I’ve been trying to follow recent developments in the deliciously-named* Whitefish, Montana. Of course, I am concerned for the health and well-being of my co-religionists and other wonderful people who have been targeted there. But also — given that the town is less than a nine-hour drive from Seattle — it has occurred to me that the same skinheads bussing themselves in from as far away as the Bay Area** could probably also find their way here. Which is why I find it so frustrating when the esteemed journalists of the New York Times are derelict in their duty to, you know, journalize.
In its article describing the new trains designed for Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), a Bay Area Publication (BAP) felt the need to assure its readers that any similarity between the cars’ interior color scheme and Santa Clara‘s erstwhile nemesis from the north was purely incidental: “This is no homage to Russell Wilson and gang.”
But this should have gone without saying. Not because deliberate homage would have garnered few fans, or because — as BART marketing and research manager Aaron Weinstein told WIRED — “any combination of hues would run into sports allegiances,” but simply because the magazine mixed up its Seattle sports teams.
They called it Super Bowl 50 so you’d forget the “L” stands for “lies”.
During this year’s Super Bowl pre-game ceremony, the broadcaster mentioned that the league was celebrating the “fiftieth anniversary of the Super Bowl”. As it happens, you can listen for yourself in the very first few seconds of these official NFL Super Bowl highlights:
Pete Carroll and Darrell Bevell got most of the blame for the way this year’s Super Bowl ended, but since he was the one who actually threw the game-ending interception, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson also managed to disappoint more than a few of his “fans”.
I chronicled numerous examples of that disappointment in the first installment of this series.
I, too, have been disappointed in Russell Wilson, but not because of his play on the football field. So this is the second in a series of short posts chronicling some of the reasons for my disappointment.
The traditional consolation prize for losing in the Championship round of the NFL playoffs is a trip to the Pro Bowl. It’s no Super Bowl, but a free trip to Hawaii is nothing to sniff at (unless you’re Marshawn Lynch). But this year, after their heartbreaking overtime loss to the Seahawks, a few Packers ended up with a trip to the Super Bowl anyway.
I’m sorry, did I say Super Bowl? I meant the Key & Peele Super Bowl Special:
When Richard Sherman was named this past year’s Madden cover boy, I imagine a significant fraction of football fans felt schadenfreudic tinglings: Sherman — thug, villain, superstar — would surely fall victim to the vaunted Madden Curse. After all, he had only one direction to fall.
But this past week, Sherman was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week after nearly becoming the San Francisco 49ers’ leading receiver (Colin Kaepernick threw him two passes; the actual leader caught three). That recognition makes him the only player in the NFL to receive the honor in each of the past three seasons (and those 22nd and 23rd interceptions stretched his lead since entering the league to 8).
RS25 has been frustratingly (to his haters) just fine.
But there is another, far more serious, curse the Seahawks have had to contend with in 2014: the Curse of the Bieber. As has been established on this very blog, Russell Wilson does not always make the wisest of wise decisions, and so in early May he failed to extricate himself (or those poor, doomed children) from an obviously dangerous situation:
LeBron James made headlines Friday* when he informed ESPN of his Decision not to let his sons play football because of “the health dangers”. Presumably, James is concerned about “the health dangers” posed by concussion and other violence-induced head injuries that have driven down participation in youth football programs by over 10% in over just a three-year span (2010-2012). Those are legit.
But don’t let James fool you into thinking he is taking some sort of principled stand against the dangers of participating in sport.
The 49ers 2014 preseason didn’t get off to a wonderful start. The team dropped its exhibition opener to Baltimore on Thursday, 23-3. Since this was the preseason, quarterback Colin Kaepernick played only one series, completing a single pass for 17 yards to tight end Vance McDonald. That one series was long enough for him to demonstrate he hasn’t learned anything:
Right before the World Cup, the New York Times devoted an entire issue of its weekly New York Times Magazine to the upcoming international soccer tournament.
Americans love to make facile comparisons, especially when they talk about sports, so in one of its heroic efforts to make soccer more understandable/relatable, the Times tried to equate players who would appear in the World Cup to their American “counterparts”:
Seahawks fans breathed a deep sigh of relief last week when rumored holdout Marshawn Lynch showed up to his team’s involuntary offseason minicamp. He didn’t actually participate in the practices (putatively due to an injured foot or some such excuse), so his contract situation is far from resolved going into the 2014 season, but his appearance gave Seattle good reason to feel optimistic about his future with the team.
Down by the Bay, by contrast, it might be time to get nervous. The absences of Vernon Davis and Alex Boone are drawing the headlines — especially after Head Coach Jim Harbaugh “stepped in it” by excoriating them to the press — but were I a fan of the Niners, I’d expend most of my worrying on the man who’s supposed to be running the show.