I introduce Babe Bennett, who in the movie "Mr. Deeds" is portrayed as an up-and-coming tabloid reporter who has been tasked to find the inside scoop on the heir (nephew Longfellow) to media magnet Preston Blake's multibillionaire estate left behind, after Blake froze to death on a mountain climbing expedition. Bennett's goal is straight-forward; hired by Chuck Cedar (a local businessman managing Blake Media Enterprises), her task is to find enough dirt on Longfellow to convince the board of directors to turn the business over to him and the inheritance of billions of dollars.
In Hollywood this script turns out well. In real life - not so much. We're not talking about inheritances and business ventures being left behind.
We're talking about the pathetic reality of media sports writers these days who eagerly assume that same role voluntarily, in the effort to promote themselves, get more internet clicks and gain more notoriety, even if it is seen as tabloid-ish. The world loves dirt these days.
To prove my point, I give you Donte DiVincenzo, the Villanova player who just two weeks ago was the star who led his team to their second national championship in college hoops over the past three years. Within hours of him being part of the victorious team to cut the nets down, being declared the tournament's most valuable player, stories were being reported by the media about him using the "n" word several years prior, as he would videotape himself singing his favorite rap songs back when he was in high school. He (or someone) decided it best to delete his social media accounts from his younger years just to simply keep the controversy at bay and keep the focus on the leader he'd become on a successful Division 1 basketball program.
Then, two weeks later (yesterday) Patrick Reed won the biggest tournament of his life, one of the greatest tournaments in all of professional golf history. And within an hour of him donning his Green Jacket reward, articles about his character from several years earlier started being published on the internet. Instead of answering questions from the media on Monday morning about what it felt like reaching the pinnacle of his career thus far, about what it was that inspired him to play well enough to win the season's first major, the topics focused on his past, back when he was in college and going through what was obviously an unstable period in an immature kid's college life.
I find it absolutely pathetic. Donte's tweets back in his early years of high school hadn't made headlines until after he found stardom on the collegiate level. Reed turned pro 7 years ago. There's been plenty of time for the media to hash over his past. Yet they focus on his past life within hours of his life-changing professional achievement.
The sports media has more than shown over the past two weeks that they're no different from the National Enquirer's and TMZ's of the world.
Find dirt. Try to stain someone's career, rain on their parade.
I find it appalling to be honest, and I say that as someone who wasn't rooting for Patrick Reed Sunday afternoon. Sports writers used to be different, but sadly they've become no different than all the other non-sports media outlets.
It's pathetic, really. As if they believe that people can't change, mature, and become worthy people to write positive things about when they experience success. No, they always gotta tear somebody down. Sadly it's the bigger story these days.