Monday, January 30, 2012

Nick Saban's Girlfriend Experience

I like that Alabama is the first game of the 2012 season because we can spend eight months taunting them in a way that we would never be able to taunt Western Michigan.

Nick Saban is in the news again, with recruit Landon Collins's mother accusing Saban of offering her son's girlfriend a job in order to entice him to choose Alabama over LSU (fixed). Promising a recruit's girlfriend a job is apparently permissible in football, but not in basketball.

In honor of his new recruiting experience, we present a new poster of Nick Saban:

This may be the first time in internet history that Sasha Grey has been photoshopped out of a picture. If you came here looking for pictures of Sasha Grey, please consult every other website everywhere.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Seal Block Special Edition: Little brother from another mother

The name "University of Cristal" was also briefly considered.

If ESPN and TSN (aka ESPN Canada) were to somehow convince Canadian universities to care about varsity sports even a tenth as much as American universities do, the next round of Big Ten expansion would have two obvious candidates for admission: The University of Toronto, the centre of Canada's largest TV market, and my undergraduate alma mater, The University of Western Ontario, the home of Canada's proudest university football tradition. Both schools would have to make enormous facilities upgrades for this to happen, and Toronto would have to stop being terrible at football, but academically both would be excellent fits for the CIC. Having two Canadian schools in the Big Ten hockey conference would help replace the Canadian Hockey League with a slightly less corrupt player development model, which would also be nice.

UWO has recently announced a major new marketing push asking for people to call it "Western." To Canadians, this is hilarious as no other province has a western directional school. We all call it Western already. The American equivalent to this would be the University of California at Los Angeles spending tons of money on marketing to convince people to call it UCLA.

This marketing push includes a quote from the university president which may go down as one of the stupidest most WTF things ever said by a university president ever:

Harvard isn’t just Harvard. It’s Harvard University. But you don’t have to say university. How long will it take Western to get there, I don’t know. Our goal is to become such a recognized brand that just Western means us.

I've been trying to make a snarky comment in response to that and I can't. I'm so confused that the best I could think to do was put in a snarky post tag.

Old logo: We have a tower!
New logo: Stag and lion slap-fight! Winner gets maple syrup!
I didn't enjoy my undergraduate years. People bragged a lot about how great they were, but backed up their boasts with alcohol consumption instead of academic performance. I really don't like getting the alumni magazine because it's a lot of fluff about how great the school is and far too little about the interesting stuff people are actually doing. It's like the school has an inferiority complex. Recently it hit me: UWO is Michigan State. It's Toronto's little brother.

Friday, January 27, 2012

So, um, hi. (A rare political post)

If you didn't read the title for some reason, this is a rare post that explicitly discusses politics. So if you read the whole thing and you're not happy, don't say you weren't warned. Twice.

Craig gave me the keys to the blog back in September, but I recently realized that I never wrote a proper introductory post. So — hi everybody! I'm David. I was at Michigan from 2000 to 2006 for graduate school in Electrical Engineering: Systems. After that I did four years of postdoctoral research in Seattle at the University of Washington, during which time I occasionally put in an appearance as HSR's Northwest Correspondent.

Originally I was going to just write about academic seals to provide some midweek content during football season. But I got bored during my forced three-week vacation at the end of September and started writing more and more. That's where the politics gets involved.

The story continues after the jump. This is your third and final warning if you don't want to read about politics. I mean, it's like a Daily Kos diary entry crossed with a Grantland post back there. A relatively coherent and well-structured diary entry and Grantland post, but still.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pious men and dirty fiends

There are heroes and villains, and there are humans. We are not angels and demons, gods and monsters, zeroes and ones. We are fallen angels. We are brilliant beasts. We are between the gutter and the stars. Some of us are closer to the gutter, and others are closer to the stars.

So we are all part angel, part demon. We can imitate Grantland Rice's Great Scorer and tally up a person's good deeds and tally up a person's evil deeds and see which column adds up greater. Tallying up Joe Paterno will take a long time. He is not a hero, but the list of his good works goes on for pages. He is not a villain, but the magnitude of his bad deeds is so immense. How do we know what counts for more? I don't know. Maybe if you give me a hundred years of hindsight I can figure it out. Maybe the lesson is that a person's Great Score can't be calculated except by the Great Scorer. Maybe we don't need to know the final score.

