MALZAHN’S AGENT: (whispering to Malzahn) Tell them you’ll take it, but that they just need to get the money right
MALZAHN: Hey, Vandy, I’ll take it!
DAVID WILLIAMS: Hooray! We’ll just call our other options and tell them “Thanks, but no thanks; we’ve got the hottest assistant coach in the country.” I sure hope they don’t leak it to anyone, but what the heck. It’s a done deal, right?
MALZAHN’s AGENT: (whispering to Malzahn) Okay, Gus, now tell Auburn you’re leaving.
MALZAHN: Hey, Auburn, it’s been great, but I’m leaving.
AUBURN: NO! We’ll do anything! We’ll do a Tiger Walk in front of your house!
MALZAHN’S AGENT: (whispering to Malzahn) Well done, Gus. Now tell Vanderbilt you might change your mind.
MALZAHN’S AGENT: Trust me.
MALZAHN: Hey, guys. I’m thinking about staying at Auburn.
DAVID WILLIAMS: Oh shit.
MALZAHN’S AGENT: Voila. Now no matter what you do, we’re going to make an ass-ton of money.
The Vendidad has been pretty busy with gainful employment and other projects, and has moved operations almost exclusively to Twitter.
Here’s what happened:
3:30 Sunday: I tweet some random crap about Malzahn.
4:00 Sunday: I get a message from @[nameremoved] saying “vandy got him”
4:05 Sunday: Thinking that message was hilarious, on account of it being from a guy nobody had heard of, claiming no authority on the matter, and just out-and-out stating that Gus Malzahn had taken an offer from Vanderbilt, I retweet it, calling him “THE LEAK.”
4:10 Sunday A Washington Post Maryland community blogger named Matt Bonesteel (AMAZING NAME) puts up a stupid story that says that a slightly MORE legit WaPo reporter named Prisbell had knowledge that Gus Malzahn had accepted an offer to coach at Vandy.
4:15 Sunday: Because this was a hilarious coincidence that my totally unsubstantiated tweet came 5 minutes before the WaPo story, I start claiming to have gotten THE SCOOP. I update my Twitter profile accordingly.
4:20 Sunday: Twitter explodes. Reports surface on 100% of Vanderbilt blogs and several non-Vanderbilt blogs, all citing Prisbell, and not this Bonesteel (AWESOME NAME) chump, as the source.
4:30 Sunday: I do a little bit of digging on this Bonesteel chump, find that there is literally no reason to believe that he would have any access to any sort of breaking story, no matter what it says on his LinkedIn profile.
Rest of Sunday night: bickering, rumors, speculation, just like there had been on Sunday morning.
So the WaPo story presumably (I repeat: presumably) came from someone close to Franklin who heard that James Franklin had been contacted and told he was no longer being considered for the job. That suggests—but does not MEAN—that Malzahn is in. ALSO, we have not confirmed that James Franklin was actually contacted.
So here’s the thing about internet journalism: actual journalists know that, without hard-earned credibility or proof of access, an anonymous source isn’t worth a damned thing. The vast majority of twitter—and these fan communities and blogs—don’t. So when a source as credible as The Washington Post franchises its masthead out to any chump with a laptop and some free time, they not only allow, but further propagate hilariously unreliable information. It happens in areas as arbitrary as sports, and it happens in serious places.
People. Please. The Washington Post on the internet is still The Internet. And The Internet is a slimy bastard that will make something up or pull something from a totally unverified source, hope it’s coincidentally correct, and then claim to have gotten the story first. If you can’t prove it, it’s not a story. If you’re not getting paid to be right, it doesn’t matter if you’re wrong.
I’ll know who our next coach is when I see damned good proof from damned good reporters, or I’ll know when I hear it announced by David Williams or that coach himself.
Gametime tomorrow, and with stupid employment really dragging down my ability to craft a proper pre-game column, I just throw up a pump-up video and be done with it.
So first I did this,
and I got this:
And that’s cool and all, but not really what I was looking for.
Then I did this:
and I got this:
And I did the “watch 2 seconds, skip halfway through, see if anything crazy is going on,” thing, then I moved along.
Then I did this:
and I got this:
Which definitely got me pumped up (Linkin Park duh), but for equestrian sports.
So I did this:
and I got this:
and I’m happy.
Let’s do this, Dores.
Bobby Johnson is leaving. Don’t know why, don’t know how, don’t know who’s replacing him. The Vendidad has been quite busy this morning, making gut decisions and vague, baseless proclamations. I am now going to put those in ink:
- Bobby Johnson is leaving, which makes me feel CONFUSED, SCARED, and CLIPARTY.
- No one knows why he is leaving, or who will be his interim.
