Over at Gratland, here's Charlie Pierce on Aaron Hernandez and the circus come to town:
The dynamic of celebrity murder is as odious as it is inevitable. It requires the media — and the complicit public, namely us — to invest ourselves in the notion that some murders are more heinous than others, more worthy of our attention than others, and, therefore, that some victims are more lamentable than others, with all the moral ambivalence that calculation obviously entails. A celebrity murder also requires of the media that creates it an insatiable appetite for anything and everything that can be attached to The Case; a multimedia black hole is created, sucking in all information that comes within its zone of darkness. Cousins are interviewed. Hell, the diaper-service guy for the house down the block gets interviewed. Theories are propounded. Long-distance psychoanalysis is practiced. Big Thoughts are thought and, worse, expressed, about What It All Means, when, really, all it means is that human beings will kill each other, which we learned back in the early chapters of the Bible, remember? Nancy Grace rises from the box of fresh earth in which she sleeps every night to stalk the cable landscape, feeding vicariously on the blood of the victim.
...Of course, we will have endless bloviating about what in Hernandez's "background" may have warned off the poor, misguided Patriots, had they only known, which I guarantee you they did. But, seriously, how are you supposed to "vet" a player so as to know whether he might get involved in killing a guy? Because he smoked some weed in college? Please, do not be stupid. Because of the "influences" around him while he was growing up? Please, do not go there at all. You might question why a player seems to be involved in so many unfortunate occurrences involving firearms, but then Wayne LaPierre will show up on your lawn, hurling anathemas and spittle at you. When Roger Goodell speaks out that it's too easy for everyone — not just NFL players, but their friends and "influences" who never get out of the places where poverty and crime go unremarked upon by the television hairdos — to get their hands on deadly weapons, then I'll buy the hype his sycophants ladle out.
When it is pointed out by enough people, in sports and out, that the culture they so deplore in music is the result of an armaments industry that will allow nothing to be done about the ceaseless flow of deadly iron into the neighborhoods where that culture brings that iron to bear, when they start worrying as much about Colt and Smith & Wesson as they do about rap music, then I'll take the condescending media talk about how Aaron Hernandez was raised without laughing too loudly. The NFL has the same problem the country has — too damn many people have too damn many guns.