Home / General / Do We Have a Term Like Aesthetic Stalinism to Describe Conservative Sports Writing?

Do We Have a Term Like Aesthetic Stalinism to Describe Conservative Sports Writing?


In the rich conservative tradition of declaring Bryce Harper a conservative hero because he plays hard unlike those black Democrats like Jason Heyward, I bring you the brilliant Conservapedia entry on “Overrated Sports Stars.” Although please note that given the nature of the website, it could change any time.

1. Andre Agassi — his rival Pete Sampras was far better, but Sampras is conservative. Agassi is a big donor to Democrat politicians.
2. David Beckham — far from the best, but promoted like he’s Pele. Not even good enough to play on Britain’s weak Olympic team, despite its having three spots for older players. Is Beckham socially liberal like some of the others on this list?
3. Kobe Bryant — not as valuable to the game as Jeremy Lin; hasn’t won a title without super-coaching by Phil Jackson, who observes that Kobe is not on the high level of Michael Jordan; Kobe makes only 46% of his shots, and scores lots of points because he hogs the ball.
4. LeBron James — 2012’s NBA Finals MVP is far from the best player in the NBA, he is way overrated by the liberal ESPN compared to Christian Kevin Durant
5. Magic Johnson — lucky enough to play on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Lakers to win some titles, but was crushed by Michael Jordan and the Bulls; no problem, Magic was a critic of President George H.W. Bush, which thrilled liberals. People look at him, and say, ‘Hey, it’s OK to get HIV because I’m living with it.’ That is the wrong message. [1]
6. Peyton Manning — a quarterback who won only one NFL championship, despite being voted by the media and others to be NFL MVP 4 times, AFC Player of the Year 6 times, and Pro Bowler 11 times. The liberal media treated him like the Second Coming of Christ in order to oust conservative Tim Tebow from his leadership position in the swing state of Colorado prior to the Presidential Election 2012.
7. Steve Nash — an outspoken liberal who supported Obama, Nash was chosen twice by the lamestream media as the NBA MVP despite never leading his team to even an NBA Finals
8. Mark Sanchez — the New York Jets quarterback is being touted as the team’s best QB over conservative Christian Tim Tebow despite falling apart at the end of the 2011–12 season. Now that Tebow’s on-board, liberals are championing the former USC star as the superior player despite his recently poor play.
9. Tiger Woods — hasn’t won a major golf tournament in four years, and yet he’s still the only one liberals want to talk about while reporting on tournaments.
10. Michael Schumacher — has failed to perform after his return to Formula One racing and has been consistently outperformed by his teammate. His first podium finish since 2006 came only after many drivers in front of him retired from the race. Schumacher still receives generous media attention.
11. Sol Campbell — Is known to be sympathetic towards homosexual rights campaigners. During his England career they failed to win a single major tournament. While at Arsenal he failed to win the champions League, only ever making the final once and only won the Premier League a measly two times. Despite this, he has had a career which has seen him play for some of the best clubs.

I’d like to think this is parody. The idea that conservative Republican Peyton Manning went to Denver to replace Godhead Tim Tebow in order somehow to swing Colorado to the Democrats this November. Thet that talking about Tiger Woods is a liberal thing (what golfers do real conservatives want to talk about? Oh right, the white ones). That Jeremy Lin is “more valuable to the game” than Kobe Bryant. What the latter actually means I don’t know. But Lin is a fundamentalist so I guess that’s how we define these things now.

Yes, I’d like to say this is parody because it seems like something this obviously stupid could only be satire. And probably not even very good satire. Alas, we all know this is the real deal.

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  • Amanda in the South Bay

    This is one of the most bizarre posts you’ve posted. I’m not drunk enough to tell if it’s paraody.

    • More bizarre than the boxing cat movies?

      • dp

        Far and away.

    • Anonymous

      The question was: “Do We Have a Term Like Aesthetic Stalinism”?

      I do not think that such a term exists.

      Ludwik Kowalski, former Stalinist, and author of a free ON-LINE book entitled “Diary of a Former Communist: Thoughts, Feelings, Reality.”


