Here at Anonymous Eagle, we've taken particular note of Wisconsin State Journal columnist Tom Oates. For whatever reason, the man has decided that even handed coverage of all the various sports teams in the state is completely uncalled for and will take a whack at Marquette whenever he gets a chance. As it turns out, universities being out of session for the summer is not going to stop Tom Oates from firing off without thinking about it first.
Hit the jump and we'll lay it out for you.
Yesterday, Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley decided to crowd source a dinner location for his family in the Wisconsin Dells. Oates, being the opportunistic jocksniffer that he is, had to help.
Hey @JermichaelF88. Love the Del Bar. Pretty high end, tho.— Tom Oates (@TomOatesWSJ) June 17, 2012
For the record, Tom Oates just called a nice steakhouse with traditional steakhouse prices "pretty high end" when discussing it with a professional football player who just signed a new $15 million contract in February.
In any case, the exchange between Finley and Oates prompted a Twitter user by the handle @23_DJF_23 to chime in with something to the effect of "Oates would know the best place to eat in the Dells." I'd provide the exact tweet, but it appears to have been deleted. I'm not sure why, it seemed fairly innocent to me.
That comment, along with @23_DJF_23's Darius Johnson-Odom Twitter user picture, prompted this response from Oates:
Hey @23_DJF_23. Do they teach a humor course at Marquette CC? If so, did you pass?— Tom Oates (@TomOatesWSJ) June 17, 2012
I don't get it. Dude makes what appears to be a vote of support of Oates' suggestion to Finley and gets slapped down for it? This from the guy who accused Iowa State of tampering with Jarrod Uthoff because Bo Ryan was too scared to do it while burying himself on ESPN Radio with Mike & Mike? If you're going to do an undead zombie's dirty work for him, then you've got to have a little bit of a stronger constitution.
From searching Twitter for Oates' handle, I see that there were seven immediate responses to Oates' grossly uncalled for comments, including one from @23_DJF_23 with a link to the CNN piece on Marquette's academic support for their student athletes. Apparently seven is the magic number that causes hacks like Oates to regret their actions, because the negative reaction to his tweet brought this mea culpa:
First, no, you're not giving "good-natured jabs." This is at least the second time you've called Marquette a community college publicly just because Buzz Williams recruits junior college players and wins with them and all of this burns your toast somehow. Don't force cheap shots to make yourself feel better and then run away from them. Second, because your paper is based in Madison, you're forced to cover a game between Wisconsin and Indiana at least once a year. Don't you think it violates your journalistic integrity to be friends with coaches of teams you have to cover? Finally, I'm going to need someone to explain to me how you can go from worshipping Al McGuire to throwing cheap shots at Marquette whenever you get a chance, and "taking payouts from Bo Ryan" is not a valid answer. I would have thought that if you "worshipped" Al McGuire, you'd still have some kind of respect or interest in the school that he coached at, especially when there was nothing to report on for college basketball in Madison for a large swath of your 32 year stint at the Wisconsin State Journal.
As ridiculous as Oates lashing out and then almost immediately scurrying away from it is, it's worth noting that I didn't even realize that this had happened until I woke up this morning and saw a retweet of Wesley Matthews by Paint Touches. It's comforting to know that ridiculous doorknobs like Tom Oates are still being marginalized because their clearly biased "reporting" doesn't hold up to scrutiny.