02.28.06

Human Whoopee Cushion Vs. Vescey

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down, Sports Journalism, Will Leitch Sucks at 6:55 pm by

The New York Post’s Peter Vescey is Will Leitch’s latest nominee for “Your Hometown Columnist Sucks”, a pretty rich concept considering that a “columnist” in Leitch’s own hometown would be the person who transcribes the cinema start times.

Writes Will,

is Vecsey at least funny? You tell us: “Following his 1-for-16 misadventure in Game 1 against the Sonics, Mike Bibby, desperate to figure out his shooting problem, drove to the nearest Wendy’s to see if its employees could put their finger on it.” Um, what?

Admittedly, that’s not even close to Vescey’s best line. But still funnier than anything you’d find in a month of reading Deadspin.

Though hardly above reproach, Vescey is the guy who suggested that Pat Riley stopped talking about “The Disease Of Me” and switched to “The Disease Of Thee” when he noticed Madonna was sitting courtside. The same Vescey that labelled the Daily News’ Filip “King Kong Bondy” and was tearing into Will’s pet Stephen “Anal” Smith when Deadspin was just a twinkle in Nick Denton’s eye.

Some other recent classic gems from Vescey’s “Hoops Du Jour” :

Georgia™s runaway bride, Jennifer Wilbanks, has been indicted for filing false statements and false police reports. She faces up to six years in the pokey, or, if the judge really wants to stick it to her, six Hawks home games.

John Stockton, by the way, returned to the Delta Center Wednesday night at the Jazz unveiled an eight-foot statue of him outside the arena. The statue inside the arena is known as Carlos Boozer.

After eyeballing Sunday™s 64-62 eyesore (the Pistons won despite missing each and every one of 15 field goal tries in the fourth quadrant) Larry Brown announced he was going in for additional hip surgery. He denies he has any intentions of switching hospitals.

Michael Olowokandi finally earned his Timberwolves keep by provoking Nene into a fist-fight, the way it was meant to be, mano-a-mano instead of mano-a-fanatico. Both received the same four-game sanctioned sentence and we all know who came out ahead on that score. The Crying Wolves, who hosted Toronto last night, have dutifully improved on this Kandi-free diet, winning that game in Denver and the next vs. the frontcourt-less Blazers.

This just in: So it shouldn™t be a total loss, Latrell Sprewell petitioned David Stern to turn over Olowokandi™s paychecks to his near starving family.

Say this much about Darko, his team has made the playoffs both of his seasons. Joe Dumars deserves a lot of credit for for not trading up and taking LeBron James.

David Stern™s league, chock full of provocatively dressed and undulating dance teams, has banned players from listening to music during pre-game warm-ups. Vince Carter and others got the word iPods are not part of the NBA™s standard uniform and thus cannot be worn.

Carter, who received the iPod as a gift for being the only person not attacked at the Vibe awards, is appealing Stern™s fearless ruling.

Donald Stern and Mark Cuban have worked out a deal re fines. In the future, any money collected from the owner will be used to bribe people to watch his next show.

Kobe made a point of thanking the Clippers for their interest when the Lakers played them during preseason, but, œlike I always say, no means no.

As far as I can tell, Vescey’s biggest sin is that he’s far more skilled at disembowling ESPN and TNT’s on-air talent, than our Man from Mantoon.

15 Responses to “Human Whoopee Cushion Vs. Vescey”

  1. Seitz says:

    Alright, I’ve really got no dog in this fight, but I must have missed what pisses you off so much about Wil Leitch.

  2. GC says:

    Other than the fact he totally sucks, nothing whatsoever.

    But in all seriousness, this isn’t a matter of pissing me off, S. In this particular instance, he’s singled out one of the funnier characters in the world of hoops journalism. So a big percentage of Poison Pete’s predictions turn out to be bogus — you’d prefer to have Wayne Root covering the NBA? The guy knows the game, goes after nearly everyone you can think of (usually doing a far better job of kneecapping some of Leitch’s fave targets than Will himself can muster), admits when he’s goofed and is quick to credit his readers with lines he didn’t come up with himself. In short, he’s the anti-Leitch.

    I did, however, read a DS comment from someone who claims to have been a former neighbor of Vescey’s. Apparently, he’s “a jerk”.

    Me, I’ll take the jerk over the guy who can’t write his way out of a paper bag.

  3. Nick Stone says:

    Between the casual homophobia and the regular jibes about the intelligence of prominent black athletes, I can think of a lot worse things to call Will Leitch than “jerk”. Another measure of the man was his appearance on Baseball Prospectus radio a couple of months ago, where he “justified” the mission of deadspin. Previously, athletes were getting an undeserved free ride, because their private lives weren’t being subject to the same ridicule and scrutiny as other celebrities. But luckily deadspin has come along to level the playing field.

