Welcome to Manny Stiles ' Daily Weekday Column:
"Sportsune Cookie" – A proprietary blend of Manny spices and a variety of Stiles just barely over 3,000 words.
Warning: May contain peanuts or recycled waste material artificially flavored to taste like peanuts, either or...
What is sports journalism today?
Well... slightly more clarified... "what has sports journalism become?"
Is it "a daily record of events or news pertaining to sports"
...or is it now a rabid fan's blind non-objectivite bitch session/poo-poo festival via an electronic medium available to the generally low common denominator masses for a minimal perusal?
It used to be that people whose passion was to turn events into words for posterity's sake were called "writers". Much like musicians and noisemakers who captured songs on a physical medium to share with the masses were called "recording artists". People who took raw ingredients, a few scientific processes and transformed them into edible dishes were called "chefs". People who took personal visions and used paint to translate them into representations on canvas were called "painters".
To me, it's all the same art. You take something and transport it into enjoyability to a variety of senses. It's the art of taking a feeling and translating it into something portable and distributable. And these are the same people that occasionally attain a dense level of experiences in these mediums while often being called "wizards", "geniuses" or "crazy madmen".
Everyday it awkwardly feels like the shift is away from expression and feeling and towards the great myths, towards the mysterious, towards "magic".
Don't be fooled. Seriously, don't be fooled! These are your fellow humans doing these "feats".
It doesn't take magic to fool the general population. While a person may be "smart", a group of people will always be dumb. Mass consumption is a devious tool. Get a group of idiots to buy into a product and even the smartest genius will succumb to the overwhelming power of the idiots. It's simple human nature. Aristotle knew it. Machiavelli knew it. Even a little, Austrian painter named Hitler knew it.
The finest homes with the most immaculate etchings and carvings and imported materials, the most well-crafted creations of artistry and most famous designers, fabricationists and decorators in the world are susceptible to simple every day misgivings as having a bug invasion. Flies, ants, termites roaches... pests; Bacteria, viruses, fungi. Do you think they care how much money was spent to build a fancy home, or how much Corinthian leather was used to upholster the furnishings? No. They only care where the food is! And often, we humans are the food!
Or there's mechanical failures. Or structural damage. Design flaws. Wear and tear. Oxidation and rust.
Guess what? Everything man makes eventually breaks. We're HUMAN! We're fallible... we're bug food eventually.
It's the illusion that the product there is something more than WE are capable of producing ourselves. It's beautiful, it's illustrious, it's breath-taking!!!
But do you know what is more beautiful than anything you can see, hear, smell, taste or touch? Something you can feel on the inside! Something that rips to your core.
I am a disciple of a guy who I think did something very simple and made it recognizable to all as an amazing art and unfathomable craftsmanship. Hunter S. Thompson created "Gonzo Journalism" from a very simple place. Instead of the traditional manner of standing from afar and describing an event ina traditionlist's manner, he traveled inside and explained the emotion; the feeling, the essence from INSIDE the event. He became a part of the event in lieu of merely settling for "Observer" status.
Sure, he did tons of drugs and chased innumerable passions of danger, excitement and hedonism in order to live life to "his speed". Sure he was passionate on a level that normal people call "homicidal maniac" or at worst "suicidal" - so foretelling. Hell yeah, he was a horrible driver, a horrendous husband and a truly shitty father. But he knew how to one thing very well - FEEL.
No one seems to "feel" anymore. What is the problem here? Logic is fine and all but even our dear super-defendable logic tells you that sometimes, logic isn't enough. It has to "feel" right...
"Fun" isn't logic. "Pain" isn't logic. "Elation", "Joy", "Celebration"... "loss", anguish", "desperation"... these things defy logic. Yet, these are the dirty tactilities that power the engine of human existence.
Stop for a minute and FEEL. Feel it all about you. There's more going on than you can describe in a minute, in a day, in a lifetime. Because there's more going on than your meager words will ever be capable of summarizing!
And sports journalism is headed in the other direction. It's about hard evidence - numbers, stats, dry depictions. Taking the highlightingest of the highlights and dumbing them down to the dumbingest. It's sensation instead of feeling. It's a marketing tool and not an education tool now. It's a pop and no longer a hum. It's a label and no longer the substance.
The feeling is sucked out of it, because you might go and try it yourself and no longer need that magical tether.
Try it! Go to a sporting event. ANY sporting event. ANY. And when the moment is on, when the action is flowing, when the crowd is pumped and the play is in motion... when you sense "the moment"... stop.
What is it? How would you describe it? No matter how you put it into words and syllables, it won't be an accurate description, but try anyway!
Ten seconds of "feeling" is worth a million words... and will still sell the moment short.
