A Triumvirate Of Irritants

Before the Knicks game starts, I would like to briefly share with you three incredibly irritating statements that were unveiled in rapid success tonight on ESPN. The shows are “Around The Horn” and “Pardon The Interruption,” and the culprits are Jay Mariotti and Mike Wilbon.

Unfortunately, I caught the last two minutes of “Around The Horn” and was thus subjected (I know, I could have changed the channel) to one of the more astoundingly ignorant reactions I’ve seen in some time. Panelists J.A. Adande and Mariotti were debating some issue, when the former invoked the work of Adam Smith. Mariotti, at this point, and not without a flicker of pride in his eyes, incredulously yelps “Who? What are you talking about?”

I have no idea if Mariotti was kidding or not, but cognizant of his well-deserved reputation as a raging ignoramus, I suspect he was quite serious. Adam Smith, fair readers, is pretty much the father and pioneer of modern economics. He wrote An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. This book was really important. No, I did not have to look any of this up. I learned this in ninth grade, and have not forgotten it, because: it is really important. 

Jay Mariotti, as Wikipedia tells me, has a college degree from Ohio University. He should know this. I’m positive I’m overreacting to this, but the pride with which Mariotti professed ignorance of Smith’s work was more than a little irritating. Individuals with degrees from an accredited four-year academic institution should know who this guy is. Maybe I should target my irritation at Mariotti’s schooling, but I doubt that Mariotti went eight years (four high school, four college) without hearing this name. End rant.

Irritant number two will take significantly fewer words to describe than irritant number one. During “Pardon The Interruption,” Wilbon tangentially mentioned his viewing of “Boston Legal” last night. I furrowed my brow a little a little, knowing that “Monday Night Football” was on at 8:30pm, which I imagined competed with “Boston Legal.” Sure enough, “Boston Legal” airs at 10pm. While it is certainly possible that Wilbon capitalized on the wonders of modern technology and TiVoed football and watched “Boston Legal,” I wish he were a little less forthcoming about his viewing habits. I would just like to assume blissfully that Wilbon watched the only major televised sporting event last night instead of watching his favorite drama. Because, you know, the first two minutes of Wilbon’s 22 minute show were about the game broadcast on “Monday Night Football.”

The final irritant is by far the most quantifiable of the three, which in turn makes me extraordinarily happy. Later in “Pardon The Interruption,” Wilbon proclaimed that he would not have voted for Tim Tebow in the Heisman voting last year, but would do so this year. This makes no sense. Behold these numbers:

  • 2007: 234 CMP, 350 ATT, 3286 YDS, 66.9 CMP%, 9.39 YPA, 32 TD, 6 INT
  • 2008: 174 CMP, 268 ATT, 2515 YDS, 64.9 CMP%, 9.38 YPA, 28 TD, 2 INT

There is no question that Tim Tebow is an incredible college quarterback and one of the top ten players in the sport. This is clear to any reasonably observant person who watches a significant amount of college football. It is, however, ludicrous to say that Tebow is more deserving of the Heisman Trophy this year than last year. Florida and its insane stable of like 5’9, 190 lbs RBs/WRs/Athletic Gods are running the ball more, which has resulted in fewer passing opportunities for Tebow, which have resulted in diminished counting statistics for the quarterback. Even by measurements of efficiency (YPA, CMP%), his numbers are very slightly down. Tebow is an amazing quarterback. He is not more deserving of the Heisman Trophy this year than he was last year. 

And now, the New York Knicks. Hooray.

EDIT: Because I am a dork, I woke up in the middle of the night last night because I forgot to include Tim Tebow’s rushing statistics. Then I went back to sleep. But now I’m giving them to you. They too reveal Wilbon’s statement to be ridiculous:

  • 2007: 210 ATT, 895 YDS, 4.3 YPC, 23 TD
  • 2008: 154 ATT, 564 YDS, 3.7 YPC, 12 TD

I feel better now.


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