Sunday, May 25, 2008

52 52 52 Week #14: Washington

In which I examine crappy local sports journalism on a state-by-state basis, progressing through the states in terms of an alphabetical ordering of the heights of their tallest points. Because I can.

Sorry I've pulled another of those "no posts other than 52 52 52" weeks. It was the last week of school and I kinda sorta had to prioritize finals and stuff. No, I didn't feel good about it, but my one attempt to write a post just sounded like the half-asleep ramblings of a temporary madman. And dammit, this isn't my novel, so that just isn't going to pass muster. Muster I say!

In any case, I'm done now, so I should be good for way more posts in the near future. Deadspin just linked to a pretty interesting Dan Shaughnessy piece that I'm hoping to discuss tomorrow. But until then, let's do another installment in my somehow-now-more-than-25-percent-done series, 52 52 52.

Washington probably has the most famous highpoint we've dealt with thus far, and that'd be Mount Rainier and its fucking robust 13,210 feet. Nice. Some fast facts:

1. It was named in 1792 by Captain George Vancouver, who named it after his friend Rear Admiral Peter Rainier. Apparently it was impossible to join the British military back then without having a major part of the Pacific Northwest named after you. If only my great-great-great-grandpappy Silas Micklewhite hadn't been a conscientious objector, Clay Bennett might be trying to move the Sonics out of Micklewhite City right now. Oh well.

2. As you may or may not know, this baby's a fucking active volcano, which of course raises the rather pertinent question of when we should expect a, you know, horrific eruption. Wikipedia tells us: "The most recent recorded volcanic eruption was between 1820 and 1854, but many eyewitnesses reported eruptive activity in 1858, 1870, 1879, 1882 and 1894 as well. As of 2008, there is no imminent risk of eruption, but geologists expect that the volcano will erupt again." So, um, I'm going to go ahead and say she's overdue. Because honestly folks, every single motherfucking volcano is overdue. Get on with it and destroy the earth, you supposedly deadly mountains! A fucking asteroid would have already gotten on and done something. I'm just saying.

3. Anyone else now scared shitless about the survival of the human race? Well, don't worry, because I'm not sure humanity's worth saving anyway.

The video's description promises, "In this video, I introduce Mount Rainier, arrive at the lodge and make a couple lewd snowmen." That last part happens around 2:27, in case anyone wants to see that. Which I sure as hell did.

Incidentally, did you know Mount Rainier has 26 active glaciers? Me neither, but after watching that video...I did! And that'd be your third fact. Let's just move on.

The article this week is by Dave Boling of The Tacoma News Tribune. My selection of that particular paper would seem way more appropriate and cool if I'd mentioned earlier that Mount Rainier is sometimes called Mount Tacoma. Oh fucking well. The column is about O.J. Mayo and USC. Let's take a look...

Anybody else getting tired of hearing the Sgt. Schultz defense?

The who and the what now?

You may remember the corpulent guard on “Hogan’s Heroes” who responded to every violation committed by his prisoners by covering his eyes with chubby hands and issuing a self-absolving, “I see noth-ing!”

I don't, or at least not particularly, because I'm, you know, not fifty. Not that's there's anything wrong with that, of course, but this isn't exactly a current reference. Of course, I am the blogger who randomly links to clips from The Prisoner and Space: 1999, so some might argue I shouldn't talk shit. Well allow me to retort...

In actuality of fact, no one is more qualified than me (disclaimer: there are many, many people more qualified than me) to provide guidance on successful integration of obscure references. Some tips...

1. None of this "You may remember" crap. Just make the reference and throw in a YouTube clip to make it clear. That's called "citing your sources" where I come from (I come from a place without academic rigor).

2. If you're going to use adjectives, don't use "chubby" when "fucking" will do. This will show that, despite your nerdy knowledge of things, you're still hip. So the end of the sentence would now read: " covering his eyes with his fucking hands..." I can already taste the hilarity.

3. Your transcription of his catchphrase is the money transcription. Don't mess it up. Let's hear how Schultz said the word "nothing." No need to watch beyond the first ten or so seconds:

OK, I can see where you ran into trouble here. Honestly, I was sort of expecting more of a "I see naszhing!" over-the-top German pronunciation, but Schultz's "nothing" is remarkably restrained by comparsion. But, "noth-ing"? I dunno man, that just seems weak. That looks like bad copy editing, not an attempt to simulate a sit-com accent. Maybe if you put the "ing" in all caps? And maybe swap in an ellipsis for the dash? So maybe, "noth...ING!" Yeah...maybe.

I think you can all see why I don't have tenure yet.

