BD: I really enjoyed the chapter about finding a bar to watch the Cardinals play the Mets (during the 2006 NLCS). Who can™t relate to an experience like that?
WL: When I walk down the streets of New York City and I see someone wearing a Cardinals hat, it™s like, ˜Yeah!™ And if I wasn™t wearing a Cardinals hat, you™d think I was crazy. To have all those Cardinals fans in one place was sensory overload. People are moving away from where they grew up, and a lot of times that means moving away from your team
Before that series, it was like, ˜Oh how cute. He™s a Cardinal fan,™ and when the Mets played the Cardinals, they hated me. It was fun to find that oasis. My favorite line from that is when we went back to the bar for Opening Day, we were all being nice and shaking hands, and a friend said, ˜This is weird. A few months ago, I got to third base with every woman in here.™ That kind of summed it up.
And what an oasis it must’ve been. I can’t think of any reason — let alone St. Louis’ recent status as Gonorrhea Capital Of The U.S. — why getting to 3rd base with a bar full of St. Louis ex-pats wouldn’t be the greatest thing in the world. But please, hands up, all of the actual New York readers who find the sight of traveling and/or displaced Cards fans on the 7 train, in the mezzanine at Shea Stadium, populating Gotham’s taverns, etc., to be “cute”.
(these guys shall honor Will’s request of “Speak English Or Die” just as soon as they learn the chords to “How Soon Is Now”)
From the 2008 Hardball Times Baseball Annual, an excerpt from “The Deadspin Spin On 2007″
Sammy Sosa hits his 600th home run to the cheers of a few thousand Rangers fans who mercifully for him, don’t speak English and lack the ability to put together words to form accusatory questions.
Strangely, Leitch’s irreverent recap of the 2007 baseball season failed to mention Tony La Genius’ inability to recite the alphabet.
The boxscore from June 20 cites a paid attendence of 37,564. There’s no breakdown of how many of those patrons spoke English and/or were slavish Sammy fans, but there’s all sorts of details the modern boxscore is lacking.
And funnily enough, Will parlayed his experience at the Daily Illini and the Sporting News into a full-time job reposting drunk athlete photos.
Today’s no-good kids aren’t cutting their teeth on serious journalism like Will. They’re just going directly into drunk athlete pics. I wonder where they got the idea this might be a fun or lucrative thing to do?
In the meantime, the biggest, most widely-read chunk of the sportsdude blogosphere is almost entirely dependent on sub-FHM (or in some cases, copped from FHM) visual stimuli in order to generate any traffic whatsoever. If you’re waiting for Leitch to take a bold stand against such lazy minds, don’t hold your breath.
Much the way Leitch thought the kid who got the OJ interview scoop for ESPN was worthy of ridicule, he’s awfully selective in these instances.
In any case, Kyle Orton should be thrilled to know someone is standing up for higher standards.
Though I’m not entirely sure what’s newsworthy about this not-so-humble blog receiving an (automated?) link from ESPN.com (particularly as Henry Abbot has already gone to judicious lengths to debate NSFW / SFW-tendencies), I’m gonna enjoy a tasty luncheon of delicious ironing over Will Leitch feigning umbrage over the WWL failing to include Deadspin amongst their linked sports sites.
We thank CSTB for its blog roll service and thoroughly endorse the site for a position at Page 2, but if only they can keep saying “cock.”
I’d like to think a thin, fleeting slice of recognition for CSTB from a beta section at ESPN.com and said organization’s blackballing of a
mainstream competitor dangerous threat to the status quo like Leitch are entirely coincidental. And while I’m grateful for the job recommendation from Mr. Leitch, I really can’t afford the pay cut. But as far as moving to Olbermann’s least favorite city is concerned, to paraphrase one of my favorite blogs (one strangely absent from Deadspin or ESPN’s blogrolls), you go live in Bristol, Will.
Rather than confuse cheap-ass notoriety with some kind of achievement, I’m instead going to boycott ESPN.com for the remainder of the week or until they appoint the guy from Nosebleeds NFL Blog to determine some sort of fair link policy (perhaps in collaboration with the ombudslady), whichever comes first.
It is very tempting to claim Sports Illustrated’s venerable Tom Verducci has forgotten more about baseball than Deadspin’s Will Leitch will ever learn. That, however, is probably a gross exaggeration. It might be more to the point to say that I’ve forgotten more about George Plimpton than Leitch has learned about Verducci, but either way, let’s review Will’s comments regarding Tom.
In ’05, Verducci participated in Toronto’s spring training in Dunedin, FL. Last Monday, Verducci played right field for the Blue Jays during their Cooperstown, NY exhibition against the Orioles.
