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Inspirational Reads

UM, excuse me?

July 31, 2007

About a year and a half ago, all of the radio stations down here decided to switch formats. Drastically. We no longer have a new rock/alternative, we have "everything that rocks" (which includes 10 songs an hour between these three artists: Ozzy, Led Zepplin, Metallica, Aerosmith, Red Hot Chili Peppers). We no longer have classic rock, we have country. We no longer have light alternative, we have light classic rock (which features continuous repeats of Bohemian Rhapsody, that song about Gollum and the Evil Orcs ("you gotta understand...these guys were on a lot of stuff!"), Aerosmith and Red Hot Chili Peppers). We no longer have modern hits, we have something that features Whoopi Goldburg in the mornings. *shudder*

You get the idea. I gave up listening to the music stations about the same time and now I shuffle between the two "local" sports radio stations (one is mostly local, the other is a mouthpiece for ESPN, and all original non-Durham Bulls broadcasts end at 7pm) and the talk radio station, although that one gets limited play because I'm tired of listening to Shawn Hannity tell me that this is the most important election in the history of America. Again. For the third election running. *yawn*

Well, the problem with listening to the local sports stations is that they're populated by idiots. Now, it used to be tolerable because one station had a morning show that was informative, funny, and decent to listen to. The drive home featured this guy named Adam Gold who I don't really agree with most of the time, but he reads Harry Potter and I could see myself having a beer with him and having some decent debates. However, once the Imus thing happened, the radio stations had to shuffle things around and now Adam Gold and one of the guys from the morning show moved to now having a morning show together. The only reason I listen to it now is because Mike & Mike in the Morning are on the other show, and, well, I can only listen to so much of Mike Greenberg before I want to piss my pants and lose all faith in humanity. I imagine listening to Lindsay Lohan on a drunken, coke-induced bender fighting a rabid jaguar would be more interesting, informative and less painful on the ears than extended exposure to Mike Greenberg.

Okay, I digress. The real reason I'm on this rant is because the new evening guy is this dumbass named Chris Clark (who used to host a noon-time show featuring other local sports junkies which was enjoyable, largely because Chris Clark didn't speak too much). I've called this guy out over the internet before (remember, the lowest form of humanity is people who call into radio shows, in my humble opinion), most notably when he boldly proclaimed "there's no way Indiana's going to beat Wisconsin". Dumbass. So, you can see the level of moron we're dealing with here. A farting hippopotomus would offer more intelligent insight into the world of sports than Chris Clark (incidentally, Chris Clark is being joined by ACC-guru David Glenn tomorrow night so that we can listen to this one-trick pony continue to trot out there the advantages to football expansion in the ACC from a monetary standpoint because ESPN was beating down the ACC's door to broadcast games on Thursday nights when nobody watches...a perfect fit for a conference that has no football teams).

So, yesterday, Chris Clark was talking about holdouts in pro football camps. He made a good point that the NFL should adopt something like the NBA: you get paid according to where you were drafted, such that pick number one makes more money than pick number two who makes more money than pick number three and so on (Brady Quinn might want to remember that 22 comes way down the line). This was all well and good until Clark continued to talk. He then said (to paraphrase), "I know some positions in football are more difficult than others. A running back, for instance, is easy. Here's the ball, find the hole. A linebacker is easy. Here's our blitzes, get the quarterback."

This is the kind of idiocy that is acceptable only in ACC country, especially North Carolina, where the best team in the state is Division IAA Appalachian State (and I am including the Panthers). Apparently, someone forgot to tell Chris Clark that the running back is a vital part of the offense, not only for advancing the ball on the ground, grinding out yardage, getting first downs and running touchdowns into the endzone. For one, the running back has to know the playbook almost as much as the quarterback, that way he knows where to run the ball so that he can pick up the A-hole, B-hole and C-hole, make his decision, and go. He has to know where the blocking schemes are going, not to mention know where his lead blockers are going. Running back is not an easy position. If it was, then any moron could do it, which is why guys like Walter Payton, Barry Sanders and Emmit Smith are a dime a dozen in the NFL.

Not only that, but the running back also feeds into the pass protection. He needs to know whom to pick up and when. He also needs to know his routes in short-yardage pass situations when he comes off his blocks and plays the role of the check-down man. He needs to know if he has to get down the field and block for receivers on swing passes, curl routes, and cross patterns. It's a little more than "find a hole and run through it."

I won't even get into how complicated a linebacker's job is, with stunts, coverage, motion men, blitzes, two tight-end sets, 3-4 vs get the idea. The only "easy" job on a football team is kicker and place holder, and the kicker has to plan for wind, weather, angle of incidence...Ask any linebacker who has had to face an offense like Navy's how damned easy the job is. Or ask Brian Urlacher how dumb linebackers are and how they don't have to think or plan on the field. I'm sure he won't fuck you gently with a chainsaw, Chris Clark.

