Unverified Voracity Kicks Self In Face

Submitted by Brian on February 24th, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Yes, pretty much. Not to dwell on a small monkey on a Caribbean island throwing a banana that turns into a tsunami because of chaos theory and wham(!) there's a coconut in Crisler, but people are saying that Tim Hardaway's facial expression after you know, that, was priceless and perfect and they're right:


W. T. F.
via DetNews and TWB

Yes, yes, free throws, yes free throws. The most shocking stat from the game to me: Michigan rebounded 76% of Wisconsin's misses, which is actually better than their very good season average of 71% (50th nationally). It seemed like Wisconsin had one possession that lasted four minutes.

Dolla dolla bill yo. Michigan is officially one of those teams that has a head coach and then a guy making almost as much as the head coach:

Michigan, according to contract obtained today, will pay Greg Mattison $750K/year with chance to make $900K if the team wins Big Ten title

That's probably triple what any Michigan assistant has ever made and makes me wonder who Michigan could have acquired a couple years back instead of Greg Robinson. A: Damn near anyone. /kicks self in face

Compher fill-in. JT Compher is one of two recent 2013 verbals for the hockey team, but unless you're Jack Johnson it's hard to get a read on how big of a get any particular 15-year-old is. But he might be kind of a big deal if his local paper is to be believed:

"He reminds me of (Vancouver Canucks MVP candidate [ed: ??? - he's 20 points behind two teammates]) Ryan Kesler , who played in the program," said Ryan Resmierski, director of player personnel for the National Team and in charge of all the youngsters in the program.

"He's a good hockey player right now, but we think with our program in Ann Arbor, we can make him an exceptional hockey player. He has a huge upside. First of all, he's an outstanding competitor. He competes every game we've seen him."

[HT: Michigan Hockey Net.]

Compher is currently the only kid on next year's NTDP U17s, getting offered a spot four months before the annual tryout camp held in March. He held early offer-type-substances from Notre Dame, Miami, and BU; there was also some chatter about the guy getting selected in the first round of the OHL draft.

BONUS: His sister is a "talented volleyball player and dancer."

Meanwhile, Michigan's other early commit from the MWEHL, Tyler Motte, has gotten the "Seat Over There" treatment from Yost Built. Motte's averaging over a point per game for Honeybaked and Tim (Not That Tim) dug up this tantalizing quote:

"He's playing like an 18- or 19-year-old, and for a '95 to do that is pretty amazing ... If he plays with Honeybaked, they're going to have the best player in the nation."

That's just one guy's enthusiasm so we don't have quite as much to go on as we do with Compher but it sounds like both are high-end gets.

Usual caveat: even guys with Johnson's hype level come up short when we're projecting so far down the line. Both Luke Moffatt and Tristin Llewellyn were hyped as first round picks when they committed and fell well short of that. (Moffatt went in the seventh round; Llewellyn didn't get drafted at all.)

The new "hard edge". Motivational whatnot ho:


The little text below says "State of Ohio High School Coaches Clinic," if you're wondering why you've never heard that before. So we've come to this, have we? Countdown clocks and quotes on the wall for Michigan State? A team that scrapes over seven wins twice a decade? /kicks self in face*

*[Not a Hoke criticism. Hoke uber alles.]

And then he stage-dove at a Whitney Houston concert. I've met Mike Spath and he's a nice guy but what in the holy hell is this?

Three years earlier, Rich Rodriguez donned a Maize and Blue hockey jersey and took a stab at Score-O – …. The student section roared with delight. That was Rodriguez's way and that didn't make it wrong but his occupation of the spotlight did offend some folks.

Flash-forward (or rewind) to Friday night. Hoke stepped onto the ice from the north entrance wearing jeans and an untucked collared blue shirt. He looked uncomfortable as the patrons rose to their feet just as he appeared a bit out of sorts at a men's basketball game a few weeks ago. Hoke probably would have retreated quickly, disappearing out of sight, but the band broke into a rendition of The Victors and Hoke was soon pumping his fists in unison with the crowd.

That has got to be the dumbest criticism ever leveled. Braves & Birds obliterates it and the thinking behind this, convincingly pointing to the repeated uninspiring, cheap hires the filthy rich Big Ten makes as  a major reason they've fallen behind in the race to not get destroyed 49-7 by Alabama:

Heaven forbid that the highest-paid employee at the University of Michigan, the man up front for the winningest program in college football history actually acknowledges that he is in the spotlight!  Thank goodness that we’ve hired a guy who is going to do his work in front of 110,000 paying customers and millions watching on TV, but is uncomfortable with attention.  This is bound to work out well!

