I get back from a scouting trip for a west coast office for Lovey Land, and find I am being torn to shreads by a rival nation, the D.C. Sports Bog, and its ruler, Dan Steinberg.
It seems that Steinberg was particularly upset about my column on Alex Ovechkin’s staged celebration when he scored his 50th goal. He was so blinded by rage at first he determined I had compared Ovechkin to Terrell Owens, though he later backtracked when he saw the column actually never made such a comparison.
The only TO reference I made was saying that the staged celebration — dropping the stick and pretending it was too hot to pick up — was something TO would have done if he were a hockey player. I think we can say that is pretty much true. I also pointed out what separates Ovechkin from the staged celebrations is the perception that it comes from the heart, not from the ego. That is part of his charm. If he does staged celebrations, he become another boorish egotist. What’s so new about that?
But it turns out what was really getting to D-Bog (just trying to be relevant here) is that I am a 55-year-old (celebrating my birthday today) man who lives in the suburbs in fear of change. “Say you’re 40 or 50 years old and live in the suburbs and get frightened by societal change,” D-Bog wrote.
The heart of this is a fundamental difference of opinion about sports and the debate of me vs. we, style vs. substance. I am of the school, however old it may be, that personal athletic celebrations do little to sell the sport and turn off the varsity generation of sports fans who actually pay the bills, as opposed to the jayvee fans that loves football players celebrating first downs when their team is losing by 20 points or so in the fourth quarter. It is simply a difference of taste. What is sad is that you have a generation that is reduced to embracing athletes celebrating touchdowns as “societal change.” Perhaps it speaks to an envy of the generation of 40 or 50 year olds that D-Bog referred to that lived through and helped generate real “societal change.”
As far as living in the suburbs, I don’t want to be trumping D-Bog’s D.C. city cred, but I was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y, and would venture to say I gained a lifetime of city cred on those Washington Avenue streets.
But what do I know. I like my job. I’m not smart enough to be embarrassed by writing about sports.
I will be on The Sports Reporters on ESPN 980 AM today (Wednesday) from 4 to 7 p.m. and Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m.
To learn more about Thom Loverro, go to www.thomloverro.com