Athletes stalking the media

Tiger Woods tweets spit sorrys, Michael Vick heads to Oprah and Ama’re Stoudemire is a special guest of Anna Wintour during Fashion Week. It’s life as usual in the sports world, which makes this Jets’ obsession that the franchise is being targeted by the sports gossip site Deadspin.com all the more comical.

Just like the Wilpon family’s put-upon attitude on the Bernie Madoff scandal. Or A-Rod’s JFK assassination-level conspiracy theory on being singled out for Super Bowl mischief.

Yes, the Jets were forced to go on “Hard Knocks,” make themselves the most interesting story in the league and keep talking, talking, talking — and hanging out with 17-year-old girls. Just like Fred and Jeff couldn’t stop throwing money at Bernie and getting those fantastical, no-way-something-is-funny-here returns.

And Fox diabolically knew that Rodriguez’s movie star honey (at least five years ago she was) would be feeding him popcorn like he was the Sultan of Brunei.

At least the mirror-loving one can commiserate with fellow Yankee CC Sabathia, who is no doubt telling Hank Steinbrenner right now that he wasn’t posturing to renegotiate his $161-million contract with the pinstripes Lee and Halladay spooked.

Those evil sportswriters surely took CC’s words out of context.

Please. Blaming the messenger might have been all the rage in the 1980s and the 1990s and the early 2000s for that matter. But in the year 2011, when even the most reclusive athlete of our times (Tiger) engages in silly, transparent and increasingly desperate PR “outreach” campaigns, the idea is about as fresh as Vanilla Ice.

Athletes stalk the media much more than the media stalks athletes these days. No, A-Rod’s not digging into a baseball writer’s trash (could there be a less interesting place on earth?), but he and his marketing team (there’s always a team) are constantly seeking opportunities to build his brand. That’s about the only reason he was even at Super Bowl XLV.

Yet as soon as the focus shifts to something un-message approved (like getting spoon feed popcorn from a Charlie’s Angel), the superstar immediately starts whining.

Oh, that media is so unfair. They’re always out to get me. Only, if you look at 98 percent of sports’ scandals, they’ve been caused, created and often revealed by athletes themselves.

Did the media prompt LeBron James to announce his “Decision” in a one-hour special? No, but that hasn’t stopped Bron from screaming persecution more often than someone living under a dictatorship.

If the Jets want everyone to know that doing whatever with a 17-year-old is legal (in both New York and New Jersey!) as they practically scream (off the record of course), than why they are so clearly spooked by this story? Not that there’s anything wrong that. But it’s Deadspin’s fault.

A lot of outlandish statements are being thrown around. But they’re not in the paper. They’re coming out in the athlete whine.

–Chris Baldwin covers the sports media for Metro.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages. Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Send submissions to letters@metro.us.



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