Saturday, August 16, 2008


Due to taking in a weekend excursion away from the hustle and bustle, there won’t be much to talk about on A Sports Scribe until at least Monday. Yet, while in transit, a few things popped to mind.

For starters, I can’t remember people talking so much about a quadrennial event before. If you think I’m talking about the Presidential elections, think again. Everywhere I turn, be it in New York or Newton, MA or Providence (hints of the excursion), Michael Phelps’ exploits have been the instant conversation starter. The dominance of both the U.S. men and women’s basketball squads has piqued the interest of even the most ardent pro-basketball detractors. Some of you may consider giving beach volleyball a shot, at least as the summer fades into the fall.

For all of the nasty controversies surrounding the Beijing Olympics, they have managed to capture excitement that hasn’t truly existed Stateside since the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta; an event made infamous by the tragic bombings. Maybe it’s the high-tech swimsuits, the fire hydrant-like statures of the male gymnasts (they’re short, but JACKED!) or Dwayne Wade’s aerodynamically-altered hair. Yet, when was the last time you’ve heard these gems on your way to work (forgive the Stuart Scott moment for those who don't sip that cup of tea, but I'm from and still live in the 'hood):

"Yo, son, did you see that synchronized diving sh*t last night?”
“Hell yeah! That sh*t’s crazy. Same time, my dude. That’s crazy”
“When those Chinese chicks did that spinning (acts out the spinning with his hands), I was like DAYMN!"


“Hey, John, I’ll send you those competitive runs in a few minutes once I clean up the Excel a bit.”
“Sounds good. By the way, did you watch the Olympics last night?”
“I watched until about midnight because I had to wake up early.”
“You’re real good about that because…”
“Let me guess: you stayed up.”
“Until 2.”
“It’s Tuesday.”
“Phelps, man. Phelps.”
Have you ever checked the mail and asked yourself “why the hell do I subscribe to this magazine again”? Then, it hits you; you subscribed because the annual price was next to nothing and you got a free choctchkey out of it. Of course, there has to be much more to it. After all, you’re not going to grab just any magazine, but one that is going to enhance your knowledge or at least give you the kick in the pants to get some personal project done. You keep telling yourself this after eight months of piling up unread magazines that are not propping up your Nintendo Wii. Yet, one day, something really catches your eye that reminds you of why you invested $20 annually in the first place.

It is that reason why you might have seen more links from trade magazines on this blog than, say, ESPN or FOX Sports. Sports as an industry has seemingly exploded over the past decade because even the most old-school of scouts, managers and media personalities have been compelled to embrace the digital wave and the business that surrounds the action.

As you can tell from this not-so-aesthetically pleasing template, I’m not the most savvy when it comes to the web. However, something that my brief involvement in sports media (as well as the fulltime job) has taught me is that the very best in both businesses have at least a working knowledge of another industry that connects to their careers. It’s for that reason why you will see references to general or non-sports media from time to time. It's the reason why I subscribed to WIRED over a year ago, even though admittedly, I have only thumbed through some issues and forgotten others. However, I was pleasantly surprised to how much sports-related pieces are in the magazine each month. This month has a few worth reading.

  • If you recall from the visit to the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, the new playpen for the Dallas Cowboys is essentially down the block. Now, I mentioned how massive it was in person, yet because I was unable to get close to the construction site for more pictures and video, it was hard to capture its largesse. The September print edition of WIRED gives a sectional view of the new stadium’s design and technological treats. Even while writing this brief note about it, I’m in awe. It’s believed that everything is bigger in Texas. I just had no clue how much bigger.
    Imagine a stadium where there are support arches that are as long as the Empire State Building; high-definition LED displays over midfield that stretch from 20-yard line ot 20 yard-line and a 410-foot X 256-foot retractable roof . Oh, and it's a 2.7 million-square foot facility that costs at least $1.1 BILLION to build.
  • Also in this month's edition, they have a quick matching game about athletes who are bloggers themselves; turning a platform littered with the most cantankerous and snarky pages on its head.
  • While those will eventually land on the magazine's website, currently, they have a ton of work about the Olympics, including this bit that will enrage fellow bloggers who have taken NBC to task about its coverage.

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