Put Your Money Where Your Dumb Is

Submitted by Brian on July 13th, 2009 at 12:23 PM

My new preferred way of dealing with idiocy surpassing all bounds of reason—or "hobby" in XKCDese—is this:

From: Brian Cook [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: Attn: twit

I run mgoblog. I will bet you your entire year's salary that Rich Rodriguez does not get fired after this season. Since you believe it's "obvious" he will be fired, this is an opportunity for you to make a cool fifty bucks.


It's satisfyingly goading, and when the twit in question fails to respond it's a tacit admission that the assessment in the subject is correct.

This, of course, was in response to idiocy surpassing all bounds of reason that you may have seen linked and mocked various places already. Money graf:

First, it's pretty obvious to me this is going to be Rich Rodriguez's last season as the head football coach at the University of Michigan.

The rest of it is a bunch of one-sentence paragraphs that end up with Rodriguez landing at Marshall. It's not coherent enough to bother fisking, but one of the sentences says the alumni "hasn't" warmed up to Rodriguez. (No, guy on the message board thread, that's not proper usage. Alumni is a plural noun—alumnus is the singular version—instead of a singular noun (like "flock") that describes a group.)

We'll see if he takes me up on the offer. I bet he doesn't.


03 Blue 07

July 13th, 2009 at 12:34 PM ^

I really hope he responds in some way. I don't know if he'll figure out that you just told him you (sarcastically) believe his annual salary is $50, though, given his rudimentary understanding of prose as demonstrated by the column in question.

Good to see our dear proprietor talking some smack directly to this moron. Surprising? Somewhat. Awesome? Definitely. A tip of the cap.


July 13th, 2009 at 12:50 PM ^

It's amazing how "professional writers" thump their chest and try and justify how amazingly talented they are compared to those that write blog postings.....yet, they come up with nonsense like this guy did.

I don't know anything about journalism, but when something like this gets written, doesn't this have to be approved by someone? So, who's the bigger idiot.....the author of this crap-tastic article or his boss that said "...great job, lets print!"


July 13th, 2009 at 1:55 PM ^

I don't think length was the problem, it just lacks a D at the end.


There. Ferpecto.


July 13th, 2009 at 1:24 PM ^

I didn't even read the article origionally but uh, if RR gets fired and ends up at Marshall, I'll double your offer to Mr. Poe, Brian. Maybe he needs a new trailer. Besides, West Virgina would be stupid not to take back Rodriguez if he gets fired here in a couple of years. Bill Stewart just screams mediocre and Meinekie Car Care Bowl to me - even with Mr. White.


July 13th, 2009 at 1:25 PM ^

One of the main reasons that you see crap like this from writers is that they have space to fill every day/couple of days/week, and they run out of interesting things to say. So, they say something outrageous to a) fill up the space, and b) get some attention.


July 13th, 2009 at 2:13 PM ^

"when the twit in question fails to respond it's a tacit admission that the assessment in the subject is correct."

Hey, I agree with you, Brian, that this guy's argument is baloney, but not responding to your sincere (but, obviously mocking) proposition doesn't mean he's wrong (many other things do, but not this).

This guy, like many others, is a less-successful Drew Sharp. He is what he is. One of the "problems" with some of these guys is that they don't actually believe what they write, but write in order to find an audience. This kind of thinking won't last more than a decade more, it exists.

Believing the idiocy of one's own arguments probably is better, not worse.


July 13th, 2009 at 3:41 PM ^

I agree with you about Drew Sharp and others like him, but I think you're letting him off too easily by saying that he's trying "to find an audience". What he's really trying to do is just be controversial for the sake of being controversial. He wants to piss people off, to get attention. He's often outrageous just to get a reaction. He wants the story to be about him.


July 13th, 2009 at 4:37 PM ^

Poe is being "controversial for the sake of being controversial." When you don't know what else to write about, and have to write something, it's far easier to just write something controversial than research a subject and come up with an interesting angle or piece of analysis. I have no idea whether he wants to piss people off (not apparent in this case) or make the story about him, but it needn't go that far to be a rationale for the fall of that type of mentality.


July 13th, 2009 at 2:47 PM ^

There's nothing wrong with speculating about how coaches will do at high-profile schools, especially after unpromising first years, but as is the case so often with professional "journalists" these days, Poe is completely disinterested in the opportunity to bring relevant historical facts into the discussion.

