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Date Title Body
09/29/2018 - 11:20pm I can’t believe I’m going to…

I can’t believe I’m going to be That Guy, but the phrase is “eke out,” not “eek.” 

09/04/2018 - 6:45am I'm not saying you don't…

I'm not saying you don't know how Brian came to do this for a living, but some folks reading your comment might not. Some background:

Few people are able to make a living at what they love. Fewer still can do it in an endeavor that bears little connection to their professional training.

[Brian] Cook, thirty-five, earned bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science from the U-M. But he soon found the corporate world stifling and work as a software engineer "less than meaningful." So in the spring of 2006 he parted ways with his employer--a denouement he suspects was "mutually satisfactory."

Instead, he turned to MGoBlog, which he'd started in 2004 to share his passion for U-M sports. Though then more or less a hobby, the site gave him the legitimacy to start writing for pay, at AOL's FanHouse. By the close of 2006, he figures, he'd made as much as $12,000 online, counting a few stray bucks he made playing Internet poker. And he was happier living in a "crappy apartment" and doing what he cared about than being stuck in the nine-to-five corporate shuffle.

annarborobserver.com, February 2015

I've only been a Michigan sports fan since my freshman year (Michael Taylor, Tony Boles), but I can tell this one spectacularly questionable financial decision by someone with two comp. sci. degrees from Michigan has made it better to be a Michigan fan. He could easily be earning six figures during the day, come home to post bitter comments on someone else's blog, and make it worse. 

08/15/2018 - 3:39pm So, like, five things:

So, like, five things:

First: Take what I say with a grain of salt. I do this as a hobby/retirement investor, not for a living or even to supplement my income.

Second: Here's the full link to the DQYDJ calculator I was using: Stock Return Calculator with Dividend Reinvestment (DRIP) for EVERY Stock.

Third: You might follow that link and observe the big red notice at the top saying they lost their API and include no stock data since March. If so, you're doing better than I did. That seems like an important caveat, tho' less so since we're talking about a nearly 30-year investment.

Fourth: DQYDJ does claim to account for stock splits:

Here is a stock return calculator which automatically calculates dividend reinvestment (DRIP). It has daily resolution and properly accounts for stock splits and special dividends.

and

The calculator internally creates a datastructure which contains the initial purchase and the price fluctuations using stock closing prices on each day. (Normal) splits and dividend events cause us to increase the modeled number of shares held. Reverse splits will reduce the number of shares held.

However:

The stock total return calculated is idealized, based on closing prices, and will not match the exact returns. We are not modeling taxes, management fees, dividend payment timing, slippage, or other sources of error. It is possible that the dataset contains errors as well.

Fifth: The 4.28% calculated is an annual return, which accounts for compounding and isn't going to give you the same number as just multiplying out the number of shares owned after 30 years of stock splits. 

But regardless of all this, the takeaway is roughly the same: Saying a stock's price is the same now as it was in 1989 doesn't mean an investment hasn't gained in value, clearly. Also, it isn't a useful way to compare how a company's performed in that span.

But if your context is that you're picking any stock you'd like to have put your money in 30 years ago, Ford's return has been below what you'd like to see. By comparison, if you'd put your money instead in a mutual fund tracking the S&P 500 in 1989 and reinvested all dividends — and assumed no fees, no added costs, yada yada yada — you'd have seen an annual return of 10.363% without adjusting for inflation.

On the other hand, Ford might look pretty good compared to the rest of the industry. GM stock's annual return since 1989, for example, is about 2.40% using the same calculator.

08/15/2018 - 10:40am I don't really have a dog in…

I don't really have a dog in this fight, but data is available to settle this question. If you put $1,000 in Ford stock on Jan. 1, 1989, and reinvested all dividends since then, your investment would be worth $3,404.79 today (including stock splits), according to dqydj.com.

Screen Shot 2018-08-15 at 10.27.21 AM.png

An annual return of 4.28% is … not especially great for a stock investment. You'd like to see it around 6% or 7%. 

