Chicago Sun-Times writer Rick Morrissey published a hilarious article late Wednesday night that is blowing up around the web.
Morrissey essentially argued in his column, “Baseball isn’t exactly taxing, so why do Cubs players need rest?,” that baseball isn’t a tough enough sport that it would require athletes to rest, and it is every bit as entertaining as it sounds.
He wrote in part:
Rest from what? Running to first base? OK, OK, I don’t mean to be so flippant. Just a little flippant. Big-league teams have six weeks of spring training and then play 162 games, more if they make the playoffs. There aren’t many days off in between. It’s a grind, as players like to say. But once the season is over, most have 4½ months off. I’ll bet many of you would take that trade-off, given the opportunity. If there’s a physically less demanding major sport than baseball (catchers excluded!), I don’t know what it would be. An NHL season is 82 games, and it’s filled with all-out effort and high-speed collisions. Just try telling your typical hockey player, a bone sticking through his skin, that he needs a night off.
There is so much greatness in these two paragraphs alone it’s hard to know where to begin. First, journalists are just generally drawn to being arrogant and not really understand things they claim to be experts on. Writing about sports isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s pretty hard to understand the physical and mental toll of playing professional sports unless you actually have done it. Just don’t tell that to Morrissey.
Secondly, he used the greatest example ever to trash baseball players when he decided to use the NHL as an example of athletes who don’t rest. It’s the ultimate trump card because we all know nobody can mess with NHL players when it comes to toughness. Dallas Stars player Rich Peverley’s heart literally stopped on the bench, and when he was brought back to life, he asked to be put back in the game. Good luck finding athletes in any other sport that nearly die and want to keep playing.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with criticizing athletes, but at some point you have to face the music. Can you imagine a journalist ever telling a Delta Force sniper, “Sniping doesn’t look that hard. I’ve seen movies and I play Call of Duty. Why do you need any rest?”
People would flip out, and rightfully so.
But, when it comes to Morrissey trashing pro athletes, it’s simply hilarious, even if it’s misguided.