      It is a testimony based on a diary kept between 1946 and 2004 (in the USSR, Poland, France and the USA).

  • mel_anon

    This is clearly a parody, as no proper conservative knows anything about soccer or Formula One racing.

    • joejoejoe

      Michael Schumacher’s got 40 more career F1 wins than the guy in 2nd place, more total wins than the Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell combined, and the top winning percentage of any active driver. That’s a weird one. You’d think the entry would just read ‘All F1 drivers are overrated compared to NASCAR drivers’.

      And “[d]uring his England career they failed to win a single major tournament” describes two generations of English footballers!

      • Furious Jorge

        And “[d]uring his England career they failed to win a single major tournament” describes two generations of English footballers!

        Well then, perhaps they were all liberal and overrated then!

  • It’s not parody:


    Spawn of Schlafly, aka “Aschlafly”, aka the founder and owner of Conservapedia, has edited the article eight times in the last two weeks alone. The older revisions are even funnier than the existing version. This paragraph didn’t last long:

    “#[[Tim Tebow]] — Has a career record of 9-7 with a completion percentage under 50% and more turnovers than TD passes, yet is promoted by the media as a top quarterback in the NFL, even ranked in the NFL’s top 100 players countdown despite achieving nothing of significance in the NFL. Media pressure will likely be responsible for Tebow overtaking Mark Sanchez during this NFL season.”

    Guess slandering Tebow is off limits.

    • tonycpsu

      Duh. It doesn’t get much more blasphemous than going after Teebus himself.

      I’m actually happy that Phyllis Schiafly Jr. is spending so much of his time in the virtual archipelagos of Consevapedia rather than interacting with humanity. We need to start re-thinking this epistemic closure thing — why not seal off the bubble entirely and use it as a quarantine?

      • Jamie

        The problem there is disease. You don’t want an incubator. Best to put on a face mask and poke a stick once in a while.

        To answer the question, perhaps “guttural Bircherism”?

    • Bobby Thomson

      It ain’t slander if it’s true.

    • Joel Patterson

      To call Tebow a “good quarterback” is to break the Lord’s Commandment against bearing false witness.

  • James E. Powell

    Although the link doesn’t go to it, that is the conservapedia entry on over-rated sports stars. Poe’s Law and all that. But for real Stalinist style re-writing of history, you have to check out the entry on Greatest Conservative Sports Stars.

    Apparently, the reason DiMaggio won the MVP over Ted Williams in 1941 was the liberal media. That’s right, the BBWAA was liberal. In 1941.

    • This is brilliant:

      Laimbeer had an amazing outside shot and free-throw percentage, showing the versatility of a conservative; illustrating their double standard, liberals whined about Laimbeer’s rough style of play, without complaining about Dennis Rodman

      • Lambeer led the Pistons yet Magic was lucky enough to be on the Lakers. That pretty much says it all.

        • mark f

          To be fair, Lambier did play the same position as Kareem. You know who else I bet conservatives love? David Robinson*. I think we can conclude that they just love big men.

          *Although excluding him but including Karl Malone leads me to believe that they care a lot more about public displays of partisanship more than they care about things like real-live sacrifice in favor of military service.

          • witless chum

            Surely you jest.

      • Holden Pattern

        I never knew Laimbeer was a political conservative, but what grated about Laimbeer wasn’t that he was a rough / dirty player — the NBA ain’t beanbag. It was that he was a rough / dirty player who flopped whenever a member of the opposing team looked at him too hard, and and whined to the refs constantly.

        Oh, wait. I really should have known Laimbeer was a conservative.

        • snarkout

          I’m pretty sure all these contributions, which are solely to Democrats (including some non-centrist candidates like Darcy Burner), are Bill Laimbeer’s dad, but I’m not positive. Do we know that Laimbeer is actually a political conservative rather than just, you know, white?

      • stratplayer

        One of the great moments in Boston Celtics history has got to be when Robert Parish got fed up with Laimbeer, wheeled around and decked him with a mighty three-punch combination to the face. I’d link to the video but I can’t find it anywhere.

      • Furious Jorge

        When he was with the Pistons, Dennis Rodman was a verrrrrrry different player than the one he became later on.

