Sunday’s football game — you know, the only one played that day — gave us another one of those fantastic moments in sports announcing where the commentators get so worked up in a tirade that they’re unable to stop and realize how hypocritical/ignorant/hilarious/infuriating they’re actually sounding.
This one came from the finely jowled man to my left: Jim Nantz.
Late in the second half (among many, many other times), Nantz got going on Steeler’s safety Anthony Smith who, in case you didn’t know, had guaranteed victory over the Patriots earlier in the week. Here is a link to the more than 750 news articles involving the words “anthony smith” and “guarantee” — proof that a second year player did, in fact, shock the world with his unbelievable brass.
Nantz was outraged over the entire concept of player guarantees. He called them cliche, stupid, pointless, and he got particularly worked up when talking about Smith’s teammates who defended the safety by saying, “at least it got him all over ESPN.” Boy howdy did that get Nantz hotter than a Texas tea kettle. So hot that he spent the next few minutes of air time bantering about how dumb it is for people to say things just for the attention, and how stupid it makes the PLAYERS look when they say these things and get them plastered all over every major news outlet and into the all-important broadcast time of an NFL football game.
Whoa. Wait. Tell me once again who is making the mistake here, Jim? The player for running his mouth (cuz that’s never happened before) or people like ESPN and, um, YOU, who spend countless minutes and hours dribbling on and on about how asinine the player is for making a guarantee. Please tell me we’re all catching the flawed logic here.
This all falls back to one of my biggest gripes about journalists, and more often, T.V. journalists. The lightning-quick ability to point the finger, and the child-like stubbornness to point it back at themselves. It’s as if news people somehow forget their own involvement with the news. They’re so inhumanly programed to get riled up over the same old stories, that they fail to acknowledge the vast amount of control they have over the situation.
So Jim, want to know the best way to cut all the ridiculous guarantee crap? Sound off to your writers and producers — not the rest of the country. We already agree with you.