You expect Peyton Manning to get his typical slurpjob from smarmy greeting card Jim Nantz. But it was still baffling that during yesterday’s Broncos game, in which Manning played a starring role, not a single one of CBS’s crew even came close to mentioning the report linking Peyton Manning to shipments of human growth hormone. Nantz has an explanation, and it’s infuriating.
This is the reaction of every Twitter-egg homer when confronted with a potentially negative item about his team. Jim Nantz took a look at the biggest NFL story of the last week, and declared “This is not news.”
You can debate the factual heft of Al Jazeera’s accusations, which cited one clinic worker (who recanted his on-camera statements after the documentary’s release) and a second “impeccably placed, knowledgable, and credible” source. You can debate whether the alleged use of HGH by an older, injured NFL player is even surprising, or whether it matters at all. (I say no!) But there is absolutely no debate that this is a story.
Nantz is the AFC’s top play-by-play man, and he’s going to call Manning’s games as long as the Broncos stay alive, and he shouldn’t get to decide which blockbuster reports that make his buddy Peyton look bad he does or doesn’t cover. If it’s enough for the NFL to announce it will investigate, it’s damn well enough for Nantz to come down from his high horse for. Imagine a broadcaster trying to pull this shit with the Patriots’ ball-deflation allegations.
But that’s Nantz. He’s a scold, a snitch, and a coward. His antediluvian morality is self-serving, and if there’s anything he worships more than Pebble Beach (there’s not), it’s bland white men upholding the status quo.
SI: Are there steroids in golf?
Nantz: I would be shocked if there’s anybody in professional golf doing that. Shocked. You hear, “they’re hitting it so far.” But golfers are not cheats. The guys up on the pedestal in our sport play by the rules. That’s unusual in our society. It’s beautiful.
SI: Not one guy using steroids?
Nantz: One guy can cause a scandal. The fans would be devastated. But there’s not a scandal and there’s not going to be one. We should not even breathe a hint of suspicion; it’s a nonissue.
Nantz is either a poor thinker, who genuinely believes playing golf grants you integrity, or a dishonest cretin, who is willing to ignore anything that threatens his very specific worldview. Probably both.
Nantz believes Peyton Manning is too good a person to use HGH and that he, Nantz, is too good to deign to even pass along the scurrilous allegations, and that his pleb viewers deserve to have that decision made for them.
As always, fuck Jim Nantz.