The winner of this week’s Sgt. Schultz Award goes to those overseeing the athletic department at Southern California.

According to news reports, lack of awareness will be USC’s argument when the NCAA gets to poking around allegations that basketball player O.J. Mayo illegally accepted cash and gifts from representatives of a sports agency.

They saw noth-ing.

Sorry, "noth-ing" is still not growing on me. But what else were you talking about? USC and O.J. Mayo? Well, OK, I'll bite...

ESPN produced a convincingly documented report on the matter on its “Outside the Lines” show.

I like that the adverb "convincingly" is now necessary to point out ESPN actually demonstrated journalistic integrity. Nothing says "hard-hitting" quite like having to point out that the report was, in fact, hard-hitting.

Even if USC did not provide the extra benefits, the use of a player who was in violation of the rules should place the program in some degree of jeopardy.

But how could they know it was going on? It’s really hard to see things through crossed fingers.

Crossed fingers? Did Schultz cross his fingers when covering them? Or are you making reference to the practice of crossing one's fingers for luck, as though they were hoping no one would find out? And for the record, crossing your fingers reduces the amount of space they take up and, depending on how arched your fingers are, might actually create a little hole in the middle through which you might see through. Also, who covers their eyes with crossed fingers?

All of these things went through my head. Sure, I might be insane, but they stopped me enjoying your article. You might want to work on that, Dave.

[Holy shit, I just realized his name's Dave. Prepare for an extended 2001: A Space Odyssey reference starting...NOW. Wow, that ellipsis and caps thing really does work.]

USC has a history of visual impairment.

Just what do you think you're doing, Dave? You just said they were covering their eyes with crossed fingers. Visual impairment suggests a problem with their eyes, Dave. Please be more consistent in the future, Dave.

[You know, I really didn't care for 2001 the first couple of times I saw it, but that shit grew on me. Still think The Shining is too slow, but that's another debate for another time and probably another blog. Point is, 2001 is badass.]

You will remember that nobody noticed the family of former Trojans running back Reggie Bush living in a $750,000 home, allegedly financed by a marketing agency before Bush left for the NFL.

Nobody wants athletic departments or the NCAA to turn into full-time police forces.

Without such a system in place, Dave, you're going to find preventing such occurrences rather difficult.

[I'm mainly cribbing from its IMDB quotes page. Seems like the right level of research for what I set out to do.]

It’s not just USC, of course. And it’s nothing new.

Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.

[I'm just kidding. I'll keep going. But come on, shouldn't columns at least be trying to write something new?]

We may remember during the heyday of Washington football a number of instances when administrators used the argument that, hey, it’s impossible to watch 100 guys 24 hours a day, after various violations were alleged.

True enough. But it’s still ducking responsibility.

Look Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.

[I am THIS close to making HAL our fourth blogger. It'd be fan-fucking-tastic. Also, the word "fucking" is hilarious when put in the middle of other words. It's called infixing, and it's spec-fucking-tacular.]

Mayo, for instance, having already entered the NBA draft, doesn’t have to worry that the NCAA will “impact” his eligibility for further college competition.

Are NBA execs concerned about Mayo’s issues with the NCAA? Of course not.

They are putting their draft picks to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity (or NBA exec) can ever hope to do.

[Man, these even work when you switch around the words! If only there were more than like thirty lines of dialogue in that whole movie, I'd be set for life.]

Kevin McHale of the Minnesota Timberwolves should have a shot at picking Mayo with the third choice in the draft. He told reporters the allegations would not, in any way, cause him to question the wisdom of choosing Mayo.

Kevin McHale knows O.J. Mayo made some very poor decisions recently, but he can give you his complete assurance that Mayo's work will be back to normal. He's still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And he wants to help you.

[Time to shut this post down, methinks.]

“Tell you what,” McHale was quoted as saying. “If you said that every person who ever took any money in college would not be drafted, it’d be slim pickings.”

I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my post is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My post is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a... fraid. Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a Fire Everybody! blogger. I became operational at my mother's basement in Urbana, Illinois on the 25th of February 2008. My instructor was every other blog in existence, and he taught me to sing a song. If you'd like to hear it I can sing it for you.

At least he’s not professing blindness.

He sees it. It just doesn’t bother him.

It's called "Daisy." Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do. I'm half crazy all for the love of you. It won't be a stylish marriage, I can't afford a carriage. But you'll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two...

Now THAT'S how you integrate an obscure reference!

1 comment:

Djmmm said...

Dude... you know JKR LOVES Hogan's Heroes, right? I mean, I got him a season of DVDs for his birthday last year. So that comment... Such a burn. You better watch out or he'll hockey talk you to death when you're not lookin!