I’m not going to lie. If we learned one thing this week, its that it is currently Charlie Sheen’s world, we’re all just living in it, waiting for him to tweet his next set of instructions.
In today’s post, I’m going to give you my thoughts on the new Met news about their newest rumored shenanigans. The NFL just extended itself for another week in order to hopefully get a resolution. Plus our steady diet of links and things you sing about. Also my latest on who the Met owner should be and my random thoughts. So let’s jump in shall we?
Charlie Sheen-ing on Twitter
Born Small… Now Huge… Winning… Bring it..! (unemployed winner…)
I enjoy Bill Simmons’ podcasts. There’s one guest in particular I enjoy listening to with whom he’s going to team up at some undetermined date to bring to us sports geeks a new website characterized as “70% sports and 30% pop culture” which even I don’t know what kind of a website that would be. Either way, the person I’m speaking about is Chuck Klosterman. Klosterman is probably the most interesting person to speak to because I always come away thinking far deeper about any subject than I normally would have. Of course in his latest podcast he and Bill discussed this whole Charlie Sheen phenomenon which has been sweeping the nation over this past week.
For those of you living under a rock let me summarize: Sheen and Chuck Lorre, the producer of the hit show “Two and a Half Men” have had a falling out. Such a falling out that Sheen has gone on multiple media formats blasting the very successful producer of many good shows, none more successful than Mr. Sheen’s. His tirades on radio and print have become things of legend.
First of all, I think this whole Charlie Sheen is ridiculous. So ridiculous in fact that it gets me mad. In conversations with friends I’ve realized that opinion is torn on both sides of the fence on him. Some people think he’s so cool for doing this and some people can’t believe that this guy is getting pub for this.
I’m kind of in the middle. Let me explain.
I don’t think there’s anything special about Charlie Sheen. Nothing. His acting has never made me stop and take notice. I’ve never come away talking about his performance in any movie. He’s on a hit TV show because his movie career died about a decade ago. I don’t think “Two and a Half Men” are funny but the numbers don’t lie, I’m in the minority.
But what Sheen did this week when he signed up for Twitter was probably the biggest contribution he’s ever made to society and his most remarkable achievement and let me tell you why. For those not on the social networking sites, its ok. I don’t think any explanation is necessary. Social networking sites aren’t for everyone.
But to dismiss its relevance and say its not the present or future would be ridiculous. Its like saying that the internet was just an ok idea. That’s reedonkulous, the internet was a GREAT idea and its the most revolutionizing thing ever. Its also the present and the future of where this world is going. Everything is being digitized and conformed to appease the internet. Nobody wants to read a book anymore, we have Ipads that allow us to do that. We have created newer ways to get the internet and I predict that in about 5 years phone carriers are going to exclusively start offering smart phones. There won’t be any phones that just make phone calls.
Social networking sites like Facebook or Myspace (yeah that’s still alive but Friendster isn’t- sorry Asians) and Twitter are now the accepted norm of society. Every form of communication has embraced it by acknowledging corporate pages on their shows and on their products. Every business has bought in, its time that those of you who still doubt, do too.
But I suppose its just a natural form of progression that we as a society make. Before it was television. Think about the three most popular images on television. I made a Top 3 and here they are:
-OJ Simpson verdict and car chase (tie)
– Man walking on the moon.
– JFK being shot.
When those events happened, it not only elevated those 3 events, it made us stand up and notice in a completely different way. Our society was having more and more of a dependence on T.V.’s for our information, it merely needed its headline moments. Every person alive for those three events knew where they were when those things happened. That kind of event comes along once a generation.
Just like H.G. Wells reading War of the Worlds and scaring the daylights out of his listeners, signature moments on media have become time stamps. It also defines a generation.
I grew up consuming news through television and newspapers. Six P.M. broadcasts became appointment viewing. Then came along the internet. It started off on slower dial up connections and now almost everyone has some version of high speed connections which have made our consumption of information quicker which has made us less dependent on those television broadcasts. Why wait for the news when I can watch it online at my convenience or better yet, when I can read up about it online? The way we are getting news has changed.
My cousin asked me what the big deal about Twitter is. Its unfair to ask me. I’m a huge fan of social networking sites. In fact I’m a social networking whore. Don’t tell that to my fiance. I think they are great but I’ve grown a special appreciation for Twitter because I read a lot more cooler things and get more links from that website than anything. Plus, the challenge of being witty at 140 characters is pretty tough and satisfying.
I’ve discovered plenty of cool material over Twitter and the way celebs have absolutely engrossed themselves in this format makes regular folk like me interested because if they like it, it must be cool.
