Unverified Voracity Wants Craig James Back

Submitted by Brian on January 24th, 2013 at 1:39 PM


come back so I can mute you

WANT. Ace points out that this is a thing that exists:

The technology exists to remove commentary from live sporting events via your home sound system.

There's only one downside.

You may have to move to England to get the sound system as the Sony BDV-N7100W hits UK stores in May and contains technology initially developed by NASA.  The new state of the art home system is able to differentiate commentary from background noise and remove the announcers' voices to allow you to enjoy the ambient atmosphere of the stadium with its "football mode"...

"Sony says that its speakers are able to recognise what is the natural ambient sound of a sporting event, and what is somebody nattering on top. … 

The benefit is that fans can watch sport as if they're at the game, and not sitting next to a relentlessly unimpressive summariser with a booklet of cliches."

Goodbye, Craig James. Dick Vitale. Etc.

Meanwhile, I am off to patent a system that turns all color commentary into Dan Dakich hitting on Doris Burke. I'll see you from my space palace on Moon II.

Erp? As I type this Miami is housing Duke and Michigan is ticketed for #1 in the polls as long as they hold serve against Purdue. That's one thing. But being the odds-on favorite in Vegas?

VegasInsider.com moved Michigan to a 5-1 favorite to win the NCAA tournament on Tuesday, the best odds of anyone in America at the moment.

I feel that this is irrational exuberance. Surely, like, Florida or something.

Derrick Walton: pretty pretty good. Via UMHoops:

He seems a lot like a guy named Trey Burke, except he never misses shots.

You did what? The NCAA just announced they were going to investigate their investigation of Miami because of… stuff. This bit I didn't understand:

Former NCAA enforcement staff members worked with the criminal defense attorney for Nevin Shapiro to improperly obtain information for the purposes of the NCAA investigation through a bankruptcy proceeding that did not involve the NCAA.

As it does not have subpoena power, the NCAA does not have the authority to compel testimony through procedures outside of its enforcement program. Through bankruptcy proceedings, enforcement staff gained information for the investigation that would not have been accessible otherwise.

If this seems like whatever, as it did to me, the problem is that people not named Nevin Shapiro who have not signed off on this are suddenly getting asked questions under oath about things that are not laws.

This has served as another opportunity for people to shout that there's little reason for the rules the NCAA is enforcing here to exist. They just push activity under the table and hurt organizations who try to stop it. Wetzel:

Whatever. At the end of the day it's a rich person sending money to a young – often poor – person. We are supposed to be outraged by this? This is how the country works, this is how the force of a capitalistic economy will always make it work. Only the NCAA thinks it can stop it.

The goal of the NCAA is to create the illusion of amateurism because it allows the NCAA to avoid paying taxes – billions and billions of dollars in taxes. Which means billions and billion in taxes have to come from somewhere else – like the rest of us.

I'm down with this. I'm not down with crapping on Mark Emmert constantly, since he inherited this crap and is understandably focused on bigger things than any individual investigation. He just hacked out 25 pages from the rulebook, he added multi-year scholarships, he tried to get the cost-of-living increase through before being shot down by Indiana State, and next year they're going to have a knock-down, drag-out fight about agents and transfer rules and whatnot. All of that is due in no small part to the fact that anyone under 60 with a platform is tearing the NCAA apart on amateurism issues, and this is good.

Crapping on Emmert himself seems counterproductive. The guy is ramming reform down a thousand-headed-hydra throat collective as fast as he can. The root of all NCAA evil is the precious idea that the playing field can be level—and Emmert's working group just inserted language into the bylaws specifically repudiating that. Yeah, enforcement's screwed up. Emmert's busy with more important things.

Pretty good. From Luke Winn's latest power rankings:


Winn also mentions that Michigan's leap in offensive efficiency is ninth in the country, which is all the more impressive because Michigan is coming from a place of strength (22nd last year) and most of the other teams on that list are coming around from awful—the best 2012 offense on the list other than M is Butler, 223rd last year. The rest are 284th or worse.

Show us the game! Here's an early candidate for rant of the year at Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. It is dropping the bomb on the guy producing Syracuse's nail-biting win over Cincinnati:

2.5 -- And here we come to ESPN's coup de grace. Their fucking Starchild shot of the whole broadcast. With an incredibly important front-end one-and-one foul shot in a 2-point game, this is the camera angle ESPN goes with from the time Brandon Triche recieves the ball from the official all the way through as he shoots, misses it, Cincinnati rebounds it, and then calls time out:



I always want to watch important plays from the worst seat in the house! In fact, it's why I usually watch games on TV instead of heading to the arena...because you can just never get those worst-seat-in-the-house tickets.

