Showing posts with label this is outrageous. Show all posts
Showing posts with label this is outrageous. Show all posts

Monday, July 30, 2012

According to Bill Simmons, the universe continues to revolve around Bill Simmons

Bill wrote an article about the Olympics.  As is the case with any subject he covers, that really means he wrote an article about himself.

You get older and older, and older, and suddenly, the Summer Olympics become a series of four-year checkpoints for your life. 

No.  No they do not.  You get older and older, and the Olympics continue to be a gigantic competition featuring athletes from all over the world run by a comically corrupt organization. 

This only happens to people who remember just about everything through the lens of sports. 

No, it only happens to self-obsessed fuckholes who cannot stop thinking/talking/writing about themselves.

That's where the word "fanatic" came from. Ever looked that word up? 

Everyone board the train to Clevertown!  No one, least of all some kind of gigantic bore like Bob Costas or Jim Nantz, has even talked about the "'fan' comes from 'fanatic'" thing before.

Here's the actual definition:

"Marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion."

Translation: "Someone who, technically, is a freaking lunatic."

Mind asplode.

When I interviewed Larry Bird earlier this year, 


I half-jokingly told him that, of the 25 best moments in my life, he was probably involved in 10 of them. 

Some highlights from the other 15:  the moment he realized that proclaiming his devotion to the Patriots was probably a good idea because they were seconds away from kicking the game winning field goal against the Rams in the Super Bowl, the moment he appointed himself official guru of the ESPN trade machine, and that one time Jimmy Kimmel publicly acknowledged that he hired Simmons as a writer for some reason.

He quickly quipped, "You need a better life." He's right. We shouldn't care about sports this much … but we do, and that's just the way it is. 

You are writing without saying anything.  Please provide substance.

I watched my first Summer Olympics back during a time when we didn't have cable television, video games, DVDs, iPads or the Internet. What did we have? 


Books, toys, board games, a handful of TV networks and a phenomenal amount of spare time. Trust me, we needed Montreal in 1976. 

Kids grew up without electronic gadgets for like 10,000 years before 1976.  I'm pretty sure you didn't "need" those Olympics.

I watched everything. Nadia Comaneci supplanted the Bionic Woman as my biggest crush. I bought loads of Sugar Ray Leonard stock and kept it through the 1980s. Bruce Jenner became just as big of a hero for me as Rocky Balboa a few months later. I even bonded with future heavyweight champion Leon Spinks because we were both missing our front teeth. That couldn't have been a more perfect first Olympics for a budding sports nut.

Pretty much every Olympics ever has a bunch of cool storylines and heroes.  1972 had Mark Spitz and Olga Korbut (to serve as Bill's crush, wokka wokka!).  1968 had Bob Beamon, Dick Fosbury and Charles Hickcox.  For what seems like the millionth time, you fucking asshole: stop inventing narratives.

From there, the Summer Olympics became an eerie reflection for whatever was happening in my life. In 1980, my parents divorced and we sold our house; naturally, that was the summer we boycotted Moscow. 

1980 was also the year of the Lake Placid winter games, which were awesome for reasons we're all pretty familiar with.  Unfortunately that doesn't fit his thesis.

In 1984, I was just a typical dorky teenager who loved sports and pop culture … and somehow, the great sports/pop culture year of all time basically fell out of the sky. 

Jesus Christ.  Holy Jesusballs.  To the extent that 1984 was the greatest sports/pop culture year of all time (it isn't), how else would it arrive other than by falling out of the sky?  Do people look two or three years into the future and say "You know, 2013 is probably going to suck, but man, 2015?  STRAP YOURSELVES IN FOLKS, THE POP CULTURE THAT YEAR WILL BE EXCELLENT!!!"  

We went from "barely any TV options" to "dozens of TV options" almost overnight, with MTV, ESPN and HBO leading the way. 

That's not sports or pop culture.  That's technological innovation.  

What better entertainment climate for Carl Lewis, Mary Lou Retton, Edwin Moses, MJ's Olympic hoops team and everyone else? Throw in the Cold War and a heavy dose of patriotic pride — remember, we dominated the L.A. games because none of the "evil" countries showed up — and Los Angeles became another way to regain our country's collective swagger after an era marred by Watergate, Vietnam, Iran, Nixon's resignation and Carter's punchless presidency. 

Three of those events were more than a decade old by 1984.  The 1976 Olympics could have just as easily been our chance to bounce back from them, but that wouldn't fit Bill's little story about 1984 being THE ONE AND ONLY YEAR in which the Olympics helped the US "regain [its] swagger." 

1984 somehow renewed everyone's faith in America as a superpower while maintaining an unparalled lack of self-awareness, with Bruce Springsteen hitting both elements (even if it wasn't intentional) in just two videos: "Born in the USA" and the now-mortifying "Dancing in the Dark."

Born in the USA is not a pro America song.  Listen to the lyrics some time, you fucking dolt.  Also HAW HAW HAW people in the 80s dressed and danced funny!

