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» One Touch Football - Archive » Sport » Sports are sort of crap, aren't they? (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Sports are sort of crap, aren't they?
Soccer Scrimmage
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quote:
And really SocScrim, your reasons for hating the NFL are the same exact for MLS.
They are? Either you are seeing something I am not, or I did a shitty job explaining why I don't like the NFL (probably the latter)

Also, re: the stadium experience, it doesn't really matter if the NFL sucks because it stole the NBA's suckiness--the bottom line is that the NBA's suckiness is tolerable because it lasts a shorter amount of time and you can (try) and tune it out while watching the game. The NFL music, advertising, etc, happens during the countless commercial breaks and pauses in play. You are stuck listening to it. And for 3.5 hours instead of 2.5.

Edit: and ursus, don't worry about your knees: we'll have these guys pinned in less than 30 seconds.

[ 20.03.2008, 19:39: Message edited by: Soccer Scrimmage ]

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Reed
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I think the scheduling issues come out in the wash in the end.

I think the injury problem is a much bigger issue in the NBA. Just because the size of the teams. Look at the Wizards. They looked good and then a few key injuries and now they're completely fucked.

Larry Michael is a blithering idiot. It's a fucking travesty that they replaced Frank Herzog with him as the regular Redskins radio play by play guy. With Sonny, Sam and Frank, it was like watching it at a bar with some kind old geezers. With Larry Michael, it's like watching the game with two nice old geezers and one colossal asshole who won't shut the fuck up.

I don't mind Andy Pollin. I like the Steve Szabin/Andy Pollin show, even though I'm not interested in 90% of what they discuss (basketball). I like it because they don't seem to take it too seriously and are occasionally funny. Best of all, they're quick to hang up on idiots and don't let callers run the show. Which is good because, as you say, most people who call in sports radio (or talk radio in general) are pretty stupid.


"I guess I don't hate LAX players all that much; it's so popular in MD that a lot of kids play it, not just the pricks."

I know, but the pricks seem to rise to the top in lacrosse, somehow. If you look at the rosters of the top college teams, you still see an awful lot of guys named Connor, Taylor and Parker who went to Archbishop St. Puffinstuff-Poshcunt Hall Prep. I hate to generalize, but there's no way that at least half of those teams aren't stone-cold asshats (I say that, and yet I just found out that Georgetown Prep, the big posh private school lacrosse power near my apartment has a player with my exact name. Scary). Indeed, the simple fact that Johns Hopkins, UVa, Princeton, Duke and the ivies are major college powers in the sport (and get high rankings regardless of their record) says a lot about how the culture of the game has not changed that much since the 1950s. And don't get me started about girls lacrosse. Every fucking player it seems is called Kaitlyn or Kenzie.

Maybe football is different in Maryland. In Pennsylvania, lots of kids play football, not just the pricks, although the pricks play it too. There are pricks in every sport and if memory serves, I can't recall any pricks from high school who didn't play at least two sports.

Sadly, the highest density of assholes on teams at my school were probably the baseball team (although I think that was just an aberation of my year) and the basketball team. Hockey and soccer seemed to attract guys that were easy to get along with but were juvenile deliquents that it was best not to be around lest one of them decides to make you their unwitting accomplice in a car theft. Football had the hardcore jock douches, but also a lot of guys who were big, dumb and friendly and a couple of guys who were just went out for football because it was the only team that didn't make any cuts. Wrestling attracted some jock assholes, but most wrestlers I've known were just straight-up unhinged. It's not really a recreational sport. It's something for mad fuckers who've watched Full Metal Jacket too many times.


*As an aside, WTEM is, on balance, pretty good. It's much better than WFAN in New York (all Mets blather 24/365) not to mention the much ballyhooed WEEI in Boston where they take it way, way, way too seriously while being completely shameless homers, although the Weiner Whiner line in the afternoon is funny and Dale and Holly actually talk about hockey sometimes. In the mornings, WEEI have those two guys who just talk about the Celtics and offer racist, anti-immigrant rants that have nothing to do with sports. Appalling.

