You said: "Again, Clannad takes the sports thing very seriously. What is with Clannad and sports? I think if a war ever broke out in the Clannad universe, they'd use an international soccer game to decide it... that's actually kinda awesome now that I think about it."
My response: You might be interested in reading something tangential like this article
As I mentioned, we both thought it was bad and it all comes down to a matter of degree. Something tells me though that since I consider Shuffle! to be the biggest abomination I've seen (though I did admittedly drop it after the 7-episode test came up a failure so my perceptions are based up to that point), that either the Kaede arc is good enough to push it to Nogizaka's level (something that I perceive to be unlikely) or that I've yet to watch shows that are truly the cream of the crap.
Note: I wasn't insane enough to dig into He Is My Master, so take that as you will.
This is probably the best place to do this discussion, since the site's comment system is used so rarely I'm not sure I'm comfortable using it to have a discussion about anime.
My rating for Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu had nothing to do with the discussions we had on this forum, but I do admit I was originally going to give it a higher rating. Two things changed my mind. When I re-read over my review, I had realized just how negative I'd been about it and I could no longer justify to myself that it was worthy of a higher rating. The second thing is that when I compared it to all the other series that I'd given a "Below Average" rating, I realized that I thought all of them were better than NHnH. So I gave it "Poor". I decided it was the most fair thing to do. But it probably could have gone either way.