Unverified Voracity Dances Way Off Team

Submitted by Brian on December 17th, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Goodbye beard. Also the rest of Elliott Mealer at winter graduation:


Goodbye to you sir. Michigan suspends Hawthorne, Floyd, and Will Hagerup for the bowl game. A couple people told me this a couple days ago, and they both seemed to think Hagerup would not return. After a dramatically-timed suspension against Ohio State and another for the first four games of 2011, it would be surprising to find out Hagerup had a fourth strike.

But the AD didn't announce Hagerup was gone, so there's probably a last-ditch straight-and-narrow chance he can get back a la Stonum, except hopefully not a la Stonum. Michigan will be fine with Matt Wile for the bowl anyway.

Cornerback, on the other hand… yeah, Floyd spent the year tempting fate but the alternatives there are… uh. Moving Courtney Avery to the outside—probably to field corner since he's a lot smaller than Raymon Taylor—is probably your best one, and then your nickel guy is either Delonte Holowell or Terry Richardson. I'm still not sure that corner environment is any worse than Michigan's options at tailback, but at least the Norfleet-to-corner move makes some sense now. Hopefully it's temporary.

Hawthorne had been limited to special teams this year; his loss isn't impactful.

Now has more time for dancing. MGoVideo caught this oddly-timed dance festival just posted on youtube featuring Floyd:

I rate it an 0.8 Mike Cox.

And so it does not begin. Presenting Michigan's secret weapon in their recruitment of Derrick Green:

Dead period for football begins today and runs through January 3. No on- or off-campus contacts/evals permitted. Calls/email permissible.

Green plans on enrolling early; if he sticks to that plan he should be announcing at the Army game on January 5th, leaving virtually no time for anyone to catch up with announced leader Michigan. Does yoga, is huge.

This trend will probably stop soon. Will Leitch on the way the cable bundling model is going:

Not that many people are going through all the trouble to do this yet, but as cable fees keep going up, and more workarounds can be found (and we haven’t even gotten into pirated feeds), more people will cut the cord. We live in an information-wants-to-be-free age, and we’re still being held down by these media-company gatekeepers. In the real world it’s 2012; in the cable universe, it might as well be 1988. Eventually, this will have to change. It’s too insane and rigged-against-the-consumer for it not to. The problem, of course, is that, like so many capitalists before them, leagues and teams and sports networks are all assuming that it’ll always be like this, that these revenue will keep growing forever and ever, that this golden goose will always keep laying eggs. There are decades upon decades of Darwinian consumer trends that contradict that. In 30 years, we may have all unplugged our cable bundles and be paying a la carte. This is the nightmare situation, but I’m not the first person to suggest we’re living in a cable sports television bubble. Someday it’ll pop. Then, suddenly, we’ll look and think: Why in the world is Maryland in the Big Ten?

Rutgers is even more of an outlier but the point is a good one. At some point the rickety dam keeping all of these channels unnecessarily bundled is going to break, and then having teams that can't fill not-very-big stadiums is not going to be an asset.

Bacon. He considers the PSL increase:

Former Michigan Athletic Director Don Canham sold the experience – and we bought it.  Canham was a great marketer, but what impressed me most was what he would not do for money: solicit donors, put advertising on the uniforms or in the stadium, host night games, charge for tours – or ask for a raise.  He had already made millions in business, and didn’t feel the need to squeeze more from his alma mater.

The current athletic department now aggressively seeks donors and corporate sponsors.  It has brought advertising back to Crisler, in a big way, and has started sneaking advertising into the once-pristine Big House, too.  They now charge to host corporate events, wedding receptions, and even school tours, which had been free since the Big House opened in 1927.  Heck, until a few years ago, they didn’t even lock the gates during the week.

Michigan’s not alone, of course, and they will tell you it’s the cost of doing business – but what business, exactly?  When current Athletic Director Dave Brandon said on “60 Minutes” that the “business model is broken” – what he failed to grasp was that it’s “broken” because it was never intended to be a business in the first place.  After all, what business doesn’t have to pay shareholders, partners, owners, taxes, or the star attractions, the players and the band?

Raise your hand if you're sick of being told you can rent out the Big House for a wedding. That is everyone except the guy who emailed me pictures of his Michigan Stadium wedding over the summer in case I wanted to post them, which seemed like an awfully mean thing to do to a guy.

Brandon clearly sees the lack of advertising in the stadium as an annoyance, and has put it in anyway: just because the blaring thing trying to market something is a wedding or Michigan's facebook page doesn't mean it's not advertising. By pushing the boundaries wherever he can, Brandon indicates where he'd like to take the Big House experience if not faced with a potential fan revolt.

Bacon makes a great point: it's to the point that whenever you're putting down your money you feel like kind of an idiot for spending it. Thus the multiple "I bet I can scalp for cheap" projects on the internet and the regular stories about how you can get into most Michigan State games for two dollars or the Big Ten Championship for ten.

Speaking of: College Football Is This Other Thing post using Wall Street as the other thing is creepily accurate.

The Guys Running The Big Ten are Bain Capital

The Guys Running The Big Ten are Bain Capital

Step 1: Take over asset. Step 2: Exploit that asset with no regard for long-term consequences. Step 3: Laugh, buy a bigger summer house or a dressage horse or something.

