I Just Do Not Care…

Recently, I had the opportunity to break bread with an old friend – a long-term reader of these rants – and his new significant other. As the conversation evolved, she asked me if I cared about a variety of sports and I answered that I did – - even if some of the minor sports commanded a smaller degree of caring than others. Finally, she asked if there were any things in the sports world that I didn’t care about. When I answered in the affirmative, she seemed surprised and asked for examples. That led to a discussion, which led to making a list of “Things I Just Do Not Care About”. And that list gave birth to this rant.

With the NFL Draft fresh in my mind, the very first thing I mentioned that went on the list was “Mock Drafts”. There was a time when one or two people did Mock Drafts late in the week leading up to the Actual Draft. Those were interesting to a degree because they were “different”, the people doing the mock drafts were presumed to be knowledgeable, and the Actual Draft was imminent. All of that is so horribly diluted now by the presence of Mock Drafts written by thousands of people who possess degrees of knowledgeability that are undecipherable. Compounding that horror is the fact that you can go looking now for draft orders for the 2010 NFL Draft such that all you need do is plug in the NFL teams in the reverse order of their finish for 2009 and get the first round for April 2010. Categorically, let me say that there is no value to such things other than to contribute to the entropy death of the universe. I just do not care…

As a corollary to Mock Drafts, I no longer care about “Bracketology”. I do not recall when it was that I read my first projected NCAA basketball brackets this season but it was within a week either way of New Year’s Day. That is too much blather and babble to maintain interest. It got to the point that whenever I heard someone on radio or TV prattle on regarding the projected brackets, I thought to myself how much nicer it would be to wait until that certain Sunday evening and to allow the doings of the Selection Committee to manifest themselves. I just do not care…

The WNBA regular season and its playoffs are simply uninteresting. I just do not care…

The NHL regular season and the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs constitute a set of contests that go on for far too long involving far too many teams that mean nothing to me or to the majority of sports fans in North America. I just do not care…

The NBA regular season represents about six months of ennui punctuated by a few seconds of real excitement randomly strewn throughout that time span. I just do not care…

Sideline reporters have even less likelihood to produce something interesting/compelling than does a random NBA regular season game. The same goes for “news conferences” with a golfer who just won a tournament, the owner/trainer/jockey of a horse that just won a major race, the owner of a team that just won the World Series or the Super Bowl or anyone from the NCAA speaking about the wonderful “student-athletes”. I just do not care…

If someone is in a fantasy league for any sport from baseball to NASCAR to the Iditarod, I really do not care about your team or how you went through the analysis to select your team or what your standing in your imaginary league may be. I do not want to hear about it; I do not want to read about it. If I really were interested, I would have an analogous entry in a separate league – - but I do not have such an entry because I do not have a real interest. By the way, if I had an analogous entry in a separate league, you should not care about my team and I would not presume to bother you with stories about it. I just do not care…

National Signing Day – the day when high school seniors announce where they will go to college to play football – is less interesting to me than a treatise on dandruff in some obscure species of woodpeckers. I just do not care…

Televised poker was a curiosity – and therefore interesting – for a while about five years ago. In the intervening time, it has become so horrendously overexposed and with relentless reruns that it has become actively antagonistic. I enjoy reading Norman Chad’s syndicated sports column; he is creative and clever. Nonetheless, I want to throw a brick at him every time I see him on ESPN leading into yet another poker program. I just do not care…

At least televised poker had a moment in the sun when it was interesting. Televised fishing and televised deer hunting – - or hunting for any other species – - has never been particularly interesting and has not attained any level of interest as years go by. Poker, fishing and hunting are participatory events not spectator sports. [Aside: Sex is also not a spectator sport, which is why XXX Rated Movies are not of any interest to me.] I just do not care…

The poker craze on television followed a natural and predictable course. Once the producers had run out of WSOP events to show and had shown the same professional poker players participating in mind-numbingly repetitive tournaments taking place at different latitudes and longitudes, they fell back on a tried and true expansion formula. Let’s show celebrities playing poker and ask anyone who actually knows how to play poker to suspend their incredulity at the lack of ability of these celebrities. If you think I got tired of watching WSOP reruns, you have no idea how quickly and vehemently I tired of Celebrity Poker. The reason here is that it brings together two things I have no interest in – - televised poker and celebrities. Celebrities are interesting only when they exhibit the talents/abilities that make them worthy of notice in the first place. Celebrities in any other context are boring. I just do not care…

And so, as a logical consequence of my lack of interest in celebrities, let me highlight just a few here to give you sense of where my head is at:

    Anything Alex Rodriguez does or says outside the context of a baseball game is uninteresting.

    Athletes and celebrities have sex with one another so frequently that it is no longer news and no longer interesting.

    David Beckham is not interesting to an amazing degree. His off-the-pitch life has been uninteresting for a while; now he has created a drama about where he will actually play soccer and that drama is uninteresting too.

    Lance Armstrong was an inspirational story at first. Now he seems to be such an attention-whore that he has become uninteresting.

    Speaking of attention-whores, Danica Patrick took up residence in that zip code a while back. Think about how unimportant she is as an “athlete” any more; what do you read more about, her racing endeavors or her appearances in the SI Swimsuit Edition?

    And it should go without saying that Brett Favre’s career decisions and life vector are uninteresting.