So consider Charlie Sheen’s arrival and huge fan base on Twitter its first true watershed moment. I dont know if its the future but Sheen’s crazy antics and his equally puzzling fame which made his record setting Twitter following (over a million in the span of a little more than 24 hours) gave Twitter its breakthrough moment and entered it into the pantheon of great moments in media. For two days, Charlie Sheen’s stupidity caused almost every single person to blindly worship a guy who’s never been that successful in anything except this T.V. show and you know what? He wants to ruin that too.
But even bigger than the big moment for Twitter is the truth that can’t be shaken: the internet has given us the opportunity to change perception. When used properly, and wisely, the internet can not only revive one’s career but can make one as well. Bill Simmons became a huge star because of his blog. The Huffington Post was recently purchased for $350 million. Betty White became a superstar again because of an internet campaign to get her to host an SNL episode so everyone could remember how funny she was. Perception can be changed over the internet.
Why? Because there are too many voices now. Before there were fewer people with more access. Now there are too many people in one big bubble trying to get their opinions across that can influence your thought processes. The internet’s claim is that the flow of information is much greater and that there’s more information being shared but how trustworthy is that information? A friend of mine said that Charlie Sheen was an icon.
Was he really? I won’t dispute the notion that he is one NOW. He’s created a moment that will live on depending on how long Twitter stays around. He’s an icon because of his outlandish appearances since this whole story broke. He’s an icon because he put the most successful sitcom on America’s #1 network on hiatus until this whole thing gets resolved. To imply he was anything more than an average actor who had access to the business because of his father who was famous would be stretching the truth. The internet allows US to make up our mind and allows voices to make up our minds for us. Its the beauty of democracy and a reason why our country is what we are.
We’re confused. We think Charlie Sheen is an icon. We believe our opinions are right. We think our ways are the best. Fact is, its not entirely true. Not everything we do is with everyone’s best interest at heart. But our country has so many voices, democrats, republicans, libertarians, and every other voice that at some point our society will grow tired of every competing voice and will eventually be turned off by the whole thing. Which eventually will lead to a bunch of citizens who really don’t care about anything other than what’s going on in their very limited social circle. That its going on with Hollywood socialites isn’t enough, the rest of society will eventually catch up.
Having too much information isn’t bad until one, more skilled writer, makes a better argument than one less skilled writer and an opinion takes hold and becomes gospel. That’s what’s going on with this whole Charlie Sheen craziness. His fans are running with the persona and making him out to be this mad scientist preaching truth and this newfound wisdom that nobody else knew about when that’s just not the case. Here’s what I think: he’s crazy, he’s on drugs, but he’s a smart son of a bitch who understands that using the media to manipulate opinion is the only way to win this war and he’s #winning the battle so far.
So big props there.
Heat can’t handle the…well…Heat?
@WindhorstESPN: Derrick Rose has scored or assisted on 45.2% of Bulls baskets, highest in league. LeBron is 2nd with 42.9% That sounds like an MVP stat.
That’s a week worth of games. Three of which that came down to the wire. Two of which Lebron had the final say in things and completely bricked and 4 losses. Everyone’s panicking. Everyone’s gasping.
As well they should.
Michael Wilbon said it best “they were not brought in to be the fourth best team in the East.” No. They were going to revolutionize basketball. A teaming up of this nature had never been done before so there was no reference. Sure, players had talked their way onto certain teams to form a formidable tandem but never had 3 players so thoughtfully crafted their entrance on to such a stage as the Heatles had done. They were stars in their prime deciding that together they were going to win multiple championships. We all were shocked as a public and yet we didn’t quite know what to say except to dismiss it and say it was terrible for the NBA.
But look at the numbers. They have us caring again and whether they like it or not, its because we don’t want them to succeed. I had this idea of an article right about the time that the Heat were getting spanked in San Antonio. They wound up losing, in their most lopsided defeat all season on Friday night. Of course the great Joe Posnanski beat me to it. It truly has become remarkably satisfying to root not only against Lebron but against the entire Heat team.
I think if anything has changed its not that I don’t like Lebron, its that I had a hard time dealing with the fact that everyone labeled Chris Bosh a superstar as well. I just didn’t see him in that light. Wade and James are in that upper echelon of superstars that can win games and carry teams. Chris Bosh had never carried a team. He was the best player on a team but you couldn’t call him the leader of anyone. He was a follower. They called him the pet of the group in the introductory press conference for crying out loud. If that isn’t side bitch status, I dont know what is.