I don't have any special insight that hasn't been said better elsewhere. The good people I know that attended Penn State have a problem. To many, the phrase "We Are Penn State" means, at least partially, "We Cover Up Child Rape." I'm just a particularly silly blogger, so I'm going to cite the best of my species as he cites First Thessalonians: "Test everything; hold fast to what is good."

Joe Paterno was not an angel. He was not a demon. I don't know if we should call him a good man or a bad man; all I can say from a distance is that he was a human. We should hold fast to the good he did. We must remember the tests he failed horrifically.

All of us, from Michigan to Pennsylvania to Maryland and beyond, can carry on the legacy of good works Paterno left. But we also have to make a promise. The community at PSU can promise "We are Penn State. We failed our children. We will not fail them again." All of us can promise "We will not fail our children." All of us can promise: we will not make the same mistake. We will not be silent. The most important thing wasn't Sandusky. The most important thing is to do everything we can to make sure there isn't another Sandusky.

Continue the good, put a stop to the bad, and every day we can make the world a little better.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mr. Etiquette's guide to surviving a boring meeting

Dear Mr. Etiquette,
I recently had to travel one and a half hours from home to give a big speech at a big meeting. After giving my talk, I had to listen to a gentleman with intellectual and affiliational deficiencies give an incredibly boring speech. After listening to this half-wit ramble on for a few minutes, I stood up and ordered him to sit down and shut up. Under further review, I feel this may not have been the best course of action. How should I have handled this situation?
Mike D., East Lansing, Mich.

Gentle listener to the gentle reader who is gently reading this column to you,
Meetings are a fact of life in the business world, and, try as we might, we will never be able to give complete attention to every speaker at every meeting. While ideally a proper businessperson would never "tune out" a speaker, etiquette acknowledges that sometimes our concentration lapses and we have no choice but to do so. In this situation, it is paramount that we let the meeting proceed as though we were giving our undivided attention. Therefore, while we may cope with a dull or uninteresting meeting in many different ways, the best way to deal with such a situation is to be neither obtrusive nor douchey.

Mr. Etiquette has prepared a chart of possible responses to a dull meeting that he hopes you will find useful. As you will no doubt be able to determine from the chart, your response to the situation was indeed less than ideal.

The lower-left icon of this chart is slightly unsatisfactory as it presumes that the individual attempting to cope with a boring meeting is attracted to female brunettes instead of male brunets. Mrs. Etiquette suggests, as a service to my gentle readers who are so inclined, that this column link to these pictures of Kit Harington so that they may modify the chart to their satisfaction.

Bearably yours,
Mr. Etiquette

Friday, January 20, 2012

Supervillain recruits East Coast

I thought Simpsonized Dantonio looked more like Seymour Skinner.
My wife said Frank Grimes. You make the call!

He'll sting you with his dreams of bowl games and good times.
Beware Dantonio!

His twisted twin obsessions are his hatred of Michigan
And hiding his players' crimes.

He'll welcome you into his lair,
Like Jim Tressel welcomes a new vest.
With free second chances and a bail bond in case of arrest!

But beware of his scholarship offers,
And his couches that emanate smoke,
And on Fridays the lunchroom serves pig's blood and burgers and Coke!
He hates Brady Hoke!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Celebrate Alabama's #1 Recruiting Class in Style!

So Nick Saban is it again, grayshirting Atlanta RB Justin Taylor with an loophole-errific promise of a job offer while he's not playing football.

If Crimson Tide fans can celebrate their "national championship" with obnoxious T-shirts, Tide haters should get to celebrate this turn of events with a T-shirt of their own. In honor of the reports that Saban and Taylor signed a contract on a napkin, we offer up this stylish homage to Alabama's national championship shirt:

The "script A" logo is a trademark of the University of Alabama. Use protected as parody.

Michigan Backcourt Theater Episode 1119: Timeout Chasers

ZACK NOVAK, STU DOUGLASS, TIM HARDAWAY JR., and TREY BURKE leave the Crisler Center after an intense practice.
Oh man, that was brutal! I could sleep for days!

