FWIW. Michigan doesn't seem inclined to get re-involved.
(you saw this, I assume. I submit these further amendments.)
53. Michael Irvin. Probably another one of Shapiro's "this man is hated by all and thus deserves a job" hires, Irvin epitomizes everything that made the nation hate Miami during the 80s and 90s. His signature moment in my Detroit-tinted eyes was when the Lions picked Roy Williams two years ago. Irvin slammed Williams for returning to college for his senior year in order to get a degree. There's your 'Canes for you: the worst people in the universe.
I mean, seriously: at the rate he talk and given the things that come out of his mouth, is there any possibility he isn't on crack?
54. Dick Vitale. My impresion of Dick Vitale eating lunch:
OH MY GOD! THE MEATLOAF! THIS MEATLOAF REMINDS ME OF DUKE! I WOULD LIKE TO PLACE JJ REDICK'S SUCCULENT GROUND MEATY BITS IN MY MOUTH AND LET MY SALIVA WASH OVER HIM, COVERING HIM IN DUKE DUKE DUUUUUUKE.
55. Scoop Jackson, who has never met a black athlete whose penis didn't in some faint way remind him of Malcom X's magnificent schlong.
56. Jason Whitlock, who, uh... we covered before. Setting aside any mention of cards, he's one of those guys who intentionally writes idiotic things for notoriety. ESPN pays him to do this.
57. EDSBS mentioned the "Hot Seat," but they didn't mention the insult heaped upon the injury: the goddamn thing was (is? I don't watch Sportscenter any more) the "Budweiser Hot Seat." They sponsored it. Whores.
58. Bill. Goddamn. Walton.
59. The director of NBA Finals games on ABC who goes to commercial by using those stupid moving camera's panning OMG UP OMG LEFT OMG RIGHT around OMG CLAPPING FANS like it's a Hillary Duff concert with slightly older, faker-boobed jailbait. A flagrant symbol of sportainment(!!!).
60. Tim Legler, who actually defended Ron Artest's actions during Aubernica. Let's see: someone throws a beer at you, causing no damage whatsoever. In response, you attempt to kill some 5'2" whiteboy who--and this is key--didn't even throw the beer. This is okay to Tim Legler because Tim Legler is a former NBA player and a giant douchebag. (PS: OMG WIZZNUTZZ.)
61. Can I blame ABC for the fact that "Mexican" Manu Ginobli is allowed to charge anyone in the league with impunity and never, ever get called for it? No? Damn.
62. The complete obliteration of Classic Sports. Now ESPN Classic, it shows 90% cheesy, terrible "SportsCentury" reruns instead of the glorious games from years past it used to.
63. And when they do deign to show Michigan games, the goddamn program director shows 3/4ths losses. Remember: Michigan, winningest college football team ever.
64. Those "hot" sideline reporters who all look like the kind of girl that's really appealing if you're 45 and married to someone who used to be thin. As a mid-20s wild and crazy guy, let me say: bitch, please. Go one of two routes:
- people (men or women) who know football and actually add something other than "tee hee" to a broadcast
Either is acceptable. (Note that Michel Tafoya and her ilk are excepted from this, as they're as useful as other sideline reporters. That's "not very useful," but whatever.)
65. Pam Ward. Let me tell you as someone who attempts to chart games with a Dr. Z-level down-and-distance obsession: Pam Ward is either blind or Timmy from South Park. I was forced to pause the game, swear, and rejigger my Excel spreadsheet no fewer than a half-dozen times in a single half because Ward was off by as many as five yards. Combine that with a voice that is simultanoeously, inexplicably both irritatingly high-pitched and huskily, er, WNBA-friendly and you have a play-by-play announcer best suited for a vacuum.
That's right, OSU fans: sound doesn't travel in a vacuum.
66. Trevor Matich. I don't know where Matich came from, but it's probably a place where the Offensive Linemen of the Corn kill you if you even sound like you're about to make sense.
and that's just him. Put him together with his running partner 67. Rod Gilmore and it's whiskey and killin' time. Gilmore is the dumbest person associated with ESPN. The very dumbest. Let that sink in.
