Last Sunday, Gary Peterson of the Bay Area News Group fired off this line in an otherwise straight-up assessment of Raiders quarterback Jamarcus Russell:
Or maybe Russell, rumored to have spent part of the offseason at a clinic being treated for lethargy addiction, shows up for minicamp weighing 230 sculpted pounds and ready to work twice as hard as anyone else in the building. Sorry, didn’t mean to make you blow coffee out your nose first thing in the morning — just trying to cover all bases.
Though Peterson was trying to make a joke, at least one person didn’t get it. With that person happening to be a prominent member of the Bay Area electronic media.
NBC-TV sports anchor Raj Mathai cited Peterson’s “rumor” in his Sunday sportscast.
Mathai compounded his goof by not noting on-air that Peterson had referenced the lethargy addiction as a “rumor.”
Mathai’s report didn’t go unnoticed by venerable SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE columnist Scott Ostler, who noted the mistake shortly thereafter.
Ostler didn’t single out Mathai and the reporter’s name continues to be scrubbed from the comments section of the SFGate.com article. While I suppose it’s admirable that Ostler gave dude a break, this isn’t 1989. Thanks to the online sports media age, once Ostler brought it up, the video was bound to surface.
If I was Mathai’s boss, I wouldn’t be too hard on the guy. For all the ridiculous fake conditions people are getting treated for these days (see Tiger Woods), it was somewhat understandable that the NBC TV anchor didn’t get Peterson’s veiled attempt at humor.
Russell’s reax to all of this? He was rumored to have said, “blaaaaargggaaahhhhiwannnnnsizzzurrp.“