PDA

View Full Version : Can we get a sports-related DV up in here?


nikkibong
11-02-2009, 06:53 PM
what the subject says. it's been forever!

(apologies to Jeff.)

PreppyMcPrepperson
11-02-2009, 07:09 PM
what the subject says. it's been forever!

(apologies to Jeff.)

As I prepare the guac for my world series viewing tonight, an emphatic YES PLEASE!

Whatfur
11-02-2009, 07:12 PM
Thats a great idea. I loved it when RealClearPolitics created RealClearSports with the same kind of concept. Might work here, although they would have to hire someone to book guests...or we would get like squash pros discussing the merits of the English scoring system vs. the American ...which may peak Francoamericans interest but few others.

Whatfur
11-02-2009, 07:13 PM
As I prepare the guac for my world series viewing tonight, an emphatic YES PLEASE!

Go Phils.

PreppyMcPrepperson
11-02-2009, 08:04 PM
Go Phils.

I beg to differ. (http://twitter.com/MahaRafiAtal/status/5358724696)

Wonderment
11-02-2009, 08:11 PM
Go Phils.

Yes, we can, Whatfur.

I was actually going to go to my first WS game ever if either the Angels or Dodgers made it. :(

I always root for anyone but the Yankees.

bjkeefe
11-02-2009, 08:52 PM
I always root for anyone but the Yankees.

Hey! That's no way to stay a member of the Go12 hive mind! (cf. (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2008/09/for-fans-only-maybe.html))

;^)

Wonderment
11-02-2009, 09:17 PM
Hey! That's no way to stay a member of the Go12 hive mind! (cf.)

My first World Series memory is Jackie Robinson stealing home against Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra in game one of the 1955 Series. I rest my case.

Whatfur
11-02-2009, 09:23 PM
I beg to differ. (http://twitter.com/MahaRafiAtal/status/5358724696)

Why beg... when the Yankees can buy it for you? ;o)

1st inning and looking good...those Damn Yankees though just seem to bide their time and then stomp on you.

bjkeefe
11-02-2009, 09:30 PM
My first World Series memory is Jackie Robinson stealing home against Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra in game one of the 1955 Series. I rest my case.

Can't beat that.

(Remember this post when you start accusing me of knowing your birth date, though. ;))

Whatfur
11-02-2009, 09:47 PM
My first World Series memory is Jackie Robinson stealing home against Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra in game one of the 1955 Series. I rest my case.

Very cool.

PreppyMcPrepperson
11-03-2009, 03:20 AM
My first World Series memory is Jackie Robinson stealing home against Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra in game one of the 1955 Series. I rest my case.

Why beg... when the Yankees can buy it for you? ;o)

1st inning and looking good...those Damn Yankees though just seem to bide their time and then stomp on you.

I can't hold that against you, Wonderment. It does matter when you grow up and who you grow up watching. I grew up a Yankee fan at the end of the Mattingly era, watching a team that played consistently good baseball, sometimes the best of the bunch, but never good--or lucky--enough to make a WS. There was nothing complacent about that period or about Donnie Baseball. Nor the period that followed it--the glory days from '96 to '03--when the stars of the team (Jeter, Mariano, Petitte, Williams)--were guys we trained, not guys we bought. If I'd been five or six when we acquired A-Rod, on the other hand, I might have had a different view.

That said, Whatfur, your Phils lived to fight another day tonight. Well played. Till Wednesday.

Whatfur
11-03-2009, 09:39 AM
I can't hold that against you, Wonderment. It does matter when you grow up ...

That said, Whatfur, your Phils lived to fight another day tonight. Well played. Till Wednesday.

Actually, they are not technically my Phils and generally would be rooting for the American league team...but not the Yankees. You are right though, take A-Roid off this team and they are not a bad bunch of characters.

Being a fan of capitalism its hard to cry about the money, but my small market team made the playoffs too on about 1/3 of the money spent. I am just afraid our Joe Mauer may put winning a WS ahead of home town loyalties and take some of that money to get there.

Jeter rocks, but he made some sour grape comments a couple years ago when he and Mauer were battling for the batting title that soured me a bit on him.

Oh and speaking of sour grapes...I think if Morneau was not injured, the first round this year may have ended differently. ;o) You might pick up on another reason the Yanks are not high on my favorite list right now.

PreppyMcPrepperson
11-03-2009, 01:41 PM
...

Mauer is the real thing. So long as he sticks around, you'll have your day in the sun.

Baltimoron
11-04-2009, 03:14 AM
I'd like a diavlog explaining how reading about someone watching sports is good for health. How about a health-related diavlog that includes games that improve your health?

bjkeefe
11-04-2009, 06:01 AM
Here is a guy we might have as one half of that: Erik Loomis, who combines sports and politics in one magnificent blog post: "The Inevitably of a New Yankees Dynasty (http://alterdestiny.blogspot.com/2009/10/inevitably-of-new-yankees-dynasty.html)."

