Friday, February 23, 2007

The Blowhard

Wow, the Blowhard has been busy this week--6 columns in a row! It has shocked me that we have gone since Sunday without much mention of either Manny or Curt, although Dan got a nice dig in on Schilling yesterday, comparing him to John Candy. I am really surprised CHB has not made any references to Manny and the car show although I'm sure we will get that soon enough

Today's column centers on the Red Sox and Schilling breaking off contract talks for next year. Shaughnessy gives the minute-by-minute unfolding of the morning and he breathlessly reports:

"Shortly after Hoyer told Henry what Schilling said on the radio, the owner engaged in a one-on-one discussion with Schilling. From a distance, the exchange seemed less than amicable."

After reading that, I feel like tuning into General Hospital to get a dose of reality. I despise this type of reporting. "From a distance" and "seemed"? Typical Shaughnessy--he likes to stoke the fire with school-girl speculation.

John Candy (yesterday) and Serena Williams (today) comparisons aside, Shaughnessy does echo what I have heard consistently from elsewhere that Schilling looks very much overweight. The Red Sox are making a business decision based on Schilling's condition and age and it is a perfectly logical one. Shaughnessy spells that out just fine.

If Schilling does not return next year, there has got to be a part of Shaughnessy that will be very depressed. The Globe sports page will be a lesser place without references to Blowhards, fan-boy bloggers, and Curt's late night little friends. These things helped fill the void after the depressing departure of "the curse"...but all good things must come to an end.


Chris said...

does 'From a distance' mean from the pool or from a beach chair? The beauty of being a sports journalist is that you can fail miserably at more meaningful academic endeavors yet go on endless expenses-paid junkets like these. That Chia Pet Shaughnessy is the 'elder statesman' (key word: 'elder') gives him the right to pick the pool AND the beach chair. What a leech he is.

Paul said...


You forget that 99.9% of the sports "media" are leeches by definition. They get to go to all the games they want on their company's dime, meet sports stars that you and I will never meet and make fun of fans for cheering their team on.

Let's say that I waved a magic wand and all the sports reporters went away (and got real jobs). If the papers only posted the box scores and maybe a quick recap of the game, would the sports world come apart at the seams?

I think most players are as annoyed with the media as I am. Interviews with players rarely give anyone a fresh perspective. Case in point is the movie "Bedazzled". Brendan Frazier's character wishes to become a famous basketball player to impress a girl. There's a scene where he's surrounded by the media and he keeps giving the same answer to all the reporter's questions. He says "You wanna do good and you try to do good...and I think we did pretty good today". That's pretty much the gist of EVERY sports interview ever. (Occasionally, you get some funny moments like the Colts "Playoffs?!", "They are who we thought they were" and "Practice?" interviews but they are few and far between).

Paul said...

Now for my comments on the column: I couldn't finish reading it to be honest. I can't believe Shank draws a paycheck from a major newspaper. I mean, not even a third of the way through he's hurling backhanded insults and sarcasm like nobody's business. I know it's an opinion column but please. What he's doing bordering on libel. Unfortunately, Shank is smart enough tread that fine line.

Does he realize that most Red Sox fans don't hate Schilling? In fact, quite the opposite. I haven't met one Sox fan over the last four years that hates Schilling. Shank has an unreasonable and scary hatred for the man.

mouse said...

In fact, quite the opposite. I haven't met one Sox fan over the last four years that hates Schilling.

(Raises hand)

Well, "hate" is too strong a word. Let's just say that I sometimes find Schilling grating, annoying and overbearing, especially right now as he's trying to negotiate his new contract through the media. For all the slamming Pedro used to get for being a "diva," Curt isn't exactly behaving like an "everyman" at the moment.

Certainly doesn't mean it's OK for Shank to rip him in one of his half-assed columns, of course. The two of them would make a great pair for an "Odd Couple" remake.

dbvader said...

He claims that covering the Red Sox is like taking layup drills on an 8 foot rim, but this column was so boring and uninformative. Stir the pot and add nothing. Serve to the masses.

Chris said...

Although they probably feign to cast a blind eye (In other words, they know but won't admit as much), do you believe as I do that sports media 'personalities' truly know how much they are despised and hated? I mean, on the radio they have nothing more than Connecticut School of Broadcasting pedigrees yet they act all high-and-mighty. Like the 'bad haircut boys' on FSNE (Twangway, et al).

But this is about Shaughnessy, and I surely hope HE knows how much he is hated and despised. Before the Internet came along--thank you, Al Gore--sports media folks were insulated to a large degree from the hatred they encounter now. Even though Chia Pet may not read this blog, it must torture him to know that many of his co-workers and 'friends' do.

Dave M said...

Chris, Paul, Mouse, even OB, and all the posters I'm forgetting to : Thanks very much for taking the time to comment. We really enjoy reading through the debate, the comments (pro and con), and the banter. We appreciate your inputs...please keep posting

As I thought about this column today, the one other thing that bothers me and it's not just Shaughnessy but Shaughnessy is the biggest culprit ...the Boston writers think the Boston controversies are somehow unique or excessive compared to other teams. THe essence of what I am getting at is captured in SHaughnessy's metaphor about layups on an 8-foot goal.

My feeling is that much of this news is blown out of proportion. Yes we have an apparently moody slugger but there are plenty of others (Bonds? Sheffield? ARod?). CHB thinks the Schilling issue is a unique case but there is a Yankees pitcher (Rivera) who is also negotiating through the media.

Are the Boston teams really so much different than others?

Anonymous said...

Wow, if covering the Sox is so easy, (8-foot basket, etc.), why are CHB's columns so boring? Why is he so out of touch with Red Sox fans? I can't even get to the end of his pieces any more. Just deathly routine.

Chris said...

Much of what you read and hear from the Boston sports media is amplified through a unique and mysterious black box. When you look into the box, a video plays. It shows a car driving through the last toll-booth on the Mass Pike in western Massachusetts. Immediately upon exiting the toll booth, the car plunges off the edge of the earth because, you see, the world ends where Massachusetts ends. There is nothing worth knowing, nothing worth seeing, nothing worth learning after Massachusetts ends.

This is, after all, the reality that the Boston media--especially the sports media--subscribes to. Their myopia and parochialism is laughably evident and symbolized most crisply through the eyes of a rust-colored Chia pet named Danny.