(Logo design donated to us for use by Mike Fitzpatrick)
Since 2010, Mike Fitzpatrick has created podcasts for Michigan fans around the world. His guests consist of Michigan greats to local beat writers offering insight on the football and basketball programs. Mike is preparing for this seventh season of the Michigan Man podcast and fans are starting to get real excited with the hype surrounding the program. I had the opportunity to talk with Mike about his podcast and his thoughts on Michigan Football.
Mike grew up with his father being a huge Notre Dame fan. After hanging around with a few friends, Mike “saw the light” and got into Michigan football and studied up on the football program. It wasn’t until 1968 that he headed to Ann Arbor to watch his first Michigan football game in The Big House against the Wisconsin Badgers. His first experience ended with Michigan winning the game 34-9.
Mike was involved with radio and voice-over work for a couple decades. He was once was part of the Michigan Sports Network for a time. His love for Michigan athletics provided him a new hobby and concept; a Michigan podcast. He wasn’t quite sure how to start it but started by reading a Podcast for Dummies book. He ended up creating the Michigan Man podcasts that eventually turned out to be a full time job with the quick success. It started off with having bloggers as guests on the show providing football or basketball related notes and updates. He was also able to add football player interviews, which included Jon Jansen and Jamie Morris. He enhanced his guest list to include local football writers, Angelique Chengelis and Nick Baumgardner. Mike has a “View from Section 17” segment that plays in the first half of the show that provides his thoughts about the previous game.
With the second season under the Harbaugh era approaching quickly, hype has been building around the team. Most writers and national analysts have Michigan in the top ten, some in the top five, to start the 2016 season. I asked Mike on what he thought and said, “Michigan may have a talented team coming into the 2016 season, but they have yet to prove they belong in the top five. This team has the potential of, at least, matching the 1997 Championship team, but it all depends on the offensive line. Kyle Kalis needs to improve at his position, but Mason Cole should be very good at the center position.”. He said this team has what it takes to capture a Big Ten title, but with roadblocks at East Lansing and Columbus, the slate won’t be easy. I asked Mike about Rashan Gary. He commented by saying, “He is a freak and I expect him to be in the rotation, but not necessarily starting at first string.” Mike said, Michigan needs to start winning to show the recruits/high school players that Michigan is Leaders and Best and not just about Michigan’s past doing the talking.” Kids today may not know the feeling of winning a championship at Michigan, or even a Big Ten Title. They would even be too little to remember Michigan’s last conference title and they weren’t even born when Michigan won their last National Championship. He feels Jim Harbaugh is the right coach to bring Michigan back to national relevance and continue the winning tradition.
You can always catch the Michigan Man podcast on his website at http://themichiganmanpodcast.com or in the iTunes store. His podcasts are up every Tuesday starting August 2nd. You can follow him on Twitter @TheMichiganMan.