The Legend of Goose Loonies

May 20, 2010

The NHL is Broken

Filed under: How to fix the NHL,NHL — conservativelawstudent @ 2:22 pm

We here at tLOGL are huge hockey fans.  Huge hockey fans.  Huge HOCKEY fans.  Please do not misconstrue this statement as our opinion about the sport’s premier league, the National Hockey League.  The NHL is a mismanaged, NBA wannabe, trying everything in its power to lure in the casual fan at the expense of the die-hard fan league with low ratings.  As recently as the mid-nineties, this was the third most popular league in this country.  But under horrible management, it has wandered aimlessly through the wilderness of the American major sports landscape, and now gets lower ratings than women’s college basketball.  What can be done about this?  Well, model your league after a successful one.  And what better league to model yourself after than the National Football League.

How often have we heard that baseball is better with the Yankees playing into November?  That the NBA is better with the Celtics and Lakers in the finals?  That the NHL needs its stars to make long runs into June to get good ratings?  That the NFL needs its New York and Los Angeles teams in the Super Bowl?  Wait- you never hear this last one.  Ever.  The NFL will get great ratings regardless of who is playing in the playoffs and the Super Bowl.  Compare these two Indianapolis/Minnesota scenarios: first, the Colts are playing the Vikings in the Super Bowl; second, the Pacers are playing the Timberwolves in the NBA Finals.  The Super Bowl will get great ratings; in this scenario, the NBA Finals will struggle to outdraw Iron Chef America on the Food Network (note: ICA is a tremendous show- this is not a knock!).  Colin Cowherd on the  four-letter network has always said this, and it is one of the few things he says that we agree with.  But Colin always leaves it by simply saying that the NFL is better, so they will always draw better.  Great, but why?

There is no doubt that the NFL rules the sports landscape in this country.  And as such, it will always have higher ratings than its counterparts in the other sports.  Why is this so?  Well, there are a number of arguments about this, some better than others.

Argument 1: Football is better because there is more action.
This argument is the classic baseball vs. football argument.  “Oh, man! Baseball is sooooooo sloooooooow.  There’s no action!”  Yeah, maybe, but take a good hard look in the mirror.  Football has an average of 10 minutes of action per game over about three and a half hours.  Baseball has 9-12 minutes of action over three hours.  Meanwhile the NHL has 60 minutes of action and the NBA has 48.  Soccer has 90, and it strives to be as popular as the NHL!  This is a baseless argument, and one that is trotted out by baseball haters all the time.  Don’t buy it.

Argument 2: The NFL is better because every team has a chance to win at the beginning of the season.
Another false claim by the NFL lovers.  Our favorite team, the Detroit Lions, haven’t had a legitimate shot in over a decade.  Further, the amount of turnover in playoff teams from year to year is lower in the NFL than in MLB or the NHL.  This ain’t it either.  As a matter of fact, we would turn this argument on its head: we think that the more parity a league has, the less interesting it becomes.  If every game basically becomes a coin flip, it sucks.  Wins are just as meaningful in terms of standings and playoff picture, but lose any sort of secondayr meaning outside of this.  A Lions victory (bear with us, here) over the Patriots becomes the same as a win over the Browns which is the same as a win over the Cardinals.  Good win, but it is left at that.

Argument 3: Fantasy leagues.
This is an argument that has usually been trotted out by the other side, the NFL detractors.  This argument basically posits that the NFL is so popular because so many people are invested in it, literally, outside the actual sport itself.  People now have a pecuniary interest in how the players on their team are playing, and thus tune in to watch, which generates more interest just by watching more games.  We would agree with this, but if this was a driving reason behind its popularity, the playoffs would see the same problems as the other sports: namely, that the NFL needs the large-market teams to go far to generate interest.  This is simply not so.  While we are positive that this drives regular season interest, it just doesn’t explain why the league only needs any two teams to show up and it will get viewers.

