MGoProfile: Volume 7

MGoProfile: Volume 7

Submitted by Six Zero on June 10th, 2010 at 7:58 AM

Hello everyone, Six Zero here with a new installment of: 

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SIX QUESTIONS WITH MAGNUS

Inspired by the official site’s “Two Minute Drill” series and TomVH’s famous Q&A segments with potential recruits, this weekly feature highlights some of the more famous personalities here at MGoBlog.  Without pulling back the infamous veil of blog anonymity, we’ll get to know some of your favorite posters better and possibly shed some light on their definition of why it’s so darn Great, To Be, A Michigan Wolverine.

Before we begin today, I'd like to thank Tim for the Diarist of the Month recognition.  But really, all the thanks should go the featured members, not me-- they're
the ones that honestly make these so fun to read.  (No homo.)

 PREVIOUS FEATURES:
TomVH        formerly anonymous       Misopogon
Shredder      Mathlete      Jamiemac

+1 to Oregon Alum for correctly predicting this week’s entry.  Yes, of course it’s about time we featured the one and only Magnus.   Treasured by many, hated by a select few, respected by all… Magnus plays a very specific role in the hallowed halls of MGoBlog—and to my surprise it wasn’t easy to put a finger on exactly
what that role is.  And that seemed like the perfect place to
start in this exclusive MGoProfile interview:


1.     It’s strange… I couldn’t imagine an MGoBlog without your two cents, and yet, unlike Mathlete or Jamiemac, it’s hard for me to nail down your specialty.  So, in your own words, what role does Magnus play at MGoBlog?
     Well, it all depends on perspective.  From my perspective, I'm a fact-checking, football-loving, generally level-headed fan who spends too much time on the internet.  To many readers, I'm a pot-stirring Devil's advocate.  I'm sure the true answer lies somewhere between those two extremes.  Regardless, I like to think that I have an eye for football talent and schemes, along with an ability to relate those observations in terms that can be easily understood by experienced and novice fans alike.  I'm also funny on occasion, but that usually only happens late at night when I'm lonely, trying to woo female Brian Posehn doppelgangers on eHarmony.

(Note:  I simply cannot express how disappointed and confused I became after actually googling ‘Brian Posehn,’ but I suppose that’s another story).  How did you discover MGoBlog?  And, given someone who patrols these waters, so to speak, what do you like best and/or least about our community?
     I discovered MGoBlog during the 2006 football season.  I had been writing blog posts about Michigan football on MySpace, but none of my friends cared because most of them were MSU fans.  After I wrote a post about how deep Michigan's backfield was behind Mike Hart, none of my friends commented.  Actually, I think one of my female friends commented and said, "I like reading your blogs, but when I see that they're about football, I stop reading."  So I decided I needed to find some more like-minded individuals.  The thing I like best about MGoBlog is the variety of contributors.  We have bloggers, coaches, Mathletes, Facebook stalkers.  I think there's even a girl or two.  If someone has a question, the answer is only a forum post away.  Least liked is the meltdowns.  I didn't really "arrive" on MGoBlog until halftime of the 2007 Michigan-Northwestern game.  Haloscan was going nuts when Michigan was down 16-7 at intermission, and I called everyone "pussies" for the ways they were acting - renouncing Michigan fandom, calling for Lloyd Carr's head, etc.  The game wasn't even close to being over, but I'm pretty sure I was threatened with death.  Meanwhile, Michigan scored 21 unanswered points in the second half and won the game, 28-16.


2.      Ah yes, the vortex of negativity that is the LiveBlog.  From what I’ve seen, you haven’t posted your own diaries since somewhere around the Shavodrick Defection.  Certainly this has much to do with the creation of touchthebanner.blogspot.  Tell us about the formation of the blog, and how it stands out from other blogs about Michigan football.
     My blog posts on MGoBlog were met with some ill will.  People reacted negatively to my "Pink Slips" series, which tried to identify weak links on offense and defense.  They thought I was being too negative about players, but I was also saying, "Hey, I think this backup might be pretty good."  Then Shavodrick Beaver, a 2008 quarterback who was supposed to enroll early, spurned U of M for Tulsa at the eleventh hour.  The board went crazy, and I responded by essentially saying, "Let's all calm down.  Forcier is better, and we still have until February to pick up another QB in this class, anyway."  People weren't too happy with my mindset.  Of course, the guy who replaced Beaver was Denard Robinson, who's arguably the team's most exciting player going into 2010.  After that I started posting at Touch the Banner more often.  I'm no computer whiz, but I figured I'd show off my Neanderthal programming skills and mediocre football knowledge over there.  That way MGoBloggers wouldn't have to read my opinions unless they found them worthy of visiting another site.  It gives me the freedom to say what I want, and I try to make it different by offering analysis on current and potential Wolverines.  I also created an offer board that attempts to track every Michigan scholarship offer, which I hadn't seen elsewhere.  Brian does a great job with his UFRs, which I devour, but I try to offer a different perspective.  It's also a chance for me to make predictions - about game outcomes, player development, etc. - and check later to see if I was right.

