Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

PIC OF THE DAY

Now that I'm working again, I haven't been eating as well as I should.
FRIDAY NIGHT LYRICS

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - Hallelujah
By Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

On the first day of May I took to the road
I'd been staring out the window most of the morning
I'd watched the rain claw at the glass
And a vicious wind blew hard and fast
I should have taken it as a warning
As a warning As a warning
As a warning

I'd given my nurse the weekend off
My meals were ill prepared
My typewriter had turned mute as a tomb
And my piano crouched in the corner of my room
With all its teeth bared
All its teeth bared All its teeth bared
All its teeth bared.

Hallelujah Hallelujah
Hallelujah Hallelujah

I left my house without my coat
Something my nurse would not have allowed
And I took the small roads out of town
And I passed a cow and the cow was brown
And my pyjamas clung to me like a shroud
Like a shroud Like a shroud
Like a shroud

There rose before me a little house
With all hope and dreams kept within
A woman's voice close to my ear
Said, "Why don't you come in here?"
"You looked soaked to the skin"
Soaked to the skin Soaked to the skin
Soaked to the skin

Hallelujah Hallelujah
Hallelujah Hallelujah

I turned to the woman and the woman was young
I extended a hearty salutation
But I knew if my nurse had been here
She would never in a thousand years
Permit me to accept that invitation
Invitation That invitation
That invitation

Now, you might think it wise to risk it all
Throw caution to the reckless wind
But with her hot cocoa and her medication
My nurse had been my one salvation
So I turned back home
I turned back home I turned back home
Singing my song

Hallelujah Hallelujah
Hallelujah Hallelujah

The tears are welling in my eyes again
I need twenty big buckets to catch them in
And twenty pretty girls to carry them down
And twenty deep holes to bury them in

Friday, January 19, 2007

PIC OF THE DAY



Sometimes The Game is just like Vegas...without the lights and girls of course.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

THE BREWSTER ERA BEGINS

From Seth...

"I don't know whom the AD thinks he's fooling. Tim Brewster isn't a no-name, but THE name in Tight Ends. He's the guy they talk about when they try to figure out how Antonio Gates went from being a basketball player to one of the NFL's best tight ends in a year. He's been around the Big Ten, as a player at Illinois and assistant coach at Purdue.

His name also came up when Illinois was looking for head coaches, and as an offensive coordinator for Michigan before we bumped Mike DeBord back into his old spot.

The stadium thing is a much bigger deal than we may realize. Minnesota has a big tradition in football, going back almost as far as that of Michigan. Back then, they dominated recruiting in Wisconsin, Iowa and the Dakotas. What was killing the team in recent years was the Metrodome. If you're a college student, do you want to get up on Saturday morning, find a ride downtown, pay for parking, then go to that dump to cheer your team? Exactly.

Of course, a new stadium and a coach who seems -- from a football perspective -- to know what he's doing.

I don't know how he'll handle a college team. But the biggest problem Minnesota has is that this isn't grandpa's Western Conference anymore, where you could beat up on Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and the University of Chicago before that big game for the jug. Ohio State took Minnesota's place as a national superpower, Michigan never shrank, Penn State jumped on board, and Iowa and Wisconsin have their own nationally recognized programs that shut the Gophers out of their respective states. Going back to 1939 isn't going to be easy. Again, though, that Dakota talent (which Boise State has been quietly mining for years) is available, and Minnesota itself has long been a hotbed for talent.

Of course, If he's going to focus on recruiting, he may want to get his own house in order first.

Tim's son clint, a 4-star QB prospect, committed to Illinois before his dad got the job, and said he wants to stay with the Illini. Brewster has another son, a free safety, who's a junior in high school and wants to play for Michigan."
NOT A STUPID QUESTION ANYMORE

Suck it Frank
! Suck it from the Malibu snowman long and suck it from the Malibu snowman hard. IT DOES SNOW IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA!!
PIC OF THE DAY

Does anybody remember Lord Seth's name upon this fateful night?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

CLICHE OF THE WEEK

You don't need to know the X's and O's, you need to know the Johnnys and Joes.
PAT BUCHANAN STRIKES AGAIN

Seth stumbled upon this story about Chinese moms spitting out anchor babies in Hong Kong. Of course it's a great way to escape China's murderous one-child policy. In addition, it perfectly illustrates the strain placed on social services in the developed world as the third world migrates.

But who can blame them? It worked for our ancestors!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Native Tennessean Co-Worker: "I put the dick to ole Gramma."
I DODGED A FEW OF THESE

In a world where women are "equal" there was bound to be a few freeloaders that take advantage of the situation and turn marriage into a celebration of selfishness. The Telegraph has gone ahead and labeled their toxicity. The worst part is that once aquired, the toxic wife must be kept at all costs, for as Junior Walker points out, "It's cheaper to keep her." Money quote...

