As you can guess from the title of this blog, I am a huge KISS fan. The song, “Detroit, Rock City,” from their classic album, “Destroyer” is my all time favorite KISS song. When I first heard the song in 1977, about a year after its release, I was hooked, and for 34 happy years, I have been a die hard KISS fan. Consider that I will be discussing how sports writers, and society as a whole (I include myself) have built what I call an “Overreaction City,” I thought the KISS song would come in handy. Without further ado, let’s take a trip to Overreaction City.
I usually abhor the alphabet network known as ESPN. ESPN tends to be more of a network where a bunch of marks for certain athletes shake the pom poms. You have Mike Greenberg of “Mike and Mike In the Morning” who is such a Jets mark, he won’t take any Patriot in his fantasy team. There’s Mark Schlereth, the Bronco’s homer. Skip Bayless is a smart mark who makes his hate for LeBron James quite obvious. However, there are a few people I like on there: Adam Schefter, Michael Smith, and John Clayton, and Mike Wilbon.
[adinserter block=”2″]The only one ESPN related person I REALLY like to watch is ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd. Yes, he has his usual routine as a radio host, and at times, he tries to act like a sociologist , and that bugs me sometimes. He is a notorious hater of wrestling and wrestling fans as well. However, some time ago, and I forgot what the subject was that he was talking about, but he said something on his show that I have been thinking about this society for a long time. Cowherd said that “We have become an overreaction society.” I was glad there was someone else who thought the same.
I think that we as a society, especially sports writers, get so upset with every little slight. This is just my opinion, but I blame a lot of this garbage on the politically correctness brigade. Political Correctness has made us a bunch of hypersensitive wimps. You can’t say this. You can’t say that. You have to call people this. I am ALL for tolerance. I can’t stand racist , sexist, homophobic, etc name calling and things like that. It is disgusting to me. I think MOST people are for tolerance. I just think now that it is getting to the point where a celebrity, or in this case, a sports figure does something, and says something that maybe 1% of people may be offended, they have to apologize. Apologize for what? Do people nowadays need to retake reading and comprehension courses now? Why do people have to be so bland, and so boring just so that 1% doesn’t get their widdle feelings hurt? People need to grow a set and toughen up.
For example, about a week before the opening kickoff game at Metlife Stadium between the Cowboys, and the Jets, Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan caught heat because he said “I don’t know why they’d be here. They’re coming into our stadium. It’s probably not recommended that you wear Cowboys stuff, I would think.” Now, I am not a Jets fan at all, but man, I definitely have respect for Ryan, even though I am not a huge fan of his either. I honestly don’t see what the problem is. In this column by Los Angeles sports writer, and ESPN’s “Around the Horn” participant, Bill Plaschke ” http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2011/09/rex-ryan-new-york-jets.html , Plaschke goes nuts. I mean Ryan “should be punished by the League?” Really Bill? I seriously doubt it was Rex’ fault that there were fights in the stands at a preseason game his team wasn’t involved in. Is Ryan at fault for the economy too? God gave us free will, Bill, so people are going to fight at games, no matter what any football coach says. He was joking.
Let me stick with that same game. Dallas sQB Tony Romo had a very good game against the Jets’ stingy defense. The Cowboys were leading by a good margin, UNTIL that fourth quarter where Tony Romo made a couple of critical errors. One, when he inexplicably ran to the 2 yard line and fumbled, giving the Jets the ball, and two, when he threw the game killing INT to Revis. Well, I don’t have to tell you that it is Thursday as I write this, and on Mike and Mike, the guys were STILL talking about Romo’s mishaps. All week long, sports writers were going crazy saying Romo is this. Romo is that. This is just ONE game. I agree that Romo has had his moments (INT in the endzone against the eventual SB winning Giants in the Division Playoffs in 07/08, the botched snap against Seattle in the playoffs). That I agree with, but people got to lay off the guy. Sure, talk about it for a day or two, but all week? Chill.
