Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Wall Street Journal Needs to Spend More Time On The Couch

Let's Keep Jason Gay's Butt Planted in Front of the TV More Than One Day a Week

It's all too rare in newspapers nowadays to have destination reading, especially in the sports section. Columnists quit or get fired. Beat writing is, well, beat writing, assuming the paper is even covering the team anymore.
That state of affairs is why going to the back of the Marketplace section to read Jason Gay's "The Couch" column in Monday's Wall Street Journal is a must.
Sure, you get insights without the bombast. But what you mostly get are laughs, and plenty of them. From yesterday's column:

Well, at least it wasn't a boring Wimbledon final, like last year's.

What can you say about Sunday's All England Club epic match between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick? Here's what we can say: We started, as usual, with breakfast at Wimbledon. Then we had brunch at Wimbledon. Then we had lunch -- a cold chicken sandwich at Wimbledon. Our house guests had cocktails at Wimbledon. Then more cocktails at Wimbledon. We debated marinating a steak at Wimbledon. Then we grew terrified: was this all-time classic sporting event going to preempt NBC's "Merlin"?

Or this gem about the U.S. collapse to Brazil in the Confederations Cup final:

It was cruel and mesmerizing to watch. The yellow-and-green soccer juggernaut scored early in the second half and relentlessly pounded U.S. goalie Tim Howard until they finally prevailed 3-2. When it was over the American players were crestfallen. They'd come within one half of a Wheaties box. Now they had to watch Brazil celebrate a title, which is like watching Derek Jeter celebrate getting a phone number.
"It's one thing to see the Promised Land," intoned ESPN analyst Alexi Lalas, whose hair we vastly preferred in its mangy, Big Lebowski form, as opposed to its current Dead Poets Society clean look. "It's another thing to get there."

Since Gay's column often features an item on TV the day before, it's clear he doesn't need much turnaround to turn in A-level work. The Journal should give him the chance to let a few more missives loose during the week, so we don't have to wait a whole week to once again sit on The Couch.

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