A Cacophony of Offensensitivity

By Luke on December 21, 2011 at 12:10p
Even the crappy new Comedy Central Futurama's greatly exceed the most merit worthy elements of this column.I'm actually pretty sure...

The last 24 hours have been a bastion of many a splendid things. Most notably, in no particular order:

1. Righteous indignation.
2. The Kübler-Ross model.
3. Scapegoatism.
4. Intellectual laziness.
5. Badly penned columns/blog posts reflecting all of these things.

You see, there's a bit of culpable individual in all of us. From grasping at straws to conspiratorially link Ohio State's mostly fitting fate to strictly-for-entertainment broadcasting media empires to try and make ourselves feel better to trying to fit the zeitgeist du jour into our own preconceived narratives, we've all been guilty of saying/doing things that, given time and introspection, we'd likely find beneath ourselves and in no way full indicative of our full cognitive abilities nor our actual opinions.

And then there's Ted Miller. I want to make it abundantly clear that I'm not attempting to pick on Mr. Miller and that this is in no way intended as any kind of personal attack. In fact, I long championed Ted's work as amongst the best amongst conference specific beat variety. While it sometimes seems like his twitter game could use work and to an extent it feels as though his fastball has lost a few MPH since the conference of his specialization went from 10 teams to 12, he's still churned out great work like this of late proving that he's both intellectually capable of better as well as establishing a strong a strong pro-case that he is, in fact, a rational person capable of independent thought.

If you were trolling for trolling's sake, my hat's off to you, sir. I've written many a stupid things in my time and if you actually Google my name, even some of the best work I've done is poorly proofed, punctuated, and often times a mess of OCD stream of consciousness. There's a reason you're a full-time writer/aggregator and I'm not. At the same time, if you actually believe the words contained in this in any sense isn't coming from a "let me placate to my target demo for cheap page views XOXO - Perez Miller", you're looking pretty far from good, BB.

In the interest of fairness, I'm willing to give your thoughts on the matter one more comprehensive one over, however. Just to make sure we're doing right by each other:

Breathe, USC fans, breathe.

Breathing is good. Breathing is a necessary physiological function and helps do important things like not die.

In fact, I'd suggest you ignore what happened Tuesday with Ohio State and its slap on the wrist from the NCAA for a massive systemic breakdown and a coverup by head coach, Jim Tressel.

Slow your roll there, T-Bone. A one year bowl ban with scholarship loss (albeit less than USC's, who you know, had a player getting over $X00,000 in impermissible benefits vs a half dozen or so goes totaling benefits in the low four figures collectively) sucks. A lot. Particularly when the aggregate talent level and the coaching acumen being brought in to replace the current brain trust puts Ohio State in the elite class capable of hypothetically winning a national title any given season. Jim Tressel did perpetrate a cover up, I'm not sure anyone's saying otherwise anywhere, and there certainly are some huge, systematic failures on Ohio State's front that won't go without consequence, but let's call a spade a spade and try to approach facts as facts and not play the hyperbole card out of the gate. I read that piece you wrote on the Pac-12's future. I know you can do it.

Yes, when you hold up the Ohio State case and the USC case, it's impossible not to conclude the Ohio State case was far more severe. It was, of course, without question. No informed, objective person believes differently.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say given the patronizing closed door language you elected to go with at the end pretty much makes your argument beyond reproach. If I say otherwise, I'm an Ohio State honk incapable of reasoning independently of the degree awarding institution of my past. It also makes me ignorant of and/or oblivious to the facts. The nearly year plus of fact finding and obsessing over every micro detail of the case at this very site were clearly all in vain. But, in the interest of being adults, let's try this anyways.

By all means, sir, feel free to inform yourself. This is called objectivity. You know, looking at the two things of which we're attempting to compare, side-by-side.

Now the interesting thing is your willingness to drop the term 'case' as opposed to actual misconduct. Ohio State's NCAA case was 34 pages long. USC's was 67 pages.

And "impossible not to conclude Ohio State case was far more severe."? USC's took four years to complete, largely in part because USC stifled the investigation. Ohio State's was done in under a year.