Another game that had people going way overboard was the Week One matchup between the defending AFC Conference Champion Steelers vs their bitter rival Ravens. Oh my goodness, the handwringing that I saw on message boards, and on twitter, and from the “experts’ was something else. NFL Network’s “expert” Warren Sapp said on the upcoming HBO series “Inside the NFL” that the Steelers were “old” , “slow” , and “over.” Talking about OVERREACTION CITY. Sapp should be mayor. I don’t know if Mr. Sapp or any other person ready to bury the Steelers remembers, but there are 15 more games to go. I had no idea that the season is OVER in ONE GAME. I agree that the Steelers laid an huge egg. That is not in question. Even great racehorses have run poorly. It happens. However, people need to see every team play a few games to see where everyone is at, including the Steelers.
These last two examples will be about two players on the same team. Right after their huge victory over the Dolphins on Monday Night Football, New England Patriot WR Chad Ocho Cinqo tweeted about how much in awe he was about the Patriots Offense putting up 517 yards. Well, former three time SB Patriot LB, and current ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi just went off on him. Everyone reading this pretty much has heard what Tedy said, but those who haven’t, in a nutshell, Tedy pretty much berated Chad for being in awe, and to get with the program, and to stop tweeting and study his playbook. Tedy also said that Chad is not there to be a spectator. Other former Patriots such as Rodney Harrison, and Damian Woody also came down on Chad as well. Now, while I totally agree with their MESSAGE (Chad needs to work on his playbook, and do things the “Patriot Way.” They do the great stuff they do because it is expected.), I DO feel that there was no need to have a hissy fit about it. It is my understanding that the Patriots staff is trying to get Chad to learn the system faster. However, I just don’t think Bruschi, Harrison, and Woody’s berating Chad for a tweet that took him 15 seconds is going to help. They totally overreacted. Of course, Chad has not tweeted since, but I just thought he didn’t deserve to be berated.
Finally, I will be defending the man who is supposed to be throwing Ocho Cinco the ball, his QB, Tom Brady. Why does Tom, of all people, need defending? Well, yesterday , at his press conference at his locker, he was talking about the upcoming home game with the Chargers, and he was asked by some reporter how the fans should get revved up for the game as it was a 4:15pm game. He JOKED that the fans should start “drinking” and get “lubed up” and get “nice and rowdy.” Well, evidently, some people got upset, and the Patriots PR department messed it up worse saying “He meant water.” Child please. He said what he said, and it was an obvious JOKE. Now, it is being analyzed to death. Sports writers are going nuts saying he has to watch what he says, and he is a role model, and fans may get behind the wheel and get into an accident because of what he said.
Let me get this straight. The NFL and the beer companies have advertising deals. The NFL stadiums sell BEER and maybe other alcohol for those in the fancy suites, and last I looked, the Patriots play in an NFL stadium. Fans come to the stadiums HOURS BEFORE, and what do most of them do while tailgating and eating all that great food? I think a lot of them DRINK BEER and other alcoholic beverages. Am I right so far? Beer and football go together. That being said, NO ONE puts a gun to your head and tells you to drink either. Folks, it was obvious that Brady was joking. Why the PR department made it worse, I have no idea, but columnists, and others are making way too much of this. No fan is going to get a DUI just because some athlete said “get rowdy.” As I said earlier, we all have free will. We are responsible for our own actions. If some fan goes to the Pats/Chargers game, and is loaded from the tailgating, and the beer he/she buys, and goes out and gets a DUI, or worse, KILLS him/herself or someone else while impaired, that is on THAT PERSON, and NO ONE ELSE, not the Patriots, and certainly not Brady.
[adinserter block=”1″]Now, I do want to point out that sports writers, and fans/society go to “overreaction city” the other way as well. When the Eagles got all these high priced free agents (Cullen Jenkins, Vince Young, Nnamdi, etc, etc), just about everyone from the NFLN analysts to ESPN were already handing them the Lombardi, and already saying they were going to be undefeated. Last NFL season, analysts were ready to crown Michael Vick the MVP of the NFL after one great game against the Redskins. NBA analysts were ready to crown the Miami Heat champions when the “Big Three” formed before they even played a game together. So , it does go both ways.
Conclusively, what I am seeing though, is that people see just one event, either good or bad, and they just MAGNIFY it to the max. Some things are just no big deal. It is a shame that public figures, and non public figures for that matter, have to tip toe when they are in front of a microphone , because of that minute portion of the population who are so thin skinned, and haven’t grown a set. It is also sad that people go bonkers over any kind of event, and make conclusions based on one event. Today’s society is making mountains out of mole hills out of things, and it isn’t healthy.
Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/missedgehead