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.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007


Mohr Worse

Jay Mohr's Fox columns appear every five days or so, and are about 500 words long. I like to believe that he writes 100 words every day and then collapses with an exhausted brain.

If you don't have the forty seconds it takes to read his latest masterpiece, I will summarize it.

1. Preseason football often features players who are unlikely to make the team.
2. Therefore, they must perform well, or they will be cut, and will be forced to seek work elsewhere.

That's the whole article. He restates that point 100 times. To wit:

With just one fumble, UPS has a new driver.

Direct TV is one dropped pass from getting a new service rep.

The second half of a preseason football game is like watching an episode of MAD TV; a collection of names that no one will remember.

These poor guys have about a dozen plays in front of about a dozen fans to try and change their lives forever.

A few solid tackles and a sack could mean a paycheck with two commas, eating filet mignon three nights a week, buying their parents a dream house and dating Alyssa Milano.

If they miss those tackles and don't get that sack, they will spend the next 20 years of their life explaining the collating features on the new Canon XPS and selling Xerox machines to small business owners in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

If a preseason game goes into overtime, you might see a guy from DeVry.

[E]each guy who is on the field is playing for his very life.

If Ray Lewis misses a tackle, he'll still be on the field a minute later. If the guy from Kutztown State misses a tackle, he might start writing Internet blogs.

Sweet swipe on bloggers, there, Jay. Screw those blogging nerds from Kutztown. I mean, seriously -- what kind of loser would...write...about sports...on the...internet?

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posted by Ken Tremendous  # 1:19 AM
Adam makes a pretty good point:

I'm not sure why Mohr decides to bash Kutztown University (aka "Kutztown State"), considering that for its size (it's a D-II school) it has produced one future hall of fame WR (Andre Reed) and a Pro-Bowl linebacker (John Mobley).
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Thursday, August 02, 2007


FoxSports Gets Mohr Bad: Another Pun!

This article was linked to us by reader Jason with an excellent note: "This is a declaration of war against any reasonably intelligent sports fan."

Meet Jay Mohr: Judge For Yourself

I will, thank you.

Hi. My name is Jay Mohr and I'm the new guy around here. I will be writing sports articles on this site for the next year or so.

Hi, Jay. I'm Ken Tremendous. I will be ridiculing you.

Since you did not ask for me to be a part of your Internet experience, I figured I could explain some things about me. Some beliefs that I have, sports-wise, and then you can decide each week whether or not you want to come back. Fair? Cool.

Definitely fair. Hit me.

I am a sports fanatic. I grew up in New Jersey, where a baby's first word is usually IROC.

IROC jokes. Excellent. Only 25 years after it might have resonated.

I hate the designated hitter rule in baseball. A baseball player should not have a 15-year career without owning a mitt. If pitchers hit in both leagues, sure scoring would go down — but getting drilled in the back would be way, way up.

Yes, everyone's favorite play in baseball. The drilling of a batter. And the ensuing fights. Why can't we have more of that?

I don't think Roger Clemens would have decapitated Mike Piazza in the World Series if he was due to lead off the next inning.

I kind of think he still would have. Clemens does not care. He once threw at his own pregnant wife, blah blah blah. The point is: we all agree that home runs are less "baseball" than beanballs, right? (Also, that "decapitation" didn't happen in the World Series. It happened in July. See comments section below.)

I hate when people say a black athlete is "well spoken." I also hate when someone says, "he runs fast for a white guy."

A fair point. I am with Jay Mohr here.

I hate the Raiders and would like to remind you to keep your Raiders' fans spayed and neutered.

A "Price is Right" reference. Excellent. You're actually going backward in time. Next pop culture reference: The Birth of a Nation.

I have noticed that no one really hates the Seahawks.

Some people probably hate the Seahawks. Don't Raider fans hate the Seahawks? Carolina Panther fans probably don't like them too much. Also, when did this become Larry King's USA Today column?

