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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

File under "duh": "Shanahan says drafting Clarett a 'mistake'"

Mandel Credibility Check: August 10: OMG MICHIGAN IS OVERRATED. August 30: Michigan #8, a whopping four slots lower than their AP ranking. Note that there was no column from Mandel on how unbelievably overrated LSU was, despite placing them six slots lower in his AP ballot than the general consensus. (Speaking of overrated, chalk another one up for the excessive Buckeye optimism: #2 per Mandel.)

It's dead, Jim.

"Court Jesters" my ass. The aforementioned is an oft-applied backhanded compliment to EDSBS when the complimenter wants to dismiss something Orson and Stranko have said but not address the actual point. Well, their interesting, non-fanboy interview count stands at two, which is two more than anyone else (save Fanblogs, possibly). The latest is a conversation with NYT/RJYH impresario Warren St. John that illuminates both sides of the EDSBS coin. You've got your court jesteration:

OS: Now for the James Lipton portion of the program. In a fight to the finish, who wins, you or a bobcat?

WSJ: I crush the bobcat.

And then you've got your smart, trenchant stuff:
OS: You actually met Bear Bryant. Our grandfather was a part-time drinking buddy of Bryant'’s, and our father met him when he was a kid. Both of you say what an imposing, charismatic presence he was. Before it gets too far gone in the mists of time, what do you think was so compelling about the man?

WSJ: Partly it was his size--­he was a really big guy and he had this expressive face. He had this stentorian voice, this rattle-the-floorboards voice. But mainly, it was because he played such a big role in the cultural life of Alabamans, and their sense of self-esteem. And the more fans of other teams hated him, the more it justified our liking him.

Jesters they may be, but there's a good dash of the Infinite in their Jest. RTWT!

Wolverines all over. The Washington Post continues its Michigan love-in with an article from wtraveledlled staffer Robin Wright describing the many and varied alumni he has met on his globe-traipsing. All love the football. Wright may have topped the Warren St. John call-home-from-Columbia bit:
Michigan's rivalries also span the globe. While covering the black uprising in South Africa, Associated Press bureau chief Larry Heinzerling, an Ohio State alum, and I took a break one Saturday to call the press box at Michigan's stadium (the largest in the world, I pointed out to him every year) to find out the score.
Yes, yes, there's all that apartheid (<-- spelled right first try!) and stuff. But what's the damned score? And, hey, Uncle Grambo is a Wolverine fan! "Baby got backfield," declares Grambo. Right! Also, Straight Bangin' is back with authorita, describing his gameday ritual, a boisterous combination of pure spine-mangling terror, beer, and swearing that I saw coming several miles away. I understand where he's coming from, being a violent swearer myself--an unfortunately profane tactic of mine is to suggest that I am going to forcibly sodomize whatever children particular baleful referees happen to possess. I have not yet thrown something dangerously heavy at television. Just pillows. And once a dog, but it was a small dog.*

*(Just kidding PETA... unless you were thinking of one of those naked-hot-chicks protests at my house, in which case I ate the dog after it hit the TV.)

I missed this earlier but Jim Carty turned in a shameless puff piece on Jim Herrmann. Yeah, Jim Carty is the guy who mere months ago bitched out Lloyd Carr publicly and purported to Ask Tough Questions. Yeah, I compared him to Corky from Life Goes On. Pick a stance, Carty.