December 4, 2012

My two cents on murderer Jovan Belcher [Darleen Click]

Bob Costas blames guns, James Whitlock ups the ante by claiming it’s NRA as KKK …

But I will bet that the philandering Belcher, who never married his baby-mama, never saw the inside of a church, at least since childhood.

It’s the values, stupid.

Posted by Darleen @ 10:04pm
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Comments (111)

  1. I’m thinking Costas directed the conversation to guns to keep people from recalling that the inside of Belcher’s head was squirming with toads, perhaps from accumulated head injuries. Can’t have people speaking of head injuries and the NFL in the same breath, since Costas makes his money as a parasitic leech on that very industry, and furthering such talk might cause the calorie tyrants to start sniffing around.

    Oh, and systemic brain injuries trump one’s learned virtue, even if virtue was previously installed in the first place, which doesn’t happen often enough.

  2. serr8d

    not necessarily discounting brain injuries … but the NFL has been around since 1922

    why now are we talking about it being the supposed cause of murder?

    were brain injuries responsible for Belcher not marrying the mother of his child? For partying with other women?

    Sorry, too convenient an excuse.

  3. well duh everyone knows if you don’t go to church what happens is you cap your boo

    this is why everyone should go to church

  4. hf

    This may be hard for you, but try anyway … Thought experiment

    you’re walking home alone after dark when a group of young men approaches

    will you feel more or less threatened if you knew they had just left Bible study?

  5. Darleen, there’s no real evidence Belcher was a troublemaker prior. With the exception of one report I read somewhere, that some kid was bullied unmercifully by Belcher for a decade, he had no outstanding legal issues. This incident was a *snap*. One doesn’t shoot another person some 9 times with no reason for it. I’ll bet a slight bit that he had an injured brain, like that kid in the clock tower in Texas.

    ‘feets, the only thing certain is that this baby is going to grow up without a mother and father, not an auspicious beginning. Hopefully the grandparents will take her to church.

  6. I just think people are mostly good at heart church or no church

  7. No, ‘feets, virtue is a learned sport. You either have a good, solid family, and/or a good church, or nuns to smack your hands whilst you are in a controlled up-and-coming environment. I doubt many people are born with innate virtue, without which you definitely become an expectant dirty socialist, or worse.

  8. If only Sister Andromeda Strain had taken a picture of me on Father Feelys lap-we’d all be in the sunshine

  9. Darleen, there’s no real evidence Belcher was a troublemaker prior

    serr8d … we don’t know yet. From “snapped” to now knowing that his coaches were “bending over backwards” trying to get counseling for him and his girlfriend … that their relationship had trouble written all over it for some time.

    No, 9 bullets is about rage, not “snapped”. Think of the savagery visited upon Nicole Simpson.

  10. There have been several reports that he has had rage incidents with women going back years.

  11. No, 9 bullets is about rage, not “snapped”. Think of the savagery visited upon Nicole Simpson.

    Heh. I’m thinking he was in the NFL too! As was Junior Seau.

    You’ll have to admit what a nice red herring a misleading convo about guns has been. Someone passed Costas a fat envelope I’ll warrant.

  12. well the david bowie agrees with you he says every child must be made aware every child must be made to care… to care enough for his fellow man, to give all the love that he can

    but me i say that people are people so why should it be that you and i should get along so awfully

  13. serr8d

    not any of the murders from my office have involved football players

    just had one guy who stabbed his (on/off) wife as she sat at the dinner table because he was tired of her nagging

  14. well duh everyone knows if you don’t go to church what happens is you cap your boo
    this is why everyone should go to church

    From the previously discussed Paul Rahe essay:

    Montesquieu was, of course, aware that, if a commercial republic … was wildly successful, it might founder. [T]he children of very successful businessmen are not educated by experience in the market in the fashion of their parents, and their grandchildren are quite likely to be uneducated to an even greater degree. They are, in fact, likely to surrender to the temptation of self-indulgence. They are apt to forget future imperatives for the delights of the present and to live for the moment. Montesquieu did not foresee a society like our own — where general prosperity has had a propensity to produce a relaxation of the moral discipline encouraged by the market — but he provides the tools for its analysis.

    Tocqueville was less confident than was Montesquieu. He lived in an age in which socialism had already reared its ugly head, and he discerned in his fellow Frenchmen a taste for servility. He feared that there might be a general descent into presentmindedness, and he anticipated Friedrich Nietzsche’s vision of the last man — who would be so satisfied with his little pleasure in the morning and his little pleasure in the evening that he would think of nothing else.

    In America, he found institutions, mores, and manners antithetical to what he took to be democracy’s natural drift. Vigorous local self-government drew the inhabitants of New England townships out of their homes and into the public square. Initially, they made this move in self-defense, but the experience of participating soon became a pleasure all its own, and it induced individuals to abandon what he called “individualism” and to devote themselves to public concerns. In the process, these Americans learned to think ahead, they developed a powerful sense of their own capacity to cope with the vicissitudes of life, and they learned to cooperate with their neighbors and even with strangers in forming private associations for public purposes.

