fair point that
Assorted thoughts about the demise of the best thing. This was going to be a UV and then it got out of control.
The bad thing was handled well
Before we talk about Grantland at its best, let's talk about it at its worst. In January of 2014, Grantland published a story about a transgender golf-club purveyor. The story made a convincing case that this person was a fabulist and crackpot, and then at the end threw in an "oh by the way" that this person had killed themselves. It was clear the reason was at least indirectly this very article that you are reading right now. It was breathtakingly tasteless.
The internet noticed, eventually. The backlash to this story was proof that a lot of people will share a longread™ without actually reading it, so twitter was filled with a series of people saying "what a great story" while their mentions filled up with "did you actually READ this?!?!" over the course of the next few days.
Grantland—and by "Grantland" we are talking about Bill Simmons and whatever inner circle told Bill Simmons to hire all the people he hired—took stock. A few days later they responded in two parts. One was an essay by Christinia Kahrl, a transgender baseball writer for Regular ESPN, that detailed the various ways in which everyone had fucked up. The second was an essay from Simmons himself that detailed exactly what happened and how they had fucked up. While Simmons put his name on it because that was what the situation demanded, it's better—more accurate—to read the thing as a collective document from the inner circle that brought Grantland to life. To my eyes it is appropriately contrite, honest, and forthcoming about things.
There are a ton of media companies that will ignore criticism of their work no matter how clearly shoddy it is in retrospect. Not to invoke the dread specter of politics, but a recent three-part NYT series on immigrant-owned nail salons turns out to be about 110% bullshit; the Times issued some blather about how they stand by the story and moved on. Grantland seemed to take their problems seriously:
Caleb’s biggest mistake? Outing Dr. V to one of her investors while she was still alive. I don’t think he understood the moral consequences of that decision, and frankly, neither did anyone working for Grantland. That misstep never occurred to me until I discussed it with Christina Kahrl yesterday. But that speaks to our collective ignorance about the issues facing the transgender community in general, as well as our biggest mistake: not educating ourselves on that front before seriously considering whether to run the piece.
When confronted with a major issue the impulse at Grantland was to tell everybody exactly what happened and adapt so it doesn't happen again, something that is a distinct late-Gen-X shift in approaches to these things. That'll be the standard way to handle these events in 30 years. Not so much now.
My wife literally wailed about where Brian Phillips was going to go when I told her that the jig was up, and I still think that Grantland at its worst was kind of Grantland at its best.
[After THE JUMP: hiring strikes, it's not about the money, snobbery, and a third way]
Hello. This is an attempt to give you a 1,000 foot view of Michigan's current recruiting class. It lives as a wiki post under the "Useful Stuff" heading as well, and can be updated by anyone with 500+ points.
not eligible sry [Patrick Barron]
We assume Michigan will go to 28.
Michigan has 16 open spots right now plus three specialists who may be on one of those "you get the first spot that opens up" kind of deals. In addition there are 2-4 guys who probably won't get fifth years.
Thus Michigan is expecting to lose at least 5-8 current members of the roster (other than fifth years) before Signing Day. (Big Ten rules prevent teams from oversigning unless they can explain where the scholarship is coming from.) That's not an inordinate number given the roster composition, the sudden possibility of NFL interest, and the fact that this is the first year of a new coach. We know of one guy who is already planning a playing-time transfer, FWIW, and there are no doubt more.
CURRENT CLASS SIZE
We are not considering Dele Harding a commit. He was removed from the Rivals commit list and any insider you poke will tell you they don't expect him to end up at Michigan.
We have also heard that some of the camp commits in the class were explicitly offered grayshirt deals. We are not exactly sure who, but depending on how things go Michigan could end up with extra spots in the class as guys reclassify to 2017 or take opportunities for 2016 elsewhere.
In addition, Chris Evans, Kingston Davis, and David Reese have all announced plans to take visits and should be considered soft commits.
So: the current class is somewhere between 14 and 20 guys. Welcome to 'crootin.
ROOM LEFT AND WHO MICHIGAN IS TARGETING
Michigan can take somewhere between 8 and 14 additional players. They are targeting approximately
- one running back
- one wide receiver
- one tight end
- one OL
- one kicker
- two or three DL
- two or three LB
- one or two CB
- one or two S
The only spot that is definitively full right now is QB.
MICHIGAN FOOTBALL 'CROOTIN OVERVIEW
|DECENT SHOT||TOP GROUP||LEADER||HARD
|RB (2)||K. Davis*||K. Enis|
|WR (2 +1)||
|Slot (1)||P Young
|TE (1+1)||D Asiasi||
|DT (+1)||B Tagaloa||R. Weaver|
|NT (+1)||K Camp
|SDE (1)||C Murphy||R. Johnson|
|WDE (1+1)||T Lucas#||Q Alexander||C Kemp|
|SLB (0)||J McCulloch|
|ILB (3+1)||D Jackson||C Kelly
D Bush Jr
|CB (8+1)||A. Richardson
|S (1+1)||A Posey#||J Fuller
|L Jackson||D. Gil
|P/K/LS (0+1)||Q Nordin|
commits in bold
Latest Updates: Debut
Ace: "I only want to note that I didn’t write the lyrics for this song"
He hid it pretty well. And impressively, Ace's friends and Facebook friends stayed loyal through the entire search. But there are deep corners of the internet. Deeper than the places even an internet wizard like Ace knows about. I'm talking about Russian servers that downloaded everything free music sites were putting out in 2002 before the DRM people got good at it. Even if the servers have been wiped, the information is still there. Information like the names of band members (excavated from Twitter by kevin holt):
@cjane87 Holy crap, Jonny has made some major moves since being the drummer in our high school ska band.
