by Kent Sterling
Two products people consume that I can’t figure out – Cubs tickets and catfish stories.
One of those is self-explanatory. The Cubs aren’t in a big enough hurry to become competitive to warrant their subsidy through ticket sales. If Javier Baez is better than Donnie Murphy or Darwin Barney (and he is a significant upgrade to both), he should come north to Chicago to help the Cubs win. He’s going to Iowa because it’s financially expedient, and fans will continue to pay Nordstrom prices for TJ Maxx baseball. The other is more complicated.
Catfishing is what happened to former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o. Some bored mopes concocted a fake girl and tricked Te’o into a fake relationship. When the news of the fake girlfriend’s supposed death broke, it was reported in the media. Well, as we know the girl didn’t exist, and Te’o was made to look like a moron.
Today, there is news of Indiana Pacers wing Paul George being similarly duped into sending nude photos of himself to a man who posed as a girl, and I don’t care. The only way to put a stop to this predatory foolishness is to stop consuming stories related to it. Also helpful would be athletes and celebrities refusing requests for selfies, but getting 23-year olds like George to behave judiciously is no easier than when I was 23, and I’m just glad we didn’t have smart phones back then.
The story broke during “Ahead of the Curve” today while Fox 59 sports director Chris Hagan and I were talking about the Pacers on 1070 the Fan in Indianapolis, and when it was pointed out to us, we had no interest in shining more light on it. First, the reports were only on Twitter, and second, there has to be a line someplace and I’m drawing it on the other side of a selfie or two taken by a young man who should be given a little latitude in making a victimless error in judgment or two.
Personal lives are interesting in some respects, but to bait a guy into stupidity is a form of entrapment and it seems dirty.
There is a difference between dumb and gullible. We are all born with a desire to trust, and with varying degrees of speed it erodes due to people taking advantage of our better nature. In Jamaica with friends a couple of weeks ago, there was a rule – no last names, no sharing email addresses, and no social media. It’s not that we did anything remotely questionable; it was a lack of trust for the motives of those around us.
George has likely lived a life without getting burned over and over to the point where he does nothing but play basketball and hide in his house, but he’s getting there. Catfishers are like hackers of humanity. They try to find the correct code to cause people to lower their guard, trust, and then betray the person for the amusement of others.
When people ask why the wealthy live behind gates, this kind of crap is the tip of the iceberg. Gates and security codes can’t keep people from building and violating trust.
It’s going to continue to happen until people stop dignifying the rats who have nothing better to do than to cause and profit from the misery they can cause others, and I’m not talking or writing about George or anyone else who is preyed upon by the rancid excuses for human beings who can find what they perceive to be joy in the humiliation of others.
When athletes and celebrities do something incredibly dumb in the public eye, that’s fair game. I’m not so pure I can’t laugh at the idiocy of someone like Amanda Bynes, Britney Spears, and Justin Bieber. They bring it upon themselves.
George did nothing but quench his thirst for contact with someone normal who lives outside the gate, and the sad excuse for a man who made it his goal to force George further down the foxhole achieved his mission. George made a mistake. The venal creep who baited him to make it happen is smiling today because he dragged humanity with him into his amoral void.
Hell of a hobby. Congratulations.
Don’t dignify it by indulging your curiosity. Ignore it and humanity has a chance.