Every Sports Story Right Now Is Stupid

“Can’t wait to see when Green Bay has to get over Brett Favre,” an irate Cleveland supporter wrote on Twitter after yesterday’s get-over-LeBron post. Well! Since you mention it: ideally, at least a month ago, please. Favre is washed up, and Favre is boring, in whichever order you please. But there he is, still in the press, for Wisconsin and the rest of the nation to contemplate. Why? Pure habit, and because all sports news right now is pointless. It’s Maaco Bowl Day ! Boise State, which was not worth caring about, plays Utah, which was not worth caring about. And that’s as good as the sports news about sports news gets.

So, on reflection, I half-apologize for singling you out, Cleveland. The carping about LeBron is annoying, but everything is annoying right now, especially between Sunday evening and lunchtime on the next Sunday. Unless somebody turns around and drops 80 points in an otherwise meaningless NBA game, the jockeying for NFL playoff position is the only national story worth noticing. And so the coverage is filled with:

• That thing about the videos . No, I’m not linking to anything. Go look at the Daily News if you haven’t heard about it, or better yet, don’t. I’m not even going to get into the part about the subject being a coach’s wife, two steps removed from the people who put on uniforms and score points, or about it dealing in consensual and personal business, and about this whole stupid Panopticon culture where anything available to anyone is therefore meant to be broadcast to everyone. I’m just going to bring up what I like to call the Daphne Merkin Rule : the thing about a kink is, by its very definition, it is much, much, much less interesting to other people than it is to the people who enjoy that kink. So this particular mess has the form of salaciousness, only without being interesting. Unless that specific thing is your thing, in which case, enjoy it on your own.

• UConn vs. UCLA . Congratulations to the University of Connecticut’s team in the sport of women’s basketball, for breaking and extending their own record for consecutive wins in that sport. The UConn women are as good in their sport as just about anyone else has ever been in any sport. Now everybody stop it with the annoying discussion of whether or not they “broke UCLA’s record.” Depending on which version of the record book you believe, the Huskies also have tied or broken Julio Cesar Chavez’s winning streak, except they have done nothing of the sort, because they are a Division I women’s college basketball team, not a professional boxer.

Whoever got the idea to drum up publicity by claiming UConn had surpassed the achievements of the UCLA men’s program—nice job. You took a great accomplishment by women in sports and used it to create an argument in which people have to choose between the misogynist side and the idiotic side. No one keeps a coed record book. If some player for UConn ever closes in on Patricia Hoskins’ all-time single-season record of 33.6 points per game , do you really want anyone to point out that Pete Maravich is still beating her by 10.9 points ? (And if basketball is basketball is basketball, the Huskies are still 8,740 wins behind the Harlem Globetrotters.) Nor, really, is it the greatest idea to celebrate your program’s lopsided dominance by comparing it to a men’s program where the superstars were semi-openly bought and paid for .

• Brett Favre . Will he start? Will he stop? Who cares? He’s done.