Thursday, February 19, 2009

A-Rod + Contrived Brett Favre Analogy = Ray Rotto's Newest Column

A-Rod reaching Favre Syndrome all because he didn't go the distance

An article comparing A-Rod to Favre you say? Doesn't sound like much of a stretch at all.

The Alex Rodriguez perp walk came and went without incident, a well-controlled 35-minute goat-rope that advanced his newly developed image as America's Penitent.

His next hurdle, though, is not whether he can convince the Sincerity Police, or whether he can make his teammates overcome their already well-established reservations toward him, or whether he can still satisfy the fantasy geektroids.

"Sincerity police" and "Fantasy Geektroids." I'm sure there were literally thousands of people wondering if A-Rod had won those two demographics back.

It's whether he can keep us from becoming sick to death of the sight, sound and mention of him.

Which, I'm sure, worries A-Rod a lot because he's always tried to be an omnipresent figure in sports.

Not disgusted; that's another issue entirely, and one you'll have to deal with yourselves. No, we're talking about what is rapidly becoming known as Favre Syndrome -- the reflexive revulsion of the sound of someone's name, voice or presence, or the introduction of same by another party.

I agree about Favre, but what exactly does that have to do with A-Rod?

Rodriguez is about there now, and he is about to get full-blown Favre because he didn't finish the job he has tried to tackle in the past two weeks. He left openings for people to flog his name into a flat gray paste, to the point where his name, like Favre's or LeBron James' or Terrell Owens, will come up on every slow news day, just because.

- Lebron James gets attention because he's arguably the best basketball player ever.
- A-Rod gets attention because not only is he likely to finish as the statistical leader in every major hitting category, but he's also the highest paid baseball player ever.
- Terrell Owens gets attention because he's a great wide receiver...and he's an insane attention hound.
- Brett Favre has been a mediocre QB for 4 of the past 5 years who has gotten tons of attention because of his ridiculously annoying, self-agrandizing retirement antics and the fact that "journalists" like Peter King will not remove themselves from Favre's nuts

A lot of this is determined by the 24/7 news cycle, but a lot more is determined by one of the most pernicious elements of the 24/7 -- the almost junkie-like reliance on a few big names discussed over and over and over again whether or not they've actually done something in the last day or two to merit that discussion.

This is A-Rod's fault how?

I mean, Favre has done nothing whatsoever in the last two weeks except say he isn't playing any more, and yet he is still being media-flogged to the point of national nausea.

Let me throw out a wild guess as to why this is? It's crazy; I know, but bear with me:

HE SAID THE EXACT SAME FUCKING THING LAST YEAR, AND THE MEDIA LOVES EVERYTHING FAVRE, YOU FUCKASS

And now, with Rodriguez's latest choreographed mea maxima culpa, Rodriguez is there, too. You hear his name, and you try to duck your head inside your jacket, and it will get worse as the new holes in his story are passed and crowbarred apart.

INT. A-ROD'S HOUSE - SEPTEMBER 2008

A-Rod sits in chair watching Brett Favre footage on ESPN.

A-Rod: Fuck, this Brett Favre guy is stealing all the time ESPN would normally devote to questioning whether or not I have the testicular fortitude to ever win a World Series. How can I get the spotlight on me?

ESPN switches over to a story about Barry Bonds. A-Rod stands up.

A-Rod: By Palmeiro's mustache, that's it. If I admit to taking steroids and then act very coy about the details, the media will go back to raking me over the coals like they have for the past 7 years! Excelsior!

For instance, he has seized on the "I was young and stupid" angle as his ticket out, and we will hear that over and over again in the coming months. We suspect he is trying too hard to give himself the benefit of the doubt here by calling himself an idiot, but the more he says it, the less convincing he will be.

No matter what A-Rod said, he was going to get ripped on for it. Even if he had declared that he did it so he could hit the most homeruns ever, and get to sleep with the most women ever, there would've been people on talk radio complaining:

"WHY DIDN'T HE JUST ADMIT THAT HE'S GAY!? WHAT IS HE HIDING!?"

