Dan's in Minneapolis ostensibly to cover the Boston College Eagles' post-season efforts in the NCAA tournament (one-and-out, as it turns out).
Since his March 20th piece wasn't time stamped, there's no telling when Dan filed his column, but it wasn't posted to Boston.com Friday morning ... or maybe the Globe techies collectively lurking in their mothers' basements figured out a way to prevent me from accessing it in a timely manner here in Atlanta.
Be that as it may, Dan returns to his hackneyed ways with a trip down memory lane, invoking a variety of cultural icons and limiting the boundaries of New England to the 128 beltway. Then, in inimitable Shank fashion, he contradicts the basic premise of his story and proceeds to briefly outline the March Madness experiences of other men's hoop programs that -- technically, I guess -- exist in other parts of New England.
He begins, "Without the Eagles, New England would not be involved in an annual nationwide sports festival that has grown to monstrous proportions."
After invoking the names of Forrest Gump and his sidekick, Bubba, he then morphs into extolling the tourney's popularity by trotting out "American Idol" and "Dancing with the Stars," mentions the president (of the U.S., not of BC), and lamented the fact that "nobody noticed" BC's No. 2 ranking in college football in 2007, because we all were hung over from the Red Sox World Series victory and caught up in the Patriots' march to 18-0.
Writes Dan, "New England's history in the NCAA basketball tourney is ancient and rare." Uh, last time I checked, Connecticut is actually considered a New England state ... and I seem to recall a couple of latter day NCAA championships trolled in by the UConn men from Storrs.
Combine that minor fact with this next Dannism, "This is BC's 10th NCAA Tournament appearance since 1994." Hardly ancient history, Danny Boy.
The Shankster also delivers this gem, "As every Worcester schoolchild knows, Holy Cross won the thing back in the day when Bob Cousy was a freshman on Mount St. James (1947)." Dan, perhaps you spent four years at Holy Cross, but you obviously never ventured off campus. Having spent the bulk of the Eighties living and working in Worcester, I know that 99 percent of the schoolchildren in that city only know that the Holy Cross campus is just on the other side of I-290. Trust me, the Crusaders' foray into the stratospheric regions of the NCAA tournament in the late 1940s isn't a staple of the Worcester school system.
So, what are we left with? Just another meandering column that Dan slapped together without doing any footwork. In other words, back to one of the trickster's basic templates. And they pay him to do this. Shame, shame.