With all the sports over the weekend it occurred to me that the Diatribe needs a Sports Section suitable for bathroom reading. In fact maybe what we need are all the various sections one would find in a newspaper — like sports, business, opinion, entertainment, lifestyle, etc. I have named myself the new Sports Editor and I am actively seeking candidates to head some of the other departments. I didn’t consult Zuki on this as he doesn’t like to be bothered on the weekends when he is working on his pottery.
Some of you may wonder what qualifications I have to put together this newspaper-like entity. Well I would tell you that I have read two books about famous newspaper guys. One was about this fellow who was the long time managing editor of the New York Times. I don’t remember much about the book including the fellow’s name, but I may have subliminally retained some of the content. The other book was by and about Ben Bradlee, former executive editor of the Washington Post. What I remember about that book is that Bradlee may be the most self-important person on the planet.
He derives this self-importance, at least in part, because he has spent a lifetime rubbing elbows with the famous, the rich and the powerful. But his opinion of himself goes over the top when he starts patting himself on the back for deciding to go with the Watergate story by Woodward and Bernstein. He is convinced he changed the course of history. When you boil it down, I think all he really did was give us additional evidence that Richard Nixon was dishonest. My own father was active in California politics in the 1930’s and 40’s, which is where Nixon got his start. He mentioned this whole dishonest thing to me when I was a mere lad and Nixon was running for President in 1960 — or about 11 years before Ben “broke” the story.
I would contend that Woodward and Bernstein ruined journalism the way Michael Jordan ruined the NBA. Their fame and success spawned a whole generation of “gotcha journalists” who wanted to be like Bob and Carl. Maybe they could also bring down a President, or at least a county commissioner, and then write a book about it followed by a movie where they are played by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman.
Mentioning Dustin Hoffman reminds me of a story I heard about him (we’ll get back to sports in a minute). Elmore Leonard tells the story of how Dustin Hoffman was the inspiration for Leonard’s book Get Shorty which was also made into a movie. In the movie Gene Hackman and John Travolta are trying to get a successful actor (Danny Devito) to play the lead in a film they were producing. It was Leonard’s two year adventure of pursuing Hoffman to play a part that led him to create Devito’s character of Martin Weir, who Leonard portrayed as a short, pompous, little twit.
I may have gotten a little off track, but we are finally at the point where we can introduce “Sports at the Diatribe.” With me as your Sports Editor I promise this will be your new one-stop, go-to sports authority with all the latest news, scores and analysis.
Here we go with the first installment:
The Broncos lost to the Texans
This makes me feel sad. I guess that is really more like psycho-analysis, but I wanted to share my feelings.
We’ll try to flesh this out a little more in the future once I get my staff in place.