Friday, July 15, 2011

6 comments Buzz Bissinger Thinks We Need a Hero

Buzz Bissinger is getting all nostalgic on us. I know usually Buzz's idea of getting nostalgic probably involves some form of yelling or talking about Tony LaRussa, but in this case Buzz looked at a recent Sports Illustrated cover and got sad. This cover took him back to the past when players were characters and they were true heroes who had their misdeeds covered up by the media---I mean when the players didn't have every little thing they said scrutinized to death until they realize the best thing to say is absolutely nothing---sorry, I what I meant to say was Buzz remembers when players weren't only heroes but also characters. It's not like this now in his mind.

Of course, Buzz never considers in this article the major reason for this, which is the 24/7 news cycle and how any player that may be somewhat of a character has this surgically removed from his personality. There are exceptions of course, like Charles Barkley, Chad Johnson and Shaq. Still, Buzz wonders what happened to athletes who are heroes and personalities and doesn't even think the reason may be due the saturated media coverage of athletes.

I picked up the most recent copy of Sports Illustrated a couple of days ago. I rarely pay much attention to the cover, but this particular one enticed and would not let go.

(cue the theme to "The Way We Were"...if there was a theme to that movie)

It was a picture of Yogi Berra taken in his prime as a New York Yankee catcher, highlighted with the singular American beauty of a Rockwell portrait. One knee scraped the ground, the other one upright.

(begins tearing up)

The chest protector was paper-thin with the faded mark of “Spalding” in the top left hand corner. The leg guards were equally humble. So was the face mask.

These inanimate objects were humble, much unlike the face masks and leg guards today, which are always vying for the fan's attention during a game. I remember that time Brian McCann's right leg guard began smoking a cigarette mid-game in last year's National League Division Series. Why? Just for attention. That's what it has come to now for these non-humble pieces of equipment players are wearing.

How about Russell Martin's chest protector? The same one that got caught in bed with a prostitute? Not a humble chest protector, unlike Yogi Berra's chest protector which just hugged his rib cage and prevented tipped balls from cracking Yogi's ribs for the love of the game, not just to get special attention.

Maybe I was just in a mood of syrup-stricken nostalgia, but what I saw was the portrait of a hero who not only played the game with relentless competitiveness but was also one of sport’s greatest characters with the witticisms that floated out of his mouth.

Here goes the usual talk of, "Players today have no personality, they are just speak about their endorsements and don't really say anything of value, unlike players in the past who said a bunch of really funny things and boy I miss those days."

You know what though? Buzz is right. Players today have learned to have zero personality in an interview or involving any comments that player may make during/after/before a game or about any situation. I wonder why this is? Actually, I don't have to wonder. It is because any little comment out of the ordinary made by a player about a team/other player/fan/object will be blown up into a huge deal by the 24/7 sports news cycle. The introduction of SportsCenter at least 1-2 times a week involves some variation of "Hear what Player X said about Player Y" or "Hear what Player X said Player Y helped him with."

I think players today do show some personality. For example, Ray Rice publicly criticizes Hines Ward for his recent DUI and it turns into a public affair? Isn't that showing some personality? Ray Rice doesn't like players who drink and drive. At the bottom of the article linked is this comment from the writer:

I'll rank this exchange somewhere around 6,829th on the list of why Ravens/Steelers games are compelling. Nice try, though, fellas.

Nice try for what? Rice made a comment, the comment went public and now he is "trying" to do something? He was just commenting about a player who got a DUI, showing some personality, and the author seems to believe it was created for the purposes of controversy. I don't know why Ray Rice made the comment on Twitter about Hines Ward, but I really doubt it was to create a Steelers/Ravens controversy. That's my point. Any comment, no matter how little or big, will get in the public eye and dissected. The best thing for a player to say is absolutely nothing.

Let's say after the Mavericks won the NBA Finals, Dirk Nowitzki had gotten interviewed after the game about beating the Heat and what it meant to him. Here is some variation of what he probably did say at the time:

"The Heat are a great team with a bunch of great players. They played hard and we were fortunate to beat them like we did. They play tough defense and any time you go up against Bosh, Wade and LeBron you know you are in for a fight."

