Long time no Whitlock…
Been a while since locals have had a chance to chew on former Star sports scribe Jason Whitlock’s cud. Other than his blog on Fox. Or the odd pissing match call to 610 Sports’ Nick Wright to rile up local sports bloggers.
But last night the straw that used to stir KC’s sports shake was live and large on MSNBC‘s "Ed Show" dissing newly axed Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.
"If he had an ounce of self-awareness – and he’s no different than the athletes, the young immature athletes (but) this guy is 84 – he would have stepped aside immediately," Whitlock told viewers.
Since his falling out with the Star 2010, Whitlock’s profile (and exaggerated by Nick Wright salary) has been low for all but the most fervent sports junky. But his appearance on the "Ed Show" was a step up and out of the Jock Sniffers Zone into mainstream news.
Like what happened to Whitlock years ago during the Don Imus incident with Oprah.
But last night’s MSNBC cameo was different and superior in some ways. That’s because for once, Whitlock cast himself into the national limelight without have to play the Race Card. or the Reverse Race Card.
No black on white or black on white here race baiting here, just a straight down the line, epic sports scandal.
So how’d the Big Fella do? Pretty dang good.
He didn’t flap his arms like those early days at Channel 9 when he was Greg Hall’s protege. He didn’t fall asleep on the Green Room couch like he used to at WHB. He didn’t threaten anybody or have to be escorted out of the building mid show. And he didn’t accuse the host of kissing on another dude’s neck the night before.
All kidding aside, Whitlock did well enough that I’d be surprised if he didn’t get invited back by MSNBC and other shows when future sports and/or race controversies surface.
And Whitlock did what Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson couldn’t; he delivered the hard-hitting goods.
"Joe Paterno whipped those students into a frenzy (with) his statement today about staying till the end of the season," Whitlock lashed out. "What he did last night – if he were really concerned about this university he would have taken the decision out of the board of trustee’s hands and resigned effective immediately. And told the kids on that campus, that’s the right thing for me to do given this situation. He instead chose a very selfish exit and now we don’t know what those kids are gonna do on this campus. If anyone gets hurt tonight, that’s on Joe Paterno as well."
Rock ’em, sock ’em…
One oddity in Whitlock’s palaver. the part where he likens sports coaches to athletes in financial and sexual prowess.
"As sportswriters we are very quick to criticize athletes when they get caught up in their fame and get delusional about how important they are," Whitlock began. "And sometimes we forget these coaches now are just as big a celebrity as the athletes. They make just as much money as the athletes. They have just as many groupies as the athletes. And they get delusional as well."
I’m down with that last part but, just as much money? Just as many groupies? Paterno, Bill Snyder – I don’t know.– and what’s more, I don’t wanna know.