When real journalists already can’t think of good stories…

I’m really sick of sports writers. Okay, that’s a lie – it’s really just some of them that spoil the whole bunch. If they aren’t writing completely moronic observations, they take opposing side viewpoints simply to stir up some controversy. Pete Prisco is a prime example and the main reason I switched back to Sports Illustrated from SportsLine as my primary sporting news resource (ESPN and The Sporting New both suck and charge for some of their content). His latest gaffes include a list of the top 10 college football stadiums, which ignored the grand history of Big Ten schools (including the Big House, which has sold over 100,000 tickets a game for the past 2 decades) in favor of the SEC. Why? Because CBS has broadcasting rights for the SEC. Also, one of his latest articles included a diatribe of the scrambling quarterback model pointing out how all of the latest Super Bowl winners have been led by pure pocket passers. Amazing, considering everybody else recognizes that it was the defenses which won those rings for the Ravens, the Patriots, and the Bucs. With that, I departed from SportsLine and happily found a nicely redesigned Sports Illustrated site.

But bad journalists are everywhere, and I’ve already encountered my first nonsensical article on SI. Frank Deford wasted my time with a silly defense of Anna Kournikova (someone who is not truly under attack), stating that because she is beautiful there is no reason for us to note that she’s a lousy tennis player. Why should we hold her up to the standards that she presented as her own when entering the professional world when she looks so good in that little skirt? Unfortunately Deford misses the real issue here, and that is why does this girl represent tennis when she’s not very good at it? You can argue that a lot of athletes who get endorsement deals and become the focus of attention are not the best athletes, but they are generally among the better players and are held accoutable for such by the companies and fans. you think Michael Jordan made his millions based on his looks? Kournikova is barely even mentioned during tennis tourneys anymore, yet is still considered a tennis star. If her calendar is what makes her so famous, than why doesn’t she just become a model? The real failure of Deford’s writing is in his attempt to draw comparisons with the rest of the world:

But where Kournikova, who’s never won a tournament, is penalized, is with this ridiculous assumption that somehow sports is different from the rest of the world. Terrible actresses get good parts because they’re prettier than better actresses. Dreadful singers have hit songs because their figures are better than their voices. Nobody raises a stink.

If Deford ever looked beyond his rather narrow vision of sports, he’d notice that lots of people complain about famous actors and actresses, musician, and whatnot who become popular because of their looks, not their talent. Has he never noticed the huge backlash against people like Britney Spears?!?! Please, get a clue.

Anywho, just because I don’t like being non-stop negative here, I would like to point out one of the big reasons I’m glad to have switched back to SI’s website – Peter King. King writes the Monday Morning Quarterback column for SI and does such with an incredible flair for wit, and an ability to sound like a guy who loves sports and just happens to make money writing about it. His observations are astute, yet never harsh; and he keeps his head on tight even making fun of his own predictions. King brings in a personal touch, relating stories of his travels and discussions with both athletes and everyday people. Just take a look at his write-up of the upcoming season to get a good feel. I forgot how much I looked forward to reading his column every Monday morning. I may not always agree with him, but I certainly always respect him.

SI has a very good staff, so I’d also like to mention Paul Zimmerman, a.k.a. Dr. Z. His take on the 2003 season looks good to me, and even he recognizes there will be holes in his predictions as soon as the season starts. These guys help to complement the slightly biased writing of Dave Spadaro, who writes the On The Inside column for the official Philadelphia Eagles website. Dave’s also a great guy who took this past February’s devasting loss as hard as any non-salaried fan. These guys help keep my love for sports (especially football) alive.