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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Drew Sharp: I don't give a rat's behind about you fans

As mentioned here on the MZone, Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharp didn't write a word about Michigan's surprising, impressive victory over heavy favorite and defending BCS Champ Florida - a team QB'd by the current Heisman Trophy winner - in the Capital One Bowl, Lloyd Carr's final game as the Wolverine head coach after 13 years, effectively ushering out the Bo Schembechler Era.

And you can see why, can't you? I mean just from reading that one sentence recap above, it's apparent there was absolutely no story in the day's events that might spark a column idea for a writer at one of Michigan's hometown newspapers.

No story, that is, if you can't find a negative. Which is what Sharp is really all about. As we stated in a post last year calling Sharp's "style" of writing "annoyance journalism," Sharp seems to revel in writing pieces not to critique, provide insight or even to entertain, but solely to annoy and agitate a fan base.

Thus, no story about Michigan's exciting victory...but naturally a story the day after Ohio State lost last week, blasting the Bucks, the Big 10 and, by extension, Michigan.

(Of course it would have been nice if Sharp simply could get his facts straight as evidenced by this sentence in the piece:

"And these LSU Tigers resembled the edition from the season's second week when they went to Blacksburg, Va., and laid a 48-7 whipping on a Virginia Tech team that ultimately won the ACC championship."

Uh, actually, that game was in Baton Rouge, which a simple check of Yahoo! Sports would have confirmed. But why bother. That's not what these columns are all about.)

Yet if all Sharp did was pen his usual assclown column, we wouldn't have even mentioned it again. What we wanted to pass on was an email exchange Sharp had with one of our readers.

After our recent post calling Sharp out for ignoring Michigan's victory, MZone reader EL sent Sharp the following email:

To: Sharp, Drew
Sent: Fri Jan 04 10:30:24 2008
Subject: DREW SHARP: Which is worse for Michigan, SEC football or Ohio State football?

"And wasn't it interesting how Michigan out-SEC'ed Florida in the Lloyd Carr Classic..."

What's more interesting is where is your article about how great of a game Michigan played? If Michigan lost, you surely would have written an article trashing Michigan, like you always do. But, it was impossible to. You are a joke of an journalist.

EL
Economics BA 2008
University of Michigan


And Mr. Sharp's response?

From: Sharp, Drew
Date: Jan 4, 2008 10:42 AM
Subject: Re: DREW SHARP: Which is worse for Michigan, SEC football or Ohio State football?
To: [EL]@umich.edu

Was I wrong about what I wrote?
You can't answer that, can you?
That's precisely why I don't give a rat's behind about you fans. You're going to see what you want to see.

Uh, first of all, it's what he didn't write that was the point of contention.

And is this how he responds to college kids - or readers in general - when they write? I'm sure the "joke of a journalist" thing stung but I'm guessing he's been called worse. Shouldn't he as a professional be above that? And does the Free Press condone one of its employees talking to its readers that way?

More troubling is a sports columnist who doesn't "give a rat's behind" about fans.

Really?

One doesn't have to - nor should - kowtow to them but Sharp's remark illustrates an utter disdain that makes me wonder why he's a sports writer to begin with.

Even worse, "fans" in this instance is synonymous with "readers." As in newspaper readers. The ones who read his columns.

Because while it may come as a shock to Sharp, the folks reading his diatribes aren't searching for stock tips, or looking for movie reviews, or researching the origin of the Middle East crisis. They read precisely because they are fans. That's who reads the sports section.

And sadly, Sharp's words about not giving a rat's behind about them - his readers - is the most revealing thing he's ever written.

23 comments:

Sujith said...

Great post. I am a buckeye fan, but I have been following this Sharp guy's columns ever since I first saw your posts about him. This guy is a total idiot and a perfect personification of the term "assclown".

srudoff said...

unfortunately this is the way of the new media - you don't get noticed anymore if you're not there to muddy the water. Mark May, Drew Sharp, Trev Alberts, Skip Bayless, Jay Mariotti, Colin Cowherd, etc - they can't just report the news anymore, they have to create the news by being controversial. And worse is the fact that their asshatness actually works because they are the ones getting viewers, readers, etc.

I'm sure Sharp relishes every letter such as yours because at least he knows you're reading him. Bad pub is better than no pub.

Mathew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mathew said...

From www.freep.com:

"Sharp is the only Detroit newspaper sports columnist who also calls the city his hometown. He aspired to become a journalist as a 6-year-old, typing up news stories and reading them to his family at the dinner table. But his interest turned to sportswriting a few years later due to his constant harping against his father's beloved Detroit Lions."

It's nice to see he's matured as a writer in the past 40-odd years.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/99999999/COL08/70206029

I'm blue, da ba dee said...

It appears that a UM alumn got the best of Drew on wikipedia...

"Since Drew was several credits shy of ever graduating from Michigan he has been relentless in bad-mouthing the university any chance he gets."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drew_Sharp

PS: I wish I could open youtube at work so I could find those muffler commercials...

Katie said...

I cancelled my membership at the Freep, I wrote to them to tell them exactly why and I have not gone back since. That is actually sort of tough to do, since there are often links to things that might be of interest to read, however I refuse to read the Freep because of Drew Sharp. I of course got zero response from my letter to the Freep, so I can assume that they could give a Rat's ass about me, which is very likely why Drew has the same attitude.

