Monday, August 27, 2012

Attack of the Colorblind Duffers

The  murder
of two men
by a young
wearing lemon-colored
"The Murder of Two Men by a Young Kid Wearing Lemon-Colored Gloves," Kenneth Patchen

Gordon Goes to Hollywood: Relax, don't do it, Bacon.

Apparently I made a bunch of otherwise responsible and card-carrying adults wet themselves with frenzy, humiliation, and anger a month ago when I called them out on some elitist bullshit.

Since then, I've remained more apt to criticize than compliment, which is the nature of the beast anyway, right? I mean, Dan McGrath is just asking to be punched, metaphorically.

Still, you might wonder, well, what makes this smart-ass with the venomous fingertips giggle?

Tom Fornelli kicked ass all over a needlessly written column about White Sox fans last week. Alas, his mockery is amounting to a loogie in the wind, as now even the estimable New York Times is running their take on the horseshit that is the White Sox vs. Cubbies attendance debate.

[Please, people, there are no simple answers in this world. But jumping Jesus on a pogo stick, for three decades one team had what amounted to free commercials in the most powerful media channels in Chicago, while the other was left with ... Sportsvision ... the Daily Herald ... WCIU. If you believe the attendance discrepancy is effect-and-cause rather than cause-and-effect, you are beyond gullible and you really must burn your laptop rather than type any more words. Ever.

Seriously. If you're not on board with this extremely simple concept, destroy that which you are reading from.]

Anyway, as you can see above, that's not the point of my modest post. It's this review of the photo above, from the incomparable James Fegan over at White Sox Observer.

This is the very, very best of what sportswriting can do. Oh, I get it; it's a dumb little catwalk review of a scene it seems readily apparent not all White Sox were on board to release to "twitpic." But in this writeup sits all the fun and flavor that we so rarely get to see in sportswriting today.

Oh, there's more sportswriting than ever, to be sure. Relentless gobs of information, often parroting itself into a draining, wasteful game of Telephone, where even the final, inaccurate, inarticulate answer isn't much fun to read.

Not here. James has written some of my other favorite stuff, because it's funny, inventive, creative, and insightful. More so than even I can muster most days.

I'll piggyback his wonderful post with some observations of my own:
  • Gordon Beckham is far, far, far, far, far too comfortable as a metrosexual. I didn't even recognize him at first—with his jaw jutted out like a come-hither collegian on 80s Night, I thought for sure it was the Bulldog.
  • Contrast Bacon with Alexei right next to him, too cool for school. Tipo just wants to finish his beer and smoke a Sancho Panza cigarro.
  • I'm not going to bust Vinny Fresso (behind Bacon and Bulldog) because it seems several in the party are wearing "wacky pants only," but seriously, if you're not dressed for the photo, why stand in?
  • Don't be fooled: Cultural attaché Jackson Miranda (left of pinko Paulie) is not wearing a "wacky" outfit. Jackson would totally wear that outfit out clubbing. OK, minus the hat, maybe.
  • Dewayne Wise isn't just fake-geeking it here with his understated polo, as James scoffs. He's throwing up signs for the shot! ("Weezy holla'n back to the Carolinas, yup-yup!")
  • Philip Humber, in front of Weezy, misunderstood the schtick and thought the gig was to dress up like a clubhouse attendant for the Baltimore trip.
And how about this for comedy: There are at least three guys regularly working the White Sox beat at Comcast, so how come the guy who pulled the best stuff from the recent Yankees series--exclusive chortles from Derek Jeter, no less--isn't one of them? Hat tip to Jeremy Lynn for not just going through the motions in getting a view from the other locker room, but hitting Jeter up with some interesting questions about his future and White Sox manager Robin Ventura, and conveying the answers in a pretty artful way.

Contrast that with the Yankees backup work done by well-paid Tribune hustlers Phil Rogers and Dave Van Dyck. Both hightailed it from USCF somewhere between the hot dogs being served in the press box and the proper end of game; Phil the Baseball Expert split before Jeter passed Eddie Murray on the all-time hit list (ironically, just the sort of thing he likes to pull out of his boots as a game witness in another empty-caloried "Morning Phil"), the almost-Hall-of-Famer Dave deciding to split without postgame reax from that grumpy Buffo's booster Joe Girardi, who chose that night to chase down an overserved South Side fan.

They both love the game. Except for when it gets in the way of a smooth drive home.

Meanwhile, back Comcast way, the new White Sox guy apparently is doing a lot more for the ball club than any previous writers did. I haven't been able to locate his ERA or OPS, but it must be pretty good.

1 comment:

  1. This is exactly why I don't wear a watch anymore. Glossing right over the big clock on the front of my phone that I check all the time (literally all of it), wearing a watch and actually looking at it to tell the time has sort of a social stigma behind it nowadays. Poor Bulldog probably just wanted to know the time, but instead he ends up looking like the guy who thinks all these team-building funnery is something to be endured. If he were looking at a phone we'd probably just assume he got a call.

    Which strangely means the only way one can wear a watch anymore is as a non-functional piece of jewelry. Maybe this is the point The Jakemeister is making? I think Wise owns the only left wrist in that picture that is both watchless and visible, and he's a lefty so it may well be hidden on his other hand. Perhaps Peavy is simply saying, "Look at these fools. They endeavor to wear silly outfits, but the outfits wear them. I, on the other hand, I am in control of myself and my appearance. I make my clothing work for me, not the other way around. I am the master of my domain." It is at this point in my mind that he starts barking at the camera through which we watch him, and I'm not sure how to onomatopoeize the deep, guttural near-roar he emits as he bares his fangs, saliva dripping from the teeth. His eyes are all at once fierce and visceral, immediately primal and vacated by all trace of humanity. The hairs on the back of my neck bristle, but I dare not look away. As those black eyes track my movements I see reflections of my own grim face, and then, something else- the reflection of the watch. It's one of those novelty watches with a picture of a dog on it, and the dog's hands are the hands of the clock, pointing out the hour and minute. It's even got a little wagging tail for a second hand.