Monday, July 30, 2007

Bloggolalia: Blogging Laws I Love to Break, Part 2

Part 1 of Blogging Laws I Love to Break is here.
6. You shall make fun of everything you do not understand in the world of sports. This tendency especially annoys me when it shows cultural ignorance. If black players want to have a special handshake, or Latino/Euro players want to kiss on both cheeks, or Christian players want to point at the sky or make the sign of the cross, let them. When bloggers make fun of such things, from my vantage point it appears ignorant and shows disrespect. Save your comedic stones and arrows for stupidity that transcends genetics and culture. Or, a player will be a little eccentric (Gilbert Arenas, or Manny Ramirez) in a way that wouldn't raise many eyebrows at your job. However, because it's an athlete, it becomes a big deal. Frankly, sometimes I wonder if nerd resentment is the cause; bloggers are saying "You may be my physical superior, and get more ladies, but I am smarter than you!"
7. You shall mock outspoken or thoughtful athletes by telling them to "shut up and play", while complaining all the time that "nobody ever does anything interesting" in sports.
Admittedly more of a regular media bias, but see, for example, Deadspin on Curt Schilling. Look at that hating! And yet, what major leaguer is more like the average blogger than Curt Schilling? And it's fascinating how much resentment is launched toward players who give thoughtful opinions on topics (see the coverage of Steve Nash for his anti-war stance). Again, media like to think of athletes as their physical superiors and mental inferiors, and they don't like it when an athlete messes with the social structure. Quick quiz; think of Derek Jeter/Alex Rodriguez, Kobe Bryant/Shaquille O'Neal, Tom Brady/Peyton Manning. Now, which one gets the better media coverage? It's the one who talks less or seems less intelligent. Hmm...interesting.
8. You shall never admit it if your favorite athlete messed up, especially if you share a belief or skin color with that athlete.
Just once, I'd like to visit a blog after their favorite team or athlete messed up and hear them admit "So-and-so just had a bad day" or "Maybe he's not who I thought he was." Look, this is a blind spot for me too. If someone told me (hypothetical example) that David Robinson was caught on tape stealing millions from the Spurs, my first comment would probably be "Oh, not David Robinson! He's such a good Christian!" However, the more impressive move would be to admit "David sinned, he needs to repent and repay the money, and if he doesn't, I can't continue to pretend he's an excellent Christian. It doesn't make me or anyone else any less of a Christian just because David was less of a Christian." etc. It's not the time for me to start squawking about "disrespect of Christian athletes", "Mainstream Media Bias" and "If you keep digging and hating, of course you'll find something." Completely out of place; any clarifying argument is much more legitimate if I admit the fault up front.


  1. THANK YOU FOR #7!!!!!! I was actually going to email you this weekend to ask you thoughts on people bashing players that "talk to much" (Schilling) and ALSO bashing players that don't talk (Jordan, Woods) at all about social issues. MJD did the same thing last Friday in his "Debriefing". (I no longer read him anymore)

    I think you hit the nail on the head with the Nash comments. Let a player come out as pro-war, pro-life or any other issue the media doesn't agree with and they will get tarred and feathered in the media.

    side note:
    I hope you come back to blogging, b/c I feel that your blog does indeed bring a new twist to the blogs and makes people think. hope all goes well with your outside work.

  2. I broke #8 frequently when Michael Barrett was still with the Cubs. Also, when the Cubs/Bulls play poorly, I don't hesitate to write it. You can't appreciate the sweet without the sour....

  3. Can't the rule be don't apologize for your favorite players unless your bias is transparent?

  4. Wow, you have been on fire all week. The 2 Michelles was a good find, and this post was dead on. #6 was perfect. It's actually one of my biggest pet peeves, especially when you consider that 97% (according to Ballhype's survey) of bloggers are white.

  5. Oooooh, I will absolutely mock athletes that are too sky-pointy. And to assume I do not understand the draw of individualistic and personal religions - or the personal manifestation of liberation theology - is rather presumptuous on your part.

    I find it arrogant, silly and, most of all, completely illogical in the grand scheme of things, chaos theory speaking.

    Did your God beat my God in that completely meaningless strikeout?

    And I'm not even sure what my God is.

  6. Adrian--thanks for the kind words. I'll be here and there. You are absolutely right. A player is in trouble if he doesn't talk at all, talks but isn't interesting, and talks too much. So basically, players can't please anyone!

    Cobra, absolutely. Well-said.

    The hcic, only if you call yourself "The Michael Vick Apologist." :-) I kid.

    SML, yes, because so many bloggers are white, it definitely affects coverage. Good point.

    Ney, if someone is sky-pointing/handshaking incessantly, that's different. I'm talking more about people who are just a little different and get hammered for it.