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Date Title Body
03/11/2011 - 1:50pm Utterly bizarre

Utterly bizarre speculation.

At this point, now that the cat's out of the bag, and has been for a while, Tressel would be claiming that the FBI had asked him to be quiet if they'd done so. 

03/09/2011 - 8:56am It seems that, for all the

It seems that, for all the glaring faults with the Freep investigation, national sports writers have largely closed ranks around their colleagues at the Freep and refer broadly to their intended conclusion (that RR was a cheat) rather than to the actual content of the violations or the outcome of the NCAA investigation. I don't know that this is a signal of a dearth of journalistic integrity in general or of sports writers specifically, but it's either.

03/03/2011 - 8:45am So, in other words, we should

So, in other words, we should punish the children of polygamists for being poor.

02/04/2011 - 9:21am Won't somebody think of the

Won't somebody think of the white men!

02/02/2011 - 11:51am Wait, what's the

Wait, what's the "idiot-tastic" part? The part where people are interested in hearing the recently departed coach's opinions on various national programs (including Michigan) and their recruits or the content of his thoughts? In either case, you're not adding much. 

02/02/2011 - 11:48am Why do you insist it was that

Why do you insist it was that simple when it clearly was not? Do you think that by sheer repetition, it might become true?

02/02/2011 - 8:46am Last year, before his

Last year, before his freshman season started, I got to know Darius a little bit after having watched his recruitment the prior year. I told everybody that he'd be a special player — smart as a whip and incredibly talented — and that he and Peyton Siva would be immediate impact players in their respective conferences at the PG position. Then they both had mistake-riddled freshman seasons and I felt like maybe I was wrong. So it's nice to see both of them really coming into being elite PGs in their conferences this season. Siva was Big East POW last week and we've all seen Darius's "butterfly" season. Lesson learned: I'm always right, even when I'm wrong at first. 

02/02/2011 - 8:41am So far the "great fit" for

So far the "great fit" for Hoke has been entirely attributable to him not being RR and him being well-liked by the various mafia families. It's way disingenuous to act as if his "championships" as a DL coach are anything more than asterisks on a resume that, at best, otherwise places him somewhere around the 70th percentile among coaches. On some level, the Pollyannaishness is a nice change in atmosphere over the past three years but, on the other hand, it comes with the price of sounding like Heaven's Gate members. 

01/26/2011 - 2:48pm Went for the double. 

Went for the double. 

01/26/2011 - 2:45pm There was also this…

01/24/2011 - 11:47am Jeez.

He has to consult the mafia before deciding on helmet stickers? This guy knows which side the bread is buttered. 

01/20/2011 - 10:29am How can you say it's only

How can you say it's only worked out successfully "a few times" when its direct result has been a remarkable increase in minority hirings? I also think the "that's insulting to minority candidates" line is the one that's, by and large, disingenuous. It's telling when those who push this line  (i.e. you, as you've made it clear throughout this thread) don't even see the dearth of black coaches to be a problem at all and  don't propose any solutions at all, but then act as if the real problem is tokenism in the interview process. Certainly nobody is obliged to attend an interview when "everybody knows" who's going to be hired. 

01/19/2011 - 2:47pm If "one" were unserious and

If "one" were unserious and hadn't thought much about the world that they inhabit or race then, sure, "one" could look at it this way.

01/19/2011 - 12:17pm   After all, the only

After all, the only thing MLK did that ever really mattered was to utter the "content of character" line in that one speech, which was clearly a rallying cry against affirmative action.

Clearly, you missed the "Happy MLK Day" post; he also once wrote in Ebony that he was against premarital sex. Someone thought that was really important for us to know.

01/19/2011 - 12:02pm The Rooney Rule is working

The Rooney Rule is working out fine. Are you serious?! Token interviews are hardly token interviews (unless Art Shell is involved). They usually require the media and potential employers to actively consider a candidate's merit (if only to say "this is a great coach who shouldn't be going on token interviews"). You don't think those "token interviews" helped Leslie Frazier, for instance, come to be accepted as full-fledged head coach material? Then, when his time came, everybody else had to have to token interviews in part because the Rooney Rule forced us to evaluate Frazier's merits as a coach two or three years ago. 

01/19/2011 - 11:49am Nobody's trying to shut you

Nobody's trying to shut you up. Believe me, I can hold my own in an argument with you. But "racist" isn't an attack, it's sometimes just a description. It's a word with a meaning and not one that we should be afraid to use toward someone who says that they will never see a black doctor "because you never know" or someone who affirmatively quotes the aforementioned racist in a thread about football hires. 

