BigMouth Strikes Again

This takedown of David Brooks, titled “The Worst Column Written About Sports Ever Published,” is a must read. A sample:

So his job is hard, or at least he makes it look really hard. Still, this happened, and even on the “I-am-an-alien-writing-about-HUMANN-behavior” scale, this is akin to crashing a broken tricycle into a vat of toxic waste going uphill past signs warning you about the very stupid thing you are about to do.

    Jeremy Lin is anomalous in all sorts of ways. He’s a Harvard grad in the N.B.A., an Asian-American man in professional sports. But we shouldn’t neglect the biggest anomaly.

He has webbed toes, associates smells with colors, and also tucks shirts into his sweatpants. A veritable platypus flying an F-22 of a human being just walking among us, that Jeremy Lin.

This seems like a really loose definition of anomaly, but it’s not completely inaccurate or insane. This, however, is:

    He’s a religious person in professional sports.

Conclusion: “David Brooks” has never been to a professional sporting event.

It’s like Brooks has decided to branch out and find new things to be wrong about, and since much of politics is like a sporting event to the bobbleheads, he thought he might give the NBA sports beat a shot.

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120 replies
  1. 1
    Brachiator says:

    This seems like a really loose definition of anomaly, but it’s not completely inaccurate or insane. This, however, is:
    __
    He’s a religious person in professional sports.

    Tebow Wept.

  2. 2
    trollhattan says:

    Lordy, that’s a fine takedown, as is Pierce’s, also too. Driftglass and DougJ must feel as though their “David Brooks must be sent away to a ‘nice farm in the country'” territory is being invaded.

  3. 3
    Gravenstone says:

    Awww, it’s charming that BoBo has never heard of the whole Tebow phenomenon. Either that, or he’s a just a clueless old git who should be mumbling to himself in the corner rather than being given a megaphone on the world stage.

  4. 4
    Cassidy says:

    Someone needs to watch an MMA fight.

  5. 5
    smintheus says:

    It’s like Brooks has decided to branch out and find new things to be wrong about

    George Will must be his idol.

  6. 6
    taylormattd says:

    hahaha:

    I’m sorry I can’t even finish this because this is the worst column involving sports we’ve ever seen. It mentions nothing from reality to support an argument made by no one using things people wrote about entirely unrelated things. It is a gingerbread house made of cut-up bike tires, fake flowers, and insulating caulk. It is Homer Simpson’s barbecue pit.

  7. 7
    BGinCHI says:

    Why did the bullies in Brooks’s 5th-grade class fail us so badly? Was there no more recess?

  8. 8
    Cargo says:

    See, here’s the difference between Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow. I haven’t seen Jeremy Lin ostentatiously praying courtside, putting Bible verses on his sneakers or appearing in anti-choice ads.

    As a result I don’t give a SHIT if he is super-religious. Yay for him!

  9. 9
    cathyx says:

    The David Brooks takedowns write themselves.

  10. 10
    Ed Dane defender of Doughnuts says:

    Brooks must be working on a sports anthology and is sending out trial balloons to gauge public response. Another overwritten tome that for many people will be picked up at a book store dollar table and used to prop open their dorm room doors or even out a wobbly table.

  11. 11
    wenchacha says:

    Bobo’s being awfully cynical about religion sport religion in America.

  12. 12
    Steven says:

    sbnation is the place to be.

  13. 13

    Gosh, an Asian basketball star? No one tell Yao Ming.

    Are there no quality standards whatsoever for syndicated columnists? Oh wait, there are, for sports columnists. They even tend to care about silly things like facts.

    It would appear that the standard bearers for the Fourth Estate are sports writers and late night comedy show hosts.

  14. 14
    Cassidy says:

    @Steven: Not the MMA sites. They came in and ruined my favorite site.

  15. 15
    Abo gato says:

    Is Lin a christian? It would be sweet if he is not.

  16. 16
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Another brandy, please.

  17. 17
    Cassidy says:

    @Abo gato: He is. His favorite book is the bible.

  18. 18
    Heliopause says:

    Conclusion: “David Brooks” has never been to a professional sporting event.

    Or watched one on TV. Or seen a postgame interview with an athlete. Or googled up search terms involving athletes and religion.

  19. 19
    MikeJ says:

    Is it true that the NBA is trying to force the ultra religious Lin to make free throws with an inflated condom?

