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02/02/2018 - 9:08am The founding principle of our

The founding principle of our nation is that government derives its power from the consent of the governed. Without meaningful access to information about what our governments are doing, we can't provide informed consent.

As someone who's been both a journalist and a policy think tank staffer, I profoundly disagree with the way you look at FOIA. It shouldn't be an inconvenience for governments in a democracy to tell their citizens what they're doing; it should be a fundamental function. Sunshine disinfects.

Frankly, in the modern era, governments spend way too much time and effort making people go through the FOIA process rather than simply putting the information online. I recently got involved in trying to figure out why my small suburb's pension and retiree health care funds were so badly underfunded, and wanted to look at the city's union contracts to make sure I understood what the contractual limits were on potential solutions. The city administrator told me I needed to file a FOIA request, instead of simply sending me the contracts. What possible reason should there be not to simply put that information online where anybody who wants it -- including city employees covered by the contracts -- can see it?

FOIA allows governments to charge people for the staff time it'll take to collect requested information, so "understaffed" shouldn't be an issue. And when if comes to things like that five-year request you referenced, it's certainly common for government bodies to use that as a tool for not responding to that kind of fishing expedition. (The Platonic ideal of this is the famous $7 million FOIA fee the Michigan State Police tried to charge my friends and fomer colleagues at the Mackinac Center when they attempted to dig into reports of mismanagement of federal Homeland Security grants.)

01/31/2017 - 5:58pm Disappointing

Especially disappointing on Signing Day Eve.

As with others, I'd happily pay for access to a functional app frontend to MGoBlog that put money in your pocket.

Emphasis on functional.

12/22/2016 - 10:36am Analogies

I too am puzzled why they would want to aspire to something other than the top level of soccer in North America.

How is it hard for anybody who's passionate about college sports to understand this? How is it hard for anyone who lived through Dave Brandon to understand this?

I'm a rabid DCFC supporter, in the midst of all of the flags and drums and smoke with my wife and son. We fell in love with the club in 2012 in its first season and never looked back.

We're Michigan football season ticket holders, but probably haven't been to a Lions game in five seasons even though Ford Field is a half-hour closer to where we live. We've got access to the football version of the "top level of soccer in North America" (which I'd heartily disagree with, the Mexican Liga MX is undeniably better than MLS), so why should we waste our time and money on lower-quality Michigan football?

It's because Michigan is ours. The NFL is not.

DCFC is to MLS as Michigan football is to what Dave Brandon thought it should be. Organic versus plastic, fan-centered versus money-centered, ours versus theirs. Our opposition to MLS isn't about whether we can say "fuck" a lot, it's about whether the thing we love stops being run for the people who love it and starts being run for the people who'd just want to profit from it.

DCFC's owners are five regular guys with day jobs who wanted to create a soccer club that they'd feel like supporting. They did, and thousands of others followed. DCFC's crowds are unheard of in amateur soccer in America, and that's a signal that something about the club's culture and what its supporters are doing is resonating in an important way. We think it's worth giving it a chance to grow and see what happens.

(And for the record, I'm a middle-aged gray-haired guy who wears a suit to work every day. I'm as far from a hipster as you can get without unironically listening to REO Speedwagon.)

11/07/2016 - 7:24pm I think Maryland had a better

I think Maryland had a better chance of this before they joined the B1G. Now, they're Purdue East. If you're good enough to be a quality Big Ten football player, why would you do it at Maryland?

Sure, there's the occasional guy who just wants to play for "his" school. But there's very few kids who grew up dreaming of putting on the red and yellow and black and white and...what is that, some kind of metallic grayish-orange? of Maryland Football. Rather, what that "rich talent pool" is going to get growing up is a half-dozen views a year of the Big House and Horseshoe and Happy Valley and Camp Randall where the Terps are getting steamrollered.

11/07/2016 - 7:15pm Sure, we could have stood

Sure, we could have stood pat. All of those other conference expansions were driven by ephemeral TV dollars as well and many won't end well. Kudos to the Big 12 (words I never thought I'd write) for ending the insanity and not adding UCF or Cincy or whomever else they were considering recently just to grow for growth's sake.

True, it's just one game against Rutgers and one game against Maryland. But that's two games in a 12-game season where we're remarkably unlikely to have a decent football game to watch. Add in a body bag game or two early in the season and one or two more down-year B1G teams and all of a sudden, half the games on the schedule are dreck.