I find it hilarious that Los Angeles has a soccer team but no football team. Soccer sucks. Most soccer games end by a score of 2-1. If you played the entire game without goalies, it would end 9-8.

Soccer sucks. What a hilariously "tell it like it is" contrarian point of view. You're American, Jay! Awesome. Fuck those soccer nerds. You can't touch the ball with your hands? Where I come from (Jersey!) if you played soccer you'd get beat up by some dudes in IROCs and Iron Maiden tee-shirts, because soccer is gay. Who likes soccer? Dorks, that's who! Football 4-eva!!!!!

Hockey sucks too. I can't root for a guy whose name on the back of his jersey has no vowels.

Like "Hull?" Or "Howe?" Or "Messier?" Or "Stevens" or "MacInnis?" Also, isn't the classic (and cliché) joke about "guys who have no vowels on their jerseys" usually in reference to NFL placekickers? The joke has been done about 100o times, so it should be easy to research that.

I also don't think a sport is legitimate if its inception depended on the weather.

Like baseball? Hockey is played in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Florida, and Dallas. The inception of basketball depended on an actual like apple basket -- does that matter? I'm sleepy.

I think the jump ball in basketball is useless and moronic, almost as moronic as the 700 people who applaud after their team wins the opening tip.

Yes, things would be much more exciting if the opening play was an inbounds pass. That's definitely the biggest issue in NBA basketball today. The unrelenting use of the tip-off. This is some hard-hitting -- and funny -- stuff here.

I think it is unfair that the New York Giants and the New York Jets play in the same parking lot as the New Jersey Devils and the New Jersey Nets.


The WNBA is the biggest waste of television time since the last Spurs game.

Other wastes of television time include: Mohr Sports, Christmas Do-Over, your appearances as Wayne Foxworthy on The Jeff Foxworthy Show, and your Weekend Update appearances. But well-done on attacking the WNBA. They've had it too good for too long. Take them down a peg.

Jerry Seinfeld is overrated..."What's the deal with this article?"

Allow me to pause here to say: Jay Mohr slamming Jerry Seinfeld is honestly one of the saddest things I have ever seen. It actually makes me sad. I can't even come up with a jokey analogy of how pathetic it is. And to use the old "What's the deal with..." formula...I mean, that is the oldest and lamest way to describe the man's comedy. Man. I feel sick.

Also: isn't this supposed to be about sports?

I think that Bud Selig looks like Stephen Hawking.

Ha ha ha! Stephen Hawking has a disease! That's hilarious. Well-played, Mohr.

I think that Michael Finley looks like Billy Ocean.

A Billy Ocean reference. Billy Ocean. You want to know how old this reference is? Billy Ocean's Greatest Hits collection came out in 1989. Do you have a single joke that was written in the last 15 years?

I think that Mike Bibby looks like Kermit the Frog.

Pass. I can't even...pass. Move on.

I think I am starting to type nonsense.

Too bad this was being published as a live chat and you couldn't rewrite it. What's that? It wasn't? He could have rewritten it? Huh.

I will be back here next week with something fascinating.

Forgive my skepticism.

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posted by Ken Tremendous  # 5:08 PM
Reader Eric writes:

(1) Wouldn't a better guess be that HBP would go DOWN if the AL pitchers had to hit? From 1973 to 2006, AL pitchers have averaged .264 HBP/9IP... .248 in the NL. That's all of ONE HBP per 61 games, or about 19 more per season FOR ALL TEAMS COMBINED!

The point that pitchers would hit fewer batters because they are scared of the retaliation is so obvious I can't believe I missed it.

He then continues with some of the best and most instantaneous research in FJM history.

(2) How many players really even remotely fit that [DH] description [of not owning mitts and never playing in the field]?

Harold Baines played the most games as a DH in MLB history [1644]... yet he still had over 1000 games as a position player.

