and... i like them? I think I like them.
|4 min 9 sec ago||The title should probably be||
The title should probably be editted to reflect that Brandstatter is PBP and Dierdorf is color. Just a suggestion.
I like, but don't love, this move. I have quite a bit more attachment to Dierdorf than average sports fans, partly because he's a thorough Michigan partisan, and partly because I think he is actually fun to listen to. Granted, he has lost some of his sharpness, but this seems like a good step down for him--a couple of years covering a team he loves, much lower work and travel requirements, a fanbase that loves to have him.
I like Brandstatter quite a bit, too. I'm glad he continues to be a major media voice for Michigan. I am not sold on him as a PBP guy--he has always been color on the radio and been a host on tv, without doing anything even as intense as narrating highlights.
I hope he works out. It could be that he has always had the ability to do it and we've just never seen it. It's also possible that he just won't quite have the knack for it.
That would be no knock on him--there are lots of media guys whom I like, who are smart, who are good on television and/or radio, who aren't good PBP guys. PBP requires a special combination of observation, voice, meter, and timing.
But it's worth a try. None of the other guys connectd to the opening--Karsch, Shepard, etc--are surefire hits either. Shep is who he is, and it seems that he's hit a ceiling. Karsch is a great Michigan guy but in his few PBP opportunities he hasn't been impressive. Might as well give it a shot with Brandstatter. Who knows? It could be great. I occasionally listen to Twins radio up here, and I was struck that one of their guys was just a fantastic baseball announcer. Loved his voice, loved his stories, loved the presence he had calling the game. I figured he was a long-time radio man, one of the classic decade-long anchors on a Baseball broadcast, a lifelong radio professional.
So I looked him up. It was Dan Gladden. Turns out he's a great PBP guy. So maybe Brandstatter can be, too.
|1 day 19 hours ago||Fair enough, I stand||
Fair enough, I stand corrected.
|1 day 23 hours ago||Just because I typed earlier||
Just because I typed earlier that we shouldn't single out their fans for being worse than an average fanbase doesn't mean that I can't agree that this is totally delusional.
|1 day 23 hours ago||You think Tennessee people||
You think Tennessee people are significantly worse than other fanbases? I'd say that's a stretch. And you can't exactly base your opinion on the larger fanbase based on what some of them say on message boards, as even this place (and this is one of the "good" ones) can demonstrate.
Now, there is something to be said for getting out of a situation where you aren't popular and were even thought to be on a hot seat. I don't blame him. But let's not pretend that Tennessee folks are worse than other fans just because we're biased against the South.
|1 day 23 hours ago||Congratulations. We've had||
We've had 115 inches so far with more coming tomorrow. It's not bad, though--last year we had 135" and had 50" just in April, plus a few in May. It was absurd.
And until last week almost none of it had melted off. My sidewalk had five foot snowbanks on both sides--it was like Hoth.
But 95" is a lot for Michigan and more than our "average," so it's nothing to sneeze at.
|2 days 23 hours ago||That regret shouldn't be read||
That regret shouldn't be read as anything negative about the team, the staff, or the school; it was apparent to anyone closely following the team that GRIII had been passed by both Stauskas and Levert as offensive contributors, and when McGary went down the two-post offense (which I had always taken to be a move by Beilein to keep GRIII happy with his role) went away for good and GRIII had to go back to the 4 spot, which wasn't his best position.
As a consequence his draft stock has dropped; there's no question about it. He struggled a bit. It is not unreasonable for a person in that position to be a good teammate and still think that perhaps they would have been better off making the jump earlier.
So from that standpoint this doesn't surprise me at all.
|2 days 23 hours ago||Because he is establishing||
Because he is establishing himself as a long-term rotation player in the NBA with legit scoring touch a portfolio that already includes several special games.
It's not like he was, at any time in his career, ever expected to be a superstar. Most guys that are "NBA ready" aren't the next Lebron James; they're guys who people expect to be able to contribute to a team. And the fact is that not all of them work out--even the high draft picks. Look at the first overall pick for a good example of that.
He is doing quite well in the NBA because he has, in only his first season, proven that he belongs and that he has good things to offer to teams. This is significant. He'll get better, and he'll play in the NBA for quite a while. He is already close to meeting his perceived potential.
|2 days 23 hours ago||I can understand it, even if||
I can understand it, even if it's disappointing. He still has "athletic potential" right now. Another year of basically the same performance (and playing the 4, which he is known not to like but is the logical place to put him on a team with a shortage of bigs and a lot of wings) and he's not draftable at all.
I'm legitimately worried that we'll lose all three.
|2 days 23 hours ago||This is disappointing, but I||
This is disappointing, but I can understand the logic: Yes, GRIII could use another year to really refine his game... but if something goes awry and he doesn't improve significantly (including, say, an injury that limits his game for half the season), he won't get drafted at all. And then, even if his game does blossom, he would face a huge uphill battle to ever make an Association roster.
So he may be choosing to get out while there is still a lot of "athletic potential" attached to his name.
And if that's the case, I don't blame him. Even if he does improve quite a bit, he would still probably be the third option behind Levert (for sure) and McGary (if he comes back) next season.
Sometimes you have to make the leap. College will be there.
|3 days 2 hours ago||This is a difficult situation||
This is a difficult situation to deal with regardless. No legal charges were filed, and the issue was tabled, and then a laboriously slow University investigation begins...
If Hoke acts early, he looks good if Gibbons is guilty. If Gibbons is not guilty, it's Duke Lacrosse all over again.
I think acting prematurely in this case would have been rash, even if the result eventually warranted action. And I say this as a person whose worldview thinks very poorly of Gibbons' actions even if there was consent involved.
No question that this has been handled poorly, though. All kinds of bad pub for the program.
|5 days 19 hours ago||I tend to think that the||
I tend to think that the Gardner-to-WR decision was a staff-wide decision based on cost-benefit analysis. Receiver was a significant position of need, and they had a player as blessed with physical gifts as any on the roster sitting on the bench behind a once-in-a-generation unique talent. The most likely scenario for any backup QB playing would be a play or two when Denard got hurt, something that happened with some frequency, but nothing that a guy like Bellomy couldn't deal with. Meanwhile, receiver was a real need--and Michigan at the time was in a position to gamble, because the thought was that senior Denard had a chance to be special enough to elevate the team to some kind of championship, and having an extra athletic receiver was worth more than having a slightly better backup quarterback.
In the less likely scenario that Denard had to miss games, they could still move Gardner back to QB. And this, it turns out, is exactly what happened; we can debate whether Gardner could have helped Michigan win at Nebraska from the QB spot, but once Denard was out the move worked pretty well.
A position change that significant does not happen without the HC's input; who knows where it originally came from, but it surely made for a lot of discussion. And I think it actually worked out pretty well, post-Denard offense in Lincoln being the glaring exception.
|5 days 22 hours ago||Maybe they did. And maybe||
Maybe they did. And maybe Borges made changes that we don't have the breadth of knowledge to remember/notice. Or maybe he said, "I need to have a TE over LT for certain plays/concepts/blocking schemes, and if I don't have him out there some other times it's a tell to the defense." There are lots of defensible reasons, even if the overall effect is insufficient.
That's where meddling is problematic. Suppose (and this is plausible, if not likely) that Hoke demanded certain concepts be used or abandoned prior to the Nebraska debacle. Of course, we all know how it went, and we all remember the NU defenders suggesting that they could tell what Michigan would run.
Then, in this hypothetical scenario, Hoke pointedly asks Borges why they were so predictable. And Borges says, "Because you wouldn't let me run the stuff that keeps them off balance." Or, "The stuff they predicted was the stuff you made me run. I wouldn't call it that way otherwise." Either way, whether accurate or not, this hypothetical HC interference makes improvement much more difficult, and accurate staff evaluation much harder.
If, as I suspect, Borges had free reign to run the offense as he wanted in 2013, then his firing makes complete sense. If Hoke was actually ramrodding new blocking schemes and lineups down his throat ("Al, we need to bench Milker, and I want pulling guards next week. Make it happen,") then much if this season's chaos is on him and the Borges firing looks like a scapegoating. I'm not inclined to believe this, but that is a danger in meddling.
|5 days 22 hours ago||I wonder if we're missing||
I wonder if we're missing part of the issue here--he talks about minutes, which it is true he had trouble getting. But Beilein's system doesn't exactly feed post guys for low block iso plays, either, and that appears to have been one of is strengths. He just never had time to show it. If he really thinks that's a strength that he wants to explore, I understand this choice a lot better.
Because Mitch or not, Michigan is not going to spend a lot of time pounding the ball to the block and clearing out.
|5 days 22 hours ago||HCs delegate to their||
HCs delegate to their coordinators. When they meddle, it's a bigger problem. Now, a head coach who has expertise in an area may be heavily involved in that area, but then he usually leaves the other side of the ball alone. Cf Pete Carroll, Chip Kelly, etc.
I had issues with the Borges hire, but he had a pretty long resume coming in, and in the act if hiring him Hoke needed to give him the leeway to make those choices. To do it "his way." Meddling during the season at random times is probably not wise. Hoke made a mistake leaving things unchanged after 2012, but there wasn't much he could do about it in October.
|5 days 22 hours ago||Apparently he says that MM's||
Apparently he says that MM's decision has no bearing on his. Could be troubling, but then it could just mean that he knows he's not stabbing his teammates in the back and that freed him to decide based on other factors.
Also, if he said that MM's decision DID have an effect, it's a dead giveaway, so he has to deny regardless.
|6 days 14 hours ago||Holy cow. That's amazing.||
Holy cow. That's amazing.
|6 days 20 hours ago||A school cannot compel a||
A school cannot compel a booster to do something, and the NCAA would be unfair to make them. Nor can the NCAA compel former players to talk, or punish their former teams for that.
Can you imagine Michigan getting punished because, say, Desmond Howard thinks that there's a witch hunt and won't cooperate? That would be ridiculous.
It's the heart of many of the NCAA's problems. Remember, the Ed Martin stuff was resolved in part because Chris Webber was legally obligated by the Feds to talk to eligibility investigators.
|6 days 20 hours ago||Ouch.||
|6 days 20 hours ago||"Drug references are almost||
"Drug references are almost always correlated with minorities, while excused for non-minorities."
This is imflammatory, political, unprovable (or do you have a source for this?), and untrue.
I talk about drugs in my line of work from time to time, but it has nothing to do with the ethnic origin of the people involved. Usually it has to do with me working with addicts or ex-addicts or children of people who are in prison for crimes related to use and/or dealing. Some of them are white, and some of them are not, and it really doesn't make the slightest bit of difference.
So watch it with the blanket statements.
|6 days 20 hours ago||1. Today =/= Bo's time, but||
1. Today =/= Bo's time, but today's rules are extensions of rules that have existed since Bo's time, and Bo cared about them. The "Rich guys making the rules" are actually bureaucrats continually tweaking rules meant to uphold rules and principles that have existed for decades. And there certainly was a lot of cheating going on in Bo's time.
