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Chris Cooley, [Bleep Bleep], and the Great Lie


Chris Cooley, making Americans sad. (By John McDonnell - TWP)

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Chris Cooley's epic post about the meaning of life and training camp on KSK yesterday. A brief excerpt:

The one cool thing about the first month of camp is living in a dorm room. I love it when I get to leave my 2.8 million dollar house and live in a 400 square foot box, trade in the Mercedes for the bus, and curl up in my twin bed. The TV's are great too, who isn't happy when they pick up 10 total channels on a 24 inch box? Yea, I guess now people can say what a ungrateful bastard I am and how much anyone would give to play pro football, but please, whether it's a high school or NFL training camp, it's still gonna be as fun as a [bleep bleep].

So anyhow, here's how I classify sports fans: there are those who think the results of games matter to humanity. They read Extreme Skins. There are those who like to be mildly familiar with the results of games so that they can make small talk on the way to the cheese platter at the charity auction. They read Wilbon. And there are those who pay attention to sports so they have something to think about in the shower, when falling asleep, while driving to work, and during other still and silent moments when a blank mind could slip into an existential puddle of "why are we here?" muck, with fantasy football draft rankings nudging aside the gathering black clouds of doubt and despair hinting that maybe, just maybe, we should be raising emu in New Jersey instead of spending another day in front of this godforsaken computer. They read blogs.

Needless to say, I fall in that latter category. I think about sports because they're fun, sometimes. I watch sports because that means I'm not watching situation comedies. I read about sports because it's easier than reading about Afghanistan.

I like to maintain some illusion in this space that athletes are laff machines, full of droll observations and quirky habits. And people are always telling me, "Your job must be so fun!!!!!!!!" Well, whatever. Athletes are just dudes with limber limbs who can run fast. Blogging about athletes is just a job. Ten hours a day of sprinting around with technological gadgets pouring out of my clothes, computer parts trailing behind me, dumb questions falling out of my lips and a manic fear that I won't think of anything to write about. Then my boss sends me my traffic numbers, and I start thinking about emu.

But you have to pretend sports are fun, and athletes are having the time of their lives. You have to, because what else are you going to think about in the shower? Russian novels? Pulp movies? The price of gas? You're bored at work, and I'm bored in the car, and we need sports to make us smile, at least a little.

Do we third-category sports fans all know that sports are basically meaningless? That the athletes are ruining their bodies for our benefit? That they could well wind up crippled and full of regret? That they're probably miserable half the time, tired of being yelled at, tired of the constant instability, tired of prancing about the Coliseum for a whooping crowd? That, like us, they'd rather just be sitting at the beach? And that there's got to be something better to fill our minds with than the starting lineup of the 1982 Brewers?

Well, sure we do. But we cram those thoughts down into the darkest nooks, snuggled up against the knowledge that our front porch isn't going to paint itself, that our adjustable rate mortgage is gonna expire eventually, and that within a handful of decades we'll be covered with dirt.

In other words, don't look too hard, Chris. Avert your eyes, if you can. Don't puncture the illusion. We know you're right. We know that training camp is "fun as a [bleep bleep]." Just don't remind us. Smile, wave, and try to figure out which Redskin would be the toughest MMA fighter. We're depending on you.

(And to save you commenters the trouble: "If you don't like your job just quit....You have the best job in the world....No one cares if you're feeling blue....Wah wah does Dan need a bottle just like JLC....BOOOOO-RINNNNNG...." And so on. Trust me, I know how this reads, but Cooley made me do it.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  July 22, 2008; 3:33 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Comments

Dan,

I have lived in New Jersey my entire life and I can honestly say I have never farmed, nor seen, an emu. I don't even know in what family, class or phyla an emu resides. I'm fairly certain, however, they do not reside anywhere near my home.

Maybe a few miles away, the Pine Barrens are rife with emu, but not here, just a short scamper from the mighty Delaware River.

That said, I read blogs for people like you, covering people like Cooley. So I don't know what to do with myself now.

Posted by: Dan Levy | July 22, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I just hit "refresh" once and submitted a comment to help your numbers, Dan.
You're welcome.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

King of Queens in syndication > Redskins' training camp.

Posted by: StetSports.com | July 22, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

4th

Posted by: littles | July 22, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Buck up, Steiny. I just found out I've got one of those STDs that doesn't go away. It could be worse.

Posted by: Alex | July 22, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

After the tiresome football gig has run its course, I think Cooley could have quite a career as a motivational speaker. Or perhaps as a suicide hotline phone answerer/counselor.

Posted by: Llama Pastrami | July 22, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Could be worst #9: You could have to cover the Nationals instead of the Skins and the Wizards.

Posted by: Matt Brown | July 22, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I blame this on the heat.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | July 22, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

The Emu is the only animal that is sexually attracted to humans. No wonder that's the first alternative career that comes to mind STEINPERV.

Posted by: Ben | July 22, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Emu... tastes like chicken. Ask KFC.

Posted by: sitruc | July 22, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Emus are for emblems and chickens are for eating.

/tothd

Posted by: kwamesnani | July 22, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

What if I also "read about sports because it's easier than reading about [world news]" BUT I also have a few hundred posts on ExtremeSkins? YOU CAN'T CATEGORIZE ME, BOGGER. I raise llamas. I, Dan, am off the grid and, there, am off the chain.

Posted by: WorstSeat | July 22, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Cooley has a beautiful wife and makes more the most DC area residents. Hey Chris just shut the f up. No one wants to hear you whine. D*mn boy you sound like a Dupont Circle drag queen who just put a run his $50 a pair pantyhose. You know the ones you used take home Chris when you walked on the wild side. Didnt your daddy tell you about girls with adam's apples!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Here's a good page on what it takes to raise emu:

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/poulsci/tech_manuals/emu.html

Also, keep in mind that the epidemiology of certain avian diseases in ratites is poorly understood. So you'll be on the frontier!

A job is a job.

Posted by: Lindemann | July 23, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one that remembers when emu were supposed to be the new beef?

Are they the new beef yet?

Can something be both red meat and poultry at once?(probably not)

Are you telling me that athletes aren't giant laugh-bags? (Don't answer that)

Posted by: Jeff V | July 23, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Right on.

Going off the top of my head, I remember Harvey's Wallbangers this way:
C: Darrell Porter
1B: Cecil Cooper
2B: Paul Molitor
SS: Robin Yount
3B: Damned if I can remember
OF: Ben Ogilvie and a couple other guys
DH: Gorman Thomas (unless he played OF?)
P: Pete Vuckovich et al.
Relief: Rollie Fingers

Anyone wanna help me out here w/o looking it up?

Posted by: SSFSCoWA | July 23, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Oh wait, Porter was on the Cards by '82. Maybe the C was Ted Simmons or Terry Kennedy or something for the Brewers...

Posted by: SSFSCoWA | July 23, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Nice post Dan, I've spent far too much time thinking about which type of fan I am now...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

This is deep stuff, Dan. Philip Larkin wrote

This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
That vast, moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die...

Instead of implicating religion, I guess he should have written about sports. Who knew?

Posted by: Guess who | July 23, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm...Could "Guess Who" be your pops, Dan? Philip Larkin referenced in a blog on why we [bother to] do the things we do...

Posted by: Bobhie | August 4, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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