Tuesday, January 29, 2008

And now for a meaningful topic

I suppose it could be fun to continue arguing about what a bunch of whiny bitches Pats fans are, but I said everything that needed to be said in my first and only post on the subject.

However, there's no limit to what I can say about the wave of unabated rage that washed over me while reading this feature on the life and times of Jerramy Stevens, perhaps the single worst person in the history of sports, non-murderer division (we think).

Stevens is pure scum, to be sure, and it's a shame that he's not the kind of person we're torturing in GITMO right now. But he was far from the only criminal to play a role in his sub-human behavior, a point that might be missed by many who read that completely dispiriting (but very well researched and written) story. And, as far as I'm concerned, Rick Neuheisel is as complicit in Stevens' crimes as the man himself. Yes, I realize Slick Rick wasn't the only coach to enable Stevens, but the decision to actually discipline Stevens for a procession of rape, DUI, hit-and-runs and assaults rested on his and former AD Barbara Hedges' shoulders. Hedges was a stupid, opportunistic bitch, for sure, but it is Neuheisel that personifies the college head coach who is pure evil.

And it's only a matter of time before the next horror story presents itself at UCLA, now that they've hired Neuheisel.

I can almost understand a middling program, both athletically and academically, like Arizona State taking a chance on Dennis Erickson. I realize that some people involved in the administration of college athletics think the wages of winning is dealing with despotic coaches who don't believe in discipline for players unless they drop passes. But at least ASU's "reputation" is already that of a sketchy, outlaw program that hasn't leveraged its willingness to trash the school's image into actual success on the field. Erickson only represents a small uptick in trashiness over the dreck that program has run through its halls, and it's clear that the administration will allow him to run everything as he sees fit now that he's already delivered them a top-25 finish and some serious face time on College Gameday.

But UCLA is not Arizona State; they're not even on the same planet. UCLA is supposed to be a beacon of hope for cynics, a superior academic institution that also happens to house the most successful athletic program in the history of college sports. It wasn't that long ago that pathological rules violator Bob Toledo was run out of Westwood, and while his firing was ostensibly the result of poor on-field performance, the athletic department didn't exactly deny that the coach's reputation as a snake was a factor as well. The Bruins have long gravy-trained the good name of legend John Wooden, who managed to dominate the college hoops landscape without soiling the institution's good name. In fact, there's good reason to believe that UCLA's vaunted status as an academic institution has been bolstered by the successes of the basketball program and the rest of the academic department.

But USC's success under Pete Carroll — who, thanks to Reggie Bush, is no longer unscathed by scandal himself — has obviously convinced the higher-ups at UCLA that valuing character in the upper-reaches of its football program comes with too high a cost; it only took one truly disappointing season on the part of erstwhile coach Karl Dorrell (who seemed like a swell guy) for him to get shit-canned, a decision made with such apparent haste in large part because Neuhesiel was available.

As an Arizona partisan who watched UCLA's football program destroy the Wildcats' best chance at a Rose Bowl in 1998, I will revel in schadenfreude when Neuheisel inevitably begins to destroy the Bruins' reputation (who will give me 100-1 odds on UCLA getting the NCAA death penalty in the next 10 years?). But as a fan of college sports, I'm disheartened to see that it's easier to break out of Alcatraz than it is to convince university presidents and athletic directors to concern themselves with character.

Addendum: The Times followed up the Stevens piece with another piece on Curtis Williams, another horrible former Husky who actually received the death he so richly deserved after (ironically) a dirty hit on the field. And then, to top it all off, b found some fucking UW blogger says he's still on the fence about UW erecting a statue in that fucking wife-beater's honor! Man, it's days like this that make me wish we had colonized Mars already.


Big C said...

Spot on, Diesel, I'm 100% behind you on this one.

Forgive me for rambling:

They are moments like these that make me wish that I believed in Hell. At least this would give me solace that monsters like Stevens would suffer in the 8th level of Hell, with Neuheisel and Hedges occupying the 9th. You highlight that which most needs to be stated about this story; that Jerramy Stevens isn't the only one with blood on his hands. Every single one of those goddamned enabling shitwads deserves a cell right next to his. Fuck Stevens, fuck Neuheisel, fuck Hedges, fuck the prosecuting attorney's office, fuck Mike Hunsinger, and fuck everyone else involved in coddling this asswipe.

I got the same feeling that you got after reading that article. After reading about that e-mail that Stevens had sent the victim, I got the same sensation in my chest that one gets before a fistfight. How did the DNA evidence not hang him? Is everyone involved just willfully ignoring the fact that Stevens is a horrible human being? WHY?! If Marie were my sister or daughter, no way is that fuck even alive right now.

The article you linked to has managed to elicit a rare emotional response from me that I have not felt since the Vick case. But, as Pepe has pointed out before, what Vick did, he did to dogs (albeit a breed that I have a particular emotional connection to), Steven's alleged crimes are 1000 times worse, no question. Yet, this fucker is still in the NFL. Un-fucking-believable.

I know very little about UCLA outside of its rather beautiful campus, significant asian population, and just all-around strong academics. I sincerely hope that, after this, Neuheisel gets run out on a rail. The man should be brought up on fucking charges. If I were a proud UCLA alumnus, I would rather take a million loses by a million points before I would let his ilk lead young men. It is absolutely deplorable.

b said...