WTEM also has Doc Walker. Most of the time, his show is inane, but when he gets rolling about what's wrong with the Redskins its like listening to a great preacher speak the Truth. Also, he has Phil Wood on sometimes. Phil Wood knows a hell of a lot about baseball.

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Reed
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I can't really disagree with any of the criticisms of American football.

You know that episode of South Park where Cartman starts a fake Christian rock band and he asks Token to be the bass player, and Token protests that just because he's black doesn't mean he plays the bass, but after Cartman pushes him, he grudingly admits that he does own a bass and knows how to play it although he's not happy about it?

That's like me and football. I don't want to care about it. It brings me more pain than joy, but I do care and I can't seem to stop caring about it no matter how hard I try, so I've just resigned to the fact that I'll always watch it.

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Amor de Cosmos
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The nice thing about hockey is that it's about 98% douchebag free. Even some of the goons who probably belong in jail seem like nice people.

I think the douchebag quotient was higher in the 70s when serious money flooded into the game for the first time. I'm not sure about the Northern climate thing. Hockey players are generally taciturn, "chirpin'" on or off the ice tends to be sneered at. Worse, Blowhards and braggarts detract from team unity, players with those inclinations are usually dealt with as rookies. One of the paradoxes of hockey is that enforcers are almost always the nicest guys. Humble in skills, they're maybe aware their wealth and fame could be gone at a GM's whim, so practice a humility to match.

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Reed
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Maybe I'm conflating taciturn with gentility, but it seems like Canadians, Minnesotans, rural New Englanders (not so much Bostonians), Russians and Scandinavians all share a general disdain for people who mouth off too much.* This is counter to the general trend in American popular culture, and sports culture especially, that likes to celebrate "personalities."

"Worse, Blowhards and braggarts detract from team unity, players with those inclinations are usually dealt with as rookies."

Blowhards and braggarts detract from team unity in baseball, gridiron and basketball too and yet there are lots of them mouthing off and airing their greviances with coaches and teammates quite publicly. Every successful team in every team sports talks about veteran leadership ("good dressing room/club house guys") and so forth, but it seems to be especially important to hockey players and coaches.

I suspect you're right about hockey's "role players." I'd also speculate that a lot of these guys may suffer depression and other mental problems due to the repeated concusions and contemplation of the fact that their job is to pick fights with other grown men for no particularly good reason.


*Also, it's fairly well established by historians, I think, that that Southerners have a much more pronounced tendency to worry about their "honor" and a greater willingness to fight over perceived slights. It has been suggested that feuds and duels and all of that sort of stuff that we associate with the rural south comes from the clannish culture of the Scots-Irish. It has also been suggested, although I think that this is less well established, that this southern tendency infected the culture of poor urban black kids (after all most black people in America have ancestral roots in the South) which is why gang kids kill each other over perceived "disrespect" and are often loyal to their gang/neighborhood to the point of self-destruction.

[ 20.03.2008, 20:55: Message edited by: Reed ]

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Amor de Cosmos
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Every successful team in every team sports talks about veteran leadership ("good dressing room/club house guys") and so forth, but it seems to be especially important to hockey players and coaches.

Maybe. To a great extent hockey players are self-policed, more than other sports professionals I think. It's something that puzzled me for a long time and I only recently how fundamental it is to the game. When I started watching hockey it used to amaze and irritate me at how vague and flexible it's rules seemed to be: 'holding' in the first period wasn't called in the third and nothing seemed to penalised in OT of the play-offs for instance. I once asked the only NHLer I've met about this, he replied that the ref's role was mostly just to keep the game fair, like in boxing. I later learned that when professional hockey started there were no generally accepted laws, there were 'Manitoba' rules, and 'Montreal' rules plus several other codes some, or none, of which the players may know. Basically each game was made up as it went along rather like we used to do as kids (see above). The players themselves decided how they wanted to play the game and the rules eventually grew as an accretion on top of their own 'code'. Infractions of the rules are dealt with by the officials but infractions of the code the players normally handle themselves if no one else does it first. Examples: Alexei Kovalev, last season criticised the the team in Russian papers (bad), took three minute shifts whenever he felt like it (very bad.) Stunk the joint out. This season he, and the team is playing brilliantly. Keeps his lip buttoned, comes off the ice with the rest of his line. Someone had a word, maybe more than a word, in his ear. Jordin Tootoo, fast skater, all round pest and cheap shot artist. Protected so far by his media profile, but his speciality of instigating fights then retaliating with his stick high is winning him lots of enemies. Teammates need to have a talk with him soon, otherwise someone will get badly hurt, and it might be him.

