In my endless quest to find like-minded thinkers floating haplessly on the internet, I chatted with a fellow sports nut last Sunday and came up with a fabulous idea. Well, at least I thought it was fabulous.
Links build traffic, traffic boosts Google rank and Google rank increases advertising opportunities, but more importantly communicating with others builds camaraderie, friendships and even ideas. Plus it’s a great way to kill time.
Therefore, I hereby embark upon a series I like to call Blogosphere Q&A where I will periodically scour the internet for independent sports writers who catch my eye. There’s plenty of them out there, many of them already on my blogroll, so that’s where I’ll start.
The Q&A sessions will evolve from a running e-mail dialogue where I interview the ‘victim,’ getting their take on the important sports issues of the day, until we’ve basically had enough of talking to each other, which might not take all that long. The ongoing series will not only give you an idea of what I’m reading (and you should be too), it will also provide exposure to all those involved… and we all know how I feel about exposing myself.
My first interviewee, you ask? I thought I’d start with Dubsism since it was out of a recent Lakers/Celtics chat that slowly devolved into comments about hot tubbing with the cast of The View that spawned the idea.
So here goes nothing…
SportsChump: Okay, sir, for starters, you mentioned your blog exists solely as an outlet for your tirades. So tell us, what the hell is a Dubsism and how did it all come about?
Dubsism: The term started from a time a few years ago when I had a job that meant working a lot of overnight hours. You get into some funky conversations at 3 am subsisting on Mountain Dew, Skittles, and sleep deprivation. Since people have shortened my nickname of “JW” into “Dubs,” anytime I said something as patently disgusting as hot-tubbing with the cast of the “View;” well, that became known as a “Dubsism.”
SC: Reminds me of an old job of mine.
Back in the day, when I was doing the 9-to-5 thing against my will, I managed operations for a trucking company. Every so often, the port of Tampa would dock these massive ocean liners carrying bulk orange juice from Brazil. Depending on the size of the shipment, it might take days, even weeks and as many as twenty to thirty truck drivers to unload the product and transport it to different processing plants around Florida.
I coordinated the shipments at night while another guy handled things during the day. Let me tell you, after the eighth day of running non-stop, living on nothing but coffee, glazed donuts and fast food, well… let’s just say it led to some interesting conversations as well. We made a Jerry Springer show look functional.
Anyway, what’d you think of the Bowl? Are you happy with the outcome? What do you think Brett Favre is feeling right now… and more importantly, Fergie or Christina Aguilera?
J-Dub: We seem to be hitting the daytime TV highlights…first “The View,” now Springer. So I’ll up the ante to “Maury” I would not be the father for either Christina or Fergie; Aguilera would probably forget how to screw halfway through, and judging by her body of work, Fergie likely doesn’t know an original, non-sampled move.
The Super Bowl would be sort of like The Price is Right; every guy in America knows how much a can of Dinty Moore beef stew costs, and I think Green Bay was that kind of familiar favorite amongst the viewers. The Packers spent the second half in the role of that little yodeling dude getting ready to walk off the cliff, but the Rashard Mendenhall fumble stopped him. Was I the only person watching who honestly thought in the 3rd quarter that a team that never trailed in that game was going to lose?
SC: Yea, despite their efforts, Dub, once Pittsburgh got behind 14-0, I didn’t see too much of a chance of them winning that ballgame. I was knee deep in nachos and vodka-Red Bull anyway, in keeping with the health food theme.
Like I mentioned on your site last week, when it’s a toss-up in close games like that, I generally bet on the team who wants it more. Desire trumps experience any day. Of course, I stretched the 3.5 to 6.5 and lost by a hook so what the hell do I know?
And just say no to Christina and Fergie, huh? Well, we all know of your affinity for Betty White so those girls are probably a little too young for you anyway, although probably equally as experienced.
I didn’t just call Betty White a whore, did I?
