Illinois Football Daily Bullets

Illinois Basketball Daily Bullets

Thursday, January 4, 2007

A letter to Mike Nadel, the Chicago Sports Journalist

Did anyone else read the absolutely ignorant and passively aggressive malicious article that Mike Nadel wrote that was disseminated through the Copley News service? It basically argues that Illinois should have hired Thad Matta instead of Bruce Weber. Here's the link to it if you'd like to read it.,2_2_AU04_NADEL_S1.article

I'll tell you what, that article just made me sick to my stomach. Granted, it's an editorial piece, but it's just so unfair to Bruce Weber. Good grief, what's Weber's record so far here at Illinois? A few tough losses and the Chicago media and a bunch of rabid fans already are trying to stir up the mob and are readying the guillotine. And people wonder why some kids don't want to come to Illinois! Well, here's the letter I e-mailed to Mike Nadel in response to his editorial:


I just read your column about how Illinois would have been better off hiring Thad Matta than Bruce Weber, and I found it to be a pretty poor piece of editorial journalism. You kind of came off as uninformed, if not ignorant, about the state of Illinois basketball. You focus on one aspect, and that is recruiting ability. You media "experts" place a lot of stock in that, much more so than you do recruiting ability. First of all, the only McDonald's All-American on Illinois' final four team from two years ago was Dee Brown. The best pro, Deron Williams, wasn't even a top 50 player on a lot of people's lists when he came out of high school (The Colony, TX-- just to let you know, cause I doubt you did). So, just to inform you better, Illinois has never really been able to sustain a steady stream of McDonald's All-American level recruits here at Illinois. Illinois HAS been able to get a steady stream of solid "blue chippers", most of them from in-state. Sean Pruitt is a good example of this. He was runner-up to Shaun Livingston for Illinois Mr. Basketball his senior year of high school. Just to let you know, Livingston plays for the LA Clippers now. So get your facts straight, okay? You don't mention some other facts. Here's two to inform you a little better:
1. Bruce Weber coached the team to the Final Four two years ago with Bill Self's players; Bill Self, another so-called great recruiter, coached Kansas to a first round NCAA defeat that same year with Roy Williams players

2. Thad Matta coached Ohio St. to a first round loss in the NCAA tournament last year

So, no, Weber isn't landing 3 and 4 McDonald's All-Americans every year. Name the last Illini Coach that did do this? Maybe you could do some real journalistic work, and investigate other factors that have historically worked against Illinois in trying to lure top 25 nationally ranked recruits to Illinois.

I'll take Weber any day over Thad Matta. The proof in the pudding will be the final records this year in the Big Ten. You watch. Illinois will have a better one than Ohio St. I'll buy tickets to see you sit down and physically eat a paper copy of that lazily researched and sourly negative article when it happens. Until then, get your rear end out of the office, and go do some true journalism. Then maybe it won't be a waste of time to read your articles, which are currently garbage. Until then, don't waste the energy of clacking away on your laptop keyboard any more.


Well, I hope he reads that e-mail. But I doubt he'll do a better job in the future. My guess is that he makes a living by stirring up rabid fans. You know, the kind of guy that gets a kick out of spreading gossip on the playground, just so he can stand back and watch the fistfights that arise from these spreadings, all with a sly, knowing grin on his face.

Go Illini! Give Bruce Weber a raise, and a contract extension!


Ryan said...

Ah, you gotta love sportswriters. What a great job that has to be: write any piece of junk article and, if someone questions you, just say that you are "doing your job" and "get paid to write my opinions". Sadly, I am sure there are a lot of people out there that read the Nadel article and agree with him. Oh, by the way, Matta lost in the second round last year to Georgetown, not the first, so he didn't quite pull a Bell Self!

Brian H said...

I'm not sure that it's fair for Mr. Nadel to criticize our non-conference play; we finished 12-3 and the only really bad loss was at Xavier, a team that was looking for revenge after last year's game at the UC. I also agree with most of the rest of your points.

However... do you really think we are going to finish with a higher record than tOSU? You must have been watching a different Illini team than I've been watching all season. We'll see what happens tomorrow at Assembly Hall, but we're going to have to play about 500% better than we did Wednesday if we want to have a chance. I'll be there, screaming on the orange and blue, but I'm not necessarily expecting a W.

Go Illini!