Monday, February 25, 2008

Mania Madness Monday

The basis for much that we'd define as insanity is self-delusion. Sometimes that delusion is the result of a biological condition. The crazy dude's head has bad wiring ya know? But sometimes that delusion is manufactured by choice. The crazy dude's head needs to believe something that is completely false in order to bolster some separate but equally crazy belief. Sometimes hope can be a sort of self-delusion. That crazy dude can't predict the future but he hopes it turns out a certain way. That's three paths to variable levels of self-delusion. The biologically induced condition obviously being the most acute and the state of hope being the least. We can all forgive either of these two bookends of the state of insanity. The crazy dude with the bad wiring can't help it and the crazy dude with hope is just overly optimistic. But the middle condition; the crazy dude believing something false to support another false belief is less than forgivable. It's inexcusable.

Luckily my insanity isn't biological; I'm stuck with the least acute form of self-delusion ... hope. So sue me. Speaking of the Sioux; Goon down at the worst college hockey blog ever has this nice little delusional rant about Myles Brand as an (ironically funny) attempt to bolster the ongoing conspiracy theory that the NCAA is out to get UND. So in the name of good mental health I feel compelled (a biological condition I assure you) to beat down his horridly vapid assertions point by point.

First though; a brief explanation of the issue at hand. The University of New Mexico entered into a marketing arrangement with a casino located on a reservation. It's a little more complex than that but I said brief explanation. I'll leave it to you to read the entire situation as referenced on his blog.

Goon makes his first mistake in decrying the situation in his very first sentence. He says that "Myles Brand is at it again". I don't know how to tell Goon this but Myles Brand and the NCAA's inaction to address this matter can IN NO WAY be classified as being "at it again". They are "at" nothing. Their failure to address it can't be classified as "at it". It is ridiculous to assert it. It is a strawman argument. You say that somebody did something when reality clearly shows they did nothing. Omission of action is not action; it is inaction. So ... Myles Brand is clearly not "at it again". It is a convenient way for UND folks to twist reality to suit their conspiratorial bent. And that is all it is (except of course for being a totally disingenuous specious attempt at an argument).

The main point of the obtuse rant (which Goon unclearly attributes) from The Sporting News' blogger Matt Hayes is that gambling and NCAA sports is a bad thing and that New Mexico's arrangement is somehow exploiting the native people associated with the reservation where the casino is located. This is another strawman argument. The native people on that reservation decided to exploit themselves. They agreed (and probably courted) the casino's location in an attempt to give their members jobs etc. All governments exploit themselves in such ways for the benefit of their citizenry. I don't want to get into a big argument here about the morality of gambling and/or it's associations (in whatever form) with NCAA sports. Obviously, the biggest concern is keeping athletes sequestered from anyone that could possibly influence their performances. The University of New Mexico shouldn't have any problem along those lines. Next comes the funny part.

Goon has his panties in a twist about the whole thing because he is pretending that New Mexico is being hostile and abusive to Native Americans. He is saying that the if the NCAA is going to punish UND for their "hostile and abusive" behavior then they should punish New Mexico as well. It's nice to see him admit (through his own flawed use of logic) that UND's behavior is "hostile and abusive". That's a step forward in my book. Unfortunately, it isn't true that New Mexico is being "hostile and abusive" hence the reason for Myles Brand's inaction and indifference to the matter. The other deliciously ironic assertion about a University being associated with the bad boys of gambling has me rolling on the floor. Uncle Ralph (as well as being a naziophile) built a 1oo million dollar arena for UND with proceeds from his gambling empire. New Mexico's agreement will provide them with about 2% as much funding. If there was ever a time that Goon should give up blogging (probably this Matt Hayes guy too) it is today. Their shrill cries of hypocrisy have absolutely no basis; I'm fairly sure neither one of them actually knows the meaning of the word. Really. Change over to a hunting blog eh Mulder-Goon? Either that or stick to posting NHL fights from YouTube.


