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Elton Alexander of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer is a Buffalo- and Hurley-hating hack

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, Conrad walked us through the history of Hurley Hate among MAC fans. I have to say, it was fun for me reading those and knowing people care about our team. I do not at all mind the heel turn that Buffalo has taken on.

One of Conrad's points that I really enjoyed was his observation that at least the "real" journalists pick their words more carefully. It's an important point to make; even as we sit on one side of the media divide, I acknowledge that it's a frequent failing of "new" media to match their decorum to the platform they think they deserve.

But it also got me thinking of an established journalist who I read with some frequency who makes no bones about his feelings for Bobby Hurley or his team. I wouldn't say I frequent, but the Plain-Dealer has in Elton Alexander a dedicated MAC writer, so I end up there from time to time.

Unfortunately, Alexander is a hack who (1) lets his personal feelings for Bobby Hurley bleed into his writing and (2) resorts to lazy characterizations of the Buffalo team that border on offensive. Every time a new gem pops up, I find myself remembering the last one.

There's not much to this post, but a 'greatest hits' of Alexander's most curmudgeonly complaints:

Kent State humbled in Buffalo, 80-55, snapping a six-game winning streak |

But the show was on the sidelines as much as on the court as UB head coach Bobby Hurley was working the officials hard, screaming, flailing his arms, and at the first media break in the face of the first striped shirt he could find. As the game wore on he was playing to the crowd as much as the players, It certainly ruled the Bulls, who used their hot shooting to extend their run to 17-2 before a Kris Brewer 3-pointer got KSU into double figures, trailing 17-11.

Not FLAILING! The mere thought gives me the vapors. Also, 'as the game wore on' to describe a run that happened in the first five minutes?

Things Elton Alexander doesn't like: Bobby Hurley, flailing, playing to the crowd.

Akron Zips use their depth to keep on winning - Local College Basketball Insider |

MAC Attack: No doubt the Buffalo Bulls have upped their swagger significantly under head coach Bobby Hurley. Player introductions with their hoodies pulled down over their eyes is evidence of that.

I could almost get past the pejorative ' swagger' line, but I'd really love to know what the hoodies have to do with anything. Anything at all. I mean, I know what you're trying to get at, because it's lazy and right out in the open, but if you can't get away with saying it outright then maybe you shouldn't be able to get away with it at all.


Things Elton Alexander doesn't like: Bobby Hurley, flailing, playing to the crowd, hoodies.

Akron Zips lose fourth straight, 67-62, to surging Buffalo |

The officials rewarded the loose ball rebound to Akron, sending Buffalo coach Bobby Hurley screaming for a monitor review with 1:35 to play. After a long look, the possession went to the Bulls, who cashed in with a Moss score inside to take the lead with 1:10 ;rgy and completely deflate the Zips.

As someone - I can't find the tweet now - responded on Twitter: "More like the refs knew they didn't good a look and reviewed on their own decision." But if the refs changed their mind, it must have been due to the siren screams of Bobby Hurley.

Things Elton Alexander doesn't like: Bobby Hurley, flailing, playing to the crowd, hoodies, refs making decisions without being affected by Bobby Hurley's Siren Scream.

Five MAC teams vie for overall title and MAC Tournament seeds in final game |

The team to beat: Buffalo head coach Bobby Hurley and the Bulls seem to embrace their rising tough-guy status in the league, complete with the pulled-down hoodies in player intros to Hurley's game-long sideline tantrums, and more. In the Bulls 93-66 victory over Ohio University, backup center Raheem Johnson was whistled for a flagrant foul and ejected. And while UB -- up 12 at the half and 24 with 14 minutes to play -- was never challenged by the Bobcats, Hurley kept his starters on the court until the final minute.

Hoodies again! Now joined by tantrums, the inherent evil and sinfulness of trying to play a full forty minutes, and getting stuck in four minutes of whistleless basketball late in the second half.

He's not making a new point, but clearly the hoodies, excuse me, the pulled-down hoodies are a relevant part of Alexander's characterization of the team. Once again I wonder what that could possibly be.

I have no defense for Raheem "hit 'em in the" Johnson.

But sandwiched in addition to the offensive stuff is something downright dumb. Alexander makes it clear that he doesn't know the Buffalo team at all. (1) I didn't know up 12 at the half was an insurmountable lead. (2) I'm sure there's no benefit at all to playing a full game instead of 26 minutes. (3) If the starters are an issue, I assume Alexander is a big, big fan of the Frasco-Pino-Wigginton-Johnson-Regan lineup.

Hell, that might be better than Ball State's.

Things Elton Alexander doesn't like: Bobby Hurley, flailing, playing to the crowd, hoodies, refs making decisions without being affected by Bobby Hurley's screaming, still hoodies, Buffalo playing basketball too good.


I really don't care if Alexander even thinks Hurley crosses the line. What I care most about is that Alexander in relaying these events stretches the line of truth (much like Isley leaving out his open cheering/jeering from press row from his narrative), has no qualms with letting his personal feelings sit blatantly on top of his writing, and is happy to sit in the middle of delusion-ville where hoodies=bad guys=Buffalo.

Thank goodness for people like Keith Dambrot, who both admit that he had lots of techs in his first season as a coach, and makes news when he says he respects Hurley. It's unfortunate that media members are so surprised by that.