|1 day 17 hours ago||I completely agree, and I'm||
I completely agree, and I'm willing to cut Al some extra slack during the season because of it. This is some of the best insight into a coach's process and philosophy that I've ever read.
|2 days 18 hours ago||The Darko mistake is||
The Darko mistake is overrated. There were three top guys that year, and while the Pistons got the bust, they are also the only team of the three to win a championship since that draft.
|3 days 22 hours ago||Oh my. Read to page 16 (make||
Oh my. Read to page 16 (make sure you see the earlier posts first for context).
|3 days 22 hours ago||The thread is very much worth||
The thread is very much worth viewing. I made it through about 10 pages. So far, it features one sharp guy uncovering records of the divorce and felony fraud convictions of someone who is probably the same guy, lots of handwringing about how dumb the Charlotte Buckeye chapter must be, and a mysterious appearance by a brand new user--"coincidently" from a Charlotte IP--named "alwaysthere" trying to quash the controversy with hilariously disastrous results.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||I like almost everything||
I like almost everything about this. They're not monkeying much with the Fri-Sat series format, the schedule is backloaded, and good teams are on it. Double-header start times will no doubt make attendance in early games a bit dodgy, but having games staggered so die-hards can watch more hockey? Big win. Best guess is they they'll schedule games for 7pm Easter/8:30pm central, but that's only a guess.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||I like this. All conference||
I like this. All conference games, except for a cool football weekend OSU series, are backloaded. The most important games at the most important time of year--not like those lousy early-October series against, say, Miami that were impossible to get excited for on a football weekend.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||Thanks for the recap! I wish||
Thanks for the recap! I wish cycling was a full D-1 sport, but the club system is decently robust and it is totally awesome to see UM cycling jerseys in action. Perfect thread for OT season.
I know Michigan has made nationals before, but that's about all I know. And I know you really, really wouldn't have wanted to race in Wisconsin (not to mention ultra-snowy Minnesota) this last week.
If any cycling fans are reading this and don't know about them, inrng.com is a fantastic pro cycling blog, and the How The Race Was One videos on cyclocosm.com are indispensable. The spring classics have just wrapped up, in splendid fashion at that. Lots of good stuff to review.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||The great lakes seaway has a||
The great lakes seaway has a minimum draft of 27 feet, which lakers use every inch of when full. 32 isn't enough for the largest tankers or container ships, but even the 1000-footers (with a capacity of 50,000+ tons) on the lakes here could take that tunnel without issue.
How long is this supposed to be? That would be the biggest issue, I would think.
|5 weeks 18 hours ago||The question "why" has been||
The question "why" has been asked frequently here. Is it professional development? Getting minutes to the best players? Depth?
All good answers with, probably, some accuracy. But isn't one of the best reasons to make this move simply the fact that the players on the floor will be most effective in their natural positions? GRIII worked hard playing the 4 all year, but it's not his natural position and there was a lot of stuff you expect from someone with his skill set that he simply didn't do. He rarely had the ball and he almost never drove to the basket--I don't have actual numbers, but my impression is that "more than a shooter" Stauskas actually drove far more than GRIII.
Similarly, McGary is a good player but his game suits the power forward position better. He outplayed Withey in Dallas not by winning a post-up battle but by ballscreens, movement, and energy. When he posted up Withey, or Withey posted him up, Withey won at least 70% of those battles. Which is why Beilein kept Mitch from fighting them.
With those two in their natural spots, their individual production will be better, and the whole team will improve.
postscript: I have no idea how good Walton will be, but if he doesn't catch fire early the way Burke did, is there any chance Beilein spends a few minutes without a PG in the lineup? I'm not sure there's anyone that can carry the ball up properly, but if there is, this could keep Walton and Spike fresh while increasing minutes for all the guys he has on the wing.
|5 weeks 19 hours ago||I don't know if Morgan was||
I don't know if Morgan was involved, or if the statement was for GRIII and McGary. Remember, Beilein is consulting with them about their pro decision. They want to play in the NBA. As part of the consultation, it is entirely reasonable for Beilein to tell them, "You will be well-prepared for your NBA career if you stay; in fact, you will be playing your natural NBA positions and have opportunities to demonstrate your skills next year."
Makes total sense.
Plus, keep in mind that the lineup this past season was based on the team's backcourt and wing strength, and that at the beginning of the year GRIII was much more ready to contribute than McGary was. McGary was only capable of producing 10-15 quality minutes at the beginning of the season; running a two-big offense, with Burke, THJ, Stauskas, and GR3 all on the roster, would have been insane.
And when McGary emerged in the tourney there was no reason to change a good thing.
|5 weeks 22 hours ago||Agreed. Look at that depth||
Agreed. Look at that depth chart--Michigan is going to have trouble giving everyone enough PT as it is. There are a lot of talented guys there. If McGary starts at the 4, one of Stauskas, lottery pick GR3, or Indiana Mr. Basketball Irvin is coming off of the bench.
Michigan's "weakest" positions are the 1 and the 5, but they're not hurting in either--they're just not two-deep in NBA talent in those spots.
|5 weeks 22 hours ago||I was wondering why people||
I was wondering why people weren't talking about this. Mitch seems like a natural 4 in the Association and has the mobility to keep Michigan's offense quick and aggressive. Gr3 is built for the wing. Using him as a 4 this year seemed more like a concession to having ridiculous backcourt talent.
With Hardaway gone, we'll need GR3 and Irvin to pick up wing scoring slack. I would expect them to be the focus of the perimeter offense.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||I'm sure this sounds worse||
I'm sure this sounds worse than it actually is.
No, wait, actually this is exactly as bad as it sounds.
The bad guys win again.
|6 weeks 10 min ago||Not that odd. Those guys have||
Not that odd. Those guys have had a lot more time to think than Trey, who was busy playing basketball.
|6 weeks 1 hour ago||As has been said, there is no||
As has been said, there is no way Trey will ever be higher on a draft board than he is now. If he declares he will be a millionaire, follow his dream, and have nothing missing from his college career. If I were advising him on his best interests I would tell him to go.
But you've all had the same secret fantasy I've had. It looks something like this:
McGary, Robinson, Hardaway, and Burke announce a joint presser. The board blows up in despair-they're all leaving, Basketball has to rebuild next year. The conference starts.
McGary: "I'm coming back to Michigan to win a national championship."
Robinson:" I'm coming back to Michigan to win a national championship."
Hardaway: "I'm coming back to Michigan to win a national championship."
Burke: "I'm coming back to Michigan to win a national championship."
We're all secretly hoping. Won't happen, but we hope.
|6 weeks 2 days ago||#6 is a bigger deal than you||
#6 is a bigger deal than you think. Lville started a fast transition play off of that "block" that resulted in Trey committing his first foul. Call the goaltend, Trey doesn't foul. For those counting,negate 3 of his fouls that shouldn't have occurred.
|6 weeks 2 days ago||Here's a serious question: We||
Here's a serious question: We know Indiana's run with this core is over now that Oladipo and Zeller are gone. They won the B1G outright and a #1 seed, swept us, and had a great season. We did none of that.
But we made the final. Looked great. Saw the Shot.
Would any of us trade seasons with them, assuming both teams are rebuilding next year?
I wouldn't. Not at all.
|6 weeks 3 days ago||My Dad always took me to||
My Dad always took me to games, up to the fall before he died. They remain cherished memories. Now I am building memories with my daughters.
|6 weeks 3 days ago||SEC is football first and||
SEC is football first and only. That's true for the AD money as well as booster cash. And remember that in BBall southern schools have to compete with giants like UNC.
|6 weeks 3 days ago||Not fouling for that long was||
Not fouling for that long was definitely a mistake, no matter who made it. I don't think it changed the result, but you never know.
I don't mind Trey not committing the foul-we needed him on the floor. I haven't been griping about the officiating, but since three of his four fouls should never have been called (we know about the block and the bogus three-point foul, but nobody seems to mention that his first foul came in the transition play after the uncalled goaltend early in the game and wouldn't have happened if the goaltend was called correctly) and without those he fouls quickly and we see the game play out differently, for good or ill.
|6 weeks 3 days ago||Losing is an integral part of||
Losing is an integral part of the sports experience. And having hearts ripped out is a consequence of having teams good enough to hope for and expect success. You know who wasn't super-disappointed last night? Minnesota fans. Washington State fans. Mississippi State fans.
I wouldn't trade with any of them.
|6 weeks 3 days ago||Of those, this is by far the||
Of those, this is by far the disappointment that is the least soul-crushing; we have it pretty good for a football-first school that could barely field a competent basketball team for years. Schools with larger, more rabid basketball fan bases have endured much greater proportional heartbreak, especially if you look at the whole of the last 25 years. I'm thankful they got so good so quick.
|6 weeks 3 days ago||Nothing wrong with backing||
Nothing wrong with backing off. People were talking lottery, and you don't just blow that off--but with time, I think his stock will settle a bit and he'll come back.
|6 weeks 3 days ago||You don't think that||
You don't think that promulgating an elaborate, everybody-is-against-us conspiracy theory that is prefaced by protestations of sobriety is a bit too similar to the way MSU fans react to life to be considered quality Mgoblog material? This thread is one of the worst I've ever seen on Mgoblog. What's wrong with suggesting that it might not be well-suited for it?
|6 weeks 3 days ago||RCMB-quality stuff here.||
RCMB-quality stuff here.
|6 weeks 3 days ago||No regrets. They played great||
No regrets. They played great and lost to a better team. Disappointed? You bet, but not in them. We were right there.
