For those who believe the sports media world isn’t all about narrative over truth, we present to you the latest in the Tim Tebow-Maryland Terrapins coaching saga.
On the heels of the 24-hour reversal of decision regarding D.J. Durkin’s status as the head coach of the Terps program, Tebow appeared on ESPN to give his thoughts.
He spoke about the need for leaders to make a decision and stand up for the decision in the face of criticism…even if it’s the un-popular thing to do.
But, because Durkin is the latest boogeyman for the sports media to promote their SJSW narrative, this was wholly unacceptable and wrong. It also led the SJSW crowd to attack and predictably spin Tebow’s words in to something he never said.
Take the folks over at Awful Announcing for example. Their headline says it all:
ESPN analyst Tim Tebow criticized Maryland…for firing DJ Durkin?
Is that what really happened? No.
But, it is one, a headline meant to get you to click on it, and two, a headline that explains the writer believes that is exactly what Tebow was saying.
Here are Tebow’s exact words:
“You need to make a decision and you need to stand with it. Because right now (the decision to fire Durkin) shows people are so afraid to have conviction to believe in something when they make a decision that they’re like, ‘oh my goodness social media’s against us. Well we’re gonna fire him now.’ You just made a decision to keep him. If that’s your decision, if you believe that’s what’s right for the program, then it shouldn’t matter what I say, what social media says.
“So many people want to be liked instead of being respected. And I think more universities need to stand by what they believe is right.”
Somehow Tebow’s take of “you make a decision and you stand by it” became a tacit endorsement of D.J. Durkin keeping his job. Even in the face of the fact that Tebow addressed that idea immediately after the quote above.
“I’m not saying their decision was right,” he said. “But (Maryland officials) need to have the courage to say you know what, ‘I’d rather be respected than liked.’ And too many people in our day and age, they just want to be liked.”
As for the rest of the Awful Announcing article…Andrew Bucholz, the writer of the article in question, twisted himself in to one of the craziest pretzels I’ve ever seen from a sports writer. It was all in the name of trying to twist what Tebow was saying in to something radical and out of touch because the writer clearly didn’t agree with his stance.
Bucholtz offered up this kind of logic as criticism:
First off, claiming that Maryland made this move just to be “popular” is ludicrously wrong. Yes, they made this change because of the vast numbers of people, from students to fans to media members, who illustrated just how bad their initial decision was, but the decision deserves to be discussed on its merits; it’s not right just because it’s popular, but also, a much-criticized decision isn’t right just for being much-criticized.
Only in the second to last paragraph of his article did Bucholtz even offer up a hint of talking about what the headline was trying to insinuate. He believes that by not taking a stance on Durkin’s ultimate firing, Tebow was endorsing the initial decision.
It went something like this:
It’s also a cop-out from Tebow to not say whether he felt Durkin deserved to stay or not. It’s very deliberate and careful of Tebow to not fully stand behind the coach who saw a player die on his watch and then handled the ensuing investigation incredibly poorly, but it’s not a good stance for an analyst, especially with the criticism of Maryland for switching course here. If you’re criticizing that process, you’re also criticizing its ultimate result, and in Tebow’s case, he’s saying that after making the initial move to keep Durkin, the Terrapins should have stuck to that despite the well-founded criticisms of it.
So, the pretzel-twisting logic went something like this if you couldn’t follow it (and it took me a few readings to try to get my head around it myself):
- The initial decision was wrong, and the backlash is what caused the reversal of course.
- Tebow pointing out that the backlash was the reason behind the reversal is wrong. But, my first point stands…
- The media knows better than the powers that be that made the decision in the first place.
- Tebow not taking the stance the writer wanted meant Tebow believed Durkin should’ve been kept on. Shhhh….no one is putting words in someone else’s mouth to prove a narrative.
- The sports media know best, how dare you challenge conventional wisdom. Bow down to the SJSW or we’ll make you pay.
Did we get that right? I’m sure I missed something, because the logic of “a decision isn’t right because it’s popular and it also isn’t right because it is much criticized” is certainly hard to follow.
