Tuesday, June 16, 2009

If I Hear the Word Twitter One More Time

Sorry for the delay, but every now and then I actually am a busy man. Doesn't happen often, but yesterday was one of those rare occasions.

This past weekend, silver fox and I went up to New York to attend Blogs With Balls on Saturday, and I have to say, it was one hell of an experience.

Seeing as my sister lives in Brooklyn, silver fox and I decided to drive on up to her house and then take the train into the city on Friday night. One problem: My sister was at my parents' house all weekend and my brother-in-law was at the Yankees-Mets game, so when we arrived, we had to try and find the subway from their house all by ourselves. This did not go well. I have only been to my sister's house once before, and that was a few weeks ago when I went up to see Brad Lidge ruin my day in the New Yankee Stadium. That night, we were extremely drunk, so naturally, we couldn't remember a damn thing about how to get to the subway.

After walking around Brooklyn for longer than we thought we should, I finally reached out to lady friend for directions. She was absolutely no help at all, reaffirming the fact that women have no sense of direction, even if they've lived in Brooklyn their entire life. Finally, mercifully, my brother-in-law called me from the game (I didn't want to call and disrupt him during the game) and directed us to the subway from where we were. Evidently, we were way off course. It would help if every fucking apartment complex in Brooklyn didn't look exactly like this:

I'm not kidding, every single building looks just like this. Same color bricks. Same color fire escapes. It's like walking in circles. Fuck that place. Build something different for once.

Sorry, got off on a tangent there. We did finally make it into Manhattan to get some drinks and meet up with my brother-in-law once the game was through. We walked in to one local establishment with about a minute or so left to play in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, and that last minute was some damn exciting hockey.

Holy hell! What an awesome end, even if stupid Pittsburgh did win. Amazing save by Fleury. It was a thrilling end to a thrilling playoffs. But still, there is a part of me that is extremely annoyed that Pittsburgh won both the Super Bowl and the Stanley Cup in 2009. It would really be unbearable if the Phillies weren't World Fucking Champions. Thank God for that.

It sucked that PIttsburgh won again, but all hope was not lost. My brother-in-law called me to to let me know the Mets blew it because Luis Castillo dropped a pop-up. Then I saw the replay on television. I'm really beginning to enjoy how the Mets keep finding ways to snatch defeat from victory.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's just too much.

First, how the hell does a Major League player drop that ball? Seemed like one of the easier plays that occurs in baseball. But really, seriously, why the hell would Castillo throw the ball to second? Is he retarded? Oh, wait, I figured it out. Because he's a low-life, scumbag Met. Seriously, I'm almost beginning to feel bad for Mets fans. Almost. OK, maybe not. Fuck them. The Mets, as my friend RomanWarHelmet so eloquently said, molest small children.

After watching that hilarity, silver fox and I met my brother-in-law and his cousin at Stout, which is where Blogs With Balls was actually being held the following morning. Stupid me didn't even realize this. And stupid me also failed to show any self-restraint, despite the fact I was going to have to wake up at 8 a.m. on Saturday, and got completely hammered. Jack and gingers, beers, car bombs. Not the greatest of life choices, but shit, how often am I in New York?

Not often, which is a good thing, because my bar tab Friday night was not cheap.

Somehow, we made it back to Brooklyn and crashed immediately. When my phone alarm went off a few hours later, I wanted to die. Luckily, miraculously, I wasn't really hung over, just tired.

Silver fox and I ventured back to the bar from whence we came and set up shop. I know the event was held in part to network and meet some fellow sports bloggers, but early on, I was too tired to move. Thankfully, I'd gain steam as the day wore on.

As a whole, the event was awesome as shit. The guys over at Hugging Harold Reynolds did a phenomenal job setting this up. But I have to tell you, during the first session, I was beginning to have my doubts. Not because the people who were up there were awful or unintelligible or anything like that. Quite the contrary. In fact, Jim DeLorenzo, Richard Ting, Chris Russo and Kathleen Hessert did a fantastic job.

There was just one problem. Every other word out of their mouths was Twitter. Or tweet. After about 15 minutes, the entire thing sounded like this to me: "Words, words, words, Twitter. Words. Twitter. Words. Tweet. Twitter. Tweet. Words. Shaquille O'Neal. Twitter. Twitter. Twitter." AHHHHHH IF I HEAR TWITTER ONE MORE GOD DAMN TIME I'M GONNA BLUDGEON MYSELF WITH A PICK AX!

What I learned through that session is that Twitter seems to be a big tool for bloggers and shit. Which means I won't be growing my audience all that much, seeing as Twitter really helps with that. Because I fucking hate Twitter. I think it's a horrible, terrible invention and just another step in the dumbing down and lazification (yeah, I made that word up) of America. Fuck Twitter.

