March 06, 2003

***SPOFI LOCKER ROOM INTERVIEW #5*** jacknose: Don't pull a "Jim Gray" on me and make me cry or talk crazy like Mike Tyson. Our first interview with a member of the Pantheon. As Mike would say: "I'm eck-thatick!"

posted by worldcup2002 to navel gazing at 12:36 AM - 71 comments

Well, it's been awhile since I we did this. But I'm pleased to continue our series of interviews with an unprecedented event, a colossal chat, a titanic talk, an Olympian oratory exchange with none other than SpoFi-er #1, jacknose. Thanks for gracing us with your presence, jacknose.

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:43 AM on March 06, 2003

Let's get down to it: 1. I know very little of the beginnings of SpoFi. I'm guessing from your ID (#1) that you're the founder. (Yes, I'm brilliant.) Could you share with us the SpoFi creation story?

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:45 AM on March 06, 2003

In the beginning . . . Well, I wish that I could tell you one of those stories where we ("the Pantheon") are sitting in a bar and are suddenly struck with an idea: SportsFilter! And for the next three hours, we write our plans on a stack of napkins, determined to take over the sports world. But alas . . . SportsFilter began with this MetaFilter post. I was mourning the loss of SportsJones, and within the thread, we were trying to identify other sports weblogs, and suddenly a shining light came down from the sky, and I heard an angelic voice (well, actually the voice sounded like Harry Carey): "you must begin a community weblog like MetaFilter but dedicated to sports, and you must call this site SportsFilter." Well, I might not be the smartest person in the world, but when there's a big light shining down on you from the sky and you hear the voice of Harry Carey, you listen to it. I gave it serious thought for a few days and contacted Matt Haughey (founder of MetaFilter) to get his opinion and see if he would help design it. I appreciated the spirit of MetaFilter discussions (for the most part) and wanted a sports weblog that offered the same kind of wit, intelligence, and thoughtfulness. So I did some MeFi research (I read all the past sports-oriented posts) and identified members that proved to be insightful and provocative and asked if they would join me. The rest, as they say, is history. (Of course, I could have just pointed you to our about page.) *One more thing: Although I have that number you always see associated with the big styrofoam hand pointing to the sky, I am no Matt Haughey. SportsFilter exists because of a group of people with a lot of web savvy and experience. So even though I walk around the house with my big styrofoam finger chanting that "I'm number one," I don't really believe it. (Okay, someone needs to stop me before I pull a Halle Berry.)

posted by jacknose at 08:33 AM on March 06, 2003

Your explanation was more interesting and informative than the official one. Halle Berry? I'd take her over Mike Tyson anyday. Do you do a lot of impressions of melodramatic black celebrities? OK, skip that question and go on to ... Q2. Why? Why start SpoFi? Why go through all this trouble to feed your sports jones?

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:33 AM on March 06, 2003

I'm pretty good with online impressions. Name any celebrity (I'm a multiculturalist impersonator, so race/ethnicity does not matter), and I will type out my impersonation. Try me. Okay, on to Q2. To be honest, it has not been too difficult to start and maintain SportsFilter. This is due partly to our small numbers (under 1000 members) and having Pantheonic help and support (not to mention that community weblogs tend to run themselves). It's costing some money, but so far it has been worth it. With that said, there are two reasons that I wanted to start SpoFi. First, as I already mentioned, I wanted a place to discuss sports in a more stimulating manner. Sports radio can get really dull and the majority of comments from listeners make you want to cry. I also do not like to get assaulted by "hair loss" and "teach your kids how to read" commercials. I think most advertisers imagine that sports fans are insecure bald men with idiotic children. I think there's a place for some interesting and intelligent sports talk, and I'd like SportsFilter to be one of them. Second, if I'm honest, I imagine that one day SportsFilter may be able to generate some income (but not by annoying advertisements). This may be delusional and is not a desperate need, but it certainly was part of the motivation to begin SportsFilter. We'll see.

posted by jacknose at 10:19 AM on March 06, 2003

I do have some soccer/football stories, so don't be afraid to ask. (BTW, do you hate me that I continue to use the slash when referring to football?)

posted by jacknose at 10:21 AM on March 06, 2003

Q 2.5: what's happening to your Pacers, man? (sorry wc, but I knew you wouldn't ask this)

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:30 AM on March 06, 2003

jacknose, I could never hate anything you do. I always enjoy your writing and your sense of humor. And, yes, I will ask you about soccer ... oh, err, football stories. Ufez: Get the fack ait a here. This is my faickin' interview. Wait until I'm faickin' done, you shite. ... ahem ... sorry, I'm still reveling in the puerile aesthetic that is Once again, thanks for setting up SpoFi. It is my favorite blog. Q3. Now, outside of SpoFi, what do you do? Tell us about work.

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:15 PM on March 06, 2003

Hey jacknose, you got any influence over there at Metafilter? I have been trying to join for about 4 years now, and the god damn new user sign ups have been closed forever, yet i see new users on all the time.

posted by StarFucker at 04:02 PM on March 06, 2003

Yup Starfucker. Hehe.

posted by squealy at 06:41 PM on March 06, 2003

I'm back. StarFuck, I'm not sure if MeFi is ready for you. The Pacers. Ugh. Ufez, we'll talk after Q10. (My stomach can hardly take their slump.) I am finishing my dissertation. I was recently hired as an assistant professor of media studies. I'm teaching college courses in film, media, and culture. I write when I get a chance.

posted by jacknose at 11:18 PM on March 06, 2003

Media Studies. Hmmm. Q4. What's media studies? Do you have an area of focus in media studies?

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:04 AM on March 07, 2003

My discipline examines the relationship between media and culture: how are perceptions, values, and realities shaped and constructed by the media environment. (My particular background is in media ecology which seeks to understand media as a complex symbolic environment.)

posted by jacknose at 07:54 AM on March 07, 2003


posted by StarFucker at 08:31 AM on March 07, 2003

Or as one of my friends would say: "that's very interes--Zzzzzzzzzz." (Think Homer Simpson with his head tilt back, saliva dripping out of the left corner of his mouth.) My current research incorporates film theory and media/cultural theory. I have a strong (and giddy) interest in cinema, which is to say I like films and am trying to make a career watching it, studying it, talking about it, making it. Okay, so enough about my occupation before everyone begins to imag-Zzzzzzzzzzz.

posted by jacknose at 08:44 AM on March 07, 2003

No, no, no. This is intriguing. Indeed, it is the semiotical underpinning of the multimedia socio-cultural context whi... zzzzzzzzzzz ... ... snorggle ... Wha!? ... Well, yes, perhaps we should move on to something other than work. Q5. What do you do outside of work and SpoFi? What sports do you play? What other media consumption or creation activities do you engage in? Do you have a honey?

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:57 AM on March 07, 2003

Growing up, I enjoyed and played most sports (especially American football), but around the age of 12 I started to focus on tennis and played quite seriously for a time. I was ranked in the state (in both singles and doubles) and broke several school records, but I eventually got burned out. Presently, I probably enjoy playing basketball the most, but since grad school, I mostly just sit around cafes and think deep thoughts, while downing peanut butter cookies. Like I mentioned before, I'm somewhat of a film junkie. As far as media consumption goes, film is my favorite dish. Of course, my work involves a lot of reading (zzzzzzzz). Production-wise, I'm working on a couple of small film projects. There are several kinds of honey that I like. Comb honey is probably the best because it feels so authentic. Of course, I also like whipped honey because you can easily spread it on a slice of bread. But to be honest, I usually just have the basic liquid honey. Oh, wait a minute, do you mean honey as in a chick, a babe, a lady, a woman? I'll be celebrating my 6th year of marriage in April. My wife is better than comb honey; she's made me a better human. That's the truth. She's my Marge.

posted by jacknose at 10:48 AM on March 07, 2003

I am a great actor...

posted by StarFucker at 11:12 AM on March 07, 2003

I bet you're not just a great actor, but a potential Star....

posted by jacknose at 12:11 PM on March 07, 2003

So if StarFucker becomes a star himself, can we tell him to go...

posted by trox at 01:42 PM on March 07, 2003

Why would you tell a Star to go!? Anyone want an autograph?