  20. 20
    MattF says:

    Wait, what? “Posh Virginia farmhouse offices”? Brooks lives in BETHESDA, in MARYLAND. If you’re going to make fun of Villagers, you should get certain things right, and one basic thing is that Maryland snoburbia is quite different from Virginia snoburbia. And yes, I am joking, but also no, I am not joking.

  21. 21
    RossInDetroit says:

    It’s like Brooks has decided to branch out and find new things to be wrong about

    Perfect. Now I need to coax the dog out from under the couch. Loud laughing scares him.

  22. 22
    piratedan says:

    now the only challenge that remains for Bobo is for him and McArdle to write a romance/thriller that involves a kitchen appliance.

  23. 23
    Brachiator says:

    @Abo gato:

    Is Lin a christian?

    He’s Christian. Don’t know the denomination. And he is performing miracles.

    The success of the New York Knicks’ young point guard appears to have played a key role in brokering a peace treaty between MSG Network and Time Warner Cable that will restore Knicks telecasts to 2 million cable customers who have been in the dark for 48 days.
    __
    Alexander Dudley, a spokesman for Time Warner Cable, confirmed that a deal has been reach to end the contract dispute between the cable operator and MSG that’s taken Knicks, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres games off the system since New Year’s Day.

  24. 24
    justaguy2 says:

    Touchdown Jesus wept.

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @piratedan:

    Soon to be a major motion picture direct to DVD and the bargain bin at Wal-Mart.

  26. 26
    cathyx says:

    I bet Bobo throws like a girl.

  27. 27
    Chris Wolf says:

    A veritable platypus flying an F-22 of a human being just walking among us

    Wow. That’s gotta be the drugs talking.

  28. 28
    pragmatism says:

    @Cargo: a larger difference is that tebow was fasttracked to be an NFL player and was a (local) media sensation from the time he was 14. he had every advantage. must have been rough for him to choose between alabama and florida. Lin received zero scholarship offers after being the CA div II player of the year at a highschool that is across the street from Stanford.

  29. 29
    Marcellus Shale, Public Dick says:

    this one needs a spot in the pantheon of david brooks wrongness, taking a position in the low post as the zone defense of reality shifts balll-side, making itself available for a ball reversal dribble drive dish for an easy lay-up of mockery.

  30. 30
    WeeBey says:

    The dude managed to get told to go get his shinebox on Deadspin, SBNation, Balloonjuice and Pierce’s blog all in one day.

    That’s quite the fucking anomaly, amifuckingrite?

  31. 31
    trollhattan says:

    @Cassidy:

    I share only because y’all (and fucking david brooks) brought it up.

    Jeremy Lin, New York’s most eligible bachelor according to a secret algorithm we made up just now, tells the Post about his ideal woman:
    __
    “First she would really love God and be a faithful Christian, and then after that, I think, a desire to serve other people, to help with the underprivileged, do a lot of social work … great personality and easy to be around. Someone that’s definitely chill, low key, low maintenance.”

    Bringing on this snark:

    Kim Kardashian, please show yourself out.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2.....asian.html

  32. 32
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Steven: They are the best of the sports blogs that I’ve found. I haven’t read them all, but the ones I frequent don’t tolerate ethnic, gender or gay slurs. They don’t suffer trolling gladly. They also ban politics.

  33. 33
    Djur says:

    @Gravenstone: Oh, but he has.

    We’ve become accustomed to the faith-driven athlete and coach, from Billy Sunday to Tim Tebow.

    That is the next sentence.

  34. 34
    de stijl says:

    Only white athletes and honorary white athletes (Asians are honorarily white, biracials are not) can be religious. Black and Hispanic athletes are not religious. Also, Christianity is the only religion.

    Where have you gone, Dave Chappelle?

  35. 35
    gnomedad says:

    He’s a religious person in professional sports.

    When Santorum is president, the governors have been replaced with bishops, and biology texts are replaced with bibles, these guys will still be pushing the persecution meme.

  36. 36
    Cassidy says:

    @trollhattan: Awesome.

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @de stijl:

    Where have you gone, Dave Chappelle?

    From what I’ve heard, he said “fuck this shit” and he’s playing a Troll Shaman in World of Warcraft.

  38. 38
    Cassidy says:

    I will say he seems like a nice guy. His recent comments regarding Carmelo were brazenly honest.

