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Date Title Body
06/19/2018 - 4:12pm Thanks for fixing the login…

Thanks for fixing the login issue!  That was a huge sticking point for me.

 

06/13/2018 - 1:49am And so it begins.  At least…

And so it begins.  At least he's a hitter and is less likely to fall apart all at once.

 

06/11/2018 - 5:06pm The layout needs some work. …

The layout needs some work.  Like others, the excessive whitespace and lack of actual content in most places is decreasing my desire to stay here and keep hitting page-down every other sentence.

The problem with the existing "sidebar design" (which, to be fair, existed in the old site too) is that the sidebar lists are much shorter than the content they frame.  This is exacerbated by having popular topics with lots of comments, which tend to showcase the literally glaring design choice as we scroll and scroll through sparse, centered text amid acres of white background.

I would suggest that you remove the sidebars and put those lists in a menu accessible from the floating banner instead.  Use your real estate for the things that matter - the content, and the comments.

05/21/2018 - 5:57pm On the bright side

I know several people including my spouse who have had their gallbladder removed and all have been much happier afterwards.  When it starts acting up it can be rough so hopefully that's one more hurdle on your journey to health.

 

04/27/2018 - 2:21am The biggest problem with in-the-aggregate studies

is that they treat Barkley as though he's just another top college RB.  If you really think he's Barry Sanders or Marshall Faulk, then you take him and don't look back.  No pick will break the bank on their rookie deals - it's the next deal that kills you.  Nothing says that you have to sign him to the next deal if he's not all that.

Yes, an elite RB isn't that much more valuable than an average RB, but so what?  That only matters if you can pick up another elite QB or pass rusher with the pick instead, and your odds of finding one of those in this draft aren't that good.  If you think Barkley has better odds of being elite than one of the QBs/pass-rushers, he's still the right pick.  It's not like any of the QB's are Luck (and look what happened to him!) or the pass-rushers are Von Miller.

 

04/15/2018 - 2:24am Ave Atque Vale

Hail, Moe Wagner, and farewell.  We'll always have ankle-breaking dribble-drives and multi-lingual trash-talking to remember you by ...

 

04/09/2018 - 1:26am Another Russian Troll

kapriolcbd

03/07/2018 - 7:58pm Winning fixes everything but the effect fades quickly

When you're winning, all those problems - recruiting, development, legal woes, scandal - it can all be ignored.  But when you do you're only as good as your last win, and the swamp gets deeper the further into the rear-view mirror that win recedes.

We are fortunate to have the coaches we do.  Take a long hard look at the coaching picture being painted so starkly between us and MSU, and hopefully we'll remember that in the doldrums when the team is still gelling and we're struggling.

 

02/27/2018 - 4:51pm My proposed solution is twofold

1. Olympic mode, for outside incime. If someone tells Rashan Gary that after his first year at Michigan, they'll pay $1M for his signed game-used jersey, let them. If T Boone Pickens wants to top that, let him try. Yes, people will make stupid decisions both buying and selling, just like they do everywhere else. And?

I sometimes wonder if people primarily object because they're jealous of the fact that Gary-esque athletes might make so much money in one shot while they walked uphill through the snow with no shoes because they had to sell them to make tuition this month ...

2. Lifetime health insurance for all graduate student athletes (minimum game time requirements for each sport so walk-ons don't swamp you) for DIvI/major colleges. This should syphon money out of the athletic departments and provide a Title IX compliant benefit to each athlete, while also addressing the potential long-term injuries our players currently risk. In addition, it certainly seems like a benefit that is deserved, especially considering CTE.

Yes, that's potentially a huge amount of money. Yes, the entire bottom half of Div I might give up football or drop to Div II. to So? That would be an additional benefit as far as I can tell - those schools might save money to be used for other things like their primary purpose, and the overall qualifpty of the sport would improve tremendously. An unbeaten record when playing no one ranked lower than 60 today would really mean something.

The goal is to rationalize the under the table benefits which are only hidden because the NCAA wants the cash, and to divert some of the money from the ever-growing athletic departments to the athletes.

02/27/2018 - 2:10pm I never recognize him

It always comes as a surprise when I see the credits and his name is there - he subsumed himself into each character so completely. He's the opposite of Jim Carrey.

Btw, you forgot Dracula :)

02/08/2018 - 5:17pm Almost like he was the next elite-or-potential QB to sign

Gee, who'd a thunk it?

