What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Editor’s Note: This article is a collaborative effort between Dubsism and Ryan Meehan from First Order Historians. Ryan also has his own blog, East End Philadelphia, which is featured in our BlogRoll and it well worth the read.
There’s many things wrong in the world, which is why some of the things that should be right can offer temporary solace from those that aren’t. This is exactly why we here at First Order Historians are teaming up with J-Dub from Dubsism to offer a treatise on what needs to be fixed in the world of sports and the way it is being broadcast.
Make no mistake, we are in no way pretending we wouldn’t fuck up a lot of stuff too, but at least we’d be able to eliminate some of the really egregious shit which is happening now.
1) Spelling Bees
I can’t decide which is more disturbing, those little kid pageants where we sexualize nine-year olds or the thought process behind this. First of all, did you notice the winners are never American kids anymore? I don’t really need ESPN to remind me that our public schools have become little more than idiot factories because American parents have let them do so. The foreign parents still do things like (gasp) spend quality time with their kids so that they don’t grow up to be some vapor-brained sideline reporter (see #2).
Worse yet, take a close look at the concept…”OK, little (insert unpronounceable foreign kid name here), you are our best and brightest, so let’s put you in a contest where we can magnify the insignificance of not being able to spell a word nobody ever heard of into a pressure-packed nationally televised failure festival guaranteed to emotionally scar you for life.” Every kid (with the sole exception of the winner) in this intellectual “Bataan Death March” gets to have the greatest failure in his life up until that point happen on live television.
Don’t be surprised when the local police finds one of these with a freezer full of girl scout parts later on in life, because it will be our doing for making him spell “dismemberment” on national TV before he turned eight.
2) In-game interviews with players and/or coaches
This shit has to stop. Stop and think for a minute what an utterly fucking ridiculous concept this is. Imagine if we did this in other areas; take war for example.
ANNOYING SIDELINE REPORTER: “Excuse me General, but do you have any thoughts on why this surprise invasion isn’t going according to your plan?”
GENERAL: “Maybe because someone keeps telling the goddamned enemy our every move…until now (pulls pistol and shoots reporter in the face.)”
Since when does anybody think it is a good idea for sideline reporters to become purveyors of espionage? Does anybody think any coach or manager with any fucking brains is going say anything at all useful to the opposing team? That’s why I keep waiting for one of these stupid exchanges to go something like this:
ANNOYING SIDELINE REPORTER: “What are you guys going to do differently in the second quarter to prevent their smothering defense?”
COACH: “Well, what we are going to do is make some serious adjustments, but if you think I’m going to tell you what those are so you can waltz your soon-to-be-sagging ass over to the other bench and tell those cocksuckers, you’re out of your fucking mind (pulls pistol and shoots reporter in the face.)”
Well, maybe not the pistol thing, but you get the idea.
3) Televised Poker
This has to be the only “sport” in the world where the announcers are way more excited about the competition than the competitors are. They scream and yell constantly, which is crazy because they aren’t the ones who have hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake. and as for the players themselves, they don’t even seem to care. And if they don’t even care, then what’s with all of the sixty thousand dollar cameras recording everything like it’s the Super Bowl? Another thing that pisses me off is they call it the “World Series” of poker which is a complete ripoff. You’d think Major League Baseball would have had that trademarked, but if they didn’t I wouldn’t be shocked. (Insert joke about Bud Selig dying here).
That being said, any competition where you can show up wasted in sunglasses is likely fixed. It might not be, but the odds that it could be are very high. And for everyone who is gambling on this, you are wagering on how “semi-pros” are gambling, which is a recipe for a mess. Gambling on other people gambling is like letting somebody take advantage of you sexually while you’re in therapy for being molested in the first place.
Worse yet, thanks to televised poker, every shithead in America with two cards in front of him thinks poker couldn’t exist without his vast knowledge of it. First of all, Texas Hold ’em is the “skim milk” version of poker. Pretending to be an “expert” at this game is like pretending to be a gastroenterologist because you guessed what color your morning turd would be. Not to mention, thinking you can beat guys who play poker all the time because A) you can beat your buddies from work and B) you watch TV is just taking the express train to Empty Wallet City. Just you because you punched a drunk in a bar once doesn’t mean you could take on an MMA fighter and not get your balls handed to you. Not to mention, betting gets a lot tougher when the guy on TV isn’t telling you which cards everybody is holding.
4) Outside The Lines
Everyday for a half hour in the afternoon, my ESPN turns into absolute dogshit. (I mean, more so than it already is…) For those of you who aren’t aware, Outside the Lines is a show where they do all of these in depth profiles on athletes and former athletes, and issues that are hot topics but not necessarily a part of the daily news feed. If you want to check it out, it’s on Monday through Friday at 2PM Central. Monday they’ll be discussing the issue of concussions in the NFL. Then Tuesday, they’ll have an ex-NFL player who suffered from a concussion talk about how he had no idea football was such a violent sport when he was drafted and handed millions of dollars to put on a helmet and run headfirst into other people wearing helmets. Wednesday’s show will just be a video mix of the clips from Monday and Tuesday’s show. Thursday brings yet another tearful interview with Garret Webster about the tragic death of his father, and then on Friday Bob Ley will just show up in a diaper high as shit on painkillers and piss himself until they cut to commercial.
