First things first, let's spread the good news: Austin Rivers is coming to Duke. 4-Peat. No questions asked.
Now to the bad news: a recent Duke graduate named Karen Owen made a powerpoint about 13 different athletes she slept with during her college career. She wrote in the mode of a mock thesis, and rated the sexual encounters on a variety of categories before ranking the parties involved. She sent it to three friends, and from there it hit the internet. Now it's huge news.
At the risk of sounding like a boring old moralist, I'm not gonna join the exuberant bandwagon on this one. I think the whole thing is really, really sad. Here's why:
1. It makes Duke look bad. Again. The lacrosse scandal may have ended with the players' exoneration, but the process certainly did no favors for the reputation of the student body. No, the players didn't rape the stripper, but the elites of the school behaved like entitled pricks during the event and after. Karen's powerpoint does nothing to negate this image. Behind all the pornography of her text is another rich white girl who does things in her spare time like laugh with rich white athletes "about Asians." That little gem is buried somewhere in the middle of her self-mythologizing, and it's written without the slightest hint of awareness. In the world of Karen Owen, Asians are just a faceless group to be mocked en masse. That passing detail illustrates this girl's hideous worldview better than any of the lurid details surrounding it- she's trash.
In one of the many conversations that followed, someone asked me why she didn't hook up with any football players. Here's the honest answer: the skill position players in football are black, and a girl like Karen Owen won't have any part of that. Her only white choices on the football team were the grunts, and apparently Karen Owen will also not have any part of that. Tennis, lacrosse, baseball- those are the sports for her. The sports of the upper crust. Virility plus money, emphasis on the money. That's how girls like Karen Owen roll.
Maybe it sounds ridiculous to get angry at the girl for not sleeping with someone outside her race, but at least if she sacked up with Nolan Smith or someone, Duke could shed that haughty white image for a moment. Alas, it's ours to keep. This is why people say that the only good thing about Duke is the basketball team. In fact, I said this to my friend in the immediate aftermath. I realize it's a reactionary thought, and I don't really believe it, but Christ, we look so fucking bad all the time. It's constantly embarrassing. I don't blame anyone for believing that there are no down-to-earth, regular, good people holding a Duke diploma.
2. Karen Owen is sad, insecure, and starved for attention. That's why she's boisterously promiscuous, and it's also why she writes long powerpoints about her sex life in an attempt to draw attention to herself. And I don't believe for one second that she thought this would stay in a circle of three. That's absurd, and I think most intelligent people know it. She wouldn't have spent so much time honing it if she didn't expect that it would make the rounds.
I can't tell if this will ruin her life (probably), or if she'll become some kind of negative celebrity and make a lot of money. Either way, her dignity is gone, and the girl can't be more than 22. That's sad. What's sadder is that the backlash will be intense and painful. People will point out that she's not very good looking (brunette, if you can believe it). People will reveal personal secrets about her. Respected, influential women will trash her. Men don't like to have their egos wounded, and this going to be a full force attack.
3. It really, really sucks for the guys. Particularly the ones who got low ratings. Clearly I don't know what their pain is like, since my penis is 38 inches long and fluttering my eyelids is enough to bring most women to orgasm, but I can try to imagine. They didn't deserve this, and they didn't do anything wrong. They were sleeping with girls in college. That's what they should do in college. Same with Karen. She was having fun.
But then she had to make a fucking powerpoint.
4. It's just another sad example of young people using their creative brains for all the wrong reasons. This desperate need for attention is stifling our entire generation. It's selfishness to a degree that's unprecedented in world history, at least in my opinion. And now I officially sound like a really old, really crotchety moralist. But at least I have that 38 inch penis.
OKAY, ENOUGH. It's Ryder Cup weekend, and it's also...
The Friday Pick Six is an original SCSD! game where six people make six predictions for six weeks. Along with their picks, they're allowed and encouraged to submit a 'sound-off' on any topic, sports or otherwise. When it's all done, the winner earns great honor among the people, while the two losers are exiled in shame and the three middle people go to purgatory, with the chance rescue their good name up to three times. To learn more about the rules, and about the current contestants, read more:
Let's have a look at the scores from Week Three:
1. Carrie - 5 Points
2. Me - 4 Points
2. Tom - 4 Points
4. Jill - 3 Points
4. Spike - 3 Points
6. Nick - 0 Points
And now the updated overall standings:
1. Carrie - 12 Points
2. Tom - 11 Points
2. Jill - 11 Points
4. Shane - 9 Points
5. Nick - 7 Points
5. Spike - 7 Points
An amazing week by Carrie is paired with our first ever Pick Six goose-egg, courtesy of Ole Nick. And somehow, Spike still remained in last place. He is nothing if not consistent. Tom moved up the leaderboard and is threatening in second, while Jill slipped from the to spot for the first time. And needless to say, Carrie's thrilling exploits vaulted her to the very top. Be warned, my friend: it's lonely up there.
