Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

photo credit: @TOMayorFrod

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by mike in boston [hatemailaccount a.t. gmail dot c.o.m.] @mikeinboston

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Very quick hit because I’m on the run this week. If you read or heard something good or bad or otherwise worth talking about, post it in the comments

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The Michael Sam Story

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Cyd Zeigler has been the go-to guest for the last several years on LGBT(etc) issues in sports. He runs Out Sports. He penned this (very long) behind the scenes story on how this decision was made and handled from beginning to where we are now. It’s pretty great.

He also appeared on PTS (Feb 10, 6pm hour) to discuss the story. By some amazing twist of divine providence, Brunt was the co-host rather than the one of the other intellectual lightweights that sometimes sit in that chair. He and Bob conducted an excellent interview with Cyd.

My favourite part is how Cyd responded to the “will this be a distraction to the team?” question. No doubt there will be some extra media attention, but the idea that there will be a throng of media badgering the coaches and players all season is farcical. How many times can you ask the same question? I’m imagining some reporter asking “What was it like to be on the field for the 1st sack by an openly gay player?” That question would be laughed out of the room.

The Mante T’eo story proved that no matter how much controversy there is surrounding a player before the season, once the games are underway the churn of the NFL media machine takes over. Everything becomes an afterthought once the scores matter. And that is exactly what I expect to happen here.

One thing I am looking forward to seeing is whether this will change how the word “faggot” is used in locker rooms and in stadiums. An NCAA player was suspended recently for shoving a fan who shouted something at him. In the aftermath, many people who initially condemned the player backtracked when it was suggested the fan had called him a “nigger.”

I have no doubt that Sam will be called a “faggot” in every stadium including his home building. Whether this is tolerated or not will depend in part of the individual NFL teams’ policies about abusive language, but mostly on how the other fans react. In some parts of the U.S. you can shout “nigger” without fear of condemnation by those around you. The same is true much more widely for the word “faggot.” This might be a seminal moment for change in how that word is socially accepted. But that is going to require a lot of people who currently use the word “faggot” very casually to have a change of mind about how bad a word it is.

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JaysTalk

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If you wanted proof that the new compensation system for MLB free agents is completely broken, this off-season should convince you. The fact that Santana and Jimenez and Drew are not signed is ridiculous. I wonder how long it will be until the players start loudly complaining about this lousy deal. The player should not be penalized because MLB wants to compensate a team for losing one of its assets.

This brings me to the Jays. Because of their horrendous performance in 2013, their 1st round pick is protected. This means if they sign one of the free agent pitchers, they will only lose a 2nd round pick. This is a huge competitive advantage for the Jays, relative to their rivals, which appears to be being wasted. If they don’t sign either guy this will be strong evidence that the purse strings have been tightened. From a competitive standpoint, it is a no-brainer. All it costs is money, and the price keeps dropping from what we are told. What’s up AA?

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Quick Hit

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The response to TSM’s baseball and basketball media medals suggests not a lot of people read basketball coverage in this city. For myself, I used to read Grange’s “From Deep” column on a regular basis but lost interest after he left the Globe. Maybe I’ll pay more attention if the Raps make a run in the playoffs. I was glad to see how many people like Lott. He is an underused asset in this market.

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that’s all I have for now . Thanks for reading and enjoy the weekend.

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mike in boston

 

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