Every other sports media outlet has a format in which talking-head morons yell foolish, reactionary blather at each other, resulting in absolutely no cogent point other than that they are foolish, talking-head morons.
Now SportsPickle has such a format, too — Gallo Vs. Magary —pitting site founder DJ Gallo against guest columnist Drew Magary, a very fine set of morons indeed.
Today's debate … the Michigan practice time scandal.
DJ Gallo:Drew, it's obvious that Rich Rodriguez is a cheater. Former players say it. Current players say it. He has disgraced a fine program. Worst of all, he didn't look after the welfare of the children in his charge. He was only looking out for himself. Rich Rodriguez should be fired immediately and thrown out into the street. You must agree. Or are you also in favor of abusing children?
Drew Magary:Abuse? Hardly. I wonder what kind of message this sends to our kids, DJ. Whatever happened to Father Knows Best? Whatever happened to respecting your elders? Whatever happened to keeping quiet about being abused as a youth so that you might one day be able to abuse a youth yourself?
I worry for our country, DJ. I really do. I worry about our honor. So these kids had to work a few extra hours. Run a few extra hills. Drink an extra cup of sulfuric acid. Sounds to me like they don't want to be champions. Sounds to me like they just want life handed to them. Well, that's not how you build character. You build character by being held hostage in a practice bubble for eight hour chunks, deprived of water, and lashed when you sit on your helmet. I had a coach once who poured every player a bowl of Wheaties and tequila before every practice. And he told me, "Eat those tequila Wheaties, or I will rape you." So I ate those Wheaties. And then, he raped me anyway. I hated coach Dresden for a long time. But now I understand that he was trying to make me better. And that's what Rich Rodriguez is doing. He's lashing out against a system that coddles young athletes with free education, food stipends, and no threat of tequila-soaked rape.
Gallo:There you go brining tequila-soaked rape into everything again, Magary. It gets tiresome. It really does.
The issue is not what specific heinous acts these innocent children were subjected to. The issue is when they were subjected to them. The NCAA lays out specific rules about how long these kids can practice. (At least that's the rumor. No one has ever bothered to really read the entire NCAA rulebook. Especially not anyone at any BCS schools. It's, like, a lot of pages.)
But assuming these rules do exist, Rich Rodriguez callously flaunted them. Someone could have been hurt. Someone could have died of heatstroke. Do you have any idea how hot it gets in Central Michigan in late summer? Probably around 71 degrees or something! That's two degrees hotter than what I keep my thermostat at! That is TORTURE! All my shirts would be pit-stained.
I don't think I really care what this monster Rodriguez did to his players during the allotted time. If I had his power, would it be fun to exhaust and humiliate a bunch of kids for fun? Make them puke and cry and beg for their mothers? Sure! Of course! That would be hilarious! But it's when you overdo it and break the rules is where I have a problem. Then they quit the team or leave the program. And then you have less children to abuselegally. Where's the fun in that?
Our society can only function if we follow the rules, Drew. Rich Rodriguez did not follow the rules. He should lose his job and never be allowed to work again.
Magary:There you go, coddling our children again. DJ, people like YOU are the reason we're on the verge of possibly entrusting national healthcare to our government, and not to heartless corporations. People like YOU are the reason our troops are not getting the support they deserve back home. People like YOU are the reason girls have abortions as often as they chew Orbit gum. People like YOU are the reason I can't say [Ed note: a string of the most disgustingly perverse, racist and misogynistic words ever heard, some of which I think he made up on the spot] in public anymore, because of all your peecee language police. You and your liberal breathren DISGUST me and sicken me.
In fact, I demand you stay after this discussion to run 30 more wind sprints. And Indian runs. And S-lines. And then, it's tequila time.
Gallo:Me and my pussified white, liberal friends are not the problem, Drew. We are actually quite enlightened. Ask us at any dinner party. We will tell you. (And try the arugula brioche! It's divine.)
No, Drew — YOU are the problem.
It is your sick mindset that is causing so many problems with today's youth. You have them stressed out. You have them overworked. You are destroying their childhoods. You made my little sister a slut! A SLUT, Drew!
What you fail to understand, or simply choose to ignore, is that these poor kids at Michigan were being pulled in every which way by every adult in their life. Rich Rodriguez wanted them to stay late for practice. Their chemistry professor wanted them to stay after class for extra labs. Their violin teacher wanted them to stay after practice for … you know, more strumming or whatever it is you do to a violin. And their football groupies wanted them to stay late for more oral. And not just receiving, Drew. Giving, too. It is a terrible life these kids have.
And, sure, laugh and say that these are Division I football players, that they don't have any other concerns than football. But these areMichiganfootball players, Drew. Of course they have other concerns and interests outside of football. They better. Because they're never going to play in the NFL.
Magary:Well, if that's your attitude, it makes me sad. I guess we'll never see the likes of The Junction Boys again. I guess we'll never see megalomaniacal head coaches again get away with overworking players, drilling them on the sun-baked turf until the skin has shredded off of their knuckles, preaching them to forsake all other pursuits in hope of going 8-4, and pretending to build character in them while, all the while, getting their rocks off on bossing kids around.
I guess we're just a nation of children now, DJ. I yearn for the days of REAL men, like Gary Cooper, and John Wayne, and my father, who worked in a coal mine, drank two bottles of gin every night, and didn't say a word to me until I was the age of 27. I guess men like that are extinct now, and so is the country I once knew as the United States Of America.
/dabs tears with American flag
Gallo: /says Pledge of Allegiance to the United Nations flag
/does something socialist-y
FINAL SCORE: Magary 114, Gallo 37.6