Yesterday, a Sports Illustrated story on player agent Josh Luchs was leaked to various media outlets. The agent claims to have paid a number of athletes from 1990 to 1996 while they were still in college, violating a number of NCAA bylaws. He gave names, dates and dollar amounts.
Today, on "Mike and Mike in the Morning", Luchs claims he did so because he didn't want his kids to look up information about him on their iPhones, or some other kind of self-righteous gobbledegook.
Quicker than you can say "Bawse", notorious tough guy Mike Greenberg had to ask the question that was at the front of America's mind. Guess what that was.
Not, "Are you (Luchs) aware of any other agents who engaged in such practices?"
Not, "Were you encouraged to this by any agency, and/or institution looking to funnel blue chip recruits?"
Not, "Of the athletes that declined your offers of money (Keyshawn Johnson, J.J. Stokes, and Dana Stubblefield), did any already have a similar situation set up with other agents?"
Nope. Greenberg felt that the most important question was, "Is this snitching?"
Bomani Jones (someone whose opinion I actually respect) has led a campaign the likes of the "Stop Snitchin'" tee-shirts that were popular back in 2005, aimed at folks who engage in Luchs' actions. He interviewed Luchs on his radio show, "The Morning Jones", and openly attempted to discredit him, not on things of substance, but the superficial. He chastised Luchs for offering a player tickets to a Janet Jackson concert, as though it made him less than a man. He openly laughed at him during his responses.
Jones tweeted that Luchs felt they would "attempt to make (me) look like an a-hole."
Jones' response via tweet, "I've made a comfy living off that schtick myself."
That's what "sports journalism" has come to be. Jose Canseco's revelation of the steroid culture in Major League Baseball. Floyd Landis' revelations about Lance Armstrong. The North Carolina recruiting fiasco, where Butch Davis' lost blue chippers Marvin Austin, Greg Little, and Robert Quinn before he even got a chance to fully exploit their talents for free.
We have only snitching to thank for our knowledge of these subjects.
Its a catch-22, though. You reveal the nefarious nature of a big budget sport, and you will be labeled a "snitch".
What's worse, the ones doing the labeling are the ones that should have been watching for these things in the first place. The viewing public is left to rely on snitches to remind these alleged journalists of exactly what their micky-ficky job is.
I'm a huge fan of snitching (yeah, I said it). In sports, and in real life. As long as there isn't any lying involved, I have no problem with it. I don't understand the fascination with protecting people who are doing something that they aren't supposed to do when you don't benefit from protecting them in any way.
That's what's good about a "snitch".
Everybody wants to say they "keep it real", and that's what a good snitch does. They don't lie, exaggerate, or fabricate. They simply tell it like it is.
"Did that guy do that thing that he wasn't supposed to do?"
While its cool to utter the phrase "Snitches get stitches", that isn't true. Not in Canseco's case, who got a best seller, a reality TV stint, and was just announced as a participant in next season's "Celebrity Apprentice". Generally, snitches get what they want; 15 minutes of fame, and maybe a small payday.
For that, they should be celebrated. What's more American than making a name for yourself without really doing anything other than talking?
Instead they're castigated by the media, and relegated to outcast by the zombie public, slaves to their cable news network masters.
So break the grip of shame. Be a slave to status quo group-thinking no longer. Free your mind, and your snitch will follow.