Within a year, patriotism became something of a career move for celebrities 

I'm pretty sure showing patriotism has almost always been a good career move for celebrities since whenever we first started having celebrities.

(most notably: Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rocky IV), politicians (like Reagan's second presidential campaign) 

and even wrestlers (with Hulk Hogan changing his entrance theme from "Eye of the Tiger" to "Real American"). So 1984 was the last summer when the Olympics felt, for lack of a better word, pure. 

Maybe to 15 year old Bill (born in 1969)--not to anyone with a brain.  From a "pure competitors" standpoint, steroids had been a part of the games for decades at that point.  From a raw commercialization standpoint, things wouldn't really get out of control until the 90s.  But again, what we're working with here is the idea that as Bill's life goes, the Olympics go.  When you're 15, high school might suck but you're probably not going to be too cynical about the world.  When you're 19, that cynicism is a whole lot more likely to be part of your views.

We couldn't hear the national anthem enough that summer. We didn't care that the Russians and Eastern Europeans skipped L.A., just that our gold medals were piling up. When Mary Lou pulled off her famous vault, you weren't calculating the value of her endorsement potential like you did with a teeth-gritting Kerri Strug 12 years later. 

I don't think anyone saw Strug and thought "CASH COW!"  She was probably on a Wheaties box or something, but she wasn't Michael Phelps.  Sorry, I keep letting facts and perspective get in the way of Bill's little story.  I'll stop.

We were collecting American heroes like baseball cards that year, whether they came in the form of Springsteen, Hulk Hogan, Bird, Joe Montana, Pete Rose, Huey Lewis, or everyone the Olympics were force-feeding us. We just wanted more and more heroes. I remember feeling like a true American during the '84 Olympics. That was my favorite one, hands down, bar none.

(not nodding.)

We wouldn't remember the next four Summer Olympics nearly as fondly. 

No, goddammit, no.  NO.  YOU wouldn't remember the next four Olympics as fondly.  GRRRRRRRRRRRRR SOMEONE PLEASE PUSH THIS MAN IN FRONT OF A TRAIN.

More later.

Friday, September 28, 2007

mike celzic fails to understand irony

the venerable journalist known as "hatguy" wrote this article back on sunday, but it's definitely still worth reviewing. re: mr. april (you know exactly who i'm talking about), and the possibility that his agent scott boras has already been talking with the cubs about him being a part owner upon retirement in addition to playing there for the rest of his career. now, follow along and see if you can find the irony.

The big magazine article is out, the denials are in place and Alex Rodriguez, near the end of one of what may be his greatest season as a hitter, is once again the center of controversy, seemingly without even trying.

how does he do it? i've always assumed it's because he has a job with every major media news outlet. so whenever he so much as takes a piss, he immediately goes to the offices of all these media outlets and gets a story about himself published. i mean, what other possible explanation is there for all the exposure he gets?

“Great players with great demand create great rumors,” Boras told the Associated Press, and even that denial reeked of spin and ego, as if this sort of thing is to be expected.

non sarcastically- yes, this particular rumor is a little bit outside the scope of the norm. it's not everyday you hear about a player possibly negotiating to own one of the most valuable teams in sports before he even plays for them. i acknowledge that. at the same time, i'm still comfortable saying:

sarcastically- how dare scott boras imply that a popular and hyperexposed player like a-rod (who plays in new york to boot) is often at the center of media firestorms! what is he, high? great players in great demand don't creat great rumors. we all know how it really works- shitty players not in demand at all create great rumors. did you hear journeyman reliever rudy seanez recently bought a new TV? true story, i read about it on teh internets.

What’s got to be annoying to the Yankees is the timing of this – a week before the playoffs. When the story should be about the Yankees’ remarkable comeback from 14.5 games back to the brink of the AL East title, it’s about A-Rod. It always seems to be that way.

funny how that works. i'm curious- what's your theory about why people constantly talk about arod, mike? maybe you and several hundred of your fellow sportswriters should write columns containing your explanations for this strange phenomenon for several years, and let the fans read them and decide. that might help clear things up because i currently have no idea. none. and for me it would kill two birds with one stone, because personally i feel like i don't know enough about a-rod. he's really kind of underexposed. what's his personal life like? does he have a girlfriend? do he and derek jeter hang out ever? please, someone link me.

i really don't have enough energy to address any of the other central points of the article. to sum it all up-

1. yeah, scott boras is a sleazy guy.
2. yeah, if this rumor is true, it's a sleazy thing to do.
3. yeah, the timing of it is maybe a little bit questionable.
4. but far and away, most importantly- here we have yet another goddamn column about arod. more specifically it's one about something related to him that hasn't even been verified. and within it- this column made out of guesswork, theorization, and vague attempts at serious analysis- hatguy has the gall to fucking complain about how arod is always in the news. unbelievable.

my parting shot, unrelated to the central idea of the piece-

He’s an incredible baseball player, but stuff like this sure does make him annoying, sometimes to distraction. He’s like the guy who cuts the cheese in a crowded elevator and doesn’t get why everybody’s trying to get away as far away from him as possible and making faces – after all, the odor doesn’t bother him.

