that is nice bonus change
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|3 days 13 hours ago||The cynical answer||
is that this is a clever end-around to the idea of selling jerseys without the players profiting from it: you can always claim the jersey for sale isn't the jersey of Devin Gardner, current player, but of Tom Harmon, Legend. Thus, you can argue that Gardner doesn't necessarily deserve a cut of the jersey sale profits and/or that he isn't being exploited personally when the #98 jersey just happens to be the one they're selling a lot of while he's wearing it. If this cynical view has truth to it, then expect legends jerseys to to whichever players the AD thinks will sell the most jerseys in a given year.
What argues against cynicism here is that Courtney Avery was never going to sell a lot of #11 jerseys, but he did deserve to be honored by his coach and teammates for his leadership and his willingness to do whatever the team needed from him.
But I agree with you mGrow; in general I'm confused too. Seems like a great idea if you hand out one or two. When there's 10 of them and 2-4 of them might change hands each year, it becomes more confusing than clever.
|4 days 9 hours ago||damn you sharik||
after a comment like that, of course I had to try it.
The first hit is to the MGoBlog twitter feed.
The rest of the first page... well... I'll leave to your imagination.
|1 week 14 hours ago||Goal line||
This is an important point. Goal line packages may only be called for a few times per game, so a goal line package specialist might not see many snaps. But those few plays per game can easily be the swing plays that win or lose the game for your team, so they take on outsized importance. If you've got a guy you think can help you here, you use him, redshirt be damned.
|4 weeks 2 days ago||David Molk||
David Molk provides another example of a surly offensive lineman, famous for head-butting Jack Miller before games. Indeed, offensive line recruits in particular are often praised for having a 'nasty streak.' In other words, being a dick is sometimes considered a GOOD trait in an O lineman.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||+1 informative||
|9 weeks 4 days ago||upvote for lego movie reference||
I can deal with the rough patch more than I can deal with the decline in tradition, personally.
Likewise. Fans who have been around long enough understand that there are ebbs and flows to winning and losing, but during those ebbs, we have our traditions to fall back on to keep us engaged. Remember the early 90's when Miami (YTM) was completely unstoppable? For a couple of years, they were a hot ticket, and people everywhere were wearing those hideous orange jerseys. But Miami plays in a pro stadium, and has a 'winning tradition' built on bought-and-sold players, and never had a Bo Schembechler. So now that they're no longer an unstoppable juggernaut, they're just another team. From 1994-2013 Miami is 75-50; Michigan is a near-identical 77-49. So why do we still sell out our 100k-plus stadium, get plum TV deals, and rank in the top 5 in merchandise sold every year, and Miami does not? Why, when I lived in California, did I see people wearing Michigan gear minimum once per week for six years, and saw someone wearing 'Canes gear maybe once total? Because Michigan stands for something beyond just wins and losses, and what it stands for keeps fans engaged, and therefore keeps Michigan relevant even when the team underperforms. Without that, we're just another team. On a decadal timescale, it really is the traditions, more than the wins and losses, that account for why people care.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||incorrect||
There exist fans, even Michigan fans, for whom winning is all that matters. You may be one of them. But in some fanbases, in the Michigan fanbase perhaps more than any other, there are a great number of fans who also care about HOW we win: what uniforms we wear, what teams we play, what offense we run, whether the band goes to Dallas, and yes, whether our athletic director is making tone-deaf statements to the media that make it sound like he's actively working to cheapen the Michigan fan experience, even as it grows more expensive in financial terms.
I will not claim to speak for the "vast majority" of Michigan fans (and you probably shouldn't claim to do so either). But I will say that for myself, I absolutely do care what Dave Brandon says and does, and will continue to care no matter what the W-L column says. Judging by the comments here, I'm not the only one.
|11 weeks 3 days ago||Brian:||
and Michigan's run defense is going to be real, real good.
|17 weeks 1 day ago||15 years ago||
(jeezus, that long?) I took Calc BC jr year of HS, took calc 216 my sr year of hs and aced it, then took 285 instead for calc III and it kicked my ass big time. (note: you can take calc III and IV in either order: they're both offered both semesters, and they don't really built off each other). My problem with 285 was mostly that it involved actually doing proofs, which I'm terrible at. I can solve equations, but justifying them? That's why I'm an engineer and not a mathematician. But I think everyone's mileage varies. People will encourage you to take the honors section because you're young and bright and people always encourage young bright students to challenge themselves (as they should). But which version of calc you take isn't just about how "smart" you are. Each version has a different focus. Take whichever version has the approach that seems most relevant to you. (That's general advice for choosing college courses, not just for calculus.) That might be honors, or might not be.
