Swampy Pants, Scary Dudes and Miserable Hacks

Justin August 6, 2010 2

Let’s talk about my balls.

More accurately, let’s talk about the 10 square inch pocket of air that exists between my balls and my pants. It’s pretty humid in there. AND I DON’T LIKE IT ONE BIT.

This summer has been fucking miserable.  It’s hot and it’s humid and every day is worse than the last. You know it’s bad when you get out of the shower and you’re sweating before you’re done toweling off.

Every morning, I leave the house and head for work, dressed like the young urban professional that I’d like to be. But by the time I arrive at the office, I look like the bald, aging and sort of overweight man that I am. The sweat is just pouring from the top of my head like a waterfall.

Which brings us back to my balls. They generate a remarkable amount of heat in this weather. And it’s not a dry Arizona heat. It’s an Amazonian rain forest you would need scuba certification to blow me kind of heat. And it all gets trapped in that pocket of heavy denim or gabardine or cotton or whatever the fuck pants are made out of.  And it makes me uncomfortable and sucks the life out of me to the point that I’m exhausted before I even get to work in the morning.

No wonder Sports Illustrated took a week off.

Sports Illustrated: August 2, 2010

Stan Musial, Baseball, St. Louis Cardinals

PREGAME

Newspapers refer to Fridays as take out the trash day. That’s when politicians and organizations release all the information they have to make public but don’t want anyone to read. The idea is that no one reads the paper on Saturday morning. I get a similar feeling from looking through the first half of this magazine. The staff was trying to get away for vacation, so everyone just finished up a bunch of half-thought out ideas and published them as a number of “Inside…” pieces. Especially useless is the fantasy football preview. This was written two weeks before training camp. What’s the point of that? In general, I don’t like when mainstream media sources focus on fantasy sports. But, for god’s sake, if you’re going to do it, don’t be so fucking haphazard about it. Either do a good job or leave it alone. GET OFF THE FENCE.

THE ARTICLES

(Ed. note: There’s no way to touch on every single person profiled in the Where Are They Now issue. Some people may get skipped during this review.)

Stan Musial by Joe Posnanski

I think it’s time to make this rule official. If you want a Midwestern baseball star profiled, you must hire Joe Posnanski to do it.  He just gets it. No one else can so successfully tapsinto that humilty mixed with passive aggressive jealousy about being overshadowed by people on the coasts that defines the Midwestern ethos quite like Joe. After reading this, I want to go to St Louis and hug Stan Musial.

Jerry Tarkanian by Selena Roberts

I do not want to hug Jerry Tarkanian. Because if I did, I think he would pee a little bit. At least, that’s what Selena Roberts tells me.

Tark’s table is near the bathroom. He goes a lot. The man is 79, with 80 looming on Aug. 8.

Thanks for that.

I’ve always been somewhat leery of Tarkanian. I enjoyed watching his UNLV teams as a kid, but he seemed like a scumbag. Still does.

Caddyshack by Chris Nashawatay

A few months ago, I watched a two hour special on the Biography channel about the making of Caddyshack. As a result, this article included absolutely nothing new for me. But focusing on Caddyshack does give me an excuse to share this amazing interview that Bill Murray gave to GQ about a month ago.

He refers to Seinfeld as “that Larry David show,” He says the only Judd Apatow movie he’s ever seen was Celtic Pride, and admits that the only reason he did Garfield was because he mistakenly thought it was written by the Coen Brothers. It’s honest and clueless and brilliant all at once.

Mike Tyson by Pablo S. Torre

Here’s my Mike Tyson story:

A couple of months ago I was walking down Spring Street in SoHo. A couple of feet ahead of me was a black couple. As I was walking I thought to myself, “Wow, that guy has a face tattoo like Mike Tyson.” About a minute later, I revisited that thought, but updated it. “Wow, that guy IS Mike Tyson.”

At this point, I was about an arm’s length from him and we were both stopped at the corner. I reached down into my pocket, pulled out my phone, and tried to stealthily set up the camera. I got Iron Mike in focus and moved my finger over the shutter. But, then I remembered that Iphone’s make a noise when they snap a picture. And I reconsidered. What if hearing the shutter snap sets this guy off. He could kill me. And that’s not a conjectural, “oh, I was worried he would knock me out,” sentiment. I was legitimately concerned that this man with well known mental issues would end my life. And so, I put the camera away.

Reading this profile of a man who is clearly locked in a minute to minute battle with a multitude of emotional demons, I think I made the right choice.