I'm not going to go through an entire blow by blow of the event, because that shit was long as hell. But all the panels were fantastic, even Twitterfest. I think everyone did a very good job, but there were definitely people who stood out in my opinion. Dan Levy, Matt Sebek, Matt Ufford, Greg Wyshynski, Spencer Hall, Jeff Pearlman, Dan Steinberg and Shoals were my favorite bloggers, and Gary Vaynerchuk, who has nothing to do with sports, per se, was a hilarious, tremendous speaker to close out the day.

To me, the final session, "Why We Hate You: The Media's Take," was the best panel of the day. Steinberg, Pearlman and Shoals were getting visually frustrated, but the debate among the entire panel, as well as the audience, was very healthy and thought-provoking. "Make the Leap, Make it Your Job" was by far the funniest panel, as Spencer Hall stole the show and Wyshynski followed suit. Hall, wearing the most awesome of white suits this side of Rick Pitino, had the quote of the day, telling aspiring full-time bloggers to get a job they really, really hate, like clubbing baby seals in front of small children, and then become a blogger. It was priceless.

Wyshynski added how he was disappointed there weren't more drinking games going on, such as drinking every time someone said, "Twitter." If that game would have taken place, everyone would have been shitfaced about 30 minutes in. Seriously, enough with the Twitter already people.

I thoroughly enjoyed the event. I really did. The speakers were very engaging, very helpful and the audience participation really kept everyone engaged. The one thing I think that could make this even better, however, is to have a little more of a representative group. For the most part, all the panelists were the most well-known, most successful sports bloggers who pretty much did the gig full-time or close to it. And a lot of the sessions were geared toward making money off blogging or making a career out of it.

That's all well and good, and rest assured, if someone was willing to pay me to do what I do here, I'd jump at it. But not all that really interested me that much. I didn't start this site to make money or make it my job. Again, I would love to have this be my job, but it's not my goal. I write and blog because I really enjoy it. I love to vent. And I do it more for me than for any audience.

Matt Sebek, for example, was discussing finding out what your readers like and don't like. That's great advice and sound advice if you want to grow your site to get as many eyeballs as possible. But that's not my goal here. I write what I want for myself, to vent, to get my viewpoint out there. That's not to say I wouldn't like an audience and wouldn't like to have people enjoy what I do here. But that's not why I do it. I do it for me, as selfish as that sounds. It's kind of therapy, if you will. I think that voice should be represented as well next time around. But still, awesome event, and I definitely plan on attending more.

After the conference itself was over, there was an after party held at Foley's, a bar with more sports memorabilia than I've ever seen in my life.

Throughout the course of the day/night, I met and talked with a lot of people. During the conference, I spoke with Ufford about the cease and desist letter I received from Robbie Gould's agent/lawyer. He was very smart, very engaging and eager to listen. And in essence, his conclusion was, as long as I didn't write anything that was flat-out wrong, fuck 'em. Amen, brother.

I also had a great conversation with Wyshynski, thanking him for inviting me to join the Flyers-Sarah Palin Roundtable and discussing the playoffs with, yes, The Pensblog. We had a great conversation about how I never really hated Pittsburgh until I went to Penn State. Seems to be a common thread.

I also had a chance to speak with Dan Levy in person to briefly discuss our little dust-up, which we settled over e-mail. Levy was an excellent speaker Saturday, and even in a drunken state, he was gracious. He did say, "Oh, yeah, this guy called me all sorts of names and bashed me," but he was somewhat joking and very good-natured about it. I actually didn't really call him names, as you can see, but I did say I wasn't a fan of his writing. Well, I'm a fan of Dan Levy, that's for sure, and he was a great guy.

My networking didn't end there. I had the chance to meet the brains behind Both Teams Played Hard, and we had a great time chatting it up. He's such an avid basketball fan, I could have talked to him all night. He was also really pumped that I knew so much about Sheed and the title of his site. Helps that I'm a Philly guy and a UNC fan.

There were many people I met throughout the night, including guys from Philly.com and Writing the Pine, and everyone I met seemed like a pretty decent person. But finally, the free booze stopped flowing, so silver fox and I went out to see what else the night had to offer.

Turns out, a friend of ours was chilling in Long Island, where we just so happened to know a girl we were trying to meet up with. But our female friend who was visiting was wasted and gave us awful directions. For the second time in as many days, we asked a woman for directions and were left wandering. Stupid us. We did, however, make it out to Long Island, met up with the girl we know who lives there, and who hates pretty much everyone, and had a few drinks. She told off this guy who made her get out of his seat, which was great. That girl is all right.

Somehow, we made it back to Brooklyn and to the front door of my sister's house. Unfortunately, both my phone and silver fox's phone were dead. And we were locked out. That sucked. Well, it could have sucked. By chance, my brother-in-law was up taking a piss, heard us outside fidgeting around and let us in.