2. Me either.
3. I didn't call them unethical. I explicitly stated that I don't care about the people taking the money; it's the system of people giving it (and, specifically, the University Athletic Departments that are letting it continue) that I have a problem with. It is an unethical system. If, in fact, Michigan makes some kind of attempt to not let this go on. I am aware, of course, that some stuff may occur here too.
4. I made my point about you putting your money up becuase your previous post seemed, to me, to imply that not giving these kids a cut of the money they were producing was ethically problematic enough that it required existing rules to be violated. Perhaps it was just a harsh reaction, which is understandable, but that's where my money comment came from.
|6 days 21 hours ago||You've been kind of obnoxious||
You've been kind of obnoxious in this thread, but I would actually like to see this. The SEC has effectively done this already; what you propose would be a massive, needed realignment in big-time college sports.
Frankly, the worst that could happen is that the SEC could get expelled from the NCAA. Then they could just play an SEC football season with paid players, crown the conference champion, and declare themselves the best college football team in the country... and they'd be right.
|6 days 21 hours ago||Because if you admit it the||
Because if you admit it the NCAA actually CAN do something about it. The reason the NCAA is impotent on this is because they cannot compel people to talk. They could ask a known bag man if he gave money, he could say "no," and that would be that. He is not under oath and they have no way of proving that he's lying.
But if they actually say what's going on, the NCAA has evidence and has proven that it will act on it. Disproportionately, even. The NCAA overreacts to certain things precisely because it cannot react properly to the worse stuff that it knows but cannot prove is going on.
|6 days 21 hours ago||What rich dudes? Amateurism||
What rich dudes? Amateurism rules may be an anachronism from a different time, but in that time there wasn't all that much money going around but these rules certainly do trace their origins to that time.
Are you saying that someone like Bo Shembechler felt it was crucially important to do things "the right way" not because he had a sense of integrity but because he really just wanted to keep all the money to himself and away from his poor, exploited student athletes? C'mon, that's idiotic.
Are you arguing that Michigan and its fans are, in fact, guilty of exploiting our athletes because this sort of thing is not encouraged here? Do you put your money where your typing fingers are and buy them lunch whenever you can?
|6 days 21 hours ago||What if this makes GRIII's||
What if this makes GRIII's departure more likely, since this virtually guarantees that he'll be seeing significant time at the 4 and we know that's an issue for him?
Just trying to find the tar lining on a silver cloud.
|6 days 21 hours ago||I care. I don't care about||
I care. I don't care about needy families getting help, grandparents getting a tractor fixed, etc.
What I care about is that teams that actually try to follow the agreed-upon rules of the game are punished for not breaking them. Michigan has, by all appearances, at least tried to do things the "right way."
Our reward is to watch programs who don't care enjoy a generation's worth of inflated success.
Let the kids have the money, fine. But what is going on is still unethical and wrong. At times like this I begin to think that the system needs to get blown up, and that I don't really care if that does mean irreperable harm to the sport.
And if it turns out that the blind eye the NCAA turns toward this stuff is not (as most, including myself, believe) due to incompetence but an actual deliberate act of overlooking stuff it knows it can't deal with, the Feds need to get involved. Like, criminal conspiracy to deprive paid employees of proper rights indictment involved.
Do I sound annoyed? I think I am.
|6 days 22 hours ago||Hadn't we just heard Horford||
Hadn't we just heard Horford confirm that he was coming back for his fifth year?
My initial reaction is quite disappointed. Horford brought a lot of good things to the table, and at times was as vital to the team's performance as Morgan. It is true that he seemed to decline late in the year, but I was still counting on him in a big way next season.
My hope is that this is just a tea leaf that means that McGary is back and that Horford knows Donnal will play ahead of him and he wants to try something different.
But then it might not mean that. He walks to the beat of his own drum. Who knows?
|6 days 22 hours ago||Jon Horford to transfer for||
|6 days 22 hours ago||I actually haven't held that||
I actually haven't held that assumption. A stipend is a nice way to cover the "real costs" of attendance, and perhaps it helps take care of some of the corrupt "$50 handshakes" around the edges that can get kids into, say, gambling problems.
But this stuff can and will still happen. There's a lot of cash available. The only way this gets interdicted (and I am not advocating this move) is to allow players to make as much money outside of the sport as they want, out of endorsements and such. That would introduce new semi-legitimate ways to funnel money to players, and a system of guaranteed endorsement deals and soft jobs would pop up. In that system, Michigan and Michigan State players could expect dealership and corporate sponsorships from Ford and GM and other such arrangements, while every Oregon player would become a paid Nike spokesman.
|6 days 23 hours ago||In this case, if the reporter||
In this case, if the reporter names names the story doesn't happen and he learns (and reports) nothing. All that he gets is a small smidgen of information, which he might report, which is then flatly denied. If he gets too specific he is threatened with lawsuits. Or he winds up harming his own reputation by "spreading rumors" without proper sourcing.
This reporter didn't want to go to the incredible legwork it would take to really make this a publishable story. His route was "easier," but still worthwhile.
And that is not a bash. I think reporting a real story that really named names and uncovered real corruption would be huge. It would also take almost Watergate-level reporting and effort with no guarantee of success. I don't blame the guy for reporting the way he did.
|6 days 23 hours ago||The reason cycling appears to||
The reason cycling appears to be "cleaner" is that they now use a comprehensive doping control method called the "biological passport," which goes beyond testing for foreign substances and actually checks the levels of chemicals and blood components in the system that doping is designed to influence. EPO, for example, is intended to increase the volume of red blood cells, which directly affects the body's ability to transmit oxygen to cells. Increasing this level will obviously cause a considerable boost in performance; with the bio passport a huge boost in this level will be immediately detected and Bad Things are supposed to happen.
This is not to suggest that the bio passport has no issues or that the management of it is free of controversy, because there certainly are issues of that nature. And this is not to say that doping still doesn't happen--it is just more detectable, and what does occur happens in a much narrower range that allows clean riders to ride and compete. Also, there are teams (like Garmin, whose owner makes anti-doping a priority and made clean racing a founding principle of the team) that have extra testing programs that build additional safeguards.
This is a sharp contrast from the 90s, when clean riders in excellent shape could not even keep up with the back of the field when everyone was doping--many didn't dope to win, they doped just to finish with the pack.
To answer a couple of other issues, doping must be illegal (or at least highly controlled) because it affects different riders differently, and because it can indeed harm the users. A number of riders died in the 90s because their EPO usage caused such high hemoglobin levels that they suffered cardiac failure.
|6 days 23 hours ago||I have a hard time believing||
I have a hard time believing that any major program is completely clean. I would like to think that Michigan is "as clean as it can be," but I don't know what that means and I have no evidence about it, other than the fact that Michigan hasn't been that good and maybe maybe that's because they aren't as corrupt as a certain rival.
|6 days 23 hours ago||Actually, I have an alternate||
Actually, I have an alternate hypothesis: The reason Michigan was able to get in on a lot of these recruits was that they were known not to be a legitimate threat in this landscape. So no need to discourage guys from taking interest in them, unlike SEC rivals.
|6 days 23 hours ago||Just under RR? Um...||
Just under RR? Um...
But yes, that made me pause, too.
|6 days 23 hours ago||That has happened before, and||
That has happened before, and it didn't go well for Cancellara. Boonen's sprint has since regressed and Cancellara's has improved, but I still think a two-up sprint between them is a foregone conclusion, should it come to that. It would be great theater, though, of course.
I'm a Spartacus guy, but I would love to see GvA finally get a big win after finishing on the wrong end of so many of these races. He's in shape this year and he has the team around him to make the noise. Nobody is more deserving. I wouldn't mind it at all.
|1 week 1 min ago||Our snow up here is finally||
Our snow up here is finally beginning to thaw. I'm still spinning in my basement when I get the time. Still better than last year, when the Giro was half over before the snow stopped falling.
One of the things I like about bike racing is the extra oomph it gives me to get on my bike when the weather becomes passable.
|1 week 3 min ago||Cycling is a lot cleaner than||
Cycling is a lot cleaner than it used to be, and it isn't unreasonable to believe that guys from teams like Garmin may be clean. And Garmin stormed Liege-Bastogne-Liege last season in terrific fashion.
That's not to say that cycling is now a sparkling beacon of cleanliness; just that it may be reverting to the level of dirtiness that is common in most sports.
|1 week 58 min ago||The reason none of this gets||
The reason none of this gets truly exposed is:
1. No media has a real interest in exposing it. There is little to gain, but a lot to lose--a local paper in the South can basically just sell off its printing presses and leave town ahead of the bankruptcy judge if they do this to a team they're covering. We are "reasonable" up here, and look at how many of us still have trouble with the Freep for a relatively light-weight scandal caused by a respected journalist in Rosenberg.
National media doesn't really want to get into this and they don't have the people on the ground to do it. It's a rabbit hole that is simply too deep and too complex to push into, and the problems that it would cause are too much to worry about.
2. Nothing that is happening here is illegal, unless these people are evading taxes. People gripe about the NCAA being dumb, but honestly, how in the world are they supposed to police this? I thought they were stupid to give Cam Newton a blanket stamp of approval so quickly, but realistically we all knew something was up but it was completely unprovable.
The NCAA does not have subpoena power; they cannot compel people to speak honestly.
There is a reason that major scandals often coincide with serious legal issues--it is those legal issues that involve actual law enforcement, and the NCAA violations that are exposed are a tertiary effect of those investigations. Remember, that's how the Ed Martin thing blew up here--Martin got nailed for real crimes, and as a consequence the NCAA violations were exposed.
The only way any of this really comes out is if the IRS starts doing some heavy investigation of all of the cash movement. Surely some of these payments are missing from 1040s.
I hate all of this. Not because someone's sister gets rehab paid for, but because the playing field is uneven and people pretend that it is not.
|1 week 2 hours ago||I understand Quebec also bans||
I understand Quebec also bans humour.
|1 week 12 hours ago||That's fair. I think we can||
That's fair. I think we can safely agree, without politics, that Michigan is dealing with some serious economic headwinds.
|1 week 20 hours ago||Ann Arbor is affluent, but||
Ann Arbor is affluent, but the school district finances are a steaming, hot mess. There are lots of "normal" things they can't afford. Proper bussing and busses, just for starters. I suspect a lot of A2's budget issues relative to the wealth of the community are kind of unique.
|1 week 21 hours ago||It might not stop everything,||
It might not stop everything, but it could theoretically limit the damage.
Remember that many of these awful events actually take a long time to unfold. It is rarely a two-minutes-and-its-over situation. I believe the shooter at VT was active and mobile in the building for nearly an hour, if I remember my facts correctly. I think the Columbine issue was similar.
