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Archive for November, 2008

merry christmas michigan football

even in a down year, the go family remains loyal.

we still love you, even though this relationship has grown abusive.

lions thanksgiving liveblog

refresh for the latest lions commentary. i guarantee i give up before halftime, but i’ll try real hard anyway.

12:40: game starts
12:42: 2nd play of the game. lions fumble the ball. yup.
12:44: titans long run leads to titans touchdown. we are one minute and 30 seconds into this game. good god.
12:45: awesome cadillac commercial w/ lt. daniels from the wire in it. best thing of the game so far.
12:47: titans kick. take a knee. only way we’re gonna get 20 yards in one play.
**note: nice neon blue throwback jerseys. i like your style.
12:52: calvin johnson is long lean and beautiful. jason hanson is bald, pasty but also beautiful. best long-range kicker ever. (lots of practice). score = 7-3.
12:53: brother changes the channel to the xmen movie. ian mckellen, take that stupid hat off.
12:58: ugh. 55-yard run. “virtually untouched.” are you people F’ING SERIOUS?
**note: kerry collins looks just like greg germann, a quintessential “that guy.” you might remember him from talladega nights.

1:08: detroit three and out leads to titans ball AGAIN. omg titans with 100 yards rushing already. 10 minutes into the game.
1:15: why do we even pretend we have an offensive line? god i feel bad for daunte culpepper. 17-yard int td. 21-3.
**note: when these announcers have to do cheesy promos for shitty shows, do you think they want to die inside every time? “people are under the spell of simon baker. he’s so dreamy.”
1:23: harris w/ the 13yard pooch punt. oh wait. we’re on our own 10. damnit.
4:30: uh. woke up from a nap. what happened?
the end.

chokefest 2008

michigan/ohio state game this weekend, and the line is ohio state by 20 1/2. my bet: michigan will not beat the spread.

the actual big ten game to watch (sort of): penn state vs michigan state. much like the suckfest that was the notre dame/michigan game early this year, this is the “who can choke the least” game. penn state is better and is favored by 15.5 points, but, well IOWA. and michigan state … remember that notre dame game in 2006 where the irish were losing by 16 at the beginning of the 4th quarter. i remember when they scored that first comeback TD someone saying, “if notre dame wins, we’re all going to drink a pitcher of beer.” and then that’s really the last thing i remember.

anyway, this could be a blowout, but i just wanted to tell that story about the pitcher of beer. i’m so cool i drink beer.

tv update

not that i have time to watch tv right now, but when i do catch up on the 15+hours i have backlogged, i’ll be REALLY sad to watch some of the last episodes of eli stone b/c stupid ABC canceled it. i’m so pissed right now, i can’t even think of something funny or interesting to say. i’m just sad, eating conversation hearts from last valentine’s day (don’t ask), and listening to outkast’s happy valentine’s day. i just cope in weird ways.

pushing daisies and i think easy money got canned too, but i’m less upset about it. at least privileged and terminator got picked up for several episodes. 24 returns soon, too. it’s been so long, jack bauer. too long.

and then there’s this hilarity. you won’t regret reading it.

obama cabinet: like a drawn-out NFL draft

think about it. all the inside players know in advance what’s happening, and it’s only a surprise to the rest of us. people spend days/weeks obsessing over who is going to go where, and when they do get selected, it is scrutinized like crazy whether they’re the right pick. is rahm emanuel the jake long for nerds? and what about hillary clinton as a craftier matt ryan? they both went to boston-area colleges that aren’t harvard and were huge question marks for their respective positions/speculative future positions. if that’s the case, maybe hillary as sec state won’t be so bad.

i personally think this is the best analogy i’ve come up w/ yet.

maybe the worst ad i’ve ever seen. NSFW

this was on an online article on the michigan daily’s site. why is he naked? why must the shot go all the way down to almost THERE? if you stopped just below the belly button, we’d get the general idea. argggh.

in other news, real furbys:

detroit could lose a sports team? GAH

drew sharp is an idiot, but reading these words still makes my heart sink:

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Detroit loses at least one of its four professional sports teams within the next 10 years because ownership sells to an outside interest and the franchise moves to an area with a stronger economic base.

If you don’t think that’s possible, then you’re not looking at the current local economic situation with a realistic eye.

ok, but this is where sharp gets on the crazy train:

Detroit and Phoenix are the only two cities that support four professional sports teams in four separate facilities. That requires four teams capable of finding enough corporate backing for those all-important luxury suites in four different stadiums/arenas to keep the coffers filled without sharing the facility operational costs with another tenant.

That task becomes much tougher for teams in the aftermath of this economic crisis — especially in Detroit.

The idea of the NFL waiving television blackouts in Detroit has been nationally perceived as the equivalent of a government bailout. But the difference between Congress stepping in to assist the automotive industry and the Lions getting a break from the NFL is that there’s no competition for the NFL. It’s a monopoly. It possesses full marketing control and can dictate, without competitive challenge, the market price for its product.