Only counting games at a position since 1973 [so a player who played in the 60s and then DHed late in his career would not get credit for those early games at a position, only those that he might have accrued after the DH came into existance], here are the players who had atleast 2 games at DH for every one in the field, min 300 games as a DH:

Hal McRae 1427 vs 333
Edgar Martinez 1412 vs 591
Willie Horton 753 vs 183
David Ortiz 752 vs 231
Rico Carty 650 vs 133
Ken Phelps 467 vs 131
Tommy Davis 450 vs 5
Travis Hafner 433 vs 61
Reggie Jefferson 433 vs 164
Glenn Adams 373 vs 145
Frank Robinson 321 vs 25

We're talking ELEVEN guys in 34 seasons. Take all the guys with 1000+ games games as a DH together, and they average 41% of their games in the field; 500+ games, 53%; 400+ games 60%; 300+, 64%; etc. Most of these guys DO take the field now and then...

And Slade writes in with another excellent point:

In his article, Jay Mohr makes a statement about Clemens decapitating Piazza in the World Series. The problem is, that didn't happen. The game where Piazza got drilled was the second of a day-night, two stadium doubleheader on July 8, 2000. Here's the boxscore for it.

The reason the bat-throwing thing in the 2000 World Series got as much play as it did was because of that incident in Yankee Stadium in July.

Another thing I can't believe I missed, from Joe:

I can't figure this out for the life of me. Am I on crazy pills?

Isn't this:

"If pitchers hit in both leagues, sure scoring would go down — but getting drilled in the back would be way, way up."

Totally contradicted by this anecdote:

"I don't think Roger Clemens would have decapitated Mike Piazza in the World Series if he was due to lead off the next inning."

Yes. Yes it sure is.
I am watching the Sox-Mariners' game on Fox Sports Pacific NW or whatever, and just saw an add for a very grizzled-looking Billy Ocean, live in concert, on something called the Emerald Queen on I-135.

I wholeheartedly apologize to Jay Mohr, whose references are fresh as the morning dew.
Billy Ocean Concert Info Erratum, from David:

Since you guys are all about accuracy, particularly when it comes to regurgitating gambling commercials on TV, I wanted to point out that the Emerald Queen Casino is at Exit 135 on I-5 in Tacoma. You probably wouldn't want to go there -- a giant pulpwood mill is located a mile or so upwind from the casino, contributing to the world-famous "Aroma of Tacoma."
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Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Jay "Snore"

Get it? Jay "Snore"? Does anyone know who I'm talking about? Hello? Forget it. I hate everyone. Anyway, Jay Mohr has a new article up called "A giant snore," and he's not talking about the pun in the title of a an Internet blog post written long after his article was published. No, he's talking about the very serious issue of NBA All-Star Weekend, and how this Grandaddy of All Important Sporting Events just ain't what it used to be, back in the good ol' days, back when players didn't jump while they shot and everyone played in loafers and top hats.

Hey, here's his subhead:

NBA All-Star Game and 'events' have become a joke

Okay, the Shooting Stars thing was pretty much a joke. Also, the celebrity game. It's not like I loved every second of All-Star Weekend. Come on -- the events included Clyde Drexler shooting half-court shots and Bow Wow and Christopher Meloni playing a game of pickup. The point is -- for the most part, it's not even supposed to be NOT a joke. Let's get to the article.

Was the NBA All-Star Game on this year?

Yes. You either watched it or read about it extensively, enough so that you gathered a bunch of facts that you wrote about in this article. Plus, you cared about it so much you decided to write an indignant, old-bitter-sportswriter-style column about how it has to change to be more like it used to be in some hypothetical dream world universe that you made up.

I must have missed it. Maybe it was because there was just too much great television to watch instead of the NBA's mid-winter classic. Like reruns of 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray on the Food Network or that show on Telemundo where the guy dresses up in a bumblebee costume.

Very current reference. How many years has The Simpsons been doing the Channel Ocho Bumblebee Guy? My uniformed guess is 13 years. Possibly more.