It's a huge bet on seven games and a half-season, but the 49ers have information we don't. I will follow his future career with some interest :)

02/05/2018 - 3:12am Then consider how many of those plays are under his control

and you will start to see why Super Bowls are a lousy way to determine a legacy.  It's not like any QB gets control over their defense.  "I only design the weapons, I cannot fire them".

Brady's case for GOAT is greatly aided by the Patriots SB record but the real merit is in the regular seasons, capped off with the Year of Randy Moss.

 

02/05/2018 - 2:34am Free throws are important

... because they're an easy way to get better.  Larry Bird's famous advice to people wanting to know how to win more is just that "Make more free throws".

It's easy because as others have noted, for most players it is largely mental.  The way for them to get better is to practice and get in the zone where they can tune everything else out and repeat the mechanics consistently.

For some players though, it's a matter of rebuilding their mechanics because of some flaw.  Shaq rather famously had a broken wrist as a teen that healed crookedly that made his free throw shooting near-comical at times.  One solution there is to adopt the granny shot - Rick Barry shot over 90% in a long career in the NBA, and it is likely the best way in the long run:

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/apr/26/granny-style-is-best-wa…

However, even great free throw shooters miss 1 out of 20.  Good free throw shooters miss 1 out of 4, and some back-of-the-envelope-math will tell you that something like 1 out of 20 games will end up being a brick fest for average shooting teams.

Anyway, yes, the team will be in trouble if they keep shooting like this, and unless they get better and more consistent it will likely cost them a game.  But to suggest that they're not working hard enough because they've had a couple of bad games from the charity stripe says more about the suggester than the team.

 

01/30/2018 - 8:41pm Ave Atque Vale, Mr Bunting

May you succeed wherever you end up.  Go Blue!

 

01/09/2018 - 5:40pm Hang in there

Medical science grows our knowledge daily, but we still don't understand why chiropractic care works better for some people than any more traditional care. Chronic pain and fatigue are still poorly understood and only recently have doctors made progress with differentiating and unraveling CFS, Hashimotos, Epstein-Barr and all the other subtle variations that present with similar symptoms.

I hope that you find the person who has solved the part of the puzzle most relevant to you. Good luck in your search and hopefully one day you'll be living large again.

01/09/2018 - 5:50am Thanks for the pictures

The Ministry of Silly Walks is brilliant.

 

01/02/2018 - 2:07am I don't have any answers ...

... especially when everyone had a hand in coughing up that lead, but I do know that if you adopt the Soviet Russia system of shooting the losing leaders/firing the losing coaches, you'll get Soviet Russia results.

 

12/15/2017 - 3:51pm He'll be with them through his current deal

Despite his declining numbers, he's not bad in the field and one of the few teams getting less from 2B than Detroit was LAA.  He's a modest improvement with no on-field cost, and the Angels are clearly going to be a contender; pairing Otani with Trout adds an all-world talent to last year's playoff team.  The deal makes a lot of sense for them unless he falls off a cliff (and 2B increasingly tend to crater at his age).

Overall, it's a win-win and hopefully a win for Kinsler too.

 

 

12/14/2017 - 5:10am This is sadly a fair return for Kinsler

He's being paid a ton, coming off his worst year ever at the plate, and is on the wrong side of the 2B age curve.  The Angels sent over a 19-year-old pitcher with mid-90s stuff and an OF who held his own in AA at 23, and we're not sending any money back.

That might even be more than Kinsler was worth.

If we'd wanted more talent, we would have covered Kinsler's salary (or at least a piece of it).

I don't see anyone else offering more, and we could have done worse, so I think it's a painful but necessary step.

 

12/11/2017 - 3:10am This I can totally get behind

I acknowledge that Morris's case is among the weakest of any in the Hall of Fame and don't give a shit.

That is exactly how I feel.  That Game 7 will always be a bravura performance, and watching his no-hitter against the White Sox in Chicago is one of my treasured baseball memories.

Trammell was simply overshadowed by Cal Ripken and Robin Yount, much as Tim Raines was unlucky to be the second-greatest leadoff hitter of all time ... playing at the same time as Rickey Henderson, the greatest leadoff hitter of all time.  All Tram needed was time to get people to appreciate that three great shortstops had played at the same time.

Hopefully that's all that Whitaker needs as well, is time.

 

 

12/09/2017 - 2:37pm Back from down four with 50 seconds to go

And they did it with decent to good defense. Time and again I saw UCLA players drive and have nowhere to go with the ball because the roller was covered. A few steals and an air ball later, and Michigan had a 12-0 run to tie the game and put up a lead in OT.

Go Blue!

12/06/2017 - 5:07pm Peters goals are not necessarily all Michigan's goals

That's why he might leave. For example, if Peters wants to be an NFL QB, he will need two years as a starter somewhere with good production, or one year with amazing production. If Patterson transfers, that goal is in jeopardy. Peters might decide that the best way to achieve that goal is to go somewhere else.

Just as Harbaugh wants everyone to compete and work harder to achieve team goals, Peters could be working hard and making decisions for his own goals. That doesn't make him afraid to compete or less of a player/leader/human, it makes him someone who makes a decision about what's best for him. (Since its likely to be unpopular it could point to more courage than the anonymous people who would be calling him out on the Internet.)

Peters should decide what's best for him, not what's best for us. That's why he might leave if Patterson comes.

12/04/2017 - 5:52pm The issue is whether we end up better more of the time

For example, we take Patterson, he wins the job and Peters transfers. Are we better?

Or we take Patterson, and Milton bails. We lose out on 2019 recruits because they don't want to sit for two years before having a shot.

Obviously we're better if he comes in and no one leaves or is deterred by the depth chart. It's the coaches job to determine which scenarios are how likely and what the picture looks like taking all possibilities into account.

12/01/2017 - 6:06pm And we had decent line play in that game

We're losing Cole, who passed the eye test, and JBB went out after paving the way for a good running day.

Not to mention that we might have had better QB play if our line (and RBs) hadn't contributed to our 3rd string QB starting ...

12/01/2017 - 5:55pm This is far more common than most people realize

We grieve with thee, and grieve anew for our own losses.

As you're now seeing, many people have similar stories, myself included. Like most of the stories above, ours also had a happy outcome (our son is 9.5). My advice is also similar. Take your time to process and grieve, enjoy your wedding and the life in front in front of you when you're ready.

11/30/2017 - 7:57pm FB in a nutshell: line play is more important than you think

Look at our last three defenses and what they did ... then look at our last three offenses and what they did. It's all about the line. Even under Hoke, we built a great offense on the backs of Molk and Lewan. When Molk went out our bowl game almost went with him.

The lesson here is we could return Rob Lytle and Robo-Henne and still lose to OSU if we can't get good tackle play. Looking at the percentage returned stats won't paint an accurate picture of how shackled our O looks if the LT is a turnstile and the RT can only run block.

Now that's a worst case scenario, and we do have options. We just, desperately, for the sixth year in a row, need them to pan out in order to beat our rivals.

11/29/2017 - 8:21pm Good luck

I hope he finds what he's looking for, and that his degree helps carry him to those heights.

11/28/2017 - 6:51pm Sorry to see him go

May his hamstrings be strong and his degree carry him to his dreams.

11/26/2017 - 7:27pm Good bye and good luck

I would selfishly like him to come back, because he can be good, and we need good QB play.

But it's his last year, he's already graduated, and I hope he's going some place good for him.

Good luck, sir!  We have some fun wins to remember you by.

 

11/16/2017 - 4:36am Sportscenter is reporting that indefinitely == half a season +

They are also reporting that the Regents and Board of Trustees got involved.  Assuming that's true, it is more likely that indefinitely will actually mean half a season or the full season.

Without knowing more than "three players were alleged to have shoplifted on a goodwill tour in a foreign country", half a season to a full season actually seems like a fair consequence, particularly in light of "could have gone to jail in a foreign country".

 

11/15/2017 - 5:23pm Hardware issues generally mean you're SOL

You'll lose whatever was on that physical sector and possibly access to everything else if the disks catalog is corrupted.

I too would try the target-disk-mode/connect it to another computer with a compatible OS and see what it looks like. If that doesn't work, then try one of the send us the drive places.

Also, as a PSA, this still reading can spare themselves this problem by having a robust backup strategy. Often a local disk to which you schedule regular copies is sufficient. Apple's Time Machine does this out of the box. If you want online backup with zero hassles, consider one of the services that provide such a thing; Backblaze is well-spoken-of and has Mac and PC clients.

11/10/2017 - 6:12pm I was hoping for a cyan star

Weak on pass protection but an road-grader in the run game.

11/07/2017 - 5:10pm I don't think Brederson can be our OT savior

I think Harbaugh and company can read depth charts much better than I can, and if they thought he could be a credible tackle then he'd have started practicing there on New Year's Day.

We will need one of the new guys to step up and there will be teething pains.

11/06/2017 - 6:39pm Settlers of Catan is a ridiculously well designed game

You can explain the rules to even a casual player in ten minutes and yet it has broad appeal. I started playing it shortly after it won the Jahr du Speils award and still enjoy it. My nine-year-old loves it too.