Any live shot that is not the traditional sideline view is fist-clenchingly bad. You are not Stanley Kubrick, director guy. Just push the button.

Grraaagh. There's always a chance Penn State loses a game 19-16; outside of that Michigan State's 49-47 win over Wisconsin is assured of being the ugliest game of the year in the Big Ten. Consider this sentence:

This one was a double shutout until Wisconsin hit a 3 four minutes into the game.

And then this one:

A layup by Dawson with 6:58 to go to give MSU a 47-43 lead would be MSU's last field goal of the game.

They scored two points in the final seven minutes! And won! Wisconsin shot 30% from 2 and 3 and 39% from the line, and lost by two!

Neither of these teams will play a game this bad again this year, so prepare to be frustrated when they score in the, like, 50s.

File under Everyone Hates Wisconsin. Possessions in Wisconsin's Big Ten games so far: 59, 57, 59, 59, 64 (Iowa), 55. Prepare for a grim, grim game. Given Wisconsin's free-throw shooting woes—61% on the season, 331st, and 52% in Big Ten play—Michigan's low-foul ways might actually work against them in this one.

If they find themselves down, hack-an-Evans should be a real option. He's 33 of 84 from the line (39%) and a team with Michigan's offense should be more inclined to exchange points at the line for extra possessions than normal.

Denard at WR. As you might expect, he's inexperienced.

Gilmore said Robinson has some tangible and intangible qualities that should allow him to make up ground quickly. "The language I'm talking right now to him is foreign," Gilmore said. "It's Chinese. But the one thing I appreciate, he's asking questions." On Monday and Tuesday, Robinson stuck close to Gilmore when he wasn't taking reps. When Robinson saw something he either didn't understand or wanted to clarify, he asked Gilmore. "He's very coachable," Gilmore said. "He's a very humble kid. He asks some great questions. Not good questions. Great questions." That willingness to learn combined with Robinson's superior athleticism should help him close the gap with more experienced receivers. "Because of the athleticism he possesses, it will be a shorter learning curve than most," Gilmore said. "Once again, the God-given ability will take over. He's just got to get the reps."

But we want to visit the empty cathedrals of college football. Talkin' up neutral sites is one Gene Smith:

Big Ten athletic directors have a lot of decisions to make for the future, including the possibility of playing nine or even 10 conference home games per season starting in 2014. If the league does go that route, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith has an idea.

"I would like to see more neutral sites in those scenarios," Smith told ESPN.com. "We've got a great stadium in Chicago, one in Detroit, one in Indianapolis, and now we have the East Coast. So I can see more neutral sites for conference games."

I find myself strangely unoffended by this because it seems like Smith is talking about moving games from Rutgers and Maryland to somewhere other than Rutgers and Maryland. And… yeah, I don't care. No one's ever going to move a Michigan home game away from Ann Arbor, so I don't care. I do have a problem with Penn State essentially buying an Indiana home game and moving it to Philly, as that upsets competitive balance. Moving a Rutgers game to the Meadowlands doesn't, so I don't care.

I probably should care, but I've already done my YOU BLEW IT UP YOU MANIACS bit and am now settling in to my new reality in the dystopian future I thought couldn't happen to us. Vat-grown protein for all.

Etc.: Denard's getting mixed reviews as a wide receiver at the Senior Bowl. Ain't no gentlemen 'round here. Mitch McGary profiled and profiled. Devin Booker scores points in front of Michigan coaches. Irvin, Kennard also score points. Mark Donnal scouted. Winning by lots is good. Purdue braces for impact. ADIDAS SCREWED UP 1928.



January 24th, 2013 at 1:47 PM ^

has to survive at Illinois also.  May not seem like that much of an issue to get that win but the fact remains they will not get to #1 unless they win tonight and Sunday.


January 24th, 2013 at 3:13 PM ^

That game could be tougher than we think.  Illinois looked much better in their last game against Nebraska.  Granted, it was Nebraska, but a 20-point road win is nothing to sneeze at.  They looked like they might have shaken out of their funk. 

PB-J Time

January 24th, 2013 at 3:28 PM ^

Yeah I double checked the schedule after Brian's line thinking that we would have to win twice to become #1 (I suppose even the King of blogs can make mistakes). Road games in B1G=NOT automatic. Let's hope for 2 wins and #1!!!

