From Portage Northern.
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|9 hours 26 min ago||By the way, your||
By the way, your parenthetical caveat was well-placed and an excellent demonstration of politeness. I appreciate it.
|9 hours 27 min ago||I was a bit concerned about||
I was a bit concerned about it, but I think a lot of people were in "wait-and-see" mode more than "he's sure to be great" mode.
In fairness, he didn't have a great breakout year, but he also had absolutely nowhere to run. For all we know he would have looked like Jerome Bettis against a good OL; he also might have hit the holes late and fallen over easily. We'll see if the line can open holes for him this year.
|19 hours 44 min ago||1. Some of us don't know what||
1. Some of us don't know what HHH is, other than a Minnesota politician and a juiced-up wrestling heel. A google search suggests an activity related to "hashing," but I can't tell if that is what you're talking about.
2. If HHH events really are notorious for that kind of activity, it's a good bet that people who dislike such activities would give it a wide berth. However, it is not widely thought that marching bands are a place where that should be expected; indeed, a lot of people from different ethnic, moral, religious, and political backgrounds may in fact grow up thinking that being in the Michigan or OSU band would be a dream come true, without considering that they may be asked to simulate sex acts on family members.
And they shouldn't be forced to deal with that kind of thing just to march on a field and play a fight song.
|19 hours 51 min ago||Hard to read much into||
Hard to read much into weights... But I'm excited about Green. Both because the new weight will almost certainly be a better quickness/power mix for him, and because the change suggests a work ethic that will produce improvement in other areas of his game.
|20 hours 3 min ago||Yeah, there still are some||
Yeah, there still are some backward prudes who aren't comfortable marching around with 250 compatriots in their underwear while the booze is flowing freely. With the explicit endorsement of band staff that is present.
See, if the culture is corrupt enough to make that "ok," it's also quite possibly ok with the idea of humiliating new members in ways that can be sexually degrading. And those prudes who don't like it can either suck it up and keep quiet, or they can quit and give up the life-long dream of marching in the band before your favorite team's home games and maybe even dotting the "I."
Great set of options there.
|1 day 20 hours ago||One note about Ace's bad||
One note about Ace's bad record attending road games: don't be so hard on yourself, man. Michigan just plain stinks on the road, anyone who goes to any plurality of road games is going to attend some real disasters.
|1 day 20 hours ago||I actually think the Glass||
I actually think the Glass Bowl is a nice small venue to watch a game in. I went to a Toledo-Marshall MAC championship game there once and it was actually great, both in game and (with at least 5000 Marshall fans traveling there) atmosphere.
|1 day 20 hours ago||Tiger Stadium, LSU||
My record for attending Michigan football road games is actually kind of poor by my standards, but I have an excuse: In my football attendance heyday, Michigan home games were of course must-attends, but I needed a few Saturdays each fall just to sit at home and watch every football game played on my four televisions (I got the ESPN package back when you needed it, and no I am not kidding at all even about the number of televisions).
The "other road trips" were trips to other terrific football venues. I'll get to that.
I attended the '99 and '01 MSU games and the '00, '02, and '04 OSU games. And, now that I live up here, 2012 Minnesota with my oldest daughter. Not much to say that hasn't been said, except that the atmosphere at Minnesota felt more like a mid-summer baseball game given how beaten down by life the fans were. A trip to OSU in Michigan gear would make Quentin Tarantino Blush; Minnesota fans were offering to take my picture. The only upside I have is that back then, Michigan was the better program during most of those trips even if we didn't win on that day.
I also made early 00s trips to Tennessee, LSU, Texas A&M, and Nebraska. In my early 20s, I had money and time and I used it to watch lots of sports live, obviously. I should probably start by saying that Nebraska was the least impressive of these, though still a nice place.
Tennessee and Texas A&M are fantastic venues. A&M of course has the yells and the organized fanbase (and yes, I did go to yell practice). Neyland Stadium is actually a wonderful facility with steep seating bowls and jaw-dropping noise acoustics.
But the best non-Michigan place I ever went to was Death Valley in Baton Rouge. The Stadium itself is wonderful--built in sections over time, with each section having its own character and quirks. Like most SEC venues, it has a steep grandstand angle, which afford fantastic sightlines.
The traditions there aren't anything unique--the band plays the same, repetitive music on first, second, and third down, and knows about two other songs. They have a live Tiger they parade around in a cage. The only words of the fight song anyone actually sings are the spelled out "Tigers" at the end.
But the place is absolutely zany. A night game there (my trip was for a 2001 game against Eli Manning's Ole Miss) is three hours of unrestrained madness. When LSU scored touchdowns, the place went bananas. Fans threw whatever was in their hands in the air--the student section became a cloud of coke, popcorn, newspapers, small change. On defense you feel weird if you are not yelling, because every person in the Stadium is full-throated. The noise was incredible. The feeling electric. It was marvelous.
I'm glad I got to go.
|2 days 21 hours ago||Since the NCAA believes||
Since the NCAA believes (whether or not it is actually true) that they have a substantial academic mission, I have a hard time seeing them make significant concessions for the purpose of improving the pro development aspect of a sport.
Now this does sound like a good move to make if they can get it to happen, but if it doesn't I'm not sure it's a huge disaster. Pro prospects will just take professional development options that exist. NCAA soccer does not, to my knowledge, have the dedicated niche fanbase of hockey or lacrosse that would be wounded by this. The sport would still be played and it would still get swallowed up in the shadow of football season. Unfortunate but not disastrous.
I do appreciate that there is an ambitious effort being made to fill a void. US Soccer does not have the organically grown pro development path that exists in hockey or baseball (college baseball players, for example, join summer league teams that play every day--there is one here in Duluth, they have a 70+ game schedule! and Drew Smyly spent a summer here). There isn't a century-long college-to-pro-league feeder arrangement like in football and basketball. US Soccer is instead trying to play catch-up with soccer-first countries and there is a lot of space left unfilled. This move would make college soccer more viable both as a development process and (with spring games filling a slower part of the college schedule) as a spectator sport.
So good for them, good luck, but it's not the end of the world if it crashes out.
|3 days 8 hours ago||As always, the fantastic "How||
As always, the fantastic "How the Race Was Won" recaps are the best video highlights packages in the business at cyclocosm.com.
Barring a catastrophe, this will go down as the third tour running that lacks much GC drama. Nibali shouldn't be held responsible for this any more than Wiggins or Froome in previous editions; he has been dominant and all serious rivals have left. We shouldn't complain too much--following the Armstrong era we have been treated to a stretch of uncommonly competitive Tours that had largely been in doubt up to the final week. That is an exception rather than a norm in TdF history.
|4 days 16 hours ago||Phinney is not and never will||
Phinney is not and never will be much of a climber. He can TT and he can drive in the flats; people are waiting to see if he can turn into a cobbles threat after some early promise.
I'm not sure if Talansky or TVG will ever win the Tour. That's not to knock them, just to recognize that it's really hard to do. Not every guy with the potential to win ever does it; even guys like Andy Schleck flame out (his only "win" came as a result of a Contador DQ; he has never won a grand tour on the road). Now, it is possible that they may win a Grand Tour somewhere else, and I could be wrong and they could take a Tour. But as of now I would take odds against it.
But things can be hard to predict. In 2011 Alberto Contador produced one of the most dominant performances I have ever seen in crushing the field at the Giro, and looked set to become the best GT rider ever. Then he ran out of gas, and Cadel Evans and Andy Schleck put on one of the great duels of all time, and... None of them have ever come close to winning the Tour since (Contador did snatch a Vuelta later). So the next five years may be the Froome/Nibali/Quintana show, or it may be something completely different.
|5 days 10 hours ago||Not sure if this is directed||
Not sure if this is directed at me or some now-unseeable comment.
But I should point out that the 5.84 number came from math, based on a calculation of weight, time, slope, and distance. No powermeter data was used.
|5 days 10 hours ago||You left the best part for||
You left the best part for the end: Quintana, in my mind, is currently next year's favorite. Of course, the route and his condition and other factors may change this, but he pushed Froome hard last year and annihilated the field at the Giro this year.
