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Date Title Body
09/17/2018 - 8:37am The only way the commercials…

The only way the commercials will ever be significantly reduced (IMO) is through fan organization -> regulation. Unlikely to happen in the US.

The more immediate problem is the randomness of the 30-second vs. full commercial timeout. SMU had to burn two timeouts because their first one only gave them 30 seconds (unless I missed something and they had a different reason for taking the second one). Timeouts should always be 30 seconds; put the commercials somewhere else (scoring, punts, serious injuries etc.).

09/13/2018 - 12:03pm I've been to several…

I've been to several Michigan games in Evanston and have generally found the experience to be underwhelming*. Not to rain on your parade but more to say: plan ahead if you intend to have fun.

Driving south after the game is not recommended. I've not taken the L or Metra straight after a game so can't comment on the time to get on a train, but the ride itself would be preferable to sitting in traffic, I'm sure. Or you could just hang out in Evanston for a bit.

* Partly due to the quality of football-playing in recent years, or lack thereof.

06/16/2018 - 4:00pm This post would score higher…

This post would score higher if it had "more character" and was "more well rounded".

04/22/2018 - 1:09pm There are really only two problems with the site:

1) The little >> arrows to get to the next list of MGoTopics never work properly

 

2) Every so often it gets hacked and identity thieves empty my retirement account

 

04/22/2018 - 12:58pm What's the phrase?

People in charge of things are just in charge of things?

 

03/16/2018 - 11:58am If it bothers you that much

No but since unfortunately a disproportionate amount of violence and threats of violence are issued by men against women, this is a subfield of violence that many people, myself included, would say demands specific attention.

02/02/2018 - 1:03pm Basically this

I suspect you have to have one or two places where the young men who want to fight can assemble and do their thing. At least if you know where they are you can avoid them and the boys in blue can come prepared.

 

Disclaimer: I got wasted a lot during college but tended not to go to the fighting bars.

02/02/2018 - 11:21am Or we could behave like adults

and tweak these games to reduce/mitigate head impacts.

02/02/2018 - 11:19am Quite

I love all these sports (soccer, football, rugby etc.) but they could all be improved by figuring out ways to reduce head injuries and the kind of "micro-trauma" that all the research points to as the culprit for CTE.

 

My kids play soccer - I grumbled about the elimination of headers for a while but you know what? It's just a different good game without them. And don't get me started on the idiocy of tacklng technique in football vs. rugby.

10/30/2017 - 1:28pm They already have a jumpman logo

Maybe they should just increase the logo size by 10% each year. Classic frog-boiling.

10/30/2017 - 9:42am NFL commercials

Dare I say it the NFL seems to be moving in the right direction on commercials. MNF last week actually had some flow to the game. Amazing what a slight dip in ratings can do for you.

10/30/2017 - 9:41am Eh

I've been a soccer fan all my life and the shirt ads are pretty unobtrusive, especially at the top level where they understand the brand/ad tradeoff.

 

When you compare the experience of watching non-stop sport for ~90 minutes and then getting on with your day to the snoozefest that is any major US sporting event I know which one I'd pick.

10/02/2017 - 12:55pm I don't know

if it's that paradoxical. I think living in the US is pretty safe and I feel safe most of the time (and I live in a relatively high crime area).

 

I think the disconnect you refer to stems from the fact that there are simple and obvious remedies to these mass killings but discussion/implementation of them gets immediately shut down by a well-oiled talking point machine, beginning with the self-policing we see in this thread around "not bringing politics into this terrible tragedy."

10/02/2017 - 12:45pm It's sad and hypocritical

These things keep happening and every time well-meaning* people wheel out the talking point of "let's not politicize this".

 

Which is itself an insanely political POV since the only discussion those comments seek to quash is the gun control discussion. It's not as if we're suddenly going to start a political discussion about how to cause even more mass murders.

 

* I assume they're well-meaning, although the original creators of the talking point certainly aren't.

09/25/2017 - 11:24am Minor meta whine

Does anyone else have trouble with listening to these? The content is great but every other sentence trails off to mumblecore unless I turn the volume up super loud and focus exclusively on this.

 

Makes great background listening at work but for this flaw.

09/23/2017 - 11:15pm When I said "the best models"

I meant the ones that have best fit the observed trends, yes. Those have been better than the ones that don't predict global warming, if accuracy is your metric.

 

On the other hand if passive-aggressive equivocation is your metric then your models do better.