It's not dry. It's dull. It's not a "recap" or a box score or an AP news release. It's WHY you love sports! It's why you love the games. It's the emotion in motion. It's the essence of humanity. It's FEELING. It's the reasoning behind journalism. It's the method for existence. The raison d'etre!
It's Gonzo, man...
Don't believe me?
Fall in love. Have a friend die. Become a parent. Have a deep, profound spiritual experience of any kind.
These moments are monumental and "nothing" all at the same time. They happen all around us, all the time despite our ever-so-willing lack of awareness. One chain in the link of life, except you always seem to remember them more.... because you FEEL something overwhelming.
Funny thing is, you have EVERY day as an opportunity to FEEL, but it's easily swept away by those illusions, by the magic, by the sleight of hand by others... usually just people looking to separate YOU from your money. Guess what? Caveman didn't need money!!!
And do it day after day. Not because you think you want to... because you HAVE to!!! Because you must put this feeling, this moment into words for the ages. Not just for yourself, not just for your job, not just for your wants... because the story itself DESERVES it.
All-stars and Hall of Famers and everyday Joes all can "feel". But no one can hold that feeling for very long. Time is a heartless, persevering, staunch and stubborn bitch. Journalism is the art of capturing it in its glorious essence! If even for just that snapshot in the bitch of time doing her never-ending duty. You WANT to "do" it! Stop "trying"!
The stories are out there. Whether it's the Super Bowl, a regular season game, a story that was supposed to be about the Mint 400, a pickup game of basketball or a story of your son getting his first stitches. These moments NEED you to feel. Sports NEEDS you to feel. Life NEEDS you to feel...
"A daily record of events or news pertaining to sports" NEEDS you to feel.
If there's nothing to feel then what is left?
Go get 'em y'all!
Seriously - I never intend to write 3,000 word articles. I just always seem to need to explain endlessly with many words what I'm trying to say! And rest assured that I always feel like I'm leaving a lot out!!!
It was a letdown to me - Tell me you wished the U.S. Open would go on and on forever, too!
Yes, I am a new fan - I always kinda liked Rocco Mediate, but now I call myself a "fan". he was having a damned good time out there yesterday just knowing his ass was getting PIZZ-AID, no matter what! He chilled, he had a good time and he - of even for one short day - made Tiger sweat.
Might not be the same as winning a major, but it's certainly nothing to whisk away! Congrats on a kickass performance and leaving 91 holes of golf to the ages!!!
Let's get the whole story before we make too much fun - Javon Walker... tell me this was a random thing and not kharma kicking you in the ass! I'm ready to believe it either way, so I'll saty out of it until I get more info... then the jokes will floweth!!
I'm a little tired - I don't write these things in order. But I got to here and the rest was done, so I said "bed time"... enough words for the day! (not that I need to "save some" for later or anything!)
Of course, I'll still be editing and correcting moronic typoes for another hour before I can rest peacefully anyway! I can't trust these AGM edit point mongers to not change the words I spelled "wrong" on purpose!!! =)
Big ups to the Lighthouse attendants of the web!!!
Rocco Baldelli led the Class A Vero Beach Devil Rays (Yes, THEY are still called the "Devil Rays") with 2 RBI, going 1-3 with 2 walks in a 7-2 win over the Brevard County Manatees (affiliate of the Brewers).
Rays phenom pitching prospect and former #1 overall MLB draft pick David Price went 5 innings for his third win on the season while notching 7 K's and only allowing 4 hits and 2 walks.
Also - Good job by the Phillies last night, beating the Red Sox. 'Preciate it!
I heard that term used on Larry King by a "guy" explaining that we only knew half of the story the media was trying to sell as "the truth" - it was an angle. He and his family were getting grilled by people who literally EXIST to latch on to famous people and pull them under the muck. And until I heard his side of it, I'll admit... I was one of the people that had NO IDEA what the "truth" was or what the motivation of "the real story" might have been.
All I knew is what other people had told me.
And I felt sad. Not just for the people involved in the story, but for myself. I was suckered in! I rushed to the same judgment too. And I know better!
I know a guy who was arrested after a shipment of drugs were mistakenly delivered to his address in a sting operation. He was on the phone at the time a delivery guy dropped a mysterious package off and had him sign for it. He didn't know what it was and he didn't know who had sent it. He was still on the phone when the police busted into his home and arrested him with a litany of charges.
This guy was also a famous sports star in the area, so because of his fame, he was plastered all over the news and papers for committing a heinous crime he would never do.
For days, the media raked him over the coals and destroyed his otherwise good name and character. He claimed and pronounced his innocence and that only fanned the flamed. They said he was arrogant and non-compliant with the investigation and the media raked him over hotter coals.
Well... a few days later it turned out that the team of detectives that were handling the matter had a little problem. They were suddenly being investigated for some illegal workings of their own. Not only that but it turns out that the "bust" they did on the guy I know really was a supreme screw up and they had the wrong address for the delivery!!!
