RUSH: Before I get to Tom Coughlin, and the Phoenix Suns, did you see — you know, Johnny Manziel obviously does not want to play for the Cleveland Browns anymore. The second to last Sunday of the season he started and played. I forget who the Browns opposed. But he reported Wednesday after the game, which is the first workday for NFL players after a Sunday game. They have to go in on Monday for injury treatment and whatever, but Tuesday’s an off day, so Wednesday is actually the first day of work. He showed up and said he had a concussion. Well, that’s all you have to do in the NFL today.
You don’t even have to have one. All you have to do is say you’ve got one and they’ll stop everything and put you in the concussion protocol, because everybody’s looking at concussions. The movie and all the attention on head injuries and so forth. So a player shows up and reports, “Hey, man, hey, I got a concussion,” stop everything, put ’em in a concussion protocol. And they announced, the Browns announced the next day that because Johnny Manziel was in a concussion protocol, which is the medical required behavior for each team after a player is confirmed to have had a concussion, he would not be playing in the season’s final game against the Steelers on Sunday.
And immediately some in the Drive-By sports media said, “Wait just a minute.” If anybody else had claimed they had a concussion, there would be instant sympathy, compassion, concern, but since it was Manziel, a lot of people in the media didn’t believe him, thought he was making it up and faking it. And Saturday he was reported to be in Las Vegas at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. People that work there claimed they saw Manziel. This ends up being reported on the Sunday NFL pregame shows. They don’t like Manziel in the NFL sports media for a host of reasons. He parties too much and whatever they don’t like.
It was further discovered that Manziel was wearing a blond wig and a mustache trying to disguise himself at Planet Hollywood, but he screwed up because when it came time to pay his bill he asked that the bill be comped ’cause he’s a star and put on his room charge, which was also comped, ’cause he’s a star. He’s not comped because he’s a star. He’s comped because he goes out there and blows a lot of money so they want to keep him coming and so they give him the room, whatever, that’s the way they work.
Anyway, that led to curiosity, he was discovered, and he’d even tried to fake that he was in Cleveland on Saturday night by posting a picture of himself on the floor with his dog and geotagging the picture as Avon, Ohio, the Cleveland suburb where he supposedly lives. So, anyway, that’s the thing with Manziel.
Yesterday Tom Coughlin announced that he’s leaving the New York Giants amidst some confusion. It’s obvious to me he did not want to leave the New York Giants, but the New York Giants think for a host of reasons they need to make a change. So he was the good soldier and said he was moving on, but he let it be known that he wanted to coach again. He’s maybe not through. He’s just 69 years old, for crying out loud.
He’s in good shape. Hadn’t been to a playoff game. They’ve either won the Super Bowl twice in the last seven years or they have not won a playoff game outside of that. There’s a dearth of playoff appearances and victories, so they’ve got to move on.
At his farewell press conference at the Giants’ facility yesterday, a reporter said, “What has your reaction been to all the players who have social media and said some beautiful things about you over the last day? What are your feelings about those guys and what do they mean to you?”
Now, listen to this answer, ’cause what triggered this answer was the reporter asking about social media. Coughlin doesn’t do it. He doesn’t understand it. He doesn’t want and didn’t want social media anywhere near the sideline during games. The NFL doesn’t permit it. Listen to his answer.
COUGHLIN: Whether they participate in the social media or not, they’re all very, very special people in our lives because, you know, side by side we’re hooked together for life. Yeah, it takes some accomplishment to get it done, but it’s more about the sacrifice and the day in and day out grind, getting to know people, knowing who they are, how consistently they are, they perform, how tough are they, how tough are they. We’ve lost a little bit of that in our game. I got a toothache, I’m out of the game. What? You got a what? A stiff neck? I got a stiff neck 24 hours a day every day of my life. What the hell has that got to do with playing?
RUSH: That, to me, folks, was fascinating. “I got a toothache, Coach, I can’t play. I got a stiff neck, Coach, I can’t play.” He said, “We’ve lost some toughness in our game.” We’ve lost a little bit. There’s no question. Now, the NFL is still — don’t let anybody tell you it’s powder puff. It isn’t. The way it’s play, it can’t possibly be. It’s a game for manliness and men. But even the NFL has been overwhelmed and overtaken by the culture of Millennialism. I touched on this yesterday when I talked about how we’re losing moral authority and there aren’t any guardrails anymore. There doesn’t seem to be any bottom on bad behavior. And even where you would normally find adults, adult representatives, people of some age and experience who would, by virtue of have some wisdom, doesn’t seem to exist anymore.
You don’t see anybody go anywhere for wisdom because everybody’s been overtaken by this culture of “me, me, me,” and how I feel and how my feelings justify everything that I do, and don’t you dare criticize me, and don’t you dare hurt my feelings, and don’t you dare do anything that might be uncomfortable, don’t you dare, I might cry, make me upset, I don’t want to be upset, I shouldn’t have to be upset, which seems to be the rallying cry of Millennials. Don’t upset me! I don’t have to be upset. I don’t want to be upset. Don’t microaggress me. Whatever it is. So Coughlin at 69 I think is referencing that.
