Hello I Am Hung Over Let's Yell About US Soccer

Hello I Am Hung Over Let's Yell About US Soccer

Submitted by Brian on October 11th, 2017 at 12:17 PM

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DESOLATION

Hungover? Whatever. Hello, folks. Instead of doing my job last night I had some alcohol and devised a series of mostly-humane traps that can be used against Sunil Gulati and everyone else associated with US Soccer. I plan on 3-D printing these traps and leaving them wherever incompetent executives gather: airline lounges, Sur La Table, the White House, Toys R Us, Starbucks, that kind of thing.

If you will permit me a moment: US soccer is the only sporting thing outside of Michigan I care about these days and it's right up there. Many of my friends I know because of it. A World Cup every four years is a cornerstone of the sporting experience for me, and now it's gone. I expect someone will yell at me for not having an MSU UFR today, and I would like to pre-emptively tell this person to go to hell. Go to hell, jerk. Your silver lining is that I won't be writing about soccer for a month next summer. Instead I will be telling myself that strong men also cry.

Anyway. Defeat has a thousand mothers and everyone is flogging their pet theory. I accept all persons as targets of blame. Yes, Arena. Yes, Klinsmann. Yes, Gulati. Gulati, finally and most of all.

Have we stopped to ask why president of US Soccer, an enterprise that has a nine-digit pile of cash it's sitting on, is a side hustle for an economics professor who looks like a melted pez dispenser?

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Or why that guy hasn't been challenged in the last two elections? The most recent came well after it was clear Klinsmann was a bit of a dunce, and nobody even stepped up to the plate. Like all national federations, US Soccer is insulated from consequences and mostly set up to gather cash and dispense it to Chuck Blazer's cats.

Any self-respecting melted pez dispenser would have a wakizashi in his chest this morning, but this guy is talking about "two inches" like not even making the playoff over ten games in a group featuring Honduras, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Panama was a matter of some rotten luck.

It's not. Obviously. In addition to failing to make the World Cup, Gulati's ham-handed management has seen US soccer sued by its own players. Stadium selection has been focused exclusively on cash, with many many matches played on substandard turf. The women refused to play one match in Hawaii because it was so dangerous. The US has missed three of the last four Olympics, and hired a very special boy in Klinsmann. That dumbass left Landon Donovan, the all-time USA GOAT, off a World Cup roster in the same year he was MLS MVP in favor of a kid who can't get on the field in the Bundesliga 2 and an insurance salesman named Brad.

Klinsmann got dominated in three out of four matches, got out of the group because Portugal blew it, was saved the embarrassment of a 10-0 game against Belgium by Tim Howard, and kept his damn job. The US got outshot 15-6 by Haiti in a Gold Cup in which they got badly outplayed by everyone except Cuba, and Klinsmann kept his damn job. Only after Klinsmann had started the US down the path to destruction did Gulati pull the trigger on his very special boy. Klinsmann remains unemployed. It is unlikely he will ever manage another soccer team.

On its face replacing him with Arena was fine, but you can't make a soccer team or an offensive line in one year, and then Arena made a stunningly insane tactical decision to play the same 11 last night. That may be the only thing Gulati can't be blamed for. Finally, a thing Gulati didn't do wrong.

Unfortunately Gulati is accountable to almost nobody, as is usual. The only thing that will get him out is a decrease in the bottom line, and so I beg anyone inclined to go to a US game or buy merch to not do so until a total housecleaning takes place.

I guess now I get to go finish reviewing the MSU game. This week is fun!

Summer 2015 Survey Results

Summer 2015 Survey Results

Submitted by Seth on August 24th, 2015 at 10:19 AM

We had a survey, 3,556 people responded to it. We learned some things about them:

1. They only get to a few games

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The average was two a year but the split is more like 26% go to no games, 36% get to one, and 38% get to more than one.

2. Most don't have season tickets

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Four in five (79%) responders don't. Also, when these were run against the previous question season, ticket holders averaged 5.05 games a year, while non-season ticket holders went to 1.11 per year. Season ticket holders were then asked if they would have renewed if Michigan had kept Hoke. Most (68 percent) would but even 32 percent "no" is ominous:

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3. There's a clear preference for ADs

Rating Brandon %RS Hackett %RS
1 (bad) 1488 42% 17 0.5%
2 (poor) 1654 47% 0 0%
3 (meh) 322 9% 28 1%
4 (okay) 33 1% 426 12%
5 (good) 19 0.5% 3040 87%
[no response] 40 - 45 -
Avg. 1.70 - 4.84 -

On overwhelming majority (almost 90%) of respondents gave Brandon a 1 or a 2. Conversely, Hackett cleaned up; among Michigan fans just 17 people who are impossible to please out of 3400 is some kind of magic. Brian demanded I combine these in a bar graph.

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Ace: "That is beautiful."

