It's not rational to think football would be immune. When the world's decided that shame is for losers and the only rule is get paid, football will follow along too. Unless it's leading the way. And... uh... it's leading the way. The commissioner of this here league spearheaded the addition of two Eastern Seaboard schools with barely enough football tradition to scrape into a thimble because it would personally benefit himself and the class of parasitic grandees currently skimming off the top of college football to the tune of millions of dollars a year.
That decision paid off with a perfect tragedy. Jordan McNair's death was not only the result of deeply immoral approach to football and life but also incompetent. Stupid. Only a fucking idiot could have waited an hour before calling 911 when a very large man was having a seizure, unable to stand, on a blisteringly hot day. Maryland employed that fucking idiot. That's because their athletic department, shielded from the kinds of things that would do material harm to the parasitic grandees within, is by and for fucking idiots. They left the ACC, where they had many and several fun basketball rivalries, because a previous generation of fucking idiots managed to rack up so much debt that their continued existence in their home conference was no longer tenable.
Labor costs for their most valuable employees when they racked up this debt stayed steady. At zero.
[After THE JUMP: more of this, then some sort of corn-eagle-man]
And then there's Rutgers, which just paid disgraced idiot Julie Hermann a cool half-million dollars more than she was owed when the idiots that hired her decided they had to fire her after the football coach idiot she hired decided this was a good idea:
In the original email from Flood to the professor, who was unnamed in the report, Flood wrote: “I am sending it from my personal email to your personal email to ensure there will be no public vetting of the correspondence.” In the telephone conversation with the advisor, Flood was told, “Coach, you can’t have contact with the professor. You certainly can’t have contact with faculty regarding grades or eligibility. This is going to be a big problem.” Flood told the advisor, “This conversation stays between you and me,” to which the advisor responded, “We never had this conversation. … I want no part of this.”
This line is also in the report: “Coach Flood told the professor that he purposely didn’t wear any Rutgers apparel or insignia so he wouldn’t be recognized in public, meeting with the professor.”
It was just a matter of time before one of these institutions killed somebody. Anyway, football!
Actually, not just yet, because Michigan's primary and ancient rival just did the Urban Meyer thing, and its tertiary and old-ish rival continues to employ square-jawed crime-endorser Mark Dantonio, who also recently reinstated the author of this text:
“Honestly don’t know who for sure but probably [TEAMMATE] or another shitty fucking [N-word] with no morals.”
Unlike Maryland and Rutgers, these people win football games, making things even tougher to take. Not only is your favorite thing locked in an organization that has no greater purpose than making money and winning football games, it's not even winning the right football games. Immoral and un-fun. Woo!
So where do we go from here? I don't think it's any secret that I've had difficulty getting up for this season. While Michigan has a ton of promise the prospect of going 9-3 against a monster schedule, and all the TAEKS that will inspire me to throw all communication devices in the trash and grow a beard I can knit a house out of, rather looms. The prospect of staring down a smug Urban Meyer as he's worshipped by every trash person in Ohio as Michigan loses to Ohio State again doesn't really appeal.
The potential benefits feel pretty remote, as they must inevitably when the only football season since this blog's inception that ended well was Brady Hoke's first horseshoe-up-his-butt year, when Ohio State was running out Luke Fickell after another firing-worthy incident from their head coach and Michigan beat Virginia Tech in a bowl game despite having about six yards of offense thanks in part to a long snapper catching a pass.
So, Iowa, I guess? Going to Iowa two years ago was a window into another world. As I described it at the time:
Iowa football is great. It is a sneaky tentpole program of college football; it's the main locus of sporting passion in a state that doesn't have any pro teams but can cobble together enough people to make a D-I program work.
So you go there. The first thing you notice is that Kinnick is gorgeous. It's all brick, even on the interior, and if we're being totally honest it kind of feels like when Bill Martin added the luxury boxes he pointed at Kinnick and said "do that." Upon entering it was nigh-impossible to tell where the student section was because everyone was in black and standing the whole time. This is a very disappointing 5-4 (now 6-4) team that had its bloggers overreacting and predicting Rutgers-esque scores before the game but that stadium was packed to the gills 20 minutes before the kick.
At halftime I ducked back under the concourse because it was about ten degrees warmer underneath and hung out for a while. An Iowa fan engaged me and asked where I was from, how I was doing, that sort of thing; there was no animosity. He was checking on his fellow fans, mostly. I had only good things to report.
Afterwards the logistics of having working media and plain old fans driving in the same car caused us to wait outside one of the main exit points of Kinnick for about 20 minutes; probably half that stadium walked by us. Other than one or two guys who said things too dorky to actually be threatening, everyone was happy and polite. There was one guy out there the whole time just high-fiving everyone.
The existence of Iowa is one of the reasons I like college football so much better than the NFL.
College football gets away with so much because underlying it all are a bunch of college students that occasionally score 55 points on the local death star; it gets away with so much because football teams are the centers of real, living communities that you feel whenever you are at an alumni event. Or are in a stadium.
Iowa doesn't expect too much and is frequently rewarded by seeing their collection of rag-tag two-star recruits hit the bullseye with whatever the Iowa equivalent of photon torpedoes is. Probably corn on a stick. Iowa's vibe is not our sad bastard vibe, nor is it the awful amoral bro culture of the two rivals mentioned above. It's a bunch of people waving at a hospital. And maybe we could work our way back to that, eventually.
Harbaugh asked about allegations against DJ Durkin, Peppers' comments that he bordered on "bully coaching" when he was here. Harbaugh had nothing to say on the matter.
— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) August 27, 2018
But I have been to deepest Iowa, in a geographically literal sense.
The town of Sheldon is about as far west and north as you can go in the state, located in such a manner as to defeat the purpose of air travel. So you drive to it, all those many hours of corn and livestock, livestock and corn, to go to a funeral for a person you never met. Eventually you are stunned by how Iowa City is now a suburb of Chicago. Sheldon has a small church surrounding a small town of literal pig farmers; it's the kind of place where the Subway logo is a huge relief. It's not exactly ugly but there's nothing pretty about it, and that goes for the great flat plains that stretch endlessly in any direction.
Driving home there is a snow storm, somewhere. It could be miles away to the west. Could be anywhere, because the wind blows across the plains and grabs the falling snow and pushes it across the road. Passing trucks impart it with intricate whorls; the only places any of it actually sticks is every mile or two where a copse of trees has been suffered to stand so it can provide a windbreak around a farmhouse.
The experience is ghostly, otherworldly. The kind of thing that burns itself into your brain and will not leave. The snow streaming across asphalt, beauty previously not only unseen but completely unthinkable. Literally unimaginable. The mind could not imagine having the feeling about the place it is currently having until it does. Somewhere out there is a high school quarterback with no chance of ever throwing a pass in college who will stamp his name on a state's heart. And so we carry on, just in case Keith Jackson isn't really dead.