by Ryan Meehan
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant has been the center of attention because of his antics on the sideline of Sunday’s last minute loss to the Lions. This was a game that I understood there was going a certain level of frustration for a lot of the Cowboys players. But Dez made a scene of it, and now it’s front page news.
What Dez Bryant seems to have forgotten is the Cowboys aren’t exactly strangers to blowing games like this one. Perhaps the reason everyone else on the sideline was so calm is that they know damn well they should be 6-2 and running away with the division now known as the NFC Least.
Bryant may have a point. He isn’t being targeted late nearly as much as he should, but when you’re constantly saying that you want the ball a lot of times regardless of your skill level the coaches and quarterbacks around the league just seem to ignore it because wide receivers always say shit like that. Believe it or not, Keyshawn Johnson may have a point here – a guy that’s your main guy only having been targeted six times in the fourth quarter through eight games is just shitty play calling/decision making. And far be it from me to stand up for Tony Romo and Jason Garrett to say that they aren’t prone to those things. But that’s not the point here.
This was going on during the game. While the Cowboys were trying to stop the Lions from putting together a game winning drive that shredded their exhausted defense, Dez was stalking the sidelines with his 1987 flattop/fauxhawk barking about his lack of touches late in games. For the most part, he was distracting the whole team from the task at hand (stopping the Lions from getting in the end zone with a minute left) In layman’s terms, basically he’s acting like a little bitch. But that isn’t the point here either. This is what I want to know:
When did using the excuse of being passionate about your craft become an acceptable defense for poor behavior?
Seriously, that’s the real issue at hand. Why is being “passionate about something” also all of a sudden an excuse for overreactions, flying off the handle, and just “snapping shit” in general?
And is this a slippery slope here? Let’s just say that for the sake of this argument Justin Bieber (or some other A list celebrity with a lead foot) gets busted tomorrow for going 115 miles per hour in a school zone. Does this mean that he can now say “Sorry, officer…you have to understand…I just have a passion for driving” and get away with a warning? Don’t you see how ridiculous that sounds?
I discussed this briefly on Neil’s radio show Monday night…Almost everything that you do other than paying your bills and doing your laundry should require some sort of passion. You don’t have to be a professional football player in order to have passion – There are kids beating on buckets on a Chicago street corner right now and taking tips so that they and their nine siblings can eat that night. That takes passion, and they certainly don’t have to yell (or even look at) at Tony Romo.
So why is it considered an acceptable thing for an athlete that makes millions of dollars to cry “Passion” to justify his poor actions? At what moment in time did American Culture accept the “Passion” excuse? And then it hit me…
Mel Gibson. (Stay with me here, I can explain…) When Mel Gibson was facing accusations that his movie “The Passion of the Christ” depicted Jewish people in a negative light, he said something along the lines of “The reason why some people believe that my beliefs are so severe is that I am so passionate about what I do that it may come off to some as being offensive” (I couldn’t find the exact quote anywhere online, but that was the gist of it…)
And that’s precisely the moment that it became okay to use that defense. Mel Gibson still has an insane amount of money and he can do pretty much whatever he wants. His thoughts about Jewish people haven’t stopped him at all which is crazy when you consider a large portion of the film industry is run by people of that particular religious group. The guy’s probably got more Holocaust jokes than Don Rickles, and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it.
Now as you know here at Sports Blog Movement we certainly are far from being the ethics police. If you can find another Sports Writing Collective online that is anywhere near as hardcore as this one, I’d love to see it because I doubt it’s out there. If I don’t know any better, I’d think that we were getting paid by the “Fuck” if you know what I mean.
Dubs made the point in the What We Learned piece that Dez Bryant is slowly (but not that slowly) becoming one of the most hated men in professional sports today. In a way, he’s sort of becoming the Anti-Christ in a league that’s main focus is protecting the quarterback. One of the byproducts of such a focus is that wide receivers are still made out to be hotheads, an assumption that sticks because it’s true about 90% of the time anyway.
Bryant is going to continue down along this path, and if he doesn’t keep getting the ball in clutch situations we’re bound to hear even more of it. Especially when somebody like Keyshawn Johnson is getting on television and reminding people that might be the case. But it will be okay because it will be his passion that will be driving it. It’s the “Passion of the Anti-Christ”, if you will…