By David Roher
In case you haven’t been hanging around the benighted corners of the political internet lately, there’s an idiotic backlash afoot against Nate Silver, the proprietor of the FiveThirtyEight blog who made his name as one of the sharpest baseball analysts around.
With the election just a few days away, analysis based on state poll aggregation—Silver’s included—suggests that Barack Obama is a heavy favorite against Mitt Romney. The president holds a slight but strong lead in key electoral states. This doesn’t sit well with many political pundits, who insist that the outcome is anyone’s guess and headed down to the wire. Many of these people have directed their anger toward Silver, whose New York Times-hosted blog has predicted a strong probability of an Obama victory since June. They insist he is biased or sloppy in his methodology, even though they seem unaware of how he makes his predictions and of statistical analysis in general. They say—and I’m not kidding—he’s too gay for this sort of work.
In retrospect, we should’ve seen it coming. It was only a matter of time before the war on expertise spilled over into the cells of Nate Silver’s spreadsheets. In fact, in some ways it had already. Turns out that nothing could have prepared Silver better for the slings and arrows of a surly and willfully obtuse pundit class than working on the fringes of sportswriting over the past decade.
By Timothy Burke
On Oct. 1, thousands of basketball fans received an unexpected email from the NBA that read in part:
Your NBA LEAGUE PASS BROADBAND order is complete. Thank you for your purchase! You have registered for a NBA League Pass Broadband Premium subscription. The subscription fee is $179.00.
“Funny,” we said, “I don’t recall ordering League Pass Broadband for this season.” And we didn’t, though some previous subscribers did end up receiving a postcard reminding them that all NBA subscriptions are auto-renew. Even then, as Deadspin reader Matt notes, the URL on the postcard does not actually lead to any links that enable a subscriber to cancel before incurring the full charge for the upcoming season. Once you pay the NBA, you’re in for life.
This sort of thing isn’t an anomaly, either. NBA League Pass Broadband is a fundamentally broken and inadequate service that rips off basketball fans then refuses to answer their pleas for help. While people like Matt and I can’t avoid the $179 already ponied up for this season, hopefully anybody on the fence about subscribing will read this and think better of it. Here’s a breakdown of why NBA LPBB is an enormous piece of shit.
Colter Nuanez, the sports editor of the Bozeman (Mont.) Chronicle, recently wrote this on a message board post. The Chronicle fired him for it, thus proving the place is run by money-hungry corporate fucks.deadspincom)
“I put my crew’s life at risk”: WNBC reporter Brian Thompson breaks down live on-air while discussing his attempts to cover Hurricane Sandy last night amidst the wreckage of his New Jersey beat.
O.P.P I can’t explain it
Yesterday was Wednesday the first day of June, a month that must be magical or else, and I had done so many things to get off on the right foot, I texted Johnny and told him about the first dream I ever had in which I could really fly in which he was the proprietor of a barbershop slash pet store which I flew to twice before and after tea or pizza or something I don’t remember it was cloudy. Next ‘t’ to cross was to read something entertaining and I remembered pitchforkreviewsreviews was done hibernating so I went to the site and read about the party at Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s penthouse, and thought, the last time I made a bloggy post I think I referenced pitchforkreviewsreviews, which makes sense because I don’t think i’d be able to stop writing that way when it comes to blogging if I tried, which I think is fine, and I’m thinking about that email I got from that sweetheart pitcher that never got a chance who asked, “do you think it’s ok to write that way?” to which I replied “sure”, remembering i’d heard more than once from writing instructors to mimic until you find a voice at a very least. So then I was thinking about what he meant about “that way” and I’m thinking he was referring to the ostensible stream of consciousness, but I was thinking it isn’t as simple as greasing the thing with lots of ‘ands’ and ‘then’s’ and mundane actions like texting Johnnies or Judies, but maybe it is, maybe it’s as simple as saying maybe with finality and beginning paragraphs with so and writing long honest sentences .
So I arrive at the stadium in Nashville and the Cubs game is on the television which is propped almost on the ceiling which is ironic because the major leagues are higher than here and we players and staff always watch closely as closely gets and pick at fruits between pitches and cheer especially for players who have been Jr. Cubs this season. Carlos Pena draws a walk and Brad Snyder comes to the plate and Von Joshua says he has a feeling he’s going to hit a homer and I am facilitative of such inclinations involving Brad Snyder and the Cubs and I am playing with my phone and tweet that we Jr. Cubbies are calling a homer here from our man Brad so that when he does it we can feel something supernatural that we can perhaps use here in Nashville where considerable less people will five a guck but Brad strikes out and Geovanny Soto who sent me a box of bats he swore can work is retired and the Cubs loose. We go out for batting practice and I batted the best batting practice I’ve batted since April which was enthralling for almost an hour and Ramon Ortiz cut more players’ hair and there was card playing and bowel movements and more picking at fruit and lunch meats until we went out to stretch and throw and skip and face the flag.
