MGoPodcast Supplemental: An Interview with Brian

MGoPodcast Supplemental: An Interview with Brian Comment Count

Seth December 2nd, 2018 at 5:07 PM

After our latest MGoRadio show, sponsor Nick Hopwood of Peak Wealth Management stuck around and interviewed Brian for Nick's own podcast, Finding True Wealth. Nick also allowed us to post the interview to our feed for those of you wishing to know more about the founder and editor of MGoBlog, and learn a few things about the future of the site.

Things discussed:

  • Engineer things
  • The founding and early history of the site
  • How MGoBlog got credentialed
  • A day in the life of a blogger
  • MGoTraffic
  • How UFR happens
  • Favorite diarists (he meant Hardware Sushi)
  • Drupal 8 and the new site.
  • The future of MGoBlog

Direct download link

Peak Wealth Management is a full-service Registered Investment Advisor located in Plymouth, MI. Learn more about Nick Hopwood, CFP®


I'm One of the Lucky Ones

I'm One of the Lucky Ones Comment Count

Ace October 9th, 2018 at 10:59 AM

TLDR: I've launched a GoFundMe and could use your help.

A little over seven years ago, in my eighth month at home waiting for the perfect job to fall out of the sky, something that would fit both my passion and my needs, a job posting went up on this site. I'd been reading MGoBlog since high school; now I was hastily assembling a resumé for a full-time job taking over for two talented and productive part-timers who'd secured full-time sportswriting gigs themselves.


How To Post To MGoBlog 3.0

How To Post To MGoBlog 3.0 Comment Count

Seth June 11th, 2018 at 2:58 PM

One of the nice things about upgrading to a newer version of Drupal is the far more powerful web-based editor. However some of you still like to use blogging software like Open Live Writer, the successor to Windows Live Writer.

Once you've installed it you can set up the blog. Some common trip-ups (these have changed from the old site):


Our Key Sponsors

Our Key Sponsors Comment Count

Seth April 26th, 2018 at 9:34 AM

tip o’ the cap [Eric Upchurch]

These are a few of our sponsors who have supported us so long, and to such a degree, that we now consider them part of the operation. They are companies whose missions align with ours, whose business practices match our commitment to ethics, transparency, and service to both clients and the public. You can usually find them on our message board with accounts way older than their sponsorship programs. Moreover they are good people—by and large huge Michigan fans whom we would want to interact with even if they weren’t giving us money.

Having a fanbase like Michigan’s that prefers to engage with borderline pedantic sports content is the reason this blog can exist. But the reason we can do this for a living instead of on the side of “real” jobs is because we have sponsors who also fit our particular brand and methods who want to be associated with us, and vice versa.

None of these sponsors paid to make this list, nor do we offer the option to do so. Once I’ve written them up, you can click on each link to learn more about them from us; for now these link to their own sites.


MGoBlog 3.0: Let’s Go to Beta!

MGoBlog 3.0: Let’s Go to Beta! Comment Count

Seth January 5th, 2018 at 10:02 AM


that is not the final banner, obviously

You’ve been asking about the updated website. When we couldn’t hit the preseason target the project was put on the slow burner during the season and shifted resources back to propping up the current site, but with that over we’re going to be picking up the ball and running.

The last few months behind the scenes we were getting the major bugs ironed out. The next step is we’d like to invite those of you most invested in this site—the power readers and commenters if you will—to test out a beta version and help us find all the little annoying things that need to be taken care of before launch. There’s a link in the HUEL message below if you’d like to be a part of that.

Here’s HUEL:

A Letter to Loyal MGoBlogers:   

You’ve been very patient in your anticipation of a newly designed site and we’d like to thank you for that. You were teased with the new designs before the football season, and while we were hopeful to launch the site prior to the Week 1 kickoff, too much work remained and we wanted to make sure that the new site did not hamper your experience during those crucial few months.

Once we realized that a site launch would not be possible in August, we shifted our focus to stabilizing and improving the performance of the current site. Changes included:

  1. Migrating to a bigger, stronger, faster, server - Dedicated server with more memory, bandwidth, and storage than the previous server and supported 24/7 by the Nexcess support staff.

  2. Migrating podcasts to Podbean - By removing the podcasts from the site itself, we were able to prevent the site from crashing or slowing to a halt due to thousands of simultaneous downloads directly from the site.

