...talks about how UConn hasn't been in contact and how they're out. (HT: UMHoops)
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|4 days 5 hours ago||The Song of Detroit||
It is possible that Detroit's long slide into oblivion has reached its terminus, and that the long road to prosperity is ahead. However, there are a multitude of factors diminishing this view. Let us proceed into the void.
First and foremost is that Detroit is in the state of Michigan. Michigan is a state of few prospects. It is the only state to lose population in the last decennial. It is fairly remote geographically with few resources left that are valuable. What made Detroit a 20th century powerhouse - the iron ore, timber, and proximity to coal and navagable waterways - have either disappeared or become irrelevant. Many of Michigan's small cities such as Flint, Pontiac, and Lansing suffer a similar dysfunction as Detroit.
Detroit is a city that has roughly the same geographic size and population as Portland Oregon. But the two cities could not be further apart in terms of their economic health. Why is that? One need only look at the cost of downsizing. For all the talk and speculation about Detroit downsizing its infrastructure (exactly how much money will the city save by this? They already don't mow, don't plow, and don't patch large swaths of the city.) few are talking about downsizing its pension obligations. Like many industrial cities Detroit has legacy costs of its retirees that are dragging down the city's finances. Similar to other Rust Belt cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, and Cleveland, Detroit granted generous retirement benefits to employees that it can no longer afford to pay. The result is similar: higher taxes and lower government services than other cities or even their own suburbs. This pay more and get less scenario is crippling the city and driving the exodus of citizens and any reasonable plan for Detroit needs to address this issue.
Also, when people talk about downsizing Detroit keep in mind that the city's borders haven't changed since the mid 1920s.
I have lived in many different places and visited many more, but I have never experienced a region with as dysfunctional a city/suburb dynamic as metropolitan Detroit. There is, at times, an almost visceral hatred from the city of its suburbs and likewise the suburbs of its city. Often when I meet someone from the Detroit suburbs they try and divorce themselves from the city entirely. "Oh I'm not from Detroit, I'm from the X suburb" is a common refrain. I'm sure student at Michigan from other states found this experience a bit strange, they always looked askew when I observed it.
The differences are apparent when you look at the demographics: one of the most economically and racially segregated metro region in America. This dysfunction spills out into almost every facet of life in Detroit. The airport is not in Detroit but Romulus and people are sure to refrain from calling it Detroit airport but rather metro airport...as if someone would mistake it for the city's diminutive airport. The Palace - home of the Detroit Pistons - is sure to remind you that it is of Auburn Hills. And so it is colloquially known as the Palace of AUBURN HILLS lest you forget. Even here people are quick to point out what Fortune 500 businesses are and are not in the city limits. Let me say this again: I have never experienced a more dysfunctional city/suburb than Detroit. And it cuts both ways. The city hates the suburbs and the suburbs hate the city in ways I have not seen anywhere else.
And let us not be so myopic: the built places of the region are a total failure. Detroit is, by many metrics, the sprawliest region in America. The most autocentric, car dependent urban and suburban environment anywhere. The young demographic, the under 30 cohort, drives and owns cars much less than any demographic in three generations. The current roster of young people under 20 drive and have licenses less than any cohort in more than 50 years. How many of the young people in metropolitan Detroit are going to stick around a region that spent the last 80 years or so build communities completely dependent on the car? Even if self driving cars become a reality tomorrow, the mass adoption of that technology won't happen until this current crop of young people have already matriculated and fled the region. And despite new fuel efficient cars like the Prius and the Volt, high gas prices have been the reality for the under 30 cohort as long as they have been licensed. Your economics professors failed you when they told you that people are rational actors. They are not. What they meant to say was that people respond to incentives. And they do.
For all the talk of a resurgent US Automotive industry the reality is that new car sales still aren't to their 2005 peak and show no signs of climbing it. Instead the industry as a whole looks to face a terminal decline. And why wouldn't it? Overall purchasing power declined over the last decade, and purchasing power for young people is even more crippled. Combined with increasing congestion and commuting times as well as the aforementioned higher fuel prices the incentives are clear as crystal.
