Unverified Voracity Catches Up

Submitted by Brian on September 3rd, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Note: some of this is very old, because last week was not good for UVing things.


Anybody in the world who had anything to do with this stopping: I hate you.

Other hype video. Old Hat put the new one up.

As mentioned in the game column, a large improvement on last year's. Old Hat's videos have been the one consistently good thing about the Stadium Atmosphere Buzzword Utilization Reframing.

Fig things. Just figgin' my things. You've probably seen this, but if not:


Now you have.

Well is it or isn't it. Brian Kelly adopts AD's talking points, calls Michigan a "regional" rivalry, makes ND Nation squee, gets so much pushback from people pretending that Michigan-Notre Dame has been going on since the Dark Ages that he recants at his next press conference.

A stupid media kerfuffle but one that indicates how central Michigan-Notre Dame is to college football and how wrong it is that the series is ending.


Northwestern corner Dwight White

A major loss for nerds. Northwestern starting corner Daniel Jones is out for the season with an injury suffered in the Cal game. This is Northwestern, which is always putting together its secondary out of remaindered Hello Kitty plush toys, so the result was about what you'd expect:

Next up for the Wildcats is Dwight White, a redshirt freshman who got more or less torched by Cal's Jared Goff in his first game as a Wildcat, allowing a 52-yard touchdown grab to Cal's Chris Harper as well as several other big plays. He'll have to learn on the job, and fast, if Northwestern wants to avoid further 450-plus yard passing performances as the year goes on.

Looks like it'll be another haywire season for the Wildcats. Say what you want about Northwestern, but gotdayum they play some fun games. They can even make MSU watchable. Maybe.

At least watch it for the intro. MGoVideo has unearthed a copy of the 1994 Purdue game, which apparently wasn't televised but was available on something called the "Michigan Video Ticket," which cut out all the huddles but did include a play by play guy who can't pronounce Remy Hamilton's name:

1994 Michigan at Purdue by mgovideo

You are probably thinking "Wheatley and Biakabutuka at the same time. /drool" I am too.

In even more vintage recordings, a 1927 newsreel from the Detroit News detailing the graduation losses suffered:

More in a similar vein: Oosterbaan honored by Muskegon, Michigan beats Chicago in front of 57,000 road fans (both teams apparently wore the same uniforms), Michigan beats Navy, and Michigan goes down to Minnesota, "Giants of the North." Last one contains an aerial shot of Michigan Stadium back in the day. Michigan had a player named "Pucklewartz" at the time.

Speaking of Oosterbaan, here's Jake Ryan with his godson:


Just don't yank around seniors' numbers and we'll be cool, legacy jerseys. Not that you are actually sentient, legacy jerseys. And don't think about getting sentient, either. I've seen Terminator.

Cutting the cord, part 60 or something. ESPN is negotiating with Apple and others to provide the whole package to internet providers, no cable or satellite required. That would be an enormous shift. I wonder how much it would cost? Some cable analyst said 30 bucks a month, but that was under a basic assumption that 80% of cable viewers would drop it—dubious, to say the least. The mothership is six bucks a pop, but the rest of the package has minimal value outside of ESPN2.

Stauskas throwing down. Game, blouses:

Wow, this is old. Yeah. I told you.

Combo forward search continues. Michigan target Devin Robinson released a top five that does not include the Wolverines. He was probably Michigan's top target after Looney dropped them, so now the field opens up. Ypsi's Jaylen Johnson visited recently and is improving his offensive game; Aussie import Jonah Bolden just popped up on the radar and claims to be a Michigan fan from way back.

Meanwhile, if you're still holding out hope for Luke Kennard, I wouldn't. He just made another visit to Lexington on a "spur of the moment decision."

The Process. A decision-making flowchart:

  1. Decide to do something for a tiny amount of short-term revenue without regard to your brand.
  2. Wait until the decision reaches the internet.
  3. Panic as half of internet rolls its eyes at the stupid decision and the other half invades Ann Arbor Torch and Pitchfork, rants at you.
  4. Hastily reverse decision.
  5. Blame the internet for overreacting, make nonsensical argument that it leapt to conclusions.