""It is like a perversion of the evolution theory: they have evolved into creatures whose function is simply to get the most for doing the least," whispered an exhausted husband to me recently. "I wouldn't mind providing her with so much if she just did something for me occasionally. She's never even once cooked me a meal."

"She doesn't know the definition of sacrifice," said another angry husband. "Relationships are meant to be about compromise, but she is more about selfishness. I bend and adapt to her needs, yet all she gives me are ultimatums."

"Can't you just divorce?" I asked.

"Are you kidding?" he replied. "I'd lose everything I've worked for, including my children, and I'd be paying her an indecent amount of money for life."


Unfortunately the Telegraph fails their readers in not identifying the qualities that will eventually cause a toxic wife further down the road.
PIC OF THE DAY


I may be a bit of a dork. But at least I don't watch "24" Posted by Picasa

Speaking of "24" wouldn't that make a great premise for a show that follows the 308 gang around for one of those classic trainwrecks of a day-long bender?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT YEAR

Well CNNSI already has their rankings ready for next season. Funny enough, they have already forgotten that Michigan will blow the big games as they have the Wolverines ranked 6th behind Louisville and West Virginia. However, they do have USC ranked number one in anticipation of the licking they will be laying on Michigan next January.
AND SETH GOES SLOWLY INSANE

From Seth...

"So Dork 1 came over to talk to Dork 2 about "24" again, because this is Dork 1 and 2s' thing: to talk about "24" every day.

Then, Dork 3, who joins Dorks 1 and 2 in many of these "24" discussions, starts fiddling with her office phone and discovers, to the delight of Dork 1 and Dork 2, that there's actually a ring tone on the office's Cisco IP Phones called "24."

Bop-bop dee-daah, Bop-bop dee-daah

Dorks 1 through 3 then proceed to play the ring tone about 40 times just to make sure it is, in fact, the ring from "24." Once this has been confirmed, our Dorks make their way around the cubicle farm, sharing the "24" ring tone discovery with Dorks 4 through 92, with each station occupied by a "24" fan playing the tone in turn. Soon, the entire corner has erupted into a cacaphony of Bop-bop dee-daah, Bop-bop dee-daah! Bop-bop dee-daah, Bop-bop dee-daah!

This catches the notice of a number of more recent hires, who weren't around when the office initially discovered their telephone ring tones in January 2004 (a hellish day). So the newbies all start picking out new ring tones as well, including a tone from Super Mario Bros: "Ba-da-da, dee dah dum!", some syncopated number called "club" that goes "Da-bahdah bum bahdah bum bahdah dum bum," the "Th-that's my stapler," from Office Space, and one particularly hell-inspired offering in which a nasal female voice incessently pesters "Are you there? Are you there?"

Meanwhile, Sportsnut 1 and 2 -- the only two people left in the city who talk about the Lions as if they're an NFL team as opposed to some abstract form of torment akin to Cisco IP ring tones -- discover Europe's "Final Countdown" (badah dah dah, badah dum dah daah) on the IP phone, and start taking turns announcing the 1989 Detroit Pistons starting roster.

The end result:
Bop-bop dee-daah, Bop-bop dee-daah
Ba-da-da, dee dah dum
Are you there? Are you there?
Bop-bop dee-daah, Bop-bop dee-daah
Th-that's my stapler
Da-bahdah bum bahdah bum bahdah dum bum
Are you there? Are you there?
badah dah dah, badah dum dah daah
"Starting at point guard, from Indiana University, Number 11...."
Bop-bop dee-daah, Bop-bop dee-daah
Ba-da-da, dee dah dum
Da-bahdah bum bahdah bum bahdah dum bum
Are you there? Are you there?
Bop-bop dee-daah, Bop-bop dee-daah
Th-that's my stapler
badah dah dah, badah dum dah daah
"Starting at point guard, from Indiana University, Number 11...."
Are you there? Are you there?
Da-bahdah bum bahdah bum bahdah dum bum
Bop-bop dee-daah, Bop-bop dee-daah
Bop-bop dee-daah, Bop-bop dee-daah
Bop-bop dee-daah, Bop-bop dee-daah


I have a headache. How's your day been?"
PIC OF THE DAY


Have you given any thought to getting in shape for Tonnaroo Too? Tres, where did you leave your shovel? Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 15, 2007

THE LLOYD CARR DIFFERENCE

From Seth...