Here's what Buzz would want him to say and what Dirk would (hypothetically) like to say if he wasn't afraid of his words taking away from the Mavericks championship:

"It feels good to beat them since the focus was on them all year and all we heard was how many championships they will win. It was like they expected to win, and everyone else expected them to win, just by stepping on the court. When you get that many great players on one team, there's going to be holes on the roster and we beat the Heat because of this. I feel like I stepped up when I needed to and the guys on the Heat team who got more recognition than me stepped back."

What's the point of saying this? What can be gained? The media would possibly agree with Dirk's sentiments, but they would also play these comments on an endless loop for the next 24 hours. When/If the next NBA season begins, LeBron would be asked about the comments, Dirk would be asked about the comments, and a candid moment would be creating "controversy." It's better to just be non-specific and not create a distraction in the future.

But the athletes they chose all stood for something. They were characters—maybe naughty such as Joe Namath and Sonny Jurgensen, maybe fiercely proud such as Jim Brown, maybe tough as nails such as Jim Taylor and Sam Huff.

Athletes today stand for something. There are tough characters, naughty characters (naughty? Is Buzz British now?), and there are proud characters. Athletes today have charity foundations and do a ton of work helping out others in need. I know the perception is there aren't tough athletes now, but that can't be further from the truth.

They weren’t afraid to show their personalities, what made them more than flesh and bone.

I don't personally care about an athlete's personality. It's always nice for an athlete to have some sort of personality, but I don't require feeling like I "know" an athlete to cheer for that athlete and his team. To be perfectly honest, much of what we know about athletes back in "the day" is sugar-coated and so affected by our nostalgia for that athlete our perception may not even be accurate.

Back in "the day," athletes could make a comment and it wouldn't necessarily be mainstream media fodder for the next 24 hours and discussed on "Around the Horn," "Pardon the Interruption," every SportsCenter, and "Baseball Tonight." This happens today. Athletes would love to show their personality and there are a few that can break through and do this. Really, there isn't a whole lot of reward in being a character. You say or do something wrong, the 24/7 media cycle eats you alive.

Each of the athletes in the issue was featured in two pictures, one taken during their playing days, the other one in the modern day taken by Walter Iooss Jr. In a short interview in the magazine, he mentioned that he went to the players directly for the project as opposed to the method that is pretty much universal today, endless negotiation with the agent.

This statement is ignoring the fact the players who had their photos taken are all 65 years or older, so it is most likely they either (a) don't have an agent or (b) aren't used to having an agent. Concerning modern day players, then Iooss WOULD probably have to go through the player's agent to take a picture because there are a lot of people vying for that athlete's time. Concerning a 76 year old man like Sonny Jurgensen who is retired, you probably don't need an agent to take his picture. A more accurate comparison would be comparing the method of taking a picture of Peyton Manning as a 34 year old and a picture of Manning as a 75 year old. I'm betting when he is 75 years old you won't have to call Peyton's agent to get him to pose for a picture.

He is right. Getting to sports figures is like cutting through cords of prison barbed wire.

Getting to actors is also like cutting through cords of prison barbed wire. Getting to high level executives with a corporation is like cutting through cords of prison barbed wire. Nearly any highly paid celebrity or near-celebrity is a person who will not be easily accessed. This really isn't exclusive to sports figures. Also, easy accessibility doesn't mean a player has more personality.

And given the wishy-washy personality mush of gray pudding that is the athlete today, all of them sounding the same with those soporific, somnolent sound bites, I am not sure the effort of getting their cooperation is even worth it.

Again, I would argue the reason for this has less to do with the lack of personality in players, but more to do with the fact personality isn't encouraged on the field and off the field there isn't much advantage in having a personality because of the media coverage.

For example, the NFL has pretty much done all they can to ensure players like Chad Johnson, Terrell Owens and Steve Smith (Carolina) don't show personality in the form of touchdown celebrations. The NFL fined these players and outlawed celebrations on the field. This goes for defensive players as well. If they celebrate or do some form of a prepared celebration after a sack, out comes a flag and perhaps a fine. Teams can't do a prepared or coordinated celebration after an offensive or defensive touchdown either or out comes the flag and possibly a fine as well. The NFL has sucked the personality out of the players while on the field.