  39. 39
    de stijl says:

    Lin needs to pray about his turnovers.

  40. 40
    JPL says:

    The NYTimes oped pages are filled with those that want to explain morality to me. Unfortunately, I feel they are confusing morality and bloviating.

  41. 41
    Raenelle says:

    I love putting David Brooks in quotes, referring to him as “David Brooks.” I just love that.

  42. 42
    Quicksand says:

    @MikeJ:

    Is it true that the NBA is trying to force the ultra religious Lin to make free throws with an inflated condom?

    Not quite. All players are forced to wear them at all times as part of the standard NBA uniform, and noncompliance can result in big fines. It’s called the “Chamberlain Rule.”

  43. 43
    Taobhan says:

    Good god, what else is new? Brooks does nothing but make sweeping statements for which he presents absolutely no evidence to support his comments. In this case, he’s done it in the sports world although he usually confines himself to the political world or American society in general. He knows nothing about either of those either. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop him from penning his well-compensated columns to please the rubes who think he’s some sort of intellectual and informed thinker on big issues.

  44. 44
    Groucho48 says:

    It sounds as though Brooks’ concept is that athletics works the same way that the idealized right wing businessman operates. As an Objectivist turd.

    It’s also, all-in-all, a brilliant exegesis of why businessmen don’t have to practice all the things that the major religions say they should practice. Because they are operating in their Adam 1 persona, which is just as valid and legitimate, apparently, as their Adam 2 persona, which is the persona that makes us good human beings. (I find it interesting that he labels our predatory nature as Adam 1 and our moral nature as Adam 2.)

  45. 45
    Mike in NC says:

    So after visiting the Applebee’s salad bar, did David Brooks decide it was high time to take in a game with the Brooklyn Dodgers?

  46. 46
    jl says:

    In my august judgment, after long and deep meditation, indeed, heartfelt prayer, I have decided that this historic event, unrivaled in the annals of sheer ignorance and cluelessness, eclipses the scandal of the mythical Brooksian Applebee’s salad bar.

    Who would have thought that the Applebee’s salad bar would be eclipsed by ignorance of organized professional sporting contests in our great United States? Yet is has been. How ironical.

    But, we need a tagline? Can any tagline beat ‘the Applebee’s salad bar’? I can’t think of a tagline.

    Could be a problem for liberals.

  47. 47
    waratah says:

    @de stijl: He still won the game in the last seconds.

  48. 48
    gex says:

    I’ve just about had it with all this bullshit. It is so dispiriting that most Americans seem to have no sense of what is and isn’t important, what good and bad actually mean, or confuse their freedom with the freedom to boss others around.

    Wow, he’s religious. BFD. A lot of people are, including most professional athletes. Ted Haggard is religious. There are religious murderers. There are definitely religious rapists (many in the Church itself). Can we please stop equating religious with being a good person? Those traits can coexist, but they don’t always coexist, and I’m fucking sick to death of every asshole who waves a Bible being considered to be way better than me because I don’t do the same.

    I’m sick of being on every privileged group’s shit list. I’m sick of the public discourse all being arguments about exactly how I’m trying to destroy America by people who keep voting to make themselves serfs. I’m fucking sick to death of it.

    December can’t come soon enough.

  49. 49
    jl says:

    @Mike in NC: Some psychic force must be uniting the minds of BJ commenter into some borg like thing. I just finished making sure no one had brought up the Applebee’s salad bar incident before I typed that.

  50. 50
    Ken says:

    @gnomedad:

    When Santorum is president, the governors have been replaced with bishops, and biology texts are replaced with bibles, these guys will still be pushing the persecution meme.

    Except that will be different, because they will be persecuted. Everyone always assumes that when the theocracy is established, they will get to be the theocrat.

  51. 51
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mike in NC:

    In this case, I do believe the game was with the Minneapolis Lakers.

  52. 52
    FuriousPhil says:

    Brooks wouldn’t be a bad guy, if he wasn’t so self-loathing, egotistical and unapologetic for being wrong about everything.

    I really hope NPR changes their little tete-a-tete every week with Bobo and EJ Dionne soon. My suggestion? Talabbi and Breitbart. You know you’d listen to it.

  53. 53
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @gex:

    The guys who hijacked the jets on 9-11 were all quite religious.