We'll always have the shot. And the ride. I'm glad I got to watch it.
|6 weeks 3 days ago||I think all the complaints||
I think all the complaints from a few weeks ago regarding the Blog's lackluster content have been answered.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||What if I live 12 hours away||
What if I live 12 hours away in Minnesota? That's a bit of a hike.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||I told my wife this evening:||
I told my wife this evening: "We're watching our season drain away at the free-throw line." Fortunately, I was wrong--but this team looks rather uncomfortably like that Memphis team that came so close to winning at all until their one achilles heel, foul shooting, finally cost them everything against Kansas.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||Anyone else worried that||
Anyone else worried that Burke may be feeling the effects of that back injury and flu virus? Sure, tonight's game wasn't a good matchup... but he still missed shots and didn't seem to have the "spark" he often does.
Of course he was suffering from the flu last Friday night, so there you go.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||That's okay, I'm sure we||
That's okay, I'm sure we didn't impress them with our awful free-throw shooting and panicky ball movement against a press by a team that doesn't press often.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||Good answer. I hope that's||
Good answer. I hope that's all, and that he's ready to go later. It is true that Levert seemed to be well-suited to handling the zone, and you don't keep THJ or GRIII on the bench either; Stauskas probably just the odd guy out here.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||That's a good question. Now||
That's a good question. Now you have me all worried.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||Good point, partly. He also||
Good point, partly. He also asked about the NC game, though.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||Good test: Check to see if||
Good test: Check to see if you can watch a replay of the Michigan-Syracuse game tomorrow morning. If you can, I think you have your answer.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||In fairness, I really don't||
In fairness, I really don't think that he was trying to scrape McGary in the face; he was going for the ball as he was in the air, missed, and nailed McGary instead. Pretty obvious foul, but not something that is being actively discouraged by the rules.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||Heart-stopping. And||
Heart-stopping. And near-losses like this where we almost choked the game away always leave me with a bad taste in my mouth.
But not much of one, because they don't give you berths in the NC game for style; they give them for winning, and Michigan is winning!
Good night. We knew there was a chance mid-season, but... everything is just coming together. Is it fair to say that Michigan Basketball is "back" yet?
|6 weeks 5 days ago||Live, use the March Madness||
Live, use the March Madness App. Works pretty well, will stream anything broadcast in the tourney by CBS free. I'm not sure about replays.
I know he's five. I have a five-year-old who was in bed. But she's a girl and my girls don't understand basketball. I honestly would consider trying to manage his sleep schedule to get him to stay up to watch. If he falls asleep on the couch, no biggie, but there's a chance at a great memory.
I was four when Kirk Gibson hit his eighth-inning home run to clinch the '84 series, and it is my earliest datable memory and earliest sports memory of any kind. Might be worth a shot.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||Eh. People are going to||
Eh. People are going to complain about stuff. We can't help it. Couldn't help it when Cuse was mugging our guys with no whistles, either, but that's how it goes.
You can't apologize for a win. Enjoy it. If others are unhappy, let them be; sometimes they have a right to be (Illinois 2000) and sometimes they don't (Joe Paterno).
|7 weeks 5 hours ago||I would feel awful if I got||
I would feel awful if I got taken like this. Takes guts to post it on the blog for the benefit of others. Your tone is good, too. I applaud you for how you've responded.
|7 weeks 21 hours ago||Didn't get it last year||
Didn't get it last year because we just don't have a lot of cash, but I just sprung for the football/hockey combo. I don't even mind the ebook idea at all.
Early August, football on the brain? This will be good.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Okay, in fairness, I see why||
Okay, in fairness, I see why this is done. But it could have been relabeled--either hold it in case Michigan wins, or rename it as a "Final Four Preview" that runs down all the teams and coincidently includes all the information regarding a hypothetical matchup with Michigan.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||YOU FOOL YOU'VE KILLED US ALL||
YOU FOOL YOU'VE KILLED US ALL
|7 weeks 2 days ago||This isn't really a surprise||
This isn't really a surprise at all. He's a fantastic player, and it's not like Michigan appears primed for a championship run or anything (they could have surprised with him, of course, but this roster won't be mistaken for '96-'97). He's pro-ready, he played a solid year, he's about to get seriously paid.
I'm glad we got him for a year. I'm sorry it had to be this year.
|7 weeks 5 days ago||That's good news. Usually||
That's good news. Usually this sort of thing isn't an "announcement," and part of the reason is that a player can change (or finally make up) his mind later in the summer. Michigan has lost many players that way. But I would love to have him back.
Perhaps he has inside information that Mitch McGary is going to moonlight as a hockey player next year.
|7 weeks 5 days ago||I can think of 79 reasons why||
I can think of 79 reasons why you are absolutely right and I was wrong.
|7 weeks 5 days ago||Kenpom isn't accounting for||
Kenpom isn't accounting for Mitch McGary or Spike Albrecht, apparently.
And there's some truth to that. Kind of reminds me of the 2004 Pistons team, which people kind of overlooked despite the acquisition of Sheed and what he brought to the team. Mitch makes this a different team.
Only 11 points today, but he was critical early in building the lead--Michigan was chasing Florida's King all over the board after that.
|7 weeks 5 days ago||When we beat Kansas, I told||
When we beat Kansas, I told myself that we could be anybody, but... like this? Against Kenpom #1/bad matchup Florida?
Season is unquestionably a success. The dream that Michigan could perform better in the tournament than the B1G season isn't a fantasy anymore. We have an all-time great Michigan moment in our back pocket.
And we can beat anybody. Cuse, Duke, Louisville, Wichita. Bring it.
|7 weeks 5 days ago||BC's fanbase isn't that huge,||
BC's fanbase isn't that huge, but its significant. If we can get them bumped off, we will see a new winner, making it 2 for the last 3.
Of course BC will probably win again. I hate BC.
|7 weeks 5 days ago||Actually, the NCAA instituted||
Actually, the NCAA instituted a "recommendation" of 200x100, olympic size, for college ice rinks. However, it was not a requirement. There was a period of time that a number of new rinks were built to the 200x100 spec, but without the NHL making the same move the experiment was doomed to fail. While several teams still have the larger sheets, newer rinks (such as the Ralph in Grand Forks) have gone back to the 200x85 standard. Just not worth the hassle.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||I'm hungry. Seriously,||
Seriously, seriously considering a sub run. We have JJ's here in Duluth, they're open late, right?
|7 weeks 6 days ago||I don't know that this is the||
I don't know that this is the best first post ever. But it's up there.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||I'm glad to see Morgan in. He||
I'm glad to see Morgan in. He is an upgrade on D and we need some of that now. As recently as the Indiana game he was really effective on Zeller relative to the other two.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||We all knew this would||
We all knew this would happen. Completely different teams.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||This looks a lot like Indiana||
This looks a lot like Indiana last night. They play to our weaknesses and our strengths aren't there.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||I'm worried about stopping||
I'm worried about stopping them when it counts. KU can be frustrated by strong D, but that's not a specialty.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||Good job by Mcgary doing what||
Good job by Mcgary doing what comes naturally to all of us anyway, collapsing in a heap right away.
|8 weeks 4 hours ago||Interesting that you should||
Interesting that you should bring that up.
"But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss."
|8 weeks 4 hours ago||I'm on record with an opinion||
I'm on record with an opinion that Michigan is a "family" and that even people who don't hold 100% to the party line should be considered a part of the family, even if we recognize faults and problems. Of course, that was in the context of some unfortunate comments by Jim Harbaugh, not in the wake of a serious criminal career.
But my belief still stands. Robinson has embarrassed the family and tarnished the uniform; it is impossible to watch those free throws without thinking about what he has done (to see how this works from the outside, watch any OSU game that Maurice Clarett played in and note your personal feelings and thoughts when Clarett is on the screen). But, while I lament what he has done and feel that his actions have been despicable, I do not lose the joy of the memory that he was involved in, nor do I wish him ill. He is a prodigal son, but he is our prodigal son. I hope he changes direction. But he fully deserves the consequences he is experiencing right now.
|8 weeks 4 hours ago||What life could have been if||
What life could have been if he had not chosen to live a life of criminal, vile dishonesty and fraud. He didn't just get a bit caught up in the wrong event; he willfully defrauded, stole, and conned people. He destroyed his own mother's well-being. It doesn't get much lower than that. The bars are just a consequence of evil choices.
|8 weeks 4 hours ago||Respectfully, I don't think||
Respectfully, I don't think this is his pinnacle job. When someone like Williams or Coach K retires, if he is still good they will be giving him a call. And he'll be able to name his price.
|8 weeks 5 hours ago||Basketball is a different||
Basketball is a different sport than football. In some respects it makes it easier for a guy like Stevens to stay put, because you don't need to be at a big school in one of three or four conferences to reach the highest levels of success in the sport. There's no reason that he can't win national championships at Butler and make tournament runs every year, and what else do you need?
