Is It News?
In light of recent events, I think it’s time to play a little game I like to call… say it with me now…
IS…. IT…. NEWS????
(Spoiler alert: No, it’s not news)
The 24-hour news cycle has forced us to put up with some of the most inane details of the athlete’s world that really provide us no value when actually considering how our favorite athletes and teams perform. I love sports and could read about my favorite teams and athletes for hours on end, but I would honestly rather listen to a podcast about the Bachelorette than read some of the headlines we’ve seen recently.
Before getting to our game today, let me quickly address a few topics that I think are actually important and relevant. First, players using performance enhancing drugs is a story. Despite what some may think about how we should respond to steroids, it’s always an issue if players are doing something illegal and risk getting suspended. Also, I believe the Jason Collins coming out story is a major event, as would any other story of a Big 4 athlete coming out – though I hope a few years from now we no longer see players coming out as a big deal.
Beyond those story lines, just give me the stats and the highlights, and maybe a little background on where a player comes from. There’s plenty of great statistical analysis and player profiles out there today, but there’s also a ton of garbage.
So – reporters, if you’re reading this, here’s a quick guide for headlines that you won’t see me clicking on any time soon.
1. Renewing one’s drivers license. Sidney Crosby took a ton of flack from the media for allegedly spending a short amount of time at the DMV this week. Many issues with this story – 1. They have a policy in place for high-profile stars to skip the line so they don’t get hundreds of fans seeking autographs in line. 2. You can make an appointment at the DMV and skip the line! Any internet-savvy individual is aware of this and has been avoiding lines for year. So for Crosby to catch any heat for this is simply mind blowing. Even if there was no policy and he simply cut the line – I couldn’t care less.
2. Ordering takeout food. Drew Brees shamed the whole nation by tipping $3 while ordering takeout food. Except that tipping while ordering takeout food is not a thing. If Drew Brees tips $0 on his takeout there’s nothing unusual about that… but that doesn’t take away from the fact that what an NFL quarterback scribbles on his Thai food receipt shouldn’t be clogging up my news feed.
3. Recreational partying. Johnny Manziel is hungover – in the summer. Michael Phelps smokes pot – in a non-Olympic year. Any time a player smokes or goes out drinking it seems to make national headlines. Let them live their lives people. I totally understand the coverage of a DUI or a run-in with the law since that could lead to suspensions, but remember that these are mostly kids or young adults, so the occasional partying won’t set them back one iota.
4. Saying anything even slightly negative about someone… and then being forced to apologize. Greg Jennings recently took heat for saying… what exactly did he say about Aaron Rodgers? To me it seems like he said sometimes when you’re the best quarterback in the league you have to remind yourself that you can still fail. I’ve seen one too many overreactions to players talking about each other. Wouldn’t it be fun if more players didn’t like each other? If there was some minor (or major!) hatred going on between players that they could settle over a game of football? I think that’d be better than reading insincere apology stories for quotes that weren’t that critical in the first place.
5. Injuries that will only affect a player in the offseason. “JR Smith to miss 12 weeks” It’s July! Why do we care?!?! Maybe that should be the last line of an article about the Knicks, but not a headline worthy story. Come October, when it’s actually basketball season again, Smith will be healthy, maybe slightly behind on his conditioning but otherwise no different from how he would be if we just never heard about this injury.
6. Wearing the hats of another team or city. Seriously, let LeBron wear his Yankees hat if he wants to, and let Colin Kaepernick wear a Dolphins hat. Why are we upset about this – is anyone out there actually thinking this is a sign that Kaepernick wants to play for the Dolphins, much less that he’s even a fan of the team? The guy is wearing a hat. That’s it. Not news.
7. A new fashion choice. Like USA Today writing a story on Robert Griffin III replacing his braids for cornrows. USA Today! That’s a reputable national publication! A fashion change like that deserves no more attention than maybe a tweet or the last line of a column’s notes.
8. Player’s dad says this… has the opinion of someone’s dad ever given us additional, welcomed insight to a story? Most of the time, parents don’t help the story by speculating where their son will play the following year, defending their kid to the Nth degree, or complaining about the coach. Stay out of it dad. Yep, I’m talking to you Mr. Howard.
9. Refuses to negotiate his contract during the season. I really don’t care about the inner workings of a player’s strategy with his agent. If he wants to become a free agent, good for him, we’ll try to resign him then. But stories about how one player or another has “called off talks” mean nothing to me. If the player is still under contract and playing for my team – that’s all I care about, and tell the agent to call once they’ve negotiated a new deal.
10. “I guarantee we will win.” H/t to SpreeGoogs for this one. Adam’s point is this “of course they think they’re going to win, and in no way can anyone really guarantee a win.” Couldn’t agree more. If they are asked about their outlook for the season or playoffs or even a game by a reporter, it’s a no-win situation. Either they say “we’re going to win” or they don’t say that, which indicates a lack of faith in their ability to win.
That’s all for today folks… thanks for playing….
(crowd chimes in…) IS… IT… NEWS???