Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sports, Politics And Revenge

That's how Shank sums up the attitude in Massachusetts in his latest CNN / SI column. It's a good enough article, but we now start to see the seeping in of elements that make Shank one of the best in the business.

Add one teaspoon of condescension:

That's right boys, and girls. She said that Curt Schilling was a Yankee fan. And that closed the curtain on her bid for the U.S. Senate.

...a few shots at Curt Schilling:
Most recently Schilling has mixed sports and politics in Boston. A dedicated Republican, never shy about giving his opinion, the big Blowhard actually considered running for Kennedy's seat in the early weeks after the congressional lion passed away. Ever the glory hound, he announced he wasn't running on HBO's Joe Buck Live.
...throw in a few misspellings:

...Celtics owner Steve Pagliacu (should be Pagliuca)...
...Fred Smerles (should be Smerlas)...
...add overstatement that could easily get past a chin-stroking, head-nodding Boston Globe editor:

Oh, and then there's this fellow named Tom Brady.

Brady has it all. He's got the looks, the charisma, the fame and he's remained politically neutral on just about everything. He got into a little hot water when he accepted an invitation to one of George Bush's State of the Union addresses, but has otherwise steered clear of polarizing issues.
And we have what resembles your standard Globe product.

Question for Shank: are Republican presidents the only kind of president whose issues are polarizing?

The Great Column Convergence begins...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Making Noise

Today's Shank column focuses on the New York Jets, recapping their season and their prospects for the future after coming up short against the Indianapolis Colts yesterday.

Where did the play the game yesterday?

Lucas Oil (Can Boyd) Stadium
Where else?

This is an interesting sentence:

Manning quickly reminded everyone why Belichick went for it on fourth and 2 here in November.
I'm left wondering if this acknowledgement from Shank means he'll stop criticizing Belichick for doing just that against Manning. Somehow, I have my doubts...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Not That He's Bitter Or Anything

Enough of the human interest stories! Today, we must vent our spleens!

INDIANAPOLIS - It’s always about us, and therefore this AFC Championship game must be viewed through the prism of Patriot Place.



Any way both of these teams can lose today?

Let’s start with the ugly dateline. The AFC Championship game is being played at Lucas Oil (Can Boyd) Stadium in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, the heart of the heartland. That’s a big bowl of wrong. We all know this game should be played annually at the Razor off Route 1 in Foxborough.
And on it goes. Apparently it's not a bad enough game for Shank not to go to Lucas Oil (Can Boyd) Stadium. Read on to see what people and things Shank hates. It's the abbreviated list...

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Two in a row from Shank! Friday's column profiles Ayla Brown, a basketball player who's a senior at Boston College and is the daughter of newly elected U.S. Senator Scott Brown. Another good column by Shank...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Boyz 2 Men

The occasional Shank human interest story reappears today as Shank profiles Ricky Thurin, a senior forward for the Everett High School basketball team. Ricky's mother was in Haiti when the earthquake hit, and he didn't hear from her for five days, but he got the call that she's okay, and Mom will be back in the states soon. Good column.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jets / Colts, The Rematch

Shank's weekly CNN / SI column is devoted to the AFC Championship between New York and Indianapolis. Other than a little lecturing:

Listen up, young folks. Let me explain:
...the column is once again several notches above the thin gruel normally served up at Boston's Boring Broadsheet.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ridin' The Shetland Pony

Sunday's Shank Globe column sees Danny Boy riding his high horse to denounce the dishonesty of college coaching, with Lane Kiffin making the jump to USC after one whole year at Tennessee. Shank doesn't like people who have a tangential interest in the process:

"Yahoo towns with nothing else to offer make college football/basketball a local religion with poisonous Booster Clubs...",

"He romances the athletic department, the student population, and the local yahoos (i.e. people who’d buy a book written by Calipari).",

"Losers who catalogue such things (folks who dedicate their lives to ranking 16-year-old offensive linemen) claim Kiffin’s 2010 recruiting class was top-10 material."
Shank also can't stand current Kentucky coach John Calipari, which may have started when Calipari left UMASS - Amherst in the mid 1990's.

Shank has a few kind words for Rick Pitino:
Remember all the lies we got from Pitino when he ran the Celtics? Little Ricky could always make it go away by saying, “That was how I felt at the time.’’
I'd have to see what lies Shank's referring to, but the problem with Pitino was something else. I went to one Pitino-coached Celtics game, and Pitino was yelling at Antoine Walker and Paul Pierce every damn time up & down the court. You can yell like that at college kids, not professional athletes that make double & triple your salary, even accounting for Pitino's hot-shot salary at the time. I was hoping the basketball would somehow wind up in my hands from a bad pass or something, just so I'd have something to throw at Pitino to shut him up.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Shank On Steroids

Yesterday's Globe column gets Shank into 'Roid Rage, bemoaning all the cheating during the 'steroid era'.

Dan asks thew following question:

Which brings us to the Hall of Fame ballot. What is a voter to do? Baseball asks writers to factor “character’’ and “integrity’’ when considering candidates.
As Shank is one who casts a HOF ballot, you'd think we'd see his opinion on how he intends to vote, correct? Good luck finding it in this column.

Throw in a shot at Red Sox owner (Shank calls him childish for taking David Ortiz at his word; naive / disingenuous may have been better descriptors), and we're good on the Globe column quota until the weekend.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Patriots Post Mortem

Shank pens a very good column in CNN / SI about the Patriots getting their asses handed to them by the Baltimore Ravens. He works in other New England recent championships (Celtics, Red Sox) and wonders:

Is that it? Has the curtain officially been drawn on the golden era of New England sports?

