Tag Archives: Matthew Johns

Crappy Media Moralism Rules The Day

Sorry To Burst Your Bubble Lady, But I Don’t Thinks So

I’m a little legalistic sometimes. I figure if you can’t abide by the law, that puts you in the criminal basket. So if somebody’s done something criminal, then they should at least be charged, and if the charges stick by the judge, they should get tried. It’s fairly simple.

It worries me a little bit that what is happening to Matthew Johns is looking more and more like a media beat-up rather than a desire to get to the bottom of what happened. Now, it has to be said, charges were not laid, and the NZ police have said that they won’t reopen the case which seems to say to me that there isn’t anything criminal going on.

Thus it worries me considerably to see articles wherein the NSW Rape Crisis Centre chimes in and has this to say.

NSW Rape Crisis Centre Manager Karen Willis, who advises the NRL on sexual assault issues, says the problem of group sex happens across the board.

She said the NRL has already taken steps to address the behaviour of some footballers towards women.

“It’s not just footballers…generally a lot of blokes just don’t get it,” she told Network Ten.

“The NRL…(have)… been the first male-dominated organisation in this country to put up their hand and say we have a problem and we need to do something about it. That work needs to continue.”

Ms Willis also urged the men who took part in the New Zealand sexual assault with Matthew Johns to come forward and publicly name themselves.

“If they’re in any way sorry for what they’ve done or understand the impacts of their behaviour, the very first thing they need to do is admit that.”

Let’s get this right. This Karen Willis is saying these Group Sex incidents are  more common than we’ve been led to believe. The NRL is actually leading the way educating men against this kind of behaviour; but these Cronulla Sharks players need to put their hands up to take the public punishment that’s been meted out to Johns for his part – even though no charges have been laid?

I’m getting more than worried about the tenor of the media response to the allegations. Nobody can claim to know what exactly transpired. Not even Matthew Johns was there from start to finish – he left the room by his own account. The NSW Rape Crisis Centre is dispensing announcements as if Johns and the other players committed rape – which may or may not be true, but the NZ police sure don’t think so; yet these other guys have no incentive to come forward and admit they did it. They won’t even get to see the inside of a courtroom when the media has billed them guilty as charged.

Why the hell would they admit to anything? For a free kick to the crotch? These people are on drugs.

Okay, what happened was incredibly unsavory, and yes, there are immense differences of power between star athletes and a single 19 year old woman that make it very unpleasant, but I need to see that a crime was actually committed before I kick Matthew Johns any harder. I thought we still lived under a system of presumed innocence until proven guilty. All of this is just jumping the shark as they say.

The sanctimoniousness of the media and the pundits is getting pretty ridiculous.

If Not Consent, Then What?

The hypotheticals that come out of this ‘case’ are quite disturbing.

Imagine you have a one night stand with a woman, and you part ways and think everything is okay. You got your consent, did the deed as mutually consenting adults; it’s not like she screamed rape or you did any rough stuff; she’s not even saying date-rape.

Then 6 years later you’re lambasted for taking advantage of the woman, even though you secured consent at the time.

The media goes to town on your reputation and without a trial to prove anything, you’re branded as guilty as charged and sacked from your job and everybody thinks you’re the scum of the earth.

It could happened to you if a woman changes her mind about consent after the fact, and you would have absolutely no recourse. So it seems to me right now, consent isn’t consent any more if this ‘Clare’ woman’s version is allowed to stand and destroy Johns’ career. I just don’t understand why more people aren’t disturbed by that.

Why Moralising Is Not Getting Us To Ethical Behaviour

Moralising is an ugly business. You profit on other people’s bad behaviour and the prejudices of the stupid and ignorant. Heres’ Tracey Grimshaw talking about her editorial stance.

She stated clearly that Johns must answer “the hard questions” about an incident in 2002 which involved having group sex with a 19-year-old woman in a New Zealand hotel room while on tour with his team, the Cronulla Sharks.

“I wrote the editorial myself,” Grimshaw explained.

“It was something I wanted to say, and it was decided in the program meeting that day that I would do this.”

The following night, Grimshaw did score the searing 20-minute interview with Johns, who admitted that what he had done was morally wrong.

He has since stepped down from the Nine Network and from his coaching work with the Melbourne Storm.

