Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Oh, Jokerman, You Don't Show Any Response

Ah, sweet sweet Mandel. How I missed you on your sabbatical. Where else am I going to have someone rank all-time college football coaches not on silly measurable criteria like winning percentage, national and conference titles, and contributions to the game, but instead on a completely subjective measuring stick like "iconic status"? So when Nebraska fans write e-mails by the hundreds pointing out their case for Tom Osborne using, you know, facts and logic, you can always counter with the total cop-out that you were listing "legends" instead of the "best" or "greatest," a.k.a. categories that can actually be debated.

Here is what's stupid about your approach, Stewart: you employ a mailbag format. That format requires a back and forth with your readers. You make assertions, the readers write to you in response, and on and on we go. In this format, refusing to back up your opinions against feedback is a chickenshit thing to do. You're ending the discussion by saying "I'm just giving my unverifiable opinion about something in the ether, so I can't be wrong!" That would be fine if you weren't soliciting responses from your readers in the first place. You throw up your hands and say "I didn't say 'best' or 'greatest,'" but all you're doing is shifting the question from something that can be discussed intelligently to something that can't. While you're at it, you might as well redefine the term "hotseat" so you can make an argument based on imaginary results that haven't happened yet.

And this isn't the first time you've done this. Your subjective method of ranking coaches by "iconic" status is pretty much the same as your infamous reasoning that Penn State is a national power while Georgia and LSU aren't because a hypothetical Montanan would feel that way. Amazing, isn't it, that Penn State is a "national program" and Paterno and Woody Hayes are two of the five greatest, er, I mean iconic coaches of all-time based on your sense of what other people sense. I wonder what it is that Penn State, Paterno, and Hayes have in common...

Oh, and you're also wrong about the spread-option offense. It's not just that it's a talent equalizer; it's a better way to skin a cat. It allows the offense to outnumber the defense by using the quarterback as a runner. It makes no sense for a smaller program to go to a power I-formation style because a less talented team should not use a sub-optimal strategy. Paul Johnson's option offense isn't a rebellion against the spread; it's a twist on the run-based spread concept. But it's late and I don't have time to explain football to you. Good night.

2 comments:

Camel said...

My favorite part this week was three stadiums to visit....and he put down Northwestern. I have no qualms with the first two...Texas and LSU both have quality stadiums and experiences for tailgating....but Northwestern?

Now, I have never been to a Northwestern game (nor do I ever have a desire to go to a NW game) but I can imagine his rationale for it being in a big City....well....I think USC is in a big city and the quality of football is a little better.....

Michael said...

I really should have started that post before 11:30 p.m. because you're absolutely right. I've been to a game at Northwestern and it's completely unremarkable. NW fans are casual at best.

There were just too many targets.