Hoke was top notch at this aspect of his job.
(Or Anyone Else For That Matter)
Exhibit A: Mike DeCourcy's please-die note to Amaker.
Exhibit B: Mike Farrell's instate recruitin' PANIC article.
The latest is an article from Tom Dienhart that can only be described as aggressively dumb. Deinhart apparently saw a recent AP article headline "Carr, Michigan's brass say he's there to stay" and flipped the eff out.
So, Michigan's brass boldly states that Lloyd Carr is "here to stay."
What did you expect the guys sitting in the high-back leather chairs to utter in August? That Carr was on the hot seat? That Carr had to win the Big Ten this year -- or he would be fired?
Yeah, right. It's just more blabber from the Ann Arbor ivory tower.
Amazingly, it goes downhill from there. There's an avatar for the Michigan fanbase named "Big Blue Boy." Yeah. It's extraordinarily... nay... miraculously bad. And it's not alone. Check Dienhart's next most recent post on Charlie Weis:
Here's the scoop: Weis had a problem with a recent series of stories in a local paper that dared to pose the question: "Can Notre Dame maintain principles and athletic dominance?"
Weis' response to the two reporters? No questions for you!
In other words, if Chas has a beef with you, he'll go Biff on you.
Look, there are wrong ways and right ways to handle disagreements. And Biff Weis did it the wrong way. Why? Well, I'm guessing it's because Biff Weis felt he could get away with it.
I'm flabbergasted that Dienhart is getting paid for this instead of, say, being tasered and locked up far away from the Internet.
Sporting News, I officially dub you Sports Talk Radio On Paper. STROP!
The internet is a-tizzy over this passage from the Dayton Daily News on sophomore OSU tackle Alex Boone:
Boone, a sophomore starter and former Parade All-American, said he was routinely downing 30 to 40 beers per day, a pattern of bingeing that began in high school and escalated when he arrived at OSU.
((Debatably) interesting usage note: "bingeing" and "binging" are locked in a war for supremacy that "binging" is winning via Google hit, 435k to 356k. If the word that doesn't look viciously misspelled is already more commonly used, why not drop the "e" altogether? As a reader my first instinct there is typo; the second is linguistic death via outdated style guide.)
And no wonder since -- estimating conservatively by pegging his average at, say, 32 and giving him 40 or 50 days off per year for Christmas, Lent, and days when Boone was so drunk from the night before he slept for 30 hours -- over the past two years Boone has consumed approximately 20,000 beers. That's approximately 1,875 gallons, enough to drown a small Vietnamese village. Since Budwesier is 5% alcohol by weight, Boone has consumed 94 gallons of alcohol alone over the past two years.
But wait! There's more! At 140 calories per beer, that's a staggering 280,000 calories; at 3500 calories per pound, Alex Boone has ingested 800 pounds worth of beer in the past two years. Alex Boone would not exist if he did not drink beer. He would be -450 pounds.
Or maybe the "30-40" estimate is wildly unrealistic, but that's no fun at all.
21-30: The Deeply Offensive
30. Dick Vitale
I know Vitale is a very, very nice man, but the sad fact is he ruins basketball games. He's totally unlistenable in doses larger than six seconds; his cute nicknames and acronyms spawned countless irritating imitators; the image of Vitale sensuously bathing Coach K's most private, most special tickly bits with his overworked tongue has haunted the dreams of too many Americans.
: Oh, good, it's Dick Vitale.
: "WHY HASN'T JJ BEEN PICKED YET BABY!"
mjd : I want to set him on fire.
29. Marcus Vick
Punks come and go but it takes a special kind of imagined privilege to act like Marcus Vick. Over the course of his Virginia Tech career, Vick
- was pulled over for speeding, whereupon it was found that what he lacked in driver's license he possessed in marijuana,
- got his mack on with an underage girl,
- stomped on Elvis Dumerville's knee,
- aaaaand everybody's favorite: pulled a gun at McDonald's because they were out of Chicken McNugget happy meals.*
Throughout it all he managed to be insincerely contrite, even objecting to comparisons to Lawrence Phillips because he "wasn't a bad guy like that."
