Despite putting all my eggs in the Barstool basket, I'm really starting to hate social media. It's toxic, for lack of a better word (that's why I love the Cheapies!). Seeing how fucked up most of,,, everything, is at all times is quite depressing. I've been crying wolf about deleting my Facebook for like five years at this point. Once I have saved all my tagged photos that I want to keep (they let you download all your albums but not tagged pics it's wicked fucking annoying. I also could just be doing something wrong, so if you know any pointers, please LMK) I'm cutting ties with the book for good. I haven't shared a blog on FB in like two weeks in preparation for this and to see how it affects my #pageviews. Sometimes I'm actually happy I have less than 100 Twitter followers because it makes the odds of me running into some morons in my replies much more unlikely (although not impossible!)
Today, Kyle Long, guard for the Kansas City Chiefs (who recently came out of retirement), tweeted about football camps, how he never went to one, and why athletes should broaden their horizons in high school. He essentially says that your tape will do the talking for you and focus on enjoying all parts of the high school experience.
It's pretty solid advice. Don't box yourself into one group; try a bunch of different shit. FIND YOURSELF.
Maybe I'm not the best example. I had about as much of a chance at getting a football scholarship as Danny DeVito does at winning the NBA Slam Dunk Contest despite being both a key returner going into my senior year and a key loss the year after it according to the local paper, but I took every art class available, was involved with the student council, and had friends in multiple "cliques." I completely understand there's a lot of competition for scholarships, and the stakes are higher for those relying on what as 'their way out," but if you're going to play D3 college sports, you don't need to "focus" on one sport in high school. Meeting more people and being involved with things outside of one sport is a good thing. Just like I'd suggest being part of a high school sports team is a good idea for someone who might not have a super athletic background.
I don't know how you could read that tweet and think, "wow, Kyle, way to show your privilege," but since the internet has no gray area, plenty of people decided to play the privilege card since Kyle Long is the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer, Howie Long and the brother of two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Long.
I mean I guess they have a point. Kyle Long's dad is a Hall of Famer and FOX broadcaster. Those are the same reason why all 30 NBA teams are still clamoring over both of Michael Jordan's sons and Nick Montana has been an NFL starter for seven years.
Do the children of celebrities get extra opportunities that regular people don't? Umm, no fucking shit. Do you think if Colin Hanks was Colin Banks he'd have the career he does? But using this term in athletics blows my fucking mind, especially when there's a million more significant examples of privilege being exploited. I'll even give you that in high school and even some small colleges certain athletes may get opportunities because whose kid they are, but John Calipari wasn't starting Brad over lottery picks at Kentucky. Your name might get you a look but it's not getting you playing time if you can't play. Sports are the great equalizer. The AFL didn't have more black players in the 1960s than the NFL because they were more progressive (Vince Lombardi accepted gay players before fucking Stonewall) but because they were the best players available to fill their rosters. The best players play. Plain and simple. Kyle Long is saying that in his tweet. If you go off in games coaches are going to find you, especially now in the digital age. It doesn't matter what your name is.
It'd be one thing if we were talking about broadcasting or coaching and Kyle Long was like Belichick's kids, Kyle Shanahan, Wade Phillips or Rex Ryan getting opportunities that guys who "paid their dues" didn't, but this just sounds like a bunch of cry babies with no sense of context or the moment trying to pander for likes online. Hell you could say Belichick was privileged because his dad was a scout for Navy but there is no nepotism on the playing field.
Kyle Long's dad being Howie Long isn't why he was a first round draft pick. I mean I guess sure from a genetic standpoint but it's not like the Bears drafted him in 2013 because his dad was inducted in Canton in 2000.
If you lost both your parents in a plane crash and are jealous that the Long's have the resources to make sure both parents are never on the same plane then yeah I suppose you can ask Kyle to check his privilege but if you can't see the good in an NFL offensive lineman telling athletes to go after more in life then I guess you're just the reason why the saying "you can't please everybody" exists.