What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
The headline says it all. There are people in this country who don’t think we’ve got enough to worry about. There are people in this country who believe in creating controversies from whole cloth? That’s exactly what the sports media in this country is doing with this story about “insensitive” comments made by sportscaster Bob Costas on Friday. Here’s the trail to this point…from Yahoo Sports:
In one of the most unexpected and undeniably awkward stories of the season, broadcasting legend Bob Costas found himself in hot water Friday night after going off on a bizarre and insensitive diatribe about Chicago Cubs reliever Pedro Strop.
Pay attention to that setup. The author is going out of his was to paint the picture that Costas went off on some sort of Al Campanis-type rant. The key to this isn’t in the adjectives, but in the use of the word “insensitive.” Political correctness in America has not only eliminated the use of many words; it has transmogrified the definitions of others. “Insensitive” is just such a word. In this case, in the parlance of PC, “insensitive” is a pseudo-code word for “racist.” It gets used when somebody wants to plant the seed of bigotry with out actually using one of those “hot-button” PC labels like “racist,” “homophobe,” or any of the other we all know far too well. Now, to set the stage…
Costas was on the call for MLB Network’s broadcast of the Cubs-Cardinals game in St. Louis. Strop, who serves as Chicago’s eighth-inning reliever, was called upon for his duties but had a rough night, allowing a game-tying homer to Greg Garcia and an additional two baserunners before getting the hook. As Strop left the mound with the game hanging in the balance, he pointed skyward, which is a gesture many pitchers make while taking their leave. But Costas wasn’t having it this time.
That last sentence is important. “Wasn’t having it” is a nice, soft, easy-to-deny way to paint Costas as some sort of intolerant figure whose approval or otherwise can make a difference.
…here’s a transcript of Costas’ comments. “Motte is on his way in, Strop is on his way out, pointing toward the heavens. We can only ask, or wonder that he is asking some departed relative for forgiveness for this atrocious performance.”
I’ve read that line over and over and over again, and for the life of me, I can’t see what’s so “insensitive” about it. The closest I can get to “insensitive” is this comment could be seen as being in poor taste; it’s bad form to make light of somebody’s dead relatives. But short of that, somebody needs to tell me what’s “insensitive” about that comment. Just wait, the author is about to tell us…
The tone and delivery were definitely harsh, but it’s difficult to imagine that message not coming across as harsh or insensitive or just plain unnecessary. Yeah, we get what intentions were, but that’s one of those prepared bits that’s best left on paper.
That sentence is a nice way of saying “I thought this was ‘insensitive,’ therefore everybody should be outraged about this. The author posted a screencap in the original piece depicting a post on Twitter that got a couple hundred re-tweets as the rationale for making this argument. But even that Tweet was incredibly vague.
“Costas went there, huh?”
If you go to the original article and click on the aforementioned tweet, you will be treated to a discussion thread which is a monument to phony outrage. To be honest, it read more like a bunch of butt-hurt Cubs’ fans than anything else. At first, Costas said:
“I inadvertently appeared harsh toward Strop. That wasn’t my intention. I owe him an apology.”
But then, it what I call a serious “ray of hope” for the future of this country, Costas came to his senses. Costas re-listened to his comments and realized I’m right…there was nothing “insensitive” about them, and that he would not respond to the internet’s “faux outrage.”
“We can be disingenuous about it if we want, if it’s suits our purposes, but we all know this: We live in an age of faux outrage, of disproportionate outrage. Everything is shocking, over the top. ‘He savaged Pedro Strop’ — I mean, come on, come on. Let’s get a handle on this,” Costas said. “I could have done better and I will apologize. But…that’s just Internet stuff. I’m going to take care of it the same way I would have taken care of it if it was 1986. And that’s going to be that.”
Don’t misunderstand me; I’m no fan of Bob Costas. I’ve called him out in the past for various acts of wind-baggery, but not only do we need to stand up the the inverted McCarthy-ism that is “political correctness,” we need to support those who do.
You know there will be members of the media who will flay Costas for this, and I say let them. It’s high time we allowed these people to wish to stir the pot for no better reason than the sake of pot-stirring expose themselves as the deleterious influences on society they really are.
On top of that, I want everybody who will try to bury Costas for taking a stand to tell me exactly what was “insensitive” about his comments. I know the answer, but I want to hear them say it rather than hiding behind some thinly-veiled code words.