Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Anderson, Apathy, and Inanity

The latest media-created non-story story has to do with Arizona Cardinals Quarterback Derek Anderson being caught laughing on the sideline during a game in which his team was getting hammered largely because of his offense's ineffectiveness. It became a massive story (sorry -- "story") when Anderson lost his shit after being asked and re-asked and generally harangued during the press conference after the game.

Thankfully there are voices of sanity out there, and one of them is former NFL player Nate Jackson, who is also a pretty good writer. He holds back very few punches in this piece for Deadspin. Here is the glorious closing paragraph to give you just a taste:
Instead, a grown man was provoked into losing his cool and dropping shitbombs all over the airwaves. So now the manufactured perception is that the quarterback not only doesn't give a fuck about his team losing, but that he can't keep his cool either. So let's run his ass out of town because a couple of emotionally stunted football pedants can't relax and laugh it off. Meanwhile, in his second year as head coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs, frequent laugher Raheem Morris has his team playing better than any Gruden-coached team has in years. Now that's funny.
The reality is that Anderson could have been laughing for any reason -- my assumption was gallows humor of the "if I did not laugh I'd cry" type. We all want our teams to win games. But it gets awfully tiring to hear fans and talking heads try to insert themselves in the minds of players and accuse them of not taking the games -- and thus their livelihoods and reputations -- seriously enough. Derek Anderson may or may not suck ("suck" being a relative term, of course -- empirically he is better at his job than you are at yours unless you too are in the top 30 in your field in the country, and if you are reading dcat almost by definition you are not) but if he sucks it has literally nothing to do with whether he is "serious" enough during games.

UPDATE: Charles Pierce's take is equally worth reading.


El Aguila said...

The Herd compared the QB position to not nearly as important as Obama's job." But still important enough that Anderson should know better than to lose his cool. He also argued that the media has to ask tough questions and then made a comparison to Watergate.

I hate the sports media. They are not journalists. In fact ESPN has become nothing more than a shill for LeBron James and the NFL. Although the Anderson story is a lead story even today in some of the regular news shows here in Phoenix. Ugh.

He does suck, but that's the Cardinals fault for wasting a 1st round pick on Leinert and then signing Anderson.

dcat said...

No doubt -- Anderson should not have lost his cool, although ironically his losing his cool proved how absurdly wrong the assertion of his apathy was.

I too hate the smugness of sports journalists -- especially their disdain toward bloggers, as if there is a particular expertise any of these traditional journalists (who love to get on tv to bloviate as soon as they get a shot, by the way) possess. I think that is why the complaints against bloggers increasingly loses relevance -- blogging is simply a medium. And the more actual experts who blog -- academics, for example -- the more it puts the lies to the image of guys in their underwear in their mom's basement blurting out opinions. It's easy for Buzz Bissinger to spew that stereotype to a guy on deadspin. It would be harder for him to do it to you or me since we are experts in, say, Africa or Latin America in a way that Bissinger isn't about, say, football. There is much that you or I know about football or baseball or soccer or rugby that Bissinger doesn't; there is virtually nothing that he knows about Latin America or Africa that you or I don't. We could do his job. He couldn't do ours. And that scares the piss out of guys like him.


Anonymous said...

I only listen to Jim Rome, because let's face it.... he's a real American.