Anonymous said...

You know for goon being such a moron you sure seem to take what he says to heart. And last time I checked more people actually seem to care about what he has to say as his blog trumps yours in hits. Maybe you should be the one to give up blogging as nobody really cares what you think. But rather just laughs at the bullshit you put on here week after week. Face it Donald you are a joke.

Suze said...

This is for UAA readers, in case you forgot, it's a "UAA FAN Blog". All the UAA fans are thankful for Donalds time and effort to put this together each week. If you don't like it, the remedy is simple, stay away.

Thanks for the work you've done this season Donald!

Anonymous said...

As goons blog is for UND fans.

Anonymous said...

"Goon down at the worst college hockey blog ever"

I'm a Sioux fan myself, and couldn't agree more with you Donald.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work Donald.

A UAA fan.

Anonymous said...

Damm would like to see Hilly and Looch get beat This weekend..

Donald Dunlop said...

anon @ 617:
It is precisely because he gets more hits, that when he says particularly stupid things I must take him to task. If I'd seen the Sporting News post prior to Goon reposting it I would probably (as I've done with other issues in the past) have signed up at the Sporting News and posted my objections there in the comments section. But Goon brought the issue in front of WCHA blog readers and said what he said. And lets not fool ourselves as to why he gets more hits than me though eh? At least this joke is the first one to take a shot at himself. And lastly as regular readers probably have already sensed over the last few weeks I am considering giving up blogging.

SIOUX 7 said...

Don't give up blogging. I like reading your blog. Not seeing all the games on TV or in person, it is nice to get the "inside" scoop from someone at the game.

I understand taking the summer off, since thier is no hockey. But you are a dedicated Seawolves fan, don't stop blogging about the sport you love.

Anonymous said...

What is worse:

Goon getting his panties in a bunch about something an issue with the NCAA?


Donald getting his panties in a bunch about what goons thinks, does and for God's sakes how he spells? Are we in Kindergarten now?

suze maybe you need to tell Donald the same thing you said earlier. Goon's blog is for UND readers, in case you forgot. All the UND fans are thankful for Goon's time and effort to put this together each week. If you don't like it the remedy is simple, stay away!

Donald Dunlop said...

I'd tend to think I'm the only UAA fan that peruses Goon's blog. I do so because he has a presence and it would be ill-advised for me to not read most or all of the other WCHA blogs. I don't like doing it and I'd say my average daily visits to his blog total less than 30 seconds. I commented there yesterday for the first time in perhaps 2 months because his whining about JPL not being a hobey candidate made me laugh.

As I've already said and as I explained in my post some stupidity just can't be ignored. In general UAA and UND fans would be better off reading Dirty's Diatribe or the new PCM/Sicatoka effort. But Dirty doesn't post enough and PCM/Sicatoka is too new to see if they'll be worth the effort. So for now, (and probably not for much longer) Goon has my link and I'll address his posts here as I see fit.

Marty said...

We are glad to see that your panties are in an uproar because of Goon. His words are seen by many and to each their own. On your Blog you see Donald's UAA version and on Goon's blog he has those die hard Sioux fans that love the information he brings to the table. I am glad your trying to create more hits for Goon, He does a good job. If you look at the hits and the returnng visitors, many people come back time after time. Why? It is good to be the GOON!!! Doesn't xxxxx envy suck? LONG LIVE THE GOON!!!

P.S. By the way, where is your open counter?

Donald Dunlop said...


Hilarious that I pwnd Goon (not that it's difficult to do) and I'm the one with my panties in a bunch? Um ... not quite.

FYI my hits this week are around 180/day. It varies with interest in the team and their success or lack of it. Hits are neither an objective nor subjective definer of the quality of the information though. Any reasonable person understands there are many many factors that affect the number of hits. The biggest number of hits ever here was a total bullshit "prank" ... so you can see how poor "hits" are in defining anything.

