Favorite Teams: Yankees, Reds, Jets, Knicks, Blue Jackets
Favorite Bourbons: Eagle Rare and Woodford
Favorite Books: "The Power Broker" and "The Worst Team Money Could Buy"
Follow me on Twitter @NYBredCincyRed
When I was in the 8th grade, like many other kids my age, I took the bus to school. To say I hated doing such with the undying passion of a thousand burning suns would somehow be an understatement. To make matters worse, I had to stand at the bus stop with people I didn’t like. One guy in particular really bothered me.
Brian and I never got along, mostly because I thought he was an ass, and he disagreed. He would pick on me because I was the fat kid who will still new to the area. I would talk back and put him down, but he didn’t stop. One day, he thought it would be funny to sneak up behind me and flick the back of my ear, because apparently without my knowledge it had turned into 1957. That one morning, he just wouldn’t stop doing it, so I did the only thing that made sense:
I punched him in his face.
He never bothered me again.
To think of the late 90s as a “simpler” time doesn’t really feel necessary, but compared to the complex world we live in today, it’s an apt description. All the way back in 1998, you could go days without using the computer. These days try going a few hours without checking your phone for Facebook, Twitter, posting to Instagram, pinning recipes on Pinterest or checking into somewhere on Four Square. We experience everything together, as we all post our unfiltered emotions for the world (at least the world that we choose to acknowledge digitally) to see.
And that’s the problem.
On Wednesday, Reds Assistant Director of Media Relations had an altercation with a “fan” (if you can call him that) on Twitter over – what else – the Reds. Ramsey was getting heckled online by something as old as the internet itself: a troll.
For those of you not familiar with Internet Lingo, a “troll” is someone online whose only goal is to rile up someone else, either by being difficult, a contrarian or abusive. This man was the latter.
To be fair, what Ramsey did was out of line. It’s never a good idea to threaten anyone online, especially if your account is directly linked with a website or organization. Time will tell what his punishment ends up being, but I, for one, hope it’s a light punishment if any.
Sports fans can be very passionate about their teams. Most can argue strategy and casual subjects like sane individuals. Some, however, would rather scream and hurl insults towards others who may disagree with them. An even smaller minority seeks to pick fights with those who dare to not share their views. Twitter exposes everyone it uses to all of these types of individuals, whether we like it or not. We can choose who follows us and who we follow, but when your account is that big (Ramsey’s account had over 9,000 followers) and it represents an organization, you have to try and connect with as many people as you can, good or bad.
The “fan” in question was just looking for a fight, and sadly he found one in a man who I’ve met before, if only a handful of times. He seems like a nice guy who loves his job, as he was always joking with the reporters and staff in the press box, where he’s stationed for every game. It appears this one troll just caught him on a bad day, and got the best of him. Of course the man then took to Twitter to show anyone that would pay attention just how unprofessional Ramsey was being, even though he shockingly neglected to inform everyone just how big a pile of garbage he was being himself with his own comments.
This isn’t just about Ramsey, nor is it about the troll. It’s about how society works: one man can potentially lose his job, while the other just goes about his daily life because “oh, that’s just the way the internet is.” Nothing of importance will even happen to this other man’s account, let alone his livelihood. Meanwhile Ramsey has deactivated his account, and it’s the Reds fans who suffer. While Twitter and the digital world around it devolves into consisting mainly of cat photos and off-tune cover songs on YouTube, accounts like Ramsey’s offered insight into the players we love, fun facts concerning the team and hilarious responses to questions posed to him by fans. Now we lose that because another internet tough guy got his feelings hurt and wanted the world to know.
The days of professionals being able to respond to the internet tough guys are apparently over. The Brians win because we’re all too nervous about losing it all, while they risk nothing but characters.
Lies! Deceit! Contraction!
Since this is apparently a Conan skit “The Year 2000”, MLB baseball is talking Contraction!
Well…not all of baseball, just White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. Reinsdorf was at a fundraiser in Chicago Wednesday night for the Israeli baseball team, who’s attempting to make the 2013 World Baseball Classic. While speaking at this fundraiser, he decided to tackle the issue of contraction. :
"I don't see any baseball expansion right now," he said. "If it were up to me, I would contract two teams. But I certainly don't think expansion [is] on the horizon."
When fans yelled, "What two teams?" Reinsdorf clammed up.
"I have a habit of getting myself into trouble," he said. "I just did yesterday. So I'm not going to (get in trouble)."
Of course he wouldn’t comment on the valid question of “well who the hell would you contract?” because it points to one obvious team: the White Sox.
Back when contraction talk was “in”, we focused on two teams: the Minnesota Twins and the Montreal Expos. At the time, the Expos were owned by the league, and the Twins were in a dumpy stadium, along with ownership issues of their own. Well the Expos are now the Nationals, who have a practically brand new stadium and are one of – if not the - most exciting young teams in the league. They’re not going anywhere. The other team, the Twins, are struggling mightily, however they too just received a new stadium and aren’t a threat to be contracted.
So Jerry, what other teams would you consider?
Marlins? New stadium and an owner who’s dedicated to spending money on talent.
Padres? New stadium and farm system loaded with talent.
