RUSH: So yesterday, what I attempted to do — and I really need to do something here that I haven’t done. I need to print out some of the responses that Phil Mushnick’s column got. Phil Mushnick of the New York Post wrote a piece on Sunday. I need to tell you who Phil is, for those of you outside New York who have maybe not discovered him until recently. Phil Mushnick, I guess it would be fair to say, has a couple of frequent themes that he writes about, with different examples each theme.
One of his themes is the cultural decay taking place both on and off the field in sports and how the sports media never talks about it, never criticizes it — and, in effect, endorses it. It bothers him. It bothers him just like the cultural rot because of liberalism bothers us in areas outsides of sports. But he writes about it frequently, and he often pulls no punches, and he’s fearless. He is not afraid of what’s gonna be said about him after he does things.
I mean, he will write a piece ripping Robinson Cano and the Yankee broadcast team and the Yankees and Major League Baseball for paying a guy all that money to dog it if he doesn’t hit a home run. This guy routinely hits the ball and then stands at home plate watching, and turns a routine triple into an out at second base, turns a routine double into barely making it to first base before being thrown out ’cause the guy just doesn’t run the bases.
So he doesn’t execute the fundamentals, and Mushnick calls him on it. He calls the announcers on it. He said (summarized), “The announcers treat this guy as a great hero, a great guy. Because he could play baseball, he’s great guy. Because he earns a lot of money, he’s a great guy.” He gets into teams — the Jets, the Mets — for the way they rip off fans with personal seat licenses, and he’s always jabbing Roger Goodell for saying that PSLs are good investments. They’re no such thing.
You know, a PSL is having to buy a license for the right to buy season tickets. You know. They double-dip you. He continually writes about families being ignored. The best customers in baseball and football being ignored, season ticket holders, families. They get the schedule, they plan a summertime trip to New York to watch a Sunday afternoon game with the Mets and say whoever, the Cardinals.
Then ESPN comes along says, “We want the game, it’s at eight o’clock,” and the family has to cancel because it’s a school night. They can’t go to the game. They can’t afford a hotel. They can barely afford the game. So he writes in defense of the fans. He says baseball’s sold out to TV, and he laments all this stuff. He writes of when it used to not be this way. Same example’s given for football games that are “flexed” late in the season to Sunday night games on NBC, or games that don’t start at one or four o’clock but later and so forth.
He constantly does this. He’ll take note of every college football team that adds black to its uniform colors. He says black is a gang color and he says the teams are acknowledging the gang culture, and he points to the Detroit Lions. There’s no black in the Detroit Lions history. What are they doing with black jerseys, the third jersey, or black stripes? He says it’s an acknowledgement of gang culture, Crips and the Bloods. This is common, and he’s worried about it, and he’s worried nobody else comments on it.
He’s worried about the message that all of this is sending young people who idolize players and teams and so forth. One of the other themes he writes about is, “Okay, so an athlete is great on the field. That doesn’t mean that they’re great people,” and he’ll cite Lance Armstrong and how the media totally fawned over him, totally bought it all, and it turns out the truth is the opposite. Look, and he says same thing with A-Rod now.
The latest example of that was Adrian Peterson. Adrian Peterson learned that an “alleged son” of his was beaten to near death last Friday in South Dakota. But at the time, the kid hadn’t died. He was in the hospital on life support, and Peterson left Minneapolis and went to South Dakota to see his son, his “alleged son.” Some people are making the case he didn’t know for sure if it was his or not.
So Mushnick writes a piece that details all of the legal skirmishes and problems Peterson has had, and many of the other children he has a had out of wedlock, and he refers to the women who have given birth to Peterson’s kids as “baby mamas,” and he does so in a critical way. He thinks “baby mama” has become an accepted term which glorifies single parenthood which Mushnick thinks is bad for society and culture.
Here is how he wrote about that — and, by the way, the Drive-By sports media is livid at Mushnick for this, because they think it’s totally fine to write a glowing character piece of Adrian Peterson after his son was beaten and then died, and they think that Mushnick is terribly insensitive and totally, totally off the wall and out of bounds in writing about anything critical of Peterson because his kid died. “How do you that? Does it matter? His kid just died, Phil! What in the world are you doing?
