Sunday, January 10, 2010

Something to talk about?

I have come to believe that there is something about the mental makeup of most wide receivers that just needs adjustment. I have come to believe it is the most selfish position in the game, and that Americans have helped to create a lot of little Frankenstein's monsters by putting up with their antics, behaviors that for me, are no longer even interesting, and have long hurt not only the game, but sports itself.

I have also found that one of the dumbest arguments in sports -- and it gets bandied about a great deal lately -- is that people like Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens give us something to talk about. I wonder if oncologists says that about cancer: "Sure, it is terrible, but it gives us something to do." Sheesh!

Please note that I refuse to call Mr. Johnson by the name he gave himself. If he needs a nickname, it should be Johnson. And the man-boy Parcells called "The Player" will not have me call him by his initials. Doing so merely helps to legitimize their status as "important" to football. They are not.

But back to the idea these mortals give us something to talk about, which is what I wanted to comment on. I wonder why this argument gets made so frequently, especially by sports "authorities," writers and talk jocks who should know the game better than to rely on such a stupid statement. They all have many things to talk about without giving credence to the idea that these people are interesting. These athletes are only interesting because we continue to pay attention to them. They are like the disturbed little boy on the playground who does idiotic stunts like eat crickets or drops his pants because he wants attention. We outgrow such people and hopefully someone gets them professional help. In the NFL, we give them millions of dollars and all the television time they want.

Rarely do we find players at the wide receiver position that are not convinced that if only the ball came to them every freakin' down that the team would win every game. It isn't a new phenomenon. In fact, I've heard more than a few old quarterbacks say in interviews that so-and-so receiver always believed he was open, no matter how well covered. We see today that if a receiver runs a bad route, the quarterback is to blame, at least as far as the receiver and those in the booth are concerned. (I'm looking at you Roy Williams.)

I'm certainly not saying these guys aren't good athletes. Some of them are great. Some, like Randy Moss, would be truly great if they played for the whole game every game. But being good at what they do isn't really the issue. But maybe it is part of the problem.

In Texas, if you are a good football player, you can do pretty much anything you want. In many places, these guys can do minimally in school and play loose with the law -- as long as they continue to perform on the field. So it should surprise no one that in the most selfish position in the game, we let these mere men do as they please and give them attention, not for their play, but for what some idiots think is what we need to talk about that.

Should a teacher, a fireman, or even an NFL kicker act like these guys, and I bet you won't have a bunch of pundits saying how good it is that they gave everyone something to talk about. If sports is to have any importance beyond mere theatrics, then it is time to give these guys a few more cold shoulders.

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