Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the ultimate puff piece. It's by FJayM favorite, Jeff Pearlman. It's pretty much an exact recap of my first post on this blog, where I satirized Rick Reilly columns for being overly sentimental. The problem with any satire is that someone just might take you seriously. You have to wonder if one poor Irish baby actually ended up dinner thanks to that Swift asshole.
Anyways. To the article!
The other day I submitted a column to my editor that was lathered in snark. That's pretty much all I've been shooting off lately -- one snarky piece after another. It's a trap writers fall into from time to time.
"Snark" is a word invented by Lewis Carroll to describe an imaginary animal. Just because "snarky" is an adjective doesn't mean you can say that you lathered your column in snark, unless you've just slain a Jabberwocky.
We start to believe opining on the negatives of sports is more fruitful than opining on the positives. So we unload on steroids and dumb jocks and David Carr and Pittsburgh's middle relief, quite certain that's what you, the customer, covets.Not only do we at Fire Jay Mariotti covet just that, we actually produce just that when you writers fail to supply it. Actually, even when you opine on the positives, Jeff, some asshole on the internet will probably make a blog post criticizing your word choices.
"There's a fine line between being cynical and coming across as bitter," my editor said. "The readers are turned off by bitter, and I believe it makes them a lot less likely to read future pieces of yours."I know for a fact that larry b is turned on by bitter, and I suspect chris w is as well. In fact, I suspect that 95% of this blog's readers are turned on by bitter - that's what brings them here.
Although it doesn't always show, I love sports. Love them.
Actually, Jeff, so do we.
I love walking into the Toronto Blue Jays' clubhouse and finding Sal Fasano -- the ultimate baseball survivor -- standing there with a goofy smile and tobacco juice dripping down his chin.
Disagree. Jon Lester is the ultimate baseball survivor.
I love watching the David Tyree catch on YouTube over and over again. I love little guys who have no business being here: Spud Webb, Harry Chappas, Theo Fleury.
What the hell? No Eckstein?
Also: you're wrong, Jeff. Just because they're little doesn't mean they have no business being here! If they really had no business being there, you can bet that the GMs wouldn't have hired them to play sports, because GMs don't really give a shit about advancing the cause of undersized people everywhere, they just care about winning games!
-- at this point, Jeff goes on a weird memory trip about his high school track team. Weird.
I love what this job has allowed me to witness. Tony Gwynn leading his Padres teammates back onto the field to thank the fans after winning the 1998 NLCS. Robin Ventura's walk-off grand slam single. Luis Gonzalez smoking one up the middle.
There's no way that Gonzo "smoked one" up the middle. Here's where being overly sentimental about things actually influences your memory. Here's VIDEO EVIDENCE of my point:
(fast forward to the 3:45 mark if you don't have time for all of it)
See? The announcers describe it as "floated" - it was a little bloop at best. I realize I'm being nitpicky - overanalyzing one of Jeff's verbs - but it's stuff like that that annoys the hell out of me. You know you're being overly sentimental when you describe a texas leaguer as being "smoked".
[Also, if you listen to the whole YouTube thing, Tim McCarver makes the most salient point I've ever heard him make - immediately before Gonzo's at-bat. I hadn't seen this clip since I watched it live six years ago - but I'm actually kind of impressed. Way to go, Tim!]
I love that I once interviewed Lou Piniella while he was simultaneously urinating, smoking a cigarette and eating a hoagie.
I love sports names. I love Taylor Coppenrath, Orlando Woolridge, Dewon Brazelton and Alge Crumpler. I love Coco Crisp, Flozell Adams, I.M. Hipp and Mike Augustyniak. I love Nuu Faaola even more than I love Mosi Tatupu, but not quite as much as I love Niko Noga.
Everyone likes good sports names, except larry b who just yesterday complained that he doesn't care what anyone is named. Larry b is a cynical asshole.
Just for the heck of it: Snuffy Stirnweiss.
[This guy has a good list of the good ones in baseball. ]
Jeff, everyone loves sports as much as you do. Even the bitter, cynical people who write blogs like this one. But everyone (should) hate overly sentimental sports pieces, just like this one. Don't turn into Rick Reilly.