John Madden vs. Joe Morgan?

Portfolio’s Jeff Bercovici gets catty while commenting on a WSJ.com article on today’s Super Bowl color commentator John Madden.

Of course, Futterman can’t come right out and say that it’s time Madden confined his ramblings to the day room of a retirement home, lest the AARP feast on his flesh, so I’ve included translations from the newspaperese into English.

Of course, Bercovici can’t come right out and say that he hates John Madden because…well, I don’t know why, but instead he does the, “Here’s what Futterman said, and here’s what I think it means,” gimmick. As a media critic Bercovici is empowered to just go right after Madden himself so I don’t know why he doesn’t.

In my opinion, there’s one announcer, above all else, that needs regular media flayings, and that’s Joe Morgan. Go get him, Berovici.

If you had to choose one announcer to do a commentary of your life that only you could hear, would it be Madden or Morgan? I’d choose Madden because Morgan is so pompous in his incorrect opinions. Plus, Madden would make it seem like a comic book. BAM!

John Madden vs. Joe Morgan?

Coach, Wrong Ball

This is a dirty play. We’re not talking about the NFL, college, or even high school, this looks like Pop Warner. And it requires the coach to be part of the ruse. What’s interesting to me are the different versions of it on Youtube, and how there are a few kids who sell the play really well, and a few who start running too early. In this example, the QB stone sells it, which makes the play work better.

Adding: I meant to mention that just because it’s dirty doesn’t mean it’s not funny as hell.

Coach, Wrong Ball

Friday Night Lights – Where Are They Now?

ESPN The Magazine has a maddeningly uninformative feature on the high school football team Buzz Bissinger followed around for a year to write his instant classic ‘Friday Night Lights’. Unfortunately, they were only able to get information on 4 or 5 players and a couple coaches. If you’re going to do a where are they now, you have to give me a little bit more than this. Thanks for nothing, ESPN The Magazine.

Friday Night Lights – Where Are They Now?

Bill Simmons’ List of Best Sports Journalism

Late last week, Bill Simmons put out another mailbag. One of the questions got him to riff on the best sports journalism he’s ever read. I thought it would be a neat post to find all of those articles online (since everything is online these days). I spent about an hour and a half finding most of the articles, except for a few which were more tricky. Imagine my disappointment and frustration this morning when I saw (via kottke, obviously) that The Millions had done it faster, and, well, better. They found two I couldn’t, but didn’t link to the abstracts of the New Yorker articles. I should also mention how great the SI Vault is. They’ve taken 54 years of articles and put them online. For free. Any other magazine that’s been publishing that long and does not have their archives online is living in the past.

Here’s what I found, click over to The Millions to see what books they’re in. (Note also, I starred the links that The Millions found that I couldn’t, just to show how much more bad ass they are than me).

Federer as Religious Experience” (Roger Federer) and “Tennis Player Michael Joyce’s Professional Artistry as a Paradigm for Certain Stuff about Choice, Freedom, Discipline, Joy, Grotesquerie, and Human Completeness” (Michael Joyce) – David Foster Wallace (Plus “Consider the Lobster” as mentioned by the reader in the mailbag.

Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu” (Ted Williams) – John Updike

(Abstract only) “Down the Drain” (Steve Blass) – Roger Angell (Not sure if this is the ‘Gone for Good’ mentioned in Simmons’ post, but both are about Steve Blass.) Still looking for full text.

What Do You Think of Ted Williams Now?” (Ted Williams) – Richard Ben Cramer*

Lawdy, Lawdy, He’s Great” (Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali) – Mark Kram

The Silent Season of a Hero” (Joe Dimaggio) – Gay Talese*

“Ego” (Muhammad Ali) – Norman Mailer. From March, 1971 Life Magazine. Still looking for full text.

Pure Heart” (Secretariat) – William Nack

The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved” (The Kentucky Derby) – Hunter S. Thompson

Medora Goes to the Game” (Going to a ballgame with daughter) – George Plimpton

Agincourt and After” (Look back at 1975 baseball season) – Roger Angell. Still looking for full text.

“Distance” (Bob Gibson) – Roger Angell. Still looking for full text.

“Magic Act” (Magic Johnson) – Charlie Pierce. From GQ, still looking for full text.

Holy Ground” (Agusta National) – Wright Thompson

“Center Court” – (Wimbeldon) – John McPhee. Still searching for full text.

Raised By Women To Conquer Men” (Jimmy Connors) – Frank DeFord

“The Loser” (Floyd Patterson) – Gay Talese

A Voice Crying In The Wildernesst” (Rick Barry) – Tony Kornheiser

Jordan’s Moment” (Michael Jordan) – David Halberstam. The Millions linked to a different piece, but I think this is it.

The Mourning Anchor” (Bryant Gumble) – Rick Reilly

Ali and His Entourage” (Muhammad Ali) – Gary Smith

As Time Runs Out” (Jim Valvano) – Gary Smith

And here’s my favorite: “A Name on the Wall” (Bob Kalsu) – William Knack

Anybody else have any nominations?

Bill Simmons’ List of Best Sports Journalism