Monday, October 15, 2007

The Return Of My Cranky Pants

(H/t for Cranky Pants as a concept to the SFGate's Tim Goodman.)

1) Clemens retirement speculation. Did you know that Roger's not sure whether or not he's going to come back next year, and his wife thinks he shouldn't because he's been such a baseball workaholic but he thinks he might and that he thinks that the Yankees should keep Joe Torre and that reading the last sentence just caused your functional IQ to drop by 20 points? (Don't worry, it's temporary. Like pot.)

There is nothing...

> not the tendency of announcers to stop reporting the game they are covering

> not the production of rumors as fact

> not the cheerleading for athletes who are good interviews

> not even the cross-pollination of sports with entertainment or politics (hey, you got your chocolate in my axle grease! you got your rancid cotton candy in my chocolate! wait... they taste like crap together!)

No, not all of these things put together that sticks in the craw like the Retirement Speculation Story. It is the living embodiment of a media-athlete circle jerk, and that it's even the subject of freaking cell phone commercials right now is a sign that Something Is Very Wrong With Our World.

If I were the vengeful all-powerful deity to whom all human events were a puppet show that required simple, swift and wildly escalating justice... any athlete that engaged in such foolishness would have their tendons snap like kindling. Writers, something else.


2) Congressional resolutions about sports. I am not, for the record, anti-political; I do not spend my days fuming about what Those Bastards are doing with My Tax Dollars. I assume that, just like in the private sector with its CEO scandals and Enron-esque shenanigans, there will be some good, some bad, and a cottage industry made from pointing out the latter. (Though it is kind of remarkable how quickly complaints about corporations go away, really. Find me a radio station windbag who goes on about the S&L bailout, or the Iraq contractor thefts, the same way they go on about government waste. Perhaps there is a reason for this that involves six media conglomerates controlling over 95% of everything we read, see, and hear. Anyway, moving on.)

And then there's this:

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) commends Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre for establishing a National Football League record for most career touchdown passes;

(2) recognizes Brett Favre for his outstanding community service in Wisconsin and Mississippi and his 16 consecutive years of dedicated service with the Green Bay Packers, a community-owned organization; and

(3) directs the Clerk of the House of Representatives to transmit a copy of this resolution to Brett Favre, to the Green Bay Packers organization, and to the Commissioner of the National Football League.

Is it a small thing, really, in the course of the Republic? Yes. It probably took a junior staffer an hour to write, it got the Rep who read it (D-Steve Kagen, Appleton, WI) a little time on C-Span, and it made the reps from Wisconsin and Mississippi happy. It even made Republicans and Democrats agree on something, and after all Favre's done charitable things and hasn't gotten doped up on pain meds, as far as we know, in months.

But does it continue to cheapen the political discourse to resolve the equivalent of Puppies Are Fuzzy, Puppies Don't Hate, Puppies Are Cute, Puppies Are Great! into the public record?

Believe it or not, we actually pay these people to do things for us. Things that are more important than the all-important Favre Resolution or the all important Puppy Addendum. (For the record, FTT Just Says No To Puppy Burning, but we are soft on Gay Puppy Marriage.)

3) Jerry Buss says that, contrary to popular belief, Kobe Bryant plays for the Lakers and as such, is subject to the same realities (i.e., He Might Be Traded) as lesser mortals.

Really, what is stupider here -- the reporting of a bland pronouncement of How Sports Works as News, or the idea that it might actually *be* news? Trade speculation is a close second to Athlete

Retiring on the Insufferable Meter. Deal the loon or not. Otherwise, these cranky pants are getting matching shoes and jacket.

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