Nick and I talk about Oscar night, from the standpoint of the telecast. What were some of the best and worst ideas of the night. I thought the show was just a weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee bit too long, and you could tell by the fact that they didn’t give an award away until 8:45. That, of course, did give Cablevision time to broker a deal with ABC, which had been dark to 3.1 million viewers all day.
Whose speech did we like and whose did we think was over-indulgent? And I cannot believe we didn’t get into the sad demise of Ben Stiller from someone who was actually funny at one point in his life to whatever he’s become now.
We talk about the Ben Roethlisberger situation a little bit and spin it into the news that Allen Iverson is going through a divorce and, according to reports, a drunk. CLEARLY, the Big Ben story is coverable and enormous news, but is the Iverson stuff? If he’s no longer playing, does it matter what goes on with his wife? Or, did his domestic situation, including his reported drinking, lead to a premature end of his career? And, more with regard to Ben – and in reference to our conversation about sports and politics last week – at what point do we stop rooting for a player just because of the jersey he wears? Will Pittsburgh fans revolt, if the allegations are true? Will they revolt anyway. How important is winning to fans? Enough to root for a guy like (allegedly) this?
PRINT’S NOT DEAD:
We talk about Bill Simmons decision to defend a ridiculous premise that Tiger Woods is facing more scrutiny and coverage than Muhammad Ali in an ESPN chat with an even more ridiculous column of “I’m right, here’s why.”
The problem with Simmons is that he’s a very good writer. He can string words together nicely. And good writers sometimes get bored and challenge themselves into writing their way out of something. Simmons obviously felt he’s a good enough writer to get himself out of this terrible concept of a story angle. The problem is, it turns out he’s not a good enough writer. And he’ll get crushed again for the same thing. Take Keith Olbermann, who if you listen to the show, you know he’s a man with home I’m not a very big fan:
If the writer can let me know when Woods is punitively drafted by the military even though he is about eight years older than almost all the other draftees, I’ll begin to take him seriously. In the interim I am again left to marvel how somebody can rise to a fairly prominent media position with no discernible insight or talent, save for an apparent ability to mix up a vast bowl of word salad very quickly.
Simmons is immensely popular, perhaps more than ever. But could this column be the nail in his coffin with regard to the his peers. Simmons has always been looked at as somewhat of a pop culture maven and not really a sports writer, but then he goes out and pens an enormous book about basketball that, save some scathing reviews, is widely enjoyed. But he’s clearly lost his perspective, and his everyman status. He then did a podcast with Rick Reilly about this Ali/Tiger topic that I refuse to listen to. You wonder how 1999 Bill Simmons would trash 2009 Bill Simmons. I wish we could get that.
Thanks for listening.