We start this week with some reader feedback.
Marcus responded to my complaints about SI arriving last last week with this comment:
The SIâ€™s always a day late on NCAA title week, because the game is late Monday night; SIâ€™s deadline is usually Sunday events. Itâ€™s been like this for about 47 straight years, which would be pretty obvious if you werenâ€™t trying so hard to be sarcastic and funny.
First of all, Marcus, thanks for reading. Now that you mention it, I do think I may have known that, even if the fact was lost somewhere in the recesses of my mind. The number 47 seems rather arbitary, though.
Your comment does not, however, change the fact that I do not like to recieve my Sports Illustrated a day late. As I said last week, it throws off my weekly schedule, and I am a big fan of routine.
Lastly, go fuck yourself.
On to this week’s issue, which is a great one. Sports Illustrated, April 19th 2010.
All of the pictures in leading off show people (or, in one case, a horse) falling down. It looks painful.Â The scorecard and it’s usual features are relatively inoffensive this week. My only complaint comes during Dan Patrick’s interview with Andy Roddick. It’s a similar complaint that I have anytime an old white person interviews Jay-Z. Just because a celebrity has a famously attractive wife, it does not give you permission to make jokes about fucking her. Every time Jay-Z appears with reporters or politicians, there is at least one “I’ll trade you this for Beyonce” comment. That’s not funny. It’s rude and creepy.Â Andy Roddick is married to Brooklyn Decker.Â That leads to this exchange between the former US Open champ and Dan Patrick:
DP:Â I was going to Wimbledon this year, but I’m not going to unless you’re winning….
AR: So your Wimbledon trip depends on me?
DP: If you’re going to be in the finals, I’ll book my trip.
AR: Deal. I’ve been playing well. In the year-to-date standings, I’m [Number] 1. I’m optimistic.
DP: If I’m there, should I sit next to Brooklyn and watch the match?
AR: [Laughs.] No, I want to keep you as far away from Brooklyn as possible.
HAHAHA. That’s funny, old man. I don’t want you to be creepy near my wife.
Onto the “Inside…” section, where I have a slight complaint. Joe Sheehan’s Inside Baseball article calls on the Twins to use bullpen by committee nowÂ that Joe Nathan is out for the year. This is an old Bill James argument that always makes sense rationally but never works in practice.Â Why not put your best reliever in the game in the 6th inning, if that’s when you need a big out?Â Because pitchers aren’t robots, that’s why. They need to prepare, and it helps for them to have some approximate idea of when they will be needed. Mariano Rivera has a routine which is designed for him to be ready for the 8th or 9th inning. If you called him in the 6th and said, I need you to get one out here, he would be lost.Â It may not make logical sense in a vacuum, but it’s the truth.
For Amy by Alan Shipnuck
As a left-handed golfer with a gut, I am a big fan of Phil Mickelson. I like to get emotionally involved when he’s headed for a big win. That was especially true during last week’s Masters. I was wrapped up in the whole dichotomy of Mickelson and his family compared to Tiger and his family. So, I figured I might shed a tear while reading the Sports Illustrated recap of the event. While it was well written and introduced some new insights into the tournament, it did not choke me up. Shipnuck delivered a solid workmanlike effort, when more could have been accomplished.
The Sure Thing by Jim Trotter
I have a confession to make. I don’t like college football. It’s at best background entertainment for me on Saturdays in the fall.Â My brother, however, is far more invested in the sport.Â This past season, we were together at our parents’ house, while Tennessee played Florida. He convinced me to watch the game, and to keep an eye specifically on Eric Berry. I was instantly impressed and decided Eric Berry was my new favorite player. I figured I would tell people about him and it would sound like I knew about college football. But, then, I was told that Berry was the consensus best player in the country, and I was just late to the party.Â Oh well,
Anyway, Jim Trotter’s profile of Berry provides some insight on the player, while doubling as a primer on the new found value that the Safety position has in the NFL.Â I walked away liking my favorite player even more, both on the field and off of it. I also left hoping he wouldn’t be drafted by Oakland and essentially vanish from the face of the Earth.
On With The Show by Lee Jenkins
Last week, I complained vociferously about Charles Pierce’s profile of Steve Nash. Former SCP contributor Dave from Brighton summed it up brilliantly in a follow up email. It felt like a dictionary threw up on me. It was a lot of fancy words that offered neither insight nor new information on a well-known athlete.
This week, Lee Jenkins achieved everything that Pierce could not. This profile of Vince Carter provides a glimpse into how the one-time “next Jordan” sees the game, which translates into his style of play.Â The story is the story, not the way it was written.
Didn’t You Used to be the Future? by Grant Wahl
Ahh, yes. This week’s “hey, here comes the World Cup,” soccer piece. But, I liked this one. I actually wondered a couple of weeks ago whatever happened to Freddy Adu. And now I know. He is a bench player in Europe.
The Weakest Links by Michael Farber
We will forgive the use of a 10 year old pop culture reference as the title for this piece. That is all we will forgive. SI’s coverage of the NHL is generally cursory at best. And this piece, about how every team has a goalie, serves as the magazine’s entire postseason preview.
Legend Before His Time by Tom Verducci
YES!!!!! A Great piece of sports journalism from start to finish. Tom Verducci, who I think struck out with his Roy Halladay profile two weeks ago, is clearly back on his game. Jason Heyward has been the story of the young baseball season, and Verducci does a great job of introducing the slugger to America. He also takes a side trip into the new culture of youth baseball and the reasons that Atlanta has become such a hotbed for major league prospects.
Arnie wins the Masters in 1964. That’s fine.
This Selena Roberts is just the WORST! Every column she writes is less relevant than the last.Â This week, she profiles one of the porn stars who had relations with Tiger Woods.
Here’s the thing, though.
I don’t want to know what porn stars or strippers think.Â No one does. If we treated them like people with souls, we would feel bad when for stiffing them on a tip even after they provide a little extra penis squeezing during a lap dance. The current system works. Don’t fuck with it.