Now that Terra Nova has been canceled, noted Brookings Institutionarian and surveyor of the cosmos Gregg Easterbrook was finally free today to chime in on the NFL bounty scandal. And oh, dear readers. Oh, the man never fails to disappoint. Right off the bat, this is what you get ...
Sinnersgate — the Saints are no saints — is worse than Spygate.
BOOM! Not only does Easterbrook bestow a catchy cognomen upon this tawdry affair, he also makes sure to explain how he was able to arrive at said cognomen to you, the little people who were hopefully attending worship services in the offseason. Please note Gregg's moral outrage and adjust yours accordingly. Justin Halpern said that Easterbrook is the Rick Santorum of sports. You're about to read why.
Spygate was cheating, but caused no one harm. Sinnersgate is about being paid to cause injury, which takes a beautiful sport and makes it a low, filthy thing.
A common thing. A vulgar thing. A sport for groundlings, I tell you! I must again reiterate that football is an inherently violent and inhumane sport, and that anyone who watches it makes a pact with themselves that it's violent, but that's OK because it's grown men playing it and it's AWESOME to watch. It was never a beautiful sport. Ever. If you ever played football, you know that pain and suffering are inflicted on someone virtually every play.
But don't NFL players know they are assuming risk? Of course.
Oh OK, so your outrage is worthless. Oh but wait. What about the ...
The deeply troubling offense of Sinnersgate is that the pros, who are looked up to by the young ...
CHILDREN OMG THE YOUNGLINGS WHAT WILL WEE TIMMY THINK OF ALL THIS BARBARISM! And how will our urban youth react to the silent gang war between Julio Jones and Roddy White?
... are setting a terrible example for the high school players and coaches who emulate what they see on Sundays in the NFL. This is much worse than Spygate, bringing a new low to the National Football League.
Again, this is only a new low if you are the kind of person willing to blind yourself to the inherent barbarism of the sport. Furthermore, Spygate was about getting a competitive advantage over another team. These bounties gave the Saints no real competitive edge over the competition. And if you think it did, please consult Gregg Williams's record as a head coach. He was puke.
With football being hammered by scandal after scandal, where is the person of honor who will take a stand to return integrity to the sport?
Please note the word "return," because it suggests that there was a Golden Age of Gridironing in which the game was played exclusively by NON-GLOREE BOYS who broke down in front of a ballcarrier properly and NEVER led with their heads. No sport ever has full integrity. Like any other facet of life, it's as prone to human frailty and corruption as anything else. To demand that Roger Goodell somehow magically turn football—FOOTBALL—into a fucking wonderland of virtue is breathtakingly idiotic. This is a sport that has featured rampant drug use, gambling, player hazing, sex scandals, domestic violence issues, wayward accounting, and taxpayer abuse. And that's just the Cowboys.
There will always be injuries in football. But the intent of a football player never should be to injure; the intent should be to hit hard, legally.
Walk out onto a football field sometime and see if there's a big difference between trying to hit someone real hard and trying to injure them. Guess what happens if you hit someone hard? You injure them.
Intending to harm your opponent changes football from something manly and sportsmanlike into something brutish and disgusting.
The kind of two-bit sideshow you might find Anne Hathaway starring in!
The Giants-Patriots Super Bowl was a fantastic contest, among the best football games ever, yet there was no dirty play by either team.
There's no clear proof of this, and to state that outright is both ignorant and disingenuous. Again, the line between "I'm going to hit the fuck out of that guy" and "I'm going to concuss that guy" is blurry. Sometimes, when you go to hit someone, you're not even sure what your intentions are. And who's to say that one of the Giants or Pats didn't think they'd have a better chance to win if they took out the opposing QB, only to fail?
Encouraging — and rewarding — dirty play changes the intent of football in a repulsive manner.
Repulsive. Brutish. Disgusting. REPUGNANT. That is so not what football is normally!
Now, are you prepared for a ridiculous analogy? Breathe deep.
Michael Vick ...
Hoo boy ...
... went to prison for nearly two years for harming dogs, which he should not have done. Williams offered players money to harm people. [...] [I]f prison was the fair punishment for causing harm to animals, the punishment Williams faces must be severe.
Michael Vick KILLED dogs. Like he literally murdered them in cold blood. He drowned them, choked them, stuck cattle prods up their butts, had them rape other dogs, etc. For THAT, he went to prison for two years. It's basically like saying "Jeffrey Dahmer killed and ate 47 people, which he should not have done. Gregg Williams also did something he should not have done, and according to the Brookings Penal Code, the sentence for Doing Something You Should Not Have Done is a minimum of 2 years."
Gregg Williams has a classy first name ...
... but may be a man of twisted values.
Again, values. Ethics. Morals. For people like Gregg, sports is some giant fucking moral barometer that acts as a running commentary on the state of America. Gregg Williams is a shitty football coach and a raging dickhead. And he's gonna get the gate, but don't go trying to paint him as some anomaly in a sport that celebrates its cutthroat nature.
Monday on NPR's "All Things Considered ...
Your point is already worthless.
Mike Pesca dug up audio of Williams speaking after the Saints' Super Bowl win. Williams says, "My whole life … I've been trying to get people to play nastier." Can he seriously think lack of aggression is a problem in football?
Yes, because he's an idiot football coach and that's what football coaches do. DURRRR ALL THAT BOY NEEDS IS A MEAN STREAK DURRRRR
The Saints' Super Bowl win is now tainted.
The Saints' feel-good story is over.
OOOH THEY'RE BAD GUYS NOW. I HOPE ANOTHER HURRICANE HITS THEM TO TEACH 'EM GOOD.
Severe penalties must be handed out, while Saints supporters, who are not to blame, must accept that what their team seemed to accomplish is forever diminished.
Why? That's fucking INSANE. They won the Super Bowl, and everyone down there was happy. What are they supposed to do, dial down their happy by 20 percent? They don't have to do ANYTHING. Sportswriters love to tell you how YOU should feel about your team and how you should remember them. They want to be the official caretaker of your fandom and it has nothing to do with reality. No Saints fan I know is like, "Our title has been diminshed!" They're all like, "Oh OK. That's too bad. MY MAWMAW MADE GUMBO Y'ALL." Saints fans are annoying like that.
The larger question is whether Sinnersgate shows there is rot throughout the structure of America's most lucrative sport.
Boy, I dunno Gregg! Suppressed evidence of concussions, drugs, asshole owners ... I wonder if the NFL was not the high moral entity I always presumed it was.
Football must be reformed, from youth leagues up to the NFL, to eliminate the encouragement of vicious play.
Then go ahead and end football, because it exists to be vicious. It's not gonna morph into soccer with a few fines and suspensions, you jackass. Gregg Easterbrook is the worst.