So, when is a decisions right? Is it when it is popular and somewhat criticized or is it right when the SJSW’s say so?
Later on in the article, Bucholtz inadvertently helps to make Tebow’s overall point even stronger. The writer would point out that part of the problem was the disagreement internally over what to do with Durkin after the investigation was finished.
Maryland president Wallace Loh made a unilateral decision, playing politics and using social media and campus outrage as cover to do what he wanted to do all along — fire Durkin.
But, all this serves is to further strengthen Tebow’s overall point. This group of “leaders” at Maryland should’ve sat in a room until they came to a conclusion and everyone got on the same page. Then they should’ve swallowed whatever personal pride they had and presented the unified front to stand by the overall decision.
Either that or Loh should’ve resigned his position in protest and stood up for what he believed was right in a statement as to why he couldn’t support the decision of the people who are his bosses.
Instead, Loh went rouge and thought he knew better than the rest of the decision makers. He also used the outside pressure, largely spearheaded by the agenda-driven sports media mob.
What took place over the course of 24 hours created chaos, confusion and a lot of questions for people who may be potential future hires as a head coach.
Would you want to work for a leadership group that can’t get on the same page and pull in the same direction on big decisions? I sure wouldn’t.
But, that’s the internal politics at foot at the University of Maryland. As for Tebow, it’s hard not to notice how a narrative trumps actual facts.
Whether you agree with what Tebow actually said or not is not the point here. The point is that the sports media will take anything that someone they don’t agree with and spin it to benefit a narrative they are pushing.
The truth of what was said be damned. Nuance and thoughtfulness have no place in today’s sports outrage media culture.
I mean, how hard is it to get your head around the fact that you could not agree with the decision to keep Durkin (even if that wasn’t what Tebow was expressing) and still have problems with how it all went down?
Is it so shocking that someone might have a problem with the sports writer and Twitter mob having this level of influence? When the mob rules, especially when that mob are those who do the reporting on you, it is a major breakdown in the structure.
Sadly, Tebow won’t be the last to suffer this fate. He’s just the latest to suffer at the hands of the SJSW
Clay Travis continues to use hearsay to troll Greg Schiano
Clay Travis isn’t afraid to say what is on his mind, and often times he’s one of the few in national sports media not afraid to speak truth to the prevailing narrative.
However, he isn’t above being wrong and on Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano he is exactly that – wrong.
Travis’ obsession with Schiano started about this time last year as his beloved Tennessee Volunteers (he wrote a book about them if you didn’t already know) were about to hire him as their next head coach. It continued on Tuesday morning as Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer’s retirement and Ryan Day’s appointment as head coach were announced.
The claim by Travis and others was and is that Schiano knew about incidents of child rape involving then Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky back in the early 90’s and did nothing about it.
Travis presents the scenario as if it is established fact and therefore should disqualify him from ever being a head coach of a major college football program again.
But, what was really said in the now unsealed deposition? Well, it paints a vastly different picture than what Travis and his campaign to get Schiano out of the Vols head coaching search painted.
It’s something that Fox Sports college football analyst Joel Klatt pointed out to Travis after he tried to defend his take earlier today.
Here is what the deposition actually says according to StateCollege.com:
In his deposition in the civil case, which was unsealed with hundreds of pages of documents in July 2016, McQueary said that in the mid-2000s, years after he reported it to Penn State officials, he told defensive coordinator Tom Bradley about the 2001 incident in which he says he saw Sandusky abusing a boy in a locker room shower. Bradley, McQueary said, told him he had heard a few similar reports, including one from Schiano in the early 90s.
McQueary claimed that he briefly discussed what he witnessed with Bradley, who had been on the Penn State staff since 1979 and succeeded Sandusky as defensive coordinator after the 1999 season.
“He said he knew of some things,” McQueary testified. “He said another assistant coach had come to him in the early 90s about a very similar situation to mine, and he said that he had — someone had come back to him as far back as the early 80s about seeing Jerry doing something with a boy.”
