How to Enjoy the Super Bowl
Another hard-fought NFL television-watching season is in the books, which means it's time to rejoice and give praise for the greatest holiday on the calendar, Super Bowl Sunday. Unfortunately, not even the cornucopia of chicken wings, cheese fries, and bacon … Read More
Another hard-fought NFL television-watching season is in the books, which means it's time to rejoice and give praise for the greatest holiday on the calendar, Super Bowl Sunday. Unfortunately, not even the cornucopia of chicken wings, cheese fries, and bacon martinis can help us enjoy the pre-game idiocy CBS will roll out. Prepare yourself for faux-inspirational flag football games in the Green Zone, a maudlin profile about the fall and redemption of some millionaire athlete, and lots of grown men screaming about the “Cover Two.”
The Super Bowl has always been about excess, but you can blame ESPN for the proliferation of awfulness in all aspects of sports. The ESPN formula pollutes mainstream sports media like piss in a fish tank. It calls for overbearing ex-jocks, shticky announcers, and stats geeks, each of them a virtuoso in treacle, snark, condescension, and fake laughter. Hawaiian shirts and chest hair must be on-screen at all times. We’ve been forced to take ESPN's assault on our senses because there’s been no alternative. Until now.
Suddenly, unexpectedly, we are in a golden age of sports media. To truly enjoy the pre-and-post coverage of the Super Bowl—or anything else related to sports—turn off your TV and turn on your laptop. It’ll take you back to the days when wasting time on the couch watching other men sweat, and then listening to commentary about said sweaty men, was fun.
The sports blogosphere harkens back to the pre-"Boo-YAH" era—Boo-YAH being the signature cry of insufferable ESPN commentator Stuart “I’m blacker than you, dawg” Scott. Gone is the cult of personality
afflicting mainstream coverage. Sports bloggers deliver the unfiltered essence of sports fandom: love; tribal, infantile, often hilariously conveyed love, and an embrace of the daily ridiculousness of modern athletics. They liberate sports from the boorishness of young marketing turds and the incessant unfunniness of middle-aged hip-hop-wannabe color commentators.
The blogosphere recaptures what SportsCenter lost years ago, while also offering nudity, profanity, and camera-phone snapshots of liquored-up Super Bowl quarterbacks. Everything wrong with ESPN and all its mainstream clones is what’s right about the best of the sports blogs. Not only do they cover sex scandals, horse deaths and terrible coaching decisions with the right amount of skepticism, cynicism and your-team-sucksism, but they do so without actually believing their own ESPiN.
Here are five of the best blogs out there:
1) Kissing Suzy Kolber: Named for the coquettish sideline reporter extraordinaire. The site also
features all the award-winning NFL coverage you’ll ever need, especially if your needs include stories such as “KSK Celebrity Bowl Pick Bukkake: George W. Bush!” and “ESPN’s NFL Analysts Meet Strippers—We’re Not in Bristol Anymore.”
2) Deadspin: This is the Rose Bowl of sports blogs, the “granddaddy of them all,” from which all others flow in the incestuous circle of Interweb life. It’s a continually updated source of game analysis, web links, player arrests, incriminating photos, columnists like James Frey and the Assimilated Negro, and of course, Carl Monday, the Mike Wallace of keeping Ohio safe from masturbating Dewey Decimal types. The beauty of Deadspin is that it appeals to all levels of fandom: mouth-breathers, die-hards, face-painters and pseudo-George-Plimpton intellects alike. If you like sports and aren’t reading Deadspin then you don’t deserve to wear a Chargers throwback.
3) The 700 Level: Suzy Kolber grew up in Philadelphia and I like to imagine her at Eagles games in the upper-deck of the old Veterans Stadium wearing a Jaworski jersey, demolishing hoagies and raining insults and curse words down on Cowboys fans. This blog is like that, only better, because Philly rules. What other town’s greatest sports star also starred in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot?
4) Free Darko: As the NFL winds down, the NBA fires it up and this site captures it best. Named for everyone’s favorite 7-foot Serbian, it’s sharp, witty, and thought-provoking. The proof is in the book club pudding: “Black Planet settles on a system of false positives concerning players, true negatives about race in the NBA, baseline questions about American race relations, and a narcissistic prison of personal negatives.” Why don’t you go ahead and throw that down, Bill Walton.
5) Drunk Athlete: Self-explanatory, but a nice counter to all of the “Thanks to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for enabling me to hit a walk-off home run and sign for six years at $72 million” nonsense that poisons the sports well.
So this Sunday let’s raise one to the emerging online commenteriat. An army of bacon-martini-guzzling bloggers are cutting down the ESPN colossus. There’s only one word that comes to mind.