Mike Lantry, 1972
AP Top News at 3:35 p.m. EST
Michigan State University athletic director Mark Hollis made an announcement earlier today that is leaving many University of Michigan fans scratching their heads.
“I read a compelling article by the thoughtful and fair-minded columnist of the Detroit Free Press, Drew Sharp, in which he decried the inequity of Michigan receiving a BCS bowl invitation instead of Michigan State,” offered Hollis. “Frankly, after carefully considering his arguments, I was forced to agree with his assessment.”
Hollis went on to describe a subsequent conversation with Michigan athletic director David Brandon about rectifying the situation and placating the frustration of Mr. Sharp. “I told David that I had a great idea,” stated Hollis. “Why don’t we send our players to the Sugar Bowl to play the Hokies and dress in your uniforms and you can send your players to Florida and play Georgia dressed as Spartans. That’ll fix everything.”
Hollis then added, “Brandon told me, ‘Sure Mark. Okee-Dokee,’ but I couldn’t really tell if he was being sarcastic. So we’ve taken the initiative and sent a bus with our uniforms over to Ann Arbor to hopefully cement the deal.”
When asked later, Mr. Sharp stated, “While I appreciate the effort put forth by the Michigan State athletic director, his remedy doesn’t go far enough. This inequity is akin to a civil rights violation. I think the University of Michigan should be forced to pay monetary damages and impose recruiting limitations on themselves. They should also seriously consider dramatic reductions in practice time next season while vacating any 2012 wins they are fortunate enough to realize.”
Player reaction to the role reversal from the two teams was mixed. The Wolverine players were unanimously against the concept whereas nearly all of the Spartans were anxious to don the classic maize and blue uniforms. “It will be, like, major cool to wear the uniform of the school I wasn’t smart enough to get into,” offered one Spartan on the condition of anonymity.
(NOT from AP)
The following is the full text of an e-mail sent to Drew Sharp by J. Swift.
I read and reread your January 13 column in the Detroit Free Press but cannot understand what you are trying to say. http://www.freep.com/article/20110113/COL08/101130632/1054/sports06/Its-Brandons-legacy-on-line-now Your column received a grade of “F.”
I. In the following section, for example, you struggle but fail to create vivid metaphors from clichés:
1.“If Hoke returns the Wolverines to its level of nine-victory relevance -- with the occasional Bowl Championship Series bowl appearance -- Brandon goes down as the steely nerved protector of the sacred Block M who righted a wayward ship.”
a). a knight who rights a ship? b). a wayward ship? Perhaps a “‘sinking ship”? Who or what “goes down,” Brandon or the ship?
2. “But if Hoke can't close the sizeable gap between U-M and ‘that school from Ohio’ -- as he called it -- in a couple years, then Brandon's tenure will be fitted with a circus top hat.”
a). We were on the sea and the wayward ship with Brandon. Are we now in the Midwest?
b). What gap? The distance between Ann Arbor and Columbus cannot be ‘closed’, barring a seismic event
c). Did you mean that Brandon—steely nerved protector of the sacred Block M, wayward ship righter, geographical gap-closer(?) will have to wear a circus top hat? Or will his ‘tenure’ be fitted with the top hat?
“The two are forever joined at the hip now.”
1. Which two? The sacred Block M and the wayward ship? You cannot mean Brandon’s tenure and the circus top hat because, well, the hat is worn on the head, so joining the head to the hip—that won’t work. But perhaps you mean that Hoke will be joined either to a) Brandon’s tenure, or b) to a circus top hat, or c). a gap between U-M and “that school from Ohio”, or d) to some hip.
Perhaps you meant to say that if Hoke wins nine games, Brandon and he will be forever joined at the hip?
Or perhaps you meant to say that it’s not a matter of winning nine games—no, but that if Hoke cannot close the sizeable gap (?) between U-M and that school from Ohio, Brandon’s tenure will be fitted with a top hat.
Or perhaps you realized that what you wrote in the first paragraph was so confusing that you gave up and simply declared that “The two are forever joined at the hip now,” a remarkable assertion, to say the least.
II. In the following section, you shift suddenly from reporting what Brandon said to dramatizing what he thought and felt, as if you were an omniscient narrator. You’re not. Hint: Hemingway, no mean journalist, dramatized his fictional characters in his short stories and novels. When he reported for papers like the Kansas City Star, he reported facts, not opinions. Before making any corrections, you need to make your point of view consistent to yourself and to your readers. I’ve marked the section with “Reporter” and “Novelist” to help you revise this section. I’ve also underlined verbs and modifiers that you used to create the illusion that you are privy to Brandon’s thoughts. Please revise once you’ve determined your point of view.
[Reporter] Brandonlooked relieved.[Novelist] This was a humbling experience. [Reporter] As a former player, he resembled others [Novelist] caught in the spell of Michigan football being the end-all. He arrogantly went into The Process certain that the Michigan name and reputation would entrance all he pursued, but realized that, quite possibly, Harbaugh and Miles used Michigan to get more for themselves, whether from the NFL or a greater appreciation from the natives.
You should also correct the faulty parallelism in the final clause to read, “whether from the NFL or froma greater appreciation from the natives.” The double “from” is awkward but clear. However, “the natives” introduces additional confusion.
III. Your concluding paragraph sends the hip-joined twain over the cliff. Together, no less.
“But if he [Hoke] can't break through the unrecognizable despair that currently is Michigan football, the two joined at the hip will go sailing over the cliff together.”
1. Hoke will have a devilish time trying to “break through” an unrecognizable despair,” because he can’t break through it if he can’t recognize it. According to your sentence, that unrecognizable despair is Michigan football, posing another puzzle. Are you saying that he won’t be able to find Michigan football? He’s already found it; I watched his press conference in Ann Arbor, and many players attended. You were there yourself, repeatedly asking the same question.
2. I’ve already discussed the “the two joined at the hip”, above. I think that dispatching the two to “go sailing over the cliff together” adds additional confusion.
If you need additional help, please contact one of the editors at the Free Press. I’m sure they are familiar with your work and will be glad to help you with the revision.
We've already seen and talked about this but let's watch and talk about it again. Has Drew Sharp always had a speech impediment or does the Hokester just intimidate him? Either way, I'm calling round 1 for Hoke.
Just caught Drew (Dull) Sharp pick Penn State over M on sports talk radio. He also thinks Sparty goes down to Iowa.
Gotta love his overwhelming sense of self regard, too.
I wasn't going to post this, but I know somebody will, so I may as well do it and keep it level headed.
Drew Sharp has an article in today about the submission of the report to the NCAA. I refuse to post a link, but I will say this. Though it's obviously done through gnashing, clenched teeth, he manages to say something that sounds almost like, 'What Michigan is accused of isn't really that bad, and certainly not as bad as the MSU Institutional Control problems of 15 years ago.' He then goes on to say that he has faith in David Brandon and the staff to hit the appropriate points so that the NCAA won't come down harder, nor will they be too hard on themselves, and put the whole thing behind them.
He does take a parting shot at Rodriguez, saying that "time will sort out the coaching situation", but even that isn't necessarily all that bad, as he doesn't outright call for Rodriguez' job.
All told, for once, Sharp did not make me want to bludgeon him. It's still not really worth reading, though, as it has little substance.