That made my day! Seriously! Didn't it seem more often than not under RR we got stuck with Pam Ward?!? To quote George Costanza: "Can't Stand Ya!"
this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Brady Hoke's Pet Viking mgoshirt? Yes, at the WTKA Mott Takeover.
be like Steve Everitt without killing a moose with your bare hands
Steve Everitt forever.
Also, Everitt described bounties surfacing during his long NFL career.
Super-regional ho. Congratulations to the softball team, which dramatically came from behind in their tournament opener, then shut the door on top seed Louisville to win their first road regional in a long, long time. The dramatic finisher in Michigan's second consecutive walk-off win… a hit by pitch. The win that finished the weekend off was a more comfortable 4-0 affair.
They'll initiate what appears to be a series of Michigan-Alabama bragging rights contests in a super-regional in Tuscaloosa next weekend. Winner hits the WCWS.
Yes. Do you believe in improbable sporting outcomes. Go. Go. USA. Pam Ward, deadener of Big Ten noon games since time began, is no longer doing college football on ESPN. This will result in marginal improvement, and probably fewer nasty comments about injured players.
Since ESPN started shoehorning Beth Mowins into college football games she didn't seem to know much about last year, the emphasis is on marginal. Insanely fun things were happening in the Northwestern-Illinois game last year and she busted out "it's a Persa party in Champaign!" I'm pretty sure this is not plain ol' misogyny and I have good reason to think both of the female announcers put on Big Ten games are not so good.
He's pretty fast. That would be Jehu Chesson, the lanky 6'3" wide receiver from Missouri who signed in February. The main knock on Chesson was his speed, something his recent track exploits are bringing into question. Chesson won the 300M hurdles (37.73), 110M hurdles (14.55), and 100M dash (10.79) at his sectionals. As mentioned, he also wears cool sunglasses doing this.
According to the recruiting rankings, Michigan hasn't done as well at wide receiver as they have at just about every other spot on the field, but I wouldn't be surprised if that was not a problem during the careers of Chesson and Amarah Darboh.
Yes, do it. The plausible deniability that saw Butch Davis emerge from the UNC NCAA scandal without a show-cause penalty despite the fact that one of his assistant coaches was operating as a runner for an agent may go away in the near future:
Under the current NCAA bylaw, a head coach is "presumed" to have knowledge of what is occurring in his program and "can be responsible" for the actions of his assistants.
The proposed change would do away with presumption. It would make the head coach responsible for his assistants' actions regardless of his knowledge of them. The penalties would range from 5 to 100 percent of competition in a season.
The NCAA included in the discussion material some examples of behavior for which a head coach would be held accountable, such as in-person, off-campus contacts with a recruit during a dead period, providing team gear to a recruit, or multiple phone calls or contacts when they are not allowed.
This is part of a larger overhaul mentioned a few months ago in this space that could see penalties become predictable and massive, but right now that's a long, long way from becoming reality. It's in the "special committee" stage—ie, a spitballing group throwing stuff at the wall without considering how feasible passing it is.
Not enough data, so everyone makes big. Ex-NFL players are dying at a rate half that of the general population after they retire and are 59 percent less likely to commit suicide. May want to slow down on the concussion panic. Small sample size disclaimers apply to that study, but they apply just as much to the panic side of the equation:
We don't need the CDC numbers to tell us that the national debate over head trauma and suicide has long since outpaced the scientific evidence. Just a handful of cases so far support the notion that repeated head injuries (concussive or otherwise) can lead to drug abuse, aggression, and self-harm. No one knows the baseline rate of chronic traumatic encephalopathy among athletes, let alone the general population. No one knows whether the pathological signs of CTE—microscopic spots in the brain, found after death—relate to behavioral symptoms like dementia and depression. And no one can explain how repeated knocks to the head might produce CTE, or how CTE might produce suicidal thoughts. Yet in spite of our near-total ignorance, a moral panic has taken hold: Elaborate explanations are concocted when simple ones will do. Faced with the regrettable facts—a troubled man dies a lonely death—we resort to hocus-pocus theorizing about tau proteins and fibrillary tangles. It's a form of denial: By obsessing over hidden trauma, we ignore what's right in front of us. Many ex-NFL players have sad and difficult lives.
