Angry Twits, Religious Fits and Letterman Bits

Justin June 10, 2012 0

I can’t believe I’m a Twitter pussy.

It should come as no surprise to you that, in real life, I try to avoid conflict at all costs. I back away from fights. I tend to capitulate in arguments and I manage to take both sides when intervening in other people’s disagreements.

But, until this week, I didn’t realize I was like that on the internet, too.

First, a quick timeline:

1978: I am born. So is CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell.

1988: Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant opens on Central Park South in New York.

June 5th, 2012: Financial problems forces Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant to close it’s doors. The New York Post writes about it.

Here’s what happened next:

WHAT THE FUCK, JUSTIN? Way to back down in the face of a ridiculous response.

First of all, my initial tweet, written in response to Darren Rovell’s claim that he predicted the closure of Mickey Mantle’s as soon as the eatery opened, is pretty great. Yes, my math was wrong. Darren Rovell was 10 and probably in 4th or 5th grade when the restaurant opened, as opposed to being 8 and in 3rd grade. Aside from that, though, it’s a masterwork of passive aggressive internet snark. “Handicapping the long term prospects of vanity eateries?” What a turn of phrase! Great job, me.

Sadly, that is where my lyric heroism runs aground. I sent that tweet, thinking it would make my friends laugh. I did not expect Darren Rovell to respond. And I certainly didn’t expect him to respond within 2 or 3 minutes. But that’s exactly what happened. Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised. He’s somewhat famous for being a jackass with a thin skin on twitter. In fact, he responded to me while he was otherwise engaged in a separate Twitter battle with Washington Nationals closer Drew Storen, over whether or not baseball teams should play day games on getaway days.

But, Rovell responded to me quickly. And he did so by telling me he “published a baseball magazine” when he was 8. Now, that is a preposterous response from a full grown adult.

Here is a list of comebacks I could have used:

  • -Was it written on construction paper? Did you use safety scissors during the layout process?
  • -I wrote a play when I was in 3rd grade. That doesn’t mean I can go to Broadway and claim I knew the Spiderman Musical wouldn’t work.
  • -Published? You didn’t publish anything when you were 8. You typed some ideas and printed them out for your mom to read. That doesn’t make you Peter Gammons.
  • -No one cares what you said when you were 8, dummy. Predictions don’t count when they’re made on the swingset.

Or I could have dispensed with the sarcasm completely, and written a far more direct reaction:

  • Holy Shit! I can’t believe you think that’s a legitimate response. What a Jackass!

But, instead, I said, “oh. Then consider my snark redacted.”

Yes, I was taken aback by his quick response. It was a shot I didn’t see coming and it had me off balance. But, instead of taking a second to collect myself and fire back, I just fell to mat and covered my head with my gloves, hoping he wouldn’t hit me again. And I didn’t even do that well. Redacted isn’t the correct word choice. I didn’t want him to go back and use a black marker to cover up the snarky parts of my previous message. I wanted him to ignore it completely.


Sports Illustrated: June 11th, 2012

Josh Hamilton, Basketball, Texas Rangers




Here’s something new. Sports Illustrated no longer makes it’s current issue available to read online. That means I won’t be able to cut and paste direct quotes from articles as easily. Otherwise, I doesn’t really matter. I will also admit that I found this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated terribly uninteresting, so maybe it’s a relief that you can’t click and read this stuff right away.

Melissa Segura’s story about Brian Banks deserved more than just a column in the Scorecard section. This should have been a full blown, end of the magazine article. His story is one of unspeakable horror and triumphant redemption. And, for the most part, his downfall was the result of other people’s actions.

Michael Rosenberg’s a new SI hire. Before joining the magazine, he was an award winning columnist in Detroit. It seems like he was brought on to replace Joe Posnanski, who recently  left Sports Illustrated after a few years.  And, right out of the gate, Rosenberg is traveling down the same trail Posnanski blazed. His first piece in the national magazine is about a major sports figure in the city where he’s spent his entire career. But, Rosenberg’s appreciation of Niklas Lidstrom is well written. He opens with a controversial thesis, that Lidstrom has had the best career of any defenseman in history, and then immediately answers the first question any reader would have (“are you nuts? Bobby Orr is the best ever. Case closed.”) Rosenberg makes a good case and, after reading his piece, I didn’t  disagree with him anymore.


 The Curse of Bigness by S.L. Price

Price profiles Josh Hamilton. I was excited to read this article. I want to like Josh Hamilton. I want to connect to his redemption story and marvel at his athletic gifts.  But, after reading, I came away with a different opinion. Josh Hamilton is a two bit con man who cares only about himself and uses the cover of God to excuse a lifetime of horrendous behavior.  His wife is no better.  I wonder if the media will continue to genuflect in the direction of the Hamiltons after he turns his back on the franchise that has gone out of its way to help him deal with his demons and cover up his myriad misbehaviors in order to cash in on a giant payday somewhere else. And I hope like hell that payday doesn’t come from the Yankees. I don’t want to root for this guy.   Though, if he does come to New York, it will be interesting to see how his character stands up against another outspoken christian athlete. Say what you want about Tim Tebow as a football player, but by all indications, he truly walks the walk of his faith. Hamilton uses it as a get out of jail free card.

Jonathan and the Americans by Michael Farber

A few weeks ago, Farber wrote about how Russian players have bad attitudes. This week he writes about the proportionally high number of American players taking part in the NHL Finals. And while it’s interesting to hear about the different generational waves of American players, the playoffs seems like an odd time to all of a sudden get obsessed with nationality. In Farber’s defense, the first 3 games of this series between the Kings and Devils didn’t provide much to write about. Now that New Jersey is back in the series, though, I imagine next week’s article will be more matchup-centric.

Now Is The Time In Soccer When We Dance by Grant Wahl

Now is the time in Sports Illustrated when he skip an article.

The Fighter Finds Peace by Chris Mannix

Manny Pacquiao is another fraud. He did drugs. He cheated on his wife. But he found religion, and now he’s the greatest man on the planet.   He recently gave an interview, in which he said he opposed gay marriage on biblical grounds. While I disagree with that sentiment, I have no problem with someone saying what they truly believe on the issue. But, this is a guy who has publicly admitted to committing adultery. How is that not a bigger affront to the sanctity of marriage than same sex couples?  Anyway, he apparently lost his fight in a controversial decision last night. That’s fine.

Faster, Higher, Stronger by Tim Layden

  1. This is about decathletes. In honor of them, here are 1o reasons why I didn’t read this article.
  2. I can’t name the ten sports that make up a decathlon
  3. I have any interest in learning what they are
  4. None of these athletes will make any impact on my life, nor will they be covered heavily in London this summer
  5. We’re still far enough away from the Olympics that I’m not ready to focus on it just yet
  6. The only Olympic sports I care about are Basketball and Michael Phelps. Not swimming. Michael Phelps
  7. You’re just running and throwing stuff. Just come up with one thing to throw and then go run someplace. Why do you have to do ten of them.
  8. Decathlons have a points system I’m not interested in learning how to track.
  9. None of these guys have any discernible personality.
  10. Remember Dan and Dave? Yeah, neither do I

Point After by Phil Taylor

Just so dumb.


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