Yesterday’s rant from Damon Bruce has been picked up by several outlets, including Awful Announcing, Deadspin, SFGate, NBC Bay Area, Mediaite, The Mercury News and SB Nation. For those who missed Damon Bruce’s opening segment today where he responded to the “outrage du jour,” as he termed it, I transcribed it in full:
I’m a big boy. I made my bed, we’ll lay in it here.
(Spends a couple minutes tipping his cap to Stanford’s football team before mentioning today’s guests.)
… and also my mom with her NFL picks. And she’s going to tell you, I’m not the misogynist Deadspin or Awful Announcing told you I was.
So, we live in an over-reactionary culture. And you know what? I’m sure part of that overreaction was mine.
Let me begin with a nobody-asked-me-for-it, not my program director, not one person … let me begin with an apology. The point that I was trying to make yesterday went astray when the focus became women. Women was not the point I was trying to make. It was the feminization of the way we now talk about and cover sports. And that applies to a lot of the guys that do it. I did get off track with the whole women … ladies, I love you. If you think differently, you’re out of your minds.
I mean, seriously. Calling me a misogynist is a completely ridiculous thing. Now I even said, “Some people will call me a misogynist for saying this,” and then I went on to say what I said. Here’s what I mean. I guess I need to have a “here’s what I mean” segment” following up to yesterday’s now formed into outrage du jour.
It is amazing that people want everybody fired the minute … it’s not just enough to turn the station or not listen to me. You must have me fired. “Damon, I’ve never heard you before but you got to go.” I’ve been getting that text all morning long.
Let me get back to the point that I’m trying to make. And I probably did a poor job at it yesterday. I think I’m going to do a better job at it today.
Sports is … let me start over. Let me start over. If sports were a newborn baby. If professional sports and major college sports were a newborn baby coming back from the hospital, would that baby be a boy or a girl? There are an awful lot more gender influences of male in the world of sports than there are female. And the reason why is because the sport of football is like, literally a men’s only club. Now, softball’s close enough to baseball where there’s a lot of co-mingling there. There’s not a lot of coed football teams at any level.
And one of the things that it seems a lot of people who cover football … with the way that math is now involved in everything we do, sabermetrics have invited a level of intellectual into the sporting arena like there’s never been before. This isn’t just like land of meatheads anymore. Nor should it be. I’m not calling for a return to that.
But understand that there will be things here that you don’t like. You say you want transparency. You say you want transparency, but then there’s column after column of things we don’t like, and this has got to stop immediately, and we need swift policy changes for everything involved because I don’t like this one thing that I wasn’t supposed to see in the first place.
Intimidation is a part of football. You can’t remove intimidation from football any more than you can remove gravity from skydiving. It’s part of it. James Harrison. “Hard Knocks” this last time around, intimidated everybody he could. Cameramen, teammates, coaches, locker room, on the field, off the field, everybody. Some guys are like that.
When it comes to the whole who’s right, who’s wrong in the Dolphins locker room, and clearly that is a dysfunctional franchise. Everybody wants to focus on General Manager Jeff Ireland. General Manager Jeff Ireland was quoted to Jonathan Martin’s agent, who called him to complain about Richie Incognito, saying, “Well, why didn’t he just hit him?”
And “OH MY GOD, DID THE GM ACTUALLY TELL THE …”
And everyone’s reacting to that. And while the whole world is sitting around, again, fascinated by shapes and colors, I’m looking for angles. And here’s what I hear: listen to how ingrained the machismo culture is in the NFL. A guy who literally builds the team talking to a player’s representative in an actual we’re-having-a-business-conversation, without even batting an eye, without even thinking a thought or hesitating to say … said, “Well, why don’t you just punch the guy?” Because that’s how common it is.
Now let’s say Jonathan Martin hauled off and whaled on Richie Incognito day one. Does that mean it all ends right there? Here’s the thing: we’ll never know. We will never know where this would’ve ended if Jonathan Martin, and I do believe this is part of it — I’m not coming off of this point. Jonathan Martin did a terrible job standing up for himself.
My point is, and I totally lost the point when I was trying to say this is a women issue. But if you have been sensitized with overt political correctness being jammed down your throat over the last few years. If you are in the world of sports to have a violent, visceral almost disgusted reaction to everything that happens that you might not like, get out of the kitchen, it’s too hot in here for you. And I’m not saying that to ladies, I’m saying that to everybody.
Don’t like sports? The amount of people who cover sports who don’t even like sports is through the roof. And I’m saying, go cover something else if you don’t like this. We told you, or maybe we didn’t tell you. I did yesterday and I was then labeled a bad guy across the internet. I’m telling you again, the first rule of fight club is we don’t talk about fight club. You demand transparency and then complain about what you see. You’re not going to like everything you see. The world of sports is not all of the sudden going to start changing its rules every time you’re offended by something, or every time somebody has a tear run down their cheek, or every time somebody has emotional distress. We’re not changing anything.
Look, the Miami Dolphins are going to go through a coaching change, a front office change, it’s going to be hell or high water over there. Everything is going to be flipped on its head. And if you think for a second that now every single NFL locker room is going to change because of that, you’re crazy. If you think Bountygate has eliminated the notion of Bountygate in the NFL, you’re crazy. They’re just not talking about it anymore. You’re crazy.
This is a sport played by not nice guys. Period. There is a reason why, more than any other sport, sirens follow success in football. All the time. There is a different breed of cat playing this game. The guy who plays football for a living wasn’t almost a baseball player. They’re two totally different human beings. Two totally different wirings.
I now watch people who cover hockey for a living have to stop and write a “hockey should be banned” every single time, or “fighting should be banned in hockey” every single time everybody drops the gloves. Fighting should be banned, fighting should be banned, fighting should be banned … hey, shut up, brand new, just-got-here blogger! Shut up! Fighting’s in hockey because that’s where it needs to be. Because of these guys didn’t fight a little, they’d be swinging hockey sticks double axe handle style all over each other.
I’m tired of reading how sports are now too rough for everybody. Jonathan Martin could’ve done a much better job. Richie Incognito could’ve done a much better job. The Miami Dolphins should not be used as the example of how to handle things like this because they totally blew it. They totally blew it. Now let’s not us blow it by saying, “Oh my God. These guys who play football, some of them are not nice guys.” Yeah, thank you very much for the news flash. Really? Thank you. I appreciate that.
What’s amazing is yesterday, you know, I did say a lot of women make great contributions to sports and I even named one, Wendy Thurm, and she’s the one who started transcribing and sending it out to anyone who’d catch outrage du jour more than anyone. And I said I’m a big fan of her work. Again, if you’re the type of person who hears something they don’t like and your instinct is, “I need to start transcribing this,” and you don’t just change the channel, I can’t relate to that. I can’t even relate to that, I don’t want to relate to that. If you, to get through your day, need to define me as a misogynist and just leave it at that based on one segment you probably didn’t even listen to, you go right ahead. No skin off my back. I’ll be over here talking about sports with the grownups. And that’s how it will maintain.
(Break for the “Nooner” segment)
The whole point I am making is that everybody who gets offended by something has to make a federal case out of it. So in a way you helped me make my point, and I’m tired of it. Everybody grow up a little bit. Everybody be prepared to hear a thing or two in life that, oh, you don’t 100% agree with? Well, if only you had a vote with your finger on your radio … Everybody loves to complain, everybody loves the things that they hate. And there are a lot of people loving me today.