Last night was the NBA draft. Now, normally I don't watch the 294-hour long NBA draft, but once I started watching it, I was mesmerized by the absurdity of it all. The commentators sit there for at least six hours while the draft picks are announced, struggling to come up with different adjectives to describe the players. I can't tell you how many times I heard them rave about the "athletic ability of this extraordinary athlete." Really?
At one point, "special" was the word of the segment, which left me wondering if saying that a player had "special ability" and was a "special, special talent" meant that he was "special" in a borderline retarded way. Hey, extra HGH at a young age can have some "special" side effects. You never know.
(If you're interested, Bill Simmons does a great job finding the hilarity in the draft in this column for ESPN.)
Then I started thinking about it. Even though I found the draft to be a bizarre spectacle, it's no more absurd than the coverage of election returns. The same struggle for descriptive adjectives and analysis occurs, and the excitement of those watching it seems strange to people who don't care. And I'm saying this as one who does get excited about election returns, and who would totally host a presidential debate party.
However, I hope I never hear a commentator describe Obama or McCain as a "special, special talent."