Were I a paying customer that afternoon, I might’ve been somewhat dismayed at Toronto denying playing time to another member of the organization in favor of the SI scribe. And while I don’t know Will Leitch’s whereabouts that day, he seems to take unusual umbrage for an altogether different reason.
We understand Verducci’s instinct; playing baseball was one of the most pleasurable things we’ve ever done, and we miss it, pretty much every day. But after a while, it really does just become a vanity project; yes, yes, Tom, we understand that you are in better shape than just about everybody else who covers baseball. But it might be time to let it go.
We understand the notion; believe us, Tom, we do. But it’s probably time to move on now. Every athlete scoffs that all sports reporters are just frustrated athletes. You’re not doing much to prove them wrong. We know it hurts. We know. But time to put the spikes away.
I guess I missed the part of Verducci’s article where he announced he’d be doing this annually. But just the same, he might do well to take Will’s advice and stick to far more dignified journalistic pursuits — like taking batting practice against John Rocker.
I’m sophisticated enough about the big, goofy world of publicity to understand that CBS Sportsline’s Alex Rietmiller probably meant no harm in sending me a press release announcing that Will Leitch would be “glogging” Super Bowl XLI for SportsLine.
“We obviously pride ourselves on our strong original editorial, but pushing out additional content from unique voices like Deadspin and eventually allowing our best and brightest fans to publish on our site is a game-changer for us,” said Joe Ferreira, vice president of programming and executive producer of CBS SportsLine.
That said, it probably wasn’t a great idea to include the Screech’s phone number on the blurb.
Deadspin’s Will Leitch links to a story claiming Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya sucked the big one in the World Series because of a jones for Guitar Hero 2. I suspect this report is a cover — Zumaya doesn’t want the hyper-sensitive Jimmy Leyland to know he’s been playing that Columbine Massacre video game. But that’s no big thing compared to author/journalist Jeff Pearlman’s take on Leitch’s recent happy hour audience with John Rocker.
In the course of our day together seven years ago, John and I stopped at a school for special-needs children somewhere outside of Atlanta. From the looks of it, the place didn’t have many financial resources, and Rocker’s appearance was probably the highlight of the year. Teachers oohed and aahed, kids went crazy. Upon our arrival, the two of us went into a back office, where an administrator explained to John that as he entered the gymnasium, they would play Twisted Sister’s “I Wanna Rock.”
Rocker nodded, did his thing, spoke (well) for five or 10 minutes, then returned to the office. With nary a flinch, he grabbed the CD, grinned and said to the overwhelmed administrator, “Y’all don’t mind if I have this, do you?” Then he left.
John Rocker is right. I am a liberal Jew from New York with an agenda. I have two African-American nephews who I want to grow up in a world indifferent to the color of their skin. I have gay friends who deserve the same love and respect and legal protections as everyone else. I don’t condemn people for not speaking English, just as I don’t condemn Rocker for speaking moron (OK, that’s a cheap shot, but it sure felt good).
If nothing else, at least we’re now up to speed on the biggest threat to Georgia’s cash-strapped public schools ; moochers who run off with the Twisted Sister CD’s. On behalf of the Peachtree state’s future leaders, I beg educators and administrators, don’t allow Chipper Jones to slink off with the Kix albums. They’re an important part of the curriculum.
Before we get into the whole “what’s with the Will Leitch abuse?” question CSTB neophytes occasionally ask, I’ll remind you there’s a whole category to your right that you can peruse and come to your own nutty conclusions. But I will point out there have been a handful of occasions in which I’ve given the Spicy Crunchwrap Supreme Munching Motherfucker his props, the big one being the time he risked sending his own pretty face to hell by stepping into the box against John Rocker.
I’m truly sorry to say that said thumbs-up to Screechy is officially revoked. Leitch interviews Rocker at Deadspin today, and depending on your point of view, he either gives the former Brave ample rope with which to hang himself, or provides a strangely sympathetic shoulder for this lamebrain to cry on. Though there’s a handful of revelations (eg. Rocker was barred from entering Bungalow 8 because of a “Dominican doorman”, he describes John Schuerholz as “a real asshole…a complete moron…a piece of shit,”) the following excerpts are my favorite portions.
Leitch : What I find amazing about the aftermath of the story, and this is what I wrote in the Deadspin piece, was that Americans love second acts. No matter what a celebrity does, if they say they’re sorry for it, and seem legitimately apologetic, we tend to root for them to recover, at least until they screw up again. But that never happened with you. You gave that interview, and from every day since then until now, you were The Racist. You never got a second act. I’m not saying you necessarily deserved one, but people usually don’t deserve one. Why do you think that interview just set it all in stone like that? Did you ever try to resalvage your reputation? Are you still trying? Is that what the book is for?