Sounds like coachspeak.  You’re a coach, correct?  Tell us—why football?  What makes football the king of the jungle?
     Yes, I've been coaching football for several years now.  Football is the quintessential test of overall athleticism.  Speed, leaping ability, hand-eye coordination, strength, courage, spatial intelligence, endurance.  And on any given play, you might get the chance to demolish someone and make him forget his birthday.  It's also a test of leadership.  I've been on and coached some teams with all kinds of talent but poor leadership, and the results have been less than satisfactory.  I learn way more about a kid by how he practices, how he treats his teammates, how he responds to coaching, and how he reacts to pressure than seeing him in class every day.
 

3.      Many Bothan spies died to give us the knowledge that our own Magnus, so named for his resemblance to a fearsome Viking warrior, was indeed once a member of the Glee Club.  Tell us about this experience and how it relates to your passion for Meeshigan football.
     I've always taken pride in trying to be a well rounded individual.  When I was in high school, we had quarterbacks, linebackers, and linemen in choir.  I was never embarrassed to be a singer.  And I'm an ugly guy, but any fella in a tuxedo looks just a little less repulsive.  So when my high school choir director found out I was going to U of M, he recommended that I join the Men's Glee Club.  Much like MGoBoard, there were guys with all kinds of interests who had a singular passion.  One had been a walk-on football player.  Another works for the Obama administration.  Another joined the Armed Forces.  And on football Saturday mornings, 20 to 30 of us would walk around to tailgate parties, sing Michigan songs, and try to sell our CDs.  All those songs you hear the marching band play on Saturdays?  Glee Clubbers might be the only people in the stadium who actually know all the words . . . and are dorky enough to sing them.

Hey, I have a UM Glee Club CD that gets played often during the months of September and November (I’m a big fan of “Go Blue, Let’s Go Blue!”), and there's nothing like rockin' out with that ol' thing on a Friday morning to get you good and nuts about the next day's game.  And you can all quote me on that.
 

4.  So when you’re not reciting the words to the second verse of “Varsity,” what  do you like to do for fun on your own time?
     Like I said above, I pride myself on at least attempting to be a well rounded individual.  I work out six days a week when it's not football season, and I'm beginning the process to become a personal trainer.  My girlfriend and I hike the nearby mountain trails.  I sing in a choir, and I just started singing in a rock cover band - Tom Petty, White Stripes, Oasis, Radiohead, the Toadies, etc.  I go to a lot of concerts and read music magazines like Magnet and Paste.  The sound quality of an mp3 is atrocious, so I refuse to go digital; I have 600+ CDs and counting.  One of my goals for this summer is to read a book a week.  I tend toward fiction like Chuck Palahniuk and Bret Easton Ellis, but I also have a fascination with Mafia memoirs and instructional football literature.  The only thing I won't try at least once is jumping from something high in the air.  If God had intended for us to fly, he would have made the ground softer.

Sweet—you had me at Radiohead.  Describe the perfect meal. 
     Well, my mother is Italian, which means she knows how to cook.  The meal would start with a recipe for chili that she commandeered from a local Coney Island.  It's not soup so much as it's spicy, liquid meatloaf.  That would be followed by her lasagna and meatballs.  The dessert would be my grandfather's homemade cannoli with chocolate chips in the cream, along with my grandmother's two-layer banana cake with cream cheese icing.
 

5.     Great, now I'm literally drooling all over my 2007 Student Shirt here.  Can you explain why you are a Michigan fan?
     An elementary school friend asked if I wanted to go with his family to a game one Saturday, and I took him up on it.  I still have the ticket stub.  On November 4, 1989, Michigan crushed Purdue, 42-27.  The only three guys I remember from that game are Leroy Hoard, Tony Boles, and Erick Anderson.  I remember thinking, "My entire town could fit in this stadium."  Actually, my entire hometown could have fit in Michigan Stadium four times over, but I don't think I knew my times tables at that point.  So I was hooked.  Some of my best childhood memories are from my entire family sitting down on New Year's Day to watch the Rose Bowl or the Orange Bowl or the Outback Bowl and watching Michigan play.  It meant so much to me, my mom even looked up from her Ladies Home Journal two or three times a half.  She just liked to see the rest of us happy when Michigan won.
 

6.      Finally, the staple last question-- who's your all-time favorite Wolverine?
     This is probably a cliche, but Tom Brady.  He was just so cool under pressure, like against Alabama in the Orange Bowl.  Brady threw the ball 46 times in that game, and he completed 34 of them, with four TDs, to win in overtime.  That game was unbelievable.  And from my perspective, it helps that he staved off Drew Henson for the QB job.  I played against Henson when he was a Brighton Bulldog, and he beat us late in the game.  I still hold a grudge against him for that.  You too, Dave Pearson.

Drew Henson… it took me a long time to forgive him for skipping town for the Bronx bombers. Any specific stories about playing against Henson, Pearson, or any other Wolverines??
     In the lead-up to our playoff game against Henson, there was literally a preview headline that referred to him as "God."  On Brighton's first series, he hit a wide receiver named Steve Schaft on a slant route that went about 65 or 70 yards for a TD.  Henson didn't do a whole lot for most of the rest of the game.  They kept running a fullback dive out of the shotgun and we were stuffing it all day.  The story goes that he drew the following play up on the sideline during a timeout: Near the goal line late in the game, they ran another fullback dive, but Henson pulled the ball out and ran around right end for a TD.  I doubt that play wasn't already in the playbook, but that's how the legend goes.  Dave Pearson didn't do anything special except hit me really hard.  He was large.


