Not long ago, Stephen A lost his newspaper writing gig. A little while before that, he lost his TV show on ESPN.
For a while, Screamin' Stephen wasn't particularly visible. One can imagine that losing outlets to 'perform' would certainly weigh heavy on the ego.
Now, as Smith is contributing more to ESPN magazine, one wonders if the fear of losing this position is forging his views and formulating his opinions.
On Willie Randolph: The Mets' own cable network was covering him negatively because he's black? The suggestion seems the epitome of stupidity.
The notion that Willie Randolph was the victim of a concerted effort by team controlled media to shed a negative light on him...in an effort to turn the public against him to provide ownership a smoother avenue to dismiss him is stupid? Really? The notion that management wanted him gone because it had little patience for a struggling Negro is that far fetched, Stephen?
From them, we can glean another rule: Always come across as one who appreciates your good fortune, especially in front of media members who don't share your hue. Only then will fame arrive, along with wealth and a favorable image. Forget to do this, and you will become extinct.
Smith essentially is saying that Randolph would have been better served to shut up, repress his inherent need to expose the vicious racism that was being perpetrated against him and collect his paychecks.
If only it were so easy. For minorities in sports, paranoia is grounded in a reality that cannot be ignored. You can't ignore the paucity of African-Americans and other minorities in high-profile positions of authority. You can't ignore that even reporters who recognize this feed the impression that minority managers and coaches and GMs should be more grateful for their jobs than their white contemporaries. And you can't ignore that minorities in these positions may interpret a reporter's body language or facial expression or comment as betraying something more insidious—a questioning of the legitimacy of their accomplishments.
And, certainly, falling into the trap of allowing paranoia to move ones lips would only further the harm of the situation in general.
It (paranoia) is what caused Willie Randolph to show such faulty reasoning as he broke the unwritten rules. Paranoia does funny things to a man.
Indeed. Paranoia exposes faulty logic, irrational thought and poor judgment. To wit, Smith's reaction to being fired by the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith, fired a week ago by the Philadelphia Inquirer for job abandonment, shot back at the newspaper on Friday, saying in a statement, “What they have done to me is malicious, intentional and vindictive.”
"I put my life and all that I have into the Philadelphia Inquirer first as a reporter and then as a general columnist. I was raised to work hard and play by the rules. That is what I have done. I’ve worked hard and earned every single promotion and accolade that I received while at the Inquirer.
“No one did me any favors or gave me anything, nor did I expect them to. What’s fair is fair and what’s right is right. What they have done to me is malicious, intentional and vindictive. They want to ruin my reputation and all of the hard work that I have done over the years.
“I have never abandoned a job in my whole life. I wasn’t raised that way. The Inquirer forced me out and smeared my name and credibility.
“My family always said that your name is all that you have, and they have tried to destroy it.”
Out to destroy his family name?
A need for Smith to explain how hard he has worked and that all accolades and promotions were earned? No one did him any favors? One wonders why those comments are necessary.
Yes, paranoia can certainly do funny things to a man and cause faulty reasoning.
Perhaps even cause him to change his outlook on the situation of others.
Seems Stephen A's advice to Randolph about always coming across as one who appreciates your good fortune, especially in front of media members who don't share your hue. Only then will fame arrive, along with wealth and a favorable image is a reflection of the lessons his own paranoia taught him.
And a reflection of what we can expect in his future ESPN columns.