I know hyperbole is king and all, but going back to just talking the actual misdeeds, Ohio State's were limited to one sport; USC's were most assuredly not. USC's case indicates that Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo were able to engage in rule-breaking, at least in part, because of USC’s negligence, which included lack of staffing in the area of compliance, lax regulation on the sidelines and in the locker room, and, in at least one instance, a rebuke of running backs coach Todd McNair​, who the NCAA cited for lying during the investigation. Jim Tressel was the head coach, so there's certainly a far greater degree of responsibility afforded him than a running back's coach, but USC's head coach Tim Floyd in that other sport... You know, not so sure this is your cup of tea. Moving on. 

But here's the thing: Being outraged will accomplish nothing. You will be unhappy and your team will still be docked 30 scholarships over the next three years for what one player secretly did while Ohio State will be down just nine scholarships over the same time period for the rule-breaking of five with full knowledge of their head coach. And your unhappiness will provide great joy to folks who don't like your team.

But what about all the butt hurt your faux outrage is inspiring? That pretty much also accomplishes nothing. Since facts will be facts as you say and objective reality is just that, what exactly is the point of this again? I will say though, your perceived unhappiness (though admittedly it just seems like pandering shtick from my vantage) is certainly providing great joy to folks who don't like your team.

Adopting a placid pose — at least as best as you can — will be good practice for handling potentially more infuriation ahead. The NCAA also likely will give even worst upcoming cases — North Carolina and the University of Miami at Paul Dee — less severe penalties than it gave USC.

It will? Well, as you know, smarter folks than you or I have said, it seems to the NCAA that reaction is more important than action. It also seems conceivable Miami is going to be hit with the force of a thousand gods, but maybe I'm just high on unobjectivity and fanboy helmet paint chips.

Why? Because the NCAA treated USC unfairly — everybody in college sports knows this — and it likely won't revisit such irrational harshness. In the end, the justification for such severe penalties, meted out in contrast to past precedent, was little more than "just because."

"EVERYONE […] KNOWS THIS!" When Bill Simmons famously once taught a logic course I took at Unobjective Ill Informed University, he said this was the most important element of a well construed argument. He makes way more money than you or I will ever make in our lives combined, so you know what's cooler than a million strawmen arguments? A billion strawmen arguments.

But the NCAA, an organization not endowed with a sense of self-awareness, failed to foresee when it curb-stomped USC that among the lawbreakers in college football, the Trojans were jaywalkers amid a mob of bank robbers. Ohio State's sanctions, in fact, represent a return to NCAA normalcy: Mostly toothless penalties that will have little effect on the program's prospects, other than a single-season bowl ban.

The Trojans were jaywalkers. You seriously just said this.

So now we've successfully transitioned from comparing severe violations to other severe violations to revisionist history. Sir, I'm going to have to request that you punch in 4, 8, 12, 15, 16, 23, 42 and hit a button in roughly the next 30 seconds lest you want to travel through time and set off 3 seasons of red herrings and logical plot holes far greater than even the one's you've construed in these few hundred words.

There we go again: Fretting the particulars and the injustice of it all.

PRO TIP: Stop.

The point is USC fans have been quite reasonably been shaking their fists at the heavens or, more accurately, the NCAA home office in Indianapolis for two years. That anger has accomplished nothing, other than emboldening taunts from opposing fans.

Maybe their AD shouldn't have taught a masters course that would make the gambit paid by the sure-to-be-also-fired one in this case look like the most competent leader in college athletics.

You know: Fans whose teams didn't finish 10-2 and ranked No. 5 in the nation.

Mike Garrett approves.

And therein lies the ultimate revenge: Winning.

Cool story, Charlie Sheen.

RIP, our collective being interested in this dude, 2011-2011.The creative process exposed.

It's hard to imagine the next five years won't see a USC downturn. Losing 30 scholarships is a tough burden. Things could be particularly difficult in 2014 and 2015, when the true cumulative impact arrives. And it could be even more galling if Ohio State is back in the national title hunt those years. Maybe playing Miami in a Fiesta Bowl rematch!

SC sure seems to be doing alright given the circumstances. They got dealt a tough hands, in large part for their obstinance but also because, you know, they had a guy getting 6 figures in impermissible benefits. Miami's pretty freaking far from competing for a national title and given that they'll be facing some serious hurdles of their own, I'm not sure your hypothetical butt hurt (the only thing greater than actual butt hurt) is viable, but shine on, you beautiful future dated superficially outraged dreamer, you.

But if the Trojans can somehow remain in the picture, perhaps playing in a Rose Bowl -- or two -- along the way that would be a heck of a panacea, wouldn't it?

You know what else is a panacea? Cod liver oil.