        Not that this asshole would know the first thing about any of it.

    • dl

      you guys think A.C. Green ever ended up scoring?

    • Richard Hershberger

      “That’s right, the BBWAA was liberal. In 1941.”

      By the standards of the present day Republican Party? Quite possibly.

      • Ken

        Meaningless comparison. By the standards of the present day Republican party, last year’s Republican party is liberal.

    • Satanicpanic

      They kept Schilling on there. Huh.

    • As stunning as it is, 41 out of the 45 are white, including every single basketball player and baseball player on the list.

      • Bill Murray

        as long as you think Karl Malone and AC Green are white. Jason Robinson, the rugby player is also black — with Scottish-Jamaican heritage.

        So it is 38 of 45, which is still astoundingly bad percentage, just given the number of track athletes that gave all their glory to God during the US Olympic track and field trials.

        • dl

          to be fair, Karl Malone is probably a toss-up.

    • Bobby Thomson

      Refusing to endorse cigarettes is a conservative position now?

      Jesse Helms wept.

      • Bill Murray

        This and endorsing “RINO Scott Brown” (Doug Flutie), speaking out against steroid use (Al Oerter) and stopping doing beer commercials because of worries about their effect on people (Bubba Smith)

    • mark f

      Karl Malone basketball NBA Most Valuable Player and All-Star selection. He overcame troubled youth years and became a role model. Donated to the George W. Bush campaign and visited our troops in Afghanistan.

      Demetress Bell has received less support from Karl Malone than George W. Bush has. Conservative role model, indeed.

      • Jonas

        Yeah, but he has fewer out of wedlock kids than liberal icon Shawn Kemp.

        • Furious Jorge

          I get so confused about which pro athletes are supposed to be my icons these days. Thank Vishnu that Conservapaedia is around to tell me what I think.

  • The bit about Peyton Manning is particularly loopy. Is the dimwit who wrote that not aware that Peyton Manning is a Republican?

    • Funkhauser

      He is probably a RINO, like well-known RINOs John Roberts, Lindsey Graham, Bob Bennett, and Alan Simpson. Wrongthink crimes, all of them.

    • befuggled

      He used to post on talk.origins on usenet, as he is of course a creationist. Schlafly is the dimmest of the dim.

  • This is quite possibly the weirdest sports column I’ve ever read.

  • I have to post this here because it still makes me laugh to read every single one of them. A gallery of Conservapedia greatness.

    • I gotta quote a few- our examples of how liberals do what Conservapedia says they do (linked above).
      L=Liberal, C=Conservative

      46. Dismissing legitimate criticism as “a joke”

      C: The Grand Canyon was formed in the Biblical Flood and your “science” “is” “made” “up” of “facts” that are “wrong”. Also, Satan made me bob on that dude’s knob. I’m as str8 as they get, because the Devil made me do it. He actually didn’t make you gay because you have free will, you chose to be that way, and is why you will burn in hell.

      L. You must be joking.

      36. Reluctance to admit that anything is morally wrong.

      L: This brownie sundae sure is tasty.

      C: What about the brownie sundaes who melted to death in Iraq before we invaded?

      53. Inability or unwillingness to differentiate between genuine conservative arguments and parodies of conservative arguments. [PP note=!!!!!!!!!!!!!}

      L: New York law Firm. Q.E.D.

  • Sorry about the “last wordism” of my comment.

    • McAllen


      • Your silence speaks volumes, extreme racist!

        I need to go type a bunch of stuff about Yeezy on Mozart’s Wikipedia page.

  • Anderson

    Not like Manning is a Democrat.

  • Horatius

    When I heard the phrase,

    the jokes write themselves

    , I never imagined they would physically write themselves in this fashion.

  • I especially like how they’re totally unaware that MVP voting is done before the postseason begins, specifically so that postseason results won’t bias the voting on regular season awards. Well played indeed.

    • Craigo

      If he wants to bitch about MVP Awards, it’s arguable that Brees in 2008 and Brady in 2009 were more deserving. But 2003-2004 weren’t even close, and he probably should have won for 2005 and 2006 as well.

