I have always thought that TNT’s Craig Sager was a tremendous joke, but I never felt the need to write about it until I read the piece by Wesley Morris on Grantland.com titled, “Does This Suit Make Me Look Insane?”
Despite the truly excellent headline, the columnist eventually comes to the conclusion that Sager is crazy like a fox, because he uses his outrageous clothing to highlight his child-like nature and sense of wonder. Blah, blah, bullshit, bullshit.
Sager’s clothing choice comes from a much more angry place. It’s a big FU to conformity, standards, ethics and a general lack of self awareness. He is either a tantruming child or one craving so much attention that he needs to wear a polka dotted suit to say, “Look at me world! I am a person, too!” Now this is great on YouTube, but at a sporting event he certainly should not be talking to Rajon Rondo.
Also for the record, I think Sager is both tantruming AND craving attention. He probably wore something ridiculous one day, someone gave him a little attention and now he has made it his mission to run this joke into the ground. It must be payback for never having a day when he went to work without having to touch a sweaty man’s back.
You could just write Sager off as a goof. You could say that he fell into a trap, which a lot of dudes fall into, where picking out clothes like an adult becomes way too hard. ”Wait, I need pants and a shirt?” So a “look” is invented that these guys hold onto for the next 50-70 years.
Visit any mall, and you will see a sea of guys who think that what they wore when they were the age of 18 works when they are 48. Although oversized NFL jerseys and saggy jeans should just be a phase, it’s not for a lot of guys. It becomes a wardrobe choice they make until they are WAY too old to pull it off (which is about 16, gentlemen).
That’s fine if you are just some dude. However, when you are on TV, you should give a shit. Sager clearly does not or the shit he gives has no fucking clue that people are laughing at him.
If I owned TNT, I would pull Sager aside and say, “Do you want to be a reporter or do you want to be a clown?” These are two distinct jobs and they don’t overlap anywhere else on the planet (apologies to anyone who works at Clown Quarterly or any such clown-oriented publication).
I have a general annoyance toward professionals whose job it is is to be taken seriously, yet they have a defiant attitude that makes them want to be wild and crazy. That’s fine if you are the fat, wacky weatherman on morning news or the schlubby talk show sidekick, but a reporter (even someone as lowly as a sideline reporter), should act like a professional. The sideline reporter is, generally, a thankless position – mainly because we don’t care enough to thank them and they don’t work hard enough to earn it. You don’t need to dress like a clown, because we already kind of think of you that way.
Sideline reporter is an entry-level job; one that you do until someone dies and you can move behind a desk, until Dancing With the Stars calls, or until you get bored and decide to go back to school to earn your Masters.
Don’t be like Sager and spend 40 years in the same position. There’s no need to be on the sidelines well into your 60s. You’ll wind up looking like a walking joke dressed in a teal suit with a “matching” orange shirt-and-tie combo, hopping around like a jester in medieval times while young millionaires snicker at the crazy old man.
So, no, unlike Wesley Morris, I don’t give Sager a pass…except when he’s on TV.
Some Sager Suit Highlights!