Unverified Voracity Spoofs Emails Comment Count

Brian March 2nd, 2017 at 12:37 PM

We could do this in the middle of Texas or at home. It's not hard to figure out how neutral site games are viable when home and homes sometimes aren't:

Ticket prices for the Bama game were similar. Throw in a corporate sponsorship and voila: both teams can get close to home game money. We're in a weird place when schools find it necessary to outsource these kind of things. If I was AD I'd ask season ticket holders how much of a surcharge they'd be okay with to get a game like Florida at the Big House. I'm guessing it would cover a lot of the costs of a real game relative to a bodybag game, if not all of them. Michigan doesn't need to cut in a middleman*.

*[Except maybe in this particular case. This game is happening because of the ND cancellation that left Brandon scrambling. This is probably the best alternative to a negotiated agreement. I'll leave it to the reader to decide how much of the situation Michigan found itself in was Brandon.]

Color me unconcerned. Crain's engages some concern-trolling about Michigan's debt load:

The University of Michigan athletic department sits atop $240 million in debt at a time when several major college athletics programs are grappling with enormous and potentially crippling debt loads.

Michigan is not. They make 160 million annually, so their debt load is manageable. Someone making 80k with a 120k mortgage is in fine shape, and unlike a mortgage Michigan's debt load largely exists because Bill Martin built the boxes to increase revenues. A mortgage does not throw off income.

The article itself admits this by way of the bond market:

Unlike some of its cash-strapped peers, Michigan has a packed Big House on fall Saturdays, deep-pocket donors, an elite credit rating, and it expects its share of TV money to keep increasing — a mix the university expects to give it the financial maneuverability to readily pay what it owes and to keep borrowing to build or refurbish its facilities.

This seems to defeat the purpose of this article, which goes on to discuss the slow decline of ESPN and fracturing of the cable unit—none of which has slowed the explosive revenue growth Michigan and the Big Ten has not only seen recently but locked in for the next six years. It also invokes Cal as a potential disaster situation. Cal was 22 million dollars in the red last year and has almost twice Michigan's debt. The situations are not at all similar.

Dave Brandon was a lot of things, but he wasn't Tom Goss.

Interesting twitter exchange. PFF likes Channing Stribling's coverage a lot. His run D, not so much.

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Stribling noticed this and tweeted about it, leading to a brief, interesting conversation between Stribling and James Ross:

I'm with PFF after some boggling missed tackles but he can fix that, and his coverage was just as good as Lewis's.

This won't be a surprise to Chat Sports aficionados. James Yoder, "CEO" of Chat Sports, tried to buy the Cauldron, another website, for about two million dollars. This naturally resulted in a fraudulent term sheet, a ton of finger-pointing, and ham-handed cover-up attempts. Yoder comes off as completely unhinged in the story:

Yoder says that Jamie O’Grady is a “master of creating fake emails.”

As a demonstration, Yoder sent me, at my work email address, a fake email that made it look like I had emailed Yoder asking for help finding clean urine. Yoder stressed that he faked an email from me strictly to show me what O’Grady does.

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After I privately forwarded the email to my editors, Yoder emailed me again asking why his email had been opened multiple times; he had tracked the email. “We track every email we send,” he says. “We use an email tracking service.”

This is because he is totally unhinged. "Spoofing and phishing tactic mastered by the other party." Cumong, man. Even OJ Simpson didn't go around giving stabbing demos.

The article briefly mentions the aspect of Chat Sports most infamous around here, but doesn't quite get it right:

In its early days, Chat Sports posted original content from many different writers—some of those bylines, like Rick Steele or Tipp Smith, have Twitter accounts that have tweeted only one time. Were they fake? Yoder says yes. “Absolutely we had fake writers,” he says. “That’s because we’re a scrappy company. What do you have when you start a company? You have zero traffic, you have zero name brand… So we had a writer program for college-aged kids… and sometimes they had information about things that they didn’t really feel comfortable writing in their own names. Some people think that’s such a terrible thing—‘journalistic integrity!’—that’s called growth hacking.”

The problem with the fake writers was not that they were operating under pseudonyms but that the stories they "reported" were made up. Chat Sports has the same business plan that Macedonian teenagers did during the election: say anything at all shocking or controversial that dullards on the internet propagate because they can't tell the difference between Chat Sports and something with a smidgen of credibility. Buzzfeed has an article about a similar company that spews out near-identical posts for political dullards on both left and right. The parallels go all the way down to the obvious stock photos used for author bios. 

