Friday, December 21, 2007

Bowl Preview Cop Out

I've never really enjoyed reading the major sports 'news' sites, except of course to mock them. They typically suck, lend no insight, and aren't that interesting to read.

In a moment of personal weakness, and understandable boredom, I broke down and read the bowl previews at the major corporate sites. I'm not proud of what I've done.

In these types of situations, I typically read, say "that is total bullshit", and then move on. I couldn't do it this time. It's too awful. Let's take a look.

Alamo Bowl Preview, Mark Schlabach of ESPN:

Penn State's Joe Paterno will be coaching in his 500th game; Texas A&M's Gary Darnell will be coaching in his first as the Aggies' interim coach. Darnell, the team's defensive coordinator, replaces Dennis Franchione, who resigned after upsetting rival Texas in the regular-season finale. Penn State shut out the Aggies 24-0 in the 1999 Alamo Bowl.

Great, when in doubt about Penn State, just talk about how old JoePa is. Never fails. Then, when even that old faithful won't fill up the 50 word minimum your editor gave you, bring up the score of a totally irrelevant game between the same two teams that happened almost a decade ago.

Well, at least I got that out of the way, let's try to find something about the actual game, Rivals, what do ya got for me?
Top storyline: Penn State coach Joe Paterno will coach his 500th game for the Nittany Lions. Since his first win – 15-7 over Maryland on Sept. 17, 1966 – Texas A&M has had seven coaches (Gene Stallings, Emory Bellard, Tom Wilson, Jackie Sherrill, R.C. Slocum, Dennis Franchione and new guy Mike Sherman).

Thanks asshole, but ESPN already said that. And thanks for bringing up the names of Gene Stallings, Emory Bellard, Tom Wilson, Jackie Sherrill, and R.C. Slocum because they are all very relevant to this bowl game. Next!

From CBS[redacted].com*:
Brand names, bad game. The best thing you can say about these two underachieving teams is that it is Joe Paterno's 500th game. A&M is in disarray until the Mike Sherman administration takes over. Penn State finished tied for fifth in the Big Ten after a disturbing loss to Michigan State in its finale.

This is how good of a sports reporter you are: you told me the game will suck, no information about why, just "this game sucks." At least this loser waited until the second sentence to print the apparently mandatory "500th game" comment. So, what else, oh, quickly look up the last game of the season, check the score, and then (and I know this is what you did) call it 'disturbing' without so much as looking at the box score. Nice work.

Mandel, you're usually good for a laugh. From SI:
Gosh, it's been so long since Dennis Franchione resigned, I almost forgot it was this season. Do you think Aggies interim coach Gary Darnell has taken the time to revamp the entire playbook? And where does new coach Mike Sherman figure into all this? If I'm this confused, whither Joe Paterno?

Um, "whither Joe Paterno?"...what the hell does that even mean? Are you calling him a wrinkly old man? Or did you just watch First Knight and feel the need to talk like a jester from the 15th century? And, of course, your comments have almost nothing to do with the bowl game, but I guess I didn't get the memo about how 'real journalists' don't have to actually write about football any more. Everyone in the room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

*Even in desperate times, I never, ever, ever go to cbs[redacted].com. Where did I get the quote, I found it in my wallet, I swear....ok, I went to the site, but only because after reading the other three I had the idea for this post, and I just knew CBS's would suck, so I found it. It, of course, did suck. Probably worse than the other three, which is why I had to include it.

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