At some point in the near future, football coaches are going to have to be relabeled into their own scientific category. It’s a real question if they’ve been human, or homo sapien, for a long time. Northwestern’s David Braun is only just the latest to prove it.
We know that football coaches, especially college ones, think everything they do is a level of genius that us mere plebes couldn’t ever begin to understand. Everything, and we mean everything, is a challenge that must be overcome to “get better” or “come together” because that’s what football teams do (just like good waffles). No matter how stupid or minuscule.
Which is what led Braun to this from ESPN:
“We are very calculated in the fact that we’ve got to make sure that we move forward in an appropriate manner,” Braun said.
To review, BEING RACIST AND/OR NOT COMMITTING SEXUAL ASSAULT DOESN’T TAKE CALCULATED THOUGHT.
Braun wants to celebrate himself for the oh-so-careful steps he’s taken to make sure that Northwestern players aren’t attacking each other in despicable ways during training camp, as if it’s that hard for players to keep from doing so. Like they’re uncontrollable animals that don’t require the slightest amount of discipline and rules to, y’know, not harm each other. And you can bet that’s what Braun thinks of his players. It’s what most coaches think of their players, especially in college, because then they get to dress up their job as even harder as well as justify them in saying that they don’t think players should be paid. They’re basically feral, don’tcha ya know?
The under-the-radar highlight here is how ESPN just presents this as a totally normal thing, as if Braun was trying to overcome an injury to the QB or Ryan Field burning down or something. This is stranger as ESPN is actually out of the Big 10 football business this year for the first time in 40 years. Perhaps those bonds are just that unbreakable. But we know what ESPN is, and it probably won’t be too long before you can sign on to their website and place a bet on how many scholarships NU will lose or how many lawsuits they’ll settle.
Braun wasn’t done, of course:
“I certainly hope that this community, our alumni, all those that are associated with Northwestern University and Northwestern athletics, will come out and show full support for 103 young men that have worked their butts off over the course of the last four weeks and have come together to do something really special,” Braun said. “I’m really confident that that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”
Yes, the players have worked really hard to not abuse each other or make racist gestures or simulate raping each other, and also they wore these shirts which shows they’re taking all of this extremely seriously, so the fans really need to get behind this team because how much harder can Braun work?
Everything is a challenge in football, for coaches, everything can be used as a rallying point, even the huge mountain of not hazing and scarring your teammates. How brave.
Baseball certainly gives you a lot of reasons to be a curmudgeon these days, and yet it still provides enough moments to remind you why you bothered in the first place. Last night was stuffed with them, but we’ll only pick a couple. First, Fernando Tatis Jr. putting ‘em on the table and stealing home without even a throw:
Something about a steal of home, the way the crowd gasps as Tatis begins to slowly move down the baseline, picking up speed as he goes, and they realize they’re about to see something they’ve never seen before, and the shock mixed with excitement as he breaks into a sprint. Within that roar you can hear, “Holy fuck he’s actually doing it!”
And then perhaps the highlight of the night, not just Christopher Morel’s walk-off homer for the Cubs, but the unadulterated joy he took in it:
That’s a yellow card for shirt removal though.
And because things are better in Spanish:
If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you’ll know I fired the Cubs as my team a couple years ago now. Haven’t regretted it either. But last night was the first tinge, seeing Morel’s unapologetic jubilance. Morel plays every game like he just found out he could make a living doing this. It’s infectious, and it’s hard not to get wrapped up in it. We live with our choices.
Follow Sam on Twitter @Felsgate and on Bluesky @Felsgate.bsky.social