The concern over concussions is taking the usual route of a moral panic, where some stuff happens and some tenuous data connects things to stuff so things are condemned because stuff is bad. Then some more people look at other data and say things might not be that connected to stuff after all, and everyone moves on to the next thing. See: alar, fat people, etc. This is the phase where the noise overtakes the signal and Something Is Done that may or may not affect a problem that may or may not exist.
BONUS: ex-NFL players are really good at not getting tuberculosis.
We have a second challenger. Patrick Vint of Black Heart Gold Pants takes a swing at defending the Big Ten's retreat from home playoff sites. The argument boils down to "remember the last time we all taunted Jim Delany?"
Everything Jim Delany has done as commissioner of the Big Ten -- especially since the summer of 2007 -- has been in pursuit of long-term advantage to the conference as a whole, and its individual teams only by way of that. The Big Ten Network was supposed to be a money-losing catastrophe that nobody would watch and even fewer would pay to see. After a year and a half of publicly negotiating/ridiculing/screaming at Comcast and Mediacom, Delany had transformed it into a massive cash cow, making the Big Ten schools richer than those in the SEC, the Big 12, the Pac-10, and every other conference. When the SEC responded by signing a big new TV deal with ESPN, it still didn't make the Southern schools as much money as their Northern rivals.
Delany used his newfound financial leverage, and a not-so-subtle call for expanding the conference, to bring the biggest collegiate sports programs in the country to his door. He damn near disemboweled the Big 12 in the process, causing an insurrection that fired Dan Beebe and landed Nebraska within his conference's ranks, all while we were all losing our minds over Rutgers and Pitt. When the Nebraska regents voted unanimously to cut ties with 100 years of tradition because the financial pull of Big Ten membership was too great to deny, Delany was there, emerging from behind the curtain and shaking hands with Osborne and Perlman like Hollywood Hogan joining the Outsiders. A year later, Delany's SEC rival was picking up Big Ten reject Missouri to fill out his own expansion process, an expansion that made his conference exactly zero more dollars and done solely because the Big Ten had done it first.
It's a good point. Vint also notes that the difference here is four Big Ten home games since the inception of the BCS, which is not a big huge deal.
Where he loses me is with the assertion that the Big 12-SEC Never Happening Bowl is the revelation of the master plan:
Delany gave up on four home games in fourteen years, but what he got was hard to understand -- we already had the Rose Bowl, after all -- until the SEC and Big 12 announced their own end-of-season bowl game Friday. With that, Delany's plan became evident. With the conferences poised to create a four-team tournament (as Delany and his athletic directors repeatedly stated this week, the four-team maximum is a deal-breaker) within the confines of the bowl system, Delany, Slive, Larry Scott, and whoever's running the Big 12 now, as heads of the four premiere football conferences, had just effectively locked themselves into the final four. More importantly, Delany had locked out the ACC and Big East (and Notre Dame, for that matter), the other two BCS bowl games, and the distinct possibility of two teams from the same conference making the tournament. There will be four champions in the playoffs, and with the two semifinal bowls effectively set as the Rose and (presumably) SEC-Big 12 Sugar, Delany has ensured that a Big Ten champ will be one of them. That's fourteen spots in fourteen years, with none of them in an opponent's stadium (unless UCLA makes it to the Rose Bowl) (LOL).
Um. The Big 12-SEC game is specifically around in the event that the champions of those conferences aren't in the playoff. There is no bracketed final four that cuts out the ACC or Big East. So… what we're left with is the Big Ten giving up the idea because the… because it's… because the Rose Bowl. There is no way the BCS cuts out smaller conferences, because they'll get sued. Virginia Tech, Miami, and Florida State? Forget it. Notre Dame, if Notre Dame is ever relevant again? Come on.
Protecting the Rose Bowl at all costs is just another example of why the Big Ten finds itself where it is relative to other conferences: richer, but unable to leverage that wealth into on-field success.
Etc.: Get the Picture notes that the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit survived a motion to dismiss and seemingly got some support from the judge for the larger trial in the process. Expect more Gardner this fall. Other Big Ten ADs think playing at home is a good idea. Rob Bolden may finally be exiting Penn State.
That made my day! Seriously! Didn't it seem more often than not under RR we got stuck with Pam Ward?!? To quote George Costanza: "Can't Stand Ya!"
you are quoting George's gym teacher, Mr. Heyman.
