Friday, March 13, 2009

4 comments Jay Mariotti Talks About How Greedy Conference Tournaments on Thursday...Updates Article Friday Talking About Great Conference Tournaments Are

I had starting writing a post Thursday afternoon about Jay Mariotti and his take on the NCAA Tournament. In the article he calls the conference tournaments greedy and tedious claiming they exist just for the money. I disagreed with this. I stopped and began to pick up the exact same bookmarked article on Friday...and there was a completely differently written article on my screen. Now Jay was lauding how EXCITING the conference tournament was. I can't even begin to write about Bill Simmons' article until I have covered this. To recap, Jay Mariotti talked about how greedy the conference tournaments were, then the next day, based on exciting games taking place the night before completely and utterly changes his mind. Rather than write a new article saying he was wrong, he just takes out the parts that disagreed with his new article and submitted it as a new article. Fucking hack. This is exactly why journalism is dead. You have these shock journalists who try to take a stand but have no fucking clue what the hell they are talking about, so their shocking opinion changes from day to day. Journalism is dead and Jay Mariotti is holding the knife over the body.

Fortunately, I have part of the first article here and I will update in red the changes Jay made...then in black what he submitted in his original article so we can all see what a hypocrite this man is. He takes the high road on Michael Phelps and A-Rod when they do something wrong but has no problem changing his opinion depending on what happens and trying to pretend he did not change his mind. I think that is not as wrong as what those two did, but wrong nonetheless to do this as a journalist. You can't do that if you write argumentative articles like Mariotti does, but yet Mariotti does it anyway. Original article parts are in black and the updated parts are in red. I am not changing my original comments under the black (as many times as I am wrong, I feel good about what I wrote and what happened last night...yes, I just patted myself on the back) and adding more comments under the red. He even changed the title to pass it off as a new article.

On a more related to sports topic, but still analogous to feces, Jay Mariotti has written another article.

General Motors couldn't afford to buy ad time during the Super Bowl. It bailed on a nine-year endorsement relationship with Tiger Woods, whose almighty golf bag had been adorned with a Buick logo.

I already know where he is going with this and I already absolutely hate it.

But how utterly fascinating that GM is conducting business as usual with the one sports event that probably would survive the apocalypse.

As money expenditures, the purpose of advertising is to advertise your brand and promote sales. Tiger is just one golfer, while the Super Bowl is one event and one commercial is only 30 seconds long. The money expenditure involved with both of these sporting events/people is probably not worth the amount of exposure. One event is worth it because it is on for over half a month in March and April, and there are essentially 64 (there is a play-in game as well) Super Bowls and Tiger Woods represented to get your brand out to the public. It is more expensive but the brand gets out there a lot during this time span.

Jay is talking about the NCAA Tournament.

March Madness.

No, the NCAA Tournament. March Madness is a moniker the station that televises the event, CBS, gives it to make the event seem more exciting. I am not falling for their attempts to use the word March Madness interchangeably with the NCAA Tournament. I do call adhesive bandages Band-Aid's, but I am drawing the line at my sports. It is the NCAA Tournament.

Also known as, six overtimes in Madison Square Garden ending at 1:20 a.m.

He just threw this sentence in here when he re-wrote the article. I hate to break it to him, but since March Madness is the NCAA Tournament, the conference tournaments don't really count as March Madness. Plus, what happened to these being greedy conference tournaments? You are getting ready to say they are tedious.

"People are waiting to jump out of their chairs and cheer for something,'' said CBS Sports president Sean McManus, who told a media conference call that advertising sales are solid despite the recession.

Great job by Jay Mariotti in going to the best neutral source to see if his hypothesis that the NCAA Tournament is going to get the country excited again is true. I am sure the President of CBS Sports who has an incredibly large financial interest in the tournament succeeding is going to give you an unbiased answer. That's like asking Steelers fans who they think the best NFL franchise in history is.