As far as players who speak and show personality, if you aren't Charles Barkley or Shaquille O'Neal then you probably can't get away with saying anything interesting. Rashard Mendenhall gave his thoughts after the death of Osama Bin Laden and because they didn't reflect the majority thought or opinion of the public, he was forced to apologize (somewhat). What's interesting to me is there are more outlets for athletes to interact with the public and be "real," but less incentive for them to interact in a "real" way with the public. Anything and everything that is said can be pulled into the news cycle as "news" and judged accordingly. There is really no incentive to say very much of substance.

“I loved football the most when you could see the players’ faces when there was mud on them,” Iooss went on to say. “Now they wear plastic masks and play on artificial turf.

Every player doesn't wear a plastic mask, so this is an untrue blanket statement. You can still many NFL player's faces under the mask. I also find it interesting in regard to the safety mandate the NFL seems to be attempting to achieve, I would think a safer helmet (and thereby one that has more protection for the face) would be something everyone, including Iooss wants. Yeah, it was great for a player in the 50's or 60's to have most of their face showing, but it isn't so great when a player takes a hit to the chin and bites his tongue in half or breaks his face.

Sports are bigger than ever. It occupies us more than ever. It is ever exploding. There are still routinely great performances. But behind those performances there is less and less human dimension, either colorful or heroic.

This is nothing but pure opinion being passed off as fact. I still think there are instances of the human dimension in a player's performance. It hasn't all gone away. I don't even really know what to say about the performance not being colorful enough. I'm not sure that is required for a great performance. This just sounds like incoherent whining from a person who misses the way he views sports in hindsight, but may not have viewed these sports that way at the time.

For example, there are so many moments I watched at the time and thought it was a great moment, but that moment's importance and drama has been magnified greatly in retrospect. David Tyree's catch against the Patriots was just a great catch at the time, while four years later it is one of the best plays in Super Bowl history. The Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O'Neal pairing with the Lakers was just annoying to me a decade ago, but now it is representative of two great players playing together at their peak before their relationship completely fell apart. Our opinion of a player/moment changes over time like this.

No men and women who speak with conviction, or are willing to take a stand regardless of risk,

Not Luke Scott, right? That's right, he doesn't count because we don't agree with him. Luke Scott speaks freely and is criticized accordingly for his views.

How about Steve Nash? Was his statement not definitive enough?

How about John Rocker? Again, we don't agree with him, so his speaking with conviction isn't the type of speaking with conviction Buzz wants to hear.

Carl Everett? What a nut job! He doesn't believe dinosaurs existed? Clearly, he's crazy then.

Actually, I'm not sure what Buzz wants to hear. I'm doing my best to remember older athletes, other than Jim Brown, that took a political stand or spoke with conviction while they were playing sports. I'm having trouble remembering too many. I'm sure there were quite a few, but especially given the social changes that have taken place over the last 60 years where athletes in the past had more reason to speak with conviction about injustice, I am not sure I believe today's athlete speaks with less conviction. If today's athletes do speak with less conviction, it is because speaking with conviction is craved by the media, mostly just so they have a chance to write easy stories and attack that athlete if they don't like that athlete's point of view. So unless it is a non-controversial issue, there isn't a reason to speak out with conviction for fear of criticism.

or are just delightfully funky and insane.

Again, this has been sucked out of athletes by agents because there is no advantage to being funky or insane. Still, a lot of this funk and insanity would not be seen that way now, but would be met with criticism. I bet Buzz thinks it is so fucking cute that Doc Ellis threw a no-hitter while he says he was tripping on acid. How funky AND insane!

Imagine if Tim Lincecum says he won a NLCS game stoned or he pitched in any game stoned. The reaction from the media, and probably Buzz, would be swift that this is not acceptable and is a terrible message to children. Funky and insane is now dangerous and a harm to society as a whole.

Babe Ruth's carousing with women and drinking is just a personality characteristic we loved about him. That Babe loved women and loved to do some drinking!

If a famous quarterback goes out and gets drunk and dates attractive women, well the media thinks he should just focus a little bit more on his job and less time being a lush. What was a personality characteristic for Babe Ruth is detrimental to the team now.

Athletes do occasionally post interesting and provocative tweets on Twitter, only to immediately retract them by claiming post-traumatic Twitter syndrome once there is the slightest whiff of controversy.