It's a longshot, sure. But other than that, we've got nothing for you USC. Sorry.

I would say a solid 2011 that could serve as the foundation for Lane Kiffin, who suddenly doesn't seem all that awful of a coach, is something but I'm neither objective nor informed so what do I know?

Easy, now. Breathe, breathe. Happy place. Happy place.

"Sometimes taking ones own advice is the best advice they can ever give or receive." - Yahoo! Answers.

Oh, no. That's exactly what we were trying to avoid.

That looks like a serious head injury. I know the feeling. /TedMiller'd



Comments Show All Comments

Nappy's picture

I'm trying to pronounce "Offensensitivity" in my head.  I can't.

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

Luke's picture

It sort of just makes me think over and over of this.

BucksfanXC's picture

Burn on Charlie Sheen-mania = Winning. Doing it in a mouseover is a bonus. I love mouseovers.

Luke you haven't written anything on here in awhile it seems like, and I've missed it. I used to hate your columns, and I believe I even said so in a comment once. I now realize I just had to give you time. I didn't "get" you at first. Now, I'm more meme savvy and hip to the style of writing you do. I still don't always get your references, but when I do, I always laugh. (\Dos Equis'd) Thanks, nice write up.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Luke's picture

Thanks man, really means a lot. I've only got so many hours in the day and between the Dubcast and the mad, mad world of the EDSBS writers table I can't always squeeze stuff out like I'd like. I'm definitely going to try and moonglight around these parts more regularly time permitting this off season.

Baroclinicity's picture

Love this piece.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

rdubs's picture

You need some fact checking as well:  USC beat Oregon and is ranked #5 in the AP poll.  I think that is what he was talking about.  


But mostly I agree with your points.

Luke's picture

Guh. That should've read "though SC beat Oregon heads up" and the rest was poorly worded snark. I rephrased it to make it more contextually accurate. Thanks, sir.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Luke - great piece!!! Please ensure Alex reads because his last post is dangerously as bad as the one you're lampooning!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

Conroy's picture

University of Spoiled Children

Ethan's picture

Absolute gold

MaliBuckeye's picture

I thought Oregon lost to Southern Cal this season...

"Sarcastically, I'm in charge."


Luke's picture

See above. At least I admitted to being a poor self editor in the piece.

Bucksfan's picture

Everything Ted Miller says is simply par for the course for what we've seen from the University of Spoiled Children.  I hate to get ad hominem with it, but it bears some attention that the students of that university and the fans of that team tend to spend the first 22 years of their lives pitching fits at mom and dad while riling around on the floor of their beachfront 20,000 sq.ft. mansions until they get their way.  It's part of their charm, if you will.  They literally will say anything, ANYTHING, no matter how ludicrous, to make an argument.  They should have been spanked more for backtalking.

LABuckeye's picture

How do you think I feel having to live around it? My dislike for USC before I moved here (because of previous Rose Bowl clashes) turned into blinding hatred when I moved here, and turned into something that can't be put into words when my wife and I endured unsolicited gangster-like harassment at the Coliseum during and after the OSU game a couple of years ago.

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

I always thought Ted Miller was a USC homer. This just makes my initial thought a reality. Jaywalkers....that made me ROTFLSHMSFOAIDMT...

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

Cross Village's picture

Great take and much needed as the radioactive mushroom cloud of yesterday drifts off.


theDuke's picture

Thanks Luke. Your writing prowess is making leaps and bounds with each post. I mean, never thought I'd see the phrase "fanboy helmet paint chips" mixed in with a PRO TIP. Seriously, you should use pro tip more frequently, its very poignant.


Maestro's picture

Sad that the common message board USC teet sucker could have written a better piece than Mr. Miller did.  In fact, he essentially copied darn near word for word what I have read ad nauseum for the past year from many Trojan dipshits.  Some of them aren't even dipshits normally, but they can't help but compare the 2 cases and it always ends up with a 911 call to the.......

vacuuming sucks

Joe Beale's picture

shine on, you beautiful future dated superficially outraged dreamer, you.

