How about Peyton Manning? Derrick Rose? Lionel Messi? None of ’em, it seems, can hold a candle to the sporting spheres great personalities of the stoneage in the considered view of The Daily Beast’s Buzz Bissinger, who aside from the curious trio of the late Pat Tillman, Derek Jeter or Rex Ryan, cannot find any contemporary professional athletes who are “truly heroic or just truly colorful”. Only in the 2010’s could Brian Wilson routinely make references to a menacing-hooded figure from a movie about child-snuff-porn and not qualify as “colorful”.
No Yogi. No Ali. No Namath. No Brown. No Huff. No Billie Jean. No Nastase. No Bill Spaceman Lee. No men and women who speak with conviction, or are willing to take a stand regardless of risk, or are just delightfully funky and insane. Athletes do occasionally post interesting and provocative tweets on Twitter, only to immediately retract them by claiming post-traumatic Twitter syndrome once there is the slightest whiff of controversy.
The landscape of today’s Sportsworld is drab, choking on too many televised events and enough SportsCenters in one night to last a fortnight. On MLB.com you can see highlights of any baseball game you want almost instantly after they have occurred, not to mention watching your favorite team in stunning clarity on your iPhone. On ESPN.com there are animated simulcasts of professional baseball, football, and basketball. And those examples are a molecule in the atom bomb of the Internet.
Sports are not color and character today. Sports are content, endless reams and reels of it.
I hate to nitpick (really!), but I’d really prefer that Luke Scott was claiming post-traumatic Twitter syndrome.