"The face of the operation is Briatore (referred to exclusively in the film by his colleagues and angry, chanting detractors as "Flavio"), an anthropomorphic radish who spends most of his time at QPR plotting to fire all of the managers."
Since we have now come to the conclusion that there is nothing to talk about, it is time to go Seinfeld at the blog and talk about nothing. Here is my little bit of “nothing.”
Have you noticed your posting habits changing because of the points system? Perhaps I am just a hyper-competitive type, but I know where I rank in terms of "Users by mgopoints" [you know you have checked...be honest]. To put it in football terms that most can relate to here, I am a "Top 25" user by mgopoints. My actual ranking is 21 [EDIT: currently 20th; EDIT: T-19th], and I have jumped two positions in the last couple of days. I know this says something about me and I am pretty sure what it is...but one can only be so vulnerable in a post like this.
For me, if I have a something to say, I now say it. I used to pass over threads and keep my thoughts to myself and would be content to go months on the sidelines. I am more willing now to invest a few seconds/minutes/hours in actually writing something to post in a Diary/Forum. Previously, after a quiescent period, I would then I would jump in and post up a storm for a couple of months before receding back into the shadows. Usually my busiest posting period would be in my slow work period, in real estate sales that is the fall/winter.
As I have noted my own habits changing, it seems to me [without empirical evidence] that there is a greater profusion of Forum posts and there is certainly more Diaries being posted [this one included], and less and less of them are about substantive football issues. I will admit a little guilt in this regard, but have also been open to the advice of fellow mgobloggers in terms of putting my “Best by the Numbers” series in the Forum. Do you get the sense that people have more incentive to post because they receive points for the post? I sense that they do. [By the time this is done it will be long enough for a Diary post…so…why not?] Posting has been incentivised and any time you offer incentives for a certain behaviour, the amount of that activity will increase. Perhaps tighter standards [the top quartile of users by mgopoints can start threads] would control the profusion of off topic and repetitive topics, but that might further incentivise posting.
On the other hand, perhaps all of this profusion of topic formation is good for Brian in that it increases the number of page views and thus his income. Perhaps he is incentivised to allow posting to increase to a point where he reaches that critical mass/economies of scale point where any more profusion of topics decreases page counts? Perhaps he needs to hand off Forum/Diary administrative duties to some others [self serving plug: top 10, 20, 25 users by mgopoints?].?
I am also a little more careful in posts. Heaven forbid that I do a “BlueFront.” I do also think that the point system and the voting system, as much as I dislike the anonymity and lack of specificity of down votes—that is, you often don’t know who is voting against what and why—has resulted in a greater degree of civility. People seem to be watching their tongues a little bit, avoiding obviously inflammatory exchanges and in spite of my philosophical objections seems to be a success in the area of civility.
So what do you think? There is really nothing else to talk about now. We might as well turn in a do a little naval gazing.
July 2008- Daddy Rod is the best daddy ever!!! Daddy said that since I was so good during all these divorce hearings, he would buy me a dog. I hate being in court when all those people say mean things about my Daddy.
August 2008- I FINALLY GOT THE DOG! I named him Sheridan. He's not very good at tricks yet, but Daddy says he'll learn.
October 2008- Sheridan pooped. A LOT. It made a mess on the couch. My uncles all blamed Daddy, but it was Sheridan's fault.
December 2008- House covered in poop. I want to cry most days, but Uncle Barwis yells bad words at me and tells me this is a family business.
February 2009- The house is getting cleaner, but everybody just compares our yard to our neighbors. I hate Mr. Danton! He is so serious and grumpy all the time.
April 2009- I just wanted to tell you about my new pet! Daddy Rod bought it for me. It is a WOLVERINE!!!!! I named it Tater Tot. He is super cute and furry- I can't wait for him to grow up so I can play with him!!
December 2009- Tater Tot grew up, raped the neighbors and escaped into the woods nearby. I can hear him crunching on the bones of all the forest creatures at night. What has Daddy done?
Due to the discussion in other threads about what is and isn’t an appropriate diary entry, I thought I’d post my actual diary here as an example.
Nov 22 – I set off into the desert today. Never in my life have I entered this wasteland so early. Normally, I wait until after Jan 1, but alas, this year the normally friendly city grew hostile. Will I be able to survive this much longer in barren wilderness?
Jan 8 – I can still see the city. How can I have I been wandering this long and still be within sight of civilization? I saw my cousin Penn State getting beaten by Goliath, now coming to join me in the desert. I witnessed as Utah, who beat out me in a sloppy ugly fight, rose to destroy the Sabanites. I watched as the black sheep of the family, Ohio State, got Charlie Browned again. He was so close to making contact with that ball before Lucy pulled it away and he fell again. Now the whole family is in exile until we atone for our sins.
