I think by now we’ve all had time to digest the insane lack of sensitivity that ESPN.com writer Albert Lin showed yesterday. For those of you who haven’t gotten wind of it, in a Rumor Central post yesterday, Lin not only reported the death of Alabama offensive lineman Aaron Douglas but in the VERY NEXT PARAGRAPH discussed how that impacts the Crimson Tide depth chart.
Of course, ESPN.com went into full damage control mode after Lin’s piece went up. An apology was issued later in the afternoon:
Today, if you Google the name “Albert Lin,” here’s a sampling of what you’ll find being said about him:
In the span of a few hours, Lin went from being a semi-obscure ESPN.com writer to the current title holder of “World’s Most Insensitive Prick.” Bet he didn’t see that coming when he was eating his Toaster Strudel yesterday morning.
But instead of piling on the guy, I’m going to try to understand his motivation. Is he a cold, heartless a-hole with little or no regard for human life? Or might he be a college football writer who’s so laser focused on dissecting the ins and outs of rosters that he doesn’t care why players are being promoted?
Granted, being that obsessed with college football isn’t a great thing either, but at least it’s a half notch below being the World’s Most Insensitive Prick. If this is the dynamic at work, Lin probably does have compassion for the family and friends of Aaron Douglas. It’s just dwarfed by his insatiable desire to report on roster changes.
I’m guessing this isn’t the first time that Lin has gotten into hot water because of his need to put college football first, it just happens to be the most public instance. In the past, I can almost guarantee he’s been involved in a conversation that went along the lines of the following:
Papa Lin: “Dammit Albert, I’ve been calling you for 30 minutes, why didn’t you answer your phone?!?”
Albert: “Come on, pop, the Gameday crew was making their picks. You know I couldn’t miss that.”
Papa Lin: *sighs loudly* “Look Albert, I have some bad news. It’s your mother, she’s taken a turn for the worse. The doctors say she might not make it through the weekend.”
Albert: “Dad, I’m sorry, could you repeat that? Lee Corso was just putting on the Georgia Bulldog mascot head. That guy is so crazy.”
Papa Lin: “DAMMIT, ALBERT, YOUR MOTHER IS DYING!!! GET DOWN HERE NOW!”
Albert: “Wow, dad, calm down. I will be down when I can.”
Papa Lin: “What did you just say?!?”
Albert: “I said I’ll be over when I can. Look, the Northwestern game is about to start, then there’s the Arkansas game on CBS. You know my Saturdays, it’ll be midnight before I can break away.”
Papa Lin: “If you’re not over here in 30 minutes then you’re out of the will.”
Albert: “Will? I didn’t know I was even in it. What do I inherit?”
Papa Lin: “My autographed copy of “Bootlegger’s Boy” by Barry Switzer.”
Albert: “I’ll be right over.”