shalÂ·low adj. shalÂ·lowÂ·er, shalÂ·lowÂ·est
- Measuring little from bottom to top or surface; lacking physical depth.
- Lacking depth of intellect, emotion, or knowledge: "Â“This is a shallow parody of America."Â” (Lloyd Rose).
- Marked by insufficient inhalation of air; weak: shallow respirations.
- In the part of a playing area that is closer to home plate: shallow left field.
- Done or achieved with little effort or difficulty; easy. See Synonyms at easy.
- Working, acting, or speaking with effortless ease and fluency.
- Arrived at without due care, effort, or examination; superficial: proposed a facile solution to a complex problem.
- Readily manifested, together with an aura of insincerity and lack of depth: a facile slogan devised by politicians.
- Archaic. Pleasingly mild, as in disposition or manner.
This is what we are talking about, is it not? The mindless pregame blather about wanting it more? How sports commentators are, more often than not, just saying something to say it?
If you want to read HP's response, it's here. But I'll save you the time. HP's response to my duel-inducing slap consists of: cheap shots at Lloyd Carr and Dr. Z, links to his posts which I declared to be characterized by the above nasty words with a reasoning-free declaration that they are not those things, and mischaracterization of my post via omission, and... Christ... a lot of words full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Yes, mainstream dumb drives me crazy. Yes, I'd like it if that was no longer the case. But HP is no Kwisatz Haderach. Look. I don't want his to get "fisky," as EDSBS has accurately accused me of being in the past. I don't want to pull something out of context and hold it up and beat it to shreds. So what I'm going to do is pull something that I believe sums up the whole thing. HP says:
...I did explain what the offenses had in common (comparing their balance and yardage and scoring output) and why they are so hard to defend and how it affected the teams (I noted they went 55-2 against the rest of college football last season)....
He references this post, which is all the explanation we get. Read it. If it's something you find convincing and thorough, well, I guess I've lost. To me it consists of "these six teams have good records and rack up a lot of yards and are balanced so they're real good but Oklahoma doesn't count because Oklahoma isn't sophisticated." This is nothing you wouldn't read from, say, Matt Hayes. Same with useless top ten lists of fastest players or best Heisman winners. Superficial, all of it, and when the Superficial One calls out everyone else for being superficial, well, them's sissy-boy slapfight words.
Respect from the MSM (and anybody, really) will come from actually doing good work with research behind it--and I don't mean checking the top ten offenses last year to see which of them had really good seasons. Others are capable of doing this and have done so. I think it's under a year before BGS starts getting a lot of mainstream attention, not because they're calling people out for accountability, but because they're covering Notre Dame better than anyone else. So. I suggest everyone put up or shut up.
I promise that I'm shutting up on this now. And then I will put up sweet things later that will make Trev Alberts collapse to the ground, repentant, crying, begging for penance.
(And why do I blog? For the hot blog groupies.)
Update 6/26: Added GA QB David Cone and MI LB Quintin Patilla. Cone apparently got a camp offer despite hardly throwing for his option-crazy high school team. Linked to two Canton Repository articles on OH QB Mike Hartline, who camped at both Michigan and OSU recently. Asserted that Harline will commit if offered. Removed OH QB Miles Schliester (no way he gets offered) and OH OL Connor Smith (trust me). Linked to GBW article indicating that OH WR Robby Paris has been offered. Added NH(!) FB(!) Scott Spyrka because of same article. Also linked to a couple of recent reports from the Pittsburgh Sports Report. Each covers multiple players. To sum up: UF, ND, UM for Darrin Walls, Jared Odrick has us in his list of 15, PA QB Kevan Smith may get an offer sometimes soon, we're there with Jeremiha Hunter but no longer a clear leader, and Nate Byham did not mention Michigan on his list of five schools.
Editorial opinion: Much news due to the recently-completed Michigan summer football camp. More on the way in the near future, methinks. Things to pull out here: Cone offer is odd. Don't know if he just killed everyone at camp or Michigan thinks that it's going to strike out on the big names. Byham was supposed to be considering us strongly so I won't panic about one report that doesn't mention us--Micah Johnson went a couple articles without a Michigan mention but that seems to have been an aberration and we're amongst the favorites once more.
All the QB stuff flying around may indicate that Devlin and Tebow are not likely to end up here. If Hartline or Smith gets offered you can cross them off, especially because a Hartline offer will be followed immediately by a Hartline commitment. Why I say such thing? Here:
Hartline spent Wednesday in Ann Arbor at Michigan's camp. He worked closely with Wolverines quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler, but Hartline returned home without an offer.
"I will know Monday what their situation is," Hartline said. "Coach Loeffler said to call him them. They've offered four quarterbacks, most of them from the south, and they're waiting until July on those guys. If nothing happens with any of them, they told me I was their next one. I'm at the top of their list, right there."