    So there you go.

  54. 54
    Petorado says:

    The New York Times published this crap? Brooks is +4 on brandies and spews this out 5 minutes before deadline and no one has the sense at the Grey Lady to say it is beneath their standards? There is no reason to put this made-up morality tale out there. Syrup of ipecac has already been invented.

  55. 55
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    I’m an agnostic and even I am praying for Lin. This is a really, really good guy who the media will keep shoving in your face until you become violently ill. How did you enjoy appearing on The View, Jeremy? What’s your ideal woman like, Jeremy? Please tell us more about your faith, Jeremy.

    This is what they do. If he refuses to play the media game, the media will bury him. If he plays the media game, eventually the public at large will bury him. And of course Bobo will have something equally unintelligible to spew in either case.

  56. 56
    jl says:

    Only tagline I can think of for this Brooksian outburst is’Brooksian Dimsanity’.

    Not sure it has legs.

    Edit: I also like Lin. Hope he keeps it up. What bad thing did he ever do to draw the malign affection of Brooks, or whoever tells Brooks what to write about?

  57. 57
    chrome agnomen says:

    @Mike in NC:

    yeah. a spring training game vs the new york highlanders.

  58. 58
    patrick II says:

    @Cargo:
    Another difference is that Tebow played badly but with good fortune but Lin has played some outstanding basketball — scoring more points in his first five games than any player since the aba-nba merger in 1976.

  59. 59
    MosesZD says:

    First of all, you can’t watch sports without every other yahoo claiming they won because of God… So I don’t know what universe Brooks lives in, but it isn’t mine…

    Second, it was so pathetic. His jovial faux camaraderie with the plebes in his ‘look, I’m one of you and we’re sharing our moral lessons from sports!’ I’m surprised he didn’t end with “oh, look, I eat sausages, too!”

  60. 60
    Brachiator says:

    @Taobhan:

    Good god, what else is new? Brooks does nothing but make sweeping statements for which he presents absolutely no evidence to support his comments.

    This is called punditry. Being so “wise” that your pearls of wisdom need not be supported by unimportant things like facts.

  61. 61
    darkmatter says:

    This is all anyone truly needs to know about David Brooks:

    It is worst song, played on ugliest guitar.

    Pretty much sums up his life, don’t it?

  62. 62
    gwangung says:

    @The Other Chuck: Yao is an Asian sports star. JLin is an Asian American sports star.

    A difference, hm?

  63. 63
    WyldPirate says:

    @piratedan:

    now the only challenge that remains for Bobo is for him and McArdle to write a romance/thriller that involves a kitchen appliance

    “How the Kitchen Aid Tossed Our Salads”

    By Megan McArdle and David Brooks

  64. 64
    piratedan says:

    @darkmatter: to think, that asshat’s salary could probably be used to sponsor a few journo scholarships around the country. Maybe then we could have people write interesting opinion pieces that aren’t draped in douchebaggery.

  65. 65
    gwangung says:

    Good god, what else is new? Brooks does nothing but make sweeping statements for which he presents absolutely no evidence to support his comments.

    In this case, he gets caught at it and derided more widely because Americans take their sports a hell of a lot more seriously than their politics.

  66. 66
    piratedan says:

    @WyldPirate: I was thinking something along the lines of “The Soiled Spatula” but hell, you’ve got sponsorship possibilities with yours.

  67. 67
    beltane says:

    @FuriousPhil: I would listen to a Taibbi/Breitbart matchup on NPR, if only to hear Breitbart bellow “Be-haaave yourself!” at the end of every segment.

  68. 68
    Persia says:

    @trollhattan: He seems pretty decent, doesn’t he? I don’t feel like I’d feel vaguely nauseous hanging out with him the way I would with Tebow.

  69. 69
    darkmatter says:

    I would give pretty much anything to hear a lawyer, after winning a huge case, give thanks to God for giving him the skills at being a great attorney. Maybe even hearing a CPA thanking God for giving him great comprehension with numbers.

  70. 70
    Mark S. says:

    This Bobo column and the Poulos one about “What are women for?” are two of the most inane and pointless things I’ve read in a long time. Has this primary turned conservative brains to mush? Are they trying to turn our brains into mush?

  71. 71
    Tom says:

    See, here’s the difference between Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow. I haven’t seen Jeremy Lin ostentatiously praying courtside, putting Bible verses on his sneakers or appearing in anti-choice ads.

