It’s the NFL and sideline princess story that just won’t die. To say that it’s actually much ado about nothing is akin to stating that William Shakespeare “wrote a couple plays during his life.” The Ines Sainz/New York Jets/Clinton Portis/Lance Briggs/Brian Baldinger saga keeps going because public figures keep opening their mouths, and saying things so unintelligent that they make Glenn Beck’s insane ramblings look almost coherent by comparison.
This story and the 24 hour news cycle go together like young white trash males and driving without a shirt. You know the basic details of this stir already, so we’ll just dive right into how this situation is a lose-lose-lose-lose scenario.
By Paul M. Banks
Brian Baldinger, former NFL player, current Fox NFL announcer
I’ve always thought the television work of “Baldy” was terrible. He often sounds like he could be a cement-headed moron. Today, he proved it. On the Tony Bruno show, 97.5 the Fanatic in Philadelphia, he made numerous troglodytic statements including:
“Listen, these are painted on jeans. She’s got a shirt that is just glued to her body. There is nothing out of place. If you want her to walk up there and do an interview with Mark Sanchez(notes), put her in a room with Mark Sanchez. Don’t take her through the locker room. I don’t think the Jets are wrong in any of this. I don’t think they have to apologize for any of this. And for her to make any claims on harassment or of any harassment issues, I think she is just inviting it all upon herself in this case.”
He gave additional statements blaming the victim and expressing how much Sainz turns him on. I’m guessing a Viagra ad with Baldy is in the works? Denoting that Baldinger is a backwards meathead is just too easy of an exercise to partake in.
I fully concur with the opinions expressed by the author here.
Follow that link to learn more about what Baldy said and a link to the audio.
Clinton Portis, Washington Redskins tailback, “Locker Room Rights” Activist
On Tuesday, Portis went on the radio and described the locker room as a place where female reporters, in his distorted vision of the world, perceive the process of obtaining postgame quotes in the locker room like a potential bathhouse orgy.
“I think you put women reporters in the locker room in position to see guys walking around naked, and you sit in the locker room with 53 guys, and all of the sudden you see a nice woman in the locker room. I think men are going to tend to turn and look and want to say something to that woman…
…you know, somebody got to spark her interest, or she’s going to want somebody. I don’t know what kind of woman won’t, if you get to go and look at 53 men’s (bodies). I know you’re doing a job, but at the same time, the same way I’m going to cut my eye if I see somebody worth talking to, I’m sure they do the same thing.”
The expression is named “locker room talk” for a reason. It’s discourse that is so low-brow it makes YouTube comments look like a Noam Chomsky book.Yet Portis somehow found a new low. It’s backwards opinions like his that force homosexual athletes participating in team sports to remain in the closet. Where do these idiots come up with this idea that men and women going about their jobs would somehow be interested in treating their workplace like a man-meat buffet?
Back to reality, the locker room is actually a smelly, anti-septic, chaotic place that is about as anti-sexual and unromantic as you’ll find any where on planet Earth. I wish all the professional teams in every sport had a media procedure like college football and basketball. They bring the requested players/coaches out to you in the conference room. And everyone is fully clothed. Yes, even the journalists.
David Haugh wrote a must-read column in the Chicago Tribune entitled “It’s time to Address Getting Dressed.” I greatly enjoyed this passage about the locker room atmosphere:
Indeed, for different reasons, many men find it just as awkward a work environment. Trust me, men get belittled and ostracized too by players conditioned to intimidate. I’ve been threatened with bodily harm and called things that would make Rex Ryan blush. Things happen to both sexes that would warrant a trip to the human resources director in most workplaces. It’s arrested adolescence at its worst. It’s a locker room. Machismo rules.
And he’s completely right. One time I (along with the rest of the media throng) walked into the Detroit Pistons locker room, and one player exclaimed, “the leeches are in the building. The vultures are circling around. The pigs are at the trough. The rats are…” well, you get the idea. He went through pretty much every animal that’s ever been used as a pejorative to describe people.
So it’s a contentious culture to say the least.
The NFL rightfully condemned Portis’ remarks and the Redskins issued a statement with a forced Portis apology. Here, according to the Washington Times is what happened after that:
Asked about his remarks at his weekly media availability, the Washington Redskins running back stood at his locker and held up messages written on a spiral notebook.
Do you wish you’d never said it? “NO COMMENT” was the scrawled reply. Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth put a piece of black athletic tape on Portis‘ mouth.
