Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Kid Rock, Dale Earnhardt and Army Recruiting

June 10, 2009

Rebecca and I almost never go out.  In fact, I think the last time we had dinner out — just the two of us — was at Off the Wall.  So it’s no surprise that we don’t see very many first-run movies, either.  Hey, we’re frugal.

But every now and then someone gives us a gift card, and I remember the last time we went they played this absurd Kid Rock video/army recruiting video beforehand.  It accomplishes the neat trick of offending anyone who really bothers to pay attention.  Of course, it’s a nightmare of militarism and jingo.  Mr. Rock isn’t interested in any of your pansy-ass reasons for going to war — “don’t tell me who’s wrong or right” — he just wants to see people die — “if you ain’t gonna fight, get outta the way.”

But the thing is also totally offensive to soldiers, as well.  Scenes of US soldiers in some unnamed and dusky country are interspersed with clips of Mr. Rock on stage (ok, it’s a music video) and . . . Dale Earnhardt Jr. driving around in a circle (?!).  The implication is that the NASCAR driver is also one of the “Warriors” that Mr. Rock is singing about.

Of course, Dale Jr. is there because his car is sponsored by the Army, and he has the huge decal to prove it.  It’s sort of like the world’s biggest “Support the Troops” ribbon.  And like the ribbon phenomenon, his participation in the video is an empty gesture, a badge of pride and politics rather than a show of real concern for the soldiers put in harm’s way by those politics.  Gross.

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Lou Gehrig

May 15, 2009

I think this is the greatest moment in American history.

Brett Favre “Tastes of America”

May 9, 2009
You mean this guy isn't Brett Favre?

You mean this guy isn't Brett Favre?

I’m sick of Brett Favre.  I’m especially sick of what he represents.

Speculation continues to swirl around the possibility that Brett Favre will come out of retirement (again) to suit up for the Minnesota Vikings.  Favre has apparently sent x-rays of his right shoulder to team doctors, and if his arm is up to snuff, he’ll be wearing purple next fall.

ESPN’s John Clayton calls Favre a “marquee quarterback,” but the numbers don’t support the claim.  Favre finished the season with an 81 quarterback rating, an equal number of TDs and interceptions, and 6 games with a QB rating under 70.  Those aren’t the numbers of a marquee quarterback — they’re the numbers of an erratic quarterback, the kind of guy who can lose a game just as quickly as he can win one.  In fact, our own Trent Edwards had a statistically superior season to Favre, and unlike Favre he’s likely to improve with age.  So why does much of the media  still consider Favre a game-changing star?

Outdated ideas about what it means to be a man, mostly.  While many of our sports stars have constructed cosmopolitan or metrosexual identities — think David Beckham, Derek Jeter or even A-Rod — Favre has been a throwback, the good ol’ boy with his Wrangler jeans and John Deere tractor.  And since football is the most conservative American sport, football writers eat that shit up.

Race is also a factor, too.  Favre is a drug addict who has spent the last several years putting himself before the team with his annual will-he-or-won’t-he dramatics.  He’s also a successful white athlete in an industry where the gatekeepers — if not the participants themselves — are overwhelmingly white.  It’s unimaginable that a black player in a similar situation would be regarded as a minor national treasure, as Favre is in some circles.

The best satire of America that I’ve ever seen is “Talledaga Nights: the Ballad of Ricky Bobby.”  It touches on the confluence of sports, masculinity and conservatism that’s embodied in Brett Favre.  After kissing him, Jean Giroux told Ricky Bobby “you taste of America.”  The same could be said of Brett Favre.

Manny Being Druggy

May 7, 2009
Yeah, I cheated in Boston, too . . .

Yeah, I cheated in Boston, too . . .

Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez, one of the 5 best right-handed hitters in baseball history, was suspended for 50 games today for failing a drug test.  Early indications are that Manny “did not test positive for steroids, but for a drug that was prescribed by a doctor for a medical condition.”

Given that a doctor can write a prescription for just about anything and for just about any reason, I’m not buying this excuse.  Since steroids have been explicitly denied by thse in the Ramirez camp, I’m betting on Human Growth Hormone as the culprit.

I like Manny, so part of me is sad that he’ll be gone until the All-Star break.  But I also hate the Red Sox, so it’s nice to see that someone affiliated with them until last year is finally caught up in a performance enhancing drug scandal.  Anyone who imagines that Manny just started juicing after he got to LA probably believes that A-Rod stopped before he got to the Yankees.  Nonsense.

UPDATE

Apparently, the drug that Manny was taking is a woman’s fertility drug!  From this article:

However, two sources told ESPN’s T.J. Quinn and Mark Fainaru-Wada that the drug used by Ramirez is HCG — human chorionic gonadotropin. HCG is a women’s fertility drug typically used by steroid users to restart their body’s natural testosterone production as they come off a steroid cycle. It is similar to Clomid, the drug Bonds, Giambi and others used as clients of BALCO.

Torry Holt’s Finger

May 4, 2009

holt

Torry Holt was on my fantasy team last year.  He sucked.  Maybe the whole deformity thing had something to do with it.

“I’m going to leave it just like this,” Holt says. “This is what I got out of the game. Some crooked fingers. It scares little kids, too.”