Yeah, I haven't worked so hard since that time I managed to dunk against Tennessee. I'm exhausted.
I'd love to get some shuteye too, but Trey and I promised the girls we'd deliver the leis we picked up for them at the Maui Invitational.
JENNY RYAN enters.
Hey guys, finally got some flowers for your ladies?
[carrying a large box] Yeah, we got 'em right here.
TREY notices a suspicious looking red and green van parked nearby.
Hey, there's usually nobody parked here this late except for Coach B and the staff. I hope nobody's in troub...
ZACK, STU, TIM, TREY, and JENNY are simultaneously hit in the backs of their heads with blunt objects, knocking them unconscious.
Our heroes awaken.
What the heck is this place? Where are we? [notices a video camera] Hey cool, that is one awesome camera!
This place stinks. It smells like Van Bergen dropped a deuce in here. I'm going to figure out how to get the life support systems running.
Hey, Tim and Trey, we should go exploring. That's weird...a bunch of numbered doors...and behind them...a theater? What the hell?
In the not too distant future, Saturday A.D.
There was a guy named Zack, not too different from you or me
He worked at Schembechler Institute, just another face in a maize jumpsuit
He distributed mail all throughout the place, but his bosses kinda liked him so they made him set the pace
(Slow it down!)
We'll send him tall defenders, the best we can find
He'll have to thread it through them all as we monitor his mind
Now keep in mind he can't control when the games begin or end
He'll try to keep his sanity with the help of his backcourt friends...
Douglass! (Polarize!)
Jenny! (Hustle!)
Tim Jr.! (It gets better!)
Treeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyy! (I'm awesome!)
If you're wondering how he eats and breathes and other science facts
He's got a meal card and it's set on earth so you can really just relax
For Michigan Backcourt Theater 3000.
STU has ensconced himself behind the camera and is devoting his time to recording the proceedings for eventual use in a court of law.
Zack, Trey, Tim! There's a bunch of weird buttons here. And there's a red one that's flashing.
Since things can't get much worse, we might as well push it.
ZACK pushes the red button.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fair-enheit 27-9

Warning: nuclear-grade nerddom follows.

People in 49 of the 50 United States, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, seem to be grousing about the "unfairness" of the BCS system this week. Fortunately for everyone, my multiple graduate level courses in probability & statistics at Michigan taught me how to design a perfectly fair college football season. It's really easy! First, you make an infinite number of clones of all the players, and then have each set of clones play a 120-team round robin. Once everyone's done, we figure out which team had the largest average number of wins, and there ya go, there's your national champion! If two teams end up with the exact same average number of wins (an event that can occur, but with probability zero - that's the kind of silliness you deal with in graduate courses in probability), we can whip up two new batches of clones and have them play a championship game.

Of course this can't happen. If I could produce an infinite army of clones, they'd be divided between securing my benevolent dictatorship and playing far deadlier games than football for my amusement. But this is how probability works. Axiomatic probability theory is based on the understanding that if we play the same game multiple times, we'll end up with different outcomes, so we should figure out what would happen if we played the game an infinite number of times. The fact that this is the basic approach to the subject is why explaining probability and statistics to the Paul Finebaums and Michael Weinrebs of the world is a fool's errand. Don't even bother trying to explain it to people who can't even count to 85.

In theoretical computer science, there is a formal definition of fairness. Roughly, it says that if you visit a state x infinitely often, and an action a can occur from the state x, then a will occur infinitely often. In real life, we don't get to work with infinite amounts of time and space, so we can't design a system that's formally fair. Since we only get 12-14 games to work with, we'll have to make some compromises to be reasonably fair, like Tony Hoare suggested back in 1978.

Tony Hoare. Sounds like he should be a wide receiver for the Steelers.
Looks like the old British dude he is.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Brendan and Brady's Downton Abbey Marathon

What is a 'week end'? What is 'nightmare fuel'?
BRENDAN GIBBONS knocks on the door to BRADY HOKE's office in Schembechler Hall.

Hey coach, I need some academic help.

Sure thing, son. What can I do for you?

I'm taking a history course on Edwardian England this semester, and with the Sugar Bowl and the celebrations and all the girls wanting to celebrate Mardi Gras with me, I'll already way behind on my reading. I need a tutor to help me get caught up!

Lucky man, Brendan! You don't need a special tutor. I can get you caught up lickety-split. Just come by my house on Monday night and be prepared to take notes.

Monday night? Isn't that the BCS national championship?

Yes it is, but as obscure blog The Hoover Street Rag points out, both LSU and Alabama are dirty recruiters, so it really doesn't matter who wins. I was going to start scouting out Alabama for our game in September, but now I figure there's no point until we know who's going to wind up in St. Saban Memorial Hospital. Don't worry about the BCS. I've got a much more entertaining and informative evening in store for you, son!

Yes sir, Coach Hoke! I will be there on Monday!

