FIRE JOE MORGAN: Honestly One of the Weirdest Things I Have Ever Read

FIRE JOE MORGAN

Where Bad Sports Journalism Came To Die

FJM has gone dark for the foreseeable future. Sorry folks. We may post once in a while, but it's pretty much over. You can still e-mail dak, Ken Tremendous, Junior, Matthew Murbles, or Coach.

Main / Archives / Merch / Glossary / Goodbye

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

 

Honestly One of the Weirdest Things I Have Ever Read

A special tip of the cap to Ted, who sends us this...thing, by Mike Seate of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. (It had already been FJM-icized [unbeknownst to us] before we published this, at Bucs Dugout.)

Anyway, it starts off kind of normal, and gets super weird, superquick. I just don't know what to say.

Bucs' 'fans' don't know meaning of the word

The smell of freshly greased leather and the crack of Louisville Sluggers drew me inside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center over the weekend.

It was the 18th annual PirateFest. It's a courageous act, celebrating baseball in Pittsburgh, considering the Pirates suffer from one of the lousiest fan bases in all professional sports.

Okay, so, maybe Pittsburgh fans aren't the most ardent in the nation. Dave Littlefield, Kevin McClatchy, and fifteen straight losing seasons will do that to people. But it's okay, I guess, to call them out, if you're a local journalist and you support the home team.

There, I said it. And, no, I'm not about to backpedal or apologize for characterizing most of the team's followers as whiny, loudmouthed louts who are too insecure to appreciate what being a fan is really about.

Yes. You're very brave. Get to the point.

To make my case, I'd like to compare the difference between the ways fans of stick-and-ball sports -- a category that includes baseball -- approach their favorite games, to the manner in which fans of my personal favorite sport, superbike racing, do.

...

Sorry, I'm going to ask you to repeat that. Because for a second, I thought you were about to compare baseball to a made-up thing called "superbike racing."

To make my case, I'd like to compare the difference between the ways fans of stick-and-ball sports -- a category that includes baseball -- approach their favorite games, to the manner in which fans of my personal favorite sport, superbike racing, do.

...

Huh. Okay. You did say you were going to compare baseball to "superbike racing."

Or, at least, compare fans of baseball to "fans" of "superbike racing."

Let's just pause here and try to figure out what the fuck superbike racing is.

Superbike racing is a category of motorcycle racing that employs modified production motorcycles. Superbike World Championship is the worldwide superbike championship. Many countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, and Canada, operate national superbike championships. Superbike racing is very popular with manufacturers, since it helps promote and sell their product. “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” is very relevant in Superbike racing.

You guys have all heard that famous phrase, right? "Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday?" It's the "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" of superbike racing. Also, look at this again:

Superbike World Championship is the worldwide superbike championship.

That's Escherian. That's a brain teaser of a sentence, man. Who wrote this Wikipedia entry? Some like Japanese motorcycle designer who doesn't speak English very well? (Probable answer: yes.)

Now, many of you are probably saying, "But Ken, isn't superbike racing just the same as MotoGP racing? No, you ignorant assholes, it isn't.

Superbikes are based on standard production models, MotoGP bikes on the other hand are propotype machines that bear little resemblance to production machines. One might consider that a MotoGP bike is related to a Superbike in the same way that a Formula One car is related to a Touring car.

The analogy is imperfect, however; while a touring car could never compete with a Formula One machine, the performance gap between a Superbike and a MotoGP bike is much smaller. MotoGP bikes develop approximately 230 bhp, and reach top speeds of 340 km/h while superbikes develop 220 bhp and reach speeds of 320 km/h. Based on lap times from circuits where both MotoGP bikes and Superbikes race, superbikes are 2-3 seconds per lap slower than MotoGP bikes. This means that a number of superbikes would be able to easily qualify for a MotoGP race.

See?

The point, though, is: fans of superbike racing are superior to fans of Pittsburgh Pirates baseball. (That's the point. Can you believe that's the point?) Let's see how.

Whether viewing superbike races on TV or from the grandstands or paddock, you will never find one of us screaming "You suck!" at a racer.

Shocking though this may be to some of you, I have never attended a superbike race. I've always meant to, it's just that I would rather do anything else in the fucking world than attend a superbike race. I have come to this conclusion in the last 15 seconds, which is the total amount of time I have known that there are superbike races. But: and this is key: I would imagine that yelling "you suck" at a superbike racer would be a mostly futile enterprise, because (a) I am going to assume that superbikes make a lot of noise, and (b) the racers are really close to the noisy bikes and (c) wearing helmets.

