“Sports radio jeremiad manufactured to maybe prompt a stray blog post” is a thing I like to steer clear of. Sometimes.
But I make exceptions for a few particular storylines.
For example, Rob Dibble on the Nats. I will always record and transcribe everything involving Rob Dibble and the Nats, because his never-ending seething distaste for the organization is humorous to me, and I feel like if he ever saw me and punched me it’d be good for business.
I feel similarly about Donovan McNabb and the Shanahans, and about Colin Cowherd and John Wall. These are three feuds so ridiculously ridiculous that they reach above the genre of “fake stupid sports rant no one actually cares about except insane anonymous commenters” and achieve something closer to performance-art status. It’s three years later, and some random radio host is still talking about a few seconds of pregame dancing? It’s three years later, and some random radio host is still dedicated to trashing a baseball team’s front office because he briefly worked for its broadcast partner? That’s brilliance, not pettiness.
So anyhow, here’s what Rob Dibble said recently, when word leaked about Matt Williams being the Nats’ new manager.
“I played a long time against him when he was with the San Francisco Giants, and I’ve got to tell you, two of the toughest competitors I’ve ever faced were on the same coaching staff: Kirk Gibson and Matt Williams,” Dibble said. “As far as managing, I don’t know. That’s a hard call. The problem is, Mike Rizzo is your problem. He wants people that are going to go along with him thinking that he’s a genius. And Matt Williams, like Davey Johnson’s, gonna just want to manage a baseball team, and that could create an issue.”
“We do wish him the best of luck, for sure,” said Amy Van Dyken, Dibble’s co-host.
“Fabulous guy,” Dibble said. “We do wish him well. I worked there for a year and a half. And all I can say is, I wish you well.”
Ominous! Then Van Dyken made a joke about Williams not telling anyone to suck it up.
Wouldn’t you know, Cowherd also had some thoughts on John Wall a few weeks back. This came amid the brief hubbub during the baseball playoffs when Yasiel Puig flipped his bat on what turned out to be a triple.
“I don’t feel this Puig stuff is orchestrated months before, I don’t feel it’s anything more than sort of organic human emotion,” Cowherd said. “It’s not premeditated. I mean, even premeditated crimes are looked at more severely and harshly in our judicial system. You know, a crime of passion can get off. Premeditated crimes don’t. This is not a premeditated moment to me. It’s not. It just happens….I’ll give you a second of look at me at 22, over a 35-second dance, in your first game ever, in the NBA, at home. There’s a difference between the two. You know, one second and 35. A dance before a game — look at me — is different than in the moment I just hit a triple that may win the game and spark us for the series. That’s why I defend him, and that’s why I didn’t defend John Wall.”
Tell me that’s not amazing. It’s literally been more than three years since Wall’s dance. (Well, two years and 50 weeks, as of the above quotes.)
I like to imagine Colin Cowherd waking up in the morning, starting to pour out his unflavored instant oatmeal, smiling at the heavens, and then remembering again that John Wall once danced for less than 35 seconds three years ago, and flinging the oatmeal across the kitchen in horror, smashing the bowl against his poster celebrating the Hays Code and then collapsing to the linoleum in tears.
You know how in middle-school health class we used to watch newsreels showing us some wacky vision of a kaleidoscopic Angel Dust-sparked drug nightmare sure to end in a tragic leap from a bridge accompanied by howling purple pterodactyls with dagger-shaped rainbow wings and human visages? If Cowherd taught your middle-school health class, the newsreel would have just been 30 minutes of John Wall doing the Dougie.
Anyhow, I won’t apologize for transcribing the collected thoughts of Rob Dibble on the Nats, Colin Cowherd on John Wall and Donovan McNabb on the Shanahans for the rest of my life. We’re all of us linked in this game, together.