Week of September 22, 2014


Defending the Indefensible?

Considering Phil and I love sports so much that we spend hours each week creating this sports blog, that we don’t even get paid for, this is a difficult read. It’s hard to argue with most of the points because the amount of public money spent on stadiums is at once staggering and sad. NFL stadiums are used for football around ten times per year. And yet we build them these stadiums, and lease them to the NFL owners at ludicrously low prices. The owners are practically printing their own money at this point. Between player health, public funding, and the general buffoonery of Roger Goodell, it is difficult to defend the decision to watch the NFL. And yet. I still watch. So I won’t try to defend it. It is indefensible. This is an excerpt from Steve Almond’s book, referenced here back on September 1, 2014. -TOB

Source: Why Being a Football Fan is Indefensible”, by Steve Almond, excerpted from his book “Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto”, published 08/26/2014

Note: Professional sports teams should build their own stadiums. Franchise valuations are jumping over the the $1 billion mark. I will never vote to support a tax increase for a publicly funded stadium. Here’s the other thing, there aren’t that many cities in the U.S. that can support a professional franchise. Guess how many cities have a population over 600,000? 30. Most of them already have teams, which is why L.A. not having a football team is such a great negotiating chip for current owners. In other words, they need us as much as we want them. So – yeah – they can pay their way. – PAL

How Many Points Did You Score for Stevie Johnson’s Fantasy Workplace Team Today?

In lighter news, this is great. Likely annoyed at fans tweeting him to complain about his fantasy football performance so far this season, Stevie Johnson joked that he had drafted many of “us” for his workplace fantasy team. He asked us not to let him down. The ensuing back and forth with fans is really amusing. -TOB

Source: Stevie Johnson Drafted a Really Great Fantasy You Team”, Barry Petchesky, Deadspin (09/25/2014)

Note: God, I effing love this so much. Highlights: changing a diaper is worth 10 points in the Fantasy Work League. – PAL

Yeah Jeets!

Derek Jeter played the last home game of his career last night. I watched the first inning. At Yankee Stadium in the Top of the 1st, the crowd chants each player’s name until they acknowledge it. They did every player, and they got to Jeter. As soon as they begin chanting his name, the Orioles Nick Markakis hit a home run. It was hilarious and awkward. Of course, Jeter ended the game with a tie-breaking, walk-off single in the bottom of the 9th. Rather fitting. Good timing, zero power. There has been a lot written about Derek Jeter over the years, and over the last week. I think Jeter is a good player, a Hall of Famer, but I also think that if he hadn’t played for New York, he’d be Craig Biggio. He’s not the greatest Yankee or the greatest shortstop of all-time. And he’s always been a terrible defender, despite what announcers/talking heads might have you believe. But his being overrated by the media doesn’t mean he was not great, either. In the first article, Jonah Keri takes a look at Jeter’s career and attempts to find his place historically. It’s a good read. And if you’re curious about what Jeter, the opaque Brand that he is, is really like, New York Magazine profiles him. Interestingly, he’s so image conscious that he comes off a bit poorly here, if you ask me. -TOB

Sources: Goodbye, Mr. November: Taking Stock of Derek Jeter’s Divisive Legacy, by Jonah Keri, Grantland (09/24/2014); Derek Jeter Opens the Door, by Chris Smith, New York Magazine (09/21/2014)

Note: Who has ever made the argument Derek Jeter is the greatest Yankee? Who has ever called him the greatest shortstop of all-time? Nobody, which is why Keith Olbermann’s rant was so stupid (seriously, who enjoys watching this guy get off on his own pontifications?) He was a very good player on a dynasty that won it all 4 out 5 years in (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000).  Tack on another championship in 2009, and that’s a career worth celebrating. As for the “if he hadn’t played in New York” angle – well, he did play in New York, and we all know that is different. It just is. Of course the Yankees are going to make a big deal about this, and of course it will get overblown; it’s 2014 – the age of hyperbole. He had his shortcoming as a player, and I hated him growing up to be sure, but he gets a thumbs up on this day. To be honest, all I ever wanted was to never hear Tim McCarver announce another baseball game, so it’s all been gravy to me since then. -PAL

Persistence, Personified

13 years, 4,095 games. Guilder Rodriguez played in the minors for 13 years before being called up to the Rangers. He was drafted when I was a freshman in college (2001). It’s a hard and beautiful thing when a guy keeps a dream alive for 13 years before it’s realized. You have a MLB stat line now, Mr. Rodriguez. The stories for this didn’t do it for me, so instead take 5 minutes and check out this guy’s stats on Baseball-Reference. Think about all the things that have happened to you over the last 13 years while keeping in mind he was just plugging along down there. -PAL

Source: Guilder Rodriguez Minor League Stats, Major League Stats


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“I don’t give a frog’s fat ass who went through what. We need money! Hey, Russ, wanna look through Aunt Edna’s purse?”

– Clark W. Griswold

2 thoughts on “Week of September 22, 2014

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