That’s why it cannot turn a blind eye to what’s occurring in Detroit.

huh? i definitely don’t understand this analogy. blackouts exist to encourage people to go to games. how is lifting it like a bailout? the NFL is not taking its money and giving it to detroit, it’s just loosening a tactic used to create incentives to go to games. if your incentive isn’t working, then you might as well make money from tv advertising, right? and what does it being a monopoly have anything to do w/ anything? huh?

and here’s more nonsensity (yeah, i made up that word).

There’s an obvious reason why the NFL hasn’t gotten a new franchise in Los Angeles: It cannot guarantee sellouts in the country’s second-largest media market. The NFL’s primary business objective remains establishing a premium local value for tickets of home games.

Los Angeles residents have long understood that there’s more available to them on a sunny, warm fall Sunday than paying top dollar for an NFL football ticket.

Detroit residents may soon discover there’s more available to them on a cold, cloudy fall Sunday, too. That’s precisely why the NFL cannot afford to lose a Midwestern stalwart like Detroit.

are home game tickets really the main revenue source of the NFL? i can’t find the dollars for this, but it seems that advertising and licensing would be a huge deal, too. LA is a shitty sports town filled w/ transplants with no loyalty. what a horrible analogy. so the lions haven’t sold out some of their games this season. WE ARE 0-10 and have been horrible for YEARS. the fact we were selling out games at the beginning of the year is a testament to loyalty that i doubt even the NFL would ignore. detroit is such a homer town. if they can get their record up close to .500, every game would start to sell out again.

i also like this: “Detroit residents may soon discover there’s more available to them on a cold, cloudy fall Sunday, too.”

haha. um no, they won’t find jack shit.

drew sharp sucks.

subprime loans are good

subprime loans are getting a bad rap, and it’s unfortunate b/c when doled out correctly, they can do a lot of good. in many ways, a good credit score is a number that can be gamed, and consequently it can be hurt even if you’re responsible but not necessarily knowledgeable. an excellent credit score is just a shorthand way for banks to know that you’re responsible. but if you have a low score, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a bad money person. it just means you might not have known how to work the credit score game–a situation that tends to afflict minorities and immigrants. banks can responsibly loan to low-scoring customers; it just takes a little more legwork.

anyways, here’s an excellent defense of subprime loans. basically what it says is that ethical subprime lenders — those who weren’t using loans to sell up to wall street — have low default and foreclosure rates AND they still make money (and continue to make money, even as everything else tanks).

In recent months, conservative economists and editorialists have tried to pin the blame for the international financial mess on subprime lending and subprime borrowers. If bureaucrats and social activists hadn’t pressured firms to lend to the working poor, the story goes, we’d still be partying like it was 2005 and Bear Stearns would be a going concern. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page has repeatedly heaped blame on the Community Reinvestment Act, the 1977 law aimed at preventing redlining in minority neighborhoods. Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto in September proclaimed that “loaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster.”

This line of reasoning is absurd for several reasons. Many of the biggest subprime lenders weren’t banks and thus weren’t covered by the CRA. Nobody forced Bear Stearns to borrow $33 for every $1 of assets it had, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac didn’t coerce highly compensated CEOs into rolling out no-money-down, exploding adjustable-rate mortgages. Banks will lose just as much money lending to really rich white guys like former Lehman Bros. CEO Richard Fuld as they will lending to poor people of color in the South Bronx.

But the best refutation may come from Douglas Bystry, president and CEO of Clearinghouse CDFI (community-development financial institution). Since 2003, this for-profit firm based in Orange County—home to busted subprime behemoths such as Ameriquest—has issued $220 million worth of mortgages in the Golden State’s subprime killing fields. More than 90 percent of its home loans have gone to first-time buyers, about half of whom are minorities. Out of 770 single-family loans it has made, how many foreclosures have there been? “As far as we know,” says Bystry, “seven.” Last year Clearinghouse reported a $1.4 million pretax profit.

Community-development banks, credit unions, and other CDFIs—a mixture of faith-based and secular, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations—constitute what might be called the “ethical subprime lending” industry. Even amid the worst housing crisis since the 1930s, many of these institutions sport healthy payback rates. They haven’t bankrupted their customers or their shareholders. Nor have they rushed to Washington begging for bailouts. Their numbers include tiny startups and veterans such as Chicago’s ShoreBank, founded in 1973, which now has $2.3 billion in assets, 418 employees, and branches in Detroit and Cleveland. Cliff Rosenthal, CEO of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, notes that for his organization’s 200 members, which serve predominantly low-income communities, “delinquent loans are about 3.1 percent of assets.” In the second quarter, by contrast, the national delinquency rate on subprime loans was 18.7 percent.

surprise! poor people and minorities can be responsible home owners and money managers. it just helps when banks realize that their interests are actually aligned with their customers’ (which has definitely not been the case in the past 20 years or so). it also helps when brokers don’t lie and take advantage of people who turn to the financial sector for assistance.