  • Jonas

    Only won the Premier League twice and only got to the Champions League finals, but never won? Dear God, what did those Homosexual Rights Campaigners do to Campbell?

    And in fairness to Conservapedia, they didn’t mention which game Lin is more valuable to than Kobe. Hungry Hungry Hippos? Parcheesi? Skeeball?

    • roy

      Despite the crazy, I think Lin might be more valuable to an expansion team than Bryant right now. I have no idea how you rank ‘valuable to the game’ however. Championships? ESPN posts?
      Tshirt sales? Lack of blackness?

      Lin was definitely a better college player than Bryant.

      • James E. Powell

        Lack of blackness?

        We have a winner.

        • Craigo

          I have trouble keeping the conservative racial caste system straight, but I guess “black=untouchable” should be easy to remember in the future.

    • patrick II


      One billion Chinese basketball shoes.

    • Joe Benge

      Sol Campbell was abused by fans for years because of some rumors that he was gay.
      “[K]nown to be sympathetic towards homosexual rights campaigners” is actually a pretty cowardly way of alluding to these rumours, which of course had no truth to them.

      Anyway, he had a fantastic career. Winning the league twice in five seasons, plus the FA Cup three times in that same period, and reaching (and scoring in) the Champions’ League final is up there with any English footballer’s club achievements. Overrated he ain’t.

  • That’s just a big ol’ pile of WTF.

    Magic Johnson — lucky enough to play on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Lakers

    Dude, WHAT?!?

    • Let’s fix that right now.

      • Ken

        You can’t. Conservapedia is the free encyclopedia that no one can edit. IIRC Schlafly had it open for a brief period after it started up, with predictable results.

    • And Jabbar is a noted conservative icon!

      • Bobby Thomson

        Yeah, they guy who compared playing NCAA athletics for the benefit of white universities to working on a plantation is a conservative icon. Got it.

        He did vote for Reagan for pocketbook reasons, but has since acknowledged that was foolish.

    • Jonas

      Yeah, AC Green and his abstinence is what really held those Lakers teams together.

    • apocalipstick

      Do they know that “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar” is a, y’know, Mooslim?

    • Socraticsilence

      Also um, they do realize the Kareem was militantly Islamic back in the day right, like people in a house he owned in DC were killed by a rival NoI faction back in the 70s Islamic, and that (though NoI is to Islam as Mormonism is to Christianity) he at least was a massive stoner?

      • Socraticsilence

        I should note that Kareem himself was never a member of the NoI but is instead a Sunni.

    • Stag Party Palin

      And when Kareem got hurt and couldn’t play in the playoffs during, I think, Johnson’s second year (?) who stepped up to play center in his (His) absence? That slacker Magic, natch.

      • It was his rookie year (79-80) and in Game 6 of the Finals, with Abdul-Jabbar home in LA, he took the opening tip — a great psychological ploy. But he played his usual game (with great results, 42-15-7); but it was Jim Chones who played center.

      • timb

        Yeah, but he sucked in that game. Only scored a million points and played good defense

  • calling all toasters

    All this reminds me of Mike Royko’s column about the day Christian teetotaler Alvin Dark came into a bar where Royko was drinking. Dark sermonized to everyone there about the evils of drink and loose sexual morals, until one of the drunks asks about Babe Ruth. When Dark admits that Ruth lived the life that he was warning against, and that Ruth was a much better player than he, Dark is pretty much laughed out of the bar.

    Conservapedia would, of course, deduce that Dark was a better player than Ruth.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      …or at least Dark did more for the game! Have you ever looked who was on those Yankees teams with Ruth? Guy was a total freeloader. The proof? He had been a great pitcher with the Red Sox, but in all his years with the Yanks he pitched a total of 31 innings! Guess New York just didn’t need his “greatness.”

      • Jonas

        And Babe Ruth was only a two-time all-star. He was no Omar Vizquel.

  • Tybalt

    Has no one else noticed that the authors clearly wish Magic Johnson should die?

    People look at him, and say, ‘Hey, it’s OK to get HIV because I’m living with it.’ That is the wrong message.