A 2nd place team with a rabidly interested fanbase is certainly going to show many more hits than a 10h place team in a city with an active and successful ECHL franchise. There is absolutely nothing else to do in North Dakato but follow the Sue. Alaskans (in particular Anchoragites) however have lots of choices for entertainment and culture and recreation that VASTLY outclass things like the "Potato Bowl".

My point here is that I already know the information (and the presentation of same) greatly exceeds anything Goon could possibly bring to his blog. Blogging is done with words and when the cat can't use words correctly (grammatically or even just in terms of spelling) then it's clear to anyone that UAA Hockey Fan Blog > Goon's Mess of a Blog. There is no envy on my part. I've known since day one on USCHO that Goon isn't capable of shining my shoes. I can write circles around most people so Goon is certainly no challenge as the only person he writes better than is Sioux7.

My stats are available by clicking on the sitemeter icon at the bottom center of the page. Always have been and always will be.

Anonymous said...

Hey man..Dont give up your Blog..If you believe we are really on the right track then we got to see what happens next year..especially towards the end..I would love to see your optimism pay off and the program needs people like you...Its been a long year but keep the faith BRO..

Donald Dunlop said...

I'm just wondering if all the writing I do and the "thinking" about the game(s) might affect my experience as a fan. I've grown to care a lot more about winning and losing than I used to. So in the off-season I'll give it some thought while I lose the "blogger 40" pounds that doing this has put on me.

Anonymous said...

I know the feeling..Sometimes I know a little to much for my own good and it kills me and everything around me

Frontroguy said...

Hiya Donald.

Back up here cruising your blog ahead of the Gopher/Seawolves series. Sorry to hear that you are thinking about hanging up your blogging skates. There are not too many folks that I can gleen a UAA perspective from, so your retirement would be the WCHA's loss.

I have to work a tournament this weekend, so the late start is super for me, and TV to boot! (10-10:30 local) I hope you have lots of folks in the stands, it makes things so much more entertaining...

I will be back around for your series preview and analysis...

Anonymous said...

Donald, we appreciate your insight on the team. Keep up the good work. You are UAA'S NO.1 FAN. We do not get to see all the games, so we look forward to your perspective after the games. However, we did get to see the games in Denver. Very proud of the boys. Although they lost, it was great to see some of the boys press hard and go for it. Sure, mistakes happened but they never gave up. Personally, being in 10th place I would rather see a loss after playing with passion and pride then a loss after the team gave up and died trying. Being there, the team played hard. They raced off the bench on every shift and tried. They took risks. The freshmen really played well. This keeps me optomistic for next year. So, be there for next year. Your work is very much appreciated. Thanks Donald.

Donald Dunlop said...

There are probably hundreds of fans that would qualify before me as "the #1" UAA fan. Some of them support the program by volunteering behind the scenes and many support the program with large blueliner booster fees that I can't afford. I do appreciate being lumped in with those people but I don't think of myself that way. I'm just a regular fan with a big mouth and a decent vocabulary who can type fast.

Anonymous said...

Hey Donald-
Keep up the great work on this blog. You are a fan of UAA, and a dedicated one at that.
I just hope that you can keep cheering for the UAA of the WCHA, not the UAA of the CHA, because that's where it's heading. Yet another last place finish in the WCHA, with little hope of a top five next season. There are no blue-chippers coming next year, and that's what this team so desperately needs. Add to that an athletic director who continues to blow smoke up the #** of Bruce Mcleod and all Seawolf fans about a new arena that has little chance of happening anytime in the next decade...running off a coaching staff who actually did have the program going in the right direction...then hiring a coach with a known green card problem and no desire to recruit local arena that seats over 6 thousand and a team that draws 1500 on Fan Appreciation've got trouble with the league.
I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think so.
Don't think for a minute that the WCHA wouldn't love to jettison a perennially losing UAA for maybe a Bemidji State or Nebraska-Omaha. Better facilities and a hell of alot closer than Anchorage.
Cobb loves his winning basketball teams, but he'll lose Moser in the next year or two, then what?
Hockey is not a priority with the UAA athletic department, and that will cost us what so many people, including Brush, worked so hard for...membership in college hockey's best league.
Thanks for the forum Donald. Let's hope for a better future for UAA hockey.

