My Approach

One of the things that amuses me about my new fascination with sports is that I have very little context in which to place all this new information. This has created a funny situation where I’m purposefully approaching sports from a rather quirky angle. I mean, even if I stay ravenously interested in sports for the next twenty years, I’ll still never be “caught up”, so why even bother? I like how I can digest this stuff at my own pace and according to my own tastes.

Take Friday for example.

I was listening to the radio and some guy filling in for Jim Rome was interviewing a football player named Tony Gonzalez. Now, I’m sure that many of you have heard of Tony Gonzalez, and you probably have a variety of opinions about him and his football playing. Friday was the first I had ever heard of this guy, so it was with some interest that I listened to him talking about his non-legal, spiritually binding marriage, and a crazy story about saving a guy’s life by administering the Heimlich Maneuver in a restaurant. (Weirdo commitment ceremonies? Heroic deeds? A vegan football player? Sign me up, Tony Gonzalez!) I totally liked what I heard from Tony Gonzalez, enough so that I decided to look him up this morning on the interwebs.

Here’s how my “I want to learn about Tony Gonzalez” process went:

1. Google him. Results: Meh. Boring. This is all about football. Ew.

2. Google image search him. Results: Hmm. Interesting. Tony Gonzalez is fetching.

3. Read his Wikipedia page. Results: Totally boring. This is not the information I seek.

4. Go to SportSquee to Read “The Girls’ Guide To Football: Kansas City Chiefs” Results: Rats! There is no such Girls’ Guide! I poke around SportSquee until I realize there is no one besides Margee that I trust to tell me the truth about Tony Gonzalez. (The question being: Is he actually cool? Or is he secretly lame?) I’m sure she knows the truth, so I emailed her.

5. Wait around for Margee to get back to me. (I’ll let you know what she says.)

______

It’s an amazing age we live in, isn’t it?

In short, I am the type of sports fan who spends tons of money on sports. I read and write about sports everyday. I very carefully assess the sports media, and I have clear ideas about what I like and what I don’t like. I think about hockey almost every single day even though it’s July; at the same time, I have no idea where ESPN is on my cable dial and I almost completely ignore my local paper’s extensive coverage of my favorite sports team.

One of the things that I like about sports is that it is news, but it’s not really that important. I keep one wary eye on politics and international news, but I’m a bit embarrassed to say, I only do it out of a sense of duty. I feel a certain grim responsibility to keep track of the real news. I don’t feel this sense of responsibility towards sports. I follow sports because I enjoy it, and if I ever stop enjoying it I’ll simply stop paying attention, and I’ll do so without a single speck of guilt.

I love how all this adds up to getting to turn to SportSquee when I want to get to the bottom of the situation. Just to be clear, I’m not being even remotely sarcastic. I love that “sports” is this massive topic that I can attack with the most hilarious, whimsical weapons in my arsenal.

Sports are fun.

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18 Responses to “My Approach”


  1. 1 Dan (in Lake View) July 15, 2008 at 12:41 am

    Your mere mentioning of Wikepedia encourages me to make some changes there. Check out the BPO section on Wikepedia….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_Philharmonic

  2. 2 Katebits July 15, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Dan! While I find this hilarious, YOU HAVE TO STOP MESSING WITH THE BPO WIKIPEDIA PAGE! You’re going to get us fired!

    Also, AAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  3. 3 Katebits July 15, 2008 at 1:59 am

    Seriously, though. You need to fix that. *stern glare*

    :D

  4. 4 Schnookie July 15, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Okay, first of all, this is SUCH an eloquent explanation of why sports is so awesome. It’s this whole huge, unscripted world that sort of manages to be entertainment and “news” at the same time, and it can be as much or as little in your life as you want it to be. And Margee can be a voice of vast authority, which is the way things should be. (When I read a column on ESPN a few weeks ago about Tony Gonzalez being vegan, I also began to wonder if that meant he was interesting. I’ve been a sports fan for 15 years and I know nothing about him, either. There really is no “catching up”, is there?)

    Second of all, that is AWESOME about the wikipedia entry! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  5. 5 Pookie July 15, 2008 at 11:43 am

    clapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclap
    clapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclap
    clapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclap

    I love this post! This is exactly how I feel! For a long time there I was geniunely interested in watching the 6:00 SportsCenter (the non-glamour one with Charley Steiner and Linda Cohn, the one where they actually gave you sports news) and geniunely interested in following all the major stories. Then, as the years went by, I’m finding I’m less and less into staying on top of all this stuff. For a while I was going to ESPN.com out of that sense of duty you were talking about, but then I was like, “You know what? I don’t care about the NBA! I don’t have to care who’s doing what!”

    I figure as long as my favorite hockey bloggers are still writing, as long as Margee is out there keeping an eye on non-hockey stuff, as long as Bill Simmons’s stuff is out there for when I do want to see what else is going on (he’s the one writer who can get me to care about any sports story, even those about baseball), and as long as PTI is on, I’m set. That’s all the sports news I need.

    And if I want to care about that sports news more than anything else? I can. And if I don’t? I can. It’s really perfect. Sports are fun!

  6. 6 Katebits July 15, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Thanks Ookies! I don’t know why but until recently I felt a little guilty about paying no attention to TBN. Like, I was somehow irresponsible. Eff that. I don’t like TBN. I don’t watch movies or listen to music that I don’t like, why should I read articles about the Sabres that I don’t like?

  7. 7 Patty (in Dallas) July 15, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    I don’t watch movies or listen to music that I don’t like, why should I read articles about the Sabres that I don’t like?