(Probably that's not how his mama would have wanted him to spell Inevitability, but he makes up for it.)

(h/t: B'head Robert Farley (http://lefarkins.blogspot.com/2009/10/next-four-years-nightmare-of-evil.html))

TwinSwords
11-04-2009, 07:11 AM
How about a health-related diavlog ...

Oh, oh, I know. How about a whole series of dialvogs on personal finance -- how to manage your portfolio, pick stocks, advice for taking loans, how to manage your credit, you know, all that stuff.

Oh, and how about some cooking diavlogs? Not like those cooking contest diavlogs BhTV did a couple of times with Will Wilkenson et al. a while ago, but diavlogs where the emphasis is actually on how to prepare tasty and healthy meals for the whole family?

How about a nature series, where each week we explore the wildlife of an exciting new locale?

Or maybe BhTV should do an antiques show!

Hey! Home Shopping! Isn't there a lot of great merchandise that they could be selling? Just flash some nice stuff and an 800 number and we can buy buy buy!

What about something where they restore a house every week?

Or maybe a show where they do makeovers! You know, take a dumpy single guy or gal and teach him how to dress or her how to put on make-up!?

Baltimoron
11-04-2009, 08:15 AM
Wit?

No, and what's so entertaining about two or three guys doing what drunk guys do in bars? It has to be the oddest part of our civilization, that people will pay corporations to corral us in stadiums, so we can return to them the wages we earned in the last week. We even grant them incentives, to build stadiums, and then we continue to buy tickets even when we're under-employed or would like another career. I'm very good at sitting on my ass, and no one has to tell me where to sit.

AemJeff
11-04-2009, 09:11 AM
Wit?

No, and what's so entertaining about two or three guys doing what drunk guys do in bars? It has to be the oddest part of our civilization, that people will pay corporations to corral us in stadiums, so we can return to them the wages we earned in the last week. We even grant them incentives, to build stadiums, and then we continue to buy tickets even when we're under-employed or would like another career. I'm very good at sitting on my ass, and no one has to tell me where to sit.

Yeah, this sums it up rather well for me. The spectacle of millionaires, imported from wherever - the "home team," as it were - gathered together by a financial entity (who has probably charged the "home" city for the right to provide a venue) to do mock battle, eliciting real feelings of competitive pride (and in the case of some sports fans I know, a primary source of personal pride and joie de vivre - for which the corporations will gladly charge a handsome sum to grant them the right to wear the corporate colors and symbols) - this baffles and depresses me.

Neighborhood teams run on shoestrings - cheering and jeering your friends and enemies - these things I understand. This soi-distante slickly packaged corporate "entertainment" mode of American pro sports seems to me a humiliation and a distraction from what's important about being a human.

I think bar fights are healthier.

Whatfur
11-04-2009, 09:53 AM
...

I think bar fights are healthier.

First, still waiting for you to pick the bar.

I agree that maybe professional sports have evolved into something they were not in days gone with greedy owners now adding greedy unions and "ballplayers", however there is absolutely nothing wrong with the interest, entertainment, rivalries, escapism, comraderie, dreams, history, markets, etc. etc they provide. They are a reflection of us as humans. Ever since Trog picked up that rock and killed the rabbit from 20 paces and Ook a week later did the same thing from 25 and being one-upped, Trog got pissed and tackled Ook only to have the whole tribe circle them grunting and cheering, it has been a part of us. Nothing wrong with it, and I feel sorry for those that never caught the fever as they don't know what they are missing...and sorry I generally imagine those that scoff at sports being those who never got over being picked last for the dodgeball game on the playground or got notes from their mother excusing them from swim class because of a planters wart or something when the real reason was they were afraid of the water or afraid of getting teased in the showers. Its also generational...if you never played catch or went to a ballgame with your Dad then you will probably duplicate that. Thats fine, find a museum to bring them to (and it doesn't have to be in Cooperstown) and we won't scoff at that.

graz
11-04-2009, 10:32 AM
I agree that maybe professional sports have evolved into something they were not in days gone with greedy owners now adding greedy unions and "ballplayers", however there is absolutely nothing wrong with the interest, entertainment, rivalries, escapism, comraderie, dreams, history, markets, etc. etc they provide. They are a reflection of us as humans. Ever since Trog picked up that rock and killed the rabbit from 20 paces and Ook a week later did the same thing from 25 and being one-upped, Trog got pissed and tackled Ook only to have the whole tribe circle them grunting and cheering, it has been a part of us. Nothing wrong with it, and I feel sorry for those that never caught the fever as they don't know what they are missing...and sorry I generally imagine those that scoff at sports being those who never got over being picked last for the dodgeball game on the playground or got notes from their mother excusing them from swim class because of a planters wart or something when the real reason was they were afraid of the water or afraid of getting teased in the showers. Its also generational...if you never played catch or went to a ballgame with your Dad then you will probably duplicate that. Thats fine, find a museum to bring them to (and it doesn't have to be in Cooperstown) and we won't scoff at that.

