Will's Last Word: Suppressing Harbingers of Hate

Will Palaszczuk
October 28, 2019 - 1:41 pm
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I originally was going to write this blog about how South Carolina's win over Georgia seems incredibly diminished given the inexplicable defeat at the hands of Tennessee. I could have given you 1,000 words on how Clemson looks like a once again unstoppable force, albeit a significantly overlooked one. It would have seemed flat to me to opine on the desire of the Carolina Panthers to start Cam Newton, now that it seems the Kyle Allen momentum has come to a crashing halt.

I unfortunately, however, have been inspired to write about something much more disturbing, to me personally.

I don't claim to be right all the time, or even 50 percent of the time. Honestly, I could probably count on my hands and toes the amount of times I've said something worthy of being called "right" or involving positive critical acclaim.

What I've noticed over the last couple of weeks in months is a series of vitriolic and amazingly inflammatory social media posts and conduct by multiple fanbases toward each other and toward the media. The language used toward fans, reporters, and even toward myself has completely discouraged me and left me longing for a time where people as a whole weren't so accessible.

I know, I'm not supposed to read my Twitter mentions, or message boards, or worry about anyone other than my superiors regarding my performance. It's incredibly difficult, however, to ignore all the hate that's been spewed over the last few weeks and months, and not just about sports.

Speaking as a political apathetic, even I was taken aback by the president being booed at the World Series. No, I'm not going to get into the reasons why those were justified or not, all I'm saying is the action further represents why we have to look inside ourselves and figure out how we got this way.

I'm not expunging myself from guilt about the "madness", either, as I've been tempted to go down into the muck, tweet without thinking or making sense, just to make like I'm showing some sort of defense.

I'm tired of it.

I'm tired of people questioning, "How did you get this job?". Honestly, I got this job because as a High School sophomore, my father recognized my daily habit of reading him the Washington Post Sports Section could one day be monetized as a career. From those days forward, I made it my life's goal to do anything possible to make that a reality. I've sacrificed relationships, both familial and romantic, to strive to one day get to a point where I'm not having to fight, scratch, and claw for every opportunity.

I'm tired of seeing fans attack each other, or attack me or my colleagues just because they disagree. My mother has a saying, "Say what you mean, without being mean.". We all could do ourselves a kindness by taking her advice. It's okay to have rivalries and disagreements, but when did it become okay to dox and degrade one another just because we do so?

I want to be more like the man who I'm standing with in the picture attached. It was my phone lock screen for the longest time after one my separations earlier this year from a radio station I previously worked at. I kept it on my phone because it represents the kind of broadcaster I want to be, but also the place I want to reach again. The picture was taken on the field at the Cotton Bowl, before Clemson's CFP Semifinal romp over Notre Dame. I'm sure there are critics of Marty Smith, but my goodness I don't want to search and find any. Honestly, I wasn't sure that before meeting him he was the kind of genuine person that comes out on camera, call it the cynic in me. 

I was wrong. He is every bit that genuine and nice person, and maybe even more than that below the surface. He's continually humbled by the heights he's reached, and earned every plaudit he continues to receive.

I hope to accomplish half the things he has, and I hope to get to many more venues such as Jerry's World in my broadcasting future.

I plan to do so by projecting love instead of hate. And I encourage you to do the same.

Our world is a much better place that way.

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