- Ryan Corazza
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Mark Titus is averaging one minute, 0.5 rebounds and 0.5 steals this season for the Ohio State Buckeyes. He spends most of the game parked near the end of the Ohio State bench, watching rather than playing.
"It's not necessarily a bad situation, but it's kind of bland," Titus says. "You're just a scrub that gets abused at practice."
So what did Titus do to make a name for himself? He started a blog.
"I started the blog as a perspective no one really hears about," Titus says. "I feel like the media always covers the superstar guys and you hear their stories all the time. You never really hear the stories of the guys at the end of the bench."
Titus founded Club Trillion along with fellow Ohio State benchwarmers Kyle Madsen and Danny Peters, but he is the driving force behind the majority of the content.
Unlike your typical vanilla athlete blog, Titus writes long, witty and funny entries on just about everything. In one entry, he's riffing on how he couldn't pay attention to the game, because Erin Andrews was distracting him. In another, he's writing about stealing teammate Evan Turner's Facebook status, while using a Bob Dylan song for his headline. And, of course, no blog can be complete without explaining a game of eye tag with the Michigan State dance team:
"So I lock eyes with this particular hunnie and I try to set the tone with my initial stare down," he writes. "I mean, I'm staring at her so hard I start to piece together stories of her life. I can tell she's a little bit of a daddy's girl and will never forget her first boyfriend for not remembering her birthday that one year. Yes, it is possible to tell all these things from staring at someone. I'm just that good."
So, is this everything Titus wanted out of the blog? It's only been alive and kicking since October, but it has received nearly half a million visits and has been featured local TV. (Be sure to check out the ringing endorsement from his coach.) Bill Simmons even had him on his podcast.
"It's kind of weird," Titus says. "I'm 21; I've spent 18 years of my life playing basketball and putting in the work to get good at basketball. I've been blogging for (a few months) and I'm more known for my blogging than my basketball skills. It's kind of backwards, but it's something I embrace. It's an opportunity, and I just took it and ran with it."
Club Trillion is the name Titus, Madsen and Peters gave themselves back in '07 because, when they'd get in a game with a minute to go and they accumulated no stats, the box score reads "1" with a whole bunch of zeros after it.
If things keep up this way for Titus, that number might be more akin to his blog traffic than his box score.
Rafael Nadal is your 2009 Australian Open champion. And he's blogging about his victory:
"When I finally celebrated my last point I felt something I've never felt before," he writes. "It was a more peaceful victory compared to the one in Roland Garros and Wimbledon and at the same time, it was more complete. And I know why it was that way.
"I grew up as a clay-courter and my style of game adapted to that: I learned to push my opponents out of the court and that made me wear out my physic with some much running around and long rallies.
"But my uncle Tony and I knew that my game had to have more dimensions to it so that I could have the same kind of results on other surfaces. I had to change my game radically, it needed to be more direct and aggressive. I had to improve my service as well as control my game when going up to the net. I had to make my shots flatter and my volley more accurate."
Like many NFL stars, Donovan McNabb was down in Tampa this past week for the Super Bowl. And he saw something in that game that reminded him of the Eagles' NFC Championship game against the Cardinals:
"The game was incredible," he writes. "What happened to the Cardinals was reminiscent of what happened to us two weeks earlier. To come back from a double-digit deficit to take a 4th quarter lead only to have the other team come back again, certainly plays with your emotions."
49ers long snapper Brian Jennings found out some troubling news the other day:
"Today I discovered that the lady who walks my dog while I'm at school has been feeding my dog some snacks that upset her stomach," he writes. "If you happened to hang out with my dog please do not feed her anything. Thanks ."
Noted, Mr. Jennings.
Odd and Ends
9hEthan Sherwood Strauss