Musical Noise, Preternatural Poise and Athletes’ Boys

Justin February 4, 2013 0

Thank god that’s over.

Two weeks between playoff rounds is a long time.  It gives the media covering the Super Bowl time to get creative with the angles they want to highlight, then beat those creative angles to death until none of us want to hear about them ever again. I’m thrilled to say good riddance to the sibling rivalry between Jim Harbaugh and John Harbaugh and happy to give a final goodbye to Ray Lewis’s final goodbye.

I’d like to make one more request while I’m at it though.

Can we all finally admit that New Orleans Jazz is bad?

It’s just a cacophony of noise with only the barest sense of pattern or melody. It’s loud and brassy and lacks any nuance. Do you want to know why New Orleans funerals are considered celebrations instead of somber goodbyes? It’s because none of the musicians know how to play anything quiet or somber.

Just play your normal intro music, networks. Just because you’re in New Orleans, it doesn’t mean you have call some blind piano player with a French name to come in and play his own interpretation of your theme song. And stop doing your panel discussions in front of “Jazz Brunch.” WE CAN’T HEAR WHAT YOU’RE SAYING OVER THAT GODDAMNED TROMBONE!

I’m glad that New Orleans has been able to survive and thrive over the last decade. The trip I made there is one of my favorite vacations ever. There is a ton of great stuff about the city. The food is amazing. The party attitude is infectious. Ladies flashing their boobies for worthless plastic baubles is awesome. But the music sucks.

Yes, Katrina was bad. But why do the rest of us have to suffer?

Sports Illustrated: February 4th, 2013

Ray Lewis, Football, Baltimore Ravens



Let’s start with a letter to the editor, from an idiot.

Terry Francona may very well be correct in his comments about the Red Sox ownership and how badly it ended for him, but I want to know why he suddenly lost touch with his players. Why didn’t he talk about the reasons he let the team get so far out of control and why he was unable to get them back on track and back to caring about winning?

Bob Plotkin, Longmeadow, Mass.

Because it was a book excerpt, moron. I would be willing to bet that Terry Francona answers all of your questions in the other hundreds of pages that he wrote about his time with the Red Sox.


The Maddest Two Minutes in Sports by Austin Murphy

Murphy looks back at the history of close finishes in Superbowl history, ostensibly to spark a discussion of whether Joe Flacco or Colin Kaepernick are capable of leading their teams to win in the most pressure filled situation in sports. Instead, he rehashes the exact same stories we’ve heard time and again about famous final drives. Enough with the Joe Montana-John Candy story. It happened almost 25 years ago. It’s not new to anyone who cares enough about sports to read Sports Illustrated.

In The Fields of The Lord by Mark Oppenheimer

Good idea. Badly executed. Oppenheimer wants to tackle the issue of Christian football players reconciling their beliefs with the realities of a sport which demands physical domination over others. But, he gets so bogged down in details that he fails to make an argument one way or the other.

Cry Havoc and Let Slip The Dogs of Hoops by Luke Winn

Luke Winn writes about Shaka Smart’s defensive philosophy at VCU. After reading the article, I want to watch a VCU game. So, that’s a win for Mr. Winn.

In The Line of Fire by Grant Wahl

Article about a soccer player who has had a tough life or some such garbage. SKIP

Echoes Awoken by Albert Chen

A profile of the sons of David Robinson and Torii Hunter, who will both play football at Notre Dame next year. I find it somewhat distressing that David Robinson admits that he hated basketball until he got to the NBA. He just saw it as a means to an end. His son feels the same way about football. Meanwhile, Hunter’s son has chosen football over baseball because he wants to earn a scholarship.  Why are either of these kids on scholarship? Their father’s have earned hundreds of millions of dollars. Why can’t they forgo the free education so a kid who comes from a less privileged background gets the chance to attend Notre Dame? I’m not saying they should give up their roster spots. But it would be nice if they paid their own way.

One more thing. In case you were wondering, as I was, this is not the Torii Hunter son who was accused and then cleared of raping a teenage girl over the summer. That was one of his other sons. I googled it so you don’t have to.

Snake Oil For Sale by David Epstein and George Dohrmann

I’ll be completely honest. Whenever I see that David Epstein and George Dohrmann co-authored a story in Sports Illustrated, I know it’s going to be a well reported, well researched and journalistically sound piece that breaks down a serious issue in sports. And I also know that I won’t enjoy reading it. I’m happier using deer antler spray as a weird punchline for the two weeks after the article coms out than I am finding out the true story behind it.

Point After by Jeff Descovic

I think I’ve been pretty upfront about my liberalism. I’m as left as you can get on about 99.9% of the issues on the political spectrum. My one philosophical outlier, though, is prisoner rights. Yes, I feel bad that this guy was wrongly convicted and spent 16 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. And yes, I support the Innocence Project’s efforts to free people like him. But, I do not care one iota about conditions inside prisons. I don’t care if the inmates have good food or access to recreation or even warm socks. Jail should suck as much as possible.



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