For years the NBA All-Star Game has been completely irrelevant.

I agree, except I would take out the words "for years." All All-Star Games are irrelevant, unless you count the sort of stupid rule in baseball where the league that wins an exhibition game gets to host the World Series. They're All-Star games. They're shows. They're exhibitions. Complaining about their relevance is like going to the circus and saying "I didn't learn anything and nothing was at stake even though I really enjoyed the lions!"

Long ago, fans began tuning out the league's best players playing bad basketball. For too long the stars have embraced an all-offense and no-defense approach, and this is one of the many reasons it has become unwatchable.

All offense and no defense, huh? Mohr must remember all those All-Star Games of yore, where Michael locked down Magic like his life depended on it and Cousy played airtight defense on George Mikan or that one time that Dr. James Naismith made the guys play with the lid still on the peach basket. Unwatchable? When has it been watchable? This year the final score was East 122, West 120. Did Mohr prefer the classic 1998 tilt, when Michael Jordan was MVP and the final was 135-114, East? Or perhaps he enjoyed Magic Johnson's performance in 1992, when the West won 153-113? Oh, he's probably an 80's guy. How about 1987, when the final was West 154, East 149? Phenomenal defense in that one. More of a 70's aficionado? Great. In 1970, the East beat the West 142-135, and Willis Reed won the MVP. 1961: 153-131. 1958: 130-118. That's pretty much the entire history of the game.

Jay Mohr: the NBA All-Star Game is not about defense.

At the end of the game this year, guys buckled down and tried to win. That happens every year. It's not a surprise. LeBron even fouled Tracy McGrady on the last shot while trying to play tight defense on him. They just didn't call it. Everyone knows the first 43 minutes or so are the time to throw alley-oop dunks off the backboard to yourself. Then you play some defense. Hey, in 24 minutes, Ben Wallace had 8 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. He was playing some D.

If you disagree with me, then explain why the All-Star Game was shown on TNT, sandwiched between Steven Seagal movies. It's because it stinks.

There are a variety of factors. Every major sport is declining in television ratings (except maybe football). There are a lot more options out there, and people are availing themselves of them. NASCAR is more popular than a lot of the sports that you, Jay Mohr, probably think are bigger and more important. The Daytona 500 got better ratings than some of the World Series games. Does that mean that auto racing is better than baseball? No. People like different things. And yes, I'm aware that you're sort of, kind of making a joke because you mentioned the name Steven Seagal. My point is: popularity does not equal quality, and I don't care what network a show is on.

The "events" that lead up to the game stink too. The slam dunk contest is a perennial snore.

The dunk contest was insanely popular when Michael and Dominique were trading 50's in the 80's. Then it sucked for awhile. Then Vince Carter was amazing in 2000. Then it sucked for awhile again. I thought it was pretty entertaining this year. Iguodala's off-the-backboard dunk would have broken people's brains in the 80's. Seriously, if he had done that in 1989, I believe the city of Houston would have been burned down by people running out of the arena thinking they had just seen an alien.

Why do we celebrate a dunk contest, anyway?

Because it's fun to watch guys dunk. If you don't agree, I think you are borderline crazy. Tell me it's not entertaining to see a 5'9" guy jump over a 5'7" previous dunk champ and hammer down. Why do we go to a museum to look at fucking paintings of a pond of lily pads or whatever the fuck? That last sentence didn't really prove my point.

Aren't these players paid to make dunks?

Ugh. No, they're paid to play basketball. Some guys in the league can dunk, and a smaller number of those can do it in a really entertaining way over and over again. Does this really have to be explained? Rhetorical questions with easy answers do not equal comedy.

Isn't the slam dunk contest akin to the NHL having an "open net" contest?

Yes, if NHL players could shoot at the net while jumping in the air and turning 360 degrees and throwing the stick between their legs twice. Or if Sidney Crosby jumped over Bobby Orr and then took a shot. I think people would pay to see that.

