Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Is the left trying to take over sports coverage now?

I would argue that liberals have already done so, but Matt Lewis over at Daily Caller makes the case that it’s still work in “progress.”

“It’s funny to listen to sports commentators on the radio who have clearly been brought up through public schools and state university journalism programs talk about class and race and gender like a sociology major from Smith or Dennison,” says R.J. Moeller, a conservative who also writes about sports and culture. “They hate any strong male coaches. They hate any sort of patriotism associated with the sport. They’re treating sports and holding what goes on in locker rooms to the same standard they would a diversity and social justice mediation seminar on Google’s campus.”

Moeller’s not alone in feeling this way. Others cite the “feminization” of sports and the liberal tilt of modern sports coverage as cause for concern.

And if conservatives are upset about this, it may be because this is all they have left. Progressives have long owned Hollywood, and (except maybe for Nashville) most of the popular music industry. Sports were perhaps the bastion for conservative entertainment — the final refuge for the patriotic, beer-guzzling, macho male who just wants to forget about his day job and watch a game — without hearing a lecture. Those days may be over.

The concussion issue is a serious one, but the others—particularly the “bullying scandal” at the Miami Dolphins and the fake brouhaha over the Redskins name—are classic examples of leftist, progressive political correctness.

The problem: There aren’t any un-politicized journalism programs left in the country.

I was bullied while playing on a championship soccer team when I was in elementary school. My tormenter was bigger than I was, and I was a chubby little pre-teen with mild self-esteem issues but a fiery hot temper (that my beloved still tells me I need to control sometimes). My father explained that there is only one way to deal with a bully—confront him and let him know that you aren’t going to tolerate it.

I did just that. When the bastard turned his back on me one day, I ran over and grabbed a sandbag that held the goal down and hit him square between the shoulders. When he fell, the coaches started running toward us but they didn’t get there before I swung that 10-lb “weapon” twice more, getting him once in the chest and a second time to the face. He started crying.

But that’s not how the political correct crowd wants to deal with bullies.

Dan Patrick has dedicated a ridiculously large amount of time on his program in the last two weeks since the non-scandal in the Dolphins locker room erupted.

Getting back to the concussion issue—it’s my opinion that advancing helmet technology and improved tackling technique are the answers to the problem. The so-called “targeting rules” in college and pro football are not. What those rules will end up doing is causing more knee injuries. If you can’t hit high, you have to hit low, and knees are going to be destroyed. While knee injuries are capable of being overcome with surgery and rehab, and while chronic brain trauma is incurable, there is little evidence that the targeting rules can significantly reduce brain trauma.

But that’s not the politically correct point of view either, is it?

Football is a violent sport. There are no current, former or future college or NFL players who are being forced to play it, and with very few exceptions they have been playing this macho, testosterone-influenced, impact sport since they were old enough to pee standing up. Ask any former player that, knowing what they know now about the risks of future encephalopathy, if they would do it all over again. The answer has been an overwhelming “Yes.”

But choices like that are not supposed to be made by individuals in the philosophy of leftists. Decisions are to be made by the Enlightened.

The only thing that’s important is what happens between the lines. Injuries have always been a part of all major sports and that is never going to change, unless the Enlightened Ones on the left convince commissioners and the public that the sports need drastic rules changes that will, effectively, do just what Matt warns about—deny us Neanderthals the respite that comes from drinking beer and watching the damned game.