  4. GC says:

    “Previously, athletes were getting an undeserved free ride, because their private lives weren’t being subject to the same ridicule and scrutiny as other celebrities.”

    So why aren’t the folks behind On The DL being interviewed, then?

    Just so long as the professional bloggers aren’t subject to scrutiny, everyone should stay happy and entertained. It’s only those nasty old fuckers on the TV and in the newspapers that deserve to get slayed.

  5. Ed Batista says:

    Gerard, I think Nick Stone was backing you up–his description of Deadspin’s mission seems fairly sarcastic to me.

    Speaking of Leitch, I initially found your criticism confounding, but I’m becoming more sympathetic. I still think he does some good work, but the number of sophomoric, nyuk-nyuk posts seems to be increasing. You’d probably say it’s his true colors showing through, although I suspect it’s an attempt to find/pander to a larger audience. Either way, it’s disappointing.

    That said, we’re going to have to agree to disagree on Vecsey. Even the quote you selected to highlight his sharp wit drop like stones. I expected to hear a rim shot after each line.

  6. GC says:

    Ed,

    I concur — I think Nick was right on the money. I was just echoing him, echoing me. hellooooooooooooooo

    re : Vescey. Suffice to say, we don’t share the same sense of humor. But I should add that P.V.’s column is not without actual basketball insight.

    As far as Deadspin is concerned, if the Screech is slipping, I’d point a finger at On The DL. Surely those folks and their digital camera can kick it up a notch — there’s traffic levels to maintain!

  7. Issa says:

    Uh, as a close personal friend of Nick’s and a fan of both blogs under consideration, I would just like to say for the record:

    a) Peter Vecsey is indefensible. To me this is a priori or at the very least prima facie. I don’t understand people who disagree in this case.

    b) For a blogger whose posts consist essentially of one to two pithy sentences + a link to say that a truly gifted humorist “can’t write his way out of a paper bag” while misspelling “whoopee cushion” — along with jazz one of the great American contributions to world culture — is just plain sad.

    c) Politics and humor rarely line up.

    d) Matador is responsible for a goodly portion of my lifetime record budget.

    There you go.

  8. GC says:

    Issa,

    sorry about the spelling errors. Kicking the crap out of “a truly gifted humorist” is very draining, mentally and physically.

    Seems a shame that he can’t use some of those gifts on his blog though. Unless knowing how to read his own email, relentless self-promotion and having the ethics of a snake is your idea of a gift. In which case, please don’t send me anything at Christmas time.

    re : Vescey. Apparently, a nerve has been touched. More than a few persons have written in to proclaim Pete either a very bad man, a poor writer or both. I find his stuff consistently entertaining and will take his contributions to popular discourse over those of Mr. Leitch any day of the week.

    I do, however, appreciate your acknowledgement that CSTB features a pithy sentence or two and I’m hopeful that in the near future, that total will approach — maybe! — three or four per post. You know, stuff like “fuck you very much”

    “Politics and humor rarely line up”.

    Yeah, it must be impossible to be funny without going after the most obvious, most shat-on targets on earth. I don’t know how people who are actually funny manage this.

    “Matador is responsible for a goodly portion of my lifetime record budget”

    That’s terrific. And on a similar tip, films and tele-dramas staring the lovely Kathryn Harrold are amongst my favorites.

    If you consider that information to be utterly useless and completely off-topic, you’re 100% correct.

  9. Issa says:

    My apologies for the criticism of your blogging style. I just wish you would write more and quote less, because I like your writing. It seems like your distaste for Leitch has some sort of personal background to it that isn’t public information. Vecsey I’ll never understand but to each his own.

  10. GC says:

    “I just wish you would write more and quote less”

    thank you. Copyright holders around the globe echo your sentiments.

    There’s no personal background to the Leitch-thing, though he did suggest in The Black Table that perhaps he’d done it with a ex of mine (ha, ha). It’s all based on the content of his work, if not his character. If you find that portion of CSTB to be kinda overwrought and/or played out…your refund check is in the mail!

    best wishes
    GC

  11. Issa says:

    Fair enough — though I’m impressed that you manage to get so worked up about it. If I required my sports commentary to match my politics I would have given up on the whole enterprise a long time ago. Perhaps that’s the soft bigotry of low expectations? Dunno.

    regards,
    Issa

  12. Andrew says:

    Yeah, I can’t help but agree with Issa- this seems very personal. Or is it jealousy that deadspin has become so popular? It’s more than just professional criticism. But if you’re talking about guys who can’t write, how about Vecsey? The guy just puts out a couple lame one-liners and relates unsubstantiated rumors and calls it a day. Whether he’s on tv or in print, the guy’s a windbag. And if you ever read the article in SI about 10 years ago about him, his brother and their family history, you’d understand why the guy’s a miserable person who just bad mouths people. I mean, have you EVER heard of him complimenting or praising a player?

