David Kaplan, ESPN 1000, Justin Fields, Chicago Bears Screen grab: REKAP Rush Hour

While JJ Redick’s return to ESPN’s First Take this week has spurred plenty of conversation regarding the state of sports talk, fear not Nick Wright, the medium is alive and well.

That much was apparent on ESPN 1000 on Friday morning, as The Kap & J. Hood Morning Show discussed the massive news that Justin Fields has unfollowed the Chicago Bears and NFL’s Instagram accounts. In doing so, David Kaplan engaged in a vintage sports talk radio-style rant, ripping the Bears quarterback for having the audacity to curate his social media feed.

“Unfollowing the Bears, unfollowing the NFL, that’s a coward’s way out. ‘I don’t want all the rumors on my timeline. I just want to go on vacation and get away from everything,'” Kaplan said, mimicking Fields. “Then why do you go on a podcast to become the lead story on every channel? When has the Bears ever posted about a rumor? The answer is never. So that’s a bunch of B.S., Justin.

“Two, there’s a mute button. Why don’t you just mute the ones you don’t want to see? Or better yet, you can delete the app and sign back on when vacation’s over if that’s what you choose. Three, ‘I want the TVs turned off. I’m tired of hearing about the Bears’ quarterback spot’ – Mitchell David Trubisky, 2019. How is that any different than this guy saying, ‘I just want it to be over. I’m tired of the rumors. Caleb, Justin. Justin, Caleb.’ Why don’t you just keep your mouth quiet and just get off the grid, man?”

From a classic sports talk radio perspective, this rant had it all.

The indelicate use of a phrase most commonly associated with suicide? Check.

Using an extra whiny voice to impersonate the player you’re ranting against? Check.

Dismissively referring to a player by his first name in a condescending tone? Check.

Referencing an obscure story about a previous Bears quarterback as a false equivalency and using his full name while doing so? Check.

Telling the player in question to just keep his mouth shut? I think Kaplan just hit for the sports talk radio cycle.

Of course, it goes without saying that Kaplan’s rant is making a mountain out of a molehill, especially given Fields had a perfectly calm and reasonable explanation for unfollowing the Bears. Regardless of whether the Bears keep Fields or draft Caleb Williams, the Ohio State product unfollowing the team on Instagram will be a footnote in this entire saga.

It’s also worth noting that despite his apparent disdain for Fields, Kaplan also has MAJOR concerns (his emphasis, not mine) about Williams. So be careful who you follow (or unfollow) in Chicago, Caleb. David Kaplan will be watching.

[ESPN 1000]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.