Situations vary. We are fortunate that we have not had an Anders Brevik situation here, where an egotistical sicko (who will have decades of life after his release from prison!) had free reign for as long as he wanted to murder people. An armed guard could, theoretically, be in position to intervene in any situation in less than five minutes, even at a sprawling place like Pioneer. That wouldn't save everyone, but it could well limit the tragedy.
There are also arguments to be made that having armed guards present are a deterrent; it certainly seems like a lot of these shootings happen at places where the victims are known to be defenseless.
|1 week 22 hours ago||I actually think Spurrier is||
I actually think Spurrier is high. 90s Spurrier, of course, may have been #1, but he is not 90s Spurrier anymore. While he has produced two terrific teams in the last two years, he has not won the conference and he has balanced this with some mediocre seasons as well.
Miles, on the other hand... crazy, yes. #17? Too low.
38 seems like a polite, non-inflammatory spot for Hoke. This is all just subjective ranking anyway, after all. I can tell you that he'll be at the top of every "coach on the hotseat" list in August.
|1 week 22 hours ago||If you're referring to Fort||
If you're referring to Fort Hood, well, soldiers on base have been banned from being armed while not on actual military exercises for 20 years. So I don't think that really applies.
|1 week 22 hours ago||One contributing factor is||
One contributing factor is that most kids picture themselves as victims and not aggressors. Some of the most vicious bullies I've encountered have been themselves victims of some pretty dreadful treatment. I do think that parents need to take the lead in reigning in the actions of their own children, something that happens far too seldom, but it's not like we're looking at a black-and-white issue.
|1 week 22 hours ago||Oh boy, here we go. In||
Oh boy, here we go.
In actuality there is a good chance that a prepared, armed person could have limited the damage of the offending person. An armed police officer, for example, or a teacher who had taken a training course. The result probably wouldn't have been as bad.
That's not the issue; the issue is whether or not a policy that would place that armed person in that particular situation would be a net plus if applied to all schools. That is very much an uncertain issue. I have some opinions about these issues, and as someone who does some part-time work driving a school bus I actually am closer to some of the issues than others (I picked up a load of kids from a bus that was cleared due to a gun threat a couple of months ago, for example).
But there is no way to have this discussion without it flagrantly violating the policies of the board. Not to mention good taste and intellectual honesty. So why don't we just leave it there?
|1 week 23 hours ago||Of course you are. So am I,||
Of course you are. So am I, sort of. But this doesn't seem to be the sort of event that makes for a productive conversation of these issues, and this is probably (ok, definitely) not the venue for it either.
|1 week 23 hours ago||Many people just want||
Many people just want attention/affirmation. They do some pretty weird things to get it. This, of course, is ultra-destructive and harmful; it is also depressingly common. Obviously, this kid will suddenly get all kinds of attention, and knew it.
A month ago I went to the local hospital to see if a 16-year-old cousin of a person in our church was still there following a suicide attempt. She wasn't, but while I was there I ran into that person in the church--the 14-year-old sister of the first cousin had seen the attention her sister received and tried the same thing two days later. They both wound up ok, but that was the point anyway.
|1 week 23 hours ago||They already are. Do you know||
They already are. Do you know what happens to kids who bring a knife to school?
|1 week 23 hours ago||Being mean to others to give||
Being mean to others to give oneself enjoyment and/or satisfaction?
That happens a lot on here, and this is one of the well-managed boards.
It appears to be a part of human nature, though that doesn't make it right. I'm sure we can all remember times in our younger days where a group was digging on someone and we gained some thrill from joining in. For some, the thrill is in not being the object of derision; for others, perhaps, the being a part of a crowd. And people do often enjoy watching others suffer.
Our culture today has some real issues. This is not the time or place to deal with them. But they are there.
|1 week 1 day ago||Winners win. Losers make||
Winners win. Losers make excuses. At this point the "excuses" are entirely problems that have occurred on Hoke's watch, while he has been blessed with unique talents at QB (Denard, Devin) that have hidden many of the offensive flaws.
You know what program has as many excuses as any in the country? Try this: Coaching transition. Talent deficiencies. Huuuuuge question marks at QB. Fan revolt. Ultra-competitive conference. Awful, awful losing season.
I've just described the 2013 Auburn Tigers.
|1 week 1 day ago||Can't. These decisions aren't||
Can't. These decisions aren't made in a vacuum. A mediocre season this year (let's say, 8-4 with two of the losses being to MSU and OSU, no B1G title game berth, bowl obviously minor) without real signs of promise will cause recruits to flee the program and fans to combust.
This has already started to happen--note the awful conclusion to recruiting this season, as committed recruits fled like Ann Arbor had contracted smallpox, likely hit recruits chose other schools (and nobody could honestly fault them for it), and fans grew actively uneasy.
At some point the fan expectation is that Michigan should move past moral victories and into real ones. And failure to do so could actually endanger the programs prospects going forward, as lost confidence from recruits, diminished prestige, and a demographically challenging situation in the old rust belt have the potential to squeeze a momentum-less Michigan program into a relatively permanent, frustrated second tier.
There is a real possibility of ticket sales issues even this year. If the team does not perform, it could turn catastrophic next season. Brandon may be too revenue-stream focused, but that focus will result in firings if things go south this year.
The fact is, Hoke has had time. There may be "more time needed," but if so that is only because he squandered time earlier when OL problems first cropped up.
|1 week 1 day ago||I'm sure he sees the problem||
I'm sure he sees the problem because of what actually happened last year, because they fired Al Borges, and because I'm pretty sure that anyone who has been coaching for any length of time (much less decades, as Hoke has) knows a whole lot more about football that fans who gripe about coaches.
We've disagreed about this issue before, but a couple of rebuttals:
1. In the past you have based a lot of what you feel about Hoke on what you have heard him say (or, more frequently, not say) in comparison to what you want to hear regarding what is happening. But this is a poor basis for analyzing what is actually going on behind closed doors, particularly with someone like Hoke who absolutely will not expose "family business" in public if he can help it. Even to his extreme detriment, as in the "family matter" case.
Lloyd was the same way. He would never publically identify issues, playcalls, or areas of responsibility, even though he obviously knew what was going on behind the scenes. Recall his famous "I did" claim of responsibility for the John Navarre waggle play at MSU that almost blew a sure win, a call everyone knew he didn't make.
Hoke talks in platitudes and he speaks vaguely about what's happening. We don't necessarily like it, and in times of team struggle it can be frustrating, and it's far from informative, but it doesn't mean he doesn't actually know what's happening. In this regime the action happens out of our earshot. Nobody actually thinks the decision to fire Borges and hire Nussmeier happened in one day, do they? Of course not.
2. The actual activity on and off the field last season demonstrated rather clearly that the staff knew there were problems. Almost from the beginning of the season they were scrambling to adapt to on-field challenges.
As a result, we got tackle-over formations (a naked attempt to combine the efforts of Michigan's best linemen in one spot to get some sort of push) and Devin Funchess moved to wide receiver (which nobody ever mentions when they gripe about the staff not adapting to its personnel or adapting to what is going on, when clearly they did and it was a huge boon to the team) and new players and old ones at new positions and brand new gameplans every week.
So they obviously recognized the problems. They tried dozens of different tools to rectify them. None of them worked.
And to say that Borges did not adapt to what he saw on the field is to seriously misidentify the problem. Yes, occasionally he ran a play too frequently, but he was often left in that position not because he didn't see what was going on but because the failure of the offense to execute left him in a position where he had no good options.
It is that failure to execute the base stuff that is where Borges properly receives a large share of the blame, enough to result in his firing; there was simply too much going on, and the team never got good at basic stuff. He installed new stuff every week, but it was often rendered ineffective by the complete failure of the line in both running and pass protection. And I believe (and obviously Hoke did too, because Borges is gone) that Al's style of coaching and gameplanning was a significant reason why.
When Michigan ran too much against Penn State, people said, "Pass." But Gardner was a serious interception liability, especially early. When he was throwing picks, people were saying "run," but Michigan couldn't run. So people said "throw short," but Gardner would still throw picks short. So people said "throw long," but Gallon was doubled and nobody else could catch it.
It is quite possible that all of these problems can be traced, at least partly, to the coaching and teaching of Borges. Gardner did improve over the season, but he also became less confident, and I believe his early struggles may have been due to a combination of inadequate personal coaching and excess gameplanning that reduced the number of reps he got at basic stuff. Many currently believe that a large part of the line's struggles are due to lack of reps and an excessive number of schemes to learn. (I still worry that Funk is part of the issue myself, but we now have what we have and we'll see what happens). That all comes from how Borges organized his offense.
It's not that Borges was a bad chess player. It's that he was a good chess player, but that he was playing without any of the best pieces--because he himself had taken them off the board.
Anyway, I think I can safely say that Hoke understands there are issues. I question whether he truly understand how serious they were early enough, and I question whether or not he is the man to fix them, but he knows they are there.
|1 week 1 day ago||The philosophy is to be tough||
The philosophy is to be tough on defense and to have a tough, physical running game. This is Michigan. We play MANBALL. etc.
The reason you haven't seen it isn't because that hasn't been what he has wanted to produce; the reason you haven't seen it is because the staff has not executed the plan. The plan was to recruit and develop a powerful offensive line that could open parking lot-sized holes for running backs, whose yardage gain would provide a launch point for the rest of the offense to function.
Since Hoke has come aboard, Michigan has persisently tried to run the football from under center, and to run waggle play action from under center as well. Neither has worked at all. To keep thumping the ball into the line like that would be ludicrous--the few times they kept trying to do that (remember Penn State?) the effects were disastrous. So, by necessity, the gameplan had to be changed.
The problem isn't that there is no "guiding philosophy," it's that they have had to abandon it and use concepts ill-suited to what they want to be. It's there, in the gameplan and in the recruiting (the classes have been legitimately good, with OL recruits that are supposed to turn into bulldozers and big, powerful running backs and gun-armed quarterbacks that stay in the pocket) and in the staff he put together and in the way they coached the players. And when they got into the meat of the season and none of that stuff was close to working, they had to completely rewire it.
It's like blowing a motor on a Corvette and dropping in a newish Cobalt engine--you might get it to run, but it won't run well.
|1 week 1 day ago||The offensive line should||
The offensive line should have been identified as a serious program threat when it couldn't block effectively in 2012. For whatever reason, Hoke decided that the inability of a future NFL LT and a cadre of senior linemen to block effectively was an issue that could be solved with more time doing the same thing. Maybe he really thought (as many of us did) that they were just players who weren't great or had hit a ceiling, and that his star recruits would make things better.
But whatever the reason, we are about to enter a third season with a smoking crater of a position group that is vital to the stated philosophy of the head coach. The improvement had better come and it had better come fast, because right now the fan base is pretty down on the program and another season of underachievement and rivalry losses will result in open fan revolt.
