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RedEye
04-20-2007, 06:21 PM
This thread may veer a bit off the topic of Reds baseball, so I apologize for that. However, I'm wondering whether other people are feeling similarly to me, so I went ahead and gave it a separate thread. What started out as a simple response on a thread about Josh Hamilton became a longer, journalistic entry. It has helped me get some things off my chest, which is something I am thankful to be able to do here at RedsZone.

Here's where I started:


That's why I think that Bill James quote is so stupid. "There is no logic to admiring athletes, anyway. It's just arbitrary. It's like admiring people who won the lottery."
Please. Playing a professional sport takes a lot of hard work, no matter how talented you are. It's true that hard work does not trump natural ability, but without hard work you're not going to do anything with that natural ability. Lottery winners? Seriously? I guess I don't know the context of that quote, maybe he was being sarcastic. I hope.

I agree with the poster that James's quote is a bit silly -- lottery winners are definitely the wrong analogy here. However, I agree with the larger point, in that there are a lot of people in this world who spend a lot of time working hard in other ways and don't get recognized nearly as much as athletes do. I think that's why those Peyton Manning commercials where he cheers for the 'everday' people (paper boys, coffee house workers, etc.) annoy me so much. I mean, those people already know that they aren't being recognized, don't they? And isn't it just patently not funny for Peyton Manning to rub it in in such a haughty manner? I'll readily admit that I might just be over-sensitive, but sheesh!

So how does this relate to Josh Hamilton and the Reds? Let's see if I can unpack my thoughts for all of you.

Of course, by taking part in this forum, I am every bit as much part of the vast sports culture machinery as the next person -- probably more so even. Sports are a huge part of my existence, as I think they are for most people who contribute to RedsZone. However, the way sports operate in our country does give me pause to think once in awhile -- and my thoughts aren't all positive. It's as if sports create this impenetrable ether for us to bask in without thinking about what's really going on in the world.

The past few weeks have been particularly poignant in this regard. Don Imus's misdeeds have actually created some ire among a few of my friends because they obligate sports talk and coverage to actually deal with something other than the safe, bounded universe they are familiar with when they turn on ESPN -- the one that gets them away from the chaos and uncertainty of media coverage dominated by a certain war and photos of Seung Cho. One of the many sad aspects of Virginia Tech is that it often takes tragedies like this to make us realize that there are a lot of other heroic professions, attitudes, and just ways of "dwelling" in the world that never get the constant attention we reserve for athletes. Having traveled a bit and lived in other places, I really think there is something specific and bizarre about the way America treats athletic prowess, and it starts (I think) with the alignment between sports and the education system, something that many other countries see as strange--and something I don't have time to treat in depth here.

So how does this relate to Josh Hamilton? Well, arbitrarily at best. Let me try to explain. Watching him play over the past few weeks, as he fills up my fantasy team with statistics while all of these upsetting things swirl around in other windows on my desktop, has been strangely therapeutic. Just a click away, one tab over on my Firefox browser, there is a human interest story that is uplifting, inspiring and safe. A story about an individual conquering odds much larger than those it takes to hit a 95 mph fastball. And read that story I have. Many, many, many times.

Is this healthy? I'm not sure. I'm not even sure that it isn't evidence for my own complicity with an increasingly screwed-up, a-political form of citizenship in this country.

But it sure does help me get through the day.

BCubb2003
04-20-2007, 08:27 PM
Heavy stuff.

I do sometimes wonder why this group of guys has such a hold on us, when if the same bunch were in Kansas City and another bunch of Texans, Venezuelans and Californians were in Cincinnati, we'd live and die with those guys instead.

Seinfeld said "We root for laundry," but I think that's only part of it. We also root for history. Reds fans have a little more of it and a closer connection to it than a lot of other franchises. Don Gullett finishing the game for Jim Maloney, Barry Larkin learning from Dave Concepcion. The Reds have had at least one player who spent his whole career with the team, in a string that goes back to 1963.

The U.S. is not the only nation that goes overboard for sports. Soccer?

Sometimes I wonder how silly most sports must look, and the amount of attention given to the various abilities to chase a ball around. But what good is art, after all, to our survival as a species? The physical arts must have value to creatures with the ability to think beyond the next meal.

We sometimes confuse grace under pressure with courage, but I think we've been getting better at that. We've had harsh lessons about the true definition of heroes. And Reds fans probably have more reasons than most to enjoy the phenomenon of Josh Hamilton while remembering the frailty of sports figures.

