Saturday, January 30, 2010

How times have changed....

This past Friday was snowcoming. I think back to when we were in school and then even up to about 2007. A Friday night basketball game you could count on almost a packed house every time, and if a big time rival was in town you could count on standing room only. I attended the game and granted Cass City isn't good and Bad Axe isn't exactly a rivalry game but to their credit they made Snowcoming against someone they could beat. The 2 things that were alarming was the fact that the stands were about 5/8 filled to capacity. Maybe it's because the GTW's down, maybe it's because schools enrollments are down. (Once's snowcoming and a friday night game that is hard to come by these days) The most alarming thing was that there WAS NO BAND. We had NO FREAKIN BAND at Snowcoming. So when we got to the 2010 Snowcoming kind and queen are (drum roll please........) No Drum Roll. Silence. Now I know that band people aren't going to tell you that the band is for the sporting events alone, but please, there better be a darn good reason there was no band. It was pathetic. And what made it all worse was that Cass City played their best game of the year and spanked Bad Axe. No band to get people fired up and pile on BA. And I know we are all just striving for equality in boys and girls sports but this is hurting everybody. Attendance is way down all across the board and that means revenue to the school and sports program is down. Now you can say well the economy is down, maybe people aren't traveling or wanting to spend the money, but again it's the cheapest entertainment your going to find on a friday night. When is someone going to say hey, it was better for everyone the way it was.

Weird Stat

I don't know if I posted this before, but the NY football Giants started the season 5-0...failed to make the playoffs. The Denver Broncos started 6-0...failed to make the playoffs. I'd feel sorry for them, but considering the Lions started 6-2 a few years ago only to finish 2-6, I don't.

He knows what he wants his legacy to be.

Kurt Warner announced his retirement on Thursday.

"It's not the way I threw the football, it's not particular games that I won, but that they remember that here's a guy that believed, that worked hard," he said. "Although things didn't always go in his favor, he continued to press through, and with his faith in himself and his faith in God, he was able to accomplish great things."

Super Bowl ad stokes abortion controversy

"It would be the first time that Focus on the Family, a politically influential evangelical group founded by James Dobson, has bought air time during the Super Bowl." Check out the story here.

And could some of you maybe use a condom once in a while?

(This could also be a Quote of the Day segment). Here is an interesting take from an Ex-NBA player on the Haiti situation. I don't completely disagree, but his timing couldn't have been worse. Dude, hire a PR group.

Bigger Fish To Fry?

There is a story on about the possibility of exploring whether or not the BCS violates antitrust laws. You get the sense the Obama administration renigged on their earlier offer to "throw his weight around" for a playoff system a little towards the end of the story.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Shoot To Thrill


The State News has an editorial up today urging patience. An excerpt:

Before students storm the athletics offices with pitchforks, they should remember there are major elements from this project that have yet to be revealed.

With that being said, if the total package still doesn’t do justice to the Spartan identity when it’s unveiled in all its glory in April, Spartans should feel free to raise holy hell.

I like the "holy hell" part, but the rest is wrong. Here's the original statement from AD Mark Hollis:

The Spartan logo, posted on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Web site, is a single element of a comprehensive brand and identity project that will be unveiled in April by Michigan State athletics. As in all branding, the power of a single symbol cannot be appreciated or measured outside the context of the total presentation.

My company spent a lot of time last year working on brand and identity. We had a meeting explaining the proper use of corporate logos, appropriate Powerpoint backgrounds, and all sorts of other stuff. Many unique logos were eliminated so that the main corporate logo is the only one used. We were told everything was to be consistent so as not to damage the brand.

So what does this have to do with MSU? You've seen the new logo. If the goal is to make MSU's brand consistent with a "comprehensive brand project" the the new logo and the old logo can't coexist. Using both would undermine the consistency that's supposed to be the whole point. It's much more likely that the block S would also be eliminated and MSU's visual identity would be pared down to the new logo and a new "Michigan State" font. Sparty might even be in jeopardy. Context isn't necessary, there's no acceptable outcome based on what we already know.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tom Izzo is wrong.

That was hard to type. I didn't expect Izzo to go against his boss in the press conference today, but getting hit with a "shame on you" is too much. His arguments are also weak. Gruff Sparty (a third logo used on merchandise, not uniforms) and changing between the block S and helmet logo on football helmets isn't the same as changing a ubiquitous and beloved logo. Replacing the Greek-influenced "Michigan State" wordmark with the Nike "State" wordmark is closer, but those are only used on basketball uniforms and didn't eliminate either the block S or helmet logo. If you're going to argue for the new logo, you have to make a compelling case for replacing a popular logo with 30+ years of history with a new design. I haven't seen that done yet.

