Friday, November 11, 2011

Quick Takes - Old man fashion

Just a few more years, Erik ...

I love the way old people dress, especially old men. I feel like young men dress the way they do simply for evolutionary reasons: To reproduce. But once reproduction has occurred and the family has been created -- the genetic material has been passed along and the adult can melt into the ocean like a post-spawning salmon -- the man sheds his flashy peacock feathers and slips into something more comfortable. Thick, rubber-soled shoes. A breathable shirt or sweater that would be burned immediately were it not draped over a human's body. And khakis. Always khakis. I don't understand any of it, other than that old men just don't give a shit. But isn't that refreshing? All the hard work that people put into dressing themselves, all the countless hours we first-world humans spend in front of mirrors trying to make sure every last thread is properly in place, and old men just hit some magical age and say, screw it, I'm going to put on these comfy Velcro shoes and watch the Weather Channel all day. You take your fashion and shove it, I got this shirt for 99 cents at the drug store. Basic economics.

The old man is a beautiful thing. An immovable object of shamelessness, practicality, and common sense. But for all the grandeur of the old man, the middle-aged man is his awkward nemesis. He may have a family, or he may be well-to-do in his life to feel like he's accomplished, but the evolutionary pull to reproduce, to display those dramatic feathers and puff out the chest, still creeps to the forefront (emphasis on creep). Hey young lady, do you like fast cars? Because I have worked for 19 years at the same dead-end job doing data entry, and I have just enough money to afford this delicious used sports car. The middle-aged man dresses in some sort of fashion purgatory, where he is neither comfortable nor stylish, but instead wears oversized pants, shirts tucked in that display his impressive gut, and crazy curled dress shoes that give him the appearance of a lost Christmas elf. Embrace old age, sir, embrace it! For she is a warm and loving mother, and Velcro is a really cool invention.

  • A quick note to ESPN re: Grammar. When using the term "11s" for the accompanying graphic to the following text on the front page of, "To celebrate 11/11/11, we look back at some of the greatest 11s in sports and in history," it's best to leave the additional apostrophe in "11's" out of the graphic, like you did so well in the text. I'm sensing some siloing in ESPN's corporate structure!
  • NBA commissioner David Stern has now handed down his second ultimatum deal to the players to end the lockout, which makes me think David Stern doesn't really understand what an ultimatum is.
  • Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh is upset with the staff at Heinz Field for playing music that was supposedly "insulting" to his quarterback Joe Flacco during the Ravens win over the Steelers last weekend. The song played was Lynyrd Skynyrd's "What's Your Name," which features some lyrics about a little girl. Harbaugh was sure the "little girl" lyrics were in reference to his quarterback, who responded to reporters by saying, "I have no idea what you're talking about. They were playing a song?" ... John Harbaugh must think highly of his quarterback to make that correlation.
  • I'm going to apologize in advance for this soapbox moment, but I have to get this off my chest: The entire sports world has been consumed (and consuming itself) over this Penn State Sandusky scandal. And while it's definitely newsworthy when a major college program deals with the fallout of this type of horrific abuse, and when a legacy coach like Joe Paterno gets fired, that's newsworthy too, but the 24-hour news coverage has just gotten completely out of hand. Every radio station, every front page, every television broadcast, starts and ends with hours of talking heads debating the finer points of this tragedy. Just stop. Seriously. Stop glorifying college sports and Penn State like this while hypocritically calling out the students and faculty for doing the same to Joe Paterno that let this type of cover-up happen in the first place. Stop making this about you and your network and leave these people alone. No one cares what your morals are, because they aren't Jerry Sandusky's, and saying that you would've told someone about what he did or passing judgment on who should've done what is just the lowest common denominator type of reporting. It's easy to say what you would've done and to passionately announce that you wouldn't have passed the buck, but you don't know the situation, you don't know the relationships, and you don't even really know what was/wasn't said. We, collectively, don't know enough to spend every waking moment of our lives talking about an abuse scandal at a state university in Pennsylvania. And even if we did know enough, letting it consume us doesn't help the situation. It doesn't help the faculty, staff, and students of the university move forward, it doesn't help the victims feel safe and comforted when talk show hosts are clamoring for details and wondering why it took so long for this stuff to come out (come the f#%@ on), and it doesn't help the people who've been impacted by this -- whether the victims, their families, or Joe Paterno, or the current athletes who lost their coach -- to let their lives become your gossip. So just stop. We all know it's sad, we all know it's horrific, we all know that more should've been done. But let due process take its course, let those people who are responsible receive their punishments and disappear, and let the abused and their families have their freaking lives back.

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