“Am I so out of touch? No, It’s the children who are wrong.”
—Principal Skinner, in a 1994 episode of The Simpsons called “The Boy Who Knew Too Much.” Great episode. Underrated, honestly.
There’s a reason I wasted my first sentence as a writer for OutKick with that deep cut of a quote. It’s because I often think of it when I look at the media landscape from a consumer perspective. I always felt this was how most mainstream media outlets treat their readers, listeners, or viewers. Forget what people want to see or what their opinion is; the media would rather tell you how wrong people are and what’s best for them.
Lots of sports media outlets have taken that approach, and it works on anyone incapable or uninterested in thinking for themselves. I think it’s safe to say that if you’re reading OutKick, you’re the exact opposite. You want to be able to express your opinion or ask questions to understand an issue. The fact that you’re willing to form your own opinions is noble. This is sad because the word noble used to apply to things like stopping robberies or laying your jacket on a puddle so your lady friend wouldn’t get her socks wet. (That never made sense to me because, yeah, her socks are still dry, but now you’ve got a jacket soaked with Victorian-era street water, effectively making you a walking, top hat-wearing biohazard.) Now independent thought falls into that category.
I’ve spoken to enough people (even in the face of crippling social anxiety, which makes me brave) to stick a finger in the air and gauge which direction the winds of fan opinion are blowing regarding sports media coverage. As I’m sure you’re aware, gale-force winds are blowing away from what most sports outlets are peddling.
When I first came across OutKick I had the same realization that many of you probably had: that I stumbled across one of the rare media outlets willing to read the proverbial room and know their audience inside and out. For some reason, that’s a novel idea in sports media. It’s what drew me to OutKick and why I couldn’t be more excited to be part of a company that values honesty, asking questions, and getting to the truth.
Also, selfishly, I’m excited to be joining OutKick because my Christmas shopping has never been easier. Remember your freshman year of college when you loaded up on shirts from your school’s bookstore and passed them out to family members? That’ll be me again this year. I might have to explain to my grandmother what the “DBAP” on the shirt I gave her stands for, but I have between now and Christmas to come up with an alternative just to keep Christmas morning from taking an uncomfortable turn. Maybe “Do Bea Arthur Proud.” Sort of like to remind yourself of how to act, like “What Would Jesus Do?” but with Bea Arthur of Maude fame. I don’t know. Probably not. Fortunately, I’ve still got lots of time to workshop it.
I’m truly thrilled to be joining the OutKick team and I’m looking forward to writing, getting to know some of you fine readers, and even hearing from those who will be all too eager to let me know how much they think I suck.