And don't worry about all the college kids looking at you funny. I was nervous that I'd stick out like a sore thumb as the obvious high school smartypants kid in a room full of college kids, but it turns out that it isn't that obvious, and the kids who do notice don't really care. Heck, I found out 3/4 of the way thru the semester that there was another HS kid in my class, and even I hadn't noticed.
Also, one thing that may or may not be a problem for you: the semester break at Michigan probably doesn't align with the semester break at your high school. I ended up having to leave halfway thru my 6th period class for a month in order to go to calc because the second semester at Michigan started before the first semester at Pioneer ended. HS teachers are usually pretty cool about this kind of thing -- the teachers usually respect the smart kids who are trying to challenge themselves -- but be aware that it could become a problem, and make sure your HS administrators are all on the same page about it.
|18 weeks 3 days ago||"profit"||
The problem with distinguishing between "revenue" and "profit" in this way is that athletic departments are able to massage the accounting so that they aren't profitable no matter how much revenue they're bringing in. All they have to do is add new varsity sports, or pay for more expensive equipment, or take the basketball team to Europe, or increase the offensive coordinator's salary, or...
If athletic departments wanted to be profitable, many of the biggest ones could be. Because they explicitly don't want to be profitable, many fewer are than would be if they were run like businesses with shareholders. Athletic departments are expensive to run in part because they want to be expensive to run, so that the firehose of money has somewhere to go.
That said, I'm with you on the solution. The Universities probably can't figure out a reasonable way to pay the players, but they also don't really need to. Have the school pay the scholarship and let the perks come from outside (likeness, etc).
|21 weeks 1 day ago||biases||
Upvoted for not being ashamed of your biases, or afraid to admit them.
Interesting analysis. I'll add one other thought about Izzo's mood this year in particular. Something you'll hear from every long-time teacher is that every once in a while, you get a class of students who are, for whatever reason, just not as much fun to teach. And it wears on you slowly. Now Izzo has it better than your average high school chemistry teacher, since he gets to choose what kind of players he's bringing in. But it really only takes mis-reading the personality of one recruit to bring in a guy whose bad vibes mess it up for the rest of the team.
To be clear, I'm not defending how Izzo has handled this particular piece of adversity. Nor do I intend to speculate as to which someone (or someones) may be 'bad apples' on MSU's team. I'm merely conjecturing as to why Izzo has seemed unusually unglued this year.
|22 weeks 2 days ago||NLRB aside||
The obviousness of offering a "degree in football" makes me really wonder why no university has done this yet. Classes on nutrition, self-promotion, how to work with an agent, how manage your money such that a 3-5 year pro career can sustain you financially for a much longer period of time, how to parley your pro career into a post-football career coaching, in broadcast, etc... there are so many things that could usefully be taught to football players (or revenue sport players in general) that could legitimately be justified as in the true educational interest of the 'student athlete,' and that really do prepare such individuals for life after college. What is the downside here for the university?
|22 weeks 3 days ago||NSFmrsSRK||
Shirtless ripped Jordan Morgan? Are we sure this picture is suitable for Mrs. Stephen R. Kass?
|23 weeks 1 day ago||agreed||
Agreed that race is purely a social construct, but I'm not sure that affirming that race is purely a social construct will protect us from someone calling this thread 'racist.'
I'm happy to hear that Morgan's "race," or Craft's, never crossed your conscious mind. Maybe it never crossed your unconscious mind, either; that would be even better. The point of Chait's argument, as I understand it, is not that journalists and media talking heads are consciously thinking about Morgan's or Craft's "race" either. The point is that they may nevertheless have absorbed some unconscious biases that are reflected in the way that they discuss these two players.
No one (I guess I shouldn't say 'no one,' but you get my point) wants to be racist. Chait's article is meant to remind us that sometimes we might accidentally be just a little bit racist, even without meaning to, even without realizing it, because of biases that we've unintentionally absorbed.
