Romney and Earth, NFL Time, Media Takedowns, Foot Injury

  • I watched Romney’s speech at the GOP Convention, which I thought was way bland — was he shooting for the voters who buy Franklin Mint plates? — until he got to his laugh line about Obama caring about rising seas, which the crowd thought was hilarious. Nothing says humor like the drowned homes of billions. So I have to agree with this sadly brilliant tweet:

  • Still, I’m feeling strangely better all of a sudden … it’s the scent of lukewarm wing grease, stale Coors Light, and desperation wafting from a size-XS Bears T-shirt slit down to the sternum amidst a sea of Cutler-bejerseyed bros …

    The NFL.

    It’s a mere week and a half until I can declare the end to my yearly sports-free summer (Baseball? Psh!) and gorge on the bounty of Steeler hysteria just around the corner. Your correspondents at The Economist will have to wait patiently until Wednesday evenings before I pick up their magazine, because there’s RedZone to watch and NFL Rewind to analyze. Let’s break down my 2012 season:

    • How will I watch? I’ve called it a day with NFL Sunday Ticket To Go: I mostly enjoyed it last year, but not enough to justify the $300 per season price tag. This year I can’t even find any material about how to get solo STTG without signing up for a full TV package — DirecTV is really pounding on subscriptions to the point of hinting that STTG isn’t even available without a DirecTV subscription, which is unlikely because it would be in direct violation of DirecTV’s exclusive contract with the NFL from 2009.

      But it’s all good, because the live cuts of the RedZone channel are in almost every way better than having to manually jump around between games — I’m perfectly happy to let the pros keep track of each game for me and cut live to the best parts of the 1 and 4 p.m. games, particularly to the tune of only $5 per month. It’s then just another $39 to buy NFL Rewind for the full season, where I can watch every full game the day after it broadcasts, including coaches’ film or their fantastic 30-minute condensed broadcasts.

      You might ask about the Steelers in particular — how will I watch them live without Sunday Ticket? Fortunately the Steelers are a good team and popular across the country — perhaps due to our spread-out “faces of meth” fanbase — so there are a good number of games that get a high slot for national broadcast, including the opener against Denver. For those games that aren’t national, I can always hit Lincoln Tap Room or Durkin’s (a.k.a. “The Vomit Room”), but no matter what, I can watch the full game on Monday. When I add the fact that this setup is just $64 for the season, I’m all set for game consumption.

      (I will note that the “condensed game” feature provides high-powered ammunition to anyone complaining about the pacing of the NFL — when you can watch all the meat of a 3-hour broadcast in 30 minutes, there’s something to the football haters’ perspective. Still, that’s like saying we should eliminate all milk in favor of condensed milk, which while delicious is not really a one-to-one substitute. I don’t put condensed milk in my tea, because that would be really weird and insane. Debate point: pro football and me.)

    • Why do I watch pro so much more than college? Easy:
      1. No puke-worthy hypocrisy about “student athletes” playing for pristine, academics-first institutions and their pure love of the game,
      2. More focus on quality of team play because everybody’s a super-duper athlete, making the game impossible for one dude to dominate, and
      3. I use Saturdays to actually do things, while Sundays are historically a day for sitting around like a lump anyway, so I feel less guilt about 12 hours of getting fat and watching people collide violently for my entertainment.
    • Why won’t ESPN bring back the fantastic Monday Night Football intro music (the awesome instrumental, not Hank Williams)?

    • How can I ethically watch guys permanently injure themselves? The concussion focus of the past few years has given me pause about football fandom, but ultimately I know I’ll watch anyway. How is this OK? If you asked 100 American men if they’d trade five years of their life to be a pro football player with all the perks that come with it, I think 95-99 would take the deal. Hell, I probably would. We put football players on a pedestal as early as high school, showering them with money, fame and adulation all the way into retirement. Clearly this is a societal priority way out of whack, but it makes it a rational choice to live the football life. Most of these guys are such great athletes that they could just as easily pursue a different sport, like baseball or basketball, that has less risk of injury for the same personal glory. But they chose football, still the nation’s top stage. The country isn’t going to give up the NFL, and I don’t think that it should have to — we all pay into it, and we all take from it.

      That’s not to say the NFL shouldn’t try to reduce injuries instead of just giving it lip service and selling us on the violence itself. Hypocrisy sucks.

    My prediction for the Super Bowl: Patriots over Eagles. I will completely hate this Super Bowl if I’m right.

  • Here’s a great set of links to stories that show how a journalist truly takes someone down: The Longform Guide to Takedowns

    My favorite excerpt, by Matt Taibbi on Thomas Friedman:

    Friedman is a person who not only speaks in malapropisms, he also hears malapropisms. Told level; heard flat. This is the intellectual version of Far Out Space Nuts, when NASA repairman Bob Denver sets a whole sitcom in motion by pressing “launch” instead of “lunch” in a space capsule. And once he hits that button, the rocket takes off.

  • And finally, a look at the cut I sustained this week when I scraped my bare foot against a roof vent. (Shoes = good invention.) NOTE: Pretty gross, so I’m making you click to see the grossness.

    Yup, that’s my tendon. Lookin’ good.

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