"Of all the schools to send talent to the NFL, for the fourth year in a row, Michigan is the most represented in the conference championships. Ohio State was the most represented among teams that made the playoffs. Miami (Fla.), had the most players in the NFL, but were tied for sixth in the playoffs and tied for eighth in representation among the four remaining teams.

All four teams left had more Big Ten players than any other conference (or were tied for first). The last 10 Superbowl champions have had at least one Michigan man on the roster. Last year's champion, the Steelers, had Big Ten guys make up over a third of their roster, and combined with MAC players to account for 65 percent of the team.

I guess my point in all of this is that the SEC can suck it and suck it hard.

All of those Michigan alums in the NFL were coached by Lloyd Carr, either as a defensive coordinator or as head coach. You guys don't believe me, but this is a good coach."


We can all agree that the SEC can suck it. However, Nobody's questioning Carr's leadership and cultivation of talent.

The beef with Lloyd is game day tactics combined with his conservative management and preparations.

"So you can change coaches, or you can change Carr, and I think ol' Scary Face has more than demonstrated he knows how to change his system.

First of all, in-game strategy is mostly the job of the coordinators (playcalling) and the captains (audibles). It's Mike DeBord you really should be focusing on, not Carr. DeBord is the same guy who ran our offenses in the mid-'90s, when a lot of these same complaints came out. We also won a National Championship with him in '97, this year his boring-but-never-turn-it-over offense used talent and execution to score even on National Top 10 defenses in Wisconsin, Penn State, Iowa and Ohio State.

DeBord is boring. He's a guy who almost certainly believes in execution over flash. These boring guys like DeBord who focus on execution are so boring. Like Joe Paterno (yawn). Bear Bryant (zzzzz). Vince Lombardi (gag me!) At least he's not so bad as the most boring of the bores, Barryt Switzer, Woodey Hayes and Bo Schembechler. Even if you limit it to modern "execution-first" guys, like Mack Brown, Jim Tressell, Bob Stoops and Nick Saban, who in the world would ever want one of these snore-festers over the flashy offensive minds of Steve Spurrier, Urban Meyer and John L. Smith?!? Seems to me, these fellas who "open it up" and "try to trick ya" are vastly superior to all those other forgettable names.

Now, are tricky play-calling and execution mutually exclusive? With a caveat of "not entirely" thrown in, the answer is YES. And if you want to know the reason, ask any college coach what they would most like to change about college football -- you'll get the same answer every time: "I wish I had more time to practice with the kids."

You remember college. School takes time, and for 99.9 percent of these players, big money in the NFL is no sure thing. Even pro coaches don't feel like they get enough practice time, but for college coaches, they are sqeezed like mad. You only get a few hours a day or honest playcalling practices, and everything is strictly regulated by the NCAA. And while you can practice a few times in the offseason with your coordinators, the head coach is explicitly banned from most of springtime sessions and the entire summer. There's no pre-season. And unless you make a bowl, you can't practice at all from late November to April. Spring has to be about about teaching kids their positions (think of the turnover they go through ever season). Summer camp is necessary for reconditioning.

So installing an NFL-sized playbook is out of the question. You can use your time to do 15 reps of offset I-iso with 2 motions and 2 check-downs, or you can do that one 5 times and teach the kids the oop-dee-oop. So some coaches focus on getting 15 plays right, and some coaches focus on getting 25 plays so that the kids aren't embarrassing themselves.

I would disagree with the coaches on whether this should be changed. The cramped practice time means there's more mistakes, more ad-libs, and more times when the quarterback tells his star receiver "just run around and get open in the zone and I'll put it high enough that puny corner will be smelling your ass cheeks." In other words, it keeps amateur football looking like amateur football, giving it that feel that the sterile, over-rehearsed precision of the NFL can only seem to capture in the gut-check, too-adrenalized-to-think-straight state of a playoff game. It means the coach can only coach so much, and then just hand the outcome off to his best players and say, "please make something happen."

Anyway, that's the way it is. DeBord (and Carr, who sets the tone for the team) are believers in getting the same thing right, in execution, and you'll note that the great coaches have all been those who put execution at the top of their list of offensive priorities.

You can choose what system you install for this. Randy Walker, for example, only had 14 plays (just 6 runs), but he ran them all out of the spread formation and made probably 40 percent of his yards from the same RB-delay/WR bend/curl-zone check-down three-set that his players knew to perfection. That play-set alone beat Michigan in 2000. And that means you can design an offense for your personnel, as DeBord did with the zone blocking scheme for his combo of big but slow O-linemen and the pathfinding Mike Hart.

