Will Dexter Fowler Become A Verb… I get nervous when my Muse of Inspiration doesn’t deliver a WHAMMO topic to my keyboard. Because it usually means a 500 lb Go-rilla topic is headed my way which means headed your way thru me.
I saw this one abrewn’ late last week. It involves my Cardinals and their BIG off-season free agent acquisition – CF Dexter Fowler. Everything about the acquisition of Fowler has been as positive as any move a baseball team’s front office can make.
NOTE: A MLB General Manager labors under the same Can’t Win No Matter What He Does that a Power Five Athletics Director labors under. Every pro/college sports fan is certain he/she could do a better job than the sitting GM / AD “because”.
Anyhow…. Dexter Fowler came over from the “Hated Rival” World Champion Chicago Cubs to fill a glaring need for the Cardinals. Fowler has an infectious smile and overall positive outlook on pretty much everything. Everything he has said/done over the past two months has been simply wonderful…. WHATTAGUY! …. Until last week.
In an interview with ESPN (uh oh!) Dexter Fowler mentioned that the latest immigration order had “unfortunate” consequences for his family. His wife is Iranian and has relatives in one/more of the countries affected by the controversial order as it was originally interpreted. Their family travel will be complicated by the current order. Dexter Fowler DID NOT “Go Steph Curry” or “Go Gregg Popovich”. He did NOT mention President Trump directly or indirectly. He did not disparage any segment of the St Louis Cardinal fan base or citizens of St Louis. He simply recounted how the travel order affects his family.
Fowler did add that baseball players “are human and not property of the team they play for…” In his 8-10 year pro baseball career he has no history of “causing trouble” at all. In fact he is universally known as “a great clubhouse guy”. …. But he has not played a single game yet wearing “the birds on the bat” uniform.
When I read his original comments my finely-tuned Ohhh Crap-meter went TILT. I guessed (correctly it turns out) how this would play out in America 2017. I anticipated how knee-jerk opportunists on both sides would react…. and they did.
The first knees-to-jerk were the really scary stereotypical far-right-wing element within the Cardinal fan base. One Cardinal board monkey website lit up like the Vegas strip with predictably “unkind” remarks about Dexter Fowler and his perceived-political opinions. Versions of shut up and just play ball were numerous. Others, alas, were nastier.
If you pay attention to this stuff – and I do – the disparaging comments I saw were the usual predictable assortment. Nothing especially creative. Just daily reminders that Darwinian rejects are walking among us every day “breeding and voting”.
AND THEN…. Came the self-righteous millennial sports media guys auditioning for John Skipper to be ESPN’s next wave of Trump-hating social justice warriors. Every media market in America has “those guys”. The Triangle certainly does.
REMINDER: I have no problem with The Triangle’s Cadre of Self-Righteous Left-Wing Sports Media other than not agreeing with them of course. If their employers are OK with it, why not. With both WRAL and The N&O, the employers encourage their overtly partisan rants. I exercise my 1st Amendment right by not listening or reading other than tweets.
One keyboard galoot with Yahoo Sports – Jeff Passan – took the social media reaction to Fowler to indict All Cardinal Fans Everywhere – The Cardinal Way – et al. He stopped just short of blaspheming The Arch and Stan. Here’s his blowtorch comments.
Passan used Ten Comments to prove all Cardinal fans obviously are …. insert the usual standard issue insults.
Passan’s over-arching point was, of course, now in The Era of Trump, athletes, musicians, entertainers etc not only should have opinions…. They should use their bully pulpits to air those opinions. Left unsaid is “so long as those opinions are like mine”. The Jess Passans were not so enthusiastic about that “freedom of speech” thingy during the prior eight years pre-Trump. They were the ones ranting “just shut up and play ball…”
So what are my points in all this.
Point #1: In a less-combustible time, Dexter Fowler’s comment was harmless. Again it was NOT anywhere near as inflammatory as Steph Curry, Gregg Popovich, LeBron James, Steve Kerr, or assorted members of the Patriots to name a few. I don’t consider Fowler’s opinion inflammatory at all. I am, as you know, a Trump supporter. I wish Trump would take my advice on a few points; but, had he taken my advice this past summer he would not have won on Nov 8th. So what do I know ….
Point #2: We are at a point on the Road To Ruin of Western Civilization where mole hills becoming mountains will be weekly if not daily occurrences. When an athlete or entertainer expresses his support AGAINGT or FOR the Trump Administration he will be vilified and threatened with various levels of consequences by those of a differing opinion. That’s already been proven numerous times. Ask Tom Brady. Tom simply “has a friend”.
Point #3: There is a saying – “just because you CAN do something doesn’t necessarily mean it is the prudent thing to do”. I like to add to that – “Every action has an equal & opposite reaction”. Everyone, celebrity and average Joe, has the “right” to stand on a street corner or at a bully pulpit and blurt out their opinion on anything. One cannot “yell FIRE in a crowded theater” and otherwise create a public hazard but even that is going to get tested in the days ahead. We all know how Michael Jordan was berated by AfAm activists for his supposed statement – “Republican wear tennis shoes too”. I suspect Peahead Walker said that one too.
Go ahead and blurt your opinion (even if only based on one Tweet worth of subject knowledge) but don’t then complain that there was blowback as a result.
If you are desirous of attracting a maximum market for your product or service, is it wise to turn off 50% of that market by declaring your strong political opinion. My “friend” Very Angry Alex the Potty-mouth Author doesn’t care if “people like me” buy her books or not. OK, she made that decision. By the way…. Angry Alex is about 50 times angrier now than she was when she and I were “jousting”. I follow her obscene tweets…. YIKES!
Yes, I throw political chin-music here on occasion. That is totally to get a Pavlovian bark from Ol’ Kennel which it always does.
Point #4: Try to avoid the “They’re ALL a buncha ….”. I know it’s easier to indict millions of Cardinals’ fans by those Ten Comments by sickos. I offer my incredibly insightful reminder re: fan bases and political partisans:
All of US are like the BEST of us …. All of THEM are like the WORST of them.
I’ll leave it to AgentPierce to make the case for which side has the “most BEST” and the “most WORST”.
I just want Opening Day to get here ASAP.