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Friday, March 24, 2006

So that's why no one cares about the NIT. Damn, that was some crazy stuff in the actual tournament, eh? Kind of puts that Dion Harris thing in perspective. That is, unless you're ESPN Classic and have decided to rebroadcast an NIT game as an "instant classic." That's right: you can see Michigan-ND at 5 PM today, immediately followed by a 1972 game of checkers featuring a guy who would later become the uncle of Corey Haim.

Anyway, during the Duke game I had a moment of epiphany as to why they bother me so: at some point in the midst of the Duke run in the second half they switched to a shot of the excited Duke faithful and I thought to myself: "fuckin' white people."

For a moment, I totally understood Huey P. Newton. Duke makes me want to punch myself, therefore I dislike Duke.

Also: more RBUAS NIT extravaganza, recruit Patrick Beverly is down to Michigan, Arkansas, and St. John's, and an apology from Maize 'n' Brew for turning yesterday's Cowherd comment thread into a minefield of copyright law is accepted.

Speaking of overwhelmingly white groups of people: hockey is tonight. I'm surprisingly nervous for someone who gave up on the season a month ago. The Sioux will be at full strength, as head coach Dave Hakstol has confirmed that leading scorer Drew Stafford will play. As you might expect, the Grand Forks Herald is all over the regional matchup. The Ann Arbor News also has some puff pastry on Jack Johnson.

TV clearances can be found here -- good news if you live in Alaska, Maine... and Memphis?

Some brave soul finally smuggled out Michigan's pro day results:

Jason Avant WR Avant (6-0½, 209) twice ran the 40 in 4.80 seconds. He had a cast on his hand, which probably impeded his performance, and he will run again in the near future. He also ran the short shuttle in 4.19 and the three-cone drill in 7.02. In addition, he had a 35½-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-4 broad jump.
Gabe Watson DT Watson (6-3½, 336) stood on mostly everything he did at the Combine. He had a 26½-inch vertical jump and an 8-foot-6 broad jump.
Tim Massaquoi TE Massaquoi (6-2½, 254) ran his 40s in 4.84 and 4.87 seconds. He also ran the short shuttle in 4.34 and the three-cone drill in 6.92. In addition, he had a 29-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot-2 broad jump.
Pierre Woods DL Woods (6-4 3/8, 249) ran his 40s in 4.78 and 4.73 seconds. He also ran the short shuttle in 4.19 and the three-cone drill in 6.87. In addition, he had a 32½-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot-11 broad jump and 15 lifts.
Adam Stanovich OL Stanovich (6-4 1/8, 309) ran his 40s in 5.61 and 5.62 seconds. He also ran the short shuttle in 4.82 and the three-cone drill in 7.91. In addition, he had a 24½-inch vertical jump and a 7-foot-9 broad jump.
Matt Lentz OL Lentz (6-5 7/8, 320) ran his 40s in 5.38 and 5.38 seconds. He also ran the short shuttle in 4.88 and the three-cone drill in 7.98. In addition, he had a 23-inch vertical jump, a 7-foot-8 broad jump and 36 lifts.
Pat Massey DL Massey (6-4 7/8, 290) ran his 40s in 5.09 and 5.11 seconds. He also ran the short shuttle in 4.60 and the three-cone drill in 7.40. In addition, he had a 25½-inch vertical jump, an 8-foot-7 broad jump and 25 lifts.

Highlighted for your amazement are the heights of Massey and "Stanovich." The book on Michigan tackles has long been 6'6" at least, but Stenavich was extremely effective last year at just over 6'4" -- though that may equate to "listed at 6'6"." Food for thought as regards OL recruit Steve Schilling, who's supposed to be a bit short for tackle.

Also: isn't Massey supposed to be 6'8"? That has to be inaccurate -- I mean, are you going to believe a website that references Adam "Stanovich" or your own lying eyes?

So SI wrote this ginorbous set of articles on the web, blogs, etc, etc, etc, and how sports coverage is changing. (Apologies if this blog-MSM catfighting bores you, but it's a hot topic right now... and it's not like the OSU game is Saturday.) I haven't actually read the thing since I'm outside the velvet rope of SI Exclusive, but the author of the piece published a similarly ginorbous Simmons interview undertaken during the construction of the article. Ian will feel all tingly inside reading this:
BS: I think this is going to be it for me. I really want to move into scripts next. I'm ready to do it. I've been doing this since '97. At the spring of next year, my contract ends. That would be 10 years. I'm not saying I wouldn't come back. But I think 10 years is a nice run. Maybe keep my NFL column and that's it.
...but I think that once he's gone to the great Billy Zabka in the sky and we're all trying to decipher Scoop Jackson columns ("okay, okay... so carry the 'Crilla' and divide by this fawning one-sentence paragraph... take the square root... let's see... I get 'black people r kewl!!!' That's what I always get...") people will reconsider their enimity for the man. That's not to say that I didn't find certain bits of the interview grating -- Simmons goes on for a bit about how he doesn't understand the Internet rip brigades...
Also, I always wonder about those sites that really attack everybody. ... I definitely did a little of that on my own Web site, but I was still writing three columns a week, I was trying to back it up. I don't think you should criticize another writer unless you can back it up and be like, "I'm better." The proof is in the pudding. It's like being a bad chef and writing a restaurant review and criticizing another chef. But can you cook? I don't get it.
... and then five minutes later complains about not being able to rip on people:
BS: One of the worst things about my job is that there are so many people at ESPN I'd have so much fun making fun of. Berman, Stuart Scott, Stephen A. [Laughs]. This is when I start to get in trouble. As the alleged common sports fan, I'd like to go after them but I can't because we're all on the same team. I can't write about the WNBA because ESPN's covering it. I can't say Tim McCarver's an idiot, I have to dance around it. One time, I made fun of the Sklar brothers and they were furious. That's hilarious! And that's on the record. Oh, no, the Sklar brothers are angry!
The Sklar brothers being anything other than piteously grateful anyone acknowledges their existence is hilarious, but that line-drawing between bloggers who attack everyone and Simmons, who wants to attack essentially the same people, is specious reasoning from the mainstream side of Simmons' Janus-head. Mostly it seems like Simmons doesn't understand people who rip on him.

Anyway: Florida TV guy and blogger Whit Watson -- a brother Janus, if you will -- did read the full ginorbity and comes correct:
In my opinion - and it's ONLY my opinion - Sports Illustrated comes very, very close to calling the blogosphere "Hooterville."
"Hooterville" being the name that Boston public enemy #1 Dan Shaughnessy dubbed Orlando with during a '95 Celtics-Magic playoff series. The irony here is that given a major SI article on blogs, there was going to be a default "Hooterville?" section because all feature articles must follow this format:
Hot trendy thing! Trend trend thing! Trendy thing is hot like Paris Hilton! But adverse affects of trendy thing? Trendy thing cancer? Secondhand trendy thing?
Add in the "Dey took ur jobs" (audio... so, so worth it) effect going on and viola: article littered with ominous noises about irresponsibility, lack of decorum, and the like. The latter is especially grating given that the least decorous place in the universe is talk radio, which is not known for being run by maverick independents. But whatever.