    This is exactly the point Brooks makes with his column and if any bothered to read it past “he is a religious person in professional sports,” they’d realize that.

    Brooks acknowledges that there are many people in sports who talk about their faith, praise Jesus and all that jazz, but while they point to the heavens they also act in an egotistical, bombastic way that runs contrary to what most religions teach.

    His point is that Jeremy Lin actually has the one trait that is key to a truly religious person: modesty.

    Try reading Brooks’ column before trashing it next time.

  72. 72
    Chris W says:

    It’s like Brooks has decided to branch out and find new things to be wrong about

    It’s nuggets like this that keep me coming back for all these years.

  73. 73
    scav says:

    OT, update on Emergency Circus Updating System
    GOP official: Party considering changes in debates

    Arizona national committeeman and the chairman of the RNC’s rules committee, Bruce Ash, says he and other party officials are concerned that the party doesn’t have full control over such matters as debate topics, broadcasts, locations and audiences.

    emphasis mine. Alas! one goes to the election with the base one has.

  74. 74
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @Tom:

    Have you considered ghost writing for Bobo? You’re much better at making him look good than he is.

  75. 75
    gex says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yep. And a number of our conservative commentariat agree with them on a lot of things except for which book justifies their beliefs.

  76. 76
    trollhattan says:

    Why does NPR hate us? Filling in for David Brooks (who’s evidently busy stalking pro locker rooms) on ATC is Ramesh Ponnuru–The Squeak. Gaaaaah!

  77. 77
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @scav:

    Playing to the knuckledraggers in the audience was Noot’s hole card.

    The Partei really doesn’t need the PR pain that comes with that crowd. They know there’s a serious tacking problem for their candidates (run right for the primaries, head center for the general) and they don’t want to exacerbate it.

    May be too late for that now. They’re on the lee shore and there’s hell to pay.

  78. 78
    gex says:

    @gwangung: I’m pretty sure Brooks is playing on the Asians can’t be athletes stereotype, so the home country of said Asian is probably not relevant to that point he’s making. Sort of like Whitlock and his tiny penis comment about him. It’s just Asian stereotyping. What else would you expect of Brooks?

  79. 79
    piratedan says:

    @Tom:

    Try reading Brooks’ column before trashing it next time.

    I’m sorry, but my dentist (praise TFSM) has forbade me from reading his articles because the obviousness and triteness are bad for my teeth.

    Next weeks articles regarding the potential sounds that a falling tree might make have also been listed as verboten.

  80. 80
    Brachiator says:

    @Tom:

    Brooks acknowledges that there are many people in sports who talk about their faith, praise Jesus and all that jazz, but while they point to the heavens they also act in an egotistical, bombastic way that runs contrary to what most religions teach.

    Brooks stupidly goes long to try to make a trivial, and wrongheaded point.

    The uptight always have problems with supposedly boastful athletes, and the most tiresome subject in the universe is nonsense over the “proper” way to be religious.

  81. 81
    gex says:

    @gwangung: Still relevant, I think. I believe Brooks mentions that because we all know Asian people aren’t very athletic except in a martial arts/gymnastics kind of way. Sort of the same way Whitlock is convinced Lin has a small pe-nis.

  82. 82
    Heliopause says:

    @Tom:

    This is exactly the point Brooks makes with his column and if any bothered to read it past “he is a religious person in professional sports,” they’d realize that.

    I read a little ways past the first paragraph and you are right, that was Brooks’ point. And it’s still hilariously wrong, as anyone with even a passing familiarity with American sports realizes.

  83. 83
    bane says:

    Big Mouth Strikes Again!

    For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground
    And tell sad stories of the death of The Smiths…

  84. 84
    Brachiator says:

    @gex:

    Still relevant, I think. I believe Brooks mentions that because we all know Asian people aren’t very athletic except in a martial arts/gymnastics kind of way

    Yeah, because gymnastics, swimming, soccer, etc., ain’t real sports.

  85. 85
    Crashman says:

    Spencer Hall is a national blogging treasure. This post on football and family is brilliant.

  86. 86
    different-church-lady says:

    OK, I get it now… Brooks is just punking us for kicks. It should have been obvious.

  87. 87
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cargo:

    As a result I don’t give a SHIT if he is super-religious. Yay for him!

