Bartleby in Pullman

I prefer not to, says the football coach at Washington State, and haggadah tell you (Passover pun), UD‘s always had a soft spot for silent machos who canter off and everyone watches them go and says What a man and No one will ever know why and Miss Ellie’s daddy he owns the biggest copper mine in the state and everybody knows she wanted to marry him but.

Nick Rolovich gave up fifteen million dollars and the wild adulation of the entire Evergreen State because he refused to get vaccinated because… because none of your goddamn business is because. Fine. Nuff said.

Gruden/Incognito Cosmic Convergence!

[Consider] the Raiders’ decision in 2018 at [Jon] Gruden’s behest to sign Richie Incognito, a player known to have a past of bullying, racism, and homophobia. Gruden would go on to call Incognito a “leader on this football team” when he was signed to an extension in 2019.

Yeah well people all over are unloading on the self-email-outed-ex-coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, but who knew these two steroidal psychos were on the same team? UD didn’t know, and UD‘s been blogging about batshit Incognito since his intellectual sojourn at the University of Nebraska.

[Gruden] found space on his roster for Richie Incognito, a confirmed bully who was suspended for intimidating a Black former Dolphins teammate with racial slurs.

It warms the cockles of her heart to know Gruden and Incognito were… together… at the end…

She sees them embrace in a manly farewell, and hears Incognito’s final words to his bro — “And now nothing remains for me but to assure you in the most animated language of the violence of my affection.”

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AWKward. Defenders of Gruden are falling all over themselves to point out the double standard of happily allowing squads of criminals and maniacs (see above) into the NFL but booting out a guy who writes disgusting emails. Dudes have a point, but in making the point they are offering the world a high-profile, complete list of all the dangerous shits who Americans worship because they play football. Not sure Gruden’s defenders want to publicize precisely how deep that problem goes. Might make people want to do something about it.

‘Gruden criticized Goodell and the league for trying to reduce concussions …’

Yeah where the FUCK do they get off…..

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The ironies in this downfall are as crude as Gruden himself, but let’s just get it said: He’s always calling everybody else a dumb prick; but what do you call someone who loses $100 million in salary because he’s too stupid to know you don’t write anything controversial in an email? Who else is that stupid?

University of Southern California football: Ave atque vale.

USC and its athletic department spent much of the past few years embroiled in various stupid scandals... USC was one focus of the Justice Department’s men’s basketball corruption case that went public in 2017, and the program finally got hit with NCAA probation earlier this year as a result. In 2019, USC was on the front page of the New York Times (and not the sports section) for its central role in the Varsity Blues scandal, wherein rich parents fabricated and bribed their kids’ way into elite schools. [USC] administrators [have been] dealing with racketeering and corruption cases and NCAA investigations… [O]utside legal disputes stemming from USC’s 2000s NCAA problems weren’t entirely wrapped up until the end of July. This July.”

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USC had to fire back-to-back coaches in the middle of the season. Find another major program so badly directed that it’s had to do that.

And then USC had to do it again this year, something no other major program has even had to contemplate. Think of the degree of mismanagement that requires. From an incredibly immature Lane Kiffin to an incredibly intemperate Steve Sarkisian to an incredibly incompetent Clay Helton, they turned the keys of one of college football’s historic top three programs to an over-their-head trio of not-ready-for-prime-time players.”

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The second writer, who calls USC’s program “dead,” doesn’t even mention the very special Sarkisian/Puliafito/Nikias magic, about which UD wrote a few years ago. Surely he doesn’t mean to leave out of his autopsy the very top of USC’s leadership!

When you’re a university football program with Colorado’s history of violence and corruption, you’ve got a legacy to uphold.

Whether it’s rape, dirty recruitment, or assault, Boulder has long been front and center — and they’re keeping the beating-the-shit-out-of-everyone thing going with hotly recruited hometown hero Carson Lee, who titles his Twitter page with Isaiah 41:10, which in his case would seem to go something like yea, I will repeatedly pummel thee with the immense right hand of mine immense arm.

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According to the affidavit, the man said Lee punched him about 30 times. Doctors later said the man suffered a fractured skull and internal brain bleeding.

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Only nineteen and blessed with spectacular tackling skills – thirty blows resulting in the sort of brain injury you only see inflicted at the very highest levels of university football. Thirty shows commitment. It shows follow-through. It shows star quality.

UD fully expects Colorado to hold tight to Mad Dog Lee even if he’s found guilty; but on the off chance the school decides to let him go, we can all sit back and enjoy the spectacle of increasingly mindless, vicious university football factories taking their chance, one after another, on the guy. Eventually maybe he’ll hit the jackpot and turn into Richie Incognito.

FEAR STALKS THE GRIDIRON

The highest paid public employee in Washington, the highest-profile person at the University of Washington, its big bad super macho football coach, shrinks at the sight of a needle. Refuses vaccination.

The governor’s after him. The university’s president is after him. The local press is giving him hell.

Plus he’s one big putrid bowl of putrid as a football coach.

Some on campus argue that three million dollars a year might find better uses than the care and maintenance of a needlephobe who can’t win football games.

