In today's completely misnamed "Like It Is" column Wally Hall has resorted to a favorite method of putting out information about sports celebrities in the news: scooping other people's interviews which have yet to run and commenting about them in his column. You see, Wally doesn't do interviews. Either he is too lazy or nobody will sit down with him on the record. I honestly don't know which is which. Typically he will steal his own reporter's material for use in his column, which ought to make for great morale on the sport's page. This time he has outsourced his plagiarism and has cribbed from Arkansas Radio Network's Shawn Arnell who interviewed Arkansas's Bobby Petrino last Saturday.
Even at that, he has got to make stuff up. He can't help himself.
For example: " When he (Petrino) sat down, host Shawn Arnell jokingly said, ' This shouldn't take more than 30 or 25 minutes.' Petrino immediately responded 'Good luck.' " How does he know that? Was he there? Did Arnell tell him that?
Or: "Talking about playing golf with his youngest daughter brought a smile to his face." Again, how does he know that? Was he there? Did somebody tell him that?
After Petrino told Arnell that his family and extended family were his best friends Wally provides us with this spurious bit of supposed insight into Petrino's family life, "They really enjoy each other's company, which reflects the family values with which he was raised." Again, Wally doesn't tell us how he knows this. Not even a "Petrino's best friends will tell you that..." As if this were not sufficiently fatuous in and of itself, as far as I know, and I haven't read everything ever written about the man, this is one of the few times that a piece that purports to be a feature about Bobby Petrino hasn't used the word "mercenary" about 3 times.
Wally ends today's column with the observation that Petrino comes by his taciturn ways honestly. " (His father) is in the NAIA Hall of Fame, and when someone calls to interview him, he is short, sweet and to the point. Not rude, just casual." Let's flog that dead horse some more. How the hell does Wally know this? Did he ever interview Petrino's father? And since when does "short and sweet" equate to "casual" anyway?
All and all, today's effort is fairly representative of Wally's shtick: Supply touchy-feely insights he doesn't posses on a subject based upon an interview he didn't do which has yet to be aired or printed.
And call it "Like It Is."