The point is, Hoke took too long to see the problem. It was obvious to even casual fans last season; he is paid seven figures to see it earlier than that. I don't care if this is now a two year project--if this season is bad, Hoke is responsible and needs to be held accountable. And I'm not a hot-headed sort of guy about coaching changes, normally. I know I'm not unique in my feelings about this.
|1 week 2 days ago||An awesome weekend. I knew||
An awesome weekend. I knew early that the only way I'd be able to attend a Michigan Hockey game that season was if they made the final... And that's exactly what happened.
That team was a joy to follow. It was, you'll recall, also the year of Hagelin single-handedly linking WMU on senior night.
The finish was just a bit short (and I live in the worst place in the world to live after), but that can't besmirch what a great run it was.
|1 week 5 days ago||I agree with you completely||
I agree with you completely regarding his actual ability to play. I was referring to the payoff of his substantially elevated draft position, with its corresponding improvement in salary and perhaps playing time.
|1 week 5 days ago||It's a valid point IF the||
It's a valid point IF the skill improvement results in a jump in draft stock. Trey Burke "improved his skills" last year and it paid off.
But if it is stated for the purpose of becoming more skilled alone, it's a vacuous platitude made by someone who understandably wants one of their team's players to stay.
|1 week 5 days ago||Very good analysis. I think||
Very good analysis.
I think you could have spent even more time on the issue of draft stock dropping with an extra year of school. GRIII is of course a good example of this, but there are many examples in different sports where the issue is even more obvious.
Of course, the problem with GRIII is that he did not develop in the key ways he needed to this year. Nik, on the other hand, grew substantially on offense. If Nik can translate this solid growth into total domination next year, he could be a top ten pick that projects to be a starting 2 somewhere in the NBA. I think he would do that.
But there are no guarantees. If he were a player at, say, Stanford, I would advise him to go. As a Michigan fan, I want him to stay. If he did, Michigan opens up a Final Four favorite. But I doubt he will.
GRIII and McGary should probably come back, though with GRIII another year without development on either offense or defense will drop him to the back do the draft. He needs to improve either his driving or his shooting on offense (both, preferably, but he needs at least one skill to be usable in an NBA offense) and he absolutely must get stronger on defense.
If he believes that will happen, he should come back. If he thinks he has reached his plateau at Michigan, he needs to get out while he's draftable.
|1 week 5 days ago||I'm split on this. Obviously,||
I'm split on this. Obviously, a lot of this comes from the charm of reading game stories and analysis written in the unique European English style. One really does absorb the vocabulary after a while, and it's fun.
It can also be worth resisting, because I don't like to change words or pronunciation just because I'm dealing with a sport or concept centered in another part of the world.
Here's the thing, though--Soccer is a unique sport, and just like other unique sports (baseball, football, hockey, etc) it has its own vocabulary. We don't notice it much, but there are good examples of other areas that we kind of take this for granted. For example, if the Red Wings beat the Wild 5-3, do you (in an effort not to conform) say they scored five points? Are the Tigers up 7 points to 2 right now?
No. Those have unique words to describe what is essentially the same thing, the way the sport keeps score. The vocabulary is unique to the sport. And it can help describe things better than generic words in many cases. For example, football players are capable of having both "quickness" and "speed," and those are different things. "Pace," a soccer term you complain about, is not really the same thing as speed.
|1 week 5 days ago||You totally mis-read what I||
You totally mis-read what I wrote. I did not say or imply that no one here would pay attention; I said that the country could be ready to host with little advanced warning. "Zero notice." As in, FIFA could recognize that Qatar is a colossal mistake mere months before the event and the U.S. would have the facilities ready to do a great job hosting. The only real challenges would be acquiring good grass to lay over the fieldturf and the lodging challenges.
This is not totally unprecedented. The 1986 World Cup was moved to Mexico two years before it occurred because Colombia, the original host, was unable to pull it off. I'm not expecting that any of FIFA's top dogs would want to deal with the uncomfortable process of refunding the extensive web of bribes necessary to pull out of Qatar, but if they did the U.S. is a logical destination.
|1 week 5 days ago||This is, by far, the worst||
This is, by far, the worst league season Man U has experienced in 20 years. They still have quite a bit of talent, but as mentioned elsewhere in this thread they have depth issues and cashflow problems that cause quite a bit of tension amongst their faithful.
When Malcolm Glazer bought the club, there was a lot of anger from the fanbase. I thought then and still think now that a fair amount of it was just provincial anti-Americanism, but they did make one crucial argument that has been bourn out by the facts: Glazer financed the purchase by adding significant debt to the club, and as a consequence they are having trouble keeping up with the free-spending of foreign-owned oil baron clubs like City, Pool, and Chelsea. The debt is finally catching up to them.
|1 week 5 days ago||Their primary uniform is a||
Their primary uniform is a red jersey, white shorts, and black socks (white socks for Champions League matches). They will also wear alternate black shorts for certain games, usually when the home team wears white shorts themselves.
However, European clubs don't necessarily wear traditional road uniforms as we understand them. There is no need for them to have the same design, concept, or colors as the home uniform. The only real requirement is that it contrast with the home uniform. And so, while some teams occasionally have that (or at least wear a white alternate with basic team color piping), as often as not the road and alternate uniforms have no relationship to the home uniform whatsoever, save for the sponsor and the badge.
This leads to curious situations where Man U winds up wearing a blue road uniform that shares zero of the design elements of the home uni. Arsenal has a long tradition of contrasting its home (Red jersey, white sleeves, white shorts, white or red socks) outfit with a very Michigan-like yellow top, blue shorts blue socks option.
It is jarring to Americans who are used to home/away uniform systems that go together. But you get used to it. It's just a different paradigm.
|1 week 6 days ago||Good chance they'll wear it,||
Good chance they'll wear it, too. Pretty standard for Euro clubs to show off alternate uniforms whenever possible during exhibitions. Count on a non-home uni for one or both.
|1 week 6 days ago||The World Cup ship has||
The World Cup ship has sailed. It was kicked around for '94, and of course nothing came of it--there were plenty of acceptable facilities to use instead.
20 years later, many cities have replaced their NFL stadiums with sparkling new facilities that are, for the most part, wide enough to host Soccer. They have exceptional infrastructure. They have plenty of seats (World Cup Stadiums are supposed to seat 40,000). They are new and magnificent.
Michigan Stadium has been upgraded, but why would anyone even need to bother?
The plain fact is that our sports-mad nation could host a World Cup with almost zero notice. C'mon, the state of Texas has more appropriate (size, capacity) facilities than most European countries. Florida has six or seven. The question isn't "Where could we play?" It's "What new Stadium in a big cosmopolitan city do we leave out?"
|1 week 6 days ago||That's fun and all, but||
That's fun and all, but Real's main color is white. Trim varies (Blue on that logo, has also been purple, uniform trim also periodically black) but they wear all white in a sport where teams aren't bound to white on any uniform.
In response, their archrival Barcelona never wears white on any uniform. Ever.
They do rivalries right in Europe.
|1 week 6 days ago||It's a pity it's an August||
It's a pity it's an August exhibition. That, to me, is the only real negative. These are titanic sports franchises that feature (if they actually play) some astonishing athletes. Ronaldo is one of the two best players in the world right now in the midst of an individual rivalry with Lionel Messi that is as astounding as any in the history of sports.
It's a pity I don't live in town anymore, I'd be there. Tickets need to be a bit cheaper, though.
|2 weeks 14 hours ago||"How can a conference called||
"How can a conference called the 'Big Ten' have twelve teams?"
|2 weeks 23 hours ago||This is patently||
This is patently absurd.
Obviously, if my intent in the taking of my picture were to hide an embarrassing facial feature, I would have figured out a way to conceal my rapidly lengthening forehead.
|2 weeks 23 hours ago||Yes. Worse, they installed||
Worse, they installed new packages every week. Not just a counter play to existing action, but entirely new formations and base plays with counters. Plays with different spacing, different angles, different routes... all of it had to be learned week-to-week.
That it was difficult for the team to learn the new plays in 20 hours of practice while also refining their execution on the existing playbook is evident.
|2 weeks 23 hours ago||Well, one of us is about to||
Well, one of us is about to enter a life of luxury supported by a Kickstarter trust fund suggested by the other. The minute we hit the kickstart reach goal I'll gift CLord the toughness prize in perpetuity.
You can get a "Tough Guy Honorable Mention" certificate for a modest $50 contribution. "Grizzled Internet Cynic" certificates are a more generous $100.
|2 weeks 23 hours ago||Sounds good to me. I could||
Sounds good to me. I could use the help, I never seem to laugh at any of your jokes.
|2 weeks 23 hours ago||I think 10-12 is a very low||
I think 10-12 is a very low number, but this is quite true. Borges was a bit too smart for his own good--he developed a different play for every conceivable scenario. There is a good reason the offense often executed very poorly.
And we all pretty much knew this. We'll see how all of this translates into improvement up front. I hope it can't get worse.
|2 weeks 23 hours ago||I have the opposite view.||
I have the opposite view. Personal insults are cheap; the certain DC's statement just echoed the team's play-hard-on-the-edge attitude.
And it's not like our team, featuring Taylor Lewan, had the moral high ground. Unfortunately.
|2 weeks 23 hours ago||I don't know, I think this||
I don't know, I think this goes kind of below the belt. Imagine someone making fun of Urban's health issues, or alluding to the more scandalous rumors surrounding his Florida departure.
|2 weeks 23 hours ago||Seems accurate to me. The||
Seems accurate to me. The lack of success, the high expectations, the success of our bitter rivals? All of those contribute. A key issue here is lack of hope for the future; a lot of us seem to have real doubts about Hoke's ability to lead the team to the level of success we expect. That means that there's a decent chance he may need to be fired, and then it's back to square one with a hole at the coaching spot.
Let's be real: Michigan hasn't even made the B1G championship game, and the conference is historically bad. How can we not be depressed about this?
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Isn't this really the||
Isn't this really the competition for backup, assuming Magnuson heals normally?
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Look, I think it's hilarious||
Look, I think it's hilarious that he whiffed on so many predictions. Some of them, like the Long prediction, elicited guffaws when I read them.
But the "he got stuff wrong, therefore he and other analysts and all ESPN are idiots" bandwagon is silly. C'mon, this is the NCAA tournament, of course he got predictions wrong. The fact that he managed to fail at 10 of them is remarkable and humorous, but it's not like any one of those predictions was off-the-wall stupid.
Analysts are paid to make predictions, they make them, sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. If they say things that bear no resemblance to reality, sure, savage them--but if Michigan only barely escaped Tennessee and Kenpom gave them a narrow statistical edge, how stupid is he for predicting that they would actually win? How dumb is it to think that a Louisville team that had been rounding into its best form in much the same way it did last season when it won everything would beat a young Kentucky team?
He was wrong. He wasn't particularly stupid. Enjoy the fail, but don't pretend that somehow we know way better.