Advertising sales are solid too? What else is he going to say, advertising sales are way down? That the tournament is not going to be exciting this year, so don't bother watching? What the hell does "solid" mean in relation to sales numbers?

Jay Mariotti: Believing Everything Other People Say Since Coming Out of the Womb of Satan (Or Satan's wife, not sure how that works exactly)

If this was a hint of what's ahead this month, every building will need multiple defibrillators. I needed one when Eric Devendorf's buzzer-beater, which would have won the game for the Orange in regulation, was a shred of a second too late.

Wow, this doesn't seem to jive too well with the sentence right below me Jay wrote the day before. Please read the sentence below three times and then read his new sentences in red. Whoops...good thing he went and changed that based on what happened last night. "That" being defined as "his entire opinion." A little integrity is all I ask. If you are wrong, be wrong, just don't go change it so it seems like you are right. Don't change an opinion article on how greedy and tedious the conference tournaments are into an article about these conference tournaments being just another extension of March Madness.

Such is the intoxicating effect of the NCAA tournament, which announces its pairings Sunday once we plow through the tedium of these ever-greedy conference tournaments.

I love the NCAA Tournament, I am not going to lie and say I don't love it. Ask Cleveland State if they love the greedy conference tournaments and N.C. State may not have even made the NCAA Tournament in 1983 if they had not won the ACC Tournament. Just keep talking out of your ass though. The conference tournaments are about money, but every once in a while something good comes from them. I am also assuming Jay has never been to a conference tournament either, because they are actually pretty exciting to watch in person.

We root for teams that leap from the hinterlands, such as Davidson last year and Gonzaga of yore

I realize I am from North Carolina, my alma mater is in the same conference they are in, and had heard of Davidson prior to the run they had in the tournament last year, but I would not necessarily say the came from the hinterlands. They have prior experience in the NCAA Tournament and prior success as well. They have also owned the Southern Conference for a while. It just annoys me when it takes the NCAA Tournament for some people to focus on schools with good basketball programs.

In the end, raw unpredictability settles into power-program normalcy, with 20 of the last 28 national champions entering as first or second seeds and no champion since the 1980s seeded lower than fourth.

So what makes it so exciting to watch is that it is completely predictable? That doesn't seem quite as exciting as watching the New York Giants beat the previously undefeated New England Patriots or watching the Rays beat the Red Sox in the ALCS.

I am not going to dispute Jay's numbers, but in the past three years George Mason has made the Final Four and Davidson came a missed 3 point shot from beating Kansas. It's a thin line between Jay's numbers and the excitement he apparently craves.

I feel like he is starting to ramble.

Such is the intoxicating effect of March, with the big-tournament pairings coming Sunday once we get past the mayhem -- Down goes Pitt! Down goes Oklahoma! Down goes Kansas! Down goes UConn! -- of these conference tournaments.

This is also known as raw unpredictability settling into power-program normalcy later in the tournament, but go ahead and get excited if you want.

Shame on Bob Knight, in the relative calm of his coaching afterlife, for suggesting on ESPN, "It's time to expand the tournament to 128 teams.''

Horrible idea. I spit in this idea's face.

Here we have Rick Barnes, who not coincidentally has never reached a Final Four at Texas, advancing a CBS-controlled conspiracy.

It must have been another Texas Longhorns team coached by another Rick Barnes that lost to Syracuse in the 2003 Final Four. Proofread your articles Jay Mariotti or hire someone to do it. You get paid way too much to miss something this damn easy. (This incorrect sentence is also missing from the "new" article.)

Also, what is coincidentally in this case? If there were more teams in the NCAA Tournament then Texas would have a statistically worse chance at making the Final Four, so there is no coincidence that he would seem to be for expanding the tournament, that just seems like he is stupid for increasing the odds his team won't win it.

"It amazes me when everybody keeps talking about expanding the NCAA tournament,'' Barnes said. "They have their theories, but the theory they never talk about is that it's owned by CBS and CBS isn't going to change it. They like it just the way it is. When they paid six billion dollars, believe me, whether the NCAA wants to admit it, it's all about CBS. They like the three-week format. They like the Cinderella teams coming in early. They just want 'em gone by the Round of 16.''