That’s certainly a different story than what Travis and his ilk would have you believe. If you listen to Travis on this subject you would be led to believe that what he is saying about Schiano is 100 percent fact…end of story.
Instead, the actual truth is that Schiano may have known something at one point in time way back in 1991 or anytime during his tenure in State College, but no one has been able to verify the claim made by McQueary — not even Tom Bradley himself verifies these claims.
In fact, Bradley has denied all knowledge of any acts by Sandusky from the very start. He released a statement through his attorney after the testimony became unsealed.
“At no time did Tom Bradley ever witness any inappropriate behavior. Nor did he have any knowledge of alleged incidents in the 80’s and 90’s. He has consistently testified as such,” the statement read. “Any assertions to the contrary are false. When he became aware of the 2001 incident it had already been reported to the University administration years earlier.”
So, Travis is willing to take the third party hearsay in a civil deposition as the gospel truth? He wasn’t about to back down this morning that’s for sure.
Call me confused, because this is also the same man who will scream to the heavens that a person is innocent until proven guilty.
Where is the proof that Schiano knew and did nothing? There literally is none in existence that we or Travis or anyone else can dig up. The only people that really know are Bradley and Schiano themselves.
Travis is also in danger of being a massive hypocrite. Let’s remember this is also literally the same situation as current Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh went through just a few months ago.
You know who went to bat for Kavanaugh?
You got it…Clay Travis.
If there’s one thing I can’t stand it is someone who has a standard and doesn’t apply it equally.
Why would Travis not believe the Kavanaugh accusers, but believe McQueary? Both sets of people were under threat of either felony or perjury charges. Yet, only one set of these people were labeled a liar by Travis.
Oh, that’s right, Travis had an agenda to make sure the team he loves most doesn’t make a bad football hire. He would go to any lengths to make sure that happens and in this case it is continuing to smear a man with a case of third party hearsay.
He also owes Schiano and his family an apology for dragging his name through the mud based of of unsubstantiated claims. He’s wholly bent on wrecking a man’s life and reputation because he didn’t want his favorite team.
Even worse is that people wholly believe what Travis is selling has 100 percent fact and will repeat it ad nauseam. It’s how tall tales replace real facts across our culture and is very dangerous indeed.
Sports Illustrated uses Tim Green story to push CTE-ALS link as fact
Tim Green was once the backbone of an ever-underachieving Atlanta Falcons team in the late 1980’s and early 90’s. He then went on to become a massive success as a broadcaster, author of children’s books and as a businessman.
But, on Sunday night he also revealed a drastic change to his life, as he announced on CBS’ “60 Minutes” program that he was suffering from ALS — otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Sports Illustrated had a piece on this segment and how ALS and head-trauma from football players are linked.
It’s truly sad to see anyone suffer through this debilitating and eventually fatal disease. Yet, Green remains upbeat and considers what he’s been able to accomplish in his life as a blessing. That much he made clear in his interview with 60 Minutes.
But, for SI.com writer Jack Dickey, Green’s situation seemed a good time to remind everyone that CTE leads to ALS and there’s no question about it.
“Green, 54, is not the first ex-NFLer to develop the disease; the link between the violent game and the degenerative and fatal neurological condition, which causes sufferers to lose most control of their muscles and is diagnosed in two to three out of every 100,000 people annually, has grown somewhat clearer with time,” Dickey points out in his article.
The key words here are “somewhat clearer with time.”
The problem is, studies about CTE and ALS being linked haven’t actually made things any more clear. What has become clear is that people with CTE are seemingly more likely to get ALS than the general population as a whole.
That doesn’t mean the two are actually linked though. Commonality doesn’t equal causation necessarily and a basic biology class or science class in general has taught all of us that.
At least one would think that is the case.
The reality of the research on the issue is vastly different than the conclusion SI.com draws.
In reality, the link is a possibility at best. There simply isn’t enough available data or understanding of CTE or the link to ALS to make a definitive statement.
As raredr.com points out, the study clearly makes a potential link in the fact that about 5 percent of studied CTE cases have also demonstrated symptoms of ALS. But, most importantly, it emphasizes that the two may not actually be linked.
