If you’re a regular viewer of NFL Network, one of the occasional talking points is the Atlanta Falcons not earning enough respect, despite the team’s 11-1 record heading into Week 14. In fact, one person recently referred to the team as “the Rodney Dangerfields of the league.”
With the Falcons losing their next game by ten points, the instant analysis may not have been very respectful in a different way.
At the start of the “NFL GameDay Scoreboard” program, analyst Darren Sharper was pressed for his thoughts on the Falcons’ 30-20 road loss to the Carolina Panthers; despite the loss, the Falcons still hold the best record in the NFC, at 11-2.
“A little chink in the armor, you might say, with the Atlanta Falcons,” said Sharper.
Hello, but haven’t we been down this road earlier this year? We witnessed three different ESPN employees use the same phrase to describe Jeremy Lin suffering his first loss since becoming a starter on the New York Knicks during his swift tenure on the team: Spero Dedes – the Knicks’ own play-by-play guy on New York’s ESPN Radio outlet – was disciplined (albeit by Madison Square Garden, which owns the team’s broadcast rights); ESPN’s Max Bretos was suspended for a month; and Anthony Federico was jettisoned for good as a Worldwide Leader employee for using the phrase as a headline for a story on said Knicks loss on their mobile platform.
Now, I understand there probably isn’t an Asian-American player on the Falcons’ roster (and please forgive me if I am mistaken). But that’s beside the point. When such a phrase can warrant disciplinary action amongst several people, it shouldn’t make a difference what the nationality of the person on the other end is. It’s an archaic phrase that ought to be phased out altogether in the 21st century.
I’m not calling for Darren Sharper to be suspended or anything – just use better judgment next time, Pick Magnet.