Unverified Voracity Insults Philadelphia's Mayor Comment Count

Brian October 17th, 2017 at 12:35 PM

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Oh. Barstool. Barstool is trash and it's no surprise that it's Barstool that has again found the trashiest sign on Penn State's campus and been like "oh sick burn, bro," because Barstool just hires whatever local Chad they can find and Chad does Chad things. The latest:


Set aside the potential odiousness of the joke. It's not even a good joke. The University of Michigan did not decide to change the source of Flint's water, or attempt to cover up the humanitarian disaster that was unfolding. This is equivalent to burning PSU for the actions of Philadelphia's mayor. Nobody does this, because nobody has to when trying to burn Penn State.

Anyway, Barstool's second-biggest problem is that they think "edgy" is funny by itself. Andrew-Dice-Clay-ass website. 

The decline of home court advantage. Home court means less these days:


This validates Craig Ross's frequently-expressed opinion that in the dingy arenas of the 1970s refs would bone you without repercussion. A couple other items from that piece:

  • home court is a stronger effect the farther you travel
  • it's a stronger effect in bigger conferences, probably because of crowd size
  • all your conspiracy theories about referees are correct

All of 'em. Pick one. Yes, you're correct.

Half the defense. It was a good day for Michigan's defense:

Kinnel kind of surprises me, if only because I'm having a hard time thinking much of anything either way about the safeties. They are off screen for the large majority of this game, and Indiana's offense prohibits replays.

Mike Onwenu and Karan Higdon both made the offensive team. Also in "what were you doing with your offensive line recruiting two years ago": Maryland sophomore OG Terrance Davis makes the team. IIRC Michigan straight up passed on that guy.

20 games. Big Ten basketball head coaches have voted in favor of a 20-game conference schedule. Jon Rothstein reports that the change will happen next year. That'll take the schedule to 7 teams you play twice and 6 you play once, and a that point you might as well implement the Scottish Premiere League approach, which only takes 19 games and is awesome.

Harbaugh interacts with son. Via Outsports:

It’s only been in the last year that he came out to his dad. Dismayed by election results last November, he told his father that he was scared for himself and other people like him. When dad wrote back a vague message of support, James went all in.

“I just it blurted out –– and told him for the first time verbatim –– 'Dad, I'm gay. Do you know that? And because of that, this is why X,Y, Z. I'm scared because of this, that and the other.'

“And he just said something else back, it was an encouraging and uplifting response about how you just need to keep your head up. 'As long as you do what you feel is right in your mind, you live your truth. Everything will end up being OK.'"

James does not like his dad's sartorial choices, which makes him like every son in the history of the universe.

Even more hockey recruiting. Michigan continues to pick guys up at a rapid pace. They recently flipped USHL defenseman Jack Summers from Brown. Chris Dilks's take from a couple years ago:

Jack Summers-Victory Honda U16-Summers is a bit undersized and not a huge offensive threat yet, but he has incredible footwork and skating that makes him an effective defender and gives him the upside to potentially be a very dynamic player.

Summers played under Bill Muckalt last year, so he's a guy the coaching staff knows very well. Heisenberg has him listed as a 2019 kid. Michigan's also added 2019 F Cassidy Bowes, who's a bit of an odd duck. He spent last year playing in a western Canadian prep school league, putting up 49 points in 30 games. He's joined the BCHL and has 6 points in nine games in the early going.

Both Summers and Bowes will arrive in 2019 as 20-year-olds, so they're fleshing out the class. They're the 12th and 13th kids across four different recruiting classes Pearson has recruited since he was hired four months ago. He's added four guys to an already five-strong 2017 class, six 2019 kids to Mike Vukojevic, two 2020 kids to a Little Caesar's trio, and 2021 Dylan Duke.

I'm not sure all these guys are getting to campus or guaranteed full rides, particularly the older gents. This is a more aggressive style of recruiting than Michigan is used to; Pearson seems dead set on not having big roster holes from the inevitable departures.

