Tuesday, January 25, 2011

01/25: State of Sports Union,
Cutler Hangover , Oscars, More

Today is the State of the Union address, and it's an annual tradition that I offer up my own "State of the Sports Union," and so here we go:

The state of the sports union is, as I have said every year, as strong as it has ever been. More people are consuming sports than ever. More people are into fantasy. More people are transfixed by whatever the story-of-the-day might be.

Things like "The Decision" or the Cam Newton saga or Brett Favre "dong shots" or even the insane flurry surrounding Jay Cutler over the last 36 hours are not, per se, "bad" for sports. On the contrary, it is entirely healthy. It's hard to argue with the fan interest.

Then throw in the things that we already agree are awesome -- the Saints winning the Super Bowl, the World Cup, Tim Tebow putting up monster stats as an NFL starting QB (kidding), the Pats losing to the Jets (not kidding).

The volume and velocity of sports consumption has increased over the last year -- but I'm actually going to argue that we've reached a sort of "terminal velocity." The next evolution is managing life at that pace and intensity, which is part of the reason I founded Quickish.

But where we are is by no means bad or, as crotchety Frank Deford put it this morning, "terrible." In fact, the state of sports is better than it has ever been.


The Jay Cutler reaction torrent yesterday was wearying, but it's worth noting where we netted out:

The initial, in-game reaction was largely recanted -- naturally, the same media who were ripping Cutler (or facilitating the ripping during the game) turned it into some kind of meta "It's Twitter's fault!" argument, or some such thing.

Cutler may be a pretty repulsive personality. Cutler may not have displayed the bearing of someone who wanted-to-go-but-couldn't. But that's our problem, not his. If we (we meaning his fellow players on Twitter or the media or certain fans) wanted to see him wince or limp or something, that's on us, not him.

I think it's clear that if he could have played, he would have.


Now, as for this bunk argument about "oh-woe-is-us-this-insta-opinion-world-we-live-in!" Come on. (1) It's been that way for at least a decade, but probably longer. (2) Twitter in sports is a vast net gain, and if you're going to worry about the stuff at the margins, you're missing the bigger picture.

And (3) As someone who has built a BUSINESS on real-time news, I am going to tell you that when you weed out the crap (thus: Quickish), the insta-reactions are largely...awesome. Not shallow. Not knee-jerk. Not ill-informed. But smart, provocative and -- largely -- the framework for "morning-after" columns and coverage.


CBB: Notre Dame shocks Pitt at Pitt. That's the best game ND will play all year. Still not buying them to get out of the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament.

Tonight: Purdue at No. 1 Ohio State. Should be a great one.


Movies: The Oscar-nomination successs of "The Fighter" makes it one of the most decorated sports movies of all time. Best Picture. Best Director. Best Supporting Actress (two!) and Best Supporting Actor (Christian Bale, the favorite to win).


TV: HBO's "Real Sports" tonight will profile Peter King. I'm trying to pull together a post for later today about him. Check back.


It's 12 days until the Super Bowl and I'm already weary of the "TWO CLASSIC FRANCHISES!" storyline.

-- D.S.

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