Brian is just wrong here - clearly he simply doesn't know what he likes or dislikes!

11/06/2017 - 6:33pm That's what the robber is for

That's how you slow down the leader and give yourself a chance. You just have to train your group out of the "but I really want an ore" reflex.

11/05/2017 - 1:32am Minnesota got planted, paved and sealed

That was quite impressive.  Whatever faults our OL has in pass protection, they have emphatically demonstrated that they can utterly bury people when they have a talent mismatch.

The question for the rest of the year resolves around whether they can train up to handle Wisconsin and OSU.

 

10/25/2017 - 5:33pm Not good if he does decommit

Any top OL prospect is someone no school can afford to lose, least of all us. But it's not like Alabama wasn't always a threat here - even if we're undefeated he's going to take a long hard look at the Tide.

However, I don't see why people believe both that Harbaugh has a meritocracy for everything and that Drevno is a poor coach. If anyone is less likely to keep someone who isn't up to snuff than Harbaugh, I'm pretty sure I haven't heard of them. (Even Saban took time to push Nuss out the door.)

10/15/2017 - 1:58am Definite step forward

and Indiana has a reasonable defense if not the ravenous hell-beast of the Wolverines.  Now we need to figure out how to get more out of the QB.

 

10/14/2017 - 5:39pm Just as Harbaugh predicted

More plays worked, our OL blocked better (particularly in the run game) against a reasonable D, and suddenly the play calling looks better.

The bright spot is that if we can sustain better blocking, the offense can improve. The dark spot is that unless we can keep people honest, it's going to be hard to win our three remaining major games. The black hole is that we need better QB play and that simply doesn't look likely.

10/14/2017 - 5:22pm One problem was solved

Our OL were able to block much better against a reasonable D and overall gave the QB more time. When we can block, as predicted, our play calling looks much better.

Our big problem is at QB. Everyone loves the backup QB but I guess we haven't learned our lesson yet.

My guess is that Peters simply doesn't have the grasp of the pre-snap reads and checks he needs yet. That's unfortunate but it is hardly unexpected. The fact that we need him to be successful is not his fault and certainly doesn't mean he's doomed to fail.

We really need improved QB play but it just doesn't look like there are likely ways to get there.

10/04/2017 - 3:08am Tom Petty was awesome

I saw Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers at The Fillmore in SF (with Taj Mahal to open!).  It was a great show and I'm glad I got to see him in a smaller venue where he could really shine.

One moment I remember was when someone up front turned around and was about to throw a punch when Tom stopped playing and said in a serious voice "Whoa - that's not cool.  If you're gonna fight someone, it's gonna be me, and I don't think the audience is gonna like that ..."

(I'm not sure of the exact wording, because as he continued he got drowned out by cheers!)

Then he looked at the band, nodded his head and they picked up right where they left off.

RIP, sir.  I really don't feel a whole lot better now that you're gone.

 

10/03/2017 - 4:34am Same song, different day

Playcalling doesn't look good unless the OL can block, and we're not fielding a good OL.  Right now, it seems like they're struggling to get back to mediocre.

Not being able to block basic plays will make any offense look bad, and without All-American QBs and RBs and WRs we're unable to compensate.

Hopefully the bye week will let us clear up some of that confusion, because we will need this OL to at least hold their own if we are to meet our season goals.

 

09/26/2017 - 9:24pm That is the hope

Right now, one of the biggest issues with CTE research is that you can only diagnosis it post-mortem from the selected set of people who donate their brains to science.

The hope is that the elevated protein levels are strongly correlated with CTE and a test can be devised to sample the protein levels in the living (e.g. blood or CSF).

 

09/26/2017 - 9:21pm It would

That was a hypothetical.  I would want such a study to draw from all kinds of backgrounds, including football players, soccer players, athletes of a non-contact sport (track and field?), sedentary folk, etc.

The hypothetical was intended to say that if such a broad study discovered that the proteins increased markedly when the subject played football, and that subjects with elevated protein levels showed early signs of some sort of degenerative brain illness, then you'd have the connection people are looking for with respect to CTE and football, and the potential beginnings of a diagnosis protocol.

 

09/26/2017 - 7:51pm All they have for now is a correlation

The next step is replicating the study.  The step after that is devising a non-harmful way to test for elevated protein levels in the living.  The step after that is to do a double-blind study on the living and see if there's any correlation between protein levels and outcomes.