My experience with Rick Barnes is that he is, and always will be, a moron. I completely don't get what he is bitching about here. Rick Barnes and Texas are not the underdog and have not been since Barnes took over in 1998. It leads me to believe he actually believes in this change, so why is Jay being so hard on him? Barnes seems to want this change for his own principle reasoning and I can't argue with that.

Under Rick Barnes, Texas has a 247-93 record, have made 1 Final Four, 2 Elite Eights, and two Sweet Sixteens. It seems like he is arguing for expanding the field to let the little guys have a shot, but this complaint from him doesn't even seem to make sense. Maybe he truly wants to open the field up for the little guy, which is noble considering he is a "big guy," but why is Jay acting like Barnes is trying to change the rules to get his team in?

Um, Rick, it only was last March when Jim Nantz was vigorously shining the Cinderella slippers of Stephen Curry and Davidson. For a while there, you wondered if CBS was overdoing the story -- and now we have Barnes saying the network wanted Davidson gone by the Sweet 16 when, in fact, Team Curry damn near beat eventual champion Kansas in the Elite Elite.

Um, Jay, CBS doesn't actually control the outcome of the games and the President of CBS can't really control the storylines that go on during the tournament. Just because Rick Barnes says CBS wants the Cinderellas gone and last year Davidson almost made the Final Four is not proof Rick Barnes' statement is not true. Jay takes three things here and just throws them all in together like they are the same thing. There is a difference in who CBS wants to win each game, who actually does win each game, and what team is getting the most press for winning games in the tournament.

The fact Davidson made the Elite Eight doesn't mean CBS wanted them to make the Elite Eight, nor does it mean CBS can control who wins each game. So this really can not be proof that Rick Barnes is incorrect when he says CBS wants the favorites to win every game. As much as I would like to prove Rick Barnes wrong, this is not the case here.

What's cool about this year is the crapshoot effect at the top. A season that was supposed to be ruled by North Carolina, with at least one nitwit (me) forecasting a flawless season for the Tar Heels, morphed into a crazy taffy pull in which teams treated the No. 1 spot in the polls like radioactive material.

What is really cool about Jay Mariotti is that he can quote a statistic that 20 of the last 28 teams that have won the championship are 1 or 2 seeds, then just claim this year is different because the #1 spot in the polls has gone from team to team. But............

So far this year Oklahoma, UNC, Duke, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh, and UConn have gotten the #1 spot in the AP and coaches poll at some point. All of these teams look like they may be #1 or #2 seeds in the NCAA Tournament so absolutely nothing is different this year. Sure the #1 spot has gone from team to team but all the teams it has ping ponged between are going to be top seeds. There are no overall dominant teams in NCAA basketball anymore. Though the closest there is to a dominant team is UNC.

Expect those teams and others -- Louisville, Oklahoma, Michigan State, Memphis and Kansas -- to be viable challengers for a championship.

I thought Kansas was going to have a better year than expected this upcoming year but absolutely nothing that have shown tells me they are a contender for the National Championship. I know they won the Big 12 outright and kudos to them for that, but I don't see them as a National Championship contender. Clearly Jay does not watch NCAA basketball because Michigan State, though ranked highly was blown out by UNC. Neither of those teams will win the National Championship. Jay is just naming teams he thinks are good at this point.

Most years, we can pick the winner from a pool of three or four. This year, the list has expanded because every team has a flaw that accompanies its talent.

Last year was the first year all four #1 seeds made the Final Four in a long while, so to say every year #1 or #2 seeds win the tournament (which there are 8 teams that get those seeds) and then say only four teams can win seems sort of contradictory to me.

Who knows? Maybe it's a year for a fifth or sixth seed to make a long run, such as James Harden and Arizona State or Johnny Flynn and Syracuse.

