My, how First Take co-troll Rob Parker has everyone talking about him lately! Remember a couple months ago, when he decided to get a rise out of people who like to obtain knowledge by breaking out the totally new, un-hackneyed “observation” that any sports fan who likes stats is clearly a pathetic no-friend nerd who hasn’t seen sunlight in three years because they’re too busy worshipping their Computer Gods who apparently issue commandments never to actually watch baseball games? Or a couple months later, when he leapt to defend Mitch Albom’s (most recent) heap of rotting simpleton-pandering offal on the same subject?
You might, but Parker knows he can’t take the chance that you might have forgotten his name, so now he’s at it again – but on a different subject. His target this time: Robert Griffin III. I guess it makes sense – Griffin’s a bright guy (spent his last year at Baylor taking graduate courses, expressed a desire to attend law school even as his football career was taking off), and Parker’s utter contempt for – or at least his love of trolling – anyone who makes the slightest effort to learn any bit of information that came into existence after 1940 is well documented (see previous paragraph).
But it’s not that Parker’s targeting. No, it’s another quality that’s under ParkerFire (TM): Griffin’s “blackness.” Why? Well, because taking a “controversial” stance on the topic will get people talking about Rob Parker. (And it has! We all took the bait! Good job, Rob!) But the ostensible reason is that yesterday, Griffin said this:
“For me, you don’t ever want to be defined by the color of your skin… “I am an African-American in America. That will never change. But I don’t have to be defined by that.
We always try to find similarities in life, no matter what it is so they’re always going to try to put you in a box with other African-American quarterbacks — (Michael) Vick, (Cam) Newton, Randall Cunningham, Warren Moon,” Griffin said. “Warren Moon and Doug Williams really didn’t run that much. That’s the negative stereotype when it comes to African-American quarterbacks, that most of us just run. Those guys threw it around. I like to think I can throw it around a little bit.
That’s the goal. Just to go out and not try to prove anybody wrong but just let your talents speak for themselves.”
Now, I’m white, so I realize it behooves me and everyone else to take great care when addressing this sort of subject. But to my eyes, RGIII handled the topic expertly. Perhaps, though, you have some concern about what Griffin said here. If you do, I’d be interested to hear why… unless you do what Rob Parker did when addressing the comments on First Take today. Here’s how he responded:
Ah, the old “Now, I’m not necessarily saying this, but people I know are saying it…” shameless, transparent hedging strategy! “I’m just trying to dig deeper.” I realize that by being exasperated by this I am playing directly into Parker’s hands, but seriously, fuck that. He’s obviously not digging into a damn thing – he’s just making ugly insinuations and passing the buck by saying he’s not really the one making them.
Ugly insinuations like that because Griffin’s engaged to a white woman, he’s not really black. That will probably make you want to bang your head against the wall on its own, but combine that with the persistent rumors that Charlie Strong’s marriage to a white woman hurt his head coaching prospects and it’ll really make you lose your faith in everyone, everywhere. Especially people who give credence to the idea on a television show with a lamentably large viewership. Just because a bunch of people might think that way (remember when Donovan McNabb was the one who wasn’t black enough, according to Bernard Hopkins?) doesn’t mean it deserves to be regarded as anything but, well, bullshit.
And the Republican thing – where the hell did that come from? Well, actually, Parker pretty much answered that when he admitted there was no actual basis for it – it came out of his own ass. Not that RGIII isn’t allowed to be a Republican if he wants to; he certainly is. But to pull something from thin air about a guy’s supposed political views according to nothing more than what some people you know are supposedly saying – why?
Again, rhetorical question. We’ve already said why. It’s because Rob Parker’s job is to get people talking about him and the shows he appears on, like his partner-in-endless-river-of-talk-sewage Skip Bayless. And I feel a little bad to be helping him out this much. In a way, I and every other outlet that has already and will continue to discuss Parker’s sad little diatribe today – and there are many – are all just shamelessly picking at low-hanging fruit ourselves. It’s why I never watch First Take anymore, to try to avoid getting sucked in.
But sometimes what someone or other says on the ESPN family of networks’ worst show is too egregious to be ignored , so here we are. Congrats, Rob: you got us. And actual congrats to Stephen A. Smith for saying the verbal refuse getting thrown around made him uncomfortable. And if I could just get in a word to Robert Griffin III himself about all this: hey, RGIII, it’s not you, it’s us. Just do what you did the last time we all tried to manufacture a controversy around you: shrug it off and keep playing football awesomely. If it won’t totally quiet the rabble, it’ll at least marginalize them.
But back to our friend Rob Parker. What subject, Rob, will you tackle next to try and make us care? Might I suggest HBO’s Girls? Just imagine: the sports media’s most reliable purveyor of insufferable debate spewing garbage on the internet’s most reliable provider of insufferable debate. If those two forces collided, I’m pretty sure the expansion of the universe would reverse course, the cosmos would implode, and it would all be worth it because we would finally be free of it all. Of course, we couldn’t get an easy post out of it if humanity got wiped out, so it’d all be for naught.