WELCOME BACK TO THE GOOD OL' DAYS
By Mike Moore
January 13, 2012
If you haven’t yet listened to Fitz & The Tantrums, do yourself a favor and change that. Right now. It’s cool, you can come back to the article, it’s not going anywhere.
What I love about Fitz & The Tantrums is not just that they are great musicians, but that they took a very familiar doo-wop sound and made it their own, combining the soulful rhythms of Motown that make even white boys (me) dance (but not well) with an energy and speed much more palatable to today’s fast-paced world. That “old-school for today” attitude extends to their music videos, as even their MoneyGrabber video has shades of a Connery-era Bond title sequence. In a year when Skrillex gets nominated for 5 Grammys (please don’t let dubstep be this decade’s disco) it’s even more refreshing to hear a classic sound redone with skill and taste. This is not an old-man rant on “new fangled radio sounds,” although dubstep does sound like a dial-up modem shoved into a blender, but rather praise for a band’s ability to remind us of something we may have forgotten. And that, to those wondering why I’m talking about music and not sports, is what we are trying to do here at Talk Sports / Drink Beer.
Between SportsCenter turning into a 24-hour program that bounces between three of the EPSN channels, fantasy football making us scream at the TV for Matt Ryan to pass on 3rd-and-1, and Adam Schefter’s Twitter feed that sounds like a medical report, everyone has become a sports expert that can spit out numbers and news bits like a computer. Don’t get me wrong, I love stats as much as the next sports nerd - I left Moneyball saying, “There could have been more math.” - but doesn’t it feel like everyday sports conversations are devolving into a recitation of stats and data that sounds less like an actual discussion and more like a dubstep track transcribed into binary code? (Yeah, you see what I did there). It’s as if we’ve forgotten how to just crack open a brew and bullshit about “sports things.”
Enter Talk Sports/Drink Beer. I originally founded this as a video blog in 2009 after growing tired of watching commentators read from teleprompters and wanted to see what would happen when the hosts were off script. The beers were because, well who doesn’t like beers? I saddled up on a stool next to our own Jason Harris, and later next to another of our writers Travis Huber, and we gave it a good run. Although the site started as an “I can do better than that” effort, it eventually turned into a show that managed to capture sports conversation in its purest form - uncensored, unapologetic, and entertaining even to those with only a basic amount of sports knowledge. Unfortunately my co-hosts kept moving back to Texas with the frequency of Spinal Tap drummers dying, and then Woody and I got caught up in several poor life decisions, and yadda yadda yadda. Now it is 2012 and the site is getting another shot (just in time for the apocalypse) as a text-based platform with eight writers who were all chosen because 1) they’re very knowledgeable about sports, 2) they don’t rub it in your face, and 3) they can all write at no less than a 5th Grade level.
Our goal is to keep that spirit - raw and entertaining - intact with this site. We won’t be writing material that will be appearing in The Atlantic any day, but we will stay a few notches above sports blogs and commentary pages that are as annoying as they are plentiful. As Woody so well puts it, “we don’t take ourselves seriously, we drink heavily, and we write for the masses.” Simply put, as was pitched to our writers, “We are the Wall Street Journal doing a keg stand.”
All in all, we want to be a call back to our fathers’ sports talk that didn’t trip over advanced sabermetrics and was more of conversation than trivia contest. Each writer has his own space in Features to speak his mind, unrestricted and completely opinionated. The Forums are a place where we will discuss back and forth on a topic, and where readers are invited to speak their minds as well.
All told, we just want to have some fun while we talk some sports and drink some beer, because there ain’t much better in this fast-paced, dubstep-ridden world than that.
TALK SPORTS / DRINK BEER