"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."
At press time, Harbaugh had sent Michigan’s athletic department an envelope containing a heavily annotated seating chart, a list of the 63,000 seat views he had found unsatisfactory, and a glowing 70-page report on section 25, row 12, seat 9, which he claimed is “exactly what the great sport of football is all about.”
Explicit Georgia. Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity mentioned that his school wouldn't oversign a couple weeks ago but didn't go nearly as far as Florida's Bernie Machen, who called grayshirting and whatnot "reprehensible." You can't get away with that in the media, however, and after further questioning he laid it down:
First-year UGA athletics director Greg McGarity is strongly opposed to the practice of oversigning football prospects and in favor of legislation to help curtail such activity among SEC institutions.
“It’s just the right thing to do,” McGarity told Dawgs247 this week … According to McGarity, “I think it will be a topic for discussion (at SEC meetings) in Destin this year.”
“I think you will see controls in place,” McGarity said. “Now what that model will look like will be determined later — sooner than later. … I think you’ll see it being dealt with at the conference level much like the Big Ten (Conference) deals with it currently.”
Wow: someone in the SEC suggesting the Big Ten model in anything is worthwhile. Mike Slive is squinting at whichever wall faces the general direction of Athens right now, trying to burn a hole through it with his mind.
Get The Picture suggests that McGarity's optimism that something will get done is probably foolish since eight SEC schools have a vested interest in the ability to "sign half the world in February." He's right, but adding a second SEC athletic director to the chorus of people saying Something Must Be Done is getting close to critical mass. If the SEC isn't willing to do something about it, maybe the NCAA will.
In conclusion, the SEC is a terrible basketball conference.
Asked if he would join other "cool" coaches who maintain Twitter accounts to keep fans abreast of what's happening in their program, Hoke said he won't join in.
"I'm not cool," he said. "I've never tried to be cool."
No coach* who has tried to be cool on twitter has succeeded in making their exclamation-filled (or, in the case of Charlie Weis, sober, book-length-Bon-Jovi-concert-memoir-filled) twitter account anything better than mildly embarrassing. If you don't speak the language it's better not to try.
*[Head coach. Assistants are fine. Bacari Alexander's cult of #HALOL is going swimmingly.]
Mount Godin settles down. It's a long time until Tim's next recruiting update so a small update on MI DT Matt Godin, who said something to the effect that he was "done with Michigan" in an article on Rivals. Godin immediately sought to clarify/explain/disclaim the quote with Tom. His brother signed up* here to explain, as well:
Matthew is a very competitive person, and he is frustrated because the new staff has not shown any interest in him despite the fact that he is regularly hearing from many other top programs.
Knowing Matthew's personality, I specifically told him not to say anything negative about any school because I knew some of the reporters would try to elicit such comments. I am very frustrated and disappointed that he did not heed my advice, but he has tried to rectify the situation as best he can by clarifying things with Tom. My parents, my sisters and I have all spoken with Matthew today, and we are disappointed in his lack of maturity and composure.
Each day, Matthew is asked my fellow students at school why Michigan has not offered him, and he constantly has correspondents from recruiting websites asking him about the issue. I can see why he is frustrated, but I do not condone his behavior.
Matthew's dream is to play college football, and he has been a UM fan since he was a child. Both my father and my sister graduated from UM, and I am currently finishing medical school at the University of Michigan. We would love to see Michigan offer him. However, if the coaching staff does not find him to be a good fit, then it's not meant to be. He is extremely blessed to have his current offers, and I know that he will excel wherever he goes. Go blue!
Godin already has Northwestern and Michigan State offers, so there's a good chance that if he's patient the coaches will offer him.
*[His email address checks out in the UM directory, FWIW.]
Bill Simmons image rehab: complete? Hey, remember three years ago when everyone hated Bill Simmons? I spent some time echoing the zeitgeist so I could say he's still way better than Drew Sharp in 2008. It's not like I didn't understand why people were turning on him—even my defense was maybe two-thirds-hearted. The backlash was met with mild push-back along the lines of what I wrote and it seemed that everyone had settled on the idea that Simmons was old and tired and had lost his fastball.
Then he organized and produced 30 for 30, a series that probably claims 30 of the top 50 sports documentaries of all time. He did this on ESPN, a channel that thinks Stephen A. Smith is a good idea to re(!)-hire. Now even people who blame him for all the Affleck movies about Boston* have to admit that The Two Escobars was awesome and The Ocho seems like way less of a bad idea than it did five years ago.
Simmons already has his own page on ESPN.com, but this is something much more ambitious, with a dedicated staff and a roster of contributing writers. If you were in Web publishing, you might call it a “vertical”. The rest of you might call it a digital magazine.