— Ace Anbender (@AceAnbender) May 29, 2015
Like a woolly mammoth from the 2000th century BCE, it takes only a small effort to bury things and a massive coordinated project to dig it back up. This could not have been unearthed without the help of a massive team of excavators. In particular user Knight followed the crumb above to get where JZ, Dave and I did last night (we were working through a list of local ska bands), then took it a step further by finding a recording in the Ann Arbor District Library. A2Photonut and Skurnie both got the track from the library and emailed it to me. The latter, whom you may remember as the guy who writes our M soccer posts, also offered a suggestion:
Now we need someone to mash up this song with a Happy Gilmore montage.
Done. If anyone else would like to lose their dignity in solidarity, here's the thread.
SO MANY CLICKY CLICKS
Hello. At MGoBlog, we link all kind of things. Some of these things are behind paywalls. We've always tried to leave something useful behind those paywalls, whether that's by only quoting a few sentences or leaving it alone for days or months before we get around to our post on Player X. (With few exceptions, this site goes for thoroughness over immediacy.) But occasionally what we do raises hackles.
Sometimes we get yelled at for quoting people. Sometimes we get yelled at for not quoting people. Usually when people get mad I say "if you want we can stop using your stuff" and they say "well…," because a link with a ($) is also an ad for them. Comments here will occasionally say "I dropped my subscription to X because of MGoBlog" and while that's accurate for that guy it's clearly not accurate for everybody.
Here's the lay of the land when it comes to Michigan recruiting sites.
What we do
We have twice-weekly roundups of whatever's out there, from the three major recruiting services (Rivals, 247, and Scout) or newspapers or blogs with original reporting.
When a player commits we do a Hello post that summarizes the player's rankings, offers, stats, and scouting. We'll revisit them after Signing Day in the recruiting profiles.
What they do
Daily updates with indications as to where recruits are leaning—not gospel, broadly accurate. More in depth scouting. Some video, though these days Hudl has all the highlights you care to watch.
They also have program stuff—every site had extensive coverage of the coaching search. While that doesn't differentiate them much from this space, they have insider stuff on practices, players to watch, coaching moves, the works. The recent shoe contract negotiations are a better example. Most of them were publishing stuff about it more frequently than we did.
In general, they publish more, and more frequently, and are better-connected to the program. We will use a subsection of their posts later—often months later—in order to give you an overview of the recruiting situation or a particular player.
Why to subscribe
If you go into withdrawal between Monday and Thursday recruiting roundups; if you would like to have a very good feel for where player X is leaning; if you want their scouting more completely and (sometimes) much more quickly; if you want the comprehensive inside chatter now and not later.
Each also has a message board community. We have a message board community, but it's not for everybody. It can be harsh around here for people who don't fit; it is possible that certain MGoBlog readers will find a community of like-minded fans on a premium site elsewhere. That alone can be worth more than the cost of admission.
[After THE JUMP: an overview of your options.]
We will now attempt to answer your questions (last updated: July 17 by Seth).
What's the latest?
DUOs accidentally got an extra copy. Due to a mix-up with our fulfillment people, who tried to speed along the process, 181 "DUO" backers got a signed copy in addition to the two from your order. Since they didn't de-dupe either, some of you got two signed books. We can't really walk this back, so enjoy. If you feel strongly that you should pay this back (you don't have to pay this back), buy something from the MGoStore, or put $19.85 into Beveled Guilt. If you think you should pay this forward, put $20 toward your charity of choice.
Shirt level and above: Your second book is SIGNED. If you chose a $50+ option on the Kickstarter, you should have been among the first receive your first copies. Your second copy is a signed by Brian and will ship with your shirt.
T-shirts are now being printed. They'll be in the mail with your signed copies over the next few weeks. People who chose this year's shirt go first since that's most of you.
Your Kickstarter copy should have come. If you backed the Kickstarter and got us your address before 6/30 you should have any unsigned copy already. If you don't by Monday, email me.
If your inbox is filled with requests for your address you should send me that. As of last count we're down to 18 people who haven't done so. I'll bug you one more time in a few weeks and then I'll take the hint.
ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
I missed the Kickstarter can I buy a book?
Yes! Current options:
|The Book (Printed)||Kindle Edition||Digital Edition (PDF)|
|(Draft Kings Deal)||(please review)||(Draft Kings Deal)|
not to scale
I have a writeup on these options here. They will be available in stores too but not many because we have no newstand distribution (we would welcome newsstand distribution).
Where's my stuff?
[Just hit the jump.]