"Tuesday Morning Hangover; Tuesday Ed!" – An Open Letter to Sports Illustrated

 

Hands across the internets!

 

DEAR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (Online),

We love you but we need to talk.

Why don’t you take a seat?  Why not over there, on the sofa, near the hydrangea?  Comfy? Want any coffee, tea, soda, water, anything?

How about the temp – too hot or too cold?  Sure you don’t want any coffee?

You’re fine?  Ok. 

How are Judy and the kids?  Ah, sorry.  My bad.

Listen.  

Love the magazine.  Always have.  You’ve always been my first read in sports.

(Except for that ill-advised experiment back in ’93 when my parents got me subscriptions to Sport and Sports Illustrated for Kids and I kinda had to read them or else it would have been a complete waste.  By the way, just as an aside, who’s idea was it to put the stupid perforated trading cards in each edition of SIFK?  They. Totally. Sucked. Forget it, doesn’t matter). 

So you know you’re my go-to guy.  My slugger.  My champ.  

You’re the best, and even if they stop charging for all the ESPN Insider articles I (think I) will continue to read you first.  Because of your tradition of excellence, and up to now, for applying New York Times-caliber standards of journalism to the business of sports reportage.  Bully.  Cheers to you.

And up ’til now, you’ve largely sidestepped miscues that have plagued your competitors.  For example, ESPN hired Stephen “Stephen A. Smith” Smith and Steve Phillips.  Yeah, embarrassing.  But you’ve also lost some bright stars.  Like Michael Silver.

Wait, you didn’t know about that?  Yeah, dude totally jumped ship like two years ago.  He’s over at Yahoo now.  Actually, you wouldn’t believe how good their online sports section is now…

Oh, sorry, my bad.  

And so, like a developing nation full of engineers and budding surgeons, you are hemorrhaging talent.  At the same time, you got to put words on the site and in the mag…listen, I get it.  

But respectfully, hiring Dan Shaughnessy and letting (or making) Peter King write 4-50 columns a week, was that really the best of plans?  I mean, you must have poor King working around the clock at the neighborhood Starbucks.  And Dan, who knew he even still followed sports.  I mean, seriously, did you see his piece in today’s Boston Globe?  

No, you’re wrong; it’s not funny.

It’s effing retarded is what it is.  

In fact, I’m actually impressed D.S. knew that the NFL’s regular season had ended.  He’s like a school girl, all the dude writes about any more is intrigue: curses, locker room kerfuffles, management coups, etc.  

I mean, he’s always been a personalities man…but unlike say, Ryan or Gammons or even that guy Mike Reis who ESPN gobbled  up — you didn’t know about that either? (sigh) — Shaughnessy doesn’t ever pay attention to the stories happening on the field of play when there’s a manager to bs or young, brilliant GM to bash or a beloved and mercurial slugger to run out of town even after he delivered not one but TWO World Titles after a drought of exactly 86 *%&$ing years.  Yeah.  That kind of pissed me off, come to think of it.

Above: Manny Ramirez, currently NOT playing in Boston thanks to Dan Shaughnessy's indispensable help in running him out of town...yeah, it pisses me off.

 

(sigh)

But all that aside, to allow this, as well as, this to go to print or to the intern who uploads the word.docs to your site or whatever…

Unacceptable.

I mean, I read Peter King’s columns every week.  Every week.  So, don’t get me wrong, I can’t complain.  But you’re supposed to be the bearer of journalistic standards, not the purveyor of mindless gook.  Point is, I read King because I gots to.  Because I can’t consider myself an informed blogger/editor if I don’t make an effort to read the most popular voices on the net.  But dude’s act is wearing thin.  

To quote from King today:

“[One of the things he imagines Mike Shanahan might do right away in Washington if he takes over as Head Coach is]  Look for a defensive coordinator who will give the 3-4 a shot. Shanahan was thinking hard about the 3-4 when I saw him in at Steelers camp last summer. Though Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer will likely be available (the Bengals probably won’t pay him Snyder money to be an assistant) and is experienced with the 3-4 from his Dallas days, I’m not sure Zimmer will be Shanahan’s choice for coordinator. But Shanahan knows he wants to be much better at stopping the run in Washington than he was in Denver.”

Wah?  Excuse me?  What the hell does that mean?  Does that really even qualify as analysis?  So, according to King, the guy who’s maybe gonna be the coach in Washington will maybe hire a defensive coordinator who will himself maybe think about going to a 3-4 defensive scheme and maybe that guy is Mike Zimmer who’s currently employed by another team but that doesn’t matter ‘cuz the Redskins will pay big $$ if they want him but actually you know he probably won’t end up in DC anyways because they probably don’t want him (Zimmer) but anyways Shanahan is probably going to think about having a good defense when he becomes coach.

BAH!  My head!  BAH!  

(I’m picking my brain guts off of your shoe, just a sec) 

This man – though he may be a King –  is certainly NOT a genius.  Stop having him write 400,000 words a week.  And if you must, let him know he can spend half of them talking about his morning trips to see his favorite barista.  Please.

In Shaugnessy’s new article he takes off demonstrating to all, via statistical evidence, just how incredibly excellent Edgar Martinez’s career for the Mariners was.  Oh but wait,  despite 15 YEARS OF DATA-DRIVEN FACT he concludes that actually, Martinez is NOT a hall of fame candidate in his mind because he doesn’t remember WORRYING ABOUT HIM COMING TO FENWAY.  It was the 90s!  Everyone else was on ‘roids!  He hit .300/.400/.500 for his career!  And you just pointed that out!  

Why are you trying to make my head explode???

And haven’t you spent years on the stump for Big Papi even though he’s “spent the majority of every game watching from the bench”?  

Dude, I am NOT making this shit up.  It’s in the article.  Read it.  Most depressing part was that it had never before occurred to me that ole Dan gets to vote on hall of fame ballots.  BAHHHHH!  

So listen, SI, we love you and we only want what’s best.  What remedies do we propose?

Um, how ’bout you tell Peter to take off, I dunno, a day a week in the future.  Hire another guy to write football along with him and Banks.  I’m pretty sure you haven’t had one since Dr. Z went down.

And as for Dan — as long as you kept the packaging — you should go back to Boston and exchange him for that dude Chad Finn.  No, he’s really good.  He also doesn’t self-contradict his own statistical evidence with impenetrable puzzles of logical malfeasance.  

No, you can’t have Bob Ryan.  ESPN  called dibs on him already.

SINCERELY,

[Your friend]

THE VENUIST

 

 

 

No, not THAT Peter King...sigh...

 

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