Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dan Plays Defense

"Do you want coverage or celebration? Do you want subjective commentary and analysis, or do you just want writer/fans rooting for the local teams to win?"

That's what The CHB writes today.

So many things wrong with that single statement?

First, it's a false equivalency. Fans want all of it, and in appropriate doses.

But let's remind readers that Shank offers only snarky commentary, and no analysis. Consider this past week's "efforts," when over the span of 24 hours he went from calling the Patriots Super Bowl bound to "laughable."

"I don’t care if they win. I don’t care if they lose. I love sports. I love football. I love the story. The story can be great, win or lose. But I am not emotional about the outcome."

 Absolutely, irrefutably untrue. One needs only look vitriol he's spewed at players, managers, executives and yes, fans (including in today's column) over the years to recognize that 1) he is emotional, and about everything and 2) he roots for an outcome. And no, sometimes it's for the home team to lose, and that's in part what readers (if there are any left) both recognize and despise.

Today shows The CHB at his most defensive. It's the same column he writes roughly once per year. The fans don't know dick: That's the one thing he never flips on.

Dan, we don't care what you think. We don't care how you feel. We just want you to go away. John Henry, give us an early Christmas present.


Roger Bournival said...

"But I am not emotional about the outcome."

That's called a self-refuting statement; if he wasn't emotional, he wouldn't turn 180 in a single day about the Patriots like he did.

Shank does not do disingenuous very well, does he?

Roger Bournival said...

Oh yeah - read the comments to Shank's column; some are priceless!

Chris Matthewson said...

Dan sounds like Sophia Loren's gynecologist explaining how she's just another patient; or like a dissembling political pundit talking about his own objectivity. The truth is that, unless you are made of computer circuits and chips, when you are a fan of a sport, you no doubt root for certain team(s) and players in that sport over other teams and players.

Shank can lie like a weasel and say he is completely dispassionate and unemotional about all players and teams, but I submit that it would be inhuman for a fan of a sport not to admire certain teams and individuals over certain other teams and individuals.

You certainly don't have to be very passionate or a "fanatic" about any particular team or player; but to the extent that you are not passionate and emotional, you are probably less of a writer or commentator. Passion and emotion can inspire greatness--even in sports writing.

So, I would ask Dan to explain the following: How can someone be passionate about a sport without being passionate about a particular team and certain athletes in that sport. Also, please explain how a passionless outlook--one devoid of emotion--would not result in passionless writing.

BTW, how many of you believe Dan brings worthwhile "subjective commentary and analysis" to the columns he writes?

And P.S.: Sports is not like "politics, science, medicine, labor, and international relations." Sports is entertainment that can give us a break from those more serious and important endeavors. Yes, politics is the #1 spectator sport in the nation and can provide lots of entertainment, too; but these other endeavors have far greater and more serious implications than whether our local teams win championships or not. Sorry to burst the bubbles of those whose bylines reside on sports pages, but the subjects of your writing are inherently trivial. Yet, sports writing that conveys passion, emotion and, yes, even "fandom" can approach high literature. It is a testament to Man's tribal genetic make-up that we can elevate something so inherently trivial to be such a focal point of attention and seeming importance! We can do this because we infuse that thing with passion and emotion. We care. And we don't appreciate those who set themselves up as uncaring chroniclers of that which we care so much about.