Of course, this is a bit of an exaggeration. And for the record I’m not unsympathetic towards players who have suffered from concussions, I’m just using this as an example to show how the producers of this show just recycle the same seven topics over and over again. How many times can they discuss the rampant corruption in college athletics that we all know goes on anyway? How about another show dedicated to Title Nine? Or perhaps the subject of hazing that takes place on high school football teams? We can never talk about teabagging enough can we?
5) Danica Patrick
Hating Danica Patrick is easy. It has nothing to do with the fact that she’s finished a lot of races in the top ten in the Indy car series. It has nothing to do with the fact that the talk about her switching to NASCAR full time from IndyCar has taken up way too much of the sports broadcasting landscape. It doesn’t even have anything to do with the fact that as a “hot babe,” she is monstrously over-rated. Sure, she’s good looking, but if you went into one of the good bars near a big college campus on a Saturday night, you will find at least 20 chicks you’d rather fuck than her. Danica is only “hot” because any chick is going to look better when you surround her with nothing but fat, sweaty, 50-year old guys.
The real reason to hate Danica Partick can be summed in one web address: Godaddy.com. The miserable ass-loafs that run that company subjected all of us to one of the worst advertising campaigns in American history. Somehow, they thought that giving teenage boys across the nation a crippling case of blueballs was a perfect approach for marketing a company that sells domain name hosting and web programming.
It’s an approach I like to call “Cinemax goes to Pre-school.” It’s a classic bait-and-switch deal that works like this: They hook you with a television commercial featuring Danica or any number of other perfectly fuckable bimbos which brings “suggestive” to the “trouser button popping” level, then they tell you to go to their website to view “unrated content” (wink, nudge). Just about the time you are looking for a tube sock in which to fire some knuckle children, you realize you would find better wacking material on Barney the Dinosaur’s website. Don’t pump up the tires if you ain’t gonna drive the car, Danica.
(Editor’s Note: During the completion of this article, Barney the Dinosaur was killed in a less-than-tragic bus accident. He will not be missed…)
6) The NFL Lockout
Since the NFL is my favorite sport, it’s hard for me to not put this one on the list. A lot of people say that sports is just a game, and that’s true, but trust me: When you get up the first Sunday in September and you realize that there’s no Sunday NFL Countdown, no pregame shows, and FOX is showing the television edit of “Scarface” for the eight thousandth time, you’ll want to gut your eardrums with a tomato corer WAY before you hear Sosa say “YOU (freaked) ME!!! YOU (freaking) LITTLE MONKEY!!!” I’m not sure how many people realize how serious this really is just yet.
That being said, the NFL lockout hinges on the millionaires versus billionaires argument, which is silly because Coors has signed a contract for the next 5 years making them the official beer sponsor of the NFL. So, basically, it’s up to Pete Coors and when all is said and done both sides are fighting about how much money they will make, they have to be able to get both sides of the argument on the table and admit they can’t figure it out. I’m sure both sides will argue that there’s too much money to be lost if they cancel the season, but as long as they both argue that said money is theirs we’re not going anywhere. Fucking bullshit.
7) Less Reporting on the Economics of Sports
The current primary example is this whole “Mets/Dodgers” saga. Who the fuck cares…honestly, does anybody care about management fighting with each other about shit that everyday sports fans don’t understand? All I know about the Mets is that Bernie Maddoff’s name has been mentioned a lot lately in that circle, and that can’t be good. Fine with me, the Mets are never going to be the most popular baseball team in NYC, so I say “good riddance” The Mets will always be the second biggest baseball draw in that market. Fuck them. Don’t care. Let CNBC cover the financials.
At least with the Dodgers I can pray for an earthquake. I heard a radio host describe it best: It’s almost as if there’s this family of confused children that are the Los Angeles Dodgers and their parents got divorced, so uncle Bud has shown up to try and fix everything and it hasn’t worked. And of course he couldn’t fix shit, because he’s Bud and is scared to make a major move. Fuck the Dodgers too.
8 ) Skip Bayless
If you’ve ever worked in a non-union business which reduced its workforce, then you know who are the first people to get laid-off or pushed into early retirement. The people who get clipped aren’t just the ones who don’t add any value, they are the also the loudmouth, pain-in-the-ass types who exist only piss off everybody around them. If Skip Bayless worked in a factory, his ass would have been shown the door long ago.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the power of saying controversial things for purposes of drawing attention; that’s the model upon which the entire media revolves. But there’s a big difference between controversial and simply being a contrarian ass-burger. Skip, we all know you hate LeBron James, and we all know this week is like Mardi Gras week for LeBron James’ haters, but your petulant “I told you so” festival is going to cause me to give you to a 5-gallon Napalm enema, then fire a flare gun down your throat.
