Brandon Spikes And Fake Outrage

Lowell JacksonCorrespondent INovember 6, 2009

STARKVILLE, MS - OCTOBER 24:  Linebacker Brandon Spikes # 51 of the Florida Gators signals a touchdown against the Mississippi Bulldogs, at Davis Wade Stadium on  October 24, 2009 in Starkville, Mississippi  (Photo by Rick Dole/Getty Images)
Rick Dole/Getty Images

Brandon Spikes tried to gouge Washaun Ealey’s eyes during a pile up in the Florida-Georgia game.  The video wound up on YouTube, and everybody and his brother is now pretending to be butt-hurt about it. 


No one was actually hurt.  Spikes made a public apology, and Ealey (the victim) shrugged the whole thing off.


Maybe the reason I’m phlegmatic about it is because I dealt with the near-constant whining about Florida State’s players and program during the late ‘80’s and all of the 90’s, but what I don’t understand is the level of outrage that I have to conclude is nothing but fake.


When I search “Brandon Spikes” on YouTube the top two videos are of the “incident”.  One is 23 seconds long the other is 17 seconds long. 


Apparently, that’s enough for a number of analysts at ESPN and a number of writers here on the Bleacher Report to understand the sum total of Spikes’s character.


I find it hard to believe that Mike Golic, who can’t go more than a segment on his radio show without talking about the greatness of Buddy Ryan and how much fun he had playing on one of the most notoriously dirty defenses in NFL history, finds Spikes losing his temper “despicable.”


Golic was on the Philadelphia Eagles when Ryan put bounties (allegedly) on the Dallas Cowboys’ punter Luis Zendejas and Troy Aikman. 


A cash incentive to injure specific players on the other team is okay, but a moment of bad judgment is “despicable.”


If the referee had seen what Spikes did and ejected him, I would have been fine with it.  If Gators coach Urban Meyer had given Spikes a game ball for it, I would have been fine with that, and I would have been fine with anything in between.  It’s football. 


There’s a code, and the players understand that code.  That’s why Ealey wasn’t upset.  That’s why no current or former player not trying to push his own ratings has said this is a big deal.


This doesn’t even have anything to do with Spikes at this point.  It has to do with the fake outrage.  How can someone be a football fan for any length of time and be shocked by things getting rough on the field? 


There are fights in training camps on every team at every level in every sport starting in high school.  Where are the Steve Smith articles?  Where are the Tom Cable articles? 


Michael Jordan beats his teammate Steve Kerr’s ass and he’s a great leader, but Brandon Spikes is a menace to society. 


We don’t know any of these kids or any of these coaches, but we pretend (or we’re arrogant enough to believe) that we understand who they are, what they want, and how they live, even though 99.9 percent have never been in their world.


Most of us also believe that there are 118 cesspools run by the scum of the Earth and one beacon of light that we just happened to attend or root for.  I don’t.


I know that Bobby Bowden cut some corners and looked the other way when winning a national championship turned out to be harder than he thought. 


I know that Derrick Brooks loaded up on free stuff at Foot Locker.


I know that Laveranues Coles smacked his baby mama’s mama. 


They were all vilified as selfish and entitled, and they all lacked a moral center.  Find someone who knows any of them that will agree with any of that.  I’ll wait. 


There are countless players and coaches with the same story: Tom Osborne, Steve Spurrier, Michael Irvin, and Cris Carter off the top of my head.


It seems that Brandon Spikes may join this club, and unfortunately pocket another national championship while doing it.