 
Magnus.

Given that the guy’s recently cracked the 24,000+ MGoPoints barrier, it goes without saying that he does his fair share of posting and then some.  And, really, I think that’s where Magnus does his best work—walking a fine line between humor and documented fact, displaying a well-above-average understanding of the game, questioning validity when needed, and holding all of us to a reasonable standard of intelligence, credibility, and yes, even grammar.  He’s a stamp of authenticity, and a voice that stands out in the crowd.  He’s the guy three rows behind you who yells out everything that you’re thinking during the game.  He’s the gray-haired celebrity judge on Iron Chef America who isn’t necessarily liked by everyone, but is nonetheless respected because he knows his business.  He’s freakin’ Magnus, and around here
we all understand what that is.

And yet, for a guy who deals in such high volume, it’s surprising how little we know about him.  I enjoyed gaining some new perspective on the guy behind the wisecracks and the insight, and realizing that there’s much more iceberg below the water that we just can’t see.   I guess that could be said about all of us, and that’s what
these Profiles are all about, Charlie Brown.

I’ll see you all next week for another edition of MGoProfile!

MGoProfile: Volume 6

MGoProfile: Volume 6

Submitted by Six Zero on June 3rd, 2010 at 5:27 AM

Hello everyone, Six Zero here with another installment of: 

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SIX QUESTIONS WITH JAMIEMAC

Inspired by the official site’s “Two Minute Drill” series and TomVH’s famous Q&A segments with potential recruits, this weekly feature highlights some of the more famous personalities here at MGoBlog.  Without pulling back the infamous veil of blog anonymity, we’ll get to know some of your favorite posters better and possibly shed some light on their definition of why it’s so darn Great, To Be, A Michigan Wolverine.

 PREVIOUS FEATURES:
TomVH        formerly anonymous       Misopogon       Shredder      Mathlete

Football.  America’s true pastime.  What’s the only way to make it more fun??
Well, wager money on the outcome, of course.   On MGoBlog, we seem to have a resident expert for everything, and when it comes to the odds, naturally we think of Jamiemac.  I was very prepared to announce that we’d be canceling this week’s profile in light of Monday’s holiday, but instead Jamiemac came through at the end with a super quick turnaround on his end to get it all in on schedule.  I’m very pleased to introduce the one and only Jamiemac in this exclusive MGoProfile interview:


1.     Jamiemac.  The closest thing we have to a Vegas oddsmaking authority.  So how did you discover MGoBlog? 
 
     Wait, there was a world without MGoBlog? I barely remember those days. I discovered the blog sometime in the offseason between the 2005 and 2006 seasons. I was google searching for Michigan stats and came across an entry with the famous phrase: Year Of Infinite Pain. Before I knew it I was reading through these uber intensive replays of the game called UFRs from the 2005 season and a regular reader was born. I didn’t become a commentator until the debacles to begin to the 2007 campaign. I was as frustrated as everyone else, but I felt the board needed a voice of reason, so I stepped in and have been pushing back against needless, bitter, ignorant and partisan fan angst ever since. Obviously, I have taken advantage of the diary section and have even started my own blog, www.justcoverblog.com.  By accident, I have become a college sports writer thanks in large part to encouragement from Brian, my comrades at the Wolverine Liberation Army and the response from the MGoCommunity to my early diaries on this site. I really owe this blog a lot. Not only has it brought me closer to the program and school, but its rekindled my long lost desire to write about sports, allowed me to take part in the podcasts and HTTV and, most importantly, I've met a lot of new friends. No question, some tremendous people who I look forward to seeing on more than a few Saturdays this fall. Between my participation at MGo and WLA, my life has been changed for the better. Who knew blogs could do that?

 

2.      When I think of your posts, two things immediately come to mind—an almost instant update on the lines for any given game, and intelligent, well-explained picks throughout the season.  Discuss your background in the odds (and ends) of football. 
 
