CALLING OUT THE MEDIA

Patrick Creighton: Treatment of Masters champ Patrick Reed latest example of why fans don’t like media

Patrick Reed should have been able to enjoy the moment. Jamie Squire/Getty Images

As Texas native Patrick Reed fought to hold on to win the Masters Sunday, something strange was building up online.  A groundswell of support for Patrick Reed was forming – support for him to lose.

I have nothing against appreciating the Sunday charges of Rickie Fowler (-5) and Jordan Spieth (-8) to get them in the mix for title contention, but the rooting against Reed, who entered Sunday -14 and on top the leaderboard was rather strange.

At this point is when the dirtiness started coming out.  Media was going to leak all of Reed’s dirty laundry on the day of his greatest career achievement.

With his win at the Masters, many members of the media could not allow the man known as Captain America for his incredible record in international play enjoy his day.  They could not sit by and idly watch as CBS’ broadcast team heaped praise upon the 27 year old Spring. There had to be mud throwing.

As a media member, I am certainly not above throwing mud.  I just try to throw mud only when it’s deserved.

Some media members decided to go all in on their disdain of Reed, a guy who has been voted among the least liked golfers but for reasons that are quite puzzling, because it seems he would have a lot in common with many well liked golfers.

Reed is confident, maybe arrogant.  He believes he’s one of the best golfers in the world.  Apparently this rubs some the wrong way. I don’t see how a professional athlete cannot think this way.  Thinking you’re inferior to your competitors just gets you beat before you even start.

That wasn’t enough though.  The digging up of the rift between him and his family is downright intrusive. Reed and his wife are estranged from Reed’s parents and siblings.  Many chastised CBS for not bringing this up during the broadcast. Why should they?

The bottom line is no one in the media knows all the facts here. Actually they hardly know any.  Reed and his wife keep their private family matters to themselves. Reed’s mother believes that telling Patrick he was too young to marry his wife is the cause of the rift.  Her statement about that is the only info anyone has, hardly enough information to be broadcasting about, and what does any of it have to do with his play on the golf course?  

Demanding that the broadcast team air his family’s dirty laundry, especially with virtually no information, on the day he wins the Masters is just pure douchery on the part of the media.  It’s exactly why so many fans don’t like the media. It reeks of trying to be a muck stirrer for no other reason than that muck sells.

Should we hold everyone else to that same standard?  If we asked the golf broadcast team to air Tiger Woods’ dirty laundry on every broadcast, they would never have time to talk about anything else all day.  

I know I don’t want to hear about the Aaron Rodgers family dispute every time the Packers play.  That isn’t why we watch sports.

Many fans think the media goes out of their way to be negative to anyone who isn’t considered a “chosen one.”  The way so many treated Patrick Reed from Sunday to Wednesday underscores this sentiment.

Golf fans and media are funny like that. They don’t like Patrick Reed because he’s brash, he drops f bombs, he’s estranged from his parents, yet they love Tiger Woods, who’s brash, drops f bombs, and destroyed his family.  Tiger even takes it a few steps further with his prescription drug abuse, being notoriously cheap (Tiger doesn’t tip) and being the sports world’s most famous serial cheater (although Cavs center Tristan Thompson apparently wants to make a run at this).  

So Reed is hated yet Tiger is loved for having similar traits?  Except that Reed isn’t cheating on his wife or abusing drugs?

Reed may not be a perfect guy, but that is one of the things that I like about him.  He isn’t fake. He is just who he is. If sometimes he’s a jerk, well sometimes I’m a jerk, so I’m good with that.  He drops some f bombs, so do I, so do you. So what? I like that he’s a real guy, and I root for him because of that.

Yes, I’m a member of the media calling out my own.  Not every story in sports has to attack someone.

Go wear that green jacket all over town, Mr. Reed.  Enjoy your victory.

Patrick Creighton is the host of “Straight Heat” heard Monday-Friday 9p-12a CT on SB Nation Radio & SportsMap 94.1 FM Houston.  He also hosts “Nate & Creight” Sundays 12-5p CT on SB Nation Radio & SportsMap 94.1 FM. Follow him on Twitter: @pcreighton1


 

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Walter will host The Night of Champions. Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images.

In 2014, Austin Walter rushed for 2,704 yards and 34 touchdowns as a senior at Crosby High School. Despite falling short of a state title, Walter was named District 19-4A MVP and finished his prep career with a little over 6,000 rushing yards on 613 carries (6,062 yds). Seven years later, Walter will be returning to his high school alma mater to give back to the community that laid the foundation for an NFL career as a member of the San Francisco 49ers.

"It's a blessing to be able to come from a small town and be one of the guys who made it out," Walter said. "Not a lot of people made it to the NFL or the NBA from Crosby High School. To be one of the first, it's an amazing feeling. It's a blessing and an honor."

On Thursday, April 15, Walter will host The Night of Champions to benefit the Crosby High School Booster Club from 6-9 p.m. The event will be a weight lifting competition at Crosby High School for student-athletes around the area to showcase their talents and abilities.

In addition to hosting a weight lifting showcase, Walter will also share his life teachings with student-athletes in attendance. Perseverance and not taking no for an answer will be one of the most vital messages the Crosby native will share with aspiring pro-athletes. It's the two virtues Walter has leaned on from little league football to the NFL. And as an undrafted prospect in 2019, it was that same morale that helped him outshine six other running backs during the 49ers rookie training camp that same year.

"Before I started playing football in high school, a lot of people thought I was too small," Walter said. "They thought because we played little league and not in middle school we would not make it in high school. My twin brother [Ashton Walter] and I did not listen to that. We just kept pushing forward."

"When I left Rice, people thought I was going to play in the Canadian league or AFF, and I did not take no for an answer. I believed in myself. And I believed in God. And if I can make it out of a small town like Crosby, anybody can make it...It's the mentality I've had my entire life of not quitting. I feel like that is what got me to the point I am at right now."

Whether their life goal is to play in the NFL or not, Walter's primary objective for The Night of Champions is to be an inspiration and show kids they can find success despite their environment. It is one of the things the former XFL running back (Dallas Renegades) wished he would have seen growing up in Crosby.

After graduating from Crosby High School, Walter went on to have a record-breaking collegiate career at Rice University. He became one of two players in school history to rush for over 1,500 yards (1,744 yds.) and 1,000 kick return yards (1,548 yds.) in four seasons with the Owls. In February, Walter signed a one-year contract extension to re-join the 49ers ahead of the 2021 NFL season.

Click here to learn more about The Night of Champions at Crosby High School or support Walter and the Crosby High School Booster Club.

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