Cafe 227

Sunday, May 27, 2007

More Evidence that Starbucks is Evil

I'm sorry, you can't just call a Rice Krispie treat a "Crispy Marshmallow Bar" and sell it for $2. There's something very un-American about that.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio, and What About the Sportswriters Who Wrote About You?

I have been having this discussion with people on this blog, chat rooms, and in person on-and-off for ten years, so many are probably sick of hearing me talk about it, but a few recent articles have forced me to proselytize yet again. I am outraged and concerned at the demise of the talented sportswriter (beat or otherwise). It's past the point of crisis for sports fans. A few examples.

Jayson Stark, a mediocre ESPN columnist, is attempting to make money by writing a book about Overrated and Underrated baseball players. You can read his internet column about it here. His first two lines ("I never set out to be The Ultimate Czar of Overratedness and Underratedness. It just happened.") followed by some yuckster back-tracking and explaining is basically standard ESPN columnist fare these days.

Bill Simmons, who is entertaining once every fifth column, continues to tarnish the sports journalism world by lacing his very solid analysis with bathroom humor.

Arash Markazi still has a job.

Mitch "I plagiarize but people love me because I make them feel good about their dead relatives" Albom still has a job!

Jeff Schultz (of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) who writes. In Fragments (example here.) All the time. And no one. Likes him. Still has a job.

Heck, even Deadspin seems tired lately.

Somewhere along the way, sports journalism has died. Now, I think there are a few noble souls who still genuinely try to practice the lost art of solid analysis, non-hyperbolous yet soaring description, and piercing insight. I would say Tim Kurkjian, Peter Gammons, Wilbon, David O'Brien (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) Rick Reilly (sometimes), Dr. Z, and Peter King (again, sometimes), are fighting the good fight. Beyond that, we are condemned to having to endure the same in-your-face, over-the-top, let-me-try-to-keep-up-with-the-times hack journalism in every market on a daily basis.

Sports remain as popular as ever and there is no shortage of people interested in them. What, pray tell, is keeping the talented writers who love sports away from devoting their lives to writing about them?

One of the arguments I've heard is that ESPN, like CNN did to regular news, has created an "instant gratification" culture where writers are expected to turn around stories immediately and, thus, quality suffers. I've also heard sportswriters accused of the type of Woodward & Bernstein "Gotcha" journalism that has made athletes limit their access.

These arguments simply don't hold up. Every sports fan knows that if you want the score and the brief synopsis, you can go online or watch SportsCenter. What I (and many others) crave is a return to that thoughtful, well-crafted piece on our beloved team that informs us about the mundane and lifts our spirits with stories of hope for the future (that next hot prospect, that possible trade) in soaring prose that demonstrated a passion for the game that the writer was covering.

Does anyone else feel this way? Am I imagining this decline or do you see it, too?

Friday, May 18, 2007

America's Finest City....(cough cough)

Guess who's back in the motherf$#@ing house??? I am sure everyone was sad to see Big Worm's posting disappear like scoring in the NBA playoffs. I only have about 15 minutes before my weekend furlough begins. Some recent thoughts and events in my life:

1) 3 weeks ago I went back to D.C. for my bachelor party. It was hosted by the incomparable Alex "From Miami but my Spanish is questionable" Grau. Had a great time. Got seriously drunk for the first time and promptly threw up. I don't know how everyone did that 2-3 times a week in college. I'm folding my drinking cards and cashing in whatever I have left. If you want pics, ask Grau.

2) When I found out about Shawn Bradley's broken wrist, I was initially saddened. When I then found out the circumstances surrounding the broken wrist (trying to block a girl's shot but falling because she pump-faked the shit out of him), I couldn't stop laughing. Shades, you are a special person. At least you can still reach a "happy ending" with your strong hand. Bama.

3) Being out here is not that much fun. Autumn hates the weather, her new job, and being so far from her family. Other than that, she's having a blast. And we are poorer than two cockroaches on East Capitol Street. I have been eating the same sandwiches for lunch for the past 4 months. Work for me is slow. No one really talks to me, it's difficult to start working on my own case, and I don't have anybody assigned to me as a Field Training Officer (the norm for most offices). Plus, when I see new graduates going to closer field offices, it makes me even more upset. We might be back there sooner rather than later.

Enough for now. Be safe out there.