This has happened three times in the last month. First it was the field goal nets, then the seat cushions, then the giant noodle. I'm not sure what's more worrisome: the lack of foresight in the decisions themselves or the open contempt for people who don't like those decisions. The seat cushion thing was especially rich, as the department blamed the internet for thinking that a policy stated in bold on the official site was the official policy of the University of Michigan. That is not leaping to conclusions. There is not even a conclusion to draw. It is a fact.

Etc.: Here's Notre Dame-Temple if you want to check out Saturday's enemy. Bruce Feldman interviews Devin Gardner. Expanding Tom Hammond head. Every Play videos seem dead but here's some other guy putting together everything Gardner did from Saturday. Michigan Monday. Brabbs on his kick to beat Washington.

Monumental has wallpaper. Catching up with Michigan's departures.



September 3rd, 2013 at 5:39 PM ^

I'm not doing a reply so you can fix it. 

I thought we had a gentlemen's agreement to never show the Roc uh, Rock, arrrrrrrrrrrrgh!


September 3rd, 2013 at 5:47 PM ^

It's sometimes difficult to believe after spending this weekend watching crazed fans all over the nation on various sports channels, but a huge portion of the US does not care that much about sports. Look at this past weekend - ABC (a 'free' network) had a Sat night game btw two Top 10 ten teams and got 8 million viewers. That's out of 100 million TV homes. Heck, Michigan-ND last year had just over 6 million.

If/when ESPN is forced to go the HBO model, they will be dropped by the vast majority of homes. ESPN will still make money, just not as much as before (or, at least, their growth will dramatically slow). For the 1-2 games a good portion of fans can NOT miss, they'll go to a friend's house, a bar, or spend $39.99 pay-per-view (or some similar price) to watch Texas A&M/Alabama, USC/Oregon, etc.

That's the way sports is going to go. All of these networks have grossly overpaid based for the next decade based on the assumption that carriage fees can keep going up - that's going to crash against the shoals of the bigger trend where people don't want to be forced to pay more for 'bundles' that contain pricey items they do not really use. The cord will be cut.


September 3rd, 2013 at 6:40 PM ^

I'm gonna go ahead and disagree here.  8% of TV homes tunes in for one "regional" college football game.  So if you're a sports fan who doesn't care for college football, SEC football, or who lives 3 time zones away and it's really not prime time, you might not have watched it.  Yet, 8% of America did.  Do you really think 8% of America watched that one football game, but only 20% would pay for ESPN?  ESPN carries way too much sports content for any sports fan to go without it.  Between college football/basketball, NASCAR, horse racing triple crown and all the pro sports that ESPN covers (including majors in golf, tennis, etc), you cover a whole lot of the country.  

I bet if you charged 50 per TV, you'd only see about an 80% drop.  


September 4th, 2013 at 11:24 AM ^

I agree the college football is very regional. But even the numbers I quoted do not mean those people would have PAID to see that game - millions of that 8 million watched it b/c it was on and they already had it; there was no real marginal cost. If someone approached them and said, "Hey, I'm going to need $360/year for you to watch these type of games", a lot more people would say no thanks.

I don't know if the number will be 70 or 80% - but it will be huge. Because those $30/month fees will only have to keep going up if you look at the humungous rights fees that ESPN has already laid out for the next ~10 years for major sports. And as that fee goes up, less people will think it's worth it to watch a "regional" game and just do the options I discussed (pay-per view; friends' house, bar) for the few games a year they really care abot.


September 3rd, 2013 at 6:46 PM ^

“It’s actually kinda funny, everyone seems to be fixated on a noodle and not about a football game being played tomorrow,” he [David Ablauf] said.

Why yes Dave, no one who graduated from Michigan was ever capable of multitasking.  When focusing on the noodle, I forgot what football even is.  Nor could it by a sign that we're all pretty confident we will destroy CMU and this we can focus on things like "Why the hell are there ads in our stadium?  We told you no ads in the damn stadium."  

It's as if they assume the entire fanbase are morons with the attention spans of fruit flies, as opposed to alums of a top tier school.  