08/15/2018 - 10:18am You can often read full WSJ…

You can often read full WSJ articles by searching for a link on Facebook or Twitter, too — like this: 

Inside Ford's bumpy turnaround: Some executives use the CEO's 28-year-old chief of staff to translate the boss's intentions. https://t.co/cCqZQ8nkdo

— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) August 14, 2018
08/15/2018 - 10:12am I don't know that any of…

I don't know that any of this sounds bad, at least to me. And when I imagine him using terms like "think phase" or "clock speed," it sounds a lot like "swim lanes" — which sounded like a pretty stupid way to approach being an AD until suddenly it wasn't.

04/02/2018 - 11:14am POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC BITCHES!

It's a very Michigan meme.

POST HOC ERGO PROPTR HOC BIDGES

03/31/2018 - 1:59pm It's about the difference …

… between finding the best team on a given day versus finding the best team for an entire season, no? 

03/28/2018 - 5:56pm This is what I was looking for

Now, how long until the sample size is sufficient to reach a judgment on the College Football Playoff?

03/27/2018 - 5:11pm Three things:

No, two things, because it's not a good idea to bring the College Football Playoff into this.

  1. Proving whether hockey's luck factor allows a more random outcome than other sports seems like it would be trivial (for someone with better statistical and advanced analytical kung fu than mine).
  2. Regardless, it seems like we can agree that single-elimination tournaments — while great entertainment — are not a great way to identify a season's best team or recognize the best body of work.
03/19/2018 - 1:26pm Well, he would have made it seven times …

… but some weird guys hit some three-pointers. I hear one of them even banked in.

03/19/2018 - 1:25pm Arbitrary?

Previous five tournaments seems like a pretty round number, no?

03/16/2018 - 4:27pm Eat

at Arby’s

02/15/2018 - 3:40pm Jim McElwain, as pictured on bottles of his barbecue sauce

"Mac and Blondie Mombo3 barbecue sauce [is] a creation of McElwain, who is known in his family and among friends for his skill on the grill" (Florida Times-Union).

01/24/2018 - 4:31pm Tableau is pretty nerdtastic

And there's a free public version available for download to generate this kind of stuff: 

https://public.tableau.com/en-us/s/

01/09/2018 - 1:51pm Bravest thing I've read in a long while

Keep fighting, man. Aways forward. I know there are some things you have to go through alone, but you need to know that where we can stand with you, we're with you. I guess we must all seem like strangers to you — but rest assured, to us, you're like family. 

01/02/2018 - 2:51pm You're asking the wrong question

Read this (or re-read it). Bill Connelly's S&P+ season preview projected 8.9 wins for Michigan this season way back in July. Late in November, he wrote that he'd have adjusted that to 8.3 wins if he'd known Wilton Speight was going to get injured. It turns out that was eerily accurate.

(If S&P+ was so accurate this year, what's it projected so far for 2018? Much better things.) 

So, the question isn't who or what to blame for a travesty, it's why our expectations were so far out of line. Maybe they're right, and we really are arrogant and entitled. Maybe we have short memories. Maybe we're just not paying attention closely enough. Whatever it is, it's probably different for each of us. How many Michigan fans screaming HOW CAN WE NOT HAVE A QB?! this morning remember the two-year span under Hoke when we recruited exactly one of them? (Or that it was Shane Morris?) 

Does that make 8-5 acceptable? I can't tell you what you should accept. No one can, really.

For my part, I'm pretty proud that Michigan has the winningest program in college football. That means Michigan averages just 8.76 wins per 12 games. (No, seriously, look it up.) 

If .730 is the ceiling for sustainable winning percentage (138 years is a pretty good sample size, after all), why should someone blame anyone but themselves if they demand only 12-1, 11-2, or 10-3 seasons and can't tolerate the 7-6, 6-7, or 5-8 inevitable seasons that will balance those out? 

