Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Stop Him Before He Errs Again

Picked up pieces while waiting for the Boston Globe to run overdue corrections to errors in Dan's last several columns ...

In his column today, a collage of inane and occasionally nasty tidbits, The CHB manages to toss a couple of bombs Joe Montanta's way. Snidely referring to the three-time Super Bowl MVP as "Joe Cool," he writes "you didn't see Joe Montana strolling out with the other former MVPs in the pregame parade of champions." Why single him out? We didn't see Terry Bradshaw either. Oh wait, Dan did.

Speaking of poor vision, on Feb. 3 the CHB wrote that "[Dan] Kreider will become the third player in UNH history to play in a Super Bowl, joining former Wildcats linebackers Bruce Huther (Cowboys) and Scott Curtis (Broncos)."

Dan apparently forgot the immortal Dwyane Saab, who played for the New England Patriots (perhaps you've heard of them) in Super Bowl XXXI against Green Bay. According to this boxscore from USA Today, Saab was credited for a solo tackle and two assists.

Again, I can't take credit for catching this; that honor goes to Sheriff Sully and his crew for picking up on this. Great work.

Lean on me. Dan simply can't put away the references to other sports. It's a crutch, which owes to his lack of command of the subject. Here's today's wildly wrong comparison: "Shaun Alexander's 95 yards on 20 carries earn him the Dominique Wilkins/Elvin Hayes/Wade Boggs Award for compiling a fairly impressive stat line while having no impact on the outcome." Not sure why he threw Boggs in there. As Bill James and others can attest, Boggs' was not only the most valuable Red Sox player for much of his tenure there, an argument could be made that for a stretch he was the most valuable player in the majors (see James' essay on this in the 1988 Baseball Abstract). The entire Red Sox philosophy during the (highly successful) Theo years has been built on the concept of OBP. Or maybe Dan has forgotten about that World Series title in 2004.

Oh, and objectivebruce, where are you?


jenny said...

Let's give credit where credit is due: while the rest of the column was largely dreck, CHB's bashing of the Super Bowl officiating was right on the money. It was absolutely horrible, an inexcusable performance. I am glad CHB called them out. Somebody needs to look at this, and hopefully his level of exposure will keep this story afloat. I was rooting for the Steelers but they didn't really earn that win.

Wow, I just complimented Dan Shaughnessy. I need to go back to bed.

The Chief said...

"Everyone complains about the weather but nobody does anything about it..."

shawn said...

Jenny, honestly, *everyone* criticized the officiating. It's the easy article. Was there anything in the game as egregious as the overturning of the Polamalu INT? No. It might have been even tamer than the Patriots-Broncos game, though I am admittedly biased in that regard.

It's easier to write the simple story, and Chief's right - without any understanding of the game himself, Shank can't offer us any insights into why Seattle lost. Why did Darrell Jackson disappear after the nullified TD? (Not that ABC helped me understand it by showing Pittsburgh's coverage) Give me something relevant to the game. Instead of getting down to the coaches' press conferences to hear what Holmgren had to say about the atrocious clock management, we get him hanging around the elevator to have some meaningless exchange with Tom Brady.

Shank's also inconsistent (yes, no surprise). He crows about Jeramy Stevens' TD catch on Monday, but ignores the three dropped balls. They're mentioned on Tuesday (Megan must've e-mailed her uncle from the WTA tour and filled him in) and he trashes the TE. Note, I'm not counting that Stevens fumble as an incomplete. Seahawk fans, take note: refs gave you a gift on that one.

The refs didn't make it easy, but they did not cost Seattle the game. The Seahawk players and coaches did.

I challenge you, Dan, (because I suspect you do read this, since you're always complaining about Internet conspiracies) to not take the lazy route and to actually write something substantive about the game.

How about this: D-Jack DID interfere with the defender, on that touchdown catch. Any time you extend your arm like that, they're gonna call it. It's the Keyshawn Rule. On first viewing, I thought it was a late flag, too. But if you watch the replay, you'll notice the back judge go for his flag, miss, the defender turns to complain, and he reaches for the flag again and throws it.