Let me be understood. I hope things go well for Detroit. The long suffering citizens deserve to live a life with the same dignity and opportunity as any other citizen of this great nation. But a slew of hypocritical hipsters will not fix the fundamental dysfucntion of metro Detroit. If things don't turn around in the next few years I could see a permanently reduced Detroit of around 500,000 people as the stable base of the core city as a 20 year long term projection. The city doesn't have the job growth prospects to sustain much more. The skills mismatch between the citizens of Detroit proper and the needs of 21st century industries is profound. A shocking 47% of Detroiters were surveyed as functionally illiterate by the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund in 2011.
This great failure of Detroit to educate and train its scions for the 21st century is tragic. As David Hume once opined "Manufactures, therefore gradually shift their places, leaving those countries and provinces which they have already enriched, and flying to others, whither they are allured by the cheapness of provisions and labour; till they have enriched these also, and are again banished by the same causes." Manufacturing will not come back to Detroit in a state resembling its former self. And yet the denial of this reality is a bottomless well with which the region constantly refreshes itself. As recently as 2009 Michigan governor Granholm publicly stated that Michigan was poised to manufacture new train cars for high speed rail even though David Hume predicted 200 years ago that they would likely be made in China. And even if they were mandated to be made in America there are regions better qualified to make them such as Illinois and Minnesota amongst others. But that dream of manufacturing will not die. It is so sad it breaks my heart.
|19 weeks 1 day ago||Correction||
Correction: 1060 W
|26 weeks 2 days ago||This||
|26 weeks 3 days ago||Another point of consideration||
You might also consider how Mel Pearson has improved Tech's record in his brief tenure. And, though it is anecdotal, there was talk for many years that Red was more of a figurehead and that his assistants did most of the day to day coaching. And there is this curious Michigan Daily article from 2003 which suggests that Berenson in fact retired.
Some speculated that Pearson, who seemed Berenson's heir apparent, left for Tech because he lacked head coaching experience and The Pizza Man has made it clear that he values coaching experience. Thus a successful stint at Tech would groom Pearson for The Big Job when Berenson chooses to step down.
This is almost pure conjecture and allusion. How much truth lies therein? I certainly don't know. Certainly Pearson is a quality coach. But is Michigan's failures on the ice because of his abscence? Good programs have down years now and then. One season post National Championship the Badgers found themselves out the tournament. The Michigan run is remarkable. Perhaps this would happen if Pearson were still on the staff. Maybe this is simply bad puck luck and the lack of a big time goalie. If Michigan were to sit out of the tournament this season it wouldn't break my heart as much as losing the National Championship in overtime to Minnesota-Duluth.
|28 weeks 3 days ago||The ACC model of success: a beacon of our future||
Rather than following the SEC's model of fairly contiguous regions that contain most of the traditional rivalries, the Big Ten followed the ACC's plan. Put Miami and Florida State in different divisions to promote the possibility of a Miami v Florida State appeal in the conference championship game. What a thrilling enterprise. The potential of this happening has surely recused its absence as a historical event. The anticipation that it will happen is more important than the distinction that it hasn't yet happened.
Likewise putting Michigan and Ohio state in rather arbitrary divisions means that, while a rematch will probably happen with the frequency of Haley's comet, that anticipation will be richly rewarding to all. What SEC fan isn't dismayed that Alabama and Auburn lack the potential to appeal their losses in the Iron Bowl to the SEC championship game? What Georgia fan doesn't feel tremendous remorse that Florida was robbed of a second chance to best them this season in the conference championship? The lack of anticipation has surely empoverished every SEC fan everywhere.
