The Worst American Sports Writing: Steve YandaS

Deadspin readers met Steve Yanda this week when he compared the Nationals' winning streak to Bach's Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor (the Nats have not won a game since). But Steve Yanda writes like that all the time.

Usually, his subject is the Maryland Terrapins basketball team. I'm pulling three game stories at random here:

Four seconds left, three seconds: Kim slammed the ball through the net, much to the delight of a vivacious Comcast Center crowd.

With time running out to prove it is better than its record would indicate and to demonstrate its unwillingness to wilt in the face of external distractions, the Maryland men's basketball team pulled off a 73-68 victory over Miami.

[T]he Terrapins (18-12, 7-9 ACC) were upset with a bevy of flaws — from insufficient effort to deficient offensive aggressiveness — that wreaked havoc on their NCAA tournament aspirations. The loss to Virginia (10-17, 4-12) instead created a situation Williams did not want to acknowledge, but one of which his players were painfully aware.

Subtle modifications played a crucial role in Maryland's 84-71 win over California on Thursday in the first round of the NCAA tournament. As they have often this season, the Terrapins adapted to the circumstances directly in front of them and produced a result few observers saw coming....

Near the end of the first half, California held the psychological advantage. California guard Jerome Randle dazzled the crowd and froze multiple Terrapins defenders on several drives to the basket. Commanding the ball like a yo-yo, Randle squirted through the lane and finished layups with a flick of his wrist.

I could have pulled any clip at all. Steve Yanda does stuff like that every day. No story is so routine that it can't be upholstered in lime-green velvet and trimmed with gold leaf and put on wheels and topped with word-gravy and candy sprinkles. His prose style is like Sylvester Stallone's, which is to say it's like the writing of an ex-con who whiled away his prison time by drilling a hole in an old Roget's thesaurus and humping it under the covers at night.

Between my daily Washington Post's decision to drop Orioles coverage altogether and its decision to turn the Terps over to Yanda, I think I'm less irritated about the O's. I'd rather read nothing than read Steve Yanda.