NEW YORK, NY – Let’s see, where did we leave off? Oh, yes, parts of the world are on fire, parts of the world are at war, parts of the world are experiencing biblical rain and flooding, and we just recorded the hottest day in the history of planet Earth. Nothing to see here, folks. Let’s talk some sports.
Florida Finally Gets Something Right! I see where living, breathing monster, and former serial sex abuser Olympic sports Doc, Larry Nassar got shanked many times over in a Florida federal prison where he will be living the rest of his miserable life. The newly-ventilated Nassar survived, but I’m still going to now say something you almost never hear: HOORAY FOR FLORIDA! Finally some positive news out of the Sunshine State. After losing in both the NBA and NHL finals, Florida needed this “win” badly. Take a bow, you leather-faced, boat-parading degenerates! Well done. Let’s see if we can build on this positivity and hope that Hurricane Season sweeps Ron DeSantis out into briny Atlantic.
Chris Eubanks. As You read this (is anyone actually reading this?) American tennis player Chris Eubanks is taking on Russian Daniil Medvedev in the Men’s Singles Quarterfinals at Wimbledon. Standing 6-foot-7, Eubanks is a big man now standing on tennis’s biggest stage. He’s also 27-years-old, which isn’t actually an age when most tennis players realize their full potential. Actually, 27 is closer to a tennis career expiration date than it is to a launch. But his age, as well as his backwards-baseball-cap and genial manner, make him almost impossible to root against. Medvedev today is a tall order and, even if Eubanks gets past him, guys like Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz possibly await. But, for now, Eubanks is the fun Cinderella story you always want at a big tournament. Like most Brits right now, I am eager for at least one additional chapter.
New York Times Disbanding Its Sports Department. So, this latest sh!tty piece of news came across the wire on Monday. (Aren’t Mondays difficult enough?) The New York Times has decided to disband its sports department and turn over most of its sports coverage to The Athletic, a website they bought last year for $550 million. This craptastic move was described by the NYT editorial drones as “an evolution in how we cover sports.” Ha! Sounds like someone’s been playing with the old marketing jargon generator again. What garbage. A friend who knows a lot more about this stuff than I do, explained it more succinctly: “A bad business decision followed by a bad journalism decision.” I won’t get into the financial or union (The Athletic’s writers, unlike the Times sportswriters, are not unionized) implications here, but will just say that this move saddens me. I know I’m an old crank—and have probably been one since I was 8—but I grow increasingly weary of tradition and taste being casually tossed aside in the name of so-called “progress.” I can’t speak to the quality of the writers who work for The Athletic—I’m sure they’re quite a few good ones—but, make no mistake, they are much more a content-generating machine than they are a thoughtful journalistic enterprise. I’ve enjoyed reading the likes Ira Berkow, George Vecsey and other NYT sportswriters over the years—my Dad used to clip some of their columns and send them to me at college—and I still do. But very soon that sports desk will be no more. As I texted my friend, “anytime something like this happens, it feels like another piece of New York falling away.” I know that change is constant, but would it kills us to, just every once in a while, leave something the hell alone?
That’s all for today. Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz.