If Controversy Sells, I’ll be Poor

Johnny Unitas signing an autograph at the Balt...

Image via Wikipedia

They tell me that controversy sells. At least when it comes to getting hits on your blog and comments from readers. If you want to drive traffic to your blog on a consistent basis, consistently rock the boat, stir the water, poke your finger in someone’s eye. The comments will roll in. Everyone loves a platform to share his or her opinion with the world.

Problem is, I’m not a controversial person, never have been. It’s just not my style. I have opinions, sure I do, and lots of them, but I generally don’t share them unless I have to (and I mean really have to) or am asked to.

Some people like rocking the boat just to see those in it squirm. That’s not me. Some speak their mind just to make their stance on any subject known. That’s not me. Some poke fingers because they’re looking for a fight, some verbal sparring. That’s not me. Quite honestly, I see no point in it.

I’m not out to make enemies; I’m not out to sway the world to my way of thinking. And I’m honest enough with myself that I realize the majority of folks simply don’t care what I think. Who am I?

I recently met the sister of football Hall-of-Famer Johnny Unitas, arguably one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. She told me Johnny was quiet and usually kept to himself, even in the locker room. Rarely did he voice his opinion about matters others thought were important. One time she asked him why he didn’t say more, why he was always so quiet. His response: “Because I don’t feel like I have anything important to say.”

But when he did, he said it. Johnny knew the difference between speaking with purpose and just blowing a bunch of hot air around.

Life has taught me two valuable lessons that I try to practice every day (and these lessons were mostly learned the hard way):

  • Better to remain silent and be thought a fool then to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

And . . .

  • Choose your battles wisely.

Now, that doesn’t mean I’m a pushover. I’ll fight when I need to fight. I’ll take a stand for something that’s worth standing for. I’ll make my voice heard when it’s necessary to do so. But I choose which mountains I’m willing to die on very carefully. The rest? Well, someone else can die on those hills. I just don’t have the time nor the energy to fight every battle that comes along.

As for controversy, the popular bloggers can keep it. I’d rather encourage and inspire others. I’d rather make a real difference. Even if it means less traffic, poorer stats, fewer hits and comments. I’m okay with that. Hey, if I reach one person I’ve done my job.


About mikedellosso

Mike Dellosso is an author of wide-eyed suspense. He writes stories that not only entertain but enlighten.

Posted on October 11, 2011, in Life in General, Sports, Writing Life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. I grew up watching Johnny U and remember him as just the man your described. Most of us have an over inflated view of our own opinions and would do well to follow your example. I write content for commercial and non- profits sites for a living and can tell you the controversy angle works in the short term. But over the long-term, quality and usefulness is what makes what is written worthwhile. Based on that, what you have to say and write will be around long after the firebrands have all flickered out.


  2. Love Johnny U. The Colts were my first favorite football team. Okay, I admit it was because I loved horses, and they galloped a beautiful white one around when they scored touchdowns. But, hey, I still appreciated Johnny U. once I learned the game.

    Sometimes those who like to spar think their points are a little too important. Condescension and arrogance usually show up. I think exercising the brain matter is better served in other endeavors, but, you’re right, Michael. Sometimes you gotta stand on some hills and fight for what you believe.


    • The amazing thing about Johnny U. was that he called all his own plays and played in a time when receivers could be mugged down field and quarterbacks weren’t wrapped in cellophane. He was a man’s man, one of the greatest ever. And I remember that horse 🙂


  3. I so agree with you and thank you for saying it!


  4. Mike,
    I enjoyed this article and your words were so well put, it would be nice if more people would adopt your philosophy.


  5. My dad managed the supermarket that Johnny U. shopped at in Baltimore. He said there was another notable athlete who played for the Orioles who used to frequent the store and once told a young autograph-seeking boy, “Get away from me kid.” But not Johnny. He would stand there and sign autographs the whole time his wife shopped. Gotta love it.


  6. Hey Mike, couldn’t agree more. Great observations, especially about leaving no doubt when you open your mouth.


  7. Very well put & I agree 🙂


  8. You know…Jesus Christ is controversial. Just saying…:)


  9. Making a difference in one person’s life is making a difference. It’s not about the number of people who read what we write, it’s the impact our writing has on anyone.


  10. A-MEN, Brother!!! A-MEN!!!


  11. I couldn’t agree more!


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