  3. Stopping Malicious Brute Force Attacks - Over the fall there were some instances of outside IPs making constant calls to the server. All suspicious IPs were blocked, and site performance and security were improved.

After we trimmed up the current site, we picked up the momentum on the new site build. We’ve been spending our time making it as beautiful as possible for your desperate eyes, and meticulously establishing an efficient method for upgrading this massive database from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 (That’s 2 major versions for those of you keeping score at home). The best news yet is that we’re incredibly close to being ready for testing.

In the coming weeks, select users will be receiving invitations to a private beta test of the new site. If you’re interested in being considered for participation in this beta testing period, please fill out the form below:

Private Beta Tester Application*

*Note that not all users who complete the application will be sent invitations to the beta, but we want to know who’s most interested before sending out invites.

We expect the beta period to last about 2 weeks. We will spend the following weeks fixing any issues discovered or building any new features that arise as critical from beta testing. As work progresses, you can expect another update with more details surrounding the full launch of the new site.

Thank you again for your continued patience, or lack of patience. Either way, thank you for staying loyal.

Your friendly neighborhood developers,

Human Element

Thanks again from us too for your patience.


MGoBlog 3.0: An Update

MGoBlog 3.0: An Update Comment Count

Seth August 18th, 2017 at 5:29 PM

Previously: The Preview


Coming soon: a groundbreaking series on 40 times

Sorry this is coming on a Saturday but I just got back from Chicago and figured best to get it out sooner than later.

So as you’ve no doubt noticed, the new site is taking awhile to roll out. Yes it is still happening, but each setback has pushed back the timetable to the point where we’re getting up against the start of the season. Right now they’ve given us a very barebones dev site (above) to find all the glowing errors and make sure it feels like it should. Then we’ll have a beta version, with content from the main site, for beta users to play with. We’d rather do it right than throw out a half-baked solution.

I want to reiterate that HUEL—which is what we're finally getting Ann Arbor-based site developer Human Element to call themselves—have been awesome. A site as old as ours can develop some pretty big hurdles to modernization and previous comers were never able to get past Level 1. HUEL is now on 7, and have already worked through more unforeseen monkey wrenches than I’ve bothered to count. Without them I don’t know if this ever happens.

Jason, the CEO of Human Element, can explain it better than I can.

I want to let everyone know that both the HUEL and MGoBlog staff are diligently working on the site upgrade every day, and while it was our goal to have the new site up before the football season, software is hard. We are performing a 2-version upgrade from Drupal 6 to 8 while maintaining current required functionality, data and user history. At the same time we are adding new functionality and features as part of a complete overhaul of the user experience and site design. We have made significant progress and have solved all the major technical issues but we haven’t had the time for proper user engagement and beta testing and do not want to want to push a product that isn’t up to our quality standards.  

It is our short term goal to stabilize the existing site’s hosting (thanks Nexcess!), while finishing the last pieces of the upgrade and redesign.  We are going to use this extended time period to sync data from the current site to the new site on a schedule and allow selected BETA testers to provide feedback until both teams feel the site is ready for initial release.  We will then move into a cycle of maintenance and improvement that should continue to improve the user experience over the next few years. 

The new site will be bigger, stronger, faster—but it’s just taking a little longer than we hoped.


You may see the site go offline at times in the middle of the nights as we prepare to shift to Nexcess servers from the one Brian and his brother built years ago.

[Couple of notes in response to prior feedback after the jump]


Unverified Voracity Embeds Epic Oskee Again

Unverified Voracity Embeds Epic Oskee Again Comment Count

Brian August 24th, 2016 at 2:58 PM

Ace took the best joke for this section. Tim Beck Man returns!

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — As the one-year anniversary of his firing at Illinois approaches, Tim Beckman has a new gig.

North Carolina officials confirmed Tuesday that Beckman is a volunteer assistant on Larry Fedora’s staff.

The Tar Heels play at Memorial Stadium in a prime-time game on Sept. 10.

Since Beck Man was referenced we are obligated to embed his greatest achievement despite the fact that nobody seems to watch this when we do:

That has just 8500 views and most of them are from the MGoStaff. Anyway:

The K stands for the coffee he fetches.

