If this were a (more-)perfect world, Buzz Bissinger would spend today reviewing his shallow-and-amateurish performance during last night's quasi-"debate" vs. Will Leitch (a segment of HBO's town-hall meeting on something called "Costas Now") and begin his apology e-mail to Will with: "God, I was an asshole ..."
But, that's not likely to occur for three reasons:
1) The only way to watch that HBO feature one day later is to access something that The Biss knows only as "the IntraWeb."
2) An "e-mail" is something that's as foreign to Buzzy as "the IntraWeb."
3) Buzz Bissinger is old school -- which means that he ain't fixin' to complicate his life with IntraWebs or electronic in-boxes or any admissions that, yep ... he was bein' a dick just for the sake of bein' a dick.
So, there it is, America ... the collateral damage from the Costas-hosted slapfight between the author of "Friday Night Lights" and the founder/editor of Deadspin.
Frankly, it wasn't much different than a Stone Circle Death Match between Glondoor and the auto dealership salesman who steps out of the stone circle before a match is actually initiated by Glondoor following the shirtless warrior's primal scream.
What was clear is that very little was solved in bridging the gap between dinosaurs (like Bissinger) and those (like Leitch) who realize that dinosaurs one day will make excellent fossil fuels and useful petroleum-based products.
Truth be told, a lot of Americans today are text-msg.ing one another (Buzz is still trying to figure out the teletype machine ... after he learns how to use the mimeograph machine) and asking, "Was that an act -- or is The Biss really THAT clueless and THAT out of touch?"
If it was his intent to come off looking as cartoonish as his comic-book name (c'mon ... "Buzz Bissinger"??? what ever happened to distinguished literary pen names such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Dashiell Hammett?), The Biss shoulda made last night's mission statement something more along the lines of, "Back in my day, we had Sinatra and John Wayne kickin' Commie ass ... you kids today with your do-rags and your i-Pods and your Fruity Pebbles and your Glocks which you carry with you everywhere ..."
For a self-proclaimed "craftsman," The Biss struggled to construct ideas which weren't sophomoric or misguided -- beginning with his stern opening remark to Will ("I really think you're full of shit") to a final statement seconds after referring to Will as "Jimmy Olsen on Percocet."
"The future in the hands of guys like you is really, really gonna dumb us down to a degree I don't know that we can recover from."
With every challenge that this planet has before it, The Biss is worried about our shared "recovery" from Matt Leinart party photos?
Unless he's crusading for Leinart to STOP feeding booze to underage chicks or to STOP hosting parties on nights when he should be at home changing the poopy diaper of his (born out of wedlock) bastard son, then Bissinger should mind his own Buzz-ness and leave the IntraWeb to those of us who not only appreciate it, but also know how to use it.
In the final analysis, it's probably not worth investigating the genesis of Bissinger's bitterness and scorn -- and his campaign against Deadspin which, as he put it, is "glib, profane and quick" and "dedicated to cruelty and journalistic dishonesty."
Not surprisingly, Costas chimed in by baiting Will with disinformation that "a large percentage of (blogs) are poor" and "the tone is abusive."
Makes ya wonder where Bob came up with those (wink wink) "percentages."
Was it on the back of that Miss Clairol box?
To Will's credit, he took it all in stride -- holding his ground with responses (when he wasn't cut off) which were cogent and articulate (note: usage of the term "meritocracy" was dandy).
Still, Costas and Bissinger represent Exhibits A and B of the narrow-minded hypocrites who believe that the blogsphere is too anti-Establishment -- and it'll one day lead to the fall of an America which once gathered around the radio on a Saturday night to listen to the theatrical suspense from an episode of "The Shadow" or the riveting action from a Dempsey-Tunney prizefight.
Buzz did nothing to help his own cause in the "dumbing down" factor when he remarked that "it pisses the shit outta me ..." -- a statement which seemed to be in conflict with the profanity and cruelty which the author decried.
Maybe Bob n' Buzz are frightened that blogs and "traditional" media avenues are inching closer toward the prophecy which George Costanza foresaw when he barked, "If Relationship George walks through that door right now, he will KILL Independent George!"
It's our greatest fear -- "when worlds collide."
Now, if Bob n' The Biss are lookin' for dishonesty in sports reporting, they need look no further than any "traditional" sports section in what remains of Newspaper America wherein the reportage is unfocused, unbalanced and either kiss-ass or flimsy with theoretical rhetoric and/or a mere regurgitation of stats (read that paragraph again, Buzz ... it's a compound sentence).
