2006-05-08

Another page from the theater of the absurd

In a decision fueled entirely by commercialism Reggie Bush has petitioned the oddly named NFL Competition Committee to allow him to wear the number 5. In any other alternate universe this would be utterly un-noteworthy news except as yet another example of the crotchety old guy-ism of the NFL. But SI hack Peter King, proving once again he has lost all sense of journalistic objectivity, takes up the case in favor of Bush.

King lists five reasons why the NFL should rule in favor of Bush, but in the interest of entertainment I will skip ahead to the fifth point of absurdity.

5. Helping Katrina victims. Bush is smart. Ornstein is shrewd. How about if Ornstein calls a member or two of the Competition Committee and says, "Look, Reggie will take half of his proceeds from jersey sales this year and give them to Katrina relief. Think about it. That's maybe $750,000. It might be a million. You know how far 750K goes in the Gulf Coast? It'll rebuild seven houses in the Lower Ninth Ward -- if they ever get around to having a plan for the reconstruction there.''

My complaint with King's piece lies not in his pom-pom waving for the reconstruction of New Orleans (a noble effort), but in the manner which Cheerleader King waves his pom-poms. King throws impartiality to the wind, and in the process literally puts words in someone else's mouth. The reconstruction of New Orleans has become King's latest one man crusade (at least until T.O.'s next rant) and King shows no remorse freely volunteering other people's money towards the cause. Perhaps if King has ever demonstrated his own commitment to the cause, his words would carry more weight.

In all fairness, King does not completely deserve to be the object of ridicule. In an article for Sports Illustrated magazine King writes on how the mantle of savior of New Orleans is being placed on Bush's shoulders. In a piece of anecdotal evidence, King describes how the Saints ticket sales phone lines (all 8 of them) where immediately busy after the Bush selection on Draft Saturday. Turning to more concrete evidence, the Saints sold 34,000 season tickets last season. The most season tickets the Saints have ever sold was 54,000 in 2001. So it will be interesting to see how many season tickets the Saints sell for this season.

Oh, and while we are on the subject I will guarantee that Bush's jersey (no matter what numbers he gets) will be the number one selling jersey this offseason.

1 comment:

Scott said...

I don't understand why rules just can't be rules. I don't know what the exact reason is why the NFL mandated in 1976 that certain positions have certain jersey numbers. Probably to make it easier for the officials to catch ineligible men downfield or something. Whatever. The rule is the rule and Reggie Bush, despite all his marketability, is not above the rules. Number 5 is simply not allowed for a running back. Sorry.

King's example of Paul Hornung is silly because Hornung was long retired before the rule was ever in place. "The power of 5." What a drama queen.