Around the league some more. More things keep happening. They're mostly not great for the opposition because the only solid news coming out of camp concerns guys who aren't going to play anymore:

  • Wisconsin OL Dan Voltz is forced to retire due to injury. Voltz was very good as a underclassman before an injury-wracked junior year saw a major dropoff. He was slated to start at guard.
  • Nebraska lost projected starting left guard Jerald Foster to an ACL tear.
  • Redshirt freshman DE Cassius Peat transferred away from Michigan State. Peat was a 3.5 star recruit. Academics appear to be the issue.
  • MSU QBs are going to run more this year, because they are bad at throwing.
  • Kirk Ferentz is a bit peeved that Drew Ott didn't get a fifth year despite the fact he was in the exact same situation as Mario Ojemudia. Both got injured a few snaps after they could not get an injury redshirt, and the NCAA doesn't bend on that.
  • On the other hand, this Tanner Lee thing is weird. The Nebraska QB and Tulane transfer got a sixth year of eligibility. Ferentz says it's because Tulane changed OCs, but it's a bit more complicated. Lee used a bylaw that "addresses student-athletes who feel they were 'run off' by a school." If he actually did not have a scholarship any more that would be a legit reason to give him the year he lost by transferring.
  • Indiana blog Punt John Punt projects JUCO transfer Richard Lagow as IU's starting QB.

BEHOLD THE THROW-GODDENING. Trevor Siemian has broken out of the funk where he is only an unstoppable throw-god when I am watching him play. Now he is unstoppable throw god 24/7:

The Broncos are going to die this season, aren't they?

The decline of daily fantasy. Long feature article from Outside The Lines on that brief period when every ad on ESPN was from DraftKings or FanDuel. Things got so oversaturated that we were annoyed with them despite the fact that DraftKings was paying us. I still have no problem with the business model—I played online poker successfully for years until a late rider was inserted into a port security bill that banned it. (I played in the WSOP main event, which was fun until it wasn't late on day two.) Daily fantasy was very, very close to that model. This kind of negative…

Yet they relentlessly promoted their games as a means to get rich quick when they knew only a tiny percentage of their customers were winning more often than losing.

…is something literally every state is guilty of with their lottery programs, and this one…

They failed to aggressively move against big-bankrolled players who dominated newer players, sometimes with predatory behavior or technological advantages.

…is actually an argument that daily fantasy is a game of skill.

But those companies were run by guys with huge blindspots and questionable ethics, so they blew it all up. This is indefensible:

And they allowed their own employees to play -- and win millions -- on their rivals' sites, despite their having access to odds-improving proprietary data.

During the online poker boom there were always new sites popping up and scamming people, so the big players strove to be as transparent and honest as possible. Daily Fantasy is poker if PokerStars and PartyPoker were rife with actual cheats, and the one thing you cannot do when collecting a rake is allow any impropriety that will sic attorneys general on you. This is on point:

"This industry blew up so quickly -- no one adequately planned or prepared for it," says Gabriel Harber, 29, a former high-volume player at DraftKings and FanDuel. "[The executives] didn't make the substantial investment on self-regulation and the regulatory side that was obviously needed. ... Every PR person and lawyer should be fired. How could you let your client engage in this kind of crazy advertising if every legal loophole wasn't closed? How stupid can you be?"

The execs brought it all on themselves.

Etc.: OSU blogs will post literally anything. That's the ticket, Rutgers basketball. WTKA adds an afternoon show with Jamie Morris and Marcus Ray. They've gone from four hours of live local content to nine over the past month. Not bad. LSSU faculty head wants hockey to drop down to D-III. #disrespekt will never die. Hugh Freeze created a mock funeral for himself, because motivation? Don Brown says his defense isn't high risk because it isn't.


Unverified Voracity Cannot Close Its Eyes And Relax

Unverified Voracity Cannot Close Its Eyes And Relax Comment Count

Brian March 3rd, 2016 at 4:31 PM



you probably are

damn you purdue

More work for Chief Enunciator Ace Anbender. Michigan's hired former Hawaii and Cleveland Browns coach Tony Tuioti as Chris Partridge's replacement. Michigan seems to be consciously trying to have one guy who is super-connected with every fertile recruiting ground they can find. While Hawaii might not be a likely spot for recruits, Tuioti is Polynesian. Polynesia is kind of a location you can get recruits, sometimes ukelele-playing recruits with massive manes of awesome hair who can play fullback and tailback. These are good recruits to get.

