Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Thinking (and linking) over an early lunch

♦ I don't know how interesting you find little sportswriting tidbits like this, but for the young and aspiring out there, here's a tip: If you're trying to set up an interview with an official from the National Hockey League, being aware of the league schedule could help you. That way, when he says, "Well, the GM meetings are tomorrow," you don't say something like, "Really? I had no idea."

Or you could just not say, "Really? I had no idea." Actually, I don't think I said that. But it was something close. Not a big deal, I suppose, but I felt kind of doofish.

♦ Does Chauncey Billups already have an eye on his next destination after opting out of his contract after this season? According to ESPN.com's John Hollinger, Milwaukee could be targeting Mr. Big Shot, and Billups is already quite aware of how much salary cap room the Bucks will have next year. (Insider subscription required)

Shira Springer of the Boston Globe has much more detail on the situation, including the amount of cap space Milwaukee will have ($14 million). However, MLive.com's A. Sherrod Blakely says not to believe the hype. About Milwaukee, that is. He wouldn't be surprised if Orlando - especially if they get rid of former Piston Carlos Arroyo - tries to entice Billups with big money. (via Full Court Press)

Was it around this time last year that we started to hear noise about Ben Wallace and Chicago... ?

♦ One more NBA note: You can now count King LeBron among those who hate the new NBA ball. Seriously, what's the shelf life of this thing if the superstars say it sucks?

♦ I was already a huge admirer of The Wayne Fontes Experience, but Big Al posted a magnificent rant about Michigan Stadium yesterday that makes me want to sit him on my shoulders, as he voices some thoughts I've been repressing for a couple of years.

In particular, he's dead-on about Michigan's stance on advertising in the stadium, which I've just never understood. Not only is it pretentious, but it's hypocritical. How can you be indignant about slapping a Pepsi sign on the scoreboard when the players are running around with shoe logos on the hallowed maize-and-blue uniform?

Michigan takes pride in the fact that they won't allow advertising in the Big House. First off, the thought that advertising is somehow beneath Michigan is bullshit. They are way off base with that statement, as NIKE has plastered their swoosh all over Michigan players, coaches, and staff. Personally, I'm all for advertising. Hell, if they allow ads inside the stadium, you'd think the athletic department could then afford to put backs on the damn seats!

Amen, Big Al. Did I miss the memo on Michigan Stadium being some kind of college football Sistine Chapel that should be untainted by corporate logos? No, it shouldn't look like the outfield wall of a minor league ballpark or a NASCAR driver's uniform. But for all the money Michigan is asking for from ticket holders, shouldn't such an obvious revenue stream be acknowledged?

♦ Kevin and I might cover some mid-season NFL awards (an extended version of Game Balls?) on the next edition of The Sporting Noobs Podcast. But in the meantime, The Armchair Quarterback has some mid-season thoughts of his own. Much as I've found myself doing, TAQ focuses largely on the disappointments. But who can blame him? There are so many this season.

Wabi-Sabi heard what Mitch Albom said on last Sunday's The Sports Reporters about college football, got mad as hell, and decided not to take it anymore. His post is titled "Mitch Albom is an Idiot."

What set Jim off was Albom's assertion - expressed on last Sunday's The Sports Reporters - that an undefeated Louisville team has no business playing the winner of Ohio State-Michigan in the BCS championship game. Not only that, the BCS title game should just be a rematch of Ohio State-Michigan, if the Nov. 18 match-up is a close one.

(By the way, how many more people would you think agree that Albom is an idiot, compared to 10 years ago? I know a lot of people love Mitch because of Tuesdays with Morrie, and his subsequent Hallmark-ish novels, but there's also a lot of animosity towards him now. And I'd be surprised if many sports fans [local or otherwise] hold his opinions in high regard anymore. He's not even the first columnist I read in the Detroit Free Press most days.)

♦ I'm (more than) a week late on this, but I think it's still worth linking to - largely out of sheer admiration. If you're curious what it's like to run a marathon (and my curiosity is mostly of a vicarious nature), Susannah posted a mile-by-mile diary of her experience with the Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Bank Marathon at Pub of Knowledge. There's some scenery, some inspiration, a fair share of agony, and a little bit of fantasizing (sort of) about Mark Messier.

I have to say, nothing makes me feel better about myself than reading about running a marathon while sitting in a chair shoving a turkey sandwich in my face. Suz ran 26 miles. I wish I had 26 potato chips on my plate.


  • At November 09, 2006 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Rosey is definitely the 90s Albom and probably he's working on becoming as popular.

    I still remember Mitch fondly from his sports writing while I was growing up, and his Live Albom books are still fun to look back on. But I must agree, I don't get a lot out of his "face of the big event" stuff anymore.

    Still he can really turn a great feature from time to time and I tend to give every column a shot. I just wish he'd cut out his formula writing.

  • At November 09, 2006 4:08 PM, Blogger Big Al said…

    I appreciate the props from a peer, Ian. I'm also glad to hear that someone else feels as I do. I'm sure there are more of us, but when it comes to the Wolverines, too many think that they can do no wrong.

  • At November 09, 2006 4:41 PM, Blogger SkoneyHillProductions said…

    Ditto everyone on Albom.

    There used to be a daily e-mail out there called "The Mitch Watch" that logged the number of inches he wrote each week as well as the topics. It was hilarious that someone earning that kind of jack from a major metro daily wrote as little as he did.

    Certainly is travails last year thrust him back into print a bit more often, but it might be fun to revive "Mitch Watch" and chronicle how frequently he's writing and what he's writing about.

    The man jumped the shark a decade ago and that's unfortunate, because he's a truly talented individual.

  • At November 20, 2006 3:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A great place to find out everything about MICHIGAN AND DETROIT


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