A Column of Enchantment: You’re Still Alive, But Poor Grantland…

Posted by Joseph Nardone on November 3rd, 2015

So you guys are back to being actual humans now, right? You’re no longer in sleep-mode or whatever? It feels like forever since we have met. In reality, though, it has only been since April. I guess that means I need to ask the question: How did you handle your offseason blues? The good news for the amateur shooty hoops obsessed was that there wasn’t lack of top-notch scandals to hold our attention during that period of time. No worries, either. We will get to (parts of) that in a little bit.


How was my offseason? Thanks for asking, not at all an inanimate object! Things went pretty well. I scribbled words that barely formed sentences at other places. Those columns tend to be on the more serious front than our beloved A Column of Enchantment, but it would be dumb to not acknowledge that without Randy (our fearless leader) letting me scribble this barely about college basketball column that I wouldn’t be writing at all. It in a sense rejuvenated me, as I grew (still am to a degree) tiresome of the everyday grind that is covering basketball. I mean, it is brutal when you think about how seriously people take sports. It isn’t life or death or anything remotely all that important. Anyway, you can blame Randy if you hate me for giving me enough motivation to start actively writing again. Those more serious works (plug time!) can be found at numerous places. Here are the links to my author page for each: The Student SectionCrossover ChroniclesToday’s Fastbreak. They pay me for some unknown reason, so go support me there if you like my work. If you hate me, then why in the hell are you reading this?

Should have mentioned this earlier, but those familiar with A Column of Enchantment already know that our column is — by design — all over the place. But for those new to reading our column (it is ours, because I like to think all of you are my friends and stuff), it is generally a very light and hopefully fun look at college basketball (barely) and pop-culture type stuff. Our first entering of this season, unfortunately, starts with some of the sads.


Grantland is gone. It is done. It sucks. There aren’t proper words in the English language (or ones that I am smart enough to know of) which can properly describe how I feel about this. I am aware that it is no longer cool or hip to be a writer who likes Bill Simmons, but I always have. When I was (much) younger he was a breath of fresh air to me. His style was fun, even with his obvious homerisms, and I was always of the belief that reading one lengthy yet fun column a week was better than reading 2349082390429892348239042.03 iffy-at-best ones, was the best of best options.

So, to be honest, when I started reading Grantland it wasn’t for all the writers who became cool within the Internet Writers Society (it is totally real, by the way) later on. I started visiting the site for Simmons. Over time, however, I discovered all the brilliant talent which comprised the site. It truly ended up becoming part of my daily routine. Thing is, too, I get that one of the vertical’s biggest knocks was that it was a site more for “other writers” than it was for the casual public, but if that is the case and the general public keeps whining about Skip or Stephen A. or whatever other horsesh– is roaming about our sports programs, then I don’t want to hear it. There was a true alternative option for smart, and fun, and insightful, and entertaining content, and we let it be shut down. Don’t kid yourselves, either. Even with Simmons leaving the company, if enough people who claimed they loved Grantland visited as often as they said they had, and enough people who complain about First Take and the like took to the truly incredible alternative option which was available to them, Grantland would still be here. This is our — as in consumers’ — faults.

Thank goodness Oscar was not around to see this.

Thank goodness Oscar was not around to see this.

It should also be noted that many of us sh–ty writers now have nothing left to aspire to. I always envisioned (dreamed, but whatever) that one day Bill Simmons would call me up and say, “A Column of Enchantment is genius”, then a more refined, blown out version of our favorite column would be making its way to Grantland. Now, sadly, folks who create content for the sake of being creative and not for the sole purpose to get clicks to put money into business folks’ pocketbooks have no real place to aspire to. All we have left now is the hope to make something else a place where it can be aspiring to others. Not sure if any of that will make sense to the non-iffy-at-best-Internet-scribbling-society, but I promise I will never speak of how horrible this sucks again. Well, until I do again.


Heard about any good scandals lately? Yup. Section two of ACoE isn’t going to be all smiles, either. Sorry to let you down, lovers of my more “different” types of work. No matter. You already know this story to the point of it making your belly feel like the only Halloween fun you had was eating candy corns and downing them with a nice tall glass of lukewarm, expired milk. In fact, I have covered this to the point of nausea as well. You should read it, too, as I won’t write about the same thing over and over again. It is about coach worship and whatnot, which this situation has inevitably highlighted.

Other than that, though, I have no great insight or wisdom to share on this thing. I don’t fall into that camp that is so morally outraged by the idea of kids having sex and stuff that I want Rick Pitino to be held upside down by Anthony Hopkins while Ed Norton punches him in the gut with a lobster. It is always funny to me that people who are normally rather liberal in all other aspects of life get all shy and prude to the point that they may indeed join the covenant to become a nun whenever sex-stuff gets brought into situations. We are all (mostly) adults here. Let’s act like it. Not to mention the fact that the mom pimping her kids out story can be had totally without bringing in the Louisville aspect, and vice-a-versa. So chill on that, humans.

Why is she yelling at her future-device anyway?

Why is she yelling at her future-device anyway?

To step away from the basketball aspect of this topic, because it will be covered until we all collectively hurl from the insanity of it all, talking about the mom-pimp-lady (or whatever her official title is) is something that I want to touch on VERY briefly. People who are offended by the idea of a mom pimping out her kids is a thing I understand. What I hope they understand, though, is that she probably saw nothing morally wrong with doing such a thing. She was in the business. To her, presumably, this was nothing more than helping her family out. I can only speak for myself here, but I’m not in the business to judge others without knowing the ENTIRE situation. That said, sure, her book is clearly a money-play — yet, I am assuming if we were in her position we would all do the same thing. Obviously, without us being in her position it is relatively easy to say we wouldn’t, although that is the same thing we do to justify our “okayness” with watching football players literally destroy their bodies for our entertainment… we say that they had a “choice” or whatever other (mostly) privileged people say to sleep at night.


Mr. Robot is an awesome picture-box show. Simply incredible. Fans of A Column of Enchantment know that I have an unhealthy appreciation for all things Christian Slater, but my goodness is this honestly an incredible show. The pilot had me hooked. So dark. So brooding. Moments of it almost felt poetic. This is an example as to why network TV lost me long ago. A program like Mr. Robot would have never aired on network TV in its current form, and they would have made it into an abomination — and that is even if they had the guts to pick up the show in the first place.

The show has really helped me during my non-heavy-sports viewing and when The Walking Dead is gone. Also, with Justified being over forever (pew pew), it is a better than solid replacement for weekday viewing. I do wonder how in the hell they are going to continue it after the first season. Even though I enjoyed it without any real complaint, there was a significant drop in awesomeness from the pilot through the rest of the season. Hell, with a slightly different ending to the pilot, it could have been one of the best feature-length movies of the year. It could be that I am being unfair or too harsh in my judgment of the season in its entirety.

Whatever, really. Simply go watch the show. USA has been awesome enough to leave it on demand so you can binge-watch the entire first season. It is essentially the opposite of Grantland shutting its doors. It provides me with all the smiles in the world. And smiling, kids, is important.


What… a fourth section? Hey, it has been a long time. I missed all of you (except Ron… F-that guy). Halloween happened. I forget if I told you guys this story, but a few years ago I ruined my oldest daughter’s trick or treating career forever. All I did was wear the costume she picked out for me, went to her bedroom to tell her it was time to go, and she wigged out. Like, completely lost her marbles. I suppose it is worth pointing out that I was dressed up as a (very cheaply put together) zombie. For whatever the reason, despite her picking it out, she hadn’t gone Halloweening in forever… UNTIL THIS HALLOWEEN! Woop! WOOP! Or whatever our bosses say in “team chats” that are intended to get us pumped up.

Pretty sure I hate all these people.

Pretty sure I hate all these people.

I won’t post pictures of what they dressed as here, because the hell I know where all you dirty mongrels have been since last season, but my oldest daughter was dressed as a panda and the youngest was Sophia The First. Thing is, no one took trick-or-treaters this year. We hit like eleventy-billion (approximately) houses and like seven people answered their door. Seven! What has the world come to? It must be those gosh slam Millennials or whatever… though, I might qualify as one of them. Since speaking about them, has anyone actually met one of them who has the characteristics as explained by those who are older? Isn’t this the actual cycle of life? Young people are the devil, become old, newer young people are the cause of all the evil? Seriously, if you are a person who thinks Millennials have a large claim to our world’s issues then I have very little for you. Well, maybe I will give you a cookie, but it will be laced with horrible drugs which will make you turn into a member of The Wiggles. Nevertheless, welcome back my enchanting readers…

Eh, I digress. Basketball… kind of.

Joseph Nardone (22 Posts)

Joseph has covered college basketball both (barely) professionally and otherwise for over five years. A Column of Enchantment for Rush The Court on Thursdays and other basketball stuff for The Student Section on other days.

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