09/23/2017 - 10:32pm This comment reveals

a total lack of understanding of how the scientific method, and (federal gov't) science funding in the US, works.

 

There is no vast conspiracy of career civil servants to "punish big coal" or some such bullshit. The best models predict that the net effect of all the additional CO2 in the atmosphere will be continued warming, which in turn results in increased coastal flooding, changed disease and pest vectors, droughts and so on. The exact outcomes are unknown but the general trajectory is clear.

 

If you could come up with a model that incorporated the known data but predicted radically different and more easily coped-with outcomes you would have very interesting sessions at conferences, get a bunch of funding and would probably get tenure at any R1 institution of your choice.

 

I doubt this comment will have much effect but it needs to be said.

09/19/2017 - 10:00am Also

We gained fewer yards per play in games we lost than we did in wins, you guys.

 

I'm no statistician but I suspect we may also have scored fewer points in those losses.

09/14/2017 - 1:14pm Unpopular opinion maybe

but how about we just end the charade of having what in any sane system would be fringe semi-pro athletes with side jobs pretend to be university students in order to be "eligible to compete".

 

In what other career do we tell people: that's great that you want to be a banker, and you seem qualified, but in order to allow you to do that, you need to be good at horse riding! Here's a horse! We'll be checking to make sure you're sticking at it, and if not, you're fired!

 

There are many ways this could be fixed to allow those of us at nose-in-the-air academic institutions to keep our precious dignity (kids can take classes if they want, or retain the option to study after football, etc. etc.). And of course it doesn't solve everyone's issue. But you've got to think that forcing people who have no interest in studying to "stay in school" is neutral at best and a pain in the ass/contributing factor to negative emotions and personal failure at worst.

08/28/2017 - 11:28am Equally, though...

that's presumably the reason why the University (and other institutions) have policies for dealing with non-cash gifts. Policies which appear not to have been followed here.

 

I'm also not naive and presumably the University has done enough here to ensure plausible deniability. But it's also an observable fact that defenses/explanations of what has happened tend to include sentences like the following:

 

"But that isn't unique to him or schools; it's basically a part of doing business."

 

My personal opinion is that this is the wrong standard for U-M. But others are free to hold their own opinions.

08/28/2017 - 11:14am Cumong man

How about this: "Hey, Steve, thanks for the offer, but how about you sell the property yourself and just give us the $2M? Heck we'd be fine with 1.5."

08/28/2017 - 11:04am I would hope...

that U-M would hold itself to a higher standard than turning a blind eye to obvious tax shenanigans in order to reel in the donations. YMMV.

08/28/2017 - 10:58am From the article:

"The Detroit Free Press explained, according to the IRS, the University failed to follow some of its own policies when it accepted and resold the property. Prior to accepting the gift from Ross, the University did not appraise the property value; it held onto the property for two years, as Ross asked it to do, when it is supposed to liquify non-cash gifts promptly; it sold the property to a buyer who turned out to be the same lawyer and accountant who represented Ross and partners in the original donation; it also resold the property for much less than the appraised value, despite University policy, which claims it should sell property around fair market value."

 

I find it very hard to believe that there wasn't anyone from the University who had an inkling of what was going on here.

08/24/2017 - 1:03pm Big Bang Theory

I would say that's the better show in the sense that it's not pretending to be deep - it's just a well-written mainstream comedy show (I don't watch it all that much but that's my impression). Those are hard to make, as evidenced by the fact that many of them flop.

 

I have no problem with GoT existing as a swords-and-tunics vehicle for violence and titillation, but let's not pretend that it's a super-complex exploration of the forces at play in social power dynamics or whatever, which is what motivates the original question here, to wit: why are all the characters so stupid?

08/24/2017 - 12:51pm To be clear...

there's nothing wrong with dumb TV shows - they can be very enjoyable. It's just that GoT is a dumb TV show that's dressed up as a smart TV show. If you actually think about the various plot devices for more than a second it's clear that most of them make no sense at all, either in terms of human behavior (which is *perhaps* explainable by saying that this is a strange alien planet so people behave in totally different ways) or, more damningly, in terms of simple logistics (e.g., "where did they get the wood for the boats from?" as in a comment below).

 

There aren't that many truly smart TV shows around but they exist. In terms of literary adaptations I would say that the BBC John Le Carre serializations and Wolf Hall were both very good, some 30 years apart from each other.

08/24/2017 - 12:28pm To adapt a phrase...

