“Why Aren’t We Talking About Football’s Culture of Brutality?”

Headline, New York Magazine.

Point One: Some of us have been talking about it forever.

Point Two: People love violence, hon. NASCAR, NFL, WWE, stop me if you’ve heard this before.


I like this dude who wears a MAKE FOOTBALL VIOLENT AGAIN hat.


[W]hat (Maryland football coach D.J.) Durkin did? That’s college football. That’s sports… [T]o pretend that Maryland’s football culture is a unique football culture is to kid one’s self. The relative silence of college football coaches reeks of nervousness and self-preservation. They know it could happen to them too.

Remember UD‘s take on the matter. She giveth not much of a fuck what the NFL does. She expects it to be our most popular sports organization because it’s our most violent, and most everyone loves violence.

So what.

So we now know it turns many men into mental wrecks, some of whom kill themselves at rather early ages. It’s a commercial enterprise and that’s what it’s about and we know precisely now, with the science available, that that’s what it’s about, and a few players (chronicled on this blog) have looked at this fact and left the profession. The profession itself won’t do much of anything. It can’t. Nature of the beast.

This blog is about colleges full of nineteen year olds. Nineteen year olds just dying to get in the game.

Steve Rosenberg, recipient of the 2018 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research…

was a co-author with UD‘s father, Herbert Rapp, on a number of scientific papers way back when.

Elm Sphinx Moth?

Found this clinging to the
brick wall of my house entry.

Deconstructing this Year’s Party School List

1 University of Delaware
2 West Virginia University
3 Tulane University
4 Syracuse University
5 Bucknell University
6 Lehigh University
7 University of California – Santa Barbara
8 University of Wisconsin – Madison
9 Colgate University
10 University of Rhode Island

See, you think they’re all gonna be big dumb state schools with military industrial football programs. And that is certainly one category (West Virginia). But there are other categories:

WHEN IN ROME: Tulane, Wisconsin-Madison

MAROONED, NOTHING ELSE TO DO: Delaware, Colgate, Bucknell, Syracuse




‘What could be more dehumanising than the niqab and the burqa?’

Polly Toynbee:

[A Muslim spokesman] accused [Boris] Johnson of “dehumanising Muslim women.” That was a step too far. What could be more dehumanising than the niqab and the burqa? Hiding a woman dehumanises her completely, turning a person into an anonymous thing.

On visits to Afghanistan I have been shocked to see how contemptuously women in burqas are treated in the street, often shoved aside by men as obstacles in the way. The burqa doesn’t give women more respect, but less.

… Religions have always branded their identities by restrictions on women. Christianity, Judaism, Islam and others all set out with extreme rules proclaiming a disgust of unclean women’s bodies, with ritualised baths, head-shaving, denying abortion and contraception, arranged marriages, purdah, churching of new mothers, and barring women from priesthoods. Inside extreme cults and sects, abuse of women is almost inevitable.


Yasmin Alibhai-Brown:

I do not think hijabs and niqabs should hereafter be proscribed or inadmissible subjects in conversations. Some reactionary Muslim organisations are using Borisgate to expand and strengthen their influence. They say outlandish stuff and are not challenged.

[S]carves, cloaks and masks symbolise the negation of the female form, female inferiority and menace, and most troublingly, a wilful distancing from other humans in the public space.

… [We Muslims need to] abandon regressive customs and integrate for the greater good and our survival. With the hard right marching again across Europe, Muslims face an existential threat. This is no time for cultural and religious obstinacy.


Maladroitly, offensively, Boris Johnson has opened a door. Honest people are now speaking honestly about the appalling burqa.

23 Meteors in One Hour.

So last night wasn’t the peak of the peak; but Les UDs left their Big Meadows Lodge room at 3:18 AM anyway, figuring they’d for sure be the only people at the Big Meadow down the road, which has enormous dark skies. They dressed warmly – mid-August evenings turn out to be cold here, especially when you’re sitting (beach chairs) in the middle of a vast wildflower field.

The short drive over there put UD in mind of the night the lights went out over much of the United States in 2003, and Les UDs drove back from Cooperstown to their houselet in Summit in Total Rural Darkness. And Total Rural Silence, something about the gorgeous witchy world having hushed them.

So here’s a family lying in sleeping bags at the entrance to the meadow – quiet father, mother noting each meteor, and small daughter entirely into the experience. A kid, thrilled to be lying on the cold hard ground in the middle of nowhere … Three other cars stood in the parking lot, meaning people had walked through the meadow to distant viewing points.

“Thought we’d be the only people here,” said UD to the sleeping baggers.

“Oh, we set the alarm for 2:30,” said the father.