The only truly surprising thing in the story is that Yoder was able to find a dupe despite coming off like Borat The Investor. Remember Borat? NOT! Good times.

Anyway, don't post Chat Sports stories here.

Austin Davis: good? Michigan's center situation this year is bogglingly shallow, which naturally makes one wonder how good Austin Davis can possibly be if he's redshirting. Beilein says he's all right, though:

"He's really good, that's all I'm going to tell you," Beilein said today. "I wish, I knew what I know now." ...

"In the middle of January, it all started slowing down," Beilein said. "Guys just throw him the ball and he puts it in. There's no drama, there's no Kardashians. The ball is in. The ball goes in."

I'm not sure how to react to that. If Davis was in fact very good and was doing that well in January, keeping the redshirt on him is an odd decision. OTOH, he might not play even if he is very good. The only thing Beilein hates more than playing a freshman point guard is playing a freshman post. Not even Mitch McGary got much run until really late in the year. (Jordan Morgan took a redshirt before emerging into a starter.) Wagner barely got off the bench last year despite Michigan's center situation being Mark Donnal and a guy with literal narcolepsy.

I do think Davis is going to be a breath of fresh, rebound-y air next year. He's a burly dude, something Michigan hasn't had since McGary.

I very much want to see a Michigan lineup that goes Teske/Davis-Wagner-Wilson-Matthews-Simpson. That will look like the Monstars with Webster at point guard.

Etc.: Spencer's take on Ole Miss is kinder than mind and good. More croot profiles: Andrew Stueber. Goodbye, eggs. Peppers draft stuff. HSR on Wagner. Get The Picture with more Ole Miss fallout. Jim Harbaugh is not sticking to sports. Lewis draft stuff. Harbaugh thinks Grant Newsome will be back this year.



March 2nd, 2017 at 12:46 PM ^

Still probably not enough to make it a no-go, but I hope we get away from the neutral site sterility and get back to home-and-homes. Remember when FSU and Miami came to the Big House? Way better than both schools playing 1,000 miles from their home stadiums in a lifeless NFL stadium


March 2nd, 2017 at 12:47 PM ^

Didnt we play a basketball game last night?  I could've sworn we played a basketball game last night.

Crazy ending?   We came out on the wrong end of it?  Help me here - am I mixing up last night for a different night?


March 2nd, 2017 at 1:14 PM ^

Wagner barely got off the bench last year despite Michigan's center situation being Mark Donnal and a guy with literal narcolepsy.

I spit out my coffee when I read this line lol. Michigan's center situation under Beilein has been a tragic comedy.


March 2nd, 2017 at 1:06 PM ^

Went to the Bama game at Jerry's World and will definitely NOT be going to the UF game there.  The stadium - yes - is massive but utterly lacks any semblance of atmosphere or charm.  It's a cold, steel and concrete structure surrounded by a massive lake of asphalt with no tailgate scene at all.  It was 105 degrees and at least 20 degrees hotter in the lot.  We got there early and eeked out a small patch of grass along the border but the scene was pathetic. 

Inside the game, we dropped $200 for bleeders in the corner and were in mixed company with Bama fans although we'd bought MICHIGAN tickets.  The field isn't just far, far down from those seats, it's also far away.  There is no choice other than to watch the game on the giant screen hanging in front of you because the players look like ants down on the field.

It was about the worst college football game atmosphere I have ever been in and that includes some bowl games and 'Neutral site" college games at Mile Hi Stadium.


It's a money grab, pure and simple.  I will be interested to see if the attendance is down because at least with Bama fans, they could drive to the game and outnumbered the M fans at about 2:1.


March 2nd, 2017 at 2:23 PM ^

You make a convincing case that Jerry World is a terrible venue for a Michigan game - and yet I can't help thinking if the score had been reversed it would be Bama fans bitching about the experience while M fans said "Eh, not the best place to watch a game, but what a BLAST!"

Context matters...


March 2nd, 2017 at 3:08 PM ^


I went to Harbaugh's first game as coach at Utah and can say that was one of the best atmospheres I've ever been in as a visiting or neutral fan. I would also say the BWW Bowl in Tempe vs KState was horrible all around - stadium, tailgating, game, etc.