This would be enough to prove this man's high level of dumbass, but then he said something later on that really pissed me off. Once again, it was born of ignorance. I'll quote this one:

"Hey, Stengel [producer's name], remember me on Friday telling you about how Notre Dame was trying to weasel out of their contract with Michigan? They just signed a 20-year extension."
Now, I'm not exactly unfamiliar with the anti-Notre Dame bias expressed in the media. Especially among the unenlightened, like this moron.

First, let's point out one thing that Clark forgot to mention: when Michigan threatened to let the contract run out, Notre Dame went out and got a verbal commitment to play Oklahoma in a home-and-home series. Not exactly like the home-and-homes that schools around North Carolina play (East Carolina, Navy, Wofford...). Now, of course, the point is moot, since ND and UM have agreed to extend the contract out through 2031.

Second, let's also put in the note of contention between the two schools. Michigan wanted Notre Dame to play two games in a row at the Big House in Ann Arbor so that they [UM] could avoid having to play Notre Dame and Ohio State on the road in the same season. Being that we're recovering from the Davieham era and are actually fairly good now and looking to be good on a consistent basis, I can see Michigan's point. Especially in the BCS era, you don't want to have to play two heavyweight teams on the road every other year (especially when those are two of your chiefest rivals!), because then you can pretty much write off competing for national championships in even-numbered years.

However, you can see why Notre Dame wouldn't want to do this, as this would cause our schedule to shift in such a way that we'd play Michigan AND Southern Cal on the road every year. Granted, everyone loves to rip Notre Dame's schedule, but youd think the haters would slow down if they saw Michigan AND USC on the road every year. Of course, they'd heap disdain and scorn when Michigan AND USC played at Notre Dame stadium in the same season. Much like Michigan, we don't exactly want to write off shots at national championships in odd-numbered years (though you would expect there to be a serious boost in the computers to playing two heavyweights on the road for your SOS).

So, you can clearly see that Notre Dame is not trying to "weasel out" of their contract with Michigan. Instead, we were unwilling to shift our schedule in order to make Michigan's easier at the same time we make our own harder. A little bit of digging would have shown this, but instead, Chris Clark decides that he's going to take the easy way out and insult Notre Dame. God knows that no one wants to actually do any learning to make an educated opinion in the world of sports talk radio (save for Adam Gold, who does seem to be a pretty smart fellow...despite being a Mets fan), and Chris Clark is the banner carrier for the continued ignorance of the trade. Way to go, Chris. You keep up that good work.


Hap said...

I'm just curious - if running backs are so easy to get, why haven't the Panthers had one (a good one, I mean?) Have any of the teams in NC had a decent running back in recent memory? Just asking.

I miss sports radio in Boston - in OH we either have the rabid conservative nuts followed by foaming idiots, or the sports station that includes ESPN's "best" (Cowherd is tolerable about half the time, M+M less so, and their afternoon person (whose name I can't remeber, but he's leaving or gone) is smug and annoying) followed by Chris Spielman (appreciate his contribution to breast cancer, but listening to him is like a drive-by lobotomy) and some more local people who aren't very smart and who think the sun rises and sets with the Buckeyes. Boston sports radio had both some diversity of interests and people who were entertaining and who showed some semblance of literacy (they had some Boston Globe people talk who were good to listen to and knew something). I can get it in the metal box I call work anyway, but there wouldn't be a point anyway.

As a side note, John Tesh has a radio show - if you want older music combined with advice ripped out of your favorite women's magazines read from the bowels of hell, you have found the right place. Listening to it feels like the Egyptian embalming rites where they pull your brain out through your nose.

Will Shannon said...

Boy, that Clark guy sounds like a real winner.

Even I, as rabid a Badger fan as anyone up here, knew that the Indiana game came in a period of decline in the season for us. The guy in the furry Bucky suit coulda told you that.

As for ND and UM, this guy showed that he has no understanding of the stragegy of structuring schedules or if he does understand it, he is sorely wrong.

UM plays at Camp Randall this year...that'll be an interesting go. It seems that we will have some more stability at quarterback (Donovan seeming a bit more consistent that Stocco), but Joe Thomas is a big (quite literally) hole to fill. We'll see.

The only sports radio I listen to here is Brewer games (with Bob Uecker...a true joy). The Uke is the most positive announcer in baseball.

An example from earlier this season. The crew was down 8 to 1 and Uecker pipes up and says "well, just a couple of grand slammers and the Brewers are right back in this one."

Chicago sports radio used to be good; now it is typified by an idiot named Mike North who I think exaggerates his Chicago accent...and to him, the Cubs can do no wrong. So, pretty much a polesmoker on all fronts.

In closing, the image of Brian Urlacher assfucking someone with a chainsaw is not one that will leave me any time soon.

The Ex said...