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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Pass the Vicodin

During all the hoopla surrounding T.O.'s alleged suicide attempt yesterday, it briefly occurred to me that there was no possible way the coverage of that "event" could get any worse than it already was.

Well, I didn't anticipate Dan doing a column on it, so I take it all back. It got worse this morning with this insensitive pile of rubbish. I'm sort of speechless right now--that's how bothered I am by this piece. But let's carry on anyway:

First of all, the title is incredibly offensive. "We snapped to attention?" "Attention seeker Owens was given some more?" This makes me wonder what Dan would have said if it had actually turned out to be a suicide attempt. You know what, Dan? People who try suicide usually ARE seeking attention, and you know what? You'd better give them exactly what they want without judgment or resentment, because otherwise they have a tendency to wind up dead. I've spent 2+ hours on the phone talking someone out of it in the middle of the night before, and I have three friends with suicide attempts on their records, so I'm not just spouting Dr. Phil here. It doesn't matter to me that T.O. himself apparently didn't try suicide; it's the principle of the thing.
So there you have it. A new low in TV tabloid journalism. James Frey is reportedly already at work on events of the day.
If you plug "Dan Shaughnessy" into this sentence in place of "James Frey," the sentence still has exactly the same meaning! How funny!

We're never going to know the real story, of course. Only Owens really knows what happened. We know he loves attention. But it's hard to believe he would stoop to these depths just to make himself a bigger story. The tape of Etheredge's 911 call might shed more light on this and you can be sure the Dallas and Philadelphia media will produce said audio within a few hours.

But why do we care?

It is hard to believe, isn't it? Which is why I don't think anybody, in their heart of hearts (Dan probably doesn't understand this concept), believes that. And why would the Dallas police release the 911 call? It's an invasion of privacy.

Also, we care because anybody who doesn't care when a public figure or anyone else allegedly tries to kill himself has something wrong with them. If this was a story about Tom Brady attempting suicide, Dan, you'd be singing a different tune. If it was about Theo Epstein, you'd be laughing and jumping for joy.*

But he does not seem to be a liar and there is really no reason to doubt his story from the strange Tuesday night. In the end, Terrell Owens is an entertainer, not that much different from Paris Hilton, Tom Cruise, or Mel Gibson. He is flawed, just like the rest of us. He needs attention and we provide. Never more than yesterday.

The Cowboys play at Philadelphia Oct. 8. Think anyone will be watching that one?

First of all, yes, they will, because it'll be a good football game if nothing else. Second of all, I don't know what to make of the first paragraph. He spends much of the column ripping T.O. and indirectly listing reasons we should doubt his story, then says we shouldn't doubt it? Yeah, okay. Just Dan being Dan, I guess. I give up.

*Note: I don't actually mean that. He's not THAT awful.

18 comments:

koot said...

Did anyone else notice the shot at Bill O'Rielly? That was odd, it seemed uncalled for. I just assume they were both friends, since they're both a lot alike.

Anonymous said...

The police department is not releasing the 911 tapes. The Fire Department is releasing the tape. Why? Because they have to by law, its called the Freedom of Information Act. Please do a little research. I'm not defending Dan, just saying, this is one of the few times he is right, and yet you rip him for it anyway.

jenny said...

Okay, point taken. But my impression of the Freedom of Information Act was that you had to at least ask first for the item to be released. Now, I'm sure somebody's already done that, but my real point is that he shouldn't treat it like a foregone conclusion that we'll hear those tapes, because I don't think you can go there.

Anonymous said...

hey jenny...put a sock it in...

objectivebruce said...

This may be the most uniformed babbling yet.

First, it's not a "title" it is a headline. And it's not written by the columnist as, say, a young child would write a "title" to her latest school composition.

Second, 911 tapes are public records. Of course the tape was released. Maybe you don't care, but enough people did so the transcript is getting pretty good play everywhere.

Then there is this gem: "He spends much of the column ripping T.O. and indirectly listing reasons we should doubt his story, then says we shouldn't doubt it?" I'm not sure how one "indirectly" lists anything.

Worse yet, we find the Pride of Rockville offering up this brilliant observation: "If this was a story about Tom Brady attempting suicide, Dan, you'd be singing a different tune." Wow. That's the damned point.

The silly criticisms aside, I don't like the column much, it is more of a series of observations and should have been tighter with a stronger thesis. But the general point is legitimate, that Owens is a bizarre individual, prone to drawing attention to himself by creating public commotion and that the sports media dutifully indulges him creating a circle of capers, controversy, coverage and more capers.

dbvader said...

it is more of a series of observations and should have been tighter with a stronger thesis.

That statement is comedy gold. How could you type it while laughing so hard?

Anonymous said...

dbvader, did you, or did you not, order the code red? ANSWER THE QUESTION!

The Chief said...

"Pro football experts assumed the role of armchair psychologists and we heard that Owens never knew his father, even though the man lived across the street from him in the early years of his life."

Typical CHB, distorting the facts in order to support his pile-on attack. Owens wasn't told the man was his father until he turned 11, and then it was revealed only because he had a crush on what turned out to be his own half-sister. According to an excellent article in Sports Illustrated, his father never made any attempt to have a relationship with him. Let's all try to live that fun existence, shall we?

It is hard enough for anyone to get inside of Owens' head, let alone a man who has known only a life of white suburbia and has a well-documented history of attacks on minorities.

Funny how Shaughnessy can muster such empathy for Jon Lester's family, but in this case can't see his way past his own racist eyes. All it does is underscore how supremely fake that Lester column really was.

Finally, this is a formula Shaughnessy's used multiple times since I started this blog. The notion that The CHB is acting as if he's above the media herd is patently absurd. At least to anyone not named "Bruce."

fadedredsoxhat said...

"it is more of a series of observations and should have been tighter with a stronger thesis."

But CHB is too lazy. Bruce, my friend, this can be said about most Shank columns.

Now, how about that "publicist"? Owens would have been better off having Drew Rosenhaus there with him.

Objectivebruce said...

"Funny how Shaughnessy can muster such empathy for Jon Lester's family, but in this case can't see his way past his own racist eyes. All it does is underscore how supremely fake that Lester column really was."

Huh?

The Chief said...

Shaughnessy's column about talking to Jon Lester's dad was taken by some as evidence that The CHB had a heart. He doesn't: it was pure manipulation, just like Bob Greene's '72 Olympics column.

dbvader said...

What are OB's hours at the boring broadsheet? I want to know when I can expect posts of drivel and tortured logic supporting the Curly Haired Curse Mongerer. Or has the obtuse idiot smartened up and started posting after hours?

Anonymous said...

vader:
"obtuse idiot" is a little redundant

dbvader said...

anon:
"obtuse idiot" is in no way redundant. Read a dictionary before you criticize me.

dbvader said...

OB,
What is going to be in the paper today?

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