I know that everyone is all over this Duck Dynasty story that seems to be the new flavor of the month. It got me thinking about these “big” stories in sports that fade out almost as quickly as they hit Facebook and Twitter.
Since the whole Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin story broke, every sensitivity expert gave their take on bullying and its effects on the human psyche (even with grown men). Every football expert went into their dissertation on how much of a mess the Dolphins organization was from the top down and how this team would fall apart because of the lack of leadership.
We are now two months removed from the initial report and I haven’t heard it mentioned in quite some time. Like every other story in sports, this one had a very short but explosive shelf life. One of the reasons that the story went away is because the “shitshow” that was supposed to be the Miami Dolphins turned into a team playing very well down the stretch and a team playing for a playoff spot.
The media took a 15 minute snippet out of the Dolphins locker room and turned it into the most tragic story anyone has ever heard. A few texts here, a voicemail there and we had our villain and victim wrapped up in a nice little story that the public would eat up like the dumb sheep we were. It was just another flash bang story that would spike their ratings, get clicks and make them more money from sponsors.
The Dolphins players came out in the media and started firing back. They were defending themselves, their teammates and their locker room culture that everyone seemed to think was so awful. What the Dolphins coaching staff and players have done in the face of the media onslaught is nothing short of amazing. It also proves that their locker room was and is just fine. It proves that the media, once again, has no idea what they’re talking about.
I won’t pretend like everyone at Junior D Sports is innocent of piling on but we know that we don’t have all of the information all the time. Everyone is a target to get made fun of…including ourselves. We’ve been wrong before and we have come out and admitted as much. Other media outlets don’t tend to do that because they know that the sheep will forget.
Why don’t we hear about this story anymore? Maybe it’s because there was no story to begin with? Maybe it’s that the Dolphins are winning? Or maybe the vultures in the media were done picking at the bones and couldn’t dig up anymore ridiculous information? I think that after every media outlet from ESPN to The View beat this horse to death and realized no one cared as much anymore they moved on. It’s all part of the Three Card Monte that the media plays with its A.D.D. listeners and viewers. Once the story starts to lose steam then they show you the next shinny object to capture your attention.
With every new BIG story every reporter comes out of the woodwork looking to be the first one to Twitter with another bit of information (no matter how false it may be). They could care less whose life or career they kill. The fact that they hide behind “sources” that never want their name revealed is a sham. I’ve had plenty of stories with “sources” but I won’t run them until someone gives me the green light to print their name.
Who knows if Martin or Incognito will ever play in the NFL again? Who knows if anyone even wants them, but the fact that their careers are even in question because some source said something that they did (or didn’t do) and this one guy heard something about this other guy is ridiculous.
The fact is that there are athletes who beat their wives and girlfriends. There are athletes that cheat, use illegal drugs, rob, steal and kill but they never seem to be more than a blip on the radar of the media. It’s here and gone like a fart in the wind. God forbid that any of these guys is perceived to be a bully…there is a fire storm that the public eats up. They pick and choose our villains and victims and we don’t even question it.
No story is ever as big as the media makes it out to be. Sex and fear sell in this country…that’s what the media sniffs out. Everyone loves a good scandal and when the next one pops up you know who’ll be there to pounce. I will ask everyone reading this to do one thing moving forward…QUESTION EVERYTHING. Don’t settle for the fully prepared meal that they give you. If you’re really interested in the story, do your own research and then make up your own mind.