Look, I like Charles Barkley. For all the stupid shit he’s said, and all the times he hadn’t watched a team he was talking about, and everything else, I still think he’s one of the best, most honest guys on TV.
You need guys like Barkley. Guys who can still counter the robotic talking point analysts without becoming a hot take specialist. Guys who, for lack of a better term, will say what they feel. Guys who come across as genuine in a field that’s becoming more contrived and and more corporatized by the day. (Quick sidenote, I honestly thought I just made up the word corporatized and was shocked when there was no red squiggly line under it.) Yes, I get that it’s unfair to say you “need” guys like Barkley. There’s so few people out there who combine his sense of humor and honesty with actual knowledge of the game and the clout to speak on certain subjects. It’s weird to say you “need” more Charles Barkley’s because there’s really so few people like him. But the point still stands: sports television needs more people who will unapologetically say what they feel… what they actually feels… regardless of how it will play to the generic sports fan. Barkley will say what he wants to say. Not because it will “ignite a debate” or “play to the audience”, but simply because that’s how he feels. That’s why we still all want to hear his take. That’s why we stay up until 2am after a west coast playoff game. That’s why, for all the bullshit and everything we might disagree about, we all still love Chuck.
But for the love of fuck, Charles… we get it already with the social media thing.
You don’t like social media. Social media is for idiots. People tweet from their mama’s basement. Nobody on Twitter knows jack shit about anything. You’ll never ever get on social media.
We get it dude. You made your point. And guess what… nobody cares. Everyone is still on twitter. From big time analysts to the most uneducated hoops fan. And that will never ever ever ever ever change. You can stay off social media. That unapologetic, unchanging stance is–like I said above–exactly why we love you. But harping on about Twitter every single time you’re on TV or do a radio spot or sit down for a podcast isn’t going to change a goddamn thing about how the entire world views and uses social media.
You don’t use it… we all know that… so just fucking move on and stop harping on this shit every time we see you on TV. Talk about sports, talk about politics, talk about life, talk about anything. Because until you have a new, poignant, unheard message about social media, nobody wants to hear your 500th identical rant about people in their mom’s basement.
P.S. It is kind of ironic that the two biggest, and possibly the only two sports media personalities who refuse to use social media–Barkley and Francesa– have probably benefitted the most from the advent of it. The best part of listening to Francesa or Barkley is the social media explosion that comes with a Francesa rant in the middle of the afternoon or a major point from Barkley on Inside The NBA. It always makes the moment just that much bigger in real time. Crazy how that works, huh?
P.P.S. I like Le Betard too… But if you’re gonna be the millionth person to ask Barkley about social media in an interview you’re an asshole.