Maybe this all comes down to the simple fact that the newly elected leader of the free world seems to hold the media in complete disdain, to the point that he openly mocked a disabled member of the fourth estate. But whatever the case, media bashing is clearly in — and it is reaching the threatening point of physical and professional intimidation.
Are we seriously going to celebrate this?
Again, we get it. The media often ruins the party, which is sort of the point. Someone has to stay sober and keep his or her eyes open, lest we end up like Michael Floyd, passed out behind the wheel at a stoplight. Admittedly, the media often goes too far — especially in a world of internet and talk radio, especially in sports — but there reaches a point when athletes cross the line.
Maybe it’s a sign of the times, of a greater problem. Maybe it’s just a reaction to stress at this most wonderful time of the year, when life piles up to form a mountain of wrapping paper and responsibilities.
Whatever it is, you shouldn’t like the trend.
* In early November, Curt Schilling tweeted a photo with a man wearing a t-shirt that delivered the following message: “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required.” Schilling’s personal message with the photo? “Ok, so much awesome here ….” The message was posted (and subsequently deleted) on Nov. 7, the day before the presidential election.
If anyone really believes Schilling was seriously advocating for violence here, well, you don’t really know the guy. And ultimately, Schilling may have cost himself at least some Hall of Fame support from voters who turned on him. Still, what the (expletive)? Twitter is a cesspool, as we all know, and it has no filter for those who lack impulse control. Once it’s out there, it’s out there, and there’s no pulling it back.
* Say what you want about Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, but things are reaching the point where you can literally hear him ticking. Last night, Cousins erupted for 55 points in a game during which he was temporarily ejected, then launched into a criticism of NBA officials and the Trail Blazers.
All of that, of course, comes after a weekend incident in which Cousins profanely and physically intimidated a columnist for The Sacramento Bee for writing about a bar altercation that involved Cousins and his brother. Look, the guy is 6-foot-11, and he’s listed at 270 pounds on top of it. Best anyone could tell, Cousins has not disputed the existence of the incident involving his brother. He just doesn’t want his brother’s name in the papers.
The Kings, to their credit, fined Cousins. But the man can be scary, and we mean that in multiple ways. On the court and off.
* A week ago, we celebrated Richard Sherman for blasting the NFL. But this week? Sherman didn’t like a line of questioning from a reporter concerning his on-field antics involving offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s call for a pass play in last week’s win over the Los Angeles Rams. Sherman then threatened the reporter — “I’ll ruin your career,” he said — and threatened to have the reporter’s press credentials revoked, something he may have learned from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
But we digress.
Sherman has since apologized for the threat via — you guessed it — Twitter, and his remarks clearly suggested that he has yet to recover from Bevell’s decision (and that of head coach Pete Carroll) to throw the ball at the goal line (instead of handing it to Marshawn Lynch) in the final seconds of Super Bowl XLIX against the New England Patriots. That, too, is apparently the media’s fault and undoubtedly suggests that Sherman should seek therapy about the ill-advised pick play the Seahawks ran for Ricardo Lockette, who was knocked into obscurity by Patriots defensive back Malcolm Butler.
Don’t you, Schilling and Cousins understand the first rule when dealing with the media?
Don’t shoot the messenger.
Tony Massarotti is an avid Boston sports fan and has covered sports in Boston for more than 15 years for both the Boston Herald and Boston Globe. He now serves as a co-host on afternoon drive on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. He was a two-time Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year as voted by his peers and has written four books, including “Big Papi,” the New York Times-bestselling memoirs of David Ortiz. You can follow Tony @tonymassarotti.