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Friday, October 26, 2007

Yes, Gregg Easterbrook Is A Moron

I've been wanting to write about this monstrosity by Gregg Easterbrook, noted anti-Semite, for a while, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Let's start off:

Argument for the Indianapolis Colts as paladins who carry the banner of that which is beneficent: Sportsmanship, honesty, modesty
OK. The Colts most certainly are honest. They generally display decent sportsmanship - no better, no worse than the rest of the NFL. Honest? I would agree. Modest? Really? Peyton Manning's commercials are only broadcast 6,000 times every Sunday.
devotion to community, embrace of traditional small-town life, belief in higher power, even love of laughter
Devotion to community? What is Easterbrook talking about? Embrace of traditional small-town life? Indianapolis has a population of almost 800,000 and is the 13th biggest city in the country. Besides, most of the players are there because either: A. the Colts drafted them or B. the Colts offered them more money. This isn't knocking on Indianapolis or the Colts, but it's just a statement of fact. Love of laughter? What is he talking about? Manning's funny commercials, maybe?

Belief in higher power, however, is the good one. First, it somehow implies that Brady, whose father almost became a Priest, according to Moving the Chains, Charlie Pierce's excellent book about him, is an atheist of some sort. And oh yea... Tony Dungy's faith makes him hate gay people (or at least support those who do).
Through prior years of postseason frustration, they never complained or pointed the finger outside their team.
Really, what about when Dungy tried to get the rules changed so his small receivers could get around that Patriots' stronger DBs?

Their players are active in community affairs and don't carp about being assigned to a nonglamorous Farm Belt city with an antiquated stadium.

Funny, Easterbrook doesn't offer any proof for the claim that they are active in community affairs (I don't doubt that they are, I just doubt that this is any different than most NFL teams). Also, maybe they don't complain about their stadium because they're getting a new one.

Their coach, Tony Dungy, smiles in public and answers honestly whatever he is asked: He never yells at players or grimaces at bad plays and, when defeated, doesn't act as though it's the end of the world. Although religious, Dungy said on the night he won the Super Bowl that God doesn't care about football games, which shows perspective.
OK, first off, it's good to know that Dungy doesn't think God cares about sports. But that doesn't show perspective, it just shows he's not insane. But not being insane shouldn't be praiseworthy. Smiling in Public? What is Easterbrook smoking? What does that have to do with anything? Also, I would hope that a coach would grimace at bad plays and be upset if the team loses - it's their job to win football games.
The team's star, Peyton Manning, stands for love of family, constantly appearing in public with his brothers, father and mother.
Maybe, that's cause, I don't know... HIS FATHER AND BROTHER ARE ALSO NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE QUARTERBACKS. If Brady's family was famous, I'm sure they'd be on TV all the time, too. I mean, Brady lives three houses down from two of his sisters.
Manning is happily married and a major donor to a children's hospital. Manning spends a lot of time at children's camps and events, and he constantly makes fun of himself.
These are all very laudable things, but unless Easterbrook follows Peter Singer, there's nothing inherently wrong with Brady not doing this stuff. There's also nothing wrong with being married. But Easterbrook's comment implies that there's something wrong with the fact that Brady's not married, which means that something is wrong with half of the United States.
Argument for the New England Patriots as scoundrels in the service of that which is baleful: Dishonesty, cheating, arrogance, hubris, endless complaining even in success.
First of all, in case you forgot, Easterbrook's really smart! He uses words that no one knows the meaning of, like baleful! Dishonesty and cheating, OK, I'll take it. Arrogance? Hubris? Really? Cause the rest of the media has spent the past half-decade talking about how humble the Patriots are. So, you know, you guys should all get together and work that out. Thanks.
The Patriots have three Super Bowl rings, but that jewelry is tarnished by their cheating scandal.
Really? Cause there's a lot of evidence provided for this charge, right? People had mentioned stuff about this before the Jets thing? What? They hadn't? Oh, well then.

Their coach snaps and snarls in public, seeming to feel contempt for the American public that has brought him wealth and celebrity. Victory seems to give Bill Belichick no joy, and defeat throws him into fury.
Throws him into fury? Belichick has never gone Parcells or Pinella on a member of the press. He always just seems exasperated - not angry - when he deals with them. Belichick doesn't show joy after individual victories because he doesn't care about individual victories, he cares about the Super Bowl. Belichick's only crime here, if he has one, is being super-competitive.
Belichick and the rest of the top of the Patriots' organization continue to refuse to answer questions about what was in the cheating tapes -- and generally, you refuse to answer questions if you have something to hide.
This is Easterbrook - who also writes about politics - confusing two worlds. If a politician refuses to answer questions, he probably has something to hide. Sports teams pretty much always refuse to answer questions that aren't about the team's next game. Sorry, Belichick is not Richard Nixon.
The team's star, Tom Brady, is a smirking celebrity-chaser who dates actresses and supermodels but whose public charity appearances are infrequent.
Easterbrook - who puts up photos of attractive cheerleaders in all of his articles - is criticizing Brady for dating attractive women. Also, Manning's wife isn't some horrible creature from the deep. Also, notice how he doesn't say that Brady doesn't give money to charity, but just says that his "appearances" are infrequent. Meanwhile, if Brady did make frequent charity appearances, Easterbook probably would have criticized him for only giving to charity to make himself look good.

That constant smirk on Brady's face reminds one of Dick Cheney; people who smirk are fairly broadcasting the message, "I'm hiding something."
Yes, Brady is definitely Dick Cheney. 100% the same person. Brady clearly has a strong view of executive power. Or maybe Brady is just happy. Who knows?

He then proceeds to criticize the Patriots for running up the score - a fairly legitimate complaint, but then brushes aside the fact that the Colts did the exact same thing a few years ago.
They, after all, are the ones who admitted to systematic cheating.
This is simply untrue. The Patriots never publicly admitted to anything - although by not appealing the commissioner's decision, they sort of did. And it was ONE GAME. One game is not systemic.
(Belichick) and his team have been praised, praised, praised, praised, praised, praised, praised, praised, praised, praised, praised; criticized when it was discovered New England had engaged in what commissioner Roger Goodell himself called "a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid long-standing rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition"; then -- after about a week of criticism -- praised, praised, praised.
Maybe this is because the rest of the media realizes that it's not a big deal. Every former NFL player who analyzes for ESPN has blown it aside and moved on. Why? Either cause it wouldn't give a team that much of an advantage or everybody does it.
Should New England continue on and win the Super Bowl without a major attitude shift toward nice-guy behavior -- and should the year end without the NFL's ever explaining what New England evidence it destroyed or why -- there could be a huge amount of cynicism about this NFL season. Cynicism doesn't sell a sports product, nor is it what the NFL should be marketing to the young.
Really, I'm pretty sure people are still watching the NFL, jerk.

Most interesting is that Easterbrook continues his odd obsession with insulting the Patriots despite the fact that ESPN ombudswoman LeAnne Schreiber calls him out in her column and the fact that the rest of the media has moved on.

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