Yeah, Dad’s a little pissed.
Last night in Cleveland at a roast celebrating the Browns’ 1964 NFL Championship — it’s been a while, Cleveland — Kellen Winslow, Sr., who was there with his son, had a few choice words for the press critters surrounding him.
When asked by one critter if he has been able help Jr. through his situation, Sr. said, “I’m his father. What do you think?” Then he looked at that reporter like he was his father. Somewhere, John Chaney is smiling.
“That’s my job,” he continued sternly. “I take care of my son, okay? I treat him like a human being. I don’t treat him like a piece of property, like you guys have been doing. He’s a human being. He made a mistake. It’s as simple as that.”
Actually, it’s not quite so simple, since there’s a whole economy around an NFL team that depends on the performance of players. When those players make mistakes, it’s not just the players that suffer. But more on that in a minute…
“We’ve given you statements,” Sr. continued. “We’ve asked for privacy… We have not gotten it. So why do you expect us to give you more than that? We made a statement at the hospital, and two television stations and radio stations show up at his house. This is not a Jerry Springer show.”
Point, Mr. Winslow. Did you expect any less from the modern media, though?
Then another report said something about Jr. being a professional. “And you’re a professional, also,” Sr. snapped back. “So conduct yourself as a professional. He’s trying to conduct himself as a professional after he made a mistake. Presidents make mistakes. Senators make mistakes. Journalists, if you can still call yourself journalists, make mistakes…”
Which brings me back to my first point — when those people make mistakes, people get hurt. (It also makes you wonder why the press is questioning Jr.’s mistake a lot more than the President’s mistakes, but I’ll leave that for the political blogs.) Kellen Winslow, Jr., made a mistake that’s going to affect lots of people’s lives — everyone in the front office and on the field, ticket sales, local businesses, possibly a good chunk of the city’s economy. Successful teams bring revenue for more than just the players, after all.
Is it right that so many people depend on a football team’s success for their livelihood? Probably not, but that’s how it works in 2005, and that’s why we care so much. Jr.’s simple mistake will have a compounded impact on countless people — starting with Kellen Winslow, Sr., who’s got hounded by the media last night because of this.
But, y’know, don’t tell him I said that. I’ve gotten enough cross looks from my own father in this lifetime…