GoT is a stupid person's idea of what a smart TV show looks like.

 

I gave up after three episodes (and no, I don't care about the super-duper character and plot "developments" since then). It's porn for people who won't admit they like watching porn.

08/01/2017 - 11:56am Since it's open season

I don't have a problem with universities establishing that if you hit your boyfriend or girlfriend, they will rescind their offer to educate you, and you can try your luck elsewhere.

 

It's hardly a "1984 like scenario", which would involve a rat cage on your face as part of the disciplinary proceedings.

 

And yes, I'm comfortable with that decision resting on third-party reports.

08/01/2017 - 11:50am Yup

Fair assessment of the facts at hand.

 

My assumption: they got in an argument and he hit her, hence the report. She feels bad/conflicted, hence her statement(s).

 

Plenty of moral quandaries for another discussion venue!

08/01/2017 - 11:40am In before lock

No-one here knows what happened.

 

"The Liberal Press".

 

"Pussification of America."

 

"As men we are so oppressed today."

 

etc. etc.

10/12/2016 - 10:55pm Glad your daughter is safe

On the other hand, this:

 

"I am reminded that we have the freedom to enjoy football games and many other things in our country because of sacrifices made by all military forces."

 

Is not an apolitical statement, however much you may want it to be. It's also not really true unless you restrict "all military forces" to "US-allied military forces", which then goes back to the whole "apolitical" thing.

08/05/2016 - 9:52am +1 dig dug

EOM

05/31/2016 - 3:03pm Eh

10: Goal line technology would be OK but (and this applies to many of these suggested "improvements") it moves you incrementally towards the US 4-hour "sports experience" where everything is litigated to the last mind-numbing detail, so no.

 

9: No. See 10.

 

8: No. See 10. I *love* how the last 15 seconds of a basketball game take 15 minutes, and the ontological debates over whether the edge of someone's foot is in contact with a small piece of painted hardwood.

 

7: Eh. Diving is what it is, and it's already punishable. You could shift the balance via advice to referees. But the thing a lot of people miss about soccer (beyond the Pepe incidents) is that if someone disrupts you with minimal contact, you should often go to ground a) to protect yourself and b) because you've been put at a disadvantage.

 

6: Eh. "Replace it with ... I don't know" is not super compelling. If money in sports bugs you, you can support your local club.

 

5: No. Keep the rules simple.

 

4: No. Smacks of Arena Football "innovation". Also see 5.

 

3: Eh. This used to be solved with replays, and we did away with those. All the various Golden Goal-type experiments tend to lead to ultra-defensive play. Plus you get to see great players choke in career-defining ways (or not).

 

2: No.

 

1: No.

05/02/2016 - 6:07pm Back to back CLs coming up

Just like Forest in the 80s. Book it.

04/27/2016 - 3:48pm I don't know

I don't have a dog in this fight particularly - I think football probably does cause some brain deterioration, but probably not a huge amount more than other contact sports - right now I'd let my kids play, hypothetically speaking, although that's probably because they don't have the build to play in the trenches, where the worst effects seem to be concentrated.

 

Having said that, I think one thing that passionate football supporters cannot afford to do at this stage is to adopt a siege mentality. This kind of research is long overdue (the NFL basically suppressed it for years) and people should absolutely study the long-term effects on the brain, which also means understanding the short-term effects. Complaining about scare tactics will not play well in that context.

04/27/2016 - 3:18pm Not only that

There's also a kind of "but... but... FOOTBALL" thing going on, where people assume that the sport will live forever and so this type of research is useless/irrelevant.

 

Cool story bro time: my high school was one of the last to feature a boxing team, which ceased its activity right around the time I got there. Now boxing is no more.

 

In the 1800s competitive long-distance solo walking was insanely popular, as were sculling races in London. Times change and sports change with them.

04/15/2016 - 1:01pm A little ironic

that people would complain about the advertising on soccer jerseys in this context.

 

That would be the advertising that you see on jerseys during games that run for two uninterrupted 45 minute halves.

02/12/2016 - 1:14pm Exactly

Moreover, the state contribution is of the order of $300M.

 

I'm frankly surprised at some of the comments about how easy it would be to walk away from this money, or increase financial aid payouts from the endowment, or whatever, because "it's a small percentage of the total". A small percentage of a huge number is a *lot* of money. The endowment payout rate is set at 5% (or whatever) for long-term fiscal prudence. You can argue about the appropriateness of that number but it's not like going to 6% is a decision you make off the cuff to throw out of state families a bone.