And a bit more:
With offers from Wisconsin, Illinois, Ole Miss, Michigan State, Kentucky, Marshall and Cincinnati on Mike Hartline's table, the GlenOak quarterback needs to keep in mind that time is of the essence. If an offer from Michigan or Ohio State does not come by the first week in July, he should seriously consider one of the offers he has before it's too late and one of those schools fills its quarterback quota.
Hartline is waiting to see if Michigan will offer. The guess is the Wolverines are targeting three or four other quarterbacks and are stringing along Hartline in case the others fall through.
"I will know Monday ... if they're going to take two quarterbacks or stick with one," Hartline said. "They're supposed to have a meeting Sunday and make that determination."
Hartline could commit to say, Wisconsin, now. Then if Ohio State or Michigan comes in with an offer in September, he can reconsider. A verbal commitment isn't binding and can be changed until signing day â€” the first Wednesday in February.
Those passages are lifted from the two Canton Repository articles. Watch Hartline to see about Devlin and Tebow.
Update: More Robby Paris: check out this video of what appears to be about half of his catches last year. Footage is seriously kick-ass, dude looks like a 6'4" version of Jason Avant. Buckeye fans who have seen Paris in person are pissed.
Redshirt freshman Keston Cheathem has announced that he'll transfer to Oregon State. Cheathem was a three star last year and likely saw the writing on the wall when he was transferred from Michigan's paper-thin secondary to the eight-headed monster of its receiving corps. The chances of Cheathem ever seeing the field at WR were very lo--
"They told me I was number 3 on the depth chart."
Uh. Good god. No offense, Keston, but I really hope that was sort of a "you're in a six-way tie for third" because if it wasn't you're seriously harshing my buzz as regards Doug Dutch and Carl Tabb (yes, Carl Tabb, he's fast). And next time warn me when you're going to do that. Not that you'll have much cause to as a Beaver. Now if we could only get some news on your former high school teammate Eugene Germ--
"He's there to stay.... He's happy there and he's been told he's going to qualify."
I appreciate the content there, if not the extremely rude delivery.
So. One more scholarship for next year. Possible negative revision of expectations RE: Arrington, Tabb, Dutch. Germany shouldn't have eligibility issues but still may have to sit out next year as a "transfer." Enjoy talking in imperatives.
I don't quite understand what happened. They were up nine midway through the third, busy choking the Spurs like they were Wayne Brady's ho. And then... poof! Gone.
The Spurs are champions again, and the world is a little poorer for it. Tim Duncan will not parade around with a championship belt next year. Whoever the part-time accountant who does the Spurs' PA can't hold a candle to Mason. And no one in San Antonio wears a mask or looks like a vampire or wears his socks way up high classic style (miss you, Corliss) or busts out a magnificent afro and makes All Star teams on sheer will. And there's no Spurs Darko. Just the boringest superstar in history, a man who should foul out in six minutes every game, a big-nosed salmon ripped from the sea and hurled on the deck of a boat, and a French guy screwing Eva Longoria. Y'all can keep Team Mexico.
I could go into the what and why of it and break it all down but I think that's beside the point. The point is, despite losing a Game 7 that wouldn't have had to happen but for a huge mistake in Game 5, I don't feel particularly crushed. I should, I know, but it's hard to get upset when the Pistons picked themselves up again and again, punch drunk and staggered, but never stayed down. Yeah, the Spurs got to play Apollo Creed but it was Rocky's movie.
That's what I never understood about the media and their love affair with player-hating the Pistons. For God's sake, we've got a guy who wears a mask all the time! And belts, and Cool Hand Chauncey, and a pterodactyl man, and Ben Goddamn Wallace. In the entire scheme of things, has there been a championship team more likeable, more approachable, more admirable than the Pistons in the last twenty years? No. It's all aloof superstars, singly or in pairs, coupled with anonymous role players and usually a prick coach who thinks he's a genius for tagging along with Jordan and Shaq. The Pistons are weird and beautiful, a team that turned me from a lukewarm, fair-weather NBA fan into someone who long after "3" and "1" hang in the rafters of the Palace will probably sit and watch a lottery-bound team with the same anticipation Bill Simmons hilariously gets whenever Danny Ainge tries to screw up the Celtics some more. I love these guys, and will love the team even when they're gone--as long as the teal never comes back.
So. They got up, and then they did it again, and again, and again. They couldn't one final time, down six with the clock winding down and history staring them in the face. But goddamn the last two years were fun. Thanks, guys. Let's do it again in the fall.
