As you may have heard, Mike Ditka has some thoughts about the movement to change the name of the football team playing in Washington (well, technically Virginia, but you get the idea). Spoiler alert: the 74-year-old white dude who once described himself as an “ultra-ultra-ultra conservative” is not a big fan of the name change idea. Specifically, he said he called the debate over changing the name “so stupid it’s appalling.” Which, to be fair, is actually an accurate statement except that he applied it to the wrong side of the argument.
Now, you might expect this to be part where I go off on Ditka for having a stupid opinion, but here’s the thing: I don’t give two shits what Mike Ditka thinks. And frankly, neither should anyone else. Seriously, why the fuck is Mike Ditka’s opinion even the slightest bit relevant to this debate? He never played for or coached the Skins. If I want to learn how to play tight end, or I need to know which brand of boner pills is the most effective, I might ask Mike Ditka for his two cents (but even then, there’s probably smarter people you could talk to). It’s almost like the media will take a quote on this issue from anyone even tangentially related to it and make a huge deal out of it in the hopes of garnering a bunch of clicks…
Actually, it’s not just this issue, it’s ANY fucking issue. How does Kim Kardashian think we should handle ISIS? That shooting in Ferguson was certainly troubling, somebody call up Gary Sinise and see if he can give us some perspective. This is one of the bigger problems with journalism in the TMZ era – anything any famous person has to say about anything is apparently relevant and will be sensationalized to death.
Consider back in July, when Gary Oldman got in trouble for saying something about Mel Gibson other than “fuck that asshole.” Was he wrong? Absolutely. But at the same time, we probably didn’t need a lot of huffing and puffing from every website in existence about it that culminated with Oldman giving a pathetic, groveling apology to Jimmy Kimmel. He’s a decent actor with shitty opinions, just like Mike Ditka is a good former football coach (and a mediocre football commentator) with shitty opinions. Sunrise, sunset.
Some will say this is about accountability, but a lot of it seems like mere sensationalism. We make a huge deal out any dumb thing a famous person has to say so that we can generate a bunch of pageviews. Instead of talking endlessly about Ditka’s dumb Redskins quote or Oldman’s dumb political correctness quote, from now on, let’s heed some advice from Paul Anka and Lisa Simpson and just don’t look.