    For all of these issues and the hundreds that are fundamentally the same – - where only the names change to expose the guilty, I just do not care…

I have two words for you here. Reality … Television. No, it is not. I just do not care…

While it may be a bit tangential here, let me also say for the record that I find Facebook, My Space and Twittering monumentally uninteresting. I just do not care…

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…

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Comments

  • Anthony  On April 29, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    I do not care about in-game interviews of coaches and players…networks need to let them be to do their job during the game

  • Eric K.  On April 29, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    My list would include:

    1. Any discussion about which two teams should play in the BCS championship game. My philosophy is that as long as the NCAA doesn’t care to come up with an objective method of determining a national champion, why should I care about who’s #1?

    2. The Heismann Trophy–in my mind, the single most overhyped and overrated piece of hardware in sports.

  • Tony  On April 30, 2009 at 7:11 am

    Adding to the other regular seasons, I’d say the college basketball regular season belongs in the “do not care” list. It’s so irrelevant outside of a vague idea of which teams are better than others – you could literally lose every regular season game and still become nation champion, if your conference tourney allows all members of the conference to participate.

    I think the basketball and hockey regular seasons are relevant to those teams who are “on the bubble” for most of the year. I personally stayed interested in hockey because my chosen team was fighting for a playoff spot all year and they didn’t clinch until the last week of the season.

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On April 30, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Anthony:

    Amen to that! In addition to letting them alone to do their jobs, I find that there is little insight evoked from the kinds of puff-ball questions that get asked.

    Eric K:

    The elongated and bloviated debates regarding who should be in the BCS Championship Game definitely belong on the list.

    The Heisman Trophy is annoying and overrated, but in its defense it consumes far less of my attention and assaults my ear-drums far less than many other things I just don’t care about.

    Tony:

    I would not go so far as to say that the entirety of the college baseketball season belongs on the list. I agree that there are too many college basketball games on TV such that the product is diluted in terms of viewing value. I agree that automatically putting the conference tournament champion in the NCAA tournament is a bad idea. Nonetheless, I still do care about college basketball.

  • Stick'em  On May 3, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Dear Curm ~

    Well said. For me the “I don’t care” reaction kicks in full force when the fantasy aspect of sports becomes more important in people’s minds than the reality aspect…

    In most other endeavors, if I begin to think fantasy is more important than reality, I get labeled “delusional.” The likelihood a man with a big butterfly net comes knocking on my door with the tranquilizer gun set to stun a rhino in case I get outta hand increases exponentially over time as I get further away from reality, in fact.

    Not so in sports. Why?

    Case in point: Fantasy Football

    Yes, you tell me your WR gets you lotsa points in your fantasy league. You are in the lead above all the other fantasy people; that is all truly wonderful.

    No, real football GMs shouldn’t draft 5 WRs like you did in fantasy world. Left tackles matter in the real world and WRs do not. Ask Matt Millen to join your fantasy league, because I simply do not care.

    Case in Point: Madden Football

    Now, it goes without saying John Madden’s big red mug deserves to be on the Mt. Rushmore of Professional football. That said, when people try to give you Darren McFadden’s stats in their Madden Football league, it might be a sign they need some quality time with living, breathing football players and fans in an actual football stadium. As your Mom should tell you, “Go, play outside! because I do not care.”

    What’s worse is when a so-called “legit” center of sports information uses video game demonstrations to represent actual football in any form. The worst being stunts such as having a “simulated Rose Bowl.” In these mind-numbingly disturbing 30-minute segments, a video game is supposed to match up, say Texas and USC and tell us who is going to win the big game.

    Can’t ESPN just go back to showing us lumberjack contests instead – at least they’re real lumberjacks throwin’ real axes and running on real logs. Don’t tell me who won the EASports Simulated Rose Bowl, because I simply do not care.

    Case in point: Mock Football Drafts

    The one time I bothered to predict the NFL Draft in advance, somehow I was correct on the first 7 picks and 9 out of the first 10. I vowed never to try aa mock again, so as to make myself seem unerringly smart about such things.

    But lemme ‘splain something to you… no NFL team came knocking on my door to offer me a job. Confetti and cheerleaders did not rain from the sky. In fact, my girlfriend not only didn’t tell me I was sexier than Mel Kiper Jr.’s hairnet, she intentionally picked that one day to abstain from all frisky business as retribution for my obsession over football during non-football season.

    So, my advice to anyone who can stay grounded in reality long enough to read this rambling rant is this: Participate in and watch actual real sports.

    Folks who spend their time in fantasy land find themselves invited to parties where everyone dresses up as their favorite Harry Potter character and no one there gets laid.

    When you tell real folks who spend their time in the real world about fantasy football, video game football, or simulated football, they will simply respond, “I do not care.” if you are lucky, and dose you with Thorazine if you are not.

    ’nuff said

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On May 3, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Stick’em:

    Very well said; I can only agree with your points here.

    I THINK that fantasy sports get a pass in the culture because they started as a “rich guys game” and then became an “interesting fad” for the media to write about. That gave “fantasy sport” a legitimacy that allowed it to expand participation to folks who have difficulty telling fantasy from reality when it comes to sports.

    I had not thought of dosing folks who badger me with their fantasy teams’ performances with thorazine, but that is an appealing option…

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