So the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs have mastered marketing to an extent I could not even believe. They've started a new uniform design marketing campaign called "Smell the Change."
The new Saturday jersey is amazing. It's bacon themed. We're talking a red shirt with Pigs spelled out and bacon underlining it. We're talking white pants with bacon piping down the legs. We're talking a gray hat with a slice of bacon as the logo. Bacon. Bacon bacon.
And we're not stopping there. They have a gray shirt with the bacon logo on it for $18. For just $4 more, we're talking $22, they'll sell you the same shirt that smells like bacon! For up to 10-15 washes! CAN I GET A DOZEN NOW?
Three and Out kept getting pushed down my priority list until just recently. Despite the fact that I live in Florida and don't really wear socks very often, when I came across the following text, I knew I had to have these...
But before the players do any of those things, they stand in line at the equipment managers’ window to get the gear they deem most important. It’s not the $257 helmets or $330 shoulder pads or even the $150 jerseys.
Nope. It’s the $4 socks. But not just any socks. Twin City socks—the thickest you can find.
Center David Molk, at the front of the line, handed me a pair. They are so dense, you could wear them as slippers around the home—or fill them with water.
“Best part of being a Michigan football player,” Molk said, holding up a pair, “is these socks.” Every one of his teammates—and I mean every one—agreed with that assessment.
At dinner Molk approached linebacker Jonas Mouton, who was enjoying a huge helping of pretty much everything.
Molk asked Mouton if he knew where his Twin City socks had gone.
“I don’t know, man,” Mouton replied, taking a bite out of his drumstick and chewing very slowly. “Go see Big Jon.” Falk, that is, the equipment manager.
“It’s dinner,” Molk said. “He’s not here.”
“Go see him tomorrow,” Mouton said, picking up a roll.
“I want them now.”
“Guess you’ll just have to wait, then.”
After Molk turned and walked to the back of the buffet, ticked off, Mouton leaned forward and said, “I’m wearin’ ’em.”
Just a little googling reveals a huge number of cuts, styles, etc. from Twin City. So my question to the board is: does anyone know what kind the players get that are supposedly so good? If not, I would settle for a product review from anyone who has bought these, including the style they got and whether they lived up to expectations set by the description in the book. Thanks in advance for any feedback.
Yes, my first thread on the MGoBoard is about socks.
Please hurry football season, etc., etc.
[Ed-M: You can haz it too.]
The beauty of digital content, delivered right at midnight. Let the zero hours of sleep begin...
Apparently the Big Ten Network's website is running a poll to determine which Big Ten team has the "best home-field advantage". Popularity contests do not good data sets make, so I figured I'd apply a lot of counting and a little math and see what I came up with.
- For each Big Ten team, I tallied up their total wins over the last 11* years, and seperately tallied how many of those wins came at home.
- I ignored nonconference games. Those will naturally boost home winning percentages as you invite the baby seals to get clubbed at your house, and play home-and-homes against teams that might actually beat you.
- I wanted to compare how well a team did at home compared to how well it did on average, rather than just totalling home wins and saying "golly, Ohio State must have the best home field advantage because they won at home a lot". Well, unfortunately, they won on the road a lot too, so it doesn't tell you much.
- Of course, the inverse of saying a team has a "Strong home field advantage" would be to say that same team "Sucks on the road". I'm looking at you, Indiana.
*I had planned to look at the last 10 years, but made my spreadsheet a big too large and went on my merry way entering in data. I was all done by the time I realised my mistake and I saw no reason to discard the 1999 season just because it was one more than I had planned to look at.
First, and just for the record, here's your overall Big Ten winning percentages for the last 11 years:
|Rank||TEAM||WINNING %||Home Wins||Home Wins Rank|
Yeah, I know. I don't like it any more than you. Anyhow, as you can see, there's not a lot of difference between a team's overall rank and its rank in terms of raw number of home wins. A bad team is a bad team at home or on the road, and ditto for a good team.
Surely there must be something to the fearsome reputations to such locations as Beaver Stadium and the Horseshoe though, right?