Furthermore, by eschewing regional divisions like North and South, the ACC created nebulous concepts that could apply teams in either division, creating a perfect harmony of brand. Atlantic. Coastal. Don't confuse ubiquity with genericism. It is a resonance to which few conferences can aspire. This is the secretsauce to the branding success of the ACC, and from this pecuniary fortunes concatenate. This is the concept that the SEC ignored at their peril, and unsprisingly the SEC has paid the price. By following the ACC's lead the Big Ten is following the tried and true course to conference success. Legends. Leaders. The fact that many teams in either division could easily be called by either moniker is a harmony of perfect fiths, resonating dulcet tones from the gut of middle America all the way to the Eastern Seaboard. Poaching an ACC team was merely creme in the Big Ten's coffee.
|29 weeks 2 days ago||I love you for this.||
I love you for this.
|30 weeks 2 days ago||The silver lining is rebranding||
If we add Maryland and Rutgers can we rebrand the conference the Big 14 to compensate for almost one score of inumeracy? We can call the subdivisions whatever you like. We could even devolve into "heroes" and "victors" with Michigan of course being in the heroes division. But please let us change the conference name. Please?
|30 weeks 3 days ago||What little we can google||
While there were many a rumor about Brian Kelly from his tenure at GVSU and CMU, the only animadversions we could google in 2007 was an incident involving CMU players, recruited by our stodgy friend Mike Debord, in which Brian Kelly remarked that they would not talk to police because of their culture.
Many speculated that he wouldn't fit into the Michigan Culture because of this incident. True or not, I can not aver. We can ruminate about Brian Kelly and his peripatetic circuit to Big Time Football, but aside from idle gossiping we can know only so much about his perigrinations to ND.
Was it an error of omission to disregard Brian Kelly and his resume in 2007? Do you not have perfect faith in Brady Hoke and his ability, like in that Jodorosky film, to turn poop into gold?
|37 weeks 4 days ago||Good riddance||
I'm glad they're departing the schedule, and I hope it happens more often. This was always a bad matchup. Notre Dame has more to win from this matchup than Michigan. For Notre Dame it is strength of schedule to convince pollsters that they should be a national contender without actually joining a conference. For Michigan it is novelty. I watch games on TV so I'm sorry Brian but I don't care that it was convenient for you.
More than football realpolitik I hate Notre Dame in general, and you should too. Notre Dame calls themselves the fighting Irish but dress their marching band's color guard in English bearskin hats, English army redcoats, and Scottish kilts. It is worst trait of the Midwest: the smug ignorance. Like mispronouncing your own placename.
This is a real place and they really do mispronounce Rio. Really. And Notre Dame really do dress up like the traditional enemies of the Irish nation. Really.
Notre Dame is just outside South Bend, a quintessential rust belt community. Since its peak in 1960 the city has declined around 30,000 or about 23%. Like most of northern Indiana it was a manufacturing town that grew in the shadow of Chicago. In fact the South Shore electric trains, which run from Millennium Park in downtown Chicago, find their terminus in South Bend a mere 5 miles from Touchdown Jesus. They have a Pulaski park, a LaSalle, and a Western Ave. As such Notre Dame's biggest fan base is in Chicago, where merchandise is ubiquitous in TJ Maxx and Marshalls.
But as any Domer worth his salt will tell you Notre Dame is a national brand not shackled by the dreary confines of northern Indiana. And they aren't even in South Bend, you fool. They are in the adjacent suburb of Notre Dame. You have them all wrong. Notre Dame is a hallucination. They exist only in the minds of the faithful. That's why they are God's team. They sure aren't the biggest college team within 2 hours of the biggest city in the Midwest and a regional phenomenon. They are always nationally relevant. Their TV contract is always something to boast. They were always academically noted.
In the end, Michigan gains very little from beating Notre Dame, and loses very little in defeat. As Brady Hoke says the goal is always the same. To win the Big Ten. But for Notre Dame the Michigan game is everything. Winning brings national title dreams and losing crushes those aspirations.
I will miss Lou Holtz' prediction of a Notre Dame national championship at the beginning of every season more than I will miss Notre Dame on Michigan's schedule perennially.