Category Archives: This Is Not Fake News(!)

The briefest of updates

Hello. I’m Jonathan Tu. You might remember me from such blogs as 82 Sluggo Win, and Yertle, the Recruiting Turtle!

I actually can’t go on with this Troy McClure impression. Too many painful memories. Anyway: updates.

Signing Day is over and done with. USC was not number one, nor even 1.5, nor even top three. In years past this would have caused me to detonate myself and several tons of roofing nails in Westwood, but I am eerily calm right now. So calm I can even spellcheck “eerily” and not be horribly angry at such an awkwardly spelled word. Has it been the relatively disappointing past few seasons – i.e., “Fuck! Another BCS win? Audible sigh.” – or the merely excellent (as opposed to unfairly superior, on the level of map hackers in StarCraft or word generating tumescence suckers in Scrabulous) 2008 recruiting class that’s left me unmoved? I’m not sure. I did just complete that whole grand tour of college football, so it’s not for lack of interest.

I think this is a healthy step for me. I’m on a path towards normalcy, which should be a good enough excuse to get past security at LAX so I can fly directly to Tallahassee and thank T.J. Bryant in person for signing with Pete Carroll, grounding order be damned.

I am back in Santa Barbara living the dream: minutes away from a beach I never visit, working a semi-part-time job where I’m not even cooking yet, residing in a garage in a corner somewhat distanced from three hockey bags full of hockey gear, sucking at beer pong and generally being glad I am not crammed sleeping bag-first into the driver’s side of a ’96 Maxima in, oh, let’s say Ohio. I cannot begin to stress how nice it is not having to pretend my alarm clock doesn’t sound exactly like two cops tapping my windshield at 7:12 a.m. in a strip mall in Virginia.

I am also still writing. This is agonizing. If I could channel the angst, despair and frustration of the process into the actual process, I would have a romansbildung the size of Mike Stoops’ forehead vein and the best college football/existential diptych ever written. As it is I have a slowly growing manuscript and a hellish, apostatically barren white screen whose dread glow reminds me that Borges was right: “Mirrors and copulation [and Microsoft Office] are abominable, for they multiply the number of mankind.” Borges was also right when he said that Nick Saban is the terrible black maw of The Beast, and the latest recruiting rankings bear this out.

Bear this out. Bear Bryant? Nevermind. I suck.

Apparently, I am in contention for best National Blog in the second annual College Football Blogger Awards. I’m not going to win, but it was nice having this site’s view count boosted to a whole 200 views per day instead of the steady 36 I’ve been receiving for almost a year now. This, and the Google searches for “kirk herbstreit wife cheating” my readers seem to be following, proves that none of the time I spent churning out elaborate Herbie infidelity jokes was wasted.

And, finally: congratulations to LSU. Now please stop emailing me. It’s been four years since the split title and I am still getting poorly typed missives threatening me over the AP trophy. Me? Me.

STOP. CEASE. ENJOY YOUR CRAWFISH ETOUFFE AND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. The same goes for the Georgia fans who can’t seem to grasp that Mark Richt loves ass. Get out there and live!


Filed under This Is Not Fake News(!)

Arian (sic) brotherhoods and baby seals and angels, oh my!

From today’s Daily Trojan

Junior linebacker Clay Matthews created the Facebook group, “White Nation,” which featured a graphic with the caption, “arrest black babies before they become criminals.”

Teammates David Buehler, Brian Cushing, Dan Deckas and Dallas Sartz joined the group.

“This group is not for the faint of heart,” read the group’s description. “All members are athletes of Caucasion (sic) descent. DISCLAIMER: In no way are the following memebers (sic) intolerant of others, we are just doing our duty of protecting the Arian (sic) brotherhood.”

An athletic department source who wished to remain anonymous said the group was a joke and had no serious purpose.

Before I espouse on the lunacy of creating a Facebook group calling itself “White Nation” when you have Sedrick Ellis on your team…

Sed enjoys playing Xbox 360, listening to music, hanging with friends and wrestling polar bears.

