To keep the comments as fresh and outstanding as they've been up to this point, we've commissioned Commenting Guru Rob Iracane to write a bi-weekly Comment Ombudsman column. It runs every other week. This is that week. Mr. Iracane is the guy who approves comments around here, and the fellow to whom you should address any comment account requests, and he will explore issues involved in commenting, what makes a great comment thread, what's working, what isn't, answer your questions, so on. This week, he takes on the Hit By Pitch column, the subsequent comments, and chops off a few commenter heads for good measure.
Last week, Mr. Daulerio posted a remaindered link to a short essay attacking sexism by asshole sports fans. The piece was written by 'Tracy,' a female sportsblogger at Hit By a Pitch who is offended by the horridly sexist, nasty, and downright rude comments about Erin Andrews and other female public figures on sports blogs. She actually singles out our own Deadspin and its notorious commenters:
That said, there's one place where the sports assholes come out in droves and it drives me batshit insane every freaking time I see it. It's a land where you'll see Asshole Stupidus in its natural environment, taking a gigantic dump on women and human decency. It's the land of the Deadspin commenters.Well, I'm glad that Tracy recognizes us for our talents of being rude and outlandish. We're glad to be the only source of assholery that she ever encounters on a daily basis. It's good to know that NOWHERE else on the Internet or in real life does Tracy EVER encounter people being not-so-nice. Colorado must be a wonderful, halcyon garden of acceptance and wholesome living! I hope she recognizes my sarcasm because I'm laying it on pretty thick. Tracy then fires off a list of selected comments that she finds offensive. There are a lot of them. Heck, they're pretty awful, both in their lack of couth AND their lack of humor. Yet nowhere in her screed does Tracy call us out for being unfunny. I don't think she understands the number one rule of Deadspin: be funny, don't be unfunny. A few of those offensive comments are terribly unfunny! Why didn't Tracy say anything about that? Deadspin is not a place to come discuss sports with lofty airs and great intellectual pursuits. It's a place to make dick jokes and build comedy pyramids! Yes, comments unfortunately descend into offensiveness sometimes: sexism, racism, homophobia, what have you, but compared to other major sports blogs, they're fewer and far between. Deadspin is actually a polite place! It's just so huge that it becomes a target for people like Tracy, or Buzz Bissinger, or pantsless Michael Wilbon whenever they want to jump on a soapbox and disparage the 'current state of Internet assholery'. Their focus is too narrow, though. They don't see it for the big picture. It's not about trying to not offend people like Tracy, it's about trying to be funny. Heck, Tracy totally misses a reference to the Broadway musical A Chorus Line when she includes this comment about the young Patriots cheerleader by the always funny Clare :
Dance 10, looks 3.
Tracy didn't get the reference. She's a chick who digs sports, not musicals. But that was one of the funny comments that wasn't even rude! Hey, I'm a guy who likes sports and musical theater but I try to not criticize comments when I don't get the joke. So Deadspin commenters, I give you this challenge: if you're going to be crude or uncouth in your comments about half-naked girls or guys, be clever and be funny and don't be afraid to quote A Chorus Line. These commenters, of course, are never afraid to reveal what they did for love for they made the Comments of the Fortnight: •Re: Tim Tebow won't do Playboy Artie Fufkin: "Ironically, Chris Leak delivered my Playboy yesterday afternoon." •Re: Leitch's thumbs down iPhone app review Sh!tShow: "Great article. Tune in next week, when Will plans on gracing us with, 'Why Is My Gold Wallet Too Small For My Hundreds?'or, 'Diamond Shoes: Do They Have To Be So Gosh Darn Tight?'"
•Re: Linda Cohn's poor trade deadline coverage OutSports Reader: "And seriously who is running the style department at ESPN? Linda hasn't worn a fashionable ladysuit since '96 and Amy K. Nelson looks like an Atlantic City sweat pants whore." Shame, of course, that this week's Executed Commenters simply can't do that: Say Goodbye To: Topofthemorning Why: TOTM's habit of posting non-sequitur photos was funny for a while, until he posted this elegant homage to Charles Barkley. Say Goodbye To: Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer Why: Making the unfortunate mistake of being the 238th person to compare Unsilent Majority to Bill Simmons. Hey, the first 237 are still alive! Say Goodbye To: WadeCounty Why: Being uncool enough to use the word "cool" in all caps.