That's because Rutgers is straight trash, and Maryland hasn't been consistently good since the 1950s. (Notably, they're 2-37-1 all time against Penn State.) Virtually every single B1G school -- including Purdue and Northwestern -- has been higher-quality and more consistent than either of those schools over the past few decades. Hell, even Illinois managed to win the B1G in 2001 and never forget that Ron Zook went to a Rose Bowl.

About a third of the most popular college football teams in the country are Big Ten schools. We were not threatened with being kicked out of the BCS or FBS or whatever if we hadn't grown even bigger, and if we needed to grow for on-field "we need a championship game!" reasons rather than TV dollars then there were other options that have been hashed out elsewhere ad nauseam.

11/07/2016 - 6:19pm I'm not celebrating, you make

I'm not celebrating, you make the same point I thought was implicit: Meltdown in cable revenues hurts the value of the B1G Network, B1G Network value is the only reason to have Maryland and Rutgers befouling our conference.

I like TV money for football because it means we can do non-revenue sports as well as keep the gameday atmosphere reasonably marketing-free (at least inside the bowl of the stadium), but I dislike the way the B1G decided to sell out everything the fans care about in favor of a revenue model that any reasonably-intelligent observer of media and technology trends could (and did) say was on its last legs.

08/30/2016 - 3:44pm It's a multi-day story once

It's a multi-day story once people like Kaepernick and Harbaugh get involved thanks to the importance we place on sports in our society, which was clearly Colin's intention.

The issues he's concerned about have lingered for years/decades/centuries. It's not the end of the world if we talk about them for more than one "news cycle" (I'm in media/marketing, hate that term) here and there.

04/16/2016 - 4:19pm Supply and demand

The corruption issues come because the NCAA's rules basically fix the price of a valuable product that has limited supply and high demand (the labor of high-quality college-eligible football players) at "scholarship, room and board." Markets being what they are, that rarely works.

Allowing schools to effectively compete on price through this kind of system will decrease the need for their boosters to do so behind the scenes. It'll create a more efficient market because everyone will be able to see roughly what their competitors are offering and players can openly share those offers in negotatiations with other schools.

Kids will get paid. Some will be worth it, some won't. But there's so damn much money sloshing around college football that it's good they'll see some of it.

03/08/2016 - 3:46pm Apropos

Edit: No HTML5 video tag, huh?

The scene in question, even if everybody else beat me to it while I was fighting drupal.
02/08/2016 - 5:36pm Not Constantinople?

Admittedly, that's nobody's business but the Turks.

01/31/2016 - 12:20am Ordinary people didn't

Ordinary people didn't envision Rutgers in the Big Ten. And that was fine.

01/29/2016 - 5:23pm Disappointed

That he felt the need to lie in his first press conference, when he called Jim Delaney "...a true leader and one of the greatest minds in moving intercollegiate athletics forward in a positive direction."

/s

01/28/2016 - 1:11pm Oh the other hand, if this is

Oh the other hand, if this is the kind of recruiting that Harbaugh pulls off with just one season of relative success in the program then imagine what the 2018, 2019, etc. defenses will look like.

I fully expect that once we get through some of the lingering echoes of "RICH ROD Y YOU NO RECRUIT OL?" and "Fred Jackson, RB whisperer" and "My name is Inigo Borges, you are my quarterback, prepare to die" and the like, the amplitude of our boom and bust years will smooth out pretty significantly.

01/08/2016 - 2:05pm Academics

I know his Academic Gameplan was well-respected, any insight on whether some of that will stick around?

I wish Coach Baxter well -- USC is closer to Australia, he's just following his heart.

01/08/2016 - 1:57pm Yes

Andy Katzenmoyer is the obvious example. Apparently the secret is to find a recruit so dumb that he doesn't realize he's just a freshman.

(More seriously, Malik Jefferson was a very good starter at LB for Texas this season.)

12/11/2015 - 12:03pm General Studies major,

General Studies major, according to official bio.

12/02/2015 - 2:45pm Would assume it's Mattison

I would imagine that Gary isn't going to look at Jim Harbaugh and Greg Mattison and think, "Nope, the loss of DJ Durkin from that coaching staff leaves them with not enough coaching talent to help me reach my potential, I shall take my talents elsewhere."

