Being offended by the offended

Let’s not forget the media weighing in on the Crime of the Century.

The Terence Moore piece on the Celebration should have been seen as nothing more than typical AJ-C pot-stirring. As such, I found it more an exercise in cynicism than anything else.

This article [ed. note – original link no longer works.] by Matthew Zemek in CFN, on the other hand, while earnest, manages to be both breathtakingly stupid and pompous at the same time, which is no easy feat. He manages to invoke the names of Martin Luther King, Gandhi and Mother Teresa in an attempt to find the larger meaning in the act of a bunch of teenagers running on a football field for something like 20 seconds during a game. I kid you not.


UPDATE: On the other hand, Mark Schlabach has some astute comments about the Celebration and the bed that Urban’s made this season in this post.



Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

13 responses to “Being offended by the offended

  1. Penguin

    I do believe Mr. Zemek was correct in his assessment of the problem of internal motivation though. Not just as it pertains to Georgia, but to young people in general and college football players in particular.

    There is a serious problem with a young man who needs such displays to motivate himself into playing hard. I do not consider their storming of the field to be a truly unsportsmanlike act, I do think it shows a lack of self motivation.

    The coaches I played for preached the importance of playing very emotional football without playing to the crowd, being a showboat, or looking outside of myself for reasons to play hard. I guess this struck a chord with me…

    I’m old fashioned before my time.



  2. Methinks he paints with an overly broad brush.

    For example, Richt’s ’02 team was highly motivated and had good leadership. Are we to believe that the culture has changed that much in just a few short years?

    There is no doubt that Georgia has struggled with team chemistry problems the last two years. I just have a difficult time extending that into a condemnation of American society as a whole.


  3. Penguin

    A very good question.

    I can only say that this celebration did not devolve into some of the sadder ones that I have seen in the past few years. The trajectory on sportsmanship and ‘team think’ seems to be on a downward vector.

    How many times have you seen a running back score a big TD and run around the endzone saluting the crowd and receiving their praise… while his teammates are ignored as they try to chase him down to congratulate him.

    How many times have you seen a linebacker or lineman sack a QB and do a dance and play to the crowd while he ignores his teammates who want to congratulate him?

    These are the rule rather than the exception. Not necessarily unsporting, but rather emotionally isolating. It makes the game one of the individual player and the crowd. One feeding off of the other, but at the expense of bringing your teammates into the emotional high you have provided. It is selfish and detrimental to the team.

    Have the young people changed that much?

    I heard Howie Long, my idol when I played, address this a long time ago. He said that if we thought players were self indulgent and unsportsmanlike now we should wait 15 years. That is about how long ago he said it. I think he was right.



  4. motorcitymad

    Seems to me everyone needs to step back and take a deep breath – the game is about kids having fun (which ours did); that’s why it’s so much more interesting than the NFL.

    That Zemek piece was painful to read, and more than a little self-righteous. That being said, I’ll be sure to direct more of my material wealth towards charitable causes this holiday season…thanks for that tidbit, Sir.

    I’m not defending most of the garbage on the AJC message boards, but apparently Matt doesn’t realize that even the comments for restaurant and movie reviews in the AJC quickly devolve into racial finger-pointing within 3-4 posts… that’s just how things work over there. And, teeing off on Terrence is a particularly fond past-time of most AJC readers. Not saying it is right or wrong, just saying…

    Someone else pointed out that you could clearly see the players celebrating, and just as clearly see them NOT directing their antics towards any Gator player or towards the Gator bench. A rather ‘controlled’ uncontrolled celebration – does that say anything about CMR’s character and influence over his team? No need to go resurrecting the ghosts of UM/UCF (and Ned) over this, it wasn’t the event that will lead to WW3 or result in the dehumanization of the species…


  5. motorcitymad

    Too bad Zemek’s article didn’t allow comments – I’m sure he would have gotten some good ones…


  6. If Zemek feels a need to pontificate on society’s larger ills and their effect on college football players, there seems to me to be much more appropriate targets for his attention than some kids dancing in the endzone.


  7. To discuss the touchdown celebration as a “motivational” tactic is to make the absurd implication that the Dawgs weren’t motivated to beat the Gators before. “Yeah, I know we’ve only won 2 out of the last 17 against these guys, but gosh, coach, I’m just not feeling it today.” To assume that the Dawgs wouldn’t have been motivated without the celebration go-ahead is an insult graver than anything else Messrs. Moore or Zemek said.

    I saw it not as a motivational tactic but as a confidence-building exercise — or, rather more crudely stated, the marking of territory, as it were. It obviously wasn’t on the same level as Spurrier hanging “half-a-hundred” on Georgia in ’95, but it had the same motivation: We’re going to do this because we can and we’re challenging you to do something about it. This year’s Gators, tellingly, did not appear accustomed to being challenged by Georgia in that fashion.


  8. DawgVidal

    I thought Zemek’s column was beyond ridiculous. In fact, it was so overwritten and pious, I first took it as satire.


  9. If it takes you 4,905 words to make a point, then either:

    A. It wasn’t a very good point to begin with.


    B. You aren’t a very talented writer.

    It’s a 9 page article from Zemek when copied and pasted into MS Word. The amount of personal vanity it takes to write something that long about something this trivial is remarkable.



  10. Atlchris

    Wow… I thought you were kidding Senator..


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  12. MotorCityMad:

    I publish my e-mail address on my feature columns.

    A question for the audience here: does the length of an essay (or the content of an essay, or both) automatically define the essay as “self-righteous” and/or “pompous”?

    When can a human being write at length about a complicated set of subjects in a somewhat philosophical manner and be seen as something other than arrogant?

    If the article is such trash, it’s interesting that no evidence is given for the claim. If sports didn’t matter to us, we wouldn’t talk about them very much, correct?

    Matt Zemek


  13. Matt, I gave you credit for being earnest when you wrote your piece, but I think you’re being a bit disingenuous here.

    Of course there’s nothing wrong with writing at length on a subject. Nor do I have a problem with a sports writer waxing philosophical. I simply found your article to be flawed because you chose to expend your effort on essentially trivial matters. That was the stupid part. The pompous part? Invoking Gandhi in the context of a football celebration penalty seems a little over the top to me.

    As for your comment that “no evidence is given for the claim”, I’m not sure what constitutes evidence in your mind. I think there are topics raised in my original post (about Moore’s column) and in the comments thread that are on point.

    I can think of plenty of matters that you could have addressed in a similar way that wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow – heck, there’s more than a few topics where I might have cheered you on – but this wasn’t one of them.

    I do appreciate you having the courage of your convictions by commenting here.