Morrie Schwartz must be proud of Mitch Albom.
Albom, the author of "Tuesdays With Morrie" and sports columnist for the Detroit Free Press, wrote in his Sunday Free Press column that former Michigan State players Mateen Cleaves and Jason Richardson were in attendance at last Saturday's Michigan State-North Carolina final. Even quoted them about the differences in between the life of a college athlete and the life of an NBA athlete.
Except for one minor detail: Neither Cleaves nor Richardson were at the game due to travel conflicts. So not only was the state that they were there wrong, but the quotes are bogus too.
Now, we know Albom is a published author, but he's also got something of a reputation as a Detroit homer. So maybe he let his homerism get to him and tried to write something that would make Michigan State look good, and former players who return to Old State U. are good publicity for any university.
The big problem here is that Albom "quoted" players who weren't there. If there's one thing that ruins a journalists cred and harms his or her relationship with sources, it's misquoting them.
And correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't a certain reporter for the New York Times get fired for non-existent quotes?
When Parents Attack
Thoughts and prayers from Cheap Seats go out to Canton, Texas high school coach Gary Joe Kinne, who was shot yesterday by an angry parent of one of his players. He's still in critical condition in a Tyler hospital with a chest wound.
Now, besides doing this blog and writing my novel, I've been known to do a little substitute teaching at an undisclosed school district. Thankfully, I've never had to deal with a parent. But I've talked to those who do teach, and one of their biggest complaints nowdays is belligerent parents. And from all reports the dude who shot the coach, Jeffery Doyle Robertson, is about as belligerent as they come.
Not only that, angry parents are a problem in youth sports as well. Used to be the perception of "Little League Dad" was a guy who was proud of his son, win or lose, if he tried his best. Now, the perception of "Little League Dad" (or on occasion "Soccer Mom") is someone who's angry at the refs, the coaches, the opposing players, anyone who, in the course of doing their duty, does something that, in the parent's view, keeps their kid from succeeding.
Jeffery Doyle Robertson, from all accounts, had a dispute with the coach over his kid. No one is coming forward with any details about what the dispute was over, but if I were to put money on it, I'd say it was over playing time. That's usually the case. Problem is, under the rules of the University Interscholastic League (the governing body for Texas public high school athletics), playing time isn't guaranteed once you hit 9th grade.
A quick note to all the parents out there: If your kid is not getting enough playing time, it is your kid's fault, not the coaches. If your kid is out or commits a foul, it is not the fault of the officials, it is the fault of your kid. If your kid is not doing well in school, that is on your kid, not the teacher.
Parents are out of control and their antagonistic attitude towards teachers and youth coaches has to stop. Now. Because it's finally crossed the line.
Because the Madness isn't just limited to basketball
Denver U. 6, Colorado College 2
For those who are not completely in to hockey, this is a huge rivalry. It doesn't get the attention of the Red River Shootout, a Duke-UNC basketball game, or even the Beanpot, but the rivalry is no less intense. Add to the fact that this is the Frozen Four, and the intensity skyrockets.
And now the Denver Pioneers have something they can hang over the Colorado College Tigers for years to come, thanks to two-goal games from Luke Fulhghum and Gabe Gauthier, and four assists from Brett Skinner.
North Dakota 4, Minnesota 2
I can just imagine the conversation in the state of Minnesota over this one:
"Oh, hey, did ya hear the Gophers lost?"
"Yah, they lost to the North Dakota Fighting Sioux"
"Oh, I heard those boys were pretty darn good."
"Oh yah, but our Gophers should have beaten them"
"Oh, ya think?"
"Yer darn tootin' they should have!"
"Oh, let it go, they had a good season."
"Oh, yah, you gotta give the Gophers credit for that."
Kidding and Fargo accents aside, Erik Fabian (the North Dakota goaltender) was on fire, stopping 26 shots and pacing the Sioux to the win.
Denver has not lost to North Dakota in 3 meeeting this year, and there's nothing to indicate that this result will be any different.
Four to Watch
Back after a long hiatus
- The Masters final round (Sunday 1:30 PM CBS) - Which one of "The Four" will be left standing on the final day?
- Texas at Nebraska (Friday 6:00 PM ESPN2, Saturday 1:00 PM ESPN, Sunday 1:3o PM ESPN) - Regular season college baseball doesn't make it to ESPN that often, but they picked a great series to showcase. Texas is the #1 team in America, but Nebraska leads the Big XII standings and has great pitching.
- Frozen Four Championship: Denver U. vs. North Dakota (Saturday 6:00 PM ESPN) - Need a reason to watch: How about fast-paced collegiate hockey that the NHL can only dream of offering.
- Denver Nuggets at Minnesota Timberwolves (Tonight 8:30 PM ESPN) - Minnesota is fighting for their playoff lives and needs this one badly.
Monday: Lots of stuff.