Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Game

Shank took in the Harvard - Yale football game yesterday. In an otherwise decent column, Shank mounts his Shetland pony high horse a couple of times.
It’s not as pure as it was when players hailed from New England, wore leather helmets, and folks in raccoon coats exhorted them to “fight fiercely,” and “demonstrate your skill.’’ These are no longer the days of Ted Kennedy catching a touchdown pass and George W. Bush carrying a megaphone. But Harvard-Yale is still a nice break from the hideous big-time money machine that masquerades as college athletics, blighting and corrupting our sports landscape.

When you’re talking Harvard-Yale football (as opposed to Florida State football or Kentucky basketball, for example), most of the cash lives in the stands rather than in the closets and kitchens of the “student-athletes.”
Typical of a number of his columns, Shank gets one major fact wrong, further proof that he lacks an editor and the Globe just doesn't care about it:
That was no problem for Harvard senior quarterback Conner Hempel, who connected with Andrew Fischer on a 35-yard touchdown pass with 55 seconds left on the clock.

“Honestly, this game makes my career,’’ said Hempel.

That’s the way it is for just about every player in The Game. There is no tournament. No BCS. No wait for the polls. There is no NFL on the horizon. There is no proverbial “next level.’’
Forget about the fact that he mentioned Ryan Fitzpatrick, Harvard's most notable NFL player in recent memory, earlier in his column. When his name is mentioned on ESPN, Chris Berman falls all over himself to remind viewers of his alma mater. This Google search took approximately thirty seconds, and this one took about ten more seconds. Fifty-four is a larger number than zero, is it not? Why let facts get in the way of a melodramatic end to a column?

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