Saturday, December 22, 2007


The break-up didn't take, but suffice to say someone is sleeping on the couch for a while.

Out of Left Field will continue in '08. It won't be in its current way, shape or form. A lot has to be hashed out over the next couple weeks, but something cogent will hopefully emerge. Again, anyone with suggestions, or who wants to contribute, fire off a missive to

The aim for this type of blog is to be a kind of critic or satirist of the way people consume and relate to sports culture. How one goes about that is fairly open-ended. Hopefully the blogosphere's best readers will hold me accountable.

Meantime, one New Year's Resolution to fire off before getting on the train and heading home for an abbreviated Christmas with the fam damily:

Everyone (present company included) who's not Awful Announcing or Fire Joe Morgan: Shut up already about the various idiocies committed by studio analysts and colour commentators for the corporate media. Just leave it alone and make your own argument. It's called leading. There are no points to be won by pointing out you have a better gift for rhetoric and citing sports statistics than the jockocracy and the Hedgerite hair-and-teeth crowd.

It's like pop music. Don't hold your breath waiting for Avril Lavigne to come up with original material, or for Alanis Morrissette to move past her Grade 12 poetry stylings. It's not happening. It's not demanded of them, from either up top or down below.

This new attitude is already paying off. Take the other day, for instance. It was like water off a duck's back when TNT basketball analyst Kenny Smith picked the injured T.J. Ford from the Raptors instead of José Calderón in a column for Yahoo! Sports listing the top 10 point guards in the NBA.

So what if Calderón was outplaying Ford before his injury? So what The Ocho far and away leads the NBA in assists-to-turnover ratio, is second to Steve Nash in assists-per-48 minutes and is one of only four points in the league who has made more than half his shots?

Kenny Smith is not expected to have a stats-based basis for his argument, or to have even looked that up, and that expectation comes as much from the audience as his bosses. So relax, you'll live longer.

Point being, 18 months or so the ego needed to believe that people had to hear my viewpoint; nowadays, not so much. The ego can gratefully accept stepping back and possibly being a researcher-at-large for other blog compilers who are a little more committed.

(About T.J. Ford's injury: Speculation is that it's looking grim; meantime, haven't the Raptors looked a bit like a team that's waiting for a trade the past two games?)

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