As anyone who’s ever watched ESPN’s “Around the Horn” or is on Twitter can tell you, there are a lot of ignorant, uninformed sports columnists out there. Some clearly either don’t even watch the games but still have opinions and some think statistics are evil, because math is totally for nerds. These people aren’t worth our time, but there is one type of writer worse than the ignorant writer: the troll. The difference between the two is that the former just doesn’t know what he is talking about, but the latter creates an opinion that is so ridiculous, that it is obvious they don’t actually believe it and are just desperate for attention. Well, right now there is no worse sports troll than the Detroit Free Press’ Drew Sharp.
Sharp, a columnist who covers Detroit sports, including Michigan (or MissAgain, as he so cleverly has called them) , Michigan State and the Big Ten as a whole, has decided the easiest way to get attention is by having an irrational and increasingly embarrassing disdain for Big Ten football. And since few people actually still read what Sharp has to say, he has decided to post his “hot take” right in his Twitter bio. “Sports columnist for the Detroit Free Press. ESPN contributor. Lions Free for more than 30 years. Author of the hit tune, Ohhhhhhhhh…The Big Ten Sucks”, it reads.
But in case you didn’t see his bio, Sharp is very skilled at being able to throw his loathing of the Big Ten in all of his tweets, because nothing says professional analysis like “Still waiting to hear from those B1G suck ups who whined to me about why I kept Tattoo U lower in my AP top 25.” Almost everyone of Sharp’s tweets about college football inevitably mentions his hatred of the Big Ten, because Drew Sharp has mastered subtlety.
Now, do I think the Big Ten is a good football conference? No. It is clearly lightyears behind the SEC and probably behind the PAC 12 and Big 12 this year. But does a conference with two teams in the top ten in the most recent BCS poll”suck”? Absolutely not.
So, why does it matter what a Skip Bayless wannabe, with less than 1% of Bayless’ Twitter following, thinks? Well for reasons that torment me, Sharp has a vote in the AP Poll. And as part of his inferiority complex causing hatred of the Big Ten, Sharp decided to put the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes 8th, when no other writer had them outside the top five and they ended up being ranked 2nd. Sharp even decided to put two 2-loss teams (Stanford and South Carolina) ahead of Ohio State. Yes, the same Stanford team that lost to Utah and USC, both of whom are unranked, and South Carolina team that lost to 5-7 Tennessee. But Ohio State is worse than these teams in Sharp’s mind because “the Big Ten stinks”.
We get it, Mr. Sharp is desperate for attention, and like a small child, he has decided to get it by trying to shock people by being “Mr. Big Ten Sucks”. It’s just too bad that he is both still published by a respected paper, despite his clear lack of any objectivity or rational thought, and having an impact on the BCS standings. Although I must admit, it is brave of Sharp to erase any credibility or respect he had in the industry in favor of a shameless, desperate plea for attention.
You can find Alex Dale on Twitter @alexdaleCFB.