Thursday, August 2, 2007

All Right HatGuy: Your Gross Abuse of Your Job is now Personal

"Carroll Could be the next Rockne"

In this article, HatGuy compares Pete Carroll to Knute Rockne. In this article, HatGuy makes outlandish claims based on nothing. In this article, HatGuy states 'facts' that are patently false. You might think it about par for the HatGuy course. Except this article is about Notre Dame and USC, which means I hate you even more, HatGuy.

Let's get down to business:

When I think about Pete Carroll, the name that keeps jumping into my head is Knute Rockne. I keep telling myself that there have to be better analogies, and there probably are. But my brain won’t cooperate. It keeps whispering “Rockne.”

This isn’t an opinion based on careful analysis. It’s a gut feeling. If it were anything else, I’d flippantly fling it in the recycle bin and move on.

Focus on that last paragraph. Actually, re-read those three sentences. Do it again. I'll wait.



Picture me using a Norm McDonald voice for this one:

"Yeah, hello REAL READERS? Yeah it's me... dan-bob... Listen, there's this fake HatGuy going around pretending to be a real HatGuy and offering carefully analyzed opinions... he just stole a bunch of readers from so DON'T BE FOOLED!"

Also, I like the line: "If it were anything else, I’d flippantly fling it in the recycle bin and move on." I figured that the moment a vague connection floats into HatGuy's addled head, he flippantly flings it onto and then moves on to the next hat store or something.

It shouldn’t be hard to do. Carroll isn’t anything like Rockne, college football’s first celebrity coach. Rockne was born in Norway and worked in the U.S. Post Office in Chicago before enrolling at Notre Dame. He was a star end at the age of 25 on the team that beat Army in 1913 and introduced the nation to the forward pass.
On graduation, Rockne became a chemistry teacher at Notre Dame. When he took over the football team in 1918, it’s doubtful that many people outside of Notre Dame either knew exactly who he was or cared.

HatGuy's dedicated readers might think that Notre Dame is the sort of shit-lucky place that can pull chemistry teachers out of the lab and chuck them onto the football field and turn them into college football legends. I don't really want to disabuse anyone of that notion; I find it kind of endearing. But, HatGuy readers, anyone who cared about college football in 1918 would've realized that Rockne had been an assistant coach for the Irish since 1914. But that wasn't an important fact, was it... HatGuy? HatGuy?

It took him six years to win his first national championship and five more years to win the first of back-to-back titles in 1929-30. By then, he had transformed himself into a coaching superstar, the darling of Hollywood and the syndicated columnists like Grantland Rice who were to Rockne’s world what ESPN is to Carroll’s. When Rockne died in a plane crash in the spring of 42, it was like the death of a president.

1. Don't mention the fact that his 1919 and 1920 teams are also in some books considered national champions, inasmuch as they finished the season undefeated and untied both years.

2. Fact check: Rockne's plane crashed in the spring of 1931, immediately after his teams won those back-to-back titles. About par for the HatGuy course: at least one completely incorrect fact that could be proven wrong with three seconds of googling. I imagine he looked up a bio of Rockne for this, but somehow managed to get one of the more critical dates utterly wrong. I suspect HatGuy has Mad Cow disease or something.

I have an idea! We take all of HatGuy's future articles and play HatGuy Golf - seeing how much under par or over par he is for his pitiful standards. Anyone want to play a round later?

HatGuy goes on to illuminate Pete Carroll's string of loserness in the NFL. Apparently he made the playoffs in no fewer than HALF the seasons that he coached in the NFL - including a stint with the Jets in which he coached a single season before getting the axe. A vintage bit:

A three-year stint with New England from 1997-99 saw a 10-6 record and a 1-1 record in the playoffs, then two years of decline before he collected his second pink slip.

Fact check: in 1998, Pete Carroll's 1998 Patriots MADE THE PLAYOFFS at 9-7. His record in the playoffs is actually 1-2! I guess that was decline! You are a lazy piece of shit!

He came by the USC job by default when all the candidates ahead of him, including Dennis Erickson, turned down the job.

This is probably true.

But here’s where I start thinking Rockne again. The reason is because both he and Carroll basically came out of nowhere — one from the chem lab and the other from the scrapheap. One was a funny-looking immigrant kid, the other was just funny. Rockne took over a program that had had a taste of glory and wanted more. Carroll moved into one that had been at the heights of the game and wanted to get back.

National titles at ND before Rockne: 0
National titles at SC before Carroll: 5 (or so).

So basically Rockne took off his chemistry lab goggles, rolled up his smock and commandeered an institution that had never been regarded as a football power and turned it into the most significant single institution in college football even 77 years after his death.

Pete Carroll is a great coach. He rescued an admittedly moribund program and has returned it to incredible heights. Pete Carroll was already a famous person - since one normally gets famous when one coaches in the National Football League.

The basis of this article is patently false: Carroll's unique story is not really comparable at all to Knute Rockne's unique story.

Most of all, both are heavy on charisma and self-confidence; Rockne didn’t care what everybody else thought, and neither does Carroll. And those qualities are what made Rockne the best in his day and Carroll the best in his.

Rockne's Winning Pct: .881
Carroll's Winning Pct: .844
Rockne's Charisma and Self-confidence Pct: 100%
Carroll's Charisma and Self-confidence Pct: 100%

I almost wish he would've supported this claim with some anecdotal evidence. Maybe Rockne's self-confidence was noted by the fact that he was willing to take the Irish to LA to start playing SC. Maybe Pete Carroll's self-confidence is noted by the fact that his players complain about the length of the grass.

A big difference is that Carroll has gotten to the top faster than Rockne did. After going 6-6 in his first season, Carroll went 11-2 in his second, and then won 37 of his next 39 games, including 34 in a row and two national championships — the AP title in 2003 and both the AP and the BCS crown the following year.

Let the record show, FatGuy, that Rockne went undefeated in his second AND third year at ND. As a matter of fact, he only lost two games in his first three years! As a matter of fact, Pete Caroll lost two games in his first three games!

After finishing 11-2 last year, Carroll’s record for the past five seasons is 59-6. His overall winning percentage is 84.4 percent, just a couple of ticks behind Rockne’s all-time Division I-A record of 88.1 percent. He's expected to move closer to that mark this season as the Trojans are likely to start No. 1 in the preseason polls. And his recent recruiting classes have been second to none.

Pete Carroll is a very good coach of very good football teams. Let the record show that even after all those accomplishments he still has to win 24 straight games to pass Rockne.

Then HatGuy goes on to compare Carroll to some other college coaches like Wilkinson and Bryant. I imagine there are egregious errors there, but I don't care. I've had enough of your shite, HatGuy. Your offenses to sports are encouraging me to compile your errors, contact, have you removed from your job, and force you to enter a profession where people tolerate this shit. Like maybe political journalism.


larry b said...

if you love notre dame so much why dont you marry it?

charlie weis could perform the ceremony.

Chris Hart said...

So let me get this straight: you went to ND (and love Rockne), so therefore you hate USC (and Carroll). Was that your point?

This goes to all you guys at fjaym, not every sports article has to be written based on careful analysis. In fact, writing based on opinion is what these guys are paid to do.

dan-bob said...

But see, dear cking, I expect writers' opinions to be at least moderately informed by fact, with no egregious factual errors supporting their point. As many internet blogsters have noticed, this guy has neither. This article got what it deserved.

So this goes for all of you new guys at fjaym who don't understand how it works, every sports article should at least have some accurate factual basis on what takes place in sports. Cheers!

Chris W said...

comparing rockne and carrol is asinine for a number of reasons.

that's not to say either is a "superior" coach...but they really have absolutely nothing in common and all hat guy's article did was confirm that.

pnoles said...

So that's why HatGuy uses food metaphors so much...his writing is directly dependent on his stomach......