The Agony of Defeat

But his Buluva watch survived!

Stick to sports, they say.

That’s what they told Deadspin. Deadspin, a website founded on the premise of not sticking to sports at all. They, in this case, being the guys who own Deadspin, the guys who own it after the previous guys owned it, the guys who bought it from Nick Denton, who sold it because some billionaire set out to destroy Gawker.

Stick to sports. Stick to the game.

Deadspin’s rise and fall was the game.

We’ve been watching that particular game from the sidelines, as a spectator. We don’t follow sports. We don’t have a need for Deadspin’s clever commentary on sports. We know that Deadspin was always about more than sports, much broader than what you would find in the sports sections of what newspapers remain, probably much broader than what you might find on ESPN, although we don’t watch that, either.

We were aware of The Concourse. We always thought that was a clever way to get not-sports into a sports blog — make it about the shit you talk about at halftime while you’re waiting in line for what passes as beer in America.

The Concourse was Deadspin acknowledging — embracing — that you can’t stick to sports, not in America, and probably not anywhere else. Deadspin would have been all over the integration of baseball. Deadspin would have devoted ongoing coverage to the fallout from Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their fists at the 1968 Olympics. Deadspin would have dived deep into the terrorist massacre at the 1972 Olympics.

That one we remember watching, by the way. We remember that one unfolding, we remember only the ABC sportscasters being there to cover it. We remember Jim McKay looking at the camera, shaking his head, and saying “They’re all gone.”

Stick to sports.

We’re from Eugene, Oregon, born and raised. Two degrees from the University of Oregon. The football team sucked while we were growing up. Sucked hard. Bottom 10 hard. That was a weekly syndicated column, “Bottom 10”. Hilarious. Then the Ducks started showing up there regularly, and the newspaper canceled it.

Stick to sports.

Fast-forward a decade or so, and Phil Knight starts pouring his Nike money into the program. Suddenly the Ducks are good, suddenly they’re winning, suddenly they’re going to bowl games. College athletics at its finest? Nah, just cold, hard cash, like every other successful program. Money the players themselves don’t get, only now they might, at least some of it, but that would ruin the game, wouldn’t it?

Stick to sports. Pay no attention to the money behind the curtain. Pay no attention to what that money does to a program, what it does to the people running the program, what it does to the community surrounding it. Wait for a scandal, then confine yourself to the specific people caught up in it. Ignore the money that bred those conditions in the first place.

While you’re there, ignore every city whose taxpayers have been soaked by professional teams whose wealthy owners would rather have someone else pay for new stadiums. Ignore the fact that professional sports is a big business run by raving socialists. Don’t desecrate that taxpayer-funded field with your political gestures. But don’t forget to enjoy the color guards and military flyovers!

Deadspin, a site we rarely read because we have no interest in sports, approached sports with that attitude, sports in society, sports as part of a larger whole, an integrated whole, at least in our culture. You cannot look at sports without seeing the rest. You cannot help seeing how sports affect the rest, and how the rest affects sports. And you cannot help writing about what you see, how you see it. That’s what writers are supposed to do. Writers don’t stick to sports because sports don’t stick to sports. Hey, you hear how the President of the United States got roundly booed at a prominent sports event? Again?

Sports have never stuck to sports. We knew that growing up with a sucky football team. (The basketball team had a few awesome years.) We knew that because we heard it every Saturday afternoon, every opening to Wide World of Sports: The human drama of athletic competition.

The human drama. The thrill of victory. The agony of defeat.

Sports are about being human. So is society. So is politics. We can’t stick to sports. We don’t. We never have.

Only the people who don’t want us seeing the rest want us sticking to sports. They benefit from our ignorance. They thrive on it. Pay no attention to the money behind the curtain. Pay no attention to what happens off the field. Pay no attention to the rest. It’s better that way.

For them, anyway.

11 comments:

2:59 pm • Sunday • November 3, 2019

If Deadspin stuck to sports then no one would have give a single shit as ESPN and other sites do that just as well.

I read about the various scandals in sports from Deadspin not the MSM because the MSM sports journalism is designed to protect the vested interests.

Worst case example: Notorious thief of NHL pensions, NHL Players Association Prez (head of the fucking player’s union) Alan Eagleson could not face prosecution for stealing player’s pension money and giving it to the owners in Canada(!!!) because he used hockey tickets as bribery currency for various judges, journos (especially the RW Sun chain) and pols. The US did the dirty work that the Canada City could/would not do.

Or the numerous scams pulled by various professional leagues to suck taxpayer money away from municipalities. Or the general scumminess of university sports where cliche sputtering psychos in golf shirts and headsets become the highest paid PUBLIC SERVANTs over actual more useful public servants while those who toil away for said coaches get nothing except some ideal of edumacation.

I’m with you Nojo. There had been some attempts by sports leaning bozos in Canada City who push the idea of the athletic scholarship for Canada City universities in the idea to make us more competitive with US schools for athletes. I guess I’m old fashioned but I’m glad they don’t with big money corrupting the shit out of the academic system where actual academic merit matters kind of.

7:34 pm • Sunday • November 3, 2019

Sometimes the best use of Sport is not about Sport.

D’spin turned off the comments as well. Haven’t we seen this movie before?

10:05 pm • Sunday • November 3, 2019

It’s dead(spin) Jim.

6:21 pm • Tuesday • November 5, 2019

Wow! I usually don’t do political speeches, however this one by Buttigieg is downright inspiring. I’m getting Obama 2008 tingles.
If he were a 47 year-old governor instead of a 37 year-old mayor, this thing would be over.

https://youtu.be/VOak0ZMxbDM

6:32 pm • Tuesday • November 5, 2019

I just wish Bootygig would run for the Senate; he’d kickass there, and it seems like a much better fit at this point.

Both the inbreds Indiana’s got now look like refried dogshit.

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/IN

11:30 am • Wednesday • November 6, 2019

/Great election news(!!!)/

*Kentucky voters gave Tr666p-slut governor Matt Bevin a late-term abortion in favor of Democrat Andy Beshear.

*The Dems took control of the Virginia senate, thus giving them full control both the legislature and the governor’s office for the first time since 1994.

*From the Human Rights Campaign: “Danica Roem has won re-election in Virginia, making her the first-ever trans candidate to win re-election in a state legislature.”
Now THIS makes me proud to be an American, dammit.

* Juli Briskman, the cyclist who was fired for flipping off Tr666p’s motorcade, has won election to the county supervisors, and her district includes Tr666p’s golf course/dicktator spider hole.

*”Democrats have won the city council majority in Columbus, Indiana, hometown of VP Pence and Congressman Pence, for the first time since 1981.”

8:13 pm • Thursday • November 7, 2019

@¡Andrew!: The bad news? Bloomberg

7:40 am • Friday • November 8, 2019

@peggynooner: I just looked at Barstool Sports for the first time. What a load of sophomoric (sophomoronic?) shite, and they stand to gain the most of the Dspin demise. #sad

10:25 am • Friday • November 8, 2019

@flypaper: Bloomberg will bounce right off the Warren super star destroyer, and then she’ll finish him with a barrage of policy proposals. He can eat subsidized childcare followed by my azz.

2:15 pm • Friday • November 8, 2019

@flypaper:
Remember Coffee Boy’s pathetic run?

Yeah, no one does.

2:16 pm • Friday • November 8, 2019

@¡Andrew!:
Bloomie’s the Billionaire Hero we didn’t need, but deserve (according to Bloomie.)

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