Archive for January, 2006

Someone messed up and it wasn’t Rex Grossman

It’d be easy to blame Rex Grossman for the loss today. He forced a considerable number of passes into triple and double coverage. He chucked up a few desperation passes as he was being dragged down by Carolina defenders as opposed to taking the sack. He made a questionable scramble play with the clock running down. But he also, despite consistently bad field position, led the Bears offense on three scoring drives stringing together big completion after big completion. The Carolina defense blanketed the receivers and swarmed the backfield all game long, but Grossman didn’t seem to care. I dread to make the comparison, but Grossman had moments where he looked like a young Brett Favre with his fiery competitiveness, his willingness to take risks, and his sheer moxie. It was evident the Bears’ secondary could not contain the Carolina offense, a.k.a. Steve Smith, in the first drive. And knowing that, Grossman came out of every huddle gun slinging. He and the Bears knew this was the only way the game could be won. Grossman is the player of the game on the Bear’s side of the ball. Grossman engineered three scores when Eli Manning and his high powered Giants offense couldn’t even engineer one. His performance was both gutsy and timely. Yeah, it would’ve been nice if he would have led the final drive to tie the game. But, at that point, based on the pre-game expectations, he had done enough. He had kept the Bears close in the kind of game no pundit thought the Bears could win let alone stay close. And most of all, he proved himself as the Bears’ quarterback of the future. The Bears defense, especially the secondary, are the ones that deserve the blame for today’s loss. Dubbed as the “best defense in the NFL” and drawing comparisons to the ’85 Bears, Lovie Smith’s squad was damn disappointing. They did a fair job at stopping any sustained drives up the field. The Carolina rushing attack was kept in check for most of the game. The Bears line got decent pressure on Delhomme, although not nearly as much as their last meeting. What killed them was bungling on big plays, especially to Steve Smith. All three of Steve Smith’s downfield catches were made by lapses in the Bears’ secondary. Two of them involved a Bears’ cornerback falling, and the other was a sure interception that was stripped by Smith on the way down. The Bears were cocky. They thought Charles Tillman could handle Smith one on one. And on the second or third play from the line of scrimmage, it was obvious he couldn’t. Tillman both metaphorically and literally fell on his face. Blame could also be issued to the sub par play of the special teams unit. Short kickoffs and shanked punts gave the Panthers consistently good field position. They didn’t even need long sustained drives to score. Furthermore, the Bears’ return unit, by failing to secure good field position, forced the Bears all game to make long drives up the field to score. The Panther’s average field position was at the 36. The Bears best field position all game long was at the 34. If you want to talk about bad performances, talk about the Bears secondary and the special teams unit. Grossman, if anything, kept the Bears in a game that even I thought was over after the first four plays.


January 16, 2006 at 3:51 am 1 comment

Rape and Responsibility

This a mini-essay I wrote a couple of months ago summarizing and extending beyond a conversation I had at a quad BBQ. If you’re a guy, you’ll probably find this a bit controversial. If you’re a girl, you’ll probably find this absolutely outrageous. But, as always, it would be best if you focused on the arguements before you focus on the conclusions.


