You thought Phil Mushnick couldn't get any more Mushnick on your ass than he already has? Ohhhh, people. Oh, how you underestimate that cagey old fucker. Because today, Mushnick hopped into the Andy Rooney machine and set it to Full Bushy Eyebrow. Join me as he carefully evaluates the plight of talented-but-personally-and-professionally-inconsistent wideout DeSean Jackson:
We're lost in the woods. Why would it be shocking if DeSean Jackson, is affiliated with a gang, and thus likely to be party, witness or have knowledge of blood and body-bag crime?
Take a hard look at that second sentence one more time and try to diagram it. I don't think that first comma is a mistake. I think it was actually a deliberate ploy by Mushnick to create a found Bon Iver song. Let's verse this up a bit…
1 we're lost in the woods
2 why would it be shocking [if DeSean Jackson]
3 is affiliated with a gang
4 and thus likely to be party
6 or have knowledge of blood and body-bag crime?
There you go. Before, we had a wet garbage bag filled with crazy old man horseshit. But NOW, we have Mushnick's "Paterson." His epic. Pass it on orally to your brethren.
As you know, Jackson was released by the Eagles last week amid rumors that he had gang affiliations, a charge that Jackson has denied and a charge that has failed to deter any number of teams from courting him in free agency. After all, statistically speaking, Jackson is coming off the finest season of his career.
But here we have Mushnick taking a vague rumor and extrapolating an entire Richard Price novel out of it. Jackson was rumored to be in gang. (Was it the Bloods? I know there's one called the Bloods!) Therefore, Jackson has TOTALLY witnessed a murder. Therefore, Jackson has covered up that murder and probably belongs in jail. Now this is where your standard HOT TAKE provider would end. That's an 89 mph williwaw of husky dog farts, as is. But then, Mushnick takes it to the next level…
At this point, in a world gone nuts, there must be dozens of NCAA, NFL and NBA players who belong to drugs-guns-murder street gangs, young women's auxiliaries included.
So true. Jackson is rumored to be in a gang, thus he has witnessed a murder, thus MANY athletes are in gangs and have witnessed murders. What kind of gangs? Oh, just your standard "drugs-guns-murder" gang. Just the other day, I was hanging out with Chris Bosh and he told me that HIS drugs-guns-murder street gang is WAY cooler than Dwyane Wade's drugs-guns-murder street gang. They do the drugs-murder-guns thing way better. YOUNG WOMEN'S AUXILIARIES INCLUDED*.
(I don't know what this phrase means. Is he talking about vaginas? The YWCA? The WNBA? The Girl Scouts? I really do not know.)
The next basketball game-fixing scandal almost certainly will be a "mob" enterprise, but from a different "syndicate" — a street gang (if it hasn't already happened).
Jackson is rumored to be a gang, hence he has witnessed a murder, hence the imaginary gang he belongs to is hellbent on fixing basketball games, IF IT HASN'T ALREADY. Detective Mush is onto you, street gang! This isn't your ordinary, reputable gang. This gang is on the STEEET, playing the knockout game with your grandma and wilding its way through Central Park. Your worst nightmare!
"Omerta," as per gang-bangers, is childishly known as "don't snitch."
I know! Blood oaths are so much more grownup when they're done in Italian! You little gang bangers playing with your cap guns out in the streets don't know how to CLASS up your violence the way ol' John Gotti used to. The Post's Steve Dunleavy back when Gotti died: "Between you and me, he would rather have been capped by a rival and died with his boots on than die in a coma with boots off… a wiseguy with cojones."
But violators suffer similar results: They become dead people, friends and/or family often included.
It's very effective and easily done.
Again, DeSean Jackson's gang ties have not been proven. But clearly, if he talks about his drugs-guns-murder street gang's plan to rig the NCAA tournament, it's CURTAINS for him. At least, that's what Jimmy Cagney called it back when crime was a MAN'S game. Nowadays, I guess the kids call it "stitches." Childish.
The condition of money-mutilated college sports placed Jackson, on full scholarship, at prestigious Cal-Berkeley, where, perhaps, he first met Crips in the library or when invited to play on their intramural softball team.
I … what?
Jackson's an enormously talented receiver or no one would care if he lived — maybe even to 30 — or died.
Jackson is rumored to be in a gang, thus he has witnessed murder, thus he has rigged sports, thus if he didn't play ball you shouldn't be sad if he were to be gunned down in a back alley. Because fuck him.
But if his off-field act tilts toward the criminal, his on-field conduct is a form of premeditated, first-degree assault on his sport.
Oh, right! IF! I forgot about the whole "None of this speculation is even remotely accurate" part of the column. I'm glad Mushnick was kind enough to throw an "if" in there. Hugely responsible on his part. I bet his editor shat on him for days over its inclusion. Anyway, Jackson is in a gang, thus he killed people, thus he is holding down the entire sport of football and forcing himself upon it, his giant gangbanger penis ripping the insides of the NFL apart. I like this game! It's like a Dr. Seuss book! OH THE STREET GANGS YOU'LL JOIN.
Here's the odd thing about Mushnick: Once in a while, he has the occasional lucid thought. I swear! For example, he hates that primetime games start so late. ME TOO! And he thinks that Mike Francesa is a complete asshole. I'M WITH YOU, PHIL!
But then you have the above column, and it reads like an insane man writing a coded message to loved ones, begging to be sent to a sanitarium. We're not here to defend assholes from the charges of being assholes. DeSean Jackson has done annoying things. Yasiel Puig has done annoying things. But there's a cottage industry in sportswriters holding up the talented assholes of the sports world and declaring them to be some kind of ominous sign that the portal to the netherworld has been opened. It's taking your basic asshole and ascribing a cartoonish amount of menace to it, like so: Phil Mushnick is a race-baiting asshole, therefore he has probably chased a teenager down a street with his gun because he thought that kid was a gangbanger, therefore he shot that child dead and had his superiors cover up the crime, therefore Phil Mushnick is a murderer. See how that works?
What a fucking idiot.