Etc.: M settles FOIA lawsuit and must reform their terrible, terrible FOIA department. Hooray. Scooter Vaughn is a 28-year-old AHL veteran now, and he's also a cool skateboarder. Hurst still drives for Uber. How Bryce Love is... doing all that. Holding The Rope on IU. Urban Meyer's wife: thinks whatever has a hypen, can't spell, kinda racist. Harmon intercepts Kinnick.



October 18th, 2017 at 8:02 PM ^

He's absolutely right.  I'm so sick of this blog trashing Barstool (a fellow great blog, I might add).  Barstool is awesome. MGoBlog is awesome. It's simple.  Just because this site is run by major nerds and that site is run by major bros doesn't mean they can't both be great.  Ace blocked me on twitter today for no reason other than I called him out for being a wimp about Barstool as well.  Who blocks on twitter anymore anyways?  Lay off Brian, it's honestly unbecoming.  Viva La Stool.


October 17th, 2017 at 1:39 PM ^

Disagree, zero is not just a number on a continuum.  There are only three possibilities:

- some home court advantage

- no advantage or disadvantage

- some home court disadvantage

Zero represents the only possible outcome for possibility #2 and is the dividing line between #1 and #3.  All other numbers are nothing but degrees of 1 and 3.  As such, it's completely reasonable to expect that zero be the axis of the graph.


October 17th, 2017 at 1:46 PM ^

Edward Tufte, who is considered an authority on the visual display of quantitative information, from his book The Visual Display of Quantitative Information.

"In general, in a time series, use a baseline that shows the data not the zero point.  If the zero point reasonably occurs in plotting the data, fine.  But don't spend a lot of empty vertical space trying to reach down to the zero point at the cost of what is going on in the data line itself."


Also, if the graph in the following link showed a zero, would it be (a) more informative, or (b) less informative?



panthera leo fututio

October 17th, 2017 at 2:09 PM ^

I'd argue that the appropriate position on including zero in the verticle axis is "it depends". Contra Tufte, I'd argue that the white space below a line actually does contain a lot of information: it tells you the relative magnitude of change over time. It does so, however, at the expensive of obscuring absolute magnitude of change. In the case of the AMZN stock price, including zero would provide very little non-obvious information (Amazon stock is relatively stable) while almost completely obscuring daily fluctions. The result would be a net information loss. In the case of the referee bias chart, however, including zero would still render the yearly fluctuations clearly visible, but it would also give a more accurate visual sense of the % decrease in bias. The result would be a net increase in visual information, and a decrease in misinformation (glancing at the chart, one might initially infer that bias has decreased much more drastically than it actually has). As such, I'd include the zero here.

The Maizer

October 17th, 2017 at 2:17 PM ^

Except that in this case, the yearly fluctuations are not the focal point. The downward trend is the information trying to be conveyed. Including the zero point lessens the visual demonstration of that trend and the at-a-glance conclusion might simply be that there is a home court advantage. Thus you've lost some information.

panthera leo fututio

October 17th, 2017 at 2:26 PM ^

This consideration points in the opposite direction: if what you're interested in isn't smaller-scale fluctuations but rather larger-scale trends, then it becomes more not less important to see the relative magnitude of that trend.

EDIT: In the case here, the decrease over time amounts to about 40% -- this would still be clearly visible on a vertical axis that included zero. And the depiction of a 40% decline is valuable visual information that we don't currently receive, nor do we get a visual sense of the current absolute magnitude. Information is lost in current depiction.


October 17th, 2017 at 2:56 PM ^

HOWEVA, in this case, zero is highly relevant because of the three possibilities I listed above, and the downward trend is significant primarily because it moves toward zero; that is, toward no home-court advantage at all.** 

The example of Amazon stock doesn't work here, because with stocks we're only interested in the change.  Here, we're not only interested in the change, but the magnitude of the difference between "some home-court advantage" and "no home-court advantage", thus making zero relevant.  How close we are to zero matters as much as how close we were to zero.  Indeed, some information is lost if we make zero the axis, but other information is gained, which I think is relevant.

