The “World Wide Leader in Sports” published two lengthy ESPN the Magazine pieces on its online platform today. Both were featured on the main page for the first half of today and have since been put on the back-burner. One was very objective and relatively positive towards student-athletes that live the high life. The other was a hot, steaming pile of bison shit. Let’s focus primarily on that one.
The article is titled “Higher Education: A cloud of pot busts lingers over college football — and the smoke isn’t clearing”. Mark Schlabach uses the Texas Christian University scandal, a slew of arrests at SEC schools, and stimulating observations from completely unbiased school administrators to gargle home his angle. The “shocking” points of data Schlabach utilizes to drive his argument (that the NCAA should heighten its crusade against marijuana users) are that 1) 22.6% of student athletes “admitted to using marijuana” and 2) if drug testing were more stringent (which it should be!), there would be even more suspensions handed out.
Just to re-clarify, the same publication and hub of journalistic integrity also published that other piece (more on that one tomorrow) which uses an Oregon football player’s testament that ends with the following line:
“Some of us smoke,” he says, “and then we went out and won the Rose Bowl.
“Know what I mean?”
So to recap–on the one hand, it is possible for people to be freakishly good at sports, excel in their sports, and fulfill their potential in these sports despite their daily blunt intake. On the other hand, drugs are bad, mmkay? One makes it out to be a lethal drug along the lines of heroin. The other calls a harmless nug a harmless nug. Tommy Craggs of Deadspin eloquently defecates on the same publication ran two side by side pieces with completely different stances on cannabis far better than I or Najeh Davenport could have.
In the Year of our Lord 20fucking12, this is how ESPN is talking about pot—something millions of Americans have done without causing any harm to themselves or to others, which is more than you can say for, oh, I dunno, competitive football. ESPN thinks weed is a “problem.” ESPN believes probable cause is a nuisance. ESPN worries that weed could “infiltrate” your football program. ESPN says weed is a “violent narcotic, an unspeakable scourge—the real Public Enemy Number One!”
Wait, sorry. That’s Reefer Madness.
Surprisingly, Deadspin failed to mention the coach of the reigning NCAA Football National Champions and steady contender for the coveted “Biggest Douche in the Universe” title: Nick Saban. Saban is universally hailed as a football genius (and a condescending prick). He is to the state of Alabama what Jeremy Lin is to Asia. Unlike Jeremy Lin, he would not score an 800 on the verbal section of the SATs. Because his reading comprehension is what you’d accept from a pompous, red-blooded, right winged male that consistently looks like he has an itch on his anus. And he doesn’t want the devil’s lettuce anywhere near his National Championship wining team that probably smoked a team blunt hours after trampling LSU.
“If marijuana infiltrates your program, then everyone is going to do it and you’ve got a huge problem. If you don’t test and do it right, that’s what’s going to happen — because it’s everywhere on college campuses.”
Watch out, Roger Goodell–Nick Saban wants a shot at the belt.
Full Disclosure: Since I detest Nick Saban, his comments were taken as out of context as possible.