There was some kind of HTML code in your signature that was making that big box; I deleted it for you.
I actually do get asked these questions, especially about the obscure terms, frequently.
Did you even go to Michigan?
Twice, receiving computer engineering degrees in 2001 and 2003. I am approximately 30, depending on how recently this has been updated.
Computer engineering? Well... yeah. This might be an odd avocation for a guy who learned all about bits in college, but if it makes you feel better some friends and I founded the Every Three Weekly, a Michigan ripoff of the Onion that was actually fairly good for a few years there. I cannot vouch for their current competence because they stopped updating the website. And, yes, now I'm a sportsblogger, which is a lot like being an engineer when it comes to impressing chicks except without the sizeable paycheck. For my next act, I plan on becoming something even less appealing to the opposite sex, like... uh... I actually can't think of anything. Dustin Diamond?
This is your job?
Yes! More precisely, this plus my duties at
AOL's Fanhouse The Sporting Blog SBNation, are my jobs. Money comes from the blog in the form of merchandising, donations, and advertising, plus the Hail to the Victors annuals. If you are looking for a freelance writer, I am available. Drop me an email.
Why should I donate?
The more money that MGoBlog actually generates, the more it becomes a viable long-term option for funding and the more time I can afford to put into it at some point down the road when the need to actually make money becomes important because I have
squalling brats adorable children.
Who are these other people intruding on your front page?
Seth Fisher is the business manager (ie he sells the ads), copy editor, and the guy who makes the Hail to the Victors books happen. Ace Anbender is our full-time recruiting analyst, senior basketball correspondent, and staff writer. We sometimes make up other titles as they're needed.
Among people who help but have real jobs, Heiko Yang is our official press correspondent and is currently pursuing an MD/PhD at UM Med School. Brandon Brown (Coach Brown) is our recruiting correspondent. BiSB (Blue in South Bend) writes opponent watch and this week in Twitterverse. Eric Upchurch and Bryan Fuller are our photographers (Fuller is freelance; other freelancers we use are Bill Rapai and Adam Glanzman). Chris Cook sleeps with the servers.
What's the deal with...
- "The New Math"? Nickname for Mario Manningham. Comes from post conveniently titled "The New Math" after the 2005 Penn State game. General implication is that 86 == 1 and Manningham is unpossible.
"Unverified Voracity"? Voracity is a weird word to come after "unverified," especially when dealing with a sports blog and not, say, a blog about rumored hunger. The deal: back when the sporadic link-filled posts were untitled, some Iowa sportswriter penned what was to the the first in a long line of intemperate columns ragging on blogs for having the audacity to not be written by sportswriters. Unfortunately for that sportswriter, she inserted the following sentence:
In the new "journalism of assertion," as the report calls it, information is offered with little time and little attempt to independently verify its voracity. [sic]
Sarcasm being what it is, UV was born shortly after.
- "OMG Shirtless"? Sometime during the 2005 recruiting year I received a number of hits for "Tim Tebow shirtless." At that point Tebow was a heavily pursued quarterback recruit and not Chris Leak's china-destroying sidekick. I endeavored to help this lonely, lonely person but could only find a picture of Tebow in a basketball jersey. Thus was born the Shirt Scale of recruiting rankings; these days it's about 50-50 as to whether or not a panting reference to a five-star freakystud gets tagged as shirtless, depending on whim.
- "Tacopants"? Tacopants is Jason Avant's eleven-foot tall imaginary friend. Chad Henne spent much of 2005 hitting him between the numbers, which are unfortunately eight feet off the ground and made of dreams. Blessed with infinite eligibility and the ability to sneak on and off the field without alerting the referees -- made of dreams, remember -- Tacopants has taken a lesser role in the offense as Henne matures but still pops up at inopportune times. The term has its genesis in this post.
"Manbearfreak"? Carson Butler. A commenter or two still refers to Butler as "manbearfreak" or "MBF," which was confusing even to me until I looked it up. A conflation of "Manbearpig" from South Park and "freak," generally used to describe any unusually athletic specimen who plays football. Appears exactly once in the vast and multifarious MGoBlog archives:
Carson Butler. Manbearfreak.