From the AA article about expanding Gardner's role
Borges didn't let on much, though, when asked about Gardner's abilities at wideout.
"He's got two hands -- I seen them the last time I saw him," he said.
I believe the correct grammar would have been "I saw them the last time I seen him."
Nope. Unless quoting Hlaf Baked, you never say "I seen." "I saw them the last time I saw him."
Sarcasm is hard to convey in writing, isn't it?
I'm not a law talking guy, but I'm pretty sure that turning the Rose Bowl and the Jerry Bowl (let's be honest) into the exclusive paths to a lucrative national championship game, that, even with expansion to 4 - 16 team super conferences*, will necessarily leave a significant number of institutions out in the cold, would lead almost automatically to a massive anti-trust suit and almost certainly to Congressional action as well.
*and I've yet to see a plausible explanation of how the Pac 12 gets any bigger than 13 and even that's a tremendous stretch involving the presidents of the UCs, Stanford, and UW, all of which consider themselves top level universities, signing on to an affiliation with Boise State.
They are concernd at the thought of FSU leaving, and then Clemson and Ga Tech. "If that happens ACC football is dead." He said they should have bolted for the SEC. Since football is top dog at Va Tech, I would bet on them preening themselves to be picked by the SEC just like Mizzou was for the B1G.
I think the disagreement on that last bit is pretty strong evidence that consolidation and "super conferences" are on the way.
Not seeing an edit button on my iPad. Just wanted to add...
On the bright side...
That would mean the end of polls, computers, fights over teams who didn't win their conference, preserve (perhaps enhance) the importance and traditional matchup of the Rose bowl and basically turn the entire regular season into an actual playoff.
Despite my reluctance to embrace the super conference idea... It sure is tempting.
"Ex-NFL players are dying at a rate half that of the general population after they retire and are 59 percent less likely to commit suicide."
That's the wrong control group. Comparing how long athletes live to the general population, including fat dudes who have never exercised, is meaningless. The interesting counterfactual is not whether or not these guys would have lived longer if they exercised as much as me, but whether they would have lived longer *in the same physical condition except for the head trauma*.
Isn't the really big issue between the groups that NFL players tend to retire between 30 and 40, while the rest of the general population tends to retire between 60 and 70?
If they didn't play football. They get hit a lot because they play football; they get the health benefits because they play football. You can't say "if everyone was in the optimal health condition, with no negative activities whatsoever" (Captain America without all those pesky super-villians). Because that's not how people live their lives. And it's not just age span or health, but MENTAL health. Things like suicide, which get a lot of pub when they happen, are (according to this study at least) at a lower rate. So you can't compare it to people who are, what, depressed, too? You compare it to everyone because we all choose to exercise or not, and all choose to take risks (from skateboarding to eating a candy bar).
But the question isn't whether playing football is bad for your longterm health; the question is whether taking repeated blows to your head while playing football is bad for your longterm health. And to answer that, you want to isolate the part in question. Ideally you would compare footballl players that receive blows to the head with those that don't. Buf if that's impossible because all football players receive blows to the head (or insufficient number of those that don't,) the next best thing would be comparison to a population of similar atheletes that don't take hits to the head.
what the question is.
Yours seems to me to be a reasonable question to ask. For some people the significant question seems to be whether it's better to get a scholarship at a major university and have a career as a professional football player or to stay in Pahokee. That's the only explanation I can come up with for the design of the study. (The only non-cynical explanation, anyway.)
That taking repeated blows to the head isn't good for your health. And certainly worse than not taking blows. As said above, the question is the question. What I think they're trying to say is that these repeated blows are turning people to early deaths and suicides well above the rate of normal people.
I don't think anyone is saying "getting hit in the head is ok; rub some dirt on it." There should be studies, and they should make the game safer. It's just sticking a pin in the idea that if you play football, you are doomed to dying younger than everyone else, and severe mental problems; it's saying that you're not that much more likely (or actually less likely...but small sample size and all) to face these problems than if you were that shoe salesman.
You sir, are dead on. The analysis using a control of the general population is meaningless.
The entire point of the fear discussion and general panic over this issue is the fear that football is more dangerous for both head trauma and depression/suicide than not playing football. Meaning the sport itself may (according to some, not me) be too risky to allow it to continue in it's present form if future studies prove this. So why wouldn't the relevant sample be general population?