Next time maybe we should discuss the Calvinist implications of watching a ballgame on Tivo.

RedEye
04-20-2007, 09:04 PM
Heavy stuff.

I do sometimes wonder why this group of guys has such a hold on us, when if the same bunch were in Kansas City and another bunch of Texans, Venezuelans and Californians were in Cincinnati, we'd live and die with those guys instead.

Seinfeld said "We root for laundry," but I think that's only part of it. We also root for history. Reds fans have a little more of it and a closer connection to it than a lot of other franchises. Don Gullett finishing the game for Jim Maloney, Barry Larkin learning from Dave Concepcion. The Reds have had at least one player who spent his whole career with the team, in a string that goes back to 1963.

The U.S. is not the only nation that goes overboard for sports. Soccer?

Sometimes I wonder how silly most sports must look, and the amount of attention given to the various abilities to chase a ball around. But what good is art, after all, to our survival as a species? The physical arts must have value to creatures with the ability to think beyond the next meal.

We sometimes confuse grace under pressure with courage, but I think we've been getting better at that. We've had harsh lessons about the true definition of heroes. And Reds fans probably have more reasons than most to enjoy the phenomenon of Josh Hamilton while remembering the frailty of sports figures.

Next time maybe we should discuss the Calvinist implications of watching a ballgame on Tivo.

Thanks for the response. Your points are well taken. I would love to hear more about the Calvinist implications of baseball on Tivo... are you serious about that?

RFS62
04-20-2007, 09:05 PM
Great post, Redeye

BCubb, you should get a job writing for a living.

:beerme:

BCubb2003
04-21-2007, 12:47 AM
I would love to hear more about the Calvinist implications of baseball on Tivo... are you serious about that?

Only in that whenever I Tivo a game to watch later, I appreciate that I'm now able to see the game, but I find it a little depressing to know that the outcome (still unknown to me) has been determined.

Even though it's not like I have any effect on the game viewing it live from 500 miles away.

And it's not like I'd have an effect on the game watching it live from the right field seats.

Or even from the Diamond Club seats, except to provide a couple weeks of meal money for a minor league prospect.

Still, it's an odd feeling, and I've come to think I wouldn't like to live in a predetermined world.

Unless I had the Gray's Sports Almanac from "Back to the Future."

Razor Shines
04-21-2007, 01:44 AM
I agree with the poster that James's quote is a bit silly -- lottery winners are definitely the wrong analogy here. However, I agree with the larger point, in that there are a lot of people in this world who spend a lot of time working hard in other ways and don't get recognized nearly as much as athletes do. I think that's why those Peyton Manning commercials where he cheers for the 'everday' people (paper boys, coffee house workers, etc.) annoy me so much. I mean, those people already know that they aren't being recognized, don't they? And isn't it just patently not funny for Peyton Manning to rub it in in such a haughty manner? I'll readily admit that I might just be over-sensitive, but sheesh!
.
If recognition is what a person seeks then they should develop a skill, any skill , that people will pay to watch them perform and they will have their recognition.

As for the Peyton Manning commercials. I would say that you're being too sensitive. If someone is bothered because their job is somewhat made fun of in a Peyton Manning commercial, then that person do what they have to do to find a job suitable to their ego. If you're happy with the job you have then who cares what some dude (albeit the greatest QB in football) on a commercial says.

Personally I think those commercials are damn funny. I may have a slight bias though.

RedEye
04-21-2007, 01:57 AM
If recognition is what a person seeks then they should develop a skill, any skill , that people will pay to watch them perform and they will have their recognition.

As for the Peyton Manning commercials. I would say that you're being too sensitive. If someone is bothered because their job is somewhat made fun of in a Peyton Manning commercial, then that person do what they have to do to find a job suitable to their ego. If you're happy with the job you have then who cares what some dude (albeit the greatest QB in football) on a commercial says.

Personally I think those commercials are damn funny. I may have a slight bias though.

I suppose you're right. The commercial is all in good fun, ultimately. I was just pointing to it as an example of how everyday jobs are denigrated in our society.

I guess I just think it's important to look beneath what makes something funny to the majority. What makes the Manning commercial funny is the absurdity of Peyton pointing at all of the jobs that don't get any credit for the hard work that they do. It's not that the paper boy should be recognized worldwide for his work -- not at all -- it's just that Peyton's skill of passing the football, while rare, is actually a random talent that nevertheless makes him the spokesperson for a generation.

