After a bit of a hiatus and some personal encouragement from a few close friends I’ve returned to submit a pre-holiday offering. With all the excitement about Notre Dame’s long-awaited return to glory and Manti’s historical run at sweeping every possible award in the nation, it’s been great to sit back and take it all in… finally.
Nevertheless, controversy is what drives media so here goes…
Why do sports commentators, especially NFL commentators, take such an edgy stance? What the hell is that all about? Lemme ‘splain…here are a couple of examples.
Example One: Has anyone ever paid attention to Cris Collinsworth's verbal assault on the wallets of the defensive players during the NFL Sunday Night Game of the Week? Seems that if there’s a questionable play or even a play that might draw attention from league administrators Collinsworth spews out, “that’ll draw some attention from the league office,” or better yet, one of my favorites; “his check is definitely gonna be a little light come Monday morning.” Why would he DO that? Maybe I’m just being sensitive, but even as a former offensive player I realize that game is about putting points on the board (unless you’re the Jets) and putting the defense at a disadvantage. I understand player safety is a concern…but really are we just realizing the barbaric nature of football? I think we’re a few thousand collective head trauma, dementia and suicide cases in arrears (RIP #55).
Example Two: What the hell was Rob Parker read more thinking about? He has the balls to question Robert Griffin III’s blackness? This young man has been in my humble opinion phenomenal this season both on and off the field. When anyone speaks of RGIII they speak not only of his athletic superiority, but also his character & integrity. Sooo let me get this straight-- since his fiancée happens to be white and he distances himself from drawing ethnic comparisons because he wants to be known as a "great quarterback" not just a "great black quarterback" he’s not “down with the cause?” Ok – I know this might come as a shock to some of you, but I’m black… I didn’t get the memo about “the cause.” Why in the world would someone want to create a problem for RGIII? Hmmm… he’s articulate, athletic, successful and educated; sounds like he’s holding “the cause” down just fine. Now if you wanna go rob a liquor store, although he's really fast and might get away, I doubt he’ll be signing up for that. I guess we all know who the “cornball brotha” is now. Sit down!
Example Three: There’s no doubt that last night’s NFL game had to be the biggest waste of television airtime since the launch of Jersey Shore… that aside I noticed a bit of a tickle in the voice of the commentators after the game…literally laughing at the performance by the Jets. Mike Tirico whom I think is a consummate professional was almost uncontrollably laughing when he opened the post-game segment with Gruden. The biggest surprise to me was how aggressively Steve Young and Trent Dilfer great quarterback that he was (NOT)… hehehe launched a verbal attack on the entire Jets organization. Not just opinionated statements but an adamant ranting that almost cost Young to lose his voice. They were literally calling out the owners to make “wholesale changes” in the organization. Why would you challenge a professional sports team’s owner? Wow! My thought was that if anyone could relate to the Jets’ philosophy of playing great defense and winning with a marginal quarterback it would be Dilfer… anyone remember the 2000 Ravens? I played under Buddy Ryan – Rex and Rob Ryan were assistant coaches on that team… no one works harder to prepare than they do – at some point it has to be about the guys getting paid millions of dollars to do a job that they don’t execute. Now don’t get me wrong coaching has its fair share of responsibility, but at last I checked Rex didn’t throw four picks and drop a snap late in the game when the Jets had an opportunity to win.
At the end of the day whether you like them or not sports commentators have a job to do… and given the complexion of this blog post I guess they do a pretty damn good job.
Oh… and P.S. Manti Te’o IS the rightful 2012 Heisman Trophy winner!