This Week's Docket (no NFL games because of the crap match-ups:
1. Stanford at Oregon
2. Penn State at Iowa
3. Tiger Woods' record in his first 4 matches in the Ryder Cup.
4. Lee Westwood's record in his first 4 matches in the Ryder Cup.
5. The winner of the American League East. Yanks or Rays.
6. From Jill:
The Jimmy John's Freaky Fast Sandwich Makers vs. Eaters Contest Sunday, October 3, 2010 in Dallas, Texas
I have a weird fascination with competitive eating competitions. Hilarious, yet horrifying. A guaranteed queasy-bottom-of-the-12th-inning-sort-of feeling every time. It all started when that weird, small Asian criminal stole America's heart, long, long ago. Kobayashi, the Babe Ruth of his sport, will not be featured in this event, but heavyweights such as Joey Chestnut, Pat Bertoletti and Nathan Biller will be. They are going up against the apparently one-loss-from-undefeated Jimmy John's Freaky Fast Sandwich Makers, whoever the hell they are. I have no idea who will win, but I would totally watch this and hope it is televised.
So, to clarify any confusion, the pick is Sandwich Makers or Competitive Eaters.
We kick things off with our beloved leader, Carrie:
Just going to come out strong and say, I am pretty sure this is the week I plummet from first to last.
1. Old rules cannot apply here. Stanford has truly excellent uniforms, but SO DOES Oregon. Both are West Coast teams with whom I have strong positive connotations. However, I am giving the slight edge to Stanford as they have - to this day - the most efficient franchise branch of Jamba Juice on their campus I have ever seen. Seriously, it's like a machine.... er, much like the Stanford football team is a machine. A winning machine!
2. Penn State Nittany Lions. Hello, making a weak and generic name AWESOME by adding a seemingly extraneous word? Brilliant. (However, I am a little nervous about this one. Both teams are 3-1 with their only losses coming to the only tough teams they've played, so I think this is a very close call. In which case, one MUST defer to the mascot question.)
Important note: I resent the heck out of categories 3 and 4. It's not as if I like football that much, but I do believe that I was lead into this Pick Six under the pretense that there would be AT LEAST four football categories each week. I have my own opinions about golf and it's bet-ability as a sport, but I went along with choosing Tom's score in the first week, because it was presented as a novelty topic. This week with TWO categories of golf represented, the "sport" seems to be running away with the Pick Six. End rant.
3. If there is anyone I am more sick of than Ben Rapist-berger, it is Tiger Woods. Not like I particularly care about his extra-curricular activities, but I am downright OFFENDED by the post-scandal goatee he opted to grow. As far as I'm concerned, he couldn't have thought of a worse personal statement to make to discredit rumors of his scum-itude. Oh... 3-0-1? If that seems generous, it's because I don't know what I'm talking about.
4. So, I guess Lee Westwood is British? That's cute. He also has charmingly crooked (and therefore, stereotypically British) teeth that I find really quite precious. Since there doesn't seem to be a way of knowing if Lee would ever take on Tiger head-to-head, I'm having a hard time coming up with something realistic here. Hmmm... 2-2. That seems appropriately patriotic, I think.
5. Having recently cast my lot in with the Rays for the post-season, I am going to stay true to my longstanding support of their efforts. I mean, if I can't make it two weeks without throwing them under the bus, what sort of fan am I?
6. Competitive eating freaks me out. The competitive eaters are always such itsy bitsy tiny things. Like, where does all that food go? Or is every competitive eater ALSO a bulimic? Because if so, I think the sport has a bit of a controversy on it's hands and I'd like no part of it. Conversely, there is nothing more delicious than a sandwich and therefore no more noble profession than a sandwich maker.
Stanford, Iowa, Tiger 2-1-1, Lee 2-0-2, Rays, definitely Sandwich Makers.
