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Pearlman column on fans and sports writers

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    This goes along with a lot of what we were discussing on the LeBron thread. Hell, he might have gotten the idea from there, if he reads this site.


    When the Red Sox had the Mets on the verge of extinction during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, I hid behind my fingers and refused to come out. I've screamed at the television, cursed out the radio, sworn off players who broke my heart and teams that let me down.

    Of course, that all stopped when I , ahem, grew up.
  2. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Good piece. I agree, but have two minor quibbles:

    1) Don't think it's just sportswriters. My email in news is filled with "You're worse than those filthy Mexican pieces of shit!!11!!" messages. (Except that 80% of the words would be misspelled.)

    2) Hey, what's with the photo of the Oregon football crowd?
  3. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    Good column, but I'm not so sure I agree with the premise. I got some nasty phone calls in the pre-internet era that match his e-mail examples and then some. I'm not so sure the venom is any different.

    The benefit of e-mail/texts, etc., is that my phone doesn't ring as often with these lunatics. Or maybe that's not a benefit, because I morbidly enjoy those calls.

    I think Pearlman is half-right. It seems to me that crowds, especially at youth events, are more venomous, especially towards referees/officials/umpires.

    I did a story on an evaluator of officials several years back and he agreed that parents have increasingly come to think its their right to come to a game and berate the officials.

    It's amazing how conditioned people are to blaming officials. I covered a softball state championship game this year. The team I was covering attempted a sacrifice. The bunted ball rolled along the first base line and the other team let it go believing it would go foul. It was close, but it never did. The player was successfully sacrificed to second.

    But that didn't stop the brainless fans from booing the umpire for not calling it foul ... on a play that benefitted their team. I can only assume they wanted the batter to get another chance for a base hit? Who knows?

    I felt like I was in some sort of social experiment to test mass idiocy. In a way, I was, because people are so predisposed to blame officials.
  4. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Who cares?
  5. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    Here's the thing about writing the truth: It makes us all Simon Cowell. For most people, the truth offends their delicate sensibilities. And they react indelicately. The irony of course is that American Idol will die without Cowell. If we stop telling the truth and just sugarcoat everything, sportswriting might die, too.
  6. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    There's a balance. Pointing out a poor performance is one thing. But saying someone "quit" or "choked" or "can't win the big one" is done far too often.
  7. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    And while that may be true - it has nothing to do with angry fans threatening to kill you or swearing at you.

    We just have a lot of sick individuals in this world and not coincidentally it seems far too many of them wear black and gold around and can't quite figure out that the world doesn't revolve around deer season, Night Ranger concerts and Arn City Beer......
  8. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Here's what Pearlman wrote:

    "Did you have a bad day at the office? Is your muffler dragging? Did someone spill Sunny Delight on your Bart Kofoed-autographed Warriors jersey? Is your underwear too tight? Did your wife ask you to watch the kids for a few hours?"

    Here's the letter a fan sent him:

    "You remind me of those guys in the current Miller Lite commercials. One has a lower back tattoo and the other is wearing a thong. My 4-year-old son is more of a man than you. Go drink your green tea."

    There's a difference...but not that much of a difference. Especially when Pearlman throws in the "grown up" line.
  9. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    Another thought. Pearlman's column is kind of the anti-LeBartard column ... and I don't mean that as a compliment.

    Le Bartard's column calls out sportswriters for being stupid louts. Pearlman's column calls out fans for being stupid louts.

    Bottom line ... each group has stupid louts, but neither is defined by them.

    And also, Pearlman is biting the hand that feeds if he doesn't think the fan passion he decries isn't paying his salary.
  10. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    It sure fucking does!!!!
  11. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    I agree. Making evaluative statements is asking for it. Still, I think fans/readers are hypersensitive to straight-up reporting. The question, which may not be answerable, is whether those electronic missives from fans/readers represent the lunatic fringe, or, more to the point, just how big the lunatic fringe is. Because often the only feedback we get is negative feedback.
  12. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    We can only hope. The idiotization of America.
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