For example, Poe could have informed his readers that Woody Hayes was an uninspiring 4-3-2 in his first season at OSU. Duffy Daugherty was a craptastic 3-6 in his first campaign at MSU. Bear Bryant was 1-9 in his first season at Texas A&M, and a mediocre 5-4 in his first year at Alabama. Bill Snyder was 1-10 in his first season at Kansas State. Joe Paterno was 5-5 in his first Penn State season. Lou Holtsth was 5-6 in his first year at Notre Dame. Bill McCartney was 2-8-1 in his first Colorado season. All of these guys turned around their programs, some in their second years, while some took a bit more time to get the job done. Poe could then have evaluated the likliehood that Rodriguez would be fired in the context of this history.

However, aside from the onerous requirement that Poe would have actually had to do some "work" rather than pull e-pinions out of his ass, it would have made it much more difficult to write in single-sentence paragraphs. That would have been just too much to bear.

Crime Reporter

July 13th, 2009 at 8:36 PM ^

You just played his game by reading the article and responding. That's exactly what he wanted. And I'm sure he is laughing at your challenge. It's best to just ignore stuff like this in the future.


July 13th, 2009 at 8:55 PM ^

I don't know why this was docked 10 points. Brian insinuated the guy makes $50 a year, when for all we know that jackass makes $75k a year writing shitty articles that people can't help but click and read and respond to. The idiots the person the responds to the troll, not the person that just made $$$ for pissing off Michigan fans. If people could leave idiot writers alone, they would disappear.


July 13th, 2009 at 6:37 PM ^

The title indicates to me he knew EXACTLY what he was doing. He was presenting opinion and hyperbole as informed prediction and fact to re-ignite the flames between UM and WVU - so he would get plenty of hits to the newspaper page. And it worked like a charm.

Many took a look. Brian responded. Many more took a look. Not much different from feeding the McFarlins on a message board. Now a big positive feedback loop is taking place, more and more people taking a look. Which means more and more revenue for the online newspaper. Yes real papers a dying, but internet ones, like this WVU, one are surviving - because of crap like this.

Simple policy - don't feed the trolls (message board type or newsworld type). It is only egoism that drives it - the need to one-up the idiot.


July 13th, 2009 at 4:42 PM ^

... after re-reading Poe's piece, the most interesting thing about it is that Free press U-M beat reporter Mark Snyder is also the head coach at Marshall. I never knew!

Sgt. Wolverine

July 13th, 2009 at 5:06 PM ^

Eh...the posts on Alabama's oversigning were worthwhile and well-thought (with plenty of zing). But this is just "ha ha ur stoopid" with more words, which makes it typical internet obnoxiousness + literacy. I'd rather not see MGoBlog sink to this level.


July 13th, 2009 at 5:24 PM ^

came from a newspaper that serves the states of West Virginia and Ohio. No bias or agenda there.

Thank you Brian for posting his email address for all to see. Lets all flood this "writers" email with "positive" feedback.


July 13th, 2009 at 7:54 PM ^

He did start it off with a disclaimer:

"Sometimes, we get a little carried away dreaming up the wildest, craziest sports scenarios imaginable."


Advice to Mr. Poe: Drink moonshine AFTER write article


July 14th, 2009 at 12:52 AM ^

Mounties....here is your long distance request!

Baby Come Back
Spending all my nights, all my money going out on the town
Doing anything just to get you off of my mind
But when the morning comes, I'm right back where I started again
Trying to forget you is just a waste of time

Baby come back, any kind of fool could see
There was something in everything about you
Baby come back, you can blame it all on me
I was wrong, and I just can't live without you

All day long, wearing a mask of false bravado
Trying to keep up the smile that hides a tear
But as the sun goes down, I get that empty feeling again
How I wish to God that you were here

Baby come back, any kind of fool could see
There was something in everything about you
Baby come back, you can blame it all on me
I was wrong, and I just can't live without you

Now that I put it all together
Give me the chance to make you see
Have you used up all the love in your heart
Nothing left for me, ain't there nothing left for me

Baby come back, any kind of fool could see
There was something in everything about you
Baby come back, listen, you can blame it all on me
I was wrong, and I just can't live without you

I was wrong, and I just can't live

Baby come back, any kind of fool could see
There was something in everything about you
Baby come back, you can blame it all on me


July 14th, 2009 at 1:32 AM ^

We are giving this writer way too much credit as a provocateur. Take it from a guy in the mainstream media business; the writer was not trying to create controversy. I'm guessing a large number of his readers would love RR to get fired. He was not thinking about pissing off Michigan fans. I, for one, don't want to give him that credit.