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Date Title Body
09/19/2018 - 2:03pm i believe the applicable…

i believe the applicable term is "transition cost."

09/19/2018 - 1:53pm also bullshit?  "the moment…

also bullshit?  "the moment they get paid blah blah blah."  i stand by that word 100%, by the way.

still haven't heard you address why market value applies to coaches but not players, i'm guessing because it looks like the only defense you have is "i like it the way it is."  again - please note that i haven't said i think they should be paid.

09/19/2018 - 10:23am wtf?  There are students …

wtf?  There are students "laboring" in the law quad, and the chemistry building and in East Engineering too.  We aren't paying them.

no, we're not paying law students.  it should be pretty obvious why that comparison doesn't apply to this discussion, but just to hit a couple of the high points:  nobody is paying for tickets to watch students laboring in the law quad.  television networks are not paying millions and millions of dollars to broadcast a live shot of the main reading room at the grad.  alumni are not buying jerseys with the names of the our most talented medical students.

Really; any student-athlete who feels that their labor is being stolen from them should just get out and go to where they feel appreciated.

yes, they can go directly to the nfl and get paid.  they just have to wait three years so that they can sign a contract (a contract that was collectively bargained on their behalf)

I want to make a really clear point because I see where you and I are headed here.  To the extent that college football is a "job" apart from school, which dominates time and energy and everything else and which looks and feels like a job; that is a problem with college football.  The answer is NOT to pay players for performing that job.  The answer is to change college football to make it less like any sort of a job, and more like a sport in which student-athletes participate for fun.

but college football IS a job.  it DOES "dominate time and energy and everything else and looks and feels like a job."  the actual work performed by an nfl player is precisely the same as that performed by a college player.  literally the only difference is that we like to convince ourselves that we're somehow more connected to college players, be it by shared experience, or geography, or sheer fandom (news flash - we are not, certainly once we leave campus).

by the way, i don't disagree - at all - that college football badly suffers from the always-increasing infusion of absolutely absurd amounts of money.  i hate it, too.  but that problem is not going away, now or ever - there are way too many pigs at the trough for that to ever happen.  to me, it's time to distribute the wealth in an equitable way...your delicate sensibilities be damned.  sorry.

to me, a not-unrelated issue is that of player safety.  i think the last nfl player to die as a direct result of injury / illness was korey stringer, around 20 years ago.  the nfl players association successfully bargained for player safety as a contractual issue, and it hasn't happened since.  there's no such parallel for college players precisely because they aren't paid and thus are not be protected as a group (my apologies to civil rights / labor lawyers...i'm speaking as a total layman here).  we hear of college players dying just about every year. 

who speaks for the players, when they are unpaid independent contractors?

09/19/2018 - 9:14am "you're incredibly lucky to…

"you're incredibly lucky to be working here at mcdonald's for $8 an hour.  if that's not good enough for you there are other people waiting to take your spot."


"paying people $15 an hour will raise the costs of big macs."

09/19/2018 - 9:09am exactly - not to pull out…

exactly - not to pull out the "scouts know what they're seeing" thing (those same scouts also became sudden heart-disease experts when it came to mo hurst), but nobody who actually watches the games thinks rashaun gary is anything other than an super-talented and super-productive.  unless something weird happens between now and april he's a guaranteed top-10 pick.

09/19/2018 - 9:02am "just another thing that…

"just another thing that would have to be changed" is a really spectacular misunderstanding of title ix.

title ix is famous in these circles for how it has increased women's college sports and how athletic departments have cited it when killing some men's sports teams...but that's not really its intent.  it intent is to address the very real problem of gender discrimination in the educational system.

you're talking about changing civil rights legislation (think the voting rights act, or the fair housing act) so that you can pay college football players.  "changing it" a) would render a number of supreme court decisions moot, b) would be fought by probably every single female college professor in the country, and c) never, never, never, never happen.

