Do and Donte

We’re used to Donte Whitner running his mouth. We also know his feet will never catch up to the words. The man who’s blessedly been a former Bill for awhile seems determined to get booed in his former home stadium regardless of which jersey he’s wearing. No matter the venue, he can’t change direction.

Donte Whitner talks a good game, but he generally doesn’t back it up on the field. (AP)

To be fair, it is audacious of a foe to have high hopes. The quasi-trouble began when Buffalo’s new hero candidate, Sammy Watkins, dared to announce he’s motivated, including when it comes to facing teams that had a chance to grab him. That included Cleveland, the franchise that traded one of those opportunities. Naturally, new Brown Whitner took someone else’s general motives personally. Tackling hurts when one has thin skin, which might explain why he does it infrequently.

It’s too bad summer yapping doesn’t win rings. Whitner displayed the bravado of a rather dull wrestling villain in condemning someone he’s never faced. But why stop at being crabby with other players? Insulting Buffalo’s fans who coped with his middling play embodies the class for which Whitner is renowned. It wasn’t offensive enough that he took the team’s money without ever earning it.

We had to piece together the affronts. It’s a sad indictment of America’s educational system that someone who spent three years in college struggles with spelling and grammar. Perhaps it’s our fault for assuming Whitner was writing in English. Fans hope he’ll provide updates on his degree progress in clear language. Meanwhile, the only thing more offensive than his casual delivery is what he’s thinking.

Shouldn’t he study film instead of picking arguments on social media? It’s never too late to improve. Whitner might have more than 1.25 interceptions per season if he used the time he spends tweeting on training. As for now, he’s best known for guarding the unused side of the field from tricky reverses. Whitner has always been there to ensure the ball carrier doesn’t head for the other sideline while running 10 yards backward. I’d feel bad for Browns fans, but some of them seem to be enjoying his tired act. They can revel in every moment of the play they’re about to get.

Cleveland will undoubtedly be kind to a defender who has played more like a team’s eighth pick than eighth overall. As a late-round discovery, Whitner would’ve been a nice surprise, but he’s charitably been an underwhelming single-digit pick. Sure, he was on bad teams in Buffalo, but he was part of them. Don’t whine about hitting the rumble strip from the driver’s seat. Meanwhile, he hopped on a moving train in San Francisco. By rule, he was not permitted to join the Seahawks at the NFC Championship game’s halftime.

It’s tempting to ignore Whitner like he has so many ball carriers. The unsafe safety provides a case study regarding the eternal debate of whether it’s worth responding to trolls. Pathetic online denizens thrive on the negative reaction to their provocations, but such woeful enemies of cheer sometimes need to be put in their places. While Donte is unlikely to ever mature, he should still know he’s being a negative Nancy.

A criminally long offseason leaves endless chances for antsy players to show what kind of people they are. So, feel free to respond appropriately. Feel free to provide encouragement to a gracious hard worker. By contrast, social media offers the cathartically satisfying chance to politely, yet firmly, tell a ridiculous human being that he’s better at yapping than playing. It’s fun to not have to cheer for Whitner anymore and it’s inadvertently kind of him to remind us why.

About Anthony Bialy

Anthony Bialy recently moved back to Buffalo from New York City and acts like he never left. He thinks "Buffalo 66" is biographical and considers it a crime against mankind that Steve Tasker is not in the Hall of Fame. He likes getting Tim Hortons on the way to get Labatt Blue. Follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyBialy.

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