Feb 4 – I’ve discovered an oasis! Up to this point I’ve been living off of whatever scraps of info could be found. Rumor and innuendo have kept me alive, but have left me far from satisfied. In this new place, called Signing Day, there is all the info I can handle! I shall gorge myself on these recruits. Oh no! 2 of the more fulfilling snacks have left for other camps! But I needed more DT! How will I survive the rest of my journey, as well as my upcoming battles in the cities next year and beyond? Overall I am satisfied with this Signing Day oasis, I just wish there was some female companionship instead of all these high school boys…
Mar 20 – I’ve had little to carry me through since the Signing Day oasis. That feast satisfied my, but I grow hungry again. I’ve been living off the recruiting cactuses occasional rumor beetle. Please let me find a sign of life soon.
Apr 11 – Another oasis! This one is called Spring Practice. I shall gorge myself again. The offense fulfills me; however I’m a bit leery of the defense. Maybe it would be better if key ingredients weren’t missing. No matter, I shall have my fill here and keep moving on.
June 1 – I’m starting to lose my mind. I’ve had nothing of substance for weeks. If not for the recruiting cactuses, rumor beetles, and abundant (though unsatisfying) speculation fruit, I’d surely be dead by now. Perhaps death would be preferable to life in this wasteland.
July 4 – I’ve found a small pool. It’s not an oasis, but it has saved me from the brink of insanity. It is called RELOGD. It is a wonderful place of chili, ribs, beer, and jello shots. It has helped me to reconnect with my past, and strengthen my spirit for the rest of my journey. But why were there so many guys with no shirts?
July 16 – I can see it! I can see the city once again! It is still a long way off, maybe a little under 2 months, but at least it’s within sight. I only hope that I have earned my penance, and can triumph in my battles this year.
Book of Seniors, Chapter 12, verses 1-40
And so it came to be that in the second season of the pain of the 17th Age of Leaders, the Emperor had reached the end of his reign. For eleven weeks, he would ride to battle with his army as he had done many seasons past. He summoned his new field general before him, and laid down for him the commands he would issue to his troops.
"Your predecessors have failed me. See now that I have scattered them to the winds, and struck them with maladies to make clear your path. Recognize my power, and rejoice."
His general knelt before him, throwing out his arms and calling out the glories and wonder of his Emperor, praising his powers and thanking his divine mercy. He called upon the god Yhohst, begging a host of virgins to please his Emperor. And again the Emperor spake unto him.
"See now my temple in the City of the Trees is nearly rebuilt. Its towers stand all the more mighty. Its glass gleams to reflect my spirit back onto the gathered faithful. Its shape shall summon praises from all corners and focus them, until the very crust of the earth is split."
His general shouted more praises, and swore to fell a thousand Buckeye Trees in his name.
"And you, anointed one, you shall have your portion. The power of the Forcier shall ring out through out the land, and women shall throw themselves at your feet. Babes shall cease their wails and men will tremble, humbled fully as you pass. Because I have ordained it."
After this, the Emperor and his general sat, and consulted with the grand battle planner and all his aides de camp.
As before, the season of pain began, and the temple was defended. The City of Trees shook and was alive. The battle planner was tireless. The general was fearless. The enemies were helpless.
When enemies threatened to command the battlefield, the Emperor himself took up his armor and met his foes, and threw them down 50 and 60 marks. When his weapon would make contact with the insturment of battle, the sound would split rocks and crack steel. Battlefields became awash with maize and blue. None could stand in the way of the Emperor and his holy warriors.
And at last, it was the twelfth week. The land had been purged of unbelievers. The new general had proved his worth, and his Emperor's faith was shown right as always. All had fallen as the Emperor had forseen, and he knew his troops ready.
On the horizon appeared a single figure, small of stature, but broad, robed in scarlet and gray, he carried large golden trumpet, which he put to his lips. When he blew, the sound was not sweet, but a sickening, maddening tune. Drawn by its heinous melody, a slavering, chattering horde of vile, half dead creatures crested the horizon, lead by giants dressed for battle. And at their head, King Tre-salleh.
The Emperor looked to his general, who began assembling his holy warriors to defend the temple once more, and stilled him with a gentle touch.
Summoning all his power, the Emperor picked himself off the ground and floated as a whisp of smoke towards the approaching horde. Storms raged in his eyes, and flame belched from his nostrils as he drew each breath. His hair burned from his head, and steam poured from his body.
As he neared the gathered enemy, he opened his mouth as if to speak. Out of his mouth came the blast of every trumpet of heaven's great marching band, and the voice of every single believer, in the most powerful and perfect instant of the Emperor's fight song. All around, the trees screamed, and the rocks bled, and the lakes boiled, and the birds fell from the sky. Flowers bloomed and withered in an instant, and the entire world knew the truth.
And even as their blood vaporized inside them, the opposing army stood defiant. The Emperor's head tilted back, and out from his mouth erupted a massive cyclone unlike the world had ever seen. The vortex of divine and holy power grew exponentially, lighting and streaks of fire encircling it, until finally it had enveloped the enemy, and the Emperor. The enemies shrieks of pain could not
And the sky cleared. The storms departed. The cyclone tracked up the sky and disappeared into space, the Emperor's second dominion. And the sun warmed, and a maize sripe appeared across the blue sky. The Emperor's voice was heard comming down from the heaven's, sounding sated, with the mild din of tortured enemies wailing somewhere in the background.
