Man, things have gotten tense lately.
Why doesn’t everyone just throw on a Nike Dri-FIT tee and breathe a little?
Oops. I guess even that will cause tempers to flare nowadays.
Football is back and everyone seems to be on edge. You’ve got Alabama coach Nick Saban and Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson telling off reporters who are simply doing their jobs. You’ve got people burning their Nike apparel over Colin Kaepernick’s new Nike deal. And there’s two announcers - the Big Ten Network’s Braylon Edwards and ESPN’s Mark Jones - in trouble for what have been deemed inappropriate tweets.
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Heck, even Slim Shady is back throwing darts at anyone who throws shade on him.
Is Armageddon among us? I’m gonna go with no on that one.
Instead, these are just more examples of how insanely politically correct and over sensitive we’ve gotten.
In the case of Saban and Pederson, just grow up. Questions about the status of quarterbacks are always going to be asked and, yes, the reporters are often going to be annoying in doing so. That’s where you have to be a big boy and stand your ground while being respectful, something both coaches were unable to do this past week.
Saban has a true QB controversy on his hands, so that can get a little dicey. But remember who set the stage for it? Saban, of course, as he benched accomplished starter Jalen Hurts in favor of the inexperienced Tua Tagovailoa in the national championship game earlier this year. Tagovailoa wound up making a miraculous throw that gave the Crimson Tide yet another national title.
Yet, somehow the coach was all butt hurt when ESPN’s Maria Taylor asked him to assess the play of his quarterbacks after the season opener, in which both played. It was a pretty open-ended question, not the type that are often asked by reporters trying to corner a coach. At least he came back and apologized.
Pederson, on the other hand, is dealing with a quarterback, Carson Wentz, who is coming off a severe injury and whose status was uncertain as we approached Week 1 of the NFL season. Yet, he blasted the media for “putting words in his mouth” by reporting that Nick Foles would start. Then, coincidentally, it was announced that - wait for it - Nick Foles will be starting this week.
Dude, you just won a Super Bowl, and you won it with Foles as the signal caller. Channel your inner Aaron Rodgers and R-E-L-A-X.
These guys have jobs to do and so do we; they need to remember that. It’s pretty insane that football interviews are now resembling a Sarah Sanders-New York Times-like exchange. Sheesh.
At least these beefs are between living beings. Others are now targeting their own clothing.
Yes, the anti-Kaepernick army is now burning and destroying their Nike apparel to protest the man who, well, protested.
Nike is championing the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback for his decision to kneel during the national anthem a couple seasons ago to protest what he considered racially-charged police brutality at a time when the subject was all over the news. “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” the slogan, as part of Nike’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, reads.
I’ve entrenched myself in the Kaepernick saga over the last couple years as many of you who read this column know. Heck, many of you have adamantly disagreed with me. My stances on the issue have evolved over time, but I continue to appreciate what he was trying to accomplish and I think he’s done a good job of being loyal to his cause while it has led to the demise of his football career.
But some people will never agree with him, and that’s OK. Often we forget that we don’t have to agree on everything. It is a free country.
That being said, destroying apparel is really stupid. You probably paid good money for the stuff and now you’re destroying it for what? Because you disagree with someone? Are we next going to start burning money because some of it features presidents who owned slaves on them?
At least then we’re cutting out the middle man.
I had several Kevin Durant shirts before he made the controversial decision to bolt the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors, but I wasn’t going to go Cleveland fan and burn them like many did with LeBron James jerseys. Instead, I simply gave them to Goodwill so they wouldn’t be a total waste.
I understand if you don’t want to purchase Nike stuff portraying Kaepernick, that’s fine. But condemning the whole brand and destroying things is just plain dumb.
Then there’s Edwards and Jones, who each went off on college programs recently. Edwards, a Michigan alumnus, called out players by name while disappointed in his alma mater’s lackluster performance against Notre Dame on Saturday. Jones took a shot at Washington for losing to Auburn, continuing a beef between ESPN and the UW that started a year ago.
While neither of these are that egregious in my mind, you’re not supposed to cheer in the press box. These guys should remember that.
So whether it’s coaches vs. media, humans vs. clothing or broadcasters vs. universities, everyone needs to just chill out.
Football is starting to look like a rap battlefield and that’s no fun. Let’s leave that to the Eminems and Machine Gun Kellys of the world.
Listening to the Rap God take on the Rap Devil is fun and, to my knowledge, no cotton or polyester has been harmed in the process.
David Wetzel: @MYBSports, 843-626-0295