We do not, by habit, turn our backs on racers at the start or finish lines because of a lack of winning results, as Pirates' "fans" did last summer, and we do not view ourselves as part of the team.

Sorry, I just need a minute here.

Hang on.

Okay. I am ready to continue.

Mike Seate, superbike racing's #1 fan in the greater Pittsburgh-metro area, is bragging about the fact that fans of superbike racing do not "turn their backs" on superbike racers at the "start or finish lines" because of a "lack of winning results."

That is one of the strangest brags I have ever seen. I don't...I can't even wrap my head around that brag. We do not, by habit, turn our backs on racers at the start or finish lines because of a lack of winning results.

Someone needs to cut a hip-hop single around this sentiment.

And as for baseball fans thinking they are part of "the team," well, yes, that's kind of silly, when people do that. But I certainly don't give you any points for not thinking you are part of the superbike racing team because what the fuck is a superbike racing team?

It is endlessly fascinating to hear football or baseball fans lamenting that "we lost" after their city's team is defeated, when the fan's contribution to the team effort involved chugging cans of Coors Light while munching on bags of Doritos.

Not specific to Pittsburgh. Not specific to baseball. Not germane to the discussion of baseball fans vs. superbike racing fans. (In case you started reading this halfway through, that's what we're doing, here, today -- discussing the merits of superbike racing fans as they relate to, and outnumber, the merits of baseball fans in the Pittsburgh area. I know. I can't believe it either.)

Because superbike racing is a dangerous sport to master, fans tend to be more realistic about the outcome. We don't call 2006 Moto GP champ Nicky Hayden a bum when he crashes, because many of us know what it feels like to be thrown off a motorcycle at triple-digit speeds.

My brain just spun around in my brainpan.

I am going to try to disassemble this paragraph so I can understand it. It's going to take some work. I might need to break down every letter to its constituent pixels before I get to like a sub-atomic level where I might be able to see something I recognize as English.

Because superbike racing is a dangerous sport to master, fans tend to be more realistic about the outcome.

No idea what this means. Not even close. Because it is dangerous...fans...tend to be more "realistic"...about the..."outcome?" Okay. I think what he means is, because of the dangers of superbike racing, whoever wins a race, the fans are kind of like, well, it's superbike racing -- and we all know what that means, because we're huge superbike racing guys. And what that means is, hey, anything can happen, and let's just be happy that everyone is alive, because their participation in this incredibly dangerous sport is kind of like its own reward, or something. Close?

We don't call 2006 Moto GP champ Nicky Hayden a bum when he crashes,

1. Why did you pick the 2006 champ?

2. Knowing nothing about superbike racing, I somehow instinctively know that "Nicky Hayden" is an absolutely perfect name for a motorcycle racer, and that

3. Nicky Hayden is a dick.

3a. That might be unfair. I just went to his website, and I can't tell whether he's a dick or not. Here's a picture of him riding on a camel:

Judge for yourselves.

4. Um, excuse me, there, Mike, but it's my Wikipedia-based understanding that MotoGP racing and superbike racing are two very different things. Check your facts!

because many of us know what it feels like to be thrown off a motorcycle at triple-digit speeds.

How many of you know that? Seriously. How many of you know that? A lot of you? If so: what are you doing riding motorcycles that fast?

By comparison, how many Steelers or Pirates fans who rail against the team's performance have even touched a football or baseball after age 12?

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than have fallen off a motorcycle at 100+ MPH, you dingbat.

When one of my favorite racers, Australian Troy Bayliss,

Well, sure, who doesn't love Troy Bayliss? "Oh, you know who my favorite baseball player is? Babe Ruth." What a hacky choice.

crashed at 170 miles per hour last year, grinding off one of his pinky fingers, I didn't scream at him for incompetence.

Did you wince and moan and turn away in fucking disgust that you live in a world where people are allowed to fly off motorcycles at 170 MPH and grind their pinky fingers down to dust for other people's entertainment? Because that's what I would have done.

There were no ESPN superbike racing talk shows to phone repeatedly about whether Bayliss would ever return to form and no Internet chat rooms to gather in.

That's not because superbike racing fans are superior to baseball fans in terms of their like maturity level or something. That's because -- and I need to you to hear me on this -- no one cares about superbike racing. (If you do care about superbike racing, please, I am begging you, do not write to me with statistics showing how much people care about superbike racing. I beg you.)

Instead, we race fans simply got on with our lives as if nothing happened.