B.A.M. said...

Whats worse, Drew Sharp's terrible columns, or all of us complaining about Drew Sharp's terrible columns?

You want to send this guy a message. Call the Free Press and tell them you are cancelling your subscription until Drew Sharp is let go. And, don't click on his columns on Freep.com.

Bottom line: Stop reading Drew Sharp.

Crock said...

just a thought - because of the wonderful age of technology we are in. I don't think that 10 years ago the Freep would've ignored people canceling subscriptions because of a particular writer.

But, I wonder how much subscriptions have declined in recent years, because just about everything is accessible online.

Do they even care about actual subscribers anymore?

Feelin' Blue said...

srudoff raises a good point. I have realized that there is no use in getting mad about certain writers who just antagonize certain fanbases; it's just their schtick. They want angry letters because they know that what they written is being read and internalized. Pat Forde has made a living off of this. Someone once wrote about how he met Forde in a bar in NY and told him that he hated him, and Forde bought him a drink!

There is a douchebag named Gregg Doyel at Fox Sports who wrote an article during the coaching search about how much the process has shown how Michigan is not an elite program or a top job and blah blah blah. It was badly written, but there was no need to comment on how wrong he was; he probably already knew.

I disagree about Mark May. I think that he actually believes a lot of the things he says. He isn't trying to be controversial whenever he brown-noses Pete Carroll and USC. I think that he's just an arrogant tool.

Katie, I wouldn't cancel my subscription over Sharp. There are way more important issues in the world and you should really consider how the Freep reports on those news items. It's not that bad a paper, IMO. So they have one asshole on the sports staff.

Feelin' Blue said...

Don't get me wrong, btw. What Sharp wrote in response to that guy's email was stupid and irresponsible. It was also such a typical Sparty comment. Sparty fans love to accuse UM fans of being dylusional elitist. OSU fans might say the same thing, but I think that they don't talk about that as much because of the success of their own football program and UM doesn't really overshadow their university as with MSU.

Earle said...

Thought this was intersting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drew_Sharp

Joshua said...

Ok, here's my take on the whole thing. First, it is difficult enough to make your way and do so happily in this world without the input of those who have nothing (directly)to do with your life. For this reason I will not call for Drew Sharp to be fired, nor do I wish him any ill will.

Now that having been said, do I think he's a no-talent assclown? Yes. Do I believe he is lazy in his writing and too comfortable? Yes. Do I believe his views are skewed with an anti-Michigan bias? Defnitely. For whatever reason this idiot has decided not only will he write negative, incendiary articles, but negative and incendiary articles to the exclusion of all other types,and most often to the exclusion of anything pro-Michigan. No matter how many papers it may sell that decision strikes at the very core of his credability.

While I wish him no ill will I would gladly deem him Stupid and do my best to make him cry if ever encountered in person. Seriously, how would this guy ever defend his articles as anything other than sensationalistic editorials? And if that is all they are intended to be, how does he defend a clear U of M bias? He simply cannot.

The Wikipedia post about him is great, however, wikipedia only allows inclusion of factual information. It is with this in mind that I propose the first annual Mzone Assclown Award and nominate Drew Sharp as the inaugural recipient. Other nominees should be accepted so ass to make this a fair contest. Voting can commence shortly if this idea is deemed worthy by Yost. Maybe you can see where I'm going with this. Please add "Evil" to my title of Frivolous Genius. MWUAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!

Corey said...

sru,

Who is the o$u equivalent of Drew Sharp?

Hemlock Philosopher said...

"first annual Mzone Assclown Award and nominate Drew Sharp as the inaugural recipient." Great idea, Joshua. Perhaps you should name it after him because, much like Vince Lombardi ruled the early Super Bowls, Drew Sharp rules journalistic Asshattery: The Drew Sharp Award for Journalistic Asshattery presented by Tucks.

Joshua said...

Hemlock,
I like where your heads at.
Provided drew wins, we name the award after him. As I've already nominated one person, I don't think i can nominate another, and if we make it for "journalistic asshattery" that rukles out all the other assclowns around here, like that RTBDH-IMADOUCHE Auburn guy. So, nominations anyone? Maybe we can get a full post out of this.

TitleIX said...

Brent
Musberger.....

Katie said...

I am strongly opposed to naming the award after Drew Sharp. It would feed his ego.

Katie said...

Oh, and after Drew wins it, I nominate Herbie.

Joshua said...

So we've got a Herbie nomination, and a Musburger nomination. and Katie, in order for this to be fair it has to be an actual contest- we don't want any allegations of collusion and such, that'd make this entire process a farce. And I will not allow people to make a mockery of the first annual Assclown Award. this is serious, dignified business.

All in favor of voting for Drew Sharp say "aye".

I'm off to do my civic duty and vote, then head out to dinner with the parental units so see ya'll later.

And Katie- get info from T9 and whomever else to see about that concert!

Crock said...

Can I please nominate Gary Danielson?

thanks

Katie said...

I think Yost should do an official ballot. He has done them before, what do you say Yost?

T9, email me nursekatie99 at yahoo dot com (please).

Lynda said...

I nominate Colin Cowherd.

MGoBlue93 said...

What is really funny is over on spartantailgate.com, they're convinced notso Sharp is a Michigan homer.