@BIGSPORTSWRITER On the State of Sports Discussion: 'The Great Ones Are Weary of Those Who Read Them'
@BIGSPORTSWRITER, our mysterious masked Twitter hero, got to thinking about the state of sports discusison last night, particularly how people can't just debate, they have to WIN. It began when he was talking about watching Ken Griffey Jr. and Andruw Jones play and bemoaning the sudden descent of AJ's career. People reacted with their usual aggression and vitriol, and then Mr. Sports Journo went contemplative, and then I spent a few minutes copying, pasting, and lightly editing said contemplations. For your reading and thinking pleasure:
Knowing somebody's VORP and win shares isn't the same as seeing them play. And not because "seeing them play" means I know more. It doesn't. Often it means I know or knew less. It simply means that I can sit in a room and tell you what it was like to watch somebody play. No finality, no punctuation. Just stories.
Good lord—I mean, if you don't love sports for the stories, what the hell are you watching for? What the hell are you following me for? Sports dialogue can be just that, dialogue. A mutual trading of ideas. I'm not here to declare victory over any of you. That's not fun.
I don't know when it got like this. And I don't mean twitter—I mean talking sports. I'm not sure when the win/loss columns shifted from the box scores to the bars and water coolers. When it became more important to be right about a topic, or feel like you bested somebody than just talking it out.
I can remember seeing Around the Horn for the first time, and seeing actual points being given and taken away during conversation. And thinking to myself, Holy hell. They