I haven’t thought much about proto-bro Matt Ufford since he was trying to justify to TV reporters why it was necessary to run photos of a teenage pole-vaulter. At the time, the best retort one of Ufford’s cronies could come up with was something along the lines of, “at least he didn’t aid & abet GG Allin”, and yes, that’s very true. Few will ever accuse Ufford of being a patron of the fine arts.
On Thursday, Awful Announcing’s Sarah Sprague sought to compare and contrast the amount of journalistic range afforded women in the sports media trade (ie. not much) with the freewheelin’ Ufford’s widely lauded, “PEOPLE VS. THE NFL : AFTER AN OFFSEASON IN WHICH THE NFL GOT ALMOST EVERYTHING WRONG, A LIFELONG FAN REFLECTS ON SHAME, LOVE, FATHERHOOD, AND THE FUTURE OF THE LEAGUE” published by SB Nation, but not without disclosing, “Ufford and I both write at the NFL humor site Kissing Suzy Kolber, but our interaction is minimal at best.” So there’s some silver lining.
I winced before I was done with the slug line describing what was to come in the piece. Fatherhood. Ufford was now joining the ranks of male sportswriters who were going to tell us what it all meant in the context of their child, a ploy I find repelling. Ufford’s piece was well-written, but once the reader reached the final chapter in the post titled “Hope,” one could not help but brace for the pap that was coming. Words that in my heart of hearts, I know that if a female sportswriter had put them to keyboard they would have been seen as soft, not on point, and probably one of the worst insults, like a Mommy Blogger.
Male sportswriters live in a world where having emotions allows them to continue the chain of sports being a father-child activity and roundly get praised for writing so honestly, Pam Oliver speaking honestly is humiliated. Male emotions get heralded as a concession for having them in the first place like a normal human being.