Sports' #1 Playing Field is.....


Jan 10, ’13:  What is the #1 Playing Field in Sports circa 2013?   Yankee Stadium??  Cameron Indoor??  Fenway??  MSG??  TheRoseBowl??  TheSuperDome??  AugustaNational??  Nope to all the above and to any other bricks, mortar, turf and/or hardwood you might suggest. ..... The #1 Playing Field in Sports today is right in front of you – your computer monitor and “the Internet”.

Sure, all those traditional “real world” venues are still there and they still host competitive contests between flesh&blood combatants.  But those mundane “games” are superfluous to what really boils the blood of America’s sporting public – The Internet Sturm and Drang..... the endless regurgitation of the insignificant..... the elevation of the “who cares” to “OH MY GAWD” headlines.   The transforming of pure 100% BS Wild-Ass-Rumors into three weeks of on-going storylines.

Play the silly games and have a jumbotron declare who “won” then get the heck outta the way and let the fans and “the media” pound the whole kit and the kaboodle into kitty litter.

Did you think Woody Hayes’ “three yards & a cloud of dust” was boring?  What about “the Princeton Offense”?  You want BORRRR-ing.   Try 10,000 google mentions of:

•    Tim Tebow didn’t play this Sunday.  Will he play next Sunday?
•    Lakers to cut Pau Gasol..... bringing back Vlade Divac.
•    Should RGIII name his son RGIV?
•    AJ McCarron Dumping Katherine Webb for Taylor Swift?
•    Could Bama beat Lombardi’s Packers?
•    OU and aTm alums agree to pay Mack Brown’s salary for next ten years.
•    Dickie Baddour interviews for Panther GM?
•    Saban To The Browns..... Butch To Bama!!
•    Adrian Peterson donates a knee to RGIII.
•    Jon Gruden tapped as next Secty of State.
•    Why aren’t there any black punters?
•    Is Skip Bayless A Transvestite?
•    Roy asks Coach K to recommend a good back surgeon.....
•    Is ‘Johnny Football’ his Real Name?  Then who are the Manziels?
•    Vote Here for Frau Yow to replace Swofford as ACC Czar.  
•    Do Buffalos Really Have Wings?

And, of course, there are some REALLY silly discussions going on out there too.

Shovel enough crap on a molehill and it becomes a mountain.  Molehill stories now dominate “sports journalism”.   Similar non-stories, of course, dominate what now passes for “real news” (cough, cough, wink, wink).

There are two basic reasons for all this.  

(1)    The 24/7 cycle for both sports and real news has an inexhaustible appetite and must be fed.   If ya can’t come up with a real story then just keep rehashing and rehashing the silly crap ad infinitum.  To a ESPN producer there is no such thing as “too many Tebow stories”.

(2)    The people researching and reporting this crap ain’t exactly the best & the brightest by any means.  Newspapers, in particular,  are now staffed by glorified interns operating on nickel and dime budgets.  The “anonymous sources” for most of their “breaking stories” are bug-eyed pinheads in soiled underwear with Erin Andrews posters taped to their ceilings.   Their editors order them to surf the fan boards “just in case”, so that’s how sports reporters spend their day.

It’s “Sports”.  There is AT MOST about an hour’s worth of legitimate news each day about “sports” - Rocky Colavito has been traded for Harvey Kuenn..... Bo Rein’s plane is missing..... etc etc etc.   But 24 hours of sports news time to fill.

It is an injustice to label your local newspaper or network affiliate as “tabloid journalism”.   The supermarket tabloids (National Enquirer et al) were always tongue-in-cheek spoofs and never took themselves seriously.  Not so the so-called “real news” nabobs.  These self-righteous goobers take themselves VERY seriously despite getting their material and “facts” straight out of the cyber gutter.

An Elvis Sighting or Alien Baby story is a fun read.  The 10,000th Tebow said” or “Kardashian hooked-up with” story is just boring.

The ultimate irony to this silliness is that it is an endless cycle.  Some Jimmy Olson at “the newspaper” or TV station sees an absurd over-the-top BS comment on a partisan fan-site.  He takes that absurdity and makes it “a story”.   The pinheaded loonies on the fan-site read the story in “real media” and assume “it must be true” when it was never anything but fan-site flatulence recycled back to them.   