The serious link to CTE would come IF that double-blind study revealed that the longer (and higher levels) football was played, the higher the protein levels, and the worse the early symptoms were.  But that's a ways off yet.

As I remarked elsewhere, this is not a "We understand CTE now" discovery.  This is a "Huh, that's interesting ..." discovery.

 

09/26/2017 - 7:44pm That is specifically addressed in the article

The test procedure they want to devise is to check the validity of the contrary position, namely "If proteins, then CTE".

This is not a "We understand CTE now" discovery.  This is a "Huh, that's interesting ..." discovery.

 

09/25/2017 - 3:20pm Respectfully, two answers

1.  Beating MSU is a stepping stone to beating PSU or OSU.  In a world where both QBs are 100%, and our OL is what it is, the thing that would hold our offense back is 10-man football.  Getting everyone on the same page and building chemistry would reduce that, and so you want the person with the best chance of accomplishing that long-term to get every chance to do it.  Thus, you make that guy the starter now, so he gets the extra two weeks of practice with the #1s and the extra game to build everything up.

2.  Definitely vastly better!  The question is whether or not that is due to a simplified game plan and Purdue's defensive (lack of prowess) and hence whether or not it is applicable to beating PSU and OSU.

One thing that Brian noted should give us hope - the downfield passing game with the TEs was decidedly present.  Was it that JOK is more comfortable with them than the nominal #1 Bunting?  Why did we run those routes now and not earlier, or did WS just miss the opportunities.

To be clear, I want the QB with the best chance of getting us silverware.  If both are healthy, then the coaching staff, with much more information and expertise than we have, decided WS was better.  Were they wrong?  Tune in against MSU to find out!

 

09/25/2017 - 1:06am Nothing more popular than a backup QB with a good half of play

I am definitely glad that JOK played well yesterday.  That was a far cry from Indiana.  However, Purdue's defense is ... um, not good.

I remain unconvinced that we can beat OSU (or PSU) with JOK running a simplified game plan, or with a QB that isn't getting full time with the starters, especially the freshman WRs with whom he must be on the same page.

Beyond that, it depends on whether you weight the last three games more than last year for one, and a good half more than Indiana for JOK.

Of course, the coaches have practices to weight too, and we don't, and the coaches will have a far better guess at whether both are 100%.

Given what we know so far, if Speight is 100% I think he's the starter, because I think that gives us the best chance to best PSU or OSU.

09/18/2017 - 7:36pm I do think it is but not to save plays for important games

I think it's dumbed down because that's all we can execute right now.  Anything else gets killed by "10-man football", as it were.

Specifically, while our new OL might have higher upside than the players they're replacing, they don't have the game experience or the playbook knowledge to handle more complicated decision trees.  (Ben Muth's column on Football Outsiders where he focuses on line play - being an ex-Stanford lineman himself - is good reading and dips into a lot of the if-X-then-Y-but-if-Z-then-Q-else-A things a lineman has to consider for the same play depending on what the defense does both pre- and post-snap.)

Similarly, our wide receivers aren't all on the same page as our QB, and don't adapt their routes the way he's expecting.  Nor do they appear ready for increased blocking duties.

Put all of that together with the right side of the OL's weakness in pass protection and it feels like we're basically in the "nothing works" part of the learning curve.

The good news there is that at some point, with this coaching staff and these players, that sharp upward rise will come.  Whether it will be in time for silverware ... is an excellent question.  Tune in next Saturday to find out!

09/10/2017 - 4:15am I can totally believe that

For three reasons.

First, find me a coach less likely to put politics (or really, anything) ahead of performance than Harbaugh.  This is, after all, a man who dreams of ways to win football games and then wakes up and implements them; if there's anything he puts in front of winning games, he hasn't shown it in fifty years.  No way he's playing politics or placating a player - if Speight is starting, Coach thinks he's the best chance to win that game, period, end of line.

Second, you do realize that most redshirt freshman QBs are awful, right?  Peters had one year to learn Fisch's system, and now he's learning a new one in his second year on campus.  How often do you think redshirt QBs unseat decent-at-worst upperclass starters?

Third, the more we see of our right tackle spot, the more it becomes evident that the most significant attribute our QB can have once the ball is snapped is pocket presence.  Nothing else will matter as much until we get an offensive line that can block elite D-lines.  One thing Speight has is pocket awareness in spades.

We can win with this level of QB play, but it's a lot harder than if pre-Iowa-2016-Speight showed up.  I don't think we can win with OKorn or Peters, unless they've been taken over by alien QBs from the future.