Unless you have been a Niners’ fan for the last 50 years or unless you had a significant chunk of change on the Niners where you gave the points, you had to enjoy yesterday’s Super Bowl game for its excitement and its big plays. I might quibble for a moment about the selection of the game’s MVP since the award did not go to Jacoby Jones, but I can get over that in a mere moment. This was a fitting end to the 2012/2013 football season.
There were two “stories” that emerged in the two-week ramp-up to the Super Bowl game that I purposely ignored at the time because both were a result of the hyper-focus on the players, coaches and the game that always results at that time of the season. The purpose of “Media Day” was once a time for players, coaches and the media to gather for a short exchange on matters related to football. However, as competition for storylines and “scoops” increased, “Media Day” became a circus – and it surely appears as if the clowns are in charge. My two “stories” emerged from “Media Day”.
Niners’ defensive back Chris Culliver said clearly and convincingly that gay athletes would not be welcome in a locker room. That statement is so politically incorrect in 2013 that it became a huge story and a “great get” for the person how asked the question that elicited such an outrageous answer. Then, Chris Culliver had to retract the statement by saying those were not the true feelings in his heart and had to apologize to every life form in the known universe for saying what he clearly said.
Before commenting, I need to repeat something I have written here before regarding my personal views on the sexual practices of individuals. I do not care at all about those practices so long as they meet 5 criteria:
All sex is consensual.
All sex involves adults.
All sex involves living beings.
All sex occurs within the species Homo sapiens.
None of the sex is incestuous.
With those 5 criteria on record, I also have the strongest preference not to hear about the sexual activities of others. Put more bluntly, I just do not give a damn! I really wish that the question which set all of this in motion had never been asked and I surely would have preferred for the world to ignore the answer given because no answer should have been given. Nonetheless, the question was asked and the answer was given; what annoyed me most for two very different reasons – was the apology.
First, if you heard the original answer and parsed it ever so gently you have an idea of Chris Culliver’s handle on grammatical and syntactical English. Then when you heard the apology and parsed that ever so gently, it could not have been mysterious that someone had prepped him for that apologetic pronouncement. Prepared apologies that have had wordsmithing and/or focus group responses are not apologies and they have become maximally annoying.
Second, I have begun to wonder why the world finds it necessary to make people apologize for so many things. Let me be clear again, I do not care if a professional athlete – of ether gender – is gay or not gay. [See the Five Criteria above…] Likewise, I do not care if Chris Culliver and a hundred other pro athletes hold a diametrically opposed view. If they have an opinion I disagree with, I can state with a full measure of emotion that their opinion is wrongheaded, anti-social or whatever. However, why do I need an apology from them?
Imagine for a moment that I wrote a paragraph here stating unequivocally that I believe in the bottom of my heart that left-handed people are cursed by God and should imprisoned and not be allowed out in public lest they contaminate all the properly right-handed people of the world. You would be absolutely correct to call me an idiot for holding such a view and you should feel free to mock that view and you might want to state that holding such a view might just indicate a serious level of sociopathic energy within me. However, you are not entitled to an apology from me. If I were to respond to all of your criticism, it would be with the simple statement:
That is what I believe. If you believe differently, then you will have to find a way to live the rest of your life knowing that I think your beliefs are flawed. I know I will live my life ignoring your thoughts about my beliefs.
On the other hand, to put my response in the vernacular:
Think about my suggestion here and one of the benefits of my kind of apology that should jump to mind is that if my style of apology became the norm, you would never have Oprah Winfrey doing two hours on TV with Lance Armstrong. It just does not make for two hours of television to have someone answer the key question by saying, “Tough s[p]it!”
The other “story” from last week was Randy Moss’ assertion that he is the greatest WR of all time. Perhaps that pronouncement could have drawn a response from the audience/questioner along the lines of, “Really. That’s good.” However, in the ardor of “Media Day” this became a minor news maelstrom. Here is why this belongs in the “Who Cares” file:
1. There is no single equation or criterion to determine the greatest WR of all time. All nominees for that honor are put forth as opinions.
2. If some guy whose career record involved 50 receptions and 1 TD were to make the statement, he would simply be laughed out of the room. The fact that Randy Moss is good enough to “in the discussion” for such a subjective label means he is pretty damned good indeed.
3. I would prefer that Randy Moss think that about himself as he prepared to go out and play in a Super Bowl game. Better that state of mind than one where he thinks of himself as a schlub…
For the record, Jerry Rice is the greatest WR that I ever saw play and Randy Moss is the second best. That is my opinion and I am not going to apologize for holding that opinion. [Aside: Calvin Johnson is pretty good too and he still has time left in his career…]
Finally, here is how Scott Ostler of the SF Chronicle reacted to the Randy Moss “story”:
“How do you drop your legacy from ‘weird guy, but one of the all-time great receivers’ to ‘delusional egomaniac who caught a lot of passes’? Take a lesson from Moss.
“Reportedly, Moss has been a solid team leader, and he deserves credit for that, especially considering what a team-wrecker he can be. But to many of us on the outside, Moss is a clueless, antisocial diva, adrift in outer space.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………