But I’ve been more impressed with his game and his toughness than either of those two. For some reason I’ve felt that Wade, a player that I enjoyed watching and like and who’s opinion of him hasn’t changed, has regressed. He’s somehow gotten worse. People said that in the beginning he and Lebron would have a tough time dealing with each other. They would find it difficult to work with each other. But is that truly the case? Is that what’s going on here?
I think they have no clue. I said this in my earlier articles about the group but I think this was poorly thought out. I think they were friends who got drunk one night and thought it would be cool to team up. They never thought how it would mesh. They imagined loads and loads of championships. They said it live.
But out of that animosity built. Cities that had craved Lebron like fat people in front of buffet felt slighted. They no longer welcomed him with cheers, but they enjoyed his suffering. They heaped even more pressure on to his shoulders. Want to be the king? Well win a title! They are 0-6 against the East elite (Bulls and Celtics). They went 2-2 against the Knicks. Remember? They were beating the Knicks up and down the court in their first two contests, but these last two have been anything but. They still have no answer for Dwight Howard.
This last week wasn’t just a wake up call. It wasn’t just a reality check. It was a glimpse into the future. A future they never saw coming. A future they thought wasn’t even in the realm of possibilities. They thought this would be a whole lot easier but if anything they should have seen this coming.
Dwayne Wade in yesterday’s press conference said “the world is getting what they want. The Miami Heat losing.” Not only did it NOT bring any feeling of compassion for them, I found it very arrogant. Were we supposed to feel sorry for you? Were NBA fans supposed to just throw roses? Was every team in the NBA supposed to cater to your every wish and desire?
The discussion has been torn on whether this is good for the NBA. You know, stars picking where they want to go and leaving franchises that drafted them in the dust so they can hand pick their location and get what they want like Carmelo Anthony just did with the Knicks. I dont have an answer because I dont know if it will bring financial ruin to the NBA. Will small market team fans care if their team can’t hold on to their stars? Are OKC fans trembling with fear over the prospect of losing Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant after his contract is over? Should Kevin Love jerseys just stop selling since we know that he will be out the door so fast in Minnesota? Dwight Howard has his sights set on New York (Brooklyn and MSG) or L.A..
I dont think its a bad thing these guys are doing this, because I think there is enough talent flowing through these corridors. I think OKC is on their way to becoming the next San Antonio. The next small market that wins multiple championships and a team that keeps its star laden nucleus. But dont take it from me. I’m not Nostradamus. I dont know where this thing is headed this offseason when collective bargaining begins.
All I know is that Lebron and the Heat have made it fun for all NBA fans. They’ve been fun to root against. Thanks Lebron. Thanks Wade. Thanks Bosh. Thanks for being jerks and giving fans a reason to care enough to hate on you.
Another plea for the Coupons to flee
The Coupon family’s resistance to their impending financial doom is getting pretty comical. They continue to insist that everything is ok while daily evidence continues to mount suggesting otherwise.
This week, it was revealed that the Coupons had exhausted Major League Baseball’s funds and were now in dire straits with national banks who the Coupons had tapped.
The hands to take from are growing far and few between. The one source they tapped a long time ago, the fan, now actively seeks their removal from among the hierarchy of owners and trust me when I say that the Coupons are up there among Bud Selig’s select few favored. Its why he approved a $25 million loan for them and did NOT for Frank McCourt, the owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. If you aren’t among the core of Selig’s fellowship don’t expect to be helped.
The type of support the Coupons receive means they are well liked and people believe they are worth the benefit of doubt as it relates to the Madoff scandal and what potential harm it can do to their status as owners of a major league team.
Bud Selig knows how important it is for him that Fred Coupon remains aboard. He’s long been on Selig’s side as it relates to many of Selig’s initiatives like a slot system for paying drafted players; a reason why many feel the Mets system is so weak. Fred was also the person who led the charge to have his Bud get appointed Commissioner when Fay Vincent was relieved of his duties.* Selig knows that losing one of his friends on the board would deal a major blow to anything he wants to accomplish when the next labor bargaining sessions open up.
What this week’s revelation tells us is that the Coupons refuse to go quietly and will exhaust every avenue until they are out of options. This will likely draw out the process for several months and until after a ruling on exactly how much the Coupons will settle for in the Madoff case. Irving Picard says he won’t settle and that he intends to get the $1 billion he is seeking but that’s all semantics and good tough talk that those involved need to hear.
Good litigators know that settling is not only the quickest way to end things but the threat of a trial and what potential harm can come from dirt being revealed. But there really is no timetable for an amiable agreement to be put in place and thus the Mets will be in limbo until that happens.
