Field Theory by Hadyn Green

5

Fuck you, Deadspin

I quite like Deadspin, or I used to at least. The site's modus operandi, much like the rest of the Gawker community, was to skewer the current media who, until the advent of the alternate sources, we all had to put up with. Recently though the target seems to have shifted from the media's terrible reporting of issues, accidental swearing on air, hilarious sports videos and other general entertainment to the people who providing the entertainment, and a wish to tear into them for any reason.

It started with the usual domain of high-paid athletes: drugs and adultery. This year Deadspin broke the story of star quarterback Brett Favre sending unrequested photos of his penis and other sexually suggestive messages to a female employee of the New York Jets (while he was there in 2008). This is a good thing; when someone is harassing another person, then there really is a story and it deserves to be told (with the permission of the victim).

But then it escalated, or rather dropped, to Facebook hijinks of drunken athletes, usually those just out of college. Most of which is fairly "meh" to start with, and at best is a chance to smirk at how your favourite athlete like to drink Four Loko too.

Then yesterday Deadspin had a story about Rex Ryan, coach of the Jets and his wife. Someone found videos of a woman, who looks a lot like Ryan's wife and with a cameraman who sounds a lot like Ryan, on a foot fetish site. Deadspin dug a little deeper and found the same person on other fetish and swinger sites. In the end they had a pretty convincing case that the head coach of the Jets has a thing for his wife's feet and doesn't mind other guys seeing them.

SO FUCKING WHAT?!

There's so many things wrong with the story being in public that I don't even know where to start. This wasn't someone doing anything morally or legally wrong, it was just part of someone's life. In essence we learned what turns someone else on.

Deadspin naturally have the smug follow-up as Ryan faced the press for the first time. Ryan is known for being outspoken and loud. He got in some trouble earlier in the year for telling fans who said his team "sucked" to "fuck off". So if it was a video of just him, I can imagine his response to the media would be different. But this is about his wife, who is incredibly proud of and clearly loves.

I'm pretty much sick of muck-raking and "how embarrassing" stories (we watch E! at home), and now I'm sick of what was once an alternative to the awful shit we get in the main media (who are now ironically emulating websites like Deadspin to stay "fresh").

UPDATE: After a bit of thinking, the main reason I'm angry is that essentially Deadspin "outed" Ryan's sexuality. Had they been sent information that looked like Ryan might be gay, would they be as quick to tell the world what they had found?

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