Opening Day; American LCD

Opening Day:  Rory McIlroy tees off at 7:50 am local California time, 10:30 am EDT.

Pop Quiz:  Can you recall the winners of the four 2015 majors?  Can you recall the winners of the four just-completed Fed Ex playoff tournaments?  (Can you remember what those tournaments were?)  How about for 2014?  The point is that the Fed Ex playoffs are pretty darn forgettable.

That’s Exciting!  (Isn’t it?)   So I get up this morning and turn on the radio as I’m making coffee.  All-night sports talk is going strong, and the first thing I hear is something about “the bat flip heard round the world.” A little later, on one of the television cable news channels, a sports update informs me of the “dramatic bat flip.”

I think about the golf media’s obsession with fist pumps.  NFL sack dances.  Weekly uniform changes for college football teams.  (This is a big deal, believe it or not.  If a team wears black, it’s especially exciting; I have no idea why.)  Choreographed, smoke-shrouded NBA player introductions.  Fantasy sports causing fans to put individual player stats before team results.  (And also, apparently, putting the money of regular joes into the pockets of insiders and arbitrage pros.)  Sports is becoming more and more sizzle, less and less steak.

Gertrude Stein wrote, “There is no there there.”  That seems applicable to American sports in the 21st century.

By the way, while I made coffee, two listeners called the all-night sports talk show.  Both had an opinion on the bat flip.  Not the game.  The bat flip.

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4 Responses to Opening Day; American LCD

  1. BatterUp says:

    Unlike some of those things you mentioned, it seems to me the bad flip carries with it a more taunting, unsportsmanlike, feel to it. There may be some in what you mentioned but those things have more of a celebration, get pumped up, feel to it.

    • lannyh says:

      Oh, for sure. I was thinking more in terms of how so much sports coverage focuses on the silly stuff. I’ve been in a philosophical mood lately, and it seems to much news and sports coverage these days is “tabloid” stuff. Maybe it was always like that, and I just never paid enough attention, or thought about it at all.

      In the end, I DO think we live in a more shallow world. I don’t know if you are old enough to remember when USA Today first came out. People criticized it for be a McNewspaper. The stories were purposefully very short. There were lots of “shiny” color graphics and charts. It was obviously a shallower product. It was Weekly Reader, not the New York Times. It seems like everything else has followed that pattern.

      • BatterUp says:

        The way I see it, social media ruined journalism. Social media is purely about the silly stuff and/or blowing things out of proportion so for the masses its about being “interesting”….not “informative”.

      • lannyh says:

        “Interesting” is being kind. I think they strive for titillating or enraging.

        I’ve mentioned this before: Those Nigerian e-mail scams that are filled with grammatical mistakes… that is done on purpose, as a way of weeding out people who see the mistakes and go, “Oh, this is so obviously not legit.” They want people so naive and stupid that they might actually send money.

        Maybe that’s what ESPN and Draft Kings are doing. Or ABC/NBC/CBS and the pharmaceutical companies. Internet websites and their “sponsored content.” Their articles/reporting is designed to weed out the intelligent and discriminating, so their ads will find a more pliable audience. That is, if the Nigerian e-mail scammers bought time on ESPN, they would want the dumbest audience possible.

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