who the hell does hat? who is this imaginary guy mike's referring to? i'm a 23 year old bachelor who still usually thinks bodily function jokes are funny. i have a lot of brash and crude friends who think pretty much the same way. and when we're hanging out together in private, we often laugh at any "cheese" that might get "cut" by one of us. yet i still have to say that i definitely don't know anyone like this guy, who would react as mike describes to a fart released among strangers. i'm pretty sure even the brashest and crudest of my beer swilling, self scratching, profanity using, about-their-appearance-and-demeanor-not-caring friends would be embarrassed to pass gas in a crowded elevator. this ridiculously off point "don't you readers know exactly who i'm talking about?" analogy kind of makes me wonder what celzic does when he lets one loose in a crowded public place. *shudder*

Monday, August 6, 2007

the ol' ballcoach gets whamboozled!

this is my second post today that's not really about bad journalism. still pisses me off enough to link it. read this and tell me it's not completely ridiculous. what is becoming of college athletics? are you serious? a coach can actually say this about his employer? i know even academically prestigious schools like notre dame have a certain number of "exemptions" their coaches can use to bring in athletes that might not traditionally fit the resume model of an admitted student. but at some point they've got to draw the line. it sounds like south carolina drew such a line for spurrier... and now he's pissed... and as a result he and the school are close to reaching some kind of an agreement about not drawing any more lines in the future. what the hell is wrong with this picture?

Thursday, June 7, 2007

might as well make it 2 posts in one day regarding some idiot recommending outrageously excessive punishments

tony la russa, you're a big time idiot. i can't decide who is more out of touch with how things work: the guy from my previous post who thinks burglars deserve life in prison, or tony with his comments here about how the league should punish pitchers who hit batters in the head. granted, one is talking about the criminal justice system in real life and the other is talking about a professional sport, so its hard to compare. lets just agree that theyre both expressing abso-fucking-lutely insane ideas.

the backstory: reds pitcher aaron harang hit cardinals catcher gary bennett in the head with a pitch on wednesday. harang later apologized. bennett accepted, saying he was sure it was an accident and that there were no hard feelings. end of story? not if la russa and his transition lenses have anything to say about it!

"It's accidental because he didn't mean to hit him, but he meant to throw the ball up and in and that's a very dangerous thing," La Russa said. "I've probably said it 100 times in the 20 years I've managed, so it ain't new material. But if you're a big league pitcher you should be able to get the ball below the shoulder."

this is like saying "if you make it to the NBA, you should never ever miss a layup." anyone who's watched maybe 20 or so baseball games in their life should know that this is not the case. there are plenty of successful big league pitchers who accidentally throw balls as high as a batter's head from time to time. the cardinals themselves, during la russa's tenure as manager, once famously employed a pitcher named rick ankiel who had quite a bit of trouble keeping the ball "below the shoulder." ankiel's tenure as a big league pitcher was relatively short. still, he made it to the big leagues, and had limited success, despite having shall we say minor control issues.

On Tuesday, La Russa said a first-time offender should receive a two-week suspension, a month for the second offense and a full season for a third occurrence.

that is completely and totally batshit insane. i can't even put together any other sentences to describe how dumb that proposal is. i bet tony would also endorse the following punishments:

-15 game suspension from the NHL for high sticking
-lifetime ban from the NFL for roughing the quarterback
-any european soccer player who gets a red card is immediately thrown out of their league and must spend a year in the MLS before reinstatement

ha! comedy by exaggeration. sorry, now back to tony being stupid.

He emphasized that goes for his pitchers, too.
"If our guy does it I yell, 'Get it down or you're out of there,"' La Russa said.

maybe he's yelled that to some 20 year-old minor leaguer during spring training. but i'll bet a fair sum of money tony has never made that threat to any cardinals player on the major league roster during a regular season or playoff game.

presumably la russa takes this stance for safety related reasons. i can't think of any other reasons he would feel so strongly about this issue, can you? well, i hate to resort to ad hominem attacks, but what the heck, it seems somewhat fair in this specific case. hey tony: if you're so concerned with safety, how about you don't drive drunk? asshole.

file this as "let me tell you something very upsetting!" journalism

and "lets punish the people im upset at exorbitantly, who cares if it fits the crime!?"

from aol fanhouse- michael david smith responds to news that burglars raided the house of the mother of recently passed NFL player marquise hill while she was at his funeral.

look it's not that this isnt a horribly sad story. but you cant write stuff like this and not sound like an idiot:

I don't know what the usual sentence is for burglary, but it's not nearly enough. Whoever did this should never see the light of day again.

i certainly dont mean to sound unsympathetic, or be mr.-overly-practical-when-a-situation-calls-for-emotion, but i think our prisons are crowded enough as it is. every day hundreds of people in this country are tried and convicted of crimes worse than burglary without getting life sentences. look at the big picture, you dolt.