I love how Buzz is acting like these athletes get a little negative feedback and then get scared and retract the Tweet. In the case of Rashard Mendenhall, his employer actually came out and distanced himself from Mendenhall's opinion, which may have influenced the backtracking. Many outrageous comments wouldn't simply be blurbs at the bottom of a newspaper page anymore, which is only viewable to those who subscribe to the paper. The outrageous comments would be discussed and disseminated over the Internet in no time, with the appropriate judgments being made about that player and his comments.

I can't blame a player for holding back a little on the controversial comments. Assuming people even care about his/her opinion, why share your thoughts with a world when you can't control where those thoughts end up? If you can't control your own message and how it is interpreted, what's the point of the message? Especially in the case of athletes, who fair or not, probably don't have a hell of a lot of important and relevant things to teach me about life in general. So even if an athlete becomes outspoken on a topic he/she knows, his/her sport, there is a chance someone will be offended by the comments and let that athlete's employer, or another influential figure in that athlete's life, know it.

On you can see highlights of any baseball game you want almost instantly after they have occurred, not to mention watching your favorite team in stunning clarity on your iPhone.

Not only is complaining about progress like this kind of stupid, but it is also completely off topic.

Sports are not color and character today. Sports are content, endless reams and reels of it. Athletes are also carefully trained in the Zen of nothingness.

This is because when athletes actually say something, it gets them in trouble. Buzz is about to rattle off cliches athletes use, these are cliches I hate, but I will put below them what the athlete wants to say and let's think how the 24/7 sports news cycle would run with these comments.

I was just lucky today.

AJ Burnett hasn't ever been able to get me out. I feel like I can get a hit off him anytime I want.

No player on that team can guard me.

I just came out feeling good today.

Really? You think Andrew Bynum can guard me? He's never been able to do before, why start now?

My opponent put up a heck of a fight today.

The Dolphins defense tried to stop me, but our offense is miles ahead of their defense. They really tried, but the fact we were able to score with ease should tell you how good the Dolphins defense really is.

This honesty and personality would not be a positive thing in the long run. The media loves loud mouth players because they create news stories.

I took time off from this column for a few weeks to finish the first draft of a book. What took place in Sportsworld in my writing absence?

I think Buzz has ADD. What took place in his absence really isn't relevant to the lack of characters and personalities in sports. We all know if nothing exciting happens in sports while Buzz is working on a book, then that must mean there aren't enough heroes in sports.

The lockout of the players in the National Basketball Association, the continuing lockout in the National Football League,

Yes, these lockouts are depressing, but let's not make the NFL and NBA lockouts into anything more than what they truly are. Disagreements among wealthy owners and players over how much money they will have to share in the next bargaining agreement. Both lockouts are only indicative that each side can't agree on how the money should be split and has nothing to do with a lack of heroes in sports.

an absolute snore of a Major League Baseball season in which the only excitement has been the soap opera of Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt versus baseball Commissioner Bud Selig,

This has been a pretty good baseball season if you ask me. I think the only people who criticize baseball every year are those who haven't paid enough attention to the season or just doesn't like to watch a lot of baseball.

and somebody whose name nobody in America can honestly pronounce winning Wimbledon.

If it ain't American, Buzz don't want to hear nothing about it! All these foreigners winning American sports is why there ain't no heroes anymore.

This would probably be a good to be bring up the fact Novak Djokovic is a tennis player with a pretty interesting personality and is successful in his sport, but I guess that doesn't count because to Buzz he is a foreigner.

Are there any athletes in the modern-day era of sports either truly heroic or just truly colorful?

Novak Djokovic. I know, I know, this doesn't count because Buzz doesn't like to watch sports. I don't see how his ignorance about the personalities in a certain sport can be ignored while he is lamenting the lack of colorful personalities in sports.

I can think of Pat Tillman, who left a budding pro football career to join the military and so tragically died in the mountains of Afghanistan from friendly fire. I can think of New York Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter on the basis of how he has played the game with the quiet intensity and class reminiscent of DiMaggio.

Oh, that's such bullshit. Buzz Bissinger really just compared Pat Tillman, who died while serving his country, to Derek Jeter because he plays the game of baseball with class. This is just ridiculous. I'm not sure which is more ridiculous though. The comparison of Jeter to a war hero or the cliche use of Jeter as a baseball player who plays the game with quiet intensity and class reminiscent of another Yankee who used to spend his time banging celebrities.

Actually the indirect comparison or putting in the same category of Jeter and Pat Tillman is easily the most ridiculous part of these two statements.