Not only was the athlete's charges dropped, but he also turned around and sued the police department for damages. And easily won the case.
But the damage was irreparable. I saw the guy years afterwards and he told me that people STILL came up to him and called him a druggie and that they didn't want "people like him" in their community. The newspapers in the area surely made tens of thousands of dollars using his name in headlines to sell papers.
But after the real "truth" came out, all that was printed was a small, one paragraph story about how the case was dropped. Ridiculous.
We've gotten to the point in this country where the stories are coming out far faster than the facts and truths.
So-called "journalists" are no longer writing their pieces to tell the story, but rather to sell a perceived scandal. And NO ONE is standing up against them and speaking out.
We as "bloggers" and amateur journalists must also learn to develop a "bullshit filter" so we can learn when to react and when NOT to over-react. It's more than credibility or responsibility... it's ethics and it defines who we are and what we do!
I learned long ago when I was a kid and my parents were getting divorced that people aren't going to just tell you "their side of the story" but also "the side of the story they want told".
I'm growing weary not of the feeding frenzy that is the paparazzi and scum journalists... I'm growing weary of the morons and brain dead schmucks that care about what the frenzy is about. "News" is never new. Unless you are there, in the heart of the matter, going "gonzo", it was told to you from a source that had IT'S interest at heart, not the story's interest.
Time to wake UP, America... You're being brainwashed by things of non-importance for one simple reason - they want to separate you from your money - and when the people who AREN'T making money are trying are imitating the art form to get you to feed into it too... we have a problem.
Modern man has the same needs as Caveman did. Caveman didn't need gossip, slander and rumors. Just wake up! It matters slightly less than zilch in your life what "people" are talking about.
Or as the old adage goes:
Small minds think about people
Average minds think about things
Great minds think about ideas....
Don't be small, Armchair! Get some ideas!!!
Channel Manny Presents:
W.T.M.F. Sports with your host, Manny Stiles!
Brought to you by Irresponsible (W)hackjob Bloggers Incorporated
"If you give us almost half of an assumed fact, we can steal from South Park to make up the rest... pointlessness, lame-osity and dullitude guaranteed!"
Reporting on Tuesday, June 17th... Manny Stiles:
MS - "Gas prices did not go up today... yeah, I'm just kidding... but first, our top story today..."
There's a way to do things hands on and then there's everything else.
Why are light switches that "flip" positioned vertical and not horizontal? Yeah, I never thought about it either... until now...
Of course, I also have a "light switch to nowhere" in my house too. You know the switch that seemingly does nothing but you get VERY tempted to rip it out of the wall just to see where it goes???
Yeah, I know I'm weird. You're not saying anything in your head that I don't already know.
The Adventures of ManRays
Today's "Ray of the Day" is...
Tomorrow opens the second series in a 3 series home stand; this time against the Cubs. Dubbed Lou Piniella's "return", it's more like another opportunity to enlighten the otherwise dim national media about the Rays. And to shove it in Sweet Lou's face that he could never make a winner in St. Petersburg.
I would talk some smack, but they're the Cubs. What's the point?
Or like I always say... "Why talk about the Cubs when you could talk about actual baseball?'
A Picture is worth 1000 lacerated kidneys
There once was this guy that could hit for power, run like the wind, throw like a cannon and at the same time, somehow be underappreciated. Maybe it was growing up as a friend with Darryl Strawberry, maybe it was freak injuroes and cancer that splintered his career, but looking back... and taking all things into consideration - he was better than people remember!
Dr. Commento Answers the Questions
ATQ – Yesterday's 10 was athletes that are wikiable (not just "known") by their "nicknames".
I have a question for all y'all: How... HOW did yesterday's NASFL chart go through a whole day so uncommented about? Not a single Bostonian was there to brag themselves into having me agree with them? It was there for the taking!
Is my "hatred" towards Bostonites going to have to grow because they are now becoming placated by playoff appearances to the point that they aren't going to shove it in the New York sports fanbase's faces?
If you're just "making sure" the Celtics win before you pop off, then I'm actually sensing a growing pride towards you, Boston.
Ockham's Razor says the "know-it-alls" and "Told-you-so-ites" just aren't capable of reading a whole Stiles post in one day! (see, THAT is how you act like an arrogant prick, Boston!)... I can sympathize!
Strike a Prose
Ode to My Monitor at Work
Don't touch this sh!t
I don't wanna look at
Get 'cho slimy mitts
off my sh!t
I don't wanna see
yo' slimy 'prints
Why you gotta
Ever try to explain
Ever try pointing
Can't you just
my sh!t alone?
I don't wanna look at
the trail of yo'slimy mitts
I know you pick
your nose with those digits
And I really don't wanna see
Everywhere I go...