09/19/2018 - 6:22am oh. my god.

The U-M…

oh. my god.

The U-M Athletic Department is not swimming in money.  They are begging me for more money on a monthly, if not weekly, basis.

yes, to pay for more shit.  you say that yourself in the next paragraph!

I have a real question in my mind about coaching salaries.  But the market dictates that.  It's a true, free market in an ultra-competitive environment.  

i can't believe you don't see the problem here.  you shrug that the market dictates coaching salaries, but that apparently same free market doesn't apply to the players themselves.  suggesting that the coaches have value but players don't is just so, so plantation.

congratulations on not buying food in the stadium.  i guess?


09/19/2018 - 6:13am "Nobody of any repute who…

"Nobody of any repute who has ever been a coach, or an administrator at a high level in collegiate athletics has ever been in favor of paying players."

thus proving that if you write enough gibberish, something correct might fall out.  purely at random, apparently.  it is true that most coaches and administrators are not in favor of paying players, but not for the reasons you seem to suggest (which are, it should be noted, completely unclear).

they are against it because paying the players would give them less power and control over those players.  it's in their best interest to maintain the power structure as it exists.  obviously.

09/18/2018 - 5:03pm the implication in her…

the implication in her comment is that paying football players will somehow stain the entire concept of "student athlete," to the point of suggesting that, if it does happen, the sainted university of wisconsin athletic department might just have to leave big-time football.

pro tip - if a d1 college administrator uses the phrase "student athlete" they are, without exception, defending their choice (and it is a choice) to stuff their face in the trough.  go ahead, find me an exception to that.  i'll wait.

as has been said elsewhere in the thread - if wisconsin really cares about the hooey of "student athletes," they don't have to go full-on univ of chicago.  they can go yale...which leads me to pro tip number 2 - wisconsin is NOT YALE.

i don't know what i think about paying players.  i go back and forth.  but the "we have to protect the student athlete" argument is 100% shite, and you know it.

the less said about the gibberish in your last "paragraph" the better.

09/18/2018 - 3:29pm gawd, the sanctimony of…

gawd, the sanctimony of these assholes never ceases to amaze me.

honestly, if she really gave one goddamned shit about "student athletes" she'd kill d1 athletics right now.  that's an option, you know.  go full-on university of chicago and do it.  turn the stadium into a rec center for the intramural program, kill all the scholarships, pull out of the tv contract.

done, and literally nobody outside of the state of wisconsin would give them a second thought.

09/12/2018 - 1:21pm oh, obviously.  i stand…

oh, obviously.  i stand corrected.

(are they gone yet?)

09/12/2018 - 9:13am completely agree - if he was…

completely agree - if he was the same size as last year there might be some question - "productive player but needs to get bigger and might be a 'tweener,'" or some such idiotic nfl scoutspeak.

the additional size makes it all but guaranteed.  he's ready.

09/07/2018 - 8:51am boy, i didn't think that at…

boy, i didn't think that at all...i thought we strung out just about everything.

09/07/2018 - 8:46am yeah, during the play i…

yeah, during the play i thought offensive pass interference...i thought he pushed off.  on replay it was less clear, but hey.

09/07/2018 - 8:43am i thought the defense was…

i thought the defense was...fine.  not #1 in the country fine, but seemed like we rotated a bunch, and i think that might have kept them from getting into any dominant long stretches.

the two early drives also made it seem like we got dominated...if one had happened midway through the 2nd quarter and the other in the 3rd i really think we'd be perceiving it as a better night.  but we were down 14-0, and that feels way worse.

we thought it could be a dominant defense going into the season.  nothing i saw makes me think that's not still possible.

09/06/2018 - 3:31pm 45-13, good guys.

45-13, good guys.

09/05/2018 - 11:39am dude, you need a hobby.

dude, you need a hobby.

09/04/2018 - 3:19pm yes, i think that "probably…

yes, i think that "probably not too representative" is a pretty good way to view mbb's trip to spain.