11/24/2015 - 3:17pm I love Kalis on Harbaugh

"Other than his enthusiasm unknown to mankind?"

Compare and contrast the way these guys talk about their coaches to the way the Buckeyes are talking about their coaching staff.

11/11/2015 - 6:56pm This would be excellent.

This would be excellent. Rotate it each year between the Van Andel Center and The Palace (or the new Joe Louis Arena if that'll do hoops) so that nobody's got "home court" advantage.

I've always loved the GLI in hockey, this is that idea taken to the next level. Winner gets a block of fudge from Mackinac they get to lick once before putting away for the year and a Shinola watch embedded in a petoskey stone.

10/21/2015 - 2:53pm April 1993

And a posterboard sign: "YOU HAVE NO TIMEOUTS LEFT"

10/13/2015 - 4:04pm I seem to remember

That Baxter's a proponent of using your first-team/rotation players on special teams, since they can swing a game so wildly on something like this play or a blocked punt.

Chris Kluwe had a piece in SI recently talking about how one of the biggest determinants for whether or not a NFL special teams unit will suck is whether it's full of backup offensive players who don't know how to pursue and hit anybody.

10/06/2015 - 5:31pm I approve of it as well

And that's the official judgement of the guy who newgrouped alt.music.ska-core on Usenet, to add an additional layer of mid-90s nerdery.

09/30/2015 - 9:38am Love the "no trash talking" Harbaugh rule

That'll save us (or earn us) a critical 15 yards somewhere down the road, probably against a team wearing green & white or scarlet & gray.

09/28/2015 - 4:04pm Cam Newton

Suggests you "trust, but verify" when it comes to Auburn being the cleanest of recruiters.

09/28/2015 - 12:09pm Or, for that matter

The "two-part question" that contained no actual questions.

09/24/2015 - 4:03pm If your RB's regularly

If your RB's regularly running into defenders while still in the backfield, the fault is rarely with them. It's more likely with the blockers and playcalling that allowed those defenders into the backfield in the first place.

Only guys like Denard or Barry Sanders could regularly be expected to make the first guy miss behind the line of scrimmage.

09/20/2015 - 12:59pm Love it

“Uh…what are you asking?”

I've been a reporter and host a podcast and I fully recognize how much harder it is than most people realize to ask intelligent interview questions, but way too many beat writers in Ann Arbor seem to be especially bad at it in these sorts of situations.

(That being said, I'd usually try to save my actual questions for 1-on-1s to keep other reporters from having the unique information that I wanted for the story I was planning on writing. But still.)

09/17/2015 - 1:23pm This is the nice thing

It's been "Ugh, if he's starting then we must not have anybody better" for too long, now we're starting to move to "Wow, if he's not starting then it must mean that we've got somebody even better."

09/12/2015 - 6:19pm I'll repost what I said over

I'll repost what I said over the gameday thread then try to add a bit:

Beyond the play on the field, the stadium experience was night and day.

There wasn't a single advertisement on the video boards that was trying to get us to have our weddings at the Big House or download an app or join the Victors Club or some such. We were asked to go to the field hockey and volleyball games, that's it.

The pregame hype video was spectacular, I need to find it online. Chills.

Sponsors were much harder to find. Pom poms were unbranded. There wasn't even an ABC Sports banner hanging on the wall that I could see.

The band now has a hype video. They played a heck of a lot more between snaps and series. Even the volume on the scoreboard speakers was down pretty significantly -- which was an issue because it was hard (at least where I sit under the press box) to hear the referee's penalty calls.

At halftime, the "This is no longer Dave Brandon's Michigan Experience" vibe lost all pretense at subtlety when the band started spelling out things like "TRADITION" and "YOST." It was the least monetized I've felt at a Michigan game in many years.

Then they started running the ball up the middle out of an I formation and holding the opponent to 1/11 on third downs. It was glorious.  

The big theme of the day was that this is the 150th anniversary of Michigan athletics, with the baseball team being the first sport. Lots of video of athletes in all sorts of sports training -- first time I've ever seen a women's track and field athlete throw a discus in a Big House video. Halftime show of the band was celebrating that, spelling out all sorts of words like COMPETITION and EXCELLENCE and TRADITION and YOST and ending with THOSE WHO STAY. (Plus a cool animated band stick figure thing with soccer and basketball players and the flag corps playing the ball.) Some voiceover bits from various Michigan people, from the drum major to Schlissel to football players and beyond reading Yost's "this Michigan of ours" piece.

