Silliness in the heat of the moment
Hot weather occasionally makes people do crazy things.
In the summer of 1974, for example, it caused some people to become public exhibitionists. Strangely, their sanity wasn’t really questioned at the time, only their choice of outfits, especially when those choosing to run naked through crowds were hairy, out-of-shape men.
Streaking wasn’t done to cool off, only to look cool — or so the nudists thought. In retrospect, those appearances were definitely deceiving and the participants daffy.
None of the items I’m about to relate is quite as bizarre as that brief fad of the mid-’70s, but it seems pretty evident that clear and rational thinking is still on holiday almost 40 years later.
• Cap’n Klutz: San Francisco 49ers fans better hope Colin Kaepernick’s responses to on-field dilemmas this fall aren’t as clumsy as the one he gave when questioned about his recent choice of headgear.
A picture of the Niners quarterback wearing a Miami Dolphins cap on the Fourth of July became a semi-big story during a slow news period. Kaepernick’s faux pas might have been glossed over had he been a bit more low-key about the whole thing.
Instead, though, he reacted to barbs aimed his way with an Instagram that showed him holding a Dolphins cap and with a quizzical expression on his face. Accompanying the photo was the following text: “This the hat y’all mad at? I’m goin wear what I want regardless of what you think, all you need to worry about is the fact that I grind for my teammates and the 49ers! I plan on doin this until they won’t let me in the building! #ridiculous #y’allmustbebored”
Ignoring the fact that this was written by a college graduate, Kaepernick’s in-your-face answer to his critics was disturbing for another reason: He truly doesn’t seem to understand what he did wrong.
His apologists have said that since it’s the offseason, Kaepernick should be free to wear whatever he wants. But Kaepernick is officially a 49ers employee 12 months of the year, and it’d be understandable if team management were not too crazy about the QB’s attire.
Kaepernick could have worn a Miami Marlins hat without fear of reprimand, except no sane person is advertising his allegiance to baseball’s bottom-feeders these days. Conversely, he could have jumped aboard the Miami Heat bandwagon and been accused of no worse than front-running.
And had Kaepernick opted to wear a University of Miami hat, all that would have happened is that he would have been mistaken for the Hurricanes’ latest recruit.
But he chose a Dolphins hat. As others before me have stated, were Kaepernick operating in the corporate world, his actions would be akin to a General Motors employee driving a Toyota to work, a Coca-Cola worker quenching his lunch-hour thirst with a 7-Up, or a FedEx employee using UPS to ship his packages.
In some circles, Kaepernick apparently receives a pass simply because he’s a jock, but he doesn’t get one here. Maybe that’s why he bought pizzas for media members during Super Bowl week last winter — to curry their future favor.
And maybe I’d feel differently now if he had saved me a slice back then.
• Cap’n Klutz, Part 2: Are these hats fitting too tightly or what? Why do guys’ top-of-the-head fashion statements keep saying such dumb things?
In comparison to Mike Pouncey, Kaepernik’s misstep is almost comical. Pouncey, a Miami Dolphins offensive lineman, recently caught heat for wearing a hat that proclaimed support for former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who was arrested on murder charges.
Pouncey and his twin brother Maurkice, a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, both were photographed wearing Hernandez-related hats while appearing in public. Hernandez was a college teammate of the Pouncey brothers at the University of Florida.
Maurkice later issued an apology on his Twitter account, but Mike declined to do the same after being asked about the hats by members of the media. He did, however, acknowledge that he and other professional athletes “get paid a lot of money to act in a certain way, and that’s the way we should be acting.”
Well, that certainly cleared everything up. Personally, I suspect Mike’s been throwing too many blocks with his hat on instead of his helmet.
• Cash clod: Brandon Phillips is a very rich man, but you wouldn’t know it by listening to him.
The Cincinnati Reds second baseman isn’t being modest and trying to downplay his hefty, pro-sports income. If his words that appeared in a Cincinnati magazine are to be believed, Phillips really does view himself as financially shortchanged.
He stated that the six-year, $72 million deal he agreed to is “a slap in the face” compared to the 10-year, $225 million pact the Reds presented to Phillips’ teammate, Joey Votto, five days before. Following is part of the statement Phillips offered to the magazine:
“I just feel like they didn’t have to sign Joey to that contract. He still had two more years on his. And for (the front office) to go out there and sign him before they sign me, and they knew I was going to be a free agent. … I told everybody I want to finish my career here. And then they give someone a contract who didn’t ask for nothing? To this day, I’m still hurt. Well, I don’t wanna say hurt. I’ll say scarred. I’m still scarred. It just sucks that it happened.”
If a tear didn’t well up in your eye after reading that, then you are completely without feeling. No man should have to put up with such an insult, and only the most heartless of individuals would begrudge Phillips his rightful share of the Reds’ payroll.
So who wants to start the charity drive on his behalf? Hey, count me in, but before that happens, I do have one question for Phillips:
Can you please identify the management person who pointed the gun at you to get you to sign your contract?
After spouting off, Phillips, like Kaepernick, didn’t have the good sense to just ignore the criticism that inevitably followed. No, he compounded it by asking inquisitive reporters to “tell me exactly what did I say that was so wrong?”
Phillips went on to praise himself for his honesty in dealing with the media and said he “didn’t disrespect nobody.” I guess that means Cincinnati fans — you know, those folks who must spend ever-increasing amounts of their own slap-in-the-face salaries to attend games or purchase Reds paraphernalia because of the dollars being given to guys like Votto and Phillips — don’t really count.
Oh well, at least Phillips didn’t don a Baltimore Orioles hat in protest.