The Wussification Of America Continues

I had the unfortunate opportunity to watch resident CNN dufus Fareed Zakaira on Sunday.

His guest? One Malcolm Gladwell,  a writer for The New Yorker.

His topic:  Comparing playing football to engaging in dog fighting, and that college football should be eliminated due to the possibility of injury, specifically neurological disorders.

Zakaira:  You compare football to dog fighting. Why?

Gladwell:  Yes, I did a piece for The New Yorker a couple of years ago where I said it. This was at the time when, remember, Michael Vick, was convicted of dog fighting. And to me, that was such a kind of, and the whole world got up in arms about this. How could he use dogs in a violent manner, in a way that compromised their health and integrity?

And I was just struck at the time by the unbelievable hypocrisy of people in football, for goodness sake, getting up in arms about someone who chose to fight dogs, to pit one dog against each other.

In what way is dog fighting any different from football on a certain level, right? I mean you take a young, vulnerable dog who was made vulnerable because of his allegiance to the owner and you ask him to engage in serious sustained physical combat with another dog under the control of another owner, right?

Well, what’s football? We take young boys, essentially, and we have them repeatedly, over the course of the season, smash each other in the head, with known neurological consequences.

And why do they do that? Out of an allegiance to their owners and their coaches and a feeling they’re participating in some grand American spectacle.

They’re the same thing. And the idea that as a culture we would be absolutely quick and sure about coming to the moral boiling point over the notion that you would do this to dogs and yet completely blind to the notion you would do this to young men is, to my mind, astonishing.

I mean there’s a certain point where I just said, you know, we have to say enough is enough.

Christ on Friday..

This kook actually believes this goop!

Firstly, just look at him.  He looks like a cross between Art Garfunkel and a pipe-cleaner.  He couldn’t throw a paper airplane, let alone a football.  (Yeah, yeah..  I know.  That’s superficial)

Last I checked, those who play football, or any other sport for that matter, do so willingly.  They (GASP!) enjoy it.  Many get free rides to some of the best colleges and universities, and many go on to the pros to have very lucrative careers.  They choose to play.

Does he not understand that in dog fighting, the players, in this case, dogs, have no choice in the matter?

(Frankly, my brain is so scrambled from hearing this type of intellectual, ‘ivory-tower,’ we know what’s good for ya’ liberal thinking,  that just having to point out such obvious, absurd notions, is quite nauseating.  Such is the intellectual liberal mind in 2013.)

In his analogy of dog-fighting, he specifically uses the example of Michael Vick.  He was just stunned by the “hypocrisy” of those who were outraged by Vick’s sick treatment of dogs, yet the same people could enjoy the “grand American spectacle” of the equally violent sport of Football.

This guy is insane.  He should be committed to a nut house for his hair-doo alone.  He actually believes  that college football should be eliminated, so he conjures up his kook-a-zoid analogy that football is equally violent as dog fighting.

Since he used Michael Vick to illustrate this outrageous “hypocrisy” of players and fans of Football, it’s instructive to take a look at just what Vick participated in.

(For the record, I am an ardent animal lover.  Not a PETA nut.  I just think animals make the world a more wonderful place, and shouldn’t be treated as scum.)

Vick is a sadist.  Anyone who would subject an animal to the tortures he did should just die and be placed in the lowest rung of Hell.  He trained dogs to kill one another for his (and his thug friends) pleasure.  He tossed family pets into the fight pit so his canine gladiators could rip them apart, while he and his morally bankrupt buddies watched and laughed.  He and his fellow savages pulled all 44 teeth out of some female dogs so they could not defend themselves from mating.  He set up ‘rape boards’ for forced breeding.  If a dog underperformed to his standards, he would do one of the following:  Pick them up and smash their heads on concrete.  Drown them by holding their heads in a 5 gallon bucket of water.  Douse them with water and electrocute them.   Hang them from a 2×4 nailed between two trees.  Or, if he was tired, he’d just shoot them.

Yup, Mr. Gladwell..  Sure does sound alot like what football players endure.

Ya’ always hear of a player or two that, after having a bad game, had their coaches attach jumper cables up to their nuts and zap them to death.