I would much rather watch a three-point shootout, and I am sure Spud Webb would also.

Spud Webb probably loves watching dunk contests. I mean, loves. Did you see how happy everybody was watching the dunk contest on Saturday? He won one, remember? Jesus.

After all the concerts and uncontested three-pointers and dunks, the actual "game" was played. What a thrill this must have been to the fans who slapped down hundreds of dollars of hard-earned money to watch Kevin Garnett shoot 1-for-9 and the West and East shoot (with no defense) a whopping 46 and 50 percent, respectively.

First of all, All-Star Games are filled with media and businessperson-types who go see like one game a year. Who cares if they didn't get their money's worth? Most of them didn't pay anyway. And again, who the hell wants to see defense in an All-Star Game? People always complain about this, but NO ONE LIKES SEEING 84-79 NBA GAMES.

The NBA needs to spend less time putting together rap concerts at halftime and more time putting together a great game.

This makes him sound like a racist.

Maybe the league needs to follow in the footsteps of Major League Baseball and give home court advantage to the winner. Maybe then the players would guard someone. Maybe then the dunk contest and three-point shootouts would return to what they were intended to be -- entertaining events that precede a basketball classic.

How would that change make the dunk contest or the three-point shootout better? I don't understand. Maybe the guy's team who wins the three-point shootout should get an extra win in the standings? No, wait, that would be terrible.

Now what we are forced to watch is something very different. Each year we have to sit through somewhat entertaining events that lead up to a basketball snore. If the league continues to endorse the shoot-first, -second and -third version of the All-Star Game, they will be lucky to have TNT as its network. Maybe next year the All-Star Game could be on Telemundo right after that guy in the bumblebee suit.

BOOM -- CALLBACK!!! (Mohr throws down his microphone and stalks off the stage)

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posted by Junior  # 7:30 PM
If Mr. Mohr wants to see "team play" and defense, he is cordially invited to watch the Bucknell-Princeton first-round match-up in this year's NCAA tourney, which, I am guessing, will be a 38-35 affair. The very idea that there should be more defense in the NBA All-Star Game is so gargantuanly stupid. Almost as stupid as that Bumblebee guy on Telemundo -- what is the deal with that guy?
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Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Fire J. M.

Jay Mohr, that is. Thanks to reader Sal for the link to this article.

You know exactly what you're in for when you start reading an article written by Jay Mohr and its title is:

True calling
Some guys are meant to be Yankees and some are not

Hmm. Things I'm not looking for in this article: rigorous analysis, new insights, or facts. I'm not even expecting a single interesting opinion, actually.

When the Yankees failed to re-sign Andy Pettitte, my stomach got a little queasy and I sensed a changing of the guard. Pettitte, to put it simply, was a Yankee.

>> Buddy Groom, to put it simply, was a Yankee. Hideki Irabu, to put it simply, was a Yankee. Aaron Small, to put it simply, is a Yankee.

You don't trade, waive or fail to re-sign guys who were born to be in pinstripes.

>> Jay Mohr, of course, being the ultimate arbiter of who is and isn't born to be in pinstripes.

Wade Boggs won his only World Series ring with the Yankees, but he will never be half the Yankee Scott Brosius was.

>> Obligatory Brosius mention.

Some men are just not cut out to play in the Bronx. Many thought Tino Martinez was on the express train to this list after his first two months trying to replace Don Mattingly in 1996. Now, after stops in St. Louis and Tampa Bay, a true Yankee has come home.

>> That true Yankee has come home to the tune of, quite frankly, an embarrassing .222 batting average and an OBP of .310. Is that frank enough for you?

True Yankees are born, not made, and for some, such as Paul O'Neill, they just happened to have had a long layover in another city before realizing their true calling.

>> Obligatory Paul O'Neill mention. And Mohr still hasn't named one thing that makes a guy a true Yankee. Not one.

