Friday, October 19, 2007

A Rant About Addition by Subtraction

The Big Lead is reporting that Rick Reilly is leaving Sports Illustrated. Assuming it's true, what a fantastic turn of events for the publication! I really enjoy SI. In general I think it makes for great dentist office waiting room reading material. But I've always maintained that the one way they could make it even better would be to stop filling up the back page with mindless drivel made up of single sentence paragraphs and puns that wouldn't make the cut for Laffy Taffy wrappers. I'm OK with puff pieces; but his come off as heiniously preachy. And there may not be a better example anywhere in sports journalism of someone who is not nearly as clever as they think they are. More than anything, I would describe his style of prose as awkward. Seriously, Rick. You're a travesty. His nephew went to my high school, so they got him to speak at our fall athletic banquet my sophomore year. I'm happy to report he is even less entertaining in person than he is in print.

The sad part: popular opinion/conventional wisdom on this is going to be that it's a "big loss" for SI. In fact, The Big Lead says so in different words in their post. Are people like this reading the same Rick Reilly as I am? Just because hordes of stupid people love something heartwarming doesn't make it good. (See: popular comic strips, such as "For Better or For Worse" or "Baby Blues") There are literally a hundred sportswriters out there who, given the kind of access Reilly has to big time athletes, could do a waaaaaay better job than Rick. I'm already looking forward to reading the work of whoever replaces him. The kind of people who think Reilly won't easily be replaced are the kind of people who think Jay Mariotti is clever and informative.

5 comments:

dan-bob said...

Marmaduke is laying on the couch again!

I think that was my very first FJM post!

Jarrett said...

Baby Blues has it's moments (usually a good ole fashioned American poop joke.) Pluggers? Heart of the City? ...Family Circus?

larry b said...

A plugger thinks the internet is something you go fishing with!

A plugger's blog is a diary!

A plugger gets his sports news from the newspaper!

Heart of the city isn't all terrible all the time. Definitely better than Baby Blues.

I didn't include Family Circus because it's not heartwarming.

Jarrett said...

But Jeffy can't find whatever it was that he was looking for! Get it? He can't remember AND he can't find. They should really warn people with diabetes to not read Family Circus.

Larry said...

"There are literally a hundred sportswriters out there who, given the kind of access Reilly has to big time athletes, could do a waaaaaay better job than Rick."

Like Bill Simmons...it's time he got his big break.