    Tocqueville’s Americans were also religious. This anchored them morally and gave them a sense of place in a world otherwise in flux. It also directed their attention to the future.

    [God-bothery Gospel verse omitted out of sensitivity towards carousers and drunkards. Apologies to the everyday anxiety sufferers]

    Closely connected with religion was family, and the Americans were devoted to family. Chastity was the norm; adultery was rare and divorce almost unheard of. Families, … caused men to think ahead. America was the home of self-interest rightly understood. It was the place where women and men planned prudently for their future and that of their offspring.

    In short, Tocqueville’s view was that the commercial mentality singled out by Montesquieu (and, before him, by the Jansenist Pierre Nicole and the Epicurean Bernard Mandeville) was reinforced in America by local political experience, by activities in associations, by religion, and by family.

    Now, take a minute and reflect on Rahe, while reading what leigh previously shared:

    I heard a caller on the radio yesterday say that his kid went to school with Belcher on Long Island and that Belcher was a violent SOB even in grammar school. He and his posse would lie in wait to beat ass on white kids after school. This guy had names, dates, schools, timelines and the fact that Belcher had made it his mission to fuck up his (the caller’s) kid. He stole his bike. He beat him up. He beat his friends up. He threatened to kill the kid’s mother when she called Belcher’s mother and bitched about him.
    They finally pulled up stakes and moved to Florida to get away from Belcher and his thugs. Caller gave his real name and the street that he had lived on and tons of other detail. I have no doubt it was all true, especially after the news today that Belcher was a drunk, a doper and a woman beater. He’d have killed her with a table and chairs if he didn’t have the gun.

    The question isn’t what didn’t this seemingly successful professional athlete have going on his life that would lead him to murder the mother of his newborn baby girl; it’s what did he have in his life? It’s not just that he (perhaps) hasn’t seen the inside of a church in years, it’s that he hasn’t seen the inside of anything other than a locker room, night club, restaurant, or favored hang-out in years.

  15. Costas chose a direction to take, and he did so I believe to protect the NFL. He chose guns as a scapegoat, an easy target, and did so knowing he would catch all manners of hell, deservedly so. My dos centavos is that he did it to keep the masses from speculating in ways that might hurt his favorite sport, not to mention his pocketbooks.

  16. Ahhhh, so the kid did have a raunchy past, and a history of bad behaviors. That should’ve led out of Costas’ mouth, then, but he still chose the easy way out. And choosing guns as scapegoat still serves to protect the NFL from talk about their choosing heroes poorly.

  17. Bjowie-http://youtu.be/riW9d_ydlEY-This is my first time so
    be gentle
    did my thing copy paste work?
    u might want to lie to me-unless your Santa
    don’t lie to me/Santa..unless you wanna think outside the box!
    And run run run run Naked
    With a hockey Mom
    You Betcha!

  18. Ernst

    I hadn’t seen that comment from leigh, but it does go along with my speculations.

    As a kid, there should have been some sort of intervention, but hey, if mom ignored the pleas of parents of her son’s victims, then some of her son’s adult behavior reflects on her, too.

  19. just think people are mostly good at heart church or no church

    Nuremburg Prison in 1945 was full of people, basically good at heart, who had just spent the previous ten years “following orders,” as the saying goes.

    When are you going to realize that your fiscal realism can’t afford your moral idealism?

  20. It’s only a happenstance that the headquarters of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes stands just across US RT 70 from the Kansas City stadia. Pete Gent at least would have laughed.

  21. Someone else seeing this as red herring?

    And Costas left out the most powerful part of Whitlock’s commentary: an excoriating attack on the NFL for letting the Chiefs’ regularly scheduled game be played the very next day after the killings.

    Nothing to see here — except more football.

    If it proves to have any larger lessons, the Belcher story will tell us more about the NFL than the NRA. According to a friend’s account reported by the Web site Deadspin, Belcher “was dazed and was suffering from short-term memory loss” after his last start. The source described him as suffering from a “combination of alcohol, concussions and prescription drugs.”

    Nearly simultaneously with Belcher’s murder-suicide, Boston University researchers published a study that found, in the words of a Reuters report, “Years of hits to the head in football or other contact sports lead to a distinct pattern of brain damage that begins with an athlete having trouble focusing and can eventually progress to aggression and dementia.” It is apparently not big hits to the head that bring on the condition, called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, but a diet of small blows.

  22. Hockey! Wayne Maki sticked[?] Ted fgreens head in…long time ago..
    Tedddy got a plate in hims head-{He coulda been another Bobby Orr-Please! Girlfriend! Please! Theres only Two defenseman-Bobby Orr-and A buncha asssholes on sKates who-when they were young-couldn’t skate forward, or turn, fast enough-so..you-you’re a defenseman-can you skate backwards?[Losers!]
    Except=Bobby Orr-Who-…well..ya’know
    I will also entertain the possibility that maybe some defenseman could a be all that-Denuis Potvan/Larry Robinson
    and any young uns wanna say a DEtroit player guy/Ok

  23. - “Theres nothing wrong with idealism as long as you don’t try to practice it.” – Samuel Clements

    – Only a self involved moron thinks a god hating life is going to work out well.