     Thank you for the kind words. With everything I write, I always start with the aim to not just inform readers, but tell them a few things they wont get anywhere else.  As for my experience with the odds, the  only professional experience I have within the sports gambling community was the one year I spent working for a street bookie in Chicago. I was in between fulltime jobs. The bookie is a friend of mine, knew I had time on my hands and could use some work, so he asked if I wanted to help him out. He had just opened up his own bar and worried he could not run his other business by himself  anymore.  I was a grunt in the operation, basically taking bets over the phone, clearing voice mails on our machines as the day went on and basically keeping tabs on everyone's accounts.
      I had been gambling on sports for several years prior already, so it was fascinating to get this perspective. I learned a ton about the moods and shifting opinions of the betting public and just how often said public was wrong. I guess thats why there arent many cash poor bookies in the world. I was stunned at how many people put two grand--our house limit--on games. That's intense.  I got a kick out of walking into the bar, looking around and secretly knowing what was on everyone's card. I was surprised by how many people lied about their picks. You know, guys bragging during the day that they went 4-0 in the day games when I knew full well they went 1-3. It took most of the season before my friends who went through this guy for bets realized what I was up to.
      And, it provided me with one of the more surreal moments as a fan ever on New Year's Day, 2005. We had a tradition where we gathered in a penthouse suite at the Hotel Allegra to eat, drink and watch the bowl games. We gambled on the games, but also had some blackjack, poker and craps being played. Strippers were involved. Several laws got broken each time. Anyway, that year, as the fourth quarter of the Texas/Michigan Rose Bowl ticked away,  I had to duck into one of the bedrooms to clear some voice mails and take some action on the upcoming Fiesta Bowl between Utah and Pitt.  I had two strippers in the room with me who werent on the clock anymore, so I rolled us a joint that we smoked while taking calls and watching the end of the game. It was all good. Even when Texas won on a field goal. After all, the whole city of Chicago had the Horns -7, so we came out way ahead thanks to the gutty Wolverines. And, when I mentioned my favorite team lost a heartbreaker, the ladies in room did everything legally and not-so-legally in their power to improve my mood. It's not Babby Schemy falling asleep on Bo's chest to ease his mind after the 1969 loss to MSU, but its pretty gosh darm close. Thank God for Dusty Mangum. That red letter day in my life would not have been possible without him.

 

3.     So you admit to being a gambling man...  So then, what’s your secret?  Any leads you want to share with us going into next season? 
 
     Of course, I'll admit to being a gambling man. I just admitted to running numbers, smoking pot and hanging out with hookers. So, yeah, I am also a gambling man. Why not?  I've always been fascinated by pointspreads and the challenge of picking games. While my first season as a regular gambler was 1999, I can trace my first bet all the way back to the 1981 divisional playoff game between Cleveland and Oakland. I had the Raiders in a straight up $1 bet with my uncle, a lifelong Brown fan. Brian Sipe tossed a pick in the end zone in the waning seconds, and I promptly walked down the street where he was watching the game with my grandparents and demanded my dollar. From there, its history.
      I dont have any secrets to any success, but all you really need to do is bookmark the justcoverblog and make it a daily read during football and basketball seasons, AMIRITE!?!?! Last year, the JCB was 158-125 ATS in college football games. Had you put $100 for each suggested unit of play, you would have cleared over $2,200 bucks in the 2009-10 CFB season. I havent tallied up the college hoops record, but it was profitable. And, I've done four pick series within the MGoDiary section and all four made money. So, read the JCB. We're trying to help people over there. Even if you're not into gambling, I think there will be plenty of good content at the JCB this summer as we preview the season, so bookmark it anyway. I'll still be very active here at MGo. I have tons of diary ideas to get us through the next three months. I'll have plenty of tips for the upcoming season as well. They will be shared very publically both here and at the JCB.
      Nothing beats making and winning with your own picks, however. To that end, my basic advice is that it’s all about knowledge and moderation. Sometimes I have too much of the former and can’t really control the latter. Thats when 3-8 records happen. Don’t overdo it. Limit your plays. There is always next week. You have a better chance at taking money from the book by betting more money on a small amount of games, then throwing  cash down on 13-14 games a weekend. It’s hard enough winning on a couple of games, let alone the 7 or 8 games you'll need to cover to win cash when betting more than a dozen games at a time. Also, if you're going to wager on sports, you must do your homework and know these teams inside and out. There are over 120 team in the FBS and the profitable CFB gambler can converse on every team, even the depths of the Sun Belt and the MAC.  Buy Phil Steele's magazine, for example, and wear out the pages devoted to those leagues. I'm successful on an annual basis because I do well in midweek games, involving mostly those teams, and I kill the bowl season, especially the ones with mid-majors. I wouldn’t be half as successful in those ventures if I weren’t obsessively following the whole nation. This dynamic is even stronger in college hoops where knowing leagues like the Colonial, Horizon and Missouri Valley from top to bottom actually give the bettor an intellectual advantage over the book. They don’t know those leagues, but you can with a little effort and study and take it to the bank all winter long.
      The other thing worth mentioning, especially in college football, is know your history. I understand the academic mantra of past performance isnt indicative of future results. But, how do you explain the fact the Michigan never covers as chalk in its first road game, or that MSU is a great bet to lose after a loss, or that the underdog in series like Michigan/Notre Dame, Clemson/Georgia Tech and South Carolina/Georgia covers almost every year or Boise beating the number  80 percent of the time in home games or why teams coming off a big upset loss are great bets as road underdogs in the next start.  I mean, I can go on and on. History matters in college football. Programs have identities. Programs have historic bugaboos. Programs have roles they excell at and roles where they've demonstrated consistent failure. Dont lose sight of history when it comes to capping college football. I dont think it means anything in pro football, but the collegiate game is different. I would advise going with your gut,  intsincts and however it is you've handicapped a game, but putting yourself on the wrong end of historic trends will cost you over time.

 

4.      Wow—I was just looking for a ‘take Vandy over Arkansas’ or something to that effect, but thanks for the advice.  Okay then, enough about the odds—let’s learn a bit about what else you do.  Without divulging too much information, can you describe what sort of field you’re involved in? 
 