If you're Texas Tech, it makes sense to try new things every game, and let chance dictate the outcome. You may lose to Baylor, but once in awhile you might upset Texas, Oklahoma or Texas A&M, and a 6-5 season with a win over one those guys is worth much more than 7-4 with losses to every major team. And if you're Boise State getting ready for your first BCS against a Bob Stoops Sooner squad loaded with talent, might as well bring out the halfback pass, the reverse flea flicker, the direct-snap, the fumblerooski, the swinging gate, the hook & ladder, the statue of liberty, the jersey stitch, the oop-dee-oop, and that play from M.A.S.H. Might be a good idea to have one or two players start barking like a dog during a play, too.

Now, that being said, I want to plead with you all one more time to lay off the "Fire Carr" calls before the University of Michigan does something as ridiculously foolish as actually firing him. I know you're looking for some "in-game strategy," or whatever, but there's a much, much, much, much, much easier road toward Carr becoming more adaptable to emergency changes, and rebuilding a program without the man who's been the face of it for over a decade.

We instintively feel that because we're Michigan, we can put anyone in a navy windbreaker and he'll be able to recruit and run a football program that annually competes for a national championship. This is decidedly untrue. Programs with Michigan's history are few and.... well....okay, except for MAYBE Notre Dame, there really isn't another Michigan in terms of history. But that doesn't mean we can't fall to a once-in-awhile/also-ran/used-to-be for a decade. There are a lot of college football programs looking to join the uppermost echelons who can spend as much or more than we can given a good season or two. The smaller schools can recruit further afield and track the same talent with the same resources.

You don't get a free ride because you have wings and stripes on your helmet. A fired coach means players transferring, a stall in recruiting, a loss of program identity, and most of all, a chink in our armor, with Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Penn State ready, willing and able to take advantage. One lost year is one bad class, one 7-5 season that can't be explained by "close-ones," bad breaks and
injuries.

As for what makes Carr so great, I keep going back to the "never the same mistake twice" thing.

This year it's "they can't get funky enough on offensive playcalling."

But I remind you that last year it was "They can't finish" and this year, except for the Rose Bowl, we outscored every team we played in the 4th quarter.

The year before it was "can't stop those running QBs," and our linebacker tackling. Since then, our linebackers have become some of the best tacklers out there (DAVE HARRIS!!!!) and I don't think Troy Smith and Drew Stanton gained 40 yards on the ground combined in '05 and '06.

In 2003 the knock was special teams disasters. But in 2004 onwards, I've seen better special teams play from Michigan than any other.

In 2002 our defense was too slow. Since then, we've had the fastest linebackers in the country, starting with upgrading Lawrence Reid, Carl Diggs and Pierre Woods to starters over Scott McClintock and Roy Manning.

In 2001, we focused too much on the passing game. In 2002 he implemented the 2-back rotation with Askew and Perry, and starting in 2003 we've always had a 1,000 yard rusher (Perry, Hart--->)

In 2000, our cornerbacks were too small. So we recruited Marlin Jackson and Markus Curry and later Leon Hall...

In 1999, our depth at offensive line killed us when the starters went down. We've since always had a "fits anywhere" guy and more rotation so there's someone who can step in.

In 1998, we couldn't stop the option. Since 1999 we got so good at stopping it that Notre Dame gave up on the system.

In 1997, our offense needed to be carried by the defense, and because we didn't blow everyone out, it left the door open for coaches to duke us in favor of Nebraska. We've since focused on recruiting high-end talent like Drew Henson, Chad Henne, David Terrell, Marquise Walker, et al., and become one of the most prolific passing schools in the game.

I could go on and on.

I know of no other school that can fix such intrinsic problems with their teams in one season, and do it so that the problem doesn't arise again. And there's countless other smaller examples that he fixes from game to game that other coaches wouldn't know how to approach.

Offensively, I think every Michigan fan would like to see more passes down the middle or deep. It's true DeBord doesn't make much use of the deep slant, which is a potent weapon. It's also the best way to injure your receivers. In fact, when USC lost to Oregon State, it was becaue their top two receivers were out with injuries, and SoCal just scraped by a few other games around then before losing to UCLA when Jarrett and Smith still weren't 100 percent.

They do use the slant with Manningham, who can get separation, but you throw that deep slant to Breaston with a safety coming against the grain and it's bye-bye. We also play against a lot of tall linebackers and safeties, and on lots of bad turf conditions, which limit the effectiveness of that route (and increases the effectiveness of curls).

