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Around The FanTake Network

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If you're not aware, FanTake is the name of our network. And FanTake is pronounced the way you think it is, though when I showed it to a friend, he asked me,"What does Fan-tah-kay mean?" - pronouncing it with a Japanese intonation, rhyming it with the word bukkake.

No. It's Fan Take. As in, the opinion of a fan.

Oh.

He was hoping we were humiliating Japanese college girls, which would, quite frankly, be much more profitable than our current model. Sailor Ripley? Can we please do this? And will we be able to keep our LDS Church banner ad?

In the meanwhile, here is a Japanese game show where men are hit in the nuts.

Anyway, I wanted to take a lap around and show you some of the new sites and the old familiars.

The Pitchmen, our soccer experts blog, is rounding into form nicely. They're currently debating the winner of this summer's World Cup. As I do every World Cup, I will give soccer a legitimate try. Again. I have picked a Premier League team though: Liverpool FC; largely on the strength of Brit and American friends recommending it, and Longhorn ownership.

A transcript of the conversation that swayed me:

You should pull for Liverpool FC, mate.

Why should I? Arsenal has a cool name.

blah blah blah Premiership Cups blah blah blah rounding into form and blah blah blah dodgy knickers blah blah blah absolutely brilliant blah blah blah Steve Heighway's moustache blah blah blah Manchester United are arse blah blah blah working class footballers.

Any other reasons?

Our supporters talk like the gangsters in Snatch and slash people with pen knives.

I'm in!

So, if you want to talk soccer, learn about soccer, or you're just someone with hair like the lead singer from Mr. Mister who falls down in hysterics when someone bumps you, head on over.

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March to March is the place to talk about college basketball and basketball recruiting globally, beyond our beloved and woefully discombobulated Texas Longhorns. If you hate Duke, you're in for bad news, because the rich are getting richer.

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If you like free recruiting information, The Recruitocosm is the place to go. I actually coined this phrase ten years ago to describe Texas A&M's recruiting plight and the analysis still has legs. My legacy to the world: the Recruitocosm, Clipper Cooper, and Tinkles The Bullmastiff. Alexander The Great, by contrast, conquered Asia. So, good job, me.

As for recruiting reportage itself - recruiting breaking news is now a valueless commodity. What matters is analysis. The pay sites still don't fully get that - particularly when they brag about scoops - as this information all enters the public domain through multiple sources almost instantly. What people want to know is - can he play? What are the implications? What does it mean? Can I watch film? Then you pay $8.95 to disagree with each other.

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Pokelahoma is Cowboy country and they broke down the 2010 NFL Draft from the Poke perspective. The French diver depicting Dez's draft decline is worth the click alone.

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Our Jayhawk friends, the Oread Boom Kings, are breaking down the Jayhawk Spring Game. The Turner Gill era has begun and the transition looks to be a rocky one. Gill keeps finding food stashed in his desk and his office chair is bowed in the middle. As you'd expect, the OBKs know their hoops cold, goddamn their Big 12 dominant asses. They also find Bill Bryne as funny as I do.

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Boomer and Sooner has Oklahoma's Spring Game and a cool feature on prospective road games.

The short scout on Oklahoma is good front seven, somewhat questionable secondary, some talent on offense, best WR in the league in Broyles, DeMarco Murray has been there forever, big guns need replacing. That O lives and dies with Landry Jones' development. Our game in Dallas? Take the under. Trust me.

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Atomic Teeth is a Missouri ghost ship right now - perhaps they've already gone to the Big 10? Check back during football/basketball season. These guys know their stuff and they're extremely funny. They deserve a vast audience, but they're too shy to link their work anywhere.

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The third favored horse in the 2010 Title race, Nebraska, is well represented at Better Off Red, who have their take on the future of the super-conferences. Nebraska - more than any other school - presents a unique profile for conferences.

Maniacally devoted fanbase, excellent program resources, tradition, poor television sets, geographical isolation, good general appeal to non-affiliated college football viewer who respects the traditional powers. By some measures, Nebraska is Penelope Cruz. By others, Ricki Lake. Sort of like a a NCAA dating game featuring Justin Chaisson, Cody Hawkins, Erin Andrews, Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Gundy. Nicely done, Seeing Red.

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The infamous Tortilla Retort has a Texas Tech Spring Game review, which opens thusly:

I stay busy this time of year doing shit that pays the bills and that’s about all you need to know about where I’ve been.

I love it. Dedfischer basically admits he's been hatcheting prostitutes and digging fillings out of their teeth. Goddamn, I love West Texans. Don't Ask Me Whar I Bin, Woman! I'm Here Now, Is All You Need To Know. Here's The Goddamn Spring Game Preview. Yer Welcome!

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Our favorite Domer at One Foot Down is liking the Brian Kelly era. Look, I know it's now common wisdom that Notre Dame can't possibly win again and now that this conventional wisdom is calcifying, I'm starting to see the cracks.

Yes, academic standards. Yes, aura has dulled. Yes, dreary Midwest. Are they still on television every week on national prime time? Do they now have a real college fooball coach that will actually teach the game to every position and not be an arrogant New Jersey NFL laurels-resting fatass? Are they starting to lay some recruiting groundwork in Texas, California, the South?
Just sayin'.

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Spence Park Soap Box's ColoradoAg, wrote a very fine NHL Puck Primer.

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Born Hog Wild has all you need to know about Arkansas. One of the most intriguing teams in college football next year. Petrino will be working on that Bama game plan in August.

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The Spurs just closed out the Mavs tonight, the first 7 seed to beat a 2 since they went to the 7 game format, and The Ice Men is a place to chat about it. Spurs are a hard out and George Hill is the bomb. Mavericks - you earn a Clipper Cooper laugh.

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Bear Crawl is in a hibernative state post basketball season, but they have an interesting report card on Scott Drew's excellent tourney run. They have Josh Lomers at a B+. Well...

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Ahearn Alley has the dope on Kansas State, aka purple Longhorn kryptonite, including the obligatory Kansas State Spring Game Review. Hongabear resents Bill Snyder's controlling ways. I'm shocked!

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Sparty On has good news for the Spartans, bad news for college basketball - Lucas and Summers are back.

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Just rolled out a CU Buffaloes blog called 5th Down. They CU grads are just getting started, so feel free to welcome them with derogatory comments about Cody Hawkins, female armpit hair, and hackeysack jibes. I'll reckon a Colorado blog called 5th Down has a sense of humor...

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I'm spent. Feel free to weigh in.