So last Friday, I ventured down to Fredonia to drink with a bunch of friends, old and new, and we all got a little loaded.
At some point, while standing in a delightful alley next to the bar, I decided - probably stupidly - to unload some of the hate that's been welling up inside of me. It felt awesome.
As much as I really do like some of the guys involved in this fan-driven movement, and as much as I love and appreciate the charity work they do, my animosity about a few certain things is inescapable. So I post this both out of frustration, as well as catharsis.
I imagine this will piss more than a few people off. Good. Get on my level. Kisses.
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What a crazy week. /understatement
Even putting aside the up and down big ticket decisions out of United States Supreme Court this week, and even putting aside that crazy filibuster down in Texas that had us all riveted in a way politics rarely does unless it involves dick pics and/or unruly ejaculate, and even putting aside a bereft Paula Deen trying to rehabilitate her image by lying and crying on The Today Show, it was a crazy week. Even just looking at what's happened in sports, and even just Boston sports, and even just Boston sports that are professional American football.
This is the
story of the sports world this week. I don't care that the Hawks just won another title or that the Heat won another, too, or that Wimbledon has been nutty, or that the Washington Redskins continue to hold onto their logo and name in a way that is nothing short of astonishing. Oh, and I didn't follow the NBA Draft but I hear there was a lot going on and that someone ate some Mike and Ikes.
An NFL player - and a pretty high profile one at that - killed a man. And may have killed others. I know there haven't been any convictions yet, but I'm not willing to dwell on suspicions of innocence when the facts give me none.
Every reporter who covers football should care about this. Every fan of pro football should care about this. If you're talking about the story, there is plenty to delve into: explaining the potential motives, sorting through Hernandez's past, speaking with family and friends, digging for information about that 2012 drive-by. All of this comes with the caveat that "Hernandez as villain" is the story. Hernandez as apart
from the rest of us - the people who haven't taken it upon themselves to take the life of another.
Sorting through it all is an exercise in trying to find an explanation for some terrible fucking things that have happened, and to adequately frame Hernandez as man and as killer.
This is how we get right. We can do it callously or patiently or quietly or any way we really want. We must respect the victim(s), surely, and hold them up in any way we can. But we owe nothing to the man and killer. He owes us - the society with which he had and broke a sacred social contract - everything.
An eventual conviction and sentence will return Hernandez, in a legal sense, to an equilibrium with society. In a social sense, though, our collective "working through it" is how we get that equilibrium to be real.
The accuracy of this exercise is important, too. It's important to ensure, as we sort through the facts and form opinions about the man and killer, that we don't get bogged down with items far on the periphery. That, in reaching our solution, we don't fall into the trap of bringing other issues into our criticism; other issues that are simply too dissimilar to merit comparison with Hernandez's act on equal terms. Indeed, making anything else the story now, and using the Hernandez case as a springboard, is beyond asinine. It is intellectually reckless.
So when Mario Williams instagrammed a "Grand Theft New England"
picture with Hernandez's head photo-shopped on, there is a necessity that those who might comment on it do so in a way that respects the only acceptable frame: Hernandez killed a guy and the rest is just noise in comparison.
What we got, though, was an object lesson in how "journalists" get so wrapped up in finding and creating a story that the words they write are nothing more than alphabetic vomit.
I know I write on a blog that knocks its boots to a tune of crass humor, dick jokes and calling Buffalo media members all sorts of defamatory names (except those names are all true, hence no defamation! ZING), but man oh man even I draw the line somewhere. Like, for instance, terrible puns that make light of real world shitty things. The kinds of puns that you find on the front or back pages of the New York "we're owned by a criminal wiretapping parent corporation and have absolutely no standards when it comes to integrity, law, morals, ethics, hygiene (see Brooks, Larry) or credibility" Post. The kinds of puns that make reasonable-thinking people cringe at the poor humor of it, not to mention that complete lack of sensitivity to the personal impact that some news stories can have on the subjects of said stories.
Like, for instance, the pun used in a screen graphic by Jonah Javad, a WGRZ sports anchor, to describe the latest news about Mario Williams' alleged struggles with suicidal thoughts and pills.
Listen, I get that this story started with news of Williams' engagement being broken off by his ex-fiancee, and that Williams was suing her for return of the ring, and that hahahahaha that's so funny because basically no millionaire athlete is ever supposed to exercise his legal rights when it comes to money because FUCK HIM HE'S RICH. TMZ had a laugh at it, I got into a spat with one of Bomani Jones' twitter followers
over the legality of conditional gifts like engagement rings and the whole thing seemed a pretty silly thing generally.
Then Mario's ex comes out with details about how he had said she could keep the ring and how the lawsuit was meant to harass her, so she counter-claims in the lawsuit and we all scratch our heads about "oh man, Mario may be an idiot lulzzzzz." But then, unexpectedly, she mentions the text messages, and the depression, and how he was talking suicide and pills and suddenly the shit isn't at all funny anymore. It's entirely too real, too serious to be funny.
And then, shortly thereafter, as if he was reporting on a last second touchdown or a player being cut or a coach being hired, Jonah Javad decides that a motherfucking pun is a good idea.
Not only are puns stupid about 80% of the time even when they're about meaningless shit like hockey games (I'm looking at you NHL dot com
), but they're downright callous when they're used to talk about real shit.
I get that, as you see above, Mr. Javad has gone on twitter to issue apologies about his intent and how he didn't mean to make light of Williams' drug use, but that he meant stupor as in "dazed." But, wait... So, in other words, Javad wasn't poking fun - because that's what a pun does, after all; if pokes fun - at the alleged use of pills, he was poking fun at Williams' more general mental state. He wasn't making a joke about, perhaps, an attempt at suicide, but really just at the depression - the daze, I guess - that led to the attempt?
Cool, because that totally doesn't contribute to the outstandingly unfair and prejudicial way that we think about mental illness in our society.
I absolutely understand that the sports media in this country, and in particular my beloved hometown, is more often than not ill-equipped to deal with the complex issues surrounding mental hygiene, particularly where the ideal of American athletes is centered on mental fortitude and any deficiencies therein are signs only of weakness. Which is why, when reporting - as they should - on the inevitable instances where the issues of mental illness and sport overlap (increasingly so with the traumatic brain injuries prevalent in football), the same bullshit shtick that can work for sports suddenly does not work anymore.
As many explanations and apologies as Mr. Javad wants to throw out, fine. I don't doubt he's an incredibly decent guy. But this shit is really inexcusable. It has to be better than this.
The Scizz has been on me all week to finish the Draft grades I promised our dear reader(s?) this past weekend. I sat in front of the computer after work every night and tried to come up with things to say about our new picks and I simply couldn't muster the strength.
The spirit did not move me to write anything... I simply don't trust the BrainMush @ One Bills Drive to do anything right anymore. Why waste your time and mine trying to sugarcoat another shitty draft? We picked three DBs, passed on a proven stud d-lineman for a skinnier/riskier Aaron Schobel, and reached on a couple linemen who could have been picked much later in the draft. That's what's been running around my head these past few days, so there you have it. Allen Wilson, I am not.
However, it's not like I don't have something to bitch about at length. Being a Buffalo Sports fan, I'll always have something to bitch about. And yes, something has been bothering me for quite some time. It's this guy:
Larry Fucking Quinn.