Les UDs carried their chairs far enough into the meadow to avoid the lights of passing cars, and let their eyes adjust to … yikes… the starriest vastest dome ever…


Mars, the Milky Way. And meteors diving out of the black lagoon – some mere flakes, which we didn’t count, some white missiles with fireballs, missiles so bright they left stellar contrails. With each big one we whooped and clapped and considered again the bizarre good fortune that first hoisted us up onto Skyline Drive and then settled us down into beach chairs under galactic suns.

Barred owls hooted as the heavens rained.

Latest Big Ten Stats!

“[M]ore than half of the Big Ten has now been the subject of a major scandal within the last decade.”

This writer worries about “a cultural problem.”

As UD has been suggesting for oh so long, it ain’t a cultural problem. It’s a cult problem. Many Big Ten programs are classic cults: Small secretive organizations fixated on arcane and violent behaviors, and led by extremely powerful charismatic authoritarians (aka cult leaders). They frighten everyone, starting with the university’s president, and they generate scandal after scandal because, like all cults, they’re fucking nuts.

Today’s faux shock is directed at the University of Maryland’s homicidal football program. And so it goes.

A lovely, lovely walk…

… down Memory Lane.

Islands in the Stream

I’m too excited by my location
to sleep much. The advantage
of this: Not only did I finally,
last night, see a big-ass meteor;
I’m up early enough to see the
valley covered in clouds.

Wow. Pow.

So here’s me.
Sitting under a tree
At three.

And through the tree’s branches came the entire firmament as it is spectacularly to be seen at three AM mid-August in front of Big Meadows Lodge, Shenandoah National Park.

I sat in a chair and watched and in only a few minutes several silver glints swan-dived, and this was fine, this was the whole point of being cold and alone out there in my James Joyce sweatshirt…

Oh but then. Then the sky blazed up with a big meteor! I saw its fireball and was amazed.

As it blazed out I raised my arms and let rip a victory whoop because this after all was the moment of triumph for ol’ UD, who has been trying for years, every August, to see the sky blaze big just like that.

Shenandoah National Park…

… Big Meadows Lodge, has spotty internet, so UD can’t at the moment share the long-view-in-cloud-and-sun picture she just took on her first hike. The mixed weather means thick smoky hills out to the edge of the earth.

The climb up Skyline Drive featured fairy tale woods: Green-gray barks and shaggy canopies visible through gray mist. Sometimes sunlight broke the mist.


I.e., it will be a miracle if any perseids are to be seen tonight. But the world from the Big Meadows balcony rolls out beautifully, and UD is more than happy to make do with that. The air is cool, nature madly green from all the summer rain, and my immediate view of parents piecing animal puzzles together with their children as they wait for the dining room to open extremely pleasant.

UD – a charter member of the Hell is Other People club – finds the subdued company of damp weary hikers more than tolerable.

V.S. Naipaul – one of the few writers whose sentences echo in the mind – has died.

“Todos me acosan sexualmente,” she once said with irritation, in her actress days. “Everybody makes a pass at me.” She was the macho’s ideal victim-woman —- don’t those red lips still speak to the Argentine macho of her reputed skill in fellatio? But very soon she was beyond sex, and pure again. At twenty-nine she was dying from cancer of the uterus, and hemorrhaging through the vagina; and her plumpish body began to waste away. Toward the end she weighed 80 pounds. One day she looked at some old official photographs of herself and began to cry. Another day she saw herself in a long mirror and said, “When I think of the trouble I went to to keep my legs slim! Ahora que me veo estas piernitas me asusto. Now it frightens me to look at these matchsticks.”

The Corpse at the Iron Gate, 1972.


In Britain we want bad boy Boris
To wash his mouth out with Lavoris.
His latest mazurka,
“Hommage a la Burqa,”
Has given the whole country tsuris.

Mr UD, a professor at the University of Maryland, once watched the university’s president blow off a student who asked a challenging question about the school’s athletic program.

This was a couple of years ago. The student’s question went to the immense disparity in the president’s salary and various coaches’ salaries. Annoyed that the president blew off the student, Mr UD pressed the president on problems in the athletics program.

The president of the University of Maryland responded to Mr UD along these lines: There’s little I can do about the program, and the program can blow up at any time.

UD has always been rather astonished by the president’s honesty; because this of course is the fundamental truth of all big-time university sports programs. The jock school president – in the favorite words of the second-highest paid employee in the entire state of Maryland – is a pussy bitch and a bitch pussy and a pussy pussy and a bitch bitch pussy pussy pussy.

And the jock school’s big-time sports program can indeed blow up at any time. If you know even a little about how they’re run – and the people who run them – you know why these programs keep blowing up.