I doubt if anyone in Chicago is wondering if Joe Girardi was a true Cubbie. Yankee fans won't have to think twice while reading this because a synapse has already fired off in their brains reading out "Yankee."

>> Obligatory Joe Girardi mention. Still no criteria for true Yankee status.

Here is a list of players who are not Yankees compared to guys who were born to be Yankees:

2B Tony Womack -- should have been -- 2B David Eckstein
3B Alex Rodriguez -- should have been -- 3B Eric Hinske
SP Randy Johnson -- should have been -- SP Pedro Martinez

>> Amazing, amazing list. Eric Hinske? Eric Hinske??

Eric Hinske 2005 WARP2: 1.7
Alex Rodriguez 2005 WARP2: 6.7

The Yankees would lose five games in the win column with the old A-Rod-Hinske straight-up trade. Probably worth it for the intangibles, though.

There are other guys floating around the bigs who don't realize yet that they have the potential to be "True Yankees." Let this article serve as a memo to John Lackey, Coco Crisp, Chris Capuano, Jason Bay, Ryan Drese, David DeJesus and Dontrelle Willis. Your invitations are waiting, we have the money and you can thank me when you are all trying on your rings.

>> That is the most random, crazy list of players I've ever seen.

Still no criteria for what makes a true Yankee.

Oh. The article is over.

I would say that Jay Mohr should stick to comedy, but no one wants that either.

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posted by Junior  # 7:10 PM
Of all of the things that bother me here, the #1 is that Pedro Martinez "should have been a Yankee." Oh my God. Even though Jay did not list a single criterion for being a true Yankee, I can tell you that Pedro Martinez does not possess any of them. Or, perhaps better put: he possess all of the things that prohibit him from being one. Or, to rephrase: Pedro Martinez is all about fighting the Yankees, not joining them. Or, to put it another way, what the hell is Jay Mohr talking about?

To be fair, I bet this will be really funny when Jay goes on "Cold Pizza" and reads it out loud as Christopher Walken.
In your great haste to make fun of the esteemed former "Lip Service" host, you guys miss the underlying point that Jay Mohr manages to capture perfectly. True Yankee fans are the sort of petulant, fair-weathered, wake-me-when-they're-winning fans who will only register players as "true Yankees" if they played on at least two of their recent four championship teams. That's the criterion you were searching for. Notice he didn't include Mel Hall or Jimmy Key or even Tanyon Sturtze, who seems to embody every gritty, scrappy, scritty, maximize-your-low-talent-ceiling trait as Brosius, O'Neill, et al. Did Oscar Azocar give less than his best to this team, such that he will always be associated with the Padres? Soriano? Kevin Maas??? This column provides a pretty standard look into the mind of a NYY fan in my book. Bad as sports journalism, pretty unsurprising as a sociological comment.

And this part:
I doubt if anyone in Chicago is wondering if Joe Girardi was a true Cubbie. Yankee fans won't have to think twice while reading this because a synapse has already fired off in their brains reading out "Yankee." is the most meaningless thing I have ever read. When a TRUE St. Louis Blues fan hears the words "Wayne Gretzky," their true-fan synapses should all be firing "St. Louis Blues." That's what being a true fan is all about.

And Lookner dunked on this guy once.
Excellent points, Coach. It is worth noting that although many Yankee fans love Don Mattingly, they rarely mention him when they are talking about "true Yankees." They would hastily agree with you if you brought him up, but they would not mention him in their initial list, which usually goes: Jeter, Rivera, Tino, O'Neill, Brosius, Bernie, Posada, Girardi. (Bernie used to be higher, but being a true Yankee somehow diminishes with poor offensive seasons, I guess.) Also, it is worth noting that no one -- NO ONE -- ever mentions John Wetteland, who won them the 1996 title. Why does no one mention him? Because no one remembers he was even on that team. Because many of them started being fans in 1997.

Ed Jurak is a true Red Sox.
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