In the Big Ten's case the dressage horse is a fancy building for a sport that brings in no revenue.

Yes please return. This will help the floundering hockey team:

Michigan coach Billy Powers on WTKA: "There's a good chance we could see (Merrill) immediately following the holidays."

I'm not holding out much hope for the GLI with Trouba at the World Juniors, and by the time Merrill makes it back Michigan's fate may already be sealed. Michigan is currently 36th in the RPI and would have to win 75% of their remaining games to get into the top 20, where a bid is vaguely possible. Either they rip off a streak for the ages starting right now or it's conference tourney or bust.

Etc.: can Rob Parker please stop existing now? On TV, I mean. He can remain in existence as long as he is not given a platform to express his thought-type-substances to the masses.

Derrick Walton profiled. Brandon gets dollars. Michigan was not fortunate this year. One way in which linear regressions are frequently misapplied. Key plays against West Virginia.



December 17th, 2012 at 1:40 PM ^

As somebody else pointed out, the reference to Bain betrays an apparent misunderstanding of Bain's business model.  Unfortunately, this type of misunderstanding has greater implications best discussed elsewhere.

It can be difficult to totally separate football from politics/the real world.  In this case, it appears avoidable.

lexus larry

December 17th, 2012 at 2:02 PM ^

Did anyone actually click on the link above the BAIN pic, and see that BuzzFeed Sports writer Ben Mathis-Lilley actually did the comparison of college football and Wall Street?

Maybe Brian should have stated "draw your own conclusion" rather than state it's "creepily accurate," but he didn't.  And I personally don't think this crossed some sort of brightline of politics/no politics rule.  But it sure seems to have ruffled the feathers of more than one plutocrat-wannabe...

EDIT:  And the pic is kinda funny/dumb in that these guys have money coming out of their mouths, lapels, ears (possibly other orifices as well...can't see)...much like the B1G.


December 17th, 2012 at 2:46 PM ^

Yes, I read the linked article. The rest of it is as problematic as the Bain hilarity. In fact it's creepily inaccurate.

If Brian had linked to something equally hilarious about community organizing as it related to college football, and placed another well known politician's picture on the page, would that not be regarded as political?

There are lots of people on this blog who know stuff I don't understand. The discussions of IT, math, and engineering are something I never participate in, but read bemusedly. This is something I know of (politics and finance), so I commented.

As for the plutocrat, I am now involved in my third startup. Each one hired lots of people. Two failed. The common denominator is we took some sort of financing at each . WIthout financiers we wouldn't have much of an economy.

As I said before "things I don't like involving money" =/= Bain, PE, VC, or other financial items.

lexus larry

December 17th, 2012 at 4:29 PM ^

or even plaque.

I remember Brian referencing that mayhaps DB consider running for guv of MI down the road, complete with a twitter #db4migov or something like that.

My reading of mgo and it's politics policy seems to indicate only oblique political references would be acceptable.  A silly pic of BAIN chuckleheads fills the bill nicely.  (I tried googling other imbecilic pics of VE's or PE backers, but couldn't find any...)


December 17th, 2012 at 4:15 PM ^

than the blog does apparently.  Grabbing Rutgers and Maryland positions us for the super-conferences-to-come.  One of the ACC/BigEast, B1G and Big XII is going down, and just because we are stuffed shirts about Michigan's tradition doesn't mean we can't turn into a University of Chicago-style football-backwater pretty quickly.

The blog is pretty clear on wanting UofM and B1G football to be stuck in 1997 outside the stadium (and having The Future inside) but the B1G should be better attached to reality.  Even if the cable company bundling of sports content model breaks down tomorrow, the BTN still has a compelling product to sell, and it's a better product, by and large, one that appeals to more people, with Rutgers/Maryland than without.


December 17th, 2012 at 6:07 PM ^

My first visceral reaction to the news of the suspension was wishing Hoke was more like Dantonio, where he would drive his players directly from jail to the game. 

Then, after I come to my senses, I am so glad we have enough integrity to make sure students know there is a standard of conduct that will not be allowed.  I am not sure what the violation is for, but I hope the students have learned their lesson, and hopefully for the final time.

Michigan Arrogance

December 17th, 2012 at 7:55 PM ^

I don't like the changes to the stadium atmosphere and football in general, but I won't complain about them closing off the stadium- it's a liability issue. before the boxes, it was basically a hole in teh ground with a small press box. now you have $250M worth of structures there, so they can't have people climbing/vandalizing that kind of an investment. the insurance on that must be a bitch of a check to cut every year, and leaving it open at any time to the public probably doubles that check

Bando Calrissian

December 17th, 2012 at 8:43 PM ^

This week my dad got invited to a stadium tour put on by a local bank for their valued investors and potential investors.  They got wined and dined in the stadium club, got a nice dinner talk from Brandstatter, and then a guided tour of the locker room, tunnel, and field from Brandy himself.  Real cool, but real slicki.

So basically our stadium gets pimped out on the off-nights for corporate sponsors to give their clients the WOW experience.  And pimped out on the off weekends for M grads to get that WOWedding.  

The hole that Yost dug, Canham Carpeted, Schembechler Filled, and Dave Brandon Synergized.