Grimshaw is considering whether she will continue with editorials on the show.

“I don’t see why my view should be any better than anyone else’s,” she said.

“I prefer to just be a conduit for information, but this was obviously something I felt very strongly about.”

Well yes, the Group Sex thing is rather repugnant to the majority of the populace, but I still want to see charges laid and stick before I go further in condemning Johns. In the mean time Ms Grimshaw, the type of editorialising where you dance all over Johns’ credibility is actually the unethical thing to do.

Here’s another moralising column by one Robyn Riley.

That I find is the saddest indictment of the whole incident. People seem ready to believe almost anyone who has something to say, except the woman.

She’s the one person whose claims have been openly questioned.

Some of that may be because of the circumstances, how it took five days for her to make a formal complaint, but is that the only reason?

Maybe it’s more to do with the fact that Johns is a likable personality. It also may have something to do with the genuine pain and remorse he has increasingly shown with every appearance on Channel 9.

Whether by accident or manipulation, he has become the real victim in the eyes of many.

Umm, lady, you wouldn’t want to be tried in the media with the same sort of information with which Johns has been buried. I’m also a little miffed by this notion/assumption that the woman who claims to be the victim wouldn’t possibly lie about this incident, even with testimony to the contrary that’s been in the press. While I’m not defending Johns’ right to indulge in this sort of sordid behaviour (and maybe one should defend it but that’s another topic), it’s not like we’d know anything about his sex life if he wasn’t a public personality that’s just been thrown under the bus.

But you know what? If there’s one thing we know about moralists is that they’re shameless.

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News That’s Fit To Punt 15/05/09

Small Neighborhood, Bad Karma

This story is plain sad.

TAIPEI – A Taiwan carpenter bought a porn DVD only to find secretly taped motel footage of his wife having sex with his friend, whom the husband later stabbed, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The husband, identified only by his surname Lee, discovered the illicit sex on the DVD in 2002. The sexual acts apparently had been recorded using a hidden camera and were on a pornographic DVD, titled Affairs with Others’ Wives, which the husband bought from a vendor to watch at home.

Lee, who lives in Taoyuan County near Taipei, divorced his wife after viewing the DVD. His friend, a butcher, fled their village.

In August 2008, Lee spotted the butcher in Chungli City, returned with a knife and stabbed his former friend in the thigh.

You feel sorry for all participants. How unlucky would you be, to be any of these people?

Viagra For Free For The Unemployed
I’m not sure that this is exactly what the unemployed need, but here you go.

Pfizer is unveiling a new program that will let people, who have lost their jobs and health insurance, keep taking some widely prescribed Pfizer medications – including Lipitor and Viagra – for free for up to a year.

The world’s biggest drug maker will provide more than 70 of its prescription drugs at no cost to unemployed, uninsured Americans, regardless of their prior income, who lost jobs since January 1 and have been on the Pfizer drug for three months or more.

The announcement comes amid massive job losses caused by the recession and a campaign in Washington to rein in health-care costs and extend coverage.

The move could earn Pfizer some goodwill in that debate after long being a target of critics of drug industry prices and sales practices.

The program will also probably help keep those patients loyal to Pfizer brands.

“Everybody knows now a neighbour, a relative who has lost their job and is losing their insurance. People are definitely hurting out there,” said Jorge Puente, Pfizer’s head of pharmaceuticals outside the US and Europe and a champion of the project. “Our aim is to help people bridge this point.”

The first thing that popped into my mind was that wanting free viagra was probably the least important thing on Matthew Johns’ mind right now.

More Sporting Scandals

This time it’s the A-League. It involves a 20year old rising star Sebastain Ryall, who is accused of fondling a 13 year old girl when he was 18.

Sydney FC and Australian under 20s player Sebastian Ryall has been stood down by Football Federation Australia after being charged with engaging in a sexual act with a 13-year-old girl, the FFA said in a statement today.

The charge arises out of an incident that allegedly took place at Mona Vale on January 25, 2008, when Ryall was aged 18.

Ryall first faced court  on August 13 last year, and is expected to face Downing Centre Local Court in October.

Ryall, who was scheduled to leave on Saturday with the Australian under-20 team for a camp in the Netherlands, recently transferred to Sydney from Melbourne Victory.