...and sorry I...Yes, sorry you are for having to turn a personal rationale for abstaining from the spectacle into a failing. And so it goes.

Thats fine, find a museum to bring them to (and it doesn't have to be in Cooperstown) and we won't scoff at that.
Do you need a compass to find your first? And is the imagined we, the conservative hordes you fancy yourself to be a leader of?


...I generally imagine those that scoff at sports being those who never got over being picked last for the dodgeball game on the playground or got notes from their mother excusing them from swim class because of a planters wart or something when the real reason was they were afraid of the water or afraid of getting teased in the showers...
This speaks to the failure and default position of your imagination Mr. peanut. Chock full of domination fantasy and naked boys in the showers.

Whatfur
11-04-2009, 11:34 AM
Yes, sorry you are for having to turn a personal rationale for abstaining from the spectacle into a failing. And so it goes.
Failing? No. Missing out on something that can bring additional joy to ones life. Sure. Can a museum create similar joys, sure? Do I scoff at that? No. Are others here scoffing at the rationale of sport? I think so.

Do you need a compass to find your first? And is the imagined we, the conservative hordes you fancy yourself to be a leader of?
I think YOU fancy me...cough cough...being a leader of something. I, like most conservatives here, pretty much speak for myself.

This speaks to the failure and default position of your imagination Mr. peanut. Chock full of domination fantasy and naked boys in the showers.

Sorry, I can not take responsibility for the pictures your mind wants to conjure up. I do hope those planters warts are still not causing you problems however.

nikkibong
11-04-2009, 11:53 AM
Yeah, this sums it up rather well for me. The spectacle of millionaires, imported from wherever - the "home team," as it were - gathered together by a financial entity (who has probably charged the "home" city for the right to provide a venue) to do mock battle, eliciting real feelings of competitive pride (and in the case of some sports fans I know, a primary source of personal pride and joie de vivre - for which the corporations will gladly charge a handsome sum to grant them the right to wear the corporate colors and symbols) - this baffles and depresses me.

Neighborhood teams run on shoestrings - cheering and jeering your friends and enemies - these things I understand. This soi-distante slickly packaged corporate "entertainment" mode of American pro sports seems to me a humiliation and a distraction from what's important about being a human.

I think bar fights are healthier.

Jeff, I'm going to go out on a limb here: you go to the movies occasionally, yes? If not, you surely rent. I'd imagine you've purchased a few books in your day, and watched a few television shows.

Aren't these, like sports teams, controlled by impersonal, unfeeling corporate entities? Yet, doesn't that still not detract from the product itself? (at least to a point.) The Wrestler, a movie we both liked, was put out by . . . yep, FOX. Did that detract from the excellence of the film, or the brilliance of Rourke and especially Tomei's performances?

Likewise, the Orlando Magic may be owned by something called RDV Sports, Inc. But that doesn't remove the primal joy in watching the sheer athleticism of Dwight Freakin' Howard.

graz
11-04-2009, 12:09 PM
I do hope those planters warts are still not causing you problems however.

I jus' rub a lil' peanut oil on 'em... tha's all. Thanks.
Go Yanks.

AemJeff
11-04-2009, 12:48 PM
Jeff, I'm going to go out on a limb here: you go to the movies occasionally, yes? If not, you surely rent. I'd imagine you've purchased a few books in your day, and watched a few television shows.

Aren't these, like sports teams, controlled by impersonal, unfeeling corporate entities? Yet, doesn't that still not detract from the product itself? (at least to a point.) The Wrestler, a movie we both liked, was put out by . . . yep, FOX. Did that detract from the excellence of the film, or the brilliance of Rourke and especially Tomei's performances?

Likewise, the Orlando Magic may be owned by something called RDV Sports, Inc. But that doesn't remove the primal joy in watching the sheer athleticism of Dwight Freakin' Howard.

My complaint isn't the existence of corporations, or their "impersonal unfeelingness." (I do have a generic complaint about corporations, actually; but, that's not the point here.) Do you prefer to read Milan Kundera or Terry Brooks? Aronovsky's films work, when they work, because he's making things that have a handmade aspect, unlike the work of, let's say, James Cameron or (gah!) Michael Bay,.