Rocker : Naw, I don’t think the book will help with that, and I don’t care. The book is more conservative Republican rantings. The Bill O’Reillys of the world, they will appreciate it, the Rush Limbaughs of the world will appreciate it, but, unfortunately, most members of the media – well, I don’t know what you are politically.
Leitch : I’m an agnostic. Politics terrify me.
Rocker : Well, anyway, those liberal media people, they’ll appreciate some things, but I am a Republican. I’m not Republican in everything – I mean, look at my girlfriend – and I’m not a huge pro-lifer, but I think 95 percent-plus of the media is liberal, and they see me as the antichrist of liberal views. It’s much easier for them to just keep piling on than to look closer and realize that, hey, we might have been wrong about this guy.
Leitch : When you guys walk down the street, and people see that you’re John Rocker, do they say anything?
Rocker : I don’t ever make eye contact with people on the street. I’ve become like a New Yorker in that way. People want to say, “Hey, has John Rocker changed, has he turned over a new leaf?” I haven’t changed at all. I don’t understand why it’s so hard for journalists to admit that I haven’t changed; they were just wrong. Maybe they made me change by writing an article or something. That song by Joe Walsh, “Life’s Been Good To Me So Far,” that’s totally how it is. I haven’t changed.
Leitch : How far along with the book are you?
Rocker : I’ve got about 70 pages written. I’ve put it on hold for a bit until I find a publisher. When the deal is done, I’ll finish it up over the course of the next couple of months. That’s the thing, though: When people have an agenda, that’s all that matters. Jeff Pearlman is who he is: A liberal Jew from New York. He’s one of their own, who spent a couple of hours with me, pulled things out of context, and you’re trying to create a persona of an individual when you don’t know them.
(prior liberal Jew from New York postings on the subject of John Rocker :
Noted Free Speech Advocate Dimisses Sensitivity Training, 6/25/06
Some Of John Rocker’s Best Friends, 6/01/06
Rocker Still Smarting Over Glavine Blow-off, 3/29/06
Panic In Needle Dick Park, 3/7/06
Racist Fuck Down On His Luck To Appear On The Deuce, 3/6/06
Ladies Of Long Island, Take Note, 2/27/06
Grassroots Effort To Give Guns To Quail Picks Up Steam, 2/19/06
Racist Fuck No Longer A Duck, 6/27/05
Dumb Rocker Aspires To Deafness, 05/13/05
Pete Jr. Sticks Up For Rocker, 05/12/05
Rocker Compares Self To Jackie, 05/6/05
Rocker, Still A Millionaire, 05/04/05
Racist Fuck Extends Olive Branch, 04/15/05
Ducks Sign Racist Fuck, 04/8/05
I didnt’ catch Chris Carter’s interview with the Chiefs’ Larry Johnson on HBO’s “Inside The NFL” last night, but Jeffrey Flanagan of the Kansas City Star quotes a few of the highlights.
Carter asked LJ, œDo you think Herm Edwards (above), being an African-American and you being raised, of course, by an African-American, that you see a lot of similarities in Herm that you saw in your dad that made you open up to him?
LJ™s response: œI think so. I could relate to Herman. I couldn™t do that with the other coaches I had because they had not done it. You know, they haven™t put those pads or they haven™t been in the situation as a young black athlete and know what we had to go through.
œYou know, when we go out, you know, we like to go out. You know, we like to hang out. We like to have fun. But then you got to worry about the guy around the corner with the gun. You got to worry about this girl on the block. You got to worry about, you know, your parents. You got to worry about your homeboys taking advantage of you.
œThere™s so much things you got to worry about being a young black athlete. And to be able to have a father like mine and have a coach like Herm, I was able to escape a lot of those realities and find myself in a new ray of light.
Conversely, LJ wasn’t nearly as enthusiastic when asked about Herm’s predecessor, Dick Vermeil.
œI wouldn™t pay attention, Johnson said of playing under Vermeil. œMy eyes, I would be up in the sky. You know, I would be sleeping in my locker. I wouldn™t carry my playbook because I was just trying to get away from this building, you know, when Dick was here.
ESPN ombudsman George Solomon has made the none-too-original observation that Michael Irvin’s ill-advised remarks regarding Tony Romo’s ancestry are comparable to the comments that cost Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder his CBS gig. As luck would have it, Solomon’s comments appear the very same day that Deadspin’s Will Leitch takes ESPN.com’s Scoop Jackson to task for the latter’s
theft appropriation of the term “Orange Roundie”, previously employed by Yay Sports. Of course, this is the first time in recorded history a full-time, electronic correspondent has blatantly lifted material from elsewhere without attribution. Since there’s no Gakwer Media ombudsman on hand to sort it out, let’s be absolutely clear about this. Swiping of someone else’s writing is inexcusable and shameful. While watering down entire concepts and themes that others have previously mastered is…kinda lucrative.