I don't really know if other sports have a similar internal morality for want of a better term that's so deeply embedded. Maybe they used to but I see little evidence of it nowadays.

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Reed
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I think baseball has that although it's not as evident because the nature of the game doesn't provide a lot of opportunities for gray area.

But, for example, everyone seems to accept that the top of the strike zone is the belt, when it is officially higher than that. Everyone accepts that veteran batters and pitchers will get certain calls their way more than rookies (which is bullshit, but it's there). Veterans are allowed to erase the back of the batters box but rookies aren't. If the 2B/SS puts his glove down on the dirt in front of the bag before the runner slides into second on a steal, it's an out, even if he never touches the runner (avoids getting spiked). If a pitcher plunks somebody deliberately, he can expect a brawl.

They are all simply traditions of the game.

I'm fairly impressed with the NHL's recent effort to, at long last, impose its will on the game to make it more open. It's worked out much better than I thought it would. I never imagined anyone would be seriously talking about the "New NHL" without irony. Of course, there are some players (and Bobby fucking Clarke too, I imagine) that don't like it and want the game to go back to how it was in order to make better use of their talents or lack thereof, but their voices are dwindling.

The NBA, on the other hand, seems to be struggling with how its officials handle the gray areas. Or at least, that's the perception and David Stern seems more concerned that the players wear a coat and tie on the bus to the game. I've always found the foul rules in basketball confusing and arbitrary, but apparently a lot of people involved in the game do too and not much is getting done about it, it seems.

The NFL has that problem too, somewhat. The league wants to regulate bullshit like the players socks and how they celebrate touchdowns and there are a zillion tiny technical details about how the teams are allowed to line up before a play, and yet holding is still called very infrequently and no two refs seem to have the same concept of what constitutes pass interference.

It's ten times worse in college football. Every conference has its own officials and they each have their own special set of incompetencies. For example, an offensive lineman has to pretty damn near rip a guys head off to be called for holding in the Big Ten, except of course for those random intervals in a game when the refs arbitrarily decide to call a hold on a play, whether it's there or not, just to give the impression that they're paying attention. Nothing ever gets done about any of this because the only time it ever gets brought up is when a particular team gets screwed. Therefore, the league officials, NCAA and the other coaches dismiss it as sour grapes. Nobody in a position of authority is ever willing to take a step back and admit that the officiating is bad for everyone and needs to be improved.

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Amor de Cosmos
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I think baseball has that although it's not as evident because the nature of the game doesn't provide a lot of opportunities for gray area.

I didn't know about scuffing up the batters box thing. There's also the "not cursing the umpire's call when you're looking him in the eye" one isn't there? That is tradition, as it is in hockey, but it doesn't I don't think affect the actual playing or outcome of the game so profoundly.

I'm fairly impressed with the NHL's recent effort to, at long last, impose its will on the game to make it more open. It's worked out much better than I thought it would.

On the whole I'd agree even though the Canucks are one of the most penalised teams in the league, because they apparently haven't yet figured out that reaching around a player with one hand off the stick is always going to be called these days. The growth of "embellishment" calls is good to see, the same thing should have happened in soccer when over-physical tackling was cracked down on.

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Reed
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There's also the "not cursing the umpire's call when you're looking him in the eye" one isn't there?

Yeah. There was a bit in Bull Durham about that. You're not allowed to call the ump a cocksucker.

And in general, arguing balls and strikes is not supposed to be tolerated at all while the ump is willing to have a "discussion" about other calls.

Most of the time a manager gets in an umps face, it's just theater. Not only does the manager not expect to influence the umpire, he expects to get tossed out. That's the whole point. It's just supposed to show that he's sticking up for his players. And the fans get a kick out of it.

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Amor de Cosmos
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I know. It's one of my favourite non-sporting sporting traditions.
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