Obviously, our website has been through some struggles the past few weeks. But, we appear to back, complete with a new look.
Unfortunately, the troubles prevented me from reviewing last week’s Sports Illustrated, a problem magnified by the fact that it was the annual baseball preview issue. And that’s my favorite Sports Illustrated of the year.
But, I read it and I had some thoughts. So before we discuss this week’s SI, allow me to say a few words about last week’s.
“The Legion Of Arms” was Gary Smith’s profile of the Phillies starting rotation. He gave each pitcher a superhero name in the first few paragraphs, then repeatedly referred to the player’s by said nicknames. This was annoying, considering how unfamiliar the reader was with the new monikers. I found myself continually turning back to remember who was who. Oh well, at least he didn’t equate the signing of Cliff Lee with the death of 3 thousand people at the hands of Al Qaida.
Go ahead, ask all the Brotherly Lovers, every last one, and they’ll tell you they’ll always remember exactly where and how they found out about two events in their lives that stirred totally opposite emotions: The two airplanes striking the World Trade Center … and Cliff Lee choosing them.
Let’s move on to Jeff Greenfield’s “It Was All Just A Bad Dream.” My first thought upon turning to this article was “Is this THAT Jeff Greenfield?” Yes, it’s the former CNN and current CBS News political analyst who’s also known for having a daughter that got knocked up by CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin even though they were both married.
I did enjoy his story, which reimagined the 2003 season as if Steve Bartman never happened. And I understand it was fantasy, but a few things seemed to stick out as unneccesary. There was no reason to tie the Cubs “win” with Barack Obama. It seemed like Greenfield was trying to remind SI readers what his day job is. I also think he loses the reader when he writes about Joe Torre getting into a dugout fight with Roger Clemens and Jorge Posada getting tossed from Game 7 of the World Series for arguing a call. Both are so completely out of character for these guys that they border on science fiction. The part about God striking Kenny Lofton with lightning so the Cubs wouldn’t win the World Series? I’m ok with that.
Now, I think we’re all caught up.
Sports Illustrated: April 11th, 2011.
I’m not sure how I feel about turning the Scorecard section into an infographic sort of thing. Some of the magazine’s best writing resides in this space. But, we’re here, so let’s talk about it. Do you spend 1 hour and 45 minutes on your fantasy football team every week? That sounds like a lot. I think I spend about 20 minutes total every week. “Well, Justin, that’s why you’re so bad at Fantasy Football. HAHAHA.” Shut the fuck up, idiot. I won my league a few years back and I’m pretty decent at fantasy football. Dick.
UConn’s Drive to Survive by Tim Layden
I only saw the second half of the championship game (I was at the Yankee game Monday Night,) but, like the rest of the world, I wasn’t impressed with what I saw. And so, I was kind of dreading this long article. Luckily, it wasn’t that bad. By focusing on UConn’s season instead of its horrible championship win, Layden makes the subject compelling. The only negative that jumped out at me came during the discussion of Kemba Walker. When I heard Walker interviewed at some point last weekend, he mentioned that he was going to graduate in 3 years. That made me happy. I like when student athletes are actually student athletes. Well, that illusion was blown to bits when Walker admitted, in this article, that he’s only read one book in his entire life. And it’s not even a good one.
Going, Going… Gone? by Albert Chen
Perfectly fine. Completely unobjectionable. Nothing special.
Sixer Fixer by Michael Rosenberg
Admit it. It wasn’t the stuff about Doug Collins Rainman like recall of specific game details that shocked you most when reading this profile. It was the fact that he has multiple tattoos on his chest. That’s what blew my mind.
Vancouver Has The Best Damn Pests in The West by Brian Cazaneuve
How do you write a playoff preview before the playoff bracket is set? Also, I think I speak for all Ranger fans when I say I’m uncomfortable living in a world where Manny Malholtra is deemed a key loss to a Stanley Cup contender.
Bad Nights In The NFL by Thomas Lake
Good writing. Great Reporting. Lake does a commendable job of showing these players as complicated people as opposed to one dimensional thugs, decked out in jewelry, flashing their paychecks for all to see. That being said, I will make this prediction: Two weeks from now, Sports Illustrated will publish at least one, if not multiple, letters from white men in their late forties and early fifties which call Brandon Marshall and Javon Walker thugs and intimate that Darrent Williams was to blame for his own murder. This sentiment is wrong.
Also, that stuff about how and when to spray champagne in a club? Useful tip.
POINT AFTER by Phil Taylor
Instead of picking a topic and trying to make a creative point, Taylor consistently repackages known facts in what he believes to be “clever” ways. Not Good.