Why are People so Angry About Allen Pinkett's Notre Dame Comments?

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First of all, let’s all get on the same page. Allen Pinkett is a former Notre Dame running back who also does the radio broadcast for the Irish’s games. He’s a big personality over there in South Bend.

Pinkett was asked something about the team – I don’t even know what – and he responded with just a fantastic rant about Notre Dame needing more criminals on its roster in order to start winning. Because of his comments, he was suspended from his duties on the radio and won’t call Notre Dame’s game in London tomorrow. Anyway, let’s have a look at what he said:

“I’ve always felt like to have a successful team you’ve got to have a few bad citizens on the team,” Pinkett said on WSCR-AM (670). “That’s how Ohio State used to win all the time. They would have two or three guys that were criminals, and that just adds to the chemistry of the team. I think Notre Dame is growing because maybe they have some guys that are doing something worthy of a suspension, which creates edge on the football team.

“You can’t have a football team full of choirboys. You get your butt kicked if you’ve got a team full of choirboys so you’ve got to have a little bit of edge. But the coach has to be the dictator and the ultimate ruler. Here’s my opinion: You don’t hand out suspensions unless you know you’ve got somebody behind that guy that can make plays.”

Man, that is so good. Then he was asked if that’s what he really meant, essentially giving him a chance to clarify his comments and maybe save his butt. Not Pinkett’s style.

“I absolutely meant that,” Pinkett said. “The chemistry is so important on a football team. You have to have a couple of bad guys that sort of teeter on that edge to add to the flavor of the guys that are going to always do right because that just adds to the chemistry of the football team. You have to have … you look at the teams that have won in the past they have always had a couple of criminals.”

For some reason, this deeply bothered the Notre Dame community, and head coach Brian Kelly was “shocked.” What exactly is shocking to Kelly – and the other people who were inexplicably outraged over Pinkett’s words – about what was said? He may have gone a touch overboard with the word criminal, but that’s the best part of the whole thing!

At worst, it’s mildly offensive and should be laughed off. At best, it’s comedic gold and should be broadcast throughout the stadium before every Notre Dame game for the rest of eternity. It’s only going to get funnier, too, as soon as Notre Dame has a player arrested for punching out some frat guy at a bar. The jokes will just fly in – “Even with criminals on the roster, Notre Dame still falls short against USC.”

Honestly, how can people be so pretentious that they don’t see humor in a former player offering his solution for Notre Dame’s woes, and the solution is that a couple guys on the team need to turn into criminals?

I can understand being angry if he said, “Well the problem is, the team’s got no rapists. If they had a few rapists they’d be better.” But no, he just said criminals. I’m sure he was referring more to the laptop-stealing type that most football teams have, not bank robbers or something.

Is it really necessary to vilify the man, when we all know exactly what he was driving at? He just wants the team to play with an edge, to have a couple of bad motherf***ers on the team. Instead of trotting out the lineup from School Ties every week, Pickett wants a couple tough, smack-talking guys to set the tone. And if they steal laptops, have dreadlocks and stab a guy or two at a house party, so be it.

It makes sense to me. I’m a Clemson fan, and their best player (Sammy Watkins) is suspended for the first two games of this season because he got pinched with a bunch of weed and ADD medication that he wasn’t prescribed too. And you know what? I’m pissed that he’s suspended – and he’s technically now a criminal – because god damn does he make the team better. Bring on the criminals, man. I don’t care if my players throw up gang signs every time they cross midfield or they get arrested for secretly acting like Buffalo Bill, as long as they deliver some W’s.

I think most people are like that. We can get on our high horses all we want – and I do it too – preaching about how corrupt the NCAA is, but really, who cares? We just want the team to win. I don’t care how the players are doing in the classroom, what sort of drugs they’re freebasing or how much money they’re taking from boosters. Just win, baby (RIP, Al).

So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s look a little deeper in to Pinkett’s comments, for humor’s sake.

Out of the blue, with no provocation, he just takes a shot at Ohio State. He could have mentioned a number of teams with criminal pasts – Miami pops to mind – but he just throws Ohio State under the bus, hard. Maybe he’s referring to the Terrell Pryor stuff, but that wasn’t criminal was it? I guess somewhere along the line Ohio State won a bunch of games by trotting out a roster full of convicts. The poor Buckeyes just got thrown in to that rant for no reason.

The other great part about Pinkett’s comments is his idea that having criminals somehow adds to the chemistry of the team, as if the squad will be a whole lot closer  if the backup quarterback is carrying a concealed weapon, or the team will spend much more time together if the safety robs the dean at gunpoint. You need chemistry on a team, and you can’t have chemistry (apparently) unless you have some convicts on the squad. They’re the glue, you know?

I’m also a fan of “you don’t hand out suspensions unless you know you’ve got someone behind that guy that can make plays.” It’s effing priceless. Essentially, he doesn’t give a s*** what the kids have done wrong. If they’re good, they play. Nothing else matters. And you sure as hell should not treat everyone the same. The rules apply to some guys, and that’s it.

Allen Pinkett, I’m sorry that you have been the target of so much criticism. I think you’re awesome, and it’s because of you that I’m heading down to the local prison to see if I can find a couple of guys to play on my men’s softball team next session. Our chemistry wasn’t great this year, and I know just how to fix it.

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