FIRE JOE MORGAN: Rick Telander: Moral Arbiter of Our Nation


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Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Rick Telander: Moral Arbiter of Our Nation

In a time of moral ambiguity, to whom should we turn for guidance? For a moral code? For a ruling on correct and incorrect behavior?

The Dalai Lama? The Pope, perhaps? Our local religious or spiritual leaders? Oh wait -- I know. How about Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times?

Tom (not so) Terrific clearly out of bounds

Tom Brady, Mr. All-American, says he's ''excited.''

You bet.

Informed that actress and ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan is three months pregnant and he is the impregnator, the three-time Super Bowl champion quarterback and purest man in the world -- or rather, his agent, Tom Yee -- said, ''Tom and his family are excited about the pregnancy.''


Someone explain the sarcasm. Seriously. What should he have said? "I am not excited about the pregnancy?" "I hate babies?" "I am going to retroactively marry her to make this pregnancy 'legitimate' in Rick Telander's eyes?"

And let's get this out of the way right off the bat, here: none of us, especially not Rick Telander, knows any goddamn thing about the relationship between Tom Brady and Bridget Moynahan. Not one thing. And thus, as a general rule, I'd say it is not really anyone's business to comment on what is "right" and what is "wrong" here. We all agree?

They're not excited about the mother or a possible marriage or any kind of meaningful union between copulators.

They're excited about the fact their son/brother/relative has active sperm.

Rick Telander is preaching the Word! What Tom Brady and Bridget have/had, according to..I guess, things Telander read in gossip pages, is not "meaningful." A relationship is not "meaningful" unless the two people are married. Even if they hate each other. Britney Spears and K-Fed had a more meaningful union than Tom Brady and Bridget Moynahan. So did Drew Barrymore and Tom Green, and Tiny Tim and that woman he married on The Tonight Show, and Liza Minelli and David Gest. All more meaningful than Brady/Moynahan.

Just for kicks, here is an article Rick wrote about Tony Dungy and, ironically, considering the Brady article, the evils of proselytizing Some excerpts:

Where does the sports teaching end and the proselytizing begin?

Where do the religious beliefs of those in authority become standards for those underneath, and when and how does ostracism for those in disagreement kick in?

Would someone like Dungy, for example, be less or more inclined to keep a devout Christian player over, say, a devout Hindu?

We are an overwhelmingly Christian nation.

But that is not by design, law or decree, and it seems we sometimes forget this.

Great. So, don't impose your value system on other people, then, is the message? Excellent. Continue.

Maybe the Brady family also is excited about the late-night talk-show jokes that are brewing as I type this.

I doubt it.

Maybe they're excited about Brady's current squeeze, pouty-lipped Brazilian lingerie model Gisele Bundchen, who could become the nanny for the baby, if not the actual stepmother.

Brady is at fault because he is dating an attractive woman. As opposed to his ex-girlfriend Moynahan, who was ugly as sin but had a heart of gold. He should have stayed with the sweet ugly girl! What a dick.

Also, the insertion of Gisele's nationality in conjunction with the idea of her nannying for the baby strikes me as latent racism. Who's with me?

Not that Moynahan is giving this child up.

She made no secret of the fact she wanted a baby when she and Brady were hooking up, excuse me, dating.

Now Moynahan is a valueless immoral person because she declined to...what? Skip the dating period and go right to marriage? Perhaps Telander has never in his life "hooked up" with anyone, thus giving him the right to say this so asshole-ishly. Or, wait -- actually, that would not give him the right to do that. He'd still be a preachy asshole.

''I've been on this career thing for so long, and you look at all your friends who are finally getting married and having kids,'' she told Boston Common magazine last fall. ''I believe in balance in life, so I think I can do it all.''

Never mind the oxymoronic essence of that last statement, the part Moynahan is missing is that pesky part about family.

Having a baby is one thing. Having a baby without a legitimate father is another, entirely.

I think it is probably, in many/most cases, preferable to have a stable two-parent family unit for the sake of a child. That does not exclude the possibility of happiness for all involved sans marriage, especially when the father has expressed happiness at the news of the pregnancy, and both parents are quite financially capable of supporting the child. And I wholesale reject the notion that any unmarried couple is "illegitimate." That is shortsighted and preachy and pedantic to the point of absurdity.

