This past weekend I cam across an article on cbssports.com by their "National NFL Insider" Mike Freeman. He did a piece on the NFL's 10 Biggest Jerks. Here is the link http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/19415365/nfls-10-biggest-jerks-wideouts-rule-but-plenty-of-nasty-to-go-around.
There were a lot of issues with this piece that really irriatated me as an aspiring sports writer that I would like to discuss here on BGN.
We all know what a hack Skip Bayless is over at ESPN. It's not because he likes or dislikes a popular player or due to any of his opinions. It's the way he presents them. He speaks on generalities and personal feelings. He never uses stats or any type of analysis that most sports writers would know. This past week Mark Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks owner was on his show, First Take, and let him have it. Link- http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2012/6/23/3111978/watching-mark-cuban-take-down-skip-bayless-is-what-it-must-have-been
When I came across the Freeman article on the biggest jerks in the NFL, it screamed Skip Bayless. He didn't use any links besides a picture of Jay Cutler flipping the media off http://windycitizensports.wordpress.com/tag/jay-cutler-gives-middle-finger/ to back up any of his points. He wrote about a paragraph on every player.
I was offended on so many levels on this piece. First of all, it was all based on his personal feelings towards players. Nobody should give a shit who Freeman loves and hates. That isn't his job as an NFL insider. Tell me who is interested in Plaxico Burress, not who you have a personal vendetta against.
It was a lot of personal attacks. He put Antonio Cromarite at #7 beacause he has 12 kids with eight different women. To me, that is his business. He didn't say whether or not he pays child support or sees his kids. Shaq had a lot of kids, but he never gets ripped for having all these kids from a couple different women. To me this is their business. Unless the player is disowning his kids because he wants nothing to do with them(cough, Karl Malone, cough) this is a non-issue.
Our own beloved Eagle, DeSean Jackson, made the list at #6. I have had a love, hate relationship with Jackson since we drafted him. But I would never consider him a jerk. Especially after watching that clip of him on The View were he sticks up for that horribly bullied kid. He has a big heart.
Freeman's beef with Jackson is that he "Celebrates Before Scoring". He has cost the Eagles zero points doing this. He cost himself a touchdown during his rookie year, but the Eagles scored a touchdown one or two plays later. These stuffy, pomp-ass writers like Freeman seem to always forget one important thing- ITS A GAME, HELLOOOOOOOOO! Let these guys have fun. They are on the road, away from their families for weeks at a time and take a serious beating. If they want to high step to the end zone after they have burned the defense, let them. If you as a player don't like it, don't give up an easy touchdown.
The only player in his top 10 that was found guilty in a court of law of anything that he mentioned was his # 1 player, Michael Vick. I take personal offence to this. I get that some people will never forgive him for what he did. To the people who can't forgiven Vick for the dogfighting crimes I have one question for you- WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR DOGS OR THE HUMANE SOCIETY IN YOUR LIFE?
I say this because I work with dogs for a living in my full time job. I have for the past six years. I have volunteered with the Animal Rescue League. I have done more for dogs in one hour than Freeman will ever even think about doing. If you think these crimes are so atrocious, what are you doing to prevent them from happening or what have you done to help these organizations that try to help these dogs? Nothing? Then you are doing nothing more to help against the crimes than the criminlas themselves. You want to complain about how awful a person Vick is, than back it up and help out the Humane Society or the Animal Rescue League. Michael Vick does.
Vick has turned his life around and still helps out with the Humane Society. He served more than his fair share of jail time and has only blamed himself.
Freeman also left out people on this list like Donta Stallworth who killed somebody while driving drunk. I guess dogs are more important than people.
My main point with this post is not just to bash Freeman It's also to encourage all writers or aspiring writers to raise your game. If you are going to post something or publish something without breaking down a player, draft, scheme or use any stats to back up your point, don't write it. Your opinion without any backing besides more of your opinion is just garbage. You hate Michael Irvin? Bring up his drug arrest. You think Tony Romo is overrated? Bring up his stats from his two losses against the Eagles where his team only scored two touchdowns in two games against a mediocre defense.
If you can't back up your points with good analysis or stats, don't make em. The fact that Mike Freeman probably makes six figures to write stuff like this is sickening. Tommy Lawlor should get paid like that. He can break down the game of football better than anyone on just about any sports website. It's time for these big networks to hire writers and analysis that know their sport and also for aspiring writers to never stop learning more about their sport. Otherwise Mark Cuban might make you look really stupid.