Armed with cable and ESPN again, my intelligence knows no limits

I’m about to drop something on you that might lessen my credibility as a sports person.

In the two years since I moved back to Sheridan after college, I did not have cable television.

I watched the games I wanted to watch online or went to my parents house under a ruse of reassurance that I missed my family. (It was just to use their tube for the Packers game)
Yes mom, the idiot who just dropped that pass on third and six can hear me when I yell at him through the television.

About a month ago, I moved for the first time in my life into a place without roommates, and I decided to break down and get cable. Maybe it was because I lost faith in my creativity toward finding hobbies outside work — I used to catch snakes down by Sheltered Acres Park, but now, in my mid-20s, that and chasing birds with a BB gun have since lost their allure. Maybe it was because I’m running out of ammunition to use in these columns when I rip up ESPN’s flimsy adherence to sports journalism. Maybe Amish Mafia? What the hell, really, Amish Mafia? The real Amish people have got to be upset about that one. Reality television is worse than college football realignment, steroids in baseball and a Shia LeBouf movie all in one.  What an Amish person feels when they watch their culture fictionalized and dramatized on a crappy cable channel has got to be on the level of what an Auburn fan felt when Updyke poisoned the Toomer’s Corner trees.

Amish culture demands respect, doesn’t it? They far out-do what I thought was resourcefulness in a tiny, two-year hiatus from cable television.

I was so proud of myself. I’d say: Oh, I don’t have cable because I read lots. I have leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany. Jim Nantz narrates my life. I’m important.

Amish people deserve credit for maintaining simplicity in 2013, they don’t deserve the insult of a reality TV show. Unlike the rest of us, they don’t use cell phones as if the device is part of their central nervous system.

Sometimes, when I don’t have my phone within arms reach I need to suck on a paper bag so I can calm myself down. Once when my phone was lost, I took off my belt, fastened it securely around my forearm and was ready to accept my now-incomplete hand falling off old military battlefield medicine style until I located my phone. Must check Twitter, must check Facebook, must send text message. Repeat.

Wow, look how much I just learned. All those interesting ESPN Stats and Info baseball Tweets, ugly baby pictures on Facebook, and parody sports news sites have got to amount to some form of greater intelligence — a knowledge pool I have yet to grasp and harness.

Seriously, in August, sports channels are either baseball games or golf. Everything else is meaningless words surrounding all the other out of season sports. After watching ESPN regularly for the past couple weeks, I feel like I, and the large majority of the sports fan populous, could do those jobs.

You’ve got to worry about the role models created by the sportspeak of today. Who is Johnny Manziel? Your guess is as good as mine. He’s an oil tycoon’s son. A character on the show Entourage. A criminal mastermind and an autograph broker, ready to take on the NCAA’s archaic rulebook at the risk of his collegiate football career.

Come on Johnny, behave so you can troll Bama fans a little longer. We’re all tired of the no drama Roll Tide National Title game.

The lesson here? Young people, learn to form your own opinions about the athletes you watch on TV.

It’s important to realize that for the amount of time you see them on a playing surface, there is so much more spent by others talking about them outside of it.

If approached the right way, knowing these things improves ones social worth in terms of gathering copious amounts of meaningless sports knowledge to toss at friends by way of sarcastic jokes. Invaluable, that is.
Without garbage television, the world would be a better place. And that would be boring. So keep watching your cooking shows, follow your pawn shop reality show fetishes, soak up that MTV trash. Just don’t watch ESPN’s First Take. Because your IQ will drop with the visible effects of a meth use billboard. You’ll gain weight in all the wrong places and sink into a depression. Your golf game will become Tiger’s in a major tournament.

Once football starts, I’ll shut up about all of this. The value of a sports channel set on a gridiron is exponentially greater than any others. Now if I could only find that TV where Packers tight end Jermichael Finley can actually hear me when I holler at him through the screen.

About

Brad Estes

Sheridan Press sports editor

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