I know that's a bold statement. But it's true. Gilmore is summarized by his passive-aggressive douchestache, which screams "I am an effete twat who has no idea how other people perceive me." When not butchering color commentary with Matich on ESPN2, he writes an ESPN Insider column with insights like this one on Ty Willingham: "Notre Dame made the unbelievable mistake of firing Willingham in a misguided attempt to land Urban Meyer." Only $4.95 a month!
I first noticed his ultimate dumbosity when he said this about replay: "I think it makes it a professional game. It's a professional game. I don't think this should be a professional game. It's a college game."
Great. Go to hell.
68. Look, please stop pretending that the womens' NCAA tournament is something on a par with the mens'. It just isn't. I'm not watching ESPN to glory in the equality of women. You can show it and advertise it and stuff but please stop with the "We got next" mindless girl power crap.
69. Where did Kenny Mayne go?
70. And how did you kill Dan Patrick's will to live?
71. "I just want to race, daddy."
72. Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens Terrell Owens
73. TERRELL OWENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
74. I'm probably the only person in the world who cares about this, but the Frozen Four game that gets played at 12 noon on Thursday pisses me off. I know college hockey is about as popular as women's basketball... but I guess that's my point. Women's basketball: copiously excessive coverage. College hockey: look! Beanpot! and that's it.
75. Dennis Miller doing "Monday Night Football." I used to think Dennis Miller was funny.
76. Around The Horn. Take the jackassiest sports columnists in America and then tell them to disagree with each other at a volume level loud enough to shatter the souls of anyone who stumbles across it looking for Magnum, PI reruns. These people put 77. TJ Simers and 78. Jay Mariotti, two of the ugliest people in the universe, on the TV. I'm at a loss.
79. Theisman and 80. Maguire.
So, there's Dahmer-level evil. He's in Hell somewhere having snakes explode up through his groin and emerge from his mouth. There's Hitler-level evil. He's frozen in the lake Satan is stuck in. And then there's Woody Hayes-level evil. This is what Woody Hayes is doing right now: he is trapped in a room where the TV is always on, playing Sunday Night Footb
all on ESPN.
Shouldn't have gone for two, bitch.
81. Jim Rome. If only for financially supporting the man who has singlehandely foist "drinking the Kool Aid" upon our fair nation. Rome has probably done more to turn sports media into a festering lagoon of Down's syndrome-inspired "takes" that do nothing but prove that I can't possibly get my hands on a castration ray soon enough.
82. I pull this from the EDSBS comments thread because it cannot be improved upon: "The ABC CFB studio crew. Give the choice b/t talking football with John Saunders, Craig James, and Aaron Taylor and having shit shoveled on me by a Texas A&M calvary member, I'll take the shit-shoveling anytime."
83. Skip Bayless, who has never met an adorable puppy that he couldn't accuse of being a racist pedophile fattie.
84. Playmakers, for being the first salvo of Sportainment's evil grasp. It was on in prime time during the week, when there were NBA or NHL games to show. Hate on PTI or Around the Horn all you want, but they come on in the afternoon, when there's nothing else to do. Playmakers was the jump-the-shark moment: regularly scheduled fiction no different from that everywhere else on cable save for a sports theme. It was the final straw.
I can't offer much of a coherent preview for tonight's Big Ten/ACC Challenge game against Miami since I haven't seen the team yet, but that will change tonight with an Exciting Liveblog(!) of the game. This has been done in the past, most notably when Jennie Ritter's MacGuyver fetish turned into my MacGuyver fetish and the power of Richard Dean Anderson's ghost drove Michigan to a national championship in softball. Tonight promises to be a less excited version of same. The fun starts at around 9:30; you can follow the bouncing ball yourself on ESPN2.
See what my writing is like when I don't even bother to read it before publishing it! Yes it's different than this!
I tingle in anticipation. When the Columbia Bureau says that a Michigan-South Carolina Outback Bowl is "not a done deal," it's news to me that it's enough of a deal that you would say said deal is not done. Er. Anyway:
A number of published and broadcast reports in the last week have the Gamecocks (7-4) playing 20th-ranked Michigan (7-4) in the Outback Bowl, which kicks off at 11 a.m. and is televised by ESPN.
But McVay insisted that was premature, saying he didn't "want to get everybody pointing in a direction that has no support or substance at this point. We've still got a lot of conversations to go."