I've also been to Rose Bowl losses to SC, but rank the RB and Pasadena - tailgate, etc - as incredibly good.

So no, I'm being objective. Jerrys World sucks and epitomizes his ego.

The Bama fans, fwiw, were awesome and fun ...much more so than sparties & buckeyes.


March 2nd, 2017 at 3:26 PM ^

The Utah game did look like a blast, despite losing. And you certainly can't compare the Rose Fergodsakes Bowl with a nuetral site NFL stadium.

I'm just saying if we'd been up on Bama by 3 TD in under 10 minutes you'd have a warmer recollection of the experience.

I would anyway! And I'm not talking the temp in the parking lot...


March 2nd, 2017 at 7:07 PM ^

ok I was just using the common aspect of attending a loss. Losses at M stadium suck too, but the stadium and tailgating never does.


And I never mentioned the game score or outcome at all in my first reply - just the stadium and game atmosphere.

FWIW, SuperBowl 50 was the most amazing sporting event I've ever attended.


March 2nd, 2017 at 1:10 PM ^

PFF has basically graded Jordan Lewis out as Deion Sanders but better tackler for 2 years and now it looks like he is their 7th or 8th rated corner.   

I'm not saying people can't have a negative opinion of Michigan players but PFF and Jrdan were like best buddies.


March 2nd, 2017 at 1:17 PM ^

I feel like a massive loser when a guy like Yoder can go and create a website of fakeness that can raise $2M in funding.  Jeez.

As for Davis, last similar story was Donnal was "unstoppable" on offense in practice and making senior Jordan Morgan tuck into fetal position.  That was right around March Madness if I remember.  I'll pass on the winter hype this time around.


March 2nd, 2017 at 1:28 PM ^

...is Texans.  Steamboat is full of them all winter  and that is enough for me.  

Despite this being called a neutral game, it will have an away game feel.  Texans will support Florida - because Southerners.  Even if we are the better team this is going to be a tough win.

Blue in Denver

March 2nd, 2017 at 1:50 PM ^

There are 27 million people in Texas, and most of them never leave the state.  I agree traveling Texans tend to be unbearable, so I was leary of moving there.  Most of them are actually very nice.

Example:  I bought a scalped ticket to see the Wings play the Stars in the Western Conf finals in 1998.  I'm by myself in an Yzerman jersey, sitting in a morass of green and black.  Everyone was nice.  There was a lot of good-natured ribbing, but nothing bad at all.  I thought at the time "wow, if you folks wore Dallas green in Joe Lewis in the playoffs you might not get out alive."

Please note Texans do NOT consider themselves southerners.  They consider themselves Texans.  I suspect a lot would root against Michigan, but I also suspect that has more to do with how polarizing Jim Harbaugh is.


March 2nd, 2017 at 2:47 PM ^

Full disclosure - in addition to my experience with the rich travelling Texans here, I am married to a Texan and have been going there at least twice a year for as long as I can remember.  

Not interested in a pissing match here - Texans have always been very polite to me as well,  but I've heard enough Texans joke that, "The South will rise again" to disagree with your assertion that they are 'not Southerners'. 

Sounds like we agree that this will have a road atmosphere, and might be a tough win.




March 2nd, 2017 at 2:32 PM ^

Webster? Are you forgetting that the point guard whose talent they stole was Muggsy Bogues? Your proposed lineup for next year is actually the Monstars with no substitutions needed  


March 2nd, 2017 at 2:46 PM ^

The best part about the Chat Sports article was the "hey totally this is how the other guy fakes the emails" thing. How dumb do you have to be to think someone is going to fall for that?

But the next best thing was when he claimed that the Cauldron owner faked an email from Chat Sport's owner's best friend's dad, who is an attorney.

And then the next best thing is when the guy talks about how he's so smart at raising capital and getting Series A funding but has no clue what "escrow" means.


If you read Yoder's "response" - and I caution that it will hurt your brain to do so - the entire thing reads like a guy who so badly wants to be a TechBro and show off his awesome knowledge.

And I'm sure the tweets he shows are totally real. And not fake people. At all. From the guy who admitted to using fake people to support his company. But those people are real. Totally real people. Totally.

kevin holt

March 2nd, 2017 at 3:16 PM ^

It's funny that Crain's is a business publication yet doesn't understand bonds/debt. It's Crain's Detroit obviously---the flagship Crain's would immediately fire whoever wrote that drivel.