I don’t really know Will Leitch. We’ve exchanged emails, but when he got married in my wife’s hometown and where she works, I tried to be a good host. But the rehearsal dinner went long, I figured the families were out together, and we didn’t hook up. My loss.
This piece Will wrote for New York Magazine is the best thing he’s ever written—imho. And not nearly because it’s a great topic, but becuse his writing has achieved a maturity that I was hopeful he would attain. I hope, and know, he’ll get better. This piece is just really, really good and I hope he wins recognition for at least FINALLY getting out of his mother’s basement. Mattoon’s loss, of course.
But on a personal note, I think that Will’s math about the number of jobs on active rosters in pro sports in America (I believe inclusive of the NHL, NBA, MLB, and NFL—i.e. not MSL, WNBA, and the WWE) fits with my sense of my own profession. Will writes:
There are only 3,436 jobs available, with millions of potential applicants.
I don’t have the data, but that 3.5K jobs number feels right for the number of tenure-track jobs in Literature in America. It’s actually smaller by a factor of 10. That’s mind-blowing—what are we instilling in our youth when 1 in 3.5K seems like reasonable odds?
My career is stupid. I mean, really stupid.
Let’s assume that there are 20 people in the average English department—obviously the department at UT-Austin is a mite bigger than in my ‘department’ of one, but 20 seems like a good number. There are ~4400 universities, four-year colleges, and junior and community colleges in this country. Therefore, there are ~88K jobs in Higher Ed in English, which seems like a lot, but there are quite literally hundreds of thousands of people who want these jobs and can do them—often so well that it is breathtaking. I often feel quite fraudulent having one of these jobs.
The last time I was on a hiring committee in North Carolina, we had four openings (three really—there was an internal candidate who was also a spousal hire and awesome at his/her job—like we weren’t going to hire him/her), and had nearly 1000 applicants. There were CRATES of CVs, recommendations, writing samples, student evaluations, transcripts, et cetera. I read hundreds of letters explaining why each applicant was perfect for our job in quite literally the bowels of North Carolina. It was humbling and overwhelming. When I’ve been a candidate, it’s impossible not to think about these odds. It’s not like the NFL Combine when you can hope to do something amazing for the scouts—hiring committees are supposed to not look at candidates (a crock).
But to come back to Will’s article and how it relates to my profession, being gay/bi-/a-/pan- sexual is both usually embraced and, I hope, beyond the conditions of recruitment. I really hope that, as Sir Charles says, it comes down to, can the guy/girl/person do his/her/their job? That would be nice.
Just don’t apply for any job I want, ok?
I know, stop the Internet.
But I start the car up this morning, the station was already on, and before I change the station, I catch him raving about how Cowboy fans can’t kill Tony Romo for the fumble and interception that killed their chances on Sunday night.
So, that’s Shrutebag’s claim. It’s not good. Let’s move to his support. It’s worse.
Terry Francona reportedly could be out as Red Sox manager
- The changes on Yawkey Way could be coming quickly. Red Sox manager Terry Francona might be looking for a new job as early as today according to a report by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
I suppose this was inevitable…
This has the CHB’s meddlin’ fingers all over it. What a stooge he is.
Tito’s the best manager the Sox have ever had. Period.
Fire the CHB instead.
Driving 135 miles home twice a week at night means I can pick up a bunch of the clear channel blowtorches. I grew up with WBZ in Boston, but I get KMOX in St. Louis, great for Cardinals’ games, 870 in New Orleans for MNF (good lord does Kevin Harlan suck at play-by-play—I really think he’s trying to describe the TV broadcast, not the game), 1000 in Chicago, and WABC 880 in New York.
Last night I went back and forth between MNF on 870 and Tigers-Yanks on 880.
Susan Waldman is clearly the worst thing that has ever happened to radio waves. Not only is her voice made of equal parts bleeting lambs, steel wool, sadness, and misinformation, but she makes no sense and detracts from Sterling’s call of the game. I’m not a fan of Sterling’s but at least he seems to understand the game.