Also, those clamoring for ESPN to hire someone with a more numbers method of making predictions: They just spent a boatload of money on fivethirtyeight.com, which did make a series of stat-based NCAA tournament predictions that included some flops. And they also produce grantland.com, which employs some terrific sports analysts. If you don't like the analysts on SC (who are there because they can provide concise commentary in short blocks of time on television) then just turn it off and read.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Yep, and I was thinking of||
Yep, and I was thinking of that game when I wrote this. My use of years and seasons made it unclear.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Inbounding has been a serious||
Inbounding has been a serious problem since the B1G tournament, and with that out there we can assume teams will look to exploit this. With that in mind, I'm kind of glad we're not facing Louisville's ball denial press. Imagine facing 10-15 of those inbounds Sunday after conventional buckets.
So the end of the game was as ugly as it could possibly be... But it's a win and that's all that matters. You think UConn wants to give back their Kemba Walker title just because the championship game was uglier than sludge? No.
We survived. Morgan made one huge play (massive assist to Levert, whose steal made the legitimacy of the foul academic) and it was enough. Michigan moves on. What an incredible year, what an incredible run. From 1994 to 2012 the elite eight was something we watched good teams play on TV while we focused on hockey. Now it is something Michigan belongs in as much as any program in the nation.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||It would be nice to have||
It would be nice to have someone with more length on inbounds. Say, Mitch McGary.
There's still time.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||They don't have any illusions||
They don't have any illusions here. They know they're not ready to fight the SEC; they just want to compete in the conference occasionally. They're never even in the discussion. Near rivals Wisconsin and Iowa frequently are.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||You are correct. But have you||
You are correct. But have you ever driven between them in rush hour?
|2 weeks 6 days ago||If Arizona loses (it's a long||
If Arizona loses (it's a long way from certain here) that is a real blow, but otherwise I think the Pac 12 has overperformed in the tournament and there is little for them to hang their heads about. Remember, the B1G was clearly the best conference last year, but the Sweet 16 was rather rough on it.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Arizona is going to kick||
Arizona is going to kick themself if they lose by 3 or less after that buzzer-almost-beater.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||I just downvoted this post||
I just downvoted this comment for including a paragraph that contains only one sentence but two semicolons.
Pretty sure I meant for that first one to be a full sentence break, but the road to perdition is paved with good intentions.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Heh. Putting a practice||
Heh. Putting a practice facility there would be like Michigan putting its basketball practice facility in Dearborn.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Why is Miggy any less subject||
Why is Miggy any less subject to questions of PEDs than Pujols? To my knowledge the only links ever made between Pujols and PEDs are speculative ones made by radio hosts disclaiming any inside knowledge.
They're both big and powerful. They have both been incredibly good. What makes one different than the other?
|2 weeks 6 days ago||You would think that a larger||
You would think that a larger sign of "caring about football" is that Minnesota just built a brand sparkling new outdoor stadium to play football in, but perhaps not.
Either way, this has been in the works for a while--practice facilities are a significant issue for Minnie, one that they have been working to raise fund to rectify for some time. I'm actually surprised football is coming first, since a lot of noise has been made about the basketball team's lack of a facility and the relative age of the two main game facilities.
Keep in mind that the University of Minnesota has serious space-crunch issues that most other schools do not; Michigan has a large athletic campus, and many other universities sit on large land-grand properties that have all the property they need to expand; Minnesota's key space is in central Minneapolis, and there just isn't the space.
Also, it sounds like they are building more than a fieldhouse--the football offices will be located there, which suggests that this also includes the rough equivalent to a Shembechler Hall on the premises. Thus some of the extra expense.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||I think it's too long. When||
I think it's too long. When the best you can hope for is, "Hopefully not as bad as Pujols or Howard," that's a problem.
We can hope that he will sustain his greatness for an unusually long time. There are some reasons to think he can do so. There are also a number of reasons to think that he will not, and that the contract will be an albatross within five years. It's not like Pujols wasn't also an unusually great, unusually multi-faceted hitter, and while there's no reason to think that last year's injury will recur, there's nothing to say that another won't take its place.
10 years is too long. No getting around it. There are, at least, a couple of mitigating factors:
1. Detroit is trying to win now. Not in ten years. If they win a championship, I don't care if Miggy is making $30 million in 2023 to hit .220 off the bench--it was worth it.
2. Miggy is currently a singularly great athlete in his sport. And keeping a guy like that in a non-destination city like Detroit is not a cinch. So, as long as he can be great for a few years, this is a needed deal.
3. Important: Dombrowski seems to be better than the average GM at working out issues like these. He somehow managed to turn the permanent albatross of Prince Fielder's contract into a serviceable second baseman--I have to think that, if he is still with the team, he can find a way to make the Tigers competitive in 2021 with a rapidly declining Miggy taking up too much payroll.
All that aside, it's too long. The track record of contracts given to players like this is almost entirely bad.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Maybe you are, but it's a||
Maybe you are, but it's a dead certainty that PEDs are still a major issue in Baseball and in other sports. Testing is good, but most sports test in ways that can be worked around without too much issue. Lance Armstrong, of course, never failed a test, but with some effort he (and virtually all of his competition) juiced to the gills and dodged the tests with impunity.
It's pretty simple: If there is a benefit to juicing, and an accessible way to avoid being caught, people will do it. And some of those people will rise to the top of the sport. Whatever sport it is.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||The Fab Five stain will never||
The Fab Five stain will never go away, but Fisher also produced one of the great moments in MIchigan sports history.
It is sad that he is so little thought of now; perhaps other are like me, latently appreciating him without thinking about it much. And perhaps there can be some situation where he coaches the visiting team at Chrisler, or receives some small honor, and receives a loud ovation, and we can remember him for the worthwhile things he added as coach here.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||I can't believe Creighton||
I can't believe Creighton couldn't get open shots against this Baylor team. Wisconsin is passing up open shots because they know they can get even better ones.
Not that I think Creighton should be some dominant power, but this is ridiculous.
|3 weeks 1 hour ago||It might be too late for||
It might be too late for that. My major issue with this is the "unintended consequences" problem. I have no issue with athletes trying to get more leverage in an environment where Billions are exchanged on the backs of their work. However, things have begun to move that could inadvertently rewrite the landscape of college sports in ways that nobody had in mind.
Take the EA NCAA football game, for example. When conferences began dropping association with the game, I suggested that the end result may be that the game would go away. People thought I was being ridiculous, and I even backtracked a bit... But the game is indeed gone. That is not what anyone, including the OBannon plaintiffs, we're aiming for. But that's what happened.
As this goes forward, other stakeholders will crop up. Mike Golic was just discussing this morning that if a stipend is offered to football players, it had better be offered to his daughter who is a college swimmer. Title IX gets involved. Or perhaps major college football is re-organized into some kind of for-profit pro league that de-couples it from larger athletic departments, and suddenly other sports that loss the funding from the football profits go away.
Who knows? That's what makes me uneasy. And that's why I believe the NCAA schools have dropped the ball in getting ahead of this. Like Bud Selig sitting on the steroids issue until it was too late and the game's greatest records were rendered meaningless, the NCAA schools (because it is the schools, not the NCAA bureaucrats, who hold the real power) MAY have missed their chance to deal with this before it takes them places that no one wants to go.
|3 weeks 2 hours ago||I'm agnostic about the whole||
I'm agnostic about the whole of what's going on, but I see no reason that scholarships can't continue to be a non-taxable "grant" while the recipients are afforded the protection of "employees." This is a very unique arrangement, and it seems possible for laws to be developed to reflect that.
The situation of certain clergy members could be considered analogous. I draw a conventional salary and pay conventional taxes, but certain religions have arrangements with their clergy members that involve concepts like vows of poverty that do funny things to income and taxes. In some circumstances such people can still be considered employees that are afforded certain protections (for example, worker's compensation) while not technically making any income.
I don't see why this can't be considered a similarly unique situation.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||Part of the reason for my||
Part of the reason for my cynicism is that I don't think a 95% sure thing is enough incentive to alter the conversion calculus much. In my opinion, the calculus will only really change if and when the statistical value for a 2-point conversion (at the rough 50% conversion rare! about a point a try) is significantly better than the value of a one-point try (still close to 1 at 37 yards).
But perhaps that's ok. Do we really want the 2-point conversion to be the dominant play? I like the idea of "more," not sure I want it to always be the advisable choice.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||It seems to me that most||
It seems to me that most Michigan a hockey fans are very, very reluctant to single out individual players for significant criticism. Center Ice, for example, would basically reprint the same tweet after every loss, describing the "same problems they've had all year" while studiously avoiding naming any actual names regarding who was responsible for those issues. I know I hate the idea of railing on guys myself.
I don't think any player has challenged that general preference more than Guptill.
I don't know why it was. Lacking any information on his personal life, I would speculate that he is just a brilliantly talented player who is burned out on the work it takes to play well, and continues because that's all he knows. But I'm just guessing.
I wish him well. I hope he finds a context in which to thrive. But he was a Hobey-level talent with no fire, and his departure is neither a surprise nor a tragedy for the program.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||A 37-yard attempt is still a||
A 37-yard attempt is still a gimme. Decent FG kickers should make at least 95% of those, 90% in the worst case.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||This should have been more||
This should have been more disappointing.
Word has just come in that Guptill has also signed, perhaps the biggest combination of least shocking and least crushing ever. I had higher hopes for PdG, but he never truly realized the potential that he flashed as a freshman and in the end he finishes as a decent, non-descript winger in the Michigan pantheon.
Should have been. Wasn't.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Louisville vs Kentucky is||
Louisville vs Kentucky is going to be monstrous. The national story of the week, deservedly. Easy call to make it the late game.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||I liked that, too, but||
I liked that, too, but particularly at the Sweet Sixteen level there is a lot of analysis of conference strength based on teams that make it.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Conference pride. I actually||
Conference pride. I actually care about it.
Especially when Tennessee fans start chanting "S! E! C!"
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Do you feel that way about||
Do you feel that way about our loss to the Bobcats two years ago? Because I don't.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Knockout basketball really is||
Knockout basketball really is a lot of fun.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||That may be a view from the||
That may be a view from the moon... But it's also an incredible value. Just to be there.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Yeah, sorta... But Texas||
Yeah, sorta... But Texas isn't a nobody, and with how other favorites have fared in wins and losses, any victory is good. That Michigan looked mostly great is a bonus.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Neither will be easy, but||
Neither will be easy, but there's no question that things have broken our way so far; I came in to the tourney thinking an Elite Eight appearance would make this an unquestionably successful and satisfying season. That way is now very open... And possibly much more.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||When I was a teen I took||
When I was a teen I took Michigan trips to the Sweet Sixteen for granted.
No more. They've earned the road they've gotten to take and they deserve this, but it's still awesome.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||Look, if someone is||
Look, if someone is out-of-control drunk, there may or may not be provocative stimuli, but the drunkard is still responsible for putting him in that situation. Same deal as in a sexual assault--it doesn't matter how the victim was dressed or where they were.