As for your other points, they are beneath comment or I've addressed them already. Write clearly next time. 

01/19/2011 - 11:42am Yes. I know what the

Yes. I know what the right-leaning Supreme Court, as well as some of the former regents, had to say about that. I think it was the wrong decision. 

But, anyhow, I think the Rooney Rule in the NFL is an excellent model, if I'm not sure about its applicability elsewhere. It doesn't guarantee quotas, which can be problematic, nor does it tolerate institutional racism; it acknowledges a problem. Its solution: at least one minority gets an interview for front office and head coaching positions. Not a job, just an interview. Sometimes it's a farce, for sure., and talented black coaches (or white coaches, lately) submit to a charade in which they pretend to be up for jobs, but even still it probably helps to provide them with interview experience and forces employers and the media to consider their credentials for the job. Like I wrote elsewhere, it's been an unmitigated success. It's to the point that we hardly think about a coach in the NFL being black and I, personally, no longer have a proclivity to hold my nose and root for Tony Dungy. The rule's only been in place since 2003 and since then, as I wrote elsewhere in this thread, black coaches have flourished. 

01/19/2011 - 11:29am Interesting thought. I went

Interesting thought. I went through 15 minutes of tedium, writing a reply that combed through the 21 most recent coaching hires, checking bios for coordinator and position coach experience. Then I accidentally closed the tab. But, going by that small sample, it didn't seem to support any of your hypotheses that:

1) White HCs who were former offensive position coaches were mostly former QB coaches

2) Black HCs were most likely former defensive coaches. 

I saw a lot of coaches who had been OL, RB, and WR coaches and had never been QB coaches who had gone to OC jobs before their hires. Like I said, small sample size, and I didn't even get to finish, but no patterns like that developed over the first 18 or so. 

01/19/2011 - 10:37am Coach Strong says that he was

Coach Strong says that he was told this privately. I believe him. Also, circumstantial evidence (being a championship coordinator in his prime and all and not getting any jobs) is on his side. 

01/19/2011 - 10:18am Burning strawmen keeps a conversation warm, right?

Every time? I don't believe anyone ever said "every time" or even "most of the time." There is a great matrix of factors that go into every job hire, some glaring, others subliminal, some completely fortuitous. 

01/19/2011 - 9:53am OK.


You have three choices:

The giant pool of black ex-players has produced produced an incredibly small number of black head coaches because:

1) Blacks are fundamentally incapable of handling the duties of coaching. Whites make better coaches.

2) Blacks are, by and large, uninterested in coaching.

3) Institutional forces prevent blacks from being groomed for coaching jobs and being considered for said jobs while those who do rise to coordinator positions and position coaching are subject to a glass ceiling. 

Those are really the only three possibilities and there's considerable evidence that the third one is the correct one. Like I said elsewhere in this post, we can see in the examples of Charlie Strong, who was explicitly informed that his being a black man (with a white wife) disqualified him from previous jobs, that there is often a glass ceiling for black coordinators. Meanwhile, we know that the Rooney Rule, which guarantees a minority interview (not job, just a fucking interview) has been an unmitigated success. Four of the past eight Super Bowl coaches have been black and half of the remaining coaches in play for this year's Super Bowl are black as well. There are plenty of blacks interested in coaching. Some are shitty coaches, some are great coaches. But the notion that the relative lack of black coaches at the college level is merely a matter of meritocracy is a white supremacist myth. 

01/19/2011 - 9:51am When the grass is cut…


Ron English can't even whip up a good season at Eastern Michigan University but keeps getting his name brought up for Michigan only because he is black?"

Huh? I can't tell what your question is here. But Vince Lombardi would have a hard time "whipping up a good season at EMU." It should not be an FBS team. I think most people agree with this. However, I think Ron English is getting mentions for Michigan for the same reason Scott Loeffler and Brady Hoke got mentions: because he used to coach here. He's a "Michigan Man." He took a crap job at EMU after a middling performance as DC at Louisville (under, to be sure, a coach who was inferior to him) and has played the hand that he was dealt there. 


Nane one guy better, who is also black, than English, who is also currently in top 50 football.