  13. GC says:

    Thanks, Andrew, for the most comprehensive defensive of Deadspin yet. To wit, I critique DS because I’m jealous.

    It just occured to me that when Steven Segal’s next film gets a terrible review somewhere, the reviewer is probably jealous. Same goes for bad restaurant reviews — obviously written by frustrated chefs. And don’t get me started on the terrible things people are saying about the Bush Administration’s efforts in Iraq, which are just poorly disguised sour grapes.

    I’ll continue to insist that my comments about Will and DS are no more or less personal, than say, repeated jibes directed at other deep thinkers as Phil Mushnick or Scott Weiland — neither of whom seem to have nearly as big a fan club rushing to their defense at CSTB. Nor do I think there is anything about said criticism that is any more or less unfair than say, going after Skip Bayless on a regular basis. Or is that jealousy on Will’s part, too?

    “The guy just puts out a couple lame one-liners and relates unsubstantiated rumors and calls it a day.”

    Well, I think he does a little more than that. At least the one-liners are funny. You’ve described Will’s job description to a t (except for the funny part).

    “if you ever read the article in SI about 10 years ago about him, his brother and their family history, you’d understand why the guy’s a miserable person who just bad mouths people. ”

    y’know, I wasn’t advocating that anyone marry Peter Vescey or anything. Who gives a fuck about his personal life? So his neighbors think he’s a creep. So he’s famous enough to justify a profile in a national magazine. How well would you come off if your behavior was scrutinized by a bunch of nitwits you’ve never met?

    “I mean, have you EVER heard of him complimenting or praising a player?”

    As a matter of fact, yeah.

    (and if I’m not mistaken, he praised Ernie Grunfeld earlier today).

    But seriously my friend, thanks for the tremendous insight. We’ve now learned conclusively that my gripe with Leitch is personal rather than based on his work (despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary)….while you’re free to knock Peter Vescey because “he’s a miserable person”.

  14. Andrew says:

    GC,

    And people say that sarcasm doesn’t come through in print. They must not have read your writing. Still, you missed the point. Look, like Seitz said in the first post, I don’t have a “dog in this fight.” But here’s the way I see it- Criticizing someone doesn’t mean I’m jealous of them. Criticizing someone’s work (whether it’s an actor, a musician or a writer) is not only everyone’s right but it’s also something the person on the other end should expect when they produce their product. If you’re going to put something out for public consumption, then you better be ready for criticism.

    You’re free to dislike Leitch as much as I dislike Vecsey. But if I started a blog analyzing everything Vecsey wrote and then criticizing him for every aspect of it, I know people would ask me what my problem was. And the truth is I WOULD have a problem.

    There are a lot of writers, musicians, actors and politicians that I can’t stand, either because I can’t stand them personally or because I don’t like their work. However, it would take something extraodinary for any them to do something that would compel me to start a blog just to attack them.

    Back to Vecsey for a minute- you’re right in that whether or not he’s a miserable human being isn’t the issue. If I enjoyed his writing, then I wouldn’t care about his personality. But I just don’t like his writing. However, as you mentioned in an earlier post- “Apparently, a nerve has been touched. More than a few persons have written in to proclaim Pete either a very bad man, a poor writer or both. I find his stuff consistently entertaining and will take his contributions to popular discourse over those of Mr. Leitch any day of the week.” Vecsey is obviously a very polarizing figure. Most people either love him or hate him, with very few somewhere in the middle. I guess we’re just going to disagree.

  15. GC says:

    “Criticizing someone’s work (whether it’s an actor, a musician or a writer) is not only everyone’s right but it’s also something the person on the other end should expect when they produce their product. If you’re going to put something out for public consumption, then you better be ready for criticism.”

    I couldn’t agree more.

    “There are a lot of writers, musicians, actors and politicians that I can’t stand, either because I can’t stand them personally or because I don’t like their work. However, it would take something extraodinary for any them to do something that would compel me to start a blog just to attack them.”

    sorry, Andrew, are you under the impression that I started CSTB just to attack Will Leitch? That would be some mean trick seeing as CSTB began in November ’03 and I’d never seen any of Will’s work until September of last year.

    While I can hardly pretend that all the Leitch-bashing hasn’t been a blast, anyone who contends such items make up more than a small portion of CSTB’s content isn’t reading the blog. At least not very closely.

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