Out of Context

Jerry Kavanagh

Jerry Kavanagh
New York,
April 19
Jerry Kavanagh is a former Assistant Arts Editor at New York Magazine, Editor in Chief at Conde Nast's Street & Smith's Sports Group, and New York Bureau Chief at SportsBusiness Journal.



FEBRUARY 16, 2012 7:05AM

Devoid of Meaning

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San Francisco Chronicle sports columnist Scott Ostler identified three things in sports which he labeled “devoid of meaning.” The three: a football coach's praise for an upcoming opponent, a boxer's boasts before a bout, and anything said during a labor dispute. “That stuff will produce enough hot air to blow-dry Def Leppard,” Ostler wrote.

With all due respect to Scott, I think he overlooked a number of other items devoid of meaning (sports division):

* Rex Ryan guarantees
Belabored individual choreography after every play in football
* Motorsports
* Quickie half-time interviews with college basketball coaches
* Pitch-by-pitch replays
* Slo-mo exploding logos after said replays
* NFL quarterback ratings
* Oblique injuries
* Discussions about pitch count
* Commentary by Dan Dierdorf, Bill Maas, Stephen A. Smith, Craig Sager, Tony Siragusa, Rick Sutcliffe
* The BCS
* Signature home run calls
* Catch phrases
* Half-time extravaganzas
* Super Bowl pre-game shows 
* Discussions of Super Bowl commercials
* Heaven-pointing athletes
* Hyperactive TV directors who insist of cutting away from live action to shots of fans in the stands
* Sportswriters whose postgame questions seek to gauge the level of excitement, disappointment, joy, surprise, and meaningfulness. You know, “How excited/disappointed/happy, etc. are you about today’s game?”
* The Pro Bowl
* The NBA Dunk Contest
* The strike zone graphic used in this year’s MLB playoffs
* Bracketologists
* Solemn postgame interviews with losing coaches
* Heart-pounding athletes
* High-fiving adult spectators who have done nothing to celebrate
* National anthem balladeers (It’s an anthem, not a ballad)
* Tattoos
* Primal screams by athletes after a play while the game resumes without them

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