“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change”.
- Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, FRANKENSTEIN.
In casual conversation, an admired colleague mentioned, “it might not be a good idea to quote me in your column, someone might take a dislike for what you write if they know you associate with me”. That really surprised me. How could anyone form an opinion of another solely on association? The question which followed was obviously “Why?”
“In the past, I took the liberty of pointing out analytical discrepancies of some so called ‘Authorities in Sports’. They didn’t like it and I was eight-balled by the sports casting community”. Since when is the recognition of unvalidated information a valid reason for black listing a person?
“An unexamined life is not worth living”, exclaimed Socrates in his defense before the Athenians. With this sentence he wanted to manifest what had been his very life: a rational search for truth, a deep examination of important issues in order to find what is worth living in human life: justice.
To disseminate, to break down and analyze, is the basis for finding the “good life”. To philosophize is to light up life. There must always be one willing to pose a necessary question for great and not so great issues. Especially necessary in our digital culture where worldviews are diluted, in a world of deceptive, partial flashes.
Reflection, the rational search for truth and critical thinking, to find answers to problems. Philosophy as a Socratic method is, above all, openness to reality, capacity for admiration, search for understanding. If Socrates on the one hand tried to show the weakness of the arguments, on the other hand he was convinced that it was possible to understand through analysis.
So what does all of this have to do with sports writing? Many of the discussions on the web are smoke screens, created to sell and promote false information for economic gains. No biggie. Some people like misinformation. It leads to controversy and controversy sells. At what cost? Two things come to mind.
First, fans need to be well informed. Misinformation will end up biting the hand that feeds it. At some point, people get tired of the “Pan y Circo” and want something they can sink their teeth into.
Second, sports commentators / analysts have an obligation to pay “witness” to FACTS and not HEARSAY. There is no Hippocratic oath for journalist but there should be.
My Grandpa used to say “Cada Quien, con su Cada Cual”. He used to say that when someone did something they knew was going to fail or get them in trouble. Forest Gump said it better: Stupid is As Stupid Does.