On Friday, I got in a rather heated arguement with Chris, my roomate, and Dhawal, a hallmate. The debate began with a rather bold assertion on my part, as is my style. Women are in part responsible/”to blame” if they get raped when they are intoxicated on a college campus. This may seem like a completely insensitive comment seeing that someone has just been violated and victimized. But social taboos aside, I believe it is an entirely valid comment to make.
We are all responsible for the conscious choices we make and the consequences that arise from these choices. The only qualifier to this is if we are ignorant of possible outcomes a choice could entail. For example, if a child strikes someone with his fist, he is less responsible for his choice than an adult. This is not to say the child is completely absolved, but his responsibility is one of lesser degree than the adult.
So let’s apply this framework to the decision and the consequence at hand. A girl goes out on a Friday night and chooses to get intoxicated. Don’t feed me any of that bullshit about it not being a choice. If your ability to choose is immediately impaired after a few drinks, you could’ve and probably should’ve chose not to drink at all. Back to the arguement at hand. When the girl chooses to get intoxicated, she knows that this choice carries its share of risks. An intoxicated girl on a college campus has an inordinately high chance of being raped. Rape programs on campus have told her, stories from her friend have told her, her mom has probably told her. But she chooses to get intoxicated anyway. This choice is key, because she is choosing to accept any of the known consequences resulting from her choice. In this moment, she is choosing, in effect, to take on the responsibility, if stemming from intoxication, that she dies of alcohol poisoning, that she is arrested for underage drinking, or that she is raped. The hard truth is she is repsonsible for whatever befalls her and especially responsible for whatever befalls her that she is knowledgeable on or has been prewarned about. Rape is no exception.
Dhawal brought up a few interesting counterclaims, four of which I find it pertinent to address here.
First, he questioned my intial framework by supposing a situation in which a girl walking in a bad neighborhood at night because that is where she lives and is subsequently attacked and raped. The risk and previous knowledge of it are there, but the responsibility is not. I don’t think this necessarily destroys the framework though. It just creates another qualification that was not stated earlier, because it wasn’t applicable to the college rape situation. Choice like responsibility must be viewed in degrees. The woman in the bad neighborhood has a low degree of choice. Yes, she can choose to not go home, but she has a family to feed and kids to watch over. As opposed to the college rape situation, where the girl has a relatively high degree of choice. If she doesn’t get intoxicated, no one will starve or get arrested. When we have a high degree of choice, there is a greater degree of responsibility for the consequences that result from that chocie. Think the difference between the man who steals because his family is starving and the man who steals for the challenge. Both made a choice, but the man with the starving family obviously has a lower degree of choice and subsequently the lower degree of responsibilty for the outcome of his theft.
Second, Dhawal made another assault on my framework by supposing an absolutely random consequence. For example, a man is standing in a parking lot looking for his car and an airplane crashes and kills him. I think this conveniently falls in my framework’s caveat about knowledge. Like the kid striking, the man had no idea standing in a parking lot was associated with the risk of crashing planes. He cannot be held responsible for a consequence that he could in no way have forseen.
Third, Dhawal challenged that my conclusion ignores the male responsibility in the situation. That’s because I was focusing on analyzing the girl’s decision to get intoxicated and the consequence of rape. If I was focusing on the male’s decision to rape and any consequences, I would find the same conclusion: he is responsible. How blame/responsibilty should be distributed is another question entirely. The point is that the man chose to rape the girl, and the girl chose to give the man that opportunity by becoming intoxicated. Both share responsibility. A crime requires intent by the criminal and opportunity by the victim. In this case, both parties consciously chose to provide these elements.
Fourth and finally, Dhawal asserts there is a inequality between the consequences of women and men for becoming intoxicated. Women are victims of rape, while men can hardly claim the same risk. This is unfortunate, but beyond the responsibility of an individual or even a group of individuals. Rape is an act born of societal structure reinforced by human anatomy. Men are by no coincidence the agressors and the penetrators. Men are, on average, stronger. Men posess what is often described as an unsatiable sexual appetite. Furthermore, men could make the same arguement about the consequences of rape. If a woman rapes a man, she is less likely to be prosecuted (my assumption). It also brings more stigma on the man than the woman. Dude, you got raped? Inequality between men and women exist in all the choices made and the consequences that follow. But as long as we are aware of these differences, there can be no mitigation of our responsibility.

January 12, 2006 at 8:56 pm 1 comment

I’m going back, back to…Durham?

Back to school and back to broadband. I’m obviously a lot more happy about the later than the former. I planned out some posts during the break and here is a (tentative) list of posts and their release dates.

  • Thursday (01/12/06) – Movie Primer, King Kong and Syriana Review
  • Friday (01/13/06) – Layer Cake and Roger Dodger Review
  • Saturday (01/14/06) – Memoirs and True Romance Review
  • Sunday (01/15/06) – Swingers Review
  • Monday (01/16/06) – Winter Break Recap
  • Tuesday (01/17/06) – Thoughts on feminism and indoctrination

January 12, 2006 at 1:03 pm 1 comment


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