I know many ivory tower liberal intellectuals don’t exactly like athletics.  But, this guy gives pip-squeeks a bad name.

He must have gotten his stick-figure ass beaten by everyone when growing up, from jocks to the prom queen.

But, he’s a liberal, so this is all for our own good.

(Full disclosure:  I spelled Mr. Zakaria’s name wrong in my initial post.  It has since been corrected.  Though I really don’t care.)


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  • GarandFan

    But…but..but Shawn! People like this have only your best interests at heart. If you live life the way they want you to, you’ll be “fulfilled”.

    • The only correct way to puncuate a sentence which begins with “It’s none of my business” is with a period (full stop.). Use as much force as necessary to provide the appropriate punctuation.

      {paraphrasing RAH}

  • BillA

    Which just goes to show you that even smart people have goofy ideas. I actually like (but don’t believe every idea therein) his books. Not his articles or interviews much to your point.

    It reminds me of my favorite presidents. Even the best of them (and from my point of view, there were a couple) made mistakes from time-to-time and had goofy policy positions on a topic-or-two. Or else, I do. Hmmm.

  • SteveCrickmore075

    Ignoring neanderthal wizbang, which predictably is resistant to change or scientific study of any subject, concussions at all levels of football, are becoming a serious health issue. The response of our poster is to sneer at the potential for head injuries, but many former NFL players are very concerned at what they have been risking. More than 2,000 former NFL players (or classic wussies to wizbang) filed a lawsuit.. in Philadelphia accusing the league of concealing information linking football-related injuries to long-term brain damage. And with younger football players...

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 4 million sports and recreation-related concussions occur each year. Experts say the vast majority are suffered at the high school level, but few schools have rules governing how concussion is treated — and few coaches are trained to identify it..

    In addition to laws and education, experts say a cultural shift among coaches, players and parents is necessary.”This whole suck it up and play through it mentality needs to go,” said Herring. “Leadership has to come from the coaches, the captains to quit attributing bravery to these injuries. Concussion can be tragic.”

    • Shawn

      “Ignoring neanderthal wizbang which predictably is resistant to change or scientific study of any subject…”

      Uhh, Crick..

      I’m a ‘neanderthal’ due to the fact that I don’t believe a sport should be eliminated due to what this idiot says?

      Where in this post did I say I resist change and scientific study?

      Perhaps, instead of banishing a sport because you can get (gasp) injured, some improvements could be made in helmet protection.

      And if you’ll note, the majority of my post was about his pathetic attempt to liken football to dogfighting.
      I guess you believe that analogy to be ‘scientific’ enough, though.

      • SteveCrickmore075

        We, including Gladwell are all talking about radical analogies to make our points. He was drawing the analogy. about dogfighting, others might draw the New Orleans coach’s bounties, the Hernandez episode(s), to suggest that players are like hired but well paid gladidators. Did Gladwell really want to ban college football? He said “enough is enough”. I don’t want to ban it, and full disclosure, I loved to tackle. I had a concussion in high school football, and went out for just one play- and couldn’t remember what formation I should be in, in the plays called in the huddle properly, after that, for the remainder of the game. I think everyone should be aware of the risks, and they should be minimized, no spearing with the helmet etc. and point out that in the past players were treated as, if not fighting dogs but to as fierce competitors foremost, irrespective of the damage they did to their health, once they left the ring.

        • Shawn

          From the transcript of this CNN debacle:

          GLADWELL: I see absolutely no reason why any school that has — and not just Ivy League schools, any college anywhere in this country or any other country that has even a remote — has even a remote desire to be — to have a serious academic mission, they should not be playing sports which have neurological consequences for their students. I mean is that — is this such an outrageous request? Right? You know …

          ZAKARIA: So, educational institution that is meant to be building your brain, you shouldn’t be encouraging people to play sports that destroy the brain?

          GLADWELL: Yeah. That seems to be a norm. That seems to be reasonable.

          ZAKARIA: You want kids to boycott college football. Are you having any — the speech was a YouTube sensation.

          GLADWELL: Yeah.


