Organized Sports is a recurring sports column named for a seminal DC avant-hardcore song by the equally stupid and brilliant (to me, “equally stupid and brilliant” pretty much just means “brilliant”) band Void. Take from that what you will.
It’s the first song in this video. Feel free to stop listening after about a minute, since that’s how long the song lasts.
Sportswriting is at a very interesting point. The internet has given fans of all stripes a voice, and while many of those voices probably don’t need to be heard (perhaps including mine), a number of interesting takes on writing about sports have emerged due to the freedom provided by an infinite audience and the ability to publish takes on the world of sport without the benefit of access that beat writers and newspaper columnists have had in the past.
In the view of many sportswriting consumers, the growing influence of bloggers and sites like Deadspin is corrosive and terrible. Other readers instead rely on those sites and blogs for their unique perspectives. Being as this is a blog, you can probably see where my allegiances might rest, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think that the old school work isn’t just as important. After all, the “dead tree” media still does most of the real reporting, and while I might tend to find the commentary of younger, more internet-savvy writers more to my liking, I understand the work writers for the best newspapers and magazines do is indispensible to the world of sportswriting at large, and much of the best sportswriting still comes in newspaper and magazine form (even if I consume it online).
So, Organized Sports is my attempt to do justice to both sides of the equation, and all of the aggregate influences within. Said influences include post-punk sportswriting of The Classical (and the sites that preceded it, most prominently FreeDarko), the stats-heavy humor (and mainstream sportswriting rebukes) of Fire Joe Morgan, the gambling-heavy pop of Bill Simmons at his best, the well-informed snark of the Basketball Jones and Puck Daddy blogs, and an uncountable number of great long form pieces ranging from David Foster Wallace’s immaculate take on Roger Federer to David Halberstam’s The Breaks of the Game and George Dohlmann’s Play Their Hearts Out. I likely will not do justice to all or any of the above.
My only real professional writing, criticism and journalism experience (beyond anonymous advertising and marketing copy) comes from writing about music, so I hope to bring that perspective along as well. All that, unmeasurable pretension, and probably a ton of bad jokes. But I promise no Jeremy Lin puns (beyond this one: Delroy Jeremy Lindo).
Writing about sports no longer has to be entirely fact-based (this game happened, and here was the score) or humorless or entirely sentimental (that 6-4-3 double play reminds me of how my father didn’t hug me often enough). So, as Bud Light tells us, Here We Go.
Up Next, the First Real Column: Midseason NBA Report