Braun Over Brains
One piece of Wepfer Wisdom I pass down to my students is cynical and self-indulgent, but today it has been reinforced as containing at least a sliver of truth.
Are you ready? OK, here goes:
Yes, I understand that many don’t really care to read when there are videos and commentaries posted in formats in which the premises and conclusions arrive much more efficiently. However, reading and writing are marital partners, they are communication’s yin and yang. One cannot read well if he or she cannot write well and vice versa (I stole that part from a professor). With that said, cultivating one’s own ability to read, to write, and, by extension, to speak can work wonders for pseudo intelligence. Even if you aren’t an expert on a subject, if you throw in enough four-syllable adjectives, a large enough continent of readers/viewers will deem your intelligence to be adequate for their attention.
I could expand on this, but I won’t. What I want to get at is how perception can trick reality. So Ryan Braun is guilty. He has passively accepted his guilt by receiving the suspension without appeal. Remember his press conference, though? He sure had me fooled. He even alleged, albeit through the backdoor, that Dino Laurenzi tampered with his sample. Full disclosure: I know who he is, and have been enrolled at the same grade/high schools as his son/daughters. It was extremely tough to believe Braun after learning the identity. As a Braun fan, I wanted desperately to believe him, too. But going back to the press conference, it all harkens back to his dense, convincing use of language.
Despite of the fact that there have been many inaccurate, erroneous, and completely fabricated stories regarding this issue, I have maintained the integrity of the confidentiality of the process…We’re a part of a process where you’re 100 percent guilty until proven innocent, it’s the opposite of the American judicial system and this is not an innocent-until-proven-guilty situation, so if we’re held to that standard, it’s only fair that everybody else is held to that exact same standard.
Read that statement, and then watch the clip. They are equally impressive considering that (often) athletes do not possess the faculty to impress the fans, sports writers, and the general public all while avoiding professional sports’ banal, innocuous lexicon. (“We just put forth a great team effort. These guys are just a great group of guys, and I couldn’t do it alone” –anyone in a team sport) He used enough syllables, spoke with enough conviction that he won back a portion of his fans despite getting off on a technicality.
Politicians work the same way. They are media puppeteers using creative jargon to manipulate the masses for personal benefit. But let’s face it: the evidence strongly indicates that Ryan Braun is a cheater. I guess I don’t care that much. I’m sure he can still be a solid player, and I won’t blacklist him from my shirsey-wearing repertoire. It looks like Braun certainly wasn’t thinking by hooking up with folks at the Biogenesis lab (there’s a pun in that last sentence somewhere I think). I do hope, though, in the aftermath that Mr. Laurenzi gets a sincere apology. I think it will come down to Braun having large enough post-PED balls to do so.
P.S. Training camp opens this week and my mind will be committed elsewhere. This will all blow over, and I’ll be prepping my fantasy league draft. GO PACK GO!