There’s poetic justice, then there’s the kind that really rhymes.
Consider the spray-paint graffiti vandal, known to panderers as a “street artist” — colleges now offer courses in such a noble pursuit — who returns from a hard night of unilaterally leaving his often permanent mark on stop signs, office buildings, museums, libraries, bridges, subways, trucks buses, schools and structures admired for their beauty and studied for their history.
Our “street artist” arrives home to find it vandalized by a street artist. The front door has been covered by someone’s spray-painted calling card for no better reason than that the vandal had both the opportunity and urge.
Touché, Tolouse! So what is our street artist’s response as an involuntary target of street artistry? Is he infatuated or infuriated?
That brings us to right here and right now. As a matter of real-deal poetic justice, it is time sports’ top shot-callers force on their families — especially kids — what they’ve forced on ours for the last, oh, 35 years.
FOX has hired Michael Vick as a football analyst. His only discernible qualification is that he once would have been the last to be considered to represent a network. But infamy now makes him irresistible to those who want for us what they never would force on their own.
In announcing Vick’s hire, FOX made no mention that he is among sports’ most infamous, no mention that he did hard, convicted felon time for running a dog-fighting/killing operation for four years.
Must’ve slipped everyone’s minds.
Instead, FOX Sports’ top dog, John Entz, said of Vick, “We feel he can bring a truly unique perspective that intrigues and engages our viewers.”
If Vick meets with Entz’s qualifications and standards, he should prove it. Bring Vick home. Give his family his full bio, pictures of the mauled, savaged, blooded, entrails-exposed dead and dying dogs, too.
If, after all, Vick is the right guy for us, he has to be good enough for the family of the man who hired him. Tell the loved ones that Vick has been duly punished, thus it is time he were rewarded for his crimes.
Vick supporters, including Whoopi Goldberg, defended him on the pathetic rationalization that his breeding of dogs to kill dogs as a spectator sport was “cultural.”
OK, but if that is part of one’s culture, don’t indulge it, eliminate it! Witch-burnings and segregated schools were cultural, too.
Entz’s claim that Vick should provide “unique” viewing is nonsense. Throughout TV the race is on to hire the malfeasant. Is it mere coincidence that since 2009 Ray Lewis, Cris Carter, Bobby Knight, Randy Moss, Warren Sapp, Michael Irvin, Greg Anthony, Rex Ryan, Alex Rodriguez, Pete Rose and a pile of scandalized college football and basketball coaches landed gigs, some with multiple networks.
These analysts are qualified to identify or opine right from wrong? Why do people only half-kiddingly suspect that O.J. Simpson soon will be hired by ESPN?
The unique, today, would be the clean and qualified, those who brought dignity to their sport.
FOX jumped to hire Rodriguez, the lady-killer with the sparkling smile. What’s that? But his career was predicated on cheating and lying? So what.
Thus, it is time for the bosses to take their business models home with them, to teach their kids to similarly form their rooting interests and careers: Be the one or hire the one who cheats and lies his way up, even to the top. The honest ones just can’t be trusted.
Surely Roger Goodell and CBS, ESPN and FOX execs will instruct the kids in their lives to play as Ray Lewis did: Don’t tackle, aim for the head, go for the kill shot, then stand over the fallen and brain-rattled to perform a blood dance. In Baltimore, there is now a statue of Lewis doing that.
Certainly Goodell, who this summer announced that flamboyant post-play displays of undignified, self-aggrandizement — Goodell calls it “spontaneous fun,” as if he/we don’t know better — will be encouraged.
OK, then, it’s time Goodell and the TV producers who force us to pay more attention — slo-motion replays included for emphasis — to the self-smitten than the skilled, to take it home with them:
“Here’s how it works, son: Every time you make score a basket, a goal, a TD or hit a home run — and even before you know if you’re sure — stop and perform acts of conspicuous, unfiltered immodesty.
“Forget the game, forget the team; just think about yourself. That’s how what we sell our fans and viewers as the essence of sports, and you’re no better than they. Make us proud, son, act like a selfish creep.”
Two recent columns here about the loss of youth league refs and umpires in New Jersey and Maine, who refused to any longer suffer the abuse of parents, coaches and even the kids, must’ve made the rounds, because I received dozens of emails from rec-league umps and refs around the country.
In addition to citing escalating incivility, including physical attacks, nearly all reached the same conclusion: The inescapable influence TV has on kids, all been raised on TV’s bad-is-good, worse-is-even-better prompts.
So take it home with you, big-time TV and sports big shots and shot-callers. Share the love.
If you didn’t know, the Yankees had just lost the first game of a doubleheader, 2-1, Wednesday’s between-games YES studio show and selected video might’ve led you to believe they won, 10-0.
Joe GirardiPaul J. Bereswill
First, Ryan Ruocco and Jack Curry praised starter Jaime Garcia for superb pitching, described as his best as a Yankee.
OK, but then why did manager Joe Girardi yank him after five innings and 87 pitches — especially in the first game of a doubleheader?
Next, they gushed that Chad Green was downright unhittable. Agreed. But, again, then why did Girardi pull him for another reliever with a second game soon to start?
What they told us about Garcia and Green had been self-evident. The larger and repetitive issue — senseless modern managing, specifically Girardi’s — went unaddressed.
After ESPN pulled Asian-American Robert Lee from calling a Virginia football game because he might enflame those who would equate him with Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee — ridiculous even by ESPN’s standards — we wondered if there was a Confederate General named John Sterling.
Though no such general existed, Post editorialist Eric Fettman alerted us to Confederate Brigadier General James Phillip Simms.
And reader Carmine Lucia writes that though Sterling was not invited to attend the 1865 Confederate surrender at Appomattox Court House, he was the first to holler, “Thaaaaa Yankees win!”