Culbreath: Ode to the good Internet commentWritten by Matt 'Shaggy' Culbreath | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh, Internet commenter. Often maligned, typically deserved.
I honestly don’t know why news outlets, Toledo Free Press and WSPD included, bother to include comment sections on their stories online. If anybody is so motivated to add something to a story, it’s never anything that actually adds anything. More likely, you’ll get someone asking “How is this news?” or what “the real story” is, or pointing out the obvious slant the reporter who penned the article has. Sports writing is not spared either: a 5,000 word masterpiece (or, in my case, a 900-word panic attack) could be tagged with just “GO BROWNS!”
So, when the perfect comment comes along, I feel like it should be celebrated. Held up as an example as to what we, as a species, is capable of.
Let’s rewind to earlier in the week: the MLB All-Star Game took place on Tuesday, and might as well have been Derek Jeter’s “This Is Your Life.” Some of what took place was pretty awesome: the game ops at Target Field used a recording of late-Yankee Stadium announcer Bob Sheppard to call up Jeter, which led to a standing ovation and a “Der-ek Je-ter!” chant. He went 2-for-2, had a pretty neat snag in the top of the first, and got a nice send-off in the fourth. But things also got laid on a little thick: all in all, Jeter’s name was mentioned no less than 100 times on the broadcast, and continued to be a point of contention, even after he was out of the game. Not to mention the hubbub that surrounded Adam Wainright’s confession that he curved a couple of fastballs to Jeet, as if it was some mortal sin.
Meanwhile, many baseball fans felt that something was missing: any sort of acknowledgement of some of the baseball greats that have passed within the last year. Tony Gwynn was amongst the most prominent, but Don Zimmer and Bob Welch are also names that left the baseball world this year. And sure, while Fox and MLB are under no obligation to recognize the deceased at an All-Star Game, it is the first time of the year that all of MLB has gathered, and it would have been a nice gesture.
After the grumblings of the disgruntled baseball viewers reached a dull roar, Fox Broadcasting and MLB released a statement, as posted to the Facebook account of reporter (and friend of University of Toledo’s Tie One On fundraiser) Ken Rosenthal:
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, an extraordinary individual whose memory we have honored in numerous ways in recent weeks. The Baseball family has sadly lost a number of people this year – including Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner, Frank Cashen, and former All-Stars Jerry Coleman, Jim Fregosi and Don Zimmer – and did not want to slight anyone by singling out one individual.”
It is there, where one of the greatest Internet comments appeared. The first comment on the post, and the best by a longshot, came from Rich McCrary, who laid it out in three simple sentences:
“You spent the whole night singling out one individual. Fox and MLB blew it. Weak excuse.
The best and worst thing about talking sports is that everyone has an equal voice. People like to think they know politics, but more often than not, they don’t know exactly what’s happening. Economics, both micro- and macro-, are getting further and further beyond common sense, that it’s tough to keep up. Having a pertinent opinion in sports is simple, as long as you’re paying attention, and Rich up there knocked it out of the park. Put that in the Hall of Fame.
Matt “Shaggy” Culbreath is sports director at Newsradio 1370 WSPD.
Tags: Adam Wainright, Bob Sheppard, Bob Welch, Browns, Derek Jeter, Don Zimmer, Fox Broadcasting, Frank Cashen, Hall of Famer, Jerry Coleman, Jim Fregosi, Ken Rosenthanl, MLB, MLB All-Star Game, Ralph Kiner, Rich McCrary, Sports, Target Field, Tony Gwynn, UT, WSPD, Yankee Stadium