These professors today just keep letting us down!


Is Richard Sherman a thug: Is Richard Sherman a thug?

We’re the wrong people to ask. As far as we know, we’ve never called anyone a thug. And if we were going to start, we certainly wouldn’t start with Sherman, a former Pacific-10 great.

We support all former Pacific-10 greats around here, especially those from Stanford. Not to brag, but we took an official recruiting trip to The Farm at one time ourselves.

This is the game we officially saw. We even sat in the card section holding up cards. If Richard Sherman is a thug, that basically makes us one too.

We have Sherman’s back around here, except perhaps in an overreaction contest. That said, our hearts were broken by another professor last night.

For us, it’s a process which started in the fall of 1965, one year after that Southern Cal game. We refer to those disappointing lectures in our Phil 3 class, “Problems in Philosophy.”

“Who are these problems problems for,” we found ourselves incomparably wondering. To this day, no one has ever been able to tell us!

Last night, it was Professor Cobb who let us down—again! He joined Chris Hayes for some talking points. We felt this just had to be wrong:
HAYES (1/23/14): Joining me now is Jelani Cobb, associate professor of history and director of the Institute for African-American Studies at the University of Connecticut. This is something—that word has just driven me crazy when directed at black men for a long time and I`m really coming out saying what is true.

COBB: It’s interesting because you didn’t hear people call Richie Incognito a thug. If a behavior that was much closer to that—

HAYES: Richie Incognito was an offensive lineman for the Miami Dolphins, a big guy, accused of bullying another teammate.

COBB: So that behavior is much closer to the dictionary definition of a thug than you would get a bit of rant trash talking after a game, a really intensely fought game.
As you may have noticed, the suits have told Chris to discuss his feelings more—or perhaps to make a few up.

That process has been clear for some time. Last night, though, it was the professor who gave us that old sinking feeling.

“You didn’t hear people call Incognito a thug?” Mostly, we’d say they called him a bully and a racist. But we felt fairly sure that the professor’s statement had to be wrong.

We anguished in the garden a while, experiencing flashbacks and extreme cold. Back in 1965, you see, our teaching assistant wouldn’t accept our answer to one of the “problems” we were studying.

This is what the “problem” was:

“How do you know that 7 plus 5 equals 12?”

No, really. That was the problem!

How did we know that 7 plus 5 equaled 12? We fashioned a straight-talking answer: Miss Cummings told us, in second grade! It happened at the now-defunct Mystic School, just a few miles away!

Our pal, little Charlotte Dennett, was present when Miss Cummings did that! Her brother is Daniel Dennett!

Sorry. This is what our teaching assistant rather archly replied:

“No, no, students. You don’t understand my question. How do you know that 7 plus 5 equals 12?”

Same answer, we thoughtfully grumbled. This time, though, we knew we had to keep our thoughts to ourselves.

Let's summarize. Some people want to make the world a bit more complex than it actually is. Others, like Professor Cobb, may try to make it simpler.

Last night, after our Gethsemane, we fired up the Nexis. And the professor was wrong, just so wrong! Two major stars had called Richie a thug just in the Washington Post!
Sally Jenkins, 11/5/13: The thug named Richie Incognito needs to be out of the NFL for a long time, maybe even permanently.

Thomas Boswell, 11/7/13: The NFL is the league of thug bullies such as suspended Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito...
Boswell even dropped a “thug bully!” Do not call our Pac-10 folk that.

For us, this started a long time ago. You want to believe these professors today, but they just keep letting you down.


  1. Do I ever agree:

    January 22, 2014

    Seahawks’ Richard Sherman, Like Cornerbacks Before Him, Plays Man-to-Man and Goes Toe to Toe

    SEATTLE — I spent three seasons of my college football career at Morgan State University backpedaling.

    1. Did you see this article?

      I'll bet that if the roles were reversed, Sherman would be helping a rookie to be ready for competition and Incognito would be showing poor sportsmanship. Personally, I think both players are assholes.

  2. OMB ( A Meteorite Hit our Ship and Sent it Spinning)

    Oh those damn professors who let us down, unless they fill a niche in the need for meme.

    "Michael Cassidy, a University of California-Berkeley engineering professor who occasionally works with the California Department of Transportation, told The Associated Press that the preliminary study appears to be a legitimate internal report of the sort transportation officials often circulate among themselves.

    "It could well be a good-faith effort, if not the finest in the annals. I cannot say this is not a study," he said. "You wouldn't want to publish it in an academic journal.”"

    We, of course, love those rare professors who allow us to write several more posts about possible studies even in the face of testimony of three relevant officials that there was no study of any legitimate type they would recognize by such a name.

    That is why it is possible to say that while we know that 5 + 7 = 12,
    we just don't know that it might not and thus 13 cannot be ruled out and should be covered by all conscientious accurate reporters covering addition. Or for that matter 11.


  3. The Enlightenment was in large part a battle over how we know things. Science won, so you can now take the question as irrelevant.

  4. Well, this disproves nothing. Certainly when Richie Incognito was called a Thug, a black man was conjured in the minds of the two major stars who uttered that racial slur.

  5. It's hard to believe that the guy who co-wrote "Hushabye Mountain" could be called a thug. Surely there must be some mistake.

  6. The children of the One True Channel keep having these black professors on as guests or hosts. Too bad they don't care about Bob's childhood experiences.