          Do you believe that college football should be banned?
          And, not that this should remotely be germane to the question, but, for the purpose of the insane reality we are discussing, do you believe that college football is comparatively no different than dog fighting, specifically within the example Gladwell proposed in the above post per HIS analogy to the Vick saga?
          Safety is one thing.
          Bat-shit-crazy is another.

        • jim_m

          I had a concussion in high school football

          Well that certainly explains a lot.

          Spearing has been illegal on all levels for over a decade. Risk is being address and aggressively so. The real issue is that idiot lefties like yourself think that not only should known risks be minimized but that unknown risks should be minimized as well. Of course you cannot directly address the unknown and that is exactly what the left is asking for. Ultimately, this is just another pretext to create a class of victims that the left can use to divide our nation and stoke resentment between victim and non-victim classes.

    • jim_m

      There is a difference between saying that we should be mindful of the risk of injuries and saying that we should ban playing football altogether. Obviously, such distinctions are lost upon you and the pipe cleaner on CNN.

    • LiberalNightmare

      How many fighting dogs have died from head injuries again?

    • You might find this interesting…

      The concept here is called risk homeostasis or risk compensation. It holds that everyone engaged in a dangerous activity has a personal risk-vs.-reward level they’ll stick to no matter what. In other words, if you force someone playing a contact sport to wear protective equipment, they’ll take bigger risks to bring the overall danger back to the level they’re comfortable with.

      Does that sound self-destructive? If only. When risky behavior increases, others may bear the brunt. A watershed 1975 study of automobile safety measures theorized that motorists increased their driving “intensity” if they felt safer behind the wheel, leading to fewer driver and passenger deaths but more dead pedestrians.

      Applying this theory to football, one might suppose that as players switched from simple leather helmets to today’s elaborate headgear, they’d hit harder, use their heads more, and generally play more recklessly. In fact that seems to have been what happened.

      When hard plastic football helmets became popular after World War II, tackling methods shifted, so that by the early 60s players had gone from tackling shoulder first to head first. Possibly as a result, tackling injuries in the years from 1955 through 1964 rose significantly compared to a decade earlier. This eventually led to rule changes, notably a ban on “spearing” (hits delivered via a lowered head), and better standards for helmets.

      To be clear, helmets do work — up to a point. Experiments have shown, for example, that a helmet reduces the impact of heading a soccer ball traveling at 35 MPH from 19 g to 8 g. But protecting against obvious dangers often just makes the problems more insidious. While helmets reduce skull fractures and deaths, they also encourage players to endure frequent concussions that over a career add up to brain damage.

      And we’re seeing the impact (so to speak) of the numerous injuries.

      It makes you wonder, though – would cranking the safety back, and the rules of the game back to a 1930s level enhance the game or not?

      • Commander_Chico

        I agree, especially wrt to the neck injuries. Without high-tech helmets, guys would not be acting like mountain rams.

        I think dog fighting should be allowed too. If them doggies want to fight, it’s their way, and who are we humans to stop them? I’m serious, exaggerated reverence for some kinds of animals is crazy when we slaughter millions every day.

        Went to a couple of cock fights in the PI, too. Good times.

        • A PopSci article said that the average NFL player will have something like 12,000 impacts a SEASON. And if the player lasts 10 years, that’s 120k hits. Not all on the head, obviously – but… damn.

          How many hits – even protected by a helmet – equals a concussion? 100? 200? 500?

          “Congratulations – by signing this NFL contract you’re guaranteeing yourself the equivalent of AT LEAST 30 concussions and associated brain damage.”

          It’s starting to look like the lucky ones are those who get ‘career ending injuries’ in the first year or so.

          “Went to a couple of cock fights in the PI, too”

          You DO understand that line is just a joke waiting for someone to pounce on, right? 😉

          • Commander_Chico

            Yep. But I won all of those fights.

          • I guess it’s a win if the other guy falls over laughing…

          • LOL! No brain damage, I hope!

  • Hank_M

    Is there anything, besides unfettered abortion, that liberals do not want to ban?
    From happy meals to goldfish, their lunacy knows no bounds.