Argument 4: The games mean more.
16 regular season games vs. 162 or 82.  A four-month season vs. a six or eight month season.  Now we’re getting to some nuts and bolts of why people are more apt to tune in to a NFL game than that of its competitors.  From a purely math standpoint, a regular season football game is 10x more important to the final standings than a MLB game, and 5x more important than a NHL or NBA game.  Consider a Yankees loss at home vs. Kansas City.  Andy Pettite had a bad game and gave up 5 runs on 7 hits in 4 2/3 innings, and the Royals beat the Yankees 8-3.  New York says “OK, we’ll come back, get the next two, take the series, no problem.”  Now consider a Colts loss at home to the Detroit Lions.  Peyton Manning goes 12-30 for 202, 1 TD and 2 INTs.  Ho. Ly. Crap.  ESPN would run a documentary on the week leading up to the game, and the decline of the “greatest ever.”  (Excuse us while we get the barf out of our mouth after writing that little nugget.)  The NFL Network would have audio from both sidelines and run a two-hour special on how the Detroit defense prepared to stop the Colts offense.  Detroit would have a parade.  The Michigan militia would take this as a sign and invade Indiana.  The National Guard would all stand back and say “hey- they earned it. Let them go.”
There might be a little hyperbole there, but the point is every single game in the NFL has meaning.  A whole lot of meaning.  That’s something you just cant replicate in the other sports.  When we were growing up Tigers fans, it was a treat when they would be broadcast over the TV airwaves.  We would always ask our dad if they were on tonight, and when he would say “yup- they’re in Texas taking on Burt Hooten,” it was an amazing rush.  We couldn’t wait to turn it on and see the cartoon Tiger roar (or whimper with a cold pack on its head if they were in a slump).  We get the same feeling on Sundays when the Lions are taking on Arizona or San Francisco or Seattle or Tampa Bay or Miami or Oakland or Houston.  Once a week, for 16 weeks, whether they win (HA!) or lose (yup, again) we tune in because we can.  It’s not work.  It’s not every night, or every other night.
There’s an old adage, “always leave them wanting more.”  The NFL does this.  Perfectly.

Argument 5: The product is just plain better.
This is a huge factor as well.  When was the last time you heard an NFL fan complain about the play on the field?  We complain about it, but we are on the fringe, as a hockey and baseball fan first, and football fan behind those.  But WE STILL TUNE IN!  Now think about the last time you heard a hockey fan complain about the product on the ice at a NHL game.  One need not think back that far.  What about MLB?  There is always talk about ways to shorten the time of the game, to speed things up.  When these things are brought up in the context of the NFL, it is to enhance the product, not to “fix” it.  The fact is the NFL has catered to the hardcore football fan while enhancing the fringe to better market itself to the secondary or casual market.  It has done this brilliantly.  Fantasy leagues, TV packages, the marketing of its stars, none of this is done without an overall plan in place to market itself to the most people possible without losing the hardcore football fan in the process.  On the contrary, with the added access to the huddle, the enhanced audio during the game, the secondary TV shows that get into the Xs and Os in more depth than ever was possible before, football fans at any level can get into the game, the sport, and the league.  All of the secondary marketing techniques funnel into one giant spectacle ever Sunday for 17 weeks, and explode for five weeks after that.

So, knowing what we know about the NFL, how can we make the NHL better?  The NHL needs to take a two-step process: better the product, then better the marketing.  We’ll get into these in our next post.

December 22, 2009

The Name of the Blog

Filed under: Detroit Tigers,Miguel Cabrera,Name of the Blog — conservativelawstudent @ 7:10 pm

We wrote about the Granderson trade earlier today, and how we think it was a very good trade.  There is another name who has, and then has not, and then has again been named in rumors of trades with the big boys in baseball.  Specifically, that name is Miguel Cabrera.

Cabrera has been the best player on the Tigers since showing up, but he was noticeably absent down the stretch when the Tigers needed him so much last season.  Now, we predicted the collapse of the Tigers right here, but never did we dream that the best player on the team, the offensive powerhouse, the driving force behind the run scoring machine (which was unplugged in September) would do something as awful as he did.  On the last weekend of the season, needing only two wins to wrap up a division title and not take over the “worst choke job ever” title from the Mets, Cabrera joined some opponents, players from the worst team in all of sports the White Sox, in an all-nighter that sent the hard-hitting first baseman into a weekend funk, going 0-11 and striking out 5 times.

This adds him to the likes of Petr Klima and Bob Probert.  Back in the late 80s, when the Red Wings were an upstart young team led by a young captain named Steve Yzerman, they had a series against the juggernaut Edmonton Oilers in the Campbell Conference Finals.  Needing a win to stay alive, some Oilers who never saw the ice took Klima and Probert out for a cocktail the night before the game, to a place called Goose Loonies.  One thing led to another, and Probert and Klima ended up in the pokey.  Needless to say, the Wings lost the game and the series, and the rest is history.  Hopefully, the Tigers begin a stretch like the Red Wings have been on since then, but we don’t see that happening.

We hope Dombrowski is behind the scenes working a trade for Cabrera.  We don’t care to ever see him in a Tigers jersey ever again.  In the most important series of a season, when the team needs him most, Cabrera went out for drinks and went 0-11.  Screw him.  Trade him now.

Big Ten (11) Looking to Add Another Team

Filed under: Big11 — conservativelawstudent @ 6:50 pm

Some thoughts we wrote a while back, before all this hubbub about adding another team.

