And Your 2015 Villain of the Year Is…

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…Someone you never would have guessed, perhaps not even heard of. This year saw no shortage of villians, from the obvious choices in ISIS, Al-Queda, Putin, the terrorist shooters in Paris and California, or the soon to be nuclear armed Iranian rulers. One could also look at these characters’ enablers, such as President Obama, the European leadership, the mainstream press, or your western leftists who will excuse any crime committed by people of a certain religion. There has been the sad indictment of the MSM for lacking basic reading comprehension skills when they tried to brand a Supreme Court justice a racist. And we’ve seen the hyserical fascist mobs of #Black Lives Matter and crybully uprisings on campuses across the nation. Actually, our villian of the year comes from where these last two groups intersected.

It’s easy to spot and label villains who watch from their towers as their band of Orcs raze the land or in the worm-tongued toadies who support them. But sometimes being a villian is doing the wrong thing, especially when one has the chance to help someone about to make a terrible mistake that will heavily impact their future, and encouraging that person to make the wrong choice. Ladies and gentlemen, your villain of the year is… Gary Pinkel.

Who? You’ve probably heard about the student protests at the University of Missouri, of which Robert Stacy McCain gave a great summary if you need the background info on the ‘Systemic Racism,’ Anarchy and Incipient Totalitarianism at University of Missouri. One subset of the protests is that some of the members of the Missouri football team threatened to walk off of the team if the university’s President failed to resign for showing insufficient enthusiasm for the protesters’ grivances. I suggested that not allowing the football team to walk off and accept the consequences of their actions was a missed teachable moment. And this might not have happened had the team’s head coach stood up been a leader to his team – that man is Gary Pinkel. One important element of this story is the coach’s health – via Ace:

Pinkel resigned, citing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I won’t offer any speculation, but the timing is curious. I didn’t expect he’d be retained as the coach after this escapade, and I think he’d have had a hard time recruiting after all this. A few people have pointed out that you could make a reasonable case to fire him with cause, and I’ll let you make up your own minds on what happened.

Pinkel was asked about this on a sports talk radio interview, and while he didn’t implode as Dailywire’s Amanda Prestigiacomo suggests, he didn’t of a very good job of defending his position. Alex Martin Smith at SEC Country also points out that the team was not as united in this walkout either as you may have been led to believe.

But there is apparently a large contingency within the Mizzou Athletic Training Complex that wants to get back on the field.

“As much as we want to say everyone is united, half the team and coaches — black and white — are pissed,” an anonymous player told ESPN.com‘s Brett McMurphy. “If we were 9-0, this wouldn’t be happening.”

If Missouri is forced to cancel this weekend’s game vs. BYU (scheduled to be played in Kansas City), it would owe Brigham Young $1 million.

Up to this point I’ve just given the background info, but you are probably wondering why I’d label Pinkel a villain in all of this. It’s not so much his actions or or intent (of which we’ll probably never completely know), but rather the impact of his decisions and how it will affect the lives of these young men who engineered the threatened walkoff. People in positions of authority that deal with young people, whether teachers, coaches, or bosses to varying degrees have some impact on the kids they’re mentoring. It can be as significant as taking on some role that an absent/negligent parent did not, or as simple as a rebellious teenager needed to hear things from a perspective other than his or her parents. As any fan of Spider Man knows, with great power comes great responsibility. And that is where Coach Pinkel’s role comes into play.

These young men were ready to walk off of their team over a childish protest against some unspecified grievance. They were ready to abandon the commitments they had made to their school, their coaches, and their teammates, not to mention any stakeholders potentially harmed by potentially cancelled games (such as local venodrs or people counting on extra income from working at those games). In this day and age, The Internet never forgets, and what they have done is something that (unless each player did a good job of ensuring that his name is not specified in any stories) will make getting any kind of job outside of higher education or being a professional social agitator damned near impossible. When a potential employer googles the player’s name and sees participation in this protest, what do you think the initial reaction will be? Will it be “Now there’s someone of outstanding charcter who stands up for his beliefs!”, or “Ah, we have a candidate who has already demonstrated that he has no problem ignoring commitments, regardless of what burden that may place on those around him. Not to mention that I could also potentially be hiring a ticking discrimination lawsuit waiting to happen”? Over the years I’ve probably interviewed a few hundred job candidates, and I have learned the hard way that if there is even the slightest doubt as to whether or not to hire someone you err on the side of caution. For any of you lefties reading this who say you would gladly hire any of these players, are you willing to do so if you bear the full responsibility for the hiring decision and whatever happens once the employee is on board?