It's great excuse when you're 10, but 10-year-olds never talk about how young and stupid they are. By the time you're 24, you don't get to haul that one out any more. But he will, largely because he thinks it's better than the alternative, which is "I was young, I did what everyone else did, and I wanted to be better than me." True that is idiocy, but it's also cynicism and condescension. And Rodriguez isn't good enough at either to make it seem like anything else.

1. Everyone's jumped all over A-Rod for saying he was young and stupid at the age of 24, which I think is moronic. He'd been in the MLB since age 18 and had been surrounded by guys doing steroids the whole time with no consequences. Does any one honestly expect him to have had the perspective to be like "Yeah everyone else is benefiting from steroids, but I shouldn't because they'll one day crack down on it, even though there's nothing to suggest that they ever will."

2. Not that it excuses A-Rod for his actions, but Giambi and Pettitte got off way easier for no good reason. Giambi never admitted to anything. Pettitte said he tried PED's once and "didn't like them." Anyone who's ever used any weight training supplement (legal or illegal) knows that you won't see the effect of anything until weeks of use, so Pettitte's story is complete bullshit, but no one cared at all.

But that's only part of the syndrome. The other part is how often we keep hearing about his spring training, down to the last fast-muscle twitch. And we will, because today's news conference left more questions behind because it was managed.

There's clearly nothing A-Rod wanted more than to be hounded by the media for the rest of 2009.

He might have saved himself if he had taken follow-ups, if he had answered every question no matter how trivial or dull-witted, and stayed there for as many hours as it took.

If you honestly believe this, then you're fucking stupid.

Why? Two reasons. One, if you're trying to throw yourself on the mercy of the court, you have to stay for as long as the court wants you. Two, if you want there to be no more questions, answer all of them at the time, or pay the price for deferred maintenance.

And what happens when he says he doesn't have an answer for questions like "exactly how many times did you use it?" "did it affect how many home runs you hit that year?" etc. The reporters say "nothing new here, let's go cover the NHL!"

Conversely, the best way to keep your name in the news well beyond its shelf-life is to limit your availability. Beating the media means giving the media more than it can eat at one sitting, and yes, there really is such a thing.

Just ask TO about how demanding attention from the media is the worst way to get it.

He didn't, because he either didn't want to or because he was advised not to. He thought 35 minutes was enough treatment for Favre Syndrome, and it isn't nearly enough. And now it may be too late.

Brett Favre : A-Rod :: Ray Rotto : Good sports journalism

8 comments:

Michael said...

Oh man, I lost it at the "Excelsior!"

Biggus Rickus said...

Yes, the article is uberdumb (which is German for mind-numbingly stupid), but it's not a terrible analogy to link Favre and A-Rod. Both will finish among the best to ever play their position, and both get way too much media attention. The difference that one gets blowjobs from and the other gets ass-raped by idiot jouralists.

pnoles said...

Michael, you held it in longer than I did....Palmeiro's mustache was about as much as I could contain.

Passive Voice said...

I don't know anything about basketball, so this is mostly an honest question: is LBJ really "arguably the best basketball player ever"?

Jeff said...

He basically just wrote a column with the premise of "a lot of people are writing columns or talking about this guy".

Ray calling anyone a geek is insane. Have you seen that guy?

Angelo said...

lebron is the best player ever at his age, and if he keeps improving at the rate he has been so far in his career (which you could argue is unlikely), he will be far and away the best player of all time. As of now, I don't think many people would argue he's the best ever- I definitely don't think he's there yet. But he should be mvp this year.
I am a witness.

Larry B said...

Season Six, baby. Also I don't think ARod is going to catch Pete Rose's hits record, but I get your point. He could easily hit 800 HRs and drive in 2500 runs.

cs said...

Let's be honest... nothing will ever cause the media to cover the NHL. Not even A-Rod giving a 32 hour multi-network interview.