What does this mean for the actual product? Plenty. Consider that the Mets will be hamstrung. Will they have the funds that a new ownership group might bring or will they be pinching pennies as the Coupons continue to cut costs in order to keep their team.
Think about what it means for former franchise cornerstone Jose Reyes. Reyes will be a free agent after this year. Will the Mets risk keeping Reyes and letting him walk to a team for just draft picks? The risk will be huge if Reyes has a big first half and teams line up to pay him. The Red Sox are rumored to be a favorable trading partner. I don’t think that makes any sense since top prospect Jose Iglesias will be major league ready in 2 or 3 years and Reyes won’t sign a 2 or 3 year deal with the Sox when he’s entering the prime of his career at age 28.
Sixty million will come off the books next year and the promise of Sandy Alderson to have more financial flexibility next offseason is what Met fans are tolerating but its becoming clearer what their intended purpose was. To bring in number crunchers who could field competitive teams while operating at lower budgets.
If that’s the case, Met fans who are left sitting in seats in 2011 won’t return in 2012. No matter what, the product on the field is what dictates everything else. What the Coupons don’t understand is that New York sports fans care dearly. If a team underperforms they don’t get a pat on the back and “we’ll get em next year” consolation. They will get destroyed in the press and fans will turn on them and quick. That kind of publicity isn’t something easily washed away.
The Coupons haven’t made this process easy. They have consistently refused the possibility that they need help or that they are in trouble and yet behind the scenes they have asked for help from every possible outlet. But those wells have run dry. The one well they should have been able to go to they dried up a long time ago.
Despite all the kind words from prospective buyers of 25% of the Mets they know one thing: in order to get into this exclusive club of baseball owners they have to suck up to Fred Coupon who will hand pick his successor to the throne. That person must think highly of Bud Selig who then will give the yay or nay to their bids.
The Coupons don’t need to wonder why they are in trouble. They need only look at newspaper clippings. Their reputation in league circles is now coming under fire. Their rep with fans is pretty bad and no matter what they say there seems to always be evidence that comes out that says otherwise. They no longer decide how this ends. Their decisions have finally caught up to them.
No disrespect to them, but like many have been screaming: its time to get out Coupons. Do us a favor. Leave. If you truly love the Mets you can’t let this team suffer while you pick up the pieces of your life. This is clearly more doom than had first been imagined.
The next owner of the Mets should be….
Well, apparently there already is a list and the New York Post just got wind of some of the names on that list. Apparently 30 groups gave their names and the two most prominent are one headed by a few Goldman Sachs partners which, judging by how much trouble they were in after this financial crisis, perhaps staying away from the public eye would be the best move and the other was a group led by Bobby Valentine the former beloved manager of the last World Series team the Mets fielded in 2000.
I’m bias to Bobby V who I’ve always felt got a raw deal at the end of his tenure in New York and deserved more of a shot there. So his entry as a bidder makes me very excited. Obviously more will come out in the following days. I personally can’t wait.
Universally hailed as the best rundown of what Friday’s event meant for football’s labor process. Basically they decided to delay the lockout by 10 days. I truly believe that both sides don’t want a lockout but will do so to get what they want. I do think they are far apart on many issues and just because the deadline was pushed for a week to ten days, it doesn’t mean that something is very close to happening. Between rookie wage scale (I agree), 18 game schedule (I disagree) and an extra billion off the top (could care less), there must be several other issues that are causing this process to get no-where past the 5 yard line like Adam Schefter had been reporting up until Friday. They didn’t break bread over the weekend unless leaders met privately. Nothing is being discussed yet.
– People said I was pretty harsh on Kevin Costner. Sorry, like I said in earlier Sheen article, I think people are confusing the truth and misinterpreted rememberings. The internet doesn’t lie. But people still do. The facts are there. Just watch the tape.
– Growing more and more into a Parks and Rec fan. Love Rob Lowe’s character. He’s fantastic.
– I think Mad Men is one of the best written shows on television today. Its no Wire, but the acting, and direction of the show is fantastic. Don Draper is the definition of cool.
– Got about an hour to blow? Well, here’s a very interesting article I picked up on my travails through the internet that I thought people would enjoy. Would love to hear back what people think about it.
-Viggo Mortenson as General Zod? Very cool.
Later in the week, I’m going to write an article about the Knicks. It needs to be done. It needs to happen. I’m going to talk Amar’e and Melo and how well they are meshing.
As always if you have ideas, on how this space can be more improved. Let me know.
and as always……
Don’t ask me why I found that hilarious, but I did.