I don't get it. Isn't the Outback the #3 SEC bowl and wouldn't Florida, the Georgia/LSU loser, and Auburn all have preemptive dibs? Examining the SEC site reveals that the Outback is behind the former Citrus Bowl in a group that picks "third through fifth" with the Cotton and Peach Bowls. The Cotton Bowl has somehow already selected Alabama. Can wanderers from the land of the Waffle House enlighten us on the process here?
My initial reaction is "thank God it isn't Georgia." No offense to Darth Visor, but the idea of going up against Shockley, Pope, and that defense does not appeal in any way whatsoever. South Carolina seems much more managable. By the way, if this comes to pass rest assured that we will lock Orson and Stranko in a room, feeding them only Ron Zook's hair, until they produce a mighty tract on Spurrier fit for your consumption.
Also: this would extend Michigan's streak of "January 1st" bowl appearances to something like 500 years, and what a fradulent streak that is when you can finish fourth in the conference and still extend it.
At least you don't cause my head to ache. Marlin Jackson's NFL success does not cause my brain problems--unlike Cato June's--, so it's safe to pass along this article on his perfomance as a rookie. Jackson remains true blue:
"As a Michigan guy, it was nice to get a big interception like that against a team from Ohio," the former All-Big Ten cornerback joked last week. "Especially since Ohio State won [over Michigan] the day before. So it was nice to be able to come up with a play like that in a game that went right down to the end like it did."
Consolation? In no way whatsoever. But yay Marlin anyway.
Good god, y'all know my position on ESPN (we need to take it out behind the barn, Old Yeller-style, and tearfully put down the ravenous monster who used to be our best friend), but EDSBS just ejected more spittle at the Worldwide Leader In Suck than Lou Holtz does on an average halftime show. They wrote 52 things that suck about ESPN but didn't get to Scoop Jackson, Skip Bayless, and Michael "Mmmmm, Crack" Irvin.
Think about that. Yeah.
It's the pen-penultimate poll, and with a lot of teams finishing up their seasons already the amount of movement from week to week will plummet, but that doesn't mean the snark gets any less snarky.
Drop your ballot links here, pollsters.
I awoke from a tryptophan-induced haze to find this space un-updated for four damn days. Who's running this thing and how do I cancel my subscription?
Midway through the third quarter a missed shot
caused God to start the rapture.
So what happened? Well, basketball beat Butler 79-74, though a report from someone who attended the game held that they played like "crap." This description probably does not extend to the suddenly-efficient Daniel Horton, who saved Michigan's bacon early, late, and in-between with 28 points on just 13 shots. Horton was 9-13 from the field and 9-9 from the line. Take that, know-nothing bloggers Big Ten Wonk and Hawkeye Hoops! Er. Cough.
Someone turned on the Sims machine, too, as he shot 10 of14 and finished with 21 points. Lester Abram was quietly 6 of 9, hurray Lester!
(Did that paragraph seem useless and bad to you? Perhaps; I don't think CSS handles floated pictures and blockquote backgrounds very well so I have to prattle on and on about something whenever I post a sizeable picture so that I can push whatever quotes I have past it to avoid severe ugliness. So whenever you read a paragraph that seems even more fatuous than usual, check for a picture followed neatly by a quote.)
And I think this word does not mean what MGoBlue.com thinks it means:
All of Sims' 21 points were detrimental to the Michigan cause as he scored 18 of the Wolverines' 37 points in the first half.
Er... instrumental? Yeah.
What to make of another narrow win over a seemingly meh mid-major? This one seems much better than the ugly BU game. Michigan shot 54%, had 16 assists to only 9 turnovers, and acquired 75% of the available defensive rebounds. Butler, despite being only 2-3 so far, has a long history of being one of the midwest's more major mids (say that five times fast) and took Ohio State to overtime on Tuesday. They return all five starters from a year ago, too. They're probably going to be quite good down the road.
On the downside, Michigan allowed the Bulldogs to shoot over 50% and though Dion Harris played 31 minutes he continued to show signs that he is hampered by his foot injury, going 3 for 9.
Meanwhile, the hockey team blew OMG chunks, getting swept in the College Hockey Showcase for the third straight year and severely damaging their chances for a #1 seed come tournament time... again. The following is a complete list of players who done did good:
- Brandon Naurato
- Andrew Ebbett
- Maybe TJ Hensick.