    My professional background is in journalism. I worked in the field for a decade, covering just about everything from high school sports, county and city government and education. I worked in Northern Michigan covering beats in Emmet and Charlevoix counties for several different weeklies in the area before relocating to Chicago where I was a managing editor for the Wednesday Journal in Oak Park. We had several different papers covering the various communities, and I ran the real estate section for the home paper in Oak Park, but was in charge, front page to back page, of putting together our weekly that covered Riverside, Brookfield and North Riverside. I never worked harder in my life. Eventually, I burned out,  and we parted ways. I dont have the energy or desire to go back into that field again. After my year with the Book, I moved back to my hometown of  Toledo, where I was born and raised. As for current vocation, I now do various sales, purchasing and customer service chores for the family firm. We're a rubber manufacturing business. My father started it in 1979,  and we're still going strong. It's really been rewarding being able to contribute. And, frankly, its the perfect job as far as allowing time to blog at the office during down parts of the day. And, unlike my previous jobs, it doesnt involve long hours into the night or anything on the weekend. Being able to get to Ann Arbor in a half hour is also a major plus. If anyone needs Viton rubber or Viton caulk, give me a ring. I'll float you a Maize and Blue discount.

Hey, who doesn’t need more Viton caulk?  So when you’re not rocking the family biz, what do you like to do for fun on your own time? 
 
     Away from work, I obviously like to write. I've pretty much tried to be a daily blogger ever since I started the Bubble News diaries in the winter of 2009. I've taken the last couple months off just to recharge and, i dont know, maybe read a book or two. I love writing about sports in this venue, and  it's become my free time. But, I do play a lot, so dont worry. I spend a lot of time, during all four seasons, in various outposts of northern Michigan, either in the Traverse City area or on Burt Lake, which is just east of Petoskey/Harbor Springs. I took up running several years back, so I try to hit the trails a few times a week, although nagging injuries have held me back until recently. My newest running partner is a puppy Rotweiller my girlffriend got back in the fall. I tried to push for either Shoelace or Martavious, but I couldnt pull it off. Her name is Bella, but Shoelace is her approved nickname. It's worthy as she is fast as hell. Doggie dilithium. I play in a cut throat, no holds barred Whirley Ball tournament in Chicago every February. We've done this now for eight years and this year my team won. I say this because I know there are plenty of MGoLurkers in the Whirley crowd and its various offshoots. Tough break guys, there is always next year. I don’t know what else to say. I like to read, listen to music, enjoy the Monday night CBS lineup, inexplicably don’t want Friday Night Lights to ever end and just try to laugh and have fun as often as possible. We're not here to be drones. 

No, my friend, we are not.  Speaking of free time, describe the perfect meal. 
 
    My perfect meal? Anything that foodt.tumblr.com is cooking. Not to mention the lunch I eventually will be buying Other Chris because OC's alma mater Virginia pantsed mine--Indiana, for those who don’t know yet--in football last year. Sometime soon we'll meet up in Ann Arbor, exchange skin suits and eat some grub on the JCB''s dime. Outside of that, how about dueling main courses of my grandmother's fried chicken and meatballs. Seems like a weird combination, but that’s what she used to make for our tailgates in Ann Arbor. Man, it was fantastic and downright gourmet. I went to my first Michigan games sitting on my grandparents lap. I grew up down the street from them and, frankly, the obsessive sports fan that I've become can be traced right back to their house. For the first dozen years of my football fandom, fried chicken and meatballs was our tailgate menu. And, I can still taste it every gameday in Ann Arbor when the tailgate aroma is just right.

 

5.     We can all see where this will go, but can you explain why you are a Michigan fan?
 
     I was born a Michigan fan. I dont know any other way. I attended my first game as a seven-year-old in 1979. Wangler to Carter was the second game I ever attended. How can you not be hooked after that? I heard my first cries of UNACCEPTABLE during the 1980 Purdue game when the drunk behind me kept screaming we need to play better than this to beat the Bucks. Crap, man, they shutout Mark Hermann, perhaps the best QB in the nation that year, and the 16th ranked Boilers, stop bitching already, will ya!?!?!  Saw some drunk OSU chick strip on top of an camper in 1983 because she lost a bet when her Buckeyes lost 24-21 to the Wolverines that day. As a young kid, I used to wear this heavy, roomy Army coat to games so my grandfather, father and uncle could stuff as many beer cans as possible within its confines because, well, nobody searches an 11-year-old. I have been blessed with season tickets my whole life. We broke some new ground this past season when my brother bought and fixed up an RV, which made its maiden voyage for us at the Ohio State game. We had a blast and it was one of my favorite days of 2009, the loss to the Bucks notwithstanding. And therein lies a message I'd like to get out. It didnt matter if Michigan was 11-0 or 5-6 heading into that game. It never matters what their record is. It just matters that they're playing. I've seen just about everything possible, good and bad, happen to our club while perched up in Section 14. I was sitting in the exact same seat for Forcier to Matthews as I was for Wangler to Carter. That's a pretty powerful connection. While I have other allegiances on the side, my heart  and soul will always be Maize and Blue. The whole school and community of Ann Arbor hold a special place in my heart.

