FIRE JOE MORGAN: Most Stuff Sucks


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

Friday, April 04, 2008


Most Stuff Sucks

I want to point something out in the quickly-becoming-tiresome Old Media vs. Bloggers debate: most stuff sucks. All stuff. In all forms. Most books suck. Most movies suck. Most magazines suck. Most trees likely suck if you get to know them. Fish, bugs, various metals -- they all probably mostly suck.

So yes, pipe-smoking Old Media dudes, you're technically correct: most blogs do suck. But then, so does most everything. Don't act like you're surprised about this development. And please, America's most talented sportswriter (or at least the guy compensated and esteemed as such), don't resort to hoary old clichés when criticizing the great new unknown.

"It’s all over the map," Reilly says about sports journalism on the world. "There's some good journalism, and some really horrible crap on there...

Again, this could be said about journalism. It's all over the map! There's good, there's bad! There's the Atlantic and then there's Chicks and Guns Weekly (you decide which one's good and which one's bad)!

...from guys holding down the couch springs in their mother's basement...


I guess I shouldn't expect Mitch Hedberg-like ingenuity from jokes written by Reilly, who is, after all, just a sportswriter. Sportswriting is all over the map. There's some good stuff and there's some really horrible crap. There are, in fact, entire websites devoted just to the crap.

...that have never been in a locker room but are pining on this and that. And this gives them cache, and then they're being quoted? What? This guy is in his underwear.

But where is this underwear-clad man sitting? Underground, perhaps? Close to his maternal womb? Surely we need more information about whether this man is subterranean and whether he owns his own home.

They could use a Greyhound bus full of editors and it still wouldn't help them. So this is the 'new style of journalism' we gotta learn?

This seems like a really solid joke. Credit where credit's due.

"On the other hand, you see the solid writers they have on,

The place that currently Reilly under contract -- purely coincidence, of course --

who check their facts, go places, see people ... People who are classically trained in journalism are harder to get used to (on the Internet).

I love how he talks about journalism training like it's learning how to play Yo Yo Ma-quality cello. Of course there's actual Woodward and Bernstein-style reporting out there, and that's a real talent and skill. But how much classical training does it take to shit out an 800-word opinion piece on whether Matt Leinart should hot tub with Arizona State girls in the off-season?

It's like, for some of these, the faster you type, the better you're supposed to be? It's like the old days of sending a Western Union telegram.

No words. No words. I really didn't even think Rick Reilly was that old. But his own line here is like a joke we would construct in Furman Bisher's voice.

Once it's written and gone, do they ever look at it again? They're trying to type as fast as they can think.

I personally have the power to type my future thoughts, but for this blog I write in flowing longhand with a quill pen made from the feather of a moa (it's a very large pen). My personal secretary then makes mimeographs of my originals and types them into a 1936 Underwood typewriter, which has only the essential vowels (a, o). Her personal secretary then does something with the results. I'm not sure what, but it involves a computer.

"I really think a lot of this stuff (on the Internet) is read only by the people's parents.


Do you read a live blog about a game? Why not turn on the game and listen to Vin Scully, the best live blogger ever?

That is a weird, weird, weird thing to say. I can't decide whether to be insulted on Vin Scully's behalf or insulted on bloggers' behalves or hungry or sexually aroused or what. Does Rick Reilly not understand that human beings are now capable of doing two things at once? Why can't I read funny or insightful things about a game at the same time I'm watching it? Does that make me un-American?

Ricky Reilly (I typed Ricky for some reason and I'm just going to leave it because I like the way it looks and because I think of this blog as a telegram STOP I just type and words come out and I never read them over or look at them again STOP): Why are you reading the Economist? Why can't you just consume the news like everyone else -- from Charlie Gibson?

Ricky Reilly: Stop watching the Tonight Show -- news comes from Charlie Gibson.

Ricky Reilly:
Burn all Rolling Stone magazines. Whatever happened to reading liner notes?

Why do we need to hear what Mortermer Franks in his basement is thinking about it?

I think this is a bad transcription, but I fervently hope he said "Mortermer" and pronounced it slowly and deliberately. Guys who write for paper (I mean all paper things) need to just drop this "These guys are nobodies!" angle. If you're a good writer, and you have an interesting, insightful, or entertaining opinion, no one has any right to tell you to shut the f up. Until I am appointed to run the U.S. Department of Shit Writing Detection in 2012. Then all will kneel before me. And they will know fear.

"I was covering the Masters recently, was in the press room, in the clubhouse, on the course. And then I get back and there are three guys writing columns about the Masters, one in Houston, one in L.A. ... watching it with their buddies or their dad. Why are they writing?"

Because they enjoy it. Because they have ideas and emotions and jokes and they are human beings, who have a deep-seated need to express themselves. And yes, maybe 50 or 90 or 99 percent of them are bad ideas and insipid emotions and hacky jokes. But that remaining, small percentage of the pie -- the part that fits into Pac Man's mouth on the pie chart -- that stuff is good. And it doesn't matter if it's printed on stone tablets or radiowaved directly into people's brains. Forget the medium, dude. There's gold in them thar Internet hills.

Labels: ,

posted by Junior  # 6:50 PM
Of course what I'm saying here is nowhere remotely near original. Reader UberMitch suggests a link to Sturgeon's law.

Reader DBurba points out the following:

What makes Reilly's rant even better is that he goes out of his way to praise Who's the most popular writer at Bill Simmons, who goes out of his way not to go into locker rooms, etc., and who does live blogs all the time, complete with commentary from his friends and dad.
Post a Comment

<< Home


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?