Friday, February 8, 2008

Fortunate Son: In a deluded society, image is indeed everything.

From reading all the post-Superbowl adulation bestowed upon Eli Manning (well deserved for his play on the field) you’d never guess that he was just as unprofessional as Randy Moss on at least one very significant occasion in his life. Moss, of course, held the Raiders hostage by playing only when he felt like it, simply because he didn’t like it there and wanted out. And Moss was (correctly) roundly criticized for that.

Well, when Eli came up for the draft in 2004, he made it openly clear that he would not play for San Diego (who wanted to pick him and had the rights to do so). So he essentially blackmailed the Chargers, left them no option to keep him, and forced a trade (to New York who wanted him and where he really wanted to play, by all accounts). So San Diego has to wonder what would have happened if Eli had decided to man up, act like a pro and play where he was drafted (which EVERYONE else drafted into the NFL has to do) instead of hiding in his father’s large shadow like a whiny little bitch. People who argue that SD got equivalent value in return are merely rationalizing, and furthermore they miss the point---which is that Eli essentially got to a free agent from his first day in the NFL. That is unfair, plain and simple. And we’ll never know how his blackmail of the Chargers changed the course of NFL history. Maybe the Chargers could have won a couple of Superbowls by now, or maybe another QB may have won a championship or two with the Giants instead, or maybe none of that would have transpired. Doesn’t matter; but it does matter that someone strong-armed the system and broke the rules. So forgive me if I’m less than impressed when I hear all this garbage about preserving the integrity of the game, league etc. They bent the rules for Manning, didn’t they? The NFL is so good, and works so well, because it has been set up largely to be fair and competitive. What if more hot prospects start playing this game? ----naah, I won’t play there…..uh-huh, I think that’s the place for me…..don’t bother picking me ‘cos I ain’t signing….Why shouldn’t every other draft pick enter the league as a free-agent, like Eli essentially did? You want to deal with the ensuing chaos? But Eli gets a free pass, chiefly because he had the good fortune to spew forth from the appropriate loins. In an objective assessment of history (whether that will ever be popularly documented or not, the truth doesn’t change) Eli’s accomplishments will always be tainted because it is based on a foundation of hypocrisy and cheating.

But this is nothing new---and relatively minor in the larger scheme of things. We live in a country where intellectually and morally bankrupt wastrels can ascend to the highest offices in the land simply because they happened to be fortunate sperm. And then, having ascended to the highest offices and having demonstrated their ineptitude in spades, they can still count on the support of millions of stupid lemmings for reasons that elude, well, reason.

So listen up kids. If you want to break the rules and get away with it, the key is to keep that “Aw shucks” charm, that “down-to-earth folksiness” while you go about merrily doing your thing, the rules be damned. You’d be surprised what you can get away with. And oh yeah, if at all possible, try and be born to rich, white and unscrupulous parentage; there is still no substitute for that.

I have pages I want to write about that bully extraordinaire Bobby Knight bequeathing the head coaching job at a major state-funded university, mid-season, to his son---filial succession is apparently not an uncommon trend at least in college basketball circles nowadays ---but I am too tired and too disgusted. Can we be too far away from having a House of Lords and House of Commons in this country?

By the way, Bobby Knight is a spoilt brat, an arrogant sorry excuse for a man, who operated through intimidation and fear-mongering. His basketball success doesn’t mean or validate a thing. Heck Stalin and Castro were greatly successful bullies in their realms, and yeah, they had legions of protégés/disciples/followers who swore by them too---so don’t give me that ‘his ex-players are very loyal to him’ crap about Knight. It makes me sick when they call this pathetic bully a great man, teacher and coach. You want to know who’s a great man, teacher and coach? John Wooden. We need more John Woodens and fewer Bobby Knights.

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Stone Cold Button said...

Robb said...

I know you are my friend but this I why I read you:

Eli Manning = George W. Bush

Bravo, my friend. Bravo.

Anonymoustache said...

Or maybe the point I was trying to make was that the media (and sections of the the public) tend to make excuses for/rewrite history for some while they the view similar crimes differently when committed by others. This prejudice in perception underlies,eventually, the erosion of objectivity in the popular viewpoint. Children who watch TV and don't know better will learn that Randy Moss is a punk while Eli is all solid good. Thirty percent of this country still polls to the effect that Bush is a decent, honest guy---I guarantee the same people will poll that Clinton was a liar. In truth, both of them are documented liars---why the partisanship when it comes to character assessment?
Anyway, I figured you wouldn't take too well to that piece. You always liked Eli---possibly in the contrast he presented to Peyton, who, in your opinion, received undeserved hype and praise. Peyton, by the way, did get hyped beyond his achievements and capabilities coming out of college---because he was a Manning. That supports my case, by the way. But in the end, Peyton went where he was drafted and led his team to a lot of success, including a Superbowl. He has been a pro all the way. Eli hasn't.
Also, Bobby Knight does not equal Castro---that would be an absurd conclusion based on their deeds. But Knight also said on ESPN a couple of days ago that back in the sixties when he coached high school, he would go and ask his secretary for a paddle and he'd get it no questions asked, and he'd go do the needful on some poor kid. He asked whether that could fly today, and then followed up with complaint of lack of discipline in youth today, lack of desire, erosion of values and, get this, narcissism in kids today. Aside from the irony of the last part, Knight seriously believes that his way of beating the shit out of kids (physically, mentally or both) was the only correct way. He simply doesn't understand that violence justifies violence, and that when those kids grow up they think it is OK to abuse their kids when they don't get their way. The Knight mentality is "I know I'm right, so listen to me you stupid turds, or I'll beat the crap out of you, you worthless pieces of scum". That mentality is not very different from Castro's or Stalin's. That's partly my point. The only reason Knight is celebrated is that he won 900 games. Would this behavior have been tolerated is he lost 90% of his games? I don't think so---so success helps propagate something wrong and eventually puts a'good face' disguise on it. That's the remainder of my point.

PhysioProf said...

Good post! If you will forgive a little unsolicited advice:

(1) Use shorter paragraphs.

(2) Use a theme with black text on a white background.

I have added you to my blogroll.

Anonymoustache said...

Thanks, esp. for the feedback on writing. As for page layout, I once read that a dark background with light lettering was easier on the eyes (I find that to be true for me) and hence I laid it out that way. If I get more feedback to the contrary I'm open to changing it.

Robb said...

I like your font/background. It is what I've always used for PowerPoints.

Of course, my blog has black font on a gray background. So, what the hell do I know?

PS: Bobby Knight = Castro. They both like Red!

BTW, I lost a lot of my affinity for Eli when he decided to be a punk and not go to San Diego, too. Less because I care about the draft system and more because - who doesn't want to be young, rich, and famous and live in San Diego? Hell, I'd be happy to be just rich and live there.

DrugMonkey said...

and how can you have forgotten John Elway who was going to allegedly take his toys to minor league baseball if he didn't get his way?

agree with the PP, light on dark is headache inducing...

Anonymoustache said...

Didn't forget Elway, but I wasn't sure of the history/sequence of events etc in his case. Nevertheless, I took great pleasure in watching him lose several Superbowls. I was really pulling for the Colts to win one again before Elway did. Damn Terrell Davis had to come along just before they sent John to the glue factory.... but at least Elway had to do some serious time in loserville before he won one. Plus, it wasn't like his defense ever staked him a Superbowl---at least he had to carry his team quite a bit and earn what he won. I know, I'm rationalizing....fact remains he was a tutu-sporting primadonna at the draft too.

Anonymoustache said...

And oh yeah, y'all can quit yer nagging too, cos I changed the damn layout. For now, anyway.