 

6.  Finally, the staple last question-- who's your all-time favorite Wolverine?
      M
y favorite Wolverines ever are the current crop. The ones busting their asses of 24/7, countable and not countable hours, in order to entertain and make us happy next season. They deserve our respect and our cheers even if we dont like the final result just yet.  It breaks my heart knowing the time they're devoting to the cause without getting winning results .I literally want to break out the collection tools on people who demean this team efforts and heart merely for not winning up to their standards. I have faith their hard work will pay off.  Beyond that, it has to be Anthony Carter. The #1 jersey tradition begins and ends with him.  It's hard to put AC's impact on the program in perspective in this space.The modern era of Michigan football begins with him.  He was my first ever football hero as a young child. He's still my favorite single player ever to play for Michigan. And, he's also my favorite all time Michigan Panther.

 Obligatory +1 for the USFL reference, of course.  One last question—given your unique outlook on the sport, give it to us straight.  How do you see next season shaking out?
 
     Michigan will begin to look good again this year. They began 4-1 last year, they will do that this year. They had a winning record heading into November a year ago, they will do that this year. Unlike last year, they'll win games in November and even score a couple road wins throughout the year. One of Phil Steele's power ratings call for Michigan to be 11-0 headed into the OSU game. Can you roll those ratings up into a joint? If so, I'd like some of that buzz. Realistically, I am thinking we go 8-4 overall, 5-3 in league play. We werent that bad last year, but youth and lack of depth killed us during the second half of the year. Both those issues have been fixed enough to expect more success down the back strech. I'll go with wins over UConn, UMass, BGSU, at IU, MSU, Illinois, at Purdue and Wisconsin and losses at Notre Dame, Iowa, at PSU and at OSU. Those are non binding. I reserve the right to up this to 12-0 at any time a summer buzz on Rum and Cokes warrants. But, seriously, we're going to have a fun season. And, we're going to start winning Big 10 games again in bulk. The program is moving in the right direction. We'll be live blogging a Michigan game on New Year's Day. Book it!


 Jamiemac clearly knows his business, and quite frankly I was amazed at how
up front and open he was about his craft—I was expecting more deflection and far
less information, like asking David Copperfield how he made the Statue of Liberty disappear.  Instead he shared his knowledge, as well as some really colorful stories about his grandmother and strippers (not in that order, of course).  All in all, Jamie delivered the goods and illustrated why he does what he does so well.  With that being said, I’m wondering what the over/under is on who I’ll be interviewing next week!!  And yes, I’m sure we’ll get a response later today from the Jamiemac himself.

 Until then, I’ll see you guys next week for another edition of MGoProfile!

MGoProfile: Volume 3

MGoProfile: Volume 3

Submitted by Six Zero on May 13th, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Hello everyone, Six Zero here with the latest installment of: 

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SIX QUESTIONS WITH MISOPOGON

Inspired by the official site’s “Two Minute Drill” series and TomVH’s famous Q&A segments with potential recruits, this new weekly feature highlights some of the more famous personalities here at MGoBlog.  Without pulling back the infamous veil of blog anonymity, we’ll get to know some of your favorite posters better and possibly shed some light on their definition of why it’s so darn Great, To Be, A Michigan Wolverine.

After previous features on TomVH and formerly anonymous, it was high time
we caught up with one of the most celebrated posters of the MGoCommunity.
And if you don’t believe me, just ask ESPN's Adam Rittenberg.  That’s right,
it was my pleasure to sit down this week with Misopogon.

 
WARNING:  I’ll admit, it’s not a brief interview-- but if that comes as a surprise
to you, then you mustn’t be that familiar with Misopogon’s work.  And if you are,
you won’t care, because he’s a pretty interesting guy and a hell of a writer:


1. Semi-Annual MGoAwards Post of the Year Winner.  Bumped to the front page too many times to recall.  And yes, recently referenced by the Worldwide Leader In Sports.  Your MGoBlog contributions are practically unparalleled.  How did you discover the blog in the first place?
          First of all I want to thank NBC and the American People...oh, we're not on TV. Sweet. [de-pants].
          I discovered MGoBlog the day of the Northwestern game in 2007, back when old farts would say "I remember the Haloscan days" the way that old farts today say "I remember the blogspot days."
          It was also when Comcast and the Big Ten Network were having their great dick-off, which, being a rather irate Comcast customer, meant I had to find a bar near my house to watch the game. At a bar in Berkeley, I ran into an old fraternity brother, who told me I gotta read this site because "After the Appalachian State Game, which he calls 'The Horror,' the dude made the whole site pink and put up kittens!"
          We also remembered the same Every Three Weekly article by Brian from our college years in which Cook drew up several c. 2000 Michigan plays, such as "A-Train Hit in the Backfield," "Don't Let Us Stop You On Your Way to the End-Zone," and "Epstein Misses a Field Goal" (that's about all I ever remembered from the Every Three Weekly).
          Anyhoosier, that night I read every U.F.R. Brian had ever posted (they were easier to get at back then). I lurked and lurked until I was moved to write an emo October crystal ball eulogy for 2008, in which both Kevin Newsome and Shavodrick Beaver get killed off and every other good player is injured. I sent it to Brian as an e-mail, and he said "you should post this as a Diary." So I did, and took shit from ameed for killing off our two QB recruits, and was about to go back to reserving my loggorhea for e-mails to my friends until some guy said my handle was cool. So I stayed.