On the other hand, he is a perfect target for UCLA, even more so than Smart, in my opinion. The optics don't hurt--the last time they hired a young, energetic coach from Indiana it worked pretty well--and he knows how to run a program in a city that may lack some of the best resources. He'll also be able to re-win Los Angeles, and in a city that loves a winner he can become Pete Carroll-level popular. And UCLA is one of the top five iconic programs in basketball.
|8 weeks 17 hours ago||Really hard to believe this||
Really hard to believe this is the same team we lost to twice.
|8 weeks 17 hours ago||I really like him, actually,||
I really like him, actually, but he has clearly lost a step. And it's more obvious in basketball.
|8 weeks 17 hours ago||CBS stealing my anecdotal||
CBS stealing my anecdotal thunder.
|8 weeks 17 hours ago||Remember how Gtown lost to||
Remember how Gtown lost to FGCU? They totally worked Cuse twice this year. It's a weird game, and so much depends upon matchups.
|8 weeks 17 hours ago||Crean brought John Harbaugh||
Crean brought John Harbaugh in at halftime to teach the team what a 2-3 zone is.
|8 weeks 17 hours ago||Why were we the ones missing||
Why were we the ones missing free throws against these guys, while they couldn't miss any?
|8 weeks 19 hours ago||Welcome to the Big Ten.||
Welcome to the Big Ten.
|8 weeks 19 hours ago||I was wondering about this.||
I was wondering about this. They had a great season, no basketball tradition, nothing expected... But they were good and could have gone further. No hardware at all. It's a lot like Michigan, really. And I'll be very disappointed with a loss tomorrow.
|8 weeks 19 hours ago||A bit. They were pwned||
A bit. They were pwned inside. But Miami couldn't shoot at all and Johnson wouldn't have fixed that. They look terrible.
|8 weeks 20 hours ago||Looks like my contention||
Looks like my contention early in the thread that Miami would look fine later is torched. They're running low on time.
|8 weeks 20 hours ago||Very un-B1G-like score at||
Very un-B1G-like score at half in LA.
|8 weeks 20 hours ago||Are we allowed to consider||
Are we allowed to consider what matchups we would want should we advance? I'm kind of agnostic about this, but then I think that two of the hardest three teams left in the tourney are in our bracket.
|8 weeks 20 hours ago||I'm attracted to your||
I'm attracted to your explanation, but with a lot of perimeter players, little post offense, and a tendency to get frustrated by powerful bigs and tight defense, I think we are probably a bit of a finesse team.
|8 weeks 21 hours ago||Fair. This looks||
Fair. This looks uncomfortably similar to games where Michigan just wasn't getting shots to fall.
|8 weeks 21 hours ago||Remember that later in the||
Remember that later in the game when they look great. If their shots start falling the game will change.
|8 weeks 22 hours ago||Nothing. Basketball jerseys||
Nothing. Basketball jerseys don't look good, except on basketball players. I guess some guys can pull off the jersey-over-huge-tshirt look, but not me. In my lifetime of buying 50+ jerseys from major sports, I've never even been tempted by a basketball jersey.
|8 weeks 22 hours ago||Nike made some retro Michigan||
Nike made some retro Michigan shorts from that uniform, and I still have and wear mine. They are now faded, but they're great. Too bad they don't have the home white ones.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||To be fair, Devin took a full||
To be fair, Devin took a full step into the throw to heave it that far (I was in that corner, I practically had time to eat a sandwich before Dileo caught it). In intermediate routes where you need zip to get the ball to the right place his arm strength is only so-so.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||The previous AD wasn't very||
The previous AD wasn't very good. The current AD is the guy who hired Smart at VCU, and also has a chance to get Flip or the guy from Marquette as a backup plan. I think MN athletics might actually start to take winning seriously.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||I'm of two minds about this.||
I'm of two minds about this. There were definitely people in the Minnesota program who thought they could get Smart, but it wasn't such a sure thing that they hung everything on it. I just think they believe they can do better than Tubby, and given how the B1G is this year, maybe they're right. There is no reason Minnesota shouldn't compete with the top of the conference, not when teams like Marquette can perennially compete in the Big Easy, and Butler can push the Sweet Sixteen every year.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||Rick Pitino is known for||
Rick Pitino is known for full-court pressure, too. He's doing okay.
|8 weeks 3 days ago||If you want to take the||
If you want to take the class, go for it, but be prepared for the possibility that he really isn't interested in talking about his football career or Michigan. If you can enjoy taking a class from him without talking football or even much personal talk at all, go for it.
Then, with that in mind, it won't hurt for you (preferably after the first week or so, when any odd class questions have died down) to approach him once and politely mention that you remember his playing days and you really enjoyed them. Put out a feeler, see how he responds. If he doesn't mind talking about it, great. If not, give him a wide berth. And try not to be too Chris Farley about it.
Personal anecdote: Mark Hughes, from the '89 basketball team, lived across the street from my grandparents when he coached in Grand Rapids, and attended my grandmother's visitation when she passed away. There were roughly 100 old, short, white people milling around chatting and remembering my grandmother, and one 6'10 African American basketball coach.
So my Dad went up to him and began talking about how much he loved that team. Being my dad, I was a bit embarassed, but Mark didn't seem to mind (more importantly, neither did my mother who was grieving the loss of her mom) and they had a pleasant conversation. Later I introduced myself, but rather than talk basketball I just shook hands and said I was glad to meet him.
I feel like "known" people appreciate just being talked to as regular people. But when one is an instructor and you have regular interaction, he might enjoy the conversation.
|8 weeks 3 days ago||Chiles, I like your work and||
Chiles, I like your work and what I've known of you has left me with a good impression, but this comment is out of line and beneath you. You can do better than that. You are certainly entitled to disagree with the way Brian covered the team, and indeed you were able to provide your own coverage. But the fact that he stopped writing about them is not the same as not being a fan (your fandom of any sport is not constricted to when you feel like writing about it, is it?) and to throw out accusations about his personal demeanor cheapens your entire argument by reducing it to a personal attack. "He's really a mean guy" is not a good argument. Neither is suggesting that he has declared himself "king."
I am fortunate that your boss at michiganhockey.net looked past his initial impressions of me and continues to have positive interactions with me. He had far more evidence to form a negative impression of me that you do of Brian, and yet he has been kind and sociable in all of the places we've interacted.
It's ok to disagree, but you are making it personal.
(Go ahead, ask @michiganhockey how he first got to know me in person. It's good for a laugh).
|8 weeks 3 days ago||Kinda disappointed I missed||
Kinda disappointed I missed out on the front end of the debate. I might have some things to say about the actual hockey team later, but this thread appears to be a referendum on Brian's commentary. So, first, a couple of clarifications:
1. Brian never said he would stop being a fan of the team. He said he would stop covering them on the blog, for reasons he has elaborated on. If you follow his twitter feed you will remember that he periodically would comment on a hockey game that he was attending as he continued to show up at games he felt it not worthwhile to write about. (Do you have any idea how hard it is to write about disappointment and heartbreak all the time? I got tired to commenting on the hockey team too; I continued to follow them, but rarely appeared on the USCHO thread I lurk in or mentioned anything here. No criticism for me because I don't labor to produce a top-of-the-line sports blog, though).
2. Brian's basic point in the OP is strongly worded, but all he says is that the season is an unquestionable failure. Perhaps you disagree, but he establishes his criteria and defends his position. What's wrong with that? By the standards of one of the top five programs in the sport (all-time and today) his position is entirely defensible. I do understand that it rankles people that he is being harsh on the reactions of fans and writers looking at the "bright side." I think he stepped over the line there, but it's hardly a mortal sin.
3. Brian and several other people (including @yostbuilt and @michiganhockey) have been faithfully blogging about and writing about the hockey team for years. The three I just mentioned are guys I know from the young days of the USCHO forum, back when it was practically the only place to get real college hockey information. We've all posted there and we are passionate about the team and have lived and died through many triumphs and heartbreaks.
But Brian, Tim, Jason and others deserve a lot of respect and leeway. I enjoy writing, enjoy the hockey team, and enjoy combining the two--but those three (and others who I know less well, like center ice) actually put themselves on the line and devote the energy, time, and risk that is involved in publishing blogs that have, for years, toiled to cover a relatively small corner of the sporting universe that they happen to care about.
There are times that it is easy, and there are times that it is brutally difficult. And they do it anyway. Commenters like me are free to say what we want with little accountability, and to clam up and say nothing for long stretches where we don't feel like it. They don't have that luxury. So, if one of them wants to be a bit harsh on a team that saw a season end far short of expectations, I think they have the right to do so without their fandom being called into question.
