Is everyone alright? I only ask because sports scribes everywhere are producing work that, frankly, is wildly absurd. I know, I know: The quixotic endeavour of
journalism commentary has long been dead. I get that. And somehow, someway, Deadspin has become the voice of reason, leaving major outlets (e.g. ESPN, Fox Sports, and CBS) behind.
It started with news that ESPN was hiring Jay Mariotti as a freelancer.
I think the WorldWide Leader gets a great deal of criticism levied their way just for being ESPN. It gets old sometimes. But then Rob Parker makes race-baiting comments about RGIII, Skip Bayless continues to do Skip Bayless things (and collect a paycheck), and the list goes on and on (and on). To its credit, ESPN eliminated Parker. A good move, for sure. But then it brings in Mariotti? Confounding. It’s like giving up Burger King for Lent, but then embracing Wendys. Even on an one-off assignment, this wreaks of strangeness.
Mariotti, who has taken a sabbatical from writing, is loathed in the industry, mostly for being a jerk and writing sensationalistic (Read: crappy) columns. On a personal basis, if you’re not a fan of spousal abuse, Mariotti probably isn’t your cup tea, either. With so many other writers available (Hey! ESPN! Look over here!), why does the four-letter network bring in Mariotti for a freelance assignment? Odd choice.
You’d never believe it, but Jason Whitlock wrote a stupid column. Yeah, this thing was actually published. I’m not saying there is — or isn’t — a homophobia problem in the NFL. But Whitlock irresponsibly conflating the Manti Te’o situation with coming out of the closet in an NFL locker room is a reach at best; an ill-fated attempt to bolster his crusade against Roger Goodell for whatever it is he’s botched most recently. (Seriously, is there a more hated commissioner? Goodell is terrible, but come on, David Stern curiously vetoed a trade involving a league-owned franchise for crying out loud! Gary Bettman nearly killed ANOTHER NHL season! And Bud Selig oversaw the steroid era!!)
A few fun excepts:
Goodell could and should free the gays.
Let me stop there for a moment.
Please do. Just stop. Oh wait — you’re going to keep writing, aren’t you? (Side note: “Free the gays”? There are so ma– Really???? … WTF!)
I am not stating an opinion on Te’o’s sexuality. I don’t have any inside or outside information on Lennay Kekua’s widower. I do, however, believe Mike Florio of NBC’s ProfootballTalk is correct in his belief that the Notre Dame linebacker’s sexuality is a topic of high interest for his prospective NFL employers.
Phewwww. Don’t worry, guys. He’s going to bring in Mike Florio: Purveyor of journalism! Thank god!
Because if Te’o is hiding in the closet, he is highly vulnerable to exploitation and extortion. There is a popular theory that the possibility of hustling money from Te’o — and not love — motivated Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the mastermind and voice behind Kekua.
It could all be a coincidence, but Te’o just happened to have a horrendous performance in the BCS Championship as the Kekua fraud was unraveling. Maybe he was distracted. Or maybe the wrong people knew his secrets.
I thought he had no inside information?
Whatever the case, difficult questions must be asked, and they should come from the commissioner’s chair. It’s Goodell’s job to protect The Shield. It’s Goodell’s job to protect the employees.
The best protection for the league and the players is the freeing of the gays.
WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE! (Side Note: I thought the “Free the gays” thing was a typo. I was wrong – ROLLIN’ WITH IT)
Let’s be honest. I think it’s reasonable to assume that 15 percent of NFL players are gay and/or bisexual.
Doing the numbers … Yes, your baseless claims seem to add up, keep going! You’re almost there!
Goodell should use this Te’o situation as a convenient excuse to enact tough measures and standards of behavior that attempt to eliminate the homophobic hostility within football locker rooms.
I can see the edict now …
Goodell: Fake Internet girlfriends can happen to you! Also, if you’re gay … We’re totally cool with it!
The last shot taken before dry heaving ensued was CBS Sports columnist Gregg Doyel taking a hatchet to the notion that Tom Brady is a hero. BECAUSE WE NEEDED CLARIFICATION!
No reasonable person believes Brady is a ‘hero’ for taking a deal below market value as Doyel insinuates. He isn’t altruistic nor is he a philanthropist. But if you’re an absolutist, like Doyel, then it’s all or nothing. Take it away, Gregg!
Tom Brady is not heroic or noble or even unselfish for signing a contract Monday for considerably less than his market value. To be those things, he would have had to sign a contract for the NFL minimum.
And I’m kind of wondering why he didn’t.
Me too. Me too.
Being honest here.
Is it a red flag when you need to give an “honesty” disclaimer in your column? Methinks so.
Nobody in his position has ever done that, of course, but nobody — and I mean nobody — has ever had the freedom to be as altruistic as Tom Brady. His net worth is in the vicinity of $100 million, and he earns millions more in endorsements, and that’s not even what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about Gisele.
To be fair, Brady is unselfish in the sense that he’s not selfish.
So it’s either one … or the other? No gray areas. Got it.
A player’s contract is more than his salary. It’s his status symbol. That applies to almost everybody in professional sports — but it doesn’t apply to Tom Brady. He doesn’t need the biggest salary in the Patriots locker room to have the utmost respect of everyone there.
Respect > $20 million > Logic. IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW, PREACCCCCCHHHH!!!!!
He’s sort of a team player, yes. He made a gesture. But if he’s going to think of his team a little bit, why not think of it a lot?
Let’s go a step further: Brady should start paying the Patriots for the right to play quarterback. THAT’S A TEAM PLAYER.
But let’s have some perspective, please.
Pretty please? Pretty, pretty please!?!
OK, for some perspective, here is Doyel’s bio on CBS Sports:
Hi. Hello. Congratulations, you found me. And I know why you’re here — it’s because of that column you just read. It angered you. So here you are, trying to decipher my motives.
I can’t CRACK THE CODE. Hold on, I think — yes, I figured something out — you’re just a troll. That’s all. Just like the rest of them, only with a bigger forum. You probably took an ethics class in college, and you most definitely tried joining the debate team. You play devil’s advocate hoping not that you’ll convey any greater point that no one considered, but that it will piss people off.
Hmm. And to think: It only took me reading, the words, “Being honest” as a disclaimer. LUCK MUST HAVE BEEN ON MY SIDE.
Finally, this Deadspin Q&A with the National Sports Journalism Center on how they handled the Te’o story is incredible. Read it.
As always, thanks for reading, give me a shout on Twitter: @Hadfield__