    – As to Costas, he has made another rambling ‘statement’ in order to clarify his other statements, which means he hasn’t quite dug all the way to China yet. This one makes a point of the dumbness of his audience as the ‘reason’ they didn’t understand the nuance of his perspective. So he’s completed the first half by calling his viewers morons. Scooooorrrrrrrrrre.

    – The poor dumb rubes. Its not their fault you see.

  24. * Next step in the “connect the dots” program under the heading of “Industry protrctionisn” through mass nedia narrative shaping in 3…2…1

    – The NFL issues a statement to the effect that “The NFL and its sponsurs do not neccessarily share the opinions of the network and its spokesmen.”

  25. I hate dots
    I love toast
    00:32:40-..it can leave a trace behind
    oo:3244 Say,like…
    00:32:46..if someone burns toast
    00:32:51 Maybe things that happen leave other kinds of traces behind

  26. I think football being a sport that attracts violent people and our current culture of pampering, idolizing and entitling these people have a fuck load more to do with these kind of incidents than guns or Bibles either one.

  27. bibles are violence prophylactics just for god’s sake don’t get a thintensity bible or you be capping your boo come christmas

    snowbells ring are you listenin oh wait that’s just your concussion talking

  28. ‘feets, if most adults in your opinion “are basically good,” it ain’t because humans are innately good; it’s because they were raised that way. America is still steeped in the Judeo-Christian tradition, despite efforts to expunge it, and that shows up in how the people who actually put in some effort raise their kids.

    But “basically good” isn’t part of the original option package. That leads to Lord of the Flies territory.

  29. maybe but your more sincerely nice people don’t serve it up all judeochrister style (“have a blessed day”… *gack*) they’re just genuinely nice

  30. RE. Belcher’s past there is this from his days as UMaine.

    http://bangordailynews.com/2012/12/03/news/state/jovan-belcher-cut-hand-while-punching-window-during-freshman-year-at-umaine/

    It’s not a smoking gun but too many people have said the guy has no past history of mental illness or arrest; that might be technically true but only technically. I’m sorry, but the victim is dead whether or not there’s a gun in the house. And for all we know Belcher himself does the final deed with pills and booze.

  31. The guns and NFL talk all distract from Belcher’s personal responsibility for his actions. Based on Leigh’s earlier comment, Belcher has been violent for a long time, and his mother (and father – was he around?) either could not or would not address it while he was growing up.
    What is it about the media that they always want to absolve the perpetrator and blame something nebulous like our ‘gun culture’ or ‘violence in sports’? The soft bigotry of low expectations – essentially telling us that this black NFL player was so infantile he couldn’t be blamed for his abusive and murderous behavior because he was in possession of a handgun.
    I agree that church probably would have had an influence. Even if the teachings didn’t get through to him he would likely have been within an environment where his misbehavior wouldn’t have been tolerated (and his mom provided support in dealing with him). He might have also benefited from a few positive role models.

  32. It sounds to me like the guy was probably addicted to prescription pain meds and drama. Out here in hillbilly country there’s a lot of that. Little girl at the HS shot herself in the chest one night last week. She was living with her grand mom and step-granddad. Both of them swore she ate breakfast and went to school the morning after she did it, causing all sorts of mayhem and a murder scare. Both of them raging alcoholics. Mommy took pills and was living with whomever, the little girl was “rumored” to be taking them too. Lots of drama in about and around the girl, add the pills, subtract one life.

  33. bibles are violence prophylactics just for god’s sake don’t get a thintensity bible or you be capping your boo come christmas

    I’d pay almost a quarter for an English translation of this.

  34. your more sincerely nice people don’t serve it up all judeochrister

    again, we can all be reminded of your bigotry & hatey hateness of people who dare to say something publicly that reminds you of their principles.

    Don’t you have a Nativity scene to kick over somewhere?

  35. I’d pay almost a quarter for an English translation of this.

    That much, eh?

  36. Jesus is the reason for the season darleen

  37. Not until Dec. 25th

  38. The media has long covered for sports figures.

    For instance, is there any way sports reporters did not know Tiger Woods was whoring around?

  39. snowbells ring are you listenin oh wait that’s just your concussion talking

    okay but that part made me laugh.

    I do wonder when the NFL is going to acknowledge all the brain injury issues and football players regularly going nuts like this. I don’t know if it’s just because football attracts felons at a high rate or if they just get their brains beat to death or a combination, but I don’t like football anyway so it’s hard for me to have an opinion. except Bob Costas is a douche.