"Whenever you see this sign, remember that I am with you. May your punts always be lethal."
So ends the Book of Seniors.
I love these write ups on the new recruits. They are very informative and interesing. However, one thing always irks me. The "Fake 40 Time Sections" and the wide belief on MGo that fast 40 times don't translate to the field.
1st: 40 yard dashes are timed in a mulitude of ways (i.e., outdoors, indoors, grass, astro turf, field turf, basketball courts, rubber tracks, wind-aided, below 60 degrees, above 80 degrees, above sea level, at sea level, hand held, electronic, etc.). ALL OF THESE FACTOR IN A 40 YARD DASH TIME. Yes, at the NFL Combine they post the times to the public. But, the majority of scouts take their own numbers back to their respective teams. They do so, b/c they trust their own timing and this gives them at least one constant when comparing times. Times in FLA, TX, GA, etc. are faster for a number of reasons. As fast as Denard is, he wouldn't run those times in Michigan during April when it is still 55 degrees outside, windy, and above sea level. The kids aren't necessarily faster...in fact, the Midwest usually has some of the faster track kids in the Nation when it comes to timing at National Events. I can go on and on. But, the times you see aren't "FAKE" they just don't correlate to whatever imaginary scale being used to determine the validity of an "ACTUAL" 40 time.
2. Yes, when someone has consistent fast times this usually means they always run fast. Even on the football field. As an observer, sometimes it is really hard to judge how fast someone is. Hate to bring the whole Tate vs Denard thing up, AGAIN (I know how much you hate it)! But, there will be absolutely no comparison to how fast each one is...track speed, field speed, game speed, it won't matter! Now, some players don't run as fast a 40 time as they are phsyically capable, but this is due to lack of coaching. But, if they are running fast times they are gonna run fast on the field if they know what they hell they are doing. A smart player is confident, a confident player can play full speed.
3. And USAIN BOLT IS ONLY 22 years old! How fast do you think he was at 18? I can guarantee you he was running well under a 4.4 second 40 yard dash time. Look at Ted Ginn. He was widely considered to have world class speed...and it showed on the field as he consistently ran past opposing defenders while playing with the SUCKeyes! Someone else do the google search to find out what he ran in HS...
***Sorry, I just don't like to call 40 times fake*** The time may not exemplify a players actual speed, but they are usually are representative of how fast someone may have run at that particular time.
Michigan scores very well in these position ratings, however Lindy projects us to finish 7th in the BigTen overall. I find this a bit odd. So I personally calculated every team's average position group rating according to Lindy and compared it to their projected order of finish.
Here are the results:
1. Ohio State 2.75
2. Penn State 5.25
3. Michigan State 5.25
4. Illinois 6.75
5. Wisconsin 5.875
6. Iowa 5.0
7. Michigan 3.375
8. Northwestern 7.75
9. Minnesota 5.875
10. Purdue 9.75
11. Indiana 8.375
I really find this striking. Lindy's believes that Michigan is the 2nd most talented team in the BigTen according to the positional group ratings, yet they have us finishing 7th in the conference. This seems a bit perplexing, especially with Illinois finishing 3 spots above UofM in order of finish, but averaging nearly 3.5 spots below us in positional talent.
The one area where they rate us the lowest is QB, which is understandable with 2 true freshman and a walk-on competing for the job. However, they still rated us 8th overall in QB play. Yet Wisconsin is ranked 10th in QBs, but still 5th overall. In fact UofM was rated higher than Wisconsin in 7 of 8 talent groupings (Special Teams, UofM finished 1 spot below Wisconsin), yet Wisconsin is projected to finish overall 2 spots higher in 5th.
Where Michigan ranks in conference by position according to Lindy:
8th QB, 1st RB, 2nd WR, 3rd OL, 3rd DL, 4th LB, 4th DB and 2nd ST.
Is it fair to give your 2nd most talented team in the BigTen a 7th in the conference finish and a 47th in the nation finish? I don't think so, even with a Freshman QB. Perhaps they overrated our positional talent, but they also could have nasty 3-9 taste in their mouth biasing the overall finish.
Of course Lindy's could be way off in their positional talent rankings for the conference, but if they are accurate, it should be a sign of positive potential for the 2009 season.
I had been worried of a 5-7 season, but I am starting to think that if QB play improves along with the turnover ratio that we could be looking closer to 8 wins.
P.S. Lindy's in preseason individual awards (which granted are meaningless) also gives us THREE 1st team All-Conference Defense, ONE 2nd team All-ConferenceDefense and THREE 2nd team All-Conference Offense.
P.P.S. If I gave out too much of Lindy's info, I will happily edit some out upon request.