Yinka Double Dare

January 24th, 2013 at 4:16 PM ^

I am much more worried about that game than Illinois' recent play would dictate.  They won at Gonzaga, blew out Butler on a neutral court, and blew out OSU in Assembly - this is obviously a team that can play on their best day.  They shoot a ton of 3s and Michigan has allowed teams to shoot a lot of 3s, if they're hitting that day (rather than their recent horrid shooting during the losing streak) it could be big trouble.

The upshot is that Illinois is not a slow-paced team under Groce and it seems like for most teams getting into an up-tempo game with Michigan is really asking for it this year.

Craig James

January 24th, 2013 at 2:20 PM ^

I assume that you contacted my publicist before posting that glamor shot of me on this here blog.  If not, you better cough up some royalties or at least some MGoPoints for the usage.  That said, its pretty cool that you like having me around.  Texans don't seem to enjoy me and, for some reason, prostitutes look at me like I'm an alleged serial killer so its nice to know that you all still care about me.  Thanks Brian.

(By the way, how do you like my cowboy hat in that picture?  I bought it just for my campaign, from campaign funds donated by big oil money.  Its okay to use those funds buy clothes, right?)


January 24th, 2013 at 7:07 PM ^

with your political aspirations.  Guess more than a few people here in the Lone Star State didn't take well to you and your son getting Mike Leach fired.  And about the SMU thing, just because it all went down after you left doesn't mean it wasn't on going when you were there.  It wouldn't help your politics, but you might consider coming clean.

By the way, James.  Next to Al Gore and his wallowing in Big Mideast Oil money...you're still a piker.


January 24th, 2013 at 1:57 PM ^

No one's ever going to move a Michigan home game away from Ann Arbor, so I don't care.  ------ I would move a home game away from the Big House for sure.  Dallas is nice and there is big money in these games!  - David Brandon


January 24th, 2013 at 2:24 PM ^

It's easy to disable the announcers if you have the right set-up. Most sports are broadcast in Dolby Digital. If you have a 5-channel audio system, simply unplug the center channel. VOILA!

I do this for the NFL all the time. The crowd noise and field mikes are piped through the front and rear channels. Turn up the volume with the center channel disabled and it simulates being there. Very cool.


January 24th, 2013 at 2:13 PM ^

Regarding Smith and the neutral sites, specifically his mention of "The East Coast".

Are the AD's going to try and push a NYC BTCG? Because just.....no...

French West Indian

January 24th, 2013 at 2:33 PM ^

...I don't understand why networks even waste money on announcers.  Most of the modern ones are as annoying as hell and they are probably paid qutie a bit too.

As an aside, I've often thought that if only TV had been invented before the radio (a technology with an obvious need for spoken play-by-play) then maybe nobody would have bothered to add announcers to TV broadcasts to begin with.  It would have seemed a bit odd in the context of that parallel universe, as in..."I can see what's happening so why would I want some wanker in my ear telling me what I'm seeing? Totally stupid idea."

The FannMan

January 24th, 2013 at 9:52 PM ^

I recall that the NFL tried announcer-less games.  It was just crowd noise and the PA announcer. It was really, really odd.  People really missed the announcers.  I know, I know - it doesn't make sense.  But losing the announcers didn't replicate the game experience. 

Now, replacing bad announcers with good announcers is always a winning idea.  I'm looking at you BTN.


January 24th, 2013 at 2:48 PM ^

Wetzel is incorrect when he sais this:  "The goal of the NCAA is to create the illusion of amateurism because it allows the NCAA to avoid paying taxes"

The NCAA, like the colleges and universities that belong to it, is tax-exempt because it claims to be a non-profit organization that claims to have a primarily educational mission.  Whether the players receive money or not will not affect its tax-exempt status.  After all, the coaches are paid by the universities and that doesn't make either the universities or the NCAA taxable.

The reason the NCAA has rules requiring amateurism is that the schools have voted for these rules to exist.  I can't imagine that it takes much thought to figure out why schools want to forbid other schools from paying their players--it's the same reason that all professional sports in North America have either a salary cap or a luxury tax. 

Just like the owners of professional sports franchises, the NCAA "owners" (the University presidents) have voted  for a salary cap in their sports, too.  A very very low salary cap.  It's not to avoid paying taxes, it's to avoid paying football players.


January 24th, 2013 at 3:18 PM ^

Just to add to this very good post, Taylor Branch's Atlantic article carefully unpacked the etimology of "scholar-athlete" and its relation to the desire of NCAA member universities to avoid workman's compensation claims by athletes...

