So here's your appetizer of passive-aggressive weirdness for the day: Over on NFL.com, the official site of the National Football League, they've posted a story about concussions. That's good, right? Maybe it's some belated semblance of transparency from a league that's been all too silent and obstructive with regard to the health crisis facing the sport.
Oh, wait, the story is about concussions in ... Major League Baseball. No, really, here's the headline:
I'm paid to write words, but I lack them right now. Is "chutzpah" the proper word to describe this? Really, though, somewhere a Cold War-era Pravda desk editor is giving a head-nod of collegial appreciation toward this bit of artifice.
To be sure, MLB has some present concerns, as catchers seem to be sustaining concussions at a higher rate lately. This, of course, could be nothing more than anecdotal misperceptions, or it could be that improved diagnostics are identifying concussions that would have gone unnoticed in a previous era.
With that said, there's none but the sparest of basis for comparison between the two leagues insofar as head trauma is concerned. For the NFL to throw light upon MLB's concussion issues in a piece that scarcely mentions its own orders-of-magnitude-more-serious problems is, at best, deeply cynical. The only time the article references the NFL occurs in the sixth graph and on terms favorable to the league:
Plus, it appears MLB is dealing with the same concussion culture that the NFL has been trying to change.
So MLB is dealing with "the same concussion culture" that the NFL has already solemnly and dutifully addressed? Poppycock, says a nearby Englishman.
Presumably, this is some kind of ham-fisted "message control" strategem designed to alter the boundaries of the discussion. In reality, it's like a schoolkid who shot off fireworks in the bathroom pointing at the classmate eating glue and saying, "Yeah, but look at what he's doing."
(Wink of CBS eye: @cwyers)