I understand the first, but not the second-day coverage of New York Yankee pitcher Joba Chamberlain’s arrest over the weekend for drunk driving. Chamberlain is relatively well known. In Lincoln and in New York City, I’d venture to say he’s famous. So his arrest was news.
Drunk driving is stupid, wrong and dangerous for the person doing it and those around him or her. Hanging around with buddies who are willing to indulge in a shoving match with another patron over his alcohol-fueled smart mouth is stupid, wrong and dangerous too.
Bar fights can lead to death or career-ending injury for the professional athlete involved, even if he’s a bystander, or for someone else who happens to be there. You might be the toughest guy in the bar, but you could hurt yourself or someone else proving you are. Also, you are unlikely to know if someone there has a concealed weapon, because concealed weapons are (to state the obvious) usually concealed.
Injury, criminal charges and death are all things anyone would do well to avoid.
All these aren’t things Chamberlain did: all of them are reasons he should avoid places where problems like these could happen. And if Chamberlain develops into an alcoholic, that’s going to be a big problem for both him and for the Yankees. I hope that doesn’t happen.
However, is the second-day lead, the fact that Joba Chamberlain spent part of Friday night with some buddies in a strip joint, really news?
If you were 23-years old, made over $300,000 a year with the prospect of making lots more, single, didn’t have to show up at work until February 15th, and found yourself in Lincoln Nebraska, where would you take your buddies? To the opera?
I don’t mean that as criticism of Lincoln, Nebraska either. I have been lots of places and I know they all have good and bad points and I know the good and bad points about one place can be different from the good and bad points about another. Moreover, you and I might differ on what is good and what is bad about one place or another.
I suspect that New York has a more varied night life and I know it has over thirty-times more people than Lincoln. I know there’s live opera in New York City. I don’t know if Lincoln has an opera company.
I’m just saying that a group of young, single men are more likely to spend a typical Friday night in some bar than in some opera house.
I’m not nostalgic for everything from the past, but I’d like to return to a time when the obvious wasn’t news.