I’ve always felt “character” should be reserved for higher standards than whether or
engages in criminal activities.
Is ‘character’ the right word? I’ve avoided blogging about the Tennessee Titans for a long time. Several reasons:
is the Titans. I still enjoy returning to a spot in my life where hero-worship was still allowed, and fun. I knew this day would come: When Bud Adams would display why the Houston fans were so over-joyed when he left town. I knew this day would come: When the NFL salary cap system would force a choice between paying respect to a legend and placing a bet on the future of the franchise. I hated the way Eddie George exited — and McNair’s treatment is going to end up being worse. But that’s the way with the NFL. I have to keep reminding myself to just get over it when it comes to professional sports. I guess I should just grow up. But being a football fan was one of my ways to avoid that. Oh, well.
“Since last April, Jones has been in the news plenty for negative reasons, including twice in the last 10 days. On Wednesday he was involved in a 1:50 a.m. altercation at a local gas station and witnessed gunshots. The week before Metro Police named him as an acquaintance of one of nine men arrested in a major drug trafficking ring. On at least two other occasions since last year, he was at the scene of incidents where police were called, though he wasn’t arrested in either of those cases.
In March, a judge dropped charges of misdemeanor assault and felony vandalism charges against Jones over a nightclub altercation last July. In his controversial rookie season, he was also involved in numerous
incidents with his uniform on, including verbal confrontations with fans, referees and an opposing coach, and a physical altercation with opposing players. He was removed from the team’s season finale after fighting with a Jacksonville Jaguar receiver, and exchanging words with a game official.”
In other words, my hero, Steve McNair is being tossed out the door at the same time, thug-magnet Pacman Jones is entering into the most costly portion of his contract with the Titans. This is really testing my ability to hack it as an NFL fan.
Before closing the floodgates on my Titans blogging for a few more months (except perhaps a draft-related post next weekend and the “hate to see McNair leave” post in a few weeks), I’d like to go on record with a recommendation:
The word “character” should be banned as a euphemism in sports coverage.
I’ve always felt “character,” when used to describe moral and ethical attributes of an individual, should be reserved for higher standards and practices than, merely, does one, or does one not, engage in criminal activities or continuously fraternize with individuals who do. However, in the world of sports coverage, apparently all one needs to possess “character” is to avoid having an arrest record. Having “character” is not the issue with Pacman Jones, Marcus Vick or the Duke Lacrosse team. In my book, avoiding indictment, arrest or conviction is not the standard of having character.
So, instead of using the euphemistic term “his character,” I suggest sports writers and bloggers and TV talking heads go ahead and say, “(Draft Pick’s) tendency to be in situations where people are being arrested for shooting guns, rape
and dealing drugs may be an issue for the team. However, he had a great combine and his lawyer says the charges won’t stick, so who knows?”