J-Dub: Well, you did, but we all know she does it for Snickers bars. So, where is this all being published?…I just want to know from which way I can expect Betty’s lawyers to pounce
SC: Don’t worry. Nobody reads SportsChump.net anyway.
So tell us, what are your allegiances? Pro and college sports teams and the like. And who’s your favorite curler?
J-Dub: I was a big fan of the Sacramento Surge of the old World League of American Football. David Archer was really underrated as a quarterback. But since that league went the way of Bea Arthur, I’ve had to follow this lesser league called the NFL. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.
Generally, my sports loyalties are all over the map: Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Twins, LA Angels, LA Lakers, Penn State football, and University of North Dakota hockey. Go check the “Grinds My Gears” tag on Dubsism to see who…wait for it…grinds my gears.
As far as curlers, I was always a fan of the Stooge that did the finger-snapping thing. Wasn’t his name Curler?
SC: Well at least you’re backing winners, except of course for the Eagles. So let me ask you, do you think Michael Vick was more beloved this year in Philadelphia than Donovan McNabb ever was? And you’re not the one who stoned Santa Claus, are you?
J-Dub: Listen, the Eagles were the only team to beat a Lombardi-coached Packer team in the playoffs. Sure, that fact is 50 years old, but its what I’ve got, and I’m clinging to it. As far as Philadelphia fans are concerned, they get much maligned by a faction of them who simply hate everything and everybody. Philadelphia has a bad case of “little brother” disease; collectively it feels inferior or less glamorous than New York or Washington D.C., and so they take it out on sports figures, but in a weirdly irrational way. McNabb got hated on for not being Ricky Williams, Allen Iverson is revered even though he got into all sorts of trouble, and Juluis Erving got kicked off the island after it was discovered he had a bi-racial love child. So, Vick’s star is high in the Philly sky for now, but I think he is the kind of guy who can get turned on in a heartbeat.
And about Santa…if you parade some wino in a Santa suit who is so bombed he can barely stay on the damn sleigh, how can you be surprised when the “City of Brotherly Love” responds with a barrage of batteries?
SC: So it was you that pelted Santa. I thought so.
When it comes to your website, I’m assuming you’re not the kind of guy who obsesses about things like traffic, hits and SEO like the rest of us. Or are you just putting up a front and actually checking hourly to see how many unique visitors you have?
J-Dub: Let me digress back to the Philly thing for a minute. You should understand for purposes of this discussion, my dad was born and raised in Philadelphia; my family’s roots are there. I can tell you three things that illustrate what the sports market in the City of Brotherly Love is like.
First, the last time I was in Philly with my dad, he made it a point to drive to the old neighborhood in West Philly specifically to point out to me the house a naked, crazy Allen Iverson got arrested in.
The second one takes place at the old Vet Stadium prior to a Phillies’ game more years ago than I would care to admit. The church choir my aunt belonged got the gig to sing the National Anthem. Trouble was this was a day in August, and the temperature on the artificial turf at the Vet was somewhere between a pizza oven and the surface of Venus, and these middle-age to old ladies decked out in heavy church robes start dropping like flies right around “bombs bursting in air.” Of course, they got booed. I may or may not have been one of the boo-ers; records are sketchy from that era.
Third one involves the time I took a female friend to an Eagles game also at the old Vet. Now, she happened to be a Giants’ fan, but she had certain attributes, two to be specific, that allowed me to overlook that fact. But I couldn’t overlook the fact she showed up in Phil Simms #11 jersey. While explaining to her that that garb was just an engraved invitation for trouble, I give her an Eagles hoodie, which she puts on, but does so with an air of skepticism, she thinks this is just an anti-New York move on my part. Once we get to our seats, she spots another Giants’ fan who like her, has a Simms jersey, but lacks a friend to tell him what a bad idea sporting that gear in Philly is. At this point she mentions her fellow Giant fan and makes some comment to the effect of “see, that guy is wearing blue and he seems to be just fine.”
