Sunday, June 19, 2011

Phil Mushnick, Professional Concern Troll

Rich Rodriguez will be appearing on CBS College Sports next season, and New York Post Really Old Guy Phil Mushnick that is a very bad thing. Normally I'd link the pertinent sections and laugh, but this deserves the full fisk:

Cbs [sic] Sports Network has hired Rich Rod riguez as a college football game and studio analyst. 
The same Rich Rodriguez who regularly recruited and indulged criminals and assorted bad boys as the head coach at West Virginia and then Michigan? 
Yeah, that one. 
Pacman Jones and the late Chris Henry, for example, starred for Rodriguez at WVU. Both would accumulate rap sheets as thick as playbooks. But such players helped land Rodriguez the gig at Michigan, where the stadium they call "The Big House," began to take on the other meaning.
As Adam Jacobi points out, Pacman Jones and Chris Henry combined for one offense during their time at West Virginia, a fight for which Jones received a suspension. Those two accumulated lengthy rap sheets as professionals. Abolish the NFL! Unless bored football players start assaulting people, of course.

As for the crack at Michigan, once again, as Jacobi points out, Rodriguez's tenure was known for a lot of lulzy things but not for all uncontrolled criminal malfeasance

Mushnick continues:
1. Big-time college football and basketball are as crooked as the lines on a polygraph. American universities continue to serve as see-through false fronts. Few college presidents, ADs or head coaches could beat racketeering indictments.
I think most college presidents can go to sleep easy knowing that they are not going to be convicted of extortion or heading criminal enterprises. (Note to writers: Don't use legal terms the definition of which you haven't the foggiest notion. See also: antitrust).

That many football and basketball players -- recruited at great expense -- have no other business enrolled in the college has been a given since Bear Bryant was just a cub. 
No school's charter, especially the charters of tax-funded state colleges, mentions a thing about football or basketball. They stress education and its benefits to society.
The charters don't mention anything about movies on the quad, free condoms, or music schools either, and they do all those things. And they've been playing football for much longer than most of those activities. The first game was played in 1867; good luck stuffing that genie back into the bottle.

2. The primary underwriters of this racketeering are TV networks. It's their money that drives the armored trucks. TV networks make no moral value judgments as to who gets their money (see: CBS, Charlie Sheen). A dirty conference stocked with powerhouse teams will be generously funded before all others. 
Fox and ESPN recently signed on to pay about $3 billion over 12 years to broadcast football and basketball for the soon-to-be Pac-12. It's easy. You hold your nose with one hand, sign with the other. 
And then, to add to the insidious lunacy, you instruct your broadcasters to shill it up, to see and speak no evil. Why? Would any conference otherwise refuse to cash your checks?
TV networks are evul because Charlie Sheen.
3. Big-time coaches who fall, regardless of why, are "taken care of" by TV. They're hired as analysts, hired for their "expertise," though their expertise on exactly what it takes to succeed is left unspoken.
College head coaches are hired because people know who they are and because every single head coach knows way, way more about football than you do. I know, I know, Ron Zook is clueless and Joe Paterno is old and Ron Prince and Mike Locksley and all the rest, but as much fun as it is to make fun of those guys, they know more about football than almost anyone in the world. This makes them more viable candidates for jobs that call for talking about football than, say, sports media journalists. And Rodriguez isn't even a dope; at minimum, he is one of the architects of the spread football revolution, one of the top offensive minds in college football, and will be a head coach somewhere within a year or two. I think that works for qualifications, Phil.
Colleges typically dangle large cash bonuses to coaches for a certain number of wins, for making bowl games and postseason tournaments. How do such incentives serve anything other than exacerbating the win-at-all-costs corruption?
They give bonuses for graduation rates too. But yes, schools like winning. News at 11.
CBS Sports Network, a fairly new entity, is just working off the same old plan. TV is loaded with college football and basketball coaches who were hired and fired for the same bad reasons. What should disqualify you only enhances your chances. But where do the clean guys go for a TV gig?
Is Urban Meyer dirty? Bob Davie? Steve Lavin?
And 'round and 'round, lower and lower we go. And we call it college athletics. Yahoos, here there and everywhere, lap it up, love it, don't care if it's crooked. Besides, your school's more crooked than theirs!
Take that, yahoos!

So how does American society benefit from all this? What's our payoff for indulging this? What do we get in return for making college basketball and football coaches the highest-paid, by far, state or university employees? 
Beats me.
Ugh one sentence paragraph endings. But leaving that aside, since when must everything exist for the benefit of American society? Besides from hilarious penis joke headlines, how does the New York Post benefit American society? How does Phil Mushnick benefit American society? How do any sports benefit American society? And what a strange standard to set.

BONUS MUSHNICK COVERAGE: believe it or not, this wasn't the dumbest part of today's article:

SO Plaxico Burress exits prison wearing a red Phillies' cap, a hoodie over the cap, sunglasses and shorts (Was it hot out or cold?) claiming to be a changed man. 
Hmmm. Put me down as "undecided."
What could possibly be the point of this little aside? If he genuinely doesn't know, why include it? You could literally put anything in that spot and it would make as much sense ("Is Plato's Republic still relevant in 21st Century America? Hmmmm. Put me down as undecided.")

Obviously, this isn't what he really means. Mushnick is winking at his audience--look how this hoodlum dresses!--and hoping the readers catch on. Replace "SO" with "I'M NOT RACIST BUT" and you'll get the full effect, and yes, if you can blithely state that you can pick a college coach's name out of a hat and find someone indictable under RICO, I can play the race card. Trollface is as trollface does.

Maybe Mushnick would prefer if college coaches just avoided recruiting players that look like Plexico Burress? (One more sentence here. Will not close with one-sentence zinger ending).