We immediately passed out.

Upon waking up around 12:30 on Sunday, we watched the first five innings of the Yankees-Mets game on the Yankees station. First off, I'd like to say how incredibly enjoyable it was to watch the Yanks tee off on Johan Santana. Nothing could be better than watching the Mets lose a game they should have won and then get destroyed in the same weekend. The losses were so damaging that Roman is really beginning to lose faith.

Secondly, Francisco Rodriguez is an awesome, awesome closer … and a raving douche.

I got to see the video footage of him confronting Brian Bruney on Sunday. It was hilarious.

Also, the Yankees broadcast had Al Leiter and David Cone as the player-analysts. Two pitchers. It was incredibly overbearing because all the two talked about was pitching the entire time. I'm glad the Phillies don't do this. It was annoying.

We finally left for Philadelphia mid-afternoon and returned in plenty of time for game 5 of the NBA Finals.

There's not a whole lot I can add to the conversations about these Finals that others haven't already said. Dwight Howard needs to learn some post moves and definitely needs to shoot a minimum of 5 million free throws every day. Seriously.

Pau Gasol truly came up huge on the big stage, firmly entrenching himself as one of the top big men in the game. He is anonymous no more.

And for all of those people who say Kobe is this and Kobe is that, what he is now is a 4-time champion. As Shoals said, there really isn't any argument any longer against Kobe the player. Sure, he had Pau, but this was Kobe's team and it was Kobe who was the best player. Not Shaq's team with Kobe as sidekick. Not Kobe with a bunch of scrubs. Kobe's championship team.

He brought home the hardware because he earned it. He really did.

It's hard to root for Kobe Bryant. He's arrogant, standoffish, stubborn. But he goes out there and competes harder than anyone. He's the guy we love to hate, but he's also a joy to watch. I hate the Lakers. I hate Kobe Bryant. But I love to watch him play the game. I really do.

For real though, four is enough. And the Van Gundy's are the shit.

Oh, and word to the wise: Never ask women for directions. It gets you nowhere.

Tweet that.

BallHype: hype it up!


  1. I've been waiting for this story to come out. Funny shit, Points well taken. But since you learned them the hard way i think you will from now never ask another woman for directions especially my sister haha. Now you know why her nickname has been what it is for her whole life. And since you have only seen a small part of brooklyn and manhattan you should make some more trips up here and i'll show more different looking buildings. And just so the record is straight Long Island is NOT part of New York City (Thank God).....

  2. Long Island is part of New York State. Since Long Island Sucks HAIRY SWEATY DONKEY NUTS. You have no real reason to go back there. If LI fell in the ocean tomorrow i wouldn't really care. But you have to give us credit for having our subways run 24/7 so that you can get fucked up anywhere you want and you'll be able to get home for only 2 bucks as opposed to getting ass raped by a cab to get you home.

  3. yeah, man, new york is all right. Great place to visit.

  4. Did you see Kobe? Wow, what a phenomenal player. 5 RINGS COMING SOON!

  5. Great post (and thanks for the shoutout). If you loved Sunday's Mets-Yanks game, how do you think I felt?

    It was somewhat bittersweet however to waste a decent pitching performance by AJ Burnett when your team scores 15 runs.

    It's the baseball equivalent of Bill Gates winning the lotto.

  6. Man, you and I couldn't agree on Twitter anymore. I think it's The Devil as well. I see how people can get addicted to it, but it's not a craze I'm about to join. I'll stick to Facebook. Good post, brother.

  7. Doug, that is without question one of the greatest posts - f* that - one of the greatest stories I've ever read! I'm a Jersey guy who now lives in California, so with most everything in there I can relate.

    Just started blogging myself (with my sports PR biz in mind as well) and have been looking for inspiration (not to mention time). Real cats who have something funny, interesting and truthful to say. Not the typical "tow the freakin' line" sports pundit blowhard types who are making obvious predictions about whatever the f* or trying to make a name for themselves. You nailed it. Thanks for being real with it. But hey, you're a Philly guy, so I'd expect nothing less!

    As for the Twitter thing, my colleagues will probably kill me for saying this, but whatever. I agree with you and SoulOnIce. Seriously? Enough is enough. Use it right, don't abuse it, and the value is and can be tremendous. From a biz perspective, of course I have to deal with and understand it, help our clients through it, etc., but there are too many abusers out there using it for some shameless self promotional "look at me, look at me, look at me" perspective. It's the reality TV meets the Internet starring anyone and everyone who wants (or wants to extend) their 15 freakin' minutes....

    Anyway man, love your posts!

    Take it easy.

    - Wes

    Just read that Paterno/Bowden joint? Classic.

  8. Thanks Wes. I'll definitely check out your shit as well.

    As far as Paterno is concerned, thank Spencer Hall over at EDSBS for that.