+1,000,000 for the obscure Pink Floyd reference

BrewstersMillions's picture

 We could have gotten the NCAA death penalty and people would have called for more. We could have gotten the actual death penalty (Smith, Gee, Tressel and Urban for good measure all get the needle in Lucasville*) and people would have said we got off easy. This is what we can expect to read and hear over the next few months.  It will be a long series of butt hurt commentary punctuated by the occasional, logically written article (Stewart Mandel, your table is ready). When the NCAA Comes down on NC, there will be comparisons to USC and OSU. When The Oregon punishment comes down, again the compaisons will be there. Finally, when Miami gets their just desserts, people will have nothing better to do than compare what everyone else received to what OSU received and again we will hear how we got off easy.  Trying to compare the case of OSU to anyone else is a fools errand. The hatred this verdict has illicited should be our final lesson in what its like to be an OSU fan. Few organizations create the sort of animosity a good Ohio State program does-Other than the Yankees, I can't think of anyone more hated than the loud, obnoxious Buckeyes.* Stuff like this just sort of makes me laugh. And it makes me smile-because deep down I think the upset folks were hoping it was the NCAA that stopped OSU football because in a year, no one is going to be able to stop them.


*1 Ohio still executing in Lucasville? I dated a girl that lived right across the street from the prison and always felt weird driving past it.

*2 I am not a soccer fan. Are there clubs that are hated like NY or OSU?

BuckeyeCrew's picture

Ditto to most sentiments expressed about how other pundits view the OSU sanctions.  Nothing more to add.

However, for your #2: There are many soccer teams abroad that are hated by most other fans.  To name a few: Manchester United, Manchester City (recent hatred towards them due to their rapid rise), Liverpool, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Lazio (because their fans are perceived as having idealogically fascist beliefs) and many more.

You all think that SEC fans are bat*&it crazy?  Rivalries between big soccer clubs in the major European (and even minor ones, that aren't as televised) make SEC fans look like educated, tame debutantes.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

The eternal Buckeye, Kirk Herbstreit was on the Cowherd show trumpeting the line that Ohio State got off easy. According to Herbsteit, Ohio State fans should be parading down the streets in joy. He then proceeds to whine on behalf of USC. Basically, the eternal Buckeye gave the spoken version of Ted Miller's blog post.    

btalbert25's picture

What a fool.  I've really thought all along that Herbie's problems with Ohio State were related to Tressel.  I just had a feeling that he had an axe to grind ther for some reason.  Seems like ever since Tressel has been gone he's but very positive about Ohio State.  Then hear stuff like this.

BED's picture

All part of ESPiN's prescripted storyline.  Would've been the same trash regardless of the outcome.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

luckynewman13's picture

I hope everyone who defended Herbie when I claimed he should never be allowed back in the state of Ohio a couple weeks ago when there was talk of him becoming the QBs coach (HA!) now sees the light.


biggy84's picture

Herbie is a scumbag!

BuckeyeCrew's picture

Something is very wrong with Herbie, if he actually did spout that OSU got off "easy" AND lamented USCs sanctions. 

Run_Fido_Run's picture

If you click on the link I embedded above, scroll down Cowherd's site to their link of the Herbstreit segment, you'll be able to catch what Herby said without spending more than five minutes of your time.  

TheHostileDwarf's picture

Alright. I'm aboard. Fuck Herbstreit. What an ass. Cowherd is a bigger ass, but that's not saying much.

Menexenus's picture

Actually, I'm surprised that I'm not aboard.  I went there prepared to hate Herbstreit for whatever he said.  But I heard him say multiple times (convincingly, I might add) that Jim Tressel was a good coach who was not looking to cheat and simply failed to respond to the situation he was presented with correctly.  He insisted on this point even in the face of Cowherd's ridicule.  So, I'm actually proud of Herbie on this one.  Of course, the implicit comparison of our situation to USC's was stupid and ill-informed.  But I don't hate the guy for that mistake after he stood up for JT the way he did.

Real fans stay for Carmen.

TheHostileDwarf's picture

My problem was that he went on that idiot's show without knowing what the sanctions were, had Cowherd inform him with his biased nonsense, didn't even seem to understand what the sanctions actually were (I swear I heard him call Tressel's penalty a "Just Cause") and repeated multiple times how we should have a parade down High Street and be dancing in the streets without really processing them accurately. I shut it off when Cowherd started sucking his dick about how good looking he is. I agree that he was charitable towards Tressel, but he damn well should be. The first 4-5 minutes were embarrassing.

Menexenus's picture

I agree with you that it was clear that Herbie had no idea what the details were when he went on the show.  So why is he being interviewed when he literally has no information?  If he's not informed, then he doesn't have an informed opinion, does he?  He's just spouting off.