You are truly brave. It is astonishing to me that after someone named Troy Bayliss fell off of his motorcycle in a race no one cares about or has ever heard of, while competing in a sport no one cares about or has ever heard of, that your whole worlds did not come tumbling down. How did you even function, after that made-up-world-rocking event?

When I turned on the TV a few weeks later to see Bayliss win a race -- with his injured digit wrapped in a bandage -- it was a fine show of self-determination and grit,

That is amazing, I have to say, that the dude got back on a bike and raced again so soon after that. Amazing, and fucking insane.

and not, as stick-and-ball sports fans would have it, an occasion to head for the nearest sports bar to pound beers and talk loudly about the incident until even the bartenders tire of our company.

Sorry -- so, the complaint here is that baseball fans talk about baseball too much? Maybe that's because baseball exists and is interesting. Unlike -- to give one example off the top of my head that I just like pulled out of nowhere as a thing that neither exists nor is interesting -- superbike racing.

I can think of two reasons superbike fans don't go to sports bars, drink beers, and talk loudly about superbike racing:

1. There are only two superbike racing fans in the entire world, and finding a bar exactly halfway between Pittsburgh and Manitoba is tough.

2. If you went to a sports bar and talked loudly about superbike racing, the other people in the bar, who are probably talking about actual, real sports that actually exist and about which people care, would tell you to shut the fuck up.

So, with the start of baseball season only a few weeks away, try to remember that part of being a fan means being respectful toward those who do what you cannot. And it means the team needs your support, win or lose.

I cannot believe that after eating mushrooms, making up the sport of "superbike racing," furiously typing a 750-word article on why superbike racing fans are better than baseball fans, and telling me that after some Aussie ground his pinky into a nub by falling off his bike at 170 MPH and how superbike racing fans kind of didn't care about it that much and somehow suggesting that this was a positive aspect of superbike racing fans, his conclusion is: "Being a fan means supporting your team."

I have never been more confused.

Labels: , , , , ,


posted by Ken Tremendous  # 6:52 PM
Comments:
I just got an email from Aaron, who points me here:

http://www.bucsdugout.com/story/2008/1/29/194425/378

It's a Pirates-based blog where the author dismantles Seate's piece (even saying "I'm going to go FJM-style", for which we thank him). He and I actually had several nearly-identical observations, including that superbike racing clearly doesn't exist.

I tip my cap to Charlie, who was there first, and urge you all to hit up his blog post for that reason.
 
David sez:

I'm really confused why Seate keeps talking about the...Steelers:

"It is endlessly fascinating to hear football or baseball fans lamenting that "we lost" after their city's team is defeated, when the fan's contribution to the team effort involved chugging cans of Coors Light while munching on bags of Doritos."

and

"By comparison, how many Steelers or Pirates fans who rail against the team's performance have even touched a football or baseball after age 12?"

Because it sure seemed like he used a certain phrase...

"To make my case, I'd like to compare the difference between the ways fans of stick-and-ball sports -- a category that includes baseball -- approach their favorite games [...]" and "[...] it was a fine show of self-determination and grit, and not, as stick-and-ball sports fans would have it, an occasion to head for the nearest sports bar to pound beers and talk loudly about the incident until even the bartenders tire of our company."

...which prohibitively excludes football from the argument, since the act of playing football DOES NOT INVOLVE A STICK.

I also like how he stereotypes that all baseball and football fans are alcohol-abusing, junk-food-consuming fucktards.


Yes -- I like that part, too.
 
I don't know why I feel compelled to write this, but I do:

I seriously don't have any idea whether Nicky Hayden is a dick. That's what I meant to imply by (3a) in that list, but then I put in that picture of him on a camel and it seemed like I was using that to say that he is, actually, clearly, a dick.

The point is, I have never met the man and was just making a joke. I'm sure he's perfectly nice, even if he "plays" a made-up "sport."
 
Michael writes, excellently:

I do know what it feels like to fly off a bike at 100+ (not bad unless you hit something), I do know what superbike racing is, and even consider myself a fan, which, I can assure you, does entail giving sackless riders all kinds of shit as any casual look at a racing fan bulletin board will make clear.

AND: that is the stupidest fucking article I have ever read.

 
Post a Comment

<< Home

Archives

04.05   05.05   06.05   07.05   08.05   09.05   10.05   11.05   12.05   01.06   02.06   03.06   04.06   05.06   06.06   07.06   08.06   09.06   10.06   11.06   12.06   01.07   02.07   03.07   04.07   05.07   06.07   07.07   08.07   09.07   10.07   11.07   12.07   01.08   02.08   03.08   04.08   05.08   06.08   07.08   08.08   09.08   10.08   11.08  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?