2. Before we go any further, I’d like to get something out in the open, and in fact I believe I once asked you this several months ago in a thread.  Where does the name “Misopogon” come from?
          This is one of those great life mysteries, like where the Captain's from in Saving Private Ryan. $10 bucks gets you in.
          Actually, I think I've answered it twice, once in a thread that I suspect was written specifically to draw me out.
         The name far pre-dates MGoBlog, back to an ancient history course I took at M. Since about 2002 it's been my universal Internet persona (if Morpheus shows up and gives me the red pill, I guess that would be what everyone calls me).
         Skip this paragraph if you already know, or have Googled it before: It's from a play that translates as "Beard-hater" written by then-Roman Emperor Julian "the Apostate." Jules was raised a Christian (who all shaved) but then became the biggest supporter for paganism in the empire, and so grew a kickin' beard. He made a visit to Antioch, where they generally hated his guts, and were staging plays to make fun of him. So he wrote his own play making fun of himself, called "The Misopogon."
          It was so me: Beard, check. Philosophical, check. Self-deprecating, check. Guy who was educated as a Lloydist who then turned apostate, converting wholly to the Church of Rod, check. Emperor of Rome: working on it. He also was one of a few military leaders to try the queme-los-barcos idea, which ended very badly.
          Plus, it's kind of a Michigan homophone.

(Note to readers:  Insert random 'homophone' joke here.  We'll move on.)

3.  Certainly your grand opus has been the ‘Decimated Defense’ series.  How long does it take you to put one of these posts together, especially with all the recent updated graphs and even Photoshop and/or Godfather work?
          It totally depends on the content. With something that takes statisticating, like DDII and DDIII, it usually starts with me goofing around making spreadsheets. There's plenty of spreadsheets I've made while screwing around that never make it to a Diary. Eventually, one hits a critical mass of information usefulness, and I go to Misopogal to hash out a rhetorical theme to attach to it.
          With the DD series in particular, it started around the time Cissoko left, with a list of post-Rod attrition on an MSU blog right, to which I added all of the 2005-'09 attrition to see, just for myself, all of the guys we had lost. Then I wondered if other schools had the same kind of attrition, so I compared Ohio State. Then Notre Dame. Yada.
        The actual writing of the diary usually comes much later. With this most recent one, the spreadsheet was something I had been playing around with since the week before signing day. The last changes were made over a week ago. Once I get going, it's hard for me to stop. I spent much of Saturday afternoon writing parts, then we had a Mommaday breakfast all morning on Sunday, then I was back writing for a few hours Sunday afternoon, went to a Mommaday dinner, then I came home and finished it by like midnight. When we were at Misopogal's mom's place, her family asked if I was okay, cause I seemed in a daze, and Misopogal was like "he's in the middle of a blog."
        It's kind of obsessive, I know. Once my fingers hit the keyboard, as anyone on my e-mail list will tell you, it's hard to peel them away. I tend to get lost in my parentheses; the "Countenance More in Sorrow..." blog is an example of what happens when I just sit down to write and get utterly lost. You know how Lactantius was bad about really long parantheticals? -- now picture someone giving him the unlimited parchment of the Internet.
          As for the pics: I try to have a lot of pretty charts and images and stuff mostly to cover up the uselessness of my actual information next to that of guys like Sharik, who actually knows x's and o's, or the Mathlete, who knows more about statistics than I do, which is snippets from Stats 401.
          If you look critically at my stuff, it's really just a pretty repackaging of others' work, like comparing freely available recruiting lists (Rivals did all the legwork), or taking the Hennecharts and making metrics out of them (Brian's UFRs did the hard part). Without the pretty distractions, I'd just be a human tl;dr.
          The amount of time that goes into making them has been growing because I feel like I've established a ridiculous level of quality with the previous diaries, and want to maintain that level.

 How, if all, has your scientific approach on ‘Decimated Defense’ changed your perception of the team?  And if the actual coaching staff inexplicably asked if you could offer any analysis or advice, what would you say?
          The thing about the Decimated Defense -- and I think this is really really important for understanding that series -- is that it doesn't change perceptions one bit. It's all just a great big confirmation of what we already know or suspected from watching recruiting and attrition over the years.
          Do you need me to tell you that Michigan recruits better players than MSU? Or that attrition made Michigan's depth chart ludicrously thin in 2009? Or that recruiting a lot of players of high rating will yield a better team? No. It's just an affirmation, collecting all the data that you've already internalized into an argument.
          Not that I think such things are useless. On the contrary, I think things that we take as givens are those that are most in need of re-proof. Otherwise, when we debate them, we're just giving our party line, and they're giving their party line. If we're right, we oughtta be the ones with the facts to back it up. The best you can accomplish with the DD series is to use it as a response to every asswipe poster after a Rittenberg column, minus the Summer Glau sig: "Oh, you think that? Well read <link>this</a>."