UNLESS YOU ARE OUT OF MCNUGGETS, MOTHERFUCKER.
*(okay, okay, it was because his girlfriend told him someone called her a bitch. The substitution stands since it's funnier and no less crazy.)
27. Tony Parker & 28. Manu Ginobli
The Spurs' mighty Backcourt of Foreign Annoyance. Parker is the main offender, being
- badly misinformed about his verbal dexterity,
- the designated railer of Eva Longoria, and
but Ginobli's inexplicable carte blanche to charge whoever he feels like at any time, ass-kicking of the US basketball team, and strong resemblance to a swordfish are grating in precisely the opposite direction. Combined, the two are sandpaper to one's tolerance, eventually wearing away the outer layers until all that's left is the throbbing white hot center of "please blow an ACL, you frogs."
26. Scoop Jackson
Some people -- Simmons, Leitch -- chafe at the strictures imposed by print journalism's miserly rationing of wordcount. These Internets butterflies need the freedom of the Web to emerge from the straightjacket of convention into a style that is uniquely theirs and uniquely effective.
Scoop Jackson is the exact opposite of these people.
For some reason, Scoop was the one drafted to fill Page 2's "Guy Who Talks About Being Black Guy" slot after the tragic death of Ralph Wiley, who was superior to Scoop in the following ways:
- Wiley wrote in what's generally referred to as "English" instead of the weird combination of street patois and just general jibberish that fills the vast width and breadth of a Scoop column;
- Wiley occasionally made sense (actually, he did quite frequently, but "occasionally" is enough to best Jackson);
- Wiley never spent several hundred words spread across more than one column to hit on a sideline reporter;
- Wiley was not referred to as "Scoop";
- Wiley didn't tour the country telling young black kids they had a better chance of being an NBA player than a sportswriter;
- Some of Wiley's paragraphs had more than one sentence;
- aaaaaaaand Wiley didn't look like a hastily aborted Muppet experiment.
Wiley is spinning so fast in his grave he could probably be used as a supercollider.
25. Bill Wirtz
It's hard to remember now, but the Chicago Blackhawks are one of the most storied teams in NHL history. Growing up in Detroit the newly rejuvenated Red Wings usually ran up against Roenick's Blackhawks at some point; when they did it was time to start planning tee times. Nowadays a trip to the United Center to see a Hawks game is a depressing experience: there's a spectacular video linking past heroes like Tony Esposito to... er... Radim Vrbata? Kyle Calder? The Blackhawks once held an esteemed place in the Chicago sports scene, but now they're a glorified, cold version of the Chicago Fire. Except the Fire televise home games.
Since the Clippers made the second round of the playoffs this year and look like they may just be getting better, Wirtz is the new gold standard for miserly owners who take your money and turn it into crap. In 2004, the 'Hawks were named the worst franchise in sport by ESPN.
24. Steve Spurrier
Vols no likey.
Don't get me wrong, I like Spurrier and think having him college football is great. I hope he never leaves again and root for when South Carolina when they play heavyweights in the hopes one day Phil Fulmer will have a nervous breakdown. But it's a cold hard fact that if I was a fan of an SEC team other than Florida or Carolina I, channeling Zidane's mom, would want his balls on a platter.
In terms of sheer overall hateability Spurrier deserves a place on this list. Even people who like him call him "Evil Genius." He's petulant, childish, temperamental, snarky, and just damn better than your coach. After years of running up the score, then dropping devastating science during post game presser, the only man more widely despised across the south is General Sherman. If he turns South Carolina into anything resembling his Florida juggernauts entire states are going to end up mental. This is a section of the country where coaches skip media days so they don't get served supoenas.
23. Various Columnists From "Around The Horn"
You can't separate them once they pass through Around The Horn's event horizon of suck. Is Mariotti more loathesome than Simers? Simers more loathesome than Woody Paige? Does it matter? Lacking the good nature and charisma of Wilbon and Kornheiser, they all represent the same thing: sportswriting as witless screaming. Invariably, the most repulsive is the one who just got done talking.
