I’m not sure you’ll read a better one-sentence summary of the NCAA’s debacle concerning the Miami investigation than this one from Mr. Pierce: “In the course of investigating Nevin Shapiro, the NCAA indicted itself.”
The ultimate comment on Chizik’s dismissal comes from Ivan Maisel, who absolutely nails it with this paragraph:
The Tigers started out as a team yearning to be mediocre and never improved. In fact, by the end of the season, Auburn set school records for ineptitude. The Tigers lost to their biggest rivals, No. 3 Georgia and No. 2 Alabama, by a combined score of 87-0. An Auburn coach could be forgiven many things, several of them prosecutable, before he could be forgiven those losses.
If you picture that as the preacher’s few choice words as the dirt is being shoveled over the coffin, it really works.
If you’re a Notre Dame hata, then this Charlie Pierce piece is right up your alley. It’s all enjoyable, but here’s a tasty sample:
… And, last, but most important of all — good god, can they be insufferable. They’re like sacramentalized Yankees fans. I have to say, I really enjoyed that 12-year stretch from 1995 to 2007 when they lost nine bowl games in a row, and when the average margin of defeat in those games was north of 17 points.
Bonus points for the Rudy bashing (“a passel of unreconstructed mythopoeic bullpucky”). I can’t stand that flick. Or the real-life Rudy, for that matter.
This verges on the poetic:
… Of all the self-inflicted daggers Bray has wielded over the last three years, none has cut quite as deep as his late, game-killing fumble in Athens, which should not have come as a surprise – it is Tyler Bray’s raison d’être to absentmindedly push the wrong button, pull the wrong cord, lock the wrong door, nudging his beleaguered head coach ever closer to the edge – but somehow did after Bray completed four passes to move the Vols within striking distance of the tying (or potentially winning) touchdown.
**Sniff** That’s beautiful.
This is freakin’ brilliant.
There are three Clemsons inside of Clemson, each battling the other for supremacy, and it’s become customary to see at least two of the three over the course of a single season – like last fall, for example. First, there’sTitle Contender Clemson: you saw these Tigers over the year’s first eight games and in the A.C.C. title game, when it knocked off Virginia Tech to win the program’s first conference title in 20 years. Then there’s Clemson Being Clemson, a team that lays an egg against Georgia Tech, committing four turnovers in a 14-point loss, or one that nearly plays down to its competition before sneaking a three-point win past Wake Forest – we all know this Clemson. Then there’s My God, Clemson, the team that fails to show up for a rivalry game against the Gamecocks, or the one that allows West Virginia to break the speed limit in a 70-33 Orange Bowl loss.
Clemson Being Clemson – I love that Clemson. Which one’s your favorite?
Granted, he’s gathering low-hanging fruit, but Jon Solomon’s piece on what a disappointment the addition of the 12th game to the college football schedule has turned out to be is an epic snarkfest. And I do mean epic. Here’s a sample:
“I would understand if the media misinterpreted the motive for the 12th game as a long-term fiscal fix, but I would be disappointed if athletics administrators saw it as anything but a short-term salve,” NCAA President Myles Brand wrote in 2005. “I believe most administrators and presidents understand that the decision is not a panacea for fiscal responsibility.”
No, that’s why a playoff is coming. But I digress.
**Sniff**. That’s beautiful.
Josh Moon has a funny piece about the playoff talk at SEC Media Days. This quip is my favorite part:
Kentucky’s Joker Phillips was all for the new setup, as was Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen. They’ll each be hosting watching parties at their homes.
The lede to Paul Myerberg’s preseason analysis of Kentucky made me laugh:
Congratulations are in order for Kentucky. For the whole basketball thing, of course, but don’t forget this: Kentucky is no longer the 11th-best program in the SEC – or 12th, if we believe Vanderbilt can continue building upon James Franklin’s debut. Yes, congratulations: you did it, Kentucky. Today, after Mike Slive and the league’s decision-makers added Missouri and Texas A&M, the Wildcats are the 13th-best program in the 14-team SEC – or 14th, dead last, under the same conditions as above.
Just wait ’til the SEC expands to sixteen. That’ll show ‘em.
When it comes to political blogging, I tend to follow folks on the basis of the quality of their writing as opposed to the quality of their ideology. Right now, my favorite political blogger by far is Charlie Pierce. Pierce has also been a sportswriter (and still pens on occasion at Grantland, if you’d prefer to skip the politics) and that will sometimes show up to make a point.
Which is why I enjoy the lede to this post so much. You don’t have to agree with his politics to get a kick out of the insult.
… James seemingly has everything else. He’s got the looks, the buzzwords and the ESPN-honed ability to speak at length without saying much. Being a former football star in a football state would normally help, too.
It was all there Friday night in Dallas in a debate among Republicans competing for Texas’ open U.S. Senate seat. James was vague, offering little insight, but when did that ever stop anyone in politics?
James said he was just a citizen who would be guided by the Constitution and his faith. “I want to go do the work of ‘We the People,’” he said, which sounds nice enough.
So does his Facebook page. There, under activities, he lists “ranching, real estate, restoring traditional values.”
For those who don’t know: Before restoring, strip and sand with steel wool.
If he sounds insipid, that’s because insipid can be effective in an election. James is not unlike other celebrities who skip steps to run for high office. They lean on name recognition.
But that’s the catch — James’ name gets recognized the way the guilty do in a police lineup…
Ah, that’s good. I really dig that “the ESPN-honed ability to speak at length without saying much” part. Nice killing two birds with one shot stuff there.