Racism isn't a binary thing that you do or do not participate in. I find a claim that someone is "0 % racist" to be uncredible [and I'm not putting those words in your mouth, just to be clear]. Chait's article strikes me as a part of a conversation on how to go from being 3% racist to being 1% racist (these numbers are obviously arbitrary), by recognizing where that 3% shows up even when we don't mean for it to. Maybe some of us can honestly say that we've never consciously thought about Morgan or Craft in terms of "race." But that doesn't mean it's not a good idea for us to check ourselves to make sure we're not nevertheless guilty of having absorbed or even parroted, unconsciously, some ideas about basketball players that do have race-related elements.
|23 weeks 1 day ago||of course it is||
The thing about racial discourse in America today is, it's almost possible to mention race in any context without someone calling you a racist. It's unavoidable for the simple reason that for many people, "being aware that race exists" = racism. These people are Idealists, and having for a long time been one of them, I really wish their ideal were reality. (Growing up in Ann Arbor where the races of my friends didn't correlate to anything other than their last names made it easy to believe I was living in a post-racial America. Moving to Oakland rapidly disabused me of that notion.) But unfortunately, racism does still exist. Occasionally blatantly, but much more often in a sort of subtle setting of expectations or perceptions of exactly the type Chait discusses in these articles. If we ever want to move past racism, not just legally but actually, then we need to be able to talk openly about those situations in which none of us are trying to be racist, none of us even realize we're being racist, and yet we're falling prey to unconscious biases that are the diluted but not yet eliminated residual of our racially polarized history.
It's a catch-22: we can't overcome racism if we can't talk about racism, but we can't talk about racism without being racist. And so I'd posit that your statement "that is an incredibly racist article" is completely true, and completely beside the point. Calling it "racist" to point out that something might have a subtle racial bias doesn't prove that we live in a post-racial America. It simply suppresses the conversation, thereby preserving the not-actually-post-racial status quo.
|28 weeks 2 days ago||obviously mental||
His slump is clearly a mental blockage, and not the result of him reaching the limits of his physical abilities. He may just need to play through it, and suddenly the pieces will click.
Or, maybe it's time to call a sports psychologist.
Or, maybe we just need to get him really angry. I suspect our opponents wouldn't like him when he's angry.
|28 weeks 2 days ago||time||
It seems clear with Coach Beilein that the limiting factor isn't how many sets he can dream up, it's how much practice time he has to install them before the next game. I'm not so sure Beilein is "saving" anything for the tournament, but it may look that way just because it'll take all the practice time between now and then to add new wrinkles to the offense. Remember that this team is still very young -- Morgan and Horford are the only upperclassmen. So each time the coaches want to do something new, the players are probably seeing it for the first time.
To echo an earlier poster, this is probably also where having an experienced scout team really helps you. If the scout team already knows the play you're trying to install, they can be much more effective in helping the starters pick it up. This year, those guys are young too, so the practice time becomes even more critical. Good thing we have lots of it coming down this final stretch.
|30 weeks 5 days ago||boxing||
She's not far off. The premise of Vitale's schtick is essentially to hype college basketball in the style of a boxing promoter.
|31 weeks 1 day ago||Post-doc wages||
Actually, even as an engineer, post-doc wages are only 10k better than the PhD stipend if you stay in academia. It's a little better at a national lab, but still nowhere close to having a "real" job. On a financial and opportunity cost basis, if you want to get paid, getting a PhD is a bad idea; doubly so if you're in a field where you'll end up having to do a post-doc after.
Also, if you think about it, the fact that the position "post-doc" even exists tells you how much of a buyer's market jobs in the sciences are, even for the highly educated.
|31 weeks 2 days ago||Nice main points||
On a more macro level, it felt like in last night's game, Michigan made a very good Iowa team look pretty ordinary. It didn't look like a battle of two titans, and certainly didn't look like Iowa was a top-ten outfit. It's incredible how totally Michigan dominated the pace and flow of the game. All Hain Beilein. That's a heck of a coaching job.
Also notable: Michigan wasn't really on from three, and yet that didn't mean the offense couldn't put up points (a nice change from, say, 5 years ago when a cold-from-3 night against a good team equalled a loss). This team can score in so many ways, and has so many scorers, that they can weather the loss of Walton and an off night from LeVert and still beat a top-10 team. (Yeah, I realize Iowa may not end up ranked in the top 10 at the end of the year, but still.) Depth: we haz it.
|32 weeks 5 days ago||duplicates||
I assume the duplicate listings for vs. Purdue (3/1 and 3/2) and vs. Illinois (3/8 and 3/9) at the end of the schedule actually mean those games will be in one slot or the other, but the decision as to which hasn't been made yet?
|33 weeks 1 day ago||If p then q||
Your comment touches on the most commonly made logical fallacy: if p then q does not imply if q then p.
