FROM THE MAILBAG – MAY 16
By Leo Haggerty
First of all, and I will start EVERY article with this paragraph, sports pales in comparison with what is occurring with the Coronavirus. Hopefully, the columns that I, and the rest of our correspondents, provide you is a momentary escape from the trials and tribulations that Americans, and the rest of the world’s population, are experiencing. The COVID-19 is not a video game that you can press reset and get a new life. This is real and dangerous so, above all, be prudent and stay safe.
You know, every blue moon, someone send you an article that makes you say, “Boy, I can’t say this any better” after you read it. That just happened earlier this week.
Below is the opinion piece that I received. It needs no more introduction and you will understand why after you’ve had a chance to peruse this anonymous writer’s musings. Enjoy.
Just Call Me an Expert
With so many unanswered questions, and rampant confusion, these days there are multiple stories every day quoting “experts” on everything from what we should be doing, what we should have done and what things will look like in the future. Of course using experts is not new. The 24-hour news channels and sports networks have counted on “expert” guests to fill air time on their news and commentary shows for years. There are “expert” predictions on everything from elections to which team will win the championship. But I’ve always wondered what qualifies someone as a true “expert.” Depending on what source you read or watch it seems one can always find “experts” on both sides of a topic that will disagree on an issue. Indeed many times there are conflicting “experts” on the same show. If they are all “experts” then who are we to believe?
Most of them have a degree in a field in which they are an “expert” but not always. Bill Nye “the Science Guy” is often cited as a science “expert” and yet his degree was in economics and he became known for doing 3rd grade level science experiments on a children’s TV show, not because he is a scientist. And last I saw there is no college major for “expert.”
Most “experts” have years of work or study in a particular area which certainly would qualify one to be more knowledgeable than most in that topic. But at what point do you go from knowing a lot about something to becoming an “expert” that people should completely believe.
I have worked in sports for 40+ years so I guess I am an “expert” in sports. But, then again, I’ve worked in business almost that long so am I also an “expert” in business? I’ve been married for 24-years, been a father of three kids. I coached five different youth sports over 15 years so I’d say I’m pretty much an “expert” in that. Heck I’m 60 years old so there is that, and I’ve closely followed politics for over 30 years. And I’ve watched all manner of sports contests at every level for at least 40 years and paid close attention to the officiating of those thousands of games, analyzing both the good and bad officials so perhaps people sitting in the stands next to me should appreciate my “expert” comments more.
So if I have all this expertise I have two questions: 1) why don’t news and sports outlets invite me to be an “expert” on their shows and for their articles? And, 2) why don’t my wife and kids listen to anything I say?