Pro-sports is the epitome of genericization (neologism alert!) of human experience. Why should someone from Orlando have any more reason to feel something about Howard's skills than someone in Atlanta? On what basis is that regional pride formed? Should a Philadelphian cheer the Flyers when a guy who lived in Montreal until he was hired by that club scores a goal winning the Stanley cup? In what sense aren't people being played; their deep tribal wiring exploited for the corporations who charge people wearing clothing adorned with their logos for seats in palaces built on public funds (the deals sweetened by municipal tax deals) - huge swaths of their minds colonized by a sweetened, artificially flavored, high-fat and high sodium substitute for actual feelings based on the deep-wiring of family and tribe? I have no problem with sports qua sports; or fiction, eg, as a thing produced by people with a profit motive. But when the fiction is the work of Elizabeth Hoyt, (or the music is the product of Justin Timberlake, or pick your own crud) I have a problem with the underlying cynicism. And what is more cynical, and pervasively present than the pro-sports enterprise?

nikkibong
11-04-2009, 03:15 PM
My complaint isn't the existence of corporations, or their "impersonal unfeelingness." (I do have a generic complaint about corporations, actually; but, that's not the point here.) Do you prefer to read Milan Kundera or Terry Brooks? Aronovsky's films work, when they work, because he's making things that have a handmade aspect, unlike the work of, let's say, James Cameron or (gah!) Michael Bay,.

Pro-sports is the epitome of genericization (neologism alert!) of human experience. Why should someone from Orlando have any more reason to feel something about Howard's skills than someone in Atlanta? On what basis is that regional pride formed? Should a Philadelphian cheer the Flyers when a guy who lived in Montreal until he was hired by that club scores a goal winning the Stanley cup? In what sense aren't people being played; their deep tribal wiring exploited for the corporations who charge people wearing clothing adorned with their logos for seats in palaces built on public funds (the deals sweetened by municipal tax deals) - huge swaths of their minds colonized by a sweetened, artificially flavored, high-fat and high sodium substitute for actual feelings based on the deep-wiring of family and tribe? I have no problem with sports qua sports; or fiction, eg, as a thing produced by people with a profit motive. But when the fiction is the work of Elizabeth Hoyt, (or the music is the product of Justin Timberlake, or pick your own crud) I have a problem with the underlying cynicism. And what is more cynical, and pervasively present than the pro-sports enterprise?

All fair points, Jeff, with the exception of the dig at Timberlake. That kid's got pipes - and moves!

However, I think that, in a large way, what you are seeing as a "fake" connection between fan and team is a simply result of accessibility and vicinity. For example, I live in a place where I can watch every single Portland Trail Blazers' game on television - and, occasionally, I can even go to the games. So while it seems to me that I know *objectively* that Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge are the freakin' men, I also realize that my mere familiarity with them has built a sense of loyalty. Familiarity may breed contempt; but in sports, at least, it seems also to build loyalty.

Also, don't discount the feeling of solidarity between residents of an area, solely because of the fortunes of their respective sports team. Think of it as community-forging. With the Phils in the world series, don't you sense a feeling of kindredness between the denizens of your city? Even the experience of watching a sports game in a bar with a bunch of hometown fans can breed a sense of camaraderie.

Lastly, I feel like you could make the same argument you are making regarding pretty much any object of loyalty. (And wasn't this theme touched on in a recent Percontations?) A person's feeling of affection for a sports team may be a mere social construction; but no more so than patriotism, for example. (Or even social relationships, or relationships with pets, i.e. I know the dog I grew up with is the best dog in the world.)

Your critique would make for an interesting topic in my the sports DV I hope to see soon!

popcorn_karate
11-04-2009, 03:35 PM
Justin Timberlake, or pick your own crud

i have new found respect for mr. timberlake since his duets with adam samberg on SNL. check out "dick in a box"

you kinda have to like the guy - anybody with his sense of humor is alright in my book.

AemJeff
11-04-2009, 03:50 PM
All fair points, Jeff, with the exception of the dig at Timberlake. That kid's got pipes - and moves!

However, I think that, in a large way, what you are seeing as a "fake" connection between fan and team is a simply result of accessibility and vicinity. For example, I live in a place where I can watch every single Portland Trail Blazers' game on television - and, occasionally, I can even go to the games. So while it seems to me that I know *objectively* that Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge are the freakin' men, I also realize that my mere familiarity with them has built a sense of loyalty. Familiarity may breed contempt; but in sports, at least, it seems also to build loyalty.

Also, don't discount the feeling of solidarity between residents of an area, solely because of the fortunes of their respective sports team. Think of it as community-forging. With the Phils in the world series, don't you sense a feeling of kindredness between the denizens of your city? Even the experience of watching a sports game in a bar with a bunch of hometown fans can breed a sense of camaraderie.

