When There’s Too Much of Nothing
Are sales down at the Gray lady?
On December 9, 2009, a story in the New York Times written by Pete Thamel and Thayer Evan appeared and you would have thought they’d discovered a new angle on the human condition. Thamel and Evan reported that a significant part of an NCAA inquiry into the Tennessee football program is focused on the use of recruiting “hostesses.” Yes, the story was about the potential rules transgression of it all — and the potential severity of any violation.
But the subtext was there — the role of the seductress.
But, nothing new about use of hostesses.
And, nothing new about seductresses.
A primer for all males, like we really needed one.
Seductresses have been archetypal characters of literature and art. They entrance and hypnotize their male targets, often leading them into compromising situations. They try to achieve their hidden purpose by using feminine wiles such as beauty, charm, and sexual allure. They may even drive their men-prey to the point of obsession and exhaustion so that they are incapable of making rational decisions.
And some get into trouble themselves.
The Sirens of Greek mythology lured sailors with their enchanting music and voices (not to mention how artists portray their physical appearance).
Delilah, one of several temptresses in the Hebrew bible and the external downfall of Samson, is often portrayed in art as the debilitating power of the fruitful woman.
Salome is the ancient version of today’s pole dancer. In biblical times, she is depicted as an icon of dangerous female seductiveness, and linked to John the Baptist’s death. She was the dancer of the sensuous Dance of the Seven Veils – the dance meant to inflame King Herod with incestuous desire so that he would treat John the Baptist as she wanted. Recently, U2 sang “Shake it, shake it, shake it, Salome.”
Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, was the famous seducer of the most powerful men of Rome.
Mata Hari, the exotic sensual and erotic dancer of a hundred years ago who was seen as a dangerous seductress via relationships and liasions with powerful men, was later executed as an accused spy for the Nazis.
And men have been using women who have certain attributes to get what they want for a long time.
And boy-men have been taken advantage of along the way.
And the seductresses don’t have to do the dirty to check the mission accomplished box. Not even close. Letting the boy catch a whiff of it just with their imagination is enough to lead some poor high school prey into becoming a babbling idiot. Or looking a little foolish in a photograph.
And please tell us something else we didn’t know.
And that brings us to…
First reports were that our UT “recruiting hostesses”, later identified as Lacey Earps and Dahra Johnson, both members of the Orange Pride, allegedly held up a pro-Vols sign at a high school football game in Byrnes High School in Duncan, South Carolina on September 25, targeting two prospects, Corey Miller and Brandon Willis (apparently 11 days after they committed to UT, according to Charles Miller, father of Corey Miller). Then on Dec 12, 2009, a photo was published on GVX showing Erps and Johnson with the two high school recruits, and a sign saying “Miller & Willis have our hearts…” The photo was taken by SI reporter Andy Staples. The New Your Times article reported the sign read “Come to Tennessee.” The photo indicates otherwise.
Charles Miller, father of recruit Corey Miller, said, “Nobody put these girls on these boys. It wasn’t like they came to our boys. Our boys started talking to them… I know they talk an awful lot… I don’t know if he calls it dating or not. I don’t think there’s anything wrong.” Miller said he was nearby when his son invited the hostess to Duncan while on UT’s campus earlier. “They asked them, ‘Why don’t you come watch us play some Friday?’ ” Miller said. As for the visit, Miller maintained the hostesses came as fans, not UT representatives. “They didn’t wear Tennessee colors,” Miller said. “They were dressed very nice, like ladies dress.”
A report on Wednesday says that Brandon Willis is likely to change his Tennessee commitment to the University of Miami.
__________________________________________Now, too much of nothing Can make a man feel ill at ease. One man’s temper might rise While another man’s temper might freeze.
The NY Times then had to crank it up to R
Then on Dec 12, 2009, a new report by the crack staff at the New York Times on Tennessee’s alleged misuse of hostesses portrayed the mostly female staff of using “a lot of eye contact and touching” during visits to campus by prospects. AAU basketball coach Keith Easterwood indicated to the Times that he had to ask a hostess to stop brushing her breasts against him and his son during a recruiting visit for the Western Kentucky football game in Knoxville.
“Young lady, if you don’t stop doing that, we’ve got a problem,” Easterwood was quoted. Easterwood also was reported having taken a group of basketball players to Knoxville this year, and his players were “literally reduced to blubbering idiots” by UT’s hostesses. “I’ve been up there five times, four for football and one basketball visit,” Easterwood was quoted. “My observation is that this is a very organized operation. These girls have obviously been groomed. There’s a lot of eye contact and touching.”
Five times, Keith?
On Wednesday, Keith indicated that he was not going to talk to NCAA investigators.
__________________________________________Too much of nothing Can turn a man into a liar It can cause one man to sleep on nails And another man to eat fire. Everybody’s doin’ something, I heard it in a dream, But when there’s too much of nothing, It just makes a fella mean.
It’s time to go back to Research 101
Is it too much to ask for a bit more of a complete background to set a landscape for a story in a newspaper like the NY Times?
I’m not excusing any wrongdoing that may have occurred in Knoxville, or South Carolina, or anywhere else. But the impression left to unsuspecting readers lately is that Kiffin and Co. have unleashed sex kittens on unsuspecting high school boy-men in the hope that they can be reduced to blubbering idiots, and led to think that if they sign with the Vols, a world akin to the concept of the Islamic 72 Virgins awaits them in the hills of beautiful East Tennessee.
The use of persuasive hostesses to help colleges lasso top prospects, as Alexander Wolff wrote for SI over 20 years ago, is nothing new.
The Orange Pride, formerly known as the Vol Hostesses, hold paid jobs directed by the admissions office. They are meant to be attractive, personable, and a valuable asset in the recruting wars, writes Mike Strange who posted a history of hostessing in general and The Orange Pride in particular. He mentioned similar groups of attractive coeds who for years used to have names like the “Gator Getters” (Florida), the “Hurricane Honeys” (Miami), the “Bama Belles” (Alabama).
So, paint a picture. Not a stick figure.
If you want to read an entertaining take on the absurdity of the New York Times article, get a load of this by Clay Travis for NCAA Football Fanhouse.
And oh by the way. Feck off, George Vescey. I thought you were a reputable sports journalist. Sorry for my mistake.
__________________________________________Too much of nothing can make a man abuse a king. He can walk the streets and boast like most But he wouldn’t know a thing.
__________________________________________Lyrics by B. Dylan 1967, 1970 Dwarf Music