So I totally agree with you there.  He had no business being on the program to begin with if he hadn't even heard the details of the penalty.  But for me, that is outweighed by how he defended JT to an idiot (Cowherd) who clearly wanted to keep spewing the same old venom.  BTW, I also liked how Herbie pointed out how much playing in the bowl games mean to the teams involved, even when it's not a BCS bowl. 

I'm hoping that Herbie only went on Cowherd's show because his ESPN contract requires him to go on ESPN-affiliated programs.  Otherwise, he had no business taking the call to begin with.  I totally agree with you on that one.

Real fans stay for Carmen.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

You are absoilutely right Menexus. Too many on here have been quick to throw Tressel under the bus, despite them having not read Tressel's testimony. Herbie redeemed himself in my book because it's obvious he actually did read Tressel's testimony. I believe those who are so vocal in their damnation of Tressel are the lunatic fringe Herbie warned us about.

BuckeyeChief's picture

I used to be a huge Cowherd fan until the day him and FAB were on the air talking about Buckeye fans and their fat wives...the whole "cankle loving Buckeye fan" thing pissed me off, and I haven't listened since tatgate broke. I think his whole angle is to piss of everyone in order to get more listeners.
He's just stupid...I can't entertain that sh*t anymore.

"2014 National Champions...deal with it!!!"

BED's picture

I once had a law professor who always said that adverbs are a substitute for arguments.  Even more so when you use sentences like "any objective person agrees" etc.  Doing that means you have no argument.  It's like calling your opponent Hitler.  You lose. Automatically.


The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Your law professor was a wise man. Unfortunately, such lessons are beyond the cognitive capacities of the Ted Millers of the world.    

BED's picture


The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

Maestro's picture

He is just as blind as all the USC homers.  I actually read a comment yesterday by a USC fan that asked, "What did USC really do?"  In his mind and in his argument he insists that the NCAA had absolutely nothing on the USC football program.  I thought of sending him the list of all the NCAA by laws that the USC atheltic dept had violated, but in the end he isn't worth the effort of typing them all out.

vacuuming sucks

BuckeyeNation's picture

Copy & Paste bro... copy & paste, lol!

Maestro's picture

He isn't worth that either.

vacuuming sucks

tedglover's picture

This is where I would insert a standing ovation.gif, but I don't know how to embedden stuff.

Great piece, Luke!


Abe Froman's picture

I'm not a mathematician or anything.....

But listen, anyone with remedial math has to understand that $40k in value that was received by 5 players (total) over a 2-3 year period does not equate to over $300k in benefits (Bush's parents home) as well as multiple agents providing multiple Bush and Mayo benefits over a 5 year period.   Throw in a coach that leaves the university to avoid punishment (seriously, do you think he didn't know?) compared to a university firing their coach.


Wait.... I am a mathematician.

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

biggy84's picture

Where did the $40,000 come from?

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

I'm getting kind of pissed. USC got hit with LOIC, had more than $14,000 worth of infractions, had a head coach that bailed to safer waters after he invited agents to practice and game day sidelines and had more than one player in one sport on the take. Someone please explain how these situations are close to being in the same time zone. So in short, ditto Abe.

TheOtherDJ's picture

Outside of 'Fun with Peter King' on KSK, the rare reunion on Deadspin and other occasional articles on some of the bigger blogs, the art of the FJM takedown has become lost on many writers.  Thanks Luke for showing folks what a proper FJM-style ripjob should look like.

(For the uninitiated who don't know what I'm talking about, go read some of the old stuff on firejoemorgan.com.  You're welcome.)

MidWestCoast's picture

In my opinion (a Hawkeye fan, cheering for the Big 10 while living in Los Angeles), the Ohio State sanctions are fair.  Ted Miller's original editorial was simply trying to point out how the fairness of the Ohio State sanctions prove the unfairness of the USC sanctions.


Ted Miller's responds to Eleven Warriors.




Ted Miller's original editorial was hyperbole, but he was right that most people are unaware of the facts regarding the case against USC.  Most people believe that USC administrators/coaches paid their players, brought agents to practice, covered up incriminating information, or in some other way intentionally broke rules.  But the NCAA investigation only found that USC had failed to know that a player was breaking rules when USC should have known.


Now, if Ohio State under Meyer can take down an SEC Champion in the next 5 years, I will be celebrating.

Scott's picture

Go B1G! Best of luck against Oklahoma. We'll be cheering for you.

Class of 2008