I can think of New York Jets football coach Rex Ryan, who has one of those brains missing the section that deals with self-censorship. But that’s about it. And in the same league with Yogi or Namath or Ali? Not even close.

And your point? Plaxico Burress guaranteed a Giants victory before the Super Bowl against the Patriots much like Joe Namath did in Super Bowl III. I guess that's not the same thing because it doesn't make Buzz nostalgic.

Maybe the lack of zest and spontaneity and heroism in sports doesn’t really matter. The recent NBA playoffs were marvelous.

So the current baseball season is a snore, but the NBA playoffs, where very few series (only 1 if I am not wrong) went to seven games and wasn't generally overly exciting was "marvelous?" I'm confused now.

Also, the zest and spontaneity has been taken out of athletes, so they don't really lack if, they just don't display it. Athletes also aren't heroic on a grand scale necessarily, but many athletes do great things for charities and those who are needy on a more micro-level. You known, "The NBA Cares" and stuff like that.

But LeBron is also hated because he did not turn out to be the throwback hero we wanted him to be. We loved the fact that he was a hometown kid playing for his hometown team. We loved the thought of him staying there forever and winning the championship.

It would have also been nice if he hadn't publicly announced where he was playing this past season during an hour long special, complained in Cleveland he needed a better supporting cast and then not stepped up when he did have one, and seemed to have bought the hype about his own greatness.

He has also left us searching for another hero, someone out there unique, someone out there refusing to follow the same lemming flow, someone out there willing to stay true to his roots.

Or maybe not seem like such a dick.

Everything seems to go back to LeBron James for Buzz Bissinger doesn't it?

You will be far better off buying the new Sports Illustrated and staring into the cover, looking for every crevice of detail in that picture of Yogi Berra, drinking in the nobility and the toughness and the eyes of lurking mischief.

Here's another reason why we don't seem to have as many heroes in sports nowadays. Sportswriters used to follow the players around, like they do now, except they covered up or did not report many of the athlete's misdeeds. Mickey Mantle was a great player, but with his drinking and off the field adventures how do you think he would do in today's game in dealing with the media? I'm guessing he wouldn't fare as well in the nostalgia department.

I would submit part of the reason many of these older players are seen as heroes is because that's the public perception fans were given of these players. Not that baseball players in the 50's and 60's were terrible people, but in the 24/7 sports media cycle of today, I would bet many of these heroic players would have even their smallest misdeeds or comments made public. The media seemed to view these players are heroes years ago, which is very much not true in today's sports. The media has a much more jaded view of players now I believe.
“It ain’t over till it’s over,” Yogi once said so famously.

If an athlete today were quoted as using the word “ain’t,” he would have his agent announce through Twitter that he was suing for libel.
Oh yeah, because athletes today are very uptight in making sure they use correct grammar in all things they do or say.

I have a feeling if he looked back in 15-20 years, Buzz Bissinger will be missing characters like Shaquille O'Neal, Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens, while wishing there were players who were outspoken and stood up for things like Steve Nash and Drew Brees did.


ivn said...

Are there any athletes in the modern-day era of sports either truly heroic or just truly colorful?

for "colorful" at least: Brian Wilson, Ron Artest, Ozzie Guillen (not an athlete, but Buzz did mention Rex Ryan), Stan Van Gundy (ditto), Usain Bolt, David Ortiz, Sean Avery, Steve Nash, Dustin Pedroia, Manny Pacquiao, Alexander Ovechkin

rich said...

They were characters—maybe naughty such as Joe Namath and Sonny Jurgensen, maybe fiercely proud such as Jim Brown, maybe tough as nails such as Jim Taylor and Sam Huff.

Tiger Woods: Joe Namath reincarnate, killed his career.

Sean Avery: Got fined for his "sloppy seconds" comment.

I'm sorry, but Namath was basically Big Ben when sexual harrassment was okay.

As for proud, most of the ubber proud athletes are looked on as complete assholes: TO, Chad Johnson, LeBron, ARod, etc.

Remember when Cole Hamels was having a terrible second half of the season and said "I can't wait for the season to be over"? I do because it pissed off everyone. Athletes aren't allowed to be human anymore.

The same can be said of McNabb and the overtime controversy.

or are just delightfully funky and insane.