posted by StarFucker at 01:49 PM on March 07, 2003

Jacknose, yes I was referring to Marge. Altho, when you started talking about spreading it over a ... ... WHOA! Q6. Six years of marriage. I'm sure Mr. SF will have questions about that. My question: Do you have any kids? If yes, tell us about them.

posted by worldcup2002 at 07:36 PM on March 07, 2003

No kids, but that may change soon. We do have one dog. His name is Jack and he has a nose.

posted by jacknose at 12:50 AM on March 08, 2003

Q7. So, what's your media diet? What do you read, surf, watch, listen to?

posted by worldcup2002 at 10:26 AM on March 08, 2003

Isn't this the same question as Q5 (re: media consumption)? Where are the "what kind of tree would you be" questions? I'm in the middle of some research, but I'll answer Q7 later today.

posted by jacknose at 12:01 PM on March 08, 2003

BTW, I do see the difference between Q5 and Q7; I'm just giving you a hard time. I appreciate your interview skillz. You've become our SpoFi MC: our homeboy, our macDaddy, the Mr. Bling-Bling of Locker Room smack.

posted by jacknose at 12:05 PM on March 08, 2003

At the moment, I'm reading mostly non-fiction academic works. I just finished Mary Ann Doane's The Emergence of Cinematic Time: Modernity, Contingency, the Archive and will move on to Gilles Deleuze's Cinema 1: The Movement-Image and Cinema 2: The Time-Image. As far as fiction goes, I'm currently reading Walker Percy's The Moviegoer. I'm a fan of Hemingway and look forward to returning to some of his works. I used to visit MeFi regularly but rarely do so now. I check out the blogs of Steven Johnson and Wiley Wiggins. I'm starting to visit indieWIRE and Mindjack. I also check out the NBA's and Indianapolis Star's Pacers section. I just finished watching Saturday Night Live. I try to watch all of their new shows. Outside of sports, I'm a fan of The Simpsons ahd Gilmore Girls. Yes, you read that right: Gilmore Girls. I no longer have cable so that eliminates a lot of shows that I used to like. But mostly I watch films. In the past two weeks, I've seen the following: Amores Perros, City of God, Dreamlife of Angels, The Pianist, The Quiet American, Old School, Bottle Rockets, and Waiting for Guffman (the last two films I'd seen before). Zzzzzzzzzz. Before you snooze, let me slip in that I've been on a Bossa Nova jag, chilling to mellow sounds of Getz and Gilberto.

posted by jacknose at 12:50 AM on March 09, 2003

Brazil! Q8. So, now, what plans do you have for monetizing SpoFi?

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:12 AM on March 09, 2003

Bottle Rockets. Awesome obscure flick. Have you seen Palookaville?

posted by vito90 at 02:29 AM on March 09, 2003

Amores Perros is fucking intense. Good movie, though.

posted by Ufez Jones at 09:30 AM on March 09, 2003

vito, I've seen Palookaville. It shares the same spirit as Bottle Rockets, but you can't beat Dignan. I'm also a fan of Wes Anderson. Ufez, I agree. Q8. I would have to discuss it with the Pantheon. We've not really talked about "monetizing SpoFi" yet. Maybe Google will buy us. We won't want to lose money year after year, but so far it hasn't been too bad. Right now, we want to increase membership.

posted by jacknose at 09:10 PM on March 09, 2003

jacknose - I think increasing membership would be a key to enhancing the site. Maybe you should start a separate locker room thread about that and solicit seems like some discussions that could be really great peter out way too soon.

posted by vito90 at 09:42 PM on March 09, 2003

Well there's already 773 members, it just seems that only a small proportion of them actually speak up. I must admit my lack of even a basic knowledge (or interest) with regard to the major USA-centric sports hamstrings me in this department.

posted by squealy at 03:23 AM on March 10, 2003

Woops. Let's finish this interview before it disappears from the Locker Room. Q9. The really important question: What's your favorite beverage? Or just tell us about everything you drink.

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:42 PM on March 10, 2003

BTW, I agree with rcade and kirkaracha about being patient about the growth of SportsFilter. I think that we all want to see SpoFi grow a bit, but a slow and steady (more organic) growth equals a sturdier and more substantial base. rcade has encouraged this kind of growth from the beginning, and I think it's wise.

posted by jacknose at 12:48 PM on March 10, 2003

Based on the mistake of posting this comment in the wrong thread, I'm guessing jacknose's favourite beverage contains alcohol. And lots of it. :)

posted by grum@work at 01:38 PM on March 10, 2003

Come back to us, jacknose! Move toward the light!

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:43 PM on March 10, 2003

Fellas, I was responding to my last comment in this thread regarding my desire to "increase membership." I was just doing some cross-thread pollination. Okay on to Q9. So, WC, are you basically asking me what kinds of media I consume? Just kidding. My answer is bound to disappoint some of you. I drink a lot of liquids, but I'm no connoisseur. A Black & Tan is always nice (Harp and Guinness). I like ciders (especially in English pubs). But I'm not too consistent. I drink a lot of coffee when I'm studying/researching, and I like to have tea when I'm playing chess or feeling all Zen-like.

posted by jacknose at 02:53 PM on March 10, 2003

Its Bass and Guinness!

posted by StarFucker at 03:10 PM on March 10, 2003

SF quit Harping on him

posted by vito90 at 03:20 PM on March 10, 2003

It depends on who you ask, lad. The beer advocate prefers me combo; calls it "traditional," it does. (Don't ask me why I'm suddenly writing like an Irish Yoda.)

posted by jacknose at 03:24 PM on March 10, 2003

Yeah, if you don't stop Harping on me, I'll kick your Bass.

posted by jacknose at 03:45 PM on March 10, 2003

You see how my questions are all circulating around the "media consumption" thing, huh? I wish I could say it was a tribute to your media studies vocation, a canny yet subtle introduction of echoing patterns reverberating around an ephemeral core ... ... but I wouldn't know what I was talking about. And I'd be lying. It's a coincidence. I'm not that smart. So, hey, let's get down to the last and bestest question: Q10. What do you look like? Alternate question Q10a. Who's your favorite SpoFi-er? Why? Favorite SpoFi post (your own or someone else's)? Why? -- I know, it's all me.

posted by worldcup2002 at 04:39 PM on March 10, 2003

Q10b) are you "Dirty Money" in the SpoFi fantasy NBA league? if so, further questions (and smack talking) shall come.

posted by Ufez Jones at 01:41 AM on March 11, 2003

Oh, I'm average height. You'll usually see me sporting blue pants and white short sleeve collar shirts. I have a lot of them. I have a gut that makes the shirts a bit snug on me, but I don't mind. I have a few strands of hair on the top and side of my head, and people always comment how big and buggy my eyes are. And I'm also yellow. Doh! Wait a minute that's not me. (The only thing that's true is that I'm yellow.) I'm not "Dirty Money" but I like that name. My favorite SpoFi member would have to be rabi.

posted by jacknose at 08:19 AM on March 11, 2003

Never heard of rabi...

posted by StarFucker at 08:32 AM on March 11, 2003

Thanks for playing, jacknose! And thanks for setting up SpoFi. Good luck with your plans to grow this place and make it financially self-sustaining. But do try to keep that "low-key vibe" that rcade talks about. I think that's what makes this place special. Anybody else have questions? Do it quick. I don't think this interview will stay on the Locker Room front page for very long ...

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:49 AM on March 11, 2003

Jacknose, I appreciate all your efforts. I fully support the low-key approach, I'd just like to see more 20 to 30 comment threads that aren't about soccer. Soccer is great and I love it and don't get me wrong, I just wish the American Football fans and baseball and chess fans had the same passion. And I think the movie I mentioned earlier is properly titled "Welcome to Palookaville" not just "Palookaville". Have you seen "Gun Shy" with Liam Neeson?

posted by vito90 at 10:21 AM on March 11, 2003

You are NOT going to get passion from Helmet Football or baseball fans... Refer to this thread for a good explanation for this...

posted by StarFucker at 10:48 AM on March 11, 2003

I love you, StarFucker! I have tried stuff here w/ sailing, field hockey, ping pong, etc. to no avail. All I get is, it ain't football. StarFucker is right: Soccer will rule! Goaaaaallllllll!

