Dear TMZ, Leave the New Jersey Devils AlonePosted by whitecovermagazine
If we told you that sports journalism is far more shameful now than it’s ever been, you shouldn’t be surprised. So, when we see videos and photos of the New Jersey Devils “celebrating” a Game 6 loss and a Stanley Cup failure, it’s hard to feel good about the state of the media today.
(*Deadspin published them today, but they were actually re-published from folks on YouTube and the Unholy Crapdom known as TMZ. It should be noted that Deadspin actually criticized anybody who were criticizing the Devils for partying their faces off. A rightful opinion.
If you want to watch the videos, go there. We don’t feel like sullying the Devs’ and posting them on this website.)
The videos show the Devils leaving a club, hopping on a party bus, walking into parking meters, snapping up women, and just having an all-around good time. Hey, when in Rome, right? Or, Hollywood. Some of them are married, perhaps (we hear), but whatever. We don’t know them, or their wives, and we’re not surprised that men or women sometimes cheat on their spouses.
(Is that okay to say?)
After all, it is Hollywood. Folks there do far worse, and the Devils deserved to let off some steam. How do you feel on Friday when you finish work? Wouldn’t you love to get drunk and laid? Now, remember that these guys have spent the last 10 months abusing their bodies and they can afford to let loose properly. You work in a cubicle (or a toilet stall) and you think you need a night off.
The videos bring to light the always-newsworthy question of what is appropriate and what is too far. While actors, singers, and models strive for a life that is owned by the spotlight and, therefore, warrants a certain level of obsession from paparazzi and the mob that craves their products, athletes don’t all wish for this kind of treatment or exposure.
Hockey players certainly don’t. Well, some do, but not all. They grow up watching Hockey Night in Canada like it’s the Super Bowl, and the only rings they ever think of wearing are the ones they might someday win.
Sure, sports journalists have always been scathing and harsh, and they have often come to blows with their subjects who they have a professional duty to question and critique. That’s one part of the business, and hopefully that never changes.
But, there is another side to this coin, which is, “Should sports journalism become a paparazzi?” Is it really necessary to publish videos of married hockey players climbing into cabs with random women? Is it really the job of a sports journalist (and that J Word is losing its relevance by the day) to embarrass their subjects, especially when the Devils had no desire to flaunt their actions to anyone?
You can say that the media has always been like this, but there used to be some secrecy and confidentiality to the job, and players and writers used to belong to the same fraternity.
Take this quote from Jane Leavy, who wrote the book The Last Boy about Mickey Mantle:
“Bob Costas was the first and most prominent baseball sage to counsel me not to write another biography of The Mick. Throughout the five years it took to write the book, I heard Bob’s reasoned caution: Everything’s been said. So why say it again knowing it will bring pain to his loved ones and everyone else who loves him?”
That makes a lot of sense to me, and Mantle had already been dead for a while. Imagine what it must feel like to be a Devil, when you’ve got plenty of living ahead of you.
My guess is you’re not feeling the love.