In addition to our warming to the idea of an actual playoff in Div IA football, we are also now warming to the idea of another team in the Big11, to get a Big11 championship game. Looking at all the possibilties, this is what we have as the best chance of success:

Army, Navy, Notre Dame. No chance of any, nor does the Big11 want any of them. Maybe ND, but they have absolutely no reason to join this, or any other conference with their sweet BCS deal.

So, look to either the Big12 or the Big East. In the Big East, the best cases are Syracuse, Pitt, or Louisville. We think Syracuse is set with some good rivalries over there, Pitt would NEVER join a conference with JoPa, but Louisville would be a possibilty. Big 12, the only options are Mizzou and Iowa State. ISU I dont think is big enough, but Mizzou would be viable.

The Big East has only 8 teams, and were just recently poached by the ACC, so to poach them would be difficult at best. But what about Mizzou? The Big 12 could turn around and snag Utah or TCU from the Mountain west (Utah would LOVE the oppotunity to join a BCS conference I would assume) and then you could have Wiscy, Iowa, Mizzou, Minny, NW, and Illiniois in the Big 10 west, UM, MSU, Oohi, Penn State, Indiana and Purdue in the East. Yeah, the East would have all three big boys, but Wiscy, Iowa and Mizzou would make the west pretty good.

NCAA Football Playoffs

Filed under: NCAA Football Playoff — conservativelawstudent @ 6:42 pm

We made the argument last year, and it still stands.  NCAA Div I football needs the playoffs.  It would be extremely easy, the money would still flow, and all conferences would be represented, eliminating the BCS Conference stranglehold on the national championship game.  The NCAA could keep their beloved BCS system in place, and use it to seed the teams.  This year, it would look something like this:

#1 Alabama (SEC Champ)
#2 Texas (B12 Champ)
#3 Cincinnati (Big East Champ)
#4 TCU (Mountain West Champ)
#5 Florida
#6 Boise State (WAC Champ)
#7 Oregon (P10 Champ)
#8 Ohio State (B10 Champ)
#9 Georgia Tech (ACC Champ)
#10 Iowa
#11 Virginia Tech
#12 LSU
#13 Penn State
Central Michigan (MAC Champ)
East Carolina (CUSA Champ)
Troy (SBC Champ)

Then, seed them 1-16 (where have we seen this before?), and 1-8 get home games to start the playoffs. Starting in round 2, you get the bowl affiliations.

16 Troy at
1 Alabama;
9 Georgia Tech at
8 Ohio State

Winners go to the Rose Bowl

12 LSU at
5 Florida;
13 Penn State at

Winners go to Gator Bowl

15 East Carolina at
2 Texas;
10 Iowa at
7 Oregon

Winners go to Sugar Bowl

11 Virginia Tech at
6 Boise State;
14 Central Michigan at
3 Cincinnati

Winners go to Cotton Bowl

Winners of Rose Bowl and Gator Bowl go to the Fiesta Bowl.
Winners of Sugar Bowl and Cotton Bowl go to the Orange Bowl.

Those winners then go to an actual National Championship game in Pasadena.

Holy crap. Is this really that difficult?

On Tiger, and Lions and Tigers, Oh My!

Filed under: Detroit Lions,Detroit Tigers,Tiger Woods — conservativelawstudent @ 4:11 pm

Tiger is a tool.  We will tune in to more golf this year as long as he is not playing.  Not because he is a tool, and not because we don’t enjoy watching him play.  But because we enjoy watching other golfers play, too.  It’s amazing, that the final round of the whatzit classic can be on, and Cheetah Tiger is 15 strokes back, and yet, all of the coverage is of him struggling to save par on 17.  We couldn’t care less about what he does behind closed doors.  He is a tool, but a great golfer.

The Tigers traded Curtis Granderson, and the state of Michigan treats it as if Steve Yzerman was traded to the Avalanche in 1996.  He is a good, not great player.  He does very, very good things around this community.  But he is highly overrated, strikes out 120 times a year, and cannot — let me repeat — CANNOT hit left handed pitching.  While he is a great defensive center fielder, great defense pales in comparison to offensive capabilities.  Edwin Jackson had a fantastic start to 2009, and was a big reason the Tigers came out of the gate leading the division in May.  But his ERA over the last half of the year was north of 5.00.  It was a career year for him, one not likely to be repeated, and like Granderson, was overrated by the rest of the league.  In short, you have two players who have some value, but their apparent value to the rest of the league was far higher than their actual value, which makes it the perfect time to trade them.  What the Tigers got in return is three pitchers and a younger, cheaper version of Granderson.  Players with a much higher ceiling than Jackson and Granderson.  After years of getting on Dave Dombrowski for trading away young talent for old non-talent, this is a tremendous move to make the Tigers better in 2010, looking forward to 2011 when $50M comes of bad money comes off the books.

The Lions are worse this year than last.  But with better coaching.  And a quarterback.  That is all.

October 1, 2009

Lions Win!

Filed under: Detroit Lions,Winning in the NFL is Fun — conservativelawstudent @ 4:42 pm

For the first time since December, 2007, the Lions win.

This is all we have to say about it.  They beat the Redskins, and Jim Zorn had the Marty Mornhinwheg 1,000 yard stare for most of the game.

This Sunday, the Bears, WatchouT!

September 27, 2009

Forcier For Governor

Filed under: College Football,Its great to be a Michigan Wolverine,Michigan Football — conservativelawstudent @ 1:51 pm

Indiana was supposed to come up to Ann Arbor, take their annual beat down, and head back to Bloomington to prepare for Oohi.  That’s not what happened.  Indiana played as good a game against Michigan as I have seen in my lifetime.  They got pressure on Forcier, they were able to run, they took advantage of some mismatches on defense when, according to the radio team, Michigan was lined up incorrectly.  As we were watching this game, we weren’t thinking, “if only Michigan could do this or do that,” or that Michigan was playing down to their opponent, but rather that Indiana was playing a very good Indiana football team.  When was the last time you heard that?

For Michigan to win, they needed timely stops on defense, and some offensive magic.  A lot of offensive magic.

Tate goes over the top for the short-lived lead

Tate goes over the top for the short-lived lead

Down 5 in the last five minutes, Forcier engineered a drive to take the lead that was not only exhausting for the Michigan QB, but was exhausting to watch.  Only to follow up a nice QB keeper leap into the endzone with another QB keeper for the 2-point conversion.  One offensive play later, Indiana had a 4-point lead after the defense, stacked to the offensive right, watched a run left go for 85 yards.

Visibly hurting, Forcier went up top on third-and-eight, and found Martavious Odoms who ran a perfect skinny post for the final score.


It won’t look like it on paper, it was Indiana after all, but this was a solid win for DickRod and Big Blue. With such a young team that still obviously has a lot of learning to do, this will only help them along on their way back to national prominence.


September 26, 2009

Tigers will lose this division

Filed under: Detroit Tigers,FAIL,FIRE. LEYLAND. NOW — conservativelawstudent @ 3:09 am

You were up 7 games with 30 to go.  All you have to do is play .500 ball, and you’re in the playoffs.  Oh, and by the way, the only team over .500 left on the schedule, is the team chasing you.

After tonight, the season is over.  Mind you, we are writing about a team that is STILL UP, with less than ten games to go.  But this team has nothing left in the tank.  They are done.  They can’t hit, they can’t catch, they can’t pitch, and when they do pitch, their “star defensive third baseman” boots a ball that costs 2 runs and the game.

We have felt good about this team for most of the season.  But it’s over.

Yes, all we ask is that the team play some meaningful baseball into September.  But at least win one.

September 16, 2009

Pity Party in Columbus

Filed under: Oohi — conservativelawstudent @ 3:11 pm

After years of being hailed as the greatest coach ever, Jim Tressel is now facing some (which is to say a lot) criticism over his play calling at home against USC.


Tressel, who is known for reading and responding to emails, got a boatload after last weekend’s 18-15 loss to Southern Cal extended their losing streak to teams ranked in the top five to six games. In calling the fans “some of the most unhappy people in the world,” Tressel made a backhanded apology in the form of, “I hate to be part of making someone less happy. I mean, they’re already miserable and to make them less happy, I feel bad.”
You’re right coach.  These people are miserable.  I mean, they live in oohi.  What could be worse than that?

YESPN Strikes Again

Filed under: FESPN — conservativelawstudent @ 2:52 pm

An open letter to the idiots at ESPN.

Derek Jeter might be a pretty good player.  He is not, as Colin Cowherd said, the third best shortstop in history.  The dude isn’t even the best shortstop on his own team.  He is not clutch, as his numbers in the playoffs go down, not up (unlike a player who plays directly to his right, who gets killed by the media for not being clutch).  He is not great defensively, and is not even good defensively.  He can’t move to his left or right, an the only reason he never makes errors, is because he cant get to half the balls other shortstops do.

But even conceding all the arguments above as false, the fact that he now leads the Yankees all time in hits is NOT A NATIONAL STORY!  We don’t need half hour teabag sessions.  Let YES handle the dramatics, because the rest of the country doesn’t care.  I didn’t see huge 15 minute stories on Justin Verlander when he set the Tigers all-time record for strikeouts in a season.  And rightfully so.  It is a local story.

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