Reason # 1,398 Baseball > Football

From Florio at PFT:

Multiple league sources tell us that the Chargers have fined cornerback Antonio Cromartie $2,500 for complaining on Twitter about the quality of the food at training camp.

As best we can tell, this is the offending tweet, from July 31 at 3:46 p.m.: “Man we have 2 have the most nasty food of any team. Damn can we upgrade 4 str8 years the same ish maybe that’s y we can’t we the SB we need.”

That phrase translates to the following in English, we think: “Man, we have to have the most nasty food of any team. Damn, can we upgrade? Four straight years the same sh-t. Maybe that’s why we can’t get the Super Bowl we need.”

Per one source, coach Norv Turner has specifically told the team not to talk about any team matters on Twitter or any other online social media.

For one thing, baseball almost always lets its players, you know, go out and eat whatever the hell they want, even during spring training. Even if they didn’t, if someone complained about it, the next day there would be some kangaroo court cooking contest or something silly in which the guy complaining would be forced to do better. Or else someone would spike his burger with vinegar or something to show him what real bad food tasted like, and then they’d all giggle like junior high school students. No one would be fining anyone $2,500, that’s for sure. I don’t think the Army would even make you do push-ups for criticizing the sh*t on a shingle. They know it’s sh*t and they don’t care: you’re eating it, and that’s all that matters.

I know this is a silly example of it, but there’s a basic humanity about baseball that is almost nonexistent in modern football’s, robotic, gladiatorial culture, and I just can’t look past it and enjoy the game.

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Comments

  1. J.W. said...

    While I agree with you on the over-arching point that baseball has a basic humanity and a soul and a sense of whimsy that football does not, I have to admit I can see where the Chargers are coming from here. What with Facebook status updates and Twittery Tweets, a player has access to a virtual microphone 24/7. In past, coaches and front offices only had to worry about players running their mouths to the media in some way or another, now the players don’t even need the middle-man of a media outlet, they can blast their message out there via Tweet, blog post, Facebook wall post, what have you. This poses a potentially serious problem for teams, who understandably generally want to keep as many things possible “in house” rather than having them go public. Personally, I think it’d be great if the internet would allow more immediate communication from athletes (and entertainers, politicians, etc.), but I can understand why a team would want to crack down on it.

  2. MooseinOhio said...

    Of course star player in the NFL can get busted for PED’s (e.g. Harrison, Merriam), take their four games suspension, answer a FEW questions from the media (who do not view it as a national trajedy but a reality of the game), return to the field and be considered an MVP candidate. 

    So I the PEDs account I score that NFL 1 and MLB -10.

  3. Bob Tufts said...

    Why should we even care what athletes say on twitter? Yes, it’s a new communication tool, but the substance of the tweets are akin to the teenage girls phone scene from “Bye Bye Birdie”?

  4. J.W. said...

    Personally I don’t really think we should care what athletes say on twitter. But I can see why a team would care if one day Cromartie instead of saying the food is bad says something like “I can’t believe Rivers threw that interception today, cost us the game, what was he thinking??” Putting a stop to team-related Tweets now seems to be the only way to keep things like that from happening.

  5. Splint Chesthair said...

    What could they be serving in San Diego that’s so bad?  What’re they ordering Dominos or serving SPAM?

  6. Craig Calcaterra said...

    ” In past, coaches and front offices only had to worry about players running their mouths to the media in some way or another, now the players don’t even need the middle-man of a media outlet, they can blast their message out there via Tweet, blog post, Facebook wall post, what have you. This poses a potentially serious problem for teams, who understandably generally want to keep as many things possible “in house” rather than having them go public.”

    Well, that just makes the point, right?  The insane controlling of the message? The sense that an adult should not be allowed to offer opinion about even little stuff like this?  I mean, I get that they don’t want players talking about closed-door lockerroom conversations, player disputes, etc., but complaining about the food?

  7. Travis M. Nelson said...

    Cromartie should have explained that this is when his people fast for Al Malaguena.  The NFL has to respect his religious beliefs, right?

  8. Craig Calcaterra said...

    I have an all religions calendar in my barracks. Don’t you try pulling that #### on me, Nelson.

  9. steveknj said...

