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Thursday, February 15, 2007


I actually do get asked these questions, especially about the obscure terms, frequently.

Did you even go to Michigan?

Twice, receiving computer engineering degrees in 2001 and 2003. I am approximately 27, depending on how recently this has been updated.

Computer engineering?

Well... yeah. This might be an odd avocation for a guy who learned all about bits in college, but if it makes you feel better some friends and I founded the Every Three Weekly, a Michigan ripoff of the Onion that was actually fairly good for a few years there. I cannot vouch for their current competence because they stopped updating the website.

And, yes, now I'm a sportsblogger, which is a lot like being an engineer when it comes to impressing chicks except without the sizeable paycheck. For my next act, I plan on becoming something even less appealing to the opposite sex, like... uh... I actually can't think of anything. Dustin Diamond?

This is your job?

Yes! More precisely, this plus my duties at AOL's Fanhouse, are my jobs. Money comes from AOL in traditional fashion and from the blog in the form of merchandising, donations, and advertising. I'm also editing a Michigan annual due out this summer.

If you are looking for a freelance writer, I am available. Drop me an email.

Why should I donate?

The more money that MGoBlog actually generates, the more it becomes a viable long-term option for funding and the more time I can afford to put into it at some point down the road when the need to actually make money becomes important because I have squalling brats adorable children.

What's the deal with...

  • "The New Math"? Nickname for Mario Manningham. Comes from post conveniently titled "The New Math" after the 2005 Penn State game. General implication is that 86 == 1 and Manningham is unpossible.
  • "Unverified Voracity"? Voracity is a weird word to come after "unverified," especially when dealing with a sports blog and not, say, a blog about rumored hunger. The deal: back when the sporadic link-filled posts were untitled, some Iowa sportswriter penned what was to the the first in a long line of intemperate columns ragging on blogs for having the audacity to not be written by sportswriters. Unfortunately for that sportswriter, she inserted the following sentence:
    In the new "journalism of assertion," as the report calls it, information is offered with little time and little attempt to independently verify its voracity. [sic]
    Sarcasm being what it is, UV was born shortly after.
  • "OMG Shirtless"? Sometime during the 2005 recruiting year I received a number of hits for "Tim Tebow shirtless." At that point Tebow was a heavily pursued quarterback recruit and not Chris Leak's china-destroying sidekick. I endeavored to help this lonely, lonely person but could only find a picture of Tebow in a basketball jersey. Thus was born the Shirt Scale of recruiting rankings; these days it's about 50-50 as to whether or not a panting reference to a five-star freakystud gets tagged as shirtless, depending on whim.
  • "Tacopants"? Tacopants is Jason Avant's eleven-foot tall imaginary friend. Chad Henne spent much of 2005 hitting him between the numbers, which are unfortunately eight feet off the ground and made of dreams. Blessed with infinite eligibility and the ability to sneak on and off the field without alerting the referees -- made of dreams, remember -- Tacopants has taken a lesser role in the offense as Henne matures but still pops up at inopportune times. The term has its genesis in this post.
  • "Manbearfreak"? Carson Butler. A commenter or two still refers to Butler as "manbearfreak" or "MBF," which was confusing even to me until I looked it up. A conflation of "Manbearpig" from South Park and "freak," generally used to describe any unusually athletic specimen who plays football. Appears exactly once in the vast and multifarious MGoBlog archives:
    Carson Butler. Manbearfreak.
What do all those abbreviations mean?
  • Hennechart abbreviation explanations can be found here.
  • YMRMFSPA: "You may remember me from such players as."
  • NSFMF: "Not so fast, my friend."
  • IANAJTTP: "I am not a journalist, that's the point."
Will you write a ripjob about X?

Maybe? I feel dirty after each one ("why can't I be more like John Hollinger? Why can't I be more like John Hollinger! Stupid, stupid, stupid!") and silently resolve never to write one again until the next time. What can I say? It's rageohol. Rageohol is gooooood. One general principle is that once I have eviscerated someone for excessive stupidity I institute a ban on further ripping unless something really egregious comes up. A partial list of these people:
  • Tom Dienhart
  • Matt Hayes
  • Dennis Dodd
  • Anyone associated with College Football News
  • Drew Sharp
  • Terry Foster
  • Rob Parker
  • Heismanpundit
Unless you've got something that cries out to be slaughtered I'll probably bite my tongue and pass.

How can I start up a blog and have it be successful?

(Yes, I do get asked that.)

Create something that does not exist elsewhere. As a nobody, you have to go above and beyond the normal stuff people can read every day in the newspaper or on other blogs. A picks column is a waste of time.

You can do this any number of ways. Johnny posts erratically and infrequently but since there's no one who writes quite like him he has a following. Vijay posts equally erratically and infrequently but drops a lot of original research and has a following. This blog's calling card, IMO, is UFR. What's inescapable is that unless you have some wild talent like Johnny, you will have to put in a lot of work. You will probably get discouraged or bored and quit, but if you don't you too can have a hitcount in the triple or even quadruple digits and forget what the sun looks like.

Current suggestions for Michigan fans:
  • someone with an extensive video library of old Michigan games who splices together highlight reels and analysis on a regular basis.
  • A blog that really focuses on basketball (hey, buy low, sell high)
  • A truly obsessive recruiting blog.
Just make sure that whatever you're doing can reasonably be called the best whatever it is, and people who are interested in whatever will read you.

How can I express my deep and abiding fondness for MGoBlog?

There are not one but two Facebook groups you can join.

Certainly incomplete. Any suggestions for additions can be left in the comments.