11 March 2010

Dear Contributing Journalists to the Detroit Sports Media: You are stupid people.

It's been fashionable recently to rag on Detroit's beat writers. Hell, there's certainly enough ammunition out there. The fact is, we really don't have many great journalists assigned to follow our team. The hard questions too often go unasked. The pertinent information often goes unpublished. Whatever. I usually try not to become too enraged with this sad fact. I obsess enough, and if the Freep or DetNews can't quite match that tenacity, it's completely understandable.

But then they get away from the reports, and start talking opinion.

Lets be honest here, if you want to read opinion on the Wings, the Freep is not the place to go. There are far too many talented Wings bloggers out there. Also, there's some maniac who doesn't watch his language and photoshops images of fake tits that's kind of fun to read as long as you don't have any moral standards. And when the Freep or the News decides that opinion is the right way to go, I no longer decide that it isn't worth calling the bastards out. Because it's clear: not only are these people lousy journalists, they're stupid too.

Time for the prove-up.
Maybe it was just too hard to sustain their level of excellence. Remember, the Wings went deep into the playoffs the last three years. They played more games than most teams, and those extra games were the most physically taxing and draining games anybody played. This year, because of the Olympic break, the schedule was condensed.

Maybe Datsyuk and Zetterberg are just worn out. They both denied it; it sounds like an excuse. Oh, Datsyuk admitted that "we've played a lot of games -- you can feel it" and called the schedule "kind of not fair." But I don't think he really meant unfair; I think he meant it is not ideal. He pointed out that it's the same for everybody.
Link - Via Rosenberg at Freep
Nice.  That's Michael "who?" Rosenberg in a piece he titled "The myseterious struggles of Datsyuk and Zetterberg." Granted: Z's been struggling. Most have been speculating that he's a bit hurt in one way or the other, because it's clear he has not been the presence in the offensive zone that he usually is. He's still mega-strong defensively, but he's not hitting the score sheet like we need. Also granted: Earlier this season, Datsyuk was struggling offensively. Hell, we at the Winged Wheel are no strangers to calling Pasha out. For some reason he decided he'd hug the perimeter. Now that the Mule's back, he's dangling into the slot and shooting much more.

In fact, in the last three games, Dats has four points. Three of which are goals. In the last 5 games? 7 points. In the last 8? 10. In case you aren't following... over the last month of Hockey, Datsyuk is playing at over a point per game pace.
  • Yeah, NOW seems like a good time to write an article about Datsyuk's struggles.
Therein lies my main issue with Rosenberg's article: Timing. Going over his archived articles, there doesn't appear to be a word about Dat's struggles... when he was struggling. Seems Mike decided to tune in, look at the season statistics, pull out his super-computer to crunch the numbers, and found that - SURPRISE!- Datsyuk is having an off year. Then, admiral asshole sat down at his ol' timey typewriter and bang out a breaking article that would just shock Wings fans across the globe. Unfortunately for him, anybody who has actually watched one of the last 10 games, knows that Datsyuk is far from struggling. He's finally carrying the team like he needed to all year.

Moving on. I'll only provide a few clips from this gem of an article:
2. Saturday vs. Sabres: Drew Miller's older brother, Ryan, is a pretty good goaltender. Loss.
3. Monday at Flames: The Wings won there earlier in the season. Win.
6. March 22 vs. Penguins: It's the grudge match. Win.
7. March 24 vs. Blues: The Wings have had problems with the Blues this year. Win.
13. April 4 at Flyers: The Flyers are another good home team, they have that friendly Chris Pronger guy, and it's the second of a back-to-back. Loss.
16. April 11 at Blackhawks: The Blackhawks are tied with the Capitals for most home wins. Loss (unless they rest Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, etc.). 
Link - Wajiki at DetNews
Oh Dana. Dana, Dana, Dana. You truly are... something else. How you get paid to write this shit is beyond me. Actually, the bigger question, is what the hell is your editor doing that is keeping him or her from reading your drivel, removing it from the interwebs immediately, and assigning you to the mail room. Hollis at MotownWings wrote a great piece about this article here. Check it out, but be sure to do so nowhere near a loaded pistol, rope, bottle of pills, or methamphetamine. It's not exactly a pick-me-upper, but it's honest, insightful, and clever.

Unlike Dana's "work."

Dana's "analysis" actually makes The Winged Wheel's "Ladder to the Above Ground Pool of Glory" look downright scientific. She lists the opponents remaining, and assigns her determination of whether or not the Wings will win based on... um... well I'm guessing the results of powerful hallucinogens. Yep, we'll beat the Flames because we've done it before... but beating the Blackhawks at home? UNHEARD OF!
  • Wait... you mean we just did that? A whole two games ago?
Oh dear, I feel silly. Or, how about March 24, against the Blues. What striking analysis: "The Wings have had trouble against the Blues this year." The only logical conclusion, "Win." Oh.

Mind: Officially blown.

The sad, and honest truth: if the Wings play like they did against Nashville two games ago, or like they did during the second period against Chicago, we're officially Cup contenders. If they play like they did against the Flames?
  • There's no way in hell we'll win enough to make it.
The trouble here is that in the hierarchy of people writing about the Red Wings, it should not be the fanboy bloggers who live and die by the team who are calling it like it is. That, Dana, is your job. If you want to write an article about how the Wings are playing predominantly at home, with a handful of games against teams near the bottom of the standings? Fine. If you want to write an honest article, that says that currently it's more likely than not that the Wings will miss the damn playoffs? Even better. That's journalism. Maybe it won't get as many hits, but it's objective reality.

Leave the blind homerism to us. We can handle it. Plus, we can say "fuck." That always lightens up a good read.

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