Real men die for the University of Maryland football team, like 19-year-old Jordan McNair, who didn’t get much of a life, but at least lived it taunted as a pussy and tortured to death by a first-rate football power.

[S]ome number of Maryland football staff members probably belong in prison.

Which is to say that just as the university’s president anticipated, the program, having killed a player, has now blown up.

You need to go back to Rutgers’ celebrated basketball coach Mike Rice to get a sense of the sick sadism characteristic of the man we Maryland taxpayers each year pay $2.5 million. I mean, try reading through all of this without puking (puking by the way is something the UMD coach makes his players do … part of the school’s force-feed ’em til they’re monsters regime… ).


A Deadspin report concludes:

One perfectly reasonable question is why Durkin, Court, and Robinson, at the very least, haven’t already been fired. Former Maryland football staff members say the current coaching environment of the program is intimidation-based; current and former players say these men routinely use intimidation and humiliation as motivational tactics; current and former players say they have a pattern of pushing teenagers past the point of complete physical exhaustion, in some cases to weed out and punish players they’ve targeted as unwanted. A pattern has been described that makes what happened to Jordan McNair a likelihood, if not an inevitability, but it says deeply troubling things about what Maryland’s athletic department deems as acceptable coaching behavior that Durkin’s tactics weren’t rejected long before now.

But we know why they weren’t rejected. It’s really not about “what Maryland’s athletic department deems as acceptable coaching behavior,” because Durkin and Court were after all hired at great expense to torture teenagers to the point where they can win football games. It’s about Maryland’s administration.

So look at what the president of the university said to Mr UD. He has no control over the program. His job is to resolutely look the other way, and to irritably say nothing to people who insist on questioning him about a program over which, officially at least, he has authority.


It’s a mad mad mad mad world. Over in the shabby humanities buildings they’re committing seppuku if they fail even for a moment to use scrupulously sensitive, politically correct, language; in the sports palaces, they’re getting in front of 19-year-olds’ faces and spitting pussy and faggot and fucker and shit and bitch at them while making them run on a hot field until one of them actually dies from the abuse.

Far out.

But routine reality at many of America’s big-time sports universities.


UPDATE: In response to another coach (Will Muschamp, South Carolina) passionately defending Durkin, since much of the reporting about his program is based on anonymous sources:

A player is dead, but Muschamp is more worried about attacking ESPN’s article and the staffer giving them information.

Glorious University of South Carolina.


As usual, Deadspin has the most trenchant response to Muschamp.

“[H]is words are getting far more attention than they deserve.”

A British/Iranian woman writes the most sensible of the millions of words already written about Boris Johnson having compared women in burqas to letter boxes and bank robbers. UD made the same point she’s making – about the greater wisdom of ignoring his words – in this post.

Shappi Khorsandi writes:

Every part of the burqa/letterbox furore is about political warfare. Johnson knew exactly how to rattle the left and it’s working. Now we are calling Rowan Atkinson a “racist”…

The comedian is now denounced as racist because he pointed out that Johnson was attempting to be funny. And, yes, attempting to be offensive. Atkinson: “All jokes about religion cause offence, so it’s pointless apologising for them.” And remember: All of this was in the context of Johnson agreeing with people on the left that there should be no burqa ban.

As the denunciations and investigations and apology-demands escalate, sensible and humane people, like Khorsandi, will direct us to what we should be thinking about:

Today, in Iran, women are risking their liberty by publicly taking off their hijabs in protests against the forced covering. Shaparak Shajarizadeh was handed a two-year sentence for protesting in Iran against the hijab. She was released on bail in April and has now apparently left the country as exile is preferable to living in a country where speaking your mind leads to arrest.

I wish those who are now calling Rowan Atkinson a “racist” left and right on social media would show more solidarity and generate more publicity for women like Shaparak.

Let the ridiculous Boris Johnson dustup have the effect of directing our attention where it belongs: To the millions of women in countries all over the world suffocating under the veil.


In other words: These are the words that deserve our attention — written by the late great Christopher Hitchens.

[W]e have no assurance that Muslim women put on the burqa or don the veil as a matter of their own choice. A huge amount of evidence goes the other way. Mothers, wives, and daughters have been threatened with acid in the face, or honor-killing, or vicious beating, if they do not adopt the humiliating outer clothing that is mandated by their menfolk. This is why, in many Muslim societies, such as Tunisia and Turkey, the shrouded look is illegal in government buildings, schools, and universities. Why should Europeans and Americans, seeking perhaps to accommodate Muslim immigrants, adopt the standard only of the most backward and primitive Muslim states? The burqa and the veil, surely, are the most aggressive sign of a refusal to integrate or accommodate.

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