… let me first point out what Ellis himself had to say.

Football player Sedrick Ellis sent [Stefanie] Gopaul [the USC student who initiated the response to Matthews’ group] a message explaining that “White Nation” is an inside joke on the team and that Matthews is not racist.

OK. Fair enough. Someone needs to tell the anonymous sources at Heritage Hall to go over their statements with a red marker, though.

A source from the athletic department said Matthew’s apology said he was sorry, and that the group was not serious and had no racist intent. He also said his roommate and best friend are black and said that it was poor judgment on his part to create the group.

Aside from the awkward construction of the first sentence (“a source… said Matthew’s apology said he was sorry”?), there’s a whole lotta awkwardness in the second sentence. I suppose it needed to be said, but as it is the statement sounds like a really bad joke/attempt at PC equivocation/PR blunder so horrendous it demands you shoot those responsible in the face.

Then there’s the confusing matter of this…

When Matthews left the “White Nation” Facebook group, he gave up his ability to delete the group; an administrator must manually remove each member to delete the group.

Matthew James Hodgson, a senior from Occidental College, now runs the group and said he plans on using the group to educate people about the ignorance of racism.

“(My friends and I joined) because we did not agree with the white supremacist sentiment of the group,” Hodgson said. “We wanted to make the other people feel uncomfortable. I assumed control of the group with the intention to continue this process and make it known that this kind of group is unacceptable.”

The membership includes three Occidental students and five other members from regional or high school networks nationwide. No USC students remain in the group.

The DT does nay enlighten: is Hodgson now running the initial White Nation group or the “Clay Matthews (USC football player) expresses anti-black sentiment” group Gopaul created in response to Matthews’ boneheaded attempt at social networking? If it’s the former, how does that “educate people about the ignorance of racism”? And if it’s the latter, how does that educate people about the ignorance of racism? Seems to me that the creation of a group called “Clay Matthews (USC football player) expresses anti-black sentiment” isn’t about racial awareness, it’s about fucking with a guy named Clay Matthews. Since Gopaul discovered the group through her Facebook friendship with Dallas Sartz and Brian Cushing, and they were members of the group, why not call it “Clay Matthews, Dallas Sartz, Brian Cushing, the kicker and some walk-on express anti-black sentiment”?

You want my opinion on this whole thing? No? Too bad, because here it comes:


We all engage in racial humor, especially amongst our friends. If you don’t you really should try it. There’s nothing funnier than a joke that makes you feel guilty. I don’t want to hear some punchline about puppies or blueberry pies. I want to hear the best Asian, Mexican, black and white jokes you can muster, and then I want to counter that joke with its racial opposite, and then we can hug in the bathing afterglow of relative racial equality through vicious but fairly distributed pejoratives. And then we bring it the scatology.

And then we create a group called “White Nation is a monstrously stupid group to have around, plus it kills baby seals. Beat Notre Dame! Woo!”, celebrating the move with an impromptu party with a shot luge. I bet that would’ve made Matthews feel stupid because, hey, who wants dead baby seals? And everybody can support beating Notre Dame and wooing and drinking hard alcohol via an elaborate ice sculpture.

And let’s not lose focus: Matthews is stupid because…

  1. He did create a group called White Nation whose “purpose” was to protect “the Arian (sic) brotherhood” and, if circumstances allowed, “arrest black babies before they become criminals”. That’s not only stupid, it’s not actually funny. Then again, most inside jokes aren’t very funny. Potato!
  2. As a USC linebacker in a decent position on the depth charts, he actually is pretty high profile as Facebook profiles go.
  3. Facebook is pretty high profile as social networking sites go.
  4. He clearly should’ve created a Facebook group called “Stefanie Gopaul (USC freshman majoring in psychology) expresses anti-Clay Matthews sentiment” and everyone would have laughed, including some babies, and then maybe an angel would’ve gotten its wings.