I was just about to come on here and start screaming about sample selection bias. Football players who have made somewhere between hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars and who were at one time or another among the fittest .001% of the population don't fit a comparison to the general population.
And if we're gonna tolerate small sample sizes in the suicide numbers, it should be pointed out that there are 12 acknowledged suicides in the past 25 years and 5 in the past 3 years. That could absolutely just be noise, I know, but not giving the most recent numbers because they don't serve your point as nicely is just bad writing.
Reading this piece, I can't help but be reminded of people who yell "Evolution is just a theory!" Maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves in the moral panic, but there is plenty of reason and an expanding body of evidence to support that repeatedly smashing your head into things is bad for your long term health.
The argument being made is that "football is dangerous because it kills players at a faster rate due to depression/suicide (from head trauma) than normal people die from depression/suicide."
Normal people have all sorts of issues. That's the point. If the question was "do football players have higher rates of suicide and depression than healthy people that don't have suicide or depression," we wouldn't need to even do a study.
Besides, I don't think the link between physical trauma and depression has been made clear at all. People are seriously undervaluing the mental aspect of preparing yourself for a life after football when you're entire life leading up to retirement has been football. Then it's gone.
No more fans. No more big checks. No more meaning to what you've done every single day since you were often 11 or 12 years old.
The last bit here is the truth IMO. It's WAY more likely that if, and the evidence is far from clear but if, there is a greater evidence of suicide in football players than non-football players, that it is the vast change in adulation, money, fame, purpose and structure that a life in professional athletics gives you, versus being on your own with far less of the above, that is the main cause.
The question, of course, is "what is the proper course of action to take when you don't know?" There is evidence suggesting a strong link between football and traumatic brain injury. We don't know how extensive that link is. We don't know what effects manifest themselves and when they do so across a broader population. We don't know how widespread CTE is among football players. And we don't know if concussions or subconcussive contact is primarily to blame.
What we do know is that we're seeing anecdotal evidence of a significant number of former players with levels of congitive change earlier in their lives than would be expected. Saying "ban football" is moral panic, and is mainly done for the headline value, so that people will pay attention to the questions of brain trauma. Legislating changes to the game that minimize head injury, however, is far from a moral panic. From my perspective, it's the proper moral course until we know more.
What's also clear is that anyone who's played football for a significant number of years should think about posthumously donating their brain to one of the labs doing CTE studies. The wider range of brains the more we will learn about how and when CTE starts to develop.
IMO the proper response is to not legislate any change--that is until we know more, and your post outlines how much in fact we don't know. Once we know more, the NFL and it's players should be the ones that determine what changes if any should be made. That could be slight changes, or many, but it should be entirely up to them.
I believe these guys (the players association) ought to do a lot more around helping these guys manage their money while they are making and aftwerward. Also, there is 20 years of building muscle to be managed down. Then there is the mental aspect of going from superhero status to ex-superhero as well as the loss of daily locker room camaraderie.
I'm not saying concussions are not part of the problem. I'm just saying post career transistion (much like leaving the military) is a unique challenge that most of us do not understand, and leaves the ex-players feeling isolated.
While it's tough to defend a moral panic (people are so stupid, aren't they?), I will say this: It's not hard to imagine that someone who's suffering some combination of memory loss, confusion, dizziness, an aversion to light and noise, intense pain, and impaired speech might become depressed because of his or her symptoms. It's also not hard to believe anecdotal evidence from football players (and boxers) when they say that they're suffering these things b/c of concussions and other head injuries that they suffered during their athletic careers.* I accordingly don't think it's off-base to be concerned about what football is doing to the brains of football players.
I don't mean to say that head injuries are the only reason that retired NFL players suffer and die young disproportionately. They are probably just one of many reasons, a number of which need to be addressed by the NFLPA and NFL in some way.
*Please tell Harry Carson that you think he's full of shit. I encourage you.
I don't think this is moral panic. We are getting closer to understanding CTE, particularly with a larger sample size from vets who are exposed to roadside bombs and the side effects they have been experiencing. Sounds very similar to what many football players describe. The link below is pretty interesting on what they are seeing with mice and simulations to induce CTE. It is not conclusive, but it can't be ignored or brushed away. Just need more time to really understand this problem.
