Bob Ryan's been slowly growing increasingly irrelevant for the last fifteen years or so, but ever since he started suckling at the whorish teet of NESN in that "Globe 10.0" nonsense, his descent into bumbling idiocy has apparently been expedited. As a friend of mine likes to say, if Ryan hasn't yet jumped the shark, he's certainly revving up his motorcycle. I'm not sure how many out there are familiar with Stephen Rodrick's brilliant 2005 Slate column about the state of mainstream sportswriting, but it speaks to Ryan's situation perfectly: no matter how dickheads like him or him try and spin it, the proliferation of endlessly vapid TV programming has reeked far, far more havoc on legitimate sports journalism than anything happening in the litle ol' blogosphere. And all of this is a shame, because at the height of his powers Ryan was one of the great basketball writers of his generation, and now that the C's have their best team in 20 years it'd be nice to have a talent like his covering the team as opposed to an incompetent lackwit like Peter May. But hey, that's why you have us.
Anyways, I'm not sure if anyone's checked out Ryan's column today, but it's pretty remarkable for its worthlessness... the day after the C's ran their home record to 11-0 and Big Baby Davis formally announced himself as the Real Fuckin' Deal, Ryan cranks out one of those weird "idle thoughts" columns that always make me think of The Onion's classic Larry King parody. Ryan's bag of insanity is a charming mix of holiday music ruminations, shameless Lupica-style book plugs, movie recs, and casual racism. Some choice excerpts:
- "I must admit there has never been a Christmas tune half as funny as Adam Sandler's immortal "The Hanukkah Song.""
- "Is there anyone, anywhere, more on top of his game right now than Philip Seymour Hoffman? As good as he is in "The Savages," he's absolutely chilling in "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.""
- "No one can completely ruin "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" for me. But Sinatra, Streisand, and Garland's 1944 original get the gold, silver, and bronze."
- "I'm predicting that Michael Vick will be the anti-O.J. He will turn out to be a great American redemption story. The look on his face at the sentencing was, "Oh, my God. What have I done with my life?""
- "True or false: There is no in-between on eggnog. You either loathe it or dream of bathing in it. You can guess which way I'm leaning."
- "Tall, short, skinny, fat, 15 or 75, ask any African-American male whom he'd like to play him in the movie and the answer will always be Denzel Washington. No exceptions. White guys are usually split between Brad Pitt and, increasingly, Russell Crowe."
One could argue that spending so much time dissecting an unapologetically, aggressively stupid column like this one is a waste of everyone's time, but with all the hot air expended on how blogs are ruining civilized sports discourse I'd just like to point out that crap like this is infinitely more indulgent and worthless than anything that's ever appeared on this site, so fuck you, Stephen A. And again, I urge you all to check out the Rodrick column, if you're not already familiar.
On a more positive note, Big Baby now leads all rookies in Hollinger's Player Efficiency Rating (PER). I realize many are still wary about his precarious weight situation (myself included), but man, what a steal this kid is turning out to be.