Most of the video board interstitials were those short "Who's Got It Better Than Us?" videos they've been running in social media.

They welcomed the freshmen and other new students in the crowd to the Michigan family and had the rest of the crowd give them a round of applause.

Beilein won a NCAA sportsmanship award and got it in the endzone. Place got a bit loud for him, as well as for the WWII veteran who left UM in 1942 to fight in the Pacific they introduced. 

Even the flyover was slightly de-Brandonized -- yeah, there were a pair of jets that went over, T-38 trainers from some Air Force training unit on the East Coast. But the twist was that the two pilots were USAF lieutenant colonels who were both Michigan Engineering graduates. (There was apparently some parachute thing from SOCOM that got cancelled because of weather. I'm slightly concerned that our elite commandos can't parachute through relatively high clouds and hit a 100 yard x 55 yard target.)

In general, a very happy and engaged crowd. Louder than I'd heard it in a while.

09/12/2015 - 5:46pm The stadium experience

Beyond the play on the field, the stadium experience was night and day. There wasn't a single advertisement on the video boards that was trying to get us to have our weddings at the Big House or download an app or join the Victors Club or some such. We were asked to go to the field hockey and volleyball games, that's it. 

The pregame hype video was spectacular, I need to find it online. Chills.

Sponsors were much harder to find. Pom poms were unbranded. There wasn't even an ABC Sports banner hanging on the wall that I could see.

The band now has a hype video. They played a heck of a lot more between snaps and series. Even the volume on the scoreboard speakers was down pretty significantly -- which was an issue because it was hard (at least where I sit under the press box) to hear the referee's penalty calls.

At halftime, the "This is no longer Dave Brandon's Michigan Experience" vibe lost all pretense at subtlety when the band started spelling out things like "TRADITION" and "YOST."

It was the least monetized I've felt at a Michigan game in many years. Then they started running the ball up the middle out of an I formation and holding the opponent to 1/11 on third downs.

It was glorious.

09/11/2015 - 4:53pm That was my initial thought,

That was my initial thought, but then I started wondering what it's going to look like once we enter conference play and every P5 conference goes a cumulative .500 against P5 competititon every week...

09/10/2015 - 1:15pm Best part of BYU-NEB video

Is the BYU player briefly hugging the field judge who signaled the touchdown.

09/10/2015 - 11:51am Meh

 

I think if MGoBlog was a conventional outlet that would get a stern word from the boss.

As a former reporter and editor...nah. Asking a question that the interviewee won't answer isn't a bad thing. If Adam had been doing a one-on-one interview and left without enough to write a story that's one thing, but in a press conference format where he's transcribing a Q&A rather than working up a bylined piece it's good to try to get something that'd be of interest to his audience rather than more "talk about..." fluff generated by the general-audience beat writers.

09/03/2015 - 10:21am Turnover margin

Stupid question: Do blocked punts/kicks technically count toward turnovers? What if they're recovered vs. turned over on downs?

Because if so, the Baxter Effect may come into play in moving the turnover margin given our inability to do anything meaningful in this component of the game in recent years.

08/27/2015 - 3:46pm You can take the boy out of Michigan

"...over at the Weber’s..."

 

08/26/2015 - 4:58pm Ferentz is gone the instant

Ferentz is gone the instant his buyout cost drops below the GDP of a Baltic state. Harbaugh may be able to do many things; accelerating that process probaby ain't one of them.

08/19/2015 - 4:58pm Golden Boot

And virtually as we were discussing this, the league announced it:

The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce New York Cosmos B forward Miguel Herlein and CD Aguiluchos USA forward Simon Rawnsley as recipients of the PUMA Golden Boot award.

Both Herlein and Rawnsley finished the 2015 NPSL regular season with 12 goals and one assist.

08/19/2015 - 4:37pm Amateurism

Teams in the NPSL are either amateur or semi-pro. The amount an NPSL team can pay a "professional" player is minimal -- I think the salary caps are $1,200 per team per game, and no more than $2,000 per player per season.

