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When is it okay to suck at your job?

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When you're getting paid good money to sit front row and talk about basketball.

Jordan Cornette on the bench
Presented without comment.
Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

More than a month ago, one of us took a shot at Doug Gottlieb on Twitter and, in a moment of social media genius, managed to tie in a shot at Jordan Cornette. It was a two-for-the-price-of-one thing, the kind of value-added content our people have come to expect from us.

Sometime after that, Jordan Cornette was vanity searching his name on Twitter when he should have been paying attention to Sunday morning service and hit us with this gem:

This is part of apparently some larger point he is trying to make about how mean people are to public figures. Since I didn't know about it until I was getting snitch tagged in tweets from November 10th, I didn't have a chance to expand on my point, so let's jump in.

First, Cornette is indisputably and inexcusably bad at his job. His "analysis" demonstrates that he does almost nothing in the way of preparation or forgets it all by tip time. He makes sweeping referendums on players and teams based on the results of single plays when his job is to do the exact opposite of that. In the game of Xavier's he called, he misidentified players multiple times and plainly had no idea about their strengths and weaknesses.

There's a greater question in play here, and that's whether or not it's in play for me to point that out. Obviously, I think it is. He is no doubt qualified to do a great number of things, and he has chosen one that opens him up to feedback. He should be prepared for the fact that his job performance is going to be critiqued by the very audience whose existence makes it possible for him to pay his bills by sitting front row for D1 basketball games.

All three of us with the keys to that Twitter account have sat behind the mic to do what Cornette does. All three of us currently work very public-facing jobs where the feedback is often immediate and caustic and, unlike Cornette's case, not given to us in contexts where we can just log off and walk away, or not even be aware of it until someone points it out five weeks later.

I don't think Cornette is a bad person or wish bad things upon him. Much like the officials whose job performance we occasionally offer interpretation of, he is a human being who has chosen to do a job that puts him in front of a passionate audience and then - albeit indirectly - takes that audience's money so he can continue doing it.

He has what is a dream job to many. The responsibility of that job is to come to the microphone with an understanding of the game in general and the specific strengths, weaknesses, and idiosyncrasies of the players and programs involved. It takes a lot of work and a lot of talent to do well. As long as Cornette isn't going to display either that level of effort or that level of giftedness, he's going to draw critique from the audience. If he isn't prepared to deal with that, he should find a nice data entry position.