Ten Foot Mailbag: Passion, Playoffs And Patrick Kane
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By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) Mere seconds after I filed last week’s TFMB I learned of the passing of Adam Yauch, a.k.a. MCA of the seminal group The Beastie Boys. Ironic that I answered a question in that mailbag pertaining to our responses to celebrity deaths.
Deaths of entertainers of whom I am a fan hurt me and affect me. Not in a “I’ve lost a friend” or Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass sort of way; rather, I usually mourn mostly for the end of production, the loss of future art. The Beasties certainly weren’t done creating music, and that stings.
Music has watershed moments for us all. The first time I saw “Sabotage” on MTV was one of those moments for me. Sure, I had heard “Fight for Your Right” before, but it wasn’t a song that made me want to explore further whoever sang it. “Sabotage” instead made me go, “These are the same guys?” So I immediately went and bought Ill Communication. Which led to me listening to Licensed to Ill, which led to Paul’s Boutique, which led to Check Your Head.
I won’t go any further into some existential or anecdotal tribute to MCA because there are better ones all over — like here and here and here — and I’m late to the party. But I will mourn what could have been.
On to your questions. All emails and tweets are unedited.
your thoughts on the recent Patrick Kane drinking incident? Young/dumb & rich so it’s gonna happen or time to grow up? #TFMB—@SouthsideZo
Which one? Oh, probably this one.
Firstly, Kane is a grown man. Whatever he wants to do he can within the confines of the law and his professional contract. He is not the first athlete to enjoy the party atmosphere and enjoy it often, nor will he be the last.
What bothers me—besides the supposed anti-Semitic remarks and putting hands on a woman without her permission, neither of which is ever called for but not something I’ll comment on because I don’t know exactly what happened—is that every six months or so when the biannual Kaner photo gallery rears its foamy head I think the same thing: this dude can’t handle himself.
Wonderfully sick bastard Sam Fels over at Second City Hockey thought the same thing and penned a great letter to Kaner Thursday Kane seems to actively hunt camera phones while annihilated, which is harmless if he doesn’t mind being plastered all over the internet while plastered. I personally think it’s a bit childish for a celebrity to want to be photographed drunk, but whatever. The photos, tough, are telling of something greater.
The obvious is that Kane has no problem being a jerk or passing out in public. That’s sad when a commoner does it. When a pro athlete does it, it begs questions about how seriously a guy takes himself and his career.
The less obvious is that repeated public incidents like this suggest that Kane is at a high risk for a really bad incident. Something violent between him and a drunk fan? Falling and injuring himself? The worst-case scenarios are all possible the way Kane handles himself.
And if such an awful thing happens, I want no apology from him. He has set the table for it for a long time, so any attempt at showing remorse will just ring hollow. I hope it doesn’t have to come to that, though. I hope Kane realizes soon that he can get his kicks without being a complete dbag about it. He needs to take a page from Jordan, Jeter, and the other guys who live the life and manage to be cool and mature about it—suites, private club rooms, etc. Those still allow getting hammered and getting ladies. Stumbling around at The Pony Inn isn’t cool. It’s lame.
In sports, is passion a substitute for intelligence? Many fans I know who are passionate are also extremely stupid. #TFMB—@Chiumbrella
The two are pretty mutually exclusive. Passion in small doses is great. Any rooting for a team sans for monetary gain is essentially passionate in some way.
Your stupid friends are stupid because they let passion supersede logic. Hell, I’m sure some even do so willfully. Rooting for a team can be cathartic and can allow for the animal in someone to crawl out and stretch its legs. That can be healthy even if it’s at the expense of the sanity of non-stupid people. In a weird way, sports are the escape where fans can be intentionally and consciously moronic. It’s one of the few opportunities people get to act the fool without repercussion.
Self-awareness is the real issue, though. While you’re cursing at the TV or demanding a coach be fired, are you really stepping back and listening to yourself? Did you fire that little guy in all of our heads who screens thoughts before they become words instead of just allowing him the occasional coffee break as I’m guilty of? Passion in sports fandom, really, is just a nice word for “dumbassery.”
“I’m passionate about the Bears” in actuality means “I use hollow buzzwords to talk about a game that I think is still played the same as it was in 1978.”
“I’m passionate about (college football team X)” means you invest emotion into children’s brains in men’s bodies and probably say things about them you wouldn’t dare let someone say about your own child because you’re a shallow coward. You also probably didn’t go to said school. (note: I am a Notre Dame football fan)
“I’m passionate about the Blackhawks” means you hate minorities. Kidding! Kidding!
“BUT SPORTZ ARE SPOSEDA BE FUN AND I CAN ENJOY THEM HOWEVER I WANT.” Sure you can. And I can make fun of you however I want for being an ignorant, insufferable meatball. Now take off the jersey while inside your house.
what do you think about the 4 team playoff for College Football?—@Jake_BroDea
I’m conflicted. A playoff system is necessary in college football, and I’ve long said so. The current bowl system is a farce—there are too many bowls to begin with, and many of them mean absolutely nothing. No player is actually wearing his San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl ring. (or do they get a coffee mug? I forget.) The BCS bowls usually get matchups wrong, too.
A four-team playoff causes problems, though. What separates the fourth- and fifth-best teams in the country? The same arguments will arise when teams get left out as they have for previous BCS bowls.
B1G Commissioner Jim Delany said that he doesn’t think any team that does not win its conference should be one of the four teams. What if the consensus third-best team is in second place in its conference, though? Alabama doesn’t have its latest National Championship if Delany’s theory is in effect.
No matter what, a four-team playoff system—while better than the current system—will stir up many complaints by schools and fans. I’d prefer an eight or sixteen team format which would serve college football’s number one purpose—making money for TV networks and university representatives, but then people will complain that the “student-athletes” will miss too much class (bite me, you naïve fools) and travel will become too complicated (we have the intrawebs now, folks).
Thanks for emailing, tweeting, and reading. If your question did not get answered this time, that does not necessarily mean I am ignoring it. It may be saved for the next mailbag. Hopefully you’re a slightly better person now than you were ten minutes ago. If not, your loss.
Want your questions answered in a future Mailbag? Email them to email@example.com or tweet them with the hashtag #TFMB. No question, sports or otherwise, is off limits (with certain logistical exceptions, e.g. lots of naughty words or you type in Portuguese or you solicit my death). If you email, please include a signature.
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget, but please don’t follow him in real life. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.