(This doesn't count allowable travel/lodging/food expenses that teams can cover for amateur players. Many NPSL teams provide summer lodging and per diems for NCAA amateurs.)

NCAA-eligible athletes play just for the amateur teams, and they also follow the rules that allow no more than five players from any one team on a roster to enforce rules against organized offseason activities. Additionally, teams that have active NCAA coaches can't have players for that coach's team (so DCFC, which is coached by MSU assistant Ben Pirmann, has no active MSU players).

NCAA programs, before they have players spend a summer with an NPSL (or PDL or other amateur league) club, make sure that the club complies with the amateurism rules so as not to screw up a player's college career.

08/19/2015 - 4:03pm So

Those who can, do.

Those who can't, teach.

Those who can't teach get BTN jobs.

08/19/2015 - 2:56pm Yeah, that's #NPSLlife stats

Yeah, that's #NPSLlife stats tomfoolery -- the guy who had 13 goals had 10 in the regular season, then three were in the playoffs. Whalen's 11 goals (as with WMB) were all during the regular season.

I do think they've got a really solid team this season. That MSU match on a Halloween Saturday night on Senior Day should be epic.

08/19/2015 - 2:35pm WMB

Excellent preview, but one quibble: WMB didn't win the Golden Boot in the NPSL this season. I don't know who won nationally, but Will was behind Drew Whalen (Madison 56ers/Western Illinois) in the Midwest by a goal and I think there may have been others ahead of them elsewhere in the league nationally (their craptastic statistics-keeping makes it hard to figure out.)

I think one of the big questions for Michigan early this season is going to be how well McAtee is back up to speed after being pretty badly injured while playing for Detroit City FC in May, and how well VanSlooten does after not having played for so long. If they get the rust off quickly that'll help a lot in the early going.

McAtee said that their goal this season is to make the NCAA tournament, whether that's by winning the B1G outright, winning the tournament or making it in as an at-large. He and the other seniors talked so much about "team chemistry" that it sounded like there may well have been an issue there in years past.

(Posted this to the forums so apologies for duplication, but our DCFC podcast just posted an interview with WMB, McAtee, Murphy & VanSlooten today.)

08/19/2015 - 11:27am I'll take "The Rapists" for

I'll take "The Rapists" for $400, Trebek.

08/06/2015 - 4:37pm The other terrible option is

The other terrible option is that Shane wasn't told about his diagnosis on Sunday but found out on Monday when Hoke did. (In which case, medical professionals should lose their licenses.)

08/06/2015 - 1:14pm The "fundamentally decent man

The "fundamentally decent man by all accounts" thing that I really wanted to believe about Hoke was one of the things that died for me with Shane's concussion. Not just with what happened on the field, but with all of the plausible deniability, weasel words and lack of responsibility -- Shane was diagnosed on Sunday with the concussion, he and Hoke spoke Monday before his press conference but Hoke "wasn't told" about the concussion until after the press conference? A "fundamentally decent man" wouldn't have allowed himself to be kept in the dark as to the health of one of the players in his care for a day or more just to be able to say plausible things to reporters.

07/28/2015 - 2:15pm That was it for me as well

The concept of Legends Jerseys seemed to me to imply that no current player would be as great as any past player, and that they should always be compared to the guys who'd gone before rather than create their own legacy.

I see #16, I'll always associate it with flying dreadlocks and a giant grin racing down the field. #2 will have a rose in his teeth and be making a one-handed interception against MSU. #21 is striking the Heisman pose. Let guys create their own legacies, don't force them to be a footnote to somebody else.

07/27/2015 - 4:17pm Geography

Flip Notre Dame & Penn State. Little impact competitively, your geography issue there is solved.

07/24/2015 - 9:39pm I REALLY loved Ready Player One

And was slightly disappointed in Armada. I know my expectations were probably excessively high, but it felt insubstantial, especially in terms of characters.

I'll still buy whatever he writes next. Sophomore slump is a real thing.

07/23/2015 - 5:12pm Excuse ME?

Excuse ME?

07/15/2015 - 3:06pm "Who the fuck are Man

"Who the fuck are Man United?" -- Bayern Munich

07/14/2015 - 12:59pm They're going to reopen the

They're going to reopen the Circus Maximus in Rome for the occasion.