    Exactly! That’s pretty much what I was thinking on the last day that I watched SportsCenter, about 3 years ago. I had to ask myself out loud why I was watching it if it irked me so much. Then I realized I didn’t have to if I didn’t want to.

    The same is true of all the online news sources for hockey. I realized one day that every one of them uses the same game recap from AP, so I just read the Yahoo one and don’t even check all the others anymore.

    Such a great post! If I had any interest in any football player, I’d check Sportsquee first, too. :D

  8. 8 Schnookie July 15, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Eff that. I don’t like TBN. I don’t watch movies or listen to music that I don’t like, why should I read articles about the Sabres that I don’t like?

    Exactly! I stopped reading the newspaper coverage (all of it) for the Devils years ago, for that very reason. If you know the people writing it are idiots, and the ideas they have are always stupid or wrong, what value are they bringing your experience as a fan? Life’s too short to be wondering what, say, Mark Everson has fabricated about the Devils on any given day.

  9. 9 CrotchetyOriginalSam July 15, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    I stopped reading the newspaper coverage (all of it) for the Devils years ago, for that very reason.

    You mean there are newspapers in New Jersey? Like, papers based in New Jersey that cover events happening in New Jersey?

    Huh. I always just assumed that you guys just read papers from New York and Philly and had none of your own. You know, like you do with TV and radio. Live and learn…

  10. 10 Katebits July 15, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    If you know the people writing it are idiots, and the ideas they have are always stupid or wrong, what value are they bringing your experience as a fan?

    Totally! I’ll even take it one step further. In a lot of cases, I don’t care if they are idiots or brilliant. Say, hypothetically, that ever word that Bucky Gleason and Jerry Sullivan wrote is totally true and unbiased. Let’s assume they are the very best hockey writers in all the land. Now, even STILL I wouldn’t feel obligated to read them. It’s their tone that I find so repellent. I’m realizing that without a certain amount of unspoken acknowledgment of my emotional attachment to my team, I am simply disinterested in a lot of professional sports media dialog. Frankly, I’m kind of offended by straight up, crusty analysis of the Sabres. Even if it’s totally factually and ideologically correct, I find it massively….unpleasant. I tend to avoid unpleasant things.

    Yesterday I heard Jerry Sullivan on the radio absolutely RAILING against the pie-in-the-sky idea of Brett Favre becoming a Bill. He was practically foaming at the mouth, sputtering in horror at the mere idea of fans thinking that idea was fun. Dude! Jerry! Do you not have a single ounce of joyfulness and wonder in your body? I mean, yeah, it’s a dumb idea and Favre is a big mess, but I’m not an ASSHOLE for finding it fun to dream about Favre coming to Buffalo and being a Bill. The Bills suck! Worse, they are totally BORING. The Brett Favre circus would at least be INTERESTING. I found him totally offensive. So I turned off the radio.

  11. 11 Katebits July 15, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    I love how Sam is just keeping it real here. Taunt the Jersey Girls. Heh.

  12. 12 Shari July 15, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Dude! Jerry! Do you not have a single ounce of joyfulness and wonder in your body? >>

    Oh Thank you so much for that statement!
    That whole post made me stand up and cheer and loudly!!

  13. 13 alix July 15, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Thank you, Katebits! You’ve finally convinced me to really, truly, stop reading the newspaper stuff about the Canucks. It’s terrible. I mean, I KNOW my team can’t score goals, do I really need to be hit over the head with it? I don’t think so. Not anymore. And I’m smarter than those idiots anyways. YAY for new agey sports watching/reading!

  14. 14 Amy July 15, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    I can’t give up reading TBN. I like Harrington and Vogl, and while Bucky can make me violently angry, I can’t give up the newspaper. TBN is like my Blobby.

  15. 15 CrotchetyOriginalSam July 15, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Taunt the Jersey Girls. Heh.

    It’s what I was raised to do…

    (Gratuitous Jersey girl joke from my junior high days: You know why Jersey girls all park, like, an inch and a half from the curb? Because their boyfriends have all told them that’s six inches…)

  16. 16 Katebits July 15, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Thanks, alix and Shari! alix, goo for you! Eff the newspaper guys!

    Amy, I totally understand. We all have our Blobbys. And frankly, if you didn’t read TBN I would never know what’s going on because I rely on Shots Off the Crossbar to provide me with palatable recaps. :D

  17. 17 Katebits July 15, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    And Sam? :^::::::::::::::::::

  18. 18 Schnookie July 16, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Do you not have a single ounce of joyfulness and wonder in your body?

    Hear hear! I find that my interest in sports and sportwriters’ interest in sports never converge. I mean, I like the teams I watch. And I want to like them. I enjoy being biased toward them. That’s the point because I’m a fan. And it’s just sports. Honestly, I don’t care about hard-hitting exposes that reveal underhandedness in contract talks by my team’s management, or dry analysis of how the penalty kill is not, in fact, as good as I think it is, or financial/statistical explorations of the players’ measurable worth. To borrow a phrase of Doc Emrick’s, I watch with my heart, not with my head. Which is why, as sports has become increasingly bigger business and the media has increasinly supported the self-importance of the leagues, managers, players, agents, etc, I am increasingly disinterested in the “official” or “professional” media coverage.

    You mean there are newspapers in New Jersey? Like, papers based in New Jersey that cover events happening in New Jersey?

    I never said that; I referred specifically to Mark Everson, who writes for the NY Post. Of course, I wouldn’t expect a guy from Pennsyltucky to have much reading comprehension, so I should have seen your response coming.


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