Mike Lantry, 1972
Football: Rolle with the punches
The most recent issue of ESPN the Magazine($) has a really interesting article by fellow blogger($) Bruce Feldman on Myron Rolle and the recruiting process that heavily reinforces mgoblog's recruiting philosophy. In one sentence, it's "don't be an idiot."
Unfortunately, there are many, many idiots out there. Like these people:
"...[Rolle] sees 200 new messages have filled his inbox in the past 120 minutes. "BOOMER Sooner!!" "Come 2 Da U!" "FIGHT ON MYRON!" This is the spam the top cornerback recruit in the country gets from fans hoping to show their love, or at least their passion."
Anyone else heave a sigh of relief when that passage ended without one of the emails being something like "M GO BLUE AND U TOO"? I can't fathom the minds of people that think a) this sort of thing is appropriate and b) that it could in any way help their school. But, then, there are a lot of things I can't fathom, like the popularity of Regis Philbin.
At least these people are probably fast-food workers. They have an excuse. Some people don't:
"A writer for Oklahoma's site tried to coax a quote from Myron about the academic parity between OU and Michigan. "He kept saying, 'there's no difference academically, right?'" Myron says. "I was like, 'What do you want me to say, it doesn't matter? Okay, it doesn't matter.'"
That's awful! What terrible people! At least our writers are fine upstanding Michigan Men who are mentally balanced--
"When McKinley [Myron's brother], who fields most of Myron's interview requests, failed to return the call of a guy from Rivals' Michigan site, he received an email that read as if it was written by an ex: "I just feel hurt. I thought we were friends. I feel like this was a slap in the face to me.""
GODDAMMIT. This is messed up, man. The article had mgoblog doubting its admittedly rather thorough recruiting coverage even though I've never called or e-mailed a recruit asking him to be my Valentine and would never, ever say anything negative about a recruit who wasn't Willie Williams.
Oh, and don't think you guys got off easy, either:
"The give-and-take of the message boards can get particularly personal.... Myron and his family read it all and admit that they are sometimes tempted to take the bait. Earlier this spring, a picture of Myron posing with two girls at a youth conference popped up online. In the photo Myron was wearing a Michigan T-shirt. It prompted one fan from an opposing school to post, "I wouldn't want a kid who hung out with girls like that on my team anyway."
Coaches hate reading that kind of stuff even more than the Rolles do. "Our fans are really negative," says one recruiting coordinator. "If they don't think we're going to get a kid it can get personal. We have to do a lot of defusing." Most schools have someone in the football office monitor what's said online by disgruntled fans."
That's 100% true and desperately sad. mgoblog thinks these people should be publicly flogged. Failing that, please, please, please flame the hell out of anyone who posts something derogatory about any recruit.
Ugh. Whole thing made me feel dirty, and I really, really hope that the accusation leveled at the Michigan Rivals site was either overblown, misconstrued, or mis-identified (as happens sometimes), because I was under the impression that those guys were at least passably sane. If they'd like to respond to it I will post it... and feel much better about the situation, even if the response is something like "our bad." The primary reason I subscribe to Rivals and not Scout is that it's my impression that the Rivals guys are significantly less likely to do all the nasty creepy things detailed above. I would like to be reassured on that point.
In other news from Bruce Feldman's article: said article contains a quote that confirms every nasty rumor you ever heard about Tom Lemming and more. I was going to write about it but IBFC beat me to it with an excellent post and said everything I was going to. Do not give Lemming money. If you see him, steal his pants and run away.
While you're on an anti-Lemming kick, listen to the Booker-Lemming blowup in a new light, why dontcha?
(One final kudos to Feldman. That was a spicy meatball of a story. Too bad he didn't respond to my BlogPoll invitation. He probably never got it; the web-editor demons probably ate it.)