ESPN college football analyst and resident contrarian Mark May made an usual amount of news in the offseason for a TV talking head. There was his bizarre Twitter account coming to light and his continuing feud with certain programs and its fans because of a strange personal vendetta or who knows why. May has fully embraced his bad cop role next to Lou Holtz with a kind of glee not even displayed by Skip Bayless at the network.
Yesterday though, May took his brand of analysis to a different level by making up fond memories of his childhood in talking about the Notre Dame - Michigan rivalry coming to an end for now. Amazingly, this tweet describing May's fib from Sandlapper Spike has been RT'd on Twitter over 1,000 times:
Mark May just said he watched Notre Dame-Michigan growing up. May was born in 1959. ND and UM did not play between 1943 and 1978.— Sandlapper Spike (@SandlapperSpike) September 3, 2013
Deadspin has a more detailed breakdown of May's quote, which features his waxing poetically about growing up in upstate New York watching a game that wasn't being played.
Why needlessly make up something like that when it adds absolutely nothing to the conversation at hand?
The act of May and Holtz isn't football analysis, it's performance art. It's taking a side and debating it, no matter if it's based in reality or not. Making up childhood stories is a small thing to be quite honest, but it's symbolic of the May-Holtz charade as the least palatable element of ESPN's otherwise excellent coverage of the sport. It's more important to stir up fanbases and stoke fires and debate talking points than base anything in fact. The surprise is that this didn't happen sooner.
Being from Ohio and having lived and worked in my beloved "Burgh," I'm conflicted. He's been right on concerning OSU, where lovers of truth do NOT exist. I'm forced to admit he's the "best in the business." Father Lou sits there for laughs. May Mark get the final one!(ESPY?).
May and especially Holtz are fine; but... got to say that just because a guy was a standout player or coach does't mean he has the skills to analyze a game or be entertaining while doing it. In fact, most coaches/analysts/color truly stink; their analyses are superficial, never bothering to explain why anything fails or succeeds, what players beyond skill positions do anything of note.
A player w/superficial knowledge of the game, after spending 3 1/2 hours listening to the television talking heads would think that there is but one configuration to rush the passer, the ubiquitous, "blitz." No differentiation, no explication.
Now, most fans don't want a chalkboard configuration after every play, but a cursory description of the different defensive alignments during certain situations, and identifying the key players, wouldn't be amiss.
NFL players/coaches shouldn't be expected to be any better at announcing than announcers should be at coaching or playing: announcing is a skill, a very difficult one, and not to be learned in a few weeks of intensive schooling.
Let's also remember that Mark May started his career as a 2nd Analyst for TNT"s coverage of Sunday Night Football for the 1st 9 weeks of the 1997 NFL Regular Season and worked as an Analyst for the NFL on CBS from 1998-2001, befoe joining ESPN as a College Football Analyst in 2001 too!!!
Here's a crazy idea: How about ESPN hiring some football analysts with a journalism background. The myth that you have to have played football to know the game does nothing but provide unearned employment opportunities for players and coaches who lack objectivity, integrity, ability to collect facts and insight to analyze players, coaches and games with the degree of skill we should be expecting from a national network. The Mother Ship continues to serve everyone's interests but the fans'.
"I will never forget sitting in the bitter cold as a youngster watching Doc Blanchard and #1 Army defeat #2 Navy. Greatest game I ever saw."
- Mark May
I'll be happy when Holtz is in the ground thus leaving May without a job. Those 2 are the worst sort of sports tv. What did Holtz ever accomplish aside from fending off the grim reaper for this long?
FYI, Mark May hates Ohio State because they put an absolute curb-stomping on Pitt when May played there. They even ran a punt back for a TD with only 9 guys on the punt return team.
May and his team couldn't stop the Buckeyes when he played, so he's on a mission to take them down on the air.
@awfulannouncing hopefully Greg McElroy doesn't land a backup job and can take May's place. Need some intelligence in that seat
@awfulannouncing your legend bayless one upped him. Lying 3 times in 30 seconds
Holtz may be an idiot, but he's an idiot with a ring haha. Lou does get annoying though, but nothing next to May. Lou just tries to play the kindly, old grandfather figure. Mark on the other hand, is at times a shameless ass-kisser and an over the top hater. His hatred for Notre Dame is ridiculous and he's not a man of his word either. May said if the Irish went undefeated last season, he would wear a complete Leprechaun outfit on the College Gameday Final for the entire show. He wore the jacket for all of 5 seconds. He's a typical ESPN analyst. They have to scream at you constantly while fighting over nothing...
@awfulannouncing both of them need to go. They add nothing but beer break time
This is like the last season finale of Mad Men where Don Draper tells the story about how he was a kid and his dad would buy him a Hershey's bar and all these great childhood moments. Then explains that he was an orphan and lived in a whore house. The only difference is that Don Draper is a bad ass and Mark May has no business reporting and/or predicting college athletics in any way. His credibility is that of Skip Bayless, and both should continue their broadcasting in the WWE, where they can keep up their stellar truthful images.
@ncsupimaster I got semi-scared there for a while with all the retweeting...
it was Oneonta, NY. we got mostly ny city channels. More importantly, I pissed my pants trying to bat against Mark when he pitched in little league. everyone loved the Wolverines helmets and of course everyone hated the ND hype. if any ND lovin announcer should be skewered it should be Musburger who is old enough to be Lue Holts father.
I stopped watching anything with May or Holtz because I wanna watch professional analysts talk decent college ball. These two are not that at all. Holtz is just an idiot, and May is just so much into himself, dealing criticism as over the top as it gets.
I saw that too....Is he a tool or what.....Lou seems to lay off his B.S too....oh, can Lou wear any more make up?
Well, it was Upstate New York in the Seventies--it's possible the TV stations in Binghamton or Utica were throwing on old kinescopes of old games to fill air time. You can only run so many Our Gang comedies, after all.
@mounty55 Gotta disagree here... just try to go watch Clayton. The real issue is ESPN. They prompt these guys to bicker for viewer drama. That is why I don't watch ESPN talking heads anymore. I'll watch a game I like, but turn the channel when these fools start their yapping.
@Dabiggchill IDK, maybe a NC in 1988. 249 total wins for a 65% winning percentage... 60% in bowls.
@CatLatos If you are gonna get on Mark May about lying at least get your facts straight. May was at Pitt from 1977-1980. Pitt and OSU did not play a single game between 1955 and 1982. Yes osu did kick Pitt's ass and run a punt back with only 10 men on the field, 15yrs after May left Pitt. As stated earlier gets your facts straight before you open your dumba$$ mouth. Hail to Pitt!
@SandlapperSpike You clearly struck a chord in the zeitgeist. Or cord. Not sure which it is (they both kinda work, right?).
@ScottAnderson This has me laughing way more than is should.
I never watch this show so I have no idea of the reason for all the anti-Mark May sentiment but this idea that "he made this up" doesn't hold water. He was born in 1959 and UM resumed playing ND in 1978. May was 19 years old and probably watched that game. You're saying THAT'S his big lie? When you were 19, you weren't still "growing up?" It's not as though he said he camped out in front of the TV from the age of five years old and up, happily watching the battle every year.
Some people have WAAAAAY too much imagination.