I suspect Contador has won his last Tour. He's not young anymore and while still a crafty rider and quality climber he can't dominate the way he used to. There are a number of possible reasons for this, of course, but the upshot is that he is a mid-level time trialist instead of the guy that used to beat Cancellara. I would expect Froome to be back to his old form, and Wiggins will be sucking wheels for someone like the Argyle boys as well.
Next year to me looks like Nibali defending as an underdog with Froome and Quintana shooting it out; time trial miles will be a huge factor. A mountain TT (haven't been many lately) would be magnificent.
|5 days 14 hours ago||Yeah, this baby is over.||
Yeah, this baby is over. Barring a crash-out or another Michael Rasmussen moment Nibali looks fantastic, and good for him.
For those who are curious, the W/KG numbers that are closely watched to see if they are "human" or "superhuman" have not been mind blowing for Nibali. In fact, they're a smidgen less impressive than Froome and Wiggins the last two years. Yesterday's HC summit finish that Nibs won was ridden at a decidedly mortal 5.84 w/kg, well within the range that is believed to be achievable clean.
The question remains about whether he could beat Contador/Froome/Wiggins at full strength; I think Wiggins would've been the only one close to him on the cobbles, and I think Nibali would've taken time from him in the mountains. And I think he could defend a 2-minute lead over Contador and Froome. It'd be close, but he's a worthy winner.
|6 days 22 hours ago||Well, let's be fair, we blame||
Well, let's be fair, we blame Michigan's failures last year on in-house problems. That's nature. And Jackson did throw a pick in the Michigan end zone and another, execrable pick right to Weathers that was returned for a TD. Sure we forced it, but he didn't exactly cover himself in glory.
|1 week 9 hours ago||Some observations: 1.||
1. Michigan's offense in '96 and '97 was quite mediocre. '95 was no picnic either, but Tim Biakabatuka was a playmaker that couldn't be regularly replaced in subsequent seasons. Griese became an effective quarterback, but he was never a world-beater and his solid '97 performance was a surprise after two years of a mediocre Driesbach-Griese lazy Susan.
2. Michigan's Oline was (relatively) young in '97 and expected to be a weak point going into the season.
3. The offense's main job in '97 was to not mess up things for the defense. Punting was ok, big mistakes were not. Note the way Griese throws the ball away in tight spots.
4. This is classic Lloyd-ball, what became Tressel-ball in the following decade. Play dominant defense, run the ball, avoid mistakes, win games. Lloyd wasn't against changing things up when the times moved forward, but he still liked this basic philosophy and given how well it worked in '97 (and, for example, in Baltimore in 2000 and Ohio State in 2002) it's hard to blame him for keeping a finger on that button.
5. Michigan never again produced teams capable of winning with this philosophy. It's not that they weren't talented enough (they were loaded for another 10 years, and the offense was almost always better than in '97). Instead, the defense just never seemed to put it all together, and in some years other areas like special teams betrayed them. I suspect coaching was an issue here; it is worth noting that the players on this dominant '97 team had received significant coaching from Greg Mattison, who left only the year before.
|1 week 10 hours ago||Saw the highlight of the||
Saw the highlight of the Woodson to return during his "Icons" episode. Still let out a shout. I've seen/heard it at least 100 times. Still chills.
Hey, Michigan just scored its first TD against OSU. The crowd is going bananas. I wonder what happens next? I think I'll watch and find out.
|1 week 11 hours ago||This seems like a stinging,||
This seems like a stinging, stinging rebuke.
Question: if Brandon continues to make unpopular moves, is there any room for political pressure on the regents from constituents? Sure, apparently they are kind of a rump rubber stamp committee, but they are on ballots. Could pressure on them translate to DB?
|1 week 21 hours ago||FWIW I live in a city with a||
FWIW I live in a city with a pretty good D-1 women's program (UMD) that gets full facility, financial, and promotional support. I took my girls to a couple of games last year. However, for one visit the draw was a chance to see the Stanley Cup (a Duluth resident is part of the Blackhawks organization and brought it into town for a day--people got free admission to the game to see it) where most people who came didn't bother to watch the game, and then a family trip on a discount ticket deal.