AREN'T suffering any of this because of football. I think they're saying that everyone who plays is destined to be subjected to it and it's a epidemic MIGHT be called into question. And a side part that the health benefits of football might balance out or offset the risks that it might be a sum gain. It should still be studied, because everyone should know fully the risks they're undergoing, which hasn't been the case. But just the idea that "you play football, you're getting brain damage, and there's a good chance you may want to kill yourself" might be getting overblown by individual cases of just that, and those cases may be combined with other additional factors.
I think the author is saying what you posted (he certainly says what I posted), though the headline and some of the things the author says (including the part excerpted by Brian) obscure that. The tone the author takes seems to say, "Football players get pretty f-ed up, but people are stupid and self-deluded to say that the biggest problem is suicide." He would have been better served to say, "Football players get pretty f-ed up, but depression may not be directly caused by head injuries." He takes a relatively subtle point and turns it into a major issue. It's the equivalent of saying, "Mr. Thompson was hit by 17 different cars as he stumbled onto the highway, but none of them was a Taurus."
dieing young. I think the point of the article is while we are all up in arms about concussions and the suffering of ex-football players, we need to keep it in context with the general population.
This is like a body bag count in a military action. Yes and quantifiable number of people died. But, how many young US citizens in the general population died, and at what rate, OR how many Afghan or Iraqi citizens were being killed, at what rate under the Taliban and Saddam?
We tend to obsess around the metrics and stories sensationalized, and not compare them to what would have happened if the course of action had not been taken.I am not suggesting that a disproportionate number of soldiers and civilians have not been killed or maimed, but I am suggesting that to report the number without the baseline context sensationalizes the number. In the case of football, here we are given a baseline that suggests suicide rates are not disproportionate. We also haven't compared it to ex-basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, rugby players, etc.
So perhaps before heading over the cliff of football is too dangerous so it shouldn't be played, perhaps we need to check facts a bit. That said, if we can reduce head trauma making football safer, and thereby reduce depression that may lead to suicide, that is still a good thing.
I love the shades.
Hope he's that fast, too.
I have to disagree about the upgrade from Ward to Mowins. Ward is a tone-deaf announcer who grates on the ears. Her continued PbP status gave the impressions, accurate or not, that she held her role for reasons of gender.
Mowins has a similar voice but is otherwise entirely unlike Ward in her delivery and expression. She is far from unlistenable.
Unfortunately the gender gap in announcing is too prominent not to notice and discuss, and fair evaluation of a woman announcer is hard. Good ones are developing, though, and that's a good thing in modern media. What's the name of the woman who is doing color for the NBA playoffs? She's good and she knows her stuff, and is otherwise so unnotable that I can't bother to get her name. Like a half dozen NBA color guys that she's better than. That's good, right?
There will be (are?*) good female announcers...and, if you ask me, Pam Ward wasn't nearly as bad as, say, Dick Vitale or Craig James. Her horribleness is overrated.
*I'm not familiar with the NBA announcer you mentioned.
Vitale and James are color guys who aren't really comparable with Ward. James was frustrating because of his actions out of the booth; Vitale is a unique figure in broadcasting that isn't easily replicated.
It will be a long time before a woman does color for a football game, because color has traditionally been the realm of former players and coaches, and football is exclusively a men's sport at every relevant level. There are sharp women who know the sport (Suzy Kolber for example) but people want actual game experience in the booth. Experiments with variations on this (Dennis Miller, Tony Kornheiser) have failed miserably.
So play-by-play is the way to go, no requirement of game experience being present.
I think you can compare Ward, Vitale, and James, though. They're all people who talk during games for a living and whose utterances, tones, and mannerisms increase or decrease one's enjoyment of a game. I've only ever wanted to kill two of the three in the heat of a Michigan game, so Ward comes out relatively well as far as I'm concerned.
Penn State's quarterbacking situation is pretty dire. They had better hope Christian Hackenberg turns out pretty good. Even still, it will be until 2014 until he's not a true freshman.
I'm with BGHP about Delany. Outside of immediate kneejerk reactions to some of the things that seem to be dumb at the exact moment they occur (Big Ten Network, campus playoff sites, etc.), the only thing I can say he has done that ended poorly is that dumb letter he wrote to the SEC.
