Sentiment Rains Attraction

There was this thesis I had been working on for a while that basically said that Sports News websites (Foxsports.com, cbssportline.com, and most notably ESPN.com) focused far too much on negative stories. I had a perfect screen-capture of ESPN's top stories from one day earlier this summer--all of the stories involved either a DUI, an injury, a firing, or some A-Rod-related scandal (I just spent an hour searching for that screenshot on my computer, to no avail). I even had some Silverbird5000-esque statistical evaluation planned in which I had compared the proportion of negative headlines on ESPN.com to the proportion of negative headlines on Google News' general news (my rough analysis proved that negativity in the ESPN headlines far outweighed that of news in general, killing the argument that "if it bleeds, it leads" is just as applicable in sports as it is in world/national news). But then I kind of lost interest. Then I regained interest when I saw Jameer Nelson's father's disappearance as a top story...It made me uncomfortable. Like, I know it's pro athletes, but isn't there a certain amount of respect involved in at least waiting until Nelson's father is confirmed dead to blast the story on the front page? Also, isn't there something sort of odd and insensitive about giving Nelson's father lower billing to "METS SWEEP D-BACKS" ?

These are two completely separate TYPES of news. In Shaq's terms, "apples and pumpkins." The whole format needs a shake-up...NOW, with the OJ bizness in full swing, I am again pissed off at the misguided priorities of these sports moguls. I swear the top stories when I was younger were SCORES. Then everything else. I hate to sound crusty, but Jesus Christ, the baseball races are killing shit right now, and the first thing I see on Sportscenter is Donovan McNabb defending himself about comments that black QBs take more shit than white QBs, which by the way has BLOSSOMED INTO A STORY THAT IS PROVING EXACTLY HIS POINT. (Sorry, another topic for another time).

Now, of course, this was the summer of our discontent. Barry Bonds, Michael Vick, Tim Donaghy, Davydenko, Kobe demanding a trade, the Tour De France, Pac Man Jones, and on and on and on. The fact remains, though, scandal and gloom have been around forever in sports...and only recently has it received such top billing. My solution to all of this is not to thrash ESPN and co. for acting like tabloids or to bury these negative off-field stories. We need this stuff as 21st century consumers of AS MUCH INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE. Rather, the solution is for Sports News outlets to act like General News outlets, and to segment the news into finer categories. Just as the New York Times has travel, world news, business, sports, and arts sections so too should ESPN have theirs. My suggestions for sections are as follows:

Larry Johnson records a rap song, Derrek Lee is on a new episode of ER.

Arrests/Crime/Legal Proceedings
Chris Henry, OJ, Elijah Dukes

Eddie Griffin, Bill Walsh.


Ken Griffey Jr., football players.

Sports scores



A woman that wins a marathon turns out to be a man.

Front office
Hirings and firings.

Your favorite player gets traded from the team he has played on for 12 years.

Performance Enhancement
Wade Wilson, Rodney Harrison, Jay Gibbons, Floyd Landis.

Glavine's 300th win, no-hitters.

In completely unrelated news, I am posting this MP3 of Company Flow (El-P and Len) and Cannibal Ox performing "Patriotism" at a Madison Square Garden Ralph Nader rally ("Where the Knicks fans at?") back in 2000. For anyone who has ever asked what the term Free Darko means, this is it.


At 9/20/2007 12:45 PM, Anonymous Bayern Munich said...

Is this Larry Johnson the Chiefs RB, or Larry Johnson the retired forward for the Knicks and Hornets?

At 9/20/2007 1:23 PM, Anonymous The Gong said...

The RB.

I've gotta say I dig this idea DLIC, I would definitely support a site that worked like that. However, does that diminish the connection between viewers and players?

At 9/20/2007 1:56 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

Completely brilliant.

At 9/20/2007 2:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is real...are you gonna do anything when someone rips this idea off?

wv: hcjzraq- house conservatives jizz iraq

At 9/20/2007 2:43 PM, Blogger Alistair said...

Shoals thinks El-P fell off before Funcrusher Plus...your definitions of FD might not corroborate.

At 9/20/2007 2:44 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

Briefly, in the summer of 2004, there was a free weekly here in NYC called "The NY Sports Express" (from the same people that owned the "NY Press" at the time). It was a mix of the clear predecessor of Deadspin (irrelevant look at sports) and the Voice's sport coverage (serious alternative articles on media coverage of sports, race, etc.).

They had a weekly feature called "The Sports Blotter" that ran down the latest arrests, etc. related to sports athletes. It was a full page of little blurbs, and usually had around 3-6 arrests a week, along with details.

The weekly bit the dust after like 3 months (too bad, it was really enjoyable), but someone should resurrect the idea of "The Blotter".

By just treating it like you would "Transacations" it might serve to take away some of the sensationalistic-ness of reporting on otherwise mundane arrests ("NBA player you never heard of arrested for soliciting a prostitute!"; "College athlete arrested for drinking/smoking weed!").

At 9/20/2007 3:39 PM, Anonymous Berts said...

does anyone have a link to the russian language text of AK's trade plea?

At 9/20/2007 4:26 PM, Blogger holopawer said...


At 9/20/2007 4:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

non-corroborating definitions of FD is FD.

At 9/20/2007 4:45 PM, Anonymous SMK said...

SML - "The Sports Blotter" lives in the pages of the Boston Phoenix, at least. Matt Taibbi writes it when he's not doing his Hunter Thompson-lite impression over at Rolling Stone.


At 9/20/2007 5:14 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

Matt Taibbi still working it... Thanks for the head's up, SMK.