**I know that all downward trends are "toward zero" but zero isn't relevant in all downward trends.  The example of human body temperature in the Tufte link is a good one; the patient will be dead long before that happens.


October 17th, 2017 at 3:36 PM ^

This post is really only possible on a handful of college sports blogs.  For that and so much more, Michigan is in a stratosphere beyond most.  It is also why other in state and out of state schools are so jealous and angry towards Michigan.  For that, I thank you.


October 17th, 2017 at 12:52 PM ^

Words cannot describe how strongly I dislike Penn State. And the reasons have nothing to do with football. Our heated rivalries with Ohio State and Michigan State are ultimately friendly in nature. Their fans are annoying, but I'm sure they think the same about ours. Penn State's fans, on the other hand, seem to live in their own world. And that world is a bizarre, kafkaesque place where right is wrong and wrong is right. if you think Joe Paterno did nothing wrong and is simply the victim of a jealousy-driven smear campaign (as the overwhelming majority of PSU's fanbase seems to think), then there is something seriously wrong with you.


October 17th, 2017 at 2:02 PM ^

nobody is going to attack you with a passion unknown to mankind just for wearing Buckeye gear in A2. Can't make the same assertion about the dress code in Columbus. Safety in numbers and speak only when spoken to are fandom rules one and two when venturing there in late November wearing Maize and Blue for The Game. 

Watching a stream of Scarlett and Gray streaming down Hoover toward the Big House in 1997 and 1999 and encountering no ill will along the way always impressed me with the distinction in home court behavior. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but this difference in conduct seems more valid than remarkable.


October 17th, 2017 at 1:43 PM ^

I don't care if they greet every visiting UM fan with a steak and a chocolate chip cookie.  They directly had nothing to do with the scandal so I don't blame them for that.  But they did have a choice in picking sides, and they threw sexually abused kids under Paterno's bandwagon.  At that point, manners drop off the list entirely.

There is no way about it, PSU football fans are pro-child rape.  They can deny that all they want, but there are no valid verbal excuses for the choice they made.  That's irredeemably bad until such time that they burn Paterno's legacy to the ground with a purging that makes Nazi taboo in Germany look tame.  I'd rather have an OSU fan spit tobacco juice on my face than shake a PSU fan's hand.

Fyodor MikHAILovich

October 17th, 2017 at 2:21 PM ^

I have to think that there are students and alumni of that school who 1) are disgusted by what happened, 2) are disgusted by the lack of action from Paterno and company, and 3) like watching college football. I mean, none of the undergrads there with season student tickets were even there when any of that happened. They can't root for their team?

PSU football fans who stand by Joe Paterno leave me speechless, but saying "PSU football fans are pro-child rape" without any qualification is a bit much.

On another note, can Barstool just be added to the list of sites/commentators that aren't allowed to be mentioned on this blog? Just don't look, just don't look, just don't look...


October 17th, 2017 at 5:14 PM ^

because I didn't go there and never lived in PA, but based on school profile (huge university, solid though unspectacular academics, and the primary football team in the state), stadium atmosphere (rowdy, not at all like the wine and cheese crowd at Michigan), and the fact that one of the Michigan bars in LA that I attend is also a PSU bar (and hence the LA fans of both teams are literally juxtaposed here every week, and there is a noticeable difference) I would have said that OSU and PSU fans would be the most similar, in general (but obviously very different towards and around Michigan fans).

MSU stands on their own, of course.


October 17th, 2017 at 1:33 PM ^

I was refering to the audio  that is transcribed in the second half of the article, where BigCat says: "There’s no one worse right now than Samantha Ponder. She is the absolute worst. I hate-follow her on Twitter. I can’t even stand her. Every time she tweets I want to puke all over my computer. Every second that she can tell you that she has a kid and that she’s a working mother, she will tell you that she has a kid and that she’s a working mother."


