Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Spotlight on Sports... and Broader Issues

Two excellent sports-oriented morning articles from the world wide webosphere

Just for a slight change of pace, we'll highlight two excellent sports-related articles this morning.

First there's this Standard-Examiner editorial, wherein Std-Ex editor Doug Gibson thoroughly lambastes the BCS "championiship" bowl selection process and makes a great case for the implementation of an NCAA Division 1A Championship Playoff Series:
BCS stands for greed
During a recent conversation with Mr. Gibson, we were delighted to learn that he's an avid sports fan, an attribute which is well displayed in this fine morning editorial.

Next, we'll glide to this most excellent Bill Conlin piece, gleaned from the online edition of today's Philadelphia Daily News sports page:
Bill Conlin: Two-minute warning for our beloved sportswriters
The tone is bittersweet. The article has the flavor of an epitaph, with a broad "old school" sportswriters tribute thrown in to boot. An unfortunate portent of the future too, in all likelihood.

Still, a very satisfying read for this retired old "jock" and an unreformed fan of the "golden age" of American sports journalism.

So what say our gentle readers about all this?


Wm M said...

You would think if you're going to wade in on football's BCS topic, you could at least get the spelling of your hometown football coach correct ...

Curmudgeon said...


Bill Conlin's piece was excellent. Thanks for the link. Especially liked this:

There are still newspaper readers who venerate the well-turned phrase, the bold analogy, the absurd premise that becomes believable because it is so well put. They are being intellectually punished by men in newspaper board rooms, bottom-liners who lacked the guts required to sack a hedge fund, bankrupt an auto company or approve a $1 million mortgage to a couple with $100,000 in credit-card debt. They lead to one thing: The dumbing down of America.

Oh, how I wish that were true only of the sports pages.

Conlin doesn't mention something else being lost. Sports writing has been, over the years, the training ground for some excellent journalists and writers. [Think Ring Lardner.] And some very good political columnists got their start and learned their craft on the sports pages. One of them... names slips my mind at the moment... wrote that when you cover baseball for a newspaper, you have to report essentially the same story 120 times a season, and make it interesting every time. And do it on a very short deadline for an afternoon game, and a shorter one for a night game.

I'd only point out one thing to Mr. Conlin: the papers are going broke. And bankrupt newspapers can't hire sports columnists, or any other kind. So while I'd be the last to defend the Great Grey Eminences of the Wall Street Journal or the Chicago Tribune that have run their companies into billions in debt [mostly to finance leveraged buyouts of other companies], it is true that papers have to make a profit to stay in business, and the ground has shifted dramatically under their feet in the last twenty-five years. The day of Red Smith and Stan Isaacs and Dick Young [NY Daily News] when most people got most of their sports news from the papers is past, I'm afraid. And it isn't coming back.

Jason W. said...

Agreed: The Gondola-Examiner editorial writer should know our beloved WSU gridiron head slobberer, Ron MacBride, spells his surname differently. But again, I caution against heaping praise into that jackass' lap, because he recorded an autodial for Lying Little Matty Gondola Godfrey last year and the dumb sumbitch lives in Sandy. If that ain't gall: "join me in voting for Matty Godfrey." Moron.

Rafiki said...

Off Topic: I was on my lunch walk today when I noticed the "limited tree clearing" from Malan's basin to Strongs Canyon, which was noted on this site a couple days ago.

The new snow made the (cut) line pretty obvious. It is visiable probably from about anywhere, and is a horizontal line on the peak directly south of Malan's Peak.

Don't worry though this looks real natural. Trees usually fall in a straight line.

Curmudgeon said...

On the problems of newspapers, this story just moved on AP, appeared on the SL Trib on line site. Here's the opening graph:

NEW YORK -- New York Times says it is in talks with lenders about debt payments coming due in the next two years, as the newspaper publisher struggles to weather continued declines in advertising sales. The New York-based company says it will borrow up to $225 million against the value of its Manhattan headquarters to help repay debt due in May, and is evaluating assets for potential sale as it looks to boost liquidity.


I liked this:

Cannon wrote: "A rabid sports fan is one that boos a TV set."

Been there; done that. If I bite you, you'd better get your rabies shots.

Great article link, Rudi.

Curmudgeon said...


You wrote: The new snow made the (cut) line pretty obvious. It is visable probably from about anywhere, and is a horizontal line on the peak directly south of Malan's Peak.

Really does stand out, doesn't it? Since it's a new geographic feature on the land, visible from miles around, perhaps we ought to name it, particularly if it becomes a topic of conversation, as seems likely. Here's my suggestion:

"Peterson's Scar."

ozboy said...

How about VPL, a take off of the old "visible pantie line" only in this case the visible peterson line.

Rafiki said...

Curm - I like the idea of a name since it will be here as long as I am alive.

My vote is a variation of the same but with a Spanish tone to mark the time. "Scar de Peterson"

Curmudgeon said...

As several have noted here, and on lower threads, the cut Peterson made on the mountain is visible across half of Weber County and all of Ogden City. Be interesting to see if anyone on the news desk at The Standard Examiner has looked up lately, seen the scar on the mountain, and wondered to him or her self: "Hmmmmmm. I wonder what that's all about? And started asking some questions, or sent a reporter and maybe a photog to do a little nosing around. Hard to think of how this could not be something newsworthy.

A road/trail/track visible across half the county, coming from Malan's Basin down into Strong's Canyon to the edge of city or FS land certainly qualifies as a story, que no? Wonder if the SE has someone on it. Or if the Trib does.

We shall see, I guess.

Rafiki said...

Yes; I just noticed today the new (road/trail) that has been cut on the north facing slope of Strong's Canyon.

WTF? this must be a road or a Gondola path.

I'm not saying I'm 100% anti change but I think that it is important that everybody be aware and take note of the change.

The look of the Wasatch front (Ogden Section) will never be the same.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rafiki said...

Sorry Rudi,

I realized later that I should have been posting two topics below this one.

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