    I can find no way of reading this other than ‘Magic’s failure to die from AIDS is a disastrous failure of leadership.’

    • Jonas

      I know, Kareem is a black muslim who was into weed and yoga, and who is now working for the Obama State Department as a cultural ambassador promoting African-American history and STEM education.

      But that’s conservative compared to Magic. With his AIDS!!!!1!

  • Jim

    Did they notice Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NAME?

    Also, I’m not aware of anyone who has used the words “Mark Sanchez” and “the superior player” in the same sentence. Ever. Anywhere. (But compared to Tebow? Maybe? Possibly? Is Mark Brunell still there?)

    • Bill Murray

      They still secretly call Kareem Lew Alcindor

      • Jim

        “12. Cassius Clay – promoted by the lamestream media for his controversiality at the expense of Rocky Marciano, a committed Catholic, family man, veteran, and the ideal conservative voter

  • emrventures

    Conservepia is so loony that I don’t think even loony conservatives take it seriously. Best ignored.

    • emrventures

      And your links are f’ed up.

    • NonyNony

      Conservapedia is actually used as a reference source for people who are homeschooling their kids and want to make sure they’re not feeding them liberal lies like you would find in Wikipedia or Encyclopedia Brittanica.

      There are plenty of loopy conservatives who use it, and they use it to educate their kids. If that doesn’t make you weep for the future, I’m not sure what would.

  • My favorite from their movie section- The Ten Commandments,the definitive film portrayal of Exodus.

  • Ben Hosen

    Holy shit. I thought the Bryce Harper, Conservative White Man Taking Extra Bases off Lazy Black Liberal Union Member Right Fielders article was special.

    They’re not funny anymore. Sick shit. And yeah, I know Conservapedia lends itself to nutpicking, but I am more alarmed than amused. Radio Rwanda.

    Really, if one took Rush Limbaugh seriously one would have to build a lot of gas chambers AND FAST to save one from the Black and the Mexican and the Atheist and the Other.

  • Ben Hosen

    On a lighter note… this is to sportswriting as LaHaye/Jenkins or St. Rand is to fiction. Makes brain hurt. And no, not because of its brilliance.

  • Beckham easily the Most Over-Rated Player of the last decade but they still can’t but make an own goal out of it.

    • MAJeff

      That may be, but you can’t turn Wayne Rooney into an international underwear model. *shudder*

    • Karen

      “Own goal” is a phrase from soccer, which is played in Europe and therefore liberal amd designed to corrupt good Americans. Conservapedia would never lower itself to doing anything that associates themselves with something so evil. Find a phrase from baseball or NASCAR.

      • Pith Helmet

        … caused a 20-car wreck racing to the starting flag.

      • Colin Day

        Conservapedia committed five errors in a single inning, allowing four runs to score.

        • And those runs came from players turning left at each base! Wake up, sheeple!

  • Apostrophina

    Good grief. To paraphrase that line from the Ocean’s Eleven remake, “They also played sports occasionally.”

  • Larry

    This kind of writing is replacement therapy for stupid young conservadick writers. It’s the only thing that keeps them from playing with their poo-poo in public, except verbally of course. So, have a heart, Erik!

  • Rarely Posts

    Beckham is not overrated. He’s an incredibly attractive, hot, athletic man. So, he gets a lot of attention, all of which makes sense.

    Now, if they’re talking about achievement in terms of goal scoring or something, that’s out of my expertise. . . . In any event, I’m not convinced that I should care.

    • Craigo

      Beckham is a midfielder, so goalscoring is not actually something you expect him to do regularly. This is lost on people who call him “overrated” despite having consistently led the Premier League in assists.

      • Thlayli

        Four times in his career, one of Beckham’s teammates has won the league scoring title: Dwight Yorke, Ruud van Nistelrooy twice, and Landon Donovan.

      • Furious Jorge

        What would be the American football equivalent of this?

        (All I really know about football is that Tim Tebow and Penn State suck.)

  • Liam

    Athletic Stalinism?

    • apocalipstick

      Stalinist athletic supporter.

