In 2006, Coach Carr used the film "Cinderella Man" as inspiration for the Wolverines. In looking for a film that captures the spirit of this year's team, "Top Gun" is clearly the movie the quarterbacks should be watching. It is uncanny to look at the parallels between "Top Gun" and the Michigan QBs in Fall Camp. Imagine for a moment, if you will, the 2008 QB competition as Top Gun:
- Nick Sheridan as "Maverick"
- Steve Threet as "Iceman"
- Shari Acho as Charlotte "Charlie" Blackwood
- Head Coach Rich Rod as Cmdr. Mike "Viper" Metcalf
- QB coach Rod Smith as Lt. Cmdr. Rick "Jester" Heatherly
- Zoltan Mesko as "Goose"
- Sam McGuffie as "Slider"
(setting: The players are gathered in the Football meeting room with Coach Rod addressing the team)
Coach Rich Rod: Gentleman, you are the top 1% of all college football players. The elite. The best of the best. We'll make you better. We'll teach you how to spread the offense right to the edge, further than you've ever pushed it before. At the end of Fall Camp, one of your names will be on the top of the depth chart. Do you think your name is going to be up there?
Sheridan: Yes sir.
Coach Rich Rod: That's pretty arrogant considering the company you are in.
Sheridan: Yes sir.
Coach Rich Rod: I like that in a quarterback. Just remember at the end of the day we are all on the same team out there. Gentlemen, this school is about winning. There are no points for second string. Dismissed.
(setting: Quarterbacks are in a position meeting with QB Coach Rod Smith)
Coach Smith: Throughout the year you will be evaluated not only athletically but also academically. Here to help you academically is Football Academic Counselor Shari Acho. She's not on staff so you don't call her coach but you better listen to her because the Athletic Department listens to her. It's all yours Shari.
Shari Acho: I've been going through your class schedules and some of you need to sign up for a foreign language class unless you test out of the requirement and none of you can do that.
Sheridan: (interrupting) I'm sorry ma'am but that's not right.
Shari Acho: What's not right?
Sheridan: While at Saline High School, I took...
Vince Helmuth: We.
Sheridan: Sorry, Vince. While at Saline High School, We...
Vince Helmuth: Thank You.
Sheridan:...took Spanish 4 and then tested out of the foreign language requirement.
Threet: (coughing) Baloney!
Vince Helmuth: No man. He really did. It was great.
Shari Acho: So you're the one?
Sheridan: Yes ma'am.
Coach Smith: (interrupting by yelling): Alright gentleman we have practice drills to run. Once the whistle blows the play is dead and there will be no contact after that. Move it.
*Scene later in the Fall
(Voice over as Sheridan and Mesko walk to the practice field)
Voice of Coach Rod: We've been through two weeks of camp and the competition for the top of the depth chart remains tight. Threet is ahead with Sheridan just behind.
Greg Mathews: Hey Sheridan. Did you hear about Threet?
Sheridan: What's that?
Greg Mathews: He was scoring on the defense all morning.
Sheridan: Oh, really? I FEEL THE NEED...
Sheridan and Mesko: THE NEED FOR RUNNING SPEED! OW!
(setting: players file in the locker room after a hard practice; Sheridan scored on the final play of the practice when he kept running for the end zone even after the play had been blown dead)
Threet: We scored on the defense all day!
Mathews: So did Sheridan's unit.
McGuffie: That's not what I heard.
Threet: After the whistle doesn't count.
Sheridan: After the whistle, my foot. We scored on those guys! Woo Hoo!
Threet: I don't think so.
Sheridan: What's your problem Threet?
Threet: You're everyone's problem Sheridan. I don't like you because you're dangerous.
Sheridan: That's right Threet. I am dangerous!
This rather warped view of the Michigan quarterback competition is a parody and should not be taken seriously. Go Blue!
*Note: Top photo of Maverick (Tom Cruise) and Ice Man (Val Kilmer) from the 1986 Motion Picture "Top Gun"
*Note 2: Photo of Nick Sheridan (left) and Steve Threet by JOHN T. GREILICK/The Detroit News