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November 6, 2007

Hurting for Material

By mid-football season, most of the great editorial fodder about a team has already been used up. Instead, sports journalists on deadline must scrape together whatever scraps they've got left over into something resembling a column for their readers. Sometimes, they can pull it off; other times, their efforts turn into monstrosities containing the stilted prose of high-school valedictories, out-of-context references to current events, and cloying references to long-past family tragedies.

Here are three of our favorite column openings from this week:

Bud Shaw, Cleveland Plain-Dealer

With Wikipedia such a handy and pliable tool, it's surprising somebody didn't define "woe" as "an illness peculiar to Browns football that General Manager Phil Savage targeted for eradication."
Of course, winning is the only proven antidote for the disease that annually runs roughshod by this time of year.
November has always been the month for one-stop prevention: A flu shot for the right arm, a woe shot for the left.
"Woe" does have a Wikipedia page, sans Savage.

Peter Schmuck, Baltimore Sun

Obviously, things are not going well.
The stock market has turned south, Pakistan is under martial law and the war goes on in Iraq.
Placed in its proper context, the Ravens' confidence-shattering 38-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last night and their disappointing 4-4 record might not amount to very much in this crazy, mixed-up world, but if people really cared about putting things in their proper context, they probably wouldn't waste time reading sports columnists with redundant names.

John Canzano, The Oregonian

She should have been here to see her son throw four touchdown passes. To watch him glide across the field, using nothing but his feet. To look around Autzen Stadium and see the signs: "DIXON FOR HEISMAN."
Jueretta Dixon should have been here on Saturday.
Roll call went like this for University of Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon. Dad, here. Uncle, here. Uncle's friend, here. Girlfriend, here. Sister, here. Sister's best friend, here.
Arizona State?
Here. And beaten 35-23 by Dixon's arm, and legs, and team. But how I wish Dixon's mother, who died his freshman year from breast cancer, could have been here with 59,379 others, screaming until her lungs burned and grinning until her face hurt, watching the day unfold like this is always how it was supposed to be.

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- Media
- posted on Nov 08, 07

I love Peter Shmuck's redundant name comment. Its inspired me to think of some others.

John Lou Crapper
Harry Bush

anyone else?

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