Monday, July 7, 2008
Why Do I Still Watch The Sports Reporters?
TSR is even pre-programmed onto my DVR. I have no excuse, really. Well, maybe one: I remember watching the show in its infancy back in the late '80s. Twenty years ago, we really believed that guys who asked questions like, "How did it feel to score three touchdowns?" were the only "experts" in sports and that Rafael Santana's Dominican grit was just as important as Darryl Strawberry's ability to hit a baseball.
In 2008, the death of the newspaper industry has exposed sportswriters as an insular, insecure lot who possess a comically hubristic view of their own importance…and exposed Rafael Santana, Darin Erstad and the like as spectacularly sh*tty ballplayers.
But, yes, I still watch TSR. Truth be told, I'll delete it from the DVR without watching it as often as I do watch, but occasionally there are Sundays when the wife and boy take concurrent naps, so what am I gonna do…?
Sunday's panelists were Mike Lupica, Mitch Albom and Bob Ryan. Canadian Negro John Saunders was the moderator.
Topic #1: Venus Williams wins Wimbledon - I was up early with the boy on Saturday and caught most of this contest. I always love watching the Williams sisters play each other (though I've never been even a casual tennis fan). Notwithstanding the zillion reaction shots of their mother in the stands, I enjoyed this one, too.
Of course, the discussion veers to the predictable criticism of the sisters' work ethic, conditioning, dedication, etc. Now, those of you know me know that I'm never the one to unnecessarily drag race into the discussion, but I've always thought Venus and Serena have gotten the short end of the PR stick, simply because they've chosen not to conform to the sports' standards set more than a century ago by fans and media and observers who look nothing like the Williamses.
Neither one kowtows to the press or runs from their ethnicity a la Tiger Woods or Derek Jeter and because Serena and Venus would rather diversify their personal and professional lives with acting or fashion design, they'll never be viewed as "committed" to the sport.
Like, say, Jennifer Capriati.
The whole "Serena is fat" series of articles that came out a year or two ago after a long layoff was all the evidence one needed of the racial divide between an athlete and the a-holes who cover them.
Topic #2: Is Brett Favre coming back? - Whatever. I mean, it's not like anyone didn't see this discussion coming mere moments after Favre's retirement speech was finished. However, there was the notion that Favre might come back this year with a team that wasn't the Packers.
On July 6th.
With about two months to go until the start of the season.
Topic #3: How 'bout them Rays? - Never mind that the statheads over at Baseball Prospectus (among other places) have been predicting the rise of the Rays for the last couple of years based on their phenomenal minor league system…to the mainstream media, Tampa Bay is still a "surprise". BP tagged the team as an 88-90 win squad in the preseason, but those eggheads with their VORPy-MORPy hocus-pocus and non-belief in the pixie dust of David Eckstein, are never acknowledged in the real world of press passes, fedoras and old-timey typewriters.
Why do I still watch this show?