12/19/2017 - 4:13pm It is in an ad, tho', so …

… essentially everyone at the bowl committee, Ticketmaster — everyone — who could've caught this mistake essentially landed on "C'mon, it's the Outback Bowl. How much does any of this really matter?"  

12/18/2017 - 3:35pm (I don't mean to drag you …

… way out into the weeds of how newsrooms tend to work, but no, not typically. Virtually all the digital proofs reviewed in the sports department would show the editorial content with empty spaces for ad placement. It's possible there could be one person at the very end of the night with the opportunity to see the complete page with both editorial content and ads, but they're not concerned with finding errors in the advertising. The advertising department is gone long before page proofs are available. So if someone with the opportunity to correct this mistake were to catch it on a proof, it would be sheer luck/coincidence.) 

12/18/2017 - 3:26pm I'm definitely not here to

I'm definitely not here to tell you you're wrong to hate the Times, but a few points of fact:

  1. That's an ad. No editors were harmed (or involved) in the making of this mistake. 
  2. The Tampa Bay Times has won 12 Pulitzers in all, and four in the last five years. That's … a lot, and clearly they're not relics of the past. They just won two in 2016.
  3. It's hard to compare the Times' circulation to tbt*'s, since one is a paid daily newspaper and the other is a free weekday-only tabloid. But tbt* has an average weekly readership of 392,900; the Times' average daily readership is 998,600 (884,800 on Sundays). Again, that's nearly a million readers daily for the Times, compared to less than half that weekly for tbt*. There's not much of a point about quality to be made here, tho', since tbt* just repackages the same news you'd find in the Times (with snarkier headlines, as you noticed). 
12/18/2017 - 12:11pm I hadn't thought to …

… but I see it's there now. Good thinking!

12/18/2017 - 12:03pm C'mon

I can't be the only MGoBlog reader who's seen "sporps" around, can I? Have I really been around here that long? 

12/18/2017 - 9:52am Oh, it was intentional

I always like it when Brian & Co. use "sporps" to refer to the sports entertainment industry at large. 

12/18/2017 - 9:50am Well, to be fair …

… this is on the advertising department, not the writers or editors. Having worked there, it's likely no one from editorial got to see the ad before this went to press. 

12/18/2017 - 9:48am Oh, I'm sure

Made sure to capture the date printed right there above Jon Gruden's Bucs visor, too.

10/28/2017 - 9:29am Thanks for this

It's tough to follow Michigan hockey from Florida. I listened to the radio broadcast last night, but I'd be lost without coverage like this. Please, keep up the good work — we're counting on you down here. 

10/24/2017 - 2:09pm That account's essentially a

That account's essentially a Twitter Egg, anyway. Not worth the time. 

10/24/2017 - 2:02pm Oh, and one more thing

I've got a Facebook friend and co-worker who recently was taking way too much pleasure in repeatedly pointing out how it was crazy that Michigan was still considered a "blue blood" college football program when they'd averaged an 8-3 record since Bo left. 

I tried ignoring it, but after a while I pointed out: 

  1. I wasn't interested in figuring out whether that was even accurate, because 
  2. Forget about since Bo left — Michigan's record has averaged 8-3 since 1879, a statistic  I happen to know off the top of my head, since 
  3. That's the best all-time winning percentage in college football for any team with more than 600 wins. 

That pretty much took care of that. 

If no one averages better than a .730 record in the long term, what's that tell you about anyone who shakes their fist in the sky because a three- or four-loss season is "unacceptable"? (Much less someone who does it and then tells Brian he's the one who's arrogant.)

The sky is not falling. I'm disappointed, too — but not in Harbaugh, not yet. I'm disappointed in the program's seven-year wander in the wilderness after Carr retired. That's not the kind of thing you fix with fairy dust. We're actually back on the right track now. 

10/24/2017 - 1:47pm Keep up the good work

I rarely comment because I rarely feel like I have anything worthwhile to add, but this time … wow. I feel like I just need to add another voice of support right now.  