Despite the fact Jay has made it clear this never happens, and based on the fact he knows the names of two players on other teams so he just names them, he makes this prediction.

Take Carolina. No team is more gifted or fluid when its offense is purring, yet why don't the Heels bring top effort every night? Why does the defense lag?

The Heels seem to bring a top effort every single night. The fact they have lost three games this year in the first/second most difficult conference is indicative they do this. UNC has had trouble with its defense for the past couple of years, but this is being nitpicky because they have lost three games total this year.

Why is the perimeter an issue?

The perimeter? Like in war when you set up a perimeter around something? Or the perimeter defense/offense? I have no idea exactly what this means, but great question.

Why are the words an issue?

If I were Jay Mariotti and I was going to write an article on the NCAA Tournament, when I started talking about the weaknesses of some teams, instead of just writing vague sentences I would actually try to find out what the weaknesses are for a team. It's actually fairly easy. UNC has lost only three games this year, so what do all three losses have in common? They lost to three ACC teams that had Grevious Vasquez, Jeff Teague, and Tyrese Rice, arguably the #2, #3, and #4 point guards in the conference behind Ty Lawson. All three of these players can drive to the basket with success and all shoot well. This tells me UNC has trouble with on the ball defense concerning point guards, which is weird considering Lawson is their best player. So if I were Jay, I would write UNC has trouble with on the ball defense from penetrating point guards rather than just say "Why is the perimeter an issue?" But again, I am not expert like he is.

The latest high-profile stumbles came Thursday night, creating an immediate national argument on which teams should occupy the four No. 1 regional seeds. It's hard to believe UConn will be punished by the selection committee for losing in six overtimes, but the Huskies did lose twice to Pitt in the regular season. Do they have enough to win a championship?

They lost in six overtimes in New York to a team that is ranked nationally and is located in New York. Syracuse tends to upset teams in the Big East Tournament. Remember Gerry McNamara and his leading Syracuse to several upsets in a row a couple of years ago? Syracuse tends to do this and I don't think this reflects on UConn poorly, but reflects the depth of the Big East.

A lot of smart people project Pitt to win it all, but one lingering bugaboo -- DeJuan Blair and foul trouble -- struck again in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament. The Panthers were ousted by West Virginia, done in by two early fouls on Blair that sidelined the muscular bulldozer for the final 16 minutes of the first half.

Their top three players -- Blair, Sam Young and Levance Fields -- usually are money.

Way to hedge there Jay. Thursday afternoon you say these three guys ARE money, but after you watch a college basketball game or two you say they USUALLY are money. There is no way that anyone can't hate you as a person. Seriously, how can anyone who read Jay's article yesterday not remember what he wrote? It's like he has no intention of having any journalistic integrity, he just wants to be right. Welcome to the ESPN age, where an analyst or journalist can change his opinion multiple times, but as long as he gives a good quote or soundbite, all is forgiven.

Yet losing so early in Madison Square Garden, where the Panthers were 23-8 since 2001, is a reminder of vulnerability ahead for all so-called powerhouses.

I don't know if I see it that way. Conference games are much different than out of conference games. West Virginia, who is a good team in its own right, knows Pittsburgh and knows how they play basketball and what they want to do to win. They want to get the ball to DeJuan Blair as much as possible. If you give good teams multiple chances to beat another good team, usually it will happen. I think that is what happened here. Though I have never been as high on Pittsburgh as everyone else is. I feel like the entire team depends on DeJuan Blair not being in foul trouble and they tend to collapse when he is in foul trouble.

Can't be stagnant in March. Hear me, Carolina?

In his "new" article this is where Jay starts talking about the weaknesses of UNC and he attempts to analyze them, fairly poorly in fact.

Doesn't Roy Williams scream a little bit much for comfort?

