Friday, January 18, 2013

Daylight come and me wanna go home

Our friend First Ringer takes a shot at explaining the Manti Te'o story over at Shot in the Dark. And as usual he's spot-on about the larger meaning:
Sports ”journalism”, like most reporting, has little connection to facts and almost everything to do with emotionalism.  Actions don’t count – narrative does and the anger being expressed by reporters against Te’o today is less for his lies than for what they reveal about the motivations of journalists.  As one sportswriter remarked, even the man who beat Te’o for the Heisman, Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel, won in part on his ability to manipulate the media.  After all, there was no “Johnny Football”, as Manziel is known, on the Heisman ballot.
Or, to quote the increasingly prescient song "Crosseyed and Painless" by Talking Heads:

Facts are simple and facts are straight
Facts are lazy and facts are late
Facts all come with points of view
Facts don't do what I want them to
Facts just twist the truth around
Facts are living turned inside out
Facts are getting the best of them
Facts are nothing on the face of things
Facts don't stain the furniture
Facts go out and slam the door
Facts are written all over your face
Facts continue to change their shape

We like a good story, but most stories need a little embellishment. ESPN and the other nets are happy to build up a guy like Te'o, because narrative delivers eyeballs and truck ads. But we're not supposed to look behind the curtain.

And you know something is a big story if the Taiwanese animators are on it. So here you go:


R.A. Crankbait said...

Or perhaps the strikingly similar lyrics from the Talking Heads' adjunct, The Tom Tom Club and "Wordy Rappinghood":

Words in papers, words in books
Words on tv, words for crooks
Words of comfort, words of peace
Words to make the fighting cease
Words to tell you what to do
Words are working hard for you
Eat your words but don't go hungry
Words have always nearly hung me

What are words worth?
What are words worth? - words

Words of nuance, words of skill
And words of romance are a thrill
Words are stupid, words are fun
Words can put you on the run

W.B. Picklesworth said...

There is a ton of FAKE in sports these days, whether from PEDs, storylines, or rule changes. I think people long for some kind of authenticity in their lives and I wonder how long it will be before all of these big-money enterprises collapse.