Coach Pinkel should have known better, and should have talked to his team. Missou is not having a good season, and as you saw earlier this issue only divided the locker room. If a number of players wanted to leave the team, he should have gathered them and explained the potential consequences of doing so. Or better still, get the entire team together, explain the consequences, tell them that whatever the players choose to do he would support them, but that whatever choice they made to do it as one team. And then gather the rest of the coaches and leave. The players might be too young to fully appreciate the impact that today’s actions will have on their lives, but he can give them the guidance to make a very important adult decision. And if they make the wrong choice, at least they were given some guidance to think through the impact of their choice and will be better prepared to face the outcomes.

While taking the path or least resistance by capitulating to the loudest voices is hardly the most vile or sinister action that happened in 2015 (see opening paragraph), turning away from someone in need who is about to hurt themselves when you may be the only one who can help them is a terrible act. And if you find yourself in such a situation, don’t be like Coach Pinkel – take responsibility. It doesn’t always make you popular in the short run, but if more people did there would be less oportunity for the true villians of the world to rise.

Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog

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Blogging by the credo of "Making the world a more offensive place, one blog post at a time", Brother Bob started writing posts around the beginning of the Obama presidency over at Brother Bob's Blog. A born-again Existentialist and self-professed libertarian with conservative tendencies, he has ironically chosen to live in the Washington, DC area - deep behind enemy lines. He has always loved history, and spent eight years volunteering as a tour guide on weekends, giving over 200 tours to roughly 2,500 mostly foreign guests. His tours were highlighted by stories generally not found in the history books or most other tours, such as the importance of the Battle if Antietam, the origins or Arlington Cemetery, and dispelling the myths of FDR's New Deal. Although his favorite subject to blog about is Economics, as seen in his Economics for Politicians series, his posts try to address angles that other conservative writers and the mainstream media (naturally!) miss. "There's no point in putting up a post on a subject that someone smarter than me has already written". He believes in the "Happy Warrior" approach, and tries to inject humor in his posts, sometimes successfully. Two such examples are his posts comparing the modern left to the horrible Star Wars prequels, and analyzing the laments of a DC woman in search of a feminist boyfriend. Brother Bob lives with his very patient wife known as Sister Babe, and their fantastic son. Little Bob. Little Bob is also the reason that being a tour guide came to an end, as spending Saturdays raising a son takes priority over giving lectures to foreign visitors on the folly of Keynesian economics. BB is also grateful for the opportunity to take his place among the outstanding writers at Flopping Aces, appreciates every person who takes the time to read his posts, and especially those who join him in the conversation in the comments.

5 Responses to “And Your 2015 Villain of the Year Is…”

  1. 1

    Nanny G

    Wonderful, thought-provoking essay, BroBob.
    I was reminded of how the Left wants redistribution and equal results while they deride ”unfettered” free enterprise and equal opportunities.
    In the history of the Western world, we had moved away from the brutal beat-you-over-the-head-and-take-the-spoils attitude toward a light-socialism where no one starves (unless they think they are ”fat” and refuse to eat.)
    But the pendulum is swinging back to the (as you put it) “capitulating to the loudest voices.”
    I saw this last year when birds set up a nest right outside my window.
    All the hatchlings sat with wide-open mouths when mom or dad came back with food, but one kept getting shunted aside when the food was doled out. Eventually that little guy’s lifeless body was pushed out of the nest.
    This is the natural outcome of “capitulating to the loudest voices.”
    What leader are these loud voices claiming to follow?
    Not Martin Luther King Jr.
    Not Gandhi.
    Not JFKennedy.
    Not Rosa Parks.

    No.
    Follow the money.
    The BLM movement is backed by George Soros.

  2. 3

    Common Sense

    The greatest Evil is Obola and his assault on the rights of a Americans while at the same time allowing millions of illegals to come to our country and receive free education, welfare, health care, drivers license, and much much more. The evil accomplish to this action is our MSM who refuse to do their job and call out this evil!!

  3. 5

    Bill

    For any of you lefties reading this who say you would gladly hire any of these players, are you willing to do so if you bear the full responsibility for the hiring decision and whatever happens once the employee is on board?

    The left NEVER accepts responsibility, so they would hire the person probably BECAUSE of their exhibition of irresponsibility. Keep in mind that, like liberals in the government, they are NEVER spending their own money.

    I think university president Tim Wolfe would be a greater villain, for he has enabled a national scourge of such protests based on stupidity and lies by validating the one at Missou.

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