Followed by a series of similar fraught questions. Everybody’s writing this clutch-your-forehead-and-ask-why shit.

Listen, for once in your life, to old UD. Ready? Real deal. Coming from someone who’s followed big-time university football closely for years, read countless interviews with coaches and administrators, attended many NCAA, Knight Commission, and other such gatherings, and even thought about the subject.

It’s about stupidity.

Look at the headline a couple of posts below this one: THERE HAVE LONG BEEN CONCERNS… When football takes over a university, stupid people rule. Shake Your Booty majors from Swamp State rule. Smiling, dazed, dressed for success people rule. Provost Brick Tamland. Academic VP Fredo Corleone.

These are not bad people, inured to evil blahblah.

To understand why they bring down universities, consider the characteristics of the stupid mind.

Basically, these are fear, traditionalism, conformity, lack of curiosity, and optimism.

Because you do not understand what is going on around you, you spend your life afraid of unspecified events. Anything you identify as new, unprecedented, not done before, has you peeing your pants.

You put a good spin on this fear. We’ve had the same coach for eighty years! We really value our traditions around here. Having the same guy in place for eight decades guarantees the integrity of the program. Because you’re stupid, you don’t know that entrenched power is incredibly destructive.

Independent thought is beyond your capacity. On this too you put a great spin. Teamwork! It takes a village! There’s no I in JOIN!

Because you haven’t heard of history, you don’t know that fanatic masses are a bad thing.

A number of current (and past: Palin, Huckabee) candidates for President or Vice-President of the United States know virtually nothing of Europe, economics, things like that. They belittle “Professor” Obama for having studied and taught things. Candidates Cain and Perry do a peacock-strut while listing the things they don’t know and pledging never to know them (roars of approval from the crowd).

Man is born smart but is everywhere in stupidity, wrote Rousseau, reflecting on the latest grossness on the U Geneva gridiron. The sad irony of stupid university people is that they’re on a university campus; they’re at a university. They could actually go to a class, or talk to a professor or something. Remember when John Madden wrote a book? Remember what he titled it? He titled it HEY WAIT A MINUTE I WROTE A BOOK! See how that sort of thing can happen when you least expect it? It’s always possible – there’s always time – – !

After all, look at that list of the attributes of the stupid up there. The last one is OPTIMISM. Take that darned optimism and run with it, baby!

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13 Responses to “‘Does big-time college football inure one to life’s most revolting crimes?’”

  1. the professor Says:

    I guess we can agree on the stupid thing.

    PATERNO, JOSEPH
    STATE COLLEGE,PA 16803
    PENN STATE UNIVERSITY/FOOTBALL COACH
    2/29/08 $250 Obama, Barack (D)

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    I think he might just have been hedging his bets or something, tp. He’s a major Republican.

    http://www.ydr.com/politics/ci_19300183

  3. the professor Says:

    Oh I know, UD. But during the apotheosis of The One, my e-mail box was full of forwards from oh-so-liberal colleagues touting the contribution of Joe to His Omnipotence. Joe was great! He ran a clean program! Here was a Republican who had cast off his ignorance and DONE THE RIGHT THING(tm)!

    This week those very same oh-so-liberal colleagues just knew ALL ALONG that Joe was rotten. Probably His Splendiferousness did not even cash that check anyway. (OK, I made up the last bit)

  4. Mr Punch Says:

    Well, yeah, but this doesn’t in fact explain the stupidity at Penn State, among people who are not football guys (notably Graham Spanier, PhD Northwestern). In 2002, top administrators became aware of a problem that could be addressed fairly readily – “Poor Coach Sandusky, he did a great job for us but since his retirement he’s gone nuts” or something – and they didn’t respond. Herman Cain would have handled it, and the fix would have stuck unless he decided to run for President.

    I’d say the lessons here are:

    Don’t ever underestimate the downside risk of football for the university when things go wrong;

    Understand that the risk is increased when a coach comes to embody the program;

    And that’s when, not if, things go wrong.

  5. Shane Street Says:

    “To understand why they bring down universities, consider the characteristics of the stupid mind.

    Basically, these are fear, traditionalism, conformity, lack of curiosity, and optimism.”

    Essentially, Margaret has called every true Roman at the height of the Republic “stupid”. Together with Alan “Petronius” Allport as arbiter of all things academic, UD has taken an interestingly classical turn of late.

  6. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Don’t know enough about that to respond, Shane.

  7. Margaret Soltan Says:

    I didn’t know that background, tp.

  8. Frances Says:

    She likes to call people stupid. I consider it a term of endearment. Then again I am her sister. Ha! UD Rules!

  9. Alan Allport Says:

    Shane: Huh?

  10. AYY Says:

    UD, Why take a gratuitous shot at Palin? (That’s a rhetorical question.) The left sees everything she says as a gaffe and then learn to their chagrin that it wasn’t a gaffe at all and that she was right. She seems to be more knowledgeable than her media critics.

  11. the professor Says:

    Some of the most urbane, sophisticated, academically-oriented intellectuals talked themselves into the Euro. No 4th rate football factory grads in that group.

  12. Kevin Says:

    I’m bored by football, and appalled by the state of college athletics in general, but pretending that this is all due to the stupidity of college football is a cop-out.

    How many stories of inappropriate sexual conduct float around the average university? While pressuring a current student into sex is orders of magnitude less horrifying that raping a 10 year-old, it results in the same sort of “But he’s a great guy!” behavior and slap-on-the-wrist “punishment” that so disgusts us in this case.

  13. Jonah R. Says:

    Yes, Perry is a boob, Cain is a boob, but come on, UD, you can’t selectively forget the “fanatic masses” chanting Obama’s name, wearing t-shirts with his face like we live in some banana republic, celebrities on YouTube videos literally pledging themselves to Obama…you keep trying to imply that this is a Republican thing when it’s in fact universal.

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