie Football League, but were fired for on-field incompetence. (Really.)
3. The replacements have done a terrible job. As much as we all gripe about “normal” officiating, this is far, far worse. The replacement officials do not have any control over the game, and it’s a matter of time until this lawlessness results in a serious injury to a player.
4. This came to a head last night, on Monday Night Football, when a series of blown calls, culminating in a non-call on blatant pass interference and the ruling of a touchdown when the defender clearly had possession, gave the win to the Seahawks over the Packers. It’s all pretty clear from the replays we’ve seen over and over today, but what you don’t get a sense of on replay is how bizarre the whole thing felt — play after play — as it happened live.
5. No one, except a few Seahawks fans, took this very well. (Even some Seahawks players, once they saw the replay, apparently agreed with or at least understood the outrage, and an unidentified player on one of the Packers’ NFC North rivals termed it “the worst call in NFL history”.) Packers players, understandably, took it quite hard.
T.J. Lang took the lead in expressing his anger at the officiating, and he expressed it publicly, posting repeated comments on Twitter in the hours after the loss.
(Follow after the jump for more, including the uncensored tweets.)
Hustle Belt debated whether Saturday was MAC football’s best day ever or merely the best day since 2003. In other words, EMU’s 2012 opponents did good.
|Team||W||L||Total %||Conf||W||L||Conf %||Last||Next|
|Ball State||3||1||75%||MAC||1||0||100%||Won 31-27 vs. South Florida||9/29 at Kent State|
|Illinois State||4||0||100%||Missouri Valley||1||0||100%||Won 23-3 at Western Illinois||9/29 at South Dakota|
|Purdue||2||1||67%||Big Ten||0||0||N/A||Bye (won 54-16 vs. EMU)||9/29 vs. Marshall|
|Michigan State||3||1||75%||Big Ten||0||0||N/A||Won 23-7 vs. EMU||9/29 vs. Ohio State|
|Kent State||2||1||67%||MAC||1||0||100%||Won 23-7 at Buffalo||9/29 vs. Ball State|
|Toledo||3||1||75%||MAC||1||0||100%||Won 38-28 vs. Coastal Carolina||9/29 at Western Michigan|
|Army||0||3||0%||Independent||N/A||N/A||N/A||Lost 49-37 at Wake Forest||9/29 vs. Stony Brook|
|Bowling Green||1||3||25%||MAC||0||1||0%||Lost 37-0 at Virginia Tech||9/29 vs. Rhode Island|
|Ohio||4||0||100%||MAC||0||0||N/A||Won 44-10 vs. Norfolk State||9/29 at Massachusetts|
|Central Michigan||2||1||67%||MAC||0||0||N/A||Won 32-31 at Iowa||9/29 at Northern Illinois|
|Western Michigan||2||2||50%||MAC||0||0||N/A||Won 30-24 vs. Connecticut||9/29 vs. Toledo|
|Northern Illinois||3||1||75%||MAC||0||0||N/A||Won 30-23 vs. Kansas||9/29 vs. Central Michigan|
Now it’s just time to sit back and enjoy the game. The weather forecast is calling for a 50% chance of rain, with temperatures steady in the mid-50s for most of the day, and winds in the low teens. This could make for a sloppy game on Michigan State’s natural grass field, which some people say will hurt the passing games, and some people say will help the running games, and some people say will help the defenses, and some people say will help the offenses…
Open thread is now open. Discuss!
This week I interrogated Chris Vannini of The Only Colors. Chris actually contacted me for a Q&A over the summer; you can read what I wrote in those happier days before the season actually started, and then ponder how the first three games have changed the outlook when you read what I wrote for him this week.
1. Three games in, your thoughts on Andrew Maxwell?
He’s been about as expected, honestly. Outside of the first half against Boise State, he hasn’t turned the ball over, and his completion percentage on the year is 57 percent, and that’s without much help from his receivers. He seemed to panic a bit last week with his offensive line crumbling before him, but his decision-making has greatly improved since a three-interception first half against Boise State. He’s been able to make the throws, but his receivers too often haven’t been able to make the catch.
In addition to a complete reshuffling of kickoff and punt returners, three other listed starters have changed, though all three merely recognize changes that we’ve already seen on the field.