  40. I think football being a sport that attracts violent people and our current culture of pampering, idolizing and entitling these people have a fuck load more to do with these kind of incidents than guns or Bibles either one.

    Is it that violent people are drawn to the sport, or is it rather the case that professional sports are seen as the most desireable way out of circumstances of poverty and violence?

  41. I suppose we could always go back to leather helmets and pads, but I doubt that kind of game will draw the same revenue.

  42. Do we see the same level of off-field (off-ice) violent behavior in the NHL? I can’t remember the last time I heard about someone in the NHL being arrested.

  43. That much, eh?

    I’ve got 22 cents in my pocket, and it’ll wind up in the wife’s change jar anyhow.

    That’s how interested I am.

  44. That’s because the NHL doesn’t pull in the kind of audience as the NFL or the NBA.

    I recall a player committing suicide a few years ago, but I don’t remember any of the details.

  45. Oh, look: [Detroit Redwings]NHL prospect arrested for being ‘super drunk’ in Teletubby costume (11/28/2012). Geez, you’d think being in/near Detroit he would’ve had an easier time finding a gun than a Teletubbies costume. Guess the ‘gun culture’ isn’t as pervasive as Costas tells us…

  46. While we’re OT: I settled on the Ruger LCR in .38 special for my wife. Going to pick it up at lunchtime. It’s a nice, lightweight revolver that has some stopping power. Weighs in at 13 oz, empty.

  47. That ought to make the Ruger fans in the studio audience feel happy that they’ve swayed me over to their side of the force.

  48. I think it’s a bad synergy of a lot of factors–a perfect storm of awfulness that leads to the moment. The gun focus has been laughable, frankly. Why? Because it’s an easy detour that lets our leadership and opinion-shapers avoid actual questions.

    I fervently believe (no pun intended) that having an institutionally-reinforced values system (e.g., a solid church or synagogue) is crucial (again, no pun intended). Associating with people who share your ethos helps to shore it up, and to pass it on.

    Sure, people are in the main “nice” right now. But a lot of that is coasting on the inertia or spiritual capital, so to speak, from previous generations. Where the bonds have been shattered and reinforcement is gone and has been for a couple of generations, you get the values of the inner city low-income housing complex.

    And another word has been absent from all of the discussions of the murder: father. As in, where was Jovan Belcher’s? Dad isn’t dispensable, no matter what the Julia fans say.

  49. And then there’s this new castrati guy, William Powell blaming masculinity in general:

    For the past several years, I have privately advised and counseled several professional and amateur athletes, and entertainers, all men, all grappling with very warped definitions of manhood. The recurring theme over and over is fear of expressing themselves fully, fear of letting others down, fear of not being the tough and rugged men they were told they had to be. And on the inside so many of them are damaged as a result. The very definition of manhood they’ve embraced is more an emotional prison than anything else.

    This is probably why the one scene that is locked in for me is of Belcher thanking his coach and general manager for what they did for him. Then walking away and shooting himself in the head.

    We must struggle, harder than ever, as men, as boys, as a nation, to reach the point where a heart-to-heart conversation is the first and only option, not a gun, not gun violence. The lives of Jovan Belcher and Kasandra Perkins will have been in vain completely if we do not go deeper within ourselves to teach and show our sons, our husbands, our boyfriends, our fathers, our men and boys, that there is another way.

    (from Breitbart.com by way of Geraghty)

  50. The NHL isn’t really that violent a sport. Sure, the way over-hyped fights are there (3/26/97 Forever!), but the fact it’s played on ice has the effect of limiting physical impact. The concussions aren’t as prevalent either, Eric Lindros notwithstanding.

  51. If Powell had dumped this section:

    The recurring theme over and over is fear of expressing themselves fully, fear of letting others down, fear of not being the tough and rugged men they were told they had to be. And on the inside so many of them are damaged as a result.

    and focused on blaming not masculinity in general, but rather a warped idea of it, I’d be on board. To the extent anti-social behavior is glorified, that violence in response to a “diss” is required or a hyper-sensitive honor culture develops, he has a point. But he overplays a decent hand with the sweeping language.

  52. Oh, goody, it’s officially a “teachable moment.”
    So WE need to dig deep inside ourselves and lecture the men in our lives because some abusive jerk killed his baby momma. Suddenly reminded of Heathers….

  53. The recurring theme over and over is fear of expressing themselves fully, fear of letting others down, fear of not being the tough and rugged men they were told they had to be. And on the inside so many of them are damaged as a result. The very definition of manhood they’ve embraced is more an emotional prison than anything else.

    oh for love of god! The “ideal man is Alan Alda” is still hanging around?

  54. If Powell had … focused on blaming not masculinity in general, but rather a warped idea of it, I’d be on board. To the extent anti-social behavior is glorified, that violence in response to a “diss” is required or a hyper-sensitive honor culture develops, he has a point.

    Too many sacred oxes for a politically correct multiculturalist to gore.

