About Tweets…and Eli Manning

Posted: January 26, 2012 in NFL
Tags: , , , , ,

First, I have no idea who first offered the advice, “Stop and think before you speak,” but I’m guessing its goes back to the early days of mankind. Like most words of wisdom, they have been ignored often since they were first uttered.

So this epidemic of verbal diarrhea is nothing new. Humans haven’t changed. Technology has.

Seldom is the day we don’t hear or read about some well known person – politician, entertainer, athlete – or some person in a position of responsibility – education, law enforcement, religion – saying something stupid and then making a clumsy apology. In the 21st century, these utterances usually come from texting, tweeting and facebooking. Cell phones, Ipads, etc. have put eyes and ears everywhere and transmit our words worldwide within a matter of seconds. Nothing remains a secret. Nothing is private.

For the life of me I don’t understand the conceit that makes anyone think anyone else cares about what they ate for breakfast or their immediate thought about anything, but clearly I’m in the minority. I’m guessing it’s my generation.

As if this isn’t bad enough, the problem is compounded by the ultra competitive world of media, mainstream media as well as the so-called tabloid media. (For the record, the line has become so blurry it is difficult to tell the difference.) An athlete, for example, tweets something insensitive without thinking about the consequences; without thinking period. Perhaps it is done in jest. Perhaps it is done in a drunken stupor. Who knows? The next thing you know the comment is everywhere, including the media.

Mountains are made out of mole hills. Controversy is created out of nothingness.

I don’t know how the problem will ever be resolved, but I think we should rethink some old advice.

Now we need to tell our children, “Stop and think before you speak . . . or tweet . . . or text . . . or facebook.”

Will our children listen? Probably not.

Second, I need you to play along with me here and imagine the 49ers’ Kyle Williams NOT fumbling two punts against the Giants in the NFC Championship Game. San Francisco would be headed to the Super Bowl.

And no one – absolutely no one – would be asking if Giants’ QB Eli Manning is as talented as his brother Peyton. Understand this isn’t a slam at Eli. I think he’s a helluva quarterback and hasn’t gotten the respect he deserves.

This is about how stupidly we judge our athletes in team sports. Eli and the Giants beat the 49ers thanks to Williams’ muffs and suddenly you can’t spell elite without Eli. If the Giants lose, Eli catches heat; he’s labeled Peyton’s little and less talented brother; he’s called a choker. I’m talking about the same player making basically the same plays with the outcome determined by someone else.

Giving wins and losses so much weigh in judging players in team sports – even quarterbacks and pitchers – makes no sense to me.



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