I don't know how many bloggers would ever want to consider themselves capital-J Journalists. It seems like part of the appeal of running a blog is that you get to not. But as someone who recently wrapped up a 20-year career in journalism, I can imagine the most thankless part of the job for a blogger is the same. You put yourself out there on a stage, and whenever folks are upset by or disagree with what you're talking about — not even what you're saying, but just the actual subject matter — you become a target. That's a shame. 

For every five jabronis who dump steaming hot takes into his inbox I figure there are at least 25 of us out here in the overwhelming (silent) majority who don't, mostly because we're paying attention. And "I AGREE AND THANK YOU FOR MAKING ME SMARTER ABOUT A SUBJECT I'M INTERESTED IN" just isn't the kind of response that makes you fire off an email or tweet. 

But I do agree, and I do thank you — and please know that before posting this I scheduled my long-overdue monthly donation via beveled guilt.

I feel lucky to have MGoBlog, and it's about time I put my money where my mouth is.

08/25/2017 - 10:13am Exactly

Exactly what I told him — it's completely fair to say Michigan fans aren't going to be happy forever with 10-3, losses to Ohio and Citrus Bowl wins (even though I don't hear any complaints right now). 

But dismissing Michigan's first back-to-back 10-win seasons since 2002-03 as merely sizzle is a shameful misread of where the program was before he arrived. 

08/19/2017 - 3:39pm Thousands of Kens …

… across the MGoBlogosphere read that last graf and had a "holy crap but I got mine" moment. (Am a Ken; can confirm.)

07/05/2017 - 12:36pm The future of #digital #content …

… is that readers are the customers who pay for it. The business model where readers' eyeballs are just a product that gets sold to advertisers doesn't work online. When was the last time anyone clicked on a digital advertisement? On purpose? 

03/20/2017 - 12:53pm Thanks so much for this

I missed seeing the game while taking the kids to Disney World. Can't imagine why CBS and the NCAA aren't making it available anywhere (or anywhere I can find it, at least). Gives me warm and fuzzy feelings when fans look out for each other like this. How's the tip jar work?

02/17/2017 - 12:56pm I'm proud to say …

… that I've thought so little of Paul Finebaum for so long that I'm not even aware of what he said this time, even though I live in Florida.

01/01/2017 - 5:51pm Whether you like all the LET THEM PLAY BLARGH or no, …

… I thought this was a foul at the end of regulation, and one that should have been called:

12/28/2016 - 9:22pm Complaint?

You might not like the tone, but it's essentially just a reminder that unless you're personally getting free Poulan Weed Eaters, you're under no obligation to refer to anything as the Poulan Weed Eater Bowl. 

Case in point: My wife was driving home from Orlando tonight, and mentioned that it looked like there was a game going on at UCF because there was a blimp overhead. I told her that must have been the Russell Athletic Bowl at Camping World Stadium, and got a blank stare. When I gave in and told her it was the Tangerine Bowl, she magically knew exactly what I was talking about.

 

 

When I worked at a newspaper, it drove me crazy that other editors felt obliged to use phrases like "Russell Athletic Bowl" instead of using names that would let everyone know what we were actually talking about. Russell never paid us a dime — no bowl sponsors do — but these people would tut-tut like we'd libeled somebody if an unsponsored reference found its way into print.

Anyway, I don't hear it as a complaint. If it is, it's certainly not about sponsorship in general. And it is tradition — one I hope doesn't go away any time soon.

11/30/2016 - 12:10am Ferg's in downtown St. Petersburg, Fla. …

… hosted the football watch parties for the U.M. Alumni Association of Tampa Bay this season. I'd add them to this map — 1320 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33705.

Also Grand Tavern in Delray Beach, Fla., is a Michigan-themed sports bar. They fly the flags of all major Michigan teams, tho', so you'll likely see a giant Sparty logo painted on the window next to an equally huge maize "M". It's at 710 Linton Blvd., Delray Beach, FL 33444.

