If you're a scandal-porn aficionado as I am, you are bound to be left wanting by Sports Illustrated's beyond-exhaustive expose of Oklahoma State football. It's a story that promises, in bold type, lots of shit that I like in a scandal: MONEY (follow the money!), DRUGS (I like drugs!), and SEX (the crucial element of any good scandal).
So it's disappointing to learn that the report essentially details your average Tuesday at a BCS school: coaches slipping money to broke players, players getting fake grades (no way!), 18-year-olds fucking each other (I'd be more scandalized if they weren't), and players smoking weed, the least controversial drug of the 21st century.
You call this a scandal, SI? HORSESHIT. This is only scandalous if you read Mitch Albom's Sunday columns without any ironic detachment. We need to establish firm criteria for what makes a sports scandal a scandal, so that we don't end up with another 53-part Yahoo series about the one time Steve Sarkisian took a player out to Applebee's. If you are a journalisty journalist hoping the sky opens up and rains Pulitzers on your serious reportage, please make sure that your scandal includes at least one (preferably more) of the following:
Deviant sex. Regular old sex between college students is useless to me. A proper scandal requires UNUSUAL sex acts, ones you never saw coming (tee hee hee): coaches banging assistant coaches, IOC child-sex rings, bulldog fucking, incest, etc. Please include all requisite nude selfies, sexts, dirty emails, and anything else that I can tell people is creepy but that I secretly find kinda hot.
Murder and/or extreme acts of violence. You mean no one was physically harmed in this OSU scandal? Christ, that's downright life-affirming. I wish my college had been considerate enough to supply me with donut money and an easy lay. Why didn't you just print the screenplay for The Sound of Music instead?
Famous rich people with wholesome images to uphold. A sexting scandal is generally pretty boring UNLESS the lecher at the center of it all happens to be, say, the most famous golfer on Earth, a billionaire, and a man who is sociopathically committed to maintaining his personal brand. So please make sure all your scandals include super-famous people from now on so their misdeeds are amplified many times over. These scandals are nothing without a proper fall from grace.
Hard drugs. Even cocaine won't do. You see how Aaron Hernandez smoked dust? Now THAT was a man dedicated to giving his scandal a little extra flair. Steroids and weed are athletic supplements at this point. We need PCP, heroin, and illicit narcotics that haven't even been invented yet. Did you know that Dwight Howard is a frunk addict? It's true!
Straightforward racism. The reason Riley Cooper's racism scandal was so delightful was because it was OUTRIGHT racism. No need to parse his words or INTERPRET the implicit racism of Charlie Weis's Notre Dame contract extension. No, no, I require clear racism featuring the breathtakingly oblivious use of socially unacceptable epithets.
Threats of violence
Guns waved in the middle of large crowds
Surveillance footage of naked people
Got all that, Thayer Evans? Good. Because I want to love your scandal. I really do. I need a good, hard-hitting sports story that will fill me with outrage and compel me to hide my children in a tornado shelter until they've reached middle age. And this is not that story.
Photo via Getty