Count me in with Every Day Should Be Saturday: I would take a punch for Dr. Z, whose latest article reinforces my slightly uncomfortable love for him. Z writes about some beautiful wackjob who quit his job to compile the most detailed breakdown of NFL passing games ever published. He clearly identifies with the man, relating a story about his own obsessive charting being held up for mockery and a woman who defended it, a woman who cried out "don't you recognize passion?"
That's what I love about Z, passion. I know that when he goes out on a limb to select some who-dat for his All-Pro team that it's backed up with copious research and a knowledge of the game that spans from spinning fullbacks to the modern day. Z goes against the conventional wisdom, and he does it with authority. As mgoblog has noted in the past, the state of sportswriting is generally dire. Z is a shining exception to the dismal rule.
Why? I could say "because he goes against the conventional wisdom," but that's not quite right. mgoblog would like to see a lot of people who go against the conventional wisdom go away. I like Z because he's smarter than I am and he teaches me things. A lot of that is against the conventional wisdom, but only because the conventional wisdom is wrong.
Sounds like I should be right on board Heismanpundit's "Blogger Revolution," but... uh, no thanks.
Lord knows that mgoblog can't stand stupid platitudes, which makes me ill-suited to be a sports fan. I hate witless wonders like Aaron Taylor as much--no, wait--far, far more than the average man. But for there to be an intelligent alternative to the mainstream media it actually has to be, you know, intelligent. I challenge you to find analysis on HP that isn't shallow and facile. The big theory he advocates is that USC, Cal, Boise, Louisville, Utah, and Florida are a sort of new breed of elite college football teams is based entirely on the fact that their offenses are "sophisticated." No justification is given for this. The why and how of the magic beans that makes these offenses go is swept under the rug. There's no explanation of what these offenses have in common, how they differ, and why they're so hard to defend. The whole thing hits about as hard as a schnapps martini. He could be right, but how would I know?
Yes, blogs can provide coverage that the MSM has no interest in providing. Blue-Gray Sky does it almost every day with obsessive detail. iBlog For Cookies busts out sweet charts that tell me something interesting about Michigan's past, present, and future. EDSBS swears really effectively (that's no backhanded compliment, mgoblog loves EDSBS). mgoblog has been known to drop knowledge on suckas and fools from time to time. And none of us are so full of ourselves to declare that it's time for "accountability." None of us follow that up with a condescending lecture on what "Independent Knowledge" is. HP helpfully defines it as "coming up with your own, original thoughts." Excellent. Thanks. I was thoroughly enjoying the mindless parroting of Politiburo opinion forced upon us by the big bad MSM but now... I'm free! Free as a bird that is not a parrot!
Meanwhile, HP is posting highly questionable assertions with little to back them up. And I hate to say it, but College Football Resource is following suit. He's on board the Sophistication Bandwagon and believes that Boise's going to take it to Georgia, which would be great if there was some meat in his analysis. Instead it contains a heaping helping of:
"...Georgia is a fairly low-tech outfit, but one blessed with outstanding athletic and talented personnel." ... "If Boise truly believes it's the better team here, this game will be an annihilation in their favor." ... "The other argument is that regardless of conference, any team that has a truly balanced offense (Hawai'i need not apply) and is putting up those kinds of numbers should reasonably be expected to put up similar totals in any other conference."
Sweet Jesus! Those are the kind of statements you can make if you have numbers or film and damn good reasoning behind it. You just can't say stuff like that and then move on without thoroughly justifying yourself. That is exactly what drives me up the wall about sloppy MSM guys like Dodd.
He got linked to on the Rivals UGA board and they gave him both barrels. Then they reloaded and gave him both barrels again in case he was a zombie. A lot of the commentary was pretty thoughtless... but no more so than what it responded to. And then, finally, a guy named Solon burned the Broncos to the ground, noting that Boise played all of four road game last year and the results were not impressive:
...[Boise gave up] 34 ppg against (not including OT), against a relatively weak slate of offenses--by which, I mean these four teams managed a total of 70 pts in 6 games against BCS opponents last season (though their production fattened up while playing WAC opposition).
His analysis is solid and cogent. (Solon! Get a blog!) It shows thought has been deposited into it. This is not the case for the Boise bandwagon.
Look, guys. It's great to want to change the way sports reporting gets done. There's a lot of it that is maddeningly lazy. But to do it you're going to have to break down some film or explain some concepts or analyze some numbers. Waving your hands and talking about how some coach showing up changes everything does not qualify as a revolution. I can get that from anyone. The Emperor's New Punditry ain't gonna cut it.
As Pogo says, "We have met the enemy and they is us." HP left a comment that basically sums it all up a few months ago. After I attacked his placement of Boise State fourth in his preseason top ten, he responded with more of the same sleight-of-mouth, ending up with an exhortation for me to "be BOLD."
No. Be smart. Smart... and humble.