    • mark f

      Not under Stalin, obviously, but I remember one of the Soviet players on the 1972 Olympic basketball team describing the USSR’s approach to the games (there was a good HBO documentary about the gold medal game that year). The political leadership was heavily invested in developing the teams but also informed and realistic about each team’s chances, and had specific but reasonable expectations for their final placement. But you did not want to go home having fallen short of those expectations, and not because they weren’t going to throw you a parade.

  • This is hillarious. The reason Agassi got almost as much attention as Sampras, despite Sampras’ better record, was because of Sampras’ conservatism?? Couldn’t possibly be that Agassi had some kinda flare and personality, whereas Sampras (who was my fav as a kid) had the personality of a tennis towel. He also turned out to be pretty stingy according to Agassi’s book, tipping valet’s a whole dollar at his swanky OC restaurants, if at all. Agassi on the other hand has opened a school for low-income children in Vegas.

    Also too, Djokovic is back to number 2. Number 1 being Federer, who ontop of his 17 majors a guy who started a school/foundation for poor girls in Malawi, Africa.

    • Usually just lurk

      Conservapedia is beyond parody it is true true. But they are correct that Sampras was more successful than Agassi but Agassi got more press attention. However this is explanable by who they were and what they did:

      1) Agassi was better earlier in his career (except for that really weird 1990 US Open where Sampras played out of his mind and then returned to his second-tier form until 1993 Wimbledon). From 1988-1992 Agassi was winning more tournaments and getting to many grand slam finals before winning Wimbledon 1992, so he got a lot more attention.

      2) During the early career Agassi dressed wildly, acted flamboyantly on court (not MacEnroe-style tantrums, but instead crowd-entertaining kind of stuff), and generally got a lot of attention for himself. Remember how he avoided WImbledon in the early years because of the “predominantly white” requirement for tennis clothing. Sampras’ style has always been to avoid attracting attention.

      3) Agassi’s many finals losses, especially early in his career, created a special sympathy for him especially as he slowly carved his way to the career grand slam. In Sampras heyday from 1993-2000 he just dominated and was always the favorite at Wimbledon and the US Open.

      4) Agassi’s career lasted a lot longer. As we’ve seen with people like Connors and Navratalova, if a great tennis player sticks around past the normal retirement age and keeps playing well, or even great, they tend to get a lot of fan support during those final years. Remember how the crowd loved Martina – who usually did not have crowd support during her prime years – winning her final Wimbledon or Connors’ great run to the semis at the 1991 US Open. When Agassi got his career slam at the 1999 French Open (after having made the final twice at the start of the decade) it seemed like he’d basically capped a great career. Yet over the next 4 years he added for more slam wins, doubling his total.

      5) Sampras’ strength was a big serve and a strong volley game, which while effective was not unusual at the time especially at Wimbledon where he had half his slam wins. Agassi was indisputably the best returner of his generation which is a less common skill and also more interesting to watch as it creates longer, more varied points.

      6) Agassi’s personal life was fodder for the tabloids, and his personal problems meant that he had multiple comebacks from the depths of the tennis rankings – all of which generate more attention.

      • Hey UJL, thanks for those. Can’t argue with any of them.

        I’ve always felt that Agassi’s game never really peaked until he came back much later in his career. Didn’t he drop out of the game or at least fall pretty low, for a significant portion of the time when Pete was dominating? I think that explains alot of the numbers. Plus the time period when they played, was when serve-and-volley was starting to decline, but a good player (and Sampras was the best) could still dominate. Fast-forward only a couple years, and I think Pete would have had a much tougher time winning as many majors what with racquet technology, luxilon strings, slower grass at Wimbledon etc.

        I think Sampras undoubtedly wins the overall argument based on his numbers. But in a dream head-to-head matchup with both players at their peaks, I think it’s alot closer than the career numbers would suggest.

        It’s funny nowadays to hear McEnroe and many other commenter’s lamenting the loss of S&V and whining about how boring the game has become, when I remember my parents and lots of tennis fans were totally tired of the short-points of McEnroe, Becker, Edberg etc., and yearned for more baseline action when the big servers were dominating. Grass is always greener…

        Anyways, back to the original post: saying that Agassi is overrated is questionable at best (he won majors primarily with a RETURN of serve!! that was the best I’ve seen until Djokovic.) Claiming that he’s overrated because he’s liberal is just ludicrous.

