Saturday, August 18, 2007


I didn't want to do this, but I feel I owe it to intellectual honesty. Jason Whitlock has to be inducted to the Max Mercy Hall of Fame. It's difficult for me because I really like his writing in general. I was glad to link his piece ripping the Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki for all the whining they did following their collapse against the Heat two NBA Finals ago. But no one can write a sentence like this: "No one in America writes more provocatively and intelligently about football than yours truly."

If George Orwell (who wrote more provocatively and intelligently than any other writer about everything) had written about sports, he couldn't make that statement and look himself in the mirror. If Chinua Achebe (not dead, but my favorite living black author) wrote about sports, he couldn't make that statement. If Dr. Martin Luther King had written about sports, he couldn't make that statement. If Frederick Douglas had written about sports, he couldn't make that statement. No one who writes about sports can make that statement.

Hell, no one who writes about anything can make that statement. No one with any sense of propriety or intellectual moral rectitude can say that they write anything about anything more provocatively and intelligently than every other writer in America. How big does your ego have to be to make a statement like that?

This is obviously a delicate area for me, not so much because Jason Whitlock is the first African American writer to receive this dubious honor, but because I am calling a writer's ego into question when humility is not one of my virtues and when I have devoted a shocking amount of space in a blog primarily about the Boston sports landscape to defending Terrell Owens who has quite an ego of his own.

I think the difference between TO's man crush on himself and Jason Whitlock's boasting is that TO has to step out on a field and prove his worth against 11 guys on the opposing team who want to rough him up every time he touches the football. Jason Whitlock has to type up a column, get it past an editor and hope emotionally stunted people with social problems stumble across it on the Fox Sports website. There are objective criteria against which TO's performance can be measured to see if he is earning the right to his arrogance. That isn't exactly the case for Jason Whitlock.

The sad thing is, if you took the time to comb through all 194 posts on this blog, I'm sure you'll find instances where I did basically the same thing. Particularly if I'm whining about the CHB or Mariotti being paid handsomely to write garbage whilst I labor in obscurity. Of course, my standard defense is that I abhor all forms of hypocrisy but my own. Even more depressing, I published my 100th post in early March of this year. So in those 5 months and 10 or so days, I've published 94 times. I really need to get a life.

I don't know if you happened to catch any of the Tigers Yankees game this afternoon. I was grievously offended that MLB allowed Clemens to return from suspension and overshadow Curt Schilling's quest to win for the first time since coming off the DL on August 6th. And as for that nifty little play where Clemens struck out the batter at the plate and then Posada deked the runner on third into the third out, that was but a silly little farce. Varitek and any of the Red Sox pitchers could do that at will if they weren't about such tactics which pervert the spirit of the game, or if they had the brains to think of something like that.

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