Saturday, March 21, 2009

Shank Logic: New England Only Extends to Rt. 128

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 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.


dbvader said...

Ob, want to respond to this:

"For years, Time, Inc. was controlled by CEDE, Inc., a subsidiary of the New York Stock Exchange.

Care to explain? How does a subsidiary of the NYSE come to control a public corporation traded on the exchange?"

Paul said...

"Without the Eagles, New England would not be involved in an annual nationwide sports festival that has grown to monstrous proportions."

So I guess the New England Patriots don't fit that description?

JERRY G said...

An interesting note on this particular critique thanks to David Scott.

Dan Shaughnessy, Cartographer

The site dedicated to such things does a pretty good job of critiquing Danny Boy for this laugher of an offering from Friday.
But there’s probably some good to be done from piling on in this instance.

E-mailers to Shots were equally appalled by the Curt’s BF’s assertion that, “New England’s history in the NCAA basketball tourney is ancient and rare.”

Shaughnessy bases the column on a completely fraudulent premise based in poor geography and worse institutional memory. Does anyone edit the man? And couldn’t he have had the decency to, I don’t know, write something that justified the expense of sending him on the road?

Wouldn’t it have been nice to see a senior-year-unsung-hero Tyrese Rice column from Dan? Or maybe a Rakim Sanders of Pawtucket, RI piece? Or is Rhody too small of a state to be considered New England. Or how about something on the UVM transfer (oh look, another New England basketball school) Joe Trapani? Oh, wait, he’s from Connecticut and since that’s not part of New England, well, he probably doesn’t merit an introduction to the once-a-year BC followers who pop up annually.

I really hope Shaughnessy brings a t-shirt back from Minnesota for his chief enabler, sports editor, Joe Sullivan.

You know the one. It reads, “My editor sent me to Minnesota and all I produced were two lousy columns that I put next to no effort into.”

Is there not anyone who talks with Shaughnessy about what he might be writing on? Don’t co-workers like Bob Ryan or Tony Massarotti get embarrassed by the drivel their cohort hands in while they actually still get after it?

Things are tough all over and morale at newspapers is below sea level - but it can only be compounded for Globies who have to watch as Shaughnessy skates by on three out of every four offerings.

None of the Globe’s college hoops coverage bodes well for this weekend’s East Regional. Let’s hope Adam Kilgore comes up North from FLA and that Ryan doesn’t get sent to Memphis, Indy or Phoenix.