Condi Rice to Replace Myles Brand?

September 18, 2009

With the recent passing of NCAA President Myles Brand to cancer, the NCAA will be looking to find a new face for the organization. While many names, including Michigan’s own Mary Sue Coleman, have been thrown around, the one name that I keep coming back to is Condoleezza Rice.

While many in the U.S. associate Mrs. Rice only with her role as Secretary of State in the Bush Administration, Condoleezza actually has quite the resume for a position with the NCAA. In 1987, She began her career as an assistant professor at Stanford University in political science.

After six years of teaching and national defense consulting, she would volunteer to be a part of the search committee for Stanford’s new president. After the group had selected Gerhard Casper, Casper would appoint Condoleezza to the position of Provost of Stanford University. As provost, Rice would be the top academic and budgetary official on campus.

Rice (pictured to the right by Stanford News) spent 1993-1999 as the provost, and she accomplished many notable achievements. At the time of her promotion, Stanford was facing massive budget deficits. The general consensus was that it would be years before it could be fixed. Condoleezza came right out and said she would have it eliminated in two years, and she did just that. At the end of the second fiscal year, Mrs. Rice balanced the multi-billion dollar budget and even provided a $14.5 million surplus.

The time at provost is probably the most important qualifier for the NCAA job, but for the sake of adding her political achievements:

  • 2001-2005: National Security Advisor
  • 2005-2009: Secretary of State

Obviously she can handle stressful jobs.

After leaving office, there was ample speculation that Condi might take over as commissioner of the Pacific 10 (PAC-10) conference. She expressed no interest at the time as she wanted to return to teaching and writing at Stanford.

It’s been seven months since the Pac-10 speculation, and one wonders if Mrs. Rice would be interested in taking the job with the NCAA if it were offered to her. The job definitely offers prestige, while allowing her to keep close to academics.

Add that she’s a tremendous sports fan, and it’s definitely a thought.


Questions for BigTenNetwork President

September 17, 2009

I’m supposed to be talking with a representative from the BTN tomorrow via telephone to discuss the new streaming venture available at I’ve got a list of questions going here right now. If you’ve got any other ideas, let me know in the comments. I’m not sure how much he’ll be able to answer, but I want to try as much as I can.

1) We’ve got a start. What sports can we expect this fall? I’ve seen volleyball and basketball on the schedule page already.

In 2009-10, the Big Ten Network is streaming a number of games in volleyball, exhibition and selected non-conference men’s basketball, selected non-conference and conference women’s basketball, men’s ice hockey, wrestling, baseball and softball.

Are you going to get to any of the bigger field sports this fall semester? (soccer, field hockey, etc)

2) On that same note, will televised basketball and football games be archived for the same price, or will people have to go to the BigTenTicket?

3) Judging by the initial sports chosen (except maybe baseball/softball), are these going to be stationary single-camera views only?

4)What is the limiting factor on number of games streamed? Money? People? Gauging Interest?

5) Looking at the sports listed in the schedule page, there are a couple non-BigTen sports listed such as lacrosse and ice hockey. Does the BTN have a policy on those broadcasts? Does it have to be an official NCAA sports to be streamed, specifically, would the BTN show Michigan lacrosse (or Penn State ice hockey) as only a club sport? Also, I assume ice hockey will be only selected, BigTen-member home games.

6) Are these broadcasts going to include full announcing crews? If so, are they furnished by the BigTen or by the individual schools through either students or SIDs?

7) Obviously I haven’t seen a game on it yet, how are the commercials embedded into the broadcast? Are there commercials embedded into the broadcast, as we’re paying for the viewing experience already?

8) With the issues brought up about streaming in the US vs internationally, will the streams be equally available to US and international viewers (live or not)?

9) How long does a game stay in “my games”? I saw something that said “the end of the season.” Can I get some clarification on what that means? Does that mean 4-6 weeks after the NCAA championship?

10) If I purchase a game that doesn’t end up being played/broadcast, whether for weather or technical issues, does the BTN have a refund policy?

11) Are you allowed to disclose why the BTN isn’t offering a team/season package?

12) ESPN360 is what most of my readers can compare your service to, which has raised the question, are their plans after the next negotiation with service providers to make streaming live televised games in the US?

13) Our readship obviously has plenty of other comments and suggestions, some streaming, some non-streaming related, rather than burdening you with some of these technical or philosophical questions, where can I direct their concerns and questions? Just as an example, I get plenty of comments about the BigTen’s greatest games’ commercial break teasers being spoilers.


Saint Arnold’s Divine Reserve Commercial

September 10, 2009

St. Arnold’s has never been one to advertise. They’ve relied on word of mouth, quality 6-pack artwork, and their “tours” to do their advertising. Now, as they move into their new brewery, they’re taking on youtube. This is too awesome. A Billy Mays beer commercial for today’s release of Divine Reserve #8, a strong Scotch Ale coming in at 9.3%.

