Friday, January 19, 2007

Off Topic

Get your load of unfiltered JohnMcG thoughts here....

  • An NYT op-ed that didn't find its way to the iraqwarit feed. Regular readers know where I stand on this issue.

    The reaction to the news that there may be less ethically troubling sources of flexible stem cells is interesting. If everyone were about finding cures, it seems that this would be universally celebrated. We can have our cures and not eat embryos, too. But no, it's not.

  • Prediction: Colts over Patriots
    Bill Simmons writes today about how quickly we want to dispose of dynasties. I'm not so sure.

    First, I don't buy that the Patiots are a dynasty. They've won three Super Bowls, but the combined winning margin for those three victories doesn't creep into double digits. They've taken advantage of other teams' mistakes. Their only player who can make a claim for true greatness is Tom Brady, who specializes in driving his team to the 20 yard line in tie games to set up a winning field goal. Has he had a transcendent moment? They're the NFL version of the Spurs and the Devils. If nobody else does anything special, they'll win.

    Second, the greatness of the Patriots is built upon management more than anything else, which people aren't going to be that excited about. They have a knack of replacing players who have become overpriced with cheaper alternatives. That might delight an MBA, and it seems to be the best way to run a team in today's NFL, but it's not too much to cheer for. The celebrated dynasties -- the Jeter-O'Neill-Bernie Yankees, the Kobe-Shaq Lakers, the Aikman-Emmitt-Irvin Cowboys, the Jordan-Pippen Bulls, were anchored by stars with staying power. Simmons said rooting for the Patriots is like rooting for the house in blackjack. I say it's like rooting for Wal-Mart. In spite of being under the cap, we won't match the market price for our only play making receiver and still be successful! Woo hoo.

    So I don't think we have to apologize for our unwillingness to celebrate the Pats.

  • Saints over Bears
    I don't get it -- the Bears needed overtime to beat a banged up 9-7 team that has a great home field advantage and only won the previous week because of a dropped field goal snap, and they've exorcised all their demons? I'm unconvinced.

  • One more McGwire point
    A lot of the rhetoric out there seems to be that anybody who at all enjoyed the 1998 home run chase but doesn't support McGwire's HOF candidacy is a hypocrite.

    To me, this seems like arguing that anybody who enjoyed Borat but doesn't support it for the Best Picture Oscar is a hypocrite.

    I think Bob Costas nicely captured the nuance many are missing:

    "But I also had to appreciate the circumstances surrounding the home run race of '98 ... I was in the ballpark that night in St. Louis in September of '98, and (saw) the grace and decency with which McGwire carried himself. In a time of crassness and exhibitionism, he showed a real appreciation for the game's history. Now I realize there's an irony there because he and others who have excelled in that era have, whether it was their intention or not, distorted that history."

    He was rolling now: "This is a complicated subject," Costas added. "But he was more than respectful of Roger Maris, a man whom history had treated wrongly up until that point. The way that evening played out in St. Louis, even down to the groundskeeper ... it captured the whole spirit, not just of that home run chase, but just the way people relate to baseball in St. Louis.

    "The whole feeling that night cut against the general sensibility and the general tone of much of what plagues modern sports."

    Still stumbling over his words, Costas pressed on: "... But as almost always happens in modern media, if it can't be reduced to a cartoon or a sound bite, we have no use for it. So in 1998 he was a hero. And now he is a cardboard villain. But the truth, as always, is much more complicated than that."

    I think a lot of us knew there was something amiss about what was going on, but we weren't going to let that stop us from enjoying the moment.

    The Hall of Fame election gives us an opportunity to consider not just whether we want to celebrate the achievement, but confer a timeless honor on it. It doesn't seem outlandish that there would be different standards in place.


Keifus said...

Ah, Bob Costas. I remember that smarmy little bastard must have been 1991-92. Pats playing (I think) the Houston Oilers. Bob says, "Wll, I think we can write this one off as a loss for the [buffoonish] New England squad."

Two minutes later, the Patriots come back for a miracle come-from-behind victory. One of their two of the season.

Um. So. Predictions for Sunday? Win or lose, Keifus will get really emotional about the play calling (a fucking blitz, you kidding me? You got two kickass running backs, but...), and emphatically spill beer on the carpet. Under the circumstances, my wife won't mind.

And, uh...Go Pats!


Dawn Coyote said...

Off your off-topic topic: I'm doing the happy dance over alexa-blue, bacon, Geoff, and Splendid_IREny joining Wikifray. Welcome, luscious people.