        If Coach Rod asked me for any analysis or advice I would point him to Excalibur's chart that shows pretty conclusively that you get further with an A defense and B offense than the reverse, and to adjust his recruiting focus accordingly. I guess. I'm much better at entertaining fans than telling coaches what to do. Rich Rod knows more about football than 99 percent of professional football coaches -- what can I offer? If he's interested in getting a Jew to do his sabermetrics, and I think that would not be a bad idea, there's better ones than me. I'm just the guy who can stick his face on a Godfather cover.

Hey-- sometimes we all assume that no one of significance is reading this stuff, but you never know.  Rich might love him some Shredder artwork on a rainy day, or read our work when he doesn't want to sift through the naysaying media's perspective.

4.  So you obviously possess a talent for writing, and making words actually say meaningful things-- without divulging too much information, what sort of work do you do for a living?
        I'm the publisher of a trade magazine. We take stuff written in the trade journals, which come out as 25-page academic papers that would tl;dr anyone not paid to read them, and synthesize it into practical language that our readers can take to their bosses and say "look-see, we need to get this technology because it will make us monnney." I write the words "climate change" a lot, and sometimes I go up to podiums in washed out hotel conference rooms and say the words "climate change" because there's not a lot of guys out there who are saying or writing that word and not trying to piss someone off.
        I also still do some freelance (for beer money) in Michigan Hockey. Hopefully Phil will publish my Herm to Hockeytown article in the next issue, because I'm really proud of it: unlike most Herm to Hockeytown articles, mine actually asks Herm a question or two about hockey.

 Wow—all that writing must work up an appetite.  So ,as always, it is time to describe the perfect meal.
          My pre-game special: Blimpy Triad with grilled onions and mushrooms, wedge fries and an IBC root beer. If I could bend space-time, I would add the 2009 bitter at The White Horse pub in Oxford.
          Dessert: Misopogal's banana bread, which I call "bananner bread." It's like carmelized, candy-covered chocolatey bread-goo.

5. Can you explain why you are a Michigan fan?
          Two events from childhood did it.

         1. Every recess from 2nd grade through 4th grade (by 5th grade the Bad Boys turned us onto basketball) the boys in my grade would all play football. Each game would begin with picking teams, followed by 5 minutes of arguing over the fairness of the teams, followed by another 5 minutes of arguing which team gets to be "Michigan."
          The acknowledged best athlete of 2nd grade (who ironically went on to be the mouthy Jewish kid on State's 2000 hoops championship team), back then would self-narrate his play at quarterback, calling himself Harbaugh.  Players moving the football wouldn't just catch the ball and run: they had to announce which Michigan player they were when they did it. If you got the ball downfield you yelled "I'm Desmond Howard!" If you got a short pass, you yelled "I'M TONY BOLES" or "JARROD BUNCH!" or "LEEROY HOARD" and tried to bulldoze someone.
        Only Jon Wills was Jamie Morris.
        I don't think we knew MSU existed; enemies were Notre Dame or Ohio State or, because the second-best athlete in our class was from Cali, UCLA.

        2. This sealed it: when I was 11, I was invited to spend a long weekend with my cousin, then an engineering student in Ann Arbor. We had the best pancakes I ever tasted at this place just west of the Nickels Arcade, then went to watch Desmond Howard singlehandedly demolish Indiana. After the game we bought a used copy of Alice in Wonderland from that book dude on State St., then warmed up over hot cider at the Brown Jug. After, I splayed out on a sleeping bag next to the couch in his apartment watching his two female roommates walk around naked. And I was like "This is it; I wanna go to Michigan."
          Course, when I got there, the pancake place had become a bicycle store, Dez had gone on to the NFL, the Brown Jug no longer even remembered serving hot cider, and all the women were wearing clothes. But by then it was far too late. I was hooked.

6.  What a story-- today I think that's called an SEC Official Recruit Visit.  Finally, the last staple question, who's your all-time favorite Wolverine?
        I bet this is true for every man: getting from 8 years old to 11 takes twice as long as it does to get from 21 to 30. For me, it just so happened that Desmond Howard was there for that entire childhood epoch (as was Alan Trammel), and thus got indelibly etched into my psyche.
        In Heaven, I'm told, there's a room where you can go and watch Desmond Howard make plays for eternity. On Sundays, God has a deal worked out with the Devil to bus some of hell's overflow Ohio State fans to watch with you.


I don’t exactly recall when this piece ceased to be a Six Zero interview and became a full-fledged Misopogon creation, but I enjoyed being along for the ride.  The more I do these pieces, the easier it is to see that the most passionate and entertaining MGoBlog members play their part simply because Michigan is such a deeply rooted part of who they are.  MGoBlog is not just a web site, not a ‘blog;’  instead, it’s a venue for our fandom, an audience for our partisan opinions, and a place for all of us to let the Wolverine inside us breathe and run free and growl and type “Sparty, Nooo!”

Lastly, it’s a community, one full of colorful individuals that mere names and
avatars rarely truly reveal.  I hope you’re enjoying getting to know some of them,
and I’ll see you next week for another exciting installment of MGoProfile!