Otherwise reasonable humans who don’t visit the fan-sites read/hear it; never knowing it all began in the twisted mind of a nitwit board monkey.   Coaches, administrators and players are then badgered for days on end to disapprove the original absurdum.

A game might last 2-3 hours but chasing this rumor smoke never ends..... because there never was any “there” there to begin with.  Denying an imaginary story will always come off as “sweeping it under the rug”..... “a cover-up”.  (No, I’m not talking about a certain local unpleasantess.  That absolutely DOES have a basis in fact albeit it has been over-glamorized, over-denied and reduced to an eternal tug-o-war between rabid teams of “birthers” vs BigFoot sighters.)

My favorite non-storylines this week are...... (1) “RGIII” or “RGIII’s knee” and (2) “AJ McCarron’s girlfriend”.   Those almost make me pine for a Tebow update.

Can you imagine Grantland Rice, Jim Murray, or Furman Bisher calling for Brent Musberger’s firing (and public castration) for saying “...... Herbie, that sure is a pretty girl.”

Brady Quinn’s sister waits for a phone call from USAToday.

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Posted: January 10, 2013 at 6:46 AM by SaidWHATMedia | with 13 comments
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Comments
fayettewuf
I am making an effort as I grow older not to waste time bemoaning the fact that things change. Most people realize that internet rumors are only rumors. Speculation is harmless. Message boards remind me of big sports bars with guys drinking varying amount of beer and complaining about refs, their OCs, their DC's, play calling and substitution schemes. Anyone who got their lingerie in a wad over someone saying for example a coach is interviewing with another program really needs a life. Any reporter using just a sports message board as the sole source needs to brush up on Journalism 101.
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BL: I don't believe that "most people realize" is as assured as you and I want to think it is.
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1/13/2013 3:29:12 PM

wolfdon
Putting that yellow line in the right spot is done by use of a photogrammetic analytical technique which transforms the camera plane imagery into the gridiron coordinate plane....probably uses a three parameter translation and rotation algorithm. :)
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BL: I'm waiting fr you to tell us it was invented by "a State engineer". :-)
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1/11/2013 2:53:35 PM

JDanWuff
Elvis is very much still alive and spry for a 78 year old (earth years) man. I saw him Saturday night 2 weeks past. Just finishing up a night currency cross country flight from RDU to Danville and back when I saw him. Cruising at 10500 ft (MSL) near 34 nautical mile DME mark on the 352 degree radial from the RDU VORTAC when he and his crew zoomed past us, east to west, slowing down to wave, then resuming their course and speed. Appeared he was heading west, to Tennessee I suppose.
Anyway, football and basketball is much more enjoyable from the recliner. Many thanks to you for the suggestion of flat screen, 40+ diagonal and HD cable from AT&T. I'll hold on to my lifetime rights, but the recliner, bathroom and ability to pause live broadcast is unbeatable.
Technology rocks.
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BL: Don't forget that yellow 1st down line !!
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1/10/2013 7:30:10 PM

Princess Fairmont
Great article………….lots of ‘food for thought’!!
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BL: Have you ever objected to someone complimenting you for being pretty?
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1/10/2013 5:05:30 PM

YogiNC
The saddest part of all this Bobby is... wait for it...
It's all true. As I read it I recall what I did before ESPN came along. The truth is I "DID", as in doing stuff, a lot more as contrasted to today when i observe. And you CANNOT observe without commenting if you have the means to do so, which brings me to exactly what I'm "doing" at this moment in time. Ah yes, preESPN was a much happier time. For that matter we should all find Al Gore and tar and feather him for inventing the internet. At least we'd be "doing" something. To quote Chicken Little... "what were we talking about?"
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BL: Was that Chicken Little or Foghorn Leghorn?
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1/10/2013 2:04:37 PM

The Cowdog
It's not everyday that one can assist with confirmation, and denial of fact/rumor involving names gleaned from a BL column.

Bury the notion Skip Bayless is a tranvestite. I knew Skip when he was in his cub reporter days, out in California. What he is, is a back stabbing, scoundrel, who so happened to have been the last guy I ever punched in the nose. He does not wear T-backs, that I am aware of.

