Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Rick Reilly Is a Proffesional Sports Writer

Rick Reilly is paid makes around a million bucks a year as a sports journalist and enjoys a celebrity status held by few others in his industry. He also hates people who write on blogs, as they do not have the perspective and access to write the in-depth pieces that he produces. With hard hitting articles like this one, it's hard not to agree with him:

My Favorite Olympic Sport? Translating the Anthems.

Facial IOC, total facial.

Here come the Olympics, when we are reminded of the unquenchable spirit of the athlete, the true fellowship of nations through sport—and the Spam-brained quality of most national anthems.

National anthems are anachronistic holdovers from an ugly part of world history. No one need spend any amount of time analyzing them.

It's so sad when bad anthems happen to good countries. America, for one. Ours goes up and down so many octaves only certain German shepherds can hear all of it.

Really sticking your neck out there, Rick.

Andorra. I look forward with great zeal to the day when a 350-pound Andorran shot-putter with phone booths for arms stands on the podium and sings: "I was born a princess, a maiden!" Hey, with today's medical breakthroughs, it's possible.

A man singing a line as if he was a woman? LOLZ!

Ukraine. I love it because it asks so little. The first line: "Ukraine has not perished." I call that managing national expectations: "We're not dead, okay? Give us that."

1. I'm sure that as with all these anthems, the translations are not perfect. My guess would be "perished" is translated from a word that doesn't exist in English.
2. Just off the top of my head, Ukraine has been under the brutal oppression of the following countries: The Mongolian Horde, Tsarist Russia, Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, and Soviet Russia again. So the fact that Ukraine has survived is actually a pretty big deal.
3. You rip on their anthem for bragging about its nation's survival, whilst our anthem brags about a battle that we didn't win (we survived an attack) in a war that we pretty much lost (War of 1812, Washington was burned to the ground).

This anthem is played each day at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. It declares, "Every inch of Thailand belongs to the Thais." Odd.

Yeah, not a lot of disputes going on in the world over land and which nation has legitimate claim to it. Not Cyprus, the Balkans, Northern Ireland. Nowhere .

Was anyone under the impression it belonged to Diddy?

Obligatory reference to Sean Combs to prove article is topical - check.

Algeria. "We have taken the noise of gunpowder as our rhythm and the sound of machine guns as our melody." This is why no one invites your band anywhere.

That is kind of funny.

Sweden. Here is a national anthem that has almost nothing to do with the country it honors. It's mostly about the Nordic way of life. Swedes are like that. Once, at an Olympic soccer game, I listened to Swedish fans chanting and singing. Finally, I asked one what they were urging their players to do. "The players?" she said. "We simply chant: 'We are from Sweden, we have come a long way and we are drunk!'"

Hey, this has nothing to with the topic I've laid out, but this one time this Swedish person told me about a hilarious phrase they were chanting.

China. The Chinese change their national anthem about every other Tuesday, but the latest, approved in 2004, talks about putting up a "new Great Wall!" If I'm Chinese, and I'm looking at the 4,500-mile one that took 19 centuries to build, I'm thinking, Look, we'll do a Good Wall, but Great? No way.

Why oh why did no one consider Rick Reilly for replacing Leno?

The national anthem of Spain is easy to learn. It contains no words. Don't you wish the same could be said of Imus?

Don't you wish Don Imus didn't contain any words? Holy shit that makes a lot of sense.

Hate to admit it, but France's "La Marseillaise" is very good. Remember how it drowned out the Nazis in Casablanca?

Remember in that fictional movie about a story that never happened, when that song drowned out the Nazis? It totally ruled!

(Watch out Simmons)

The best, though, is Great Britain's "God Save the Queen."

It's embarrassing for Andorrans to sing "I was born a princess, a maiden," but not for England, a country stereotyped for effemine acting men, to say "God save the QUEEN." Just throwing it out there.

For catchiness it ranks only slightly behind "It's a Small World (After All)."

And since it is the catchiest song I have ever heard in my life, "Girlfriend" by Avril Lavinge is the indisputable best song of all time.

There's a bit more, but there's no point. Here are some things to ponder:

1. Rick Reilly writes 1 column a week, and this is what he came up with.
2. Exactly how many minutes of research did this require? 15? 10?
3. Which took longer, the "research" or the writing? Could the total time spent on the article be anywhere over 30 minutes?
4. If this were a post on joeblowsportsblog.blogspot.com, is there any shot in hell that it would get linked on Deadspin or The Big Lead?
5. This article was posted on the front page of the most frequented sports site in America.

5 comments:

JimArmstrong said...

If you were paying a guy a million a year, you'd put his grocery list on your website. Not happily, I hope.

Djmmm said...

Question-- Was Reilly EVER any good?

I remember reading him and liking him in Sports Illustrated years ago, but I was about thirteen and really paying attention to sports for the first time. Besides, the taste of thirteen year old boys shouldn't carry much weight anyway.

dan-bob said...

That's what Jeffrey Dahmer said.

Djmmm said...

@dan-bob: +1

cs said...

That Imus jokes was terrible. I mean... Imus jokes? Really?