“It proves that you’re in sensitive, that you’re an old man, that times have changed, the world has passed you by, and you’re a racist pig. What in the world you doing?” The reaction was much like that throughout all of the sportswriter community. Now, here is Peterson being written about by Mushnick in this baby mama fashion. “The suspect in the beating murder of PetersonÂ’s 2-year-old is the boyfriend of PetersonÂ’s ‘baby mama’ — now the casual, flippant, detestable and common buzz-phrase for absentee, wham-bam fatherhood.”
Well, obviously Phil doesn’t approve of absentee fatherhood, and he doesn’t approve of it being glorified, and he think baby mama is “detestable.” It is used in common parlance. “Oh, that’s my baby mama over there!” Even husbands refer to their wives as their “baby mamas,” and didn’t Michelle (My Belle), at the 2004 Democrat convention, come out and call Obama her “baby’s daddy”? “I want to introduce you to my baby’s daddy,” and Barack came out. Well, Phil finds all this stuff just…
I’m putting words in his mouth here, and I don’t mean to do that. As a reader of his stuff sometimes, I think he looks at this as a deterioration of cultural standards that he thinks used to be pretty good. So he wrote a piece, “Being a Great Player Doesn’t Make Peterson a Great Guy,” and he cited some of Peterson’s failings as such. “Thus it was unsurprising PetersonÂ’s downside went ignored. In 2009, he was busted for driving 109 mph in a 55 mph zone.
“He dismissed that as no big deal, which was doubly disturbing — his older, full brother was killed by a reckless driver. Last summer, Peterson was in a club when he and friends were informed that it was closing time, past 2 a.m. Apparently, Peterson and pals felt they would decide when it was time to close. The police report noted three cops were needed to subdue Peterson. He spent the rest of the night in jail, arrested for resisting arrest (a charge that was later dismissed),” and then, again, the passage on the “baby mama” business.
“The suspect in the beating murder of Peterson’s 2-year-old is the boyfriend of PetersonÂ’s ‘baby mama’ — now the casual, flippant, detestable and common buzz-phrase for absentee, wham-bam fatherhood. The accused, Joseph Patterson, previously was hit with domestic assault and abuse charges. With his resources, how could Peterson, the NFLÂ’s MVP, have allowed his son to remain in such an environment?” The answer to that is that it’s being reported Peterson didn’t know until recently that this was his son and he’d never met him.
So he has an out on that. “Did he not know, or not care? Or not care to know? Or not know to care? Peterson couldn’t have provided his son a better life, a longer life? Money can’t buy love, but having signed a $96 million deal, he could not have provided his child — apparently his second from a ‘baby mama’ — a safe home?” The concluding paragraph really set them out there in the Redskins Need to Change Their Name League.
“Maybe Peterson’s son is just one more stands-to-reason murder victim, just another child born to just another ‘baby mama,’ one more kid who never had a shot, anyway. Maybe, by now, even if we can’t accept it, we can expect it.” Well, again, I can’t tell you… I’ve got four different reactions here from large and small websites. “Phil Mushnick wrote the most expensive sports column in the history of the earth!”
“Phil Mushnick is a horrible person for his Adrian Peterson article!” “The New York Post column about Adrian Peterson is the worst!” “Phil Mushnick rips Adrian Peterson’s character in possibly worst column ever!” I would venture to say that every one of these people reacting, in Phil’s view, is probably… I don’t know him. I shouldn’t say “Phil.” I’ve played golf with him one time, and that’s long, long time ago. He’s not a friend. I don’t know him.
He’s an acquaintance at best. But I would think that these people are making his point, because they’re ripping him and coming to the defense of this, and are asking for sensitivity and, “My God do you have to say these kind of things right now?” and so forth. Phil’s point is, “Why are you guys building these guys up into characters and personalities that they aren’t, just because they’re successful athletes?” But that has been a standard of sports writing. That’s been a standard.
Even I, a noted political expert and wizard — even I, as a consumer reading the sports, watching the sports — see every star athlete is also one of the greatest human beings ever. Whatever the life story is. In fact, the harder the story, the greater the person, and they’ve all had hard lives. It kind of goes back to Keith Ablow’s piece yesterday describing Obama as considering himself a victim of everything.
So, anyway, since the Mushnick piece first ran, we have learned that there are five additional Adrian Peterson children. I don’t know that Phil has reacted to any of this. I don’t know if he’s written anything in response to it. Oh, it’s our old buddies here at TMZ. Let’s see, yesterday. He’s fathered seven kids, not five. They got a picture here of “Adrian Peterson Baby Mama.” The day’s not over yet. “Adrian Peterson Baby Mama.”
