I don’t generally mind the ways in which my life is circumscribed — according to subway convenience, my own energy level, A&E’s unpredictable rerun schedule for “Intervention.” The world, and the internet, is too huge and weird to be viewed without…well, I was going to write ‘blinders,’ but that’s not quite right. I think I mean just without some sense of its basic incomprehensible hugeness. There’s something kind of fun about those moments when our small human selves bump up against the weird vastness of the world — I associate this feeling most with swimming in the ocean and browsing YouTube, personally.
But if I’m sort of inclined to think half-deeply about this stuff, I also have a pretty small life, like most New Yorkers and probably most humans, period. That means I’m at home a lot, but also that my internet browsing isn’t particularly far-flung. Periodically, though, Gerard sends me these gnomic emails — imagine them washing up in my inbox like little bobbing hyperlinked messages in bottles — that sometimes seem to have arrived from some unimaginable place very far away across this big notional ocean. How he finds them, I don’t know, although my guess is that the guy logs a lot of internet time while en route to Matador-related business — en route to Brightblack Morning Light’s mountaintop compound, awaiting the ferry to the well-fortified island where Fucked Up composes their songs, etc. All of this is the (very) long (and probably needlessly abstruse) way of saying that I didn’t know what to make of it when an email from GC arrived yesterday containing only a link to the blog kept by Slamball coach Brendan Kirsch.
Slamball is one of those nomadic high-concept professional sports that bounces between low-end cable networks — a few years on Spike, a couple years on Versus, a couple years of not existing at all. The fact that free-wheeling multi-millionaire motorcyle enthusiast and former Sixers owner Pat Croce is the league’s commissioner is probably the most predictable thing you’ll read today. Rule-wise, it’s not really that dissimilar the Ken Harvey-proposed zero-g football/team-handball thing I posted about yesterday. Only there are trampolines involved and…look, it’s not really important. And besides the fact that the league has assembled a few recognizable faces to stand on the sidelines in its history — both Kenny Anderson and John Starks are coaches this year, and Xavier McDaniel and Rocket Ismail were coaches for one season apiece — there’s probably not a whole lot to say about it.
And yet…Brendan Kirsch says a lot. The blog is updated frequently, both with what counts as big news around the Slamball world (apparently the sport was featured in a recent episode of the CW soap One Tree Hill? I missed the episode) and regular insider-ish updates from Kirsch about his defending-champion team, The Mob. Sadly there’s not much in there about the fine points of coaching guys to run around, jump off trampolines and dunk. Presumably Kenny Anderson’s leadership abilities come in handy here.
Anyway, it’s not a great blog by any stretch, although it’s nice to know that John Starks isn’t back at the Safeway and that Kenny Anderson is, you know, upright. But the fact that it’s out there — being written with some care (if not much craft) and finding an audience, despite the fact that basically no one knows or cares about Slamball — was kind of weirdly heartening to me. There are a lot of sports, and therefore, maybe necessarily, a lot of sports blogs. (I even started one myself, where I compile the NFL previews I write for Athlon and other football-related observations) The fact that this one is out there, its own weird little island in the endlessly sprawl of desolate-seeming micronesia-style outposts on the sports-internet, was kind of weirdly heartening to me. Not least because, again, John Starks is apparently employed.