Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wednesday's With Mitch

Many of you Mitch Albom from his work on the Sports Reporters Sunday morning's on ESPN. Others know him as the Detroit Free Press columnist. Some know his by his 1975 hair-over the ears hair-style. The majority of main stream America would know him as the author of the best seller "Tuesdays With Morrie," the story of his former dying professor and the meaning of life.

I'd like to start off by saying I read that book and thought it was amazing. And that is all the nice things I am going to say about Mitch. Let the rip session begin. For those who don't know, Mitch is all about Mitch. On Sunday, he wrote
a 10 year anniversary column in the Free Press that was about as self-serving and ego-maniacal as a piece could have possibly been. The article was supposed to be about how Morrie's teaching still resonate today. Instead it was more about Mitch and his success with the book. The column started with Mitch patting himself on the back as his agent told him that nobody would read this book. He followed with this:

People read the book. Oh, not at first. At first, you couldn't find it. The story of my beloved old college teacher, Morrie Schwartz, who was dying from ALS, was something I wrote to help pay his medical bills. A labor of love. And initially it was published that way. About 20,000 books were printed -- total -- and I had visions of giving them away from the trunk of my car. Today, there are 14 million copies in print around the world.

First off, does anybody buy the statement that he wrote the book "to help pay his medical bills?" Come on dude, you wrote the book because it was a great story you thought would sell and make money for you. The rest of the column was essentially re-telling the story of the book. Hey Mitch, have no material so you figured you'd try to catch some buzz and sell more books maybe? Maybe I am way off base, but I don't think so.

He has no material because this "sportswriter" DOESN'T ATTEND GAMES. I'm sorry, he is seen at Lions home games from time to time, mostly because there are only eight. My Detroit insiders tell me that when he does actually attend a Lions game, he sits off by himself, acting aloof and as if he is better than everyone else in the press box.

At least he goes to see the Lions.

The next time you see him at a Pistons, Red Wings, or Tigers game that isn't opening day, a playoff game, or a meaningful late-season regular season game, it will be the first. Remember the infamous Michigan State Final Four story, in which he spoke of former Spartans Jason Richardson and Mateen Cleaves jumping up and down in their MSU Green? Great stuff right? Except neither attended the game. You can't find that story anywhere on the net anymore.
Albom was killed for it nationally and rightfully so.

From time to time, Mitch will write columns critical of his local teams, which is his right to do. I do it in my blog and he is much more qualified than I am. But I don't get paid for this, unfortunately. He does. So he can criticize without attending games or practices? A prominent pro sports GM has told me on several occasions he has no respect for any local columnist or reporter who isn't around his team, attends practices, etc. You think "the great" Mitch Albom would attend a practice in the middle of a season? Not on your life. He is too big for that.

Why attack Mitch Albom? I don't know. I'm bored. Bottom line, the guy is one helluva writer, both fiction and non-fiction and after I read that column on Sunday I almost lost much lunch amongst the self-serving crap that column was.

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