… when she sees scathe-worthy writing, she rises to the occasion.

Here’s the SEC commissioner trying to get Mississippi university leaders riled up against the overwhelming passage, in that state’s House, of legislation clearly paving the way for conceal carry folk to bring their guns to football games. He intervened in the very same way when Arkansas tried to get guns in the hands of football fans; now he’s sticking his nose in the business of the good people of Mississippi. Here’s what he wrote to the chancellor of the University of Mississippi.

Given the intense atmosphere surrounding athletic events, adding weapons increases meaningful safety concerns and is expected to negatively impact the intercollegiate athletics programs at your universities in several ways… If HB1083 is adopted to permit weapons in college sports venues, it is likely that competitors will decline opportunities to play in Oxford and Starkville, game officials will decline assignments, personal safety concerns will be used against Mississippi’s universities during the recruiting process and fan attendance will be negatively impacted.

Yes, SOS hears you. ‘SEC Commissioner’ describes a position of dignity and gravitas. The SEC Commissioner is not in a position to say

I’m shitting bricks thinking about your wasted frat boys whipping out their AR-15s and blowing everyone away.

But he could still have done a better job of writing to the chancellor. Let’s consider how he could have issued his warning more eloquently.

There’s a stiff bureaucratic feel to the whole thing, isn’t there? And given that he wants above all to convey a sense of urgency, dead language of this sort does the opposite. Notice that he begins all bass-ackward, backing up to his point rather than stating it right out.

Given the intense atmosphere…

No. Start right off with guns. Guns make football games more dangerous, and they’re already somewhat dangerous. In other words, the whole intense atmosphere thing begs for clarification.

I mean, having for a long time read coaches and fans talk about university football games, UD would have thought ‘intensity’ in their regard referred simply to wholesome fellowship and partisan fun! No? Ok, then don’t leave me hanging: Is there something else intense going on at football games?

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Well, think about it, UD. Look around an SEC stadium during a game. Did you ever see so many police? Why do you think they’re there?

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But of course the commissioner doesn’t want to specify the nature of pre-addition-of-weaponry football game intensity, because there’s a large athletics industry supporting him and his family, and that’s nothing to fuck with.

So, along the same lines, he goes for the unbearably ugly negatively impact to try to delicately gingerly ever so lightly skip around …

Skip around what? Good writing is more direct than this. You’d have to be insane to add guns to crowds of drunk agitated immature males.

And now for the windup, which of course features a second use of negatively impact. Finds it so nice he uses it twice.

… it is likely that competitors will decline opportunities to play in Oxford and Starkville, game officials will decline assignments, personal safety concerns will be used against Mississippi’s universities during the recruiting process and fan attendance will be negatively impacted.

I wonder why football players, specially in the south, might not be happy to play in front of tens of thousands of Mississippi university students with big ol’ guns at the ready??? Hm. Hm. That’s a real poser.

But anyway… Let’s redo this final clause, shall we?

Pads and helmets can only do so much. Bad enough you’re concussing your head. You’re also putting yourself out there in a huge open shooting gallery with armed angry drunk southern males. Ditto for sitting-duck game officials. People get real angry at officials. In the pre-technological world of high school sports, you have to get up, run onto the field, and beat officials to death with your own fists. With guns, it’s a piece of cake.

Georgia will not hesitate to tell recruits trying to decide where to play that they definitely could get their asses blown off in Mississippi. As for your fan base: Though the lads’ aim might be wobbly from a few hundred feet, they’re for sure not going to miss the nice broad back of the guy two rows ahead who just called them a motherfucker. So your attendance numbers aren’t going to be enhanced. Unless you add all the new fans who are there to shoot off their guns.

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Yes, yes, SOS knows that she has slipped into the sort of language incommensurate with the moral stature of an SEC commissioner. Sorry.

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