Mangini Puts Rookies On Bus Trip… For 10 Hours

Hazing: it’s a problem. Sure, it’s not the horror show that superconcerned talking newsheads or bad afternoon movies make it out to be, but it’s still a good way to create unpleasantness and lingering distrust among a group. Oh, and team unity or something. Still, it’s bad enough that all sports ban it outright.

Short Bus
(There is absolutely no evidence that a short bus was used to transport any players. Then again, there’s no evidence that there weren’t any used…)

So when, as the CLEVELAND PLAIN-DEALER reports, an NFL source refers to something as “a sophisticated form of hazing” that he’s never seen anything like before, you’d think there’s some serious issues with player discipline, right? Has to be, right? Actually, it’s a head coach at work - Eric Mangini, to be precise, and only, oh, every single rookie on the team getting mistreated.

Ah, but our true hazing aficionados (you guys are creeps) know that the finest hazing always comes with an element of selfishness on the hazer’s part: pull all the weeds on my lawn, clean my bathroom with your toothbrush, S my D, etc. etc. You’ll be happy to know, then, that at the end of that bus trip was… wait for it… a day of work at Mangini’s own youth football camp!

Mangini’s eighth annual football camp, for under-resourced children in grades 8-12, is voluntary for the rookies — but all felt compelled to attend.

“It’s voluntary, but’s it’s B.S. voluntary,” said one source. “These players are fighting for starting jobs and playing time. What are they supposed to do, say ‘no, I’m not going?”’

Sure, they can! It’s just like telling your wife you don’t actually want to do the dishes when she asks you to (she’s just asking, after all). She’ll understand.

The Browns’ spokesman responded to the Plain-Dealer, essentially telling them the trip was voluntary (see???) and that nobody had brought any complaints directly to the organization, so, y’know… shove it. An NFLPA source agreed, noting that there was nothing to be done if it were voluntary and there were no consequences for not going (good luck enforcing that one).

But - just like always - commenters really struck the right chord to elevate the level of discourse, dropping the kind of knowledge that lets all parties step back and say, “wow, I’m really learning something today.” Take it away, “rayandnay“:

how about stuffed in the back of a van coming from the mexico border or clinging to a life raft from cuba to get to a land flowing with milk and honey, that’s suffering.

Amen. Thanks for reminding us what this, and everything else, is really all about: Elian Gonzalez.