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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Bits. Tingly. Though His Eviliness Mark Shapiro left ESPN around about a year ago, those pesky "contracts" and such have left his Evil Fingerprints all over the WWL. But no longer. The Big Lead connects the dots on a string of recent cancellations and concludes:

When the powers that be at ESPN cut the cord on Stephen A. Smith’s fledgling abortion of a TV show, Quite Frankly last week, it became the sixth brainchild of former honcho Mark Shapiro that was put to sleep. The only one left standing? Cold Pizza (aka ‘Vietnam’), which recently lost its marquee draw, Woody Paige, and is on the verge of losing its host, Jay Crawford. (The other five shows that got clipped, says a source, are Cheap Seats, Dream Job, Classic Now, ESPN Hollywood, and ESPN New Year’s Eve.)
(Odd... where are the scare quotes around "marquee draw" in "marquee draw, Woody Page"?) They've got insider email projecting a dim future for "Cold Pizza," as well. I could care less what jobless invalids can watch instead of "Heat of the Night" reruns at 10 AM on weekdays -- note to self: season 2 finale coming up Monday -- but this snippet is basically angels coming down and singing hosannahs:
All of those shows were designed to reach out to the lite sports viewer; show them a different side of sports. That was Shapiro’s mantra. If Cold Pizza goes the mantra will be dead (but the show has been so whitewashed now, a warmed over version of sports center, one can argue the mantra is already dead)…
Hallelujah! Praise Norby! Now that "sports lite" extracurriculars are getting hacked to death, can we do something about the sports lite that's infiltrating the actual games?

I was going to do this... but Braves & Birds beat me to it and did it with such vicious aplomb that I could add little. Then I was going to summarize it, but Badger Sports Fan came back from the dead and did it for me. So I'll just link to the latest round of internet HeisemensPundits-bashing. In summary: the national championship game was the apotheosis of offensive scheme, never mind the 84 total yards ceded by Florida's defense. Then people laugh at him. Good times.

Label This Clock. Trevor Barnes, the impresario behind the RCMB, informs us that new MSU head coach Mark Dantonio is taking the Michigan game seriously:
This has probably been posted but I'm glad Coach D is taking this rivalry seriously. Apparently he installed a countdown clock in the Duffy weight room that is counting down each second to the UM game.
Yes. That's exactly what Michigan State needs: more focus on the Michigan game to the exclusion of everything else on the schedule. Just in case they were ever thinking of winning a game after it ever again.

Query: what should this clock be labeled? ("Countdown to Disappointment" was a submission from the Victors, por ejemplo.)

I'm sure he'll be much better than Henne. The East-West Shrine game this weekend that features a few Wolverines (Breaston -- Johnny's sure to watch -- Barringer, and Biggs) and former Wolverine Matt Gutierrez, a late replacement for Chris Leak. If you find yourself without anything to do Saturday afternoon.

Yes... I'd say "likely." Toledo Blade headline on Ryan Mallett:

Texas QB likely to land at UM

We've all been stung by the insane decommit of Jerimy Finch, sure, but since Mallett is, you know, in class right this very minute I think "likely" sells our chances a bit short.

Etc.: Hairston-Porter article in the news. Must not smash face.