If you want to hire or retain the absolute best people, then you must pay them top dollar.
This does not, however, mean that the fact that you're paying people top dollar implies that they're the absolute best people.
That said, it seems that the Nussmeier hire involves paying top dollar because they believe he's a top guy. So I'm not necessarily concerned about his salary (other than in the more general ethics-of-college-football sense). Seems like they're paying him that much because they believe he's worth it, not because they think paying him that much will make him better at his job.
|33 weeks 4 days ago||Misopogon||
I nominate this issue for consideration in next week's Hokepoints.
|33 weeks 4 days ago||The Michigan Difference||
You know how childish this sounds, right? "They'd make fun of us; therefore, we should make fun of them." Congrats on ceding the high ground as the "big brother" in that relationship.
|33 weeks 4 days ago||Poise||
While we're complaining about Musburger's announcing:
Musburger spent the entire first half talking about how Auburn's defense was rattling Winston. I just didn't see it. Kid looked loose, with a smile on his face even down 18 points. Not the slightest trace of panic. Not even grim determination. Just, hey, let's go play some football. His offensive line looked shaken up, sure, and had a couple of dumb false starts as a result. But Winston? Seems like it never phased him.
Musburger's call seemed like the announcing equivalent of a sportswriter writing his column in advance, and then trying to find ways to fit the facts on the field into his pre-chosen narrative. That goes for Winston being rattled as microcosm, and the SEC being dominant as macrocosm. When you've called as many games as Musburger has, why do you need to stick to a narrative? What's so hard about calling the game as it happens in front of you?
|33 weeks 4 days ago||A timeless MGoReminder||
|37 weeks 1 day ago||So what makes more sense||
So if you're Dave Brandon, what makes more sense: heavily marketing the football and to some extent basketball teams to milk a little more cash for the swim team? Or just marketing the swim team directly? Hiring / creating the position of marketing director for the athletics department to increase publicity for the excellent things Michigan athletes are doing in non-revenue sports makes a lot of sense to me. I think part of what rankles so much is that it seems like that's not what the marketing department's job is. Instead, the AD's marketing team focuses on (seemingly unnecessarily) marketing the crap out of the football team, and squeezing every dime out of it that they can. Maybe that does make more money for the athletic department as a whole than direct marketing of soccer, volleyball, field hockey, etc. would have. Maybe the MBAs in charge have looked at trying to build enough interest in gymnastics that they could charge real money and make real revenue for tickets to gymnastics events, and decided it wasn't realistic. Maybe they're even right about that. But if they really are focused on making the revenue sports the WOW EXPERIENCEs that pay every other sport's bills, then doesn't it make sense to make sure the pep band IS at the basketball and hockey games? Isn't that part of what makes the ticket price worth paying?
|37 weeks 1 day ago||Elitists||
One could argue that what Brandon is doing is also consistent with the character of our institution. I mean, we are elitists, right? Pretty sure I've heard that someplace.
EDIT: beaten to the punch by the old guy with the hot wife.
|37 weeks 2 days ago||Tinkering on D||
This is an under-discussed facet of the past season. The tinkering on the O-line is easy to rationalize. One can argue about the individual iterations, but certainly the need to try something was justified. The late season tinkering on D, particularly when it seemed like the defense was actually playing reasonably well, is harder to understand. And it really did seem like tinkering to try to get something to work better, rather than just getting a few deserving guys a few more snaps. Anyone have any insight here? Were certain players not playing because they were actually on double-secret probation? Were there coverage breakdowns or run game weaknesses that didn't actually get exploited to the point where the fans noticed them, but that the coaches saw on film and worried about? Were the coaches just desperate to upgrade the defense from an overall "B" grade to an overall "A" to compensate the inconsistency of the offense? Anyone have any insights here?
|37 weeks 4 days ago||Emerald Bowl||
I'll insert here my yearly plug for referring to the Fight Hunger/San Francisco bowl as the Emerald Bowl (as it was from 2004-2009). This fits in the same category as "Outback" in that it's ultimately a corporate sponsorship (Emerald Nuts, owned by then-sponsor Diamond of California), but at least it's one that evokes an image (San Francisco as the Emerald City, an image I rather like) as much as an oversalted food.
The Bay Bowl would of course also be acceptable, both for accuracy and for sheer alliterative appeal.