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Blood Lust…

April 6, 2013

I have been uncharacteristically quiet for a while now, as there have been some significant changes in my life recently, and I really have had neither the time nor the inclination to interact with any of you.  Don’t take it personally.  It is what it is.  And while I have no intention of going too deeply into my personal life with you (yet), I will say that a big part of this has been a career transition that I am still navigating as we speak, although the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel is finally coming into focus.  So that aside, let’s get down to the reason I am reviving this site today.

Earlier this week, the attention-whores at ESPN released some video footage they had received from an assistant basketball coach at Rutgers University, right here in Jersey.  The tape showed highlights of the head coach, Mike Rice, displaying what some are calling “abusive” behavior towards his players. (We’ll get into the accuracy of the word “abuse” a little later.  Settle down.)  The tape, which was about four minutes long (Edited down from over 600 hours of footage) showed Rice screaming at his players, physically grabbing and pushing them, and even calling them “faggots” and “fairies”.  If you haven’t seen it, come on out from that cave, Geico guy, and take a look here:

OK, before your panties start bunching up, I will say this:  The guy probably crosses the line a few times.  But let’s put the media frenzy and lynch mob hysteria to the side here and really look at the tape.  At no point was anyone hurt, injured, or even endangered.  These men were grabbed and pushed, but never injured, and the coach never showed any indication of an intent to injure.    It’s his coaching style.  And while it may be abrasive and over-bearing to some (most even), it is not “abuse”.  In fact, I would say that calling it abuse is offensive to anyone who has ever truly suffered at the hands of an abuser, whether it be a parent, coach, or spouse.  Not only did these men not suffer any physical injuries, but they also will not suffer any lingering emotional ones.  Worst case scenario they go through the rest of their unaffected lives talking about the asshole basketball coach they had in college.  Relatively little harm, and really no foul.

You may have also already noticed that I am not referring to these students as “boys” or “kids”.  These are 18-22 year old college students.  They are men.  And if we are comfortable with sending young men and women of the same age away to the horrors of war (and the indignity of boot camp), then we should be OK with men the same age being hit in the back of the head with a basketball in a gym at their rural New Jersey State University.

“But this is 2013, and this behavior is not acceptable anymore.”

I keep hearing that gem.  Fine.  Then everyone needs to stop complaining about the new generation of “soft” kids.  How many times have people (especially me) sat around talking about how we need to stop coddling kids?  We talk on and on about the “kick in the ass” the next generation so desperately needs.  Yet when we see evidence of such a thing, we allow the media to whip us up into a blood thirsty lynch mob intent on destroying the lives of the perceived aggressor and everyone he has ever worked with or for.

I played hockey throughout my entire childhood, and let me say this:  I had a few coaches during that time that would watch that Rutgers tape today and think to themselves “Wow, that guys a real pussy.”  I’ve had hockey pucks fired at me.  I’ve had coaches push me, pull me, grab me, curse me, and insult me.  Ironically, most of those coaches were the best mentors I could have ever hoped for and got the most out of me, as a hockey player, and as a young man.

“Faggot”

I get that this was a problem.  As I said before, I think Mike Rice crossed the line, and calling the guys “faggots” and “fairies” is certainly a bad idea.  However, let me say this:  There is probably no man in this country that hasn’t called someone they know a faggot.  Especially in a sports setting.  Guys, be honest, you’ve done it, probably a thousand times.  Ladies, I  hate to be the one to break it to you (That’s not true, I actually LOVE breaking shit to you), but your husbands, sons, fathers, and brothers have done it too.  It’s a guy thing.  We call each other out for being sissies and faggy all the time.  It’s ball-breaking, and it’s rampant.  It’s also not really intended to be derogatory to gays.  Everyone who calls someone a fag is not a homophobe, necessarily.  I am as pro-gay as any man can be (while still clinging to my anal virginity), and I have called my friends fags more times than I can count.  I’m not saying that as a source of pride, it’s just an honest look at a common situation.  So while the coach really should refrain from using it in a professional setting, lets not feign outrage at the sound of the word.  It’s hypocrisy at it worst.

Having said all that, I understand that some of you would not want your sons or daughters playing for a coach like this, and that is your right.  I have no problem with what you decide is appropriate for your children, but the fact that the media has decided for us that this man (and the athletic director) is not worthy of a job is an outrage to me. And I am tired of watching the PC, blood-thirsty, whore media pass themselves off as my representative.  You should be too…

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