22. Johnny Damon
No one's naive enough to believe that professional athletes care about anything but the size of their paycheck, but Damon's defection was a special case. First, the contract sizes in question were both ridiculous, but Damon went with the Yankee offer because it was incrementally more so. This is deeply irritating to those who wish to maintain the fiction that their professional athletes care as much about the fans as the fans to about the
But in and of itself, that doesn't warrant placement higher than about the 40s, defections of Damon's sort being all too common in the modern-day sports world. He's up here because when Damon decided to take Steinbrenner's blood money and run he gave up not only the adoration of the city but his trademark Chewbacca locks. Shaggy and hirsute, Damon looked like Jesus. Clean-shaven and pinstriped, Yankee Damon is more Judas. Take it from a guy who reads a lot of chick baseball blogs: this is not generally regarded as an improvement.
Johnny Damon killed Unfrozen Caveman Centerfielder and all for what? A few million dollars more? How many solid-gold toilets do you need, Johnny?
21. Larry Brown
This is way better than coaching in the Finals.
Another man in search of yet more precious metals to poop in, Brown didn't even wait until the playoffs were over last year before bolting to the Knicks. To continue a theme: smooth move, Ex-Lax. This year, Brown's morose press conferences were context appropriate as Brown openly wondered whether he should kill Stephon Marbury or himself. And then Steve Francis showed up, a present from Isiah Thomas. If Thomas was not obviously the worst GM in the universe*, you would no doubt assume that this was an attempt to kill Brown and thus escape his onerous six kajillion dollar contract.
But since this is Isiah Thomas we're talking about, Brown got his six kajillion dollars. Now he can consider whether to kill himself on his private helicopter made entirely of diamond replicas of Stephon Marbury's bludgeoned skull.
At least this year Brown has gotten what he richly deserves: comeuppance.
*(Queries have been made as to Thomas' placement on this list. He does not appear, since his presence in the NBA proves without a doubt that anyone reading this could get a job with the Sonics or the Grizzlies or whoever and not be the worst GM in the league, which is something I savor every day when I wake up. I say to myself, "self, you would not be the worst GM in the NBA," and walk off with a pep in my step. That's a gift Isiah Thomas gives us.
Also: he threatened Bill Simmons with physical violence on the radio, prompting Stephen A. Smith to dismissively ask "who?" about a co-worker. And he made Larry Brown want to kill himself, definitively proving that some teams were beyond his power to "HEY! HEY! HEY!" into the playoffs. And he ruined the Knicks. For years. As I've said before, Thomas deserves a medal and we'll all be sorry when he's gone.)
Michigan Sports Center interviews Zoltan The Inconceivable.
1) I thought the Michigan athletic department laughed at you if you were from the Internets.
2) Sadly, no questions about the viability of his Heisman campaign were asked.
3) So. Jealous.
Pat Kane is feeling very sleepy. Pat Kane is deciding... nothing. He decides between college and the OHL later:
Kane says that it's "about 50/50" between major junior and college. "I'm probably going to have to make the decision in a couple of weeks," Kane said, "so hopefully I'll narrow it down."
Indeed, narrowing it down might be good. He decides between BU and Michigan, if necessary, later:
"Michigan's close to my house," Kane said. "It's the same drive I've had for the past two years, about four or five hours, real easy. BU, some of my best friends go there - [Brett] Bennett, Strait, and [Luke] Popko - so it would be great to play with them again. The team I would be going to, their rink is unbelievable, their fans are unbelievable. We'll see what happens."
Note that the last bit about the arena doesn't indicate a specific program. Should Kane choose Michigan, he'll join the team after the first semester -- he's accelerating his education as fast as he can -- and this is what you have to look forward to, courtesy of Mark Mitera:
"He's one of those unbelievable playmakers," Mitera said. "He sees the ice so well, I think he's got eyes in the back of his head. He can hear you breathing, almost."
