Hoke was top notch at this aspect of his job.
Unverified Voracity: Piref Edition; HHYYAAAR
This is too easy, but Lloyd Carr did get a Big Ten ref fired because he only has one eye (hhhhhyyyyyarrrrr!). In situations like this the difficulty is not in coming up with a joke but picking from a panoply of options, but, really, how can you improve on this:
In the spring of 2000, an accident caused him to lose one eye. He returned to his job that season â€” without informing his bosses of the accident â€” and contends that in the five years that he worked with one eye â€” which included officiating two Bowl games â€” reviews of his work were, "on average, substantially better than the reviews he received in the eight years preceeding the loss of his eye."
O RLY? Maybe that says less about this pirate/referee and more about the poo-flinging monkeys in charge of these things. This guy had ONE EYE! And NO ONE NOTICED FOR FIVE YEARS! This isn't a discrete tatoo on the small of his back. This is a major vision impediment anyone throwing a football at this particular referee would have immediately picked up upon. And yet his continued employment. This is objectively hilarious to neutral observers, but not to me after the Peko/Bass incidents. No wonder we had the Jim Augustines of the world inflicted upon us.
Just call him "Citizen," hopefully. The Wolverine's Michael Spath offers some consolation for the hockey team in the wake of forward recruit Trevor Lewis' defection: hyped recruit Pat Kane is going to college and will choose between BU and Michigan. Kane was an '07 recruit but will accelerate his education and enter school in January, which would make him available for the second half of the season should he choose Michigan... and now there's a scholarship waiting for him.
Unless your Internet connection is under a rock, you're probably aware that yesterday was Christmas In July, AKA NCAA release day. Reviews from mainstream sites are full-body massages to EA, so you might want to monitor The Blog For The Sports Gamer closely over the next few days. Three oft-cranky reviewers stand poised to offer, you know, stuff that actually helps you determine whether it's worth buying or not. They've already started. The 614 also has some first impressions.
I'm '07 free at the moment. I've bought the last two versions of the game and been disappointed there's no difficultly level between "piteously easy" and "scream at the console and then hide the game so you can't play it any more." I'm waiting to see whether that's fixed or not. Also, if I bought it now Blogpollers could kiss goodbye a ballot entry form that's not a giant pain in the ass. So there's that.
I've made my feelings on Frank Deford known already. The man is exactly like Barbaro from his beloved horse racing: the attention paid to him, all of which is wasted, is vastly out of proportion to all reason and everyone, including the subject, would probably be happier if he was just put down. And that was before today's column/NPR piece on luxury boxes at Michigan Stadium. I'm sure you can guess which site he comes down on. He even throws in two totally hilarious parody songs and, like everyone else on the inane side of the debate, greatly overstates the aesthetic beauty of Michigan Stadium:
The Big House is a huge oval, and the luxury boxes, totaling 425,000 square feet, would do great aesthetic violence to the classic old bowl. Since the game-day pieds-Ã -terre would cost so much to build, it's dubious they can even actually make the university any money -- and that, after all, is the whole purpose of luxury boxes.
Note that Deford buys the "they won't make money" argument from anti-box crusaders hook, line, and sinker, because who are you going to trust, a self-made millionaire who was head of the USOC or some former speechwriter with a six-page website?
The most irritating thing about anti-box crusaders is that they position themselves as the True Defenders of the Michigan Faith when the choice presented is between an egalitarian crowd watching Michigan lose and a crowd locked in desperate class war watching Michigan win. I'll take the class war, especially because I'll be sitting in the same seats either way.
Etc.: Citizen-Patriot article quotes yet another claim from Carr that Antonio Bass was going to be a major part of the offensive game plan this fall; Burnt Orange Nation considers the Michigan talent gap or lack thereof (RTWT); SI/Athlon's Michigan preview says some things but this is the big conclusion: "Mental toughness and leadership will be especially critical this season when the Wolverines face traditional rivals Notre Dame, Penn State and Ohio State on the road." Way to go out on a limb, kids.
.....And don't click here.