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News: Cowlishaw: Even smart people say dumb things

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by Smith22, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. Smith22

    Smith22 Well-Known Member

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    IRVING – It is his single-minded focus on football that makes Bill Parcells one of the game's finest coaches. It is that same single-mindedness that propels him toward burnout and repeated retirements from the demanding profession.

    And it's that same single-mindedness that got Parcells into trouble Monday when he delivered a remark that most would interpret as a racial slur at the Japanese.

    Parcells is regarded as one of the smartest people in football. As a reminder that smart people can say really dumb things, Parcells had this to say about his quarterbacks coach, Sean Payton.

    "No disrespect to the Orientals, but Sean's got a few of what we call 'Jap' plays. OK? Surprise things," Parcells said. "No disrespect to anyone."

    This came out of the blue during about a 45-minute media session broadcast live on local radio. It's not like it was a frivolous comment tossed off to one reporter.

    The man delivers two or three 30- to 45-minute media conferences a week during the season. He does a few more lengthy sessions during mini-camps and quarterback schools in the off-season. He worked for ESPN. If anyone knows how to manipulate the media, Parcells is the man.

    Miami linebacker Junior Seau recently got into hot water for using a derogatory term toward gays during a speech. Seau, a Hall-of-Fame-bound veteran, should know better. Parcells, who has been coaching in the NFL longer than Seau has been playing, really should know better.

    He has had a free ride in Dallas because he had the good sense to arrive as the curtains were being drawn on the Dave Campo "5-11 Now and Forever" era. A guy comes here with that kind of Super Bowl résumé, delivers 10 wins in his first season, he can pretty much have the run of the place.

    No criticism for not drafting the top running back on the board, Oregon State's Steven Jackson, after he falls into Dallas' lap. No criticism for not adding a starting cornerback in a division where Terrell Owens, Amani Toomer, Ike Hilliard and Laveranues Coles must be contained.

    But if you're Parcells, you can't start throwing around slurs that, even if they are going to be blown out of proportion, have the capacity to wound. Akira Kuboshima, editor of American Football Magazine in Japan was at Valley Ranch on Monday working on a story about the Cowboys.

    He didn't want to be part of the story. He said he didn't personally take offense at Parcells' words. "I don't want others to hear these things," he said. "I admire coach Parcells. There are lots of Cowboys fans in Japan.

    "I don't have any bad feelings, but I think there's a possibility that a lot of people will be offended."

    Kuboshima said Parcells came over to him before Monday's workout and offered what he thought was meant to be an apology. "I don't know, we got interrupted," he said.

    Parcells later issued a statement apologizing "to anyone who may have been offended."

    Parcells has been down a similar road before, when he referred to Terry Glenn, then with the Patriots as "she." This is a little different.

    In most cases, my feeling is people need to take things lightly when it comes to thoughtless remarks. But even if you believe that, you also have to recognize that you can't walk in everybody's shoes. I can't say what should or shouldn't be offensive to a group that I'm not part of.

    Statements regarding Japanese and "surprise" plays are obvious references to Pearl Harbor. Whatever Parcells' reflections on World War II might be, he was less than four months old when the attack in Hawaii took place. Most of those with a more personal stake in that conflict have moved past it. He should, too.

    There is a fundamental difference between hate speech and careless speech. This obviously was the latter.

    But the fact that Parcells bookended his remarks with "No disrespect" or "no offense" doesn't wipe the slate clean.

    In fact, a good rule of thumb in public speaking is that if you have to put disclaimers at both ends of a statement, you might want to think twice about making the statement in the first place.

    Parcells, who is better than most coaches at keeping problems and controversy "in house," should have done the same with his term for trick plays.
  2. Smith22

    Smith22 Well-Known Member

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    For once, I actually agree with the guy.
  3. Reef Engineer

    Reef Engineer New Member

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    I think everybody needs to simmer down and stop trying to make an international incident over a non-story. :rolleyes: It's embarrassing the onion skin that we've developed as a nation.
  4. WV Cowboy

    WV Cowboy Waitin' on the 6th

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    I was trying to think of the words, a way to voice my opinion, and I found it.

    The word is "embarassing".

    Quit whining just because someone said something.
    This is a non-issue.

    This country is focusing on the wrong things.

    We have children going to bed hungry, in dirty places.
    We have kids who aren't getting educated.
    We abort 1.375 million babies a year, .. and yet we ignore all of that.

    But we get all riled up just because someone called someone a "name."

    It is embarassing what a bunch of politically correct pansies we have become.

    Maybe he shouldn't have said it, ... but forget it and move on.
  5. Reef Engineer

    Reef Engineer New Member

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    WV,

    My sentiments exactly.
  6. jay cee

    jay cee Active Member

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    I think this was a good article. It was not a terrible thing, but Parcells was wrong. Some of you guys seem to be saying that it is alright to use slurs. and if anyone disagrees they are wrong.
  7. Reef Engineer

    Reef Engineer New Member

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    No, some of us guys are saying that if a slur is used and apologized for when the intent, by virtue of the predicated warning, was obviously not malicious, it shouldn't become national news. The Japanese jounalist, Akira Kuboshima, didn't take offense to it because he knows that there was no offense intended. It is the writers of the world that have to justify their jobs that made an issue out it.