Donald Dunlop said...

Thanks for the compliments. But allow me to dispel your entirely erroneous assertion that the WCHA would EVER remove UAA.

Every team in the WCHA receives the benefit of being able to schedule additional home games because of the exemption against their schedule that the NCAA grants for playing teams in Alaska. Thats dollars directly into the coffers of each and every athletic department; BIG DOLLARS in some cases.

The WCHA's reported "scheduling agreement" with Bemidji isn't a scheduling agreement. Notice the WCHA never announced anything? Bruce McLeod commented that the WCHA would try to help Bemidji but that was all that came out of the WCHA's mouth. Bemidji overstepped itself with it's announcement and in fact made itself look bad in the eyes of the athletic directors in the league (which is where the power of the league resides). Bruce McLeod is the mouth-piece for the AD's. The "league" could care less if UAA finishes in last place every single year. The WCHA continues to be the toughest conference in college hockey and UAA is reasonably competitive every year. Ask any coach if UAA is a walkover. They aren't. Ridiculously false assumptions otherwise about UAA potentially being on the outs with the WCHA are now "deaded".

Lastly, Cobb didn't chase Hill off. That's a patent falsehood. Cobb did make the mistake of not paying the assistants enough but Hill didn't go to bat for his assistants until after he had already decided to leave. You know that's the case. Those were Kowal and Morris' first coaching positions in Division 1. As noobs in the jobs they were getting noob pay. It should have been better and Cobb should have seen that but it was Hills job to ensure his assistants were paid correctly and HE DIDN"T DO IT. Rather than fess up and do the right thing like an Alaskan would do Hill chose to throw the program under the bus on the way out the door. He abandoned the program. He will NEVER EVER EVER be anything but an assistant coach EVER again ANYWHERE in the NCAA. It's unfortunate that his wife didn't find Anchorage to her liking and more unfortunate that she ran her mouth to her friends in Minnesota about the real reasons for leaving. It left Hill in a position where he had to try to save face. Thats why he straight up LIED with the BULLSHIT about assistants being underpaid. If he was so concerned why didn't he get them a raise the year before when Cobb "RENEGOTIATED" his contract in midterm and gave him a raise. Something he didn't have to do especially since the year before that the team only won ONE friggin game. Hill's bumbling of the whole matter set this program back. Shyiak has gotten it back on track.

LOL. Let me repeat that ok? COBB RENEGOTIATED HILLS CONTRACT IN MIDTERM AND GAVE HIM A RAISE THE YEAR AFTER HILLS TEAM WON A SINGLE GAME AND HILL DID NOT ATTEMPT OR ADDRESS HIS ASSISTANTS PAY DURING THOSE NEGOTIATIONS. Why did Cobb give Hill more money? Because he was supporting Hill!!!!! Ask yourself why Hill didn't try to get his assistants more pay before he jumped ship to run back and be Lucia's shoeshine boy. Hill screwed them. Not Cobb.

And oh yeah ... Brush's retirement was the result of some dumbasses that asserted that he wasn't capable of putting a winning team on the ice in the WCHA. Look at the records of all the coaches since Brush and you'll see that Talafous didn't do better, Hill didn't do better and Shyiak hasn't done better yet. There are issues of geography at work which make it difficult to accomplish. There is also the fact that overall the school isn't properly funded by the State. Patience from the AD and hard work by the Head Coach are the keys to making the team more successful.

Tyler Moir and Curtis Lienweber will be quality contributors next season. They might not be "blue chippahs" but they'll do just fine in Seawolf uniforms. They are certainly upgrades from the sorts of players Hill often brought in. This team has a good core already and the next two years will prove that.