And while Bob's hairdo is caught in a Miss Clairol time-warp, someone needs to remind him that Garagiola and Kubek will NOT be broadcasting a "Game of the Week" this Saturday on NBC and, oh, by the way, some of us who reside on the La-Z-Boy in Blogarama actually earned a degree in Journalism & Mass Communications w/ a Concentration in Reporting & Editing from a major university.
For those of us (with a brain) who don't want to read a book authored by a pissed-off Bissinger re: one of the most-boring asswipes alive (LaRussa), we're thankful that YouTube exists so that we can access LaLoser when he's reciting the alphabet for the nice police officer.
Does Q still follow X -- or is it after R?
Drunk driving isn't nearly as dangerous as reading Deadspin -- but, that was a complete cheap shot by Bob n' Biz to ambush Will with the Deadspin comment-board remarks, rather than the material which Will and associate editor Rick Chandler (with others) have churned out since launching in Sept. '05.
It's like this: Deadspin's is to sports as "The Soup" (hosted by Joel McHale on E!)is to whacked-out TV shows.
The mocking and taunting is, for the most part, a victimless crime.
Buzz is not likely to ever grasp that the IntraWeb serves merely as "an alternative" to print media (newspapers, books and -- gulp! -- periodicals) ... that the electronic medium provides an outlet or avenue for more viewpoints.
The reason that we visit the IntraWeb is so we're more informed when we're talkin' to our barber, be that barber Floyd in Mayberry or Cedric The Entertainer on the other side of town.
For every vicious and vulgar item which Buzz dredges up wherein a fan drops an F-bomb, perhaps Buzz should spend equal time with the occasions when Will solicits Deadspin's fans to author the pre-season previews for the NFL, NBA and MLB teams (a reader-participation exercise which almost always is a quality read --or so sez Deadspin's correspondent for Puppy Bowl III and Puppy Bowl IV).
Unless this "Costas Now" episode was workin' the ratings meter by providing some rehearsed acting and mock anger, it's probably a safe bet that Buzz and Will didn't do much bonding during the "Costas Now" after-party -- especially not after Buzzy-Bizz got all literal and tried to bodyslam Will with Deadspin's slogan of "sports news without access, favor or discretion."
Easy does it, big fella (or, as was the tenor of the HBO set, "Settle the fuck down, numbnuts!") -- lest we feel the need to leap into our time machine and zip back to 1931 New York City and shiver in a bread line on a 25-degree day as we read the front page of a New York Times with "all the news that's fit to print."
The Biz tried to make himself relevant by acting indignant and condescending before a TV audience ... and obscure references (W.C. Heinz?) didn't help.
Will took the high road and didn't deliver a pre-emptive strike with something along the lines of: "How is Deadspin any different than the gossip columns which 'prestigious' newspapers have been publishing forever?" (even if that newspaper is the one which took forever to discover that 'reporter' Jayson Blair was fabricating story after story)
As is commonplace in these debates, Buzz forgot one of the most iron-clad rules that we learn in J-school: "What you exclude from the story is just as important as what you include."
Some of that learned that first-hand when we, instead of reading "Friday Night Lights" when it was first published, were on America's sidelines under the Friday-night lights covering the gridiron glory in neighborhoods such as Cupertino and Mountain View.
Unless, of course, it was a Saturday afternoon game featuring Coach Brown vs. Coach Sugar in the always-breathtaking, final-score: 16-6 barnburner which was affectionately called "the Brown-Sugar Bowl."
Speaking of misplaced heroism, some of us will never pin a medal of valour on either Mark Fainaru-Wada or Lance Williams for that so-called reporting which led to "Game of Shadows."
What some people viewed as "intrepid" and "ground-breaking" was, in the eyes of many of us, nuthin' more than two guys who made the centerpiece of their "news gathering" the confidential grand jury testimony which was leaked to them by Troy Ellerman, who later admitted to having a bit of a chemical dependency problem at the time of his indiscretion.
In the holy sanctuary which is Buzz's temple of journalism, two rats (Fainaru-Wada and Williams) got off the hook when they committed a felony and allowed their wheel man to serve their prison sentence.
Buzz n' Bob ought to leave Will Leitch alone and go crawl up the asses of those clowns who shat all over "journalism."
That is, if Bob can put down that L'Oreal product for five minutes.
In the meantime, some of us have some notes to review for Puppy Bowl V ...