We've been staying away from this because A) at this point, it's all idle speculation and B) Charles Pierce said it all and said it better over at Grantland, anyway.
But watching the media reactions to the release and subsequent arrest - or is it the other way around - of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has finally roused the sleeping bear.
Very few things are more idiotic than sports radio jocks trying to dissect the Attleboro P.D.'s modus operandi based on a lifetime of watching various subspecies of Law & Order. Somewhere, there's a Venn diagram of "people who understand how murder investigations actually go" and "people employed by businesses that refer to themselves as 'The Buzz', 'The Score', 'The Fan', 'The Ticket', or 'The Game'", and the overlap in the middle is vanishingly small. But that's not locking down the ham-fisted speculation all of it based in equal parts on A)What Detective Stabler Did Once and B)a quick skim of the latest nonsense from ESPN.com's favorite disbarred yahoo, Lester Munson.
(Note: I Am Not A Lawyer. I am, however, the son of a lawyer and the brother of a lawyer, and this experience has taught me to keep my mouth shut as regards legal procedure lest I make a complete ass of myself. Mr. Munson, despite his former status as a practicing lawyer, has apparently failed to internalize this lesson, and I fully expect that by the time all this is over he's going to be congratulating the Boston DA's office for convicting Hernandez of mail fraud and simony.)
As bad as that sort of Monday morning quarterbacking of the legal system is, though, what really tears it is the chin-stroking nonsense about What This All Means For the Patriots, And By The Patriots I Mean Tim Tebow.
Look. I understand that the Pats' tight end situation is in some disarray right now, what with one half of their two-headed TE package suffering from what appears to be an incurable case of Rabbititis and the other one hauled off to jail. Between "can't walk" and "perp walk", neither of those two is going to be catching passes any time soon. But, all things considered, it doesn't matter.
It is the middle of the summer. It is the off-season. Literally nothing is happening in football right now, and meanwhile a guy is dead. To bypass that to get to the quote-unquote good stuff - because celebrity angle aside, murder is freaky and scary and we don't want to think about our sporting idols doing that sort of thing except when we demonize them as "thugs", while football makes us feel warm and safe and fuzzy - well, that's appealing. But to be so wound up in the Myth of Timmeh that the story of an man's untimely death, his so-called friend's bizarre behavior and possible guilt, and the ongoing murder investigation gets gleefully boiled down to "how this is good for Tebow" is to be obsessively single-minded and completely tone deaf.
Give it a rest, people. At least wait until they put the pads on, then we can go back to pretend that stuff matters. For now, let the grownups talk. Odds are, they'll be discussing something other than whether a 3rd string TE can catch the ball in the flat.