The War On Noticing

I assume that people of great holiness don’t pay much attention to sports and to the news. TV and the practice of religion, for example, are antithetical. The more you do of one, the less you’ll do of the other.

For those who soil themselves with popular culture, you may have heard that Dallas Cowboy defensive end Greg Hardy likes to play in front of hot wives and presumably humiliate their husbands with his hyper-masculinity.

Sports are essentially a contest over who is more of a man. They are a polite substitute for war.

Many people think that those who commit domestic violence should not play professional football. I think they are the perfect people to play professional football.

Domestic violence is rarely a case of good vs evil but invariably it is a case of two knuckleheads mixing it up with the weaker one losing.

Hardy’s comments seem to me like the ones I’d want from my defensive end before a big game.

I love football. I love its violence. I would never play it myself. Way too dangerous. I love to watch boxing as well though in my life, I have always avoided fist fights.

I take it for granted that many people who play a violent game will be violent, at times, in their personal lives. When they commit a crime, they should be prosecuted. If it is consensual violence, they should not be prosecuted.

Women are more fragile physically and men are more fragile in many psychological ways. Men tend to be physically stronger than women and women tend to be better at deception and fighting dirty than men.

For a smart take on domestic violence and female masochism, read this essay by F. Roger Devlin.

REPORT: Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy, back from a four-game suspension to start the 2015 NFL season because of domestic violence issues, met the media on Tuesday and was asked if he will speak out against domestic violence or get involved with a local shelter. Hardy responded by saying that he’s looking forward, not back, and is focused only on football. He also commented about the wife of Tom Brady, the quarterback for the New England Patriots, whom the Cowboys face on Sunday.

“I love seeing Tom Brady, he’s cool as crap. Have you seen his wife? I hope she comes to the game.” Hardy said. “I hope her sister comes to the game, all her friends come to the game. One of my favorite games of the year, guys.”

A reporter mentioned that he was sure the wife of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles was attractive as well.

“Is she?” Hardy asked. “This kind of information is important. That’s how I select my Pro Bowls.”

To say Hardy’s comments didn’t go over well would be an understatement.

Here’s a sampling of local and national reaction to Hardy’s comments:

USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan: Greg Hardy is a young man who has been known to tackle a quarterback or two, as well as his one-time girlfriend. For the former, he has received the usual accolades. For the latter, he was kicked out of the NFL. Now he’s back, and he’s talking. Unlike Ray Rice, though, he isn’t apologizing for his acts of domestic violence. No, he’s telling jokes that he thinks are funny. He’s talking about Tom Brady’s wife. And other wives. If there’s one man in professional sports who should be contrite, it’s Hardy. Clearly, he doesn’t have it in him. This unrepentant and immature behavior by Hardy in his debut with the Dallas media reflects terribly not only on him, but also on the Cowboys, the NFLPA, the NFL and everyone else who is supposed to be monitoring and guiding Hardy. Is there no one who is counseling him? Little over a year since the Rice elevator video, what kind of leadership is this?

The Dallas Morning News’ Sharon Grigsby: Question for Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett: How do you like that Greg Hardy now? Sounds like the player you so magnanimously gave a second chance to is living down to his reputation. Some commentators are saying that the exchange proves Hardy’s just not the sharpest knife in the drawer. That’s not my take: Sounds like a guy who thinks it’s really cute that he got away with shoving his then-girlfriend against a wall, applying enough pressure to her neck to leave visible marks and throwing her on a futon covered with at least four semi-automatic rifles. Not only was he not willing to reflect on the recent sorry episode in his life involving, at the least, anger issues, he decided to talk about the relative “hotness” of the wives of quarterbacks he will be facing going forward. Sadly, nothing learned here. Just the status quo when it comes to the culture of the NFL and women. After sitting more than year because of a domestic violence scandal, Hardy celebrated his return with remarks that were flippant, sexist and, most notably, tone deaf to the seriousness of the allegations that were levied against him. Instead of simply admitting some sort of guilt for his alleged assault where he threw Nicole Holder on to a pile of assault rifles, choked and threatened to kill her, “The Kraken” chose to focus on football and use the worst possible metaphor ever: “I hope I come out guns blazing.” Hardy is hardly the first person to remark on Gisele’s looks, and perhaps he’s just trying to tweak Brady, but it would have been wiser of him to steer clear of that type of commentary, especially in light of the events that got him suspended. Greg Hardy, who allegedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend last year and threatened to kill her, is showing no signs of remorse for his actions and instead is choosing to crack jokes — about women. Ah, “guns blazin.'” A charming choice of words for a guy who had to surrender nine assault-type rifles and shotguns to police following the domestic violence arrest which included charges of threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend and throwing her into a futon full of said guns. That led him to spend all but one game of last season on the commissioner’s exempt list, followed by a 10-game suspension this year which was reduced to four. The criminal charges were thrown out when the accuser didn’t show for court, following a civil settlement. And if he has any remorse for his actions, it only pertains to not being able to play as much football or make as much money as he could have. Yes, Hardy, he of the egregious domestic violence charges, is focusing upon Brady’s wife … and her sister. Oh, sure, Hardy delivered the usual over-confident, football-related trash talk, but the fact he’s already commenting — unprompted — on women after returning from a suspension stemming from how he physically abused one seems most unwise. Then again, anyone who identifies himself as “Kraken from Hogwarts” probably isn’t thinking with the best intentions anyway.

Yahoo!Sports: It doesn’t appear that Greg Hardy spent the four weeks he was suspended by the NFL in media savvy training. Hardy, who had a 10-game suspension reduced down to four for a domestic violence incident last year involving his ex-girlfriend in 2014, returns to the field for the first time in more than a year on Sunday for the Dallas Cowboys against the New England Patriots. He spoke with the media on Tuesday and made some poor word choices. Very poor. Hardy’s incredibly lucky to be employed by any team in the league, but it seems he doesn’t acknowledge it to be the case, and will continue to play the role of antagonist despite being given a second chance he didn’t deserve.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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