- Plans for “wheresbobby.com” (a Bobby-Johnson-tracking GPS-based website) are shelved until further notice.
- Jamie Graham has announced his intention to transfer via facebook. This is the worst thing.
- Promise: If Ted Cain is named interim head coach, The Vendidad will become a softcore porn/celebrity gossip blog until he is removed from that position.
- The Vendidad officially supports MIKE LEACH as the next Vanderbilt Commodores HC.
- If Phillip Fulmer becomes head coach, The Vendidad will organize a mass pooping-on of Dudley Stadium, though at that point it would be very much redundant.
- If Jamie Graham leaves, I will post a video of myself crying before every Vanderbilt Football event for the 2010 season.
More to come. Thanks to @MattRMerrill for the tip.
A lot of the other bloggers are putting up their thoughts on yesterday’s defeat, a bit of emotional exhibitionism that I just can’t resist.
I realized, after the Mississippi State loss, that the wind was entirely out of my sails. I tried (and, more or less, succeeded) in summoning a small breeze through relentless youtubing of great Vanderbilt moments.
I tried to think positively, especially about AJ Ogilvy, whose twitter feed I really need to unfollow, lest I continue making connections between his choices in music (exclusively terrible whiny pop-punk) and movies (Beauty and the Beast), and his post play.
I forgive Ogilvy any errors for many reasons:
- He was not the biggest let-down in the Murray State game.
- He seems like a very sensitive guy.
- Bashing on college kids, though my natural tendency, is not cool, unless they have proven themselves to be morally corrupt people.
Now, unfortunately, I have one person who, I think, can be blamed for both losses, and, if you must, bashed a bit for them:
Now. Before you jump on me (or Stallings) consider this:
- Stallings is my favorite coach in the world, and I don’t want anyone else at the helm, ever, unless, perhaps, Stallings voluntarily leaves for Purdue and UNC boots Roy Williams.
- I am blaming Stallings for the final two losses of the 2010 season. I would also readily blame Stallings for every win of the 2010 season.
- Kevin Stallings is the man.
Both of those final losses were poorly coached. In both games, we had significant advantages that we failed to exploit through our game plan. Keeping Beal out of most of the Miss State game? Putting Jenkins in the post? Having Goulbourne defending the final shot of the Murray State game? Keeping AJ on the bench? PRESSING? AGAINST A TEAM OF GUARDS? I fall quite short of a basketball wonk (which explains why the Vendidad is a mostly bad-photoshop-based blog), but for both of those games, I struggled to find moments where the person I wanted with the ball had the ball.
It was uncharacteristic of Stallings, so I’d rather not draw any conclusions. It’s just something I noticed. On to the next issue:
This team has had a leadership issue all year. Our athletic leaders—Beal, Taylor, and Ogilvy—have struggled to fill that void, which is not entirely anyone’s fault. In all my interactions with Beal, I’ve found him to be quiet; in games, he rarely got vocal and emotional on the court. Taylor, too, seems to be an incredibly gifted player, but not much of a commander or emotional leader. And Ogilvy, despite his penchant for double technicals, rarely seems to be at the helm.
But the man who is paid quite a bit of money to be this team’s leader, Kevin Stallings, must be held accountable, on some level, for this issue.
In early games, The team would come out flat and discombobulated, only to put together some incredible second halves. Late in the season, the second halves dropped off. I have to think that Stallings, in some way, isn’t motivating the team the way some coaches do.
Part of that is what I love about Kevin Stallings: he’s a nuts-and-bolts, blue-collar coach. He’s not interested in loudmouths or thugs on his team, and he’s not interested in stirring controversy or getting infractions. He just loves the game of basketball, and for the most part, his coaching style shows that. Consider the Stallings time-out style: always reluctant to call time outs to “cool off” the other team, never reluctant to use a time-out to make mechanical adjustments. The prior shows a belief in biorhythms and mild superstition. The latter shows a belief in schemes, matchups, mechanics.
It’s that non-flashy, tried-and-true methodology that I love about Stallings. So I don’t really want him to change his style.
But this team was a perfect reflection of that style: impressive on paper, but often flat, disinterested, and cold, unprepared for a hot little team to put our pants on the ground. It’s how we played in every one of our losses (save UK, which was a bad shooting night, plain and simple), no matter the stakes.
So for “NEXT YEAR” to be the “NEXT YEAR” we’re all dreaming of, Stallings needs to look through his personnel and find an emotional leader. Steve Tchiengang plays with heart, but he isn’t enough of an athletic leader to rally these troops. John Jenkins, perhaps, could have the mix of voice, skill, and emotion to lead the team, but he still feels young to me.
Let me know your thoughts. Who’s it gonna be?