Haters Gonna Hate, or Paralysis Through Analysis

Our mornings usually begin with a little news. By news I don’t mean real news, because that might convince us to say f*ck it and just stay in bed the rest of the day. No, our morning news is usually a dose of ESPN, which at that time of day means the talk show First Take, featuring, among others, this guy:

….so anyway, somebody help me remember. Who won the Masters yesterday? Phil? Louie? Oh, wait, yeah–it was this guy:

That’s right. Bubba Watson won the Masters. It was his first major, won in a tie breaker! He cried on his mama’s shoulder and everything! It was one of those beautiful, choke-you-up sports moments.

So what did Skip Bayless and the rest of those dickheads on ESPN’s First Take do?

They talked incessantly about the continuing train wreck that is Tiger Woods, and when they finally got around to Bubba, who actually won the thing (as opposed to Tiger, who kicked his club), all they seemed to want to do was nay-say, hint around that Watson’s win was just a fluke, and generally deny the man the props one deserves when winning the gosh-darned Masters, for Arnie’s sake.

I shouldn’t be surprised at this line of discussion on that show, or almost any talk show anymore. It seems like nobody is ever willing to really celebrate anything good anymore without having to drag it down with comparisons, rankings, counterpoints, and just plain wanting to sound like a know-it-all. Unfortunately, in our media-submerged world, it’s probably an approach that is here to stay.

At the risk of sounding like a recliner-surfing retiree, I wish CBS Sunday Morning was on every single day. They don’t do that. They are more than happy to celebrate beautiful things and people and events in life without somehow feeling compelled to qualify or quantify. I found myself watching a profile of an evangelist preacher on that show last weekend and actually thinking, “What a sweet guy.” If it can make me feel that way, you know it’s an upbeat program.

My husband and I have discussed this before–that sometimes when somebody says something it’s best just to say, “Cool!”–even if there’s a contradictory statement waiting on the tip of your tongue. Sometimes, instead of advice, commentary, or analysis, people just want some simple camaraderie, to share good feelings with another human being.

Bubba Watson’s victory yesterday was cool. Totally cool, in fact. Skip and the gang’s endless need to be contrary is, and was, to use another of my standard-response terms, a bummer.

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5 thoughts on “Haters Gonna Hate, or Paralysis Through Analysis

  1. The biggest problem with sports journalism the past 30-plus years has been the egos of the people involved, and here’s why — the ONLY people they worry about impressing are each other. Skip (who, by the way, isn’t the biggest ass I’ve ever personally spoke with, but he might be in the top 5) epitomizes this. These guys hang out together, have little social life away from each other and have created a “groupthink” that has eliminated any and all actual independent thought from the profession. Thus, when Tiger throws a fit, they all talk about Tiger, because he’s the biggest name, and they like that. News will have to wait; to guys like this, news takes second tier to their own egos. This is Mike Wolcott, with your sports journalism tip for the day.

    • Note to self: next time I’m hanging out with Mike, ask him about his experience meeting the a-hole Skip Bayless.

  2. It was over the phone, he did some work from Dallas for us at the ‘ol Alameda Newspaper Group when I was sports editor back in 1995 or so. His ego melted my earpiece.

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