The OSU fans were probably being obnoxious jerks, trying to push him. So what? Walk away.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||That's you being biased. It's||
That's you being biased. It's not like we're talking about OSU-partisan law enforcement here.
|4 weeks 2 days ago||So what? Is MSU so completely||
So what? Is MSU so completely in the heads of Michigan fans that every slightly annoying thing they say is anger material?
Suppose Michigan beats Sparty in football and a basketball player tweets about how that's the way the rivalry goes when Michigan is at full strength. Wouldn't you think it ridiculous of RCMB types to make it a big deal?
|4 weeks 4 days ago||I'm attempting to be polite.||
I'm attempting to be polite. Because you look incredibly thick-headed in this thread.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||Ooh, Wikipedia. What an||
Ooh, Wikipedia. What an authority.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||It's one thing to be||
It's one thing to be completely wrong, as you are. It's another to show so mug contempt toward those who aren't wrong... And without producing any evidence in your favor.
Might want to apologize and moderate the tone slightly. Just a suggestion.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||Unfortunately, you are||
Unfortunately, you are producing Aaron Craft-like results in this thread.
|5 weeks 2 days ago||That may well be. But will||
That may well be. But will the Bucks risk their #1 overall pick on the possibility that he won't get hurt frequently when guys like Wiggins and Parker are sitting there?
|5 weeks 2 days ago||He had a broken wrist, but I||
He had a broken wrist, but I don't recall him dealing with what became that massive knee problem at all.
He was so good, too. You know how Roy Hibbert is one if the best bigs in the NBA? Oden totally owned him in the tournament, like a father schooling a son. Really awful how things have turned out, even if he is a buckeye.
GMs can still be stupid, but there are such good alternate options and the game is changing in significant ways and a classic, high-level big is no longer the centerpiece of any title-contending franchise. At best they are guys like Hibbert, valuable second pieces; but this is a draft with a bunch of guys who could be Paul George, and they're healthier.
|5 weeks 2 days ago||Very, very good point. Meshes||
Very, very good point. Meshes with what wedge seen, too. Even while Embiid was traveling to the specialist, Self was apparently saying that he would play in the conference tournament. This looks like spin to me.
|5 weeks 2 days ago||What's devastating about this||
What's devastating about this for Embiid is that many big men are injury risks in the NBA; it can just be hard to exert that kind of energy through such large frames. Of course, not all bigs are injury prone, but the histories of guys like Bynum, Oden, and Yao will give GMs the willies. That Embiid is already dealing with injuries (especially this kind) is a huge warning sign.
I feel bad for him. No way he goes #1 now, even if he did somehow play in the Tourney.
|5 weeks 3 days ago||Not drifting at all. This has||
Not drifting at all. This has been a huge step, a sharp contrast from last season when it was a weakness that could have burned us much worse than it did. I believe sound FT shooting was a key factor in securing pivotal road wins at Wisconsin and especially MSU that last year's team may not have been able to salt away. And if you drop a game or two like that, Michigan's three game cushion is a lot dicier.
|5 weeks 3 days ago||I was just telling my||
I was just telling my daughter today that it is very sad that when she is an adult, no WWII vets will be left.
Guarnere faced down the Axis at Brecourt Manor, and withstood their last desperate attacks at Bastogne. He took a shell, survived, and lived a full life.
In one sense, it's unfair that a few soldiers get all the attention from a much larger group of people. However, it is good for those of us too young to remember to learn about a few, so that we can better know the many. They were regular people who answered the call of the time, and we are greatly in their debt.
"Grandpa, were you a hero in World War 2?"
Grandpa said, "No. But I served in a company of Heroes."
|5 weeks 6 days ago||Michigan has never had a||
Michigan has never had a completely consistent "maize" color, and attempts to fix things or revert them do not help. Back in "the day," or the 1990s/early 2000s for people my age, Michigan had one color of "maize" for football and another for basketball/hockey uniforms. I have authentic jerseys of the era to prove it. Hockey helmets, however, matched football and did not match the maize of the jerseys.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||The rules haven't changed.||
The rules haven't changed. College basketball actually allows a lot of latitude in what teams wear, as long as there is contrast (and occasionally even when there isn't). Recall the title game run that Illinois made last year where they wore orange almost every game home and road.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||Indiana has a set, but||
Indiana has a set, but despite the possibility of messing with their traditional look, the fans probably aren't too worried.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||We only wore the blue because||
We only wore the blue because the regular blue road unis were shelved after the jersey-tear disaster at Minnesota. After that game they wore maize as much as possible, and rotated through other uniforms (including year-old versions) when blue was vital.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||Ok, those are awesome. I'm||
Ok, those are awesome. I'm speaking mostly of the white uniforms, and somewhat about the blue ones. Michigan's white uniforms, to me, have the potential to be horrifically bland. The one they've used for the last two years is, in my opinion, a significant upgrade over past editions.
|6 weeks 16 min ago||Gah, boring. One of the thing||
Gah, boring. One of the thing I like about the current uni is that the shorts actually have a design on them. I've never really gotten over them abandoning the old 80s blue-panel home shorts, especially given how plain the white uniforms tend to be.
|6 weeks 18 min ago||MDen has a splash on the||
MDen has a splash on the front page already, calling them "tournament" uniforms.
|6 weeks 35 min ago||Eh. I don't hate it, which is||
Eh. I don't hate it, which is a good thing. This jersey release is comparable to those weird print shorts they used last year as the blue unis (but pretty much rejected otherwise). And on that scale these are much better. I still actually like the existing uniforms quite a bit, but these aren't awful.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Michigan has gone through||
Michigan has gone through periods with with talent but underwhelming dedication and/or character before. The teams were still good (until last year) but always frustrating. Good examples would be the freshman class that won it all in '98 but never really grew & by 2001 was getting passed over by sophomores, and the 06 & 07 teams that were loaded but offered little hope of larger success.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||A statistical analysis of||
A statistical analysis of total failure.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||Because it was a magnificent,||
Because it was a magnificent, epic sporting event. Worth the time.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||This game serves to further||
This game serves to further highlight what an injustice it was that Ryan Duncan won the Hobey Baker.
|8 weeks 6 days ago||It's a restaurant in a nice||
It's a restaurant in a nice spot on the Lake, but he doesn't work there anymore; took some time off to raise the kids and, presumably, work on curling.
|9 weeks 23 hours ago||Well, clearly the Czechs||
Well, clearly the Czechs aren't the same team that won in '98 anymore.
|9 weeks 1 day ago||That may be true--after all,||
That may be true--after all, that's what folks were saying about Michigan a couple of years ago when we earned a share despite unfavorable H2H records.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||True enough.||
|10 weeks 1 day ago||Speaking of the unsuitability||
Speaking of the unsuitability of single-elimination tournaments in hockey, it should be mentioned that the NCAA hockey tournament has a great event for it's last four teams but is otherwise just about the worst-executed playoff imaginable on so many different levels.
Single-elimination to start with is challengingly random; a team can have a bad break or two, a bad call, or a bad bounce and have its season end. What's worse, their season probably ends at some neutral site that is 25% full of fans that are all there for the one team that is kinda sorta close by. Instead of the season peaking in the postseason, then, it ends with a heartless whimper.
When the issue of major junior comes up, we gripe about them paying players and making dishonest promises, and of course that is true. It remains a good product, however, that plays more games (what kid complains about playing more?) and has a killer post-season that almost every team qualifies for and starts at best-of-seven from the bottom rung. Thanks to their aggressive draft system, most teams that are decently well-run will be good enough to get to a conference finals at least once during a player's career. The teams that are lifting the best players (London, Kitchener, etc) are also rather good at being good enough to make even deeper playoff runs every year, and every game is packed with rabid fans.
This totally smokes the NCAA playoff system, where only the Frozen Four shines as an experience and most teams never make it that far. It's a hard sell.
And teams lose by random chance.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||This effect is real, but can||
This effect is real, but can still be quite random in its execution. Leaving aside the game-to-game issue for a second, a bases-loaded situation in the 4th inning seriously affects the pitch count; in the 7th, it helps the order... but if its a reliever in for one inning anyway, it doesn't matter. The A's gained nothing by loading the bases against Scherzer last fall, for example.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||They also have an extra foul||
They also have an extra foul (granted, they also have 8 extra minutes, which makes sense), and thus the effect of a bad call or two is significantly reduced. An NCAA championship game can be (and, as we remember, has been) swayed by a bad call on a key player early in a half, forcing them to spend significant time on the bench.
I love the atmosphere and accessibility of college basketball, and the regular season is worlds better, but the NBA has a far better set of rules.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||My perception, though I may||
My perception, though I may have read wrong, is that Brian means that the goal should be widened so that every shot that now hits post would get in.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||Basketball is not random at||
Basketball is not random at all. Brian well-described how consistent the NBA is at determining a champion, for better or for worse; the "best team" almost always wins.
Baseball, unlike other sports, is designed with the randomness factored in. One game is not meant to be a true test of a team's full ability, particularly since only one pitcher can start on any given day. Thus, regular seasons have a different meaning; conversely, post-seasons are rather bizarre.
Hockey's randomness is not just a recent phenomenon, either. There have frequently been so-so regular season teams that have made big playoff runs, and of course all Wings fans remember what happened in 1996 after the greatest regular season ever. Perhaps things are amplified now, but hockey has long had this issue.
Brian's idea concerning goalie effectiveness is barking up the right tree, at the very least. Goalies are so good now that they are pretty much expected to stop every shot they can see and generally do. The rapid rise in goalie competence over the past 20 years has completely changed the game, and was an un-addressed root cause of much of the offensive doldrums that were the drive behind significant rule-changes after the lost season.
Anyone who watches film of, say, the Gretzky Oilers will be astonished both by the style of goaltending and the impressive number of goals scored by simple shots that would be no challenge today. Equipment is one factor, but goalies just play better now. The old stand-up goalie is a thing of the past.
I love it when players sell out to block shots, but when one combines the danger of the play with how effectively it throttles offense from the point, one wonders if limiting a player's ability to block shots should be limited. Perhaps ban players from leaving their feet to intercept pucks between the faceoff dots or something. Yeah, it would eliminate some sell-out play, but it would certainly increase offense. Make two-on-ones easier to convert, too.
Limit shot-blocking, widen the goal, shrink goalie equipment. I think it would all help.
|10 weeks 5 days ago||Disagree. In my experience,||
Disagree. In my experience, the "pricier" Adidas stuff is still a far lower quality than the equivalent Nike product. This has contributed to me reducing the amount of apparel that I buy.
|10 weeks 5 days ago||Following Tennessee's win,||
Following Tennessee's win, Adidas' record in college football has been disastrous. They managed to win contracts to a number of perennial powers; all of them suffered through uncharacteristic periods of extended mediocrity.
|11 weeks 22 hours ago||You quote Taranto, a||
You quote Taranto, a conservative columnist; Smith appears to be, from his editorial position, choice of issues, and supported links, to be at least a fiscal conservative himself. He just appears to have it in for the U, where that is not your sole issue. Otherwise, there's a lot of similarity there.