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:06 PM on March 11, 2003

No, I've not seen Gun Shy. Did you like it? By the way, rabi happens to be a close friend of mine, so I thought that I'd give him some props. Every non-soccer fan has a buddy that goes on and on about the beauty and majesty of "football" and the utter foolishness of other sports (you know, a starfuckety kind of guy). rabi is that friend. Admittedly, he has persuaded me a tad and is the reason that I found myself getting up early in the morning to watch the most recent World Cup. I've also heard his story of kicking a game-winning goal from the mid-field during one of his high school games about a gazillion times. I think he bent it like Beckham (by the way, has anyone seen this movie?).

posted by jacknose at 07:00 AM on March 12, 2003

Crapola. I noticed a glitch that was screwing up my links in this thread. Sheesh, no one mentioned it to me. Either you didn't want to hurt my feelings, or you don't give a damn about my links.

posted by jacknose at 07:13 AM on March 12, 2003

I didn't want to point it out in case you banned me. I know how touchy you Americans are. :-P Liberty fries please.

posted by squealy at 08:24 AM on March 12, 2003

And a Homeland Security hamburger and Carnivore Cola please!

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:11 AM on March 12, 2003

HA!! Good one worldcup... I am so ashamed to be an American right now. Can you believe they changed the names of French Fries and French Toast in the cafeterias at the House of Representatives to Freedom Fries and Freedom toast?! Who fucking elected these Bozos!?! Is that how grown men behave?! These people are representing us!? GOD DAMN! And hey jacknose, if rabi is so into football, how come we never see him around?

posted by StarFucker at 10:34 AM on March 12, 2003

Here I am, SF.

posted by rabi at 11:44 AM on March 12, 2003

There you are, rabi.

posted by StarFucker at 11:50 AM on March 12, 2003

rabi! You should be playing SpoFi EPL Fantasy League and kicking StarFucker's ass! Somebody's got to do it. I'd like my Security Shake and an Ashcroft Apple Pie to go, please. Hahahahahaha. [I'm guessing I've upped SpoFi's profile on the Total Info Awareness scanner by now. Hey, give me a Cheney Cheeseburger. And supersize it. Hahahahahaha.]

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:25 PM on March 12, 2003

Fucker, you're one of us? I always assumed you were representing the UK. Now I'm ashamed to be an American.

posted by Samsonov14 at 12:38 PM on March 12, 2003

Where have you been Samsonov? Have you read StarFucker's interview? Get wit da program!

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:42 PM on March 12, 2003

Samsonov, your elected leaders playing name calling games and acting like spoilt children does NOT make you ashamed?

posted by StarFucker at 03:12 PM on March 12, 2003

Of course it does, SF - I was just busting your balls (apparently not very well). I can't believe I just got called out on a political issue by a guy with "fucker" in his name.

posted by Samsonov14 at 03:52 PM on March 12, 2003

Errr, yeah, Freedom Fries. I'm ashamed I got the name of the fries wrong. I should've realised it had to alliterate to appeal to you people.

posted by squealy at 06:05 PM on March 12, 2003

"you people" eh, squealy?

posted by jerseygirl at 06:51 PM on March 12, 2003

hey jerseygirl! When should we do your interview? Let me know.

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:28 PM on March 12, 2003

We should to it right away... I mean, whenever...

posted by StarFucker at 12:41 AM on March 13, 2003

Is it *really* necessary for me to use winky smileys to indicate I'm kidding with "you people"? OK. ;-) Yeah next interview, let's "to it right away". Go Freedom Filter.

posted by squealy at 02:46 AM on March 13, 2003

yes squealy, at all times. winky smiley faces, preferably with quaint eyebrows >:), clever attempts at eye glasses and/or noses. 8^) i wasn't trying to pick a fight with you, btw. especially not a british/american fight. no offense about throwing the tea in the harbor, eh? ahem. :^) >;-) 8*) whenever you want, worldcup. i've gotten my schedule down to the normal managable state of chaos now. my responses will be slower over the weekend, just an fyi. for some reason, i'm nervous now.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:55 AM on March 13, 2003

You should be...

posted by StarFucker at 11:00 AM on March 13, 2003

(((((jerseygirl))))) That's hugs where I come from btw. :-)

posted by squealy at 11:06 AM on March 13, 2003

so much for quelling my fears. thanks sf!

posted by jerseygirl at 12:20 PM on March 13, 2003

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