"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."
Welcome to my nightmare. I always, always, ALWAYS knew that one day "consumer advocacy" and "watchdog" groups would set upon the most pure things in the world in the name of protecting us, and today, it is true.
Evidently McDonald's is evil and is intentionally TRYING to make kids fat by offering happy meals with toys in them. You know, since so many 8 year olds drive themselves out to McD's when they want a little Nosh and fork over some cash.
Parents of America! If your kid is a lard-ass, there is somebody to blame, and it's not the goddamn golden arches! Go to hell and get yourselves AWAY from my freakin' childhood. A happy meal with a toy is something for the kid to beg for, and the parent to say "no".
A buncha freakin' zombies out there. Not dead, but definitely not alive. At least not if having an ounce of self respect is required.
A school across the border form mine and one of our biggest rivals, Whitmer High School has the biggest center field logo in the country that stretches from 39 to 39. Is this something that would look good in Michigan Stadium?
At first I wasn't sure I'd like it, but when Jeremy posted the overhead view that he made with them, I actually liked it. Jeremy, if you read this, I hope you will post a picture with filled in endzones and a bigger center logo!
Go here to see some different angles: http://www.hsfootballweb.com/stadium.htm
Here's the document with details on the Michigan Athletic Department's FY 2011 budget:
Since conference expansion and the Big Ten Network has been such a big topic these past weeks, I looked at the conference distributions line first. Although the document doesn't break down specific sources of football and basketball television revenue, its clear that the trend has been moving upward (dollars in millions). Between FY 2007 and FY 2011, the increase in television revenue money will be $7.228M.
Keep in mind that the Big Ten signed a 10-year contract with ABC/ESPN in June 2006 that started at $83M per year and will escalate over the ten-year life of the contract to average about $100M per year. That contract coincided with the creation of the Big Ten Network. The 10-year deal with CBS signed in 2004 is worth $2M annually. See http://www.bigten.org/multimedia/big10-television.html and http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/article/58254
Actual FY 2007 - 9,371
Actual FY 2008 - 13,932
Actual FY 2009 - 14,429
Projected FY 2010 - 14,887
Budget FY 2011 - 16,597
The overall conference distributions to Michigan include the television funds mentioned above and NCAA basketball based distributions, football bowl games and other miscellaneous items. If you add these up, here's the total amounts the Big Ten has given to Michigan:
Actual FY 2007 - 14,037
Actual FY 2008 - 18,790
Actual FY 2009 - 19,173
Projected FY 2010 - 19,968
Budget FY 2011 - 22,196
This additional revenue has allowed the Athletic Department to make larger contributions to the university. In FY 2007, the contribution was $570K and in 2011, the number is budgeted at $1.970M. That means the net conference distributions budgeted for the Athletic Department is $20.226M ($22.196M minus $1.970M).
On the overall revenues side, the one line iteam that jumps up is Priority Seating and Other Annual Gifts. The FY 09/10 budget was forecast at $13.700M, but projections show a total of $19.331M. These funds come from Priority Seating Program Donations ($8.688M), Michigan Stadium Club Seating Areas ($4.745M), Michigan Stadium Suites ($3.248M) and other gifts ($2.650M). FY 2011 is budgeted at $20.972M.
The budget document notes that piority and premium seating gifts are recorded in the year which they are received. Revenue from collected ticket sales associated with premium areas is deferred at year end and is recorded in spectator admissions revenue in the fiscal year in which the associated games are played. The gross revenues for Michigan Stadium Premium Seating in FY 2011 are budgeted at $11.017M ($9.684M in donations, $1.333M in ticket revenue).
If you look at the Spectator Admissions revenue, it confirms someting we've known about stadium expansion (which eluded the "Save the Big House" people)--the major revenue comes from donations, not ticket admissions. Actual footbal spectator admissions (which are net of associated guarantee payments to visiting schools) in FY 2009 (seven football games) was $31.698M and the projection in FY 2011 (also seven football games) is $32.598M. That's a pretty modest increase for the renovated stadium (and it also reflects the fact that San Diego State will get $1M for playing at Michigan Stadium). What that figure doesn't reflect is the donations that come with the premium seating.