Editor's Note: Tom is on vacation this week, and couldn't submit his rant in writing. However, using the miracle of a Radio Shack wireless phone recorder (which actually involves about 17 wires), I've captured Tom's baritone rant in audio. Enjoy:
Stanford at Oregon: Oregon. Both teams are undefeated and had big wins last week. The Ducks have a pretty shaky run defense, but their offense makes up for it. They have outscored their opponents 231-44. This should be a close one; however, I think the Ducks will beat the drunken, trouble-making Christmas trees.
Penn State at Iowa: Iowa. When the players are primarily focused on making sure that their coach is, you know, still breathing and not dead, it is tough to concentrate on football.
Tiger Woods at the Ryder Cup: 2-1-1. It no longer matters to me where Tiger Woods puts his balls. More importantly, it is like 2:00 a.m. and I do not have the time or patience to figure out how the Ryder Cup works. The fact that 33% of this week’s categories are related to this ancient sporting event that approximately 12 people care about is ridiculous. That said, we will go with 2-1-1.
Lee Westwood at the Ryder Cup: 1-1-2. Yeah, this is simply a guess. Go USA.
Winner of the AL East: Rays. The Yankees have a much tougher schedule; they will (smartly) rest a lot of their regulars; the Rays have already won the tie-breaker (10-8, head-to-head); and I don’t think the Yankees will be very disappointed if they are the wild card team and have to play the Twins (who they have owned for the past few years).
Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast Contest: Eaters. Normally I would go with the Sandwich Makers here, since this is in their wheelhouse and well, the competition is named after them. But there are too many big egos here. Joey Chestnut, the #1 competitive eater in the world, will not allow himself to lose to these corporate hacks.
Stanford, Iowa, 3-0-1, 1-1-2, Yanks, Sandwich Makers.
Jim Harbaugh and my brothers got drunk once, and he swore he'd never lose to Oregon at night.
Joe Paterno and my paternal great-grandmother went for chocolate malts once. That is all.
3. Tiger's record 3-0-1
I say he gets three wins and one tie - with the tie probably coming at the hands of a match involving Martin "BirdieKrieg" Kaymer.
4. Westwood's record 1-2-0
He hasn't been playing well, he's calf has been hurt, and it would surprise me if he only plays three matches (can't play 36 in a day on a bum wheel - am I right, Tom?)
The Yankees are like that girl in high school who wins homecoming queen as a junior, then kind of plateaus, operating under the assumption that her hotness, popularity and Q rating are perfect where they are, and any effort to make them go any higher would just look tacky. Enter that chick who quit the soccer team junior year, and all of the sudden shows up at social functions, buys a dress and gets flitry senior year. When its time for senior prom queen voting everyone sort of wavers, and just for kicks votes in the new hot chick because she's fresh and fun. The Rays are that new chick, and the AL East crown is their prom tiara. The question is - will the Yankees respond with Pilates class and some new skinny jeans(sweeping the Twins) or by gaining 19 pounds of depression weight and getting dumped by their boyfriend (losing to Minnesota in 4). Time will tell, it always does.
6. Jimmy John's guys.
Seems kind of like a great boxer and an MMA fighter going at it - but the Jimmy John's guys are in their element.
I believe strongly that the Eaters deserve to win. That a defeat for them would be a devastating turn of events... a thought which percolated up from listening to some indie rock radio this morning. I heard Lance Armstrong's name in reference to his charity work and I shuddered. Then, when I got to work and wasn't working, I saw a headline about Contador and tainted meat and doping which caused a similar reaction. I think my visceral responses to these two cyclists and Team Jimmy Johns might have to do with Kantian Ethics... maybe not... but I'm touching back in with Kant in a reading group I'm in, so bear with me here.
Moral actions are not based on profit. They are based on a normative sense of what one should do. A sense of duty. Doping is confusing. One has a duty to their team, but they also have a duty to perform ethically. That said, if the only motivation they have for not doping is fear of repercussions, then is not doping when doing so would aid their teammates to whom they have a moral responsibility a truly moral act? I would submit, maybe not? Kant wouldn't. He'd suggest that truth is more valuable. But who the fuck is Kant to tell me what to think?
All that to say, I think the Sandwich Makers are unethical bastards (clearly in the competition to represent a corporation, not for love of the gluttony) and if there's any justice in the world, American Hero Joey Chestnut will emerge victorious.
That is all for today, my friends. Stay tuned for a possible Ryder Cup live blog Sunday. And I suppose we can spare one bad joke about the whole Duke 'fuck list' incident before we go. With that in mind, here's a picture of eating champion Takeru Kobayashi doing his best impression of Karen Owen: