Goodbye People’s Champ

by July 06, 2007

By Sam Rubenstein

The rumors are true, I am out on vacation starting the instant I leave work today and running all the way through next Sunday night. I am going somewhere with no computer, no TV, no cell phone, no overpopulation, and looking forward to it. All I plan to do is read books and layeth the chess/scrabble smackdown on my lady. When I’m gone, you may notice many changes to the site. There’s plenty of time for Lang or Ben to explain all that, but one of those more subtle changes will be that the name of my bloggumn and its banner will be changed from “The People’s Champ” to “The Watcher.”

How do I explain this… let’s see. Dr. Dre had his song on Chronic 2001 called “The Watcher.” Dre is the easiest answer for a top rap producer who also rhymes, and I feel that’s part of what I do. Basically, the editor and writer relationship is like a producer and rapper. I don’t really want to get too deep into that, cause it would just become another comparing things to other things post.

At this point, I’m more of a producer than a rapper for slamonline. I need to do things behind the scenes and make plans for conquest and give other people that platform than to go for my own personal glory or internet fame. The Dre song “The Watcher” is partly about being above the fray and seeing things happen. I’m just watching things happen, managing this site accordingly, and trying to keep people entertained every single day.

Super quick analogy: yesterday we played a softball game, and one of my interns, Jon Wiener was there. We had one too many guys on the team, so because he’s a rookie, he had to start out on the bench as the extra hitter. I played third base – botching two close tag plays in the mud on throws from the outfield thank you very much. Anyways, I’ve played softball before and while I enjoy it, I like to see other people have fun too (maturity?!?), so after the third inning I was more than happy to switch with Jon. In the sixth inning, he came through with a Scottie Brosius-esque charge and fire to first for the big out. A great moment. You had to be there. I was proud.

There are other reasons just as significant as the Dre thing that tie into the new name as well. The legendary genre-defining graphic novel The Watchmen sounds like The Watcher. One of my favorite characters in the Marvel Universe is Uatu the Watcher.

The Watcher, if you want to get all literal and boring, could mean that I watch basketball and how it is covered for my job, and thus I am a professional watcher.

Or maybe I’m just biting off of Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune.

You’ll see when the banner changes from People’s Champ to Watcher. SLAM’s art director Stephen Goggi did another incredible job on a banner. Wait until you see the other new banner for Monday – your minds will be blown. And there are much more profound changes happening all over the site.

Okay, glad we got that all out of the way. It’s a slow NBA news day, but believe it or not, the Summer League has already started. Lang is back, we’ve got a growing roster of writers. Stick with us all summer.