Holidays, Heroes and Hockey Goals

Justin December 4, 2010 0

Have you finished your holiday shopping yet? I have.  I also haven’t started yet.

One of the benefits of being both Jewish* and single** is that I don’t have to buy shit for anyone.

*other advantages include hyper-intellect, unfettered access to pastrami and larger than average penis

**seriously, ladies, we have big ones. Interested? justin@sportscracklepop.com

There’s no longer any large family gathering to exchange gifts.  In fact, the closest thing we have is the five minutes on Thanksgiving when we all sit down together and try to figure out when Hanukkah starts.

This isn’t to say I didn’t get any gifts. My mom got me a scarf at Marshalls, but she probably would have done that, holiday or not.

It’s just that the entire culture of holiday shopping and bargain hunting and “making other people happy” doesn’t apply to me. I, unlike the good folks at Sports Illustrated, would not need to take next week off. And so, I wouldn’t have to put out a double issue this week.  It was probably a lot of work to write because it was definitely an effort to read. Let’s dive right in.

Sports Illustrated: December 6th, 2010

Drew Brees, Football, New Orleans Saints

PREGAME

We’ll start with a letter.

If SI’s phantom playoff scheme (Does It Matter?, Nov. 15) ever became a reality in college football, the sport’s unique regular season would be greatly diminished, similar to the way it has been in college basketball. The multiday bowl exuberance that has become a part of the college football landscape would not survive, because each playoff game would be a one-day, in-and-out business trip for the student-athletes. There would be no “bowl week” experiences for the participating teams, and many existing bowls would go out of business because all eyes would be solely on the playoff games. While it’s obvious everyone loves college football and wants to get as much out of the season as possible, the price of a playoff significantly outweighs any negligible benefits.

Bill Hancock

BCS Executive Director

Prairie Village, Kans.

And with that, The BCS has lost it’s argument. If the executive director’s best argument for keeping the BCS is that the “experience” of going to a bowl game would be ruined by moving to a playoff, then he needs to be replaced. Why wasn’t there someone in Bill Hancock’s office who stopped him from sending this retarded letter?

Next, we move to Lars Anderson’s sidebar about Oregon’s use of pictures to call plays during football games. It proves that Lars Anderson has cable. Because ESPN did this story a couple of months ago. And they did it better.

THE ARTICLES

Sportsman Of The Year: Drew Brees by Tim Layden

In my opinion, Armando Galaragga and Jim Joyce did more for sports in 18 hours than anyone else did during the entire year. That being said, I can’ really complain about the selection of Drew Brees as Sportsman of the Year. He seems to fit the bill pretty well. But, I’m slightly concerned that Tim Layden may have mistaken the Saints quarterback for an actual Saint. When will we learn? The more we build ordinary people up, the harder it is to deal when they have ordinary person problems. What happens when Brees’s contract is up and decides to sign with the Texans to end his career?

What It Means To Be Sportsman interviews by Richard Deitsch and Ben Glicksman

My overriding impression of Joe Montana has always been that he seems like a giant dummy. I think this pretty much drives that point home. While Bill Russell, Billie Jean King, Mike Eruzione and even world’s worst human Curt Schilling discuss their honors in terms of a greater world view, Montana says he was proud because it meant he had overcome back surgery.  Then he had someone else tie his step-ups for him and he went to watch a marathon of “According to Jim.”

Lights! Cam! Wham Bama! by Austin Murphy

What we’ve got here is a pretty boring wrap up of last weekend’s college football slate.  Considering that 1) everyone was home on Friday to watch the games and 2) the results were actually pretty earth shattering to the college football landscape, I would think this article would pack a bit more punch.

A Dream in The Making by Joe Posnanski

This article encapsulates all that is good and bad about Joe Posnanski.

-Good: Creative writing style, lots of interviews, well crafted prose

-Bad: Opens with a quote from literature, like most other Joe Posnanski articles, Scott Pioli is headquartered in Kansas City, like every other subject of a Joe Posnanski article, includes interviews with people who Posnanski has spent years crossing paths with instead of new sources cultivated for the piece..  like every other Joe Posnanski article.

There’s one other thing worth noting. I like Bruce Springsteen. No, I love Bruce Springsteen. He is, by far, my favorite musician. I own every album he’s ever put out, I’ve seen and read every interview he’s ever done. I have the cover of  Born to Run framed in my bedroom. But, Bruce Springsteen is not my idol.  That is because I am an adult. So is Scott Pioli. He has no excuse.

The Dirty Dozen by Lee Jenkins

I like it. I like it a lot. This was a great idea for a piece and was timed perfectly, so people could read it as they watched LeBron’s return to Cleveland.

Why We’ll Take Sidney Moncrief Over Doctor J by Joe Posnanski

You know when someone sees a movie, then says “all the good jokes were in the trailer.”  Well, SI is trying to get you excited for a book of covers by showing you the best 32 covers of all time. Why buy the book? The best parts are already right here in front of you.

That being said, I liked the way Posnanski did this piece. It humanizes the writers.

Eight Seconds by Michael Farber

I didn’t think I would like this article. It seemed like it would be too inside hockey for me. But I was wrong. It turned out to be very interesting. One thing would have helped though. Here it is:

The Boy Who Died of Football by Thomas Lake

This article just kept going and going. It was thorough and didn’t really take any sides. But, man, it was about 2 pages too long for me.

I am reminded, once again, that I hate football coaches and anyone who treats football as anything more than a sport that should be fun.

Point After by Selena Roberts

A good job here by Selena Roberts. It’s an interesting topic that’s somewhat timely, with the Tony Parker/Eva Longoria thing having just happened. Yes, Selena, I did just compliment you. Enjoy your holidays.

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