        • Today’s grass would have given Agassi more chances at Wimbledon, and the place where he underperformed the most was the French, so I really feel like Agassi was an underperformer overall for total Slams. Sampras would still be better, but it would have been closer under current conditions. But nobody really claims Agassi was better than Sampras. Sampras was kind of a zero personality wise. C-pedia really is insane in unpredictable ways.

          • I went to see the Masters series at Staples Center last year. It was cool to see Sampras and Agassi go at it. With the newer racquet technology, Agassi’s returns were probably the highlight of the show. I can only imagine that the more powerful racquets combined with the crazy spin/control of today’s strings would have made his backhand even more daunting than in his day. I mean, it was like thunder when he would crank one. The match was too exhibition for my taste (too much banter and joking etc.) but when they ripped balls it was really something to behold. Not quite as awesome as the current/young guys, but still pretty amazing. Which isn’t to say that Sampras wouldn’t also be tougher with today’s racquets. But I think it’s something that really helps the return even more (which I think is fairly backed up by the fact that there are many players with crazy-fast serves (Raonic, Tsonga, Berdych, etc.), but all the guys at the top, have huge returns.)

            I’m kinda surprised that conservatives haven’t claimed Nadal as he is a total family guy who even still lives with his parents. Hmm, must be that darker skin and the fact that he speaks mostly Spanish.

        • Usually just lurk

          I agree it’s funny to hear McEnroe talk about the loss of S&V making the game boring. When S&V dominated there was a lot of talk about how the game was getting too boring and needed to be changed. At one point they were tracking number of volleys per point and the average was less than 3 at Wimbledon because of the dominance of the Serve. Perhaps the lowest point was rainy 1991, when one-slam-wonder Stich actually won matches without ever breaking his opponents serve – because his own serve was so dominant.

          I wonder if McEnroe remembers proposals to raise the net, or do away with the second serve, or require servers to have both feet on the ground, or – most radically – require a return to wooden rackets. All those were seriously talked about, and all because the dominance of S&V made the game far too one-sided.

          • Ed

            I am sure that McEnroe remembers all those things. His point is that the pendulum has swung back a bit too far, and the diminishing difference between surfaces has contributed to a certain sameness of play. You can disagree with that but it’s a perfectly defensible position.

            Sampras is not a colorful or in some ways even a particularly likable personality, but he was a better player than Agassi even if a wingnut says so and it is foolish to argue otherwise.

            • Furious Jorge

              Sampras is not a colorful or in some ways even a particularly likable personality, but he was a better player than Agassi even if a wingnut says so and it is foolish to argue otherwise.

              But that’s not really what the wingnut is saying. He’s saying that Agassi is a) overrated, and b) got that way based solely on his and Sampras’ relative political views.

              Do try to keep up.

        • Usually just lurk

          I don’t think there is any argument that Sampras was more successful than Agassi. 14 slams versus 8 – both were great players but that is always the primary measure.

          The what-if game is interesting but we can never be sure. It is interesting to remember that Sampras started as a baseliner in his teen years and was coached to learn serve and volley. The story is that he nearly quit because he had so much difficulty converting from a two-hand backhand. If he’d come up in today’s era he’d probably have trained differently so who knows how’d he’d perform?

          As for Agassi’s many career troughs – that’s hard to say too. Maybe he needed those periods of depression or distraction (Brooke Shields) as part of the process to develop the mental toughness he gained in the last half of his career.

          Remember also that Agassi had that strange period early on when he picked up a bodybuilder as his strength coach (which everyone knew because that same strength coach was prominent in Agassi’s box at tournaments) and suddenly gained a ton of body mass. That’s basically forgotten now but a lot of the early calls for drug testing in tennis started then.