When I had this story yesterday, I didn’t get to it, I intended to, but it dovetails now. It’s from a website called Yardbarker.com. “The Phoenix Suns are having one of the more disappointing seasons in the NBA this year. After a surprising 48-win 2013-14 campaign, the team suffered a setback last season, and have really taken a dive in 2015-16.
“The team is currently on a nine-game losing streak, which includes losses to the Denver Nuggets, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Sacramento Kings, and most recently, a 20-point blowout to the Los Angeles Lakers. Times are not good in Phoenix. What could possibly be the reason for the SunsÂ’ troubles this year? Team owner Robert Sarver thinks itÂ’s ‘millennial culture.’
“Sarver used Markieff Morris as an example, saying that Morris hasnÂ’t been able to shake off his brotherÂ’s departure from the team from July of 2015. ‘IÂ’m not sure itÂ’s just the NBA,’ Sarver said to The Arizona Republic. ‘My whole view of the millennial culture is that they have a tough time dealing with setbacks, and Markieff Morris is the perfect example. He had a setback with his brother in the offseason and he canÂ’t seem to recover from it. … IÂ’m not sure if itÂ’s the technology or the instant gratification of being online. But the other thing is, IÂ’m not a fan of social media,’ Sarver said. ‘I tell my kids itÂ’s like Fantasy Land. The only thing people put online are good things that happen to them, or things they make up. And it creates unrealistic expectations. WeÂ’ve had a number of setbacks this year that have taken their toll on us, and we havenÂ’t been resilient. Therefore, itÂ’s up to our entire organization to step up their game.'”
Well, what is this setback? What happened with Markieff Morris and his brother? Well, they got rid of him. His brother was no longer on the team. He was unable to deal with it. “Oh, my God, I lost my brother. I can’t get up. I lost my brother.” Brother’s still alive playing somewhere else, just not on the Phoenix Suns.
I understand these comments about social media. I have been concerned about this from the first days I became aware of it. When I saw people just openly volunteering every morsel of information about their lives, giving up any pretense of privacy, just vomiting practically online everything because they wanted fame. They wanted followers. They wanted to be known, and they wanted to think of themselves as famous. They get 10 or 15 people following them and they get this illusion that they’re stars ’cause everybody wants to be a star because the way the media treats entertainment stars, oh, what a life, boy, that looks great, nothing ever goes wrong, all the money, all the partying, all the great possessions, all the great friends, everybody loves you.
That’s the picture they see. They all want to get part of it, so they create online these identities of themselves where they are living that kind of life. And they brag about it and tell everybody about it, and it’s mostly made up. And even the lives of these successful stars are not how they’re portrayed. Those people are just as miserable as anybody else. They have ups and downs just like anybody else. It’s just the media doesn’t report on those unless it’s unavoidable, ’cause the media wants access.
The media slavishly… The media is a bunch of groupies, entertainment media. I mean, they get to go to these parties under the auspices of covering them, but at least they’re there and are rubbing elbows. So they’re not gonna be critical of it. So a totally false impression is created in impressionable people. So everybody ends up lying about themselves in social media and online. And when real setbacks happen, they’re not able to deal with it, ’cause they don’t… I mean, not only are they not able to deal with it, they don’t think they should have to.
They shouldn’t be… It’s what all this college campus rot is all about. They don’t want to hear things that upset them, be it anything they disagree with or anything that might slightly offend. They don’t want to hear it. They shut people up. “They’re making me nervous,” and so forth. It’s childish, spoiled rotten childish. But it’s not just the kids. I mean, my point is we have adults now who have been raised with that culture, who have now assumed positions of responsibility and authority where you would expect some wisdom and the ability to offer guidance to some of these people and push them to man up, advance their maturity or whatever.
But they’re… Well, there are fewer and fewer people capable of this. It’s almost like we’re two generations deep into this total, “No, I don’t want to talk! It makes me nervous. I hear people yelling. I don’t like yelling. Turn it off! Turn it off! I don’t want to hear it!” Mom runs over, turns it off.
“Sorry! Sorry, Little Jimmy! I don’t want you to be upset. That’s right, I don’t want you to be upset. You can’t handle it, can’t handle it.”
We’ve got adults now with that attitude. And the guidance counselors, teachers, coaches, you name it… And Coughlin says, “You got a toothache and you can’t play? Come on!” I know people in my day played with a broken leg. Jack Youngblood, Los Angeles Rams, Super Bowl, Steelers, 1980, played with a broken leg! “That wasn’t very smart.” Well, he still did it. He wanted to play. It was the last chance he was gonna be in the Super Bowl. He’s the kind of guy who would never take a day off for a toothache, as Coughlin said.