- "Mr. Plow"? Justin Boren, who was incensed that Rich Rodriguez wouldn't let him go back home on the weekends to help out with his dad's snowplow business. His whereabouts are currently unknown.
- "HOWEVA"? Stephen A. Smith reference; if you don't know, be thankful.
- "The Horror"? Think of something so horrifying that could happen to Michigan football that it would thereafter only be referred to as "The Horror." Think of the first thing that an enemy fan will use when they want to give a Michigan fan a taste of what hell must be like. That's "The Horror." Now stop thinking about that and think about how adorable kittens can be. Soooo adorable!
- "The Year of Infinite Pain"? Is 2005, a time before we knew what pain was.
- "Negbang" or "Posbang"? Refers to a large number of MGoVotes in one direction or another. A person who posts an unpopular comment on the board and receives 50 negative votes or more can be said to be "Negbanged."
- "Special K"? Kenny Fisher from "Can't Hardly Wait." Graduated with a degree in having sex from U.C.L.A. and now makes music selections to pump out at Michigan home games, with consultation from Pepsi.
- "Bolivia"? Board jargon, from "negged to bolivian," meaning oblivion.
- "Manpanda, Crimes Against"? Running MANBALL ISOs from the I-formation to no or negative effect when you have the world's greatest running QB on your roster. Origin: 2011 disaster vs. Iowa.
- "Fusion Cuisine"? Specifically Borges-Denard. Imagine they are chefs from different planets and must create the most delectible offense ever, but they only have so many practices to get it right...
"Muppets" The MGoBlog version of the "You can't have one without the other" pair that MMB plays after victories.
What do all those abbreviations mean?
- IANAJTTP: "I am not a journalist, that's the point."
- Hennechart abbreviation explanations can be found here.
- NSFMF: "Not so fast, my friend."
- NT[variable]: "Not THAT," examples: Miami (NTM) to refer to the Ohio one, or Chris Rock (NTCR), etc.
- NTTAWWT: Not that there's anything wrong with that.
- RPS: Rock, Paper, Scissors. UFR phrasing for what coordinators do against each other with playcalling.
- UFR: "Upon Further Review," the painstaking play-by-play analysis of offensive and defensive performance after football games. A database of past UFRs is available in the User HoF.
- YMRMFSPA: "You may remember me from such players as." Used in recruiting profiles to say what kind of player a recruit may turn out to be if he works out.
Will you write a ripjob about X?
Maybe? I feel dirty after each one ("why can't I be more like John Hollinger? Why can't I be more like John Hollinger! Stupid, stupid, stupid!") and silently resolve never to write one again until the next time. What can I say? It's rageohol. Rageohol is gooooood. One general principle is that once I have eviscerated someone for excessive stupidity I institute a ban on further ripping unless something really egregious comes up. A partial list of these people:
- Tom Dienhart
- Matt Hayes
- Dennis Dodd
- Anyone associated with College Football News
- Drew Sharp
- Terry Foster
- Rob Parker
Unless you've got something that cries out to be slaughtered I'll probably bite my tongue and pass.
How can I start up a blog and have it be successful?
Create something that does not exist elsewhere. As a nobody, you have to go above and beyond the normal stuff people can read every day in the newspaper or on other blogs. A picks column is a waste of time. You can do this any number of ways. Johnny posts erratically and infrequently but since there's no one who writes quite like him he has a following. Vijay posts equally erratically and infrequently but drops a lot of original research and has a following. This blog's calling card, IMO, is UFR.
What's inescapable is that unless you have some wild talent like Johnny, you will have to put in a lot of work. You will probably get discouraged or bored and quit, but if you don't you too can have a hitcount in the triple or even quadruple digits and forget what the sun looks like. Current suggestions for Michigan fans:
- someone with an extensive video library of old Michigan games who splices together highlight reels and analysis on a regular basis.
- A blog that really focuses on basketball (hey, buy low, sell high) [UPDATE: complete.]
- A truly obsessive recruiting blog.
Just make sure that whatever you're doing can reasonably be called the best whatever it is, and people who are interested in whatever will read you.
How can I express my deep and abiding fondness for MGoBlog?
Certainly incomplete. Any suggestions for additions can be left in the comments.