I want to thank everyone in this thread who provided their honest feedback, and it is a tribute to this internet community that such a conversation can be had with civility. I can't really change who I am, how I write, or where that overlaps with Brian. We have four times the front-page content that used to be posted here in 2008. Is it better to have 1 or 2 articles per day that are all Brian, or 5 or 6 articles per day where just 3 or 4 are going to relevent to any one given reader? It's been our experience that the more content the greater the readership; obviously there's going to be some people who will read all of it, some people who are just here for a certain thing, and a lot of folks somewhere between those extremes who will have to pick through more content to find the stuff they want.
Writing on another guy's site means you're always going to be compared to him: If you stray too far from what people like about it you're not giving readers what they came for; if you come too close you're a mimic. I brought this thread to Brian's attention this morning, but he's not exactly a fountain of feedback. He doesn't think I need to change anything; I think the existence of this thread proves otherwise.
What I can do is be better about explaining references. The failure of the Montgomery post that sparked this thread was not, I believe, stylistic--love it or hate it this blog does have a voice that people come for and that isn't going to change. I've always put themes into my posts as a way of letting readers know what frame of mind to be in, and if you don't want your news about a DL coach leaving without having to think about what that could have to do with a Rogers & Hammerstein play, threre's plenty of internet out there that will leave your cortexes the hell alone.
No, the failure was you had to have remembered an article from 2011 (or found the link I originally buried half-way through the text) to get what "The Beyonce" is. I didn't explain the reference, therefore it had no value other than to be more words to get through on your way to information.
My favorite way I've seen this done is Grantland's margins but that's not feasible for us. What I've done instead is download a plugin for the abbr tag, and I will encourage the other writers here to use that as well. Brian uses these for the UFR headers already. It's basically mouseover text. Here, try it. When I make references that some people may not get, I'll try to include one of these tags so everyone's up to speed with the 'bizarre allusions'. Look for underlined text and put your mouse over it. Give us time to get used it it.