On the expense side of the ledger, the projected expenses for FY 2010 are $84.860M with the FY 2011 budget at $100.307M--an increase of nearly $16M.
The biggest expense item is debt servicing that comes out to a total of $10.984M. The Michigan Stadium expansion has the largest amount of that total--$9.226M.
Its interesting to note tht the scheduled balance on the stadium expansion debt in June 2010 is $147.385M and is projected for $144.540M in June 2011. If my recollection is correct, the total project cost was in the $230M to $240M range, so that means the Athletic Department was able to put up at least $80M upfront to defray the total cost.
The budget also include the annual contribution onf $4.5M to deferred maintenance--a practice continued from Bill Martin's regime and started in FY 2003 (see more below). A new line item has cropped up with $1.5M set aside for contingencies with respect to restructuring actions designated by Athletic Director (Line 15 of the document). I'm predicting the Free Press will write that David Brandon has a personal slush fund.
The majority of the other expense lines are looking to increase in the five to seven percent range (5.1% for salaries, wages and benefits) with a 3.0% increase in financial aid to students, i.e. cost of scholarships paid to the university.
One important item not explicitly mentioned in the presentation, but was in the press release is that the Athletic Department had $35M in unrestricted operating reserves. This "rainy day" fund comes from the annual contributions of over $4M made to the deferred maintenance fund since FY 2003.
Considering the mess Bill Martin inherited from Tom Goss when he took over in March 2000, I'd have to say he did an excellent job turning around the Athletic Department's finances--the last decade has been pretty good to Michigan in that respect.
After the ACC raid of the Big East in 2003 of Miami and Virginia Tech, the six-remaining football schools met to discuss options for the future of the conference. The minutes from the meeting leaked out a few years ago and the Big East has confirmed them. (I'm shocked that no one in the media has discussed these during all of the expansion talk)
- The Athletic Directors of the six-remaining football members agreed to a split between the football and basketball-only schools and expansion to an 8 or 9 team football conference.
- The Presidents appear to have gotten cold feet about abandoning the five basketball-onlies who would be left out in the cold without an NCAA auto-bid. Notre Dame also supported keeping the conference intact and kept the split vote at 6-6 without a majority.
- The Big East approached Notre Dame and Penn State about membership (SU Chancellor Shaw approached Father Harrington of ND and Graham Spanier of Penn State).
- Of the expansion candidates, everyone supported adding Louisville, was considering Cincinnati and Temple for all sports, and UCF, Army, and Navy for football only. Dismissed Memphis, Marshall, Southern Miss, ECU, UAB, and South Florida (Louisville would eventually get USF in).
- Syracuse AD Jake Crouthamel led off the meeting by saying that if the Big East went to the hybrid 16-team conference he would retire. Jake retired in 2005.
- Father Leahy (BC) indicates he "never felt the Big East had a commitment to excellence and, further it had difficulty in balancing football/basketball issues. If people within the room at some point feel uncomfortable about the direction of the league and, secondly, is presented with an attractive alternative, they would pay the $5M penalty and give the 27-month notice." BC left the Big East shortly thereafter.
The binding contract entered into by the football schools with each other with a penalty of $5 million and 27-month notice for leaving the conference... expires July 1st.
Big Ten and ACC raiding of the Big East may have yet to begin.
The National Pork Board took offense to ThinkGeek.com's canned unicorn meat. So did my daughter, but for entirely different reasons.
I was up to Ann Arbor to see a friend, and I just happened to see this letter blow out of an open window on campus. I was going to return it, but after reading it, I thought you all should know.
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EDIT: DAMMIT! I screwed myself. I have cook on the brain. Coleman!