          • The biggest problem I always have with using # of Slams, or even head-to-head matchup numbers as the sole decider between two greats is that it doesn’t account for timing. In this case Sampras and Agassi’s careers overlap fairly well. But in a case like Federer vs. Nadal, any citing of the # of Grand Slams Roger has one, should come with a reminder, that a good portion of the ones he captured early in his career, were before Nadal came onto the scene. Since then, Nadal has been Federer’s kryptonite, more often than not.

            I’m not quite so quick to jump on steroid rumors in sports as other people. In football, yeah those guys get inhumanly huge and it seems fairly obvious. But with Agassi, and even Nadal, they look about as big as the kids in high-school that I knew who discovered the weight room and protein shakes, but didn’t have access to anything worse. That said, Agassi’s barrel-chest acquired at 30 years old and post-injury does make it a little suspicious. Gil Reyes is the trainer that I think you are referring to. And he was brought in mid-career and with him til the end. He trains Fernando Verdasco now.

            • Disagree a little bit- Nadal appears to be Kryptonite because almost every surface has changed to his benefit. Grass and the US Open are slower than they used to be, also the clay court season is three times as long as grass. Nadal’s numbers against Fed are slightly inflated by the fact that Fed is much better on Nadal’s best surface than Nadal has been on Federer’s surface, so Fed gets a lot farther in draws on clay than Nadal did in tournaments that favored Federer. I will definitely grant some of the matchup issues. It is odd how Federer has been more kind if in matches with Djokovic than he has with Nadal. Fed might go five and blow a few match points with Djoker, or even beat him, and then look like he has a tougher time with Nadal.

          • One foolish Agassi thing was that he didn’t play the Australian Open for a lot of years- he took that part of the year off. It was his best surface by far. Clay somewhat neutralized his power and exposed some fitness issues early in his career, and later was probably too punishing. Grass was just too much in Sampras’ favor, though Agassi had some just miss semis in addition to his final’s losses. US Open was great for him, but Rebound Ace at Australian was tops. Fast with a higher bounce. Should have played it more.

  • Matt

    This is nothing – here’s the Not-Thinking Housewife getting completely bent outta shape over BABY BOOKS:


    I shit you not; she’s honestly upset that a book designed to be read to a TODDLER features – gasp – white and BROWN rabbits together!

    Teh crazee runs *deep* with these folks; short of a nationwide program to start putting antipsychotics in the water supply, I’m not sure how those of us living in reality are supposed to “reach compromise” with the right – it’d be like asking Hunter S. Thompson to have a sit-down dinner with the lizard people….

    • For some reason, I clicked on that. I immediately regretted my decision.

  • Andrew Schlafly was on the Colbert Report some time ago, talking about his ConservaBible (or whatever he called it), which, if anything, was even more nuts than plain ol’ Conservapedia. Alas, Colbert completely passed on the opportunity to make him look like the lunatic he is, which would’ve been the easiest thing in the world.

  • Sherm

    Very surprised that Jackie Robinson is not on the list.

    • Bill Murray

      He did support Nixon not too long before he (Jackie) died

      • snarkout

        You would think being a Repubican Pepsi-Cola executive would make Jackie Robinson A-OK in Conservapedia’s book, but he said some nasty things about Goldwater and the YAF so the color line was broken by William Edward White.

        • snarkout

          Breaking! William Edward White was a student at liberal elitist hotbed Brown University, so it’s back to Moses Walker, who based on his name was probably a strong supporter of Israel.

          • Bill Murray

            and Fleetwood Town, who just won promotion to League 2 (the 4th tier) in England

  • Atticus Dogsbody
  • Dbb

    Sampras was crap on clay at Rolland Garros. He made one semifinal and one round of 16, his only forays into the 2nd week of the French Open. Agassi outside his ’99 win was runner up in ’90 and ’91 and was seldom if ever beaten early if fit.

    • My guess is the wingnut response would be any true conservative would want to get the hell out of France with all possible speed.

  • KadeKo

    I’m not clicking on the link, but was Chris Dudley (failed Oregon gov candidate) too unsuccessful an NBAer for them to glorify?

    • matt w


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  • matt w

    I know this is way late, but did anyone notice David Icke on the conservative athletes list?

    I mean, holy carp. David Icke.

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