You folks read Deadspin? You know the Deadspin? You know it's kinda started to suck now that they'll literally print anything you send them if it's salacious enough, even if there's probably not an ounce of truth to it? Well, somehow, their standards are getting worse.
Step 1: Retarded, or just lazy?
Rick Chandler wrote an article burying the Indiana Hoosiers for all eternity based on the fact that they'd just lost their 18th game of the season, a feat unmatched in Hoosier history. It included such eye-crossers as calling Bloomington a "sleepy backwater" and asking "what multi-talented player is going to go there to play for Tom Crean?"
Step 2: The Internet facepalms
I really don't know where to start on the reactions, but I suppose for the sake of brevity we'll limit it to the Postmen. Note the thoroughness of the takedowns and the startling breadth of wrongness displayed by Chandler. Can one man truly fuck the facts up this badly? All signs point to yes:
First off, Bloomington was just ranked one the best college towns in the nation by quality of life, according to Forbes. I have indeed been to Bloomington, and it’s pretty much my favorite place on Earth. Rick should visit sometime. Once the weather turns in the spring, it’s quite lovely.
I’m not sure what qualifies as sleepy backwaters to Chandler, but perhaps someone should tell him how well a team like DePaul (in Chicago) compared to a team like Kansas (in Lawrence) is doing this season and get back to him about the whole “system thing.”
Finally, the last question: "What multi-talented player is going to go there to play for Tom Crean?" That's a tough one. Fortunately, there's this thing called Rivals. They track recruiting. Because of this service, I can give you the names, positions, and 2009 recruiting ranks of such multi-talented players as: SF Christian Watford (34), SG Maurice Creek (59), SF Derek Elston (98), PG Jordan Hulls (106), C Bawa Muniru (111). That's good for the eighth-ranked class in 2009; all five players will be on campus this fall. Why, it's almost as if multi-talented high schoolers want to play for Tom Crean.
Step 3: The Deadpire strikes back
Not content with his portrayal in the vivisections above, Chandler sought to repair his image by detailing his infatuation with Bob Knight and a deep, intricate knowledge of the history of Indiana basketball. He even explains how he "gets it" the way Bob Knight "gets it" and that's how he got an interview with Knight or something. Fine, we suppose, but the article closes on a rather regrettable boast (emphasis ours):
So if I’m wrong about Crean and Indiana, I’ll be the first to say so, and the Hoosier Reds will be on me. But be aware that you’re in my wheelhouse on this one. I’ve been watching the situation for more than 20 years. And I’ve been taking notes.
Step 4: Drago vs. Creed, Round 2
You guys remember how Drago vs. Creed went, right? Here, put on this video, then keep reading:
Oh god. Oh god, I'm so sorry. Stop that one immediately. I hope you didn't have to hear more than, like, 20 seconds of that. Please forgive me, then watch this, then read on:
That's the only appropriate metaphor for what Chandler got himself into, because I can't remember the last time I read as efficient and yet still thorough takedown as what The Hoosier Report delivered. Here's a taste:
Wow, thanks, Rick! I've lived in Indiana for nearly all of my life, but you used to show up for a few days a year, and you took notes! Please, educate me about my home state and my alma mater. Unfortunately, Chandler's mea culpa contains nearly as much bullshit as the first:
[...] He then tries to backpedal on the "backwater" comments: "what I mean by basketball backwater is that the Hoosiers will always take a back seat to Duke and North Carolina and UCLA and even Wake Forest and UConn." Come on, Rick. If you are going to strike an apologetic pose, stop bullshitting us! By backwater, you meant that you think Bloomington, because it's a small somewhat out-of-the-way town, would be a tough place to attract blue chip talent. That's why you said, "Have you been to Bloomington? What multi-talented player is going to go there to play for Tom Crean?" I would respect you more if you had the courage of your convictions, Rick. I think it's a stupid point (explain to me what makes Lawrence and Storrs and Chapel Hill and Durham and Winston-Salem and East Lansing so much more inherently attractive), but we know exactly what you meant, and respect you less for not admitting it.
THR also points out a litany of really, really bad factual errors that nobody who proclaims himself as being in his "wheelhouse" should ever make, but you can visit his site for those. Suffice it to say, though, that maybe Rick Chandler should never, ever try to talk about Indiana basketball again.