10 Reasons Your Mother Is Unverified Voracity

Submitted by Brian on July 9th, 2009 at 11:40 AM

MGoBlog about town. I was recently interviewed by Jeff Jarvis' new initiative at News Innovation. Here's my zinger:

A lot of newspaper sports writing strives for objectivity, and it holds itself a little bit aloof. And then when it tries to talk to about the intense emotions inspired it kind of falls flat. To the readers it’s like asking a virgin for his opinion on what an orgasm feels like.

ZING! More at the link, with possibly some audio coming up later.

A note on something omitted, maybe? I said this: "There’s a lot of advice out there. It’s always like write this or do this, and I kind of defy it." I managed to not explain what any of this "advice" was during the interview. Let me repair that: 95% of sites that offer advice on how to blog advocate posts like "10 Reasons Your Mother Is A Whore," and whatnot. The style they advocate is attention-grabbing, keyword-laden headlines reminiscent of a Vogue cover backed by very, very short paragraphs with simple sentences and lots of bold. Posts are rarely to exceed a certain small threshold of words.

Though I'm not entirely opposed to this style—witness this very post—most of the blog's popularity derives from columns titled things like "Teeth and Blood" and "You Were Killed By A Bear And I Am Sad" and 5000-word exegeses on half of a Michigan football game, which are neither search engine- or link-friendly. With some limited exceptions (like throwing the name of each committed recruit into the post title, and providing SEO-friendly headlines for actual news posts) my philosophy has been to make the content as good, and as difficult to replicate, as possible. (Evidently I feel a good, weird title goes a long way.) The cookie cutter is eschewed.

Can you bring Mike Floyd with you? AnnArbor.com has yoinked Michael Rothstein from the earthly paradise of Fort Wayne, Indiana:

I am heading up to Michigan and specifically to Ann Arbor to join the staff of AnnArbor.com. While there, I'll be leading the coverage of Michigan men's basketball and helping out with Michigan football.

Is this interesting? I don't know. Beat writers seem like beat writers. From what I've seen of Rothstein he's more web-aware than most, which obviously made him attractive to a newly web-centric organization.

(HT: Big House Blog)

Big Ten Meetings. Michigan's representatives at the Big Ten meetings:

Stevie Brown, Sr., LB/S
Zoltan Mesko*, Sr., P
Mark Ortmann, Sr., LT

Zoltan obvious, Ortmann one of two reasonable options on offense, Brown an odd choice instead of Brandon Graham.

Graaaagrrghaaargh. Frank Deford can always be counted on for some quality invective when prompted to write about the NCAA. I saw some speech he was giving on the youtubes once where he made the provocative (but in an interesting way!) point that you could see the NCAA as a massive system designed to take money earned by largely poor black athletes and give it to largely wealthy white athletes who make no money. Which… whoah, man. That's kind of true.

Anyway, I can't decide whether this is over the top or just good plain fun:

Because just as the BCS is unfair to certain colleges, the NCAA is an evil overseer to its athletic minions.

Holy hyperbole, Batman. Aaaand more:

As this billion-dollar business booms, the NCAA clings to the outdated Victorian concept of amateurism in order to keep powerless athletes -- many of them indigent minorities -- under its thumb. And because amateurism is a sham, the NCAA wittingly underwrites hypocrisy, because it knows athletic department boosters fill the vacuum with illegal under-the-table payoffs.

There you go with the… erm… "indigent minorities" thing. Now Deford will slumber, grow a fantastic mustache over the course of two hours, and awake to prattle about horse racing for the next six months. I have something of a love-hate relationship with him. 

(HT: Wiz)

A friendly plug. When Carcajous Attack(!) has gone on a quality posting binge of late. Here's a review of UCLA's 1982 defense, which you might be all "uh…" about but it did feature Greg Robinson's first foray as a defensive line coach. Here Marcus digs up a bunch of old newspaper articles from Year 2 of Rodriguez at West Virginia. There's more. Recommended.

Etc.: When confronted with virtually anything PETA does other than take naked pictures of hot chicks, the girlfriend exclaims "get off my side!" This is how I feel about John Feinstein's latest terrible article about the BCS, which Braves and Birds fisks mightily.



July 9th, 2009 at 12:23 PM ^

I recommend watching the DeFord youtube clip. It illuminates Brian's synopsis a little bit. I don't think he says anything on the youtube clip that's not accurate...Please let me emphasize that I'm talking about the youtube clip, not the text link.

Brian: I, for one, am glad that this blog is not as IN MY FACE as other blogs. I wouldn't read it if it was.