Other than randomly cursing at Bonnie Bernstein after National Title games, I can't recall a time when Roy Williams is actually screaming at his players. Yelling? Of course, nearly every coach does that, and every coach gets worked up a little bit, but I don't think Roy Williams screams too much. He always seems pretty calm to me, in between every timeout he lays his glasses down usually to talk to his team. That seems calm.

They don't have the appropriate swagger right now, in part because Tyler Hansbrough had a down year when domination was expected.

Hansbrough played three less minutes per game this year than last year and has not had to dominate the game because UNC has three other big men who can take the load off of him. Right now Hansbrough is rested and ready for the NCAA Tournament...or as CBS and Jay Mariotti call it, March Madness. Hansbrough's numbers are down from last year but are up from his first two years playing college basketball. It's not like his numbers have just fallen incredibly.

When anyone makes comments such as this I can't help but get the feeling these are blanket statements that are made because that person has not really paid attention all year. It's just generic analysis. For example, from whom was domination from Hansbrough expected? I think it is pretty clear Hansbrough has talent, and his talent has a ceiling, and we probably saw that ceiling last year. I think if you had polled experts on college basketball (i.e. not Jay Mariotti), they would say Hansbrough does a great job of maxing out his talent. Actually they do say this during every UNC game...repeatedly.

"You never know who the best team is week to week," Hansbrough said. ``We'll see what happens at the end of the year."

Not exactly rousing self-appraisals.

Jay Mariotti hates Ozzie Guillen because he is cocky, loud, obnoxious, and tends to make brash comments. Jay Mariotti thinks college athletes are not confident enough if they give a generic answer deflection of a question posed to them. I don't get what he wants from them. UNC thinks they are the best team in the country, which is a quiet confidence probably 15 teams in the NCAA Tournament share. They are not going to come out and say this though.

What should Hansbrough say? Should he say, "I think we are the best team in the country and we plan on kicking everyone's ass all around the court?" Then Mariotti would get to see Roy Williams scream.

I could see Louisville, in a month when coaching might matter more than usual, winning it all.

This year's NCAA Tournament is SO wide open. The team that outright won the Big East regular season title is Jay's pick to win the National Championship. The underdog #5 team in the country, who very well could get a #1 seed is his pick.

First, Jay quotes a statistic that 20 of the last 28 years a #1 or #2 seed wins the title (that is 8 teams in contention every year), then says every year you can only expect 3 or 4 teams to win the National Championship but this year is different, and then picks a #1 or #2 seed to win the title. It makes my head hurt.

Even in this article he only talks about UConn, UNC, Louisville, and Pittsburgh at any length. They are all in contention for a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. He claims the field is wide open but only casually mentions Syracuse or Arizona State as maybe having enough to go far. The reason he doesn't mention any other team is because he doesn't know if any other team could make it, because he is just now beginning to follow college basketball. So he blindly looks at how many teams have lost the #1 spot in the AP Poll, stupidly says, "well there seems to be a lot of competition this year," not realizing the spot switched between nearly every team in contention for a #1 or #2 seed, claims the field is wide open based on this false premise, and doesn't even research or see if his claim is true. This is what passes for enough research to write an article.

But tell me his team isn't playing as well as any, that Terrence Williams isn't as good as any player in the tournament, that Louisville's defense won't shut down foes the way it shut down Pitt.

Louisville is playing as well as several other teams in the country, Terrence Williams is a tier below the greatest players in the tournament, and Louisville is a great team, but shutting Pittsburgh down doesn't always impress me. They would not be my pick for National Champion. I sure would love an argument, other than these three sentences, on why Louisville will win the National Championship...but Jay doesn't know why he picked them, so he can't do this.

All I know is, President Obama never will complain about March Madness the way he mopes about college football's idiotic Bowl Championship Series, even though his brother-in-law, Oregon State coach Craig Robinson, lost in the first round of the Pac-10 tournament.

