Thursday, January 19, 2006

It's getting windy, don't you think?

Do you feel the hot air? It's due to the fact that big announcements bring out the local columnists in force. So with the Marinelli hiring, everyone throws their 2 cents in, which is the total worth of most of their opinions.

Drew Sharp whips out an Oliver Stone level conspiracy theory. All that's missing is, "Back and to the left, back and to the left..."

However, you can't help but wonder if Grimm soured on the Lions in the wake of a five-hour interview with Millen in Pittsburgh last week. What happened in the next 48 hours? Well, for one, the Steelers upset Indianapolis in their playoff game.

And with time to consider his options, it wouldn't be a surprise if certain people within the Steelers organization -- people with prior ties to the Lions -- steered Grimm away from hitching his coaching future to a front office that has been reduced to a cartoon.

So in Sharp's dull mind, the reason Grimm isn't head coach is due to the Steelers front office bad mouthing the Lions? Grimm has lost out on jobs in the past. There are no guarantees that he'll ever get considered for a head coach position again. I seriously doubt Grimm would turn down a NFL head coaching opportunity, even the Lions gig, if offered. What drugs does Sharp take? Because I'd like to visit fantasyland...

The Little Fella lowers himself to talk sports and chimes in with words of warning. Thing is, I'm sure "Roddy" is aware of the pitfalls of leading the Lions.

The truth is, Roddy -- may I call you Roddy? -- there is so much negativity toward the Lions, it turns great players mediocre and mediocre players lousy. It squashes quarterbacks. And it buries coaching careers the way Tony Soprano buries double-crossers.

Mitch Albom, voice of doooooooooom.

Wobb Parker, on the other hand, plays the often used "Millen makes the wrong decision again" card. He throws in the Drew Sharp conspiracy theory for good measure...

Deep down, fans have to believe Russ Grimm turned down the Lions.

Sure, Millen will try to sell the opposite at the news conference making Marinelli's hiring official. Fans, however, probably will end up singing the old Men at Work tune, "It's a Mistake."

Yes, Millen has done it again.

No, it's not the fact he hired another coach with a surname starting with M.

He's made another "M"istake.

Time will prove it.

Typical boilerplate from Parker. He would have written the same exact column if Millen had hired Grimm. Bet on it. would have been a little different, as he couldn't be able use the "M" jokes.

Wojo is a voice of reason. He takes a reasoned response, and says to just wait and see before we get our panties tied in a knot.

Millen was in a tough spot here, delivered there by his own mistakes, of course. With 10 NFL teams hiring new coaches this offseason, he faced competition for a suspect field of candidates, choosing between the Unknowns (Marinelli, Grimm) and the Underwhelming (Haslett).

We said from the start, there wasn't a surefire choice for the Lions. But before you despair, you might recall Mariucci was considered a surefire choice, and we know how that worked out.

Millen is taking a shot with Marinelli, maybe a shot in the dark. Some will chuckle at the pick, perhaps out of habit. I'm skeptical like everyone else. But I'm also sick of public relations moves by the Lions, drafting the flashy player or signing the fancy coach with the slick resume.

By pedigree and manner, Marinelli appears different than your average Lions head coach.

For starters, that can't be all bad, can it?

Why can't he be this erudite on WDFN? Because he's too busy screaming "HAPPY NEW YEAR!" at every damn caller.

Over in the minor leagues, the Oakland Press' Pat Caputo, rather than write about the biggest story in town so far this year, opines about...Paul Davis and MSU? Lets move on.

Keith Langlois at least writes about the Lions, but halfway through he decides that Jim Haslett is the shiznit. I'm not kidding...

The other serious candidate for the job, Jim Haslett, might not have excited the fan base much. But he would have been a more credible hire than Marinelli.

Opinions on Haslett are all over the map in the NFL. Some considered his teams undisciplined and underachieving. Others contended that his 42-38 career record before the Katrina-ravaged 3-13 season that got him fi red was remarkable given the dysfunctional management team in place in New Orleans.

Hmmm. Six years dealing with dysfunctional management. Lived through the Katrina catastrophe. Seems to me that's the ideal resume to prepare yourself for coaching the disaster William Clay Ford and Matt Millen have made of the Lions.

Pimping Haslett? That retread? I think this column is a result of attending "Columnist 101" in school. Lesson one - Be a contrarian, no matter how asinine the opinion.

Lets count our lucky stars that it won't be till Tigers opening day that we'll be again hit such an onslaught of "Expert opinion."


  1. You can't help but be disappointed by the absolute utter crap we have to pick through for sports columnists in Detroit.

    Drew Sharp is as bad as it gets nationally. He'd be in the top five on anyone's list of worst sports columnists in America.

    Frodo Albom...this guy has been dining out on work he did 15 years ago. His crap stopped being original at least 10 years ago (and I'm not talking about original in the sense of making stuff up). When I read his columns, I feel like he has a template somewhere in his computer and just substitutes proper names.

    Rob Parker? Basically, a bum. He's quite possibly functionally retarded. His voice is also annoying as hell and once you hear it you can help but read his columns in it, which does NOT help at all.

    Wojo? Like you, I do like Wojo, but I don't get the impression that he spends much time on his stuff any more which is too bad, because he brings the most to the table by far. Out of anyone else in Detroit, he's the one most likely to come up with a take that I hadn't thought of. He gets a little cartoony and he obviously has a problem with MSU (not that I have a problem with that), but all in all, the guy's not bad at all.

    I used to like Terry Foster too before the News buried him beneath the Silverdome, Jimmy Hoffa-style. Foster's a Chip though, so I'm not sure my opinion is unbiased.

    When you add it all's a sorry state of affairs. At least you can read them all online for free. I'll be damned before I subscribe to either the Freep or the News again*

    *-er, sort of. I get the Sunday paper, but honestly mostly for the coupons.

  2. That's an excellent summation of the mediocrity that reigns in the Detroit newspapers. If you don't mind, I'd like to work your summation into a blog post about our lack of quality sports pages in the D.

    Wojo is the best in town, but I agree that he tends to phone it in at times. Obviously working 2 full time jobs takes a toll. I noticed that the only columnist to not chime in was the Freep's Michael Rosenberg. I found that surprising, in that he seems to be the one being groomed to become lead columnist whenever the little fella decides to stay in California for good.

  3. I can't stand reading Sharp and Parker especially yesterday's columns.

    Great comments briandtw.