    This.

    Also too, Bobo best back off from the webbed toe mocking.

  88. 88
    ReflectedSky says:

    I am more sad that Brooks is a fellow alum of my college than I am about the Unibomber being an alum. That’s pretty damn sad. I feel embarrassed every time I see a take-down of his lazy, fact and logic free writing here at Balloon Juice.

    Having said that, reading comments here about him “throwing like a girl” and wishing bullies had beaten him more effectively make me even sadder. Him being an idiot doesn’t make him more feminine. I’m a girl. I wasn’t allowed to learn how to throw a football as a kid — the boys wouldn’t show me, and my dad doesn’t know anything about that stuff. But I’m pretty kinethetically adept, and I think I could probably have learned a decent spiral, although I’m not claiming fabulous arm strength. “Throwing like a girl” and “running like a girl” are a function of social conditioning that is on its way out — hopefully, along with the New York Times, David Brooks, and the Republican party.

  89. 89
    Mnemosyne says:

    @de stijl:

    Only white athletes and honorary white athletes (Asians are honorarily white, biracials are not) can be religious. Black and Hispanic athletes are not religious.

    That’s what I was thinking, too. I swear that every game I’ve ever seen in my entire life included some kind of religious display from one of the players, no matter whether it was football, basketball, baseball or soccer.

  90. 90
    jl says:

    @Tom: No. Brooks writes as if all religious people in professional sports are like Tim Tiebow. They aren’t. More are like Lin than Tiebow.

    The Brooks column was glib nonsense he must of written out in five minutes.

    The third sentence as ‘He’s a religious person in professional sports.’ That is just wrong in any commonsense meaning of religious. The next sentence Brooks contrasts that with ‘faith driven’ that is not explained except by giving to very untypical examples.

    Then there is this:
    ” The sports hero tries to perform great deeds in order to win glory and fame. It doesn’t really matter whether he has good intentions.”

    Substitute singer, actor, business man, stock trader, politician for ‘sports hero’ how is it different?

    Later on, Brooks says this attitude is pervasive in modern socieity, because of the ‘sports ethos’. You could make a very good argument it has been social influences on sports.

    Brooks says: “For many religious teachers, humility is the primary virtue.” Well, for many religious teachers in the US today, humility is surely not the primary virtue.

    In Brooks’ sports world, there are no selfish ball hogging players in team sports who have to discipline themselves for the good of the team. I sure have never heard about anything like that, Anyone else?

    This is another trite column full of made up stuff. Another charge in the indictment against Brooks.

  91. 91
    Svensker says:

    @gex:

    December can’t come soon enough

    Christmas?

  92. 92
    Anoniminous says:

    If today’s professional athletes want to get down & funky with god they should revive the old American … okay – Mayan … rules. The winners get every the losers own, they get to steal everything they can grab from the people in the stands, and then to finish the Post Game Show they sacrifice the losing team to Xiuhtecuhtli.

    Until they do that they’re just a bunch of wusses.

  93. 93
    different-church-lady says:

    The most priceless thing about the comments in Hall’s article is the picture of Lie Bot from Achewood. Perfect match.

    Seriously, John, every time you post about Brooks just include a picture of Lie Bot. They really are one in the same.

  94. 94
    Roger Moore says:

    @darkmatter:
    And I’d love to hear a professional athlete credit Satan for forcing his opponent to make a critical mistake

  95. 95
    jl says:

    And of course, the ascent of every sports hero is a ‘straight shot’. Lin’s was a straight shot, except the little detail of bombing on another team and getting traded away.

    Surely, no black college QB ever had to switch to receiver because US sports writers are prejudiced in favor of black QBs. So, the black college QB says “Hell No!, I am an ambitious modern sports hero and my ascent will be straight shot’.

    Did Brooks even bother to read up on Lin? Or is he so inert or unconnected to reality, his trite little fanatisies becmoe reality as soon as he (or whoever tells him what to write) has an idea?

    Edit: since I live in Golden State Warriors territory, I had a hunch Lin might go on to do great things when they got rid of him. Funny how that happens.

  96. 96
    jl says:

    @Roger Moore: Try Pro Wrestling.