Yes, athletes can perform a skill that ordinary people cannot, but we need to remember that this skill is an arbitrary one.

But yes, you are right, I am too sensitive on this topic. That comes with my career choice, I suppose.

RedEye
04-21-2007, 01:59 AM
Only in that whenever I Tivo a game to watch later, I appreciate that I'm now able to see the game, but I find it a little depressing to know that the outcome (still unknown to me) has been determined.

Even though it's not like I have any effect on the game viewing it live from 500 miles away.

And it's not like I'd have an effect on the game watching it live from the right field seats.

Or even from the Diamond Club seats, except to provide a couple weeks of meal money for a minor league prospect.

Still, it's an odd feeling, and I've come to think I wouldn't like to live in a predetermined world.

Unless I had the Gray's Sports Almanac from "Back to the Future."

So what would Calvin have to say about this? Something about the existential quality of knowing your own predetermined fate?

Natty Redlocks
04-21-2007, 06:44 PM
me like baseball real good

vaticanplum
04-21-2007, 06:51 PM
I guess I just think it's important to look beneath what makes something funny to the majority. What makes the Manning commercial funny is the absurdity of Peyton pointing at all of the jobs that don't get any credit for the hard work that they do. It's not that the paper boy should be recognized worldwide for his work -- not at all -- it's just that Peyton's skill of passing the football, while rare, is actually a random talent that nevertheless makes him the spokesperson for a generation.

I think you're downplaying the Manning's accomplishments to a degree. You keep using the word "talent", but he's not where he is because he's talented. He's where he is because he took his talent and worked hard. One just doesn't become the athlete he is without a great deal of hard work and discipline. (For every Peyton Manning, there's a physically blessed pothead accountant somewhere.) All of that put together is a valuable career path and something to admire. It just so happens that the venue for his talent and hard work had to become, at a certain level, a public one. The highest level of his profession is a drama (and yes, sports are a drama) that plays out in front of people who hang on every minute. His talent and what he did with it weren't arbitrary. His profession was. Hell, hard work and discipline notwithstanding, at least Manning has talent, which is not necessary to be a celebrity. If I ever had a kid who said he wanted to be like Peyton Manning, I'd try to downplay how lucky he was and focus on his work ethic and charitable contributions. If I ever had a kid who said she wanted to be like Paris Hilton, I'd have her on a mission trip to India so fast her head would spin.

I don't think it's unheallthy for you to be personally affected by Josh Hamilton and to be rooting for him as long as it doesn't blind you to the goodness you come across that's not in the news. For all of this culture's obsession with celebrity, I still think that's the case for most people. Again, public professions are fun stages to watch, and when a good story plants itself in the middle of one, it's the same as reading a childhood storybook, provided we understand that Cinderella probably had her snarky days when the cover was closed and that's totally fine. There are lessons to be learned and fun to be had (and just like with storybooks, an element of escapism for some people). The fact that these people's professions have necessitated a public stage doesn't belittle those whose professions haven't. We just don't have enough news time for all the gread deeds of the hard-working landscapers or the grocery stores checkout clerks of the world. But most people run into hard-working "heroes" (I loathe, loathe, loathe that word, but it's the most all-encompassing here) all the time, and I think most people do recognize, appreciate, and learn from them. Perhaps that's the hint: when you run into people like that in your "real" life, you can tell them how you feel. You can't tell Peyton Manning or Josh Hamilton. So you just keep watching and learning and enjoying. That's ok. There are lessons and stories and knowledge and self-realization in almost everything in the world if you look at things with perspective.

RedEye
04-21-2007, 07:52 PM
I think you're downplaying the Manning's accomplishments to a degree. You keep using the word "talent", but he's not where he is because he's talented. He's where he is because he took his talent and worked hard. One just doesn't become the athlete he is without a great deal of hard work and discipline. (For every Peyton Manning, there's a physically blessed pothead accountant somewhere.) All of that put together is a valuable career path and something to admire. It just so happens that the venue for his talent and hard work had to become, at a certain level, a public one. The highest level of his profession is a drama (and yes, sports are a drama) that plays out in front of people who hang on every minute. His talent and what he did with it weren't arbitrary. His profession was. Hell, hard work and discipline notwithstanding, at least Manning has talent, which is not necessary to be a celebrity. If I ever had a kid who said he wanted to be like Peyton Manning, I'd try to downplay how lucky he was and focus on his work ethic and charitable contributions. If I ever had a kid who said she wanted to be like Paris Hilton, I'd have her on a mission trip to India so fast her head would spin.

