by Jim Hague
There’s no question that New York Post sports columnist (or drivel contributor, as I’d prefer to call it) Phil Mushnick has angered me to no end about things he’s spewed on the wasted space of the Post.
I am not one to just simply write off the Post as being a bad newspaper. I have good friends like Mike Vaccaro, Fred Kerber, George King, George Willis, Mark Cannizzaro and Dave Satriano who do a great job writing and reporting for the Post. They are all excellent journalists and credits to the craft.
But Mushnick is an embarrassment to journalists everywhere. He constantly spews venom, crap that makes absolutely no sense.
A few years ago, he ripped Jersey City and St. Peter’s College’s Yanitelli Center as being in a crime-ridden area and that it was unsafe to hold high school basketball games there at night. I wrote an e-mail to him, criticizing that column and he admitted to me that he had never been there! How could have he written such a scathing picture of Jersey City and especially Yanitelli if he had never even been there? It blew me away.
Anyway, Monday morning, Post readers of Mushnick got the chance to glance upon these pearls of journalistic wisdom, thrown at Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, just a few days after it was learned that Peterson’s 2-year-old son was murdered by the man who was involved with the child’s mother.
Ready for this? It’s beyond sickening.
We in the media — especially those working event broadcasts — have a horrible habit of blindly or wishfully reporting great achievers are additionally blessed: They’re great humans.
Among many others, we did it with Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong. Last year, we began to do it with Adrian Peterson, before, and then after, he was selected the NFL’s MVP. With every big game — 2,037 running yards worth — the media bloated his profile: There runs Superman, a super guy, too.
“We talked with him after practice, and let me tell you this and that about Adrian Peterson.” “Adrian Peterson still finds time to do charity work in the Twin Cities area.” Blah, blah and blah. Good equals goodness.
Thus it was unsurprising Peterson’s downside went ignored. In 2009, he was busted for driving 109 mph in a 55 mph zone. He dismissed that as no big deal, which was doubly disturbing — his older, full brother was killed by a reckless driver.
Last summer, Peterson was in a club when he and friends were informed that it was closing time, past 2 a.m. Apparently, Peterson and pals felt they would decide when it was time to close. The police report noted three cops were needed to subdue Peterson.
He spent the rest of the night in jail, arrested for resisting arrest (a charge that was later dismissed).
Of course, we all have to operate from are our own set of values, our personal sense of right from wrong. Perhaps, given current standards among NFL players — mostly college men, no less — Peterson qualifies as a man of good character.
Still, I’m stuck with what I’ve got. And it’s sickening the NFL’s latest MVP, hours after his son died — allegedly murdered — declared he was “ready to roll,” ready to play football.
Me? I’d be fighting for breath, my knees weak with grief, demanding to know why, who, how. Then, I suspect, I’d seethe with rage, swearing retribution. I even think I’d take off a day or two from work. Maybe a week.
The suspect in the beating murder of Peterson’s 2-year-old is the boyfriend of Peterson’s “baby mama” — now the casual, flippant, detestable and common buzz-phrase for absentee, wham-bam fatherhood.
The accused, Joseph Patterson, previously was hit with domestic assault and abuse charges.
With his resources, how could Peterson, the NFL’s MVP, have allowed his son to remain in such an environment? Did he not know, or not care? Or not care to know? Or not know to care?
Peterson couldn’t have provided his son a better life, a longer life?
Money can’t buy love, but having signed a $96 million deal, he could not have provided his child — apparently his second from a “baby mama” — a safe home?
But given Peterson’s father did hard time for drug money laundering maybe we’re both stuck with the values in which we were born, raised.
On Friday, Peterson said he was “focused” on football. On Sunday, he played. But it’s not as if murder doesn’t now regularly afflict the NFL.
Maybe Peterson’s son is just one more stands-to-reason murder victim, just another child born to just another “baby mama,” one more kid who never had a shot, anyway. Maybe, by now, even if we can’t accept it, we can expect it.
Now, is that sickening or what? How in the world could the Post allow such hurtful and venemous words ever to appear on its pages? The man should be allowed to grieve in his own way. Has anyone seen the pictures of Peterson with his son at training camp in August, kissing the little boy and putting his helmet on the child’s head, giving him a football? Those photos are priceless and now rip any good soul’s heart out.
That is, any good soul except Phil Mushnick. He chooses to bring up Peterson’s past indiscretions _ and those of Peterson’s father! _ in a mean spirited pile of shiite written just three days after the child’s senseless death.
And then he’s throwing around the term “baby mama.” Excuse me. If that isn’t racist, I don’t know what is.
This was clearly the most sickening sports column I’ve ever read. I’m embarrassed for my friends that work there at the Post. Words can’t begin to describe the anger I have for this conglomeration of excrement.
You can read more of my work at www.hudsonreporter.com, www.theobserver.com andwww.dailyrecord.com.