Sunday, April 1, 2012

Everybody Hates Craig James

Did you know that college football broadcaster Craig James is running for U.S. Senate in Texas? If you follow Texas political news, maybe not. He's rather flailing, trumpeting his own endorsement of Rick Santorum, revealing painful personal details, and digging up his old feud with former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach.

However, if you follow sports blogs, you know all about James' campaign, as most of them are gleefully flogging every misstep.

At first, that was fine. James was the very model of the type of sports pundit that bloggers- and really, the rest of us fans, too- hate. He was pretentious without any real insight, he confused interest in the sport with interest in him, and was more interested in raising his own Q rating than in informing or entertaining viewers. Moreover, he's running as a Rick Santorum Republican, and fuck that noise. So, don't get me wrong: I want him to lose, too.

But the fact is, he is going to lose. He's going to lose in an embarrassing way, and he's going to drag all of his family problems into the media while doing it. I don't exactly have sympathy for him; no one made him run, so we're kind of in "This is the business we've chosen" territory here. And I have nothing but support for sports bloggers who want to use their platform to push back against reactionary douche-sewers like James (After all, James is using his platform to push his agenda, isn't he?). But still, I think there's better uses of bloggers' time and effort than Craig James at this point. Piling on serves no purpose. And anyway, wouldn't the best punishment for James just be to ignore him?

Put it this way: Craig James' problem as a sportscaster, a problem that was shared by enough sportscasters that the blogs arose, in part, as a corrective to them (or at least an alternative; let's not pretend bloggers have fixed sports media), was that he tried to make the game all about him. It'd be a pity if sports bloggers fall into the same trap.

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