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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Elite 11 quarterback camp is underway and Ryan Mallet is performing to mixed reviews. You can take the breathless opening paragraph from GBW at face value...

Once again GBW managed to get a bird's eye view of the Elite 11 goings-on. This is our 5th straight camp. There is only one Superstar at the camp ... the separation between this ONE ELITE QB and the others is so great as to make it a little hard to report upon ...
...but I would try to keep your face well removed from the vicinity of such a... vigorous endorsement. Somehow I find this random poster from an obscure Internets outpost more credible:
1. It was Ryan then everybody else
2. Kid grows each time I see him
3. Footwork will not be an issue
4. Arm is a cannon and he is "on"
Maybe it's the laconic, unexcited prose that engenders trust. Maybe it's the lack of implied fellatio. Who knows?

Unfortunately for the visions of crystal footballs dancing around in our heads, Ryan finished 17th of 18 (the "counselors" throw as well) in the accuracy competition. This is obviously no big deal for the following reasons:
  • It's one hackneyed drill at a camp.
  • He beat someone.
  • If Clausen wasn't such a big chicken that he dodged the camp entirely he would have finished last.
  • Because I say so.
The most encouraging bit of unconfirmed Internet speculation comes from RCMB poster tritongreen, who knows a couple of people in charge of the camp and announced the selection of Nichol to the board a week before it happened. That may have been a fairly obvious prediction, but he also revealed that Stanton would be a counselor, which he is. tritongreen would like to see Ann Arbor burn to the ground. Despite that, he says this:
Mallett is the 2nd best QB at the camp behind the kid going to Florida. [This is probably a typo and means the "kid from Florida," Texas-bound John Brantley -ed]They love him. Monster arm, great footwork and other intangibles. Michigan is getting a very good QB.

Nichol is very average. Please know that this means very average for being one of the best 11 in the country so no one get the noose out yet, but dont expect Smoker or Stanton type of quality the next 4 years.

Good news....Stanton is the best counselor out there.
As always, take it FWIW.

Wither Mike Croel? This Slate article on the demise of the baseball (/football /hockey /basketball) card touched a nerve with me, especially because I've just moved all my crap from one place to another. There's always a moment when you move when you stumble across stuff you forgot you had: for me it was the dingy old backgammon set that encased the most precious treasures the twelve-year-old version of myself owned. Opening up the case -- something I've just done for the first time in years -- is an interesting look back into a younger version of myself.

Card collecting was weird combination of sentimentality with ruthless economics, so the things that ended up in the case reflect both my personal preferences and what I no doubt thought was a keen financial acumen that would net a cool 20 grand sometime down the road. The former explains the dual Dikembe Mutumbo rookies (recently imported from Colorado, I was still fond of the Nuggets and Broncos -- the Rockies and Avs did not exist yet). The latter explains the David Robinson rookie as well as the four or five cards displaying an oversized human being that eventually resolves itself into a version of Shaq that's too small and impossibly huge all at the same time.

Also of note:
  • The famous -- at least amongst my circle of preteen friends -- card featuring Frank Thomas subtly giving the bird to the cameraman.
  • A Shawn Kemp rookie card even less recognizable than the Shaq versions.
  • A panoply of Lindros cards... thanks for nothing, Eric! You and your stupid concussions cost me some "clams" or "bones" or whatever you people call them! Don't get me started on your stupid "knee injury," Pavel Bure!
  • A gold-embossed card featuring the infamous Todd Van Poppel, he of the infinite promise and ERA.
  • At least the reasoning for having Van Poppel in there is sound, as he was one of the most highly touted prospects of my collecting era. But why in God's name do I have two-count-'em-two Felix Jose rookie cards? Who the hell is Felix Jose?
  • I do know who Joe Juneau is, but there's still no excuse for his rookie card in this case.
  • Mark McGuire used to be very very tiny.
  • Boy, Kid Brian was in for some disillusionments: there are four or five different Barry Sanders cards and three featuring Chris Webber decked out in maize and blue. Plus, Mike Croel would never repeat the form of his rookie season with the Broncos.
  • Think I could wrangle a column on Page 2 in exchange for a Larry Bird '92 Dream Team card?
  • I think I have to go burn this Alonzo Mourning "Future Heroes" card.
  • I have an entire hologram set of the '92 award winners, featuring the following players: Michael Jordan (points, MVP), David Robinson (blocks, DPOY), John Stockton (assists, steals), Larry Johnson (ROY), Dennis Rodman (rebounds) aaaaaaaaaaand... the immortal Detlef Schrempf!
Apparently I could sell these things for a total of eight dollars. I should have got more Dikembe Mutumbo rookies.

It's official: blog make newspaper crazy. The News and Free Press are seriously weirding me out, man. First: Angelique Chengelis apparently has this column-ish thing called "The Buzz" wherein she writes chatty blurbs on relevant news. The overall effect is freakin' creepy:
He absolutely knows Michigan is behind in terms of a practice facility for both basketball programs. Recruits need to look no further than neighboring Michigan State to see the type of top-notch facilities of which Michigan is absolutely worthy.


Those who like motor sports have their biases.

I have mine.

Open-wheel racing on a high-speed oval is racing at its purest -- breath-taking, dangerous, and quite frankly, awesome.
Is it just me, or does this seem like the sort of thing an editor bestowed upon the plebes in an attempt to get back all those readers distracted by the shiny Internets? That's bad, but the News, as per usual when it comes to miraculously bad ideas, has nothing on the Free Press. You probably saw this cited on Deadspin, but if you didn't it must be brought to your attention so we can collectively beat it to death. It is a liveblog of the British Open. In a newspaper. Apparently written by a man who digs Carrot Top. Argh:
Free Press golf writer Carlos Monarrez recaps the British Open third round from the best seat of all -- his couch.

7 a.m. -- TNT's coverage begins. Yeah, right, like a sports writer is really going to be awake at 7 a.m. Thank God for TiVo.

7:02 -- Angelina Jolie and I are riding unicorns over a sea of strawberry marshmallows.

9:04 -- Dang it, I'm awake! See you tonight, Angelina. ABC is starting its third-round recap with the usual overwrought soundtrack. Presidential inaugurations don't get the kind of fanfare golf majors get from networks.

9:05 -- A replay of John Senden's ace on the 13th hole. Who says 13 is unlucky?
Obviously this newspaper/blogwar thing has gotten out of hand. We need some sort of ceasefire, a line drawn in the sand. (Across this line you do not... also, Dude, Chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature, etc.)

How about this: you leave the liveblogs, jokes, statistical analysis, and devastating good looks to us. We'll stop pretending we're real journalists and blathering on about long tails and new media and how useless y'all are. This way no one gets hurt.

The Autolink. Badger Sports brings the following delicious passage from an article on the UW university system to the world's attention:
The UW System administration saw UW-Milwaukee, with its doctoral status, large size and urban setting, as a place to address the needs of students rejected by UW-Madison. It envisioned turning UW-Milwaukee into a Wisconsin version of Michigan State University or the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Please forward this to everyone you know who goes or went to State. Multiple times. If this is an attempt to join the BlogPoll via sucking up, it's working.

Etc.: Random gambly-type Big Ten preview projects Michigan as champions (via Badger Sports); EDSBS caption contest (warning: not suitable for basically everyone); The 614 starts in with the OSU preview, again references this "two game season" thing which you'd better believe I am preparing to throw in the face of anyone who even so much of thinks of mentioning it (lo, I am wroth and my vengance will be Internet sarcasm).