Stephen A. Smith's presence on ESPN is part of a trend in entertainment that I hate: Obnoxious people getting hired under the thought-by-bureaucracy theory that we'll watch them because we love to hate them. It's simply not true. Irritating people are just irritating. And there's no "love to hate" scenario here. Just hate.
ESPN is probably the most guilty of this... or else I can't explain people like Smith, Woody Paige, Jay Mariotti and, worst of all, Skip Bayless continuing to get infinite amounts of airtime.
Somehow, today, I stumbled onto Stephen A. Smith's blog. Which I found funny in oh-so-many ways. 11 ways, to be exact...
Nothin' but ESPN links to see here. Move along, sir.
The (literal) title. As the graphical header is currently constructed, it reads "Welcome to The Official Stephen A. Smith Stephen A. Smith Blog".
The quote.Under that is a quote by Rosa Parks, written with every word capitalized. The quote is, [SIC] by the way, "I Have Learned Over The Years That When One's Mind Is Made Up, This Diminishes Fear."
The audacity of Stephen A. Smith in comparing getting on ESPN and screaming things like "The Clippers are awful" as loud as he can to Rosa Parks and her quote about the civil rights struggle is some mix of ignorance, narcissism and bravado that's rarely seen. It reminds me of when Syesha on "American Idol" decided to sing "A Change Is Gonna Come" because it was an anthem during the Civil Rights movement, which was a pivotal time in America, and being in the top four on "American Idol" is a pivotal time in her life.
The posting. He has posted five blog entries since June 3rd. All five of them contain no words, just a link to a column he wrote on ESPN. It appears Mr. Smith has tired of blogging.
When he actually does post. Ah! He did post on May 28th. He decided to respond to some people's questions. The first one is a race-baiting battle-of-the-stiffs quesation: "In a game of 2 on 2, who wins? Kwame Brown and Michael Olowokandi or Rasho Nesterovic and Slava Medvedenko?" His response includes the sentence "There isn't a worse player on the planet than Kwame Brown."
Really, Stephen A.? Really?!? Kwame Brown may not be a number one pick... but to say he's worse than everyone else on the planet... including my roommate 5'9 Gabe who I once witnessed miss 14 layups in a row... is sophomoric hyperbole, even for you.
Weird quirks. In his May 7th post, he writes, [SIC], "For the first time in four (4) years, I actually had time to rest..." I love the (4). Because I do not understand it.
His NBA playoff picks. ESPN still has him on air as one of their key basketball analysts. Let's remember that... and then check out these quotes. Quote 1: "I still expect the Lakers to win it all"... "I haven't decided whether it'll be Boston or Detroit... I'd love for it to be Boston, but I can't help but have my doubts"... "I'm picking the Hornets to win this series [over the Spurs]... because New Orleans is not going to lose at home."
FYI: The Lakers lost in the Finals, the Celtics beat the Pistons to represent the East and the Hornets lost to the Spurs in game 7... at home. I know predictions are predictions, but that's a giant, glaring oh-for-three. Or (3), if you will.
Stephen A. Doth Protest Too Much. On April 15th, Stephen types one of the longer entries on his blog, explaining how it's cool that ESPN canceled his talk show, the Philadelphia Inquirer stripped away his column and his radio show went off the air, all in the span of 18 months. In fact, he promises you that all of those things were his choices.
And after swearing that it's all good and he couldn't be happier, he says he'll keep giving updates about what really happened "in the days and weeks to come." It's three months later (that's more than 90 days and/or eight weeks)... and I'm still waiting for update number one.
Fun with fonts.For some reason the font size and space between lines seems to change from blog entry to blog entry. Seriously. Pull up a pageofarchives. And, whatever, that could come off as nitpicky and only something that a person with my web designing background could/would notice.
The strange thing that I also know from my web background: He's using a blog template. Which is specifically designed to make sure that every single blog entry looks uniform. So for all of the entries to look different, that means someone's either hand-coding them all in separately or, more likely (based on my two-second glance at the site code), he's writing them in Microsoft Word, doing the "Save as Web Page" thing, and then just pasting in 800 lines of Word's HTML coding garbage along with his entries. His web designer... the same one who made that killer graphic on top... really should've told him not to do that.
Non-sports blogging.In his first entry, posted on January 14th, he promises, in bold and italics, "Don�t expect my blogs to be limited to SPORTS!!!" What that's meant over the course of his blog: Four pro-Obama posts, a few mentions of the Steve Harvey radio... and nothing else but sports, sports, sports. (And links to his ESPN columns about sports.)
Fastening our seatbelts.He ends his first entry: "Fasten your seatbelts! Get ready for a ride!" That is the way that every rookie blogger ends their first post. And, like every rookie blogger, Stephen A.'s ride burnt out after about a dozen posts, at which point it was necessary for all of us to unfasten our seatbelts.
And a classic. In an article published on November 30th, 2007... less than two months before Stephen A. launched his blog... Stephen A. decried blogs and the internet [SIC] in general.
"And when you look at the Internet business, what�s dangerous about it is that people who are clearly unqualified get to disseminate their piece to the masses... someone with no training should not be allowed to have any kind of format whatsoever to disseminate to the masses to the level which they can ... And now [newspaper writers have] been sabotaged. Not because of me. But because of the industry or the world has allowed the average joe [SIC] to resemble a professional without any credentials whatsoever."
The Philadelphia Inquirer cut ties with Stephen A. shortly thereafter, which lead to... him launching the blog to disseminate his piece to the masses.
This post was originally published on Monday, July 14, 2008 at 08:39:39 PM under the category Sports.