It's one thing to disagree. It's quite another to dismiss someone entirely as a source of thought because you disagree about a conclusion about a sport.
|8 weeks 4 days ago||Easy. You grow up a||
Easy. You grow up a dyed-in-the-wool Michigan fan living in Ann Arbor with two alums for parents and a rabid fan for a brother, attending big games like Penn State in 05.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||False. Seeding "bands" are||
False. Seeding "bands" are mathematically set in stone. If you are in the 3-seed band (9-12th ranked by pairwise) that will not and has never changed. What they can do is change matchups within bands to avoid intra-conference rematches and to help attendance. A 3 seed will always be a 3 seed, though, and a 4 will always remain a 4.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||There's no subjectivity at||
There's no subjectivity at all, it is entirely mathematical. The committee is bound by the numbers. They will be a 4 seed or nothing.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||We were a three because,||
We were a three because, combined with our better record, our win streak that launched us to the CCHA title raised our Pairwise rating into the 3-seed range. If we had lost to Northern we would have dropped out of the tourney. It's all math. This weekend we have zero chance at a three seed, because mathematically we cannot jump over the teams ahead of us.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||User dhsajk appears to be a||
User dhsajk appears to be a spambot. Just saw a post in the hockey snowflakes thread, probably elsewhere too.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||No especially about it. We've||
No especially about it. We've been mathematically out of the tournament for a long time; winning the CCHA is the only way to get in, and even then our Pairwise number wouldn't be close. At least in '10 our wins actually moved us up into the PWR range (a loss would still have eliminated us). This year Michigan is barely even a "Team Under Consideration," and only crossed that barrier last week.
Michigan hockey fans basically haven't even needed to look at the Pairwise numbers in months; since January the situation has basically been that either Michigan will win the CCHA tournament or be eliminated. And the former seemed awfully improbable back when Michigan couldn't even assemble a two-game winning streak.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||Ironically, I would like our||
Ironically, I would like our chances better against Louisville than against Kansas. Louisville might be the better team, but they are guard-oriented and like to press. And we look rather good against the press.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||I might be overstating this,||
I might be overstating this, but I honestly think there's a better chance for the B1G to get 3 or 4 teams in the Final Four than to get zero.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||It helps, in that sense, that||
It helps, in that sense, that this is not Ohio State but instead a Notre Dame team that has been Michigan's daddy this year. Shouldn't be any threat of overlooking them.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||Nice time to be peaking. Too||
Nice time to be peaking. Too bad we're up against a hot ND team, led by Mr. Kryptonite himself, Jeff Jackson. Still, one win and the streak lives.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||I think that Adidas is too||
I think that Adidas is too formulaic and template-based, and have been for decades. They are hardly the only offenders, however--you are strongly understating the unified nature of Nike's exotic uniforms.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||That would almost certainly||
That would almost certainly be Minnesota. And it would be an awful draw for them. Still quite winnable, but a hot team loaded with NHL talent is not a typical #4 seed.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||I'm told guys are diving all||
I'm told guys are diving all over the place to block shots.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||Time to get nervous about||
Time to get nervous about Notre Dame tomorrow.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||Don Lucia is pacing in front||
Don Lucia is pacing in front of his TV right now.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||Jeff Jackson is twitching||
Jeff Jackson is twitching right now.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||Wow||
|8 weeks 5 days ago||Good time to be playing, by||
Good time to be playing, by far, the best hockey of the year.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||JED COPPMEYER!!!!||
|8 weeks 6 days ago||It is true, but we are one of||
It is true, but we are one of those teams and that is huge. When hoping for an improbable sports result, I've found that it is much more likely when the improbable team has shown at some point that they are capable of playing the game at the level required for success. It is much more futile when you are hoping to see a level of play that has not yet occurred.
|8 weeks 6 days ago||I love how the team||
I love how the team played.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||This thread need a "Not Safe||
This thread need a "Not Safe For Work" tag. Many jobs frown upon such greusome depictions of wanton violence.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||I think it's fine. There||
I think it's fine. There isn't some obscure set of unwritten aesthetic hockey rules that requires all trophies to look like the Stanley Cup. Frankly, a higher priority should be a trophy that a team is able to pass between players and skate around a rink with. Some trophies (that skating hockey player, for example) just aren't good for it.
Pop quiz: What does the NCAA hockey trophy look like? You know, the ultimate goal every year? Hint: It's not like the Stanley Cup.
What if they had made a trophy with a giant silver leaf on the back so poorly anchored that it actually flapped around when moved?
That would produce this:
Frankly, I appreciate that they're not pretending to have decades of tradition that don't exist. It's not insulting and it's not ugly. I'll take it.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||I understand where you're||
I understand where you're coming from, but I was so impressed with what they did that I figured it's not worth addressing. It was a rare situation and they took advantage. OTOH, if you were to give every team the option of a re-play with the same clock after a penalty by the leading team in any circumstance...
|10 weeks 4 days ago||People have been writing||
People have been writing articles suggesting this for decades, but it will never work and will never happen. The culture and business of professional sports in America bears little resemblance to that of England or other European countries. In those countries, every city, town, and village has its own soccer team; there are no competing leagues. The play under the same governing body under the same rules.
In our country, we have franchises based in big cities with strong regional support. People who live in Michigan support the Tigers, but also the Red Wings and Pistons and Lions to varying extents. Those are their teams. If baseball were like English Soccer, every suburb would have its own pro or semi-pro team. The Tigers, if they were even Detroit's only team, would probably be the most successful, but Grand Rapids and Flint would field decent clubs too, and Lansing would be perpetually getting relegated and promoted. It would all be run by a "Great Lakes Baseball League" federation that included teams from Ohio ("Can Toledo rise above mid-table? Will the Indians be satisfied with another Champion's League berth? Will Columbus ever get promoted out of the second division with all the hooligans in their stadium?"), Indiana ("Scrappy Gary beats rival Fort Wayne again. Indianapolis always mid-table. South Bend celebrates another year of third division by inviting Manti Te'o to address its thousands of fake fans."), Illinois ("The Cubs Stink"), Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ontario.
The sports are just organized differently and fans are conditioned differently. I don't think a lot of Lansing Lugnuts fans secretly long to face off against the arrogant Detroit Tigers; they like both. And the like college football and the NBA and the NHL. In England, you have soccer and a bunch of third-tier sports that don't have nearly the same following. It's just not the same.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||The NFL needs to fix pass||
The NFL needs to fix pass interference. There are times a defender totally mauls a guy that would otherwise make an easy catch, but just as often (or more often) a mild bit of contact on a barely catchable ball results in a PI call that advances the football 20-30 yards on a play that may well have been incomplete anyway. I much prefer the college 15-yard rule, with only the narrow exception that a flagrant takedown in the end zone should get a spot on the two.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||I like these kinds of||
I like these kinds of discussions. So I'll take yours in order:
1. I like this. I don't care about the Bo Ryan issue; I prefer the college game in many ways, but I think there are a number of NBA rules that are superior, and the shot clock is one of them. A reduction would be good.
2. Not sure I'm a fan of the 3-point line move. I like that they've bumped it back a bit, but I don't know that it's necessary at the college level.
3. Intriguing idea. Not sure if it's necessary, though--having the alternate jump ball seems a bit random, but it's still a good play for defense and a not-so-good play for offense regardless of the result. If you're on defense and you don't have the arrow, getting a jump is still good since it switches the arrow without jeopardizing your own team's possession.
I think making the call always benefit the defense would have unintended consequences.
4. I like how the pros handle fouls as well. Obviously, they use quarters and limit fouls to 5. I also prefer having the extra foul available (granted, both games have a "1 foul per 8 minutes" proportion) because it eliminates the chance that a bad call or two could eliminate a key player for 10-15 minutes of the first half. On the other hand, having a 1-and-1 does make the penalty for excessive fouls gradually more severe, which seems nice.
5. I don't think limiting a holding penalty to 5 yards would be sufficient. We'd see a lot more holding in that case; the average sack may be only a bit over 5 yards, but the sacks prevented by holding tend to be on the long end of it. Tackling a defender from behind would be an easy play on any 7-step drop.
6. Isn't this basically just a "Super Bowl" rule? Not sure the impact warrants a change in the rules. What I would support would be more discretion for the offended team to adjust time in late-game situations when a team with the lead commits a penalty on a play that has used up time.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||I should answer my own||
I should answer my own thread.
I don't want to sound like a jerk, but I see more promising scenarios for a deep run in the NCAA tournament than in the B1G tournament. I'm not trying to go ESSSS EEEE SEEEEE "it's harder to win our conference than the national title" arrogant or anything (though our conference is very good), but for Michigan, there's some truth to it. To win the B1G, we have to beat Wisconsin, almost certainly Indiana, and probably one of MSU or OSU. Those last three games are very loseable; it's our four-game murderer's row compressed into four days. Well-nigh impossible.
On the other hand, the NCAA tournament has all the best teams, but it is also stocked with beatable teams. Upsets inevitably take out some of the threats (don't we know), and Michigan winds up with a path that gives it winnable matchups all the way to the regional final. We'd be dogs against a team like Duke or Kansas, but it's far from a sure thing, right?
I guess I'll be okay, in retrospect, with an Elite Eight bid regardless of how the B1G tourney goes. It would validate Michigan as "one of" the best teams in the country, and with where basketball has been in the past 20 years, that's pretty good.