Friday, January 06, 2012

With the truth closing in, I must insist: we need a myth

Oh, man! I am so excited for the BCS Championship game! Will Tyrann Mathieu, Morris Claiborne, and the rest of LSU's defense be able to stop Trent Richardson and Alabama's offensive line? Will LSU redshirt freshman OL Elliot Porter be able to open some holes for Michael Ford and Spencer Ware? Will Alabama LB Alfy Hill be able to close those holes and keep LSU's offense in check?

...wait...what? Elliot Porter is redshirting this year because he was grayshirted last year? Alfy Hill was kicked off Alabama's team because, after initially accepting his high school grades, they changed their minds and decided they weren't good enough?

Now November 4, 2011 is eleventy bajillion years ago in Internet time, but that's when the Wall Street Journal called this game what it is, the "Super Bowl of Oversigning." And July 16, 2011 is even older, and that's when the Gainesville Times ran an in-depth piece about oversigning and how Florida and Georgia were upset by it. When your abuse of scholarship limits is so shady that Florida and Georgia are saying, "hey that's going too far," you know something's wrong.

And this isn't a single year problem. Brian Cook's been fighting the good fight for ages. has talked about nothing else for years. Yet somehow, now that LSU and Alabama are reaping the rewards of their dishonesty and mistreatment of college kids, everyone's shutting up. We know why ESPN won't say anything - they're televising the damn game. We know why CBS won't say anything. They have a huge contract with the SEC and won't risk it by doing any actual journalism. But there's no reason for us not to say anything.

Elliot Porter's at LSU now, and he thinks he understands things. He's drunk the LSU Flavor-Aid* and he says, "college football is just a business." Time to bust out the small caps of Death: Sorry Elliot, it's not a business. You know how you can tell it's not a business? If it were a business, LSU would have sent you a nice paycheck every couple of weeks for the work you've done this year. Businesses pay their employees for services rendered.

So LSU and Alabama are going to pretend that this is a business, as long as they don't have to give the players any cash. Fine then, you shittiest shitheads that were ever shat from yo mama's shitholes. Play your stupid game for the right to be the 33rd best professional team in the country. Even the Colts would kick both of your oversigning, grayshirting, loophole-exploiting asses back into the Gulf of Mexico. We've already seen that the Dolphins can send Nick Saban crying to Tuscaloosa as fast as his bony coward ass can take him.

The BCS decides the mythical national champion. We all know this is a joke and Oklahoma State, and maybe Stanford and a few others, had as much right to play for the championship as Alabama did. If we're going to have an MNC this year, let's at least make it a good myth. Let's not have a myth where cheaters exploit loopholes and prosper, where slimy athletic departments lie to 17- and 18-year-olds and don't get punished, where winning hollow unscrupulous victories is more important than behaving honestly and fairly.

We can pick whatever myth we like, so let's pick a better one. Oklahoma State beat Stanford and they won the national championship at the Fiesta Bowl. It's not a great myth: crazy old billionaire buys his alma mater a national championship is not exactly an uplifting life lesson, but it's better than the alternative. And Mike Gundy is a better hero for our story than either Saban or Miles: he's famous for making an ass of himself by standing up for his players, not for finding loopholes to get rid of them.

The BCS is an evil joke perpetrated by Phil Knight's wheels of immature cheese. Our myth has a slightly better joke. Since Oklahoma State is our MNC, we've made the shirts they should have received after beating Stanford. Here's the design (click for larger version):

Logos are registered trademarks of their owners, so this design is for non-commercial use only. Use protected as parody and as political speech.

*Craig would be mad at me if I didn't get the details of the Jonestown Massacre correct.

**Congratulations to McMaster University of Hamilton, Ontario, the only university football national champion who won their title as a result of a rational system. If Nike had made them a shirt, it would have said "McMasters of the gridiron."

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Conference bowl records mean nothing: A guide for the innumerate

A lot of stupid people who work for prominent publications are saying a lot of really stupid things these days. They are arguing that the Big Ten is a horrible terrible no-good conference because its teams went 4-6 in bowl games and that's terrible and "can't be spun." They are arguing that the SEC is the greatest conference since the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE despite being 4-2 because shut up that's why and they're the ess-eee-see.

Now we like our statistics here, and what we like better than our statistics is fundamentally sound analysis of our statistics. So we're going to do a fundamentally sound analysis of conference bowl game records, and let you all in on the secret: they're meaningless.