You're not just "asking questions." You're screaming "Conspiracy!" at the top of your lungs. You may wish to refute by saying "I'm not even shouting," but when you repeatedly post basically the same things over and over again in short space, that is an internet equivalent to shouting.
|11 weeks 23 hours ago||This is actually very||
This is actually very insightful.
|11 weeks 23 hours ago||Dude, Section 1, you are||
Dude, Section 1, you are being such an idiot about this. You are a discredit to rational, normal, non-flame-throwing people who hold positions similar to yours. I disagree with a lot of people on this board about a lot of issues (my signature would suggest at least one pretty significant issue) but it is possible to have strong beliefs and still have a rational discussion.
What you are peddling is just baseless conspiracy-ism. What's hilarious about this is that the person that would be most likely to be responsible for this in your "conspiracy" scenario is the Washtenaw Watchdog guy, with whom I believe you share some political views and whose tone and demeanor you closely resemble.
|11 weeks 23 hours ago||It's not that what (maybe)||
It's not that what (maybe) Lewan was alleged to have done was worse than what Gibbons was alleged to have done. It is the fact that the Gibbons issue is an evidence + he said + she said case, and is it notoriously hard to tell what really happened with those.
But even if Gibbons is not guilty, the allegations against Lewan are quite serious. And, as you say, it seems that it should be easier to tell what he actually did. And if he did make those statements to a party involved with the victim, it should not have been glossed over.
This is where things get really murky, because the Gibbons issue is kind of shut, but if this stuff against (perhaps) Lewan has any legs or credibility, it's going to get worse. What if the friend he allegedly said it to goes on a local TV station and makes the accusation on camera? You can see how this can go.
|11 weeks 23 hours ago||There's no doubt that||
There's no doubt that Michigan looks bad here. I am simply providing an alternative scenario. I agree that making something up about family issues, which rather than being simple obfuscation is a total falsehood, is silly. I just wonder if they felt obligated to go in that direction.
If Gibbons is off the team, and Hoke says it but refuses to give any reason, people will start sniffing around. Whether this was just a lie to throw them off the trail, i don't know.
|11 weeks 1 day ago||There's nothing to gain, and||
There's nothing to gain, and the only standard that will be applied was whether the U properly followed its own policies in rendering its verdict, which is non-legal. It only relates to his enrollment in the school.
Even if he could protest, what good comes of it? He would look awful even if he were legally exonerated. His eligibility is gone and cannot be returned, and he was never a prospect for the NFL.
|11 weeks 1 day ago||Actually, there is a||
Actually, there is a discussion of it on one of the reports, if the muckracker who made a big deal of this in August is to be believed. The name is redacted, so it could actually be anyone--but it clearly states an "allegation" that someone "threatened the victim."
|11 weeks 1 day ago||FWIW, it's possible (and I||
FWIW, it's possible (and I would not be at all surprised to discover that the Athletic Department checked with a lawyer about this) that even a vague "violation of team rules" could in the end be considered a discussion of his infraction and a violation of his right to privacy.
I don't know that this is the case, but it is possible. If a lawyer said, "You're at risk of violating FERPA if you reveal that his departure from the team is due to disciplinary action," that puts Hoke in a tough spot.
Just a possibility.
|11 weeks 1 day ago||This seems, to me, to be the||
This seems, to me, to be the most plausible explanation available that would also exonerate the Department from most of its shame and guilt.
This issue did sort of resurface in August, and so it seems reasonable to think that someone would say, "Let's take a look at this." And the result is what we have now.
I'm not saying that's what happened, but that seems like a reasonable explanation that would keep me from thinking that Hoke and Brandon were particularly negligent.
|11 weeks 1 day ago||Ugly basketball. MSU is||
Ugly basketball. MSU is struggling in some areas, but they're definitely thrilled with the pace of the game; this is their kind of game, not Iowa's kind. Bodes well for MSU late.
What's really impressive to me is that all these B1G teams seem to struggle on offense against top B1G competition. They just can't get it rolling in tough circumstances.
All these B1G teams except Michigan, that is. Even against smothering defense on Saturday Michigan was well over 1.00 ppp. That's a significant positive even compared with a year ago.
|11 weeks 1 day ago||1. A fair clarification. I||
1. A fair clarification. I didn't really have the patience to figure out what the quotee was, exactly, but he's not with the office at the moment. Still, we don't know how the process started.
2. I didn't say that Hoke should have kicked him off. I said that it was a very important question why he did not (and I can think of a couple of scenarios where he handled it well). I have been very careful not to speak in absolutes about Gibbons' actual criminal guilt, and in saying exactly what should have happened.
What I have said is that the way this has played out is very bad. I am sure this could have been done better. We do not yet have enough information to determine how.
|11 weeks 1 day ago||Well, besides the direct||
Well, besides the direct quote from the office involved saying that it never takes more than a semester to resolve this, there remains a pressing issue:
There is no guideline that requires players to play football games while the process is underway. Coaches are free to suspend and/or remove players based on evidence that is not sufficient for a court conviction. Hoke could have kicked Gibbons off the team before he ever coached a game if he had been so inclined.
Why he was not inclined is a big question. A very big question.
|11 weeks 1 day ago||Another, somewhat related||
Another, somewhat related downside of this: many hear dislike rumor-mongering muckrackers who stir up dirt just to stir up dirt; this gives instant credibility to at least one of them. Any time you give scorners the moral high ground you've made a big mistake.
|11 weeks 1 day ago||This is a black mark. Any||
This is a black mark. Any illusions Michigan fans had of moral high ground, relative to certain behavior issues at rivals MSU and OSU, has vanished. That this took so long to resolve is a disgrace.
|11 weeks 1 day ago||Helpful link,||
Helpful link, thanks.
Follow-ups are actually a good idea, just for our own understanding of what was and wasn't revealed. Note that Brendan's name is not revealed in that article--did it make significant news when he was identified?
|11 weeks 1 day ago||Unfortunately, this story||
Unfortunately, this story wasn't just about Gibbons. Another, very good and very significant Michigan player, was alleged to have had verbal interactions with the alleged victim that were highly innappropriate. I don't have the link handy, because I read the stuff about this in the fall when it blipped upward, but it's there.
I don't know if that has any bearing on this issue or not. And, indeed, some subsequent choices made by people involved suggest that nobody felt any of this would blow up. But it's there.
|11 weeks 1 day ago||Nothing credible regarding||
Nothing credible regarding allegations of actual administration cover-up or removal of the AD. Obviously, the allegations against Gibbons are quite credible, and the fact that this has been sitting around for three years without so much as a game missed is a black mark regardless of what comes out from the behind-the-scenes story.
|11 weeks 1 day ago||It wasn't that public,||
It wasn't that public, because this information has some as a big surprise to a lot of people every time something new has come out. A few months ago a thread on 11W (I think) brought this event up, and there was a corresponding thread about it here; it was the first I had ever heard of it.
So I looked into the actual information available, and it was mostly published by one guy who appears to have a grudge against the University and likes to stir the pot. There aren't a lot of major media sources discussing it, or even a lot of opposing blog traffic that would be associated with a larger paper trail.
It does, indeed, look suspiciously under-reported.
And, at any rate, a "burden of evidence" may be important in expulsion issues, but there is no such burden required to suspend someone from a team for a "violation of team rules." And that never happened.
|11 weeks 1 day ago||You think a coach is going to||
You think a coach is going to publicly reveal a legal issue like this at a press conference? That venue is not the time nor the place. He is not "covering" for Gibbons by failing to divulge all details at the time.
He is only "covering" for Gibbons if he is attempting to shield him from just consequences, and we do not know if that has happened or not.
|11 weeks 1 day ago||I don't like the conspiracy||
I don't like the conspiracy stuff either; "I know a guy" is a very general statement that has little or no credibility in these areas.
But it's hard not to wonder why it took a review of a case due to a "revision" of sexual conduct policies (a revision that apparently occurred in 2012, right?) to get him off the team. The information was clearly available at the time it occurred.
If you hear that one of the Athletic Department's athletes is involved in an alleged sexual assault, do you need a policy revision to investigate it? No.
I don't know a guy. I don't care about that stuff. But it is, frankly, inexcusable for this to take three years to become fully public.
|11 weeks 1 day ago||I don't know anything about||
I don't know anything about higher-up issues, and there's nothing credible we can speculate on at this time.
Nonetheless, this does not look good at all. There were allegations associated with this case that included some unfortunate behavior by other, more significant players, and those allegations now look more credible. Why this happens at the end of Brendan's career is beyond me.
And we rode that guy to a Sugar Bowl win. Ugly. This is a big black mark for Michigan and its fans.
|11 weeks 6 days ago||The 2002 Olympic hockey||
The 2002 Olympic hockey tournament is still the best hockey I have ever seen in my life, and the Olympic tournament continues to be a fantastic event. Of course, this crosses over from natural hockey fandom, so it isn't hard to like.
|11 weeks 6 days ago||I'm hoping to try it at the||
I'm hoping to try it at the local curling club someday, but I'm not sure I get what you mean, because choosing the right weight and curl looks brutally hard to me.
|11 weeks 6 days ago||Yep. Gravity + ice/snow =||
Yep. Gravity + ice/snow = Speed.
|11 weeks 6 days ago||I'm afraid I'm confident that||
I'm afraid I'm confident that at least a few top tennis players are. Quick recovery from both injuries and from punishing matches, remarkable endurance, incredible strength and speed...
|11 weeks 6 days ago||Tennis has been so good these||
Tennis has been so good these past few years, and these two are the major reasons why. I'm strictly a casual fan, but I find this rivalry tremendously compelling, one of the best ever.
|12 weeks 2 days ago||We're stacked at the swing||
We're stacked at the swing positions. Irvin should explode next season once he gets the time and space to grow, and Levert will be back. Spike is still a great option as a backup PG. I think the questions next season will be under the basket.
|12 weeks 2 days ago||What's wrong with that? We're||
What's wrong with that? We're not talking about the next Larry Bird, here--Nik is an exceptional college player who has really grown his all around game, but the NBA is REALLY TOUGH. The fact is, if you're not a superstar, the way to make it is to find a niche to fill, a role that NBA teams need on the floor.
|12 weeks 3 days ago||I agree. I actually think||
I agree. I actually think there could be a successful major junior-type of basketball league, but the fact is that football has just too many scale issues and logistical challenges to produce a new minor league that actually pays players money.
|12 weeks 4 days ago||Dave Dombrowski still has||
Dave Dombrowski still has time to sign Stauskas to close games for the Tigers. Just saying.
|13 weeks 1 day ago||You mean B1G teams with||
You mean B1G teams with really good bigs, teams with shut-down defense that can make running the offense really challenging, teams that can keep Stauskas out of the flow and expose the lack of playmakers elsewhere on the floor?
|13 weeks 1 day ago||It's a team with good players||
It's a team with good players but without transcendent ones. Stauskas is the best offensive option, but we saw against Duke that he can be controlled by certain teams--he's not a sure thing every game.
|13 weeks 1 day ago||I'll be just fine with 1-2,||
I'll be just fine with 1-2, but 0-3 is a very real possibility and shouldn't push us off a cliff.
|13 weeks 1 day ago||He's the Packers PBP guy.||
He's the Packers PBP guy. Still kicking around.
|13 weeks 1 day ago||It's really amazing I didn't||
It's really amazing I didn't become a basketball fan for life. My friends and I watched all the time, shot hoops in our driveway all the time, and lived and died with the Pistons and Wolverines. Snow day at school? Watch Hoosiers to pass the time. And it paid off. For a 9-10 year old it was amazing.
|13 weeks 1 day ago||That was a funny end-take.||
That was a funny end-take. Hughes is a classy guy--he lived across the street from my grandparents when he coached the Grand Rapids CBA team and graciously attended my grandmother's wake.
|13 weeks 1 day ago||I hate it. With the||
I hate it. With the white-hot-hatred of a million suns. It is worse than any other of the crazy uniforms by a factor of ten.
