At Least There's No TMZ Sports

Share |

The end of 2009 was a scary time. The national discourse pretty much belonged to Avatar and Glenn Beck, which is probably something worth thinking and feeling about for a minute, and pretty much everything else that's currently lousy in our culture was similarly lousy then, and we didn't even have the Killer Mike record to distract us from it. It was a bad time, but it could've been worse. Because, on December 22, 2009, Sports By Brooks broke the news that TMZ had registered the domain name TMZSports.com. It was going to be just what it sounds like. It could've been the end of everything.

"The sports media monopoly created by ESPN hath wrought a perfect storm for TMZSports.com to not only succeed, but to turn the industry upside down," Brooks wrote then. "TMZSports.com will be one of the few operations, if not the only, that can make a dent in ESPN’s brilliant business acumen. How large that dent will be depends on its editorial execution, but if TMZ.com is any indication, we may be looking at an industry game changer that could somewhat destabilize ESPN’s complete dominance over the field." At Deadspin, which at the time was semi-ambivalently surfing the barfwave of Josh Hamilton's relapse, then-editor A.J. Daulerio wrote a long post on the new competition. He didn't sound all that shook, but Gawker Media boss Nick Denton sort of did.

The good news, which in no way mitigates the bad news that TMZ still exists and makes money and even has a howling cultural-colonoscopy of a bus tour to its name, is that TMZ Sports never really happened. By 2011, smirking taupe hatesteak and CEO Harvey Levin—who is not much of a sports fan, unless laughing at one's own quips about Amanda Bynes qualifies as a sport—had recognized that both the sports venture and a planned politics channel weren't good looks. Given that Politico continues to reveal itself as valueless, misprioritized and self-congratulatory enough to make TMZ DC redundant, that makes sense. Deadspin was the obvious competition for the notional TMZ Sports, but that didn't quite make sense, either.

While there's a certain easy equivalency between what TMZ Sports would have done—leeringly post mocking, stupid-superior non-news items relating to sports figures embarrassing themselves—and a (seemingly shrinking) aspect of what Deadspin actually does, it's not a very good equivalency. There are several reasons for this, but the most important one is that TMZ Sports would have been TMZ Sports—dumber, meaner, exponentially more fatuous and differently angled than anything else, a pink slime-y nightmare patty dipped in the same loathing gravy as the rest of the toxic fast food that defines the TMZ menu. There are bleak volumes to be written on TMZ's queasy-clammy addict's relationship to the type of fame it mocks and covets and bullies and creates, but that relationship can't and couldn't really work with sports. It's not that there isn't enough news (i.e. fresh embarrasments) to keep the shit-cycle spinning; there is, especially if you deem JR SMITH ARRESTED to be news. It's that writing about all that as people who don't care about sports—or care about it only as a source of schadenfreude to feed into one's garbage disposal of a soul—is not the sort of thing that will attract people who care about sports. Dim, smirky loathing/loathsomeness doesn't go well with a sports fan's engagement.

Which, yeah, is an awesome review of a website that never existed. But also the proof is on the internet—while there's nothing at the domain TMZSports.com, there is a sports tag at TMZ, and as a preview of what TMZ Sports might have been, it makes for a pretty freaking compelling argument for there never having been a TMZ Sports.

What's there has the same tone of disapproving, glibly "knowing" idiocy that defines the TMZ aesthetic, which isn't a surprise. Ditto for the way it hews to the standard TMZ areas of interest. On the front page alone there are DUIs (Darrius Heyward-Bey's made the cut, so the bar is low), kookball end-of-their-tether celebrities being troubled (Jenna Jameson and her ex-MMA husband, Tito Ortiz) and the gory flotsam from various reality television shipwrecks (Terrell Owens, late of VH1 and the Indoor Football League; so much Lamar Odom). There's also the video bit linked above, featuring the show's deranged narrator and the Priceless Office Quippery that makes TMZ's television show pretty much the most unwatchable thing on television not to feature either a "Created By Chuck Lorre" credit or Dog The Bounty Hunter. It's about how T.O. and Odom should start a water park called We Be Swimmin', and both the foregrounded idea and meta-joke of the video is that it's racist.

But also, alongside and throughout that chuckling horrorshow of abasement and unearned dumbass superiority, there is something encouraging. There is the broadly good recognition that this could never have worked. It's not just that it's too dumb, although it is that. It's that there's no life in it, none of the offhand love that is the central ingredient in being a fan. It's just uncut and uncurated prurience, all tearing down without any sense of considering (let alone consideration for) the things that have, rightly or wrongly, been built up. We're all better off without TMZ Sports, of course. But it's clear from the zombie version that exists that we also would've rejected it. For all the unearned pats-on-the-back that fans receive on the regular—from ourselves and others, generally in service of encouraging us to purchase some souvenir of our virtue—this is an instance in which a high-five might well be in order. We are, at least and at last, all of us, a good deal better than this.

