The St. Paul Pioneer-Press has an annual contest called "Average Joe Columnist," in which a field of 16 non-journalists submit sports articles, and are judged American Idol-style by sports editor Mike Bass and columnist Bob Sansevere. The latter, it seems, fancies himself in the Simon Cowell role — one of his critiques of an amateur scribe during the 2005 contest including the line: ``He attempted to be clever. And failed.'' Well, you should know, Bob. More after the vital statistics.
Name: Bob Sansevere.
Writes for: St. Paul Pioneer-Press.
Has covered the Vikings since: 1984.
Nicknames: Laziest Columnist on Earth; Slacks.
Most often heard on: KQRS radio (92.5 FM).
Most resembles: Karl Malden.
Most infamous quote: "Denny Green is the the cockroach of NFL coaches."
Best quote by a Deadspin reader: "I've harbored a pretty serious hatred for this pinhead Sansevere since I moved to Minnesota back in 1992. He writes what he is — the worst type of fan, who starts predicting Super Bowls when the Vikings are 3-0, and rending his garments when they are 3-2."
Sworn enemies: Cyclists.
Sansevere is that breed of sports columnist who thinks that the printed word is just a stepping stone to a bigger prize: A nationally syndicated radio show, or, the Holy Grail — ESPN Cold Pizza. Sansevere wants to be Woody Paige in the worst way. But if his recent TV exposure is any indication, he may be kidding himself. To that end we present one of our favorite TV moments, as MSNBC's Rita Cosby interviews our Bob in the wake of the Minnesota Vikings sex boat scandal:
COSBY: You know, Bob, how bad did it get on this boat? I've heard just some pretty sick things.
SANSEVERE: Well, I wasn't on board, but what we're dealing with are all the allegations ...
COSBY: You weren't on the boat? I'm glad we cleared that up for the audience.
Irony department. Just weeks before the sex boat story broke, Sansevere wrote this little nugget: "I miss Randy Moss. And it has nothing to do with him going deep and catching a bomb for six. I'm not some lovelorn fan. I'm a forlorn writer. I miss Moss because, without him, the Vikings are duller than a documentary about crabgrass. There have been no tantrums, no disruptions, no controversies since the Vikings opened training camp. And, sadly, it's not likely to change. From a journalistic standpoint, it's a horrible thing."
Said a Deadspin reader: "Now, I'm saying Bob should have known that Fred Smoot had a penchant for double-ended dildos, but that's the problem with making predictions. We are allowed to make fun of people who in hindsight, look incredibly stupid. Bob looks stupid all the time, and it isn't just hindsight talking."
We went skipping through the Sansevere archives and couldn't believe what we found. Either Twin Cities Online isn't reprinting his columns in their entirety, or our man Bob is dashing off Haiku-length sports observations and passing them off as columns. Example: An entire column which consists of six short graphs. And take a look at this. And this. What's up with these? At least we know he's not being paid by the word.
When he does write at length, Bob is slumber-inducing — as proven here. You know, come to think of it, that "Average Joe Columnist" idea isn't so bad. Sports columnists such as Sansevere have taken their jobs for granted long enough — acting like someone has appointed them to the Supreme Court. These should not be lifetime positions. They should be required to actually try. Otherwise, that auto mechanic from Eden Prairie who's been waiting in the wings ought to get his shot.
Bob Sansevere Archive [Twin Cities.Com]