There are a ton of absolutely insane people in sports. Ivn named quite a few, but there are a lot more.

The problem is being "funky and insane" isn't cute and endearing anymore.

See: Artest, Ron; Owens, Terrell.

an absolute snore of a Major League Baseball season in which the only excitement has been the soap opera of Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt versus baseball Commissioner Bud Selig,

The Pirates and Indians being suddenly relevant; the big four in Philly (or big three); Jose Bautista killing it again; Pujols and his contract issues; Jeter and 3000; the trading of a former Cy Young winner; Posey's injury; Cliff Lee's pitching in June; Jair Jurrjens.

He's right, what a shit season.

Pat Tillman, who died while serving his country, to Derek Jeter because he plays the game of baseball with class.

Beyond the huge issue that Pat Tillman is a true hero and Jeter is just not an asshole, what is Jeter's personality? In an article decrying how boring players are these days, he uses Jeter as an example? Jeter is baseball's version of Tim Duncan.

Maybe the lack of zest and spontaneity and heroism in sports doesn’t really matter. The recent NBA playoffs were marvelous.

So he talks up the NBA playoffs and ignores probably the most colorful owner in sports? You know, the one who filed a legal brief in which he referred to his team as the "World Champion Dallas Mavericks" he's not spontaneous?

refusing to follow the same lemming flow, someone out there willing to stay true to his roots.

Dirk anyone?

Yogi Berra, drinking in the nobility and the toughness and the eyes of lurking mischief.

I'm sorry, but am I the only one who reads about Yogi who thinks he was just mentally retarded? I'm not trying to make a joke there, I really think Yogi was just too stupid to figure it out.

“It ain’t over till it’s over,” Yogi once said so famously.

If an athlete today said this, it'd be considered under the "no shit sherlock" line of thinking.

Bengoodfella said...

Ivn, exactly. There are still players who are characters in the game. Buzz has chosen not to pay attention to these people. Not sure if there is a way to get over-nostalgic. If so, this is it.

Rich, Namath was Big Ben. That is part of what I found to be interesting about Roethlisberger's situation. The way he partied and lived it up is reportedly similar to how Namath did. It was fun and naughty back then, but not now. Of course I know of no instances where Namath may have crossed a line but it doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Athletes can't be human b/c the media uses this against them. They can't say what they think all the time. Artest is funky, but he is also considered crazy. Same thing for Carl Everett.

I greatly disliked the baseball season. Greatly. I think this year has been interesting, but b/c Buzz has no interest he just assumes b/c he isn't interested it was boring.

Great point a/b Jeter. He is a boring athlete. He is the Tim Duncan of baseball. There's nothing wrong w/ that, but Buzz cries a/b boring athletes and then thinks Jeter serves with class. Boring class. He also missed on Mark Cuban. Imagine if Cuban didn't have the tight leash of David Stern around his neck?

I don't think Yogi was stupid, but he certainly said obvious things. They are seen as quirky and cute little sayings. Part of his personality. I can't help but wonder if he came along today what people would think.

Imojust said...

All of you guys are 100% correct. Buzz will elbow his way to the front of the line to "take down" the very next player that does something "truly colorful". His article is just bait, and he's hoping some dumbass falls for it.

your favourite sun said...

Another current athlete who is colorful, for better or worse: DeShawn Stevenson.

One of Ron Luciano's books has a section detailing how the "players today aren't interesting anymore" meme has been around for decades(and Luciano wrote the book in like 1989). It was being said even when Bill "Spaceman" Lee was claiming that birds inhabited by the souls of the Yawkey family were communicating with him, it was being said when Dizzy Dean and Yogi Berra were in their prime, and it was being said after the book was written when Dennis Rodman was at the peak of his popularity. It's just one of those things that sportswriters say a lot, and truly seem to believe simply because it's said a lot.

Bengoodfella said...

Imojust, I can't wait for the next athlete to do something "colorful" and have Buzz take them down. It shouldn't be long...

Sun, Stevenson is pretty colorful, but since he tends to go up against LeBron in some of the things he says then he is considered deluded. Like I said and you said, 15 years from now sportswriters will be wishing athletes have more personality. Luciano wrote that in 1989 and there have been some personalities in sports since then.

I would love to have a list of other things sportswriters believe is true because they are said a lot. I think it would be a long list.