Today resembles a link dump, but this also went up today: an essay for The Classical on appreciating Brian Scalabrine in all of his lumpy goofiness. I like how it turned out, but I’m fond this bit in particular, on what it might mean to be a “diehard fan”:
How we respond to the way people respond to Scal offers some perspective on the strangeness and thwartedness of watching sports in a “serious” way. It’s nice to imagine that our powers of observation confer upon us an inalienable rightness when viewed next to spectators who are just along for the ride of downing some drinks while rooting for Our Guys to beat Those Guys, or that the serious fans are somehow seeing more and enjoying more than their sozzled, Buffalo sauce-smeared peers. I am not the only person to have yelled at a TV as though it contained a direct walkie-talkie to Joakim Noah’s ear, and could thus relay my instruction to “box out, you shitty idiot.” I am surely not the only person to have delivered that particular bit of instruction, either. But it helps to feel that this is all being done for the right reasons, that we’re not all endlessly pivoting, in parallel, in the dark, regardless of how well we understand, say, Player Efficiency Rating or True Shooting Percentage. It helps, in a basic self-identification sense, to believe that the knowledge serious fans accumulate is not just a tarted-up version of the gee-whiz-guessing and emotional intuition that the un-serious fan relies upon when laughingly howling for Scal.