Ernst Wins the Grand Slammer

Put his lucrative years of fraud and bribery down to advanced racket technique: A golden boy tennis coach at Georgetown University who taught the likes of the Obama kids, he recognized early that he could trade bogus athletic admission recommendations on behalf of the dim spawn of the super-rich and charge super-sums for the favor. Details here.

Hard to think of an easier way to earn millions than having your assistant write a note to the admit office insisting that the tennis team needs this one great high school grad on it! With that money, Ernst bought a Chevy Chase (a neighborhood just up the road from UD that gets even higher prestige points than UD‘s own ‘thesda) house practically next door to the house of a super-rich lobbyist where – fun fact – Les UDs spent an evening, long ago, in the company of Morton Kondracke and other denizens.

Ernst was just gonna brazen it out and keep hitting winners through his upcoming trial; but facing an array of witnesses who would no doubt add details to his scoring record, he decided to plead guilty and go to jail. Meanwhile, a serious investigation of ever-scandal-ridden Georgetown University needs to happen.

‘The clock is ticking on Rolovich, and a massive showdown appears to be brewing.’

Washington State’s football program has already embarrassed the university way past what the latest coach’s refusal to get vaccinated can do; but of course it’s never good to pile on, and Nick Rolovich is definitely piling on.

(And – not to pile on, but – Scathing Online Schoolmarm can’t help noting the pile-up of mixed metaphors in the sentence she quoted in her headline. Sportswriters use lots of mixed metaphors.)

Rolovich is the highest paid state employee; he’s a very high profile figure. A lot of people – like this guy – have had it with his anti-vax bullshit and want him gone. I say Rolovich should go ahead and let himself be hounded out. He will instantly become a strapping national hero, taking the place of this aged fallen god. The Voice of the Anti-Vaxxers!

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UD thanks a reader for keeping her up to date on the Rolovich mess at WSU.

UD’s old blogpal…

Professor Mondo, updates her on the latest whack from Washington State, involving that school’s clever transition from football coach – and person who makes Rand Paul look sane – Mike Leach, to asshole anti-vaxer football coach Nick Rolovich. University Diaries has followed this miserable school through the long years of its tragic decline due to tertiary syphilis or whatever it is that makes one WSU president after another into a trembling terrified cringer before its sports program (currently well over a hundred million in debt). The deal WSU struck with Rolovich goes like this: You give me three million dollars a year and I give your kids the Delta Variant.

And now for some post-game analysis!

I suppose it’s sad to spend the morning after the final writing about racism and violence and intolerance, rather than Luke Shaw’s brilliant strike or the courage of young Saka to stand up and take that penalty. But what did you expect? Have you not been watching these past few years?

Yeah, we do college football on this blog… but we like to check in on international soccer occasionally…

The sport is corrupt and probably irredeemably compromised by hedge funds, oil barons, and human rights–abusing petrostates… These clubs looked at a global pandemic that had ravaged their finances and saw an opportunity to further monopolize their power so they would never have to worry about losing money ever again. They could strong-arm not just their respective leagues and soccer’s flawed and fantastically corrupt governing bodies, but the nations they play in… The Super League is both an abomination and a recognition of what soccer is now. The owners of soccer clubs, whether they be American goons like Stan Kroenke or sovereign wealth funds run by human rights abusers, already represented the worst of global capitalism. For the hedge funds and tycoons who own clubs, what happens on the field is tertiary. 

Game on!

Descend, O Spirits of Buddy Jones, Bobby Lowder, Ed Keller, and All Ye Good Ol’ Boosters of the Football South.

Baylor and Auburn and Oklahoma State and so many other powerhouses down there all got runnin the place a superbooster who jest cain’t help himself. He loves that team so much. He names his first-born after it. He plans to be buried on its fifty yard line. He takes over the board of trustees and bullies the president and jest runs with that ball, buying players and covering up rapes and arranging seven million dollar a year salaries for coaches — all of which accounts for the tremendous football dominance of those three schools plus so many other universities (howdy, Bama!) located in the Lower Jock belt.

And twernt long before our nation’s powerhouse high schools got wind of how it’s done, so now you got even the New York Times writing about Valdosta High down in Georgia, which followed the southern jock school template to a T and got to the top of the national high school football pile!

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But shucks. Comes a time in a man’s life when his overt totally insane levels of vileness and corruption catch up with him and not even Touchdown Jesus will his sins forgiveth. He gets fired, the coach gets fired, the school gets hammered, and hey if you’d checked out the entire template for football universities, you’d have noticed that things don’t work out too well in the long run for a lot of them either.