  97. 97
    Mark S. says:

    @Tom:

    I don’t think that’s what Bobo is saying at all. He sets up as opposites a “sports ethos” and a “religious ethos”, but the way he describes it sounds like every athlete is like Terrell Owens and every religious person is an ascetic monk. Almost everybody in the world falls in between those two extremes.

    He hardly thinks that Lin has found the happy medium because he writes “The odds are that Lin will never figure it out because the two moral universes are not reconcilable.” But his argument for why sports is irreconcilable to the religious life is utterly unconvincing. You can show good sportsmanship, be supportive of your teammates, etc. Billions of people do it all the time.

    Now if he wanted to argue that being an investment banker is irreconcilable to being a religious person, he might have a point. But Bobo would never argue that, because he worships money just like the douches on Wall St.

  98. 98
    Roger Moore says:

    @Tom:

    Brooks acknowledges that there are many people in sports who talk about their faith, praise Jesus and all that jazz, but while they point to the heavens they also act in an egotistical, bombastic way that runs contrary to what most religions teach.

    That’s still a BS argument. There are plenty of athletes who don’t go out of their way to praise Jesus or point to the sky every time they do something great. But if the hallmark of the truly religious is not to make a big show of their religion, you can’t tell which of those guys aren’t pointing at the sky because they’re nonbelivers and which aren’t because they’re showing exactly the kind of modesty Brooks is praising.

  99. 99
    Roger Moore says:

    @jl:

    Try Pro Wrestling.

    I said “sport”, not “freakshow”.

  100. 100
    Mark S. says:

    Were we all just a lot saner back in 1999 when Kurt Warner went from grocery clerk to Super Bowl QB praising Jesus all the way? I don’t remember all these bullshit columns like we have with Tebow and Lin. Is it just culture war all the time now?

  101. 101
    Suffern ACE says:

    If the Knicks or Nets had actually fielded decent teams in the past few years, you would not be foolishly drawn into a silly debate as to whether the ethos of sports and the ethos of religion are in conflict, and whether that conflict has been resolved in Jeremy Lin (who happens to be in
    New York). We’re just not used to winning out here, so anything that looks better than mediocre for more than two games in a row is the subject of pages of analyses. The front page of every paper has been Mr.Lin all week. And will be until the Yankees start playing. The news I guess is that the editorial board of the times wrote a glowing piece about Mr. Lin playing the game the way it ought to be played (I guess they mean “in a way in which the home team wins) and David Brooks felt compelled to second that emotion by making Mr. Lin into the hero of all modest people everywhere but didn’t know how.

    This is kind of like how blizzards in New York are elevated to the most important and weather events in the country, just because Brian Williams notices snow in his backyard.

  102. 102
    Kathleen says:

    @piratedan: An appliance with character and moral values.

  103. 103
    darkmatter says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    This is kind of like how blizzards in New York are elevated to the most important and weather events in the country, just because Brian Williams notices snow in his backyard.

    Now thats gotta burn.

  104. 104
    jl says:

    @Suffern ACE: You know, if Lin’s success is causing problems back there in NYC, like giving Brooks ideas for columns, I dunno, that sounds pretty bad to me.

    That kind of thing, plus world shattering blizzards, might be too much to handle.

    Maybe you NYC people should send Lin back out here to Oakland. We have earthquakes, we can handle anything.

    Probably work out better all around, you ask me.

  105. 105
    honus says:

    @gwangung: OK. Hines Ward is Korean. I guess that qualifies as Asian-American, no? Also, too, there are one or two Asian baseball players.

  106. 106
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kathleen:

    An appliance with character and moral values.

    Like a stand-up mixer?

  107. 107
    darkmatter says:

    @Tom: If Brooks actually wrote that, then it would be appropriate. However, Brooks couldn’t write his way out of wet paper bag. Hence his entire “writing career” is a disappointment of biblical proportions.

  108. 108
    different-church-lady says:

    @different-church-lady:

    The most priceless thing about the comments in Hall’s article is the picture of Lie Bot from Achewood. Perfect match.

    Wait, darnit… that’s not Lie Bot in the comments, that’s Vlad.

    But you know what? Screw it! You should still post a pic of Lie Bot every time you mention Brooks, because not only do they both make up ridiculous shit compulsively, but Lie Bot looks much more like Brooks than Vlad does.

  109. 109
    RossInDetroit says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Another characteristic of a lot of athletes: superstition. Think there’s a connection?