Grammar isn't your strong point, I know, and I'm having a hard time understanding this command as well. But the very problem is sample size. There are currently about ten black coaches at the FBS level, most them are in their first or second years on the job (which means things are changing for the better). Most of them are at TTTs like Eastern Carolina, Western Kentucky, Eastern Michigan, etc. or BCS basketball schools like Kansas, Kentucky, and Louisville. Most of them are coaching at their alma maters (certainly black coaches are far more likely to get head coaching jobs at their alma maters than white coaches). One Brian Cook has written pretty thoughtfully on this topic. See:
Do you really think Mike Hart would ever be mentioned as a '10 years down the road' coach if he wasn't black? The man can't control his mouth in public--not just when he was an undergrad but now.
I think it has more to do with him being a recent and beloved player whose shown a knack for boisterous and thoughtful public statements and has professed a desire to coach for Michigan. Or, you know, because he's black. Black guys get all of the advantages, I tell ya!

The older guy explained that since then he will never be treated by a black doctor--because you never know. 

From the mouths of racists, folks. And… that's why this discussion is still necessary. 

01/19/2011 - 8:59am Ah. So what you're saying is,

Ah. So what you're saying is, Dr. King would favor institutional racism. 

01/19/2011 - 8:57am Wow. I can't believe that you

Wow. I can't believe that you were posbanged for that. 

Black people are very much overrepresented in American sports. This is obviously true. Black people are seriously underrepresented in college football coaching, not only relative to the population in general but especially so relative to their population among football players. We know that qualified, even over-qualified, coaches have had a really hard time finding head coaching gigs because of their race (see: Charlie Strong) while white candidates who can be described as, at best, mediocre tend to rise to the top jobs in the profession (see: oh, nevamind). That one can try smarm away this glaring, functional, institutional racism in the sport and be posbanged says a lot. 

01/19/2011 - 8:51am But… we know for a

But… we know for a fact that that isn't happening at the college coaching ranks. Unless you're willing to use Dr. King to explain how, by and large, the giant pool of black former players is incapable of coaching (but only in college — black coaches do very well at the pro level). 

01/16/2011 - 8:14pm I liked Braylon's flip.

I liked Braylon's flip.

01/15/2011 - 4:16pm Sigh. I thought the "/s" was

Sigh. I thought the "/s" was implied but alas, there's always a guy who'll be that guy. Yes, I know the difference between chemistry and biology. 

01/15/2011 - 3:52pm That's squid.

Weren't a chemistry major, huh?

01/14/2011 - 1:07pm Dabo wanting Michigan? Like

Dabo wanting Michigan? Like as his OC? That would be a really awful decision for him. Why would you want a guy, who many people want to have your job, and is much more famous than you, breathing down your neck?

01/14/2011 - 11:47am Thing is, hardly any of these

Thing is, hardly any of these endorsements really sound like endorsements. They usually say things like "he's a solid choice" or "his teams hit hard." It's all platitudinous and usually pretty light on superlatives relating to the coach's, you know, coaching ability. 

01/13/2011 - 1:50pm I'll say it

I was right about DB. He never fooled me for a second. I'm an excellent judge of character and his seemed weak to me. 



/just saying

01/13/2011 - 1:31pm I respect this but I

I respect this (and +1'ed and all) but I respectfully disagree. It's hard for me to separate the coach, cherry-picked as he was from the "mafia" from that "mafia" itself. He may not have led the coup, per se, but he's their guy and he's their guy for bad reasons and those bad reasons torpedoed the previous guy. The whole affair will always leave a bad taste in my mouth, honestly, even if he goes on to win, a possibility of which I reserve the right to be skeptical. I'm personally still coming to terms with why it upsets me so much. I think, if I put myself on the couch for a sec, it's that it violates both my sense of fairness while validating nostalgia, traditionalism, and cronyism — three things that I despise — and while constantly repudiating talent and genius, two things that I admire. It's a whole narrative, really, and each part of the story is important to the next.

Now, I doubt that Brian feels this way, though. Once, I mentioned to him my penchant for narrative in thinking about sports and fandom and he said something like "I was an engineering major, I deal with numbers not narrative." And he's sill dealing with numbers and figures with this thing. If you take away the narrative aspects, either from my end of things (i.e. that this was a coup brought on by conservative cronyism) or from the opposite end (i.e. that this was a necessary return to basics and family values after an interloper came in and destroyed the tradition), then there's not a lot here with this hire. It literally makes no sense sans narrative. The numbers say this is a risky hire. When there are more numbers to analyze (or in the case of +/-, invent), Brian will be on firmer ground either way. But that's months from now. In the meantime he can only analyze the situation based on what's known. 

