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Pacers An Easy Target For Local Media Report, No Matter How Ridiculous

Pacers in pink backpacks: harmless fun or hazing?

You're joking, right? No?

OK, how about harmless fun. Now can we move on?

Nope, with a furrowed brows and straight face, Fox 59 tried to make a serious news story out of the fact that Roy Hibbert organized a rookie initiation to have Paul George, Magnum Rolle and Lance Stephenson wear pink backpacks.

Oh, I'm sorry,  the term initiation is merely a euphemism for HAZING. And apparently, since there have been some horrific hazing incidents in Hamilton County over the past year, we can no longer rely on intelligence and common sense to make a distinction between varying degrees of hazing and the Pacers are setting a bad example for the kids by promoting this behavior.

This gets the blood boiling on a couple of levels.

First the sheer stupidity of the story with a busy body mom straight out of central casting worrying about her kids and trying to educate people on the horrors of hazing. Please, start with your kids and educate, educate, educate.

I understand the zero-tolerance policy in effect in Carmel, but if you or your community can't figure out a way to handle hazing behavior then keep working with the kids and stop looking for excuses elsewhere. It's as if the mom was saying,  if we can't figure it out then no one else can, therefore everyone must adhere to our restrictions.

How about a little context? Wearing pink backpacks sits several miles on the other side of the coninuum from the graphic assault that took place on a Carmel school bus. In fact, I'm not sure how what happened on that bus is even classified as an example of hazing as opposed to what it actually was -- assault.

Plus, Roy Hibbert isn't intimidating anyone here. He is introducing the new guys on the team to a little harmless adversity which gives everyone on the team a chance to see how the new guys react. But... wait...I'm not going to waste time defending Hibbert's action since any sane person understands the harmless, team-building impact Roy was looking for. 

I'm more exercised by the report itself.

What exactly were the folks at Fox 59 thinking? The poor cub reporter they sent down to try to get quotes from the Pacers had to feel emasculated asking these questions. Notice Jim O'Brien wasn't in the piece. That's because JOB stared a hole through the kid while he was asking and then told him he had nothing to say.

Talk about hazing. That reporter has a good case against his bosses at 59 for making him cover that ridiculous storyline.

The other angle that kills me with this story is that it remains open season on the Pacers. This guy didn't ask around to the other local teams about their, hazing rituals. In fact, Peyton Manning claims not to engage in rookie hazing but we do know he likes to pull pranks.

Ah, pranks. Now that's a solid euphemism for hazing. Just ask Jay Cutler who Manning famously "pranked" at the Pro Bowl last year. Also seem to remember Manning having some coaches golf carts set afloat in a lake at Rose Hulman during training camp.

Would anyone at 59 ever consider heading out to the Colts' complex to question the team? Was there someone in charge pushing this story? More importantly, was there no one in charge questioning this story?

I guess any chance to take a shot at the Pacers is easy pickings. I'm surprised they didn't find someone to complain that CIB money was used to buy the backpacks.

Honestly, such a ludicrous claim would've fit in perfectly with this ridiculous story.