Thursday, June 27, 2013

Handwringing - II

Completely predictable.
Through the years, when real-world issues have visited the Sports Department, there have been some bad stories. Some of them strained the limits of believability. Others were simply sad.

Harry Agganis and Reggie Lewis died while they were in their 20s. Len Bias killed himself via cocaine intoxication before he played a game for the Celtics. The Patriots lost a Super Bowl, then revealed an in-house drug scandal. Tony Conigliaro had his career cut short by a beanball, then suffered a stroke and died at the age of 45. Rocky Marciano died in a plane crash. Ted Williams’s head was separated from his body and cryogenically frozen in the hours after his death.

More than a few of our professional athletes have landed on the police blotter. Players who were cheered at Fenway, Foxboro, and the Garden turned out to be gun-toters, wife beaters, drunks, drug abusers, thieves, and deadbeat dads.

But there has never been anything like this.
It gets better:
Please. No need piling on the franchise here. Hernandez’s associates and alleged actions are not the Patriots’ fault. But at a time when “Patriot Way” has become a sickening parody of its own mythical origins, New England’s front office needs to stop with the self-congratulation.
So, what does Shank do later on in the column? He piles on, of course!
The Hernandez saga brings up questions about the collective judgment of a conservative franchise that typically does exhaustive research before making the smallest decisions. How did the Patriots arrive at the conclusion that Hernandez was worthy of a $40 million contract extension, which included a $12.5 million signing bonus? Where were the background checks and red flags? What about Belichick’s deep roots with Hernandez’s college coach at Florida, Urban Meyer?
I know that there are a few things worse than being a raving, disingenuous hypocrite; right now, I can't think of them...

UPDATE, 6/28/2013 at 10:45 AM - From reader Walter, with a rhetorical question:

"How out of touch are the folks over on Morrissey Boulevard?

For years the readers have been subjected to articles on the editorial page and by their Metro columnists urging Boston area corporations to hire disadvantaged youths with perhaps checkered backgrounds.

And yet, Robert Kraft / Bill Belichick did just that with Aaron Hernandez and now they are being blamed for it."


Steve said...

I dislike Shank. A lot. But if Hernandez is tied to the other murders in Boston, Shank may be right. Success sometimes brings complacency. Time to re-focus oon the PATS behalf.

mike_b1 said...

Apparently an ESPN reporter who has covered the Pats for the past three years told NPR today that Hernandez was a great guy in the locker room and all about playing football, and that every one of his teammates would say the same thing about him.

So it's a little hard to swallow that the Pats did something wrong here.

And I'm not a Pats fan. At all.

Monkeesfan said...

The fact remains Shaughnessy and the rest of the Mainstream Sports Media said NOTHING about Hernandez until he was caught destroying evidence in the Odin Lloyd murder. It is more than hard to swallow that the Patriots did anything wrong here - it's impossible to take seriously that they somehow did something wrong.

But the media in general and in this town in particular has gone beyond normal second-guessing - it's personal hatred of Belichick at work; the media wants Belichick's head; Borges is merely the most vociferous about it.