Wednesday Morning Starting Five: Sports Writers…Change the Narrative

Which one of these cats are you? The money they make is the money you seek.

There were times not too far in the distance where the sound of the morning news paper smacking the front door put a charge in the young legs I once had. The anticipation of reading the sports section most of the time resulted in instant pain…impatience prohibited me from properly taking off the rubber band so I got a crack, broken snap on the hand or worse the face…

Didn’t matter. I simply wanted to know if Reggie Jackson hit one, two or even three bombs or struck out 4 times or maybe cussed somebody out. I could care less about opinion; I just wanted to feel the game through the words of others loving the game. I excitedly smiled when Reggie’s stat line was 4 4 4 4 because I knew I would have a lucky day. Mornings of exclaiming “Damn right!” when the hated Boston Red Sox fell 6 1/2 games back in September after losing a double header to the George Brett led Kansas City Royals. I didn’t like George Brett but I loved his fight for the game at the same time and eventually wept when the player retired.

Point being, I developed this joy by watching the game myself. I heard the announcer only after I saw the name Harry Kalas, Vin Scully, Dick Stockton, Keith Jackson or Howard Cosell. They described the game as if I was playing it. Adjectives became basket caught lazy pop flies with lights in the eyes or crunched dirt after a second passionate head first slide…the ball blazed into the upper deck you didn’t feel off the bat or the double play one frame before visualized to end the game like that.

A love of sports I began to know as easy as I said my name.

Then the snark came and convenient ubiquitous cries of an athlete getting into trouble when he scribbled with fat crayons on his parents walls followed him to the sunshine of his Hall of Fame induction. The game was smacked on its beautiful face forever. It’s become as ugly as the one who turns around that looked so good from the back before you passed her and saw the sickness in her tortured frown. Cats wanting to be  bigger themselves than the games they covered became distortion to static.

This is more than Black and White.

An annoyance of leper like legions screaming, triple quadruple screaming, screening…the truth.

Roaring Walter Winchell pen hard as death op-eds sulked…soaked…smoked atrociously by readers who hoped commentators and writers spoke the talented tenth down to eye levels of  lesser men they now could Samson prod and poke.

Change the narrative…

Change the narrative into the voices of soul pleasured masterpieces describing the defensive happiness in the 1…2…3 triple play glove pops. Dramatic victories of Akron man children irrevocably transformed into historical criminals of murdered men.

The question is when…

When will you the writer realize the prominence in your pen?

Dream bigger than that of the current TMZ hypocritical mind lying to find the African stereotype in an American watermelon rind.

Why do you clamor so for the love of a demonic obsession lurking to tear down the legacies of soul children simply seeking to find a way to the mean green Blondie short skirts in a Tribe video?

As those of Ty Cobb spit hell fire become kings of red, white and blue lore where suburban school children with dark class room projector flag draped exuberant graces are taught a confusing future of self preserving supremacy despite the minority in the color of their own wanting more faces.

There is a clash. There will always be a clash. The pen you so hate is the pen Josh Gibson Rube Foster Sunday performances of peace and love joy sought to create.

It is the law of universality.

Negative column inches will never advance the frame beyond the trashing of a name.

There is more than just you. Do this for us.

Journalism has become the hate that love made. What are the kids supposed to trust?

Regardless of how you seek to catalog Barry Bonds, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss, you must understand the charisma living in 25′s timing mechanism, 81′s game preparation or 84′s blurring speed off the break should be the history.

When the prose changed even before the days of Bud Selig overseer PED’s, time stopped and reverted back to the days of baseball’s pre-1947 racist jalopy.

Do not give me Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Cy Young, Tris Speaker, Connie Mack or Walter Johnson without an accurate  juxtaposition of the aforementioned Gibson, Oscar Charleston, Moses Walker, John W. Fowler, Cool Papa Bell and Buck Leonard.

This needs to be spoken and chronicled without buts and uhs…

The talent was just as or even more legit and it’s no more supremely evident than the number of Blacks diamond shined on baseball’s career home run list.

The past is not yet to be.

Traditional memories are dead if they are presumed to be exclusively the template of American conventional wisdom.

This isn’t about a specific individual but as you look over the history of the ostracized athlete the last 25 years, I simply ask you to compare the names of White and Black faces. What conclusion is developed if readers are hammered with imagery of  Black bad, White great?

LeBron James bad, Brett Favre great.

This also isn’t about the number of Black writers but more about quality and self awareness in the Black journalism talent pool. Just because a bevy of Black editors miraculously arrives on the scene does not mean an embarrassment of Black historical riches will suddenly become the choice documented on Internet sites and network television.

What is the model? If the model is Walter Winchell then why do you run when I scream Dorothy Dandridge Black and Marilyn Monroe White?

You can’t keep running away…

The universe is bigger than ships traveling fast with Black faces chained and salty hot sun alone basking.

Why can’t it all be Plush? Instead, it all has become a ADHD rush of danger infused dichotomies spoken from individual fools sitting in old ass angry chairs everywhere.

I just want more. So do your kids but you have to show them. If you ascend to a level of confidence and security then so will the next and the next and the…

I’m so done with this topic but when the pile on of athletes becomes the narrative I must seek change.

Who the hell cares about Albert Haynesworth failing a condition test?

Chance favors the prepared mind and the good are separated from the great simply by the risks they take.

I’m so hell bent against gossip in sports because we are too stupid to seek the teaching moment confines of relevant objectivity.

It’s not too late to escape the perils of becoming an American cultural slave to the rhythm.

Judge yourselves accordingly.

****************

The links baby, the links…

The big man signs: Who won in Ndamukong Suh’s holdout? (Freep)

Rodriguez Stays at No. 599 as Yankees Fall Out of First (NYT)

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will go head-to-head with Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan in bidding for the Rangers (Sports Day DFW)

We had the social networks buzzing simply with an inadvertent mention of Ernie Barnes (Ernie Barnes)

Do your research ladies: Women who take calcium supplements ‘increase risk of heart attack by up to 30%’ (Mail Online)

BlackBerry Torch 9800 could light your fire (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Damn right it is…

8 Responses to “Wednesday Morning Starting Five: Sports Writers…Change the Narrative”

  1. Great read and I agree fully with you.

  2. kacy says:

    Mike,

    I’ve heard you speak on this issue many times before, but that was beautifully written, and it needs to be said again and again!

    Keep being the change we all need to hear!

  3. GrandNubian says:

    Congrats to A-Rod for hitting #600.

  4. Julius says:

    God bless Omar Thornton. About time.

  5. Miranda says:

    Powerful read!

  6. Mizzo says:

    Thank you Miranda :)

  7. Mizzo, like I hit you up on twitter, there is also a conflict among white writers. I would love to see more Joe Posnanski than AJ Daulerio. I’d love to see stat-based writers be more accepted. I would love to see TMZ, Gawker Media, and other muckrakers fall to the fringes. Maybe that would raise the bar for everyone and change the game.

  8. [...] is why I go hard on journalism. Yes, I know outlets give the people what they want, but I simply want to know why reports are so [...]

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