Anonymous said...

Good point on the game exemption deal. That is valid.
I disagree with where the power of the league lies. Check the offices of the Denver head coach, the Minnesota head coach, Wisconsin's head coach and former head coach. There you'll find the power.
The two new recruits could very well be "just fine" in Seawolf uniforms. That won't cut it in this league. Being the 46th leading scorer in Alberta just doesn't translate to a WCHA first-liner. You can hope all you want, but talent is talent. We don't have enough.
Local kids aren't being approached by the UAA staff, and three are headed to Denver, and one of them mostly because of the coaching staff's indifference to local skaters. They never show up at HS or comp games.
You didn't address the coach's green card dilemma, which is, as I understand, still in limbo. Two "qualified" coaches applied for the position, and Shyiak still hasn't cleared himself of that problem.
A prominent ex-WCHA champion coach approached UAA to help out...Cobb turned him down. Wow. Unbelievable.
Arena??? Isn't going to happen soon. Too many UA needs in other places as far as the state is concerned. Unfortunate, no doubt.
But the reality is that Palin vetoed money that could move the project forward. I'll believe it when the shovel hits the dirt.
Lack of commitment to the hockey program by the current UAA administration is an embarrasment to the WCHA, and Gwozdecky, Lucia et al won't put up with it much longer.

Donald Dunlop said...


Lucia and Gwozdecky have ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with it except whatever feedback their provide to their AD. First, you don't speak for them. Pretending to know what (if anything) they think is just silly and grasping for straws to support your dislike of Cobb. The AD's make the decisions in the WCHA ... plain and simple. And an AD is responsible for a bottom line financially and is going to run his program(s) to benefit that bottom line. DU's single revenue producing sport is Hockey. They aren't about to turn down an extra 100,000 bucks in revenue from the exemption in favor of a flight/bus ride to backwoods littleberg Minnesota. UAA's issues with regard to attendance are an issue for UAA. Nobody else could give a shit as long as they get their game exemption.

Leinweber's has pretty decent numbers considering he is a role-playing locked winger on a trapping team and Moir is the 6th or 7th leading scorer in the league the last time I checked. Last time I checked most hockey teams are made of a mix of goal scorers and role players. The WCHA has been a defenisively oriented league where playoff style hockey is the name of the game every night. We better be recruiting some guys who already know how to backcheck.

The local players you note choosing other schools haven't played hockey in Anchorage for the past couple of years. The last time Wrenn played hockey here was when he was 16 and Murray left here more than a year ago as well. And talking to David Carle would have been a complete waste of time and he's been playing in Minnesota for the past couple of years. Who are the Anchorage "blue chippahs" that they aren't talking to? There were 5 or 6 guys in HS Hockey this season with the same or nearly the same number of goals. There are some good players there (Haider and Youngmun) but nobody has stood so far above the others as to warrant "blue chippah" status. Perhaps William Rapuzzi is but I haven't seen his recent stats from playing for Detroit Belle Tire AAA the last couple of years (again ... not a player available to see locally). So ... who are these local studs playing Midget in Anchorage?

Nobody is gonna take Shyiak's job via any issues he has with his green card. Troy Ward was apologizing for last year for his interest after he saw the reaction from the local community and he's a useless job jumper anyway. Had ANYONE backdoored their way into that job they would have gotten ZERO support from the fans.

The Arena will happen. Your "guess" that it won't is just wrong. This state is OVERFUCKINGFLOWING with money and all the Universities needs (including the new Arena) will be met. Palin's veto was procedural only and she made that clear.

Lastly, there is no lack of commitment to the hockey program. I speak with Steve Cobb on a regular basis. I don't pull any punches with him when and if there are issues that need or demand an answer. He has acknowledged to me that the Hockey program is his #1 priority. Your assertions otherwise are specious.

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