Lastly, I feel like you could make the same argument you are making regarding pretty much any object of loyalty. (And wasn't this theme touched on in a recent Percontations?) A person's feeling of affection for a sports team may be a mere social construction; but no more so than patriotism, for example. (Or even social relationships, or relationships with pets, i.e. I know the dog I grew up with is the best dog in the world.)

Your critique would make for an interesting topic in my the sports DV I hope to see soon!

Just to be clear, I wasn't implying that there was anything "fake" about the relationships we're talking about. Rather I'd assert that they're synthetic (manufactured, rather than organically grown, if you will) and cynically manipulated to the benefit of one side.

If I were writing a thesis, I'd propose de-professionalizing and localizing team sports - which would make them (in my opinion) more fun, more relevant to people's lives, and better, (relatively) larger, more useful parts of the communities in which they exist (and which I think they should serve, rather than [apparently] be served by.)

AemJeff
11-04-2009, 03:53 PM
i have new found respect for mr. timberlake since his duets with adam samberg on SNL. check out "dick in a box"

you kinda have to like the guy - anybody with his sense of humor is alright in my book.

I missed that, and I'll grant that growing a sense of humor goes a long way toward redeeming anyone. Sub Brittney, or Kenny G, or the Boston Pops, or any other symbol of corporatized mediocrity that appeals to your instincts.

uncle ebeneezer
11-04-2009, 04:05 PM
I saw him do some songwriter thing on VH-1 and he played several instruments (well) and put together a band that was pretty funky. So while I loathe his "stardom" I do have some respect for his talent. That said, I don't own anything he's ever recorded and wouldn't go out of my way to see him live.

claymisher
11-04-2009, 04:18 PM
Just to be clear, I wasn't implying that there was anything "fake" about the relationships we're talking about. Rather I'd assert that they're synthetic (manufactured, rather than organically grown, if you will) and cynically manipulated to the benefit of one side.

If I were writing a thesis, I'd propose de-professionalizing and localizing team sports - which would make them (in my opinion) more fun, more relevant to people's lives, and better, (relatively) larger, more useful parts of the communities in which they exist (and which I think they should serve, rather than [apparently] be served by.)

And how. I'd make them all conform to the club co-op model some teams have in Europe, exemplified by the noble and glorious FC Barcelona. I'd also get rid of the franchise system and replace it with promotion and relegation. That way your team could never move away, or threaten to move away. It might slide down three levels in the system, but it'd still be your team. In England the system goes 24 levels deep (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_football_league_system#The_system), with 140 leagues and 7,000 teams. In America we could delink college sports teams from colleges (it's a sham anyway), turn them into co-ops, and let all hell break loose.

bjkeefe
11-04-2009, 04:37 PM
First, still waiting for you to pick the bar.

[...] ... I feel sorry for those that never caught the fever as they don't know what they are missing...and sorry I generally imagine those that scoff at sports being those who never got over being picked last for the dodgeball game on the playground or got notes from their mother excusing them from swim class because of a planters wart or something when the real reason was they were afraid of the water or afraid of getting teased in the showers. [...]

From the above, I can only conclude we are hearing from someone who was the "equipment manager" for his high school football team -- given a letter for picking up socks, jocks, and towels. Or perhaps, allowed to be a bench-warmer on one of those well-funded school teams that allowed all who showed up to suit up. I see him as being in the back of a group that allowed him to tag along, hooting approvingly as the bigger ones tormented the nerds in the school hallways.

I suppose there's a small chance he actually got some playing time. In this case, I'd suspect it represented the last time he was anything close to being BMOC, and, like other people whose life peak obtained in adolescence, he has not found a way to grow out of what seemed so important back then.

Whatfur
11-04-2009, 04:55 PM
Just to be clear, I wasn't implying that there was anything "fake" about the relationships we're talking about. Rather I'd assert that they're synthetic (manufactured, rather than organically grown, if you will) and cynically manipulated to the benefit of one side.
...


I cannot speak for all sports fans (sorry graz), but I think your perspective IS coming from the outside looking in. You don't seem to have any idea whatsoever how a sports fan becomes a sports fan. For most of us it has nothing to do with the corporations running them. Actually thats quite silly. For most of us it was/is organic. It started out as you sat on the edge of a field somewhere watching the big kids play and finally being asked yourself when they needed to even up the teams. Its was playing baseball with your buddies at a local park where one had a battery operated radio that had the Twins game blaring as you tried to put your best Harmon Killabrew swing on a ball being pitched ...or running outside to play catch with a football at halftime of the Vikings game with the snow softening the blow when you dove for the ball like Gene Washington or playing boot hockey in the street with a tennis ball wrapped in electrical tape looking disgustingly at cars that drove by and crushed the snow chunks you were using as goal posts. It WAS playing catch with your father and taking that trip once or twice a year to catch a game and marvel at Rod Carew or Tony Oliva or. It was feeling those moments of adrenaline when you did connect, or catch it, or score and wondered if that is what Goldworthy felt when he did his shuffle. Not once in that development did you think about how much money you would make when you turned Pro or how much money Calvin Griffith made.

bjkeefe
11-04-2009, 04:55 PM
Pro-sports is the epitome of genericization (neologism alert!) of human experience. Why should someone from Orlando have any more reason to feel something about Howard's skills than someone in Atlanta? On what basis is that regional pride formed? [...] I have a problem with the underlying cynicism. And what is more cynical, and pervasively present than the pro-sports enterprise?

