Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I Don't Give a Fuck

I don't understand why there is so much fuss being made about Marion Barber not talking to the media. Barber spoke to the media once at training camp and he made it clear that he has no intentions of speaking to them again -- in good or bad times. While his statement created a small uproar at the time, since then there have been very few mentions that his refusal to speak is causing some kind of issue.
Fast forward to week 14 versus the Broncos. Barber makes two huge mistakes that contributed to the Bears loss. And now that there's a story to write about Marion Barber, all of a sudden it's this huge fucking controversy that he's doing the same thing he's been doing the entire season.

I'm not giving Barber a free pass for messing up. It's clear that he messed up, and it was a huge part of the Bears losing that game. But guess what? Marion Barber does not owe the media one MF word.
While it's true that the NFL has a rule that all players must have media availability, there is no agreement between player and media. But because Barber isn't giving them the sound clip that they want, they have to cry about it and call him selfish and say that he's creating distractions.

If you've been reading my blog for awhile now, you would already know that I don't believe in off-the-field distractions. And if you're a new reader, I suggest that you go back and read that post (and the rest of them because there's plenty of good shit dating back to 2008).

So what about Marion Barber? The media wants to ask him questions but he refuses to talk to them. So the media feels (falsely) obligated to ask Khalil Bell what was going through Barber's head during the game? Bell states exactly what happened, but the media ask every person they speak to about Marion Barber. Who exactly is creating this distraction? It's the people that are asking the question when they already know they aren't going to like the answer that's coming. To me, that kinda sounds like it's the media being selfish because all they really want is a quote for their little article.

But the NFL says Marion Barber has to speak to the media or they'll fine him.

Well, guess what? That's an agreement between the NFL and its players. There's no agreement between players and the media saying the players have to speak. Marion Barber doesn't owe the media a MF word. But since the NFL has warned Barber about a fine, he has three options:
  1. He can take the $10,000 fine and tell the media "I don't give a fuck!"
  2. He can have media availability, but "no comment" every question that they ask.
  3. He can answer the questions that are asked.
Whether he chooses option 1, option 2 or option 3, it doesn't change the fact that he doesn't owe the media shit. If he chooses to answer their questions it will make their job easier, but that's up to him. They're either going to a) ask him stupid questions that they already know the answer to and then rip him in their column or b) he's going to not answer their questions and they're going to rip him in their column.

I don't really see the incentive for Barber to speak, besides the fine from the league.
And what exactly is so important that the media wants to ask Marion Barber? How would their article about him making mistakes be any different if they were to ask their questions? Let's do a little role-playing..

Reporter: How come you decided to run out of bounds on that play?
MB: I didn't decide to run out of bounds. I was knocked out of bounds; it was an accident. The play was a run to the left and I saw an opening. I knew that if I could get a first down, the game would be over. I got too close to the sidelines and when I was hit, the momentum took me out of bounds. I fucked up. It was an accident, but I fucked up.

Reporter: Did you know that the clock would stop if you went out of bounds?
MB: Are you serious? I had no fucking clue. I haven't played this game for the last 20 years of my life, so thank you for letting me know. Where were you before the game so I could have known that?

Reporter: Well did anybody on the sidelines or in the huddle remind you to stay in bounds to keep the clock running?
MB: No. Nobody said it.

Reporter: If somebody had reminded you, would you have stayed in bounds?
MB: Have you listened to a fucking word I've said? I just told you I didn't run out of bounds on purpose.

Reporter: What about in overtime, what happened on the play where you fumbled?
MB: I saw an opening to the end zone. I was trying to win the game, but I fucked up and I only had one hand on the ball.

Reporter: OHHHH... now I know why you fumbled. I couldn't figure that out from watching the game. That was the missing piece to my story, I was going to write that you fumbled on purpose because you didn't know that fumbling was a bad thing.

Reporter: Let's change the topic... What happened last week when you lined up wrong and it nullified a TD?
MB: Are you seriously asking me about last week? I fucked up. I know better than that, but I just had a mental lapse and I fucked up.

Reporter: You know, you should have just told us that last week. My story would have been completely different. I could have wrote that you told us that you fucked up. Instead, I just wrote that you fucked up... not that you admitted to fucking up. It would have been way better if you had just told us that last week.

As you can see, whether a player chooses to answer the media's questions has little-to-no-effect on the article that's written about him. Basically, they're looking for two things. The first thing they want is a quote from the player that co-signs whatever's written in the article (e.g. "Marion Barber admits that he fucked up"). The second thing they want is for the player to get so annoyed with the questions that he says something bad, thus creating an entirely new story to write about the next day. But the media does whatever they want because they're "just doing their jobs."

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