He's hiring 8-12 people and the thing sounds like something totally different than a newspaper—the sort of thing Fanhouse probably should have been. Klosterman is on board. It's described as a "sports/literary" website, which kind of sounds like The Run Of Play with more Karate Kid and fewer Baudrillard references. Quickish—the new thing Dan Shanoff is doing—has more details and analysis. He's enthusiastic about it. So am I.
Detroit City. (This is irrelevant but one of the Michigan Ultras posted in the comments so there's your tangent.) The Lions In Winter has a great post with lots of original reporting about the guys who bought the Silverdome and are trying to bring an MLS team to Detroit. Their plans are outlandish. I really hope they come off.
There is discussion of a name in the comments; my two cents: it must be Detroit City, and the crest should be a rock, and people should abbreviate them "DRC," and nothing else is acceptable. Here's this thing you can sign on the internet:
Comments that uselessly say soccer sucks will be met by hellacious point drainage.
As an avid fan of soccer (USA, Red Bulls, Arsenal) I can't stress enough how bad it is for players to be playing on turf. The MLS is pushing all new teams to build soccer specific real grass stadiums. Current teams are encouraged to make any new stadiums real grass. The Silverdome would be an awful place for soccer to be played. Additionally, it is expected that the MLS will want to remain at about 20 teams for a little while because this is the number for most global soccer leagues. They already have plans for the 19th team in Montreal starting in 2012 and most people expect the New York Cosmos to be the 20th team. At this time they will probably not add a 21st team in the near future and even if they did they would probably not want a team to play in the Silverdome.
Guess they'd have to change the name of the stadium, although still calling it the Silverdome would be pretty funny. Since it will inevitably bear the name of a sponsor, maybe they could get Richie Hawtin to sponsor it and call it the Minus Dome.
Another sport where New York gets two teams? NO. I WILL NOT LET IT HAPPEN.
I know the Red Bulls play in NJ, but they're called New York. This also discounts the poster who said "If you say 'Detroit' it has to be in the city limits". The Pistons are in Auburn Hills and the Lions used to be in Pontiac so... I understand that it's probably better for the city if it's in the limits, but just saying it's not 100% necessary.
I hate when sports have multiple teams in one city and no teams in other legitimate areas. Look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_League_Soccer#Teams, there are two near LA, but none (NONE) between TX and DC. There's one in freaking Columbus and not FL, not Atlanta, not Phoenix, not Michigan (biased). I don't know soccer areas that well, but I'm assuming the southeast has to have some legitimate interest, before we start giving new york a pair of teams. I heard Chivas USA is doing terribly too, so we could just move that one elsewhere and stay at 20 teams
"the Spirit of Michigan...is based on a deathless loyalty to Michigan and all her ways....and a conviction that nowhere is there a better university, in any way, than this Michigan of ours" - Fielding Yost
I've been to two MLS games. I went to a Seattle Sounders game last fall. They play at the Seahawks' Qwest Field, and only open the lower level for seating. The atmosphere at the game was incredible, and Sounders FC are known for having great fans. After the game (against the LA Galaxy), Beckham said that this was the first MLS game he'd played in that felt and sounded like a game in Europe. I think it helps that Qwest is a great stadium and naturally loud, so it amplifies and reinforces the crowd.
I've also been to a DC United game. While DC had a decent number of loud, die-hard fans, the game was at RFK Stadium, which is possibly the worst large structure ever built except for that unfinished hotel in Pyongyang. I'd be worried that the Silverdome would be much more like RFK than like Qwest - muted, and visibly too cavernous to re-create the necessary atmosphere.
It's too bad they couldn't have saved the infield portion of Tiger Stadium and then built new stands around the outside of a soccer field there. That could have instantly been the best stadium in MLS.
...the sadness out of the world and makes it a happy place.
Also: until somebody with power holds a gun to its head, there's no reason to expect the Sign Everyone Conference to make a change simply for the sake of ethics. The SEC's unofficial motto: "Ethics Are For Losers and Vanderbilt."
Brian, the second foot has dropped: Victoria Beckham is pregnant
The first foot was David saying he intends to fulfill the duration of his contract in LA with the Galaxy. Any hope that somebody in Michigan could ever convince him to transfer to the safety and tranquility of a Detroit-based MLS squad in the future has been blown up spectactularly like the Death Star.
I realize everyone else with something to say probably chimed in on the original thread, but after reading this I find myself really hoping Matt Godin ends up going Blue. And I think it's great his brother got his back and did so rationally and articulately. Does this make them the diametric opposites of the Borens?
"I'm not cool," he said. "I've never tried to be cool."
So far, I can't think of a single thing Hoke has said that hasn't hit the right note with me. He comes across as immensely likeable, and I can understand why Brandon had a high regard for him in the personality department. I just hope it translates to success on the field.
Occasional excess is necessary to remedy the deadening effects of moderation.
I would absolutely love an MLS franchise in the D. It would probably be the best thing to get my blossoming soccer fandom going. Rooting for teams outside of the area (or country really) just isn't the same.