Just look at this picture. It was on the front page of ESPN.com. To the naked eye, this looks like a jubilant celebration of a championship. But look closer. Focus on the kid in the center of the picture, then look at his sign.
Clearly, that sign reads “The Torture Has Ended.” That’s a problem. This kid is like eight years old. What torture, kid? Please, tell me. What have you suffered through that was so freakin’ hard? A couple years with an aging Barry Bonds on the roster? No allowance? Not having a foul ball handed to you by the adult who caught it?
And where are the parents? Obviously it was their idea to hand this sign off to their kid. “Hold the sign, Billy! You’ll get on the big screen and everyone will know how greatly you persevered through the first eight years of your difficult life!” That’s bad parenting. Just enter him in a beauty pageant, why don’t you. Or put him beneath a sandwich board that reads, “LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!”
But that’s not even the worst part.
Look even closer at that sign.
Directly to the right of the word “Has,” it reads “On Fox.” That’s right. Not only has the torture ended for this toddler, but he’s doing everything he can to sell out to the network broadcasting the game. About the only positive we can take from this twist in the story is the fact that the “On Fox” reference was promoted by ESPN. There’s something to be said for regretful cross-network pollination.
F for f**k. F for fail. Just F.
This is tragic. I can’t imagine watching my team win a title at age eight. And yet here’s this bastard rubbing it in my face. Enjoy it, kid. You can wear this badge with pride for the rest of your life. You can legitimately lose your virginity one day while wearing a San Francisco Giants 2010 World Champions t-shirt and no one will blame you. I doubt I could get away with making love in my Mariners ’97 AL West Champs shirt. Or even ’95, for that matter. It just wouldn’t work. And chances are I’d completely fizzle when it really counted.
It’s come to this. Picking on children. Well. They’re sports fans too, I guess.
Long story short, I have only three words to sum up this testament to photo journalism: Suck it, kid.