September 23, 2011

Oh, doorknob, #DavidBrooks is writing about the NCAA

Just when you thought David Brooks couldn't get more vapid and vacuous, he does. It's Bobo-esque, of course, in that it's just as firmly grounded in the 1950s as are his fictional suburbanites.

I have to quote this whole long string of stupidity to illustrate his use of straw men, too:
There were two sides to the amateur ideal. On the one hand, it was meant to serve as a restraint on some of the more brutal forces of the day. Social Darwinism was in full flower, with its emphasis on ruthless competition and survival of the fittest. Capitalism was rough and raw. The amateur ideal was a restraining code that emphasized fair play and honor. It held that those blessed with special gifts have a special responsibility to hue to a chivalric code. The idea was to make sport a part of the nation’s moral education.
On the other hand, the amateur code was elitist. It was designed to separate the affluent sports from the working-class sports, to create a refined arena that only the well-bred and well-born could enter.
Today’s left-leaning historians generally excoriate the amateur ideal for its snobbery and the hypocrisy it engendered. The movie “Chariots of Fire” popularized their critique. In the film, the upholders of the amateur ideal are snobbish, anti-Semitic reactionaries. The heroes are unabashedly commercial and practical. Modern and free-thinking, they pay people so they can win.
Thus did the left-wing critique welcome the corporate domination of sport.
Yeah, right, on that last graph.

First, left-leaning historians of sport (which aren't all left-leaning historians) find a variety of faults with amateurism of nearly a century ago. Second, the heroes are not "unabashedly commercial."

Third, WTF on calling "Chariots" a left-wing movie? I've always seen it 110 percent the opposite, as a gauzy conservative Christian paean to idealism.

And, speaking of paeans, Brooks offers a sweet wet kiss to the NCAA of today after that.

And, doesn't even understand the capitalism he claims to support.

He offers a "practical" objection to paying college athletes:
How exactly would you pay them? Would the stars get millions while the rest get hardly nothing? Would you pay the wrestling team, or any of the female athletes? Only 7 percent of Division I athletic programs make money, according to the N.C.A.A.; where would the salary dollars come from?
You would do exactly that, and they'd learn the capitalism you so tout, you freaking moron. That's why, in the (current official) pro ranks, we have baseball, basketball and football galore, but no wrestling, little female sports and such. Or, separate money-earning sports away from college. If wrestling, etc., don't make that much money, the programs can be cut back.

And, of course, Brooks doesn't realize how he kneecaps his own political beliefs, because he's still dreaming of "Boboes in college."

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