Monday, February 06, 2006

How not to write by Professor Jackson

Do you ever hear or read something so awful that it causes fits of cursing out of frustration? For me that is Scoop Jackson and he weekly writes things that evoke swear words in my head. His columns are pretty much a loose collection of thoughts that are pawned off as an article. Today he offers his insight on Super Bowl 40. Here are some choice selections:

It was supposed to be about impossibility.
It became about everything but.

Jackson starts every single article this way. Two obscure sentences that carry little meaning.

It was all about Aretha ... in the beginning. Yes, Stevie was there, and he was treated like royalty. But the Queen is royalty. Beyond diva respect. She gets Goddess respect.
Aretha and Stevie are music legends, that’s great. Is that what everyone is talking about today? Or is Scoop just kissing her XL derriere?

It was about this being the last game Michaels and Madden would call together. The end of one of the best tandems in sports history. And neither one of them made it about himself.
Two of the best announcers maybe. But together they have been mostly lame. And numbers and ratings have proven that nobody watches the NFL for the announcers. Did Scoop cry as they signed off?

It was about Vince Young and Rip Hamilton being in the building.
The only reason this is here is probably because Scoop talked to them. Otherwise who cares? They aren’t even A-List celebrities.

It was about D-Jack in the first half looking like Steve Smith against the Bears. If you give him the TD catches they took away and the ruled-out-of-bounds catch, he's got eight catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns instead of five for 50 and zero scores.
If if if. Bad call or no, Jackson was called for interference. He WAS out of bounds. Willie Parker would have had a 300 yard run if he didn’t have to stop in the endzone!

It was about Hines Ward -- for a moment -- looking like he was the only Steeler ready to ball. It was about that third-and-28 pass reception.
Hines Ward caught it yes, but he dropped a TD earlier in the game. Roethlisberger made a nice play, got a little lucky Seattle snoozed in coverage and it fell in Ward’s hands. But Scoop could tell Hines was ready to ball. After the game he went to the Palace and played Horse with Chauncey Billups.

It was about back judge Bob Waggoner and head linesman Mark Hittner, and their two blown touchdown calls that stole the game from the Seahawks in the first half.
Again, “D-Jack” was out of bounds. The interference call, while questionable was a fair call. Jackson did push off to get separation. Did the Waggoner screw up the 2-minute drill twice? Did Mark Hittner throw a pick inside the 20 or miss two field goals?

It was about Bryant McFadden and Ike Taylor's celebration after the Seahawks' second missed field goal.
Scoop uses IT as anything, factual or otherwise, that happened in Detroit.

It was about Jerramy Stevens' two dropped passes. It was about his touchdown that cut the lead to 14-10. It was about Matt Hasselbeck not giving up on him. It was about his dropping another ball after that.
I seem to remember Stevens sitting in favor of backup Ryan Hannem for a long stretch. Such perserverence by Stevens.

It was about the Seahawks keeping Troy Polamalu quiet. All game long.
Rember this line for a minute.

It was about Matt Hasselbeck killing the Steelers for three quarters. Never getting touched, never coming close to getting sacked. It was about the offensive line having one bad play with 6:10 left, possibly succumbing to the inevitable defeat.
Hasselbeck got sacked on the first flipping drive! It stopped a promising drive. I guess Scoop was busy talking to Rip Hamilton at the time.

It was about the Steelers shutting D-Jack down in the second half.
Who do you think helped cover D-Jack? Troy Polamalu does play in the Steelers secondary. Despite being shut down, D-Jack did have 200 imaginary yards passing.

It was about three plays early in the fourth quarter: The phantom holding call on Jerramy Stevens, followed by the non-horse collar call on Joey Porter, followed by the illegal block call on Hasselbeck that gave Pittsburgh 15 extra yards after the interception. It was about those three blown calls in one series. Calls that Mike Lupica warned everybody about on "Sports Reporters" earlier in the day.
Vicariously taking credit for Mike Lupica’s predictions. Impressive. What predictions did Lupica make; watch out for a horse collar?

If Mike Holmgren wanted to make the same comments and assumptions after this game that Joey Porter made after the Steelers' win against the Colts, he'd be justified.
This is just wrong.

It was about Bill Cowher leading 21-10 and making sure he didn't have a Mike Ditka moment, and attempting to get Bettis a touchdown. And not being able to do anything about it.
What were the Steelers going to do; send Bettis on a skinny post? They ran out the clock. Ditka (in SB XX) had several goal line opportunities to give Walter Payton a shot and didn’t. Cowher ran Bettis twice at the goal line and then Roethlisberger scored on 3rd down. This argument is muddled and let’s see…wrong.

It was about seeing more Terrible Towels than you've ever seen before, about 60,000 people screaming in harmony when Stevens dropped that pass with three seconds left, about the Steelers winning a home game for the fifth Super Bowl win in franchise history.
Considering Heinz Field holds 65,000 Steeler fans, Pittsburgh probably has more Terrible Towels. This year’s Tour De France also had a lot of Steeler Terrible Towels.

Arguments about refs and conspiracy theories are expected out of a Seattle homer or occasional fan, not a professional writer that presumably knows about sports.