David Feherty Continues CBS Sports' Rich Tradition of "Mouse Davis Syndrome"

For those who don’t know: Darrell “Mouse” Davis was the founder and chief architect off a wild and wacky (American) football offense known and loved as the “Run-and-Shoot”, where four recievers ran option routes all over the defense and the quarterback basically throws the ball all over the field and scores at will.  At least, that was how it was drawn up when it was most popular during the 90’s; ultimately, it faded out as a gimmick, but is still being utilized by some programs. It is in honor of Coach Davis that the syndrome where people don’t know how too shut up and filter their words is named in his honor.

And, it seems that CBS Sports and their sports analysts have upheld the tradition of Mouse Davis Syndrome quite well. Remember “Jimmy the Greek” Snyder of NFL Today fame, and his infamous rant on Black athletes being inborn?? Or Ben Wright during the early 90’s with his famous last words about women not being able to compete with men because….well, “their breasts get in the way of their swing”???

Well…here comes David Feherty, current 17th hole analyst, to continue the tradition of putting foot into mouth.  This time, not so much sports-wise, but politically speaking.

Last week, Feherty was one of five columnists recruited by the upscale Dallas online journal D Magazine to comment on former POTUS George W. Bush’s return to civilian life in Dallas. Most of the columns were mostly maudlin tributes to Dubya’s career and reflections on his legacy, with the expected positive spin that wealthy Dallas socialites would have towards the former First Family.

Feherty’s column was mostly no exception to the rule; gushing on all the positive things that Dubya had done…especially concerning defense matters; in particularly, the war in Iraq.

And that’s exactly where his Mouse Davis Syndrome kicked in, with this graph describing his perception of military support for Dubya  as compared to his political and military rivals:

From my own experience visiting the troops in the Middle East, I can tell you this, though: despite how the conflict has been portrayed by our glorious media, if you gave any U.S. soldier a gun with two bullets in it, and he found himself in an elevator with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Osama bin Laden, there’s a good chance that Nancy Pelosi would get shot twice, and Harry Reid and bin Laden would be strangled to death. I’ve never met a soldier who didn’t love this president and this country, and I’ve met a bunch of them, at home and abroad, in hospitals and in theater. At Walter Reed, Bethesda Naval Medical Center, and the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, I have visited dozens of patients, and I always ask of them before I leave: “What do you want to do when you get out?” No matter how broken or burned, or how many limbs they are missing, they give only one answer: “I want to go back. I want to rejoin my team, to finish our mission.” They are rightfully proud of what they have done and want nothing more than to be with their brothers and sisters in arms, because they know the consequences if their job is left unfinished. Right here on American soil, we will end up with unqualified people having to do the job they have been doing over there so incredibly well, and with such extraordinary compassion. The fact is, Americans in America have been safe since 9/11, almost the whole length of G2’s term as president, and for that we should be thankful.

I went ahead and quoted the entire paragraph for context’s sake; and bolded the most controversial portion for myself.

Now, it should be said that Feherty, despite his war hawk views, is not a Sean Hannity/Boss Limbaugh/Daddy Dobson type of right-winger; actually, his political opinions are basically all over the board, like an errant golfer’s golf swing. To quote:

As for me, my politics are somewhere in the middle—and then way outside both wings. I believe in the death penalty, especially for pro-lifers, child molesters, those opposed to gay marriage, and for stupid dancing in the end zone. I believe in the abolition of estate taxes and the Pickens Plan. I’d lower the legal drinking age and raise the driving age to 18 nationwide, make Kinky Friedman governor of Texas, and make all schools, public and private, start earlier with one hour of physical exercise.

A libertarian conservative with a driver, perhaps?? And, ooooooh, the death penalty for “pro-lifers”??? Really, David??

Naturally, it was the “shoot Nancy Pelosi” smack that got him in deep poop (I guess that strangling Harry Reid isn’t quite that threatening…and the line for whacking Osama probably stretches about three orbits around the earth long?) Thinly veiled death threats directed at reigning politicians and recommendations of assassinations are not taken to be too funny these days…especially considering the times. Media Matters.org fired off an editorial and an email to CBS Sports calling for Feherty to apologize and retract his statement; Keith Olbermann smacked down Feherty as his “Worst Person in the World” for May 8th on his MSNBC Countdown show and openly wondered why Feherty wasn’t yet getting his pink slip; and the Huffington Post spared no ink in villifying Feherty’s idiocy.

In response, according to the HuffPost, both the PGA Tour and CBS Sports issued seperate statements reprimanding Feherty, calling his attempt of smack “an unacceptable attempt at humor” which “went over the line”.   And, later, Feherty did issue his own public apology to Reid and Pelosi for his attempt at bad humor turned blowback.

Of course, that wasn’t enough for some, who quickly called for Feherty’s immediate dismissal; citing the other two cases of Jimmy The Greek and Ben Wright as precedents of broadcasters getting run for shooting their mouths off.

Personally, though, I tend to disagree with that….mostly because as loathsome as Feherty’s attempt at smack was, it was done on his own time and his own dime, not on CBS Sports time, as was the case with the other two. There is still such a thing as not punishing people for their private opinions (until those opinions directly support actual harm)…and it should be stated that Feherty did  not openly advocate that Pelosi and Reid be killed; he simply stated that some military men might have that thought in mind.

Plus, I tend to believe that the response to bad smack is to smack harder and better, not to censor. Yes, Feherty should be drowned in his own myopia, and he should be called out openly and often for his insanity moment, and at the very least, a suspension or a dockage of pay would be in order so that he feels some pain in the pocketbook for being such an asshat.  But, let’s save the ultimate death penalty of firing for those who really deserve it….like Boss Limbaugh or InSManity or Glenn Beck. Compared to them, David Feherty is more like a 6-iron bunker shot gone awry.

Besides, it could be far, far worse if Feherty did get run: CBS Sports could do like ABC and hire Boss Limbaugh to do golf analysis.  Imagine him staring over Tiger Woods on the 17th tee in Augusta…and commenting on Eldrick’s 300′ drive down the center of the fairway.  Thanks, but I’ll take Feherty over that any day.

What’s next, CBS Sports: Gary McCord going off on the influence of lesbians infiltrating the LPGA tour??