Yesterday, in the throes of another heartbreaking loss, Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant became visibly animated on the Dallas sideline, prompting an outpouring of #HOTTAKE journalism from credentialed media members across the country.
Was he upset about the lack of targets from quarterback Tony Romo? ESPN sideline marionette John Clayton seemed to think so:
Dez Bryant blew up and started yelling at Tony Romo and coaches after being open but having no throw to him late in third quarter
— John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) October 27, 2013
Does he need to start acting like a professional, maybe exude a little more “class” like Calvin Johnson, his counterpart from the opposite sideline? Quoth the Raven’s former coach Brian Billick, “grow up”:
But what if Dallas signs Bryant to a more lucrative contract? Will his behavior only worsen? US FELLAS UP IN THE PRESS BOX ARE WORRIED YOU GUYS. From Jason Cole at the National Football Post:
Bryant’s actions set off warnings in the media and the locker room. Is Bryant a selfish guy? Does he need to be managed? Is he worthy of being signed to a long-term contract? Will he get worse if he gets paid?
These are questions that hang in the air like the smell of cigarette smoke. It leaves people to wonder if Dallas will be choked off by the scent.
Turns out, he was just talking strategy with Romo all along. I guess if you were trying to make good on a promise to go yard-for-yard Calvin Johnson – a freak, unattainable video game character reanimated in human form – you’d be a little excitable too.
So I guess today’s journalism lesson is:
1) Don’t make wild accusations about a person’s character simply to play into a self-fulfilling prophecy narrative you’ve lazily crafted.
2) Seriously, don’t do it. ESPECIALLY if you’re going to use the phrases “temper tantrum” and “grow up” while calling the game for a national television network (from a glass-enclosed booth, if you’re looking for a metaphor here) when you’ve, oh, I don’t know, had Ray Lewis under your employ.
3) Shut the fuck up.
(Image via Getty Images)