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Media MonsterNCAA Football

‘Shut Up Mark May, Only Perfect People Can Offer Criticism,’ By Deadspin


mark may pittsburgh

Backstory: Johnny Manziel gets flak for being young, famous, and — when he isn’t playing football — getting so drunk that he can’t participate in a camp run by Peyton Manning, among other things.

Mark May is a former standout at the University of Pittsburgh (disclaimer: I — me, the writer — am also a Pitt graduate) and current ESPN college football analyst. May tweeted this yesterday:

Now, you can take umbrage with this tweet for a number of reasons. Here’s one: Johnny Football is a young guy, and young guys get drunk, and the make mistakes, and they don’t need television personalities giving them shit about it. Here’s another one: Mark May, mind your business, you’re not the judge and jury of football.

Now, for the track that Deadspin took: Posting this article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 1979:

So Mark May was a troublemaker in college.

Does that make him unable to comment on anyone else who runs afoul of the law and/or the public?

Does that mean he’s not allowed to pass the lessons of his own mistakes forward?

Yes, May was being a bit of a hypocrite. But if only people who never made mistakes were allowed to tell Johnny Football that he’s fucking up, no one would ever be allowed to speak to Johnny Football again.

Parents tell their kids not to drink underage or use drugs — not because they themselves never did, but because they know the dangers of doing so. This is a similar situation.

Elder statesmen of football rarely attain that status without a blemish or two on their record. In fact, knowing that they’ve been through bad situations is what gives their words weight. Why do you think Adam “Pacman” Jones talks to incoming rookies about staying out of trouble, and not Tim Tebow?

Mark May could have found a better way to express his disappointment. But his feelings are valid, and throwing the man’s past in his face is hardly a sound comeback.

I welcome your opinions on this matter.

Photo via Getty


  • Tarin

    You forgot (or conveniently left out) the part about his two DUIs while with the Redskins. That’s more than being “a troublemaker in college” or having “a blemish or two.”

  • Eric Goldschein

    I did forget to include that, but I don’t think it changes the argument. Jason Kidd, 40, just plead guilty to a similar crime, and yet he’s the Nets head coach. I doubt that will stop him from having words with players who do the same.

  • Dummy

    Credit the original source GoodBullHunting.com. Not Deadspin.

  • Ben

    MMB5DAP

  • Objective Sports Fan

    It would be different if May premised his comments by saying, “I was a violent alcoholic thug for many years” but he doesn’t. He makes a career out of attacking current players and coaches and it’s a joke. The guy is trash and deserves everything coming his way.

  • Ben

    My question to the author, did Mark May “shame football” by any of his actions in his past? It seems that he has already set the precedent for shaming the sport so those that follow in his footsteps should not warrant all the attention given to them. If you don’t see him as a hypocrite, can you at least concede that he was condescending and pompous in his tone…especially in light of his own actions? He wasn’t trying to help anyone or give advice from the perspective of someone who had been there and cared. He was trying to get attention. It’s laughable in light of Hernandez and all the other NFL knuckleheads who are actually harming/killing people. That’s where the shame lies.

    Oh, and MMB5D@P

  • KeepinItBalanced

    But there’s a difference between “having words” with players on your team, in private vs publicly ripping into a young man with little tact and self-righteous indignation. Also, he is not Manziel’s daddy so your comparison to parental advice seems a little ‘apple and oranges’ to me. The point isn’t ‘he who is without sin…”; rather, the point is that May forgets himself in his unwarranted criticism of Manziel. He didn’t come off as “passing on” any kind of wisdom. He didn’t qualify the tweet with admission of his own youthful indiscretions (which are much more severe than Manziel’s, IMO) before doling out his almighty judgment. He should just consider himself lucky that social media did not exist when he was in college or the NFL. He’s more than just a bit of a hypocrite in this instance and I think your homer-ness is showing a bit too much in this article.


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