Drew Sharp continued his mindless Big 10 bashing by calling the Michigan and Michigan State basketball programs "a joke." The Freep editors, obviously trying to rile up the fans of both schools, gleefully gave Sharp's tripe a tabloid like headline:
"Both U-M and MSU basketball programs lack basketball fire."
Regardless of the over the top headline, this column Sharp's knee-jerk, contrarian flame baiting at his very best. "Best" being a relative term, of course.
Like moths to a flame, the column attracted your usual mouth-breathers. Namely Sparty haters, Wolverine bashers, and damn near everything in-between. Amazingly, I found a mild-mannered, reasoned post amid all the shit flinging. dtw456 came through with a comment both realistic and reasoned regarding the status of both programs...
I wouldn't say both programs lack fire. There still is a flame burning for MSU, though not as intense as years previous. At UM, the fire is definitely out. It's no surprise that the fire at UM has been out ever since the Ed Martin fiasco unfolded. The UM program is still trying to recover from this fiasco, even today.
I never expected to find reason in the middle of what became a bile filled U of M vs. MSU comment thread. It's too calm for a Sharp column comment thread.
At this point, Sharp's columns have become rote. He has a totally predictable formula. Find a subject sports fans are passionate about, then just piss all over it.
It doesn't matter if the subject is actually worth debating or tearing apart. He strives to be so reactionary, so controversial, so contrary to popular opinion, that readers become enraged. His constant hating on the Big 10 conference, and baiting Big 10 fans, with the huge alumni and fanbase in Southeast Michigan, makes his job angering readers quite easy.
Sharp's job isn't to generate discussion, or to report on a story. He's nothing more than a sports hit man whoring himself out to the Freep. His only job is to generate hits on the website, and sell a few papers. Period.
Unfortunately, controversy sells papers and generates page views. Even if the writer is undeserving of the immense readership. Sharp is nothing more than a hack who found a formula that has lead all the way to appearances on the worldwide leader, a part time sports talk radio gig, and, most importantly to him, the bank.
Shame on we sports fans for falling for his act.