September 26, 2008

The Blog is Hot: Lil Wayne Gets Nerdy

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Joe Morgan was a stellar baseball player. The 10-time All-Star second baseman was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990 after a 19-year career with exemplary numbers — a .271 batting average, an OPS of .819, 268 home runs, two World Series titles, two Most Valuable Player awards and five Gold Glove awards.
Joe Morgan is significantly less stellar in his new endeavor: color commentary for ESPN’s lead baseball broadcasting team. After retiring from the game at the end of the 1984 season, Morgan bumbled his way into the broadcast booth for various networks and subsequently started polluting his play-by-play partner’s commentary with pseudo-insightful asides and painfully obvious statements (“He’s going to want to drive in a run right around now”).
In response to his sub-par commentary being force-fed to ESPN viewers on at least a weekly basis, several baseball fans started a blog, It started off by pointing out errors and absurd statements Morgan made, and eventually evolved into a humorous criticism of lousy sports journalism everywhere, both broadcast and print.
I’m not sure if the administrators of FireJoeMorgan take aim at online sports blogs as well — maybe they feel some sort of kinship with fellow bloggers since they are a blog as well. Or maybe they think that other blogs aren’t yet mainstream enough to criticize. But when I saw a new blog on ESPN The Magazine’s website, I knew that someone, anyone, had to address this travesty of sports writing and analysis. If FireJoeMorgan won’t do it, I’ll do my best to replicate their caustic wit and sabermetric analysis.
You might wonder what makes me qualified to criticize another sports writer. A legitimate question, to be sure.
Well, this particular blog is written by Lil Wayne. Don’t get me wrong; I love Tha Carter III as much as the next guy. “Lollipop” and “A Milli,” as nonsensical as they may be, make me want to crack open a ‘Stone and get fratty just like everyone else.
But really, Mr. Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.? An ESPN-affiliated sports blog? I’m intrigued; let’s see what you have to say about the wonderful world of sports.
He starts off with:
I don’t watch nothing but sports — no movies, no news, no television shows — so I thought this would be fun.
Fair enough. He continues:
Because I watch so much sports, I like to think I know what’s gonna happen. But with the NFL this year, some things have shocked me, some things have been just terrible.
Terrible, you say?! Like what? Has someone died that I didn’t know about?
Like the Bengals.
Oh. That kind of terrible. OK, they’re 0-3. Let’s continue.
And oh my God the Chargers.
Now you’re prancing around on thin ice. I do love my Chargers. They’re 1-2 after three games, but would be 2-1 if Ed Hochuli hadn’t developed whistle Tourette’s and blown Jay Cutler’s fumble into a dead ball in Week 2.
They won on Monday, but it still wasn’t the Chargers. Then again, I think LaDainian is going to figure out how to work his way back through this injury. LaDainian is tough.
Yeah! He’s not one of these Nancy-boy running backs that litter the NFL these days. Wait. Aren’t most running backs pretty tough?
I’m not worried about him. He’s gonna be fine.
Whew! Good to know, Mr. Carter.
The Patriots aren’t going to be fine. I expected this to happen even before Brady got injured. … They lost their drive. They used to go out there and crush people, playing good football every Sunday. You could see when they were winning how great they were playing, how hard they trained and how disciplined they were.
Now that they’re not winning they’re suddenly not training as hard? They’re not as disciplined now? Maybe Lil Wayne has been on the sidelines at some Pats practices and has the inside scoop, but I would imagine that they’re training as hard as they ever did.
But then it became about ‘who is this person dating’ and whatever, and that’s when I thought this would happen. I’m not going to say they’re distracted because they’re professionals.
We all know professionals don’t get distracted. They’re professionals! It’s not like a professional rapper has ever taken an ill-advised jaunt into sports writing. They’re always focused.
My fantasy team is now 2-1. I had to drop Ben Roethlisberger ‘cause he don’t look like he’s doing nothing any time soon. Had to do it. I picked up Kurt Warner because he has more to prove than Ben. … You want guys like that, guys who are motivated.
Call me crazy if you want, but I’d rather have a talented guy than a motivated guy. Roethlisberger has a 98.6 QB rating this season — he’s not exactly “doing nothing any time soon.” Furthermore, if you take away his post-motorcycle accident 2006 season, he’s got an average QB rating of 100.2 since 2003. Not too shabby. Big Ben has thrown for 87 touchdowns and just 55 interceptions (almost half of those in his 2006 season) in that time. He’s also won a Super Bowl or something like that.
Warner has a QB rating of 84.9 in that same time period. He’s tossed 57 touchdowns and 37 interceptions. He’s also 37 years old, so something tells me he’s probably not getting much better.
I grew up playing football. Believe it or not, I was a fullback. When I was nine, 10, 11, I was a great blocker. I knew how to block real good and the other kids didn’t.
Riveting. I’ll add it to my list of “Fun Facts About Lil Wayne” that I keep under my pillow. That way I can learn about him “real good.”
Besides the Packers, my favorite teams are the Red Sox, the Lakers and the Boston Bruins.
Brett Favre’s old team, the Lakers and two teams from Boston. How original. Does he like Tiger Woods, too?
Lil Wayne closes his inaugural blog post with a riff about tennis:
I love Federer but Nadal is my favorite. He’s the man. I love his motivation and his heart is big. … So we were watching that match [the finals of Wimbledon], and nobody thought he was gonna win. Everybody was telling me how he hadn’t beat Federer on the hard court and he could only do it on clay but I never had any doubts. I knew his heart was gonna do it for him, and it did.
You called it, Lil Wayne. You knew his heart would come through for him. Not his absurd fitness level, his superior defense nor his stellar record against FedEx — Nadal has won 12-of-18 matches between the two, including the three matches leading up to the Wimbledon finals.
Nope, you’re right Mr. Carter — his great big Spanish heart won Nadal the Wimbledon title.
To the editors of ESPN The Magazine: It might seem like a good idea to turn a commercially successful rapper into a sports columnist to get some publicity. But please, this is just inane. FireLilWayne.