Sports writers, like any writer is told to be, are supposed to be unbiased. To write in the third person to the best of their ability; although in any subject relating to a team or a performance, any writer or ‘reporter’ is apt to let emotion of the moment, the game, or the series leak into the article. I live and grew up around Syracuse, N.Y. so of course that tends to seep into what I write although I do try to recognize when it happens and limit it. As many from the printed press are learning; this is a different monster this online format and we usually are our own researcher, fact checker, editor, and publisher. Add in the pictures and/or video and you are now doing several jobs; in my case, for pennies.
So as I read several different articles on my Kindle, I came across a story written by Rick Reilly for ESPN, ‘An ad doesn’t take care of everything’. (Read the story here) It is also a corrected version that I stumbled across as apparently it originally incorrectly named the ad agency that produced the ad for Nike’s campaign with golfer Tiger Woods, ‘Winning takes care of everything’. There is also a lot of similarities to another article complaining about the ad as read on Fox sports at this link.
Reilly’s egotistical and personal attack is unprofessional, biased, blatant, and if it were on any other news source would most likely have been either denied or deleted; especially for the seemingly personal vendetta this man displayed. Did Tiger’s actions in the past directly affect you Mr. Reilly? Or are you attempting to stand on a moral podium as you get personal about Tiger and Nike, for that matter? You take great pains in pointing out to the readers that your own son works for an ad agency in Chicago and his words on how they work is your voice of authority, the reason to take your position on ads, how it works, and Nike’s morals as well. You site the Lance Armstrong ad, Pete Rose, and Joe Paterno as your assault becomes transparent in its nature.
You throw your moral judgment down on Woods for his transgressions while married and his arrogance to seemingly everyone in the world, which he is above according to you, that he is a cold, callous entity who by God even makes himself as comfortable as he can when he rents a house for a week at each tour stop. Most of us watch him play, we don’t expect him to come over for dinner. You go so far as to talk about his texts to a fellow golfer (Rory McIlroy) and assume that you are in their circle. You then encourage people to admire the game he plays but not him as a person. You dig at how he reacts and talks on a golf course; if you are so concerned and it hurts your ears, then you have not been near any athlete in any game lately. Otherwise, you would not bring that part up; have you sat court side at a college basketball game in the last ten years? And Tiger is different how? What about NFL, NBA, MLB, even Nascar drivers? If all of what you bring up bothers you so much, why are you writing and reporting about sports at all?
Really? REALLY? Rick Reilly, you as a writer/reporter for ESPN, makes you no authority on the game, the man, the corporate world, advertising, or PR. Your own arrogance and personal agenda is both apparent and it amazes that it was ever allowed to be published. We all know ESPN goes for the shock value these days, but you have brought it down to a new low. Is it that you hope to get your son in on all that Nike gold and it hasn’t happened so that is why the attack steered towards him and what he does along with where? Did Tiger treat you like someone that recently tried like hell to drag him down, to destroy him in the public eye, and ruin his career? Were you his wife, his or his ex-wife’s religious confident? Are you simply just a petty, jealous, and vindictive man whose own ego gave you the idea that you somehow hold the authority to slander or judge any person? Didn’t you just go and do a lot of the same in the divorce and new girlfriend area? Is the pot calling the kettle black here?
Rick Reilly should be made to apologize immediately and should be hoping to keep his position.Eleven time sports writer of the year or not. Just report the scores. Keep your personal agenda and opinion to yourself. In a world of ‘what if’ that ESPN lives in, don’t bet on that happening.