I feel like I failed you a little bit.
When this whole mess started last Tuesday I told myself I was going to stay objective and be above the fray and blah blah blah blah.
Then there was this seemingly-instantaneous tidal wave of hate — that, I admit, I attributed to — towards Thayer Evans that (somehow) ended with an effigy of him at the game last Saturday where you could pay to “stab” his likeness1 which is the most horrendous thing I’ve seen come out of all this (Artrell Woods Facebook page included!)
I want to point out a few of the fallacies Oklahoma State fans (again, including me!) have been falling back on and try to cut to the heart of the matter…
1. Thayer Evans’ distaste for OSU — and the mountain of evidence that he does, in fact, have a distaste for OSU lives in his column archive on FoxSports.com — means this story is false — This is the most ridiculous of all the arguments I’ve seen. Dude’s a hata therefore [allegation] must be false. Uh..no. It might play into why the investigation started to begin with — again, might — but it has zero to do with what happened.
Stop using this as your go-to argument. It’s silly and doesn’t warrant merit from anyone with a single bit of logic in their brain.
2. The use of the term “Chokie State” means that somebody has an axe to grind – As The Lost Ogle pointed out, none other than OSU alum Brett McMurphy used the exact same term in a column for CBS a few years ago and I’m pretty sure you can search for an OSU fan high and low who won’t find fault with him right now.
I think it’s kind of a silly term in general but just because you harp on a team’s failure to close doesn’t mean you hate said team. Go search @gottliebshow and “Texas A&M” on Twitter if you don’t believe me.
There’s a difference, to me, though in using the term in a column about a school and going up to Brandon Weeden after an OSU win and saying “when’s OSU going to choke, when are they going to pull a Poke Choke?” One is professional, if not a tad sophomoric, the other is nowhere near professional.
I have plenty of friends — diehards, even — who have used the term before and that, on its own, doesn’t mean they hate the Cowboys.
3. Thayer Evans looks slimy therefore what he reported must be false — Stop. Something is true or false only if it is proven to be true or false. As much as you (we) want to hate Thayer, let’s not stoop to the illogic of Sports Illustrated in trying to debunk what he reported.
4. [former player] is reneging on his original statement therefore what he originally said must be false — Have you guys never followed sports? If what somebody originally said gets even the slightest negative reaction from the public, he/she will backpedal faster than mid-90s Deion. Still want to hear those Aso Pogi tapes though.
5. The dudes who talk are drug users and very sweaty on camera therefore what they said must not be true — I do question what your motive is when it’s clear you can’t pay the A/C bill (William Bell!) but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re lying about what actually happened.
6. Sports Illustrated didn’t post right at 9 AM ET therefore what they wrote is false -- Really?
7. I like Mike Gundy and he wins a lot of games therefore none of this stuff is happening — This is just fanboy stuff. Have you forgotten about Penn State? I’m not comparing Oklahoma State’s program to what happened in Happy Valley but these are flawed people running large-scale organizations that have thousands of moving parts. Don’t be foolish about this.
8. Because [large amount] of star players are saying this is false, it must be false — Again, silliness. What about all the ones we haven’t heard from? What about Adarius Bowman and Justin Blackmon and Kendall Hunter and Keith Toston. Josh Fields himself said the allegations weren’t necessarily false just because he didn’t see stuff happen. We need to start admitting the same.
I’m sure there are more — dozens more, probably — but we don’t have time and these were the only ones I could dig up for now. Let’s stop dabbling in non-sequitors like these and start making more intelligent arguments (trust me, SI has provided plenty of low-hanging fruit).
The real takeaway from this series is that OSU won’t be punished by the NCAA unless the NCAA can somehow uncover the physical evidence Sports Illustrated failed to uncover. At this point, I’m not sure which organization is more incompetent, so…who knows?
The other takeaway is that there are real problems with college football and OSU is not immune to those. It is seemingly not an exceptional case (from what this series showed me) but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a better place for student-athletes — for as long as they’re still student-athletes and not actually semi-pro athletes, anyway.
- Where are we at in society?? ↩