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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Jon Chait published an article in TNR asserting that, like "Rudy," Notre Dame's main talent was self-promotion. Obvs. This drew return fire from Tom Hennessey headlined "Critics of Irish just jealous" -- did he steal this column from a seventh grader? -- that's not particularly impressive. It's largely composed of quotes from the Chat column followed by vague accusations of jealousy. (Jealous? Of, uh, Notre Dame? They of the Returning To Glory Since 1993?) But the kicker is this:

There is another explanation for his jealousy. He notes it near the end of his column. Chait is a graduate of Michigan, a school which was the first to call Notre Dame the "Fighting Irish."

It is also a school whose team played Notre Dame earlier this month. Chait would probably claim Michigan won.
Uh... yes, he probably would. I think there might be a few others who would also make that claim.

Update: uh... apparently the above column is sarcasm. I didn't get it. I leave it up to you whether that's my fault or his.

Meanwhile, CFN's Matt Zemek -- a man incapable of writing a column in a tone other than "hectoring" -- asks ESPN to think of the children before pointing out that Michigan-OSU is looking like a big game. Contention is that this is bad thing:
If Herbstreit and the rest of ESPN's pundits devote enough time to discussing the possibility of 11-0 Michigan playing 11-0 Ohio State, it's going to filter into a lot of people's minds that the winner of that game (again, if it comes about) should be in Glendale, no matter what any other team does.
Favorite moment of lecturing:
Mature college football commentators [read: "Matt Zemek"]--as opposed to overly emotional fanatics [read: "anyone who disagrees with Matt Zemek"]--know that the landscape changes frequently and dramatically in this sport.
Second favorite:

Maybe one can now see why broadcast commentators not employed by schools or conferences--and therefore expected to hew more consistently to objective journalistic standards (unlike the Larry Munsons of the world, who are paid to yell, "Run, Lindsay!")--must be incredibly restrained in their commentary... at least, if they want to preserve some shred of integrity in the conceptually bankrupt and laughably bad...
"Deep Thoughts" column from Matt Zemek?
...BCS process.
Oh. Zemek's alternative is to baselessly speculate on matchups between the top teams. (Sample: "Lloyd Carr's doing an especially good job of coaching this year, but Pete Carroll is the better overall coach. A very even matchup, but if they played, I'd trust Carroll to make more defining adjustments to carry the Trojans in a close one.") Reading Zemek is like being pompously lectured by a twelve-year-old in a tweed jacket smoking a bubble pipe: you're not sure if you're amused or irritated, but either way you're wasting your time.

Meanwhile, Ivan Maisel still ranks Michigan below WVU, Texas, and LSU. I hesitate to lay into Maisel -- a guy who puts letters to the effect of "this thing in your last column was stupid and wrong" and responds "yeah, sorry about that, my bad" -- but come on now: collectively, the most impressive win those three teams have is... uh... Iowa State?