Sportress of Blogitude


Frank DeFord Picks Up His Pen For A ‘Grumpy Old Men’ Take On Twitter, Interesting Take On Tiger


Frank DeFord has been around the block once or twice and has forgotten more about sports than most of us will ever know, so as he gets older, we should all take his opinions with a grain of salt, specifically when he chooses to discuss newfangled, highfalutin, gosh-darned contraptions like Twitter.

In his most recent column for, “There are no guarantees … no matter how much we insist,” DeFord initially opines on why, with an astonishing degree of frequency, the modern athlete feels compelled to make guarantees regarding victories, personal accomplishments and the like. Moreover, he lays part of the blame on the media:

Actually, I don’t primarily blame athletes for this guaranteeing nonsense — which is just enthusiasm run amuck. I blame my colleagues in the media for promulgating this idiocy. It would be the equivalent of financial writers breathlessly printing verbatim whenever some unqualified analyst guaranteed that he could double your money in one stock overnight. Come on, guys, just because some jock babbles incoherently, you don’t have to pass it on.

Awesome. If I could ever write a paragraph about sports that eloquent, I’d give up the blogging game immediately afterward. But I will never accomplish such a feat, so I suppose I will be forced to continue “promulgating this idiocy,” to borrow a phrase from DeFord.

DeFord isn’t done with what’s wrong with sports by simply castigating his colleagues. He has some critical words about all this malarkey surrounding Twitter.

Now that’s why I do like it that so many athletes are using Twitter these days. First of all, Tweeting is a good fit for athletes because it doesn’t require an ability to spell correctly or employ grammar, neither of which most of our erstwhile student-athletes are reel gude at. Secondly, Tweeting is specifically meant for those who have signed up for the Twitter universe, so those of us who do not wish to be bombarded by aimless, misspelled chatter are a protected species.

Indeed, wise sage.

DeFord wraps up his column about all this guaranteeing nonsense with something he considers an even worse trend afflicting the modern athlete: their affinity for apologizing, but even more specifically, their misguided attempts “at least making a stab at it.” He insists that if a professional athlete is going to apologize simply for the sake of apologizing, then don’t even bother.

Which brings us to his unique perspective on the Tiger Woods situation. In DeFord’s view, when Woods returns to golf, he shouldn’t even have to bother discussing the transgressions he committed in his personal life:

Finally, if I may say one good word about Tiger Woods it is that he had the decency to get lost. I would only hope that when he reappears he stands up before the assembled press and says only, “Ladies and gentlemen, I tee off at noon tomorrow, and I’ll be happy to discuss my round afterwards.” We don’t need to hear anything else. But, you watch, his handlers will make him apologize and confess.

I guarantee it.

I wouldn’t expect this take from most of DeFord’s journalist brethren. Perhaps that’s what makes it so damn refreshing.

I’m not sure, but I think this old coot might have a pretty good idea what he’s talking about here, and it’s a comfort knowing that guys like Frank DeFord are still around.

There are no guarantees … no matter how much we insist []