September 3rd, 2013 at 8:10 PM ^

As much as I distrust the AD in situations like this, I wonder if the "no cushions" policy posted on the web site was a trial balloon, or just a mistake.  The reason I tend to think it was a mistake was that the handbook mailed with my season tickets less than two weeks later has the same wording as the "revised" policy, allowing foam cushions.  And my tickets came in a week or so after others on the blog reported receiving their tickets.  Yes, it is possible the AD poneyed up major money to have the slick booklets reprinted in a few days time, but it seems more likely someone goofed.

Also, the revised policy was issued in less than 24 hours.  Normally the DB trial balloons have a half life longer than that.


Bando Calrissian

September 4th, 2013 at 10:13 AM ^

Brian's point (and one I've been making for a while, too) is that the "trial balloon" has now become the SOP at 1000SSS. And when the fan base skewers said balloon with upraised pitchforks, they tell us we merely misunderstood, or it was all a mistake.

These guys are too good at this to be that sloppy. Then again, Dominos' marketing strategy post-DB is "we know our product used to suck," so... You never know.

matty blue

September 3rd, 2013 at 8:17 PM ^

...that was my first fandom badge - my exwife was in labor with our first child, who was born 6:27 that night.  it was a great day.

plus, my daughter was born ;-)

matty blue

September 3rd, 2013 at 8:19 PM ^

the problem is that there is LITERALLY NOTHING THIS DEPARTMENT WILL SAY NO TO, if someone pays them twenty bucks.

dear dave:  we have a brand.  quit fucking with it.


September 3rd, 2013 at 8:49 PM ^

I was the running backs manager that year.  In addition to Wheatley and Tshimanga that backfield also had fresman Chris Howard and Chris Floyd as well as Jon Ritchie, Che Foster and "Steady" Eddie Davis.  

That was my first glimpse into the mind of Coach Jackson.  Coming into the building after two-a-days Coach Jackson told me that Biakabatuka had feet as fast as Barry Sanders' (which *could* be true) and that, if he had his choice he'd start Chris Howard over everyone because he was the quickest in the hole.  

He then quipped "did you know Timmy speaks something like 4 languages?  Did you know Jon Ritchie got like a 1550 on his SAT's?  How am I supposed to coach those guys?  They're all smarter than I am?!"  I still have a picture of a 1 year old Jeremy Jackson hanging around with the players in the lockerroom somewhere.  


September 3rd, 2013 at 10:13 PM ^

"Some cable analyst said 30 bucks a month, but that was under a basic assumption that 80% of cable viewers would drop it—dubious, to say the least."

... If ESPN bundles their content such that they undercut the existing distribution network, forcing them to pay ESPN more distribute that content, the distribution network will raise end user prices until that brings them less money overall. If they think they can't make more money by raising prices, they'll work to lower the fees they pay ESPN. That could work out a couple of ways - they could make it an add-on to a basic subscription and pay ESPN a straight bounty; they could threaten to stop carrying ESPN, counting on the fact that your average cable subscriber isn't ready to cut the cord; they could actually stop carrying it, counting on the fact that your average cable subscriber doesn't care. That doesn't even consider what happens if net neutrality fails and they are allowed to censor the content over their pipes - most cable providers are also Internet providers.

You see where this is going. As long as the provider controls access, and the subscribers aren't ready to embrace another technology (and everything I've seen suggests that anyone likely to read these words is by no means typical of those folks), ESPN has one way to avoid war with someone with deeper pockets: price the no-provider offering high enough to mollify the providers but low enough to make money.

It's not at all dubious to me that ESPN thinks that the most money is available at $30 a pop, especially when you consider Apple/iTunes potential 30% cut.


September 3rd, 2013 at 10:14 PM ^

I'm a huge fan of coach Beilein, but am wonder when to start worrying about the 2014 class.  Right now, it's just Doyle and Hatch.  I realize that Booker is still out there, and I'm probably getting spoiled by Hoke-style recruiting.


September 3rd, 2013 at 10:14 PM ^

I'm a huge fan of coach Beilein, but am wonder when to start worrying about the 2014 class.  Right now, it's just Doyle and Hatch.  I realize that Booker is still out there, and I'm probably getting spoiled by Hoke-style recruiting.