There is not enough space here to give examples of all the things Olbermann finds ill in our society.
But I will say this. Many times Olbermann is right on the mark. For example, he was right about Glenn Burke--a subject close to my heart as his co-author-- being the first openly gay professional athlete in the four major sports.
And yesterday, he was partially right about Derek. Maybe even mostly right.
I wrote a blog a few weeks ago about the hype surrounding Jeter this season. It's been over-the-top. I have no issue with teams wanting to honor him as he makes his victory tour of a tremendous and honorable 20 year career. But the marketing has been, ummm, a little bit disgusting and has put a bad taste in the mouths of many of his fans.
How bad has it been of late? Steiner Sports is selling game-used Jeter socks (washed, thankfully) for $409.99 each. Game used Jeter jerseys that are changed more often than Diana Ross changes dresses at her concerts, more than $25,000. Game-used bases, signed by the Captain, are going for up the $12,500. A signed line-up card will cost you $10,000.
So Olbermann went on for a while talking about how Jeter is being worshiped like some kind of god. And he's right about that. I agree 100% with Keith that the marketing machine has been about squeezing as much revenue out of what should have been a nice sendoff as possible.
Where Olbermann is wrong, however, is how he doesn't have Jeter in the TOP 10 list of all-time Yankees, citing Derek's offensive numbers and defensive skills.
Well, Jeter certainly doesn't break into the Mount Rushmore of Yankees--Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, and Mantle. And Yogi with his three MVPs and the ten rings has to put him at fifth. But you could make the case that Jeter's 20 year career, with all those 3,000-plus hits, five World Championships, and, most importantly, his leadership skills and integrity, put him at Number Six.
Olbermann went too far (and was a bit lazy, perhaps) when he used Mike Mussina and Graig Nettles in the same breath as Jeter, and no one was a bigger fan of Nettles when he played (I still wear number 9 in my men's baseball league in his honor). And you can't bring up pure stats when judging a player's importance to a club. In Jeter's case, the intangibles were priceless. The bigger the game, the better he played. And he could beat you in ways that don't show up in the box score.
Was Olbermann serious about Jeter actually taking himself out of the line-up when he slumped at times this year? First of all, he did. And secondly, who would have done any better? And lastly, didn't Jeter feel at least somewhat compelled to play as often as possible for the fans who came to see him play for the last time? The idea that Jeter may have cost the Yankees a shot at the playoffs is ludicrous and an over-reach by Olbermann.
Derek Jeter has a chance to be the first player in history to gain entry into the Hall of Fame by unanimous vote. And it has little to do with hype, as Olbermann would have you believe.
However, has the marketing of Jeter's last season been revolting and has it taken some of the glow off his final season? Yes, it has. Keith is right on the mark there. But don't throw out the baby with the bath water.