The term came into play in the 1950s, when the widow of Ray Dennison, who had died from a head injury received while playing football in Colorado for the Fort Lewis A&M Aggies, filed for workmen’s-compensation death benefits. Did his football scholarship make the fatal collision a “work-related” accident? Was he a school employee, like his peers who worked part-time as teaching assistants and bookstore cashiers? Or was he a fluke victim of extracurricular pursuits? Given the hundreds of incapacitating injuries to college athletes each year, the answers to these questions had enormous consequences. The Colorado Supreme Court ultimately agreed with the school’s contention that he was not eligible for benefits, since the college was “not in the football business.”

The term student-athlete was deliberately ambiguous. College players were not students at play (which might understate their athletic obligations), nor were they just athletes in college (which might imply they were professionals). That they were high-performance athletes meant they could be forgiven for not meeting the academic standards of their peers; that they were students meant they did not have to be compensated, ever, for anything more than the cost of their studies. Student-athlete became the NCAA’s signature term, repeated constantly in and out of courtrooms.



January 24th, 2013 at 4:16 PM ^

And actually this whole idea that taxes have anything to do with this is bunk.  The NCAA has no net income, so even if they become tax exempt, they'll still pay no taxes.  I'd love to see the math that says they're saving "billions" in taxes.  If the NCAA was forced to be for profit, almost nothing would change exept they'd be required to do a little more reporting, and maybe change some terminology.  

Schools are also tax exempt, and their not for profit status actually matters, because if schools become for profit, donations are no longer tax free, and it decentivises alums from donating.  It also would make getting state subsidies very weird.  But none of this matters because that isn't happening.


January 24th, 2013 at 6:16 PM ^

The owners of professional sports teams can't just vote to have a salary cap. They collectively bargained for it with the union. If the union did not exist a salary cap would be illegal since they are separate businesses. Amateur student athletes are not employees and as a result don't have a union and don't require pay. If they did get pay they would be employees and could form a union. I suspect they would want compensation well above what they receive now in return for allowing a salary cap.  If schools started to pay athletes, they would be employees.  As soon as the schools attempted to set a salary cap across the NCAA they would be on the losing end of a giant lawsuit.




January 24th, 2013 at 2:49 PM ^

If we must ever have neutral sites, they should only take away a home game from a team with 5 home and 4 road B1G games in a 9 game schedule. That would actually be an ok way to limit that imbalance if Delaney insists on neutral site games.

Examples that work: Indiana/Purdue at Lucas Oil, Maryland at FedEx Field, Northwestern/Illinois at Soldier Field, Rutgers at MetLife, and Minnesota at their new stadium when it opens. Playing State, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Penn State, or Nebraska anywhere else would be a disservice to the better half of B1G fan bases.

Stupid Flanders

January 24th, 2013 at 3:22 PM ^

Mr. Walton is very good at layups.  I would think that someone on the other team should try to guard him once and a while, but it is entirely possible that he is "unguardable" (if such a word exists).

We can haz all your Juniors/III's?


January 24th, 2013 at 3:57 PM ^

I can't remember the game but there was a UM game this fall (pretty sure it was on ESPN) where for a good portion of the red zone snaps on one possession (possibly more I can't remember) someone in charge thought it would be a good idea to use the camera on the field.  It was like you were sitting on the 5 yd line 3 rows up trying to watch the game.  It drove me bonkers cause you really could see how the play was developing at all.


January 24th, 2013 at 5:19 PM ^

All of that is due in no small part to the fact that anyone under 60 with a platform is tearing the NCAA apart on amateurism issues, and this is good.

The subtle insult of both those over 60 and those under who disagree with you is becoming a theme and a tiresome one. Just because someone has a differing opinion doesn't give you the opportunity to play the "he's SOO old and not kool like us guys" card. If it does, it's a very sophmorish one.

I don't think you understand that were amateurism to exit college athletics, you'd be watching a different game and culture, and likely one you wouldn't much enjoy. Given your distaste for the NFL, it's surprising you continue to miss this logical connection.


January 24th, 2013 at 5:38 PM ^

The confidence that Michigan isn't having home games away from Ann Arbor, I probably wouldn't wager anything of value on it. I could see Brandon doing something like this in major markets. DC, NYC, Ford...not agreeing with it, but won't be surprised when it happens.


January 24th, 2013 at 6:43 PM ^

Not only that, I think you could see it leveraged in return for very large donations. If the D.C. alumni group comes together and donates 10 million (I assume that's a lot, though I have no idea what magnitude donation actually gets you noticed), D.B. reciprocates by having a game in the area.