July 9th, 2009 at 12:25 PM ^

Ugh! I did not need that reminder.

I was at that game. I still hate Jojo Townsell and company for breaking this 10-year-old's heart.

None of those final plays near the goal line had a chance, IIRC.

At least Michigan won the conference and got to the Rose Bowl that season.....except we also lost to OSU and again to the Bruins in the RB.

4 losses, 1 to ND, 1 to OSU and 2 to UCLA.

Fucking Lloyd Carr. Oh wait.


July 9th, 2009 at 9:53 PM ^

Steve Smith overthrew AC by a mile on the last play, right in front of my section.

I remember thinking "If only we could get a QB who can throw the ball instead of all of these running QB's."

Careful what you wish for.


July 9th, 2009 at 10:45 PM ^

What is often forgotten is that Ohio State got screwed out of the Rose Bowl that year. We both finished with 1 conference loss, but they played one less conference game than we did so we went to the Rose Bowl.

Although the way it turned out (Smith gets hurt, we lose 24-14) maybe it wouldn't have been so bad to go to another bowl.

I miss Spring Lake

July 9th, 2009 at 1:03 PM ^

"the earthly paradise of Fort Wayne, Indiana"

I laughed hard at this one. My family moved to Fort Wayne from Michigan when I was 10. I lived there for the next 12!!! An earthly paradise it certainly is not. I finally managed to escape, though.

On another note, I've really been enjoying When Carcajous Attack! also. Good in-depth articles. I don't know what I'd do without VB, WCA, and this site. Keep up the good work, Brian!


July 9th, 2009 at 1:10 PM ^

Yea, obviously I missed that. Hard to catch everything when you're at work. Just came across the article, thought my fellow mgoblogger's would find it interesting, and posted it. Not sure my an earnest effort at sharing UofM info merits the 2 point ding?


July 9th, 2009 at 1:43 PM ^

To Brian...What about the Feinstein article did you not like?? Other than being overly dramatic about the underdog getting a shot, I thought it was exactly what you felt. I think he changed your playoff formula a touch just to aviod a copyright infringement. :-)

Edit:After reading the blow by blow breakdown I guess it wasn't the best article, but it's like Trump making fun of Rosie Odonnel. Sure Trump is a douche and a hypocrite, but it's funny and you laugh a second and you move on your day. I can't believe he took that much time out of his day to attack a fluff piece that probably took Feinstein an hour to put together.


July 9th, 2009 at 1:17 PM ^

Did you put in a link the words "naked pictures of hot chicks" as a further hat tip to the "advice" you mention in the first paragraph and title.... or is it all just a weird coincidence?


July 9th, 2009 at 2:02 PM ^

If your team had an awful year and so you're trying to get press on the things you changed to make this year better, highlighting what you did differently seems clutch.

Stevie Brown, Sr., LB/S

Brown seems like a good way to get some publicity on that. Media event + "look shiny new position" = free coverage, particularly in the offseason where reporters are desperate for anything to latch on to.


July 9th, 2009 at 3:46 PM ^

Hooray for Braves and Birds for agreeing with me 100% that it's idiotic to expect fans to travel to three or four different locations each consecutive week and think that's going to fill up the stadiums. Or maybe hooray for me for agreeing with Braves and Birds. Either way it's an essentially irrefutable point as far as I'm concerned.


July 9th, 2009 at 6:47 PM ^

There is a chance that Brown is taking his senior year extremely seriously, ala Brian Griese, and is being rewarded for his hard work.

I really, really hope this is true for two reasons. First, the defense needs all the help it can get in "picking it up" this year. Also, redemption stories are always great, especially when they are about people who are on your favorite team.


July 9th, 2009 at 11:13 PM ^

Stevie has taken every year seriously but heretofore has had some seriously bad mojo. I'm sure everyone will pounce on me for defending him - I'm no football expert and I know he's made some highly visible mistakes - but I remember seeing him pull off two or three interceptions last year and the offense wasn't able to do anything with them. It usually takes more than one player to win or lose a game. The coaches and other players seem to like him and I'm guessing it has a lot to do with his hard work and attitude. While that doesn't necessarily translate into wins (or a spotless record), I hope it pays off for him this year.


July 10th, 2009 at 10:02 AM ^

I'm really surprised Graham isn't going. Stevie really needs to pick it up this year, for every good play he makes he then gives up a huge play in coverage or misses a tackle that leads to a touchdown.


October 13th, 2009 at 11:23 AM ^

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