I used to live and die with my teams, way back when. I found that went away, due to the emergence of wholesale free-agency, graduating from high school (which meant an end to my chance to compete except in pick-up games), moving to different cities, having significant others who did not care for sports (or guys who watched sports), and the dawning realization that there was something faintly ridiculous about getting emotionally involved in the success (or lack thereof) of a bunch of people younger than you playing a kids' game.

That said, I still do love to watch the performance. Highly skilled athletes, particularly basketball and football players, are as beautiful to see as the finest dancers, and I still find huge drama in pressure situations, especially in baseball. After having given up watching pro sports almost entirely, I have found myself drawn back over the past few years. I guess I now think of, say, all of the NBA or all of MLB as analogous to one giant theatrical company that has groups performing in different cities. I like the end product, in any case.

I do share what you said elsewhere about the shenanigans involved in getting sports arenas built and other ways in which team owners and politicians cooperate in compelling the public to pay for something that ought to pay its own way. I also think it's sad that there are enough people willing to pay as much as they do that going to the ballpark no longer represents the cheap night out or family Saturday activity that it used to (although if one is fortunate enough to live near a minor league ballpark, this is still available). But, in the end, I just see it as another part of the entertainment business, and as with movies or music, for all its warts, it retains a lot that I value.

I think it was the great baseball writer Roger Angell who said that the perfect balance to achieve as a fan is to care passionately while the game is going on, and forget about it twenty minutes after it's over. That seems about right to me.

AemJeff
11-04-2009, 05:22 PM
I used to live and die with my teams, way back when. I found that went away, due to the emergence of wholesale free-agency, graduating from high school (which meant an end to my chance to compete except in pick-up games), moving to different cities, having significant others who did not care for sports (or guys who watched sports), and the dawning realization that there was something faintly ridiculous about getting emotionally involved in the success (or lack thereof) of a bunch of people younger than you playing a kids' game.

That said, I still do love to watch the performance. Highly skilled athletes, particularly basketball and football players, are as beautiful to see as the finest dancers, and I still find huge drama in pressure situations, especially in baseball. After having given up watching pro sports almost entirely, I have found myself drawn back over the past few years. I guess I now think of, say, all of the NBA or all of MLB as analogous to one giant theatrical company that has groups performing in different cities. I like the end product, in any case.

I do share what you said elsewhere about the shenanigans involved in getting sports arenas built and other ways in which team owners and politicians cooperate in compelling the public to pay for something that ought to pay its own way. I also think it's sad that there are enough people willing to pay as much as they do that going to the ballpark no longer represents the cheap night out or family Saturday activity that it used to (although if one is fortunate enough to live near a minor league ballpark, this is still available). But, in the end, I just see it as another part of the entertainment business, and as with movies or music, for all its warts, it retains a lot that I value.

I think it was the great baseball writer Roger Angell who said that the perfect balance to achieve as a fan is to care passionately while the game is going on, and forget about it twenty minutes after it's over. That seems about right to me.

I don't see the point of players with huge-money contracts. I'd like to see players with concrete ties to the local communities. I see the owners as parasites. I think ticket prices ought to be scaled such that families are generally able to make a day of it pretty often, if they want to. The media rights business is an abomination. The stadia are too big, too expensive, the enclosed concessions too free of healthy competition. The logo worship of a fair number of fans is embarrassing and pathetic, and I think it creates unnecessary problems for children. I think overall, the scale of the thing detracts proportionally over a certain level. (The best game I've seen in decades was the Minor League baseball team Trenton Thunder at their home park, this past spring. That's about as big as I think it should ever get.)

Blah, blah, blah, I guess, eventually. But I don't think that fixing any of these issues would hurt what you like about it, except that you might not see the likes of a Michael Jordan with quite the same frequency.

Baltimoron
11-04-2009, 05:30 PM
The spectacle of millionaires, imported from wherever - the "home team," as it were - gathered together by a financial entity (who has probably charged the "home" city for the right to provide a venue) to do mock battle, eliciting real feelings of competitive pride (and in the case of some sports fans I know, a primary source of personal pride and joie de vivre - for which the corporations will gladly charge a handsome sum to grant them the right to wear the corporate colors and symbols) - this baffles and depresses me.

