I admit the following things that I wrong about. I was wrong to mock Gary's weirdly over-appled cheeks. I was wrong to suggest that his teeth have been either chemically or photoshopally changed to glaring white. I was wrong to call him a journalist. He's a columnist, and much like Charles Krauthammer is still allowed to spew borderline insane ramblings at the Washington Post, regardless of facts, so is Gary Parrish.
All, the same, I declare Vendetta on the man. Parrish can't seem to not take the side of whoever he is following. Like the Noah story, he's decided he's going to weigh in on Memphis' chances this year. Whether they are being disrespected (apparently being in the Top 25 almost all year, and in the Top 10 for the last couple of months is disrespectful) or not. But Is Memphis truly a threat to reach the Final Four?
Gary, in his journalistic (I'm sorry, Columnistic zeal) asks exactly one person that question--John Calipari, The Head Fucking Coach of Memphis! That's some excellent work, Gary. Maybe, if you cover baseball, you should ask Barry Bonds whether he's ever cheated or not, and when he says, "no", you make that the focal point of your 600 word article. Make sure to call those of us who doubt him haters, and put some strawman arguments in italics.
I don't like doing this, but I have to. To quote Atrios, Let's Document the Atrocities.
Atrocity #1: Taking the Side of the Subject of the Article:
Gary Loves the First Person quote, after he humanizes the person involved. Much as he did with Joachim, we get a portrait of John Calipari as a guy who's awesome when the cameras are off of him. He plays with his son! Like any normal father does.
And then, just like with Joachim, we get a set of reasons (framed in the most irrational way possible) why people doubt Memphis:
Excuse me for not playing down to the competition.
Excuse me for being ranked in the Top 10.
Excuse me for beating opponents by 20
Just like I didn't hate on Joachim because of his tennis playing father, or his MILF mom, or his hair, I don't suspect Memphis of being overranked because of their rank, or their ability to dominate lesser teams (which is all #1 and #3 say there, right?). I mean, really, that's it? It isn't Memphis' fault that they only play submarginal talent?
Calipari is a savvy coach--his Memphis team possibly lost more impact players than any other team in the Elite 8 last year, aside from UConn. And both Calipari and Calhoun did the exact same thing--they scheduled complete jokes of teams in their non-conference schedule. The problem for Jim Calhoun was that sooner or later, UConn had to play in the Big East. Calipari avoided that by staying in Conference USA.
Atrocity: This paragraph:
I could spend 500 words explaining why the Tigers are a serious threat to make the Final Four, opining about how -- though Conference USA's competition is lousy -- there's something to be said for avoiding any silly mishaps considering Kansas (home loss to Oral Roberts), Marquette (home loss to North Dakota State) and Vanderbilt (home loss to Furman) haven't done the same.
Does anyone think Marquette is a serious threat to make it to the Final Four? Vanderbilt? Kansas, maybe, and that loss to Oral Roberts was about 20 games ago. This is such a stupid comparison that it boggles the imagination. Who is comparing the #8 team, with to fucking Vanderbilt, who only got into the Top 25 for being the inevitable SEC team that beat Florida. A show of hands, people, who are planning to put Vanderbilt or Marquette in their Final Four? It's specious reasoning.
And now, Gary argues, simply because of the weak conference Memphis is in, they are now considered one of those teams that could flame out in the first weekend:
Which makes Memphis just like Pittsburgh, Stanford, Duke, Louisville, Oregon, Virginia, Alabama, Southern California, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Notre Dame, Indiana and about 15 other teams, any of whom could end up in Atlanta or totally flame out.
Still, it seems the Tigers get the most criticism.
Because they play in Conference USA, and the theory some want others to believe is that a team barely tested by its league won't be capable of advancing in the NCAA Tournament. Problem is, that logic is merely a myth perpetuated by people in positions to perpetuate myths, and there is absolutely nothing tangible to back it or any evidence proving a team that dominates a bad league can't do well in the NCAA Tournament.
Really, Gary, is that why? Because I can't help noticing that every team you mention isn't undefeated in their conference, and they all play in either the PAC-10, Big East, or the ACC. You didn't even have the sack to throw in a MVC team, you fucking pussy! You didn't compare undefeated in their conference Memphis to the first place teams in the ACC, SEC, Big 10, or Big 12. You couldn't even bring yourself to compare them to Southern Illiniois, which would be a fair comparison.
