Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Story Behind the Story

On any given day, a lot of things happen that are picked up and reported on by the media. Most of the time though, what you hear on TV and read online is just what's right in front of you. Often, you have to filter through all of the garbage to look for the real news in any given story. This is where I help you do exactly that.

Now, I give you three stories as they were reported originally, and with a little help, you'll see what you missed the first time around:

Story #1: By now, all of you have heard about the high school kid who ran onto the field at the Phillies game on Monday night. After eluding security for about 30 seconds, they finally tasered his ass and arrested him. Listening to ESPN all day, the story was whether or not security acted excessively in using a taser. In my opinion, if the kid didn't want to get several thousand volts of electricity shot through his body, he shouldn't have run on the field in the first place.

But in all of this, everyone missed the real story. Take a look at the picture on the right, and see what you notice. The security guard shooting the taser? Nope. The kid? The pained look on his face? Try again. How about his t-shirt?

Yes, how about the shirt -- his 2008 NL Champions shirt. Wait, what? Didn't the Phillies win the World Series in 2008? They sure did. But he's wearing an NL Champions t-shirt? Yep.

If the Phillies had lost in the World Series, this would be fine. A 2009 Phillies NL Champions shirt from last year when they lost the World Series to the Yankees would be perfectly acceptable. But why celebrate the fact that you merely made it to the World Series if you actually won the whole thing? 

I don't own a Giants 2008 NFC Champions shirt or any 2010 Duke ACC Champions gear, and I definitely don't have any Yankees stuff that reads "2009 ALCS Champions" on it. So the real story here is that this kid deserved to get tasered, not for running onto the field, but because of his wardrobe. If you can afford Phillies tickets, you can afford a Shane Victorino shirsey. It's time to upgrade.

Story #2: We'll stay in Philly for this one. (Yes, I know the game was actually played in Boston.) During a second period scrum of Game 2 of the Bruins-Flyers series, Bruins forward Marc Savard bit Flyers goon Daniel Carcillo's finger. After the game, Carcillo called Savard "cowardly" and then ambled off to the shower where he ritualistically sacrificed a baby goat. On ESPN today, everyone was talking about what to make of the whole biting incident, while largely ignoring an even greater issue: Carcillo stuck his finger in Savard's mouth and all that Savard did was bite it. 

I've played hockey. Even clean hockey gear is absolutely disgusting. As soon as you use any piece of equipment one time, it turns into a sweaty, smelly, bacterial mess. Keep in mind that the new NHL jerseys that are meant to wick moisture have the unpleasant side effect of having players' body sweat "pour into their buckets". Add this to the fact that it looks like it's been about eight months since Carcillo's yearly shower, and the story here shouldn't be the finger bite; instead, it should be that Savard didn't immediately vomit all over him as soon as he tasted glove. Marc Savard, I commend you for your self-control.

Story #3: Evidently, fat kids get teased more than kids that aren't fat. You're shocked, I know. Further reading informs that in order to protect fat kids from ridicule, you should help them make healthier lifestyle choices. So what's the real point of this article? Nothing. It's a puff piece. (See, I can make puns too.)

So then what's the real story behind the CNN non-story? How about that teasing fat kids is okay, but teasing fat adults will leave you with one less ear. Or maybe that the older a fat person gets, the more delicious their bullies become. 

I guess in the end, it's just a cautionary tale. If a kid is fat, make all the jokes you want. I was once a fat kid -- and not just the "oh, he's got some baby fat" type of fat. My Bar Mitzvah suit wasn't husky, it was portly. Several years later, my mom would describe what exactly portly sizing was by telling me, "it's what midgets wear." When I finally started dropping weight and getting compliments for not being so rotund, it felt good, so I kept losing. If not for some teasing when I was younger, maybe I'd be 400 pounds right now. Speaking from experience, a little teasing for being a fat kid isn't necessarily a bad thing. But on the flip side, if you're gonna tease a fat chick at a party, don't be surprised if she bites your ear off.

Hopefully with this fresh perspective into what makes the news, you'll be better equipped to handle everything that the talking heads throw at you. Until next time, stay alert, and don't forget to read between the lines.

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