We here at Dawg Sports rarely engage in metajournalism. It’s tedious and boring and the sort of navel-gazing that makes people with English degrees the worst cocktail party companions on the planet. Suffice it to say that every day a legion of really bad sports stories get published on the Internet and if we pointed out and dissected all of them we wouldn’t have time to write about barbecue and the Drive-By Truckers, which is obviously what this site is about between National Signing Day and August 1st.
But every so often one of our brethren or sistren at the writing desk pens something so virulently, aggressively stupid that it catches our attention and all but requires us to point and laugh publicly. Today, Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune is that guy. The kind of schmuck you just can’t ignore.
Rosenbloom recently wrote a collection of words (I’m avoiding the term “column” because those usually have a theme or objective other than venting of long-stored bile) about how dumb the Chicago Bears were to draft Roquan Smith. Rosenbloom’s thesis, to the extent it could be called such, was that by having his car broken into and having his valuables (and team-issued iPad) stolen Smith demonstrated that he’s clearly not that bright.
That would have been bad enough. Because really, how dare the young man be a victim of a crime, right? The nerve. The unmitigated gall. Rosenbloom is tacitly painting Roquan Smith as some sort of buffoon, a caricature which anyone who has met Smith would find laughable, if not a little disturbing.
But what’s really sad and pathetic is this zinger.
In case you missed the story, Bears first-round pick Roquan Smith had items of great value stolen from his 2018 BMW X5 over the weekend while parked near his apartment in Athens, Ga.
At this point, you could ask how a student-athlete that the NCAA is so proud of not paying is able to afford a 2018 Beemer. But that’s not why you called.
Let’s call this what it is: a middle-aged white guy insinuating that there’s no way other than dirty boosters that a young black man might have lawful possession of an expensive car. It’s dog-whistle racism that is below the Chicago Tribune, or at least used to be. Because clearly Smith didn’t buy the car with an advance on his eight-figure salary, right? I mean how does a guy like that come to be riding around in a brand new BMW other than by being involved in some underhanded dealing? It’s not like he has some sort of endorsement deal with a BMW dealership for Pete’s sake!
Oh. I guess maybe he does. I could call Steve Rosenbloom a hack too lazy to do his research before going off half-cocked with inflammatory innuendo. And I’d be right. But more than that, he’s demonstrated a profound ignorance about Roquan Smith, the people with whom he’s surrounded himself, and the University of Georgia football program that make me pity him. Steve Rosenbloom will never be half the man Roquan Smith already is. Also, I’m willing to bet that within the next three years only one of them will still be employed in the Windy City. And that guy will likely be driving a BMW.