The big draw for me was the chance to literally pick our own seats, right on the glass. The regular attendance base is very small and dwarfed by the 6,500 arena. I appreciate that they put on a good show (mascot, lights, concessions, etc) but it was clearly nothing like a men's game. It works for us because it's cheap, it's an easy place to get to, and my girls are young enough not to care. There's no way it breaks even on its own.
And, frankly, no way that Michigan can even do that well. Yost doesn't have the easy accessibility that Amsoil does, and while Duluth is a great city, there's not exactly a lot of competing sports and entertainment options nearby during the winter.
|1 week 1 day ago||I'd be all for it. A move to||
I'd be all for it. A move to varsity would probably prompt the creation of a B1G hockey conference, assuming MSU added as well (actually it would be a "Big One and Little Five" with everyone trying to finish second behind world-conquering Minnesota). Still, I would hope that Michigan would play at least a year in the WCHA--it would give me a chance to see something I long for, a Michigan team playing in Duluth.
I've been to LSSU, I already know how to do the four-person fan section. Let's do this.
|1 week 3 days ago||Magnificent. Though you||
Though you really can't blame Tom Osborne for this. He preferred running up the score on Peyton Manning.
|1 week 6 days ago||I'll leave this||
I'll leave this here:
|1 week 6 days ago||It's up there. In terms of||
It's up there. In terms of recreational money, no doubt about it.
|1 week 6 days ago||Naturally also one of the||
Naturally also one of the defining games of Yost. Just as loud. Hard to say it was louder, though--people who were at both can't say which was louder.
Also, you're conflating a few facts: Michigan State did lose as a heavy favorite to OSU, but Ryan Miller had not yet become their starter. That was in 2002. So was the locker room issue. And for reasons I've never investigated, Michigan kept the home side of the ice against North Dakota, while using the visiting side against Denver.
The Denver weekend was a better weekend, though, because the Molly Game happened the day before.
|1 week 6 days ago||There are lots of teams||
There are lots of teams stacked with commodities. Cleveland is one, but they've also squandered a fair amount of opportunity as well. Houston is loaded, has max money to throw at Bosh, and would take LBJ at the drop of a hat. Why not them?
No doubt the ability to win played a role. But if that and publicity were the only factor he would go somewhere else.
|1 week 6 days ago||Why not? It wasn't that long||
Why not? It wasn't that long ago that he reduced Nibali (and everyone else) to a gasping back marker in the Giro. And he's also shown a flair for surprise comebacks.
|1 week 6 days ago||That game was so awesome. And||
That game was so awesome. And I hadn't even been born yet. But when did you hear the Ufer call?
|1 week 6 days ago||That's #2 for me. That or||
That's #2 for me. That or 2000 at Ohio State (Michigan still hasn't won there since. Birthday money, again). We're fortunate to have so many good options to pick from.
|1 week 6 days ago||Yes, because PR and||
Yes, because PR and endorsements are all that people we don't like care about.
You know what would be even better for PR and endorsements? New York or Los Angeles.
Maybe, just maybe Lebron actually cares about he place he came from. Like those of us who are Michigan ex-pats still care about our home state. Maybe there is a reason a man who is rich enough to live anywhere in the world still spends his summers in the Akron area.
Maybe he's not such a bad guy.
|1 week 6 days ago||Days after I turned 18, I||
Days after I turned 18, I took the $120 I had received for my birthday and attempted to flip it into my first ever Michigan-Ohio State game in person.
I had attended Michigan games for many years, usually (like Seth) with my Dad. That year was the first I had some money to get to most of the games, but of course most could be had by face value or less. Now I was attempting something I had never even before considered.
I found a couple selling a student ticket for $100 to make rent for the month. I exchanged cash for the ticket, thankful to have enough left over for a bag of Wiard's donuts and a jug of cider.
And I entered the student section for the first time in my life. I stood somewhere between rows 20 and 30.
It was cold. It was gray. It was glorious.
It was 1997.