09/04/2018 - 11:28am the offensive line play is…

the offensive line play is frustrating, but not on a tactical level, as i don't think there's a true tackle that's on the roster and ready to go.  the frustration as it relates to coaching is strategic - why can't this staff recruit a competent tackle, let alone a 5-star, blot-out-the-sun left tackle?  i don't get it.  rich freaking rodriguez recruited taylor lewan, and we can't find one.

the lack of urgency in the fourth quarter was worrying as well.  i thought, if nothing else, harbaugh would always have his foot on the gas, and it didn't look like that.

09/04/2018 - 10:47am trying to think of when i…

trying to think of when i was interested in what braylon thought about anything ever, and....nope.

lloyd had him pegged.  braylon will always and forever want attention, first and foremost.

i don't remember his dad being like this, was he?

08/29/2018 - 9:51am huge apple dork / employee…

huge apple dork / employee here...


"benjamin, i'm going to say one word to you.  are you ready?"

"yes, sir."


"thank you, sir."



no matter what you use, it's a freaking magical world, man.

08/29/2018 - 9:48am thanks for responding, seth,…

thanks for responding, seth, and sorry to be a crank...i do appreciate the work you all do and have done.  i know it's a thankless job, especially when people are bitching all the time.  you rock.

08/27/2018 - 5:41pm beautifully written. 


beautifully written. 

not to blow smoke, but david foster wallace would tip his hat. 

08/27/2018 - 10:43am not a "bug," per se...

not a "bug," per se...

...and it's probably been posted before, but it would be spectacular to be able to have all the comments for a post load in a single page (and save it as a user preference)...clicking to advance to the next set of comments is no fun.

the reason i can't tell if it's been posted?  because i'd have to click 'next page' ELEVEN TIMES TO SEE ALL 544 COMMENTS.  or, at best, six times at 100 posts / page.

ain't nobody got time for that.

08/23/2018 - 3:39pm holy shit, you don't think…

holy shit, you don't think shitty ethics make it easier to get players, or to keep them around once they turn out to be shitbags?  take one look at the police blotter rosters in east lansing, or columbus under both urb and tressel, or in gainesville under urb, or tallahassee, or oxford mississippi and make that argument.  how about that basketball banner we lost to rick pitino?

08/23/2018 - 3:23pm i disagree on one thing - i…

i disagree on one thing - i think it's unlikely that we have long-lost and long-forgotten 'skeletons,' but if something did come to light, i'd like to think that we'd deal with in a moral, ethical way.

every program, every organization is subject to the vagaries of chance when it comes to bad people.  the key is how you deal with them when their scumbag heads pop up.  ohio state (and michigan state) have proven, time and again, that they will make the wrong moral choice.

08/23/2018 - 1:58pm agree 100%.

i love football…

agree 100%.

i love football.  i love going to and watching michigan football games.  but i can count on my fingers the number of non-michigan games i've watched in the last decade, at least partially because these are young, often poor, often minority, kids that literally put their lives and future health in danger so that older, more wealthy, often white, fans can cheer and pump their chests.

it's the roman coliseum for modern times.

the other reason i'm losing interest is shit like this.  scumbags who will do anything and allow anything, as long as they keep winning, and i'm not even talking about urban meyer.  i'm talking about the scumbag administration of his university and the scumbag fans that enable him, and will continue to do so...apparently up to and including rape and murder (cf: aaron hernandez). 

if you believe that urban meyer (or joe paterno, or mark dantonio) should keep his job you have made a conscious ethical choice between winning and basic human decency.  osu has made that choice.

wear that scarlet and grey with pride, scumbags.

08/23/2018 - 9:57am i hope he becomes a star.

i hope he becomes a star.

08/17/2018 - 3:32pm oh, it's finished.  don't…

oh, it's finished.  don't fool yourself.

