Peter King Still Doesn’t Know What He’s Talking About

pkhmm-600x337So, there’s an NBC/Marist poll that’s been floating around out there – maybe you’ve seen it, maybe you haven’t – in which 606 adults answered questions regarding the NFL’s and Roger Goodell’s handling of the recent wave of fiascos perpetrated by the league’s talent. One of the questions asks whether Roger Goodell, in light of his mishandling of these events, should resign; 29% of respondents said yes, 43% say no, and the remaining 29% remain unsure.

There’s really only one way to analyze the result here, that 29% of those who took the survey believe that, in light of these most recent domestic violence incidents by players and how badly handled they have been, particularly the Ray Rice incident, Roger Goodell should maybe think about resigning from his current position, that others don’t think he should quit his job, and that a third group haven’t really made up their mind about it. However, you could interpret it differently if you’re NFL Talking Head and Mouthpiece Peter King, who isn’t really a human so much as a boutique transcription service for the NFL. Here’s what you might think if you’re Peter King:

Twenty-nine percent believe Roger Goodell should be forced to resign—which, conversely, could be taken (and I am sure will be by the league) that Goodell has 71% job approval. That’s not what it says, though. The question was whether Goodell should be forced to resign, not whether he is doing a good job at running the NFL.

We should take a moment and note that the poll doesn’t ask whether or not Goodell should be forced to resign, only that it asks whether he should resign, which is an entirely different question. But, let’s get back to Peter King; one could take it that way. Maybe some people will read it as an affirmation and endorsement of Goodell’s performance as commissioner. Completely ignoring what the question itself asks, some observers could totally draw that conclusion. But those who will draw that conclusion are not wise, nor are they even correct.

As for ol’ Pete, though, don’t come looking for him to take up the burning truncheon of simpleton outrage:

I think if you’re waiting for me to call for Roger Goodell to be fired, you’ll have to wait a while. I’m not into mob rule either.

Here’s the thing about writers like Peter King and Phil Mushnick: they have a way of distracting you from the pointlessness of their statements by giving you bad writing. That last sentence, I have no idea what he’s getting at, I don’t know what Peter King means. At first blush, the second sentence makes some sense, in that it could follow from the first. It’s a neat pandering trick he’s doing here: He waves his hands a little bit and hey presto!—”deploying critical thinking faculties in the formation of an opinion” suddenly is synonymous with “deferring to reactionary hysteria.”

This is how Peter King works, in that he can’t conceive of having any original thoughts of his own. If the things he thinks he thinks are not to be rote transcription of inside-NFL talking points, then the only alternative is for them to be rote transcription of outside-NFL conventional wisdom.

UNC Athlete’s Joke of a Paper – Who’s to Blame?

qtqabrucmtcj6dzna1bpThis past Tuesday, Outside The Lines broadcast a piece regarding an unfolding academic scandal unfolding at UNC which, according to the whistleblower that provided the attached image, has been funneling athletes at the university into sham classes that require minimal effort, work requirements, and low standards for high performance. The web’s big takeaway from the unfolding scandal is based on the essay attached, which reportedly received an A- grade and is, by all accounts, a terrible paper about Rosa Parks.

I’m sure that all of us can agree that this paper, its grade, and the diploma factory that is UNC’s African and Afro-American Studies program are all fronts to allow athletes to circumvent what are generally accepted principles associated with getting a college diploma – hard work, diligent study, and an appreciation of the material which you are learning. How you react to this paper is a reliable litmus test for where you fall in the grander debate regarding college athletics, and the standards that are asked of college athletes required to maintain an academic record consistent with the eligibility requirements associated with the athletic scholarships big-name universities give to their athletes.

This idea can be argued from two sides: one that puts the NCAA system at fault and one that puts the university at fault. On one hand, (many, most?), people will point the finger at UNC for a joke program that’s clearly designed for keeping athletes eligible to maintain their athletic scholarships when they would otherwise most likely fail out. It’s an absolute violation of the spirit, if not the letter, of college sports, and is deserving of strong sanctions from the NCAA. UNC deserves blame for blatantly cheating the system, and on the athletes for skating to a degree without putting in any work, where other college students are putting in much greater work for a much steeper scale of acceptable performance.

On the other hand, the argument could be made that the NCAA system is at fault. That the NCAA’s amateurism model is a joke that invites exploitation of athletes and academics alike, and encourages schools to bend rules to enroll teenagers who everyone knows are there first and foremost for their athletic abilities. They are compensated solely by a college education, which many of them either don’t need, don’t want, don’t qualify for, and don’t know what to do with after they get it. The money is in sports for big-name universities, and to keep that money flowing and the best athletes coming, of course schools are going to pull things like this. The athletes are merely pawns (unfortunately), in a scheme that makes others very, very rich.