Shame on Tom Izzo.

UPDATE: I like this photo posted on Facebook:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

One down, four more to go

You know what I'm referring to. I've been penciling it in the last few years. There are now only four teams that have never reached the Super Bowl.


They've really been dropping like flies the last 10 Super Bowls. I'd say the Jags have the best chance of being the next team to do it. I don't see that happening in the next 3 years though.

Mirror, Mirror (Live)

More Logo Opinion

Eric Lacy of the Detroit News has an article up about the logo situation. An excerpt:

To simply put it: This move doesn't make sense.

How does a school's brand become recognizable if it constantly changes over the course of several decades?

By no means is this anything personal against Hollis or any other school officials, but it's a fair question to ask.

I'll disagree on one point: It's personal to me.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Nostalgia Vs. Common Sense

Last week nostalgia had a showdown with common sense in my head. Common sense was on the mat out cold before the end of the first round. Here's the result:

There's a rematch next month when Battle Cat is released, but somehow I suspect the results won't change.

Friday, January 22, 2010


How do you instantly send thousands of Spartan fans into a rage? Change the venerable (it's been used since at least '77, going by The Helmet Project) Spartan helmet logo:

AD Mark Hollis confirmed the logo yesterday after it was discovered on U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website. Hollis says the logo "is a single element of a comprehensive brand and identity project" and that "a single symbol cannot be appreciated or measured outside the context of the total presentation." So far that excuse isn't going over well with the fans. As of right now 9,196 fans have joined the Facebook group JUST DON'T - No new Nike-influenced Spartan helmet and 95% have voted against the new logo in a poll at the State News.

Just how serious is this? I just sent an email to Mr. Hollis explaining that I would not be able to renew my football season tickets if the new logo was adopted. And I meant it. I won't be the only one.

UPDATE: More at Uni Watch. The Facebook group now has 10,387 members.

UPDATE 2: Someone on Facebook uploaded this picture of a t-shirt with the new logo:

I have to admit this t-shirt isn't bad, if it came out without any talk of changing the logo I might even buy it. But if they mess with the logo, no new Nike merchandise for me.


You want accuracy? Well, check out the Weather Channel's website. Here's what it said for Davenport, IA at various times today:

8:30 AM: Fog ending by 10am

11:00 AM: Fog ending by 1pm

3:20 PM: Fog ending by 5pm

I have a feeling it will still be foggy at 5pm, but by then it will be too dark to know the difference.

UPDATE: At 7:02pm, the forecast reads "Fog ending by 7pm." Nice.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mass Effect 2

Shocking News

According to Yahoo!, Miguel Cabrera has spent the last three months in a program to treat his alcoholism after his much-publicized night of binge-drinking before the biggest game of the year. Cabrera, naturally, says that he's turned his life around. I have doubts about that, but he can keep his blood alcohol below .26 it would be a good start.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hits the Mark

If you missed it tonight, Human Target premiered and it looks like it's going to be worth watching. Lots of action in the episode, much of it on a train, which is a change of pace (not as cool as the bus fight in "The Transporter", but few things are). Jackie Earle Haley stars in a supporting role, which isn't as cool as Rorschach, but pretty close. The series is based on a comic book, though they've made a few changes.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Quote of the Day

Assassin: There's enough poison in this needle to kill an army platoon.

John Casey: Well, lucky for me I'm a Marine.

-Chuck, "Chuck Versus the Angel De La Muerte"

One Shall Stand...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Forty rods to the hogshead.

I was watching an episode of The Simpsons, "A Star Is Burns" this evening and came across two of my favorite quotes from the entire series. The first:

Abe: The metric system is the tool of the devil! My car gets forty rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it.

And the second:
Burns: Get me Steven Spielberg!
Smithers: He's unavailable.
Burns: Then get me his non-union Mexican equivalent!

Back to Basics

While reading an article in the WSJ about the high number of long running plays this year, this passage caught my eye:

Mr. Jones of the Cowboys scored two weeks in a row on similar running plays that completely fooled the Philadelphia Eagles. Saturday night, the Cowboys were in a running formation on first down at their own 27-yard line. Mr. Jones took the handoff, faked to his left and cut back to the right. Eagles linebackers Moise Fokou and Jeremiah Trotter bit on Mr. Jones's fake, but they should have known better: They had two 300-pound clues.