And that's it. Michigan ceded 5 power play goals to the Gophers on Friday and then Jack Johnson and Matt Hunwick--who are, like, the best players on the team--got shamefully split by some guy named Adam Burish with two minutes left in a 2-2 tie. That tie was broken moments later by that Burish guy and his unimpeded romp to the net.
So that's no good. In retrospect it seems all very predictable. Michigan had managed to streak out to a 9-1-1 record and the #1 ranking, but no one who saw them play really believed they were the top team in the country. Far too many goals giftwrapped by defensive zone turnovers (including an unassisted Robbie Earl goal against Wisconsin that David Rohlfs provided with a pretty bow), not enough firepower, and a goalie situation that isn't settled. Given the team's extreme difficulty breaking out of the zone against teams slower and less skilled than they, it was a given that the blackly comic sight of Tim Cook throwing the puck back behind his own net for the third time in a shift was going to come back to bite us hard against the Minnesotas of the world. We match up against the Gophers in this way: not at all.
The Wisconsin loss is harder to swallow. The final Burish goal was a devastating summary of the weekend: the #3 pick in the latest NHL draft and NHL-bound-sooner-than-later Matt Hunwick parted like the Red Sea. What can you do? Weep softly into your pillow and kick a
baby dog, that's what.
Oh, yeah, that team from South Bend blew a six point lead in the final two minutes of the game but because they did it quickly they got the ball back with almost two minutes left needing only a field goal. They got the kind of field goal you get when you put the ball in the endzone and won and stuff. They did not feature a tight end hurtling across the field with 10 seconds left in the game. I'm just sayin'. (So is Johnny.)
And I should note a particularly disorienting instance of this phenomenon cited by SMQ:
This is entirely his own fault, but SMQ is always disoriented by scrolling scores at the onset of basketball season. "Wait, Iowa's scored 45, and it's only the second quarter? I didn't even know they were playing!"
So yes, on Saturday the score "Temple 66, Miami 62" flashed across my consciousness, causing me to scour my apartment for the wormhole that would lead me back into the universe I call home. I must have found one after several hours in the various closets of my apartment, because when I emerged somebody had beaten the hell out of the Lions.
(Temporal discontinuity? Blame the wormholes! Quick, end this post before they catch o--
I am out for the Thanksgiving weekend. Stirring victories in the Showcase may rouse me from my hibernation on Sunday, but expect the next post around these parts to be on Monday. Don't tell the Viagra spammers, okay?
A dollar to anyone who gets the title reference, BTW.
Needs: Michigan picked up four top-100 defensive linemen last year but one, Marques Slocum, did not qualify and will enter this year after going to prep school and another, Eugene Germany, was just tackled from behind by cops--that bodes unwell for his future playing time in more than one way. Still, with four defensive linemen going into their second year of eligibility and another two or three redshirted freshmen (depending on Germany's status and exactly where edge-rusher/OLB Chris McLaurin ends up), Michigan can afford to go light here this year.
Commitments: NY DE John Ferrara and PA DT Marques Slocum. Slocum has not wavered on his Michigan commitment despite being released from his LOI after failing to qualify. He was a near five-star a year ago who dominated the Army All-American game. He's reminiscent of Alan Branch, a huge dude with impressive athleticism for his size who could play DE if the situation called for it. He's probably destined to be a penetrating DT.
Ferrara is a three-star on the upswing. He was trying to keep his grades up this fall... so he could get into Stanford. Smart is good and he had offers from Penn State and Michigan State, but he's probably closer to Rondell Biggs than Lamarr Woodley. No offense intended to anyone.
Prospects: Michigan and Ohio State are battling for Indiana DT Dexter Larimore, who also happens to be the nation's #1 rated heavyweight wrestler--shades of current freshman Terrance Taylor's dual exploits in high school--and previously considered accepting a wrestling scholarship. Indiana is nominally the third finalist, but the next football player to pick Indiana over Michigan and Ohio State will be the first. Michigan is also in on Micah Johnson, though he seems like a solid bet to stay in the south at this point.