October 17th, 2017 at 1:40 PM ^

It wasn't a blog post that was the main objection -- it was a radio "rant" they both did. Portnoy said the worst stuff (calling Ponder a "f*cking slut" and demanding she "sex it up and be slutty") but Big Cat laughed along and didn't object.

They also both went after her kid and and the fact she's proud to be a working mom, which I'm sure she didn't like. Actually, I agree with their larger point that people taking kids everywhere (e.g., work parties) isn't good or appropriate, but if somone said that about my wife or my kid in response, and then I learned my company had hired one of the people who had said that, I wouldn't be "Eh, sounds good!"

More specifically, when Big Cat(correctly) pointed out he didn't write that post, he never said he disagreed with that post or if he thought what either of them had said during their "rant" was wrong.

My guess: there's a lot more where this came from, and PFT Commentator is going to have to decide should he stay with this brand or go. Barstool, as a whole, won't care -- this is completely on-brand for them and their fans.



October 17th, 2017 at 2:51 PM ^

because no one aware of who his is or what he does thinks there's anything wrong with his antics (they probably think it's funny/cool).

It's a trash niche site catering to douche frat boys by perpetuating a culture of misogyny, binging, etc.

Surprised Brian even gave them the benefit of acknowledgement.


October 17th, 2017 at 3:41 PM ^

I have never seen a defense of their site that didn't begin and end with "Pardon My Take is good".  Which, sure, congrats.  They paid guys with talent a lot of money to slum it with them for a bit.  But I'd love to see any evidence beyond PMT that Barstool is worth a visit.


October 17th, 2017 at 12:53 PM ^

(I apparently had never created an account here....weird.)

The thing that I really like about what Mel is doing is that it seems like he's putting a huge emphasis on speed. He's building a fast, fast team. Skating is referenced as a plus on nearly every player he's got committed.

But yeah, I think from 2018-2021 he's got 23 skaters listed as committed. They're most definitely accounting for attrition both with the current team and in the recruiting class #FtheO

I'm a little surprised we haven't heard anything about a goalie. It makes sense that St Cyr went elsewhere given that we've got two guys who are both pretty good and only sophomores, but they're going to need to bring someone in in 2019 or 2020. I don't think it's ideal to have both of your guys in the same class, so I'd prefer to see a 2019 recruit...but that's also a hard sell for a kid to come in with two seniors already there. Maybe they can get a transfer or something to split it up a little better? 


October 17th, 2017 at 12:54 PM ^

A few years ago a study on officiating (no, sorry cannot reference it) found that the further they were from the fans the less impact the home team enjoyed.  Hence a big baseball field yielded the least "home field advantadge" from the officials and the small band-box basketball court yielded the most.  So to test this they put officials in sound-deadening headphones and had them call a series of games and guess what?  The calls largely evened out when they took the crowd interface away from the officials.

It seems logical to me that referees, despite their protests otherwise, are at thier core humans who would rather be applauded than boo'd (positive vs negative feedback loop) so of course when given a 50-50 call they're going to naturally go the way that gives them the positive feedback.

Which would also explain to some extent why we dont enjoy more "home cooking" in AA vs say Columbus.  When a blown call is made at Michigan the refs might hear something like "oh dear I think you may have botched that one chap - better luck next time" while at OSU they'll get "I will torture and kill you and your family if that ever happens again"  


October 17th, 2017 at 12:56 PM ^

Oh cmon. Barstool can be hilarious. PFT Commenter basically created an entire genre of sports comedy with his character.

As with any comedy, it can be hit or miss. That's especially true if you're delegating random frat boys to run your local Twitter account. Sure, at the end of the day corporate HQ is responsible for the idiot PSU kid that posted the tweet, but that kind of thing seems inevitable given the business model.