    The world would be far better place if they’d learn to mind their own damn business.

  • Lawrence Westlake

    Leftism is the politics of effeminate whining and purely-academic demagoguery. It’s neither a secret nor a coincidence that such an overwhelming percentage of leftists either are women, gay men, young students, full-time academics, very recent graduates or trust fund babies. Connect the dots.

    • Brett Buck

      Beautifully stated.

  • last time I checked no college football players have been executed by their coaches for poor performance …

  • jim_m

    I think this tool’s wikipedia entry says it best

    Criticism of Gladwell tends to focus on the fact that he is a journalist and not a scientist, and as a result his work is prone to oversimplification. The New Republic called the final chapter of Outliers, “impervious to all forms of critical thinking”. Gladwell has also been criticized for his emphasis on anecdotal evidence over research to support his conclusions… [Steven] Pinker sums up Gladwell as “a minor genius who unwittingly demonstrates the hazards of statistical reasoning,” while accusing him of “cherry-picked anecdotes, post-hoc sophistry and false dichotomies” in his book Outliers. Referencing a Gladwell reporting mistake, Pinker criticizes his lack of expertise: “I will call this the Igon Value [sic] Problem: when a writer’s education on a topic consists in interviewing an expert, he is apt to offer generalizations that are banal, obtuse or flat wrong.”

    The Register…commented that Gladwell has an “aversion for fact”, adding that, “Gladwell has made a career out of handing simple, vacuous truths to people and dressing them up with flowery language and an impressionistic take on the scientific method.” Gladwell’s approach has been satirized by the online site “The Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator”

    I especially liked this one

    Gladwell has “an aversion for fact”. No wonder Steve likes him. Not surprisingly Steve mistakes this inept journalist who was mediocre in school and failed in his first career as some sort of scientific genius.

  • Retired military

    I never got into sports. Watching or playing. Oh I use to enjoy playing pick up games of football, basketball, or baseball. Even played on a unit softball team one time. I just never got into the sitting and watching it part or playing it in school.
    All that being said I don’t have any issues with people playing sports. You can get killed walking across the street or cooking in the kitchen. The nanny state cant keep you safe from everything but it sure tries.

  • Paul Hooson

    I shake my head at wuss behavior. – My prescription: Get yourself a blonde half your age and two motorcycles and call me in the morning….

    • That’s pedophilia if you’re under 32. Probably not a smart thing.

      • jim_m

        It’s wishful thinking if you are Paul.

        • Paul Hooson

          I’m 58. This has been my girlfriend for the last 3 years. Am I proud of her?…You’re damn right I am…

          • Paul Hooson

            Here’s me and the same girl, happy together down at my grocery store. 3 happy years so far and many more to come…

          • Brucehenry

            And this is my wife, Morgan Fairchild… whom I’ve seen naked many times.


          • Paul Hooson

            Isn’t Morgan Fairchild sort of an old woman? My girl just turned 30 by comparison. I guess it all depends what you don’t mind waking up with….

          • Brucehenry

            The name Jon Lovitz ring a bell? And the recurring bit he did on SNL was called…what?

          • Paul Hooson

            Think of me as a low rent biker version of Hugh Hefner, Brucehenry. I love young women in their 20’s and early 30’s and do everything possible to have a girlfriend in that age range because that’s what I want most in life more than anything. And I’m working on a business deal right now to become the owner of the largest strip club in Oregon, with five stages, The Viewpoint. This business is worth $1.9 million dollars, and I’ll have to sell my home to put myself over the top to buy it. But, this business grosses about $2 million dollars a year. But, it’s worth the risk. Not a challenge for the timid. But nothing worthwhile isn’t worth the risk. – What real readblooded man here(provided there’s any real men here) wouldn’t want to be around a lot of money, tits and beer all day long, and get paid a lot of money to do it?

  • stan25

    That lib idiot wants us all to play soccer ie world football. A game for the wussies of the world. Well, I will clue him in. Soccer is more dangerous than American football. Why is that. one may ask. Because the players wear absolutely no protective gear on any parts of their bodies. I am also sure that slamming a ball with one’s head causes severe concussions and other mental disorders, such as very severe cases of liberalism

    • jim_m

      How is it that soccer is a game for wussies and yet it also has a higher risk of injury? Yeah there is a lot of flopping but have you watched an NBA game recently?

