Reading The Onion this afternoon, I came across this story about a defunct four-year-old sports blog continuing to exist. I laughed because I have a defunct seven-year-old sports blog floating like a ghost ship out there myself. It’s Shysterball, the blog where I got my start. Some of you used to even read it. It’s still hanging around.
I don’t get too nostalgic about much in life, but I did spend a lot of time reading old posts today. Mostly because I wanted to see if they were any good. You see, as time goes on I get more and more of my old readers saying “man, I miss Shysterball.” They tell me that they miss the kind of stuff I used to write there with the clear implication that it was better or more thought-provoking. There is this sense that 2007-09 was the good old days, and man, too bad we can’t have that kind of content back again.
I get that. But looking back at the content doesn’t really support the premise. I wrote all kinds of dumb stuff back then. Indeed, the signal to noise ratio wasn’t really any better than than it is now. It may have been worse. Just a small sampling:
- A post in which I ask readers if they’d take a 60 m.ph. pitch directly to their crotch for $1.2 million;
- A post about Madonna and A-Rod dating, the sole purpose of which seemed to be making an “A-Rod is a postseason choker” joke;
- A Thanksgiving post which traffics in the twin cliches of (1) “WKRP’s” “Turkeys Away” episode; and (2) one of those “what each team has to give thanks for” structures, which is about as hacky as it gets;
- An item about CC Sabathia and Mike Cameron that quickly devolved into me searching the web for Dom DeLuise content;
- From April 2007 — the first month of the blog’s existence — my first ever A-Rod apologist content. Nothing changes, y’all.
There’s real content there too — a lot of it good — but there’s an awful lot of fluffy silliness. Which I still love, by the way. But it certainly puts lie to the notion that I used to write better or more weighty things. A lot of this stuff has always been about killing time and making jokes while waiting for a ballgame to start. In some ways, it’s like how people talk about “classic” movies or music from the 60s or 70s. We all like to pretend it was all “Casablanca,” the Beatles and the Stones, but for every one of them there were ten crappy melodramas and 100 Tony Orlando and Dawns.
Oh well. I still miss Shysterball sometimes. Maybe the less I read it, the more I’ll miss it. Heh.