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Enough of the Forced Apologies, Reggie Bush, Rashard Mendenhall, Andrew Bynum

Wthe immediacy of modern technology, it is way too easy to write something or disseminate information that will be regretted about 3½ seconds later. (Please see: many of the other articles I have written.) Imagine if the requisite hackneyed apology existed throughout history. Nero: “Perhaps in retrospect, I probably should have done something else but play a lousy musical instrument while Rome burned to the ground.” Ivan The Terrible: “I got a bad rap. It’s not like I chose that nickname.” Attila the Hun: “I’m sorry for my actions. This is not how a barbarian is supposed to act.” Fortunately for these figures, immediacy of communication was a little spotty. Perhaps if there were YouTube clips of the Massacre of Novgorod or CNN footage of the Battle of Châlons, then things would have been different. (Feel free to Google the references.) Anyway, the recordings would be grainy. Flash forward to the present generation, where actions are posted and relived on the Internet before the left brain has had a chance to figure out what the right brain just did.

Sports figures give modern society innumerable chances to teach lessons to others by repeatedly completing the sentence, “See what happens when you…” To break it down into perplexes and oh no’s, the general playbook of athlete stupidity usually reads the same way: 1) Commit Stupidity 2) Wait for public backlash 3) Make heart-felt/gun-in-the-back apology at the request of media/PR person 4) Enumerate the number of people and entities you’ve let down and how you’d like to learn/move on from said foolishness and no longer answer any questions on the topic so as to not revisit the past (where have you gone, George Santayana?).

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ESPN Writer Asks Who Will Replace Deceased Alabama OL Aaron Douglas

Sad news emerged Thursday when it was revealed Alabama offensive lineman Aaron Douglas had died. The 21-year-old was partying with friends in Jacksonville and was found dead at a house Thursday morning, likely because of a drug or alcohol-related overdose. It’s extremely sad news for Douglas’ family, friends, and for the Alabama football program. But if you’re a writer for ESPN’s Insider Rumor Central, it’s an opportunity to ponder how it affects Bama’s depth chart.

Holly Anderson posted a picture of the post on her twitter after being tipped off by Football Outsiders. Here’s the post from ESPN Insider:

I’d post ESPN’s apology for the insensitive story, but you have to pay at least $2.50 per month to read it.

We feel compelled to share this story, even though ESPN has apologized, because the point needs to be stressed that timing is critical in determining what conversations are appropriate during death. Mere hours after a young man has died you’re talking about how it affects the team? How can you possibly be so cold-hearted to have such a conversation?

We cannot forget that this is the second time this same thing has happened at ESPN. Two years ago, the day Nick Adenhart tragically was killed in a car accident, ESPN anchor Bram Weinstein asked how his death would impact the Angels’ rotation. I would ask how people can be so insensitive and stupid but that would be a pointless exercise. This is America — home of the free, and land of the Darwin Nominee. Hopefully writers and broadcasters everywhere have learned from other people’s stupidity what is acceptable behavior during tragic situations.