Stephen A. Smith spews ignorant hot take on Josh Gordon and addiction.
1. When Stephen A. Smith tried to break down last week's Chargers-Chiefs game, but ended up exposing himself for not knowing much about the two teams, it was amusing. What he did on Friday, though, was dangerous, disappointing and dumb.
Smith was going on about the latest Josh Gordon news and ignorantly compared Gordon's addiction to other diseases while brushing aside all of Gordon's mental health issues and scolding Gordon for not taking "individual and personal responsibility." Addiction and mental health are connected. People don't WANT to be addicts. This is a chemical and physiological disease, clearly something Stephen A. is unaware of based on his terrible take.
I don't even want to get into analyzing the stupidity of each line uttered by Smith. He clearly knows nothing about addiction. He should talk to his colleague, Mike Greenberg, who clearly understands the situation and summed it up simply and perfectly Thursday.
Josh Gordon is not a bad guy. He’s a good guy with a very bad problem. I wish him well as he continues to try to get healthy. Whether he plays football again or not really isn’t what matters here.— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) December 20, 2018
This latest incident should also be a wake up call to ESPN. The phrase "stick to sports" is awful and never should be uttered, but the network needs to stop letting Smith talk about serious, non-sports issues. He already famously said women should not provoke men to hit them. His exact quote at that time was:
"But at the same time, we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation. Not that there's real provocation, but the elements of provocation, you got to make sure that you address them, because we've got to do is do what we can to try to prevent the situation from happening in any way. And I don't think that's broached enough, is all I'm saying. No point of blame."
Now we have Smith offering foolish takes on mental illness and addiction. My guess is that ESPN will make Smith do the fake apology at some point today, but it's meaningless and useless.
I can't stress this enough: Please don't ever watch First Take. Be better than that.
2. The latest SI Media Podcast features an interview with The Ringer's Bryan Curtis and phone calls from listeners. Curtis recently wrote a phenomenal piece on FOX outbidding CBS ($295 million to $400 million) for the rights to the NFC package in 1993 and the impact that had on the NFL. Curtis's story is filled with amazing anecdotes about John Madden, Pat Summerall, Joe Buck, Terry Bradshaw, Jimmy Johnson and many more. The writer goes in-depth on the podcast about those nuggets and shares more information about the wild story.
Following Curtis, the show is turned over to SI Media Podcast listeners, who called in with various sports media questions. You can listen to the podcast below or download it on iTunes.
3. I teamed up with my colleague Jacob Feldman to put together the 2018 SI Media Awards. We hand out the digitial hardware in a variety of categories, including Broadcast Team of the Year, Best Innovation, Most Bizarre Innovation, Best Rookie Analyst, Best Studio Show, Best New Show, Fastest Riser and much more. And if you haven't checked out the SI Media Podcast Year in Review episode, you should.
4. Not the Christmas news we need or want, but the replies are tremendous. Get well soon Bob, and keep on not stretching.
5. Vulture has ranked all seven Christmas episodes of The Office.
6. Mean Gene Okerlund doesn't get the credit he deserves for helping make the WWF explode in popularity in the '80s.
7. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: Merry Christmas to everyone out there who'll be celebrating.
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