Mitch Albom got the Red Smith Award from the Associated Press Sports Editors this month. It’s a lifetime achievement award, the sort of thing you get with your gold watch and appointment with the death panel. Mitch, at 52, is probably covering the gray in his hair but nowhere near retirement, but hey! That’s entirely in keeping with his career! By the time Mitch hits what would be retirement age for you or me, we’ll all be watching white smoke pour out of the Vatican chimneys as he’s elected the first Jewish Pope. George Clooney will be working as his houseboy. And so on.
Over time, I’ve reached a sort of peace with Albom — I only get my dander up when he wanders off the sports pages. Which is often. But this isn’t one of those times. Let the APSE give him whatever award they want. I don’t even work for newspapers anymore. They made their bed, and they can lie in it, the feebs.
Then, yesterday, someone sent me this, from Deadspin. Snicker:
…the Happy Meal theology of (Mitch) Albom’s books that would’ve made Jonathan Livingston Seagull want to fly into the nearest wind tower.
I know it’s not just me who hates him. I once batted around the idea of a separate Mitch blog with another Detroit writer, or maybe even pitching a column to the Metro Times, in the grand tradition of Bobwatch, the Chicago Reader’s Bob Greene snarkfest. Among sportswriters, however, I’ve always assumed the dislike of Albom was based far more on jealousy than anything else. The number of sportswriters I honestly respect as writers, period, is pretty low, and I’ll bet the overwhelming secret thought most of Mitch’s colleagues entertain is this: Why didn’t I think of this shit first?
However, Deadspin lays out a pretty good collection of arguments as to why this award is the equivalent of Pia Zadora winning a Golden Globe. Its cornerstone is this Dave Kindred column about why Albom’s 2005 transgression — lavishly covered at the time, I won’t go into it here — ought to have disqualified him for this sort of laurel forever.
Well-argued, but as I said: That’s the APSE’s business. I was more interested in following the other links, especially this one, for which I reserve a comment I know many of you find offensive, but I cannot help myself: Jesus fucking Christ. If I recall correctly, Mitch’s 2005 shenanigans cost this man two weeks’ pay in the final arbitration. I guess not everyone can hold a grudge as long as I can.
Oh, well. Deep breaths. All better now.
Some of you may have noticed these new entries are arriving later in the day than they usually do. I’m sleeping later, plus I’m getting hammered with work from my hyperlocal site. Which is good for me, but may necessitate another schedule rejiggering, because I can’t keep this up.
So let’s skip to the bloggage:
Not quite OID, but close: Little girls set up lemonade stand, which is robbed. (Note to self: GREAT MOVIE SCENE.) In what newspapers love to call “an outpouring,” they’re finding this is probably the best thing to happen to them, ever.
Coozledad, remember when you said you found a worthless eHow article on burning pellets in a wood stove? One of the writers speaks:
“I was like, ‘I hope to God people don’t read my advice on how to make gin at home because they’ll probably poison themselves.’
“Never trust anything you read on eHow.com,” she said, referring to one of Demand Media’s high-traffic websites, on which most of her clips appeared.
Finally, a sweet story for cat lovers. Because you know what a softy I am in my tiny black heart.
Happy Thursday. Where did the damn week go?