Small question: isn't it true most players are not well paid? Or, at least not billionaires.

Another question: (and another can of worms) what is the effect of a career in sports on a player from youth to death. The recent news about concussions and brain damage, in which I believe it was 6% of players will experience some brain-related ailment in their post-career life, is just depressing. Did anyone see a report featuring Bob Mackie, #88 for the Colts (http://preview.tinyurl.com/ykqk2xf)? The man cannot put on a jacket and can just barel remember the name of his team. It broke my heart - the man is a legend in Baltimore.

Baltimoron
11-04-2009, 05:35 PM
On teaching days, I often take a 10-minute break to watch students play kick volleyball in the Quad. I don't pay money and sometimes I have to dodge fouls and retrieve them. Why can't people do more of this - playing and watching for free - rather than pay corporations to provide spectacle? Why can't corporations pay for parks open to all kids in cities and the police protection to make it safe?

Whatfur
11-04-2009, 05:37 PM
$400,000 MLB minumum...not sure about the others.

bjkeefe
11-04-2009, 05:40 PM
I don't see the point of players with huge-money contracts. I'd like to see players with concrete ties to the local communities. I see the owners as parasites. I think ticket prices ought to be scaled such that families are generally able to make a day of it pretty often, if they want to. The media rights business is an abomination. The stadia are too big, too expensive, the enclosed concessions too free of healthy competition. The logo worship of a fair number of fans is embarrassing and pathetic, and I think it creates unnecessary problems for children. I think overall, the scale of the thing detracts proportionally over a certain level. (The best game I've seen in decades was the minor league Trenton Thunder baseball team at their home park, this past spring. That's about as big as I think t should ever get.)

Blah, blah, blah, I guess, eventually. But I don't think that fixing any of these issues would hurt what you like about it, except that you might not see the likes of a Michael Jordan with quite the same frequency.

I can appreciate those emotions. As I said, I don't like the stadiums scams, or the price of visiting them, and I also share your sadness when observing people who place so much stock in signifying membership in a granfalloon.

However, I do not have any wish to try to restrict or otherwise change how the business of sport has worked itself out. As with many things that are pretty much market-driven, it is what it is. With the exception of the taxpayer-financed arenas nonsense -- a place I could be persuaded to spend energy opposing -- I think trying to "fix" pro sports to make it more like how some of us imagine might be ideal would end up being worse than just letting things go their own way. Trying to put a cap on ticket prices, for example, seems a thoroughly bad idea -- if nothing else, you'd just be creating another black market, with all of the unsavoriness that would bring.

There are plenty of other ways we can spend our time and our entertainment dollars -- including on watching other levels (or types) of athletic competition, and it seems to me that those who enjoy matters as they now stand should not have to suffer those who are unhappy trying to mess with what they've got. I mean, hey, if the guy next door wants to spend a couple of hundred bucks going to a Yankee game and another couple hundred to dress himself and his car accordingly, who am I to say he shouldn't?

AemJeff
11-04-2009, 05:52 PM
I can appreciate those emotions. As I said, I don't like the stadiums scams, or the price of visiting them, and I also share your sadness when observing people who place so much stock in signifying membership in a granfalloon.

However, I do not have any wish to try to restrict how the business of sport has worked itself out. As with many things that are pretty much market-driven, it is what it is. With the exception of the taxpayer-financed arenas nonsense -- a place I could be persuaded to spend energy opposing -- I think trying to "fix" pro sports to make it more like how some of us imagine might be ideal would end up being worse than just letting things go their own way. There are plenty of other ways we can spend our time and our entertainment dollars -- including on watching other levels (or types) of athletic competition, and it seems to me that those who enjoy matters as they now stand should not have to suffer those who are unhappy trying to mess with what they've got. I mean, hey, if the guy next door wants to spend a couple of hundred bucks going to a Yankee game and another couple hundred to dress himself and his car accordingly, who am I to say he shouldn't?

Different rules, different market, I think. There's no danger of these ideas being taken seriously, of course; but a different league structure would certainly have led to different mode of business.

bjkeefe
11-04-2009, 06:07 PM
Different rules, different market, I think. There's no danger of these ideas being taken seriously, of course; but a different league structure would certainly have led to different mode of business.

I suppose. But I'd also point out that there have been successful -- at least for a time -- alternatives to the establishment pro leagues of the most popular spectator sports, and there is no shortage of examples of long-term success serving more niche markets.

I guess I think of it like the movie or music business -- sure, in this country especially, those at the top of the heap get a disproportionate share of attention and money. But there really are lots of ways to see movies besides the multiplex, or to hear music besides listening to a Clear Channel-owned radio station, and though I might wish more people displayed more interest in offerings besides the latest blockbuster or newest pop star, I really don't wish, even in the abstract, for some way of making them do that.