“Approximately 5% of CTE cases result in patients demonstrating the clinical or pathological characteristics of ALS, however, whether the 2 conditions are related has remained a mystery.”
It’s a number that is certainly higher than the average population as a whole. In fact, the study also points out that CTE has also been found in military veterans, who are twice as likely as non-veterans to be diagnosed with ALS.
Yet, Sports Illustrated has taken it a step further in not bothering to point out the actual conclusions of the study to date. Instead, they make that blanket statement made above and then continue on as if that statement is fact.
In fact, the rest of the article doesn’t even bother to mention the study in any factual way. There is no quoting of the study or any further discussion of the link that has been shown to date.
But, SI would have you believe this one paragraph and its conclusions are the only thing that could be possible.
It’s the exact opposite of what the study concludes:
Due to the high complexity of both diseases, more long-term studies are necessary for a full understanding of the connection. The recent analysis warrants a larger study of more people with CTE and CTE-ALS to confirm results, but continued studies could potentially uncover viable CTE-ALS biomarkers and therapeutic options.
Shame on Sports Illustrated for using Tim Green and his situation to promote half-truths and outright falsehoods within an article.
This is exactly how speculation and falsehoods become truth in the popular culture. After all, outlets like SI have become trusted sources of information and if they print it, it must be true.
It is on outlets like SI to give us the honest and unvarnished truth. Anything less than that is malfeasance.
What the Quod? A new era in sports media coverage
First off, for those of you that have come to grow with us at Beat The Coverage — a hearty thank you.
When I started this project my goal was to expose the truth of liberal and social justice bias in sports media and give a different voice on the biggest topics and stories coming out of the sports world.
It’s been a fun journey to date, but as the saying goes “if you aren’t changing, you’re dying.”
So today, we bring you a brand new name — The Quod.
What is The Quod? Well, for those of you that love dead languages, it’s Latin for because, which and fact. What better way to hammer home the point that facts are missing from the sports media world of today, than to put it right in the name?
It also brings up the idea of “The Quad” on your favorite college campus…also known as the area where protest, speech and gathering takes place.
Why the Change?
Well, as some of you likely know, there’s this website called Outkick The Coverage out there. What Clay Travis is doing there is amazing work, and it’s some of the stuff I am doing here on our little corner of the interwebs.
Frankly, considering the messaging, content and ideas behind our sites, it just felt too close to stand out on its own. Beat The Coverage was meant to stand on its own two feet…and today The Quod does just that!
There were months spent trying to come up with sports-driven names. White boards and brainstorming sessions with scribbled names. There were heated discussions and confused looks, not to mention great ideas that were blocked by domain ownership and social media concerns.
Seriously, you won’t believe how difficult it is to come up with a name that no one owns for a domain, let alone via social media.
All of it took place inside my home, as I ran things by my partner in life, my wife Lexi, and a few trusted friends in this business (believe it or not they can and do exist).
So, I want to take some time to thank Lexi for her endless support, her patience (even if she doesn’t think she has it) and most importantly for those rambling talk-through sessions as I wanted to make this change.
I may be the writing and speaking force behind this site, but she’s the one that makes life work at our house and that allows me to take time to do this project.
Thank you dear!
Back to the change at hand though…here at The Quod we continue to evolve our coverage of the Social Justice Sports Writer ( #SJSW) and bias within sports media in general. As we’ve established, the two kind of go hand in hand these days.
Our biggest weapon in the fight to keep sports honest? It’s always been facts. That won’t be changing any time soon. I am promising to double down the efforts to come at you with facts, whether that be laying out what they are on a topic or using them as an argument against a biased article or writer.
Facts, not political ideology or the prevailing mob of opinion will be our driving force. It always has been, but with this name change that’s even more clear.
So, welcome to The Quod — Where Sports Media bias meets fact.
I appreciate your support for what I’m doing here and thank you sincerely for spreading the word as we ramp up our growth! Keep on spreading the good word and giving me the feedback…it’s appreciated more than you know.