“Just wait,” I said, “just wait.”
By the middle of the 2nd quarter, there was the obligatory trash-talk turned beer-throwing. By halftime, it was a full-on brawl; eight Philly guys on the Giants fans and a buddy.
“The cops really should help those Giants fans,” the girl says.
“Uhhh, I hate to break this to you, but those guys beating the shit out of them ARE cops.”
That’s a true story.
Now, back to the question. Honestly, I do look at stats, but I’m always more curious about where traffic comes from rather than volume. I always found it fascinating that such interconnection means some guy in Mongolia could be reading what I think about the Los Angeles Dodgers. Another thing that blows me away is there is no rhyme or reason to what will cause a spike in traffic. Sure, you can go the route of some and post a lot of pictures of half-naked chicks, but I consider that just whoring to get numbers. I’ve had huge traffic days off things I didn’t imagine had no interest; I’ve got little traffic of things I thought might move the needle. But at the end of the day, I never did this to draw readers, and I’m just a WordPress guy, so I don’t need to watch traffic to make sure all-of-a-sudden my server doesn’t get swamped.
SC: Well, I can tell you, sir, you should be getting ridiculous amounts of traffic after this revealing “Behind the Scenes with Dubsism” interview. Or at least, you’ll dream you have a steady influx of traffic only to wake up and find it not to be true.
I had a funny feeling you weren’t done talking about Philly sports. Everyone is familiar with Philly fans’ love for their sports teams. In fact, when the Phils came to Tampa a few years back to handle the Rays in the World Series, I actually wrote this piece warning Rays fans about how serious Phillies fans were going to take this thing (Those were my pre-SportsChump days which is why it’s on another site). In the end, we all know what happened, the Phils won and the Rays seemed just happy to be there.
On a side note, are you sure the Philly fan beating up the guy in the Simms jersey wasn’t actually Desmond Howard in disguise? I’m sure you heard about their latest dispute, in which Simms didn’t take to kindly of Howard’s criticism of his son. Speaking of criticism, do you ever get any ornery comments on your site and if so, how do you handle them? I mean, it’s kind of tough to pelt them with batteries all the way from your desk, isn’t it?
And if LeBron had been a Sixer and did Philly like he did Cleveland, do you think there would been enough security on the planet to protect him?
J-Dub: First of all, nice work on the World Series piece, but then again I’m a sucker for any Greg Luzinski reference. He hit the longest homer I ever saw in Dodger Stadium – cleared the Pavillion in center field. I never saw anything fly that far that didn’t have a vapor trail behind it.
And you told me nobody read your site…I’m still waiting for that lawyer-enema from Betty White.
Desmond Howard couldn’t beat an egg, but I’m with him all the way on this one. Phil is the only quarterback named Simms that doesn’t suck, and it isn’t Howard’s fault that is a reality. In fact, Phil needs to get a grip similar to the people who leave me nasty comments. I got news for you people, the world isn’t all sunshine and lollipops, and if your team/favorite player sucks, deal with it. Killing the messenger solves nothing. If you’ve read my blog, you know that I’m not afraid to go after a sacred cow if said cow deserves it. I lived in Minnesota for the majority of the time I continually trashed Brett Favre, and to this day I ridicule Viking fans for that debacle. Why? Because they sold their souls for a bag of magic beans, and those of us who tried to warn them were treated with scorn and derision.
At the end of the day, I enjoy all comments, but it is the nasty ones that make you think. Also, the nastier they are, the more valid my point must have been, especially the ones that are all name-calling and no refuting of facts.
It literally frightens me to think about the “What if this had happened in Philadelphia?” scenario with many sporting events. LeBron is a good example (the streets of Philadelphia would still be burning); but what if Philly had a European-level professional soccer club? Would you riot with them? Do you think Steve Bartman would have gotten out of Philadelphia alive? Can you imagine what would have happened had Bill Buckner been a Phillie? <shudders>