Ridiculing the popular, tenured hometown newspaper columnist is a proud and longstanding sports blogging tradition. The luminaries at Fire Joe Morgan made these take-downs into an art, zinging the likes of Hat Guy and (of course) David Eckstein with an unmatched amount of thoughtfulness and wit during their substantial reign of terror. Ken Tremendous may be too busy overseeing TV's best comedy to continue raising hell against bad sportswriting, but it hasn't stopped others like Drew Magary from keeping FJM's ideals alive.
There's only one problem with FJM'ing, and yes, the acronym is totally a verb: the masters did it so flawlessly that any attempts at their signature gimmick must be done equal amounts of careful precision and punishing humor. The bar is just set so damn high that any uninspiring tries to recapture their magic would only bring shame on the forefathers. That's why I'm not going to FJM Rick Telander's column in today's Sun-Times, even if he totally deserves it.
Writing about sports every damn day during the baseball-only summer months can be quite the task, so in a sense, I can empathize with Telander. He's reaching here -- reaching massively -- but it's only saving us from another column on Ozzie's rant of the day or the Cubs' most recent embarrassment. Even still, Telander's offering today is about a weak as they come. The headline:
The NBA has become a dunkfest and it’s time to raise the rims
Or we can just.....not do that?
Here's the main crux of Telander's argument:
Because the current 10-foot rim, which has been at that arbitrary height ever since James Naismith nailed a peach basket to the lower railing of the balcony at Springfield (Mass.) College in 1891 has ‘‘grown’’ too low.
Well, the rim hasn’t moved, but the forest around it has. And that forest has become more specialized than ever. That is, the rim’s accessibility to all the freakishly tall men and jumping phenoms has made it into something not even close to what Naismith had in mind.
Never mind how problematic it would be for the players to *only* raise rims at the highest level of competition after they've been shooting on the standard 10-foot height their entire lives. My main problem with this is its intention: you're taking something lots of people like and changing it for the benefit of people who don't like it. Bands try to do this all the time and it never works. Have you learned nothing from the latest releases from The Strokes and Kings of Leon, Rick Telander?
We could go through this thing line-by-line and tear it down, but I'm not sure that's worth anyone's precious time. Instead, here are my top five reasons why 10-foot rims are perfectly acceptable. If you disagree, you are probably a Fascist.
5. James "In Flight" White's 2006 NCAA dunk contest spectacle
4. Simeon's Derrick Rose puts on a show at the United Center
3. Scottie Pippen tells Patrick Ewing to get out of his kitchen
2. Vince Carter leaps over Frederic Weis
1. Gerald Green's "Burfday Cake" dunk