01/13/2011 - 12:00pm Also, I'm sure someone can

Also, I'm sure someone can drum up a Greasemonkey script to do this. I've seen them for use with phpbb boards. I'm not sure how adaptable those scrips would be to this forum.

01/13/2011 - 11:58am I already have this function.

In my head. I should use it more often, though.

01/13/2011 - 11:47am There's a word for people

There's a word for people whose examples of "racists" consists exclusively black people who talk about racism. 


(Hint: It starts with an "r")

01/13/2011 - 10:50am Hey now, why be mature and

Hey now, why be mature and call teams and people by their name when you can come up with a little petty nickname? 

01/13/2011 - 9:57am Bring da whambalamps!

Brian has email, next time you have a message for him, click the "Contact" button at the top.

01/13/2011 - 9:47am It's a false dilemma and a

It's a false dilemma and a ridiculous one at that. Every team is trying to win as many of their games as possible. Win more than anyone else, especially if you're the Big Ten champion, and you get a shot at the national title.

01/13/2011 - 9:12am (No subject)

01/13/2011 - 9:06am Brian has integrity and,

Brian has integrity and, surely, reserves his right to criticize and applaud when he sees fit. He's not a cheerleader, he's a cheerer, to be sure, but his job isn't to  fall in line. 

01/13/2011 - 1:14am This is very smart

… and insightful. This is the sort of thing that I think about when I think about sports. 

I'll carry this with me for a while. You may or may not be "correct" but the point is that this is an original insight, for which I'm thankful. Haters gonna hate, though. I did all I could do with a +1.

01/12/2011 - 10:01pm  

Meanwhile, the poster


Meanwhile, the poster above has no idea about my personal strengths and weaknesses or my coaching ability.

Just your capacity for judging football players, which is the only place with which I find fault with you as a coach. 
01/12/2011 - 9:34pm That was fantastic. +!

That was fantastic. +!

01/12/2011 - 4:05pm Christ.

Are you serious?

Whitlock is a hack. He's not a serious thinker.

He mistakes being "controversial" with being thoughtful. But to call him a "racist" (him and… Tony Dungy?!) is incredible. It doesn't make you look very good. 

01/12/2011 - 4:01pm Sounds petty. The sort of

Sounds petty. The sort of thing that would get negged on this forum. But it probably makes some people very happy. Shows he "understands the rivalry" and all. 

01/12/2011 - 3:55pm Stay black and die.

(i.e. The only two things I have to do.)

Being a fan of this administration or this hire are not on that list.

01/12/2011 - 9:36am Have you been around Denard?

Have you been around Denard? He's easily 6', not 5'11. And probably bigger than 193 too. 

01/12/2011 - 9:32am   I wouldn't call Eric

I wouldn't call Eric Crouch a good QB, either,

Which, again, leads one to question your definition of "good." That you could look at Denard or Eric Crouch or Pat White and say that they aren't "good" college QBs is just absurd. It's sort of like if I said that, say, Ike Turner wasn't a "good" guitar player. Would he have played surf rock as well as Dick Dale? Probably not. If I slotted him into Slayer, would he have fit in easily? Probably not. But he was a "good," even great, guitar player. And playing guitar and comparing guitarists is much more abstract than football. In football, we have metrics that determine exactly how well a QB moves the ball and generates offensive yardage and scoring. Denard is very "good" at those things, by any metric. 

01/12/2011 - 8:59am Stop saying there "is no

Stop saying there "is no basis" for the clam that Hoke is relatively untalented. The proof is in the pudding. I don't want to sound like a broken record but the fact is that, in any field and particularly in football coaching, talent is identified early on. Those who are undistinguished in their field of choice in their early fifties don't generally become so later. The field generally recognizes talent. Rich Rodriguez was a distinguished coach as a coordinator at Clemson before he was 40. He is five years younger than Brady Hoke, who would not have this job if he didn't know a few famous alums. Old players, carrying water for their old coach, are happy with the hire. So what? That doesn't make it good or make an undistinguished 52 year-old some kind of diamond in the rough. 

01/12/2011 - 8:52am   Do you think Hoke is a

Do you think Hoke is a worse coach than Harbaugh and Miles? And what are you basing that off of? 

For serious? The guy's 52 years old and has not distinguished himself in his field. Regardless of your field, if you're undistinguished in your early fifties, chances are good that you will never distinguish yourself. And everybody knew it. His name wasn't mentioned seriously for other high-profile jobs. They didn't want him in Minnesota. We know that Miles and Harbaugh are successful, distinguished coaches.