Those who think "politics" is the reason why ESPN's share prices are falling -- which led to its mass firings on April 26 -- must be looking at the world through a crack in the side of their heads.
"Politics" isn't why so many former TV viewers became cord cutters, and why rights fees escalated so much and so quickly.
Unless you're an expert on broadcasting or the stock market, this isn't the time for confirmation bias. A lot of good people are out of work -- and it has nothing to do with politics.
Even a fairy tale movie character knows that.
Two songs have clanged around the old brainpan for roughly the past 48 hours, each inspired by real events.
The first started playing in my head immediately someone in the press box said offhandedly, "I was laughing so hard I literally could not stop crying." (It's also a song that recalls a series of overlapping interlocking romantic foibles from back in the day, which -- for what it's worth -- did not end well.)
Toby Keith & Sting: I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying
The second lunged at me after the discovery of a seemingly long-lost Steely Dan compilation album. Although it's a Donald Fagen solo song, the riff came wearing Ambush and a French twist, with a touch of Tuesday Weld. She's got the right dynamics.
Donald Fagen: New Frontier
This one came to me while out cutting and splitting wood on a warm day.
(In a really rugged, manly way, too -- no power tools, just me with an axe, a sledgehammer and a hand saw.)
The day wasn't hot enough for breathing in the boiling butter, nor was there any drowning, but by the end of the day I'd had more than my fill of insect bomber Buddhist droning. Too many bees.
Still, it was a good head start on next season's firewood. You can never have enough.
XTC: "Summer's Cauldron."
There's really no explanation as to why this song rattled around my head upon waking up, except that I'm on board with the sentiment, and I've spent a good chunk of my career in country radio. Maybe this just boomeranged back at me. But that's alright.
A pleasant little ditty from Lorrie Morgan: "Half Enough."
Faces and voices much higher up the sports media food chain than me have analyzed Mississippi State’s epic upset of UConn in sweeping historical terms – the Huskies’ place in the all-time pantheon of greatness, the impact on the popularity of women’s college basketball, the inspiration it provides to younger female players, and so on.
But strip away everything else, and what happened in Dallas was – not be dismissive – just another basketball game. And basketball games tend to be decided in much the same way the Bulldogs won on Friday night.
For example, defense. Vic Schaefer’s squad defended ferociously for all 45 minutes. They beat UConn to spots; they deflected passes; they were more physical than a team that prides itself on its strength and physicality; they never, ever stopped moving.
Also, quickness. Mississippi State revealed UConn’s greatest flaw – footspeed. Pound-for-pound, the Huskies were bigger and stronger, but the Bulldogs’ guards were able to get past UConn’s perimeter defense to find open areas to shoot or pass, and to start drives to the basket. Morgan William’s game-winning shot was the most obvious example, but it was one of many.
Friday night was not an archetypal example of a favorite having its worst game while the underdog has its best, but UConn wasn’t the UConn we’ve seen all season. They were tentative, unsteady, uncertain and heavy-footed. They moved the ball sluggishly, rarely stretching and stressing the MSU defense. Much of the Huskies’ struggles indeed resulted from the Bulldogs’ effort, but not all – from the opening tip, in a UConn team stocked with star players capable of taking over any game, nobody demanded the ball.
Was Mississippi State’s victory historic? No doubt. Was how they achieved it unique? Not by a long shot.