    More time needs to be spent on pertinent issues that affect lives rather than the constant coddling that is doled out in order for someone to have a warm and fuzzy feeling about themselves. I've been a "victim" of slurs all my life and I couldn't give a rat's arse about them. People need to grow a pair and get on with life. Self-assurance and confidence comes from within - it isn't taken away because someone calls you a name. Remember, nobody can make you feel bad about yourself without your permission.
  8. tyke1doe

    tyke1doe Well-Known Member

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    I'm divided on this issue.
    As an African-American male, I understand the power of "slurs," even said in jest. For all those people saying there are more substantive issues to talk about, that's true. But I would also add talking about Cowboys football could fall in the same category for those who just lost their jobs or who got the news they may have cancer. That argument can always be used. Life is made up of all different situations - some small, some major. We don't stop focusing on the minor because of the major. We deal with both.
    On the other hand, I'm equally offended by everyone being offended about every little word and every little phrase as if the speaker intended to offer an offense.

    Here's my take on the issue.

    With all the words in the English language, if a group has a gripe against a particular use of a word, unless it violates your religious belief or some other value that prohibits you from compromising, then just use a different word. Problem solved.

    If you feel so convinced that you must use the word, then stand by your principles and be willing to suffer for your belief.

    As it relates to this issue, Parcells recognized he shouldn't have used the word. He apologized. It should be the end of the story.

    I don't think the media overreacted when he used the word because in our culture "Jap" is a pergorative term. If a Japanese person does not want me to use that word, what harm is it going to do to respect that person and use a different word? That's just common courtesy.

    Parcells apologized. He won't use the term again. Let's move on.
  9. Reef Engineer

    Reef Engineer New Member

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    Tyke,

    Are you into martial arts? Just curious on the play on words.

    Later ~~~

    * Nevermind - saw the bio. :D
  10. Double Trouble

    Double Trouble Well-Known Member

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    About half of the people in this country need to get a life. BP should've just laughed istead of apologizing.
  11. Tuna Helper

    Tuna Helper Benched

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    As if Colishaw has any room to talk about people saying dumb things.
  12. Sarge

    Sarge Happy Holidays Staff Member

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    What he said was wrong. He apologized - it's over.

    Let's move on.

    We have soldiers dying in Iraq for cripe sakes.
  13. HTownCowboysFan

    HTownCowboysFan New Member

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    Coach Parcells shouldn't have said it. It sounds like he knew it as it was coming out of his mouth. But it is an old coaching term as I remember my coaches saying it in HS in the early 80s. So, I am sure that he meant to racial slur or offense to the Japanese by saying it.

    But he did. And he appologized. Time to move on as it is now a non-issue.
  14. wxcpo

    wxcpo Active Member

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    My take on this is Parcells, given his position, has to be more selective in what he says. Now that that's been said, he apologized for it so lets all just move on. I think some people get hung up and get offended way too easily these days. He wasn't meaning to offend anyone by his comments and I truly believe that.
  15. TruBlueCowboy

    TruBlueCowboy New Member

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    Christ sakes, it's football! Coaches don't ask each other, "Were you offended?" They make up crude names for plays and trust me, far worse slang exists in the coaching ranks. In my opinion, "Jap" isn't that offensive a word. I never even knew it was the asian equivalent of the "N word" until this episode and I'm still not convinced it is. He was referring to the great war, just like anyone in that generation does. There was nothing intently racist about calling something a "Jap" play. It was referring to Pearl Harbor and the nation responsible, not a race and its inferiority.
  16. Irving Cowboy

    Irving Cowboy The Chief

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    Exactly... Amen to that, Sarge. Thank you.
  17. WV Cowboy

    WV Cowboy Waitin' on the 6th

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    This is right on target.
    Why let people get to you?

    I am from West Virginia, ... believe me I have heard my share of slurs, ... mountaineers, hillbillies, rednecks.
    Who cares ?

    I usually have no respect for the ones throwing these jabs, so why would I let them bother me with their gibberish.

    People are getting too sensitive.
    Too thin-skinned.
    We all need to quit worrying about this silly stuff.
  18. Reef Engineer

    Reef Engineer New Member

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    Enough of the pet names mom had for you ... what were the slurs? :D

    Unbelievable the amount of press this has gotten. I'm waiting for Pres. Bush to make a comment about how he's ashamed to be from the state of Texas now because of all this. :rolleyes: Ha ha.
  19. WV Cowboy

    WV Cowboy Waitin' on the 6th

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    You should know she always called me "Bubba" !! :D
  20. Reef Engineer

    Reef Engineer New Member

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    Ha ha - I have to laugh since whenever I think of "Bubba," I picture a large, black man, errr, I mean an exceptional Afro-American man (see, I'm a stereotyping racist pig) yet that's the same thing we call my son, Ryan. (Note: baby sister couldn't say "brother" so she would call him "bubba" and the nick-name stuck). Glad to see he's with good people! Ha ha. [IMG]

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