And also raise your hand if you're not a Hannah Montana fan.
Got you good, asshole. Now you're either a fan of bad sportswriting, or a fan of music aimed at pre-teen girls (and a potential pederast). OK, put your hands down. Enough "yolking" around! Since it's Articles That Didn't Need To Be Written Week here at FireJay, let's just get to the articles that didn't need to be written. Actually, first let's crown a winner from last week's Reader Extra Participation Friday. I'm handing the title to Jeff for pointing out this very relevant fact:
Mark Price has the best career free throw percentage in NBA history, edging out Rick Barry.
But Barry could argue that Price had the luxury of playing his prime years against a more diluted league because of the late 1980's expansion.
That's worth one box of Cheese Nips. Congratulations. It didn't jive perfectly with the topic I assigned, but it's pretty funny anyways. And only two people responded so I didn't have a lot of material to work with. Sorry Jim, better luck next week.
So anyways, let's move on to some absolutely groundbreaking material produced by some of America's finest sportswriterjournalists. These guys really put the "expos(e)" in expository. Foxsports.com's Jeff Goodman wants you to know that there are other good NCAA basketball teams out there besides Tennessee. They tend to fly under the radar a little bit, but if you really job your memory you may realize you've heard about some of these other contenders before. Like, perhaps dozens of fucking times since November.
Tennessee is deep, athletic and talented. The Vols play hard and have proven they can get out on the road and win in hostile environments. They've now proven it at Xavier, in Seattle against Gonzaga and in the most hostile environment that anyone will face this season — in Memphis.
All true. The Red Sox were also very good in 2007, and I hear the Giants' defensive line played well in the Super Bowl.
However, it's not as if it's Tennessee and everyone else.
What? No fucking way. You might as well tell me that babies don't actually get delivered by a stork, or that cigarettes don't cure lung cancer.
North Carolina also has two setbacks — and one of them came without its starting point guard, Ty Lawson. The Tar Heels may not be as deep as a year ago, but Roy Williams still has more than enough firepower — when Lawson is healthy — to play with anyone in the country.
Baloney. Since when has Williams shown he can win in March and April? And since when were they any good this year? Oh, that's right, they have one of the most hyped (notice I didn't say overhyped, but he's still annoyingly regular-hyped) players in the country. He's a big white guy who looks like he should be playing the jocky villain in a teen romantic comedy. Forgot his name though.
UCLA has had a trio of slip-ups, with the most recent one coming at Washington — the ninth-place team in the Pac-10. The Bruins have battled their share of injuries as well — their own starting floor leader, Darren Collison, missed the first six games, Mike Roll has been out for nearly the entire season and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute hasn't been 100 percent in months.
Never heard of them. Call me when you reach back-to-back Final Fours.
Kansas lost at Oklahoma State on Saturday night, but the Jayhawks may have as much talent among their first seven players as anyone in the nation — and what was once regarded as a weakness in the middle, has become a strength with the emergence of Darnell Jackson.
If they don't still have Raef LaFrentz, I'm not interested. Aren't they a football school now anyways?
Duke had a brutal two-game stretch recently, but the Blue Devils are certainly capable of making a legitimate Final Four run. They defend, can shoot and are obviously well-coached.
Insert "Coach K looks like a rat" joke here. That's all I got.
Don't discount Memphis from the equation, either.
Really? They just lost a game in the final minute to another really good team in February. I thought that meant they were ineligible to participate in the tournament.
Even after a disappointing performance Saturday, John Calipari's club still has the toughness, experience and talent to advance to San Antonio.
Not a chance. No way. I'll give them that first round win over DeVry A&M, but I refuse to pick them against the winner of the 8/9 or 7/10 game in their bracket. Give me Marquette and the under. As you can see, this article absolutely didn't need to be written. I don't have a ton of time, but let's just belabor that point with one more little example. CBSSportsline's Mike Freeman wants you to know that not all NCAA athletes are law abiding citizens. Re: The Tennessee Volunteers:
On Jan 11, 2008: Police cite freshman wide receivers Gerald Jones and Ahmad Paige for possession of marijuana following a traffic stop near campus while the two hosted a recruit from Oklahoma on his official visit, the newspaper reported. Freshman offensive lineman William Brimfield, who was with Paige and Jones at the time, was not charged by police but was disciplined by Fulmer.
On Jan. 21: Campus police arrest freshman tailback Daryl Vereen for public intoxication and underage consumption after responding to a call of a fight in progress outside an on-campus residence hall.
On Jan. 26: Police arrest All-SEC lineman Anthony Parker for disorderly conduct at an off-campus apartment complex, the paper says. Public intoxication, drunkenness, and fights seem to be a main theme when it comes to rules breakers in the Tennessee program. If only the Volunteers had that kind of fight in them when they played Florida.
Feb. 2: A walk-on defensive back, Vince Faison, was arrested for DUI after police found Faison passed out behind the wheel of his truck in the parking lot of an on-campus fast-food restaurant with the engine running, the paper wrote, and his foot on the brake pedal with the vehicle in gear. Well, hell, who hasn't passed out after gorging on too many burgers and fries? So judgmental, you people.
Feb. 13: Fulmer dismisses two players, the paper reports, for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Both players were arrested within the past 18 months. I can't imagine what it takes for Fulmer to toss someone off the team. A meeting with the Taliban? Eating someone's liver with fava beans?
Feb. 17: Police arrest the Vols' punter for DUI and leaving the scene of an accident after he allegedly struck a parked car causing more than $400 in damage. The punter allegedly bolted from the accident. Who says punters aren't real athletes? Probably ran so fast the police put out an APB for Deion Sanders. The punter's case is an interesting one. It wasn't the first time he found himself in trouble, or even the second. Or the third. This could be his fifth alcohol-related offense, according to the Knoxville paper. That's where you just wonder what the hell Fulmer is thinking.
1. I have no idea why he's picking on UT specifically. I don't really care that he is, because I don't give a shit about them, but it seems strange. Any number of schools have the exact same problem.
2. Anyone who isn't aware of this kind of thing already is not the kind of person who is going to come to CBSSportsline and read this article. So, thank you for telling a bunch of people who are already sports fans something that every sports fan knows.
3. What the hell Fulmer is thinking is that he gets paid to win, not to run a program with no criminal incidents. I think that aspect of big money college sports is pretty well documented.
Again, the transgressions listed are all solely from this year. Fulmer's track record in this area is extensive. He leaves a trail of player arrests, DUIs and serious crimes in his ample wake yet suffers no significant penalty for running the 21st-century version of The Mean Machine. And the NCAA sits on its hands and monitors telephone calls. It's ironic that Fulmer would be in greater trouble with the NCAA if he made illegal contact with a recruit than when one of his players allegedly hits a car and runs from the crime like a gutless turd.
Every turd is by definition made out of guts, so that insult doesn't work. And do you want to know why the NCAA seems to care more about recruiting violations than delinquent programs? Because when schools cheat, no one else besides their governing body is going to penalize them for it. On the other hand, when kids get in trouble, schools are supposed to adequately police themselves. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don't. Usually they fall somewhere inbetween. But at least they almost always put up the appearance of trying to fix the problem. When Kelvin Sampson committed his violations, there was no way Indiana itself was going to do a damn thing about the issue. Like so many others, this article did not need to be written.
Tomorrow: Baseball has a steroid problem! Tom Brady is dating that ugly-faced supermodel! And the NBA's Western Conference is probably much stronger than its Eastern Conference!
Monday, February 25, 2008
And also raise your hand if you're not a Hannah Montana fan.