Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Mabel Report

ZWR's newly named Director of Media Relations, Hipster, Cultural, and Cool Initiatives recently filed the following, which I'd like to share. Fancy stuff and academic-sounding thoughts reflect her opinions, sentiments as to my charm are of course shared by everyone.

Zoo With Roy
ZWR Monthly Report

It’s been a big month here at “I Want To Go To The Zoo With Roy Halladay.” It may not be me going to the zoo with Roy, but in my short tenure here I feel I have become spiritually in tune with the mission. (And for the record, the one thing I really want to know is why Roy gave Philly such a huge discount. Everyone says “I want to win” but then most of them walk and take the bigger money anyway. I’m also curious about what he likes to watch on TV-- I bet he likes the History Channel... and of course Animal Planet.) At this juncture, it is worth a reminder of just what that mission is: To send “Zoo With Roy” to the zoo, with Roy. The goal has not been achieved but I think we’ve made progress. I don’t have access to the precise analytics or the SABRToothTigerMetrics, but here’s a summary of some of the things that happened this month:

* 4 big Roy wins.

Also I’ve started a new tradition called “Tacos and Roy.” It’s awesome. I eat tacos and watch Roy on my computer. Sometimes it’s “Tacos, Thesis and Roy.” That’s less awesome but I think Roy values my education, right? He’s all: “if I ever need an expert in media and cultural studies, I totally want Mabel to be it.” Do you think Roy ever regrets not having gone to college? Like does he wish he knew more stuff or is he all “Dude, I make a ton of money and I’m the best pitcher in baseball and I’m amazingly awesome, I don’t need college”?

* Shout Outs on The 700 Level

I want to take a moment and highlight this specifically because a shout out on the 700 level could mean one step closer to Roy. The 700 Level is affiliated with (owned by?) Comcast. Allegedly the Phillies own a minority share of ComcastSportsNetwork (this comes from an unverified Wikipedia post, I plan to look into the allegation in the future but ya know I have degrees to earn). The Phillies pay Roy Halladay. Thus, we had a shout out from Roy’s employer. What we do with this information remains to be seen but it could come in handy.

* Shout Out in The City Paper.

* Shout Outs on The Fightins.

* Eleventy Five Bagillion Cool Points Earned.

* Captured the “White Guys Drinking Beer In Parking Lots” Demographic.

* Had a ZWR shirted fan drink FROM A JUG and somehow have the presence of mind to get a picture taken...

* Continued to be the premiere spot online for MSPaint Portraits and Animations of Roy Halladay.

* New Acronym Developed (HLHIII).

* Went Dot Com (ZWR Edit: RIP .blogspot).

* Got face-breakingly awesome video from up and coming Indie filmmaker Hunkie McDreamy.

* Plus Penguins Are Cute. And so are little tigers. And so is Roy.

Additionally, literary references were up this month including shout outs to Dickens, Matthew Arnold, A.E. Housman and... me! (the most highly touted literary talent of the Phillies academic blogosphere).

All of this is good and certainly speaks to the ongoing project of branding ZWR as not only a friend to the animals and to Roy Halladay but to the literary community as well. However, I think we need to work on our diversity here. That’s alot of old white dude literary references, plus me. And I’m not sure anyone actually clicked on the link and read what I wrote. Yes we’ve had some hip-hop this month, but as a beacon of cultural influence I think we want to encourage multiplicity. We need to take our position in the media seriously and consider further the impact of who and what we represent. In particular, gender representation has been lacking. Is there a single MS paint featuring the ladies? I know the trip to the zoo is a special bond between “Zoo With Roy” and Roy, but does that necessarily preclude attention to “the other half”? I hope not.

All of this having been said, ZWR has nonetheless been something of a refuge in a sometimes ugly blogosphere and for this it (and you) should be praised.

A word on SABRmetrics vs. not-SABRmetrics and There are those who believe in measuring baseball players with numbers. There are others who judge based on watching players play. What ZWR brings to the table is attention not only to the text of the game, but to extratextual discourses and how those affect the text. When considering the value of ballplayers we absolutely can not solely consider their worth on the field. This may sound antithetical but it’s how stardom works. What ZWR does is highlight how stardom and fandom work-- a very important intervention into the collective relationship to the game.

Future Goals

* Get “Zoo With Roy” to the zoo, with Roy (of course).

* Adopt Red Panda.

* Continue to Break Faces.

* Get Cuttered/SoCuttered matching t-shirts on national TV, which I plan to parlay into:
a. a trip to the zoo with roy for “Zoo With Roy”
b. a part-time job for me on ESPN talking about shit that matters. I would actually rather write for Sports Illustrated (that was actually the first thing I ever wanted to do when I grew up), but I’d do ESPN.
c. a real job for Hunkie McDreamie making movies

* Get Cuttered (does that usage of the word cuttered work? it sounds like a word that could mean drunk...) in a parking lot, FROM A JUG (ok not really from a jug, I try my best not to drink alcohol from jugs anymore, and actually I haven’t gotten drunk in a parking lot since I was like 19, I usually just drink at my house before I leave for the ballpark).

* I am also interested in further exploring the place of ZWR in the Phillies blogosphere. This might eventually involve ethnographic research and participant observation, but I think we might start the project from the industry standpoint: the man behind the bolg, the man who wants to go to the zoo with Roy. Why did he start this blog? How does he see the blog fitting into the broader Phillies blogosphere (which focuses on the game text)? Does he have goals beyond going to the Zoo with Roy? Does he see the blog as a contribution or intervention into said Phillies Blogosphere? Where does his staff fit into this vision? Where does drinking in a parking lot FROM A JUG fit in? Why the zoo? Why Roy? I think this inquiry would be best served by in person interviews (hopefully not in a parking lot while drinking from a jug), but the logistics of that remain to be seen.

Additionally, I’m hoping for this to be part of a broader inquiry into Phillies blogging and the nature of both the sports blogosphere and the sports text, but change starts at home.


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