Billy Joe Pulls Back
Stop the world. Billy Joe
Hobert wants to get off.
Unless you've been under a
rock, sports fans, you've heard about the humiliating
circumstances resulting in the Buffalo Bills releasing
Hobert. A week ago this past Sunday, backup quarterback
Billy Joe played about as well as Billy Joel, and with a lot
Come Monday morning, Hobert
admitted in a television interview that he hadn't prepared
for the game plan, and that he'd made mistakes because he
hadn't known the plays. This interview was picked up by
ESPN, which transformed it into actual news. The Bills then
gave Hobert the ax quicker than Apple Computer can say "Gil
Now, no one's claiming
Hobert isn't an idiot of Arsenio proportions. He had
problems at University of Washington, and announcing your
lack of preparation on TV is about as bright as asking Dick
Vitale to keep his remarks brief. But do Hobert's sins a
They shouldn't. It's funny
how the sports media picks its outcasts. Al Campanis, a man
who advanced the cause of blacks in baseball, was disgraced
for incorrect phrasing on Nightline. Jimmy The Greek said more
stupid-sounding stuff, and he was drunk, but since when have
we required our gambling experts to maintain terminology
standards in line with the ACLU? Their biggest sins (and
Hobert's)? They did it on television.
Meanwhile Albert Belle
rampages against anyone and anything he likes, including
scaring off trick-or-treaters with his truck. Joe Theismann
says about three stupid things per telecast. Rod Strickland,
J.R. Rider, Allen Iverson, Dennis Scott act like
ten-year-olds. Kerry Collins makes racial slurs twice in one
day. Rodman is Rodman.
Being stupid in sports isn't
exactly rare. Admitting you're stupid, well, evidently
that's a career-buster.
Why the firestorm over
Hobert? The sports media is inundated with ex-jocks who talk
like playing pro sports is an intellectual challenge akin to
performing bypass surgery. The over-analysis. The lingo.
When a Billy Joe Hobert threatens to tear aside the curtain
and reveal that most athletes aren't quite Stephen Hawking,
the ex-jocks close ranks.
Shoot. Talking about Hobert
last night on ESPN, you'd have thought someone had killed
Theismann's dog or... broken his leg or something....