Political Correctness Has Gone Too Far

Following the New England Patriots’ complete destruction of the Buffalo Bills’ defense, we learned two things: Andrea Kremer would totally go out with Tom Brady, and the Patriots are offensive (pun!!1!) simply by taking the field and playing the game they’re paid to play.

It wasn’t the first time the Patriots have beaten an opponent as severely as they beat the Bills, and, not surprisingly, it wasn’t the first time they’ve been accused of “running up the score.”

24, 24, 31, 21, 17, 21, 45, 4, and 46. Those are the Patriots’ margins of victory in their ten games this season. That’s an average margin of victory of  over 23 points.

The latest wails of “running up the score” came after the Patriots twice went for the touchdown on fourth down instead of settling for a field goal in the Bills game. The oft-cited “unwritten rules” were brought up, that it is unethical to go for it on fourth down if you’re enjoying a comfortable lead.

This rule applies to almost any team sport, especially baseball, where, if you’re up by about 8 runs or so, it becomes unethical to steal bases, bunt, bring in your better pitchers, and try trick plays.

It’s just an example of how no one can be offended anymore in this country. On this blog, as well as in many other venues, I’ve made what some consider extremely liberal claims (e.g. drugs should be legalized), but one liberal issue I completely abhor is political correctness. It’s often hypocritical and almost always an infringement on First Amendment rights. The Patriots didn’t even speak — they simply played a game well.

Here’s a list of people you can’t offend in this country:

  • Homosexuals
  • Bisexuals
  • Transgenders
  • Christians
  • Jews
  • African-Americans
  • Women
  • Anyone who knows anyone who knows anyone who is in the armed forces
  • The Bush administration, and the government in general
  • The disabled (note: not referring to the Bush administration)
  • People who are squeamish when it comes to violence or “foul”  language
  • NEW: Bad sports teams, or otherwise good teams simply getting demolished

It’s politically correct to not run up the score. It’s politically correct to not brag and to modestly acknowledge your success.

It’s politically incorrect to humorously reference a movie about homosexuality — still a fine source of humor for many in the comedy industry — and analogize it to basketball, as Phil Jackson did.

Back to the Patriots — what did the P.C. people want Belichick to do instead? Kick a field goal and tack on more points? At least if he goes for it on fourth down, he gives the Bills defense a chance to step it up and prevent them from scoring any points. At that point, with the Patriots leading as emphatically as they were, the difference between a touchdown and a field goal (four points) was moot anyway.

Isn’t it more insulting to “play down” to your opponent after you get out to a sizable lead? It says, at least to me, “I’m so good, I don’t even need to try hard to beat you. I can take out all of our best players and play second- and third-stringers.”

Don’t want the Patriots to run up the score? Keep them out of the end zone.  That was the response Leon Grant of the Seattle Seahawks gave to reporters when asked about Chad Johnson’s touchdown celebrations (another thing you’re not allowed to do when the P.C. police are around):

 And though none of the Seahawks wants to witness one of Johnson’s elaborate celebrations, they are more concerned with the reason it would occur rather than the act itself.

“My mentality is that if you don’t want a guy to do all of that on you, just keep him out of the end zone,” Grant said.

The Patriots will continue to win by at least three touchdowns, and will kick sand in the face of their opponents as they go for the fourth on fourth down.

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  1. josh q public

    November 21, 2007 10:09 AM

    Nice write up. I gues I’ll never understand how playing hard for an entire game is classless. These are grown men doing what they are paid to do. This isn’t tee ball. This isn’t pop warner. This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco
    this ain’t no fooling around.

  2. John Brattain

    November 21, 2007 10:11 AM

    One of the tie-breakers used in deciding who makes it into the playoffs and how seeding is done is points for and against. If NFL coaches have a problem with teams running up the score then they should change this rule.

    One day a team is going to miss the playoffs when one of two 10-6 teams are out of the post season due to it being settled by this particular tie-breaker. One may go home simply because of their trying to be ‘sportsmanlinke.’

    As long as it is a factor in making the playoffs, teams should put as many points on the board as possible. It can mean the difference between playing in January or staying home or who gets homefield throughout the postseason.

    Best Regards


  3. Bill Baer

    November 21, 2007 10:33 AM

    Josh, thanks. Right, these are certainly not kids’ psyches we’re dealing with.

    John, excellent point. I had completely forgotten about that tiebreaker rule.

  4. ron

    November 21, 2007 05:54 PM

    I couldnt agree more with almost all of you. Its not the fans crying “running up the score” its just the press finding a lazy way to find something to write about. period.

  5. Jonathan

    November 21, 2007 09:59 PM

    I think you’re taking a reeeeally wide definition of political correctness here. The overreaction to a unwritten sports “code” is just stupid (especially when the Pats took Brady out and hardly played for entire 4th quarter). The (arguably over-) reaction to off-colour comments towards minority groups is at least understandable given that they’ve historically been a way of spreading hate and keeping people down.

    I was at this game- nobody in the rather boisterous crowd seemed to care. At least it was something to get excited about late in a pretty boring game. Better that than calling a timeout and trotting the field goal unit out so we can freeze some more. I could see if the Pats were going for long bombs repeatedly to rub in their superiority it would have been a little much but they didn’t do that at all.

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