I'm not joking. I'm not just grousing. Maize is a great color for basketball and hockey. But football home jerseys ought to be dark. Michigan Navy Blue, specifically, where it pertains to our team.
Fortunately, I think that's a Riddell mockup... but it is a horrible one.
|13 weeks 1 day ago||I would prefer that PEDs not||
I would prefer that PEDs not be in sports, but I am realistic enough to realize that they are everywhere. The PED principle is pretty simple: If there is a benefit to taking PEDs, people will take them. If they are not frequently caught, the PED-users will become the best players.
Football is a sport where size, strength, and speed are all assets that translate directly into dollars, and PEDs can influence those attributes significantly. Therefore, I have little doubt that they are widespread in the sport; unfortunately, even in college and perhaps high school. Testing is a bit of a limiting factor, but only a bit--smart dopers never get caught.
Sure, some guys do get caught, but it's always because they made a mistake. Ryan Braun had passed many tests before he flunked; he got caught because he messed up. That's all.
|13 weeks 1 day ago||This doesn't look good. The||
This doesn't look good. The Lions clearly whiffed on Whisenhunt, who was their preferred choice; it looks like they could have gotten him if they had moved faster, but Tennessee got to him first and that's that.
The one thing I did like about Caldwell was the report that, for his interview, he charted every one of Stafford's passes with notations on what corrections he would make. So we're not looking at someone who isn't already putting in the work to improve the team. And, frankly, I'm glad his interview was not just a Rooney Rule throwaway, but that he had a legit shot at the job.
Still, I wanted Whisenhunt (or Lovie or Jon Gruden). The Lions were thought to have the best opening in the NFL this year and wound up with a hire that is, at best, un-inspiring. That's an organizational problem. They failed to execute.
Contrast this with how Brandon got Nussmeier on board. Pretty stark.
|13 weeks 3 days ago||Given how things have gone, I||
Given how things have gone, I believe that Nuss will escape blame if things go sour.
|13 weeks 3 days ago||He looked pretty good last||
He looked pretty good last time ND saw him.
|14 weeks 13 hours ago||People really are too hard on||
People really are too hard on Brandon. Bag on him for piped in music, prices, and so on all you (ok, we) want, that's legit. But the people who were calling him a buffoon who "couldn't see" what was wrong with the FB program were just being ignorant.
|14 weeks 1 day ago||On intelligent TV||
On intelligent TV broadcasts:
I also really liked the all-22 coaches room channel, and watched most of the game on that. I echo several of Brian's complaints; the all-22 angle was small, which made it harder to see. In fairness, though, keeping a small window on the main broadcast helped me see what was happening on the field at times when the coaches were analyzing a play. With a little more production effort, they could flip on that window only when needed and keep it off the rest of the time.
Chryst seemed to be a bit challenged by the whole format; some guys just aren't cut out for certain television jobs, and he seemed to be one of them. Early on in particular he wasn't quick enough on the draw to really get some analysis out, and the "hosts" had to ask him questions to get him air time. I don't hold that against Chryst; Sumlin, Spielman, and Millen are all very forceful television personalities (Millen was initially too talkative, but toned things down, probably upon request).
The quality analysis did demonstrate, pretty convincingly, how hard it is to be a color commentator. There is a certain rhythm to what you say, and you simply can't use everything you know, because there is not enough time and the audience is not knowledgeable enough to digest all of it. Even there I think guys like Spielman were leaving some of the deeper "inside football" stuff on the table.
Adazzio was also quite good, by the way. Nobody is talking about him, but I thought he was smart and worked well.
On Borges and gameplans:
I don't think the problem with the way Borges gameplans is his philosophy of using different sets and base plays. That philosophy has won Super Bowls at places like Denver and St. Louis. New and strange formations, different personnel groupings, all of that stuff comes right from successful NFL thinking.
The problem is that the limitations of college football prevent him from actually doing what it takes to make it successful. He cannot install enough formations and plays to make every down a challenge for the defense to understand--he runs out of new stuff by the second half. In an ideal world he would still be unleashing new concepts or second-time-only runs of concepts introduced in the first half well into the fourth quarter.
Instead, he's left with taking stuff that worked in the first half and trying it over and over again.
Nonetheless, it takes a lot of time to install all of this stuff in 20 hours of practice every week. And that leads to the second problem--the players spend less time getting good at running the plays they run. Devin doesn't get to learn the subtleties of how different coverages respond to base formations and personnel groups, because the formations and personnel are different every time. That makes it harder for him to make reads.
Peyton Manning can do it, of course, because Manning might spend 20 hours a week just studying and watching film.
Devin Gardner graduated in three years and is pursuing a master's degree. He doesn't have the time.
The problem with Borges is that he wants to run an offense that is unrealistic given the constraints of a college program, especially one that takes practice hours and academics somewhat seriously. Coaches like Gus and Chip deliberately run stuff in college that is manageable for their players, and their players learn to get good at it.
|14 weeks 1 day ago||Well, this is getting off to||
Well, this is getting off to a fantastic start.
|14 weeks 2 days ago||College football is the||
College football is the greatest sport on Earth. What a great conclusion to a brilliant season.
Unfortunately, Michigan's season leaves most of us with a sour taste in our mouths. But herein lies one of the hidden strengths of the game: The long offseason. Now there is a time to flush out the bile, to rest, to reset. And to build that hunger again. And by August, we will be ready to go again, ready to ride the weekly rollercoaster.
|14 weeks 2 days ago||-20 ish in Duluth. It was -27||
-20 ish in Duluth. It was -27 some time before noon and will be again, pending cloudcover; I suspect Hoke would wear a coat.
If he didn't, he would have to be evacuated to a local hospital, and Al Borges would take over. Sending many other people to hospitals.
EDIT: Windchills of -55 at night, -45 during the day.
|14 weeks 3 days ago||There's a difference between||
There's a difference between the actual, empirical conditions and our subjective level of misery, isn't there? '95 Purdue gets a lot of mention, and isn't it at least in part because the game was aesthetically a disaster?
|14 weeks 3 days ago||I was there. I have never||
I was there. I have never again been so wet in my life. From rain, I mean. It was remarkable.
|14 weeks 3 days ago||Then you were at the||
Then you were at the snow-covered playoff game against Walled Lake Western, played in snow, the year that Huron made state final, no?
|15 weeks 12 hours ago||I live in Minnesota, but you||
I live in Minnesota, but you never really get away from being a Michigan fan. It is always there.
However, it is nice not to constantly encounter reminders of football or arguments about what must be done. I don't know any real MSU fans up here, the Vikings are as disastrous as the Lions, and the sports that matter for the Gophers (and UMD Bulldogs) right now are ones that Michigan is actually competent in.
One of my small pleasures this fall was the act of listening to the radio on a Monday after a Vikings loss. Really helped me relax.
|15 weeks 12 hours ago||We were so smug about it,||
We were so smug about it, too. I know I was, watching them flail helplessly against bottom-half MAC teams while Michigan torched Notre Dame. Pretty sickening to see how things have turned around; they never reached the heights we showed we were capable of, but they also had consistency. And, of course, a much better defense.
|15 weeks 12 hours ago||Stanford's gameplan, too, and||
Stanford's gameplan, too, and notice that they hit a couple of those deep passes, narrowly missed a couple of others, and drew a penalty or two against the defensive backfield. Not enough to win the game, but they were there. The problem is that MSU "downloaded" them in their typical fashion and the time to execute those plays simply ceased to exist.
|15 weeks 13 hours ago||I'm sorry, I don't give a||
I'm sorry, I don't give a staff the benefit of the doubt after the nuclear disaster that was this year's offensive line. Yeah, young and inexperienced, blah blah blah. They had very solid tackle bookends, needed only to produce competent (not spectacular, not even good, just passably competent) guards and a center, and the team would have done pretty well.
Instead they produced the WORST OFFENSIVE LINE IN THE COUNTRY.
Not mediocre. Awful. We're talking about a line that could not get push or protect against bad MAC teams. Against teams like UConn that were so bad that their coach got fired in midseason.
That is not growth. No level of inexperience, regardless of whether or not there are highly touted prospects on the roster (and there are), can excuse that performance. I think we could all accept the occasional mistake, a poor read, or the occasional blown protection. I think we could accept the idea that the running game isn't quite where Michigan wants to be.
But what was actually produced was utter, colossal failure.
And a staff that fails that comprehensively does not get the benefit of the doubt for five years. They must produce wins next year or they must be fired. I'm not a quick-trigger guy on firing; I've defended Borges more than most on this board (and in fairness the OL was so bad that Borges could not produce a good base gameplan because even routine base plays simply did not ever work). But if next year is not a drastic improvement over this year they should all be given their walking papers.
If we have another year like this and they are given a fifth year, fans and recruits will jump ship en masse. It would be an irrevocable disaster that would set the program back by another decade. Next year or bust.
|15 weeks 1 day ago||Well Zona would||
Well Zona would unquestionably be favored against us right now. And that is a very, very sad thing.
|15 weeks 1 day ago||I have no real objection to||
I have no real objection to the Leafs being here; in fact, my Dad is from Toronto and I've followed a lot of these guys, and my family and I have a healthy rivalry here. I watched game 7 in '93 in Toronto with them, sort of a great experience kinda.
|15 weeks 1 day ago||I see your point. FWIW I||
I see your point.
|15 weeks 1 day ago||Garbage. Not because it isn't||