    Football gets away with this and the PED issue because they make so much money and the union is so weak that the teams can do what they want.  I’m sure there’s an even BIGGER PED issue in the NFL than MLB, yet the money and the relationship between the TV nets that don’t want to kill the cash cow will kill any story about PEDs.

  10. J.W. said...

    “Well, that just makes the point, right?  The insane controlling of the message? The sense that an adult should not be allowed to offer opinion about even little stuff like this?  I mean, I get that they don’t want players talking about closed-door lockerroom conversations, player disputes, etc., but complaining about the food?”

    Well hey I agree with you; the Chargers seem to be treating this as a foot in the door issue—you allow a player to complain about food and pretty soon they’ll be airing all their grievances via Twitter. And the problem with pre-emptive policing like this, the problem with always fearing the “slippery slope” is that it gives no respect, no trust, and ultimately no freedom to the individuals involved. It’s, in short, rather totalitarian and paranoid. And I think it’s misguided on the part of the teams. You generate more goodwill, from players and fans, by not being so heavy handed (especially on absurdly minor issues such as this.) But as you say, that’s just not the NFL’s way. They treat their players with less than ideal respect and the teams and Commissioner’s office tend to be a bit draconian about certain things. But on the other hand, I’m not sure I can fully blame them. The league has had its share of behavioral problems with a lot of players. That said, I agree that things like this make me less inclined to watch the sport. But so do the behaviors that have led to this kind of excessive “policing.”

  11. kendynamo said...

    craig – once again your confounding MLB with ‘baseball’ and the NFL with ‘football’.  you did something similar when you compared the respective unions and then used that as evidence of baeball>football

    the type of food or how it is served at either NLF training camp or MLB’s spring training doesnt enter into any equation i know of how either baseball or football is better than the other.

    personally i think its a false choice, and both can be enjoyed equally without one taking anything away from the other.

  12. Ron said...

    In the Army, you never criticize the food, except through anonymous channels. The cooks wil find out, they will always find out, and they will let you know that they have found out.

    And in combat units, where the cooks in the dining facility are the same ones that go out to the field and do the cooking, you most definitely do not complain.

    Because out in the woods, there are no Dominos’. Only MRE’s. 

    The first rule of Army cooking is that you don’t talk about Army cooking.

  13. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Ken—On some level, I truly have a hard time enjoying the game of football because of what I know about the league which sanctions and governs its play.  Maybe I should try better to separate that, but I can’t.

  14. Andy H said...

    “Ken—On some level, I truly have a hard time enjoying the game of football because of what I know about the league which sanctions and governs its play.”

    Why don’t you have the same trouble with baseball, um, I mean MLB? Collusion, the Mitchell Report, the reserve system, etc.

  15. kendynamo said...

    since when did the NFL sanction and govern the NCAA or high school football?  or the XFL, UFL or other leagues out there?  Or the myriad semi pro leagues out there?  or the infinite rec league and pick up games being played constantly?  its the biggest and most successful pro football league in history but ‘footbal’ is much bigger than the NFL, just as anyone who writes off ‘baseball’ because of something they dont like about the MLB is doing themselves and the sport a disservice.

    you can still dislike football, but in this case i think the headline really should read MLB>NFL, and not baseball>footbal, since you dont talk about anything inherent to either pastime.

  16. Craig Calcaterra said...

    A couple of reasons:

    1. I’ll be honest that I simply like baseball more than football. This isn’t dispositive—I was a football freak for most of my life, and only shied away from it in the past few years (and then only the NFL, not college)—but it does mean that football has a lower margin for error in my good graces than does baseball;

    2. Unlike the NFL, the excesses of MLB have long been combatted by a strong union, and that’s simply not the case with the NFL.  The reserve system and collussion were ultimately defeated by the union, and the union stands ready to combat them if they return.

    In contrast, the NFL’s union has been beaten into submission, and its players today enjoy less professional and individual freedom than their predecessors did.  The league, through its rules and agreements with the players, has made it abundently clear that football players are merely cogs in a machine, easily replaced, easily discarded.  When I see a baseball player suffer a serious injury, I feel comfortable knowing that he’s really no less secure because of it, at least in the short term.  When I see a football player injured, I think “wow, I hope his life isn’t ruined and that his kids will be able to eat.”  Yes, that’s extreme, but we’re talking my subjective feelings here.

    I’m long on record as beliving that PEDs aren’t as big a problem to me as they are to many.

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