A Cacophony of Offensensitivity

By Luke Zimmermann on December 21, 2011 at 12:10 pm
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


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