Monday, May 4, 2009

links — May is the cruellest month

Forget what T.S. Eliot said — this is the cruelest month for a football fan. Spring practice is gone; fall feels like a long ways off. The balance of college baseball will keep us (sort of) entertained through the rest of this month, and we'll have baseball all summer, of course ... still, those of us who love football will have to get by on youtube, DVDs and little tidbits, hopefully not about some of our team's best players getting into fights or dealing cocaine (shudder).

Anyway, while I have a moment, here are some links.
— Speaking of arrests, Scarbo has a column either intended to give UA a back-handed compliment, or jinx the rest of the offseason for us. The next two months are easily the most terrifying for a head coach: spring is over, and training for the fall doesn't start in earnest until July, so basically most of your guys are either a) working out in Tuscaloosa with little else to do or b) hanging out in their hometowns with little else to do. This is how we get stories of 3 a.m. club brawls, or Kenny Stabler racing back to Tuscaloosa at 5 a.m. and driving roughly 175 mph. It's genuily frightening.
— Two funny bits of offseason news: first, in an effort to promote Julio Jones as a top-tier athlete, Athlon accidentally pulled a photo of Chris Rogers. Heard they already corrected that one.
The second isn't so funny: kleph from RBR tackles the wide range of reactions around the nation following Saban's assessment of the Sugar Bowl at A-Day. Like most lazy national columnists and bloggers who don't bother to actually read the stories to which they're reacting, the national folks who chose to comment on this story took one of two routes:
• OMG, Saban's a real jerk!
• ZOMG, 'Bama fans are crazy!
And both of those things may be true, but this story is hardly an example of such. Give me a break.
— That leads us to a fantastic blog post by Jerry at JCCW, about Bill Simmons, ESPN, the culture of the blogosphere and the frustrated fans among us who just want to watch games.
This is where good blogs come in: they can help us watch sports, in a way that neither ESPN nor newspapers nor any other style of media currently can. When they're about something, when they genuinely care about their subject, when they help us understand the sports and the teams we all love so much, when they forge communities based around something other than one-liners ... they can be invaluable. But that's not what I see at the big mainstream sports blogs: how much insight is there, really, at The Big Lead? How much substance at With Leather? Is there anything approaching actual, you know, human emotion from the nihilists at KSK?
Look, I'm not saying every blogger out there has to, say, be capable of redefining the way we think about Joe Paterno, like Orson, or hold the emotional center for an entire country of mid-major dreamers, like Kyle, or x-ray the inner workings of our team like Brian or build a community strong enough to legitimately earn the "Such-and-Such Nation" tag like Peter or open up our sport the same way a good professor opens up a classic novel like Matt or B. Shoals. (Or, to use an example a little bit closer to the heart of this blog's principal audience, to bring the incredible shared history of our alma mater to vivid life like Jeremy.) But dammit, they'd better care about something more than celebrity gossip, pageviews, and the best way to work some sort of reference to bodily functions into as many posts as possible. It's not the only way for a blog to get popular, but it's the only way to answer the Bissingers of the world, the only way for it to matter.
— With that, stuff that's actually about sports: the Tide baseball team swept State over the weekend, with more offense than Mike Shula ever engineered during his tenure on campus. Also, coach Grant is already hard at work, signing a point guard, something the team has lacked ever since Ronald Steele had two healthy legs.
— One other thing that may be possibly about sports: Urban Meyer thinks Auburn's limo warrants an investigation. I think it warrants mild guffawing and pity. And that's about it.
— Christopher Walsh takes the BCS to task in the wake of last week's Senate hearings, joining the parade of columnists who pile on something nobody liked in the first place (it's like taking the cigarette companies to task — who's on the side of the cigarettes, really?).
— Our Braves (my grandmother's term) have a tough stretch upcoming. Is it possible to be out of the race in May? Maybe not mathematically.
— Finally, Spencer has an epilogue from the Kentucky Derby, and Norman Chad gives us his typical negative post-mortem.

1 comment:

-D. said...

"Mild guffawing and pity." Well put, sir. I sort of felt sorry for them, too--if only for a second. It really is kind of pathetic, isn't it?