Thursday, April 05, 2007

Beers with Jim Rome

This week I had a role in a minor sport brouhaha. I was the editor of an interview by a soccer fan with Eric Wynalda, a Hall of Fame soccer player and current ESPN Soccer Analyst, which was posted on a website I admin.

And, despite some misgivings, I left in a graphic reference by Wynalda to Jim Rome. One which, in context of the interview, was fueled by passions felt by all of us each time Rome makes a disparaging reference to our favorite sport. To wit, Wynalda spoke for all of us little guys.... and I felt it displayed the passion he had for the sport and how he felt about promoting it.

The references and threats, of course, were not literal. I'm sure that Wynalda wouldn't do physical harm to Rome any more than anyone else disagreeing with his views. In fact, I'm pretty sure that Wynalda would extend himself to prevent Rome from coming to harm.

But inactions ALSO have consequences. If I had removed that part, then the interview would have stood well enough on its own. We would have gotten a fair number of hits, though nothing like the huge number we got once word spread around the net and Rome mentioned it on his show.

The author, not a writer but a regular fan, would have objected and he would likely have posted it elsewhere, but I would have been off the hook as would the site owners.

That of course is no excuse. And I accept my responsibility for the guarded nature in which Wynalda will treat any ordinary guy wanting to talk to him in the future.
And the fact that he had to issue the boilerplate apology, not only on Rome's show but on Sportscenter.

The upshot of this, of course, is that Rome wasn't harmed in the least, only Wynalda was. Rome might even get his ratings hiked a fraction of a point And I can safely say, from the vantage point of years, that Rome might have spoken on a passionate subject in much the same way.

And that is what really bothers me; Wynalda's passion and rantings are real... and what he really think, while most viewers believe Rome's are just show biz.

Somehow, within this incident, that just doesnt seem right.

1 comment:

CrewArsenal said...

While I haven't seen the clip or read the stuff Waldo said, I did hear it caused a big brouhaha. I also did not know you were involved!

Rome does make some pithy comments, but I can't take more than a few minutes of him.