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Monday, August 21, 2006

Drew Sharp: It Has Begun

On August 9th I put up a post about Detroit Free Press sports columnist Drew Sharp, a guy who, as long as I can remember, has never written a kind word about Michigan football or Lloyd Carr. In that post I said, "So, with the Michigan season kicking off in just over three weeks, we can expect Drew Sharp's bile kickoff to start any day as well. As such, today begins Drew Sharp Watch 2006 here at the MZone. From his first column to his last, we'll keep track of how long it takes for him to write a positive piece about the Wolverines. "

Well, looks like Sharp aims to keep his "perfect" record in tact this fall.

Sunday, the Freep published his first column about Michigan and the 2006 season and, as expected, it's more of the usual anti-Michigan blather. If you're an out of state Michigan fan and enjoy writing on par with an 8th grader's MySpace page, check it out. Notice the digs at every opportunity, even when he has to make information up in order to do so. For instance, referring to Michigan's mid-teens ranking in the two major pre-season polls, Sharp "writes":

"The Fraternal Order of Michigan Football Apologists is happily delusional these days, downright giddy that the proper cosmic forces are in place to revisit history this season.

They're thinking 2006 has a great chance of becoming 1997, when the Wolverines began the season residing within the middle of the nationally ranked and finished with a share of the national championship."
Really? Gee, I must have missed all that "giddy" talk from the maize and blue faithful leading up to this season. In fact, I think one would be hard-pressed to find any Michigan fan outside of a drunk message board poster who seriously believes Michigan has a "great chance" to contend for the National Title this year. Not with our schedule. Not after the defensive meltdowns of last year.

No, I think this was some made-up "fact" so Sharp could work in his witty, side-splitting "Fraternal Order of Michigan Football Apologists" line.

Look, as I said in my post on the 9th (and I'll say again), nobody, myself included, thinks Sharp should be pro-Michigan every article (or even most) just because he writes for one of the hometown papers. But this clown "writes" like he has a personal score to settle against the Wolverines. And 2006 is already shaping up to be no different. Thus...


Articles about Michigan football and/or Lloyd Carr - 1

Negative - 1
Positive - 0


Dezzi13 said...

Someone please tell me how many National Championships Ohio State has had since 2002??

Answer: The same number as Michigan... zero... but they've managed to do it with NFL talent!

gnrgoblue said...

I didn't know you posted on this, so I'll just paste here my thoughts on Sharp's latest. I posted them unsolicited in the comments section of Friday's Unverified Voracity on mgoblog:

I'm not one of these people that demands that media blow sunshine up my ass all times when it comes to my team of choice, and I think there's some merit to looking at recent drafts and debating just how talented U-M's football team has been, but what's with Sharp's jab at Michigan's fans? What does that have to do with anything? He really didn't spend any time addressing the numbers he presented (as Brian did a few months back); he just tossed the figures out there and took a poke at the fan base, leaving me suspicious that he wasn't really making a sports-related point at all, but rather looking for a reason to say something nasty. Is he a journalist or a thug with a keyboard?

The newspaper as we know it is a dying medium, and the sports section will be among the first to go. Wire services have replaced the need for local beat writers, while message boards and bloggers are feeding the jones for opinion and analysis--and they're doing it far better than journalists ever have.

I've had these debates with newspaper lifers, and they defiantly maintain their stance that readers will always trust in the "superior" quality of analysis in a newspaper. I point to something like this Sharp piece, which is nothing more than a cheap attempt get people talking about you, as evidence that any value columnists once had has completely dissipated in their misguided to fight "new" media on their own ground.

There's a battle journalists and columnists can win. What they can do that most message-board posters and bloggers can't is offer perspective; historical, geographic, etc. But in their desperation to stay relevant, they're often not bothering to get better at what they offer that's of use to readers, they're emulating what they think is the draw of their online competition: They're trying to bring, as Brian put it some months back when he dropped that MSU imbecile in the first round, stank. As Brian said at the time, if you want to bring stank, bring it strong. Sharp just comes across as silly and childish here.

And they're wrong anyway. It's not "stank" that brings readers to mgoblog and other excellent blogs out there. It's that Brian and others simply outwork your typical columnist.

Yost said...


Good stuff.

ososdeoro said...

Appreciate the countdown to a positive column....however, tact is the last thing this guy displays. Oh, you mean INTACT!

surrounded in columbus said...

this is the time of year sports writers spew opinions. is tosu's D going to be any good w/ only 2 returns? is ND still going to be slow? etc., ad nauseum.

the question "has michigan really got the talent to compete" is a fair one. there's been a perceived talent drop off and any optimisim should be guarded going into the season. hell, even i think that.

the reason Sharp's column jumps out is that it's just bad. he's a victim of his venom and lack of talent. his column is so poorly written, and so animated w/ bias, his "message" gets lost in transmission. all of the sports columnists are asking if we can rebound. many are doubting the coaching changes are going to be enough. but Sharp's column is nothing more than name calling to the point you have to read it twice to get his point.

he just sucks as a writer. it's probably better that he's anti-Michigan. having him write trite, hackneyed crap in our favor, would make me uncomfortable.

Yost said...

Nice catch, OSOS.

Good point, SiC.

eric the wolverine in Chicago said...

I thought I would share with you all the email I sent to our dear friend Mr. Sharp. I will keep you updated if he actually reads and replies to this.


We are offically within 2 weeks of the start of the college football season and your printing this article in a Michigan news paper, let alone the Sunday paper?! I have read your articles for years now and I have come to realize that you have never, nor will ever have a positive thing to say about Michigan and its football program. I'm dealing with that, however, you must understand where your paper is primarily curculated and the allegiances "your" readers have. I challenge you to find a news paper published in Ohio (Toledo excluded) that dares to talk about Michigan football at this time of year, let alone one that goes out of its way to directly compare Michigan in a positive way over Ohio State. I understand the facts that you are mentioning...but if you MUST do it, (since you clearely have nothing else to write about) do it at another time of the year. NOT football season. I'm not asking for bias reporting from you on Michigan football (I'm not a member of your so-called "Fraternal Order of Michigan Football Apologists") I'm simply asking for you not to write on behalf of the Columbus Dispatch. They have enough morons writing for them already.

Hoping you actually read this,
Eric Stegman