Thursday, September 28, 2006

Le Batard? More like Le ... Idiot!

One of the best things about living in a foreign country is that you gain the ability to filter the news that becomes a part of your life. I didn't hear about the foiled London plane hijacking until a day or two after the fact, and that was when my parents told me. If I had been in the States, I probably would have known about it instantly, and then I would have spent a lot of time watching cable news so I could be on top of every development. I used to be a breaking-news freak. I don't miss being that dude.

The Terrell Owens situation has brought into even clearer relief just how stupid it is to watch ongoing coverage of a story. Not only is the story totally irrelevant — do we really care all that much if we're adding another pyschosis to the list for this guy? — but it was fun to look back after the press conference and see all the the things that were written about him and the situation before the public denial. High comedy, that stuff.

What isn't funny is that Dan LeBatard, a man who will cover his nose with the shit of any athlete who has made more than $2 million/year, is back at it again. Since he isn't an actual journalist capable of telling us something about the situation we didn't already know, he's instead offering us his completely compromised opinion that Owens is telling the truth. I knew, the second I saw the link, that I had to read it, and then make it my first real post on this site.

* * *

I believe Terrell Owens.

Believe me, Dan, that's the only reason I'm reading this right now. So get on with it.

No matter how noisy this all gets. No matter how loud the voices of publicists and agents and friends and coaches and psychiatric experts and police officers rise in unison into a tower of babble. No matter how many people come to this conversation with their own baggage and their own version of the truth, which isn't the truth at all. And no matter how contradictory and complicated even the voice of T.O. can be much of the time. I believe Terrell Owens.

First of all, there are some stunningly bad setences and metaphors in the above paragraph. Like, I'm talking about stuff that probably wouldn't have made it into the Arizona Daily Wildcat. But we'll leave that alone. I love the people coming to "this conversation with their own baggage and their own version of the truth, which isn't the truth at all." It's telling that LeBatard is so dense that he doesn't count himself as being a part of that group. Dan knows the truth, folks. T.O. did not try to commit suicide. And here's 1,000 or more words proving his point.

I've seen too many things a lot less complicated than this get confused and clouded and misdiagnosed when it comes to the very famous Terrell Owens and the spinning swirl that perpetually surrounds him. So on the subject of whether he really tried to kill himself -- Owens adamantly denies it -- I'm siding with the only guy who was inside his head at the time, and I'm doing so even if that head was clouded at the time by too much pain medication.

Oops, I guess we're not getting to the proof. Just more stuff about how he believes Owens. Is LeBatard jewish? If so, I think he might be violating the false idols thing right now.

Maybe that makes me very naive. Or maybe it makes me fair. Maybe it makes me a stupid player apologist. Or maybe it makes me nonjudgmental about the way I cover sports.

Dan, the third one was the correct answer. You didn't need to keep going. And did you honestly write that last sentence? You've got some balls, kid, I gotta hand it to you.

Either way, we're all a little clouded when it comes to T.O. and his behavior, so I guess it just took too many pills to make him more like the rest of us.


Owens is many things -- complicated, defiant, stubborn, moody -- but he is not a liar.

[Dan's Secretary]: "Mr. LeBatard's office! Can I help you?"

[Andy Reid, Steve Mariucci, Ozzie Newsome on a conference call]: "Yeah, can we speak to your boss?"

And he cries when talking about his grandmother, whom he appreciates even though he was shackled to his front yard as a child and only escaped when she passed out from the drinking.

Geez, Dan ... you know what that sounds like? Motive!

Anyway, I'm skipping over a lot of stuff because it's really stupid, does nothing to further LeBatard's point (not that anything in the column actually does further his point) and the tangents I will inevitably go off on will probably make this the longest post in internet history. So, instead, I'm going to show you what Dan buried about 2/3 down the way in his story, but what really should have been the lede:

T.O. and I are in our second year doing a weekly radio show together.

And there's our answer. As usual, ESPN is truly the Worldwide Leader in Ethical Journalists.

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