What we're watching (all times EDT, unless noted): ESPN has a baseball doubleheader: Braves-Phillies started at 7, and Mariners-Angels is at 10. Live coverage of the U.S. Open, which was supposed to begin airing on ESPN2 at 7, has been postponed again because of rain.
The trouble with trying to define The Simpsons: "I want to love Ortved's book, because The Simpsons probably represent the definitive text of my generation. While previous centuries could look to the Bible as a unifying voice in terms of spirit, values, diction, epic tales and instructive characters, something about the metatextual push and pull of The Simpsons' allusion to literary and cultural texts, while creating their own, essentially speaks to late-20th century crises of sincerity versus irony and authority versus rebellion. See?—it's incredibly easy to go on like this, which shows you the core flaw of Turner's Planet Simpson. His metatextual approach to the show's impact seemed to try to take a lot of satirical targets (whose targeting he agreed with) and accrete them via personal fandom and anecdote into a kind of Unified Irony Theory, with The Simpsons as an occasional constant. The result was a hash of what felt like blog posts and critically inconsistent judgment calls; the show was sincere when he wished it sincere and merely puckish and parodic when he would prefer its flippancy. If The Simpsons took the form of a particle in this unified theory, it would be one that appeared in two different places, sometimes orbiting itself." [Mr. Destructo]
Some quick links to a few items we posted earlier:
• Plane Carrying KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl Crashes In Russia, Leaving Just One Survivor; Former NHL Players Among Dead
• We've Given Maryland Football's Dramatic "Panic" Video An Earthquake Panic Remix
• Baylor Is The Big Swinging Bear Dick Of Texas Football
• Phillies OF John Maryberry Jr. Has Requested That His Agents Set Him Up With The Sexy Mermaid From Pirates Of The Carribean
• Maryland's Football Helmets Are Awesome, And They Didn't Rip Off A Bunch Of Roller Derby Girls
• You Are Not In A Happy Place: A Player's Farewell To The NFL Preseason
The meaning of the S-E-C chant: The phenomenon of southern football swagger probably dates to the 1926 Rose Bowl, when Alabama faced off with Washington. This was an accident: Alabama was invited only after several teams declined. ‘I've never heard of Alabama as a football team,' historian Andrew Doyle quotes a Rose Bowl agent as saying. But after the Tide's three third-quarter touchdowns won the game, they became symbolic champs for the whole South. Auburn students gathered on campus to follow the game - even though Auburn and Alabama had stopped playing each other due to mutual loathing. "Alabama," Vanderbilt's coach cheered, "was our representative in fighting for us against the world.' That sounds a lot like the spirit behind the SEC chant. And as historian Michael Oriard has shown, every South-versus-North matchup thereafter became a fantasy football Civil War. ‘The Georgians might have been charging up the slope at Gettysburg again,' one sportswriter squealed after UGA upset Yale in 1929. When a southern team knocked off a northern foe, it was said to have exacted revenge on the Yankees. If the South lost, well, let Grantland Rice tell it: ‘It was a magnificent charge in a lost cause. It was Pickett at Gettysburg. It was an outclassed team, physically, giving everything it had.' That lede should have been burned along with Atlanta." [Grantland]
Sid speaks: "Crosby met with the media for the first time since April and, flanked by two doctors and general manager Ray Shero, explained that he has made great progress from a concussion sustained on Jan. 5. However, Crosby's doctors said he isn't close to being cleared for contact, making it highly unlikely Crosby will be ready to start the season. A reporter asked Crosby if there is a chance he will retire. The Penguins' captain responded: ‘I wouldn't bet on it.'" [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]
Jacory Harris to start this week: "Miami quarterback Jacory Harris has returned to the starting lineup after serving a one-game NCAA suspension, according to a depth chart released by the school Wednesday for the Sept. 17 home game against Ohio State. Harris replaces Stephen Morris, who completed 19 of 28 passes for 195 yards and two interceptions in the Hurricanes' 32-24 loss at Maryland on Monday night." [ESPN]
Your Greek Guy Choking On An Olive Commercial Interlude:
So the Big 12 tried to do to the SEC what the SEC did to the Big 12: "Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long says the school was approached recently about joining the Big 12. Long told The Associated Press the Razorbacks are content to remain in the Southeastern Conference." [AP]
How to drink and not die: "You know how drinking is bad for you, yet good for you, yet also bad for you? Well, new research confirms that it is good for you until it is bad for you. Confused? Our breakdown will help you drink the exact right amount so you live forever." [Jezebel]
We are all Dave McKenna CCXIV: Here's your daily link to Dave McKenna's brilliant "The Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder," which we'll be posting until Snyder's dumbass libel lawsuit gets stuck under this crane.
Merch: Managing editor Tom Scocca and contributing editor Drew Magary have both written books. You can buy Scocca's Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future here, and Magary's The Postmortal here. Now do it.
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