Heads of the Draft Class by Phil Bencomo, Dan Greene, Rebecca Shore, and Rebecca Sun

An interesting idea but the subjects didn’t cooperate. Every former professional athlete is either a coach or a “financial planner”/ real estate developer. “Financial Planner” really means some firm sets them up with an office and brings clients in to shake their hands. I would rather read about guys who have entered unusual fields or fell off the face of the Earth. Successfully transitioning into a post athletic life is great for these guys, but does nothing for the reader.

Roy Firestone by Lee Jenkins

A kid I went to college with was Roy Firestone’s nephew. I don’t remember the kid’s name, I can’t picture his face and his personality made zero permanent impact on me. But I remember him telling me Roy Firestone was his uncle. I also remember thinking that, logically, I should be impressed by that. Roy Firestone seemed like a guy I should look up to. He was one of the most successful sports journalists of all time.  But, deep in my gut, I didn’t give a shit that this was Roy Firestone’s nephew because, deep in my gut, I didn’t give a shit about Roy Firestone. “Up Close” was a boring show and he was a boring TV personality.  Am I surprised that he can’t get a job now? No. This article tries to blame the new generation of “look at me” broadcasters for Firestone’s current situation. But, the truth is, Firestone was a big nothing. He was wallpaper. Always there to look at but never much to think about.

Teddy Dupay by Ben Reiter

WHAT A CREEP! “I want to coach your children.  Oh, by the way, I’ve dedicated my life to the legalization of pot. And I’m such a creep that I call it Canibus, because I think it makes me sound clinical, when in reality it just makes me sound like an idiot.”  Also, there’s no way Billy Donovan still speaks to this guy. He’s lying when he says they keep in touch. If they did, Donovan wouldn’t have refused to comment for this story.

Now, a sidenote about the sidebar. I have no memory of more than half these guys and their “big shots” that sent early round games into overtime 10 years ago.

Michele Kwan by Andrew Lawrence

Skipped it

Anthony Sandoval by David Epstein

Skipped it

Jason McElwain by Elizabeth McGarr

I’m going to be very careful in how I write this. I’m not sure exactly where on the Autism spectrum Jason McElwain lands, but if he’s advanced enough to help coach youth basketball games.. He should know that he was being a ballhog during that game.

Where Will They Be?

I find this part of the “Where Are They Now?” issue unnecessary every year. I don’t want to read about kids I won’t remember who are 5 or 6 years away from actually mattering. They belong in the  Faces in The Crowd section of your magazine that I skip every week. That being said, STOP INCLUDING SNOWBOARDERS!!!! It’s been a decade. That shit’s not catching on with mainstream Americans. Just give it up already. It was a marketing ploy that failed. My deodorant is not eXtreme and neither is sports.

POINT AFTER by Phil Taylor

This started out ok, though it seemed a bit strange that Taylor decided to write about the batting stance guy two years after he appeared on ESPN, Comedy Central, late night TV and every single website on the internet. But, then I read this line:

But generally, young fans don’t pretend to be their favorite ballplayers as often as previous generations did.

HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT? “Kids these days…” SHUT THE FUCK UP! YOU ARE A FUCKING MISERABLE HACK WRITER!

2 Comments »

  1. Jump Shooter August 9, 2010 at 3:44 am -

    I blame myself. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that you had some wit as a writer and since then you’ve shown no hint of it. Maybe there’s just too much pressure to live up to my minor compliment. Last week, or whenever it was, you opened with two examples of what you thought was your cleverness, and actually they were just examples of you being a dick. Now you open with a senseless intro about your sweaty balls, and then have the nerve at the end of this review to call someone ELSE a hack writer. Incredible.

    The rest of the review is decent enough. You make some good points about the autistic kid and about how all those NCAA tourney heroes aren’t memorable at all. But then you go and spoil it all with the nonsensical rant on the Point After. In the first place, the guy didn’t write about Batting Stance guy, he quoted him in a story on reminiscing about players we used to imitate. It would have been strange if he HADN’T mentioned the most well-known mimic out there. Then, his saying that kids don’t do it as much these days sets you off, like he’s totally off base to say that? It’s just a fucking observation, and an obvious one. Does he have to conduct a nationwide survey to make that statement? The things you object to (and some of the things you like, for that matter) are so random as to make your opinions meaningless. But keep writing. These reviews are very amusing, although not for the reasons you think.

  2. Douchey Mcgee August 9, 2010 at 1:55 pm -

    It’s like this guy knows you or something. He probably also knows that you can solve your sweating in your shower problem by TURNING ON YOUR AIR CONDITIONER!!!! Seriously dude.

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