Sports writers#039; words of wisdom often miss point

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 1, 1999

Many sports writers live under the misapprehension that they are God's gift to the reading publicparticularly during the football season.

Such is the case with practically all of those types, with the notable exceptions of our late colleague O. G. Holley and the Birmingham News' premiere sports scribe, Clyde Bolton. They furnish the exceptions that prove the above-cited rule. The late Walter Johnson Moseley, perhaps one of the top sports writers of his time when he was associated with the Luverne Journal. would be another exception.

Anyhow, back to the original subject: the pearls of wisdom imparted to us by most sports writers sound more like tinkling cymbals than anything else.

Email newsletter signup

The Cossell-like conclusions drawn, in rambling, roundabout, verbose fashion by these chaps provoke a warm discomfort in the midsections of most sports fans. The feeling thus evoked might aptly be labeled nausea, as in seasickness.

Judg-ments propounded by many such writers often make one wonder what the game is all about, anyhow.

Is it designed to foster character building? Do the runners run brilliantly? Is the team weak, fair, good or great?

"Character building" may be an accurate description, provided the give-and-take of a lengthy scrimmage is applied to other areas of existence.

To "run brilliantly" implies that the fellow toting the old pigskin is possessed of a genius-type I.Q. It should follow, then, that he likewise excels in the classroom. Not so many dazzling runners have had a tough time passing basket-weaving 101.

The writers have the audacity to rank various football elevens with adjectives that run the gamutfrom "poor" to "invincible."

What do they know?

Only a few years ago Southern Cal was riding the crestthey had slaughtered everyone in their path, mercilessly. They were described variously as "unstoppable", "non-pareil", "the greatest in history", "devastating", a "dream team", "the zenith of perfection", and so onand on.

Then cropped up the lowly David of footballdom, Arizona State, a sub-par quantity.

Well, on a Saturday afternoon about mid-season, the lowly David did slay the mighty Goliath. They (the scribes) are still trying to rationalize that outcomebut without success.

Some certain writers try to make a fine art of damning some football programs with faint praise. They sneer and jeer at some successful teams that for some reason they dislike, while they make excuses for their favorites when they are suffering through a so-so season.

So, as the tinkling cymbal tinkles on, you folks out there in readersville stick by your favorites. Don't be swayed by poseurs.

Let no one, or no thing, cause you to become disloyal to your chosen team.