If you don’t spend your late-winter Sundays rooting through the comments on posts here, then you’ll want to read this Yahoo Sports piece on the Steubenville rape case. Unlike the entirely predictable outrage from the usual suspects, this gets to the heart of the matter:
The boys drank. They drove around. They went to each other’s houses until 2, 3, 4 in the morning. They exploited permissive parents who let the party continue. They, according to so many locals, knew there were bars that would serve them, liquor stores that would supply them and adults who would look the other way. They were football players being football players.
They slept wherever and whenever they crashed, preferably with some girl. Any girl.
They were allowed the freedoms of young adults, yet lacked the maturity to handle that freedom.
I expect we’re all aware of towns like this; there are probably hundreds of them from sea to shining sea, and not necessarily in forgotten places like Steubenville, where it seems journalists are required to note that the team “serves as a point of pride for the city dealing with economic hardship after the collapse of the steel industry.” Rundown ex-steel towns are like this. Affluent suburbs are like this. Big cities. Small towns. And it’s not just football. Hockey, baseball, just about any sport played by young men draws these insane adult cults of enablers who set up situations like this. It only takes a spark. There are lots of those.
A couple years ago there was a minor dust-up in GP, a failed coup against one of the coaches, engineered by parents who felt their boys weren’t getting the playing time they deserved. One was said to be gunning for his kid to break a pass-receiving record, and felt the coach was holding the kid back. It died down pretty quickly, but it made me think of the stories Kirk would tell about Art Schlichter’s dad, back when his son was playing high-school ball. We all know how that story turned out.
Every so often I read that football will soon cease to exist, because of the head-injury issue, that in a couple decades we won’t believe we ever let young men smash their heads against one another with such dire potential consequences. I don’t believe it. It will always live in places like Steubenville, and a lot of others, too.
How was your weekend? The sun came out Sunday, and I dragged Alan out for a walk up and down the Dequindre Cut, a pleasant but chilly two-mile stroll. We were practically the only people on it, which always leaves you feeling a little weird, even on a Sunday, in Detroit. However, there was at least one security guy patrolling and, this being Detroit, there’s an emergency call station about every 50 feet, and no, I’m not kidding.
Because we were in Detroit, we missed Ryan Gosling, who apparently was in Grosse Pointe at the same time. He’s directing a movie. Dunno if he’s staying around there, or shooting, or just wanted a Starbucks and happened to be nearby. The story says Christina Hendricks is one of his actors. Woot. I’d much rather see her buzzing around the Pointes, and I know a lot of men would, too.
Speaking of Joanie, the season 6 promo photos, in living color.
I’m sort of sad Hunter Thompson is dead, because he would have done a great job at CPAC. Roy’s clip roundup will have to do.
And now it is Monday. Sigh. I hope your week goes quickly, if you want it to.