Mariners? Maybe! So hey, there’s…maybe half of one team! Although they have a dedicated fan base, a beautiful ballpark that’s barely a decade old, and a city that will riot if it loses another beloved team.
There’s really only two teams you could see contracting (if you can see any happening at all…which I can’t) and that’s the Oakland A’s (even though they’re much more likely a candidate to move to San Jose than be contracted) and Jerry’s White Sox. Think about it: their stadium is kind of old and crappy, poor finances and dwindling fan support.
You might be onto something here, Jerry!
Today is the day we’re all going to learn the fate of not only Penn State’s football program, but the possible ramifications of their administrations actions on the entire university. It will be the end of the months of sheer horror for sports fans, as we’ve had to listen and dissect numerous reports and findings related to Jerry Sandusky and his colleague’s cover ups.
While it’s the end of the fallout, it’s the beginning of the period of rebuilding for the university and of State College, the quiet town where football isn’t just everything – it’s the only thing.
Yet here we are – those of us who aren’t in State College or alums of Penn State are left wondering: is this it?
This is justice?
It’s about time we face facts: there’s no such thing as true justice.
It doesn’t exist.
There’s no way to properly ascertain if this is closure, at least for those outside the “Penn State Family”. This may be as close to closure as we get. We weren’t even directly affected, and yet we’re left demanding more.
It’s pretty obvious that Penn State will not receive the so-called “Death Penalty”, where they’ll have to suspend football operations for two seasons. However the penalties will be swift and they will be painful. But now we sit, take in the final NCAA sanctions for the university, and it leaves us feeling hollow.
Most of us were told growing up why we should love and respect Joe Paterno, that he “plays the game the right way” and he was a clean figure. We were led to believe that he was a beacon of light in the otherwise shadowy world of collegiate athletics. He called people “Sir” and “Ma’am”, was polite to reporters and told incoming athletes that academics came first. Even as he grew old, and it was evident that he was just a figurehead who was passed by the game he loved so much, we seemingly believed he would be there forever – not because he was a great coach, but he was a great man.
Now that façade is gone, toppled faster than the statue that bared his resemblance outside of a stadium he helped build. At that is left is a broken memory, and what we used to believe seems so naïve and, worst of all, wrong.
We were wronged. We feel wronged. We were all duped, and there’s nothing that can change that feeling. In such a skeptical world, it’s just another example of an old saying: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
All of us want justice, even though we can’t agree what exactly “justice” would be in this case. There are many of us that will never trust the university again, and either can’t or will never understand the type of atmosphere where a program was more important than the lives of children. I, for one, wish Sandusky had two lives to give. However all we can do now is hope the victims find some sort of peace, and move on with their lives the best way possible.
My advice for everyone like myself, who find themselves wishing and hoping for more to come down on the despicable “human beings” that willingly took part in this tragedy, is to do one of two things: either move on with your life, or prepare for an empty feeling in your stomach.
It’s a feeling that will never, ever go away. In a situation like this, there are no winners, only those who didn’t lose as much.
With the release of
I occasionally get to listen to shows during the morning (I normally don’t wake up until because I work nights and am a degenerate), but of course I work every day during Big Blue Insider. Between these shows, I’ve heard Stan Norfleet, and Matt Jones on Wednesday with Jeremy Jarmon, discuss the fan bases of both football and basketball, about how not only fans words but their actions can disrupt a program.
I’ve discussed with Stan numerous times both on air and off that fans have only one bullet at their disposal – the withholding of funds. If fans choose not to spend money, that’s their only avenue to voice their displeasure. Mitch Barnhart can ignore message boards, fan websites and radio shows, but he can’t ignore empty seats. Stan has argued that if you don’t purchase tickets, you’re not a “true fan”, whatever that means. Stan’s – and many other people – argument is that you’re a “consumer” at that point. He believes that if you choose not to purchase tickets as a means of showing your disapproval, then you’re not a true fan. I couldn’t disagree more.
Fans are consumers. Fans can either spend their money purchasing tickets, apparel, and concessions, or they could just spend their time posting on message boards, listening to the radio, calling into KSR, Leach or Big Blue insider and reading fan blogs. Of course they can do both, and in
I’ve received a lot of flak for saying this, but college sports is becoming more and more of a business, and while that does reap some benefits – better facilities, more revenue for schools – the more it becomes a business the more it drifts away from being entertainment. Schools have been moving from conference to conference, forever chasing the dollar. As a result of that, traditional rivalries such as UK vs Indiana, St Johns vs Syracuse and Texas vs Texas A&M have not only been threatened but have ceased to be. I was shocked that a school and a community like
This comes down to two sports, primarily college football but also basketball.
The other is, of course, college basketball. This state is college basketball, no matter how many terrible movies and pictures of Larry Bird
I’m not saying that
So what is a fan? Do we judge fans on their passion? If so, who decides the proper amount of “passion” to be worthy of the title of “fan”? Is being a fan collecting knowledge and dedicating time towards a team or individual, or is it spending money on material and events?
I just hate this discussion concerning “who’s the bigger fan!?!?!?!!” because it’s just a member-measuring contest that is completely pointless. Besides, everyone knows the biggest fan is John Short.