Dallas guards Kyle Kosier and Leonard Davis were pulling to their right—a telltale giveaway of the direction of the run. Had Messrs. Fokou and Trotter followed the guards, and not the motion of the fullback and the running back, they would have stuffed Mr. Jones for a loss. Instead, he strode 73 yards for a touchdown.

Do NFL LBs really not know to watch the pulling guards? That's really basic defense. I'd be mad at junior high players for not watching the guards. Do the pros really have that hard a time with the fundamentals?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pete Carroll is crazy.

Why? Because he's leaving the USC Trojans to coach the Seahawks. Not that the Seahawks are a bad organization, though I think it's pretty ridiculous to fire Jim Mora after just one season. I can't imagine a coach being in a better position than Carroll was at USC. Unless he suspects sanctions are coming down there's no real reason to leave USC, so Carroll must be looking for another challenge. Or maybe he just got tired of winning.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Wheel of ... doom?

Answer the Call

I'm not sure if this is cool or silly:

Awkward Situation

Of Cold And Hate

Let me tell you a story.

It was cold this morning, fifteen degrees below zero when I first checked. However, I had things that needed to get done, primarily taking the pickup out to have the oil changed, so I decided to venture out. I get in the pickup, turn the key, and the engine won't turn over. The battery in the truck is less than three months old. It's been fine all week in subzero mornings, though none were quite as cold as today. Cursing the ability of Interstate to make a decent battery, I went back up to the apartment to get my portable battery pack to jump the pickup, which was recently charged for just such an occasion.

After struggling to get the hood open (pull the lever in the cab then pry it open with frozen fingers so I can reach the release underneath) I hooked up the battery pack. Wrong. Twice. Which was odd because I've used the darn thing at least three times, and all three were in the dark. Anyway, the third time being the charm, the pickup started right up. I unhooked the battery pack and slammed the hood down hard to make sure it stayed closed, and maybe a little out of frustration.

Then a bloody car alarm started going off.

Parked (poorly I might add) next to me was a joke of a vehicle that looks something like this:

The Nissan Cube. I hate the Cube. Apparently it won a design award, I can only assume it was for "Greatest Sin in Automotive Design 2009" or some such. Or maybe it won for a ridiculously sensitive car alarm, which proceeded to make noise the entire time I'm scraping frost off my windows. Fortunately for me it was pretty early for city-dwellers (not yet 9:30) so I didn't have to deal with an angry neighbor, which is good because there's no way I'm taking seriously the drive of a periwinkle blue Cube.

The rest of the morning passed without incident.

Friday, January 08, 2010

More Annoying One-Up Girl ("Penelope")

I can't stand people like this.

Annoying One-Up Girl (Penelope)

Hmmmm....seems like I know a person like this.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Awesome Commercial

A great commercial, via Jonah Goldberg at The Corner:

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Double-header at the Big House?

Puck Daddy, in a post discussing potential future locations (30 of them), mentioned playing the game at Michigan Stadium and even making it a double-header with UM and MSU playing Cold War II as well. While I would have a hard time forcing myself to buy a ticket to an event in Ann Arbor, I think that might just be enough to get me to do it. Then I'd regret it later when I froze to death at the Big House, but it still might be worthwhile.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Favorite Films 2000-2009, Rough Draft

My first pass at my favorite movies of the decade:

The Dark Knight
Batman Begins
Iron Man
The Lives of Others
Casino Royale
The Transporter
Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Ocean's Eleven
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Hot Fuzz
The Bourne Identity
The Incredibles
Pirates of the Caribbean
The Prestige

Note: This is a list of favorites. Some may have artistic worthiness, others I just love to watch, like "The Transporter".

Top 15 Films of the Decade

John Nolte has posted his list of the top fifteen films of the decade at Big Hollywood. I've seen all of the top 5 and 11 of 15 overall and can vouch for them being worthwhile movies (except for "Napoleon Dynamite", I hated that movie, even though it had a llama).

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Quote of the Day

If staying up an extra three hours just to watch your team lose isn't the definition of being a Spartan fan, I don't know what is.

-Me, during the 2010 Alamo Bowl

Friday, January 01, 2010