Good for Dale Hansen.
He’s a rarity in American sports media for a couple of reasons.
His age and his guts.
Hansen is 66 years old and looks it and he is still working as a weeknight sports anchor in a major TV market.
There aren’t a lot of old, chubby, bald people doing sports on local TV newscasts these days, especially in top 10 markets and sportscasters with the guts (not to mention the permission) to say the kinds of things that Hansen said about his local NFL team are even more rare.
Hansen works for WFAA-TV in Dallas.
Here’s a little of what he had to say about the Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett on his Wednesday sportscast: “He’s one of two things. He’s either a fraud and hypocrite when he talks about having the right type of guys ‘character guys’ on his team… or he really has no say and he’s simply the puppet so many of you think he is.”
And here’s what he had to say about the Cowboys as an organization: “Just when I begin to think the Cowboys can’t sink any lower…they can’t fall from grace any more than they have…they find another shovel and dig a few feet deeper.”
What got Dale Hansen so fired up?
The Cowboys signed Greg Hardy to a contract what will pay him somewhere between $8 and $13 million next season.
You remember Greg. He’s the Carolina Panthers all-pro pass rusher, who was convicted of beating, choking and threatening to kill his girlfriend.
But that was a bench trial – meaning that it was a judge who heard the testimony and found him guilty. Hardy, under North Carolina law, appealed the conviction and asked for a jury trial, even though the judge suspended his 60-day jail sentence and put him on 18 months probation – a slap on the wrist if there ever was one.
His girl friend, probably a few million dollars richer, didn’t show up for the trial and the charges were dropped.
Hardy will probably be suspended for at least a few games by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who saw no reason to suspend him after his conviction.
The famous Ray Rice video drew a little too much attention to the NFL’s domestic violence problem and Goodell, who Hansen referred to as “the NFL’s Barney Fife,” put Hardy on the exempt list about 15 minutes after that video went viral.
That meant he couldn’t play, but he would still get his $13 million salary from the Panthers.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones backed Fife ..sorry Goodell…when he suspended Ray Rice. He said “ (Domestic abuse) is intolerable and will be adjudicated accordingly.”
It becomes a lot more tolerable when your team’s biggest need is for a really good pass rusher.
Wonder how Jerry would feel if a video of Hardy with his hands on his girl friend’s throat suddenly showed up.
Maybe you have to be 66 with a successful TV career behind you to have the guts to say this on a local TV newscast in an NFL city, but you can be sure that it wouldn‘t happen in very many NFL cities:
“The irony in this signing? Cowboys vice president Charlotte Jones Anderson (the owner’s daughter) is on the NFL’s personal conduct policy committee. It must be quite a committee…and quite a policy. And apparently if Charlotte were ever beaten by a man, the esteemed owner would be okay with that man on his team…if he could play.”
Hansen’s reaction was rare and refreshing.
But not nearly as refreshing and rare as it would have been if no NFL team had offered Greg Hardy a job.