He has been suspended from participation in football matches in Australia, including the A-League, until September 3 and is also ineligible to participate in national team competition until the criminal case has been determined, or September 2009, whichever is the later.

That’s just so wrong, isn’t it? It’s certainly enough to make A-Rod and Barry Bonds  and Roger Clemens look like normal, decent people. …Wait a minute, Roger Clemens is meant to have fucked an under-aged country-western singer so scratch him off that list.

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Gruen Censor

ABC Censorship Hoopla

God, you know it’s a good week when the ABC censors something and there’s a circus on the internet. The Gruen Transfer put up a brief for “selling the unsellable” – except this time it was for selling being fat. Please note, that’s got to be a joke about being fat, right?

So the ad agency The Foundry put together a pretty sharp, serious piece of advertising likening discrimination against fat people as being equivalent to discriminating against Blacks, Jews and gays. The ad was deemed so confrontational, the ABC censored it from broadcast.

IT was banned from TV last night, but hundreds online have watched an “insensitive” segment of The Gruen Transfer that jokes about Jews, black people and homosexuals.

And public and expert opinion is divided on whether the controversial ad produced for the ABC show was racist and discriminatory, as deemed by the ABC.

The powerful ad, part of a segment in which two ad agencies tried to sell “fat pride”, has also forced the show’s host, and comedian, Wil Anderson to reconsider his habit of telling “fat jokes”.

Shot in black and white, the ad – produced by Sydney agency The Foundry – features three people each telling extremely offensive jokes.

If you want to know what the offensive jokes were, you’ll have to click the link. I’m not reproducing them because it’s not worth my while getting bogged down in discussions about taste. People, there is no such thing as a victim-less joke that works. Humour is sadistic. That’s the point of humour. Somebody has to get it in the crotch, and when it hits you in the crotch, it hurts. But, that is point of the ad – that it’s pretty bad discriminating against fat people, just the same as it is discriminating against other types of people. It’s not exactly a difficult concept.

You can see how it got played out here.

This segment of The Gruen Transfer was scheduled to appear on the ABC-TV program on May 13, 2009. It was not approved for broadcast by the ABC. We are grateful for the ABC’s consent for us to put the material on this website, as it facilitates further debate and discussion.

This is a confronting ad. We at Gruen feel that it may be offensive to some people, but we stand by the fact that The Foundry agency made it with a considered and legitimate intent to persuade Australians to reconsider their prejudices.

It is clearly an anti-discrimination ad, an argument for tolerance, not divisiveness. As road safety advertisements sometimes use horrific accident images to make a point, so too this ad uses shock to drive home the ugliness of prejudice. It was made by a highly experienced advertising creative, winner of a Cannes Gold Lion, one of advertising’s greatest honours, for a previous anti-discrimination campaign.

As a show about advertising, we feel that it is appropriate for an audience, with fair warning, to consider and judge the ad for itself. And so we are making it available for viewing through this site.

To provide a clear context for the ad,The Foundry and JWT agencies were asked to come up with a campaign for the idea of Fat Pride, to end shape discrimination and make overweight Australians feel less humiliated by the constant public disapproval of anyone who isn’t a size 10 or under.

The following video includes not only The Foundry’s ad, but also a panel discussion with its creator about the reasons for the ad’s approach.

If you are likely to be offended by issues of discrimination in race, religion, sexuality or body size, please don’t watch.

Oh my word. Talk about a lame caveat, but there’s no pleasing the extreme radical faction of the politically correct. And the discussion that follows the ad is just bizarre. Todd Sampson makes no sense. He says the ad doesn’t work because it’s too shocking and then might be perceived to be condoning other types of discrimination by mistake. I think his political correctness switch melted down during the first joke. God knows how he’ll ever survive listening to Frank Zappa. To say the jokes are nasty, therefore the ad doesn’t work is a crappy argument that lacks any understanding of what is laid bare by the jokes. As a result Todd comes across as being a lot less intelligent than I previously thought. Well-meaning but thick as 6 planks of wood.

Wil Anderson seems almost apologetic to have kicked off the segment with a fat joke, only to see an ad Agency that took the brief ultra-seriously and come back with a very hard-hitting product.

