We've never been a fan of EPSN's (previously SI's) Rick Reilly.
His columns are routinely formulaic. His wit is bread knife sharp. His observations are apparent.
He's average. But was shoved down our throats on the back page of SI. And now ESPN spent big dollars to lure him away and provide an alternative to the frat boy drivel and stale beer stench wafting from The Sports Guy.
All this, while Whitlock is allowed to walk and Scoop and Jemele get barely a shove, let alone a push.
He's bored us with human interest stories about his father, sailors, soldiers and other stuff, that, if written by a passionate author, might have been of interest. Pontificated on a few righteous topics. And chapped his lips on a behind here and there.
Not once has he tackled a controversy. He pointed out that it was wrong of a high school pitching battery to conspire to bean an umpire and he demonstrated the greed of some athletes. Certainly, limbs that could bear any weight.
And, most disappointingly, rather than using his high profile spot on the WWL to fill the walrus shaped void left by Whitlock; he has not taken the opportunity to point out the compelling racial injustice embedded in the Nation's sporting industries.
His only foray near this area was to encourage his readers to root against Negroish golfer Tiger Woods.
His most recent piece was a jock-sniffing effort portraying the job stealing Kerry Collins as a stand up guy who does nothing but 'tell it like it is' and own up to his shortcomings.
Hidden within the cliche filled ramble, jam packed with enough corn to feed 100 head of livestock, was a carefully measured dig at the abandoned Vince Young. The Vince Young who spent the off season providing the cohesion heavy leadership needed to bring together this history seeking Titans team. The Vince Young who had his legs cut out from under him just as the season began. The Vince Young who lost his starting job to an injury. The Vince Young used and betrayed by management. That Vince Young.
Reilly chronologies some of the more difficult moments in Collins career (you know, the moments where he didn't come in and QB a team that an up and coming Negro QB had worked so hard to bring together to make a run at an undefeated season). He points out that Collins admits that early on, the pressure got to him. That he didn't know how to handle it.
Here's the irony: Collins is the Titans' starter—and an unlikely MVP candidate, at 35—because the kid he replaced doesn't know how to handle it yet. Vince Young melted down in the second week of the season. There was talk of guns, confusion and suicide. Even his mother said her boy was "hurting inside and out." And yet sitting at the next locker was a man who once made Britney Spears look Amish. Still, Young has never asked Collins to help him.
Never does Reilly mention that the talk of guns, confusion and suicide was not so much talk as it was media propaganda perpetuated by his coach and management.
Reilly makes it seem as if this is Young's fault. As if Young should be sitting at Collin's feet begging for advice.
Perhaps Reilly forgets that Young was a highly drafted Negro QB, who was projected to be the franchise player who would lead the Titans to the Super Bowl.
Perhaps Reilly forgets that Collins was a washed up back-up, lucky to even have a roster spot.
Wouldn't it make more sense for the washed-up clip board carrier to be the one to ask the highly paid, highly drafted Negro QB if he might like some advice? Or, have we really gotten to the point that it is a fair expectation of a young, highly drafted and paid QB to be the one to take action?
Clearly, Reilly believes that since Young is a Negro, it is up to Young to beg for Collins mentorship.
If you look at Collins' face this week, you'll see a big cut on his nose. He was deer hunting, saw a six-pointer loping by, didn't have time to get a good rifle rest on his shoulder, fired anyway and the recoil nailed him. But he got the deer.
Figures. He never did like to pass the buck.
Unless there was a Negro QB involved.