So Marquez Smith usually slaps me in the face for good luck but I’m feeling confident so I tell him no because he almost chipped my tooth in Austin and I go bat against a roundish Dominican man throwing 98 MPH and the first pitch of the game is 3 minutes late, its a fastball down the middle which I take, then two balls away and then I swing at a fastball that was possibly a ball and ground out to the shortstop so I’ll never know what was served at that 3-1 count, so I have Marquez slap me across the face after the next half-inning because this is the first of June. Scott Moore, Bobby Scales and Marquez homer and we are cruising to victory behind Jay Jackson and I keep hitting fungos to the shortstop because someone has to get out and then I face my friend Daniel Ray Herrera and he offers no empathy, only screwballs, really, screwballs, and strikes me out, and nobody is hitting the ball to me so all I’ve done today really is move the game along and eat sunflower seeds and take a great forgotten batting practice I forgot the feel of. I get another at bat miraculously and I hit an RBI double which was exciting to me, though it didn’t really mean anything in the game and Augie Ojeda and Von Joshua and Bryan Lahair told me I did a good job which meant so much because it meant so little, and It’s the last inning and I’m thinking about what Kamienska meant when she said “Pietak thanked God for every poem. He scribbled his thanks on the margins of his drafts. And he was an atheist.” This was on the back of the last Poetry Magazine which I felt was necessary to also purchase when I knew I’d have to buy a Penthouse magazine (so that I could do damage control since I hadn’t yet been cut from the real Cubs) when I heard that guy sold our interview to them without asking me. And I’ve almost concluded the paradox is the best kind of bullshit, the true kind, but I can’t implore much deeper because I’m thirsty and on call and now here come some balls, some grounders, a homer over my head, a cicada in my jersey and we escape with a victory and we go inside and listen to O.P.P. and laugh and gut a turkey and shower. And then the few of us not itching to go nowhere yet linger in the clubhouse and look to the heavens again and watch the Cardinals play the Giants, and the shuttle to the hotel is late so I play H20gateblues which I rationalize and endear to my teammates with the news of Gil-Scott Heron’s death which is easy because there is nothing more endearing than death. And the stadium lights go out in St. Louis and Gil says “America! The international Jekyll and Hyde, the land of 1000 disguises, sneaks up on you but rarely surpises.” And two people laugh so the DJ relaxes and is thinking of songs with people in the studio giving the guise of a live recording — Hendrix “my friend” where Jimi is in a room with a mirror not a room full of mirrors, that pretty Cannonball Adderley record Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, and Im hoping one of those is in my future, and hope I wouldn’t mess up the casualness and I go on twitter because the shuttle still isn’t here and I see someone that follows me because I play baseball thinks that I tweeted what I tweeted because I hate Brad Snyder, and tweets that I’m jealous, and tweets that I must not know he is a nice guy and that she knows he is a nice guy because she has a locker near him, and this is enraging because he’s one of my favorite players that Brad Snyder. She even tweets that it’s not right to call the Cubs AAA team the Jr. Cubs! The tweet that broke my back bafflement was her choice to (benevolently mention me in a) tweet to Sam Fuld, for whom I was traded, that she wishes I could be traded back to the Rays because I am mean-spirited. So I re-read my tweet and realize she may be drinking Chartreuse because the original tweet was clear, and that Jr. is respectful and accurate, but I can’t just say “you’re drinking Chartreuse” the tweet is clear because I play baseball, we have to be more like Mr. Rogers, and say, “I called a homer, then he struck out, then you decided It was sarcastic, because you don’t have an ear for sarcasm, you just have internet access.” Her public tweets are sowing the gospel of my mean-spiritedness and what if she has followers? That sort of thing becomes problematic because we are stuck in the 80’s here in sports, it isn’t a matter of fearing being disliked, really, but thankfully I’m in AAA and she is in a Chartreuse League, so there’s not much risk the Idiocy can catch a fire and do what it does, you know, appeal more and more believable the further along the chain, and this is getting ridiculous and narcissy which should be a word that means narcissistic-ish and I’m thinking about that movie about the parody song musician in LA and the horrible rumor passed like an STD that each dirty lover sort of perversely enjoyed believing, that he was an anti-semite, but netflix is down so I can’t link it or recall the name, and I’m thinking it’s baffling to follow someone only to inspect their footsteps, and I’m thinking of when Ebert said that his tweets were a buffet and that if you don’t like them you should dine elsewhere and leave him alone, but he said it more poetically although i’m sure there was a dining reference, and being a baseball player on twitter sometimes reminds me of McCartheyism, which is enraging because yesterday on twitter I had a conversation with so many strangers about Morrissey and autograph seekers and Elijah Dukes and yesterday It felt like twitter was fortifying and warm and today It feels like Sea World but I am Shamu jumping through rings and clapping with fins that don’t meet. And nobody told me to always try to dismount after a weird metaphor so nobody thinks too highly of you, but next time I’ll say Johnny told me that and I’m still so angry so I’m asking my spiritual advisor who is really department manager at a whole foods market how to let go of things that are useless and she says “breathe”, and that always works but my persistence to brood and rehash and become full of more useless grief and annoyance is making me feel annoyed and broken and inefficient, but then there’s expository writing and the Stars of the Lid and Their Refinement of the Decline and a text back from Johnny suggesting the name of our band should be “Granny Ramirez and the Performance Enhancing Hugs.”
Sent Via Blackberry
This is the cover to my 2008 Holiday Single. I am trying to find the other covers from other years, but this one, if you lack context, is a reference to this Kanye West album cover.
In lieu of content, I am going to post images that are on my old server, out of context.