News came this week that The State’s Gamecock beat writer Joe Person has been fired promoted reassigned to The Charlotte Observer to cover the Carolina Panthers. After a couple of hours of celebratory toasting, we here at TRC decided to offer Panther fans an introduction to the experience that is Joe Person. Accordingly:
Panther fans, be advised of the impending hair gel shortage that will soon strike the Greater Charlotte/Rock Hill metro area. While it will be hard to attribute this market fluctuation entirely to Joe’s arrival, we do note that AXE Pro Style Flex Gel became impossible to find in Columbia after Person joined the local paper. In a related matter, you will soon find yourself discussing the adult male fauxhawk, and whether it can be worn by any grown man, even if intended as an ironic symbol of futility.
Secondly, stock up on anti-depressants. The visual equivalent of hearing Person talk is seeing week old puppies sent to the gas chamber. Person sounds like Eeyor from Winnie the Pooh, except 75% more depressed. He makes Steven Wright look like Richard Simmons.
Also, you will soon know more about player injuries than you ever thought possible. You will learn next to nothing about strengths, weaknesses, backgrounds, or motivations of Panther players, but if one of them misses a rep at practice, Dr. Person will comment on it. He will also ask about the player’s condition as soon as the coach takes a post-practice question, and will follow up with another question about when the player will return, how the absence will impact the game plan, and if the coaches are reevaluating the practice regime in light of the injury.
Along those lines, you will soon learn that Person is the master of the leading question. Instead of asking a player about an upcoming game or practice, etc., Joe will ask a question with a yes or no answer, and then cut off the player if he tries to explain. This tactic allows Joe to continue whatever storyline he is already pushing while remaining unmolested by cumbersome facts. It also insures that the fans learn next to nothing about their favorite team. Oh, and by the way, the leading question is usually negative, as in “Did you get hurt today in practice, or are you just unmotivated because of your personal issues with your position coach?”
Your coaching staff is about to get grumpier, less responsive to the public, and more motivated to quickly leave the employ of your organization. Why? See above.
Since you are fans of a professional sports team, you will be unencumbered by Joe’s apparent NCAA investigation fetish. However, Panther players should be warned now – if they have an alcohol problem, painkiller addiction, domestic abuse record, or grandmother who hasn’t paid their note at the assisted living facility, it will be uncovered by Det. Person. How the Panthers game plan for Roddy White or if they plan to rotate quarterbacks is, however, beneath his notice (understanding?).
Cheers, Charlotte! Your best bet is that Joe is quickly fired promoted reassigned to Greensboro’s News & Observer.