 

The summary of the LSU situation is that, at least in theory, you do actually need a functioning university in order to have a university-affiliated football team.

01/18/2016 - 8:30am Did he expound

on the importance of labor unions in promoting the cause of the oppressed?

01/13/2016 - 9:51am No Subject

I logged in solely to point out that I looked for a Maryland blog in the sidebar to check out the opponent fan analysis, but then remembered that Rutgers and Maryland aren't listed in the Big 10 blogs. Awesome.

12/10/2015 - 12:59pm I think the solution is much simpler

Allow all teams to practice the same amount after the regular season, and schedule a scrimmage against another non-bowling team if they want to. Or maybe just a New Year's trip to the Bahamas for the football team. Much cheaper than the forced ticket allocation. I reckon the sham bowls would dissipate pretty quickly.

11/09/2015 - 12:03pm Come on dude

Are you essentially claiming that people of European ancestry living in North America cannot be anti-racist without being hypocrites?

 

Because that seems, like, a stretch to me.

 

I think the no politics rule gets stretched pretty thin with this passive aggressive BS.

06/22/2015 - 2:12pm Never gets old

The spectacle of sports journalists sneering at the lowly people who *gasp* actually play the sports they cover and *shock* may not be as pure as the driven snow, which the journalists themselves assuredly are.

 

Who gives a crap about the HOF.

02/05/2015 - 11:21am Exactly

Plenty of other countries/sports have figured this out with pre-professional contracts, apprenticeships etc.

 

The main problem in the US is that there's no incentive for colleges or the NCAA to actually offer terms that are advantageous to the kids and their families.

11/20/2014 - 10:09am Sounds defensive

I didn't stick around for long enough yesterday to respond to this. I'm sorry if my original comment was overly aggressive, but look: if two of Irvin's shots had rimmed out, you would not now be writing an article saying "Zak Irvin's mid-range jumpers are just as likely to go in as early-in-the-shot-clock heaves, so we may as well bomb away".

8/19 is also a very small sample from which to draw any firm conclusions. Again, if two of those shots rim out he's suddenly under 33%, Compare and contrast the treatment of Irvin here ("what a player") with Bielfeldt and his equally tiny sample of three pointers ("very unlikely to continue").

Basically, this "throwing numbers around" approach to sports writing is easy, which is why the hacks do it. I generally find mgoblog to be better than that, which is why I read and (very occasionally) post.

11/19/2014 - 4:47pm 5 of 8

Come on. This is a meaningless sample.

10/21/2014 - 6:08pm Sigh

"Tuition should be lower" - sure, and then you lose all your best faculty to competitor X because you have to stiff them with 1% 5 years in a row.

 

"Reduce unnecessary costs" - why does everyone always assume there's a ton of unnecessary cost to cut? Hint - there isn't. The top 5 public universities already spend ~1/3 per bachelor's degree compared the Ivy League. You're cutting bone at this point.

 

"Meetings should be more open" - until you go to the first two meetings and realize there's a reason you don't let the voting majority run your state's flagship research institution.

 

On the plus side, the guy seems nice enough. I doubt he could do any serious damage.

 

 

06/17/2014 - 2:21pm Not sure about the game plan

I don't think the US really changed their game plan - I just think they didn't pass the ball well. Giving away possession was more caused by misplaced passing and general lack of vision than by going into some kind of conservative mode, from what I saw.

06/17/2014 - 2:17pm I thought both teams

were bad in possession, but compensated for it by doing a lot of running around. Frustrating to watch, and spells trouble for the US in the next two games.

 

I also thought Jones left the boot in - fair enough he'd just been clattered from behind, but still a stupid thing to do.

04/17/2014 - 9:56am It's a college actually

Come on.

01/29/2014 - 3:04pm I don't have time to stick around

for an answer, unfortunately, but I'll point out that the athletes are in fact working to pay for their education (unless I'm mistaken and their scholarships aren't dependent on continued participation in their sport).

 

The argument, to me, is whether it's OK for colleges and the NCAA to agree on the limits on pay in this particular arena. I suspect that if there was a system in place that limited compensation in your field, you would not think it was particularly fair.

 

The question of whether people will follow non-amateur sports is a different one, but then big-time college sports are not really amateur at the moment, if you think carefully about it. Athletes are receiving a benefit with financial value in return for their participation in a revenue-generating activity.