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To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, your local sports columnist is like Larry of the Three Stooges: You don't really need him, but it wouldn't be the same without him. We always vow to use our powers for good, so we part the newsprint curtain each Tuesday and examines a different lousy local columnist. Who knows — next we could be coming to your town. So for God's sake tidy up a little.

If all of Mitch Albom's soccer mom fans were to gather in the same place at the same exact time, the resulting pressure on the earth's mantle could very well change our orbit around the sun. Albom could not be more popular with the SUV set if he set out in a rowboat and stopped Hurricane Katrina single-handedly, saving a few dolphins from fishing nets on the way back in. Best-selling author, composer, host of his own radio show — Albom is a cottage industry.

But then there is the actual writing. Let's step inside one of Albom's columns, shall we? Pandering? Laborious? Albom can be all of these and more. Of course you know that Mitch recently made up a bunch of crap in one of his columns, Jayson Blair style, and almost got canned. There's also the rumor about how Oakland University is refusing to send any more interns to his radio show because he once threw something at one of them, a la Russell Crowe.

And it may surprise you to know that there is a growing group of resistance fighters in his own home town who just don't like the man. We can't explain it any better than the folks at the blog Mitch Albom is a Terrible Writer, which calls him "a smug asshat of a second-rate talent," among other things.

As if it wasn't bad enough to live in Detroit ...

Mitch Albom is a Terrible Writer [Blogspot]
Mitch Albom [Detroit Free Press]