Some of us (admittedly, we are just bloggers, and not Columnists for Big Time Web Sites) would have looked at Memphis' non-conference games. Who did they beat to acquire this amazing record?
In November, they managed to hold off the following teams: Jackson State, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arkansas State. They suffered their only loss to Georgia Tech, who can't even crack the top 7 of the ACC. Impressive?
In December, they beat Manhattan, Marshall, Mississippi, Austin Peay, Middle Tennessee, and Lamar. They lost to The Juggernauts of Tennessee and Arizona.
Then they began their CUSA schedule.
So, Gary, which of Memphis' wins are impressive enough for us doubters to think that we were wrong? Or maybe we should re-evaluate the way they crushed Marshall?
Those of us who hate on Memphis don't do so just because they graduated their 3 best players, or just because they play in the worst conference in the country. We hate also because Memphis went out of its way to not play anyone of any importance all year long. Fuck you, Gary, for making us sound like we were crazy to not put stock in the wins against the likes of Marshall and Lamar.
Comparing this Memphis team to the likes of Duke, who I hate with a passion, but have to play real teams a few times a year, regardless, is just silly. USC? They beat UCLA. Who has Memphis beat? A young and overrated Kentucky team.
Gary finishes off his column with a roll call of teams that did well despite their sub-conference regular season. He accidently proves his own point, here. His points in bold, mine in italics.
Did Jerry Tarkanian's 1990 UNLV team suffer because it was barely tested?
(It won a national title)
This is a joke, right? UNLV were prohibtive favorites the entire year. Tarkanian illegally aquired the best talent available. We're comparing Memphis to a team that had 4 NBA starters on its squad? And cheated to do so?
Did Rick Majerus' 1998 Utah team suffer because it was barely tested?
(It played for a national title)
By barely tested, do you mean, Keith Van Horn having to hit back-to-back, crazy, impossible to hit shots to win the WAC and get the automatic bid? In my mind, that would count as being tested. Dumbass. And again, that team was recognized as a very tough team. Doleac and Van Horn were on the floor together. 2 future NBA'ers is a rare thing for any college team.
Did Phil Martelli's 2004 St. Joe's team suffer because it was barely tested?
(It made the Elite Eight)
St. Joes made a very improbable run. Did the Richmond Spiders of 1991 suffer because it was barely tested? (It made the Sweet 16). Picking random teams who did well doesn't count for shit. And it's doubly fucked when you consider that St. Joes was ranked #1 at some point that year. Yeah, they did suffer. It may be subjective, but one could argue that if they had played some real schools outside the A-10, they would have won the entire thing.
Did Mark Few's 2006 Gonzaga team suffer because it was barely tested?
(It made the Sweet 16)
Gary, before asserting that Gonzaga played no one as tough as shitty early season 07 Kentucky, like Memphis did, you should go see who they beat that year.
Vendetta! Gary Parrish, you are....
Worst College Basketball Columnist, Ever! (update: Not really, Gary.)
Update: Commenter Dave points out that I got my facts wrong in the Utah. I was a year off. Dave could have pointed out that while attacking a columnist I called a hack, I made a pretty hack move myself. Thanks for not saying that out loud, Dave.
Commenter Not Digger Phelps did say it out loud. I only hope that by calling himself Not Digger Phelps that it is indeed Digger Phelps. Digger Phelps, you are 3rd favorite crazy old guy doing NCAA Hoops coverage. You are right behind Bill Rafferty, and Tough Old Monkey Billy Packer. In short, NDP suggests that I'm jealous of Gary Parrish. That might be overstating the case a bit. I think it more fair that I didn't give his column an honest critical reading. After the Noah article, I was against Gary from the outset on this column. I was overly harsh. Their are social "scientists" doing work on what makes The Intertubes That Are Not Like a Truck easier for assholes to be assholes. Anonymity, and remoteness of the subjects are the two biggest factors. So, in closing, no photo of me is going to appear any time soon. I wish to be able to retain my ability to be an asshole. Nice try, "Not" Digger Phelps. By the way NDP, you are apparently a regular reader--did your first comment have to be this one? What's wrong with leaving a comment that say, "Hey, Buddy, Job Well Done. Even though I'm not Digger Phelps, I could have used a guy like you at Notre Dame, back when I coached them. Or Didn't."