At the same time Dave at Maize 'n' Brew pointlessly deconstructs Rodriguez's recruiting classes in an effort to… do… something. What other than piss people off is unclear.

So now we're positioning Hoke as a socially anxious Fred Flintstone and pretending that Rodriguez wasn't playing Sisyphus on the recruiting trail. I really want Michigan to win but this crap saps my enthusiasm because accompanying the wins will be yet more articles about how Brady Hoke "gets it" that claim "it" to be ineffable qualities like looking sloppy and knowing the fight song instead of having an upperclass quarterback and extant secondary. I'll deal with that should the time come.

I'm sorry if this occasions more eye-rolling from people who just want to leave Rodriguez dead and in the ground. I know I should just let it slide, but I can only take so many stupid things before I blow up. Otherwise I will die.

Etc.: Steven Threet retires due to concussion issues; here's his 58-yarder against Wisconsin. Brabbs profile in AnnArbor.com; The Daily profiles Carl Hagelin. AnnArbor.com also sets a new record for most extraneous words at the beginining of a headline: "Swedish Michigan hockey captain Carl Hagelin finds a second home with Wolverines." That's five. Hot diggity SEO. /kicks self in face



February 24th, 2011 at 4:51 PM ^

maybe the dantonio quote is up for the combination of him being a douche AND his reference to Ohio and their hate of Michigan. 

plus, we need to beat msu. we need to beat osu more. but we need to beat msu. don't be in denial about it.


February 24th, 2011 at 5:10 PM ^

used Lloyd Carr's recruits as part of RR's recruiting class.  RR landed JT Floyd, Feagin, T-Rob, Omameh, Barnum, Roundtree, Shaw and Odoms.  The one before them were Carr's recruit. To include McGuffie, O'Niell, Wermer, Witherspoon, Hill and Smith is just skewing the number to support your argument.


February 24th, 2011 at 5:15 PM ^

"That's probably triple what any Michigan assistant has ever made and makes me wonder who Michigan could have acquired a couple years back instead of Greg Robinson. A: Damn near anyone. /kicks self in face"

No matter how much money we had to throw around a few years ago, what D coordinator would want to join RR's staff and be forced to go along with its wacky defensive philosophies? A: Only a desperate one.


February 24th, 2011 at 5:16 PM ^

I don't mind pointing out RR bashing for what it is: misleading and stupid.  I can't get with pointing out Hoke's perceived flaws (looking sloppy, stupid hire) though.  Can't you defend RR's honor without bashing our coach?


February 24th, 2011 at 5:39 PM ^

If people think Hoke is winning more games because of stupid "intangible" qualities such as "getting the rivalries" and "loving Michigan" and "being blue collar" rather than "having a vastly improved defense" and "having way more upperclassmen," then they're likely to focus on the wrong criteria in future hiring decisions as well.  

And that sucks.  


February 24th, 2011 at 5:51 PM ^

but that would be giving Hoke praise for an actual tangible quality.  I have no issues with people praising Hoke's tangible accomplishments.  

But this program is Burkean in a way that makes me want to fricking vomit, and it's looking incredibly likely that Hoke's success will reinforce that.  That really, really pisses me off.  I have no issue admitting this is ideological for me, but it's not Rich Rod v. Hoke.  It's "things that actually matter" v. "stupid outdated notions of intangibles and tradition and blah blah blah."  


February 24th, 2011 at 6:08 PM ^

Why are people so wrapped up in how the MSM portrays the hypothetical future success of Michigan Football?  Does it really matter down the line if people understand that RR wasn't the only problem from 2008-10?  If Michigan is back to winning, and Hoke is therefore successful, let's all just be happy about it, yes?


February 24th, 2011 at 6:24 PM ^

it's really not.  Yes, I didn't want him fired.  Yes, I don't think he was treated well.  But I am exactly as mad about this as I am about people who think Derek Jeter is a good defensive shortstop or that NFL games are decided on toughness.  Thinking Brady Hoke wins football games because he understands Michigan's traditions is bad thinking and will be bad sportswriting.  And it's fricking endemic to all aspects of sports journalism and sports discussion. That makes me angry on its own terms.  


February 24th, 2011 at 6:11 PM ^

Your ideology may be wrong. Because most everyone involved in actual sports sees value in those "outdated notions of tradition" and such (not to mention Business and a whole lot of other venues). The trick is to not be ruled by them, but use them. And realize there's a difference between it unfairly being used against Rich and acknowledging that, and not equating it to them having no value at all.