  55. Thanks for the clarification on the NHL, Dale.

  56. You’re welcome, Libby.

    Make no mistake–NHL players have their share of substance abuse and related problems. But the violence aspect appears to be less.

  57. More on the general topic that I think is crap. This time from the ewok (again, lifting from Geraghty):

    [D]ifficult to discuss is the very violence implicit in football itself — violence that leads to concussions and brain injuries (and brain injuries of course may well lead to defects in thought and judgment).

    This is especially difficult to discuss because you can’t have football without this [emph. orig]. You cannot have what we know as “football” without the very real risk and frequent incidence of serious brain trauma.

    Football is not a violent game. It is a physical game. The injuries that occur in football are incidental to rather than the point of the game. Now granted, there’s a lot of gray area, but if causing injury to the players for the entertainment of others was the point, Drew Brees and the Saints wouldn’t be having the season they’re having, would they? This false equivalence between physicality and violence is more feminst induced new castrati claptrap.

  58. It sounds to me like the guy was probably addicted to prescription pain meds and drama. Out here in hillbilly country there’s a lot of that. Little girl at the HS shot herself in the chest one night last week.

    Kid next door to my sister did the same, but no drugs afaik. Nicest kid you could ever meet. Still messes me up to think about it.

  59. Oh, goody, it’s officially a “teachable moment.”

    This business of nagging guys to be less masculaine or whatever, reminds me of the gizmo being promoted a few years back in Europe to nag men against standing up to pee in their own homes.

    I seem to recall commenting at the time that if such a thing were introduced in my home its pieces would end up in the bowl and I would stand up while peeing on them.

    And yet despite my attitude I’ve never shot a woman. Go figure.

  60. ‘feets sez:

    maybe but your more sincerely nice people don’t serve it up all judeochrister style (“have a blessed day”… *gack*) they’re just genuinely nice

    How people “serve it up” is immaterial and misses the point. You’re the proverbial fish who doesn’t notice the very water he swims in.

  61. Maybe we could pair the teachable-moment-for-men thinking with the apparent lack-of-father/positive male role model situation and speculate that boys learn how to moderate their behavior from men in their lives, and that boys raised without a father have a harder time controlling their behavior than boys raised in a two-parent family. But that might be just a step to judgey…

  62. Two or three thoughts- first, I’m amazed the sports press is not calling Belcher what he is – a murderer. He absolutely is no different then OJ Simpson or any other guy who commits violence against his significant other. I don’t care if he was “good guy” and he thanked his coaches- I don’t care if he was allegedly mentally ill. He shot and killed his girlfriend, after spending the prior night with another woman. He’s not a good guy. One of his last acts on earth was to murder the mother of his children. Stop looking for reasons for the why.

    Second, teams pay these players massive amounts of money to play a game – yes its a very physical game and injuries are bound to occur -that’s why they’re paid millions of dollars. The NFL does not have a responsibility to change the game so players won’t get hurt. I’m tired of the sanctimonious sports writers who think there’s some better way to to play football. Many of these players are misfits who wouldn’t have a chance to every make this kind of money, if not for football, so caveat emptor. If you don’t want to risk serious injuries, concussions, etc, don’t play. Limbaugh is right about one thing – if the libs get their way, football will be changed in ways that will make it unrecognizable.

  63. (3/26/97 Forever!)

    As a lifelong Red Wings fan, I can only say “Hallelujah”!!

  64. This false equivalence between physicality and violence is more feminst induced new castrati claptrap.

    This is precisely correct, and it bothers me (though it doesn’t surprise me) that comic book geek-conservatives cede this ground, largely without realizing what they’re doing. Except perhaps making up for those years when the jocks made fun of them for collecting Star Wars figurines.

    In fact, Ernst, I’m going to promote your entire comment to a post.

  65. Football is not a violent game. It is a physical game. The injuries that occur in football are incidental to rather than the point of the game.

    This is the truth. I was reading up on sports injuries a while back and it was speculated by the authors of the piece that the pads, etc, that the players wear are partly responsible for the intensity of the hits that are given and received by the players.

    If the NFL wants to take responsibility for debilitating and/or career ending injuries, then it’s time to turn in the pads and helmets and become the National Rugby League.

  66. If the NFL wants to take responsibility for debilitating and/or career ending injuries, then it’s time to turn in the pads and helmets and become the National Rugby League.

    You know what’s ironic? In professional hockey leagues in Europe, there have always been higher incidences of slashing, cross-checking, and other general stick penalties. But fighting was always illegal. And when the NHL starting cracking down on fighting (by assigning an extra two-minute instigator penalty), the stick penalties went up, and injuries went up.

    Don Cherry, former coach of the Boston Bruins (and commentator on Hockey Night in Canada), always said that when players were forced to wear helmets, it gave other players carte blanche to be more brutal (hitting from behind, cross-checking, etc.).

  67. I totally agree, I Callahan. It used to be the only dirty players you saw were the Russians back in the old days. Now it seems like all the players want to get in on the action and to hell with the penalty box.

