I don't fucking like Mike Harrington. He's a monumental piece of shit, a terrible writer, horrible on twitter, looks creepy in the way that every guy who owns big white van with the faintest of rust marks looks creepy.
He's one of the reasons I wrote so much between summer of 2011 and summer of 2013, ending with this last one about the Sabres end of the season presser. That piece was so much fucking work and so much fun with transcribing and forcing jokes. Surprisingly, it was received by Harrington actually quite well as he responded to me "hahahah, asshole, that was awesome, also I hate you, but funny as hell" or something to that effect.
It feels lazy and probably is lazy to take shots at the dude over and over, though I never said I got into this world of sports shouting to work hard. Either way, Harrington's sort of funny and human response to me being pretty terrible to all of Buffalo sports print media caught me off guard to the point that I've since been pretty quiet when it comes to his buffoonery. Maybe that was his intention? To make me bored of taking him to task since he had destroyed some of the shock value of it - knowing he reads everything written about him online, because of course he does, and knowing he's fuming over me calling him the leader of the White Van Brigade. The joy was gone. So I let his digs at women's soccer or UFC or the Mets go without any responsive ragestorm because, ugh, why bother?
It was good while it lasted, I suppose.
It's easy to ignore a dude like Mike Harrington - he's obviously a moron, lacks social or any other kind of graces, likely smells like dog balls, and is an ugly human being, inside and out. It's easy to ignore him, but it's fun as hell - necessary, even - to come out guns blazing at such an easy target; to provide hearty rebuttal to his years of twitter blocks for cursing, to his pot shots at a blog run by dudes doing pretty good work for fucking free (see our banner above), to the way he nonchalantly disregards good, meaningful news like the You Can Play campaign that have been going on in the NHL. He's the Buffalo News Sabres beat writer, for fuck's sake. He is a voice in our world of sports consumption, and when he dirties the water of that world with some heinous bullshit, it's my self-appointed duty to overwrite a scathing rebuttal with my word-of-the-day dictionary at my side. All the better when he does something so completely fucked up, given his history of being publicly shaken to the core when someone tweets something naughty to him, by saying something that is across-the-board-of-civilized-society-off-fucking-limits.
Some background, if you haven't been paying attention:
Deadspin, noting a clear-as-day truth about the Baseball Hall of Fame voting process (in particular the HOF voters' asinine treatment of issues such as steroid use and, even worse, presumed steroid use or non-use) decided to buy a vote. To find a writer who has a vote for the HOF and buy it from him. So Deadspin did (though the writer didn't want their money, as we've learned), and opened up the voting to its readership. Mike Harrington has HATED this development since it started (see his tweet in that deadspin post), mostly because Deadspin has not infrequent swearing in its post and Harrington's delicate sensibilities are already hanging by a thread after the dozen Super Mighties he eats for lunch every day.
No big surprise that Mike was anti-rocking the boat on this one. Fair enough, your opinion is garbage because your reading skills are hampered by weird, misapplied Puritanism, but whatever.
Fast-forward to today, when the votes were cast and tallied and Glavine and Maddux and Thomas made it in. Deadspin posted the altogether reasonable 10-vote ballot based on their reader's votes, and also revealed the identity of the writer who "sold" his vote. It was Dan Le Batard, who - to his credit - gave a well-reasoned explanation of why he was willing to give his up his vote (because it would have more impact on the FUBAR process than not giving it up) and how he was surprised and pleased that they went about it a pretty solid way without making a mockery of a process that is already a mockery to begin with.
The process is broken. We have 20 years of baseball history about which no one really knows the complete truth, and the HOF voting process is left in the lurch with good players being left out based on mere suspicion and good players who may have very well juiced being let in based on the lack of suspicion. To the extent fairness matters here, and baseball fans including myself think it does, it's fucked. There's really no way around it, and neither Deadspin nor Dan le Batard ever had the power to make it any worse.
Mike Harrington, however, figured he could take his best shot at it.
<deep, liberal breaths>
Alright, Mike, please, can you explain this in a way that doesn't make me want to shove your whole body through the biggest meat-grinder I can find/pay someone to build?
"Tard" is slur, Mike. It's a vulgarity. You've chastised the Buffalo sports twitter universe over and again for tweeting slurs; for daring to question a point you've made unless it's written in TV-Y font. And now, because you hate Deadspin and hate cursing and hate people challenging your ideas ever, you figure the best thing to do is say that it's fitting that Dan Le Batard's name ends in "Tard," because ... oh shit I didn't know the context look away look away.
Fuck you, Mike. Your since-deleted tweet only made sense if you knew the "context" - i.e. of the meaning of tard as shorthand for "retard" as shorthand for "stupid" or "something you don't like" or "I'm going to use this word, social impact and professionalism be damned, because Deadspin are doo doo heads." What other meaning makes any sense, there? What other word is shortened to "tard" - a noun you found appropriate to describe Dan Le Batard doing something that you have routinely shouted down as infantile and horrendous - other than the one you now have the fucking balls to say you didn't know?? You used a slur; a word originally used to describe people for whom life is hard in an utterly cruel way, but who likewise deserve some fucking respect and dignity; a word that I have used in the past, to my own disappointment because fuck I know it's terrible; a word co-opted as a common-place insult that we just don't say anymore - particularly fucking publicly, Christ - because, well, we're trying to be better than we have been and trying, through our shared language, to not degrade a class of people so completely by speaking two simple syllables.
So fuck you, Mike.
Fuck you for being the worst kind of coward. The coward who does something that he immediately wants to take back, but then treats the rest of us like godforsaken morons by telling us the words you used don't mean what we know they mean. The coward who disgraces himself by attempting to take us all down a notch; by doing, as you so often do, the task that keeps you feeling above the people who just don't understand the thing you said because, I don't know, lol or some such bullshit.
I'm some kind of piece of shit here and on twitter - my family is largely ashamed of me because I curse too much, I go by a pseudonym so I don't get fired for being a piece of shit - but people call me out all the time and when I'm wrong, boy I hope I am more courageous than a sniveling little taint who feigns to tell us that we don't know the meanings of words as a means to save his own ass.
I do this for free, Mike. I hope you'll be doing the same soon.
Follow me on twitter @theycallmedubs and tell me I'm a piece of shit. You'd be right.