Bonus helpful hint to everybody who is over sixty years of age: We can tell when you’ve had plastic surgery done. It’s really, really obvious. If Skip Bayless were in the same room with Kathie Lee Gifford and you cracked both of their skulls together (And if you were in that situation, you’d better…) there would be enough embalming fluid on the floor to run a funeral home for half of a decade. You guys aren’t fooling anyone.
9) More People Who Actually Know About Sports
This should be the biggest “no-brainer” on the list. If you are paid to talk about a particular sport, then perhaps you should know something about it. I don’t mean that every baseball announcer should be able to name the starting line-up of the 1987 Minnesota Twins from memory, but they should be able to explain a simple concept like why you don’t fucking swing at a 3-0 pitch.
While we are at it, there is no exemption for ex-jocks in this department. Just because one played a game doesn’t exempt them from becoming a complete dead-skull once somebody puts a microphone in front of them. (If you’ve ever seen any footage of Jerry Rice or Emmitt Smith’s TV work, I’m sure you know what we’re talking about.)
Oh, and one more thing…no more “Ken and Barbie” types either. I can get that on absolutely every other network. Sports channels should only be populated with people who can talk intelligently about sports. If I want a smoking hot blonde who is so obnoxious I want to shove my dick in her mouth solely because it will shut her stupid ass up, that’s why I have Fox News.
10) Sports Programming in General
This is for those networks who forgot they actually have the word “sports” in their titles. Half the time, you would be hard-pressed to guess that’s what the “S” stood for in “ESPN.” The point referenced in #4 on this list only scratches the surface of this problem., See while some neck-tied shitwad is wasting my time blathering about a problem we are never going to fix, this “sports” network could be showing me, oh maybe a FUCKING SPORTING EVENT! They are never called the “Uselessly Blabbing About Sports Networks,” they are called SPORTS NETWORKS!!!
Here’s some specific suggestions for starters:
That shit is so ridiculous simply describing it in print seems fake, but here’s an example of how stupid this is: Several years back, I was flipping channels and I ran across this guy screaming at the top of his lungs. It wasn’t a shot of his whole body, just his face. I said to myself “He has to be in the middle of a deadlift or something like that.” Then they panned out to the whole shot and he was holding these huge axes up so that they were touching these metal bars on each side of him that were level with his head, and I almost died laughing. What fucking practical purpose would this ever serve?
First off, the likely reason why we haven’t seen this lately is because there’s no way it could be safe, and I’d hate to be the one guy standing next to him that gets an ax dropped on his foot. Second, as mentioned earlier, we don’t need another competition where we are reminded of how inferior Americans are. We get it: The Scandanavians can lift weights better than we can.
Additionally, if you are in a situation where you would be holding double edged axes, you probably won’t need to be worried about how long you can hold them above your man-tits, you’ll be throwing them at whoever invented the time machine that sent you back to the age where you would fight with such prehistoric weapons. Neither the surviving members of Mayhem nor the programmers of the original Castlevania would find this even somewhat amusing. And plus, this isn’t a major organized sport, and we already have major organized sport where a bunch of steroid goons compete for attention, it’s called baseball.
Remember, not only are the bullet points just “for starters,” the same can be said for the entirety of this list. I get that there are a lot of improvements to be made, but Confucius once said “even a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” If I don’t see a step toward a solution, my first step might be putting one of my size 12s so far up your collective sports network ass you will be flossing with my shoelaces.
Meehan & J-Dub
Enjoyed reading this post about as much as any I can remember. Slam-dunk…awesome job.
Here’s my take on numbers 1 through 5, gentlemen.
1 – I have a way to improve televised spelling bees. Remember the movie “War Games,” when Matthew Broderick programmed the computers to square off against each other in repeated games of tic-tac-toe to never declare a winner? I say have these fourth-graders go head to head against a Spell Check. Now THAT would be fun. Either that or equip them with shock collars every time they misspell a word.
2 – I way have a way to resolve this concern as well. The next time the camera pans on Terry Francona in the dugout and the opposing team jacks a home run off Tim Wakefield, have Francona yell “FUCK!” at the top of his lungs mid-interview. That should keep cameras out of the dugout for a while. I’m here to help, gentlemen. Now if only we could do something about Buck and McCarver.
3 – Wait, wait. Are you suggesting OTHER professional sports aren’t fixed? Now THAT’S funny, Mr. Donaghy.
4 – Think of how unbearable OTL would be if it weren’t hosted by Bob Ley. Gotta look at the bright side of things, guys.
5 – Memo to undersexed sports fans: Danica Patrick is NOT hot.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to leave this very same comment on the eighty other websites you submitted it this post to.
Don’t worry, I’m still working on that Buck-McCarver murder-suicide.