Our Adrian Peterson baby count was off by two,” they write at TMZ, “at least according to one of the NFL star’s baby mamas, who tells us AP [Adrian Peterson] has actually fathered SEVEN kids, not five. TMZ broke the story about baby #5 today, but Erica Syion — a former dancer who met AP in Houston a few years back — called in to ‘TMZ Live’ today to correct our math … and the numbers are pretty shocking. As for how good of a dad Adrian is, Erica says he dutifully pays his child support … but could definitely stand to spend more quality time with his children.”
RUSH: My friends, we have an update. We have breaking news. Well, it’s not breaking news. Have you noticed everything on Fox now is breaking news? Even at midnight. The story that ran at eight a.m. that day is breaking news. Have you noticed that? Anyway, we have an update, another column in the same vein as Phil Mushnick’s has been written by a woman named Susan Reimer at the Baltimore Sun, and the sportswriter community is outraged at her as well.
Her piece: “Where is the Outrage for Adrian Peterson’s Version of Parenthood?” That’s the title of the op-ed that she wrote. “Where is the outrage for an NFL player who apparently fathered five children,” it’s now seven, Susan, according to TMZ, “by four women, none of them he was married to?” It’s not just the sportswriter community, but the commenters, the people reading this in the Baltimore Sun are just calling her some of the worst names.
She’s a piece of excrement. She needs to get together with Mushnick and they need to nuke each other. I mean, it’s just hilarious. It’s hilarious.
RUSH: I’ll tell you, the utterly profane and obscene comments being posted the Baltimore Sun, the tweets about Susan Reimer’s piece about Adrian Peterson… They’re not all sportswriters. In fact, most of them are just tweeters, readers, average people. They’re not sports writers. Some of them may be, but the general population, certain segments of it, fit to be tied over what Phil Mushnick wrote and now Susan Reimer.
Okay, it’s Mort from Keokuk, not Dubuque. I got ’em confused. He said, “Rush in light of the Adrian Peterson baby mama realizations, there are other NFL players such as Antonio Cromartie, who…” Remember that? On an HBO episode of Hard Knocks he couldn’t name all eight of his children. So Mort says, “Look, this is an obvious program in the NFL and perhaps throughout the culture.
“So maybe the NFL, following Breast Cancer Awareness Month, could do Fatherhood Awareness Month in November, and would come up with a color that every player on every team wears. It could be light blue, whatever color you would associate with fatherhood, and then have the symbol not be a colored felon, but a punctured or broken condom. You’d actually have that logo made of a broken condom, and you have it sewn on the jerseys, complete with the color.
“Then we’re tackling the problem the way our society does: We go at it in a purely symbolic way.” He said, “Rush, it’s waiting to happen. It’s ideal for you to make reality.” Now, Mort says he doesn’t mind my mentioning his name. It’s his e-mail. But we’re interested in helping. It may be time for this. It may be time for this. I mean, obviously this is happening, and we can continue reporting the stories, and everybody can feel bad, feel sorry and, “Oh, my God, how could this be happening?”
But what’s needed now is action.
We could get any number of people as spokesmen for this. But you may not even need that. Fatherhood Awareness Month, every November. Think of the attention you could get in the Thanksgiving Day games. There are massive audiences on the Thanksgiving Day games. So I just wanted to put the idea out there for the NFL, ’cause we’re trying to help — and coming on the heels of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s a natural.
Fatherhood Awareness Month in the NFL! I’ll bet the NBA might be into it, and maybe Major League Baseball. (interruption) Who? Somebody just told me in the NBA there’s somebody with 11 kids? He’s retired. All right. He has 11 baby mamas. Okay. Clearly something needs to be done here, clearly. Consciousness raising, awareness needs to take place, and they’re showing us the way with Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the NFL.
RUSH: So Mr. Snerdley, it has been suggested to me an alternate symbol for Fatherhood Awareness Month, and that would be a ribbon made out of child support checks. A ribbon made out of child support checks in the shape of the dollar bill (we had a deficit-reduction ribbon we did with a dollar bill), instead of using a punctured or used or broken condom. The only problem, folks, I have with a ribbon made out of child support checks is there’s no doubt a shortage of those.
So you’d have to create some fake ones, symbol. We’re just trying to help here.
Fatherhood Awareness Month in November the NFL, right on the heels of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
RUSH: We could use bounced child support checks if we run out of child support checks. There might be more of those.