      • JWH

        In NBA, I always root for the Washington Generals.

  • JWH

    College football players — indeed, ALL college athletes — are EXTREMELY exploited. in 2012, the NCAA earned $871.6 million in revenue. As of late 2012, 42 college football coaches earned upward of $2 million per year.

    But the players themselves may earn a scholarship … but they earn nothing more. And while they play, they are not allowed to seek income through endorsements, sale of memorabilia, or licensing of their likenesses.

    I find it unconscionable that other people can make seven-figure sums on these players’ talents, but the players themselves may not earn a single dime beyond their athletic scholarships.

    EDITED TO ADD: Yes, I realize that players are adults, consent to the football with no pay, etc., etc. However, there’s uneven bargaining power between players and their colleges, particularly in football and basketball. If you want an NFL or NBA career, you basically have little choice other than four years of unpaid labor in an NCAA program. Ain’t monopolies grand?

    • jim_m

      College football players in the programs that make the big money are all in it for the possibility of getting into the NFL. They are not exploited as they are seeking a huge payday if they get drafted. Players that do not have NFL potential can still get a free ride and that has a significant benefit beyond the cost of tuition.

      If you want to talk about exploitation, football players are probably less exploited than students majoring in Women’s Studies or African-American Studies. Those students are persuaded to take on a major with little or no employment future and they pay tens of thousands of dollars to the university for an education that has no value outside of academia. Those students are the one’s exploited. At least a scholarship athlete can graduate with a degree in something that will provide them with a career (assuming they don’t major in some worthless “studies” curriculum)

      • JWH

        You are right on the scholarship angle. Heath (spit) Schuler was fortunate he had his degree to fall back on …

  • ackwired

    The personal attacks do little to boost your argument. I don’t know if Gladwell is a liberal or not. He seems rather apolitical. He is best known for his insightful books examining the implications of recent research. Books include Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers, all books that have stimulated some serious discussion in our society. By the way, “Gladwell was an outstanding middle-distance runner and won the 1,500 meter title at the 1978 Ontario High School 14-year-old championships”. So your characterization of his high school years also appears to be completely ill-based. Your argument would not have been too bad if not for all of your wrong assumptions about the person you were disagreeing with.

    • Ha ha!

    • jim_m

      , all books that have stimulated some serious discussion in on the far left of our society.


      • ackwired

        I suspect that Tipping Point and Blink are of equal interest to conservatives and liberals. Outliers is probably more attractive to conservatives as it discusses success.

        • jim_m

          Meh. I suspect that his “cherry-picked anecdotes, post-hoc sophistry and false dichotomies” and his “aversion for fact” will appeal more to the let than the right. the left seems to be far more interested in someone handing “vacuous truths to people and dressing them up with flowery language and an impressionistic take on the scientific method.” (like Steve, who thinks that the blather about AGW is science when it is primarily religion and who apparently loves Gladwell)

    • Shawn


      As per the “personal attacks,” I acknowledged as much when I wrote “Yeah, yeah.. I know. That’s superficial.”

      And I just don’t care.

      So, according to you, this guy has some SERIOUS sports cred ’cause he peaked in track at age 14?

      WOW! I got a storm a-brewin’ in mah panties ’bout that!

      OK.. You don’t like the tone of my post, but you say my “argument would not have been too bad.”

      So, instead of bitching about the way I wrote it, do you have ANY thoughts about this’ mad-quick-when-he-was-14-years-old’ man’s stance on this issue and the way he framed his position.?

      Sheesh, dude. Some perspective..

      And lighten up a bit.

      • ackwired

        Shawn. I thought what he said was clever. I don’t think that he was seriously claiming that football players kill each other nor that they are tortured. If you seriously thought that was what he was saying, I’d recommend you lighten up a little bit and check out your perspective. I’ve heard a number of people say that football as we know it will not be around in 20 years.