11/18/2016 - 10:07pm Xavier Simpson is not tall
10/09/2016 - 1:53pm Once you put your backups in

Once you put your backups in the rotation, how can you keep their respect as their coach if you ask them to do anything other than their best? "Jones, you're in — but remember, we're up by more than 50, so I don't want to see any effort out there."

09/02/2016 - 2:59pm Bo Thumbs Up gif …

… will never stop making me happy.

03/08/2016 - 5:10pm The "The" makes all the difference

12/16/2015 - 11:52am FiveThirtyEight 'Collectors' documentary on Kelley

This went up today:

The High School Football Coach Who Never Punts

Pulaski Academy football coach Kevin Kelley never punts. He always kicks on-side. His teams play … weirdly. Now the Arkansas squad is going back to Dallas to face its rival, Highland Park, a team that has won 84 games in a row at home and outplayed Pulaski Academy last year. Will Kelley’s data-driven plays lead to the win? The latest film in FiveThirtyEight and ESPN Films’ short-documentary series Collectors, “Undefeated,” directed by Jamie Schutz, follows Pulaski as the team adds a new wrinkle to its playbook and tries to end Highland Park’s streak.

11/28/2015 - 4:04pm Sums up my feelings

Sums up my feelings perfectly, tho' I would have swapped the sentiments in the last graf: "Ohio State looked like a playoff team today. Michigan looked a long way off. It's hard not to be disappointed today after seeing how the last few months have played out, but this is exactly what we expected heading into the season."

If there was anything surprising about today's game, it's that a decisive OSU victory was a surprise — and that says a lot. We're still ahead of schedule, and the most important game is the next one. Onward and upward.

11/28/2015 - 3:44pm Sums up my feelings

Sums up my feelings perfectly, tho' I would have swapped the sentiments in the last graf: "Ohio State looked like a playoff team today. Michigan looked a long way off. It's hard not to be disappointed after seeing how the last few months have played out, but that's exactly what we expected heading into the season."

If there was anything surprising about today's game, it's that a decisive OSU victory was a surprise — and that says a lot. Still, the most important game is the next one. Onward and upward.

11/07/2015 - 11:34am Only 35 of the 55 framers of

Only 35 of the 55 framers of the Constitution were lawyers or had benefited from legal training, and not all of those relied on the profession for a livelihood.

10/12/2015 - 10:02pm So, we're going to see Rafiki

So, we're going to see Rafiki on a sign behind the College Gameday guys this Saturday, right? I mean, right?

10/12/2015 - 2:14pm The "rollercoaster" cheer was

The "rollercoaster" cheer was one the student section used to do when I was there 1988-92. Also "rowboat" and "popcorn." The most popular, tho', was when the pep band would come around and ask the crowd what they wanted to hear. I remember being taken aback by looking over and seeing a big, burly obvious nonstudent bellowing at the top of his lungs from the upper rows: "BUULLLWWIINNKKLLE! BULLWINKLE!"

09/12/2015 - 1:16pm Got to stop the mental mistakes by the crowd, tho'.

Got to stop the mental mistakes by the crowd, tho'.

09/07/2015 - 1:49pm 365 days?
This April, Beckman explained the mix-up. He is well aware of his mom's birthday — he wanted to give her a shoutout as a coach's wife and coach's mom who never really got to be around her husband/son as much as she wanted around her birthday — but I always liked the idea of Beckman celebrating his mom's birthday 365 days a year.

Well, 364 at most, I guess, right? Since it never seemed to be her actual birthday?

09/04/2015 - 5:09pm I can't agree on Gus

I can't agree on Gus Johnson/Joel Klatt. The two things that bothered me most was when the amazing O'Neill punt happened and I got the feeling they just weren't even watching the game. The explanation of why it was so smart of Utah to call a timeout when it was actually Michigan who called it, too. Stuff like that seemed to be happening all game.