But here’s the thing: Executive Producer Andrew Denton was quoted as saying The Foundry missed the point of the brief: “to sell being fat as a positive”. …and in the calm light of day, The Foundry missed that point. Their ad says end fat discrimination; it doesn’t say it’s good to be fat. The rest of the discussion about the nature of discrimination is somewhat tangential and redundant.

Me? I know what real discrimination is like. It’s not the jokes they tell about your ethnicity or the way you look or the way your accent might betray your native tongue. The jokes in the ad might be shocking to some, but frankly, I’ve heard worse in every which direction. Jews in Nazi ovens, Blacks riddled with drugs, homosexuals being the object of scorn and ridicule, fat people caught in the eye of a needle, all being standard tropes for nasty commentary and stereotyping. These are all things that get said and hurt.

But real discrimination is a whisper you don’t hear. It’s the quiet agreement to lock you out of the ‘mainstream’. It’s the procession of blondes on TV in a multi-cultural Australia while all the ‘ethnics ‘get paraded on SBS; it’s the coming second to a white kid at school because the duxe has to be a white kid – and if the 2 leading candidates are not white, heck, they just cancel the duxe that year – Yeah, I’ve seen that one somewhere. 🙂 The jobs you don’t get because the other candidate is white; the breaks or opportunities or the lenience from the law you don’t get because you’re not white; over and over and over again.

My point is, if those 4 white men thought those jokes were the beginning and end of discrimination – and I should include the ABC censors in on this, I have to say they have no fucking idea what discrimination is in this country. NO FUCKING IDEA.

The ABC Has No Balls

I’m trying to get my head around the ABC that censors that above ad, and the Four Corners they aired on Monday night where the trial-by-media circus has resulted in the public scapegoating of Matthew Johns.

I don’t intend to defend what Johns did. My opinions on Matthew Johns are already stated in my previous entries here and here. He did a crappy thing. The way the media has been carrying on about it, you’d think he killed somebody. So far, the New Zealand police have said they won’t re-open the case, and charges were never laid. The general public I’ve run into are of the opinion that this scapegoating is highly suspect and hypocritical.

The things I heard at the local lunch tuck shop today:

  • After all, there must be some TV journos who get laid just because they’re famous. Why don’t they get outed?
  • There are some regular folk who go cruising for pro athletes for sex. What about those people?
  • It’s not just Matthew Johns, so why don’t they out those other players?
  • Has there ever been a sport like NRL where the sport just keep stabbing its supporters in the heart over and over again?
  • how is this supposed to end? With the Johns marriage breaking up or as Johns as a drug addict, derelict and homeless and dead in the gutter?
  • Who is this woman ‘Claire’ and why is she saying this stuff now? Got to be money, right?
  • Didn’t this woman know better than to hang around footballers?
  • It was consensual, so why are they dredging this up now? If she can change her mind, can there ever be ever-lasting consent?
  • Why is the media reporting about athletes’ sex lives? Why do we need to know, even if there was a revolting culture in NRL?

If you thought I was conflicted about Roger Clemens, these people were incredibly pissed off by the whole thing from Johns to Gallop to Gyngell to the Sharks to the woman ‘Claire’.

So, hooray for the ABC who were too scared to air some racist jokes that were clearly portrayed as smug, but were brave enough to throw Matthew Johns under a bus without trial, devil may care.

I’m really, really unimpressed with the ABC this week.

That being said, I’m fascinated by the fissures that are being exposed in our society as result of these two things this week. Clearly the media on the whole is out of touch with community sentiment and I’m not alone in thinking they’re fucked up.

Oh, and then there’s this:

A former work colleague of the woman at the centre of the Cronulla Sharks sex scandal involving Matthew Johns claims her co-worker bragged about the incident.

Tania Boyd has told the Nine Network that the woman in the ABC’s Four Corners report, identified as “Clare”, had boasted to her workmates about bedding several players and only contacted police five days after the alleged incident.

“She was absolutely excited about the fact. She was bragging about it to the staff and quite willing, openly saying how she had sex with several players,” said Boyd.

“We were quite disgusted about it. There was no trauma whatsoever.

“I’m disgusted that a woman can all of a sudden change her story from having a great time to then turning it into a terrible crime.

“One minute she was absolutely bragging about it, she did not know names. These names only came to light to us in the last day.