Share |

Comments

i in fact long past this text maintain busy shop it taking place. private detective in Singapore

I was surfing the Internet for information and came across your blog. I am impressed by the information you have on this blog. It shows how well you understand this subject. Silsila Badalte Rishton Ka

I portt any phrase to understand this pronounce.....really i'm impressed from this publicize....the person who make this claim it became a pleasurable human..thank you for shared this in the back of than us. cheap essay writings

Your blog provided us with valuable to work with. Each & every tips of your post are awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging.. London Rugs

Hi there! Nice post! Please tell us when I will see a follow up! climatizador de ar

It is the kind of information I have been trying to find. Thank you for writing this information. It has proved utmost beneficial for me. home cleaning

i am always looking for some free stuffs over the internet. there are also some companies which gives free samples. janitorial

Major thankies for the post.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome. poker88

Major thankies for the post.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome. poker88

Major thankies for the post.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome. poker88

Very informative article post. Will read on... squirrel fort climbing frame

Very informative article post.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing. semi truck repair

Very informative article post.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing. semi truck repair

A round of applause for your blog post.Thanks Again. Fantastic. friendship day

Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic article. Really Cool. personalized leather journal

Thanks for the post.Really thank you! Much obliged. lego

Great blog.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool. children's party food ideas

I value the article.Thanks Again. Much obliged. rooftop balloons for sale

I value the article.Thanks Again. Much obliged. rooftop balloons for sale

wow, awesome blog post.Really thank you! Fantastic. wedding packages

Very good article.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome. carpet stores denver

Very good article.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome. auto like instagram

Very good article.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome. auto like instagram

Very good article.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome. cheap pandora bracelets

Very good article.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome. cheap pandora bracelets

Im thankful for the article.Really thank you! Will read on... ขายส่งรองเท้ามือสอง

Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic blog.Really thank you! Really Great. Spanish Fly

I truly appreciate this blog article.Much thanks again. Cool. print t shirt

I loved your blog.Really thank you! Will read on... rc blog crawler

I think this is a real great blog. Really Great. Pherazone

I value the blog. Keep writing. alf appliance dentist

Fantastic article post.Really looking forward to read more. Great. buy an ebook

Actually enjoy you sharing this informative article post.Much thanks again. Really Cool.Very cool report post.Much thanks again. Hold writing.Thank you for the article post.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.I love and recognize your post.Thanks Again. Really Great.I think this can be a true great post.Really thank you! Actually Great.voyance telephone

Great thanks for sharing this blog post. Much thanks again. Fantastic. Multigrade

Getting excited about reading more. Great blog.Really looking forward to study more.I liked your post. Much obliged.This is one brilliant website article.Really many thanks! May study on...Awesome article.Really thank you! Awesome.Say, you got a wonderful blog post.Really thank you! Actually Great.Samsung laptop repair

Thanks a lot for the post. Much thanks again. Want more. where to repair Samsung in singapore

Hello I am so delighted I located your blog, I really located you by mistake, while I was watching on google for something else, Anyways I am here now and could just like to say thank for a tremendous post and a all round entertaining website. Please do keep up the great work. buy new phone

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info. How to increase Testosterone

I definately enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff of your blog a must read blog public relations agencies

I definately enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff of your blog a must read blog public relations agencies

I definately enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff of your blog a must read blog public relations agencies

I visit your blog regularly and recommend it to all of those who wanted to enhance their knowledge with ease. The style of writing is excellent and also the content is top-notch. Thanks for that shrewdness you provide the readers! Blog Comments On High Domain

Thank you very much for this great post. high quality logo design

This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. melhores agencia de publicidade em São Paulo

Thank you again for all the knowledge you distribute,Good post. I was very interested in the article, it's quite inspiring I should admit. I like visiting you site since I always come across interesting articles like this one.Great Job, I greatly appreciate that.Do Keep sharing! Regards, hampton bay ceiling fans

That are most certainly awesome. A great number of tiny details are designed needing lot of qualifications ability. We're attracted in the piece many. jobs in port harcourt

This is furthermore a fantastic write-up my partner and i really enjoyed considering. It really is generally not very each day my partner and i support the possibility to look at something. jobs in port harcourt

That is the reason deal with one should specified research a long time before authoring. Could be potential towards further fascinating post in this manner. walking dead Caryl

This original performances entirely ideal. Each of small info have decided with the aid of great number regarding knowledge sensible information. Now i'm enthusiastic that once more quite definitely. walking dead spoilers

This is often moreover a fairly good blog post that we certainly cherished analyzing. Not necessarily every single day which enjoy the chances to find a product. informatica