Skipping Class and Playing Video Games

Justin April 24, 2010 1

Was there a second secret NCAA championship game Monday night?  Did the world decide the Butler story was so great that it had to end with them winning a national title, so they replayed the game but didn’t tell me?

I pose these queries because my Sports Illustrated once again arrived a day late this week, and when I mentioned it previously, commenter Marcus called me names and told me the magazine always comes a day late on the week of the National Championship game. Then he impugned my character.

Well, guess what Marcus. I KNOW the answer to my previous questions. NO and NO! Sports Illustrated arrived late this week because it arrived late this week. There are no excuses.

You owe me an apology.

On to the Magazine.  Sports Illustrated April 26, 2010

Sam Bradford, Football, Oklahoma Sooners

PREGAME

Let’s begin with a letter from Dennis O’Bayley of Castro Valley, California.

Halladay is a great pitcher, but to call him the best in baseball is off the mark. The Giants’ Tim Lincecum has won the past two National League Cy Young Awards.

Allow me to break down this argument.  Tim Lincecum is clearly a better player than Roy Halladay because he has been named the best performer in a pool of candidates which does not include Roy Halladay.  You might as well say “The Beatles may be a great band, but to call them the best is off the mark. Meryl Streep has been nominated for many Oscars.”

Next, a letter from Robbie Broad of Barrie, Ontario.

They may boo Santa Claus in Philadelphia, but they won’t be booing Roy Halladay.

In this case, I have no problem with Robbie Broad. My problems is with the editors of Sports Illustrated and the rest of the population of Earth. Was this really one of the top letters received this week?  That’s sad. Come on, Earth, pick up your game.

THE ARTICLES

A Shoulder to Lean On by Damon Hack

We’ll break this down into two parts.

1. The article about Sam Bradford.

2. The NFL Draft preview

Damon Hack’s article about Sam Bradford was fine. Nothing great, but it certainly got it’s job done. One thing stood out though,

His college career now clearly at an end, Bradford underwent surgery and embarked on a nine-week rehabilitation program at the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Gulf Breeze, Fla., the longest stretch he’d spent away from home. Living alone, Bradford sent text messages back to his family and friends by the dozen, and wondered if his arm would ever be the same.

This injury happened at the end of October, during the college football season. Wasn’t Sam Bradford in college? How did he just pick up and go to Florida for nine weeks? The NCAA is a fucking joke.

As far as the NFL draft preview portions of the article, ehhh. How can you list the great quarterback drafts of all time but not include 2004? Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Scumbag Mcbathroomrape are a pretty good triumvirate of signal callers.  Also, I am going to propose a ban on NFL mock drafts while Al Davis is still alive. It’s useless to try to predict what’s going to happen when the ramblings of a crazy person affect the fortunes of so many others.

No Time Like the Present by Albert Chen

We’ll begin at the end.  Here is the last sentence of Albert Chen’s piece on Reds rookie Mike Leake

The Strasburg world premiere has to wait. For now, the stage belongs to Mike Leake.

It’s an interesting sentiment. Yet, it’s completely nullified by the body of the article, which focuses almost entirely on the Nationals decision not to let Strasburg start the season in the big leagues. Mike  Leake is one of only 10 starting pitchers to skip the minor leagues. Would have been interesting to learn a bit more about him, and not the thought process of Nats GM Mike Rizzo.

That Sinking Feeling by Austin Murphy

NHL Hockey Coverart.pngDo you remember the first edition of EA Sports NHL hockey for Sega Genesis. It came out the same year that the San Jose Sharks joined the NHL. After playing the game for a few months, every competent 13 year old was able to figure  out the deke move which meat automatic goals. So, you won the Stanley Cup with your favorite team, then you played 20 minutes no goalies to see how high you could run the score. Finally, you decided to win the Cup with San Jose.  Even the people at EA Sports knew this was a great accomplishment. When it happened, in addition to seeing your players skate around with the cup like you did when you won with another team, the scoreboard said ‘The Fierce Fish Win the Cup!!” It was special.

Nearly twenty years later,  that graphic remains a pipe dream in San Jose. Austin Murphy highlights the franchise’s history of playoff disappointments, while saying out loud (actually putting in print) the thought that everyone in Silicon Valley has in the back of their minds.. “It’s going to happen again this season”

Just Like I Drew It Up by Lee Jenkins

Over the years, the difference between SI and the Sporting News was the characters. SI produced amazing profiles of the people who inhabit the sports universe. The Sporting News was essentially the journalistic equivalent of drawing up a play. It was nuts and bolts.

Lee Jenkins piece about NBA timeouts is a Sporting News article masquerading as an SI style profile.

Togetherness by L. Jon Wertheim

Here’s an interesting fact, The L in L Jon Wertheim stands for “longform articles about tennis that I’m not particularly interested in reading.” That may not be true, but his wikipedia page doesn’t include the actual truth, so I’m going to make an assumption.  I’m also going to reveal something else.  Twins who dress alike are only cute for the first 5 years. After that, it’s creepy as hell. And if you become prominent adult twins and still do it? That is Gross.

POINT AFTER

Phil Taylor writes about underclassmen leaving school early and makes a similar point to the one I made about Sam Bradford earlier. Only, I didn’t have the forethought or creativity to write in the form of a letter FROM THE FUTURE!!! (The future, Conan?)  When is it Chris Ballard’s turn to write the back page column again? I miss him.

One Comment »

  1. DoucheyMcgee April 27, 2010 at 12:29 pm -

    Maybe Marcus is your mailman. That would explain the late delivery and why your Sports Illustrated smells like urine.

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