08/15/2018 - 10:10am not a single one of those…

not a single one of those things have anything at all to do with hackett. none.

maybe he'll bomb out, maybe not.  i have no idea, but you don't either.  this is just a puff piece on someone who thinks differently than what his colleagues have grown accustomed to.  he won't fail or succeed based on whether or not he uses phrases like 'think phase' or 'clock speed.'  

08/10/2018 - 1:23pm like it says, the aaron shea…

like it says, the aaron shea comparison is losing some utility...but it feels totally dead on in this case.  good athlete, multiple skills - on a swing coming out of the backfield, he could out-agile / outrun a linebacker or truck a db.

he's gonna be a real good player for us.

08/02/2018 - 8:36pm “inexplicably” left a major…

“inexplicably” left a major program, when it comes to urb and florida, is, strictly speaking, not correct. there are...rumors.

cf, lloyd and les. 

07/13/2018 - 10:11am man, i loved aaron shea...

man, i loved aaron shea...

and highlight-wise, he had one of the best catches i can my memory, it's against penn state, and he fully laid out in the end zone for a touchdown, and i mean Laid. Out.  way more than des did against notre dame, in my memory.  i've never been able to find it online, though - the only shea touchdowns i can find are catch-and-runs.

which means that it may not have been shea.  or for a touchdown.  or against penn state.  my memory may be making it all up, possibly.  i'm old.

07/13/2018 - 10:06am honestly?  i think they are…

honestly?  i think they are in the conversation right now...without the late-season struggles of the last two seasons (which are about the only negative i can think of with the program right now, and which really need to get fixed), they probably would've been seeded that way.

07/13/2018 - 10:03am fantastic.



barnes-arrico has been an unalloyed success here - the talent level has gone up just about every year; even as baylor was blowing them out in the 2nd round of the tournament last season, there were surprisingly long stretches where we were able to go toe-to-toe.

katelynn and jillian dunston are huge losses for 2018-19, but the last two years are by far the best recruiting stretch in program history.  the future is very, very bright.

07/11/2018 - 5:03pm holy crap, i thought i…

holy crap, i thought i misread that.

next up, ex-penn state players suing the ncaa for getting asked about jerry sandusky.

07/10/2018 - 4:33pm interesting.

he still seems…


he still seems like the sound of michigan football to me, but play-by-play didn't seem to be his thing.  i'd rather he slid back to color and they hired a straight-ahead guy to do play-by-play.

07/10/2018 - 4:16pm i absolutely love this.


i absolutely love this.

his arrival on campus started a running argument between me and a friend...he thought robinson couldn't defend, make his own shot, rebound, or really do anything useful and couldn't see why he would get minutes over...oh, hell, i don't know, kameron chatman, or somebody.  i won't say i was completely on board 100% at that moment, either, fwiw - he obviously needed to develop.

and boy, did he ever.  one of my favorite "in beilein we trust" successes.  that list gets longer every.  single.  year.

06/29/2018 - 11:48am two things.

first, "if you…

two things.

first, "if you're not interested, don't @ me."  it's right there on the tin, people.

second, i think i post this about once every summer, but here goes.

when i was younger, i read every copy of bill james' baseball abstracts, repeatedly, every year.  in his last edition, he closed with an essay he called 'breaking the wand,' which was an explanation that a) this was the last one, and b) why that was the case.

he wrote, essentially, that he had loved writing it for all those years, and loved many of the relationships that came from that; people that wrote him and with whom he started long-term correspondences.  but, once in a while, he'd get a letter from someone that said "you shouldn't write about this, you should write this."  he'd shrug a few of those off, but at some point, he'd lose his patience and write back with a "read or don't, but DON'T TELL ME WHAT I SHOULD WRITE ABOUT" letter.  as he sold more books, he got more and more of the letters that (and he used this exact phrase) "irritated the living shit" out of him and treated him (again, exact phrase) "like a goddamned public utility."

yes, he was and will always be something of an ornery crank, which is almost certainly a big part of why i loved him so much, if i'm being honest with myself.

in any case, there are two correct responses to this particular podcast episode.  those responses are a) listen, or b) don't.

if you don't like it, or any other content on this here free goddamned site, then by all means pick up a shovel and start digging.  write or record your own stuff.  there are, believe it or no, many many outlets where you can publish that stuff, blessedly free (or not) of politics.

or you can just turn the dial and move on to the next post.

