I wanted to give you an open question to discuss that has been irritating me lately. The topic is how athletes are covered on blogs. Frankly, I think the blog world isn't doing any better than the much-maligned ESPN at covering athletes and understanding their positives and negatives.
There are some blogs that make their living from mocking athletes for being stupid. This is irritating because too often, their inferiority or nerd complex is showing. The idea is "Well, I'll never has as much money or girls as Athlete X, but hey, I can form complete sentences better, and I know not to put up my most embarrassing pictures on Myspace!" Congratulations; you have that in common with the majority of the population. Really, grow out of your leftover high school angst already.
It annoys me the most in two ways. One is when this type of attitude is used towards young athletes; some guy suddenly becomes famous when before no one cared who he was, still has some embarrassing pictures up somewhere doing what most 20-somethings do, and voila! Let's make fun of the 21-year-old for being young and dumb or ogle the babes on his page. The second is when this type of attitude has a certain flavor of racism. So a black athlete uses some slang that makes no sense to us country folk, or a foreign player makes an analogy that sounds really silly to us, or an athlete may not spell well. What does it look like when we mock them for those things? Not classy, I can tell you that. Mainstream media usually isn't allowed to get away with this athlete-hating behavior overtly, but the blogs are worse, in my opinion. I'm not saying there's no room for mockery; but targets have to be chosen carefully.
The other side of blogging is bloggers who'll defend any athlete, any time, for anything. Now look, we know that any media likes to set up heroes and villains to make stories more interesting. That's unfortunately part of the game. But worse than having some antagonists is having zero antagonists. Every athlete is a great guy! or hot! or something! It's just the media or his posse who makes him look bad! You'd like Charles Manson if only you'd spent some time with him and got to see the side the media isn't talking about! Ok, maybe not the last part. But you get my point. One can enjoy music or cinema or whatever while still realizing that not all musicians are gods or all actresses are angels or what not. Sometimes the media is calling someone a jerk because they ARE a jerk.
My question to you is, am I exaggerating the state of affairs? Is it my Friday grouchiness coming out? Or is it really that bad out there?