Second Chances, Second Seasons and Second Servings

Justin January 7, 2011 0

Let’s talk about this Ted Williams motherfucker.

Not the baseball star/ American hero. The other Ted Williams. The drunken crackhead with the pleasant speaking voice who has captured our idiot nation’s collective imagination this week.

What’s the deal, guys?

I don’t begrudge anyone the opportunity to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and get a fresh start on a life that has clearly taken a few tough turns over the years. In fact, I applaud this guy for seeing an opportunity and making the most of it.

My problem is with everyone else. The Cleveland Cavaliers offered him a job. NFL Films says they’re interested. NBC News even had the guy re-record the Today show voice overs the other day (I won’t even get into the myriad questions that raises about the peacock’s journalistic code of ethics.)

What do these firms really know about this guy? He is a man with a nice voice and a criminal rap sheet a mile long. How do they know he’s really reformed? What if he’s lying? How long until the Cavs are answering questions about why they hired a guy with no resume who subsequently committed another crime or got caught doing drugs in the bowels of Quicken Loans Arena?

And what about the thousands of unemployed broadcasting professionals out there who haven’t had the good fortune to spiral headfirst into the horrors of drug addiction? Are they not qualified for these jobs simply because they’ve never lived under a bridge?

I’m actually pretty disgusted by this naked corporate attention grab aimed at garnering positive headlines while the news cycle is still fresh.  These companies all deserve whatever bad news ends up coming to them.

Also,  I think it be funny if Ted Williams decided not to take the job with the Cavs and instead takes a lesser position in Miami.

Sports Illustrated: January 10th, 2011

THE PREGAME:

When did it become acceptable to publicly badmouth a parent who’s recently lost a child to suicide? It’s a trick question. I already know the answer.  IT NEVER BECAME ACCEPTABLE TO DO THAT. It’s sick. What’s the matter with people? Four letters to the SI editor were published this week in reference to the article about Erica Blasburg’s death. Two of them called her grieving father a monster. A third took issue with the man’s contention that girls are less competitive than boys.

First of all, I didn’t get that impression from the article. Her father came off as a man who regretted the mistakes he had made as a parent and who, maybe, is grasping at straws in an effort to find someone to blame. He lost a daughter. I think he has the right to at least do that.

THE ARTICLES:

Purple Power by Austin Murphy

This article is not very long at all. And thank god for that. The Rose Bowl sounds like it was an exciting game. I didn’t watch. First, I forgot it was on. Then, when I remembered it was on, I couldn’t figure out what network it was airing on. Turns out, the Rose Bowl was on ESPN. Anyway, it seems like Sports Illustrated realized they had to include a college football article in this week’s issue, but didn’t feel like doing any heavy lifting. This is the end result of that decision. A perfectly fine article that you will completely forget by the time you turn the page.

Talk of the Town by George Dohrmann

What struck me most about this profile of St. John’s basketball coach Steve Lavin is how little mention of St. John’s it featured. You would think a coach trying to rebuild a once legendary program would try to steer a reporter towards building up what he’s trying to accomplish or at least put the journalist into a position where he has to mention the school as part of the background color. But, Lavin was interviewed in California and was surrounded by his former players from UCLA the whole time. In fact, St John’s is only mentioned once, in passing, on the first page of this article. Seems like a missed opportunity to me.

NFL Playoff Preview by Peter King and SI Staff

I have two observations about this article. One large and general and one very specific.

We’ll start big. I hated the format choice here. Individual team scouting reports are great before the season starts, but they make no sense before the Postseason.  The opponents are set. It doesn’t make sense to write a generic “how you beat the Eagles” article when what’s really called for is a “Here’s what the Green Bay Packers, specifically, should do if they want to beat the Eagles.”

My second criticism is aimed specifically at Peter King, though he may actually be a victim of circumstance here.The playoff predictions piece he kicked this package off with and the Patriots scouting report which followed on the next page are nearly identical. There are multiple arguments he makes in the first piece that are repeated in the one that immediately follows. Here are two of them:

-The only way the Pats will lose is if it’s a 2007 Giants level upset. But that won’t happen

- The Pats are the NFL’s latest dynasty, following in the footsteps of the 1980’s 49ers.

Attack of the Space Eaters by Tim Layden

This was a fun article.  I’m wary of saying too much about these fat guys while I sit here with the large pizza I just ordered… for only me. It was heartening to read that all of the guys profiled acknowledge that their size could be an issue later in life, and they all seem committed to doing something about it when the time comes. And kudos to Tim Layden for not making this five pages of pratfalls, fat jokes and biggest loser references. Many of his SI colleagues would.

Point After by Joe Posnanski

Urban Meyer seems like a dick. Always has. Joe Paterno seems lovable. Always has.  This column is fine, but you should go read this on Joe Posnanski’s blog. It’s more thought provoking.

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