I've had issues with some of the things written by the Dallas Morning News sports columnist Jean-Jacques Taylor in the past, the most recent one being his bizarre foray into politics when he lambasted the Vancouver Olympic organizers for not using some of their money to aid the local homeless population. Today's column started off innocently enough: He lambasted SMU and TCU for not playing well enough to be in the upcoming NCAA tournament. Fair enough; we get a lot of that around here, and the teams have frequently underachieved in recent years.
But just a few paragraphs in, the alarm bells start to go off when Taylor writes the following:
Common sense says our two local Division I programs should be pretty good. Who couldn't build a quality program with Dallas-Fort Worth as its main hub?Umm, JJT, you need to be a little better at math; we have four local Division I programs--UNT and UT-Arlington also hold that status, not just SMU and TCU. (And even if he's trying to pretend that UNT isn't "local," it's hard to discount UTA when you practically have to drive past it to get from SMU to TCU. What gives?)
But then Taylor goes completely off the deep end as, in an attempt to make a point about SMU and TCU's low RPI (Rating Percentage Index), he spews out this ridiculous statement:
Each school is behind such noted basketball powerhouses such as North Texas (120), Stephen F. Austin (163), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (176) and UT-San Antonio (181).Look, it's not just alumni boosterism to note that UNT has four straight 20-win seasons and hasn't lost a game since January. Where in the world did you pull that statement, JJT? (Umm, don't actually answer that, OK?) And then the Mean Green made an even bigger fool out of Taylor by winning the Sun Belt Conference championship tonight and earning another trip to the Big Dance. Hey, JJT, want some bacon to go with that egg on your face?
Quite a few UNT alums (including myself), not to mention a few from SMU and TCU, take Taylor to task in the comments. As I noted over there, it's not just JJT who seems to forget that UNT is part of the Metroplex; that seems to be a recurring problem among local sports media. But to slam the Green on the very day they earn their way to the NCAAs is a ridiculous gaffe, and not only that, it hurts the brand; say enough bad things about a program, and a lot of people (i.e. those who still trust the media to deliver news without bias) will believe it. Thankfully, the Mean Green's actions on the court tonight outweighed one man's ill-chosen words in today's paper.
Congrats to the Mean Green, and best of luck at the Dance; I'll be watching! And JJT, you should hang your head in shame for this one. There's no reason for you and your colleagues to not want all the local sports teams to do well, not just your seemingly-anointed ones at SMU and TCU. We deserve better journalism than that.