Michael’s College Football Predictions

One of Michael’s favorite times of year was awaiting after he returned from camp…the start of the college football season. He loved the hype, the predictions, College GameDay and watching all the action.

He was getting ready to start something new on his blog and that would have included some video-blogging. In preparation for that, he spent some time earlier this summer working on a few of his predictions for the season. He completed predictions for eight teams in total, including his two favorites, Michigan and Oregon. We watched Michael work on these eight teams and saw him meticulously balance the wins and losses as he started this process, paying close attention to detail which would have carried through to those teams that he had yet to do.

We will be eagerly watching Michael’s predictions as this season gets underway!

We love you Michael and will be rooting for your teams❤️
IMG_8530Something tells us he would have snuck in a “Go Blue” here

IMG_8537And a “Go Ducks” here

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Michael Brindley, just1mike.com a memorial tribute

Known for his kind heart, passion for sports and zest for life, Michael Brindley passed away suddenly and unexpectedly this summer at the age of 16 from natural causes.Michael.Soph.Photo

A rising high school junior, Michael created this blog three years ago when he was just 13 as a place to begin his dream of sports writing and broadcasting. His passion for sports was contagious and he was described by many as having an encyclopedic mind for stats and sports knowledge. Since the inception of just1mike.com, Michael published 110 posts with his last post on June 18, 2016, just days before he died.

IMG_7855Michael’s sports passion started at a very early age and his allegiance to certain teams was no secret. He absolutely loved the Oregon Ducks, Michigan Wolverines, Buffalo Bills, Oklahoma City Thunder and the Chicago Cubs. His favorite sports were undeniably football, baseball and basketball. He was also a fierce supporter of his two brothers and their football teams, the Nazareth Academy Roadrunners and the Saint Xavier University Cougars as well as his beloved high school teams, the Hinsdale Central Red Devils.

While this blog was Michael’s main vehicle for writing, he was also a student writer for the Daisy Field Life Magazine in his hometown community, contributing regularly with an “Athlete of the Month” column. After completing a high school journalism course last year, he interviewed for and was brought on staff to start writing this school year for The Devil’s Advocate, an award winning publication from his high school.

IMG_3666 (1)Michael’s favorite times of year were undoubtedly “March Madness” with college football season playing a very close second. His passion for college sports was always electric but caught even more fire during March Madness. His ability to master information on all the teams and his own form of bracketology dazzled us all. What we will never forget is the enthusiasm, big smile and the twinkle in his eye when he was so happily wrapped up in all the excitement.  He shared his bracket and predictions for this year’s tournament on his blog. On April 5, 2016 he predicted Villanova to win the tournament by two….Villanova won this year by three points.

Before Michael left for camp this summer he worked on his college football predictions and had those ready to post at the end of the summer. We will post those predictions before the start of the college football season this weekend.

IMG_0043Attending games and sporting events was naturally one of Michael’s favorite past times and he went to some great events….the BCS National Championship game in 2011 to watch his Ducks take on Auburn, the Big 10 Football Championship in December of this year where we also went to the College GameDay broadcast (his favorite show), some great games at Wrigley Field cheering on his beloved Cubs and several Michigan basketball games, to mention just a few. He missed getting to a couple meaningful places on his wish list….watching Michigan football at the Big House in Ann Arbor and seeing the Buffalo Bills play a home game in Buffalo.

IMG_8520Some very special things in the world of sports took place in the days following Michael’s passing through the help of his cousin Meghan who works in social media. Seth Davis, @sethdavishoops, writer for Sports Illustrated, host of Campus Insiders and in-studio analyst for CBS’ NCAA men’s college basketball coverage tweeted about Michael…

 

IMG_9797Mike Golic,@espngolic, co-host of ESPN’s radio show Mike & Mike and Adnan Virk, @adnanESPN, an anchor for ESPN’s Baseball tonight honored Michael with a photo holding up Michael’s blog name, just1mike.

On July 1st, the day of Michael’s memorial service, the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts added a just1mike sign to the NBA championship display for the Cleveland Cavaliers. That night, the dome was illuminated in red to honor and remember Michael. We can just see the smile on our boy’s face as he saw these wonderful tributes and the red dome that night.

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IMG_8516Michael was all in when it came to sports, but he had another very strong interest and passion as well and that was his team, his company at Culver Military Academy Summer School. This six week summer camp is a unique and wonderful leadership opportunity that draws kids from around the world to the campus of Culver Academies on the shore of Lake Maxincukee in Indiana. Michael had just started his third and final summer of the program in June and would have graduated with a First Class rank from Culver at the end of July. He was in the Naval School and a devoted member of the unit Naval Two, affectionately known as Super Two.