    God, I miss hockey this year. Fucking 1%er owners screwing over the workers and the fans.

  68. “This false equivalence between physicality and violence is more feminst induced new castrati claptrap.”

    This is precisely correct, and it bothers me (though it doesn’t surprise me) that comic book geek-conservatives cede this ground

    I am not a comic book geek conservative. I have spent some time working as a bouncer in bars popular with football players in an SEC town. Physicality and violence may not be equivalent, but there is overlap, and in major college and pro football it goes beyond mere physicality. I had to deal with some hyperviolent motherfuckers, most of it never went beyond our doors.

    Had to think of the team, you know.

  69. And for all we know Belcher himself does the final deed with pills and booze.

    Or via automobile, and maybe ends up taking additional innocents with him.

  70. I acknowkledged a gray area bmoe. Had our furry little compratriot written, rough or tough or even brutal, it probably wouldn’t have bothered me. The game depends upon the ability of the player(s) to physically force their will upon the other player(s), but there are any number of rules to the game prohibiting the players from doing so violently, i.e. intentionally and deliberately causing injury.

    If the point of violence is to impose your will on someone else’s by means of causing pain and injury to another, then Slartibart’s wife and her new LCR can do so just as well as any gangsta thug athlete –and more efficiently too.

  71. Don Cherry, former coach of the Boston Bruins (and commentator on Hockey Night in Canada), always said that when players were forced to wear helmets, it gave other players carte blanche to be more brutal (hitting from behind, cross-checking, etc.).

    Yep, and Don has (correctly) pointed out the deterrent effects of the “goons” (the Semenkos, Schultzes, Probies, Grimsons) on the nastier stickwork. Hockey fights can be bloody, but not dangerous–again, it’s hard to get leverage to really pound someone when you’re both on skates. But they had to “clean it up” for the white glove types they imagined would flock to the game. Didn’t work, but there you go.

  72. Bmoe —

    Yes, I had run-ins with football players myself. There’s an attitude one brings to the game that one may keep alive off the playing field. But that isn’t the point. The point is, blaming guns for violence is like blaming helmets for head trauma. Football can exist without violence. It can’t exist without injury.

  73. Yeah, there’s a gray area. Brady Hoke emphasizes that the college game is one of “controlled aggression,” and the pro version isn’t different.

    I guess I don’t have a problem with saying that the game is sometimes “violent” because I don’t think violence is necessarily illegitimate. But to the extent that the premise is that violence = bad, then yeah.

  74. Plaxico Burris shot himself in the leg at a club with a gun that was in his pants pocket a few years back. A short stint in jail and he’s playing for the Steelers again.

    If there were no nightclubs, Plaxico wouldn’t have shot himself accidentally. #Bob Costas

  75. Jovan did not know the true meaning of christmas

  76. Are you still in PA, happy? Try to find a place that has whoopie pies. They are the Amish version of Moonpies. Or barring that, shoofly pie. Or go to a diner and order chicken pot pie and try not to look surprised when they bring you soup.

  77. I’m in the catskills now, which is sadly my turnaround point so I’m a find a neat resort to stay at for a couple days

    Then I’m a start for home by way of indianer and iowa and minnesota… Maybe see a great lake or two depending on weather

  78. PA is fascinating btw… Someday I hope to explore it more better…

    done and done with that Hershey nonsense but Harrisburg is very hardscrabble and unpretentious and lovable

  79. Football is a glorious way for men to engage in physical, rough-and-tumble contests without blood being spilt or vengeance being exacted.

    Outlets in other cultures include raiding and pillaging the neighboring duchy, duels to the death, jousting, and jihad.

    I’ll take football, thanks.

  80. Western PA is a totally different experience than eastern PA. The people are actually friendly in W PA as opposed to the nearly NYerish attitudes of the Easterners.

    Youse gives way to Yinz. The grammar of the natives isn’t inverted any longer. It’s prettier in the West, too.

  81. The game depends upon the ability of the player(s) to physically force their will upon the other player(s), but there are any number of rules to the game prohibiting the players from doing so violently, i.e. intentionally and deliberately causing injury.

    There are rules to try to limit intentionally inflicted debilitating injuries, but most of the players on the field are trying to hurt their opponents. On the line of scrimmage and all of the defense, you want to make people not come your way. You want them to be thinking in the back of their mind how hard you hit them the last time they did. You want to hurt them enough that they start to lose motivation. That they start to want the game to just be over.

    I last played as a defensive back in Jr. High, and even at that level we understood that the best pass defense over the course of a game was to give the receiver the first one but knock the living fuck out of him when he was most defenseless.

    Football is a violent game. You just need to be able to control the violence, some players can’t.

  82. Outlets in other cultures include raiding and pillaging the neighboring duchy, duels to the death, jousting, and jihad.

    You left debauching virgins and seducing other men’s wives off your list.