I hear all of you cackling across the land.
What's irritating about all this? In the span of about four weeks, Shank goes from cold to hot, then back to cold, then back to 'staunch defender of Patriot Nation' in the above CNN / SI article. I suppose it's too much to ask for consistency.

As for comparing his Globe columns to the CNN / SI ones (ten in all so far), I have yet to read a single stinker from the CNN / SI collection, while a fair portion of his Globe 'work' is just that. It must have something to do with his unofficial tenure at the Globe.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Off The Bandwagon Dan

Shank downplays the Patriots chances just before yesterday's loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Funny how a mere three days changes one's tune, isn't it? The Curse of The Shank lives on!

The column is chock full of classic Shankisms. Here is the disowning of the New England Patriots:

Which brings us to your New England Patriots as they prepare for their first playoff game since their shocking defeat in Glendale, Ariz., in Super Bowl XLII two years ago.

Schizoid Shank (remember, he was hyping the Pats a mere three days ago):

Despite all of the above, there has been lukewarm anticipation for today’s first-round game against the wild-card Baltimore Ravens.

There's a Woodstock reference:

The Patriots this season were a horrible, heartless road team (2-6), and last week lost their go-to guy when slot receiver Wes Welker blew out his knee on some bad grass in Houston (never to be confused with the bad grass at Woodstock).

And there's an Elvis sighting:

That’s one playoff victory since Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House. One playoff win since the invention of the Barbie doll. One playoff win since Elvis reported to his draft board in Memphis. One playoff win since Alaska and Hawaii became states.

DHL Dan, mailing in yet another column...

Friday, January 08, 2010

Bandwagon Dan - III

Shank makes a bold prediction for Sunday's Patriots game against the Baltimore Ravens. There's only one problem with that - the Curse of the Shank!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Dan's Next Column?

The Big Lug endorses Scott Brown for U.S. Senate.

And why not? Shank manages a 'blowhard' reference about Schilling in his latest CNN / SI column. And what's with Shank's green hair? Is St. Patrick's Day early this year?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Confirming The Obvious

Shank weighs in on Sunday's upcoming playoff game between the Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens. If you were expecting Shank's standard half-hearted mail-in column, you won't be disappointed:


The X’s and O’s will be dissected and analyzed all week. Deep thinkers of football will make rational predictions based on the strengths and weaknesses of both teams.

Not me.
"Not me." - the deep thinker part or the rational prediction part?

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Shank on The Winter Classic

Shank follows up on yesterday's Bruins - Flyers game at Fenway Park. It's a decent article, notwithstanding the irritating use of the royal 'we / our' to describe 'us' hockey fans. Shank's slavish, loving devotion to the sport will be amply demonstrated by his complete absence of hockey themed columns until the Bruins are in the playoffs, or will Shank continue to grate by calling it the 'tournament'?

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year, Same Shank

Shank's first column of 2010 is 'interesting', which is to say it contains are good elements and bad elements.

The good: it's a decent recap of the last twenty - four hours leading up to the annual NHL Winter Classic.

The bad: the article is peppered with the following items.

Lame metaphors / cliches:

Ice on Fenway. Fenway on ice.

If you freeze it, they will come.
Overstatements and inane / inaccurate comparisons:
The Classic has taken over as the NHL’s Super Bowl. It’s where Sidney Crosby meets Bing Crosby.
The Bruins are playing the Pittsburgh Penguins? Who knew?

Semi-cheap shot to J.D. Drew:
Shawn Thornton was issued David Ortiz’s locker, which makes some sense, but how do you figure Zdeno Chara dressing in a front of a stall that belongs to J.D. Drew? Think the big fella knows about J.D.’s reputation?
Barely concealed hostility towards Red Sox ownership (like that's a news flash):
Ticket-holders who forked over hundreds of dollars may need to enter Fenway with reduced expectations. Those nifty Sox box seats occupied by Dennis Drinkwater and Jeremy Kapstein - the ones in the front row behind the backstop? Those are not going to be good seats today. You’re much better off in the upper grandstand in left field. Today, Section 31 is better than Henrytown.
Poorly worded factual statement:
Skaters know there’s a purity about the outdoor game. No Zamboni fumes.
Shank appears to be saying that because the game's outdoors, there will be no fumes from the Zamboni machine that can be noticed by the fans. Which is true, because of the drivetrain configuration of the Zamboni ice resurfacer:
Drive Train:
Four-wheel drive. Rugged Spicer axles have high capacities. Full floating rear axle. General Electric 17.5 HP electric motor provides superior on-ice power even at low speeds.
Electric motors emit fumes? Who knew?

Additionally, Zamboni has been making electric powered ice resurfacers for fifty years. Perhaps our resident Globeophile can expand on the multi - layered fact checking and editorial process that allows mistakes like this to get published. Is there, in fact, any review of Shank's columns before they're published? Maybe I'm nitpicking about this error, but this item took about one minute to check out. Was the deadline going to be missed or something?

This doesn't qualify as one of Shank's better efforts, but then again, do we ever expect more from the Boring Broadsheet's 'ace' sports columnist?

UPDATE at 1/1/2010, 12:45 PM: It doesn't appear that the Globe's in the habit of correcting Shank with any great frequency.