SMK = guy who sits in the seat just ahead of SML in class.

At 9/20/2007 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a slightly related argument that i am trying to push. Certain players make other players worse. Hang with me for a minute while I organize my thoughts. Just like some players are credited with making some of their teammates better, on every team (often the same player that is making someone else better) some all star is also making some other potentially “all star” player worse. I don’t mean worse in the sense of “Lamar Odom never seems quite comfortable playing with Kobe” worse but “what in God’s name happen to Larry Hughes” worse. The dynamics of the relationship is sometimes hard to decipher, Like Lebron James makes Boobi better but at the same time look at Larry Hughes! Compare his play now to his production when he was playing with Gilbert Arenas, who it turns out does make Larry Hughes better. Devon Williams makes Okur better but makes AK47 so much worse or maybe it is Carlos Boozer that makes him worse ( I will revisit this later). Amare Stoudemire appears to make Boris Diaw worse while Nash has the same effect on Marcus Banks. David Lee makes Channin Frye worse and appears to have no such effect on Renaldo Balkman. Allen Iverson made J R Smith worse, his pre and post Iverson stats are startling. Despite the fact that they are both “chuckers”, Paul Pierce makes Antoine Walker better and Dwyane Wade appears to make Walker much worse, how is this possible?. Now while it could be the player’s fault for not adapting to the teammate or the coach’s fault for not finding a way to make the relationship work better, the fact is that certain players play depreciate drastically when they share the court with certain other players, and this seems to be true irrespective of what position the two players in question play. One thing that I have noticed however is that if two players need to have the ball to be effective one of them will quickly suffer a decline in effectiveness. For example Lebron and Larry Hughes both thrive while making plays in open court situations (notice how Larry Hughes game improved after he moved to point guard towards the end of the season) but still all plays must run through the “Global Icon” while in Washington the team played an equal opportunity offense with ballhandling duties, playing making and shot taking, distribution varying from night to night; and Larry Hughes looked like the best player on the court most nights. Ray Allen and another identical player Rashard Lewis both thrived on the court together but Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson are like oil and water, actually a Jefferson for Lamar trade would be in best interest of the Lakers and the Nets but I digress, the point is that whatever chemistry it takes for a player to make his teammates better, some players have the exact reverse effect on other players.

At 9/20/2007 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 5:18

I see where you are coming from in regards to your theory there. However, I think certain examples are due to minutes rather than another player MAKING another player worse. Taking away minutes or shots is one thing but actually making a player worse is different.

Basically, i'm looking at your Marcus Banks and Nash example. To say Banks is worse with Nash implies Banks was a serviceable point guard at some point in the league. I don't think that Nash has anything to do with the fact that Bank can't run an offense.

I could have just said "Marcus Banks makes Marcus Banks a worse player".

At 9/20/2007 6:04 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

I very nearly started a blog focusing on athlete arrests, I wanted to call it "Athletes Behaving Badly" or something along those lines, and it just so happened I started the pre-blog ruminations in the lull after a string of Bengal arrests and the Minnesota Viking sex boat thing. I thought to myself, "this will either be way too hard to come up with stuff for, or way too hard to keep up with."

So I didn't, but I do endorse the idea of someone more competent/dedicated doing it on a large scale.

At 9/20/2007 6:34 PM, Anonymous paper tiger said...

holy basil, DLIC! i was totally at that msg nader rally and i walked in just as coflow was starting up and i was giddy and i about pissed myself when i screamed along to the first "I'm America." jinx you owe me a coke, el-p!
and then tim robbins started doing some character in a wheelchair and i got bored.
ugh. i don't reckon nostalgia is FD. but thanks for the memories.
and, oh yeah, nice post.

At 9/20/2007 8:20 PM, Anonymous MaxwellDemon said...

Damn, Anon 5:18, if you're going to drop that much text you need to come up with a name. I don't make the rules or nothing, but damn.

Paper--you're nostalgic for Nader '00? That's like Dirk reflecting fondly on the Warriors series.

At 9/20/2007 8:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off:
It's been around for a while.

Linas Kleiza has a totally decent top 10 highlight video. I especially like the #3 play where Earl Watson tries to defend a dunk. Good stuff from the Nugg Doctor.

At 9/20/2007 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ALSO: As of this moment, when you go to the NBA section of ESPN.COM, the first picture you see is of O.J. Simpson. So consider that a runner-up prize for your lost screenshot. How many years did that guy play in the NBA again?

At 9/20/2007 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

maxwell, to quote noah baumbach's greatest movie, I'm nostalgic for conversations I had yesterday. I've begun reminiscing events before they even occur. I'm reminiscing this right now.

At 9/20/2007 11:28 PM, Blogger rebar said...

the spurs need to be implicated in some sort of massive organization-wide drug ring (performance enhancing and otherwise).

i wanna see Timmy's iphone, full of pictures of him snorting blow and HGH off oberto's chest.

wv bjbrwzul: TD, Manu, Mr. Longoria three way.

At 9/21/2007 12:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



At 9/21/2007 5:50 PM, Blogger The Cruise said...

being nostalgic for a dude in a wheelchair isn't FD, it's FDR.

At 9/21/2007 10:11 PM, Anonymous Maxwell Demon said...

Anon 9:32, heh. My name for you is Bicycle Grease.

The Cruise--HEH.

At 9/21/2007 10:22 PM, Blogger rebar said...

obviously you didn't appreciate my paris'-sidekick pictures debacle reference.

wv xcuaza: starting PF on the chilean national team.

At 4/13/2009 4:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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