I read that entire Seattle Times piece when I got into work this morning (slow period) and it legitimately put a damper on my day. Kudos to the Seattle Times for their second ground-breaking piece of journalism on the UW football program in the last month (the first being the donor who put a bounty on Ty Will’s and the AD’s jobs - not that he looked brilliant the first go-around, but that donor and the guys who want Willingham out look even more ridiculous now). I couldn’t help but feel a range of emotions while reading - they ranged from “God I hope this never happens at Arizona and Michigan” to doing more in-depth background checks on Rich Rodriguez, before finally praying to God that I never have a daughter). Predictably, the fall-out has been disgust, although I really haven’t bothered looking in to more because I needed a happier dose of news to save my day (like the new US soccer jerseys). Fuck Curtis Williams, who everybody knew was a bad guy and dirty player even before the paralysis, but the best part of that entire story were the mentioning of the game program headlines like “Phamily Comes Phirst” and “Designated Hitter.” Somebody has been sitting on this story for a looooooong time.

b said...

Check this guy's blog out. Nutcase.


M.M. said...

I knew Stevens was shitty person. I recall the DUIs, reading in the Daily about him running into the retirement home is a vivid memory for me. Especially that he used his text books to try to extricate himself from the shockingly mindless, life-threatening situation he created.
The Curtis Williams story was new to me. I wore a 25 sticker after he was hurt and again when he died.

These stories made me ashamed to be a Husky. And disappointed that a state funded institution, that is entrusted with the lives and money of thousands of young adults, could shirk its responsibility repeatedly without consequence. Remembering that these articles do not touch on the steroids and prescription drugs scandal that the UW softball team found itself in during the same time.
I recently bought a Huskies cap for two dollars, I paid too much.

b said...

@ m.m. - Wait, you went to U-Dub and didn't know CW was a shitbag?!

On a serious note, will the Seattle Times even cover U-Dub athletics again? Seems like they might be blacklisted.

jones said...

That blog is fucked up. "Oh noez, the Times writer went to PURDUE! We beat them at chess one year! Clearly he is revenging on us!!!!111"

Also love the idea that the Times is "re-hashing old news" and just trying to sell newspapers. Well, I never heard any of this at the time it was happening. And as a casual fan of UCLA sports, it fucking disturbs me to no end that they just hired the guy who let it happen.

Of course, people like "Dawg Biscuits" guy also remind why I sometimes, on bad days, fucking despise everything about college sports.

M.M. said...

@big c
For my part it was that I don't follow UW sports since leaving in '04. The article on CW drove home how successful the university was at minimizing the ramifications of criminal actions perpetrated by its students. Jumping back to Steven's story regarding the rape and following suit. That the university tried to have the victim's name made public, yet repeatedly avoids the appropriate punishments and public ire is morally on par with the actions of the athletes. Or like you said, reserve a table in the 9th level.

Anonymous said...

the nfl's one and only 12th man disowned stevens years ago.


b said...

Huh? I thought Seattle fans disowned him immediately after he dropped a couple passes in Super Bowl XL, and not a second beforehand. You know, when he could no longer cut the mustard, athletically.

Anonymous said...

Come on B, Stevens underachieved his whole career. The 12th man began to turn on him the first time he got a DUI. We've known for years that guy was a loser, both on and off the field. The Superbowl only confirmed what we had known all along.

By the way, it looks like the Senate is going to investigate the Pats and the Spygate cover-up. Go ahead Pats fans, I dare you to try to explain that one away.


Big C said...

I'm assured that everyone in the Washington area knew what an asshole Jerramy Stevens was from the get-go. And, to be honest, I never recall anyone that I know from the Seattle area ever getting behind him in any way. The reason for my outrage stems from the fact that it was news to me.

Jesuschristalmighty, Congress REALLY needs something else better to do. And this entire affair already has been explained away. The articles that I linked to in my previous rant give a pretty good breakdown/explanation of any culpability that the Pats have/had. I laugh at anyone who doesn't recognize this farce for the grandstanding joke that it is.
The Patriots have been punished by the NFL already; now the Senate? Get the fuck out of here.

Diesel, we need Shyster's take.

Big C said...

Sorry, I meant the articles that I linked to in my previous post. Cocaine's a hell of a drug.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...I hate to sound Orwellian here, but usually, though certainly not always, one destroys evidence when one is trying to hide something.

Now, we know at the very least that the Pats cheated during that Jets game. That's been proven. The question is whether or not the NFL tried to hide other potential instances of cheating by the Pats. The truth is that nobody on this blog knows one way or the other. I, for one, am willing to wait for the Senate investigation into this whole mess before I make up my own mind.

Still, that won't prevent me from making fun of bitchy Pat fans who are sooooo ready to celebrate a perfect season. I know it won't happen, but wouldn't it fucking be great if the Pats won and then the title was stripped from them? Oh god, that would be awesome.

Fucking cheaters.

Anonymous said...

Here's what Goodell said earlier this year:

“This [Spygate] episode represents a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid long-standing rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition on the playing field.”

Anonymous said...

Uh-oh, now it appears the Pats videotaped the Rams before that Superbowl "win". Man, it really makes you wonder whether any of those Superbowls ought to count.


Big C said...

That Goodell quote is evidence of the fact that he is just fucking insane. Long-standing rules? Show me an NFL rule book prior to 2006(or any year, for that matter) that explicitly prohibits 'Spygate'. I'll believe it when I see it.

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