Here we sit two days out from yet another championship, calmly piecing together yet another parade plan – mine includes the parade followed by the Phillies’ home opener, where Doug Pederson and, you would think, Jay Wright, will make an appearance – and yet I’m about to write a post about that dipshit Jalen Rose.
It hit me the other night while watching that two-hour pre-game show– just how bad most mainstream sports coverage is. That isn’t to just shred something for the sake of shredding, but to point out what useless filler most of it has become. By the time tip rolled around, the panel was in a consensus that Michigan might win or, at the very least, it would be a very close game. Why? Because talking heads were caught up in the hype of balanced coverage, fan bases and coach speak? I’m not saying Michigan couldn’t have won – far from it – but every sane, statistical-based analysis of the game pointed toward not only a resounding Villanova win, but also a cover of the line with a double-digit delta. Had one person on TBS’ rotating cackle of panelists – including Jim Boeheim, who gave the most old school take on paying players imaginable – predicted a Michigan win, that would’ve been reasonable and in-line with expectations, but pretty much the whole crew did it.
One can live with those sorts of platitudes, especially if they’re in service of pumping up a national broadcast (indeed ratings peaked at 11.0 before diving in the second half once Villanova asserted its dominance). What continues to be difficult to reconcile, and perhaps a reason why so many millennials with access to better, more nuanced or entertaining coverage continue to drift away from this nonsense is the endless hot take filler content that networks use – like NBC Sports Philly airing Quick Slants in the face of spending money to cover just about anything useful – in a desperate attempt to stay relevant.
Enter Jalen Rose.
I actually never really minded him, perhaps because of his nexus to Bill Simmons, who I still enjoy. But this butthurt take about Villanova after they WHOOPED his alma mater is ridiculous:
“Premier basketball team in America usually gets McDonald’s All-Americans to sign on the dotted line.”
It’s one thing to have a bad opinion. It’s another to have a bad opinion that is based on total falsehoods when your entire existence is cashing checks to give said opinion.
Jalen Brunson was a McDonald’s All-American. Jahvon Quinerly, coming to Villanova next year, is a McDonald’s All-American. Omari Spellman was a Jordan Brand All-American. His premise, which we’ll get to in a minute, is absurd, but it’s made substantially worse by Rose not even knowing what the fuck he was talking about.
The numbers speak for themselves and I’m not going to recount them, because even the most crusted-over Nova hater knows that the program has now cemented itself among the elites and perhaps become the destination for winning college basketball. When I was a student, I fantasized about Villanova becoming the next Duke, and now here we are. It’s laughable to answer the question about a premier program, which has won two of the last three national championships, citing reasons only important to Jalen’s very narrow circle of professional basketball players. And even Mike Greenberg, who came to Nova’s defense, lacked facts – he said maybe Brunson goes pro, completely missing on the fact that Mikal Bridges is a likely lottery pick – and agreed with Rose’s incomprehensible point about Kyle Lowry, one of the best players in the NBA, somehow proving his stance. Never mind that Josh Hart was a first round draft pick last year and Donte DiVincenzo and Spellman may well be next year. Rose defines premier as the best minor league team. The answer to that is Duke, who’s made it past the Elite Eight once since 2011. How’s that working out?
This isn’t me being a Villanova homer – maybe it is – but rather it’s about how truly dreadful sports commentary is, even at the highest levels. I just happen to know a lot about Villanova and can easily disprove this argument without doing much work, which is still somehow more than what Rose did before he went on TV yesterday.