IMG_8525Michael loved Culver and the brotherhood of Super Two. He formed friendships around the globe and became both a leader and a great friend to so many kids from his company and throughout the camp. We traveled back to Culver at the end of July to represent Michael at an important end of camp event and his favorite event, the Naval School Communications Relay. The boys of Naval Two lost a friend and a brother this summer. They are a very special group of young men who dedicated their summer to Michael and honored him in many beautiful ways.They designed a special Com Relay shirt and dog tags which they wore for Michael during the race. We were presented shirts and dog tags before the race by two of Michael’s dear friends of Naval Two which is something that will stay with us forever.

IMG_8474 3We are a family of five and will always be a family of five. Michael is the youngest of three boys and has grown up surrounded by the love of his two devoted parents, his brothers Robbie and Jack along with two dogs, Lucy and Hunter. He brought so much love, joy and laughter to our family. Our house was filled with sports banter, and endless loop of ESPN on TV followed by the countless games we watched together. We have been a divided house when it comes to Chicago baseball with Michael and his mom rooting for northside Cubbies and his dad and brothers cheering on the White Sox. This year though, our family has united for Michael to cheer on the Cubs. We are so hoping that this is the year for the Cubs to take it all…GO CUBS GO!

 

Michael, was a passionate sports fan with a love for writing and dreams of working for ESPN one day. More importantly, he was a loving son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and dear friend to so many. He was and will always be a gift and tremendous blessing to our family. Our lives are forever changed by the life and loss of our beloved Michael. A bright light to all who knew him, Michael touched the lives of so many people with his beautiful smile and friendly ways. While his life on this earth was much too short, he packed it full of love, passion, affection, laughter and loving kindness.

We love you so very much Michael and know your light will shine forever❤️

Your loving family,

Mom, Dad, Robbie & JackIMG_7328

 

 

College GameDay & The Big 10 Championship Game

An outside viewer would think the Big 10 Championship game was incredibly boring this year, but trust me from a first hand experience this was the most exciting football game I have been to. To put this into context, I also had the opportunity to go to the all time 4ef0997d-90f5-4729-8668-63d8a49a8fac_19581_CUSTOMclassic 2010 BCS National Championship between Oregon and Auburn where Cam Newton broke the heart of all my fellow Duck fans. The excitement surrounding the city of Indianapolis, the the host city for the Big 10 Championship, was unbelievable. Everywhere you went, you would hear “Go Hawks” or “ Go Green, Go White”. As a life long Michigan fan, I have never hated to hear two phrases in a week, except of course  “O-H-I-O”. This whole experience was so memorable for me, and that is why I am here to share it with you guys.

To start, my mom and I woke up at the crack of dawn to be in the front row of my favoriteIMG_7200 show, ESPN College GameDay. As anti-Finebaum and SEC signs filled the mob of the students and fans, the show was ready to go. Coach Corso played to the crowd, while Kirk Herbstreit was a trooper, as all of the Iowa and Sparty fans were not too kind to the former Buckeye. Hearing Tom Rinaldi touch the crowd with his powerful stories, seeing Des show off his dance moves during commercial breaks, and watching Chris Fallica, “The Bear” power down the famous flaming hot shrimp cocktail from St. Elmo Steak IMG_7198House, were all highlights of Gameday. My favorite moment from being at GameDay was when Heisman Trophy Winner, and one of my role models Desmond Howard saluted at me because of my Michigan hat. College Gameday was awesome, and I know someday that I will be at the desk as an analyst.

IMG_7223After Gameday I headed to the Big 10 fan fest, where I met former Michigan State, and current Cincinnati Bengals defensive back, Darqueze Dennard. Dennard was not a fan of my Michigan shirt, as you can see in the picture he put a green sweatshirt to cover the maize and blue. Dennard asked me how old I was, when I told him I was 16, he said there was still time for me change into a Spartan. Although it was cool meeting Darqueze, I still bleed maize, blue and khaki. I wish Darqueze and the Bengals lots of luck as they head to the playoffs.

Fan fest came to an end, and I was off to Lucas Oil Stadium. The Hawkeyes came out to their signature “Back in Black” and the stadium was electric. It was crazy how many more Iowa fans there were, I really think the whole state of Iowa was in the Stadium. The defenses dominated the entire game. It was like watching the steel curtain vs the ‘85 Chicago Bears. I have never heard a stadium get as loud as it did when Trevaun Smith broke free for a long touchdown to put the Hawkeyes on top.images-1 Sparty responded with a nine minute game winning drive, it was remarkable to see. This game was one for the ages and I had the time of my life. I’m really hoping that this was the first of many Big 10 Championship games that I will attend and I’m also hoping that I’ll see the streets of Indy flooded with maize and blue as well as hear the phrase “Go Blue”.