Amid the distressing, distracting, unprecedented political situation in this country, UD finds it deeply reassuring that…

… the scummy world of big-time Southern football keeps rolling along. For years and years she’s followed the beautiful, profoundly rooted culture of obscenely overpaid coaches cheating their way to championships that get rescinded when some filthy traitor on the staff spills the beans. Then there’s the old-timey defamation lawsuit the fired coach files, in which he demands a billion dollar settlement cuz of all the damage the school has done to his beautiful reputation. There’s the charming buzz that ensues among the faithful: Who among the equally scummy cheater-coaches out there will be the dumped cheater-coach’s replacement? And everybody cheats, so why were we singled out? There’s the sweet perennial controversy about whether tailgate parties which turn the campus into a urinic heap where drunk out of their minds pre-teens reel about should be subject to a few rules, and the equally perennial controversy about the advisability of a university holding courses during the same week important football game are played (answer: scheduled classes are inadvisable). There’s the inexhaustible thrill of watching this or that heavily-recruited player with a notoriously violent past assault people all over town, as well as the larger traditional spectacle of groups of bulked up football heroes making use of monster SUVs, monster rifles, and illicit drugs all at the same time. The fraternities make their own venerable contribution to the Southern football landscape, killing pledges during fan parties through the time-tested method of alcohol and neglect.

The University of Tennessee is the scummy football school du jour; but places like Ole Miss, which combine all aspects of this culture with campus white supremacy riots, are real – uh – historic.

And yet at the same time what could be more totally up to date than white supremacy rioting?

So how did Klete Keller, a multiple-medaled Olympic swimmer, an intelligent, thoughtful, and humble man who knows what it is to suffer a horrible reversal and survive it… How did Klete Keller end up…

… in the Capitol building with a bunch of sick losers? Even at his lowest, when he was living in his car, Klete Keller was never a loser, never sick. He was, by his own account (listen up – it’s a half hour long but worth the investment of time), an entitled jerk, a man who thought being an Olympian meant he could keep swimming swiftly and easily through post-Olympic life.

Life had other ideas, and, when Keller realized basically nobody besides a few swim team kids gave a shit that he was a champion swimmer, he got depressed and angry and stopped working (or was fired) and started drinking and lazing about. His wife threw him out and he spent extended time homeless and altogether down and out.

One of Keller’s former Olympic teammates, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly discuss Keller’s apparent descent, drew a line from the “goofy, oafish” swimmer he knew in the 2000s to the aimless, rudderless, 30-something man who, he speculated, became a perfect candidate to fall into a radical, conservative rabbit hole of conspiracy theorists and rioters involved in insurrection.

His sister eventually let him move in with her, and that’s when things started looking up for him.

Until a few days ago, he had a steady job in a real estate firm in Colorado; he might well have lost that job now. His name has been erased from the firm’s website. He faces possible arrest.

We needn’t waste time accounting for Keller’s big enthusiasm for Fuckface – that is apparently well documented in his (now-erased) social media. Anyone who wants to can be enthusiastic about Ff. But it’s certainly worth considering the fanaticism that brought him from Colorado to DC to the violence at the Capitol.

Having listened to him tell his story, I’ll offer this idea, sketchy and ill-informed as it has to be.

As I listened to Keller tell his tale, the phrase drama junkie kept coming to me. Also adrenalin junkie. After years and years of intense unrelenting swimming – in competitions, in practices – Keller had clearly built up a strong need for everything in life to be an unrelenting competitive test of his endurance in dramatic contests. He makes it clear that once his swimming career was over he entirely totally thoroughly collapsed. Ordinary vague daily life failed to be commensurate with the extraordinary small sharp warrior focus of the swimming pool. But Keller’s need for battle, self-testing, winning, superiority persisted.

Now this is a guy who dropped out of college – to focus on swimming, natch. One option as he left swimming would have been to finish his University of Southern California degree and get, like, a marketable skill. But he was, by his own admission, too arrogant for that. So down, down, down, he went. [Correction: According to this, he did eventually finish his degree.]

So my old friend Courtney, a really impressive all-around athlete, once sent me an article about the connection between athleticism and self-destructive behaviors. Here’s an excerpt from it:

If you’re an outdoor athlete and you’re good at it, you’re probably like I once was: a selfish, self-involved son of a bitch. It’s always more, more, more and me, me, me, and I was no different. I wanted to be the best. I wanted to do the hardest sport routes, to be the boldest on high, killer walls.

Why? Why not? I was addicted to climbing, and then to starvation, and when that wasn’t enough, I became addicted to drugs.

Maybe you see some of my method in your own madness. And perhaps your obsessions are “healthy”: wheatgrass, long runs, body sculpting, rock climbing. That’s great. But I tell you now, absent your passions you will feel the sharp scrape of withdrawal — just like any fixless junkie bug-eyed in a January alley. Reality can be reduced, at its sparest, to chemical reactions, our body craving the release of GABA, oxytocins, endorphins, serotonin, dopamine. It doesn’t care about their provenance. It just doesn’t. Cut off the source—any source—and you will pay.

The drama, injury, contests, even in some perverted sense the teamwork at the Capitol must have felt very familiar to poor Klete Keller, once a champion, then a loser, then a winner, and now at this late date once again a terrible loser. Turns out – maybe; I’m speculating – he never quite lost his addiction to bloody battle. And now he has drowned in it.

The cruelest cut of all.

PGA will Strip Trump Bedminster of 2022 PGA Championship

“[A]ny affiliation is poisonous.”

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