Monday, July 14, 2008

Out of the wilderness.

Not literally. I'm still, physically, in the wilderness of northern Canada, where the Home Run Derby is strangely delayed for two hours so that we can watch Don Taylor and Dave Pratt talk about which is the best summer song. Yay, televised sports radio!

No, I'm talking about my month of gloom and darkness, brought on by the inconsiderate, vacation-taking Peter King. But he's back, and he's got Favre on his mind and vacation stories to tell. A warning: this is rough. Pete isn't funny and neither am I. This is a slough. The Favre stuff is eh whatever, except for two little things. First, a controversial thesis statement:
Here's the question in the Brett Favre saga as we wade through his request to be released and the Packers' denial and the firestorm it's created in Wisconsin: How will the endgame play out?
Uh...yeah. You're gonna get hit hard for insinuating that where Favre ends up is what's of interest (as opposed to what?), but stick to your guns, man. There was this too:
[Pack GM Ted Thompson] said Favre's return to the Green Bay locker room "theoretically could be awkward. But football players usually figure out a way to make things work.''

Maybe. I don't know how you possibly could make this work -- one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, coming off one of his three or four best seasons ever, returning to the team to back up a guy who's never started an NFL game. It's absolutely absurd.

Not, uh, not that absurd if the OOTGQbOAT guy is pretty old and said he was leaving for good, allowing the team to give the former back-up an offseason of support and first-team reps and stuff, only to have the OOTGQbOAT guy show up a few weeks before training camp saying "I want back in." I dunno. I don't like going up against PK on actual football stuff, because the gap between his fuhbawwwww knowledge and mine is similar to that between mine and my dog's...but I think he's seeing through Favrejuice-tinted glasses a bit here.

Anyway, Peter was back in the non-football swing of things pretty quickly, with a travel note about a bicyclist attacking a motorist in Oregon. He finished with this hard-hitting commentary:
Not sure what the moral of the story is, but it's not good.
Whatevs, PK. Let's get on with the summer vacation:
June 14, Athens, Ohio: I do not fret for our future. After 28 hours on campus for graduation, I drove away thinking how serious and dedicated so many of these kids are, more than I remembered my class being. Not just brown-nosing nerdy serious. The summer editor of the student paper I used to work for, The Post, is going to law school in the fall. When I met with a bunch of the Posties, there was no talk of drunken nights waking up in some strange dorm. Internships, ethics, cultivating sources. That was the talk. I was also surprised there wasn't a lot of job fear. These kids think they'll find their way, maybe not in traditional media but in some form of info-gathering.
I love that PK's worries about the future are completely placated by the fact that a couple college kids didn't tell him about drinking. King follows it up with a story about his softball team raising money for people in Iowa, and finishes it with:
Goosebumpy stuff.
Peter King's a horrible writer.
June 25, Clifton, N.J.: My wife had been on me for weeks -- months, really -- to get the burgeoning freckle/mole on my right forearm taken off, and so I saw a dermatologist who agreed it must go. I never would have gone on my own. Too busy. But I went. Mole removed. Size of an Atomic Fireball. Routine. Six stitches. Doc, Jonathan Gold, said I'm fine. Gave me 55 and 70 SPF sunscreen and told me to wear it. Life goes on.
That's, um, gross, Pete. Really. There are people out there like me who read your softball stories because we have no social life and have nothing better to do and are petty. There are people out there who probably skip the softball stories. There are (theoretically) people who read your softball stories because they enjoy them. You know what all these people have in common? None of them care about your disgusting skin.

And "Life goes on."? Peter King's writing just makes my skin crawl. It screams "I am an incredibly boring man!". He's still the champ of short sentences, though. 36 words. 9 sentences. Ama. zing.
[There's a softball player I coach] who's not as fast but just as gritty and competes like Dustin Pedroia.
Is Pedroia really that gritty and compete-y, even? By the way, if this is somehow an allusion to Eckstein, I...I hate you, Peter.
July 1, Clifton, N.J.: "I need you to come in today or tomorrow,'' Dr. Gold said on the phone. Oh? What for?'' "Your mole came back with a melanoma.'' Cancer. I think he said after that he thought it was contained within the original mole and tissue he cut out, but all I could think of is, What is this guy talking about? Isn't melanoma something for old people in the sun too long?

I go in the next day. The protocol for such things, I see on, is to cut out an area three-quarters of an inch in all directions to make sure the melanoma has not spread into the lymph nodes or bloodstream. The procedure was longer, and the smell of burning skin more intense as he burned and cut the innocent tissue away. "You'll always have a little dent in your forearm now,'' he said as he sewed up the gulf with 25 stitches, then looked down at his handiwork. "Looks like the laces on a football."

Fire Peter King's editor.

Anyway, King's dog didn't handle fireworks very well, Mary Beth bailed for the west coast (Peter, you must be a millionaire. How could any millionaire's month off be this damn boring), and:
I stopped for the afternoon in Chicago, lathered on the 55 SPF sunscreen, and sat in the seventh row of the left-field bleachers at Wrigley Field for Cubs 3, Giants 1. The guy a few seats away asked me, "What's your favorite ballpark?'' And I told him the story of taking my late mother to Wrigley for the first time, maybe eight or 10 years ago, and how she'd been used to Fenway Park and didn't think any place could every be better, and in the seventh-inning stretch, she leaned over to me and said, "Peter, I think this is better than Fenway.''
I'm willing to lay decent money that Peter King answers every simple question with an elaborate story about his family. So, that was Peter's vacation. Again, and to nobody's surprise, fucking boring.
In the mortal words of Mike Greenberg, "We're back and better than ever.''
Google hits for "in the mortal words of": 289 (That's 17^2!). Google hits for "in the immortal words of": 345,000. Typo? Joke I don't get? Joke that's just unimaginably unfunny? Or just crushing stupidity from everyone involved?
If there's something more stupid in sports than allowing fans to vote thousands of times for the baseball all-star game, I don't know what it is. It became a matter of civic pride to get Evan Longoria (who deserved it, I might add) into the summer classic, and so the good people of Tampa Bay were asked to vote over and over for Longoria online so he could be the final member of the AL team. In the National League, one guy estimated he voted 70,000 times for Pat Burrell. Fix the sham-mockery, Bud.
I'll see that and raise you, I dunno, half of all Olympic sports. Or every program on the WWL. Or, closer to the topic, everything about baseball year-end award and HOF voting. Or, closer still, players voting for all-star team members. What exactly is the problem with letting fans see who they want?
I ask all of you out there who have whatever agendas you have to please allow the presidential race to be decided on the issues, not on the myriad other phony things (like the silly Obama's-a-Muslim stuff) starting to crop up.
I am so fucking inspired.

Anyway, there you have it. PK's back, and the time off really seems to have helped him, as he was pretty aggravating this week.

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