It seems to me that when murders and machetes are involved, it’s a much steeper fall from grace for any athlete. But Ugueth Urbina has been reduced to mostly a blurb, and Owens could command an army of satellite trucks on a whim if he called a press conference to recite the alphabet.
No outrage, no protests, no Internet polls weighing on what team might take a chance on Urbina if he is released and acquitted.
We know there are logistical issues covering a story in Venezuela, but have we become so culturally deprived that our attention span immediately gravitates to a jerk with no filters involving common sense?
Cue the SportsCenter theme song here.
The network gives us what we want, and apparently we can’t get enough of T.O.-TV. Mike Wise, a sports columnist with the Washington Post, recently wondered in print when ESPN had evolved into “Al-Jazeera for Athletes.”
Contrary to what Mick Jagger once said, we do get what we want:
Petulant athletes whining about the supreme struggle of only making $12 million over the last two years. Throw in Rosenhuas, the egomaniacal camera kisser, who jacked up the embarrassment and absurdity quotient Tuesday by taking questions after Owens read his sincere (yeah, right) mea culpa.
This is the reality TV that America craves, which is why no-talent bimbos like Paris Hilton can snag their own TV shows, and why Terrell Owens — talented but dare we say a tad troubled? — becomes the center of the sports universe this week.
I wonder if somewhere in a dingy jail cell in Caracas, Ugueth Urbina is watching the madness unfold.
Venezuelan jails have cable? That’s pretty cool.
Much as I can appreciate Diaz’ hysterical tone and gratuitious insults directed at Paris Hilton, I’m not sure I really get the comparison. Owens’ actions aren’t headlines merely because he’s a self-centered pain in the ass; his on-field exploits have helped make him one of the most well-known players in what is arguably America’s most popular team sport. Urbina, for his part is a journeyman reliever whose Q rating is somewhat lower. Were Barry Bonds, Gary Sheffield, Albert Pujols or Roger Clemens (a guy can dream, right?) banged up and facing attempted murder charges, I think we could count on ESPN to do the right thing.