I honestly think a Final Four bid is technically easier to achieve than the gauntlet Michigan would face to win in Indy; same number of games, more time, more beatable teams.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||Excellent explanation,||
Excellent explanation, particularly strong on the frustrations of an Elite Eight loss.
One of the reasons the regional final is so crushing is that, due to it being the same weekend as the Sweet Sixteen but a different weekend than the Final Four, the dropoff in attention is awful. Win and you have a week of hope and talk and Sports Illustrated articles and radio interviews. Lose and you have to spend a week thinking "it could have been us." The dropoff with a Sweet Sixteen loss is nowhere near that sharp.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||In actual composition this||
In actual composition this team bears little resemblance to 1989. Frankly, there aren't many teams anywhere with a Glen Rice on the floor. But then, actual paper comparisons are of little use anyway; Michigan fans endlessly contextualize their hopes for a future football season based on some resemblance the new team bears to the 1997 squad, just as we talk about '89 in basketball. In hockey, everyone is crossing their fingers for a repeat of the '10 playoff run to earn a tournament bid. It is the nature of the sports fan.
Of course it doesn't make sense on paper, because there are always going to be differences. But the experiences are similar, and that's what we talk about.
And sometimes the bigger picture is a better view than the smaller one. In this case, Michigan does not have a similar roster to 1989 (then again, very little about college basketball resembles the 1980s at all). However, it is not unreasonable to think that whatever frustrations we've experienced in the regular season, a one-game postseason rematch can go differently. I think, given the strength of the conference, there is both a good chance of a high-level B1G rematch and a good chance that Michigan will win. And on that basis, I think the 1989 comparison may apply.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||That was a terrible shot.||
That was a terrible shot. Finally free of Oladipo and he heaves up a prayer.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||Not a NPOY-type game for||
Not a NPOY-type game for Burke so far. Oladip hasn't exactly set the world on fire, but Burke is limited with Oladipo defending him.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||I don't think GRIII's||
I don't think GRIII's production totals are so much a product of him playing exceptionally well or poorly. I think they are a symptom of whether or not Michigan is playing the kind of game that it wants to be playing.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||I thought that when Morgan||
I thought that when Morgan was injured and people were suggesting that somehow getting him back would substantially improve our defense it was wishful thinking.
Pretty clear that I was wrong.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||Another five-yard Zeller halo||
Another five-yard Zeller halo violation.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||Pretty annoyed with Kellogg's||
Pretty annoyed with Kellogg's inconsistency there, but in fairness he complained about a charge called against Burke in the first half, so he's probably just a charge-hater.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||Finally, a call done right.||
Finally, a call done right. Course it's OBVS.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||Wish we had hung onto our||
Wish we had hung onto our larger lead. 3 points isn't much. But it's nice seeing a lead at all, and very nice that Michigan has gotten here with lock-down defense and good contributions from all over the floor; Burke doesn't have to be in "carry-the-team" mode.
|10 weeks 5 days ago||Mitch took his second with 13||
Mitch took his second with 13 minutes to go, that was it.
|10 weeks 5 days ago||Ugh. Burke never going to do||
Ugh. Burke never going to do anything other than try it alone there.
|10 weeks 5 days ago||Using Hardaway for the pass,||
Using Hardaway for the pass, great cut from GRIII. Purty!
|10 weeks 5 days ago||Lousy call, IMO. Zeller has||
Lousy call, IMO. Zeller has drawn fouls on all of our bigs, and McGary and Morgan are both out for the half.
For better or for worse, Michigan is not playing a "characteristic" game. More physical defense, more fouls; also, more turnovers, but also a first-half lead.
|10 weeks 5 days ago||Oladipo has switched to||
Oladipo has switched to Burke. Trey needs to get Hardaway moving here.
|10 weeks 5 days ago||Significant mini-run there||
Significant mini-run there for Indiana.
|10 weeks 5 days ago||Woke up my napping family in||
Woke up my napping family in Duluth with that one.
Actually, Burke woke them up, since he took that shot from way out here.
|10 weeks 5 days ago||We're getting a lot of fouls.||
We're getting a lot of fouls. But then, we're seeing higher defensive intensity. Perhaps this is not a coincidence.
|10 weeks 5 days ago||We're getting a lot of fouls.||
We're getting a lot of fouls. But then, we're seeing higher defensive intensity. Perhaps this is not a coincidence.
|10 weeks 5 days ago||Just another B1G barnburner.||
Just another B1G barnburner. No way this doesn't go down to the final possession.
|10 weeks 5 days ago||Biefeldt in, Zeller to the||
Biefeldt in, Zeller to the basket right away. We need big man minutes, but ouch.
|10 weeks 5 days ago||Hoping to see a lot of that||
Hoping to see a lot of that from GRIII next year.
|10 weeks 5 days ago||"More than just a shooter."||
"More than just a shooter." In the first half, good sign.
|10 weeks 5 days ago||Play defense like this and we||
Play defense like this and we can win the NCAA tournament. I don't care what seed we get.
|10 weeks 5 days ago||Ok, I agree with most of what||
Ok, I agree with most of what you say. The Soph year performance in the tournament was not a disaster, and they weren't embarrassing. And the way they beat favored Kentucky in the semi was perhaps my second-favorite B-ball memory of all time.
|11 weeks 3 days ago||I would love Trouba to come||
I would love Trouba to come back, but I just don't see it. I'll just be happy if he never, ever plays for Kitchener.
I'm not seeing a playoff run out of this team--the Hunwick run a few years ago featured a team that was very inconsistent but capable of playing great hockey when it put things together, which it did for six games. I don't know that this team has ever put that kind of hockey together, even on weekends like this where things go well.
But then, I didn't expect anything when Michigan went to Munn for a best-of-three, either.
|12 weeks 1 day ago||Suppose someone told you at||
Suppose someone told you at the beginning of this week that a horrible fate would afflict the basketball team this week. You got to choose which. Either 1. The team embarrasses itself on the court at Penn State, or 2. The team embarrasses itself on the court in March wearing those. Which would you pick?
I'm thinking, I'm thinking...
|12 weeks 1 day ago||I have renewed confidence in||
I have renewed confidence in the UM Athletic Department to eschew uniforms that are too far over the line. Yeah, there have been some unis on Michigan teams that I don't like, but they weren't dumb enough to get on this train.
|12 weeks 2 days ago||Likewise. It's pretty here in||
Likewise. It's pretty here in the summer.
|12 weeks 2 days ago||Yeah, this didn't turn out so||
Yeah, this didn't turn out so well. Bonus points for courageous predictions, though.
|12 weeks 2 days ago||Duluth. We get the Fan on||
Duluth. We get the Fan on repeater, FWIW.
|12 weeks 2 days ago||Regarding posts above (but in||
Regarding posts above (but in an open thread, not wanting to derail things with a response up there), Minnesota is a very talented team.
But people up here have zero confidence in them right now. They are struggling to beat bad teams and getting smoked by good ones. This is a perfect situation for an upset (talented team, at home, mid-week game, Indiana due for a loss) but Minnesota hasn't shown anything remotely close to the form they would need to beat Indiana in recent weeks. They've basically been a disaster since Michigan beat them. A win tonight would be a big shock.
|12 weeks 2 days ago||"Better nutrition" and||
"Better nutrition" and "better training" is Ostrichian code language for "Performance Enhancing Drugs."
For what it's worth, I *do* think that players have gotten faster over the past 20-30 years. And I've just stated the reason. It is true that people are training better (and that there may be more 40-specific training now than there was 20 years ago), but the actual product on the field looks a bit different than it did in 1990 and that is because players are capable of molding their bodies into ever-bigger-and-faster shapes because they are using chemicals which assist in that transformation.
|12 weeks 2 days ago||Why not? Devin might not beat||
Why not? Devin might not beat Manziel, but it wouldn't shock me at all if someone did. Tim Tebow was the Heisman favorite for two years running after his sophomore-year victory and never won again.
Manziel is a star and will be great, but he's also a target and if he has some bad games again (he had a couple, especially early last year, but avoided scrutiny because he didn't really emerge as a candidate until he beat Alabama) everyone will know about it. It is quite possible that someone like Marcus Mariotta or Braxton Miller or Devin will have a dynamite season on a team that is undefeated or nearly so and eclipse Manziel.
|12 weeks 2 days ago||I have always liked Henson,||
I have always liked Henson, and he had an excellent season in 2000, but suggesting that he was even the best quarterback at Michigan in any time span that includes more than him and John Navarre (and Navarre's senior year was more successful than Hensons) is hogwash.
That said, history has shown us that the Purdue loss in 2000 can't really be assessed to Henson, who was shackled by a coaching staff that frequently got bogged down on offense for long periods of games no matter who was quarterbacking the team. And a defense that was cringe-inducingly awful. If Michigan had fielded a sharp defense in 2000 they would have at the very least won the Rose Bowl and possibly had a shot at Oklahoma in Miami. Even with the offense getting bogged down in the second half against Purdue. 2000 seemed odd when it happened, but it turned out to be the pattern for most Michigan teams for the rest of the Carr era: lots of talent, lots of potential, one or two head-scratching losses every year, and always less offense than the roster suggests they were capable of.
|12 weeks 2 days ago||This comment debunks a lot of||
This comment debunks a lot of "myths" about the NBA and basketball in general that come from people that are predisposed to dislike it.
