Across the sports spectrum, every sport has its maniacal fans. Face painters, bleacher brawlers, message board bullies, yeah, there are some real beauties out there for any of the major sports. But on the extreme margins of fandom, where on-field worship bleeds into some seriously tone deaf quasi-sociopathy, there sit a disproportionate number of college football fans.
It would make for a fascinating thesis — what is it about college sports, or really the allegiance to a college at all, that makes otherwise intelligent, common sense-driven folks completely blind and tone deaf? Something to be explored from a macro perspective at a later date, I suppose, but when that research is eventually executed, certainly submitted as supporting evidence to my hypothesis will be the latest from the wackos in Waco, the lunatic fringe of what I'd like to think is largely a sane fan base.
As you all know by now, Baylor has been undergoing a massive teardown and, eventually, rebuild in authority figures for the school and the football program in the wake of the complete mishandling of numerous sexual assaults by members of the football program dating back several years. The 13-page report released by Baylor last week, without mentioning specific names, depicted a university completely bereft of any attention toward Title IX and woefully being led by the nose by a football program that, at the very least, ignored sexual assault by its players, if not discouraged victims outright to go to university authorities.
It's ugly, and it led to the firing of head football coach Art Briles, the resignation of athletics director Ian McCaw, and the reassignment of president Kenneth Starr. All of these men, each in their own way, were guilty of putting the welfare of the university's golden goose, its football program, ahead of justice and the welfare of young female students.
All should just apologize and quietly fade away. The Baylor community should examine what went wrong, work diligently to fix it as soon as possible, and forego mentioning any of these three men in a positive light for a long, long time, if ever. That's what they SHOULD do, and most probably will.
Then there's the aforementioned lunatic fringe, fourteen of whom thought it would be a good idea to take out a full page ad in the Sunday Austin American Statesmen to thank Ken Starr....
In case your browser is having any trouble loading pictures, here is the text from the advertisement:
THANK YOUJUDGE KEN STARR
For your integrity, leadership,character and humble nature.____________
For your exceptional carefor students andtheir well being____________
For your intellectand recruitmentof distinguished faculty____________
For elevating Baylor Universityto new heights in academicexcellence, sports, research,innovation and service.
Paid for by the following alumni andfriends of Baylor University:
Ray and Ellen DeaverGale and Connie GallowayRondy and Jackie GrayJim and Nell HawkinsClaude and Becky Lindsey
Paul and Carol McClinton
Danny and Lenn Prince
I don't know the Deavers, Galloways, Grays, Hawkins, Lindseys, McClintons, nor the Princes, nor do I care to. They really don't seem like my kind of people. People I gravitate toward wouldn't be thanking a president who turned a blind eye to sexual assault for his "integrity" and his "exceptional care for students and their well being".
Honestly, what the hell is wrong with you people? Yes, YOU, Ray, Ellen, Gale, Connie, Rondy, Jackie, Jim, Nell, Claude, Becky, Paul, Carol, Danny, and Lenn. Are you THAT tone deaf? Also, whose decision is it at the Statesmen to run this ad? I realize that times are tight in the print media world, but you needed the cash THAT badly? I need an explanation from someone at the Statesmen as to why they thought taking that piece of business was a good idea.
The only acceptable answer is "To help shine a light on these nut jobs and expose them." Short of that, the paper is just a complicit in the tone deafness as these fourteen knuckleheads.
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And if you think I'm being too hard on them or Kenneth Starr, just watch him bumble his way through this ultra-staged, stomach turning fib-fest on Channel 10 last week....
Sic 'em? Nope. Just sick.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.