There are two topics on the agenda for today; both have the potential to get me in trouble. If I were smart, I would delete the references from my clipboard and produce a space-filling “listicle” such as:
- Six Reasons the Phillies will Win the World Series – – or – –
- The Top Ten Punters of the Super Bowl Era
“Listicles” are useful; they created debate but not rancor and they are usually easy to compose. Not so with today’s agenda. So, let me begin in Madison, Wisconsin with the University of Wisconsin’s women’s volleyball team.
Let me set the stage here by quoting three paragraphs from a report about this matter from Outkick.com:
“The Wisconsin volleyball team has been engulfed by scandal ever since nude videos and images started circulating the web earlier in the week.
“In the videos and photos which Outkick will not share or link to, members of the team expose themselves in a sexually graphic manner. While portions of the footage are incredibly sexually graphic, there is no sex shown. Most of it involves women together posing and dancing around. Some of the footage was filmed in 2021 but it’s unclear if it was all filmed last year.
“It is also important to note the footage was not secretly captured. The women in the videos and photos are aware they are being filmed.”
The snarky thing to do here is to dismiss this matter with a flip reference to “Girls will be girls” and move on. But in this case the university police are investigating “multiple crimes” related to the release of this stuff on the Internet. Moreover, the Wisconsin Athletic Department has gone on record publicly in support of the women and condemning the release of these videos/images. In an obviously crafted comment decrying the release the Athletics Department concludes with this sentence:
“Our top priority is supporting our student-athletes and we are providing them with the appropriate services and resources.”
At this point, I have to call time out because if I don’t, I will have to call Bullsh*t! The women in this case are not victims; they never agreed to allow these materials to hit the Internet and it would be nonsense to suggest that they derive any sort of benefit from such a release. Nonetheless, if the reporting above is correct in saying that the women were aware that they were being filmed, then they are not victims here. They chose to “go on camera” doing whatever it was that they did; they obviously expected privacy but took the risk anyway that their privacy might be breached. This is simply a logical consequence of the choice that they made; it is an unfortunate consequence but there is no suggestion that someone forced, coerced or tricked these women into doing what they did.
I believe the proper current street argot here would be, “Suck it up, buttercup.”
One more thing here …
- Memo to Wisconsin Athletic Department: As you try to provide your student-athletes with appropriate services and resources, you might want to find someone who can counsel these women not to do something embarrassing when they know they are on camera.
- And since some of this footage has been around for at least a year, you might want to ask some of the coaches there if they knew about any of this before the stuff hit the Internet.
Moving on to Topic #2 today, I would like to suggest that Tom Brady give serious consideration to retiring today. Not at the end of the 2022 season; not during the Bucs’ BYE Week which starts on November 14; not after tomorrow night’s game against the Ravens on Thursday Night Football; I mean today. And I am not going anywhere near the nonsensical argument that Brady’s substandard play so far in 2022 is somehow “tarnishing his legacy”. That “reasoning” is patently nonsensical; even if the Bucs finish 2022 with a 5-12 record and will have been eliminated from the playoffs prior to Christmas Day, Tom Brady still has 9 Super Bowl appearances and 6 Super Bowl rings. That legacy does not change.
My suggestion is that retiring today gives him a chance – – not a certainty but a chance – – of saving his marriage and his family. I am assuming here that all the reporting about Brady and his wife both hiring divorce lawyers and a growing environment of estrangement building on the home front is accurate and that the thorn in the paw that gives rise to said discomfort is the fact that Brady retired and then unretired last winter.
Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen have been married for more than a decade and have two children together. [Aside: Brady has a third child from a previous relationship.] I know that I am projecting here, but I have to think that family relationships built over a period of more than a decade are more important than football games – – even Super Bowl football games. I know; that is easy for me to say since the chances that I might ever play in a Super Bowl game are the same as the chances that I might learn to levitate. Nevertheless, I have to believe I would choose a chance at “family preservation” if ever faced with a comparable situation.
Finally, the description of the antics engaged in by those Wisconsin volleyball players reminded me of a snarky remark made by author/poet, Dorothy Parker:
“If all these sweet young things were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………