Where do you fall on the sports fan spectrum?

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Tyrades! by Danny Tyree

I’m guessing my brother-in-law was underwhelmed by the recent earth-shattering announcement from ESPN, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery.

I mean, he’s the family member who posted a Facebook meme of Snoopy joyously dancing under the headline “This is me not caring about the Super Bowl.”

Back to the trio of media powerhouses: in case you haven’t heard, they announced an as-yet-unnamed joint streaming service app that would provide programming content from all the major sports leagues, plus college football, college basketball and more.

The breathless declaration was tempered by the fact that the bundle won’t be able to provide the games that have been contractually locked in by NBC Universal, CBS or Amazon. Sort of like a local merchant promising, “We pride ourselves on one-stop shopping – as long as you don’t count swinging by MacNamara’s Hardware and Ernestine’s Florist and catching Zeb before he closes the bait shop…”

Even in light of that, the app would still be a godsend for sports enthusiasts who have long sought to simplify the ordeal of locating all their favorite games out there in Streaming Land.

Granted, it’s ironic that people who expect athletes to “walk it off” and “give 110 percent” want their own endeavors to be “easy peasy lemon squeezy.”

More power to the folks who are salivating over the new service, but they need to be considerate of others. Viewers raised in a sports bubble have a tendency to see neighbors who DON’T eat, sleep and breathe sports as un-American, testosterone-challenged or in need of reprogramming after an alien abduction.

Like it or not, sports enthusiasm occupies a spectrum: from rabid fan to avid fan to casual fan to “If you don’t silence that minor league squash exhibition game on your cellphone, I’m going upside your ex-jock head with my bird-watching binoculars!”

Sure, sporting events “bring nations together,” but considering the lifelong rivalries, it’s like everyone is watching the Zapruder film and half the people are cheering for Lee Harvey Oswald!

And, yes, athletic competition has contributed to the rise of our civilization; but the opposable thumb deserves a wee bit more credit than the foam finger, don’t you think?

Sure, sports evolved from war as a means for man to peacefully strive for victory. But “Equestrian badminton: it’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp lance” is not the ringing endorsement you might think.

I realize people need to unwind after a hard day at work (although our ancestors managed to get by without millionaires J.P. Getty and Cornelius Vanderbilt slugging it out in a pay-per-view cage), but viewers don’t really seem to be finding peace of mind.

The $50 or so that the new app will cost each month is not outrageous; but I still remember the halcyon days when we got the Professional Bowlers Tour and “the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat” for free and if you missed them, you muddled through until the next weekend.

Now we have a 24-7 sports environment where diehard fans are terrified that someone somewhere is seeing a game that they aren’t. I understand that extremists are even threatening violence against the hallucinogenic mushroom industry.
“Don’t lie to me, shroom-fiend! I just know you’re seeing games that no one else sees! What’s that? Woodstock the bird sang the National Anthem? Nooooooo! UFO, take me away!”

Copyright 2024 Danny Tyree, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at [email protected] and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”

Controversial author Harlan Ellison once described the work of Danny Tyree as "wonkily extrapolative" and said Tyree's mind "works like a demented cuckoo clock."

Ellison was speaking primarily of Tyree’s 1983-2000 stint on the "Dan T’s Inferno" column for “Comics Buyer’s Guide” hobby magazine, but the description would also fit his weekly "Tyree’s Tyrades" column for mainstream newspapers.

Inspired by Dave Barry, Al "Li'l Abner" Capp, Lewis Grizzard, David Letterman, and "Saturday Night Live," "Tyree's Tyrades" has been taking a humorous look at politics and popular culture since 1998.

Tyree has written on topics as varied as Rent-A-Friend.com, the Lincoln bicentennial, "Woodstock At 40," worm ranching, the Vatican conference on extraterrestrials, violent video games, synthetic meat, the decline of soap operas, robotic soldiers, the nation's first marijuana café, Sen. Joe Wilson’s "You lie!" outburst at President Obama, Internet addiction, "Is marriage obsolete?," electronic cigarettes, 8-minute sermons, early puberty, the Civil War sesquicentennial, Arizona's immigration law, the 50th anniversary of the Andy Griffith Show, armed teachers, "Are women smarter than men?," Archie Andrews' proposal to Veronica, 2012 and the Mayan calendar, ACLU school lawsuits, cutbacks at ABC News, and the 30th anniversary of the death of John Lennon.

Tyree generated a particular buzz on the Internet with his column spoofing real-life Christian nudist camps.

Most of the editors carrying "Tyree’s Tyrades" keep it firmly in place on the opinion page, but the column is very versatile. It can also anchor the lifestyles section or float throughout the paper.

Nancy Brewer, assistant editor of the "Lawrence County (TN) Advocate" says she "really appreciates" what Tyree contributes to the paper. Tyree has appeared in Tennesee newspapers continuously since 1998.

Tyree is a lifelong small-town southerner. He graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications. In addition to writing the weekly "Tyree’s Tyrades," he writes freelance articles for MegaBucks Marketing of Elkhart, Indiana.

Tyree wears many hats (but still falls back on that lame comb-over). He is a warehousing and communications specialist for his hometown farmers cooperative, a church deacon, a comic book collector, a husband (wife Melissa is a college biology teacher), and a late-in-life father. (Six-year-old son Gideon frequently pops up in the columns.)

Bringing the formerly self-syndicated "Tyree's Tyrades" to Cagle Cartoons is part of Tyree's mid-life crisis master plan. Look for things to get even crazier if you use his columns.