Bleacher Bits: The 'curse' of the female athlete
Headlines grab my attention, but then again, that's why they're written. Sometimes they call my attention to an important story, but a recent one shouldn't have been above a story because there was really no story to tell.
A Thursday headline on FoxSports.com talked about racecar driver Danica Patrick's "foul mouth," so I clicked on it and was taken to a video of a huge non-story.
During the NASCAR Sprint Cup season it is not uncommon to see stories or video footage of drivers engaged in heated discussions or occasional fisticuffs over something that happened during the race. That's what I was expecting when I clicked on the story, but heard something else entirely.
After experiencing some problems while attempting to pit during the Camping World RV Sales 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 20, Patrick "discussed" the difficulties with her crew over the radio in her car.
Yes, she did repeatedly utter a word that would have warranted an impromptu snack of soap back in the day when parents could still parent. No, the word was not foreign to the ears of anyone who's done much sports reporting.
My biggest question was, "Where is the story?" Newsflash — athletes sometimes cuss.
Was the story the fact that Patrick is female? After all, girls are made of sugar and spice, etc., and no "proper lady" in today's society would let a four-letter vulgarity slip lest she want to be branded a woman of ill repute.
Before anyone else gets their bloomers in a knot, consider that Patrick was also circling a track and making split-second decisions at darn-near 200 mph.
Personally, I've needed to go to confession for words I've shouted in my car after feeling my progress was being impeded by someone driving 25 mph.
Watch any televised game when a coach or athlete has taken umbrage with an official's call and there's a good chance you'll be able to lip-read the person's true feelings about the decision. I spend a fair amount of time on football sidelines or near the benches in gymnasiums, and I have to admit that I've heard the occasional "shucks" or "gee whiz."
I've yet to see a headline where some hard-working sports reporter — since I know they all work hard — has convinced his editor that he has a scoop because he heard a football player use the word "damn."
The real story here is that apparently females who are athletes are held to different standards than their male counterparts, and I curse the reporters who still choose to do so.
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or firstname.lastname@example.org.