On and on she went last night, whining about CC getting squeezed while barely acknowloging that Verlander was pitching to the same small zone. It never stopped. And she kept referring to TBS’ feed and how CC kept missing the zone but not getting the call. And it was just sooo unfair.
And that’s why I heard a good bit of Kevin Harlan’s ineptitude calling the football game.
Waldman actually tried to claim that the hundreds of pages of information the scouts gather for their teams do not matter because only the players decide games. I know many baseball players are lunk-headed children, but to be that good at baseball means dedicated study for hours and hours. Ted Williams would hit .450 today with the benefits of advanced scouting and film.
Look, I’m no expert, but I know what Tony Gwynn, Greg Maddox, and Curt Schilling say: scouting matters. If for no other reason than to know when one becomes predictable. If Schilling could see the data that says he tended to throw mostly two seam fastballs to righties when it’s 2-2, he had to assume the hitters know this too, and then he could try to exploit that. Especially late in a game, when hitters knew they needed a big hit. 2-2, they’re looking fastball, so boom, splitter or change-up with fastball arm action to give himself the best chance at the K. It’s called being smart.
And good lord, Susan Waldwan wouldn’t know smart even if it rode in on the ray of sunshine she alone seems to see coming from Arod’s ass.
I don’t much like Grantland, but this is a fantastic piece. Like Scovell and Simmons, I grew up with Montville, Ryan, Gammons, Fitzgerald, McDonough. Leigh Montville is still my favorite all-time sportswriter.
While this is a great piece on journalism in general, this quote is pitch perfect social criticism:
And while we’re on the subject of women breaking into a traditionally male field, a lot of credit goes to Doria (who is currently ESPN’s vice president and director of news). My hire was a good example of affirmative action — a once-admirable concept that has become twisted and misunderstood. Affirmative action does not mean you include an unqualified person because of their gender or race. It means you don’t exclude a qualified person because of their gender or race. In my case, it meant the Globe actively sought out a qualified person who could bring diversity to an otherwise homogeneous group.
The Geordies’ keeper is on fiyah.
Right back at ya, Bobby.
Can’t believe the Sox brass and the CHB ran Tito out of town to hire this jackass.
Oh, it’s Division 2.
Because we can’t have nice things in D1.
Screw the BCS, Screw the Bowls’ lock on control of post-season D1 football, and Screw the NCAA most of all for chasing the dollars and lying to us that the student-athletes can’t possibly play another game or two because of their studies.
I’ve taught golfers, basketball players, and worst of all, baseball and softball players at the D2 and D3 level. It’s ridiculous what their travel and game schedules are. Baseball and softball play 3 to 4 times the number of games that basketball—never mind football—does. It’s absurd.
Go Wayne St!?
It’s the worst lie in higher education since ‘computers in the classroom will improve test scores.’
GOATs do not, as Updike said, do not answer letters, but they should not be afraid to proclaim their GOATness.
Babe Ruth did it. Ali did it. Spitz did it (until Mr. Phelps climbed out of the pool in Beijing). Nicklaus does it. Gretzky could do it, but doesn’t because he’s Canadian.
So Pelé doesn’t think Messi can sit at his table. That’s ok. In fact, it’s great. It’s not, as some will probably say, the voice of a bitter old man. Pelé’s not bitter. He’s freaking Pelé.
When Messi’s scored 1,283 goals like me, when he’s won three World Cups, we’ll talk about it,” Pelé told Le Monde.
When Kobe gets to 9 rings, he can sit with Mr. Russell. When TFB gets a fourth ring, then he’ll sit with Joe Montana and Bart Starr. When Sid the Kid has more assists than Mario and Gordie have points, he can sit at the Great One’s table. Until then, stand back and speak quietly, Messi, TFB, Sid, and Kobe.
I get why Nantz, Miller, and the rest of the golf people at CBS, NBC, and tWWL kiss Mickelson’s ass, but how can the gallerys not see what an act this guy puts on?
Maybe I’m just cynical, but he’s about as genuine as the late Kim Jong-Il’s game.
This stuff makes my blood boil. Long rant to follow.
Great take on the Boston sportswriting scene, a sewer that once was a palace.
This is a long rant. Under the cut. Sorry mobile users.