The Kevin Stallings “Controversy” is proof that the American sports media is contributing to how soft we have become as a country

In the industry I work in, Fridays are the busiest days to do business.  It’s very rare that I get any Friday off for any reason, let alone right smack in the middle of tax season.  So when I realized that I would be able to get through the day without putting on any pants, I was thrilled.  My plans for the day were relatively simple:  Cook some garlic toast and sit on my spoiled white ass while watching ESPN.

Boy, did I pick a shitty day to take off with those intentions.  If you caught any of the talking heads shows on the ESPN family of networks Friday, you’ve probably seen the video of Vanderbilt men’s head basketball coach yelling at Wade Baldwin so many times that you practically have it memorized.  I don’t know if it was a slow news day, I don’t know if the well that stores all of the lack of football-related programming had finally run dry, but I am going to say this really slowly so everyone can take it in…

This is not a big deal.  At all.  

For those of you who call yourselves sports fans but for some reason haven’t seen the loop that’s been filling sports media like a heroin addict slamming a Snapple bottle full of methadone, this is what happened:

When the game ended, Baldwin apparently taunted one of the Tennessee players to the point where Stallings “snapped” and called Baldwin out.  He used several profanities and told Baldwin “I’ll fucking kill you”.  Total manufactured panic spread across the American landscape like HPV at a sorority house, and do-gooder broadcasters that probably shouldn’t be on television to begin with spent the whole day condemning Stallings for doing exactly what the fuck that college pays him for.

That’s we’re at in this country at the moment.

One of the reasons that I began following this website to begin with is that the fine folks here at Turtleboy Sports share my general views that the United States is slowly becoming soft.  From what I gather, one of the reasons that this massive and unstoppable army of the dopest sportswriters in the country has been assembled is to start calling some of these sad sacks out for what they are rapidly allowing this great nation of ours to become.  Since this is my first column at TBS, allow me to introduce myself by telling you a couple of things about yours truly.

  1.  I live in Western Illinois and have written about sports for some time now.  My work can also be found at First Order Historians –– and I interview comedians, actors, and a pretty hearty lineup of death metal musicians.
  1.  As a 35-year old male, I clearly remember how awesome this country was just a little over a decade and a half ago.  I remember a time where complaining about little things that are standard operating procedures made you a whiner, and you couldn’t accuse the person calling you a whiner of being intolerant of people who whine and then file a Human Resources complaint against them.

See, here’s the thing about that last part…With social media dominating the American landscape, everybody now has a bullhorn to yell at the world.  But truth be told, most people’s opinions don’t matter because most people are fucking stupid.  The odds definitely aren’t in the favor of those of us who put their socks on correctly and still employ the use of utensils to eat their food.  Long story short:  Things are getting worse a lot faster than they’re getting better.  Sports has been completely victimized by this decline of western civilization, and that’s why we’re stuck with this horseshit story to begin with.

Aren’t coaches supposed to get in players’ faces when they get out of line?  I thought that was their job.  I bet Bobby Knight thinks this is the most ridiculous story ever, and can you really blame him?  I don’t think the taunting was that big of a deal to begin with, but then again I’m not the one being paid to make that decision am I?  If Stallings thought it was out of line, it was out of line and coaches are the ones who make those decisions.  While Mike Singletary was coaching the 49ers, he wiped his ass and then showed his team the feces on toilet paper and informed them that they were playing like shit.  He was right, but shortly thereafter he was shown the door and that was cited as one of the reasons why.  Aren’t coaches supposed to be angry men with short fuses?

Additionally, isn’t this kid getting a free ride to go to one of the best schools in the nation due to his ability to dribble a basketball?  Doesn’t the athletic department and all of the boosters pay for his tuition, his books, and all of his food at the dining halls?  Am I supposed to cry tears for him while the world’s tiniest violin plays the saddest sound the world will ever know due to his feelings being hurt?  (Which for the record, they were not…)  I refuse to feel sorry for this kid, and back up Coach Stallings 100% even though I didn’t feel the taunting was that excessive.  Friday slowly rolled on – each analysis more stupid than the previous one – and then just when things couldn’t get any more lame, in walked the unnecessary apology.

“I handled it completely inappropriately and I apologized to Wade — and I need to apologize to our fans and the Vanderbilt administration,” the longtime coach told ESPN. “Having said that, and it may seem as though I’m trying to rationalize my behavior, sportsmanship will continue to be a high priority. I did not mean it in the literal sense and I’ve never touched a player in all my years as a coach. That’s not me. I will learn from this and handle this situation differently in the future.”

Fantastic.  So not only have we been pussified to the point where we actually believe that coaches shouldn’t have the authority to say the things they are being paid to say, now we have to suffer through them issuing an apology we all know is not sincere.  The obnoxious and tiring yet for some reason standard damage control once again rears its ugly head in an era that demands it.  We are a nation overloaded by meaningless sensitivity training and littered with false outrage…Has it ever occurred to anybody those two things might be related?  That being more and more focused on feelings with every passing day might be the cause of why we are suddenly supposed to care about a garbage story such as this one?

Coaches are supposed to yell and scream about things that bother them.  Long before Bobby Knight, there were other guys who were full of fire and wanted to make sure their message was heard.  Sure as this kid not only got a free college education without so much as dropping a dime, he probably also got a car and all sorts of other benefits which would be NCAA violations.  But instead we’re sitting here trying to believe that a kid who grew up playing street ball was legitimately threatened by a white man in his mid-fifties because he suggested in a heated exchange that at any moment he could end the kid’s life.  Give me a fucking break.

So if you believe that, go ahead and believe all of the other nonsense the sports media is trying to get you to buy into.  Believe that NFL players weren’t aware of the long-term effects of concussions before putting those uniforms in the seventies and eighties.  Buy into the fact that MLB had “no idea” guys were juicing well after it became an epidemic.  Grasp on to this insane notion that coaches shouldn’t be allowed to yell at kids who are getting free degrees from noteworthy institutions such as Vanderbilt, and that the inmates are running the asylum in almost every single remaining facet of American life.

In the meantime, the rest of us will be riding the Turtle.  Hop on with a hot take or get the fuck off.

2 Comment(s)
  • Wabbitt
    March 1, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    This guy, I like. Both the coach and the writer.

  • HAHA
    March 1, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Boo-hoo. You’re old, get with the times

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