The topic is statistics and probability, so I'm going have to be careful and longwinded because our language is not designed to discuss these topics briefly. For our first analysis, we're going to concentrate on the Big Ten. We're going to propose a null hypothesis and that hypothesis is that each of the bowl games the Big Ten teams were played in were perfectly evenly matched. That is to say, each team had a 50% chance of winning its bowl game.

To see if the Big Ten was really bad, we're going to perform a standard statistical significance test. We would expect the conference to win half of its bowl games, and so we need to calculate the probability that they would win four games or fewer given the null hypothesis. This probability is called the p-value. For the B1G, it's the sum of the probability that they would somewhere between 0-4 games inclusive. Using basic combinatorics, we can calculate this probability as (1+10+45+120+210)/1024 = 37.7%. In order to reject the null hypothesis, we need the p-value to be no greater than 5%. So based on the 4-6 bowl record, we can conclude...nothing! Maybe the B1G is as good as everyone else, or maybe not. We can't say. We could modify the null hypothesis slightly and make each B1G team a slight favorite, and we still wouldn't be able to reject that hypothesis. So we don't know if the B1G is better, worse, or the same quality as the other conferences. There's not enough information.

Deserve Victory

As a historian, I find myself often fascinated by World War II propaganda posters*, because they are not only early forms of internet memes, but they need to convey a sense of what one person can do to move the nation forward.  So, leave it to the British, once the world's mightiest empire but by 1940 one faltering and flagging, but still proud, still resolute, still believing that their glorious past could lead to a glorious future, and well, you see where I'm going here.

So here we are, at the end of the 2011 Michigan season, and I'm a little annoyed.  Grantland's Michael Weinreb** has taken to calling Michigan's victory in the Sugar Bowl emblematic of the Big Ten's "faux success" and referring to this season as "one of the emptiest 11-win seasons in college football history."  I mean, I was annoyed and then I remembered Weinreb is a Penn State alumnus and has probably spent most of the last few months staring into what the future looks like and it's only the abyss staring back at him.  Fine, Michigan's Sugar Bowl victory is largely because Virginia Tech handed the game to them.  But hey, Michigan was in a position to take what was given to them and they took it.  Fine, Michigan's Sugar Bowl victory is part of the Big Ten's "faux success" except for that pesky "Hey, with Michigan going to a BCS game, everyone else slotted one game up (coupled with the toxicity of Penn State, who didn't exactly look like they were thrilled to be at the TicketCity...oh look, Case Keenum just threw another TD pass.) and played three de facto road games (pointed out by David Thorsley, @TAMU in Houston, @Florida in Jacksonville, and @Houston at Dallas.)  So whatever, in the end the fact that a national writer took the time to take a swipe at Michigan's win actually made me happy, for the simple reason that you don't take that kind of swipe at a team unless they're back near the top of the heap.

Credit again to David for getting so much of what I wanted to say into his post-game column yesterday but the notion of "deserving victory" has struck me.  How do we define the notion of "deserving victory"?  How do we even know if we deserve anything?  Deserving is built upon our notions of merit, fair play, and justice.  Deserve, itself, comes from the Latin for "devoting one's self to service".  Which means that deserve is subjective,  There's no way we can say that Michigan "deserved" to win anymore than we can say Virginia Tech did not "deserve" to win because its in the eye of the beholder.  How do we know?  Do we question the effort in practice, in the weight room, in watching film?  We don't.  We cling to the notion of deserve because we desire a world that is just, that is fair, that makes sense.  We have been painfully reminded in 2011 that college football is best when it does not intersect real life, but rather exists in an ethereal plain above real life, and it is because it exists as a pseudo-fantasy realm adjacent to the real world, we also peg our desires for that which is too rarely seen in the real world, justice, fairness, meritocracy, on the outcomes of these games.  We also know these things do not exist in the world of college football any more than they do in our own life.

One of the best lessons I ever received about being a college football fan came from my friend Mike nearly a decade ago when he said, very simply to me "You have to remember that the other team is trying to win the game too."  It's obvious now, in retrospect, but it completely altered my vision of Michigan football, from parochial orthodoxy to seeing Michigan in the context of the larger college football landscape.  Virginia Tech was trying to win the Sugar Bowl just as much as Michigan was.  Mistakes were made, regrets will be had.  In the end Michigan will go down as having won a 23-20 overtime game that was by no means a classic, but still a part of the tapestry of that game's history.