  83. I don’t think the physicality plays much of a role. I think it’s the treating successful athletes like super human demigods and nobles. They have real trouble getting criticized. If they act like bums, psychos, and thugs and get away with hit. Sometimes they seem to even get cheered on for it. When people complain about them those people are told to shut up. I think the screening for professional athletes is poor. If you are an amazing athlete and a piece of shit then they overlook the piece of shit part and even go out of their way to cover it. The semi-criminality seems to be a plus. People seem to like their sports heroes being surly, lusty, off, and troublesome. Tim Tebow came along and calmed down and got snarled at and condemned for being a so called goody goody preacher. Why? I think it was because he doesn’t party and thug around like an ass hole. He was aligned with the wrong pat of our culture, the older part that the progs want to suppress and isolate. He was a face in a heel market. He might make the rest of the sport look kind of gross and shady if they didn’t take him down a peg. So they did. They had just got done with rehabbing the image of a guy who liked watching tormented dogs kill each other. And then they made excuses for Romeo after he murdered his girlfriend who he was fucking around on rather than have her leave him.

  84. I did more central… It had some of that pennsyltucky charm Abe spoke about

    Like they don’t feel compelled to just keep one kind of farm animal in the front yard they like to mix it up

  85. When leigh writes

    I was reading up on sports injuries a while back and it was speculated by the authors of the piece that the pads, etc, that the players wear are partly responsible for the intensity of the hits that are given and received by the players.

    I am reminded of an article I won’t bother to try to find – sorry! – about how boxing is more dangerous than bare-knuckle fighting because the gloves do more to protect the puncher’s hands than they do protecting the recipient’s face, allowing for more brutal hits. This sounds correct to me.

    The law of unintended consequences and all that.

  86. Not only did WordPress eat my comment, it logged me out. Bad WordPress!

    Anyway:

    “Football is a violent brutal game. You just need to be able to control the violence brutality, some players can’t.”

    I’ll grant it’s a small distinction, and under normal contexts, it might even be a meaningless one. But the context in this case is violent player of violent sport murders mother of his child violently, and that cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.

    Football didn’t make Belcher a murderer. The gun didn’t make Belcher a murderer, fear of seeming unmanly didn’t make Belcher a murderer. Murdering his girlfriend made Belcher a murderer.

  87. but most of the players on the field are trying to hurt their opponents.

    I don’t really believe that, not that I know any pro football players.

    They want to physically intimidate and dominate, but I think they are genuinely sorry if someone is actually injured. I guess it comes down to what you mean by “hurt”. I bet every player on the field (except maybe the kicker) has bruises after the game.

    It’s like competitive wrestling; you are trying to physically dominate another man, but neither the object nor desire is to cause pain, while understanding pain is possible regardless, by nature of the competition.

    That’s why the whole bounty thing with the Saints was so shocking, the idea of trying to injure someone is foreign to most peoples perception of a sporting event.

    But that’s the game. After the game, they are people like everyone else, only with money, fame, a trophy wife, and an agent.

  88. Lee, they are trying to hurt the other (opposing) players. They’ll say as much in private.

    Soccer players (footballers) are nice enough fellows off the field.

  89. they are trying to hurt the other (opposing) players

    But not injure them, I don’t believe. We ALL love to see a righteous hit where the other guy gets leveled. That’s the nature of the game. Brutal.

  90. Also, football hurts. If we are blaming guns, shouldn’t we be blaming Thursday night football? Around here the big reason for the uptick in prescription drug abuse was the big warehouses and distribution centers going 3 shifts.

    Bear with me.

    A lot of people here consider themselves farmers, keep a farm and animals, but have to have a full-time job to make ends meet. The factory jobs that are left are either taken or too skilled for someone who just wants to make his mortgage and insurance. Plus, if something happens, these guys need to be able to not show up. Do that 3 times on the line and you are gone. Do that 10 times unloading trailers and you might get written up, maybe get a talking to, but they’ll put you to work when you do show up. These are the easiest jobs to get. Problem is, you get hurt, you go to the company’s Dr. The company’s Dr doesn’t want you to sue the company. He puts you on heavy pain meds and sends you home with a ticket to see a radiologist. The pain meds WORK. You feel OK, you need the money, you go back to work. You start feeling bad, the company Dr gives you more pain meds. You aren’t going to stop working until you can’t work any more, it is (out here anyway) a guy thing. In a couple of months, you can’t move without the pain meds, and you finish your prescription three weeks before your refill. You get no sleep, you hurt all over and you’re depressed. You lose your job, your wife, kids, farm and end up in jail for prescription fraud or trying to rob a pharmacy.

    Not much different than playing pro football without enough rest.

  91. There’s a difference between putting a hit on a guy, so to speak and taking a guy out, despite both colloquialisms being derived from euphemisms for contract murder.

    When the players of one team start taunting an injured player as he’s carted off the field, then maybe it’ll be time to talk about football being too violent.