Completely Useless Opinion: This isn't the OMG TOP 100(!) defensive line class that 2004's was but it seems on track to be a good compliment to it, depending on which class, exactly, you count Slocum in. Michigan is in a position where they can take a player they like without worrying too much about future holes if he doesn't pan out.
Needs: Significant. Michigan brought in only one last year and this would have been the year that it lost its entire set of starters had fate and crappy play not intervened. As it is, Lawrence Reid was forced into retirement, Pierre Woods moved to defensive end, and Scott McClintock was exiled to the bench. Even though Michigan returns all three starters for '06, they have almost no depth past them. Redshirt freshman John Thompson backs up Harris and true freshman Brandon Logan backs up Brandon Graham. After that there are no scholarship players. Michigan's looking for three or even four players.
Commitments: Detroit Crocket MLB Brandon Graham, Colerain OH MLB Cobrani Mixon, and Flint Carman-Ainsworth OLB Quintin Patilla. Graham is the number one prospect in Michigan, a five star by both services, and one of the top three linebackers in the country according to everyone. Mixon is a thumper in the middle from the high powered Cincinatti Colerain program Mister Simpson and BJ Askew came from, a prototypical mike linebacker. Think Sam Sword. Patilla was initially thought to be a wide receiver recruit but Michigan offered him as an outside linebacker. He needs to add bulk to play in the Big Ten. If he can do that he should be a contributor--camp offers seem to work out well.
The possibility of batting Graham to defensive end is out there--he is already 250 pounds--which may explain Michigan's continued pursuit of linebackers even with three already in the fold. Mixon and Patilla aren't moving anywhere.
Prospects: Instate sleeper Obi Ezeh has received an offer and seems to be on the verge of committing. He should do so sooner or later, as his only other options are MAC schools and Indiana. Michigan is also pursuing Ohio's Thaddeus Gibson--always good to have a guy who knows his way around a cotton gin--and Michael Morgan of Texas, both four stars. Gibson is reputed to have grade issues but does hold an offer. Michigan may take him knowing he may not qualify since they have some flexibility with the three commits--losing him wouldn't create a major hole. Gibson also appears suited for strongside linebacker unlike any of Michigan's commitments to date.
Completely Useless Opinion: A strike and a necessary one. Graham is one of the nation's top recruits. Mixon was pursued by LSU, Michigan, and Ohio State early despite limping through a large portion of his senior year on a partially torn ACL. Patilla is less heralded but Michigan liked him enough to offer him at camp when they were still in the running for a number of higher profile recruits.
Needs: Morgan Trent's emergence as a steady nickel corner and prospective starter in '06 plus the unexpectedly strong play of all four safeties, including true freshman Brandon Harrison, has reduced the panic level significantly. Michigan is still on the lookout for a player or three. It seems doubtful that sophomore-to-be Charles Stewart is going to see the field in a meaningful fashion, as Michigan avoided using him at all costs this year. That leaves redshirt freshmen Chris Richards and Johnny Sears as the only backups to presumptive starters Leon Hall and Morgan Trent. A lot is riding on the two California sleepers unless Michigan backs them up with someone this year or, failing that, '07.
Commitments: Indiana safety Steve Brown, who was busy doing everything for his Columbus (Indiana) high school team before he broke his ankle. Brown's projected to play free safety but is a possibility at corner.
Prospects: Bleah. Michigan has no serious cornerback targets at the moment other than Louisiana's Jai Eugene, who is unlikely to stray far from home. Michigan may pick up a sleeper late, but after last year's wing-and-prayer job there's reason for concern. Michigan does have a good shot at California safety Jonas Mouton, a top-100 guy to both services. Mouton is down to USC, LSU, Michigan, and Nebraska, but USC already has a couple of high profile safties.
Completely Useless Opinion: Michigan's post-Marlin Jackson big time corner drought is going to continue. There are three high-profile defensive backs that Michigan is thought to have an edge with in the '07 class. Instead of taking a marginal prospect who probably won't see the field Michigan will probably use the opportunity to pitch an appealing depth chart to Muskegon's Ronald Johnson and OLSM's Dionte Allen. Brown is an excellent pick up, but one defensive back in the class is not enough.
Again, average given Michigan's needs. They'll go into '07 really needing to lock down at least two top corners, but the linebackers look very good and given the defensive line situation Michigan isn't really pressing. C so far.