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.