February 24th, 2011 at 7:01 PM ^

Rebounding margin obviously can't be taken seriously...
<br>But after the piss-poor deconstruction of rebounding margin that was linked to on the front page the other day, I'd say there's shaky thinking by those who skew numbers as well as those that base things on intangibles. Indoctrination to any belief system probably isn't good; you're just advocating a different one.


February 24th, 2011 at 7:30 PM ^

People still cling to it. (I'm still waiting for the automatic mass positive turnover margin season we're going to have every year, because we've been so far the other direction for years, and "THEY'RE RANDOM DUDE!")
<br>But the problem is, sports, like a lot of ventures, isn't number based, but human based. And involves a lot of emotions. Which are hard to quantify. Especially when dealing with teenagers+. the fact that you have a hard time quantifying motivation doesn't mean it doesn't exist; it just means your model fails in measuring it.
<br>The funny thing is most of these armchair blog type statistics are hardly rigorously scientifically tested with good sized samples, and almost always come from trying to prove something true, rather than searching for results, and is just as emotionally motivated.
<br>But I'm guessing you're the exception, and won't be cheering at the next football game, because crowds are shown to have minimal effect on game outcomes at home.


February 24th, 2011 at 9:39 PM ^

and their performance is measured by statistics.  This isn't art or literature.  At the end of each game, there is a statistic -- the score -- that tells you who won or lost the game.  There's no subjectivity involved; someone won and someone lost.  And because we know exactly how to determine who wins or loses any game, we can figure out what other statistics are correllated with winning the game.  

If any "intangible" quality has a real effect on performance, it will show up in the stats if we have sufficient tools to measure it.  That's why your crowd noise example is such a bad one: we know for a fact that home field/home court advantage has a measurable effect on the outcome, because we have a giant data set confirming it.  If you think "hunger" is a meaningful variable that can predict performance, there are probably ways to control for it (off the top of my head, number of losses in a row, number of losses to that specific opponent etc.). 

But any reliance on "intangibles" that can't be measured is inherently problematic, because there's simply no way to prove whether the assertion is right or wrong.  It simply becomes a frame that fits any possible outcome.  If a young team wins a championship, it's because they were loose and didn't know they were supposed to feel pressure.  If they lose, it's because they hadn't been there before and didn't know how to win.  It doesn't get us anywhere useful, and it doesn't help us figure out how to construct better teams that are more likely to win.  


February 25th, 2011 at 12:09 AM ^

Not sure what the point of that was. Just that there are so many variables in what makes a team win that it's hard to quantify. It more Chaos Theory than lab experiment. And that much (most?) of it is not useful, and thus folly to take one part and use that as a justification. And most often it's measuring what good teams do, but not telling us that what they do makes them win, but winning teams do "this". Very chicken and the eggs. Sure, we know turnovers are bad, and if you do it less and get more you do better. But try explaining WHY some teams do it more or less. Theories of randomness to causation have gone about, but none really state why/what will happen, and accurately predict a team's probability of which end they will fall on. You can measure what motivates X percentage of people, but that doesn't make you good at motivating them. And if a "clock" works for 10% of the players, then there are other things for other players. But really, it's not so delineated, and has a mixed and cumulative effect with each person.
<br>And you must have missed the SI article on the new study on home field advantage, but your statistic backs up my point. Certainly home teams win more than the road. But it doesn't really measure why. You just assume because it happens more that crowd noise (you, shouting) is the reason for it. But the study found very tiny correlation or variance in winning and losing depending on crowds, sleeping in your own bed, and such. The only real difference they could find was ref bias towards the home team causing differentiation. So cheering, trying to psych out the other team, wearing yellow t-shirts, standing, sitting, shouting...all pretty negligible. So it was actually a great example.
<br>The moral of the story? If you're going to the game, save your energy for yelling at the refs. Intimidating them is the best bang for your buck, not the opposing team.


February 25th, 2011 at 9:57 AM ^

that always say "there is no such thing as a team coming out 'flat' as an explanation of why that team lost--they lost because turnovers/penalties/drops/bad decisions." I always am amused by this refusal to allow for non-measurable factors as an explanation. Especially when the players that play the game admit that they didn't have their head in the game that day and indeed came out "flat."  To your point, this is one reason WHY those things happened. To deny it is really blind. 


February 25th, 2011 at 11:40 AM ^

The stats lovers see turnovers being somewhat random and most associated with having (or lacking) veterans.  They fully expect the trend of high turnovers to end simply based on the team's statistical average age increasing.

