Mandel reviews The Montana Project.

It starts here:

Remember when I revisited my Program Pecking Order this summer? It apparently stirred up a pair of Georgia bloggers, Senator Blutarsky and Travis Fain, the Dawgbone. They took such umbrage with my 2007 premise that 100 average college football fans in Montana would not recognize a Georgia football helmet as universally as they would a Michigan one that they sought out a volunteer to literally conduct the experiment. “Hoppy” Hopkins, a 35-year-old freshmen English teacher at Great Falls (Mont.) High and a diehard Georgia fan, heeded the call to undertake what became known as “The Montana Project.”

I’m in awe of the passion and energy it took for that online community to put that thing together.

And graciously finishes with this.

Stewart: Well — in the end, was it worth it?

Hoppy: Oh, absolutely it was worth it. I had no idea people would take to it, no idea it would get so many hits on YouTube, but mainly, it made people smile. The best quote I saw on one of the blogs was, “This is reason 1,750,000 I love college football right there.” That’s why we do these things. Absolutely, unequivocally, it was worth it in so many ways I never expected. Amazing.

And it’s amazing to me that one seemingly innocuous Mailbag passage could inspire such initiative. Kudos to everybody involved.

Agreed.  I had a blast organizing this.  Hope y’all enjoyed it as much as we did.

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50 Comments

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50 responses to “Mandel reviews The Montana Project.

  1. X-Dawg

    This was possibly the single greatest project in the history of the internets ;)

  2. Slaw Dawg

    Actually, I don’t think Mandel was particularly gracious. He should have conceded that his point was soundly disproven. After all, Hoppy’s entertaining experiment demonstrably disproved the notion that “100 average college football fans in Montana would not recognize a Georgia football helmet.” When 100 were tested, the great majority DID in fact recognize the Georgia helmet, so Mandel’s premise was blown away and he should be man enough to admit it.

    • Exactly.

      But of course his premise was silly to begin with. I love Montana, Bulldog Nation loves Montana, but 100 random college football fans in Montana aren’t the arbiter of anything.

    • heyberto

      I’d consider it a bit of a wash. It’s high enough to deliver a resoundingly positive result, but does fall short of the bar that was set. It’s a great Moral Victory though, and Mandel should have acknowledged that. The test was seeking a 100% survey result, so falling 25% or so short is a worthy result in my book.

  3. reipar

    I thought Stewart was particularly gracious when he said, “I’m just sorry that after all those hours, your results ended up validating my point”.

    Now if you want to see gracious read Hoppy’s response.

  4. bulldogbry

    Noticed he didn’t address Hoppy’s notion that almost all of the fans would have recognized UGA moreso than the helmet “G”.

  5. Macon Dawg

    I’d be willing to bet serious money that less than 80 would’ve identified the Michigan helmet as Michigan.

    • Hoppy didn’t ask 100 people, of course, but pretty much everyone he asked could identify the Michigan helmet.

      • Macon Dawg

        Interesting…but I don’t see how some of the people in the video could have done that based on their responses to the Georgia question. Maybe they weren’t the ones he asked. Some of the answers given were indicative of someone who knows next to nothing about college football.

      • Puffdawg

        What is “pretty much everyone?” If >0 did not know, then the whole theory is blown up. If the barometer was 100% for UGA, then the barometer for Michigan is 100%. And I’ll go ahead and tell you anybody who thinks our helmet belongs to the Miami Gators is not recognizing the Michigan helmet.

        Mandel is full of himself. His response was arrogant and insecure. I’m surprised and frankly disappointed Bluto let him off the hook. Maybe you thought it wasn’t worth it because you aren’t changing Mandel’s mind.

        The only thing validated by this project was the original premises was bogus to begin with. There is no way to legitimately prove or disprove his assertion, because half the factors were subjective to begin with. What is an “average college fan?” What does he mean by “put them all in a room?” If he watched that video and truly believes it proved anything, either way, he’s just desperate to be “right.”

        • Puffdawg

          BTW, didn’t mean to disparage Hoppy in any way, because he killed it. He played as good a hand as he could given what he was dealt.

        • I’m not changing Mandel’s mind. And he didn’t have to acknowledge our efforts, for that matter.

          Look, his premise is flawed. We illustrated that. We had a good time doing it. I can live with that.

          As for the Michigan helmet, Hoppy didn’t ask everyone, but those he did identified it. The interesting thing is that everyone who identified that helmet also identified the “G”.

          • Macon Dawg

            Then I definitely stand by my estimation that less than 80 would have correctly identified the Michigan helmet.

            • Russ

              I agree entirely. And I do think Mandel is a little bit of an ass to think that 100% would ID Michigan’s helmet if they didn’t ID Georgia’s helmet. He can’t get past those Big 10 blinders he started with. He admits freely that he wasn’t a CFB fan until going to Northwestern in 1995. So his pedigree is suspect to begin with.

              Still, a really fun video and project. Thanks to all for the entertainment.

        • Gravidy

          Yes. And to be “right” he would have to think all 100 of those people would correctly identify not only the Michigan helmet, but also the USC Song Girls and Joe Paterno…which, of course, clearly wouldn’t have happened…which, of course, clearly means he wasn’t “right”.

  6. hassan

    They should all be required to take this test:

    http://www.sporcle.com/games/g/ncaabyhelmet

    • Puffdawg

      24 of 24 in 59 seconds. I’m a slow typer. Of course, I’m not an “average college football fan” either.