  110. 110
    Jibeaux says:

    Did he have his head bowed over the Applebee’s salad bar or something?

  111. 111
    honus says:

    @jl: The only sport so pure that you cannot place a wager on it.

  112. 112
    Elliecat says:

    @ReflectedSky:

    Having said that, reading comments here about him “throwing like a girl” and wishing bullies had beaten him more effectively make me even sadder.

    This. Except it pisses me off rather than making me sad.

  113. 113
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Mark S.: Yep. So a guy who is a journeyman player living on his brothers sofa because he doesn’t know where he’ll be in a week has one of the best darn two weeks ever, is on the front page of all the papers (not because he was caught doing something bad or sexy), no one has anything bad to say about him, apparently he isn’t a monster. And Brooks is concerned about what, exactly? That Mr. Lin will suffer from an inner torment?

    (But it’s a spiritual torment. Maybe cultural. Maybe representing something real big. But definitely not economic or material. So it’s basically o.k. to write about it.)

  114. 114
    OzoneR says:

    @jl: The Giants just won the Super Bowl…again, after beating a team from Boston…again. The city is on one of those temporary highs. It’ll stop as soon as the Knicks or Rangers collapse or the Mets start playing again- whichever happens first.

  115. 115
    SectarianSofa says:

    @Elliecat:

    Yes. I understand the exuberant piling on, but the ‘throwing like a girl’ thing, etc., needs to be retired, left to the likes of Foster Friess.

  116. 116
    moderateindy says:

    He has webbed toes, associates smells with colors

    yes, that happened to me once as well. I think it was right in the middle of A Jerry solo during Dark Star at a show at Alpine Valley in Wisconsin. I could also taste colors and see the music…………aah gooney birds where are you now when I really need reality altered?
    As far as Lin is concerned, I hope he continues his success, but people might temper anointing him the next superstar until he plays a couple teams that don’t suck. The teams that the knicks have been playing on the current win streak haven’t exactly been juggernauts. Still it is a cool story.

  117. 117
    moderateindy says:

    just a little more on Lin, because it might be a case that is illustrative of how seductive narrative is as compared to analysis. Unknown gets chance and lights it up is way more powerful and appealing than this………….This year because of the lock-out the NBA has a severely compressed schedule. Pretty much every team has had a lot of injuries. At this point of the season basically every player is nicked up and dragging ass. Lin comes in with fresh legs which makes him fractions of a second faster than his opponents. He’s also able to jump a little higher and get his feet under him more on jump shots. Guys aren’t guarding him as closely or with as much effort. If you take away those physical advantages is he still able to score as easily? If he had played the whole season would he be just as worn down as everyone else? Add to that the fact that he was playing against a lot of inferior teams without as much incentive to play hard and if his success doesn’t last it’s because it was based on a conflagration of various circumstances. As a sports analogy think of times when a running back comes in in the fourth quarter with fresh legs and his team down twenty. He make look like an all pro but there are underlying reasons.
    A political analogy is the 2010 mid terms. Does anyone think that people voted for Republicans because they agreed whole-heartedly with their policy ideas? The Repubs actually believe this. Why else do they keep pushing things like the Ryan Plan? They think most Americans believe in the same policies as the Republican party, even though survey after survey shows that a majority of Americans agree with the policy stances of the Dems.
    But they bought into the narrative about their ideas being favored, instead of understanding that people were just plain pissed and took it out on those they thought were in charge. Hopefully, ignoring the underlying circumstances that led to the Dems defeat will push the Repubs to continue to push agendas, like contraception, that will get them thrown back out of power.

  118. 118
    JR in WVa says:

    I admit I didn’t read the Brooksian sports column (thank FSM!) but I have read a lot of his columns when deprived of real reading material while waiting for the Dr. to see me now. I also see him on PBS news with Mark whats-his-name pretty often.

    Brooks has nothing to say that I (anyone?) need to know.

    Nothing!

  119. 119

    […] point guard position in fine detail. Charlie Pierce’s take down is vintage, but folks both here and many other places have had their way with the last-kid-picked-for-dodgeball poster child that […]

  120. 120
    Lex says:

    Apologies if someone already has mentioned this, but another dynamic at work here is that New York media are very New York-centric. If Lin played for the Celtics, Brooks likely never would have heard of him.

    Also, Brooks is from Canada, and you know what they say about THOSE people …

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