“We all just thought it was hilarious until five days later the police came to work and were horrified she had now changed her story to say she was now a victim of crime.

“It was definitely consensual, absolutely.

“She is saying she is still traumatised et cetera, well she wasn’t for five days, or four days at least, after that affair.

“I can’t work out what’s happened. Does it take five days for it to sink in?”

Make of that what you will, but that’s somebody corroborating Johns’ version of the character of ‘Clare’. The confusion alone suggests the public bonfire of Matthew Johns may have been set alight too quickly.

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Men Feminism Forgot

Matty, You’re An Animal!

This is so wrong on so many levels.

THE comments of one senior NRL representative player indicate how difficult it could be to change the sexual behaviour and attitudes of elite league players.

He warned group sex among NRL players would continue regardless of a warnings from chief executive David Gallop that unsavoury sexual acts would put their contracts at risk. The representative player told the Herald that his colleagues were left stunned by Gallop’s hardline stance when no player had been convicted of sexual assault, adding that the caution would quickly be forgotten.

“It’s fine for David Gallop to come out and say you can’t have group sex but the last thing blokes will be thinking about on a Friday night at the club is David Gallop,” said the player, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “I don’t know how a chief executive can come out and say we can’t have group sex if it’s consensual. It’s like discrimination because that is a person’s private life. It’s like saying you can’t be homosexual, or you can’t have such-and-such sexual preferences. How can he tell us what we can do in our private lives? What if there’s more women than guys, is that wrong, too?

“We already have so many rules: we can’t drink on these days, we can’t go to these places, now we can’t have group sex. About the only thing we can do these days is go to club functions, and just hang around other players. That’s just isolating us more from the rest of the world, and it could lead to even more violent acts.”

Would you look at that! I bolded that word ‘discrimination’ because it just popped off the page like a firecracker. I love how the language of the victim has been appropriated by these alpha male pituitary cases. They need to be told they’re not being discriminated against, they’re being told to control and master their libido to resemble societal norms.

Which brings me to the second point. David Gallop seems to assume that there are societal norms and that the NRL start players should know what these norms are. It’s laughable that Mr. Gallop thinks these players are within cooee of that cognition. It just isn’t the way they think.It’s not like anybody knows, unless they run another Kinsey Report, and the NRL sure aren’t going to pay for that.

Then there’s the threat at the end by the star player that if he and his kind don’t get what they want – i.e. ‘Group Sex’ – then there will be more violence. That had me cracking up in manic laughter. Who’s stupid idea was it to market athletes as role models again? No wonder they keep getting betrayed by their very own players. These guys are cavemen.

More to the point, if you love your daughters, don’t raise them to hang around footballers. You’ll save your family a whole pile of humiliation.

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Athletes As Role Models

Matthew Johns, Group Sex Enthusiast

It’s coming to light that Rugby League celebrity Matthew Johns participated in a bit of group sex with the lads. He’s apologised for ‘it’ though it is unclear what bit exactly for which he is apologising.

ONE of rugby league’s famous faces and a much loved personality, Matthew Johns, is horrified that old claims of sexual misconduct in New Zealand made when he was playing for the Cronulla Sharks have been publicly revisited by the woman involved.

“I am very sorry for all the trauma and embarrassment this has caused for everyone, but particularly for my family,” said Johns about the public outing of his involvement.

Channel Nine, which employs Johns as a rugby league expert, last night went public with his response to the yet-to-be aired allegations about footballers and group sex scheduled for Monday night’s Four Corners on ABC1.

Johns says he had consensual sex with the woman seven years ago and he was upset, particularly for his children, that the woman was making the claims again.

At the time it was known that three Sharks players were allegedly involved in the incident after a preseason game in Christchurch. None of the players was named publicly.

But privately Johns had spoken to his wife Trish about the incident. Last night Johns fronted his usual Thursday night television program, The Footy Show, and spoke emotionally about the drama. “It put my family through enormous anguish and embarrassment and once again for that I can’t say I’m sorry enough … there has been a lot of pain and embarrassment to a lot of people.”

Awesome! Sweet!