      • gastr1

        AS a visual person (in the field), I’ll put my helmet, logo, and uniform recognition skills up against anybody’s. I’m constantly amazed that people don’t recognize them more frequently than they do…those 27 people have eyes. What have they been using them for???

      • gastr1

        59 seconds??? and you’re a slow typist?? Took me 2:58. I knew them all, of course, though I had to think about the black one that said “StAte”–figured it out.

      • gastr1

        So–
        Puffdawg SuperFast 1
        Gastr1 not so fast 0

    • Gravidy

      The New Mexico Helmet stumped me. I’m so ashamed.

  7. Anon

    This Mandel guy sounds like a prick.

  8. Irwin R Fletcher

    I also think he responded to a question posed by Kenny Powers.

  9. SDAWG

    Stewart Mandel has always hated Georgia football. Have you ever noticed how Georgia is always ranked lower in the SI power rankings than other polls? I always wonder if that is Stewie’s influence.

  10. Nate Dawg

    Kudos on this project – it was truely awesome!
    Anybody read the first question? Do we need to revisit the 28pts we gift wrapped them last year? Take that, minus their home field advantage = Dawgs win by 17, amirite?!?

  11. I’m kind of surprised at the vitriol still directed at Mandel. I think he gave The Project and Georgia a lot of ink over the whole thing, and he acknowledged the passion and effort it took to pull it off. Sure he still tried to score some rhetorical points, but he devoted a full third of the Mailbag to Georgia, and he painted the whole endeavor as something to be admired, without the hint of snark. I think he was fairly gracious. He kind of made a fan out of me.

    Okay I got carried away.

  12. And I am remiss for having neglected to say bravo to the people who made this happen, and to you, Senator, for giving the Montana Project a platform. I’ve said it privately, but it bears repeating that we are spoiled by the work you do here. I know I’m not alone in making this site one of the first I read every morning. A hearty and entirely snark-free thank you from this Dawg fan.

    • Rocket Dawg

      +10000000000
      I read this site every morning with breakfast and check back several times each day. Best source of information and relatively snark free commentary.

    • Barry

      Also +1000000000000. Rain or shine, this is the first blog I read every day. And if there was no commentary, just headlines, I would still be a fan. Thanks, Senator.

  13. diving duck

    Did anyone catch this golden quote? “My dad went to the University of Georgia. He was such a huge fan. When we were kids, if we would ask something, he’d say “What’s the password?” thinking we would say “please,” but then he’d say, “No, it’s Bulldogs.” I took my wife [to Athens] for my honeymoon.”

  14. MT Dawg

    We spoke for about thirty five minutes. The article are the main points of our conversation.
    I did admit he was right…to a point, but if we switched up the object from each school and tried this again (in Montana), we would get different numbers. The greatest irony in this is that the school that is most recognizable (USC) got nobody to know the official title of their cheerleaders. But say, if I showed somebody a sword stabbed in a football field, everyone would know it was USC. I said if I used the Michigan “M”, over 50% would say Montana State University. I made that argument…then I said we could use UGA IX instead of the “G”. He said there would still be several “Georgia Gators…Georgia States…Georgia Techs” answers; people who know Russ goes with UGA, but just can’t put their finger on it. He did acknowledge the results would be different and he did recognize the irony in the USC point.
    We talked a bit more to about how this whole thing probably wouldn’t have happened the way it did, say ten years ago. I have never spoken directly to Travis or The Senator. We have contacted each other by email. I texted Travis the picture of the Dooley shirt I wore one day and gave him an update of how day one went. There was such a smooth and symbiotic communication which is even more gratifying to see how it turned out.
    There were I dropped the names and bars at the end of the video, but they didn’t make the cut either.
    He was super excited we put a “positive spin” on something that got a lot of negative feedback. He thought the whole thing was awesome. He was very, very sincere about that. As appreciative as I was for the interview, he was appreciative of The Dawgnation doing this.
    Good job Dawgs! Way to be creative, classy and supportive!
    Thank you!
    Hoppy

    • defacto dawg

      No. Thank you for being willing to conduct the experiment and dare we say, for committing to the G!. You’re a DGD in our book.

    • Barry

      Hoppy, you are truly a DGD. I hope everyone returns the favor by “liking” the “Bring ESPN College Gameday to the Griz/Cat Game” facebook page.

      • MT Dawg

        Thanks Barry! That would be a huge help and an awesome way to end the college football season up here! (Well, hopefully the [MSU] Cats make a run for the Chipper! That would be a perfect ending!)

  15. Cojones

    You can thank Brigit for me on the new Stretch Fing Scooter. It’s gonna have a saddlebag big enough for a teacher to put all his books into and cruise to the middleschool.

    It’s currently being stretched at our Fing Shanghai Factory. It’s amazing watching two guys on each end of our family-sized Fing scooter pulling like crazy while a Fing guy in the middle with a blowtorch gets’er to stretching temp. They finally gave up on cutting them into two in the middle and welding the back end of one bike to the front of another. All they ended up with were welded normal-sized Fing bikes. When they cut them into three parts for a stretched reassembly, they ended up with little short Fing bikes with rumble seats and a long Fing bike that didn’t permit the reach of the handlebars. So they finally settled on this method of Fing stretching. They ride kinda funny because the heat stretches out the Fing tires they pull on into a kinda oval shape. In China they are known as Fing “Lump-Lumps” cause you can here’um coming a mile away.

    Yessir, those Fing Chinese engineers show their Georgia F’ing Tech credentials with every new F’ing Chinese Fing manufacturing technique.