PreppyMcPrepperson
11-04-2009, 11:07 PM
I cannot speak for all sports fans (sorry graz), but I think your perspective IS coming from the outside looking in. You don't seem to have any idea whatsoever how a sports fan becomes a sports fan. For most of us it has nothing to do with the corporations running them. Actually thats quite silly. For most of us it was/is organic. It started out as you sat on the edge of a field somewhere watching the big kids play and finally being asked yourself when they needed to even up the teams. Its was playing baseball with your buddies at a local park where one had a battery operated radio that had the Twins game blaring as you tried to put your best Harmon Killabrew swing on a ball being pitched ...or running outside to play catch with a football at halftime of the Vikings game with the snow softening the blow when you dove for the ball like Gene Washington or playing boot hockey in the street with a tennis ball wrapped in electrical tape looking disgustingly at cars that drove by and crushed the snow chunks you were using as goal posts. It WAS playing catch with your father and taking that trip once or twice a year to catch a game and marvel at Rod Carew or Tony Oliva or. It was feeling those moments of adrenaline when you did connect, or catch it, or score and wondered if that is what Goldworthy felt when he did his shuffle. Not once in that development did you think about how much money you would make when you turned Pro or how much money Calvin Griffith made.

Well put, Whatfur. For me it was going to the local park where they played baseball in the summer but kickball in the spring and fall, and where the big boys in the park only let the girls join during kickball seasons. Baseball was my favorite sport, I think, because it was inaccessible.

uncle ebeneezer
11-05-2009, 12:38 AM
...and the dawning realization that there was something faintly ridiculous about getting emotionally involved in the success (or lack thereof) of a bunch of people younger than you playing a kids' game.

Exactly. I remember when during one of the recent years Red Sox series, I was failing to get sleep and having nightmares about the Yankees winning that I realized that maybe it was a little silly to let this shit be affecting my quality of life. Don't get me wrong I'm still a fan (I had to turn the game off tonight rather than watch NY celebrate) but ultimately my life won't be altered significantly by it. Although this was a particularly rough year with two of my enemies (Lakers & Yanks) winning but then again I got my Steelers and more importantly, Obama.

popcorn_karate
11-05-2009, 06:03 PM
I'll second that sentiment.

I actually had a little moment of reverie thinking about some nights at the park as a kid playing with my friends.

thanks fur.

johnmarzan
11-05-2009, 11:22 PM
what the subject says. it's been forever!

(apologies to Jeff.)

missed opportunity to do matt yglesias-bill simmons (or henry abbott of truehoop) podcast before NBA season opener.

graz
11-05-2009, 11:33 PM
...(or henry abbott of truehoop) podcast before NBA season opener.

vs. the bloggers from http://freedarko.blogspot.com/.

uncle ebeneezer
01-18-2010, 12:18 PM
I think the perfect fan arc is to go from 1.) completely ignorant to 2.) die-hard, knowledgeable fanatic to 3.) mature viewer who realizes it's really just a game. It's at 3.) where you get to enjoy the beauty and complexity of what's going on without giving yourself a heart attack every time the Sox/Yankees/Lakers/Cowboys etc., lose. You also minimize the likelihood of getting punched by all the drunken 2.)'s out there.

Incidentally how do you do the color text trick? I wanted to do that in our discussion of the evils of liberal purple.

bjkeefe
01-18-2010, 12:39 PM
I think the perfect fan arc is to go from 1.) completely ignorant to 2.) die-hard, knowledgeable fanatic to 3.) mature viewer who realizes it's really just a game. It's at 3.) where you get to enjoy the beauty and complexity of what's going on without giving yourself a heart attack every time the Sox/Yankees/Lakers/Cowboys etc., lose. You also minimize the likelihood of getting punched by all the drunken 2.)'s out there.

Heh, yes.

Incidentally how do you do the color text trick? I wanted to do that in our discussion of the evils of liberal purple.

Let your mouse hover over the link in the post (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=146887#post146887) where I linked back to this thread. Notice the &highlight=roger+angell bit in the URL. Note also, should you try this yourself, that the location within the URL is important -- &highlight=word or &highlight=word1+word2 or &highlight=word1+word2+word3, etc., must come right before the octothorpe (hash mark, number sign, pound sign, tic tac toe thingy).

(I discovered this, if you're curious, by noticing the URLs that get constructed when using the vBulletin search tools.)

[Added] A few others may be aware that there is another way to turn text red, but I am going to ask those in the know to refrain from posting this how-to, lest this forum take on even more of an appearance of a bloodbath than it sometimes already does.