Sail on, Page 3

ESPN's Page 3 has to be the most worthless, uncomfortable attempt at fusion journalism I've ever seen. Take, for example, today's Ray Ratto column, wherein this intreipid reporter, who clearly knows nothing about music, tries to match up NBA icons with recording artists that. . . I don't know, come from the same era and were similarly important? I'm all for the writers trying to expand their horizons, but there's a reason why I don't spend hours attempting to break down the nuances of hoops strategy--I'm not qualified for it, and to do see would ransack what little credibility I have.

They did, however, inform me yesterday that Tayshaun Prince and Serena had been an item, and offered the appropriately reserved defense of Chris Webber that I've never been able to put together myself.

I'm trying really hard to find something to say about the Dunk Contest. It should be mildly interesting to see Josh Smith, since at this point I'm convinced that the Hawks have him sitting on a soundstage, endlessly rehearsing highlight-worthy plays that are then shipped to SportsCenter and passed off as game footage (a la the Bush adminstrations "reports" on health care). And it is in the spirit of all most blessed reliefs that we've send the end of the Jason Richardson era (that first-round dunk last year was too little, too late). Still, Amare, LeBron, Anderson. . . these are contextual dunkers. Most of the thrill comes from seeing that imposing a player simply take off over someone in the heat of the game, as if, against all physical odds, they've made it into their own private dunk contest. Then there's Wade, who attacks the basket like a bulldog despite being built for the fancy stuff. In the real thing (which could go either way, but I mean the Dunk contest. . let's go with "the official thing"), explosive athleticism is expected, size is an impediment, and "originality," which goes hand-in-hand with cynicism, is the only thing that counts. It's the difference between a hocker player showing tremendous agility on the break (are there breaks in hockey?) and an ice skater doing the same thing.

LeBron said his dunking peace when he ruined Damon Jones earlier this month. This is the new, practical era of dunk showmanship--doing when it counts, where it counts. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it's all to east to see the slow decay of the dunk contest as a sign of this historical movement that this blog (okay, maybe mostly me) is so hung up on at the moment.


At 2/17/2005 12:36 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

This article makes me embarrassed for having engaged in similar comparisons. Page3 is like, for the people that are one low-brow step below those (like me) who have espn.com instead of washingtonpost.com as their homepage.

At 2/17/2005 12:49 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i'm all for them in principle, if nothing else because i know less about basketball than almost anything else in the world. but just because pop culture's popular, doesn't mean everyone's an expert. though ray ratto may listen to all those musicians on a regular basis, he clearly has about as much insight into music as a drunk guy with a beef sandwich.

it would be like if you and i did a thread comparing the bucks and hawks offensive sets to indie emcees of the mid-to-late nineties. . . all it would prove is that we know music and have seen some basketball, since i doubt either of us knows enough about the bucks or hawks to shed any light on them in the process.

just because i spend most of my spare time watching the nba and write for this blog, doesn't mean i'm an expert

At 2/17/2005 6:59 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

typos = passion


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