Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dummies and Sports

It's long been said and joked about that quite often, athletes and those involved in sports are not the sharpest tools in the shed. Yet despite this, we clamor for what they have to say, we expect them to artfully put into words their feelings upon winning or losing something that produces feelings the most artistic linguist would have trouble articulating.

The era of social media, ESPN and 24 hour sports talk radio in nearly all markets has only further exacerbated this hunger for content and quotes. Yet athletes, by and large, continue to be represented most often not by the very smart ones among them -- but by the dummies. Or, the myths about these athletes are perpetrated by the Stuart Scott/Rick Reilly sycophants of the media world or by gullible fans, people who are sadly desperate for something in their life to latch on to in order to feel connected.

The media babbling over the past week has focused on three big stories....

1) Lance Armstrong's "Admission" of Guilt -- If you still thought Lance was innocent, you simply didn't want to believe the truth. Yet there were legions of Lance loyalists who likely to this day still think he's being forced into this. He didn't. You're being a dummy. This is just one more exhibit as to why you should not look up to sports figures as life heroes -- you know nothing about them. None of us knew who Lance really was (or is) just as nobody knew who Joe Paterno was or Derek Jeter or Peyton Manning is. You know what they allow you to see. Nothing more. Don't be a dummy.

2) Manti T'eo's Fake Girlfriend Story -- Mantei has now admitted to Jeremy Schaap and Katie Couric that he did some lying in all of this. And no matter how much Domers want to disparage Deadspin, I am now of the belief that if Deadspin doesn't uncover this last week, it never comes to light at all. If you believe Manti was going to "come clean" about all of this mere days after Deadspin beat him to it, you're just as dumb as he purportedly was on Twitter.

And that's really the choice you're left with here. Either you think he's a lying liar who thought the rest of the world was dumb enough to buy his hoax....or you think he's so dumb himself (sorry Mr. Swarbrick: naive) that he was faked out by a fake twitter at least partially run by males for....years?

So which is it, Manti? Are you a duplicitous dope or just a complete dumbass?

3) Tim Brown and Jerry Rice Intimating that the Raiders Threw Super Bowl XXXVII -- This is so beyond preposterous, it's amazing it gets any traction. But it gets traction because of the guys saying it.

Before you say you could see Callahan wanting his former boss to win and hating the Raiders, just stow it. There is no way a man would get to the Super Bowl and then decide to throw it away. There is a very short list of coaches who have won the SB and once you do so, it's with you for life, like a Hall of Fame designation. If you really think this is possible that Callahan did this out of spite, then you've likely never played a competitive sport in your life.

As for the players, Tim Brown is a loon, as many WRs are prone to being. And Jerry Rice has always come across as a grade A dummy to me. He tries to sound thoughtful and insightful when he speaks, but he's only a step above Emmitt Smith because he can somewhat string together subjects and verbs. To levy this kind of an accusation on a coach ten years later and not think it's a big deal to, you know, maybe discuss it with that coach first, is simply reprehensible.

--------------------------------------------

What's my point in all this?

The sports landscape is littered with idiots, whether it's producing the nonsense, reporting it or lapping it up. Be naturally skeptical -- you may be told you're cynical, but you'll have less chance of looking like a doofus in the end.

9 comments:

Boilergal said...

I never had any respect for Armstrong after he dumped his wife and kids to pursue his life as a celebrity. That should have been the first clue to everyone that this guy has no class!

WinamacBoiler said...

I found the whole Te'o/Armstrong thing to be an amazing paradox. On one hand you have a guy saying "I'm not a bad guy, I'm just guilty of lying about being (and actually being, of course) the dumbest man on the planet". On the other hand you have a guy saying "I AM a bad guy, but it's okay because I'm no longer lying about lying".

I never thought I'd happily choose to just be the dumbest person on the planet.

Plang said...

J - you must have been tired today, because you could have written a full manifesto on this subject.
The Tim Brown thing has been baffeling me since it broke. Maybe he doesn't like the fact that another ND guy is getting more press? No - Brown's been out of the spotlight for years now.

I'm still eating up the T'eo story for some odd reason. I think it is because I'm having a hard time digesting the dumbass strategy he is using. Also, the info coming out on the ND investingation is rich. Swarbrick is a master at the CYA tactic.

WinamacBoiler said...

Plang - RE Swarbrick: You don't get and keep that job without being the sensei of CYA.

Kyle said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/sports/ncaafootball/as-debate-raged-at-espn-manti-teo-story-slipped-from-its-hands.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=todayspaper&

That's a link to ESPN being stupid and slow on the Te'o story, and that it's only coming out now is even more damning to the ineptitude of EsPN.

I'm trying to believe Mr. Te'o and his naiveté, but his continued stupidity defies that. I'm sure one could buy into everything he did, but his coldness on visiting his supposed deathly ill GF in the hospital defies belief.

And fuck Lance. I've always believed he was doping, kinda like Raphael Palmeiro in that the folks that are righteously against it are usually guilty, and actually don't care as far as the sports go. What pisses me off about Lance is the attacking of people who told the truth and his ability to ruin their lives. Yeah, fuck that asshole and I hope he gets financially ruined.

J Money said...

Plang - Yes, could have said a lot more, but then we get accused of veering too far off the topic of a Purdue-centric site.

The other thing with T'eo is that even if his version is accurate, he's not only dumb and naive -- he's got the emotional maturity of a 12 year old. Referring to a person you've only met on twitter as your "girlfriend" is something equivalent to when we were in 6th grade and just said someone was a girlfriend because we felt like it. Or because we passed notes in the hallway (before texting, kids). But to say she was "the love of his life" and his "girlfriend" is just ridiculously immature.

Part of me hopes he was indeed scammed completely because you can just imagine the perpetrators who were just trying to mess with him...seeing him talking about Lennay on ESPN gameday one morning... uhhh, uh oh!

U-P Boiler said...

Did you see the throngs of loons lighting candles on the anniversary of Joe Paterno's death???

Just as pathetic. My admiration for Penn State and its fans took what I suspect is a permanent hit because of all this.

Same deal. You'll see the same types mourning the passing of Michael Jackson or Elvis Presley.

BoilerRick said...

ND defended football coach essentially killing student photographer and not taking any action after female student committed suicide after getting raped by players - do you really think they will engage at all about Teo other than to say nice things about him and then distance themself.

WinamacBoiler said...

You know the mantra in the AD department is "thank Touchdown Jesus he graduated, thank Touchdown Jesus he graduated, thank Touchdown Jesus he graduated".