Malcontent scribes and linemen; dialing for college football dollars; lucrative losing in Pittsburgh

• At Extracurriculars I spent far too much time and too many words on the sorry sagas of Jason Whitlock, Jay Mariotti and sportswriters who insist on becoming the story. I’ll leave it to Deadspin to put the proper shine on the self-parodic figure that Whitlock has become:

“Jason Whitlock is Richard Hofstadter, if Ponderosa were Columbia University.”

• While far too many sports media “stars” are becoming disturbingly like the athletes they cover, the latter are in increasingly ample supply. Latest non-LeBron, non-Favre poster boy: Albert Haynesworth, who gets roundly spanked today by Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post. And deservedly so.

• The possibility of Ohio State and Michigan being placed in opposite divisions so they might potentially meet in the new Big Ten championship game has plenty of traditionalists up in arms. But the Wall Street Journal’s Darren Everson says there’s plenty more change afoot, far beyond the forthcoming college football conference realignment. So get used to it.

• If you’re a realignment geek, then Dennis Dodd of is your scribe. He masterfully simplifies the mind-numbingly complex machinations of the BCS solons and those wishing to join them. His latest piece examines the risks schools take by jumping into the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly NCAA Division I-A). Think real hard before you leap.

• The Associated Press has obtained financial data showing how the Pittsburgh Pirates continue to make money by losing, and in grand fashion. They haven’t had a winning season since 1992, the longest such skid for a team in North American pro sports history. Naturally, team officials are incensed that the information was leaked, but they’ve got some serious ‘splaining to do.

How sad to a once-proud franchise run into the ground by pure, unadulterated greed, without a care about its paying customers. It won’t be the last.

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