And I know, because I am sort of that kind of person now and was quite biased against basketball in the late 90s and early 00s. It was not a coincidence that the Pistons and Wolverines were both bad at the sport at the time, and that the Pistons wore horrible uniforms. But I was (and still am) a hockey fan and I actively resented basketball's attention. So I held many of these arguments, or similar ones of a more appropriate time.
The fact is, the NBA has done an excellent job of branding itself, developing good stars, exciting plotlines, and entertaining basketball. Now, nobody will argue that regular-season basketball can sometimes be a bit of a drag, but that is true of all sports that are not football.
Complaints about things like officiating are real issues, but when someone uses those complaints to say that the sport is inherently worse or inferior, that is just an excuse. Every sport has its serious warts, and people who like other sports better will delight in pointing those out. Every sport has officiating problems. Every sport has structures built into its fabric that cause spectating headaches, like late-game fouling situations in basketball, or ties that are resolved in random shootouts in hockey, or punitive rules against regular hitting in football. It's everywhere.
Here's the thing: It's okay to like one sport over another. Just to like it. This is not something earth-shaking where you have to have a good reason--you just like it. Often it is just because your teams are successful in the sport you like most. Admit that it's random, and admit that each sport has its problems that outsiders can't stand but insiders just accept, and move on.
The NBA is pretty good right now, and it will be even better in the playoffs, even if we know who is going to win the East already. But if you're not a huge NBA fan, no problem!
|12 weeks 4 days ago||Okay, that's reasonable. I||
Okay, that's reasonable. I disagree with the point, but I don't think it's necessarily a mean thing to suggest. I misunderstood.
|12 weeks 4 days ago||I realize that you have||
I realize that you have gained a reputation for being jerk-ish to people on this site and that it's something of a feature/bug that's part of the package that includes your excellent video production, but...
Have you ever worked in a team setting with people who divide responsibilities? It sounds like you're bashing Brian for not being involved with every element of the site's day-to-day operation. As if he weren't working hard enough or something.
Do you know how dumb that sounds? This site is what it is because of Brian and no one else. Seth is an asset to it, as are Ace and Heiko; but without Brian this is just another sports blog and it isn't close to the phenomenon that it has become.
Brian provides a viewpoint, writing style, and level of content that are unique and inextricably crucial to the quality of this site. The things you are griping about him not doing are, with no offense intended to Seth, things that multiple people are capable of and qualified to do. If Seth were to get hired by someone else, Brian could replace him with someone who could do a lot of the same things.
But nobody can provide what Brian does. And, in case you forget, it involves a whole boatload of work, especially during football season. Not to mention many of the technical things that Brian handles himself.
Seth collaborates, doing things that he is good at, allowing Brian to focus on the things that only he can do. That's how teamwork works.
|12 weeks 4 days ago||Wow. So suddenly we get a||
So suddenly we get a deep, long, meta state-of-the-blog discussion in February. And here I am, late to the party. Some thoughts:
1. There's a big case of "meh" that is going around and I think this is a symptom of it. I don't think that this is an issue with the writing style; I've been kinda "meh" for a few weeks, but that's because it's February, the hockey team is embarrassing and unlikeable, football is long over, and the basketball team is slogging its way toward a 2-seed after a difficult stretch of losses. Nobody is going to be excited in these circumstances.
2. This bleeds into the writing. As others have said, there just isn't a lot to talk about. The basketball team is really good, but even that gets old--many of Brian's game write-ups in December and January just became exercises in creatively saying "wow, this team is really good" over and over again. They weren't bad write-ups, but what else can you say? College basketball doesn't lend itself to titanic emotional swings and catharsis like college football does until the tournament... and that's still a month away.
And basketball is Brian's third-best sport.
3. Seth is absolutely right about the impact the Alabama loss had on the season. Everything lost luster after that.
4. Writing for a blog is hard. Guys like @yostbuilt and @michiganhockey have had to follow and update a hockey season that is as bad as anything that most of us have experienced in our lifetime. The team isn't just awful--it has been mostly unlikeable. There is, finally, some improvement in recent weeks, but it has been difficult to watch. And a blogger like these guys or like Brian has to write about it and follow it whether they want to or not. The rest of us can just pay less attention.
I have a lot of admiration for the guys who write on this blog. They have to produce on a regular basis, even when they don't feel like it. I write the occasional diary and if I had more time would write more... but sometimes I just don't feel like it and it doesn't matter. Nobody needs or anticipates my stuff.
5. On a related note, those who are a bit frustrated with the content are free to write diaries themselves. Good diaries can and will be front-paged. I'm not saying this to be mean; I actually would love to see an uptick in quality diaries. There are some good ones, and I enjoy writing them, but if you ask me we've actually seen a reduction in diary quality in the last year.
A lot of that is due to BlueSeoul's career (and name) change and the subsequent disappearance of the classic Game Wraps with Pics. That's life--some people are just busy.
6. I do think there are times when guys try too hard to be creative. I've seen it in Brian occasionally, and Seth as well. It's not that creative is bad, but sometimes things are just natural and sometimes it looks like the author spent an hour and a half staring at their computer thinking "what can I do to be unique/funny/quirky." But that's the way it goes.
7. I don't think that this is a change. Check the mgohalloffame link for some of Brian's old stuff; if anything, he has gotten less quirky and more literal.
8. I love the blog and don't want it to change. One of my worries is that Brian would get burned out on it and just quit, which would be a massive, massive blow to Michigan fans everywhere. Of course, it would be his right to do so. It wouldn't surprise me if he were a bit burned out right now; hopefully a vacation and the change of seasons and the redesign will help. Of course, an exciting football season will help a lot too.
Keep up the great work, guys. Thanks for giving me stuff to read and a place to write occasionally. I am very grateful for it.
|12 weeks 4 days ago||Disappointed (selfishly,||
Disappointed (selfishly, because he's a good recruiter and I like what the line is doing) but not surprised. When this broke some comments in the thread expressed some surprise that this was a lateral move... But it's not.
|12 weeks 6 days ago||+1. They perform shows that||
+1. They perform shows that are much in the Stanford tradition. My favorite moment was when they announced they were playing Michigan's state song... and performed the Canadian national anthem.
The other memory? Joe-Bob Thompson. His name eventually spawned moderate "Joe-Bob" chants in the student section.
|12 weeks 6 days ago||Not my intent. My Dad was||
Not my intent. My Dad was from Canada and called the Summit series win (he watched game 8 in Ann Arbor on tape delay after carefully avoiding anyone telling him the result) his proudest moment as a Canadian. I own a full DVD collection of the series, and we watched the Game 8 DVD together in our family room a week before he died. With my Canadian heritage I consider it an awesome series. It was also very, very close, with the Canadians trailing game 8 in the third and only getting the winning goal from Paul Henderson in the dying moments.
The point is, it was also a bit of a shock to the North American hockey establishment that the Soviets could push the Canadians so close to losing. The same system, the same team, and many of those same players that were every bit the equal of the Canadian all-NHL team came to Lake Placid. My point was that the Soviets were very good, and that the Americans shouldn't have even been on the same ice sheet.
|13 weeks 1 hour ago||Nobody was using David and||
Nobody was using David and Goliath to describe the entire Cold War. Neither the first nor the second world thought of it that way. "David vs Goliath" was a reference to the quality of the teams themselves. The situation would have been reversed had the USSR played the US all-stars in American Football, but that was not the situation.
Honestly, it sounds like you are letting your political opinions color your view of the actual athletic event.
|13 weeks 1 hour ago||The Miracle was and is the||
The Miracle was and is the greatest moment in American sports. I don't need to be biased to say this--it regularly receives that rating from multiple media outlets and publications whenever such a question is posed.
It's impossible to give such a sporting event the justice that is due on a board like this. I wish I had been old enough to enjoy it when it happened. Unless the US Men's Soccer team wins the World Cup (preferably at home) we will never see something like this again. It was exraordinary.
|13 weeks 2 hours ago||College hockey had a||
College hockey had a different landscape then. Michigan was down, but even when they ramped back up under Red their initial quality teams consisted mostly of Canadians. The great Denver and North Dakota teams of the old WCHA were mostly Canadian, for example.
Minn and Mass were the places where most good American players developed back then, and they typically stayed home. Michigan didn't start producing a lot of great players until later.
|13 weeks 2 hours ago||Everyone has already||
Everyone has already destroyed you for this comment, so I will make it everyone plus one:
You say "if you know hockey," but you apparently don't. This is not a somewhat better team losing to a somewhat lower quality team. This is is not the 2002 Red Wings losing a flukey game to, say, the Coyotes. This was a permanent, nearly flawless all-star team that NEVER LOST and was able to compete with and defeat the very best professionals, playing a bunch of under-skilled American college players. This is the 2002 Detroit Red Wings losing to the 2002 Saint Cloud State Huskies.
