Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

A Short Subject That Might Be About Sports, Or About Politics, Or About Family Values, Or About Race, But Turns Out To Be Mostly About Laziness And A Desperate Need For Attention

[Ed. note: Sorry to give away the ending.]

Here’s the situation:

The New England Patriots earn a trip to the White House by winning the Super Bowl. A great many players attend the event in Washington, DC this past Thursday. Several players miss the trip, due to one thing and another, not least of which is that the trip could well have been set up on very short notice and their personal schedules may already have been set. (You hate to miss these things, but sometimes life intervenes.) The team stands in the Rose Garden with the President, who happens to be Barack Obama, and you would think this little detail would mean very little. How wrong, apparently, you would be.

One of the players who misses the trip is quarterback Tom Brady. A high-profile guy, his absence is described as a “family commitment” [one online sports website noted that Thursday was Brady’s parents’ anniversary], and neither the team nor the President publicly makes a big deal of it.

Here’s the predictable part:

The next day, Stephen A. Smith, commentator and former sports journalist (that’s as close as any biographical website gets to calling him an current actual journalist), climbs onto his daily radio program and supposes that the Brady absence was far less innocent than even the President of These Here United States let on:

Where the hell was Tom Brady? Inquiring minds want to know. Where the hell was Tom Brady? I really would like to know. When you won the Super Bowl in 2001 and George W. Bush was president, you were there. When you won back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 2003 and 2004, when George W. Bush was still president, you were there. How come you wasn’t [sic] there yesterday? When President Barack Obama was there. I don’t understand it. Is that a legitimate question?

I don’t want to speculate. Is he a Republican and he doesn’t want anyone to know?

But you got a family commitment. Not an emergency!”

In the space of a single paragraph, Smith, who appears to be suffering from lack of parental attention in his early life, seems to imply that either [1] Brady might have skipped the event because his political views don’t line up with those of the President who happened to be on duty when the Patriots won the Super Bowl … or [2] Brady might have skipped the event because his skin tone didn’t line up with that of the President who happened to be on duty when the Patriots won the Super Bowl.

Smith doesn’t actually say any of that outright. He doesn’t outright accuse Brady of skipping a White house visit because of his politics (although he could go interview Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas about that, because Thomas has actual documented experience with it). And he certainly doesn’t outright accuse Brady of being racist, certainly not by using those actual words (as if to then stand behind them).

But, you know, he’s just sayin’.

I don’t want to “speculate” about Stephen A. Smith either, but he’s making it tough.

I could “speculate” that, based on his history of self-expression in a couple of non-sports subject areas, if Tom Brady had missed all the White House visits hosted by Mr. Bush, and bailed out on his family event and attended this White House event, it’s possible that Mr. Smith might have “speculated” that he was a member of the stinkin’ radical left and skipped the White House visits because he disagreed with the President. Or Mr. Smith might have accused him of not setting a good example for his young fans or not having “family values” (whatever that really means) because he failed to honor a family commitment.

Because in that hypothetical case, based on my observation of the mass media lately … if he hadn’t, you can bet that someone, somewhere in the media establishment, would have done.

And I could “speculate” that neither Smith, nor that other hypothetical media someone, might even have bothered to pick up a phone and try to line up an actual interview to ask Tom Brady about it. Because it’s too easy and too click-bait-worthy and too hip ‘n’ cool to be just sayin’.

No, I take that back. It’s just plain lazy.

Cripes. Even the guy who won the Super Bowl can’t win.


April 25, 2015 - Posted by | Famous Persons, media, news, sports | , , , , , , ,

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