Mitera's played with Kane for the past week or two at the WJC evaluation camp. Come on down, Pat Kane.
Finally, someone who gets it. Finally there is an antidote to the non-stop Notre Dame rah-rah from Larry Felser of the Buffalo News. Let's listen into this lone outpost of sagacity in a world gone mad with Leprechaun fever:
There is the not-so-little matter of the more than 600 yards Ohio State laid on them the last time they put on the pads for an official game, the January Fiesta Bowl. The offense had to be outstanding because the Notre Dame defense leaked so badly against good offensive teams last year. The Irish finished 9-3 but in nine games allowed 20 points or more.
Thank you. Why is this guy stuck in a backwater like the Buffalo News? As Felser queries,
So how do we go about making halfway intelligent preseason picks?
Ah, the eternal question. Show us the way, wise one.
Since it's football, there is safety in sticking with the better coaches. Joe Paterno of Penn State and Bobby Bowden of Florida State get inducted into the college hall of fame this year, but they're still among the usual suspects. The Nittany Lions and Seminoles could end up in BCS bowls in January, so maybe 80 is the new 50 after all.
Er... okay. No doubt this is some AARP solidarity thing imposed by the Grey Dawn and not seriously the man's opinion. And we should be focusing on the big, national championship picture anyway...
For my No. 1 pick, however, I'll take Georgia.
Blast and damnation! No offense to the legions of Dawg bloggers out there, but Joe Tereshinski III is only a good name if the player in question is a Minnesota running back. Shockley he ain't, and there's hats to be eaten if a true freshman leads any team to the national championship. It's back to the anti-ND drawing board.
There was that one guy, whatshisface... Gore? Lane Kiffin must be that guy from Memento. From Scott Wolf's USC blog:
It's easy to get fixated on freshmen because they are new faces, but wide receiver Travon Patterson seems ready to assume a vital role. Patterson turned a 5-yard pass into about a 60-yard play and he's clearly the fastest receiver.
"Travon brings something we haven't had in five years,'' offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin said.
Unless "something" is "a guy named Travon," I'm pretty sure he's wrong no matter what he's talking about.
Yeah... Pete Carroll. I'm beginning to think that the similarity of his last name to "Carrell" is no coincidence, as he can't get enough of hilarious stunts that seem better placed on the set of The Office.
As an assistant coach gave the Trojans a tongue-lashing while watching video of a lackluster afternoon practice, Carroll--complete in an official Wonder Bread NASCAR racing uniform and helmet--appeared from the back of the room, accompanied by the roar of an engine and shrouded by the smoke of a fog machine. Carroll raced to the front of the room and, as the team howled in laughter, informed the Trojans that they were going to take a break from football and go to the campus theater to watch the nation's hottest movie, "Talladega Nights, The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby."
Unbeknownst to Carroll, the REAL Ricky Bobby--Ferrell, a former USC student--came in from the side door, also decked out in his NASCAR outfit. A stunned Carroll and his Trojans erupted.
Aaaand Bill Simmons just threw up in his mouth. Apparently the chances of Pete Carroll returning to the NFL are nil, because he can't play wacky forgiving dad to grown men. Did he try this stuff with the Patriots? And if so was he surprised when they stopped listening to him? The interaction between The Orgeron and Carroll must have been fascinating.
In previous seasons, a number of celebrities besides Ferrell have visited Carroll's Trojans at practices and games: Snoop Dogg, Nick Lachey, Spike Lee, Henry Winkler, George Lucas, Alyssa Milano, Kirsten Dunst, Sophia Bush, Chad Michael Murray, LeVar Burton, The Game and Anthony Kiedis.
Maybe it's just me. (via Feldman($), who diplomatically refers to it as "more offbeat stuff.")
Etc.: Philadelpha Inquirer article on Avant; Tom Friend got a call from Clarett on his night of aborted rampage/suicide/lint removal; Michigan Sports Center has video of the Cold Pizza interviews with Hart and Henne; Mike Farrell makes mountain out of instate recruiting foothill.