The USSR hockey program was a machine. You must not know about the 1972 Summit Series against the Canadian all-stars, a team that included every great Canadian player except Bobby Orr (including a certain Red-headed college graduate). That USSR team included several players that would still be on the team in 1980; the Canadian team is still a who's-who of hockey greats.
The Canadians barely escaped with a win, after posting a miserable 1-2-1 record in the first four games, all on Canadian ice. They barely escaped with their lives (in one or two situations, that statement is literally true).
That a bunch of amateurs, playing before the days when college players were regularly capable of playing in the NHL, could stay on the ice with the Soviets was inconceivable.
|13 weeks 5 days ago||The staff ethically cannot||
The staff ethically cannot make recommendations. Now if you have personal friends who work at a hospital, they can help you. But staff should not be giving you that kind of guidance.
|13 weeks 5 days ago||BIG TENNNNNN||
|14 weeks 3 days ago||Good point. If you consider||
Good point. If you consider both sports, we have been awfully lucky on jump-ball pass receptions in the last two years in football.
|14 weeks 3 days ago||What's worse: Making the game||
What's worse: Making the game a separate purchase (which you are still able to make at student price) or forcing you to buy tickets for games that you will not be present on campus for?
As long as you had first refusal to purchase the ticket, I would say that this is the best way to do it.
|14 weeks 3 days ago||Comments like this are the||
Comments like this are the best endorsements available for the return of true neg-bangs.
Idiotic statements like this make it impossible for people to have genuine, reasonable discussions about the value of current reparative and remedial policies directed toward Native Americans. Someone who is well-meaning but thinks that some of the current cultural and political systems directed toward that community may be harmful or counterproductive simply cannot have a reasonable conversation about it with trolls saying things like what you're saying. And people who want to increase reparative or remedial programs is reduced, literally, to arguing about name-calling than addressing actual problems or issues.
For that reason, I believe it is just as likely that you are a troll deliberately trying to sabotage someone's legitimate arguments as someone who is actually stupid enough to post the statements you are posting.
|14 weeks 3 days ago||On the one hand, I think that||
On the one hand, I think that the campaign to be politically correct and totally inoffensive (to certain people) gets carried away. And I can't say I'm thrilled with the idea of the State of Michigan taking legal action about high school nicknames.
On the other hand, if there are legitimately groups of people that are offended by the use of names like this, I think that teams should just change their names. These are just games, why use offensive nicknames?
Obviously, the use of actual tribal names can be tricky, as with the cited examples of North Dakota on one hand and CMU on the other. But a team name like "Redskins" is totally unnecessary. It is a racial slang term, and AT BEST a nickname like that is the equivalent to a nickname of, say, the "Birmingham Negros." And possibly worse than that. Nobody would consider the latter hypothetical name appropriate, so why would we think "Washington Redskins" is?
I work with underprivileged kids as a part of my ministry, and one of the things we do is pick up kids on a bus. While involved in our activities, abusive language is not acceptable and will be dealt with; I won't tolerate anyone calling our Native American kids a "redskin" or "savage" any more than I tolerate the N-word, B-word, C-word, or anything else. Why do we accept it in team names? As a consequence of this, I try (not always successfully) to refer to the Washington football team only by city.
One side note: The citation mentions a lot of teams called Warriors. Perhaps those schools use Native American imagery, but the term "Warrior" is not a specific reference to Native Americans, and has a rich history in Biblical, Shakespearian, and historical usage. The wikipedia entry on "warrior" scarcely references Native Americans at all. They are overstepping in that case.
|14 weeks 6 days ago||Look, if you're going to||
Look, if you're going to downvote other people's threads, that's no problem and certainly your prerogative. But I have a very hard time taking your complaint about this seriously when you neg OPs that are not actually doing what you are complaining about, apparently out of revenge. If you want this to be a place of reason and discussion, try to do it positively. Not be negging threads without actually reading them.
And when people do neg your posts, demonstrate their foolishness by making persuasive, intelligent arguments to the contrary. Believe it or not, some people will notice the unfair negs and posbang you back. (FWIW I upvoted your negged response in the Stauskas thread because I felt it made a good point and that the downvotes were unfair, regardless of whether I agreed.)
EDIT: My response is critical, but your post is not invalid. I see that someone is chasing you around and negging you, so I upvoted you here, too.
|15 weeks 17 hours ago||We are one of them, but I||
We are one of them, but I think it's a stretch to say that Michigan is THE best and most complete team. The "completeness" is particularly hard to defend, since Michigan has non-trivial issues with defense and free throws.
|15 weeks 17 hours ago||Presuming he brings this up||
Presuming he brings this up in a professional way, I have zero problem with this. Urban seems to think that a rising tide lifts all boats; if the whole conference recruits better, all the team will be better off. It's not like he's complaining that the B1G schools are holding him back. And, coming from the SEC, he knows what he's talking about.
The fact is, the Big Ten struggles not because of revenue and not even so much because of less talent availability (that's part of it, but a small part) but because a lot of schools just don't take football that seriously. They have small-time visions for what competitive football looks like. At best, they occasionally compete for a Big Ten title and then get slaughtered in minor bowl games by some SEC team that pulls in top-15 classes but can't cut it against the big boys.
I think he is addressing the guys that get away as much as anything. We can speculate (with, admittedly, some evidence) that LaQuon Treadwell just went for the cash, but in the bigger picture he is just another player in the B1G footprint that went somewhere else. A lot of guys have been doing that. And, further, a school like Minnesota shouldn't be bringing up the rear in the conference. It should be able to compete all over the midwest. Right now it recruits at MAC level.
Someone mentioned that the B1G needs a wake-up call; they're about to get it, in the form of Michigan and Ohio State crushing the rest of the conference for the next few years.
|15 weeks 17 hours ago||There are no elite recruits||
There are no elite recruits in Minnesota. But on the rare occasions there are (eg Michael Floyd) they go somewhere else.
|15 weeks 1 day ago||I like your outlook, though I||
I like your outlook, though I think the more interesting question to me regards Devin's development as a passer. Without standout physical talent on the edge, Michigan will rely on route-running and use of space to get guys open, and Devin has to hit the open men.
|15 weeks 1 day ago||Chris Ault has retired from||
Chris Ault has retired from Nevada.
|15 weeks 1 day ago||So he liked Ohio growing up.||
So he liked Ohio growing up. So what? If OSU was the best place for me to go to school for my chosen field (yeah, right) after a life of loving Michigan, would I stop loving Michigan just because I went there? Would you?
|15 weeks 1 day ago||Honestly, the way San||
Honestly, the way San Francisco used blockers out front of the QB reads sounds like stuff that Michigan was trying with limited success this year with Denard. Remember how perplexed Brian was that Michigan was putting a blocker on the defensive end? San Francisco does that and does it effectively.
SF's use of blockers on read option plays is consistent with the finest MANBALL traditions. One of the reasons I enjoyed watching them so much this year is because they demonstrated that you don't have to be Oregon (which I also enjoy) to run creative, explosive read option plays.
The Green Bay game was the one that everybody really noticed because of CK's huge runs, but the Atlanta game is actually what Michigan wants--the threat of Gardner removing a defender, while the blockers plow open space for Green to destroy defenses. I expect to see a lot of that this year.
|15 weeks 1 day ago||The main benificiaries of the||
The main benificiaries of the pistol read option plays for SF and Wash were Frank Gore and Alfred Morris, both backs who look and run like I believe Green runs. Their running plays simply provide more blockers at the point of attack.
|15 weeks 1 day ago||I don't want my comments on||
I don't want my comments on GR3's current NBA prospects to be misunderstood as a general knock on his ultimate pro potential; I just don't consider him to be NBA-ready right now. Not even close.
I think that if he stays he will blossom in several of these key areas next season. The practice time, the playing time, the makeup of the team--it all lines up for him to have a fantastic season. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he spent significant time at the 3 as well, especially if THJ is gone. That will translate to his natural NBA position and involve him heavily in the offense; I think, if he stays, he will be Michigan's best offensive option.
And he will look really good to NBA scouts. Next year.
|15 weeks 2 days ago||He also lost interest in||
He also lost interest in Michigan well before he committed to Ole Miss. Whatever the reason, Ole Miss didn't exactly steal him out from under our nose.
|15 weeks 2 days ago||If GR3 had NBA-class attack||
If GR3 had NBA-class attack the basket skills right now, he'd be doing it a lot more often. As it is, he does it less frequently than not only Burke but also Hardaway and Stauskas.
|15 weeks 2 days ago||Interesting example. Here's||
Here's the thing: Green was terrific in college. And he has been good, not great, in the NBA. The NBA is a ridiculously talented league; there are only five starting spots available per team, which means roughly 150 starting slots total for all players. Flip on an average NBA game between, say, Utah and Phoenix, and watch the doldrums of the third quarter when starters are resting. You will see guys who were stars in college, in backup roles, driving to the hoop and making great shots; other players, also stars in college, will be playing lock-down defense.
And these are all backups.
In the NBA, you have to be able to at least one or two things really well just to get on a roster. There are a hundred guys who can, on occasion, create their own shot and make fantastic plays; the best (guys like Lebron) can do that all the time in a dozen different ways. But even average bench guys can beat people off the dribble, shoot threes in cold blood, or lock down an opponent. In extremely competent fashion.
