Actually, Lou Williams, Maybe You're the Nerd
The Los Angeles Clippers guard said he was just talking trash when he called sportswriters nerds, but maybe he's just a self-loather.
When you're nerding out hardcore. © Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Wow. I see how it is, Lou. The NBA offseason starts and the only thing that can occupy my dude's brain is some "lighthearted" BULLYING against sportswriters and the condition of BEING a sportswriter.
You know, Lou Williams, basketball player, two-for-one specialist, longtime bench gunner, recently shipped from the Houston Rockets to the Los Angeles Clippers in the blockbuster Chris Paul trade, I understand that you're probably frustrated about needing to move all your shit to a different city, and that your team didn't think you were so essential that you couldn't be dropped like a boiling pickle the second Paul became available, but do you really need to take it out on the noble, and nobly handsome, profession of sportswriting?
Every time I look at that vile word, I see a new depth of cruelty and ignorance inlaid in its curves. We've spent all this time trying to be nice to you, Lou. Been here to support you in your professional endeavors, wherever they may lead. And this is how you repay us?
Not one athletic bone in their body?
Sir. How dare you, sir. I'll have you know that I—a sportswriter of some note who has probably, at some point, covered a game you played in, I think—am actually an ACCOMPLISHED middle distance cyclist, grinding my way around the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area on nothing but two wheels and an unbreakable will. Look at the shit I was up to not TWO DAYS AGO, all while you were presumably sleeping or eating or having sex or something:
No athletic bone, sir!? Sir, how dare you, sir. That's 30 miles at a nearly ten mile-an-hour pace, with SEVERAL significant climbs on my path from my home in Hazel Dell to the Tikillium Crossing in Portland, Oregon. I don't even have clip pedals on my bike! (I can't afford them, us "nerds" don't get paid millions).
That's right, Lou: I'm out here crossing STATE LINES for exercise while you're playing Trivial Pursuit, or whatever it is the quote-unquote non-nerds do in the offseason.
I have no offseason, sir. The bicycle grind lasts all year.
Anyway, maybe it's time for you to look in the fucking mirror, buddy, because when you really think about it, one of us is a nerd, here, and guess what: It's not me, the noble, handsome sportswriter.
It is, in fact, you. The athlete.
I know what you're screaming at your cell phone right now, Louis. "HOW DARE YOU, YOU PIGMAN, YOU DISGUSTING CAVE-DWELLING BLOGGER PIECE OF GARBAGE. HOW DARE YOU ACCUSE ME, A PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE OF BEING A NERD."
Ah-hah, sir, but my writerly powers have handed to me a blade of pure Valyrian Steel, a tool to slice your assault on my kind, and more, importantly, ME, into tiny ribbons.
Athletes often brag about how much they work. I suspect you would accept that this is true? Your physical form, Louis, shows signs of weightlifting, your basketball skills suggest an inordinate amount of time practicing jump shots, dribbling, driving to the rim, precisely perfecting crossovers, learning about on court tactics, reading the scouting reports of your opponents, and things of that nature.
Hmm. Obsessive focus on a singular task …
Constantly refining your approach ...
Consumed with one obscure aspect of living in a way that many other humans would find extraordinarily boring …
Sounds, to me, personally, like perhaps, Louis, it is, in fact, YOU who are the nerd.
The basketball nerd.
The athlete nerd.
I am a writer with a whole bevy of other interests. I'm not out here obsessing over one discrete aspect in a universe full of wonder. I am not observing the movement of my own wrists over and over, so much that I have developed an intimacy with the little tiny movements of my bones, so much that a single displaced ligament sends me into FITS of neurosis, or to a "Physical Therapist" to spend hours and hours spinning a ball to put it all back into place.
That kind of obsessive focus sounds PRETTY nerdy to me, unlike JOURNALISM, which is extremely cool. Hemingway was a journalist, you know. And he was cool. Probably cooler than any athlete, when you really think about it. You nerd.