At first, I tried expressing home field advantage as the percentage increase of home winning percentage over total winning percentage. However, I found that this simply weighted the home success of bad teams much higher. Instead, I totaled the number of wins each team had at home, subtracted the number of wins each team had on the road, and averaged over 11 years to yield a number I'm calling the Expected Increase in Wins at Home (EIWH). In other words, every year each team plays 4 Big Ten home games and 4 Big Ten road games. How many more wins, on average, does a given team expect to claim at home than it will on the road? The results are as follows:
The results have some suprises. Iowa, a slightly-above-average team overall, earns an average of one more win at home than it does on the road, as does celler-dwelling Indiana. Indiana has only won five Big Ten road games in the past 11 years. Iowa has a reputation as a tough place to play, especially at night, but the Indiana results are inexplicable.
On the other end of the spectrum, Illinois has only earned 16 of its 30 victories at home, which makes for an interesting contrast with Indiana in spite of the two school's proximity at the bottom of the overall standings. Strangest of all, the feared Horseshoe in Columbus grants a very modest advantage to the hated Buckeyes. They have less of a home field advantage than such teams as Northwestern (a school which, from my personal experience, barely fills half its stadium with home fans) and Minnesota (who played in the sterile Metrodome for all of the period of this study).
What's the message here? It seems that the level of hype attached to particular stadiums has little relation to the advantage those stadiums grant to the team playing there.
After listening to John Bacon last night, dancing around the subject of Rosenbergs intentions, and listening again this morning to Eric Adelson, a common theme emerged: "I don't want to judge <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Rosenberg's intentions because he's my friend / I know him / I have a relationship with him...."
And yet it doesn't seem like there's any such rush from Bacon or Adelson to afford Rich Rodriguez the same sentiments. Why?
Rosenberg is simply following the Jim Carty parasitic shortcut to job security by "make a name for myself before the ship sinks"; while Rodriguez is trying his hardest to make a dreadful team better. Rodriguez isn't perfect, none of us are. But explain to me how a team that is "over-worked" and just concentrates on football managed to put forth the best team GPA in recorded Michigan history?
Eric Adelson is a regular guest on WTKA, and John Bacon is an occasional host and author of “Bo’s Lasting Lessons”. Adelson I tolerate but his views are rarely relevant as he's generally not even close to being in-touch with anything local. After this morning, I'm wondering why the heck he's even on there? Any "valuable national opinion" he may have of the team is being blurred by his relationship with Rosenberg.
John Bacon, however, should know better. He wrote a book about one of the highest caliber human beings on the planet. Stubborn Bo was, yes, but the man had integrity. I cannot picture him standing by silently while something, or someone, he believed in was being unfairly and unneccessarily attacked simply because a "friend" was behind it. John KNOWS what this is about. Dammit, Snyder, the co-writer of Rosenberg’s hit-piece, won't even field questions as to what he considers a "countable hour"! Why then is Michigan supposed to scurry about madly trying to disprove an allegation the accuser can't (or won’t) even properly frame or define?
The timing couldn't be worse for desperate journalists trying to make a name for themselves at the expense of program trying to climb out of the mire of an awful transitional season. Meanwhile, both John Bacon and Eric Adelson are refusing to acknowledge the upset players and furious parents, the head coach pouring his heart and soul into the team, the integrity of Michigan's compliance department - they're ignoring these other sources because of a friendship? Both John Bacon and Eric Adelson are choosing to put their integrity aside by refusing to condemn what they know is wrong.
It’s not like any of this yellow journalism is new. The way the Freep has handled recent stories about Feagin and MSUs prison-to-practice field nonsense, the way they've handled this story by talking with anonymous disgruntled sources at Michigan, the way they've taken advantage of Rodriguez' player access by misleading two freshman - not to mention how Carty's Ann Arbor News writers mislead football players by telling them they were going to do a piece "honoring" their professor, only to field another unjust attack on Michigan athletic academics – all of it shows that there ARE people at work trying to, at the very minimum, damage the program.
I don't care if Adelson is ever asked back. Getting the “out of touch national perspective” is seldom enough of a draw to keep me tuned in during the commute. John Bacon, on the other hand, I very much enjoy. To say that I'm disappointed in him is an understatement. John is intelligent, humorous and insightful. I also believe him to be a man of high integrity that is making a very poor decision by not condemning the recent Rosenberg piece in particular.
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The good news is that the morning show on WTKA is quite solid and MGoBrian has somehow managed to infiltrate the station’s airwaves more and more frequently.
All of the recent hit-pieces and “I won’t comment on that because he’s my friend” crap have really made me appreciate the efforts of Brian and the MGoBlog staff more and more lately.
Thank you for a forum to wallow in the unvarnished truth. And vent when the need arises…