Guilty as charged.

My partner in crime, The House of White, went off on an astute and timely rant yesterday regarding the hollowness of an induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Good ol’ Randy woulda, coulda, shoulda included the baseball, basketball, hockey, golf, auto racing, soccer and Parcheesi shrines to that list.

He asked a plethora of rhetorical questions and even hinted at the answer, but may I humbly suggest that he stopped shy of putting it in black-and-white, underlined, in a funky font and surrounded by asterisks.

So allow me. Blame the media. No, I know you already do. Attorneys, auditors and prostitutes boast higher approval ratings among suspect professions.

This time, really blame us.

Blame us for always interviewing, writing about and maintaining a love affair with the quarterback.

Or the guy who scores every touchdown, without regard for the nine dudes who threw a block to get him there. Or the guaranteed sound bite machine who constitutes the easy way out on deadline.

Chastise us for turning every highlight reel into a one-hour salute to the home run and the slam dunk and rendering un-sexy the RBI double, the sacrifice bunt, the blitz pick-up and the pick that would have knocked Haystacks Calhoun into next week.

Rip us to shreds for worshipping longevity.

We run like paparazzi on crack every time Roger Clemens sits on the toilet during the winter and spring, oblivious to the reality that he is holding onto the 1980s more self-servingly than VH1. We are the reason Clemens has been paid $15.4 trillion per pitch to spin .333 ball for a .555 team. Our ignorant fascination with milestones and old people is the only reason there would even be a question about Pedro Martinez’s Hall of Fame credentials if his shoulder fell out of its socket tomorrow.

Ditto for football. If Thurman Thomas is a Hall of Famer and Terrell Davis isn’t, the scatter-brained Bill’s bust would be better served as a boat anchor. Then again, at least two or three members of the notoriously silent offensive line that blocked for Davis and John Elway should be in there, too. But we don’t like them. For more information, go back about six paragraphs and re-read.

Excoriate us for not being able to spell defense if you spotted us the consonants.

The truth hurts, but most of us wielding a poison pen either adore or abhor Brian Urlacher because he is white. Don’t give me that look. Go ahead: Ask a reporter to explain in 200 words or less why Urlacher is a better or worse linebacker than Ray Lewis or Shawne Merriman. He or she couldn’t pull it off if the 401(k) depended on it. It’s a popularity contest, or a test of our comfort zone. Our actual understanding of the Xs and Os is equal to or less than that of the super-fan bloggers we snicker at.

Slap us silly for creating the “chicks dig the long ball” philosophy that encouraged baseball’s brass to bat a blind eye at steroids.

We’ve allowed some of the most middling talents imaginable to swat 500 home runs or approach 3,000 hits, and now we have the nerve to cultivate a cottage industry out of debating whether or not each of them should get a bus pass to Cooperstown. All the while, leaving superior talents such as Andre Dawson and Jim Rice without a chance in hell of making the trip until after they’re dead.

The other half of my tag team had the enemy reeling, but he failed to apply the figure-four leg lock.

My profession has killed my profession. We’re helping bring down our broadcast cousins. And before my generation is due to collect the Social Security that won’t be there, we will have destroyed every attempt to maintain the historical integrity of sports.

Any questions?


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