Look, I think it's fair to say that we don't want to dislike you. We all want quality sportswriting. What ticks me off is your apparent lack of effort, laziness, contempt and petty behavior, towards your readers and subjects. If you're happy writing for the lowest common denominator of readers, then I guess that's your prerogative. But don't whine when someone calls you on your shortcomings. On the other hand if you want to step up and start knocking pieces out of the park, with a little effort, thought, insight and facts, rather than platitudes or snide remarks, then I'll reevaluate my opinion.

jenny said...

Let me put it this way, then: most of the criticism of the officiating has been of the pansy sort, the "oh, the officiating was occasionally, possibly of ambiguous correctness" type of line. No, it wasn't "ambiguous." Most of those calls were total BS. And I enjoy reading any article that firmly calls these refs onto the carpet, whether it's CHB or not. He expressed exactly what I was feeling.

The rest of it, however, was vintage Shaughnessy. I say that in a tone you would use to say "vintage Ford Pinto." I am sure Tom Brady is thanking his lucky stars right now that CHB bumped into him BY the elevator, rather than IN it. Funny how Dan doesn't seem to realize that Brady gave him the response of a man who wants to say something vague and noncommittal and then get the hell away from him.

The whole thing reads sort of like a kid's diary. "Matt Hasselbeck is nice. Jerramy Stevens is not. I think Paul Tagliabue is mean. The halftime show was bad [it was]."

And what was up with that random comment about Joe Montana? Does he have substantiation for that? Or is this another one of those "I plead the Theo Epstein Rule of Unsubstantiated Character Assassination" jobs?

objectivebruce said...

Well you got him and the copy desk on Bradshaw and Dwyane Saab, although the latter is not as bad an omission as St. Gammons oft-repeated, never-corrected claim that Tim Wakefield is the only knuckleballer ever to win a post-season game (try Gene Bearden, Jesse Haines, Eddie Cicotte and, if you count single game playoffs for divison titles, Joe Niekro.)

While the Theo Fan Club may worship at the altar of OBP, one could still make the case that the Sawx success in 2004 was Weaveresque, pitching (more wins from top 3 starters than any other MLB team) and three-run homers (more homers from 2 hitters than any club but STL.) Ooops. This is a debate. But then, isn't a columnist supposed to encourage debate? Apparently not in this neighborhood of jealous rage.

The Chief said...

Who doesn't love the 3-run homer?

shawn said...

Without a high team OBP, you don't get a lot of 3-run homers. I haven't heard anyone denying or glossing over the large contribution of pitching in the '04 championship. (Is that Earl or Jeff Weaver you're talking about?) Gosh, the Red Sox won with an extremely well-rounded team! Stop the presses.

Thanks for the knuckleballer info Bruce, at least I learned something.

shawn said...

But uh, weren't we talking football? How did the Sox end up in this discussion?

Morrissey Mole said...

Oh, that's great OB. Throw the copy desk under the bus. It is up to their writer to get it right to begin with.

As for Gammons, here's the difference. Gammons made a mistake. But Gammons doesn't act like a douchebag. Notice that among Shaughnessy's peer group, there is no "Bob Ryan watch" website, no Jackie MacMullan watch, no John Powers watch, no Gammons watch. Why is that? Maybe because the rest are all professionals who are all still passionate about their work and don't turn in lazy, trite, one-trick pony crap and don't use their space to attack people and basically don't insult their readers' intelligence.

When they're both dead and gone, Bob Ryan is going to remembered as a class act and one of the greatest writers and reporters ever to grace the city of Boston. Shaughnessy will be remembered as a boil on the ass of the city that we finally got rid of.

objectivebruce said...

Seeing Bradshaw when he isn't there, blame the writer.

Omitting a UNH player from a list of those who played in the NFL, blame the writer and the copy desk.

See how objective I am?