(HT: Fourth And Fifty)

Sick at Home – MS Paint

September 8, 2009


With the hilarious MS Paint going around mgoboard and me being stuck at home sick, I needed something to keep me occupied. I give you Lexi Zimmerman vs Nebraska. I’m still disappointed with the neck line and face, but I thought the lower body worked out really well with the shadowing.

My Friend Coaches Volleyball

September 8, 2009

Subtitle: I promise I’m not a creeper.

A few days ago, I was invited by a friend of mine from high school to watch her coach a high school junior varsity volleyball game. As mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of volleyball, and I’m more than willing to go to any game offered. That said, how creepy is it for a 20-something year old guy to go watch a bunch of high school girls in spandex? Exactly.

DSCN0008 My friend is the tall coach in the middle of the huddle

Luckily enough, I was only there by myself for about 10 minutes before another friend of mine showed up, a female, to take the creeper look down from 11 to just 5 or so. I mean, I did still have a camera and take quite a few pictures.

DSCN0015 The setter was giving her hitters the ball a bit too far back.

Nothing against the girls on my friends team, but they looked pretty bad. I blame my opinion slightly on not having watched a high school game in at least 4 years, but also to this particular high schools new program and smaller sample size compared to my old high school. This new high school is around half the size of my high school, and the lack of depth is very apparent.

DSCN0017 The sets did get better, I wish I had that vertical

That said, the game at least stayed interesting, and the two teams got better as the game progressed. I was really impressed by the home team’s #7. Her sets were money compared to the team’s actual setter. In the end, the JV would win in 5 sets.


The varsity came on after the JV and were leaps and bounds better, which is somewhat to be expected, but the margin was so great, I was rather stunned. It’s amazing how that one off season of club ball can really pick up some of the girls’ games.

DSCN0032 Crossing shot from the outside hitter

The home team was anchored by some pretty good outside hitting and a really good setter. The setter did a really good job of placement on her sets, but her hitters weren’t all that consistent. Their big hitter didn’t distribute her hits very well. The above picture was one of her few cross shots around the block. Way too many went straight into the hands of the blockers.

DSCN0031 The face she’s making cracks me up

The home team still held on to this one for the win, although, I’ve already forgotten the score. I want to say it was in 4 sets. It certainly wasn’t 5.

DSCN0035 Victory for the home team

In a note totally unrelated to the game, it was weird at one point as I was talking with my coach friend. One of her players ran up to me and told me her coach could do “the jerk.” I’m pretty disconnected with mainstream pop songs, but apparently that’s some sort of dance. I was confused as all get out.


It was fun to get back out and see some volleyball in person. Now if I just had a less crappy camera.

Complexity of What to Write

September 1, 2009

I’ve come to the point in my writing at mgoblog that I’m really not sure where I should go next. Now that the season are starting for most of the teams, my google-stalking abilities only do so much. Most of what I’m capable of doing from a distance is just read the box scores and press releases. I don’t want to just rehash those, so I’ve got to find some other way of relaying what the teams are doing. Finding that way is hard.

Since I’ve started, baseball has always been my out, but I’ve hit the end of the rope on most of that posting. I’ve done some solid season previews (or at least I think so). The post on the volleyball team’s win was one of my better game recaps, baseball included, but that was because I was able to watch the game and get into it.

Now, going into the school year, I don’t have access to hardly any video of games. I’ve got very little radio through mgoblue. Even the few games I will be able to watch, they’ll be through streaming IPTV that I’m not even sure will hold up. What does make it through, I have no way of recording it. My life is too busy to watch all these games live for free.

So while the jihad bought me some time to think without people wondering where my writing is, I’m finding that I’m the odd man out and it sucks. I’m the writer disconnected from my topic. I’m the one that can’t be there to get the interesting input on the other side of Michigan sports – a place I really like being. So where do I go next?

My first thought is coach and player interviews, but how do I go about them? The ideal time would be right after games, but I can’t be there. So I go with midweek interviews, what do those really accomplish from a journalistic stand point? I’m not sure it’s much. Asking them about games they played a few days ago seems like dated information. Asking them personal information doesn’t seem like it would remain interesting as interviews would start to become stale for mgoblog’s readership. That kind of stuff is great on mgoblue, but mgoblog is an entirely different animal.

After that, I wonder what good I really can do with mgoblog as a full Olympic/non-revenue sports contributor. Do I just post a notes piece that bullet points how each team did? Do I try to preview weekends more in depth? I don’t know.

None of these ideas scream out to me the writer as something appealing, which makes it infinitely harder to write. If I’m not passionate about the information I’m spreading, I think it’s a waste for me to do it. I don’t want to waste my own effort.

What I am certain about though, is I want to continue to write, and that is what will have to drive me onward.