So Carr made the right personnel decisions, which allowed us to get stronger through the season withot losing key guys to injury, and it led us to another Top 10 finish and a return to status as one of the nation's elite programs. He washed away a 7-5 season with a gem, bringing us to the most epic game ever played in college football. Now he's bringing in another great class of athletes -- despite doing his recruiting against big eras for college football monsters like Ohio State, Florida, USC, Oklahoma, Miami, Notre Dame and Penn State. And he's probably cooking up a few neat tricks to befuddle anyone who's out-talenting us.

We need to keep this guy. He's the reason our program has continued to rock, even after Bo left and the University duked Moehller in a PR disaster. If we lost Carr, we'd get Mike DeBord as head coach (English still has some time to put in, but DeBord's probably heir-apparent until he moves on). Maybe scary face will retire in a few years -- he's getting up there. But you don't find guys who are this good at running a clean program that annually competes for a national championship, graduates top NFL talent and a host of classy, educated, successful men who don't become pro athletes. You don't just find a guy who doesn't ask for a raise after winning a National Championship, but does ask for one when he wants to save the local children's hospital.

Who would you rather have? A Tressel, Coker or Carroll, who bring in the top talent by giving recruits a "fun" time (like fun free cars and fun coke benders on the beaches of L.A. and Miami?) Or maybe a flashy PR whore like Urban Meyer or Chris Petersen?

There is no-one out there we could get with Carr's class, with Carr's pedigree, with Carr's prodigy. Just this year, he came in third place in voting for coach of the year!!!!!! We've got a great coach, and rather than threaten to can him, we should be sending our luck stars a frikkin' Christmas card for giving us a man like this."
PIC OF THE DAY


Saturday was one of those kinda nights Posted by Picasa
IN SUPPORT OF SETH

One of the things pointed out by Seth in his Lloyd Carr apologetics was how dirty the USC program is. In defense of this position check out Dan Wetzel's look at Reggie Bush being on the take during his days as a Trojan.

Money quote...

"And now the NCAA needs to take something, too Â? Bush's retroactive eligibility and a season and a half of USC victories, setting in motion the BCS' removal of the Trojans' 2004 national championship and the Downtown Athletic Club's repossession of Bush's 2005 Heisman Trophy.

Anything less, any bit of situational justice, would be a slap in the face of fair play and another in the NCAA's long history of double-standard enforcement."


Does that mean they would reassign the Heisman to my man Vince Young?
MORE ON THE ECONOMICS OF DATING

Throwing more fuel on the fire of James' concept of the Yeza School of Quackery...

I still say we are one step removed from a hangar full of women to be evaluated on a 5 point scale...

"Women seem to judge potential mates by how masculine their features are, new research shows. Men with square jaws and well-defined brow ridges are seen as good short-term partners, while those with more feminine traits such as a rounder face and fuller lips are perceived as better long-term mates.

In the study, 854 male and female subjects viewed a series of male head shots that had been digitally altered to exaggerate or minimize masculine traits. The participants then answered questions about how they expected the men in the photos to behave."

Good to see Big Blue trying to figure out what women want.


You mean they desire more than goat meat? Scientifically, though I hope they sampled more than UM students otherwise between the Franks, Dars, and trolls you are going to get some pretty messed up data.
LESSONS LEARNED

I have always been one to value my relationships with others. I have always felt that this was part of the legacy we leave behind. But as I get older and those that were once so close to me are becoming forgotten, I can't help but feel both bitter and melancholy. These feelings are not so much for the loss of that person in my life. Selfishly, what I miss is the emotion and bond created through shared good times that I previously experienced with that person. It's amazing to me that at one time a person can mean so much to you that they inspire heart pounding excitement, fits of tears, or an enraged bender culminating in a destructive rampage of epic proportions. These concepts of time and loss are becoming more clear to me the older I get. And it makes me a bit cynical that my current relationships may become as meaningless as those had in highschool or college.

Furthermore, I am vexed by the fact that the people I know and love are getting old. Ironically, I do not include myself in this since physically I am in the best shape of my life and could lay a mean beatdown on any previous manifestations of the Destroyer. But I find it disturbing when I can witness the toll of time on my friends as they begin to bald, start packing on the pounds, or become a morally bankrupt shell of that humanity I once loved. Like buying rap albums, I feel a sense of loss for the time and resources lost as I once cared so much for you and you take my good will and love and throw it away on your temporal pursuits. I'm most certain that this sadness is what the Creator feels, or in lesser humans it is represented by a harsh vindictive disappointment in what ones children become.

In the end I guess, even the most lasting experiences people create are temporal within themselves. People come and go while constantly withering and dying. Such is the way of life but consider that Tondar is a fine wine or scotch. I simply get better with age. And as my friend I expect the same from you. Otherwise, I don't think we have as much in common as initially thought and in that case, you should consider consuming a plentiful helping of fish heads.