Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Fightin' Words? Consider the Source

"Do you think spending the holidays in Shreveport two consecutive years is a reward? I lived in Shreveport for 14 months right out college and it felt more like a death sentence. I still have nightmares of having my car breaking down late at night in Bossier City. Medication and afternoons on a shrink's couch simply can't get me past this." - Paul Finebaum in today's Mobile Press-Register
It is tempting to get worked up when you read something like this, but let's take a breath. You have to know this writer's work. He's intentionally provocative. In other words, he writes stuff like this simply to incite a reaction. I tried something similar for a couple of years on the radio, but didn't have the stomach for it. I got tired of people not getting the joke. It wore on my wife and family that there was always someone mad at me about something Radio Darrell said. Even now, there's a local radio personality who stirs people up. Some people just don't like it. Others just don't get it.
From Finebaum's perspective, another trip to Shreveport could be a grind. For people here, the only thing attractive about a 6-6 Alabama team coming back to the Independence Bowl* is the opportunity to pretend we hate Nick Saban for three or four days. We don't really hate Nick Saban any more than Finebaum hates Shreveport. He was unhappy when he lived here and wrote for the Shreveport Journal. That was in large part because people didn't understand or appreciate his particular brand of sports wrting. He moved on. We moved on. He's basically been forgotten here, except on the rare occasion he tries to deposit excrement on our cake.
We can hate Finebaum for sport, just to be in keeping with the spirit of things; but then we're playing his game. Ignore him and he will go away, just like he did when he was fourteen months out of college. That's really the best thing we can hope for.
*Alabama will play Colorado in Shreveport on December 30. Remember, this is the team that lost four games in a row to end the season, including falling at home to Louisiana-Monroe. So, now a joke is making the e-mail rounds:
The University of Alabama is going to decline the invitation to the Independence Bowl. Their travel agent showed them the route between Tuscaloosa and Shreveport. It turns out Alabama won't be able to go because they can't seem to get past Monroe.

Finally, keep this in mind: It was in vogue twenty years ago to make fun of the Independence Bowl. I hear Finebaum is up for a role in the big-screen version of the late, lamented TV show "Arrested Development." Sometimes, typecasting works.

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