I wish President Obama would complain about Jay Mariotti's writing...this is quickly becoming a national problem. To write an article on Thursday and then make changes Friday that cause Mariotti to seem like he is right...well, it is pretty typical of him, but is also the exact reason I have this blog and love to write on it. Jay Mariotti has officially begun re-writing yesterday's news and trying to pass it off as new. I don't care what anyone says about me on this blog about how much I suck and blah, blah, blah...but when I am wrong, I say it and don't go back and try to make myself seem right.

This is what journalism has turned into. The journalists take every quote, every action, and every mistake someone makes and blows it up into an article indicting or criticizing that person for this mistake or action. When journalists make a mistake, they go back in and correct that mistake before more people can notice they made it. In Jay Mariotti's case, he just takes out the parts that were wrong and tries to pass the article off as new. It's a really neat double standard. Journalists cover up their mistakes and expose everyone else's.

Jay Mariotti sucks.


Martin said...

Here is your podcast update. Bill does a double long podcast (2 days) with an arrogant self important asshat who makes Bill look insignificant, Chuck Klosterman. In the first 15 minutes he makes an argument about how one thing is better, and when Bill disagrees, Chuck makes the classic "Well, I believe differently" even though Chuck had been trying to make a factual argument about why college basketball and football are better then pro. My head nearly sploded. He manages to make Bill seem logical, reasonable, and sympathetic. How Klosterman ever became this semi-iconic cultural commentator is beyond me. He's about the biggest asshat I've ever heard who is taken seriously.

Martin said...

Oh, and forgot to mention, at one point he says "In the NBA there are stretches where the games really don't mean anything, but that never happens "Down the stretch" in college basketball." WTF? It doesn't happen DOWN THE STRETCH in the NBA moronic fuck!!!

Anonymous said...

Martin...I would never subject myself to Klosterman's writing or podcasting. Why? Simply because in my travels I've met quite a few people who raved about him. Based on his fans, I thought it best to steer clear. Looks like I was correct.

BGF...I have a sneaking suspicion that Mariotti actually got his CBB scouting and info from Bottom of the Barrel. Harps on UNC and broadly brushes every other team as just a shade below the Tar Heels. For your purposes, with insight and stats, it's great. For his, it's laziness personified.

I am sure you know this but while Syracuse is in the great state of NY is MUCH, MUCH further, geographically, than UConn. We got a big state up here. That said, the Syracuse fans travel better to MSG than every other Big East team (including St. John's) by far.

Keep up the good work.

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, I have read a few things Chuck Klosterman has done, meaning parts of his books, so I don't know if I am an expert or anything on him...but I will give my opinion anyway. I don't get why he became this semi-iconic cultural commentator either. I didn't get his book (the part I read) or even some of the things he talks about. Maybe it is just not down my alley, which is fine. As far the NBA is concerned, I think pretty much every sport is exciting down the stretch and they usually mean the most then. I have no idea what he is talking about here.

Sean, I have never met a Klosterman fan but they sound like the absolute diehard Simmons fans. You can't talk to them either.

If you only knew how much it hurt me that I brush other teams aside as being a shade below UNC. Unfortunately, I think I believe that I am right. I hope I am very wrong and I look like an asshole, but I just don't think I am. That being said, I am not hedging, but if Ty Lawson is not 90% for the NCAA Tournament, it is going to be a short trip for them. I just feel like Pitt needs to prove something to me by winning a big NCAA Tournament game this year. They really disappointed me last year. I really want to pick them to win it all, but I just can't do it.

Since St. Johns sucks, I meant to say that MSG is pretty much Syracuse's second home floor and though the state is big there are a lot of 'Cuse fans there. My comment came off kind of lazy, but I know NY is a big state. I am not going to punish UConn for losing that game though. As far as Syracuse goes, one thing about the conference tournaments is that it gives you a second chance to see a team and Syracuse looks good. I may have under talked them this year. A good 2-3 defense is something few college teams know how to break, teams have trouble with it and Syracuse always runs a great one. I just don't want this to be like 2006 for them where they are exhausted after the Big East Tournament and can't win a NCAA Tournament game.