Other than that, the Big Ten is safe, unified, and GETTING PAID. We haven't even negotiated our first-tier rights yet with ABC/ESPN and we're still making more than any other conference in the country.
We added a top-tier team to make 12 and didn't have a terrible 14-team schedule problem like the SEC while taking two second-tier programs. CBS doesn't want to renegotiate with the SEC for their new teams unless they go to a 9-game schedule. There will be some very angry SEC fans and boosters when the SEC strikes their TV deal. Mike Slive's expansion is already looking shortsighted to some SEC fans.
Yes, I want playoff sites on campus, but it's not worth fighting that losing battle. Between the bowl lobbyists, southern conferences, and university presidents' resistence to change and fondess for stability, it wasn't going to happen.
Hopefully Delany earned a few favors by dropping the issue and will put them to good use in other battles that will go our way.
OT - but perfect for UV, I heard Corey Maggette (client of Rob Pelinka) that Durant has recently signed with Pelinka as well (and I think this is new since Durant is not listed yet as a client on Pelinka's wiki page).
With clients such as Kobe, Durant, James Harden, Carlos Boozer, Eric Gordon, OJ Mayo, Derrick Williams and more, our own Rob Pelinka is the top NBA agent and one of the biggest sports agents in the world.
Football is a violent game. Chances are that if you play football for a living that you will die younger than a guy selling shoes for a living. Did everyone just all of a sudden realize this? 1 percent of all high school football players make it to the NFL. 80 percent of that 1 percent are out of the NFL and broke within three years. The players take a huge risk and deserve every nickel they earn. It's a cut throat business!
A hell of a lot fewer than 1% of high school ballers make it to the NFL....In fact a hell of a lot fewer than 1% of college players make it. Maybe...maybe 1% of FBS conference players make it. 80% (or more) are likely out within 3 years, but broke? I have no problem with your point, but don't make up statistics.
From a SI article in 2009.
Also mentioned here in a Detroit News column by Angelique here:
She also quotes the statistic that 50% of player's marriages end within the first year of retirement.
your hypothetical shoe salesman is twice as likely as an NFL player to die young?
BONUS: ex-NFL players are really good at not getting tuberculosis.
You might ask yourself why the tuberculosis rate is relatively high among a population matched to ex-NFL players by age and race. Where and how do they live, and how does that statistical pattern compare to ex-NFL players? Where is TB a significant problem, and why? Does race, biologically, have anything to do with this or is it a proxy for other differences more directly associated with TB rates, like poverty and access to high-quality medical care?
To use age and race as the only two markers in the control population is odd in a study like this. Why race, and not educational experience or socioeconomic status or wealth? Or even zip code? By choosing race and ignoring everything else we're left with a study that conclusively shows that ex-NFL players are probably better off than their peers they left behind when they were given an opportunity to attend a major university and then successfully landed a job in a very lucrative, if short, career. That's great; it's also not news and it certainly shouldn't be an argument against attempts to make the game safer.
Yeah, I would imagine that place is a far better marker of TB rates than is race. Obviously place and race overlap a lot within metropolitan America, but by leaving location out of the sample, it seems that the study would miss a lot of the environmental factors that are associated with TB.
Unfortunately, race is a very good marker of TB rates in the US. That doesn't mean race causes TB, or even influences it biologically in any way. That TB rates are much lower among ex-professional football players should be a clue, if any were needed, to how they differ from their racial peers: the vast majority have been through at least three years of college and a great many of them have a degree, they were able to work, if briefly, in a profession offering a salary an order of magnitude or two greater.
It's a laughable approach to the problem; that it's being taken seriously is a sign that people are grasping at straws.
Frank The Tank's latest commentary on the SEC/Big 12 bowl and realignment:
I own the same Oakley's as Chesson. That is all
Looks like Steve Everitt is about 90% through "a real good time." Unless Pitbull is sitting just outside of the photo on his right. I always hate the last sip of a dr. pepper in a bottle, warm swill is not a real good time IMHO, maybe he just left it there and didn't finish it.
There is no way to run a 10.8 100 M without running a great 40...4.45 at worst I would think. There is no way to run a 37.7 300 M hurdles without a ton of guts. We are gonna like this kid.