Home / frontsports / Sports Media Pundits Should Stop Acting Like Know-It-Alls
ESPN First Take

Sports Media Pundits Should Stop Acting Like Know-It-Alls

Sports media is among the most negative things in the United States. There are many sports writers and analysts that are fair, but the majority has always seemed to go with a pessimistic slant—because it’s very easy to be negative.


The rise of social media has led to the rise of negativity in sports media, as many are eager to share their own thoughts about how a player or coach is “bad” or to retweet one of the big personalities from three- and four-letter networks spewing their usual daily nonsense.


Last week, supposed experts of all sports, Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman of ESPN’s First Take, questioned whether the Oakland Raiders should move on from quarterback Derek Carr. Given First Take is a ridiculous, mindless debate show that discusses these sorts of things, it’s probably a fair discussion for the venue.


But Carr felt Smith (who has no problem calling players “scrubs” and other names from behind the safety of a screen) and Kellerman (who said Carr “didn’t want it”) crossed the line.





Carr arguably went too far challenging the ESPN hosts to a fight, but it’s easy to understand the quarterback’s frustration. Because Smith and Kellerman have a platform, they think it’s OK to say anything about professional athletes and coaches; Carr obviously doesn’t think that’s right, and his tweets indicate it’s not just an issue with the First Take debaters.


You could certainly argue Carr should just ignore the negative noise, but it’s hard to have a problem with someone defending their reputation—unfortunately a lot of people actually watch, listen, and are influenced by First Take—especially against a couple of guys that have no idea what they’re talking about.


It’s fair to say Stephen A. Smith’s football credibility went out the window in just 30 seconds last month.



Mistakes happen, but Smith clearly can’t actually watch much football to get all that wrong—particularly the Hunter Henry and Derrick Johnson part—like he did. So if you’re Carr, it probably doesn’t feel right when you have guys like that criticize you.


Still, negativity sells. Many people have had a ton of success by yelling the loudest and being the most negative. While some might call that “keeping it real,” I consider it either going out of your lane or selling your soul (the networks love hiring negative and opinionated people because it leads to controversy, which leads the ratings—just look around).


My theory is that for some of the “experts,” being negative simply makes them feel better about themselves. This is especially true for people on Twitter—like those on television and radio, these people also use a shield (social media) to basically write things they would not say to the face of the person they’re criticizing.


It’s difficult to pinpoint another reason for 30-50-year-old men feeling it’s OK or normal to criticize young athletes competing collegiately or trying to play professionally.


Take note of these next few months leading up to the NFL Draft, and you’ll see plenty of geniuses hatefully giving opinions on players. Some guys become targets of the negativity mob for some reason—last year former Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen was among the biggest targets, and this year it looks like it’ll be former Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley.


If a critic happens to be right one out of ten times, you’ll never hear the end of it. If a critic is wrong, their “take” is simply forgotten, ignored, or deleted.


The reality is no one within the NFL and other leagues actually takes negatively-opinionated sports pundits seriously. But unfortunately, despite the fact that sports coverage has gone off the deep end, that doesn’t mean the negativity will ever stop.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *