The Unlinkables

After linking the CBS Sportsline articles yesterday predicting great things from two incoming UNC freshman I concluded that I actually contradicted myself. I was somewhat critical of the writer for offering up worthless preseason player rankings without first seeing the players actually play a college game. Now granted they are predictions and maybe I should not get so worked up about them but in doing so I referred to the articles as traffic bait while at the same time linking them. Thus enters the contradiction. If I think something is traffic bait then I should refrain from sending it traffic right? At the same time if I am quoting an article and subsequetly criticizing the material am I not duty bound to link the orginal piece so readers can go and judge for themselves? Quite the conundrum for Tar Heel Fan and bloggers in general. Unfortunately the internet community is full of people who believe that bad writing filled with inane diatribes and cheap shots is the best product. The reason they believe this is because it inevitably produces massive numbers of hits on their site from angry fans who think railing against the writer actually has an impact. In most cases by visting the site, registering your name, and taking to time to pen a thoughtful rebuttal to Mr. Idiot’s assertion that your men’s basketball coach is a girl you have have actually helped the poor schmuck out by giving him traffic. You also end up recording a fairly lengthy stay on the site since site meters often calculate the time from the first click to the last from an individual IP address.

So in an effort to be part of the solution and not the problem I am instituting a new policy here at Tar Heel Fan: I will not link writers or material I think is traffic bait, however I reserve the right to comment on it at length if I so choose without providing links to the article. In other words if CBS Sportsline or ESPN.com offers up so putrid piece of dreck designed to upset UNC fans I will comment on it, heck I may quote it at length and then shred it to bits but I will not provide a direct link to the article. If you, the reader, want to go and find the article yourself, feel free, but I am not giving these yahoos any more free passes off this blog. Secondary to that provisio I am also establishing a list of unlinkable writers who are, for the moment, in the THF doghouse. (Yes I am sure they are all to pieces at the thought, but someone has to make a stand dangit!) The following individuals have too often committed engregious violations against common sense, intellectual honesty, the English language, and could not sell a catch phrase in a cliche storm. So without further ado here is the inaugural class for the “Tar Heel Fan Unlinkable List”

Gregg Doyel, National Writer, CBS Sportsline

It will be a cold day in Hades before I link Doyel. Actually, many UNC fans like Doyel because he is good for a few jabs at Duke from time to time but even those jabs are not really that funny. Duke, like any other school, will provide plenty of situations to level honest criticism without resorting to inherently humorless cheap shots. The history on Doyel is that he was a writer at the Charlotte Obsever who got his big break when CBS Sportline picked him up as college basketball columnist. In that role he often wrote stinging rants aimed at various teams and coaches which served no other purpose than to be message board fodder which guaranteed page hits out the wazoo. Though I have not read a lot of what Doyel has written, last season he wrote a couple of pieces taking jabs at the NC State coaching search in such a way as to tick off Wolfpack Nation to the point they flooded him with emails and forum comments undoubtedly proud of themselves for having put the guy in his place. Of course Doyel then took all of those missives and created a whole article making fun of his readers in what can be described as a grade school “Your Mama” contest. I think his former Charlotte employment means he draws a bead on NC schools more often than not. In short, he is a troll of the lowest order and his writing, aside from being shallow and cliche ridden, lacks any real substance and eskews intellectual honesty in spades.

Tom Sorenson, Columnist, Charlotte Observer

Guess who replaced Doyel at the Charlotte Observer? That’s right, Sorenson did, and he picked right up where Doyel left off. By way of confession I have actually only read three articles Sorenson has written. I read to latest two missive calling for the dismissal of Chuck Amato and John Bunting. Just an illustration of how little I think of Sorenson, I thought the Bunting article was horrible even though I agreed with the main premise. The clincher for me in my assertion to never link Sorenson came when he wrote a column the day after the Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup in which he asserted that the Game 7 wins was only the 300th(or so) most important sporting event in North Carolina history. If he was attempting to make a joke, it wasn’t funny. In fact it came off as just a bitter diatribe from a Charlotte writer who was apparently a little displeased that Raleigh won a professional sports title before the Queen City did. Had he asserted such a thing and ranked the win behind a couple of Final Fours or a NASCAR event or two it would have been plausible. Saying that certain high school games were more important is so stupid I may have lost some brain cells having read it. Sorenson suffers from the same kind of bad writing as Doyel does which is to say he drops way too many unfunny lines and fairly shallow assertions. Then again I have only read three articles so I could be wrong.

So that is those are the initial members of the club. I am still reserving judgement on the aforementioned Gary Parrish and his coverage of NCAA basketball. If Dan Shanoff had not been tossed off of Page2 at ESPN.com I would have included him on the list but since he is doing the lone blogger deal like myself I will leave him alone.

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