Last night, I watched the second episode of The Onion’s new Comedy Central series, SportsDome. The first episode started off strong, but fell off the tracks with a segment in which announcers picked people whom they’d rather kill. Just a tiny bit inappropriate.
What makes The Onion’s stuff so funny is that it gets at something we’ve thought about, puts a clown cap on it, and then magnifies it 100 times. But it’s the sliver of reality that weighs it down and makes us laugh for a second before we say, “Holy shit, yeah. Yeah!”
And that’s what happened when I watched this:
I started to laugh and tried to keep laughing, but I couldn’t. I looked like I was laughing—I think—but no sound came out. That was the “holy shit” moment. It was too real. Did someone wiretap my living room? I’d heard all this before.
I’m not trying to single out women. There are plenty of women who know way more about sports than I do, but that’s not the point. I’m just talking about watching sports with someone who knows almost nothing about whatever game is on—whoever it is. They want to be interested, and they want to care because, well, you do.
We tend to look at sports in an overly complex way. And like the girlfriends on SportsDome, a novice looks at the game through the most basic lens. It’s so basic and so obvious, that it’s really more complex than any of the bullshit about tactics, advanced stats, and team chemistry that I’ll spout out over the course of a game.
I mean, yes, I was voting for the orange team, but it’s not like that guy meant to miss the free shot on purpose.
Um, no, but he needs to make it. He has to make that shot, in that situation. He’s their team leader, their best player, and he shoots 80 percent from the line.
Everyone can’t make every shot every time.
Well, yes, that’s true. But based on his stats, he should’ve made those.
I don’t know why he didn’t just run up to the basket and put it in from closer. That would’ve been easier.
It’s a free throw. You have to shoot it from a certain distance.
Then why didn’t he just do it before?
Because there were guys there. And that’s beside the point; he makes $10 million a year. He needs to earn that money by hitting those shots.
Wait, he gets paid how much? He should get paid less than a teacher.
Actually I don’t know. He’s good at dribbling, and they paused the game once to show his mom in the stands, and she looked so proud of him!
But shouldn’t they be concerned he’s missing these big shots?
Concerned for what? It’s just basketball.
In the scheme of things it’s not that big of a deal.
But … it’s … I like … see, you can’t … fuck it. I can’t beat that.