So thanks, Clay Matthews. You just denied some poor cherub his method of transportation.

And, finally, let’s allow Ms. Gopaul to orchestrate the coda…

“I really do believe that it was a joke,” Gopaul said. “Racial tension is already here at ‘SC, and a lot of people were upset that he wasn’t punished. I was never out to punish him, but a lot of students who saw the group wanted that.”

Well, good thing you didn’t create a group called “Clay Matthews (USC football player) expresses anti-black sentiment”. Because then I’d think you were trying to draw punitive attention towards Clay Matthews (USC football player). And besides: isn’t being forced to attend school with psychology majors punishment enough?


Filed under This Is Not Fake News(!), USC

Garrett to Booty: “Don’t ever lose a game here” at USC?!

Larry Brown Sports had the original story. Scott Olin Schmidt of USC’s Fanhouse brought it home. And Orson rightly mocked it.

To wit: Josh David Booty, the older brother of USC quarterback John David Booty, was guest-hosting a radio show when the subject of the 2006 Rose Bowl loss to Texas and The Owner Of My Immortal Soul came up. Josh eventually segued into this heart warming story…

It [the loss] took a lot of pressure off JD for this year because he didn’t have that long streak and there’s a lot of things that go along with that. But [Athletic Director Mike] Garrett came into the locker room after the game and looked at JD and said ‘We don’t lose football games here at ‘SC.’ And he looked right at JD and said ‘Don’t ever lose a game here.’ That was a tough one for JD to swallow, I know that.

It might’ve been tough for John David to swallow because USC went 32-8-1 during Garrett’s tenure from 1962-1965. Or 36-13-2 if Garrett redshirted in 1961. I’m not even sure if Garrett played during the era when freshmen weren’t allowed to participate in varsity football. Either way, he was definitely a key part of at least three squads that each left a ghastly three games per season un-won. Plus Garrett’s only got a pathetic one national championship ring to Booty’s admittedly measly two. Talk about hypocritical!

Seriously, though, if this is true – and that’s a big if, as this is an anecdote spun on some random radio show by the brother of USC’s current quarterback – then I’m betting it surprises no one who’s followed USC football for the past decade and a half or so. Sure, it’s possible Garrett meant this as an endearingly gruff sort of “tough love” for Booty, who was Matt Leinart’s backup during the 2005 season. You know: “Hah, that kinda sucked. Losing sucks. We’re really good at winning, so, like, maybe don’t lose. That’d be cool, huh? Here, let me buy you a soda,” but with much more asshole-factor.

It’s more likely that there was no asshole-factor, however, because “factor” implies some kind of ancillary relationship. For instance, the sun being a sun is not a factor in its being hot. It is hot because it is the sun. It’s a core-thing, just like many once thought (and many probably still think) that Mike Garrett is, at his core, an asshole. Or thug. Or arrogant. Or callous. Or “not a people person the way Stalin was not a people person”. I’m trying to rack my brain here for all the terms used by my high school German teacher when describing Garrett back in ’01 or ’00. (Seriously. She was kinda vicious.)

I don’t know enough about Garrett to decide one way or the other. I’ve never pretended to be high up in the ranks, so I’ve never had to fake a glad-handing story, and definitely not one involving Garrett. I know that pretty much all the praise of Garrett has been recent, and that none of it would have existed had he not hired Carroll, and that the hiring of Carroll cannot be attributed to anyone but the One God of College Football, and His will is unknowable. I like Mike Riley and Dennis Erickson, but they don’t force me to scour the countryside every third Tuesday for virgins suitable for sacrifice, and they were way ahead of Carroll on everyone’s coaching list back in 2001. So as far as I’m concerned Garrett is a factor in the Pete Carroll Age, and he is most definitely ancillary. But thug? Stalin? I’m not sure of those things.

I do know this, though: if Josh David Booty’s anecdote is true, then damn, Mike Garrett’s kind of a dick.


Filed under Fake news, This Is Not Fake News(!), USC