    That time is more likely to come though, if we refuse to insist on distinctions like the brutality/violence one I’ve offered.

  92. Yeah, LMC. Maybe Costas shoulda waited for toxicology before blaming the gun…

  93. A couple of thoughts…

    happyfeet – humans are not innately good. As Hannah Arendt said, “Every generation, Western civilization is invaded by barbarians – we call them ‘children.’”

    serr8d – I think you are reading too much into Costas’ motivation. Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

    How come no one wants to shut down crab fishing in the Bering Sea? That’s a lot more dangerous to the participants and they are only doing it for the money.

  94. After four years of Barak Obama, Hanlon’s razor no longer applies.

    Costas is a malignant dwarf.

  95. I think Costas read what was handed to him. Talk about taking a hit for the team…

  96. *Football is a violent game. You just need to be able to control the violence, some players can’t.*

    They’re modern day gladiators. Why should they control the violence during the game ? (I think that’s what you’re talking about, as opposed to a propensity for violence outside the arena). They’re paid an obscene amount of money to take that punishment. You can’t be a gladiator, fight in the arena for 10-15 years, and emerge without significant scarring. You’re not going to take 50 shots to the helmet then retire to do complex math or cure cancer. You’re going to retire with physical maladies, which, if you don’t blow all of your obscenely high salary on hookers, blow and gold chains, you’ll be able to manage medically. I don’t want to see a player get hurt but I recognize that it may happen and the “big hits” are certainly a highlight.

    Maybe I lack empathy. Liberals have been telling me that for years.

  97. The bodies of professional football players take enough punishment in one season to equal five years of heavy labor. As Matt says, mutiply that by ten seasons and you have an old brokendown jock with bad knees and chronic pain.

    Anyone who was watching the game where Joe Theissman got his femur (the strongest bone in the human body) snapped in a compound fracture during a play that ended his career will do well to remember that these guys are playing to win and someone is going to get hurt.

  98. The player who broke Theisman’s leg was genuinely sorry about it — and when Theisman said, “I’ll be back,” it was his way of cheering the other guy up, openly inviting the riposte and letting him know Theisman didn’t blame him for the injury.

  99. That would be Lawrence Taylor, who later admitted to being coked up at the time.

  100. They’re modern day gladiators. Why should they control the violence during the game ?

    No, actually they’re not. Were they, then the losing team would face execution after the game, depending upon the whim of the crowd and bloodthirstiness of the presiding public official.

  101. Also, gladiators were slaves. Real ones, not the rhetorical ones whiny leftards are always blathering about in order to try to make us cringe.

  102. Liberals would make lousy slaves. We’d have to feed them to the swine.

  103. Robert Smith left the Vikings after eight seasons. He was the best running back in the league at the time, and could have named any price to return. He walked away. He wanted to pursue other goals, and to get out while his body and his brain were still mostly intact.

    Which is to say: these are adult men making choices for themselves. I will grant that many of them are ill-equipped to weigh the consequences of these choices, but they could easily hire a personal advocate for a fraction of what they already pay their agents. Besides, “THINK OF THE FOOTBALL PLAYERS!” is even lamer than “THINK OF THE CHILDREN!” when it comes to policy decisions.

  104. “Robert Smith left the Vikings after eight seasons. He was the best running back in the league at the time, and could have named any price to return. He walked away. He wanted to pursue other goals, and to get out while his body and his brain were still mostly intact.”

    Wow. I did not know that. I will never look at the The Cure the same way again. :P

    http://olvassbele.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/robert-smith.jpg

  105. As I recall, Smith had had each knee rebuilt once, and decided that was enough.

  106. Can’t read Barry Sanders’ mind but I suspect he is a wise man. I certainly have a lot of respect for his quitting the game in his prime.

  107. So a little research indicates that Sanders’ quit because of the bad culture of the Lions’ organization; one can only hope he’s not bitter about leaving the game early esp. given the additional wear & tear he didn’t have to endure as a result.

  108. So a little research indicates that Sanders’ quit because of the bad culture of the Lions’ organization

    Yes. The most interesting thing about that is that when he quit, he meant it. Brett Favre should have taken a lesson.

  109. Coming out of college, Robert Smith said he wanted to be a doctor. Whether his injuries prevented that or he decided that being a studio analyst provided a path for better personal growth since he already had some money in his pocket is not known.

    Former San Francisco 49er John Frank did become a doctor after his playing days were over. Steve Largent, Jack Kemp, and uh, Heath Shuler, became congressmen after their football careers. I’m sure they are many other examples of people who did more than coast after their football careers.

    I respect Barry Sanders leaving when he did. It seems for most players the psychological makeup that drives them to succeed at that level prevents them from walking away before the choice is no longer theirs.

  110. I’m doubtful that brain injury played any significant role in this. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a progressive degenerative disease, thus it becomes symptomatic at later ages. Belcher is awfully young for that to be a cause here.

    I think he was just a douchebag.

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