What kind of man has Group Sex? In a day and age where we say, “not that there’s anything wrong about that!” about gay sex, we sort of have to ask this question in order to get a sense of what the social norms might be pertaining to this heterosexual activity of group sex by football players. And it has to be said, it is kind of weird to want to have group sex as portrayed by these articles. I’m not sure I would want my team mates watching me shag a girl in a hotel room, and then watch them do the same girl. If I were more poignant, I might point out that I’d rather not have ‘sloppy seconds’ either; so this whole group sex thing has got to be a sub-cultural phenomenon of League players, right?

Then there’s the question of consent in such a context. How do you get consent for something like this? How does a girl find herself consenting to this sort of thing with a group of footballers? I don’t mean to blame the victim here, but it does strain credulity for Johns to say it was all consensual. I mean, did they pass minutes around and counter sign it before hey all joined in the orgy? how the hell does this all work?

Maybe I’m a little squeamish. Then again, I’m pretty squeamish about gay sex as well so I’m in the crowd that says “not that there’s anything wrong with that!” with a great deal of irony.   Y’know, there just might be something *wrong* about it on my own personal level.

Didn’t Seinfeld joke about this sort of thing? I think he said that if one joins in the ‘orgy crowd’, one must change friends, clothes and everything else, and then grow a mustache. Perhaps that is what that Reg Regan’s mustache is all about?

Meanwhile Manny Gets Done

Turns out Manny Ramirez too was on PEDs. He was on Gonadotropin, which he claims was for a sexual dysfunction, but is something that raises the level of Testosterone. Great.

Manny Ramirez is always going to have this 50-game bust for performance-enhancing drugs hanging over him, no matter what he says, no matter whether he comes back strong in July, no matter that he says he tested clean 15 times in the past five years.

With his suspension on Thursday, Ramirez joins Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Jose Canseco and ultimately Alex Rodriguez and Miguel Tejada on the mental list of players who were dirty, or probably dirty.

Ramirez and his helpers can issue all the statements they want about his having been given a drug for a personal health issue and that it turned out to be illegal under current baseball rules, so he must technically take the blame. That is just not going to work.

Too many of us are beyond the giddy time when we could say, poor feller, he should have checked the label on the teabag while he was having a cuppa with the queen. They are responsible. They know that. Athletes spend much of their waking hours not just studying their opponents’ moves but also accumulating information on what will make them bigger, stronger, faster. These people could pass a pharmacologist examination.

It’s quicker to count up the guys who have 300+ HRs that likely aren’t on PEDs now. The currelynt untainted list starts at Ken Griffey, Jim Thome, Carlos Delgado, Chipper Jones, Vlad Guerrero, Jim Edmonds. Of this list,  I feel less confident about Thome, Guerrero, and Edmonds, but I have no proof whatsoever. Count me a Ken Griffey Jr. and Chipper Jones fan for them to make the Hall – until proven guilty, as we’re finding out.

Just to recap for us, here’s Jayson Stark:

We’d all love to believe that Manny’s intent, in taking this drug, was pure and well-intentioned. We’d all love to believe that his “personal health issue” was serious enough to require unorthodox treatment that isn’t even approved by the FDA.But face it, friends, if all the reporting is accurate, that would take the sort of leap of faith only Robbie Knievel ought to attempt.

We also need to recognize something important about baseball’s testing program: Its intent is not to catch innocent people who are using run-of-the-mill prescription medications because of pesky “personal health issues.”

Basically, the list of substances that can get you flagged fall into three categories:

1. Stuff you’d use to cheat.

2. Stuff you’d use to push the envelope as far as possible in the hope of legally enhancing performance.

3. Stuff you’d use to treat a condition that falls under baseball’s limited list of “Therapeutic Medical Exemptions,” such as ADD.

But there are no indications that either Manny or his doctors ever contacted the union or MLB seeking any type of Therapeutic Medical Exemption. So there goes that potential for an innocent mistake. And if that’s out, what does that leave?

He was using whatever he was using to enhance performance. That’s what.

And the rest of the world’s response is hand-wringing and rhetoric. I’ve come to terms with the PED-infested era in my own way. I just look at it as one big load of PR turkey that has come back to roost. We were all doomed the moment we bought into the significance of numbers. They’re just numbers.

In case you want to see a columnist do a mental somersault just to cope, here’s Bill Simmons. Welcome to the world of Yankee fans, Red Sox fans. It truly sucks.

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