And yes, Bo's plane is still missing. It becomes harder to fathom that my friend, mentor and coach, entered the Twilight Zone, 33 years ago on this very day. Bo is on my character list ... both meanings. Bayless...not so much.


Rocco Domenico Colavito had upper arms the size of a pork shoulder...and the oddest pre-pitch tics that I've ever seen.
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BL: Odder than Nomar? I first knew Bayless in Dallas in the mid 80s. He is well-paid to play a role in a daily ESPN journo-drama.
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1/10/2013 1:40:08 PM

CNR
Chronological elitism rules the day, resulting in the most asinine opinions in sports history. Howard Cosell named the first "flying trapeze" the "flea flicker" and so it is called today by all but two commentators. When "Red" Grange attempted to privately correct HC, he was rebuffed. "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise." Nuff said.

Muss complemented 'the girlfriend" but had a crush on Dee Dee, as did several million others. Dee Dee was the bell of the BCS ball.

Josh Sutherland smiled down on Nick and Bama. The Scot dentist was the best of them all. Paul Brown, Vince Lombardi, Bob Neyland, Paul Bryant, and Bernie Bierman have so stated. I believe them.

Johnny Mugshot is better than our middle linebacker. I don't care what so many of my Domer fans say.

Had great fun with our regular crowd who come over to watch games on the gift that BL instigated. LSU, Aggies, OU, Tiders, and Domer guys as usual. The Horns were no show. Not surprising.
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BL: TOTAl domination. Greatest Irish disaster since the potato famine.
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1/10/2013 1:36:00 PM

Jon Sasser
Story of my life -- or at least the past year. Good job of putting it so eloquently. FYI, he STILL is not going to FIU.
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BL: I still think Ron Turner is a ruse and will abdicate to Butch next week. :-)

Jimmy Johnson never had to deal w/ the Internet. He could not advise BD on a strategy.
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1/10/2013 11:40:52 AM

WildatHeart
After watching the Russell Wilson's play the RG3's on Sunday I thought you were going o sarcastically say FedEx Field. Aulander high School had a better playing surface and half of that was a baseball infield.
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BL: If I were NFL Czar.... all "important games" would be played under optimum conditions not adversely affected by weather or other extraneous factors.

I'm a dome-kinda fan. Yes, I hear the oldtimers whining. I HATED the Packer-Cowboy "Ice Bowl".

Dan Snyder makes bazillions w/ FedEx Field. It should have the VERY VERY BEST of turf conditions. No excuses whatsoever.
1/10/2013 10:24:23 AM

BigJim from CoMo
Made my day...Rocky for Harvey. That was a big effing day for me. Certainly bigger than swapping managers (Joe Gordon for Jack Tighe?) and equally as good as the game of the week when Billy Hoeft shut out the Red Sox at Fenway on only 14 hits.

I continue to admire your ability to turn a word and write entertaining and informative columns. Happy New Year to you, Blondie & Kid.
Jimbeaux from Meaux.
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BL: A roar from my #1 Favorite Mizzou Tiger !!! And BigJim from CoMo knows a thing or a 100 about the evolution of "newspapers" too!

Howsabout Lou Brock traded to St Louis for Ernie Broglio ??
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1/10/2013 10:11:06 AM

geek49203
I was unaware that most newspapers have local sports reporters. Most seem to have people who can rip copy off of AP, supplemented with some "stringers" who "call in sports scores" from the local high school events.

And where do the AP types get their coverage? Well, from first-hand experience, I can tell you that they watch the event. On TV. In the event's media center. They *might* have an article or two beyond that during the week, but they could literally "phone it in" and save the travel budget.
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BL: Actually AP (Associated Press) is in its own death throes, soon to follow UPI into extinction. Their media clients can no longer afford to pay for their feeds.

The old concept of the "beat reporter" following the local / regional team to every game is also no more. Reporters' travel budgets have been sliced razor-thin.... so, yes, they watch the game on TV and pirate sidebars off of ESPN.
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1/10/2013 9:48:08 AM

RT
A Rocky Colavito mention !!! Yessssss!
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BL: Tony Conigliaro Lives! Frank "The Washington Monument" Howard .....
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1/10/2013 8:16:48 AM

nctravellinman
BL, you need a good hunting or fishing trip to clear your head. Way too much time on the keyboard.
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1/10/2013 8:08:04 AM

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