GR3 has the potential to develop the ability to be that kind of player. A backup or a contributing starter on a team that is either average or has players a lot better than him. But he does none of those things now in a way that will translate to the NBA. He is not yet a lock-down defender, or an offensive creator. He is athletic, but so is every player in the NBA.
Even guys who have dominant skills in college go nowhere in the Association. But if you can't compete well in college, you're not going to do it in the NBA. At least, not right away.
I believe that Robinson has the potential to become a strong player next year. He can improve his defense, his offense, or both; he could explode into a POY-type and take Michigan on a deep tournament run. He has that kind of potential. But he's just not there yet. And, given that we believe him to be financially secure, I think there's a good chance he sticks around to improve those weaknesses in his game.
|15 weeks 2 days ago||Wow||
Honestly, I had no idea he was that productive. I never liked him getting drafted so high, so perhaps I just put him out of my mind.
|15 weeks 2 days ago||espn3.com has a full replay||
espn3.com has a full replay that is pretty decent, resolution-wise.
|15 weeks 2 days ago||If GR3 goes he is a||
If GR3 goes he is a reincarnation of Marvin Williams.
|15 weeks 2 days ago||Even suggesting that there||
Even suggesting that there are any hopes for Burke to come back seems... preposterous. He almost left last year and he looks like a lottery pick this year; he would be insane to come back. And given what he has offered the team, I would feel bad if he did. Honestly.
GR3 is athletic but really raw; I'm not seeing the lottery pick hype at all, not yet. Next year he would be a focus of the offense and would have a chance to really improve his draft position. You can never tell with guys who want to play in the NBA, but he would be much better served coming back.
THJ is an interesting case, since he might not make the first round. Typically, the second round isn't worth coming out for, and he has good parental counsel and support that could help convince him to stay for a degree and/or development. But then, a hot NCAA tournament could land him in the back of the first round, and if that's the case he may be wise to go. It's not like he'll have trouble paying for the last year of classes later on. I'm kind of hopeful that he might stay, though, despite being convinced earlier in the year that he was surely gone.
What's nice is that even if GR and THJ leave, we still have a lot of talent coming back next season. But those two would make us legitimate title threats again.
|15 weeks 2 days ago||Dawson is in. The gang's all||
Dawson is in. The gang's all here.
|15 weeks 2 days ago||"Best ever" is a bit much.||
"Best ever" is a bit much. The Big East and ACC have had some great years, and the B1G is in no way guaranteed to even have a team in the title game. Best conference in the country this year? Absolutely. Best ever? Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
|15 weeks 2 days ago||That's nuts. Remember how||
Remember how Memphis choked away a championship because they couldn't make free throws? I could see Michigan doing that. Frightening to think about.
|15 weeks 2 days ago||A needed win. And,||
A needed win. And, ultimately, a win is a win.
We have a long view to worry about, though, and problems on defense and free throw shooting could bite us in March or April. Bite us hard.
But winning a tight, heavyweight battle punch-for-punch when the stakes are high will bite someone else in March. So this was good.
|15 weeks 2 days ago||Word in the skiing press is||
Word in the skiing press is that the conditions were awful. There were questions whether the race could even be held.
|15 weeks 2 days ago||Caused quite the stir in the||
Caused quite the stir in the Southland when it came out. After the season ended, radio guys suggested that the poster actually supplied the location that Rick was pointing to by including the object "there."
As in, "The Football Monopoly in Los Angeles is Officially Over There."
|15 weeks 2 days ago||One of the remarkable things||
One of the remarkable things about the last ten years of the Al Davis regime is that, for how crazy everyone believed Davis to be, and how unfair he seemed to be to his coaches, it turned out that the coaches he had trouble with were in fact totally insane. Davis can be held responsible for hiring them, but he turns out to look like the man in the right in his issues with guys like Kiffin.
|15 weeks 3 days ago||Rick didn't plow the program||
Rick didn't plow the program into the ground; it was already there. He simply failed to pull it out.
Even the NFL is having a hard time getting a stadium built in the LA area, anywhere. UCLA is just fortunate to not need to share space with USC anymore. Have you ever been to UCLA's campus?
|15 weeks 3 days ago||It's going to be tough. It's||
It's going to be tough. It's a year away, and getting into the right condition and the right groove can take time even after the knee is healed. It's a real shame--Vonn is the best American skier ever, and perhaps the top woman skier ever, and there's a good chance she will not be at full speed for the Olympics.
Really unfortunate for skiing at the Olympics. It's hard to pick a favorite for the men's speed events because there aren't any transcendant stars (not so much the GS and slalom, which have real strong players) and while the women's events have people like Maze and Hoefl-Reisch still standing, the best woman racer looks like she's out. After last year's complete dominance, this is a real nightmare season.
|15 weeks 4 days ago||So between this and the||
So between this and the Oladipo dunk (and the possibility of the B1G championship being at stake) that rematch at Crisler looks pretty juicy. Which is good, because normally the last game of the regular season is actually pretty irrelevant.
|15 weeks 4 days ago||Vin's good, and still pretty||
Vin's good, and still pretty sharp for his age, but he has lost a step. When I lived in LA I found that I did not enjoy his calls of Dodger games as much as I thought I would have.
|15 weeks 4 days ago||10-12 years ago I was||
10-12 years ago I was listening to WTKA's morning show on my way to work. Vitale, who was traveling from Metro to East Lansing to call a game at MSU, called into the show as "Richard and Sarasota." He started talking and of course everyone realized who he was. However, he offered some reasonable discussion and analysis over a solid 5-minute phone call, with a brief promo for his website at the end. It wasn't stupid, over-the-top, or mindless--he spent five minutes talking sports that Michigan fans were interested in (I think it was still football season and he talked Michigan).
It was awesome, and I think a nice thing to do for a relatively small radio program.
|15 weeks 4 days ago||Shulman may be the best||
Shulman may be the best play-by-play man in sports. He's certainly right there. I actually don't mind the combination of him and Vitale, partly because Shulman is so good at moving the game along.
|15 weeks 4 days ago||I think it would be most||
I think it would be most accurate to say that I don't dislike him.
But then, I was listening to the radio broadcast Saturday.
|15 weeks 5 days ago||This is one of the reasons||
This is one of the reasons this is a difficult issue. "ESPN Bill Simmons" isn't just someone who is trying to butter up athletes and gain access by being favorable, although that can be a problem; he is a person who is trying to exercise responsible journalism.
Remember how upset everyone was about Rosenberg throwing around unfair accusations of practice time? Multiply that by a million and you have an idea of how a fanbase would feel if someone like Peter King speculated that their favorite athlete was on steroids. With no real evidence. Suppose Bob Costas said, on NBC television, that he felt that Miguel Cabrera's triple crown was empty because he figured (without evidence) that Cabrera was probably juicing. Imagine the justifiable outrage in Michigan.
I have people in mind who I believe probably dope in several different sports. Even in a diary I wrote on the topic, I decided I couldn't bring myself to actually name them (though I did leave some rather large hints). It is a big, big thing to speculate in official, public forums that a certain person is breaking the law and competing unethically.
|15 weeks 5 days ago||This is an interesting||
This is an interesting discussion, one worth having.
Now, I think the SEC is dirty, and perhaps that PEDs are a net asset to their teams. I don't think that other conferences are clean in this area. Unfortunately, I consider it likely that if all cheaters were known, we would find some of our own favorite sons on the naughty list. And yes, I do have some individuals in mind.
The thing is, if you have boosters who are committed to helping their program win, and willing to subvert NCAA regulations to do so, it is not at all unreasonable to think that one of the ways they may do so is to find ways to funnel PEDs to players. In fact, that might be easier to get away with than straight cash payments. Tacit advice on how to use and how not to get caught would also be relatively easy to do. People admire how sophisticated Lance Armstrong's doping operation was, but the truth is that cycling is a low-budget sport--one enthusiastic booster could develop a good doping program for an entire team.
But let's not throw stones. PEDs are likely a problem in college sports, but they are in no way limited to (or even significantly worse in) the SEC.
|15 weeks 5 days ago||Simmons admits to||
Simmons admits to subjectivity in the article. But the problem of not believing someone doped because you "like them" is real. Which is why I argue that we go about things the wrong way when we ask, "Is this athlete doping?" Because our answer is colored by our feeling about the person.
The correct question to ask is, "Is there a benefit to doping in this sport?" If there is, people are doing it, unless it is really well policed--and no sport is well policed.
Asking the question that way allows us to be reasonable. In '98, we asked ourselves, "Is Mark McGwire doping?" And for many of us, the answer was, "McGwire's a nice guy. He loves his family. He has been up front about supplements and denied steroid use. He is respectful of the legacy of Roger Maris. I like him. I think he's clean."
But what we should have asked was, "Is there a benefit to steroid use in Baseball? Would it be caught? Would players using steroids be able to perform incredible feats?" The answer would be, yes, no, yes. And we could then logically conclude that people in steroids likely doped, and that they would be successful and powerful--and therefore conclude that most of the leading power hitters were likely doping.