I don't think it's unheallthy for you to be personally affected by Josh Hamilton and to be rooting for him as long as it doesn't blind you to the goodness you come across that's not in the news. For all of this culture's obsession with celebrity, I still think that's the case for most people. Again, public professions are fun stages to watch, and when a good story plants itself in the middle of one, it's the same as reading a childhood storybook, provided we understand that Cinderella probably had her snarky days when the cover was closed and that's totally fine. There are lessons to be learned and fun to be had (and just like with storybooks, an element of escapism for some people). The fact that these people's professions have necessitated a public stage doesn't belittle those whose professions haven't. We just don't have enough news time for all the gread deeds of the hard-working landscapers or the grocery stores checkout clerks of the world. But most people run into hard-working "heroes" (I loathe, loathe, loathe that word, but it's the most all-encompassing here) all the time, and I think most people do recognize, appreciate, and learn from them. Perhaps that's the hint: when you run into people like that in your "real" life, you can tell them how you feel. You can't tell Peyton Manning or Josh Hamilton. So you just keep watching and learning and enjoying. That's ok. There are lessons and stories and knowledge and self-realization in almost everything in the world if you look at things with perspective.

Thanks for the feedback, vaticanplum. Your thoughts are much appreciated. I've not quite made it out of my existential funk, but I'm getting there. :)

FlyingPig
04-22-2007, 01:49 AM
Very enjoyable topic and responses to read..thank you all for something a little different.

It's been recorded many times that those who lived through it remember the JFK assassination by re-living what they were doing and where they were when the horrible thing happened.

We all remember where we were and what we were doing when the Challenger exploded, when 9/11 happened, Columbine, and now the Virginia Tech shooting.

Current events are a part of life and become part of history..for good or bad.

But by being sports fans, we are blessed with those events that will forever remain with us and will become personal lore to tell over and over.

Most of us remember where we were and what we were doing when Pete Rose was chasing Ty Cobb every night...how life would shut down everytime he came to the plate and how life commenced again after he safely got us to another day.

We remember where we were and what we were doing when the USA hockey team took home the gold at Lake Placid..

We remember where we were and what we were doing a son or daughter caught a first fly ball, when a high school team won a football game in the last minute, when we got that bases loaded single in softball...

For all the bad memories that are forever tied to terrible tragedies in our lifetime..tragedies that we all share in a shared lifetime....moments that bring pain, confusion, tears, anger, anguish...



.......we have a little moment of sports.

Something that we can take and hold on to for life. A story to pass on to grandkids..something to share with other sports fans that lived through the same moment, maybe with a different emotion..

It doesn't balance out the bad things, but for a short moment in the journey through life, it gives us a brief respite.

And for that I am grateful for the wonderful world of the Johnny Benches, Muhammed Ali's, Tiger Woods', Eric Davis', Michael Jordan's, and yes, the Josh Hamilton's of the sports world.

:)

jojo
04-22-2007, 11:59 AM
If recognition is what a person seeks then they should develop a skill, any skill , that people will pay to watch them perform and they will have their recognition.

As for the Peyton Manning commercials. I would say that you're being too sensitive. If someone is bothered because their job is somewhat made fun of in a Peyton Manning commercial, then that person do what they have to do to find a job suitable to their ego. If you're happy with the job you have then who cares what some dude (albeit the greatest QB in football) on a commercial says.

Personally I think those commercials are damn funny. I may have a slight bias though.

I really think the point of James' quote was that 99.9% percent of us could dedicate our every waking moment to improving our baseball skills and never have a chance to be a major leaguer because we're lacking the athleticism/hand-eye coordination etc... So it is like winning the lottery...some were lucky enough to be blessed with the very first prerequisite....genetics at birth...

The guy flaming out in A ball is already in the 99th percentile athletically/skill wise. That's James point...don't confuse god-given athleticism with the fruits of laudable character... the vast majority of ballplayers with incredible character/work ethic never play a pitch in rookie ball let alone at the big dance...

creek14
04-22-2007, 12:39 PM
Admiring athletes? That concept is totally foreign to me.