Brian: "See? Bar graphs!"

4. Harbaugh?

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Harbaugh has some catching up to do on his boss, at a still really positive approval rating of 4.27 out of 5. Then again Hackett has already reeled in a 5-star while I guess Harbaugh has yet to do so.

5. As for his predecessor

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Yes.

6. They'll pay more for better opponents, but not too much.

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What they have now is about what the market wants to bear.

7. What they want to wear

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Either the readership didn't understand that Underground Printing is our t-shirt guys and this would essentially mean MGoBlog gets to design all the uniforms, or they understood too well. Anyway UGP barely beat Under Armour, probably because they're the only company other than Nike that spells their name right.

8. Who they'd like to play

You're going to have to click this one I think:

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Notre Dame is the obvious one, and the next-most popular was Harbaugh taking a shot at his old team. Stanford makes a lot of sense in fan type, location worth visiting, old history, and a team we haven't seen much of. LSU would be great too though it probably will be less fun (and less easy) once Les and Cam are out of there. The Pac and SEC were easily the most desirable conferences. A breakdown:

Conference Votes
SEC 3587
Pac 12 3139
ACC (no ND) 1312
Notre Dame 1122
Big XII 452

The games already scheduled weren't included, otherwise I'm sure the interest in Texas and Oklahoma would shoot the Big XII back up to at least ACC levels, while Washington and Colorado could put the Pac 12 on equal footing with the SEC.

Photos From The Fire Dave Brandon Rally

Photos From The Fire Dave Brandon Rally

Submitted by Ace on September 30th, 2014 at 8:16 PM

What started with a message board post became a law student wearing an Ohio State sweatshirt in protest:


This and all following photos: Ace Anbender/MGoBlog

While at first it appeared the media members would outnumber the protestors, that changed in a hurry, with the assembled crowd alternating chants of "Fire Brandon," "We Want Harbaugh," and "Down With Dave."

A little while in, a small group chanted "Schlissel's House!" Lo and behold, a few minutes later, the protest had moved to the university president's front lawn:


“I’m proud of our history. I’m not proud of Dave Brandon being a part of that history.”

The guy with the megaphone—I didn't catch who he was, but since he was interviewed by several media outlets, I'm sure it'll get out there—spoke for a while about his pride in the University's athletic history, his support of the students and athletes, and the failure of Dave Brandon to protect either. The rally ended with a mocking "Dave Sucks" chant and a rendition of The Victors. A certain blogger may or may not have been interviewed on live television.

The full set of photos from the rally is embedded below. I'd estimate the turnout ended up at somewhere around 400-500 people—not bad for something that started just hours earlier on a message board...

Technically Truthful Is The Worst Kind Of Truthful

Technically Truthful Is The Worst Kind Of Truthful

Submitted by Brian on September 30th, 2014 at 10:37 AM

hokequote

by Seth

Over the past three days, Michigan's addressed the Shane Morris incident in three different ways:

1) Two-paragraph statement with boilerplate language about student health that claims Morris was removed from the game because of a leg injury and doesn't even mention the possibility of a concussion.

2) Testy Hoke press conference in which Hoke says Morris would have practiced Sunday if not for a high ankle sprain, says there is a statement from medical staff forthcoming, says he hasn't talked to Brandon since Saturday.

3) Medical staff release becomes Brandon statement released at 1:30 AM in which it is admitted that Morris had a mild concussion BUT BUT BUT all this other stuff.

I'm not particularly interested in arguing about whether Brady Hoke is a great dude who's too incompetent to be Michigan's coach or a careless rub-some-dirt-on-it dinosaur who's too incompetent to be Michigan's coach. Either way his lifespan in our lives is measured in weeks, with no pardon coming.

You say he's a great dude, fine. Michigan's still been blown out by every Power 5 team they've played in year four. I'll agree with you that he's a great dude as long as he's a great dude with another job.

The real issue is Dave Brandon. Michigan is caught in a web of contradictions that the Rosenbergs of the world will contort themselves through to say that Michigan technically didn't lie to the world about player safety, and fine! I'm not even going to comb this pile to find the parts that directly contradict other parts. Sure, Dave Brandon is… a great… dude. Let's even stipulate that.

He just evaporated for 52 hours, left his coach out to dry with information that was incorrect, contradicted him on half the stuff he said after most of the western world had gone to bed, and helped spin Michigan Can't Protect Its Players from

  • a one-day story in which Michigan acts like adults about a bad situation and addresses the failures that culminated in Morris putting his helmet back on to
  • a three-days-and-counting story that makes Michigan look like a mendacious clownshow.

The Brand has been tarnished by Dave Brandon's incompetence, by his instinct to obfuscate and cover his ass. The #1 play of this athletic department is to not quite lie to your face and ask "are you calling me a liar?"

I am. And you need to GTFO.