Friday, October 11, 2013

The Cliched NLCS Media Narrative We Predicted...FOUR YEARS AGO

And there are times when the media narrative is so simple, so devoid of any effort in investigative reporting, that it's absolutely pathetic. Here is one of those times. Get out your pens, boys and girls:

Dodgers = rich, glitzy, evil.

Cardinals = poor, wholesome, good.

Four years ago, when the Dodgers met and beat the Cardinals in the NLDS, we called how the press would distill its coverage of the two teams. And four years later, for the 2013 NLCS, that cliched narrative hasn't changed.

Isn't that right, Jeff Passan:

ST. LOUIS – The big, scary Los Angeles Dodgers embody everything about baseball that turns people’s stomachs here in the Midwest. It goes beyond the whole pee-in-the-pool incident, though it is safe to say, after watching the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate their National League Division Series victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates with a party that registered a negative-20 on the 1-to-10-get-leaky-like-the-Dodgers scale, the Cardinals save their business for the urinal.

The Cardinals are the Cardinals, which is to say they are successfully boring and boringly successful. The Dodgers wear gold; the Cardinals invest in it. The Dodgers go out in Hollywood; the Cardinals watch movies made there. The Dodgers are daring; the Cardinals ooze comfort. These are not regional stereotypes. Each franchise happens to typify where it is located.

Also, not correct.

Deadspin, for what it's worth, saw through this wafer-thin facade of a plotline:

The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates last night, because the Cardinals don't like it when another team like the Pirates or Nationals dares to threaten their self-appointed status as America's Baseball Sweethearts. They'll move on to face the GLORY BOY Dodgers in the NLCS, and somehow the Cardinals and their fans will brand themselves lovable underdogs to LA despite boasting a top-10 payroll. As Twitter user @Texasbound3 said, I wish the Dodgers could sweep them in one game, so that the world can move on from Cardinals Nation's unending love affair with itself.

The Cardinals are fucking awful. They are Tim Tebow in baseball organization form. They are a church casserole made out of cream of mushroom soup and Minute Rice. They are a horrible family staring at a Norman Rockwell painting of itself. It's no coincidence that sabermetric punching bag David Eckstein spent a few years playing for the Cardinals, because no team in any sport puffs up its grittiness credentials quite like this one.

I don't trust any fanbase that brands itself as being the Best Fans In Baseball, nor do I trust any organization that has a Way named after it. I love the founder of Deadspin, Will Leitch. He's a good friend and usually a reasonable human being. But every fucking October, he morphs into an eight-year-old wearing a propeller beanie and shooting marbles on the living room floor. GOLLY GEE GUYS ISN'T CARDINALS BASEBALL JUST THE BESTEST?! [...]

You are poorly disguised Yankees fans in ugly Christmas sweaters carrying a Jell-O mold to your neighbor's door. And your constant attempts to turn every October into an extended production of Our Town makes me want to hang myself with a extension cord.

St. Louis, the town, is a fucking dump. It's not some magical heartland paradise filled with talking Teddy Ruxpin dolls and a five-and-dime on every corner. It's a shithole. It's just as troubled and uncivilized as the rest of the country. The Cardinals are a desperate attempt to polish that turd for all it's worth, and I've seen enough of them for this lifetime and the next. LOSE. LOSE BADLY.

Okay, I wouldn't go that far. I've got no problem with St. Louis. I even had a great time at Busch Stadium once, watching the Dodgers steal a game in the top of the ninth to win, 2-1. Cardinals fans are cool, the city of St. Louis has its charm, I get it.

But stop trying to make this a good-versus-evil thing, guys. That's so...2009 of you.


Dusty Baker said...

I would go that far.

Fred's Brim said...

and you have!

Dusty Baker said...

With Neeebs' mom!

Scott said...

Jealousy of a fan base that is multi cultural has always been an envy of midwest sports teams. The world knowns the Dodgers not the Cardinals! When you hear the name Dodgers everyone knows of one thing, Los Angeles baseball but say the Cardinals and you're not sure if you are talking about bird watching, see a baseball game or seeing a prince of the Catholic Church.

Dusty Baker said...

Or a numbering system.

Hideo Nomo said...

Kinda lost my shit about this earlier. I'm calm now, though.

But I need a drink. Or eight.

Dusty Baker said...

I'm in the still losing my shit over this mode, Gnomes.

I'm also in the I need a drink or eight mode, too.

Cliff Beefpile said...

Every part of the country practices its own brand of regional exceptionalism. But I've never known anyone who loved to tell you just how "humble" and "self-deprecating" they were than Midwesterners. Fuckin' annoying. You can't be all that humble or self-deprecating when you're constantly telling people about it, dipshit!