I admire people who run into burning buildings when everyone else is running out. I admire military pararescue guys. I admire that VT professor who blocked the door so his students could escape out the window. I admire the mom or dad who gives their time to coach kids.

Admire a guy cause he can run fast or hit a ball or throw a ball? Please.

westofyou
04-22-2007, 12:42 PM
Admire a guy cause he can run fast or hit a ball or throw a ball? Please.
Once one hits their teens admiration should equally undergo a maturity.

Hero Worship is a bear trap with disappointment as the bait

vaticanplum
04-22-2007, 01:05 PM
Admiring athletes? That concept is totally foreign to me.

I admire people who run into burning buildings when everyone else is running out. I admire military pararescue guys. I admire that VT professor who blocked the door so his students could escape out the window. I admire the mom or dad who gives their time to coach kids.

Admire a guy cause he can run fast or hit a ball or throw a ball? Please.

I don't understand why it has to be one or the other. I admire all the people you mention too, but I do admire an athlete occasionally, not because he can run or hit a ball, but because of the steps he took to put himself in that position. I don't admire someone like Josh Hamilton his talent; I admire his using his talent to to overcome self-imposed barriers -- and self-imposed barriers are, I've found, the hardest to overcome.

Everyone on the earth is talented in some way. I would say a great majority of them never reach the fullest potential of their talent. People at the top level of sports have come very close to doing so just by being there. I think that's worth admiring in certain cases. It doesn't mean I admire good parents or good politicians or good teachers or charity workers any less for their respective accomplishments.

jojo
04-22-2007, 03:29 PM
I think one generalization that rings true for all humans is that we all love a good story because we all have an innate desire to overcome adversity. To me the joy in watching sports is similar to why others might love the theatre or movies.

Here's what I mean as best that I can explain it:

Sports are an artificial challenge of will/character that is analogous to the real challenges that we all face to varying degrees on a daily basis. Therefore, baseball is both theater and an analogy for life (which we all can understand on a most fundamental level). Bottom of the ninth, two outs, bases loaded in game 7 of the world series.... will our guy come through? That's Shakespeare on a stage of brilliant green played between chalk lines that separate the actors from the spectators (who to a person wish they too were on that stage) in a way that is often fuzzy at best. All of the story elements are there: the catalyst, climax and finally the resolution-all played out by sweat, muscle and the will of men transformed into warrior poets by playing a boy's game.

That's why people admire athletes-people love a good story and in the case of a great baseball game, for many of us here at redszone, there could not be a better story. We admire the people who stand tall in the face of adversity....they're heroes and we see characteristics in their actions that we aspire to find in ourselves and our loved ones... Athletes are analogies for real heroes. I think sometimes the line gets blurred....In some ways, admiring an athlete for a great deed on the field is like attributing the greatness of the hero in a play to the actor playing the hero. That's not to say that the character/work ethic displayed by an athlete isn't laudable. In other ways seeing an athlete overcome adversity speaks to us on a level so central to being human that we rarely acknowledge it. It's just that ultimately sports is entertainment and we should be careful to make the distinction.

Finally, this is why I frown when hearing a ballplayer refer to the game as a business (or someone like Chad Johnson referring to himself as an entertainer when justifying his endzone antics). It's the competitive spirit that validates the analogy, and for me, ultimately it's the analogy that makes baseball so compelling.

RFS62
04-22-2007, 03:56 PM
Admiring athletes? That concept is totally foreign to me.

I admire people who run into burning buildings when everyone else is running out. I admire military pararescue guys. I admire that VT professor who blocked the door so his students could escape out the window. I admire the mom or dad who gives their time to coach kids.

Admire a guy cause he can run fast or hit a ball or throw a ball? Please.


I understand where you're coming from. But I also admire anyone who makes the most of their talent and makes it through one of the tightest of funnels imaginable to the big leagues. For that matter, I admire a minor leaguer who may not make it to the show, but still gives it his all.

I don't find it mutually exclusive.




I think one generalization that rings true for all humans is that we all love a good story because we all have an innate desire to overcome adversity. To me the joy in watching sports is similar to why others might love the theatre or movies.