06/27/2018 - 2:59pm gawd.

you want to spend…


you want to spend money, give to a charity or something.

06/06/2018 - 4:43pm also...i don't see any way…

also...i don't see any way to edit a post?

the reason i'm asking is because, just as i hit the "post me" button i realized i hadn't offered my laurel and hearty handshake for all the work.  it looks great!

06/06/2018 - 4:39pm this is NOT a complaint, and…

this is NOT a complaint, and i know youse guys have a crapload of stuff right now...but i read at work using an rss reader (feedly), and the feed currently includes the comment thread, which dear god make it stop.

05/30/2018 - 9:40am i miss johnny.

there was no such thing as a throwaway post when it came to johnny.  he clearly stewed on every single word.

05/22/2018 - 4:04pm probably my favorite TWO ever.

i love that guy.  such a joyful player.


one of the things i love about michigan is the stamp it puts on people.  this university just becomes a part of you.

by all rights, moe should've come here, played some good, hyper basketball, and moved on without looking back over his shoulder.  instead, this german kid with not much knowledge of the history of this place (and i'm not talking about athletics, at all) will leave as...yeah, i'll say it - a michigan man.  he got it, somehow.


what a place.


05/17/2018 - 11:01am tim drevno

the fans here that constantly banged the "fire drevno' drum last season are miserable, unhappy assholes that will be bitching just as loudly about something completely new this season. 

their lives aren't full unless they're unhappy and making sure everyone knows it...and, preferably, making everyone around them feel the same way.

05/14/2018 - 9:59am the baseball abstract, any year.

starting around 1980, bill james essentially created the modern baseball analytics movement. would it have occurred anyway?  yeah, probably, but he definitely took it mainstream.  it's a bit of a leap (but not a huge one) to suggest that the growing acceptance of the approach that he spawned led to more robust statistical analysis in other sports, as well.

reading some of the annual abstracts now (and i have them all, starting when he got his first big book deal in 1982), it's pretty clear that the statistical analysis is that of a science in its infancy, at least partially due to the lack of information available at the time.  fielding data and pitch-by-pitch data, for example, simply weren't available - james did much of his early work based on the stat lines you would find in the macmillan encyclopedia or on the back of a baseball card.  the basic tenets hold up, though.

with that said, i've been a stathead for 40 years, but what really grabs you is the writing.  the guy is just a really good writer.  ignore the stats, if you think they're too basic, but the rest is still terrifically re-readable.

05/09/2018 - 4:31pm yes.

let's use a shane morris item as a way to, once more, take a shot at john o'korn.  that shit never gets old.

05/09/2018 - 1:27pm mo hurst.

that whole "one nfl scout says" thing was and is utter bullshit.  a numbnuts ex-coach type who calls himself a "scout" has no earthly idea of whether maurice hurst is healthy or not.  i don't either, but i don't pretend that i do.

that he didn't go until the fifth round basically tells you that way, way, WAY too few of these guys actually watch, you know, football games, and that the nfl is an extreme form of follow-the-leader.  once it became clear that teams were passing on him because of "concerns," NOBODY was going to be the team that "wasted" a pick on him. 

here's what i DO know - that guy is a goddamned football player.  i look forward to him laying waste to entire regions for years to come.

04/30/2018 - 4:57pm i...don't think so?


04/30/2018 - 4:08pm i love the writing on this site.

always have.

part of the reason for that is the coining of phrases such as "three star mafia."

drop the mike, ace.