What about the game coming up on Sunday? Portis flipped the notebook to another page: “THANKS FOR COMING.” Haynesworth put a second piece of tape on Portis‘ mouth.
Did you make those signs? Portis responded by turning to two more pages: “GOD BLESS YOU” and then “HAVE A GOOD DAY.” Two more pieces of tape from Haynesworth.
That was it.
So basically, Portis was too lazy, too careless, too unthinking or too immature to own up and correct his mistakes.
And he’s ripping off INXS’ “Mediate” music video. Which itself was a parody of Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues.”
And that’s probably a rip-off of somebody else that I’m not aware of yet.
Certain members of the New York Jets
We know there’s a few guys guilty of sexual harassment, and/or acting about as juvenile as Baldinger. However, let’s not paint with a broad brush. (Even if this is the same organization that once hired Jenn Sterger, the woman who defined trying to make a sports media career out of nothing but body parts, as an in-game host)
Negative gender stereotypes cut both ways.
Rock Mamola, wrote a must-read column on this topic for Chicago Now. He also came up with a solution to this quandry that would make sure incidents like this never happen again. Here’s an excerpt:
We as people EXPECT men to be more like cavemen and not be professional. That is the sad part of our society. Men are EXPECTED to act like horny mutts in heat when they see a naked woman in front of them. Men are EXPECTED to act in an unprofessional matter when T&A are right in front of them. Men are EXPECTED to be thinking non-columnist thoughts when in those environments like that.
When it comes to doing a job society should not dictate that “boys will be boys” and women will be more professional than men. That simply is a non-truth and not fair to men to be judged that way.”
Like Tom Brady, I grew up the youngest of four children, all girls other than myself. When I was about 12 I asked one of my older sisters what the difference between “dressing sexy” and “dressing slutty” is.
Never forgot the response: “sexy is when plenty is still left to the imagination. There’s something left to work for. Slutty is when it’s all out there, and the girl is clearly desperate for attention.” To analogize, Barry White sings about “making love” while Lil Jon raps about stuff that’s not safe to publish, if you know what I mean.
Fast forward to 2008, when a former female colleague tells me over drinks in the Gold Coast, “I always lead with my brain, not with my boobs.”
Just like anyone who says “I’m not a weirdo or anything,” is in actuality an axe-murderer. Anyways, this same girl once emailed me for the sole purpose of informing me that Charles Barkley commented on the size of her rack. And I later heard rumors that both the Bears and Blackhawks kicked her out of practice for dressing inappropriately. So it’s obvious she was just lying to herself at that point.
I like boobs, legs, butts, eyes, the small of a woman’s back etc. as much as the next guy, but sex is what you sell only when you have nothing else of worth. A sexy woman looks attractive when she’s dressed professionally. Not just in instances when she’s dressed like a slag.
And Jenna Fischer looks attractive when she wears anything and everything, period. Seriously, in anything from a bikini to a nuclear waste contamination suit, “Pam Beesly” is hot!
But earlier this week, I referred to Sainz as a “reporter.” That was inaccurate and lazy on my part. She’s more like a boxing/mma ring girl holding the sign indicating what round it is. Just slightly more clothed and holding a microphone. As someone who wore a wedding dress to past Super Bowl Media Days, her act is more fitting for the circus then the field of journalism. But again, it doesn’t mean the Jets are in the right. It looks very possible that everyone here is in the wrong.
Peggy Kusinski, of the local NBC affiliate said it best on Chicago’s 670 The Score this week. “If it’s something you’d wear to a club, you don’t wear it to work.”
Exactly. This isn’t hard people.
If you want success, you have to dress for it. If you want people to take you seriously, you must act serious.
In order to do “big business,” you must go “about your business” in a “businesslike fashion.”
I’ve seen “reporters” dress more inappropriately than Sainz. While reporting on a Bears practice in 2008 I saw a young male reporter in an Oakland Athletics t-shirt.
WTF?? Why would you wear anything affiliated with ANY team to cover a pro sports team?
Unfortunately, this story has no definitive moral. This medium has no certain message.
Except for this one, echoed by Dr. Evil “Why am I surrounded by frickin idiots??!!!”
Oh, and I’m hoping this story dies down soon too. That would be nice.
Paul M. Banks is President and CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest focused webzine. He is also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Chicago Tribune’s blog network, Walter Football.com, the Washington Times Communities, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com
You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank and @bigtenguruFollow paulmbanks