Lots of people seemed to object when this outlet and others wrote about Robert Griffin III’s new house.
That seemed odd to me, because I can’t remember a single person complaining when we wrote about the real estate transactions of Chris Cooley, or Shawne Merriman, or Antawn Jamison, or Donovan McNabb, or Ted Leonsis, or Clinton Portis, or Gilbert Arenas, or a zillion other public figures from outside the realm of sports. At least, no one complained to me.
Neither do I recall people complaining when Esquire provided remarkable descriptions of Portis’s house and bedroom — “where the magic happens” — including the headboard of his bed, which “consists of an aquarium that nearly reaches the ceiling, a square-shouldered arch filled with salt water, coral, fish, and a freakishly large sea anemone that looks an awful lot like a gaping…” well, you know.
Neither did it seem to be a big deal when we wrote about the weddings of Michael Morse and Ross Detwiler and Jason Campbell and countless others. But mention RGIII’s house, or RGIII’s wedding? Have you no shame, voracious news media demons of inhumanity?
My own feeling is that if we post extremely public things about local sports stars — real estate transactions, television interviews willingly given by their mothers, photos they’ve posted on their public Twitter accounts — then people can sort of decide whether they are or aren’t interested. If they’re not interested, they can not click, and limit themselves strictly to breakdowns of Pierre Garcon’s route-running, which is fine. Probably no innocent kittens will die either way.
Also, seems to me that noisy proclamations about the invasive media are more likely to issued about RGIII, because that way people will click on the link. No one cares about a passionate rant in defense of Ross Detwiler’s privacy.
So while I love Jim Vance, I’m not exactly feeling his “Vance View” on behalf of giving RGIII some space. I also realize that 97 percent of the comments below will loudly agree with Vance and disagree with me. And yet somehow, every time we post some interesting public detail about RGIII’s life, thousands and thousands of people will click on it. Weird how that works.
“You know, I have cause to wonder if there’s something wrong with me,” Vance began. “Because while as I’ve said I love me some RGIII, I neither need or want to know when or how that man blows his nose. There must be something wrong with me, because it seems – and I’m told – everybody else DOES want to know that, and more.
“Now, that young man is utterly phenomenal, in SO many ways. But I, for one, would be happy to focus on his feats in cleats and let him have a life out of the unrelenting scrutiny of cameras and reporters’ notepads. Now I say I for one, because apparently I’m the only one. Local media, including this shop, seem driven by a passion – some claim their right – to climb up in every crevice of RGIII’s life.
“They tell me, in this Skins-obsessed town, it is impossible to do too much Skins coverage, because it’s what the fans demand. Now I’ve been hearing that for years, and I’m still not sure where’s the head and where’s the tail of that spinnin’ dog. In other words, is it really a fan demand or a media mania? They tell me it’s always been that way, but I know for a fact that’s not the case. I’m reminded of George Allen’s guys back in the early ‘70s when, on a number of occasions, I and others personally witnessed some anything-but-appropriate behavior by some offensive linemen and others, behavior that was not to be found in the paper or in TV sports reports the next day, or ever.
“Fans back then were enamored of the Over the Hill Gang, but they didn’t seem to crave knowing a whole lot more about those guys than what they did on Sunday afternoons. By contrast, a week or so ago, we showed some tape of RGIII’s new house. I actually felt a little creepy about that, a bit voyeuristic, if you will, especially with the pictures of his kitchen. I don’t want to know anything about RGIII’s kitchen. That is personal space, and none of us has any business up in there.
“You know what, actually I don’t wonder, I know there’s a LOT of things wrong with me, but one of them is NOT a need for all RGIII all the time. C’mon people. Give that man some room.”
At which point one of his fellow anchors said she’d like to see photos of RGIII’s kitchen.
As for whether the Skins coverage is because of “fan demand” or “media mania,” Vance knows the answer to that one.