Greg Sankey has lost in the court of public opinion. He'll probably win in the court that matters, but it's nice to see that the portions of the media not completely dependent on the SEC for food and shelter* aren't buying what Sankey's selling one bit. Dan Wetzel:

College players can't negotiate the time off that NFLers have – organized team activities for the pros don't begin until late April and often not until late May. That's four or five months off for most players. Somehow the sport thrives. In college you get less than two – which doesn't even count crack-of-dawn "voluntary" weight training sessions just a week or so after a bowl game.

No one seems too concerned about that.

To focus solely on the issue of a handful of off-campus spring practices by one school, however, is to engage in absurd selectivity. The idea that players need spring break to themselves is a nice concept, but not some irrefutable argument.

Many players, just like most regular college students, can't afford to go away for spring break, no matter what the old movies claim. The majority of cash strapped "normal" students probably use the time to work.

Andy Staples:

A breeze floated in off the Gulf of Mexico a few miles west. The temperature had just dropped into the 60s following the sun’s plunge into the pink horizon. As darkness fell and palm trees swayed, Michigan tight end Jake Butt discussed getting his spring break ripped away by his taskmaster coach.

“We don’t have to worry about classes now. All we can focus on is football, and then we’re out on the beach relaxing. It’s unbelievable,” Butt said Tuesday. “Not everyone on our team is going to be able to take a spring break to get away. We’re away. We’re down here in Florida. Beautiful territory. Sun shining. Not too hot. Nice breeze. Eating great food with our brothers. I don’t have anything negative to say about it.”

What, you thought he was going to complain?

Andy Schwarz:

Are college sports power brokers actually concerned that Michigan's football players will be working on out patterns instead of holding down the business end of beer bongs? I doubt it. To the contrary, I think their supposed reservations are basically a tell—you know, the subtle tip-off a bad gambler does when he's bluffing—that lets the rest of us know just what actually matters in major college sports.

Hint: it isn't making sure football players have a relaxing Spring Break.

Bob Wojnowski caught up with a local high school coach who had a couple of insightful quotes:

“Because I also coached in college for years, I realize the value of what these kids are experiencing,” Gerber said. “Most of these kids aren’t gonna afford a spring break. And if you watch the tempo and demeanor of the practice, it’s purposeful, but they’re not bludgeoning them. It’s a learning environment. This has been very well thought out.”

I has occurred to me that the local media probably doesn't mind a working vacation in early March.

*[Or, like Michael Weinreb, have a contract with the devil requiring a concern troll about Michigan every six months.]

Hello: Jerry Kill? Per Sid Hartman, Jerry Kill might end up with a job in Ann Arbor if he wants it:

This week Kill spent time with his close friend, TCU coach Gary Patterson, and could wind up on his staff. Kill has always been close to Jack Harbaugh, father of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, and rumors around the Big Ten are that a job on the Wolverines staff is his if he wants it.

With Michigan's full assistant roster complete that would be one of those analyst positions that's come open as those gents move up the ladder. Everybody loves Kill and he has an impressive track record of dragging maximum performance out of iffy recruits, so that would be an excellent move.

A Fanhouse oral history. The Comeback has an enormous oral history of Fanhouse which is an excellent insight into how the first corporate sports blog rose and fall. I was a part of it from the beginning and faded away towards the end; only one of my completely fire takes made it in the story:

Brian Cook, college football blogger, FanHouse: I think hiring Mariotti was the most tone-deaf ridiculous thing they could have possibly done. Because he was just a blowhard, right? One of the things Spencer Hall says about SB Nation is [it's] the [internet's] the only sports appreciation machine. We weren’t lecturing from the top of a mountain like a lot of newspaper people tend to do. We were just fans being fans. And when you bring in the guys that do talk at you from the top of the mountain, do the Mariotti stuff, it’s completely antithetical [to] what the whole point of the enterprise was.

Fanhouse was an important bridge for me personally, as it allowed me to focus on MGoBlog without digging into savings. But this here site remained my focus because it wasn't tough to predict that AOL would not be in the content game long term. As a #content factory Fanhouse produced almost exclusively disposable content. Meanwhile it was difficult for it to have any specific voice when so many different people were contributing to it. The structure of the compensation—pay per post with a monthly on top of it—lent itself to lots of posts that took little time. The results were what you might expect.

