NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Last week, on his new ESPN show, Keith Olbermann proved why it's absolutely necessary for him to hold a high-profile position in sports media. He brings a thoughtfulness and intellect that just doesn't exist outside of anomalies such as Bob Costas and HBO's "Real Sports."
First, pro that he is, Olbermann didn't leave anything meaningful out. It wasn't like he scalped excerpts to suit his monologue, omitting key context. In fact, he basically ran through the entire thing, strategically, but cleverly inserting the necessary particulars Prisco left out.Second, pro that he is, Olbermann decided against mocking Prisco or calling him names. Honestly, it's difficult for me to resist falling victim to an ad hominem against this guy, but, I'll take a cue from Olbermann and avoid crude attempts to determine what could have possibly compelled Prisco to produce such a heartless hack piece of gerbilism. As a CBSSports.com commenter noted, "the worst part of this article is that Prisco has a point and it's lost among all the ridiculous stuff." While I'm not certain Prisco buried even a semi-intelligent thesis, there's no question somebody else somewhere -- somebody other than Prisco -- could have made an excellent case against the NFL's concussion settlement. A good buddy of mine sent me an email over the weekend. We don't see eye-to-eye on his criticism of Olbermann ...
Olberman used two classic liberal attack approaches (i use liberal for severe lack of a better word). One, he failed to acknowledge the obvious hyperbole in Prisco's comments and attacked him as if it was said straight. Second, he spends most of the segment telling anecdotal sob stories to build up a mountain of sympathy for the players (who do deserve it) and he then transfers that sympathy to his agenda and to further inflate his bubble of superiority of bogus righteousness.However, I might be able to get on the same page as him regarding the National Football League's ineptitude:
I would chide the NFL much more for having to be sued to effectuate change ... Football players of all levels would be best served with real money for research, ongoing care and prevention. I am not talking about the token joke in this settlement. So a current set of players get paid, there is a pittance for the future and the NFL gets it waivers and admits no fault. A paltry $85 mil for study and prevention is a travesty and further evidence that the players in the suit were not trying do much beyond help themselves. Again, yes, help they need, but there is more to the struggle.Fair enough. I don't know enough about the situation to completely agree or disagree, but at least my friend makes legitimate points. He goes on to note that the NFL opens itself up to long-term risk, particularly if its feeder programs drop football because of lack of support from the league and subsequent liability risk. What will happen to the talent pipeline that feeds today's multi-billion sports and entertainment obsession? But we part ways when my friend says "We needed more out of this deal, which was Prisco's comment." No, this wasn't Prisco's comment. And, if it actually was, CBS should fire him, not for being an insensitive and ignorant ass (I caved), but for being an abject failure as a storyteller.