Tuesday, February 9, 2016

37. Takes. Takes. Takes.

The Super Bowl is big. I heard somebody say or write that it’s our nation’s biggest secular holiday. I agree with that. I tried to limit my football watching this year, and I still tuned in with friends and mounds of tortilla chips.

Since it’s watched by so many people, those same people feel like they have a right to criticize and critique everything that appears on their television. And people especially wanted to to rip the Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton after a number of football-related sins he committed: not jumping for a loose ball after a fumble, walking out of a press conference after giving short answers, and just generally being a poor sport after his team lost.

I get that Cam should be open to be criticized. He’s the NFL MVP and one of the most popular players in the league.

The thing that irks me is when people think his actions somehow reflect on his larger character. I’m glad I didn’t check Twitter after the game. People had things to say. A lot of them were really stupid.

Why did people need to vociferously criticize Cam’s actions after the game? Especially since 99.99% of them came from people who probably were a few beers in and sitting safely on their couch. What would you be like after losing one of the biggest games of your career? I doubt anybody reading this has played in a Super Bowl, so I’m guessing very few people know what it’s like afterwards.

I’m sure some people would like their quarterbacks to be buttoned-up yes men who do everything “for the team.” Not everyone is like that. I like Cam’s style. He doesn’t care what people think and that just gets under the skin of some classic football types. I like that he gives footballs to kids in the end zone after a score. I like that he celebrates. The “do your job” mentality of the NFL is so overrated. You’re playing a game for pete’s sake. It should be fun. It’s not mind-numbing labor. (Err, it actually kind of is, but concussions are for a different blog post.)

I think this goes back to one of my first posts regarding the take-industrial complex (someone else came up with that, but I can’t remember.) People should post less on social media sites, not more. I don’t think everyone needs a figurative microphone to sound their opinion on something. Especially when that thing is a game.

I think we are programmed to make those opinions due to the speed at which things run. If you wanted your opinion shared even just 20 years ago, you had to sit down and write a letter to the editor in the newspaper. That took time and effort. Now it’s just 140 characters and the push of a button.

You’re not an expert just because you have a twitter account. You’re not an expert because you saw a few seconds of somebody doing something and had a strong reaction to it. You’re probably not going to have that “perfect response” that you dream about. The world is a big place and you probably can’t see it all from your vantage point.

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