Spencer's take on it is correct:

Spencer Hall, college football blogger, FanHouse, now editorial director of SB Nation:FanHouse was pretty good, but I don’t get sentimental over it. And honestly I don’t remember, I couldn’t name a thing that was written on FanHouse 10 years later. I could not name one piece that neither I nor anyone else wrote on FanHouse. I think it was a happy accident that I don’t want people to sanctify, which I would pretty much say about anything. I’d just like you to remember it accurately. It gave a lot of really cool people their first high-profile chance. I think in terms of mistakes, a lot of mistakes that the people running FanHouse made led to good things down the road.

Fanhouse was an early adopter and as such doomed to the same fate early adopters usually meet. It was housed in a large corporation that didn't really know how do to anything except its declining legacy business. It had some smart people in upper management; they were smart enough to know that they should get out while the getting was good. Those who remained thought Jay Mariotti was a good idea, and the story writes itself from there.

Fetch Tony Barnhart's fainting couch. If the man with Greg Sankey's hand up his back thinks it's "inappropriate" to issue barbs at another conference's commissioner there's no way he'll manage to stay upright after this:

Tennessee is of course facing a Title IX lawsuit focused on Butch Jones's program, one that featured an explosive affidavit from a former player in which he asserted that Jones called him a "traitor" for helping a victimized woman.

Get The Picture deconstructed an earlier Barnhart article if you're still fisk-inclined.

Graham Glasgow on Harbaugh. Ain't no time for feelings around these parts any more:

"He's treated everyone in our program essentially, not like a child, but he treated them like an adult -- like, as a man," Glasgow said. "And every talk he had with you would be man-to-man. He was brutally honest about everything."

This is probably the least surprising quote about Harbaugh I've ever heard. It is interesting that it seems like a departure from Hoke.

This is a good interview. The Daily catches up with an outraged Joe Cecconi:

TMD: Who is messier, you or Cooper?

Cecconi: Cooper. I always clean up. His side of the room is disgusting. He’s got all his guitars and his amps and all that crap everywhere.

TMD: Is it annoying living with somebody who makes so much noise making music?

Cecconi: He actually goes downstairs, to be honest. Sometimes he’ll give me a performance, and I’ll be tired and it helps me fall asleep, so it’s good.

TMD: Why weren’t you featured in his recent song?

Cecconi: I don’t know. I got to talk to him about that. I’m not too happy.

Tension in the locker room.

Etc.: Eliminating pro-rel in soccer would be terrible for everyone except the elite few, but some Brandon figure named Charlie Stillitano thinks it's a great idea. All five of Michigan's current 2019 hockey recruits have been invited to the NTDP evaluation camp. Kirby Smart spent more on plane travel than Harbaugh did. Jim Harbaugh's son might accidentally get elected to student government.



MGoJob: Drupal 8 Migration

MGoJob: Drupal 8 Migration Comment Count

Brian December 1st, 2015 at 1:43 PM


It's time to update MGoBlog to the latest version of Drupal. I'm looking for a Drupal developer who is familiar with MGoBlog to create a version of the site in Drupal 8. This is a contract job; if you're interested there would also be an ongoing maintenance aspect as we tweak the site and add bells and whistles.

Requirements are somewhat flexible since Drupal 8 and its contrib constellation are still in flux, but an outline:

  • implement a modern responsive theme for the site that we already have mocked up
  • implement a Drupal 8 version of the XML RPC module that allows Windows Live Writer to work in 6
  • implement as much of the current site functionality as possible given the state of contrib (userpoints not working will be a major issue, for one), adding as contrib fills in
  • make sure performance is at least as good and hopefully better than the existing site
  • migrate content, taxonomy, diaries, and users, in some form. I am completely happy to leave previous content behind in static pages as long as the URLs remain the same and you can still get to them in some form from the tag pages.

Budget is "I don't know, I've never budgeted something like this." I am expecting something in the five digit range. You will know better than I what is feasible if you're a good candidate. Timeframe is 3-6 months, but is flexible since we are aiming at a moving target. Email me at if you're interested.