Here's what I mean as best that I can explain it:

Sports are an artificial challenge of will/character that is analogous to the real challenges that we all face to varying degrees on a daily basis. Therefore, baseball is both theater and an anology for life (which we all can understand on a most fundamental level). Bottom of the ninth, two outs, bases loaded in game 7 of the world series.... will our guy come through? That's Shakespeare on a stage of brillant green played between chalk lines that separate the actors from the spectators (who to a person wish they too were on that stage) in a way that is often fuzzy at best. All of the story elements are there: the catalyst, climax and finally the resolution-all played out by sweat, muscle and the will of men transformed into warrior poets by playing a boy's game.

That's why people admire athletes-people love a good story and in the case of a great baseball game, for many of us here at redszone, there could not be a better story. We admire the people who stand tall in the face of adversity....they're heroes and we see chracteristics in their actions that we aspire to find in ourselves and our loved ones... Athletes are analogies for real heroes. I think sometimes the line gets blurred....In some ways, admiring an athlete for a great deed on the field is like attributing the greatness of the hero in a play to the actor playing the hero. That's not to say that the character/work ethic displayed by an athlete isn't laudable. In other ways seeing an athlete oversome adversity speaks to us on a level so central to being human that we rarely acknowledge it. It's just that ultimately sports is entertainment and we should be careful to make the distinction.

Finally, this is why I frown when hearing a ballplayer refer to the game as a business (or someone like Chad Johnson referring to himself as an entertainer when justifying his endzone antics). It's the competitive spirit that validates the analogy, and for me, ultimately it's the analogy that makes baseball so compelling.


Very nice post.

:beerme:

creek14
04-22-2007, 07:33 PM
Well maybe it's just me. Maybe it's the calliber of people I work with. Maybe I've raised my personal bar for what I find admirable. Maybe it's symantics.

I can appreciate that minor leaguer who gives his all. But he should give his all, it's his job.

But admire him - nah.

I'll save that for my friend who just volunteered for an ungodly dangerious deployment. And his not even active duty. But he has a deep belief that what he is about to do will save countless lives. And not just American lives. I have serious concerns/doubts that he'll survive, but he feels that potential sacrifice is worth it. That's what I admire.

BCubb2003
04-22-2007, 08:00 PM
We're probably talking about two different things. There's no denying the validity of what Creek is saying, and therefore I won't call up all those Dunnilicious posts in the RedsZone archives. There was big time admiration going on there.

Just kidding.

As posted earlier, we've had harsh lesson recently in the true definition of heroes.

vaticanplum
04-22-2007, 11:06 PM
Well maybe it's just me. Maybe it's the calliber of people I work with. Maybe I've raised my personal bar for what I find admirable. Maybe it's symantics.

There's not a finer calibre of people on the planet than my own family and friends as far as I'm concerned. Admiring an athlete, or anyone else, for his/her accomplishments doesn't make me feel any less toward their respective accomplishments and traits. It's apples and oranges. There are different types of admiration with different lessons to be learned from them.

RedEye
04-23-2007, 12:08 PM
There's not a finer calibre of people on the planet than my own family and friends as far as I'm concerned. Admiring an athlete, or anyone else, for his/her accomplishments doesn't make me feel any less toward their respective accomplishments and traits. It's apples and oranges. There are different types of admiration with different lessons to be learned from them.

Very interesting how this thread discussion has progressed. Thanks for taking up my (many) topics and running with them. There are a lot of great insights over the twenty posts here, and I'm really happy that these topics are something that people are interesting in talking about.

For what it's worth, I am completely with vaticanplum here. Obviously, my family and friends are a tier above everyone else in these matters. It's interesting though, because with the people who really matter in our everyday lives, we are forbidden (or at least discouraged) from judging or criticizing their choices. We are supposed to repress that kind of thing and just love them no matter what. Perhaps that's where athletes (and rock stars and celebs in general) come in. We are allowed to love/hate them intermittently without worrying about the consequences. We can criticize them openly, like on RedsZone, without facing the guilt and shame that comes along with that sort of thing. They are removed from our lives, and it's a low risk/low reward proposition if we censure them.

I can scream at Adam Dunn all I want on RedsZone and no one will (seriously) accuse of me doing something wrong. Perhaps this gets out the frustration that I have about the 'real' people in my life who just don't accomplish what I know they can. You know, like my underachieving best friend. The other day, I really wanted to tell him, "Friend, you really have to work on hitting with runners in scoring position!" But I knew if I did that, it would be unfair. And he'd just give me a blank stare.