Did Team 132 deserve victory?  I'm not sure, and I can never be sure.  But I can be sure that their courage, their cheerfulness, and their resolution brought them victory.  Courage in David Molk and Ryan Van Bergen and Taylor Lewan playing through significant injuries.  Their cheerfulness in Brendan Gibbons' now pantheon  "Brunette girls" answer.  Their resolution in what they demonstrated throughout this whole season.  This is not one of the all-time great Michigan teams.  It's not the 1997 team, it's not the 1901 team, it's not the 1969 team.  But it's the 2011 team and people are going to look back on it and smile, because they will remember the 11 wins, the magic under the lights, the release of getting the Buckeye monkey off their backs, and the improbability of that Sugar Bowl victory.  If you make the case that any season that doesn't end in a national championship is a essentially empty, well, I feel for you, because your standards are so high, you can't enjoy the ride.  The joy of college football comes when players who pass through your life briefly, but live for a long time in your memory get to celebrate a victory, one a long time coming.

Thank you Team 132.  Team 133, the future starts now.

*--For no good reason, I had to include this one I found in looking for the two above.  All I know is that this guy is really annoyed with Canada.

**-Weinreb also, hilariously, in his closing paragraph, attacks the fact that Michigan didn't even win its own division (an argument rendered moot by the fact that neither did another team playing in a BCS bowl in the Superdome and the stakes are a little higher for them) and that the success will be short-lived for the next decade with the arrival of Urban Meyer at Ohio State (I understand Meyer's resume and I do not scoff at it, but the notion that Michigan is going to be steamrolled by Ohio State simply because Urban Meyer is their coach.  You'll forgive me if I don't believe it until I see it.)

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

You have to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?

First off, gentle readers, I'm sorry I couldn't get the post title to appear in small caps. Blogger's not cool like that.

Sometimes things don't go your way. I was going to spend a lovely Christmas with my wife and enjoy a relaxing new year, but fate, a.k.a. staphylococcus aureus, stepped in and I spent Christmas hacking up my lungs and New Year's Eve at the University of Maryland hospital in Baltimore. Tuesday was my first full day at home, and the only reason I was able to stay up to watch the Sugar Bowl is because I slept from 2:00 to 6:00 in the afternoon. The silver lining of all this in the short term is I got to watch a lot of bowl games. Capital One Bowl Week is best experienced while being hospitalized for pneumonia.
(If any of you ever say anything bad about the Belk Bowl, I will tell you what the Belk Bowl distracted me from in the emergency ward. You will regret having said anything bad about the Belk Bowl and will never do such a thing again.)

Sometimes things do go your way. I don't think there's a single thinking Michigan fan on the planet who isn't saying, "Oh yeah, the horseshoe up Brady Hoke's butt must have had a horseshoe up its butt that was transmitting signals to the horseshoe up Jareth Glanda's butt." Sometimes the broken fake field goal somehow works. Sometimes the pass that should have been intercepted goes through the defender's hands and becomes a touchdown. Sometimes it's like winning the lottery. It just happens.

Horseshoe not shown.
In a football game, if something goes your way, it means it didn't go someone else's way. Poor Danny Coale. The man has the greatest moment of his life, and two minutes later, some man in a booth tells him, "Sorry, didn't count. The ball jiggled." It was the right call, but can you imagine having the best thing you ever did taken away? Poor Justin Myer. He steps out on the field in an emergency and kicks  four field goals, only to have the fifth one go wide. Fortunate Brendan Gibbons gets his chance, and he becomes a hero to brunettes all over the nation.

Hail to the victors valiant. Hail to the vanquished valiant. It's no less of a victory because our team got some lucky bounces. Somehow, by a millimeter, by a millisecond, Michigan kept its promise to Team 132 and those who stayed were finally champions.

Rhapsody in Blue

I will write up a full post-game, post-season hosanna to Team 132 when I have time to think and breathe, but for right now, three thoughts:

Junior. Hemingway. Period. True at First Light.

Little Bill Daggett: "I don't deserve this... to die like this. I was building a house."
Will Munny: "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it."

 3). Yesterday, before the bowls started, I watched PBS's broadcast at Live from Lincoln Center from this past New Year's Eve in part because they were playing "Rhapsody in Blue", one of my all-time favorite pieces of music (this video will go away soon, but worth it if you see it today).

So for posterity, I snagged this Fantasia 2000 clip and will allow the free flowing experiment in modern music take us into the off-season.


 Bless you Team 132. Bless you.  Hail!