Meanwhile, many of those "mouth breathers" out there chuckle at such a pointy headed view.  They see the game through an experiential lens, not a statistical lens.

They think  "gee, if your offense is predicated on have a slighly built QB (Denard) and a slightly built RB (Smith) get hit a bunch of times by our huge DLs and LBs, they will tend to fumble the ball.  It is not rocket science. It is grounded common sense and experience from playing the game.

Denard got hit a lot against OSU and ended up fumbling. Vincent Smith also got hit and fumbled against OSU.

Do the stat guys think this magically wouldn't happen next year? 

Results from the last 3 years seem to favor the experiential observers.


February 24th, 2011 at 5:48 PM ^

If Brian had published a big screamin' headline that said "Hoke a sloppy dresser; film at 11" and then left the actual text about the untucked shirt in regular-sized font inside a blockquote - or worse yet, simply linked to the article, guaranteeing that fewer than 10% of readers would actually bother to figure out what "sloppy" referred to - then, yes, this would be unnecessary and slanderous.  But to employ hyperbole to humorously characterize the "evidence" the writer provided, while making said evidence available and obvious to readers?  That's kind of what Brian does.


February 24th, 2011 at 5:28 PM ^

For example, I really want the Tigers to win, but every time someone says the Tigers win BECAUSE Jim Leyland does stupid things -- hitting and running, bunting etc. -- rather than in spite of Jim Leyland's idiocy, I want the Tigers to win a tiny bit less. 

People attributing success to the wrong variables is really freaking annoying.  


February 24th, 2011 at 5:53 PM ^

the same Jim Leyland who led the Tigers to the World Series appearance in 2006 and also led the Florida Marlins to World Series championship and was 2x NL Manager of the Year while managing for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the same franchise who sucked for the last two decades?  Yeah, he's an idiot.


February 24th, 2011 at 6:14 PM ^

he is a fundamentally flawed manager.  Pretty much every "manager-y" thing he does (bunting, hitting and running, having guys steal when they don't have a 75%+ success rate) costs his team runs and causes them to win fewer games.  


February 24th, 2011 at 7:13 PM ^

"continue to lead his team" is a major, unsupported assumption, right?  You're attributing causation to something that can be as easily explained by the fact that he had Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla and Andy Van Slyke in Pittsburgh, Kevin Brown, Cliff Floyd, Moises Alou, and Gary Sheffield in Florida, and Maggs, Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander in Detroit.  


February 24th, 2011 at 9:39 PM ^

a great coach.  He had MJ, Scottie Pippen, Shaq, Kobe as his players.


Every great coach always has great players playing for them. Sean Payton had Drew Brees. Bill Beilichieck had Tom Brady.  I can rattle tons of great coaches who happen to have great players playing for them.


February 24th, 2011 at 7:15 PM ^

I've always felt that the game-day skills of baseball managers are grossly overrated.  Joe Torre useed to wear his bullpen out like there was no tomorrow, but he had more talent than everyone else and won a bunch of rings.  La Russa makes some really dumb moves too, but he also has some of the top talent in the NL and thus is able to compete.  Leyland isn't a genius, but he manages the clubhouse reasonably well, can win when you give him talent, and seems like a fun guy to be around.  I'll take that.


February 24th, 2011 at 7:35 PM ^

Exactly.  Leyland does an amazing job managing a clubhouse.  He's also fine strategically.

The problem is everyone thinks they know baseball so well that the moment a decision backfires the masses are ready to point it out, all while looking the other way when a tough decision works out.


February 24th, 2011 at 8:27 PM ^

There's that intellectual arrogance again. Only the genius coach can claim the mantle of being a great football coach.  All the emotional edge, motivational stuff is beneath Michigan. Doing whatever it takes to make us focus on Michigan State as a rival, also beneath us.  

Could you find us all a link to an article that has attributed any success to what Hoke is doing.  You won't be able to because there is no success achieved yet on the field.  Or maybe the Amazing Kreskin is writing Michigan football stories now somewhere?

When I see people so paranoid that they are whining about success and attributing wrong variables to it, before success has even happened, it's hard not to see something troubling.  The problem might be that you all are obsessed with being right, over Michigan playing great football and beating our rivals? I'd hate to think that of our wonderful fans.

It is really hard to tell what is behind all the anti-Hoke stuff.  That's what Brian's griping about countdown clocks and positive media coverage really is. Brian is a great writer but not able to sneak through how much he dislikes this hire and how chafed he still is.  When positive coverage for a program that has been trampled by the media for three years beats our  own fans down....  Yikes.