Hatemonger : n. One who incites others to hatred or prejudice.
Hatemongering. It’s a tactic often used in politics to dissuade voters from a candidate. You publicly bash someone by spewing negative commentary about them (either true or false) so that the population then begins to believe and repeat the negativity you so desperately wish to spread. Football media has apparently taken to this tactic.
Fox sports was caught earlier this season manipulating headlines for a hate piece they were doing on Jay Cutler. For those that don’t know about the story here is a brief summary: Fox basically decided to push their opinion that Jay Cutler is disliked by the media and public onto innocent television viewers. When attempting to back this up they realized they had no real evidence that this was true so they created and cited fictitious newspaper headlines to further push their point. Have they been punished for this? Not that I know of. Fox apologized and that’s it. Is an apology enough after concocting newspaper headlines in order to rake someone’s name through the mud to millions of viewers?
When I see things like this happen to specific players or coaches I wonder – Why Jay Cutler? Was Fox thinking, oh there’s been controversy around him in the past, he isn’t smiling every time the camera is on him, and we don’t think he’s good looking enough to be on the cover of GQ, so he’s an easy person to paint as evil? I think it’s interesting to consider what makes a person controversial. It’s also interesting to note what makes someone publicly appealing. Looks and charm seem to play a big role in the latter; willingness to please the media and winning percentage seem to play a part in the former. There have been multiple players in the NFL accused of sexual assault, rape, and other crimes. Yet, we continue to see them on the covers of magazines, making public appearances, and being fawned over by FOX and other media outlets. I guess what FOX is telling us is that in their minds you are less appealing if you are accused of faking an injury in a playoff game than if you are accused of raping someone. I don’t believe that it’s the media or anyone else’s job to judge someone on their past actions, regardless of what they are. However, I find it intriguing that actions of some are overlooked, while the actions of others are magnified and embellished.
People in the media are just waiting for players or coaches to say anything that could be considered controversial in the slightest, hoping that someone will say something that can be later used to kick them when they’re down. How big did the media make Vince Young’s “Dream Team” statement? So big that most people don’t even know that he was the one that said it. Most people think the entire Eagles team was chanting DREAM TEAM on the first day of Training Camp. You know why the media hyped it up? They hyped-up that off the cuff comment to make sure that everyone was aware of it just in case the Eagles didn’t play well this season. If the Eagles didn’t play well then the media would be able to slam it back into their faces. It’s a way for them to create a story out of nothing and I find it very annoying.
This is how little the sports media actually knows about how football teams work. Last year, early in the season certain people in the media put Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy on the “hot seat.” Green Bay won the Super Bowl. Should they still fire McCarthy?
Certain analysts and commentators push their personal agendas on innocent sports fans that genuinely want to learn about the game. They are hatemongers! They arbitrarily say, “oh this guy should be fired” and “oh they need to bench this guy,” giving no football facts to back up their opinions because they have no clue what’s really going on. Stop pushing your personal agendas. No one likes a hater and it seems that the media has decidedly taken the hater mentality. I was at an audition the other day with a woman who used to be a stand-up comedian, but left the business because she said she was “sick of all the hateful comics in the stand up world.” She said, “ It became about tearing people down and insulting people rather than being funny and making people laugh.” Makes sense to me. That’s what football is becoming. A big fucking roast of everyone involved. Unless you do something admirable and in that case for one small moment the media will applaud you, talk about how they always believed in you and then get back to picking you apart ( i.e. Tony Romo, Reggie Bush, Nnamdi Asomugha, Jay Cutler, Any Head Coach, I could go on and on).
Side note: Another inconsistency in media morals: ESPN removed the “Are You Ready For Some Football” song from Monday Night Football because Hank Williams, Jr. aka Bocephus made a controversial statement about the President. I’m sorry, ESPN, did you not know who you were hiring when you hired Hank Jr. to sing the song? He is as un-P.C. as it gets. He is an ol’ southern boy who probably doesn’t go a day without offending someone. Who cares what he says? I like the guy’s music, I named my dog after him, and I don’t agree with half the stuff he says. “Are You Ready For Some Football” is a Monday Night Football tradition, don’t take it away.
Photos courtesy of: blacknbougie. com, thefastertimes.com, atomspiegel.wordpress.com, profootballtalk.com, totalpackers.com