Welcome to SportsGrid’s Tuesday feature, “Shut Up,” (pronounced: “shut up… comma”) where we add a name after the comma, telling that person to stop saying words, because they’re being stupid. This week, this person is two people.
Shut up, Jim Harbaugh, for playing Aldon Smith. And shut up, Gary Payton, for weirdly defending Harbaugh on “Fox Sports Live.”
As we recently told you, San Francisco 49ers sack-man Aldon Smith was arrested on “suspicion of DUI,” driving alone at 7 a.m., with pills and weed in the car, after he hit a tree, BAC at nearly .15. According to our calculations, Smith drank at least 15 light beers/11 shots of tequila/10 mini airline bottles, then drove a car, despite being an NFL player and thus able to call for a free ride whenever he wants.
Clearly, this is reprehensible behavior, which is why Smith apologized, was suspended from the team indefinitely, and is seeking help. Clearly, this is what should happen, and nobody needs to be told to shut up for this.
Except that this happened after the 49ers’ loss to the Colts on Sunday. Really, Smith was arrested early Friday morning, it was quite clear he was at fault, and then Jim Harbaugh let him play on Sunday. Then right after the game, he was suspended and left the team.
I don’t think I really need to defend my shutting up of Jim Harbaugh, because this was a deplorable decision that I’m sure all reasonable people strongly disagree with. And that was the case when the panel of “SportsCenter’s” more-likable little brother, “Fox Sports Live,” discussed this. Except for Gary Payton, the wild-card of the panel, the guy who sometimes silently mean-mugs, sometimes tells awesome stories about accidentally inspiring Allen Iverson’s infamous “practice?!” rant while drunk, but then sometimes defends the indefensible with a nonsensical argument.
Give it a listen, and note Andy Roddick’s “what the fuck are you saying, man?” face.
I think the argument was something like:
– Driving drunk isn’t good, but kids will be kids.
– The typical suspension for driving drunk should be one-half, the same as a younger kid should get for signing autographs.
– But Smith shouldn’t have played in this instance, because he didn’t seem mentally ready.
– But you can’t punish people for driving drunk, because all athletes party.
I think that was it.
I understand this is “Fox Sports Live,” not “Fox Sports Let Me Give You Three Months To Prepare An Eloquent, Thorough Argument,” so I don’t want to be too harsh, but, shit, Gary, what the fuck are you saying? Just, please, shut up, and listen to the reasonable people sitting around you. Tell us funny stories about drunk athletes, but make sure they are ones about drunk athletes not driving, because I don’t think you get the difference between partying and driving. Keep the two separate, athletes. The Magic School Bus isn’t real, because it would be incredibly dangerous.
(Oh, and read Angry Chris Kluwe’s rant on this same topic.)