An Open Vent: Taking Down Statheads and Pitbull’s Latest Single

pitbullneyoWelcome back to An Open Vent, SSN’s recurring segment bashing anything and everything that is truly vent-worthy.

Today we examine a new song you may have heard, as well as a group of people you might just despise. No time for dilly-dallying. Let’s get right to it.

1. Pitbull’s latest single.

If you’ve turned on your radio in the past few weeks, chances are you’ve heard Time of Our Lives, the latest single from esteemed Cuban-American recording artist, Pitbull. Featuring a cameo performance by R&B singer Ne-Yo, who can’t seem to separate himself from underwhelming rappers, the catchy tune could very well be one of Pitbull’s finest pieces of work.

Like much of Pitbull’s recorded anthology, however, the lyrics to this song are completely and utterly ridiculous. Whoever pens the bastardized poetry that comprises this three-minute-forty-nine-second track deserves to scribe verses in a remedial high school English class until he or she is brought to tears by the taunts and jeers of ruthless teenagers who could easily seize this person’s job and perform just as aptly.

To hammer home the point, let’s examine a few lines from this song, shall we? Here goes:

I knew my rent was gon’ be late about a week ago
I worked my ass off, but I still can’t pay it though
But I got just enough
To get up in this club
Have me a good time, before my time is up

You knew your rent was going to be late a week ago? You worked your ass off? And you still can’t pay your rent? This is all sorts of messed up.

First of all, where the hell do you live? If you’re working your ass off and still can’t pay your rent, you should probably move. There’s a difference between fab and ghetto fab. Live up or down to your means, son.

Second, your decision-making skills are flat-out horrible. You have mere shekels in your pocket, the result of purported hard work, and you’re opting to take that money and spend it at the club. Really? REALLY?! You worked your ass off to dance among sweaty douchebags, purchase overpriced alcoholic beverages, and maybe — maybe — earn the opportunity to go to bed with a stranger that is at least fifty-percent more likely to have an STD than anyone you could meet anywhere else? That’s what you worked your ass off for? You deserve whatever you get.

Third, you’re probably going to get evicted from your apartment. I don’t know how rent works at your place, but at most places I’ve ever lived, if your rent is more than a few days late, you’re out. Gone. Evicted. So enjoy the shit out of this club tonight. Because when you finally get home tomorrow morning, you’ll probably be spending the day packing up all your belongings with a pounding hangover as you phone your parents and beg them to let you move into the basement as you get back on your feet.

This is the last $20 I got
But I’m a have a good time ballin’ or out
Tell the bartender line up some shots
Cause I’m a get loose tonight

Hahahahahahahaha, you moron. You have $20 and you’re expecting a round of shots? What are you shooting? Olde English? Good luck getting more than a couple Bud Lights with that $20, pal.

Everybody going through something
I said, everybody going through something
So you might as well roll it up
Pour it up, drink it up, throw it up tonight

Hey, we’re all going through some shit. All of us. Pitbull’s advice: Use alcohol to help you forget about that shit. This may actually be the most sage verse in the entire song. And yet anyone who heeds the wisdom will probably become a raging alcoholic with no fewer problems than before attaining an insurmountable liquor dependency. The D.A.R.E. program isn’t strong in Little Havana, apparently.

This for anybody going through tough times
Believe me, been there, done that
But everyday above ground is a great day, remember that

Pitbull’s been through some tough times, just like you and I. He’s a regular guy, just like you and I. But unlike you and I, Pitbull persevered and rose above adversity to become Mr. Worldwide, international recording artist extraordinaire.

And how did Pitbull achieve such success? By reminding himself that every day he isn’t dead is a great goddamn day. Lose your job and get kicked in the testicles? Great day. Walk in on your spouse being Eiffel Towered by a pair of ‘roided-out frat boys? GREAT DAY. Get stricken by syphilis and run over by a bus? GREAT FUCKING DAY!

Much like the public’s perception of what is or is not good music, Pitbull, per his own lyrics, has set the marker for greatness so low that it’s near impossible to ever succumb to mediocrity. According to Pitbull, if you are not deceased, then everything’s going swimmingly. Even if your rent was late a week ago. Even if you have just $20 to your name. Even if you’re gored by a bull while a monkey simultaneously claws your eyes out.

This is the worst song ever.

2. Dickhead statheads.

There are many sports fans, myself included, who hate statheads. Statheads are those analytical something-metricians who appropriate mathematics to their understanding of a game. That alone doesn’t make them bad people, not by any means. Stats, numbers, and data are integral pieces of information that make sports better. No, it’s the people themselves who inspire loathing.

To be very clear, sabermetrics are not bad. Data is not bad. Numbers are not bad. Math is not bad. Many of the individuals relaying all of this knowledge, however? Bad.

The argument from statheads for many, many years has been a simple one: If you hate us, you hate stats. You hate metrics, you hate facts, and you hate intelligence, you stupid neanderthal. It’s almost not fair. And it’s about time we separate the data from the pricks conveying that data.

For as long as they’ve existed, statheads have stood upon a veritable pedestal professing their vast enlightenment down upon lesser peons like you and I. We don’t get sports the way they do because they’ve labored, tirelessly, poring over decimal point after decimal point for the benefit of all. Never mind that they’ve performed such tasks of their own volition. Never mind that they’ve chosen to make themselves, in their own eyes, martyrs for the greater good. Simply because the rest of us have opted to spend our time differently than they have, we are below them. We are less than them. And they won’t let us forget it.

Anyone who so much as questions the validity of a stathead’s data is chastised, often in a public forum. Peruse social media sites like Twitter or Facebook, visit a sports-related discussion forum, or do a simple search for articles pertaining to the likes of sabermetrics and you’ll find a subset of skeptical minds who have been crucified for failing to take a stathead’s metrics at face value. This behavior has created a class divide that cannot easily be bridged.

Basically, you as a sports fan are lumped into one of two groups, according to the pro-stats crowd: you’re either for stats or against stats. It’s as simple as that, really. There is no grey area, which speaks to the way statheads want the world to work. Numbers are black or white with no in-between. In the mind of a stathead, everything in life should follow suit. Thus, if you can’t see eye-to-eye with the arrogant narcissist acting as a vehicle for otherwise pertinent information, you’re a spiteful idiot who despises learning. It’s the ultimate straw man fallacy brought to life.

Let’s put a stop to this right now.

Yes, there are some folks out there who do, in fact, hate numbers and metrics. But I’d argue there are many more sane, rational individuals who encounter each day with an open mind, who are willing to consume and process information in an effort to retain it as knowledge. That those of us who operate under such a premise aren’t necessarily willing to consume all the information directed our way without raising a question or two only makes us human. What kind of person downs medicine day after day after day without even raising an eyebrow to what it is they’re taking? Questioning those truths we’ve been told to accept has allowed us to evolve; it’s what makes us better. So let me take a minute to offer some advice to the statheads out there.

For starters, if you want the masses to understand and accept your way of thinking, factual or not, it helps if you’re not an insufferable asshole. Car salesmen don’t sell Chevys by insulting the consumer’s intelligence. Job interviewees don’t land careers by needling their future bosses throughout the vetting process. Politicians aren’t elected into office without a beaming grin, an inviting handshake, and an empty promise or three. There’s an element of charisma involved in all of this, a spritz of empathy, the ability to engage others. Statheads seemingly miss this golden opportunity to relate to people.

Second, the blood, sweat, and tears you’ve put into divulging digits on a computer screen doesn’t make you smarter than, well, anyone. In fact, many people might argue that you’re dumber than most of us for choosing to spend your time so laboriously. You think Pitbull would be wasting away in front of his laptop clobbering FanGraphs’ servers? Fuck no. He’d be up in the club spending his last few pennies, we just went over this.

Beyond crap musicians, though, there are any number of people out there who’d simply rather spend their time in more meaningful fashion: with their loved ones, with their significant others, being social, whatever their preferred mechanism for enjoyment may be. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Look, we get it. You’ve chosen to anoint yourself as the Jesus Christ of Stats, dying for everyone’s sins by forgoing more pleasurable activities in the name of truth, justice, and the sabermetric way. But that doesn’t make you a martyr. If you see yourself as such, you need to go volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House or start funding someone’s Make-A-Wish campaign, because you’re probably a self-aggrandizing egoist with an inferiority complex the size of Jupiter.

No one is asking you to alter what it is you do. By all means, keep giving us the data we need to better understand the games we love. All we’re saying is that you can be informative without making us hate you at the same time.

As the world evolves to your way of thinking, do your best to relate to relate to the world around you. We’re all just people here. It shouldn’t be too difficult.


2 thoughts on “An Open Vent: Taking Down Statheads and Pitbull’s Latest Single”

  1. Alex,

    I enjoy your humor!

    Grammer police here ;-)) It’s “like you and ME,” not “like you and I.”

    The pronoun “me” is called for because it’s the object of the preposition, which demands Objective Case, not Nominative. (If memory serves)

    I know this because in sixth grade I was a brilliant sentence diagrammer. Hah!

    Getting the case correct in respect to objects of prepositions apparently is one of the hardest things in grammar based on how many times I’ve heard professional, talented broadcasters mangle American. For example, Kevin Colabro, a brilliant broadcaster with a golden voice, has routinely butchered this aspect of American for decades.

    (Bob Rondeau, also brilliant, is well-neigh perfect.)

    It’s a strange psychology. People somehow think they’re being “literate” by using the wrong pronoun, as if the more awkward, the more literate.

    But I’m here to say that the sixth graders from Mrs. Hackenbush’s class know BETTER!

    Keep up your fun writing. I plan to return to your enjoyable pieces and perchance further opportunity for my Nazi-like language policing (as if I’m perfect!).

    PS Go ahead, I know you’re itching to. Correct my grammar ;-))

    (I ended with a preposition. Ooo, bad. Nail me)

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