Brady, 29, named one of People magazine's ''50 Most Beautiful People'' in 2002, is not the marrying kind. At least not now.

Hope that doesn't shock you, Bridget and Gisele.

But the shocking part to the world is that here is Tom Brady of the New England Patriots with those twinkling blue eyes and Cleaver-family upbringing -- Charles Pierce's recent biography, Moving the Chains: Tom Brady and the Pursuit of Everything, all but anoints the young man -- and he's just out there sowing seed like every other irresponsible rascal.

Really. Okay. Well. Huh. Gee. Gosh. That's retarded.

Let me reiterate: I do not know anything about Brady's relationship with Moynahan that you don't. What I do know: they dated for a long time. Several years. She is hardly a stripper whom Brady met on a drunken binge. This is hardly a Shawn Kemp situation. This is two people who were seriously involved for a fair amount of time -- longer than many, many marriages, BTW -- dealing with a pregnancy that occurred at the very end of their relationship. Is it the best possible situation? No. It is not. But there is a difference between: long relationship/dad happy about the news and a 20-minute relationship/dad denies fatherhood/mother sues everyone kind of situation.

The troubling part is not the gossip and all the rest of the giggle-inducing tawdriness of this little scene.

It is that babies in our modern American world have become items and baubles, things to have or not have, depending on the whim, mood, naivete, intoxication level, desperation and silliness of the two people involved.

Yes, that certainly describes this occurrence. Whimsical (three-year relationship), naive (29- and 35 year-olds, neither of whom known for lack of worldliness), intoxicated (N/A), desperation (stable careers on both ends) and silly (?).

That Britney Spears is the mother of two children, with her shaved head and utter instability, is about all we need to know of the children-as-accessories mental state.

Britney, meet Tom Brady. Tom, Britney. Britney, Bridget Moynahan, Bridget this is Britney. You'll like these two, Brit -- you have absolutely nothing in common with them.

And by the way -- Brit was married when she got pregnant twice, moron.

Moynahan said, via her publicist Christine Papadopoulous (this is how rich celebs communicate, you know), that she is ''healthy and excited.''


Of course, no mention was made as to whether the fetus was equally as thrilled.

If I were a foetus, given all of the possible options for my future, I would be mothereffing psyched to be inside Bridget Moynahan with Tom Brady as my father, knowing that both people were excited and happy about me coming into the world. I am going to be like 6'3", incredibly athletic, good-looking, and my childhood will be filled with the best schooling and care that money can buy. And even if the Foetus Times-Picayune, to which I subscribe, only showed me the few quotes listed in this article, a few from each of my parents, I would have no reason to believe that either of my parents would be absent or unloving. Which is really all I could ever ask for, being a foetus.

(I can't figure out how to make that cool "oe" dipthong symbol. But I prefer the spelling this way.)

It was back on Dec. 14 that Brady and Moynahan announced, through a (what else?) statement, that they had parted ways ''several weeks'' earlier.

Doing a little language and math work, I see that several means more than two but not many, so the pair must have broken up sometime around, say, mid to late November.

This being late February means Tom Terrific gave three-months-pregnant Bridget a last-fling going-away present.

I like that this is clearly Brady's fault, to Telander. It takes two to tango. Also, and I don't know how better to express this: you have absolutely no idea what happened here. So...shut up? I guess?

You know what this reminds me of? I seem to recall a very special episode of Doogie Howser, M.D., in like the fifth season, where he lost his virginity. If I remember correctly, he was like 18 on the show. He had been dating his girlfriend for several years. They were in love. They discussed the use of contraception. And, need I remind everyone, he was a super-genius who was also a medical doctor. And certain people in this world lost their shit and said the whole thing was a bad lesson for kids and immoral and stuff.

And I remember thinking: this is a freaking great lesson for kids. The lesson was: wait until you are old enough to go to college and a medical doctor and a super genius and you have been dating someone for years and years and openly discuss contraception before you have sex. If we could get every kid in the world to think like that, wouldn't the world probably have fewer unwanted pregnancies and be a healthier overall place?

Not the same exact situation, but the fact remains: look at the specifics of the situation before you pass judgment.

I promise I will write something about VORP or EqA or something very soon. But this really bugged me.

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