Sports journalism sucks right now and that’s sad, because there are so many good things happening in sports journalism.
On August 30, Mina Kimes wrote a thing. It’s great. Phenomenal. It’s a fantastic piece and you should read it. I linked it right below. Go on and read that first.
It’s okay. I won’t be angry at you.
Go read that and then come back here.
This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's Sept. 18 NFL Preview Issue. Subscribe today! After the game, Aaron Rodgers…www.espn.com
Man, wasn’t that so good? There’s so much to digest. His relationship with his family is complicated and strenuous. That’s interesting. His personal mantras and need for something more than just football. That’s super-compelling. Of course, the writing is superb. It’s Mina Kimes. Here are just a few of my favorite sections.
I loved this piece. It was a sports story, but it wasn’t about sports. The best things never are.
They’re instead about the human condition. The same struggles and highs and lows that all of us have, just amplified on a larger stage.
Now let’s get to what annoys me.
This is irritating.
This is fucking infuriating.
Let’s get something out of the way first.
Colin Kaepernick should have a spot on an NFL roster right now. He’s too talented to not be a quarterback somewhere and anyone arguing the other way is racist or ignorant. It’s that simple.
I’m not mad that Rodgers supported Kaepernick.
I’m mad that this tidbit was the only thing picked out of this impressive work by Kimes.
The story flows from personal anecdote to witty observation to tremendous quote so seamlessly that I can’t even imagine the amount of hours Kimes put into this story.
It’s about someone understanding who they are and trying to keep his old self, while growing up and finding someone new. Yet, a throwaway line about someone who should have a job is stealing the headlines.
This is a problem. It’s troubling. And, I already know how tomorrow is going to play out.
The First Takes and Undisputeds and White Men Yelling at Clouds programs are going to be all over this tomorrow.
“What does Rodgers mean when he’s talking about Colin Kaepernick?” Skip Bayless will ask.
“Rodgers is basically a brother to me, yet I don’t think he went far enough,” Stephen A. Smith will screech.
“Is Aaron Rodgers a robot sent by Russia trying to destroy this country?” Jason Whitlock will inquire.
And then this will become the story.
Not Rodgers’ demons. Nor his need to change. Nor the Kimes’ profile.
What will be catapulted to the spotlight will be one line that was just an aside in the first place.
If you look back at the SB Nation and SportsCenter tweets, you may notice that Kimes’ story isn’t even linked. It doesn’t matter anymore. All that matters is that one quote.
There’s not even any context. No one reading those posts will ever know that he said this in a profile. No one will even know there was a profile.
You should read Mina Kimes’ piece, because it’s thought-provoking and relatable and so goddamn smart.
That’s it. That’s all I have to say on the topic. I’m just annoyed and thought I’d share my ire with you.
Here’s a video of Stephen A. Smith screaming. No reason. Just because.