We understand that we watch sports as a release. We don’t watch sports to be intellectually challenged. Sports is a visceral thing. Sports makes us feel good (or awful). Sports make us yell in joy (or agony). Sports is not supposed to be the periodic tables.
Which is a good thing.
Because in our little landscape of sports, in New York City, we have been surrounded by stupidity lately. No, not just surrounded by it, but immersed in it. We are buffeted by brazen does. Nincompoops rule the day. Idiocy is the law of the land. And we are left to wonder:
Who is dumber?
1. Jason Pierre-Paul
Who he is: The Giants’ franchise player, a generally terrific and occasionally frustrating defensive lineman who was looking at the possibility of a $60 million contract extension that would’ve given him, his kids and his kids’ kids financial security forever.
What he did: On the Fourth of July, rather than seek out the most amazing fireworks show in South Florida, get good seats and watch the festivities in style, he decided to do it himself. There was an accident, he lost a finger, the extension, and apparently common sense since he’s shut the Giants down.
Stupid scale, 1-to-10: 9. Unless it’s worse than we know. But 9 for now.
2. Jenrry Mejia
Who he is: The Mets’ mercurial relief pitcher, who in the season’s opening week was busted for testing positive for PEDs and served a suspension of half a season. Though his teammates and his manager were openly furious at him when it happened, they welcomed him back gladly, and he responded by pitching well upon his return last month.
What he did: It almost seemed impossible to believe, but somehow, in the two weeks after his reinstatement, Mejia got snagged by a failed test — again — and by using — wait for it — the same exact steroid he was using before. It almost seemed like a tardy April Fool’s joke, but there’s nothing funny about it — not for the Mets, who lost a valuable arm for 162 games (or, likely, forever) nor Mejia, who is too early in his career to be able to afford forfeiting a year and a half of salary.
Stupid scale, 1-to-10: 10. There is no way to explain this, let alone defend it.
3. Sheldon Richardson
Who he is: One of the brightest young defensive linemen in football and a member, along with Mo Wilkerson and rookie Leonard Williams of what was supposed to be one if the most dynamic defensive lines in football. He always had come across as bright and thoughtful, not afraid of speaking out on controversy, unlike so many modern athletes. Until …
What he did: …. until he wound up suspended for four games for repeated failure of the league drug policy. That alone is absurd; it takes a lot to finally have a suspension kick in, all while you’re knowing you’re being watched. And then, this week, at almost the same moment he was apologizing for his “mistake,” it’s revealed he was arrested for speeding (over 140 mph) and resisting arrest — all with a 12-year-old child in the car, which allegedly reeked of pot.
Stupid scale, 1-to-10: 20. There but for the grace of God was the most tragic incident in NFL history. He needs to make fundamental changes in his life. Now.
Whack Back at Vac
John Sherwood: Thanks to Sheldon Richardson, I’m starting to get that old Jets feeling again.
Vac: Maybe the fact that I doubt you’ll see him in a Jets uniform for a long, long time will ease that feeling.
Ben Pape: If Tom Brady had admitted to everything prior to the Super Bowl — Roger Goodell would have held off a suspension till the game was over. Brady is not now bigger than the game — but he was then! Corporate ethics always wins out.
Vac: I wonder who wishes he would have done that more: Brady or everyone else in the United States of America.
@CouchPotatoCop: For all the heat the Yankees get for honoring former players: The Phillies just inducted Pat Burrell to their Wall of Fame.
@MikeVacc: I guess when you have 25 fewer championships to honor, the roster of all-time greats is a little less obvious.
Guy Miller: You just knew that Wilmer Flores home run was going to happen, didn’t you?
Vac: More than any other sports, baseball seems to have a direct pipeline to Hollywood.
Ah, if only the Angels had asked for an extra peek at Nolan Ryan’s medicals back in ’72.
It’s pretty clear the spotlight — and the scrutiny — immediately shifts from Sandy Alderson to Terry Collins now.
Why can’t all New York owners look at how John Mara conducts himself and realize: That’s how you do it.
Remember what I said about “Vacation” last week? After reading my man Lou Lumenick, I’d like to borrow from Emily Litella: “Never mind.”