Skip to Content
Media Meltdowns

Man Who Declares “There’s No ‘Us’ In ‘Me’” Has No Brain In Head

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - NOVEMBER 19: Purdue students hold up a giant cutout of university president Mitch Daniels during the college football game between the Northwestern Wildcats and the Purdue Boilermakers on November 19, 2022, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

For a couple of years now, I’ve stayed out of the take-dissection business. I have my reasons. I can no longer rely on your local newspaper columnist to reliably spit out takes like “A City As Storied As Memphis Deserves Better Than A Thug Like Ja Morant,” because local newspapers don’t exist anymore. And I won’t give closer inspection to our leading Substack-Americans because the bulk of their income comes from hate reads. They have optimized clickbaiting to a terrifying degree, enough to make me pine for the days of Hamilton listicles on Buzzfeed.

But once in a while, there comes a take that breaks through, a column that leaves the yard with such exit velocity and distance that you can’t help but admire its grandeur. This week, one such take announced itself. It was written—and I use the word "written" here with such, such generosity—by union-busting former Indiana governor and former Purdue president Mitch Daniels, who got a byline in the Washington Post and ended up transcending the mortal plane in the process:

In a me-first era, my appreciation of women’s sports just keeps growing

We’re already on shaky ground with the headline. Tell me about this “me-first” business, Mitch!

In a society permeated by sports figures who embody self-absorption over collective commitment, who cultivate their personal “brands” at the expense of collective success, we are sending unhelpful messages to a culture in need of better examples.

God, that’s so true. When my children and I watch LeBron James play basketball, I tell them, “Kids, this man has won four NBA championships in three different cities, opened his own public school, started a four-star rated charity foundation in his family’s name, won two gold medals for the U.S., secured the NBA all-time scoring record despite often preferring to pass the ball rather than shoot it, and has been an exemplary citizen for the 20 years he’s played professional basketball. What a fucking GLORY BOY. Don’t be like LeBron, my little ones. Be like Mitch Daniels, whose pharma company had to pay out over $2.7 billion in fines back when he was running it. That’s putting others before yourself.”

Is the American work ethic slipping?

Motherfucker, people like you made American workers keep delivering Chinese food to you during a global pandemic.

It’s hard to resist asking:

Do it. Ask it.

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

FUCK YEAH. You talk about a deep cut. I haven’t heard that song referenced in at least eight minutes. And where DID Joe DiMaggio go? We gonna bring him back? We should. He might teach these young scamps a thing or two about how to marry Marilyn Monroe specifically so that you can beat the shit out of her.

That spectacular player was every bit the celebrity that even today’s lesser talents aspire to be, but he wore the mantle very differently.

So true. He was also cheap.

Are American employees these days more demanding of personal perquisites, less engaged with others at work and less loyal to the enterprises that pay them than they once were?

I’ll cut to the chase right here: Yes. We don’t have a workforce of Joe DiMaggios these days. Sadly, we have a gang—yes I said it, GANG—of selfish woke-ennials who are forced to work freelance gigs for satellite companies that are under contract to multi-billion-dollar global conglomerates like Amazon, who farm out labor to those companies to save on both overhead and liability. And do I see ANY gratitude toward Jeff Bezos (DISCLOSURE: Bezos owns the Washington Post) from these same workers? I don’t! No no no, they’re all too busy spending their money on avocado toast and hard carrot juice to offer a simple thank you to the man. They don’t even wear dress shoes on airplanes anymore, either! Disgusting.

Watching big-name athletes walk away from contracts they freely signed…

You’re talking about coaches. Coaches are the ones who do that.

…often for unimaginable amounts of money, surely doesn’t cause second thoughts about such behavior.

We’re at the “I can’t even tell what the fuck he’s talking about” portion of the take. The headline said this op-ed was gonna be about women. So where the fuck are they? Do I need to tap a fucking sign to get you back on track, Mitchy?

And then there’s the matter of simple personal conduct.

The baggy pants, the rap, all that.

Watching third-graders “woofing,” hushing imaginary crowds and otherwise imitating their self-promoting television heroes, one only hopes they encounter an old-school Little League coach who will drum the strutting out of them before it becomes an ingrained habit.

I too hope that they come across a deranged youth sports coach who beats them with a hickory switch the second they even THINK about hitting a Griddy. That'll drum the strut out of them butt good.

Now, this next sentence is where Mitch takes it to the next level. You can read all of Shams Charania. You can watch Zoolander 900 times. You can lobotomize yourself, turn on a recorder afterward, re-insert your frontal lobe, and play back the audio. You STILL won’t encounter a piece of English as special as this one.

There may be no “I” in “team,” but there’s also no “us” in “me.”

KINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG. Fuck, that’s so good. How have I never thought of that line myself? Etch it into the Lincoln Memorial, because think about it: Is there an “us” in “me”? I see an M. I see an E. But I don’t see a U or an S. And that’s so sad! There should be an “us” in “me.” I want all of us in me. I wanna open my body up and have every last American come inside of me. Fill me up with YOU. That will make me more like Joe DiMaggio.

A top athlete can consort with criminals, brandish guns in public and litter the landscape with illegitimate children in whose lives he has no intention of playing a father’s role, seldom with career consequences.

Again, this take was supposed to be about women, if I recall. Instead I gotta wade through a bunch of sub–Mitch Albom boomerisms from a crooked penis who used to know how to party but apparently now thinks that Joel Embiid drives around downtown Philadelphia all day long to drop off his many love children on various, unsuspecting doorsteps. I’ve waited longer for Aaron Rodgers to get to the point.

Of course, there are also plenty of high-profile players — Stephen Curry and Patrick Mahomes, for example — who, admirably, haven’t succumbed to the me-first temptations of modern sports.

Dude, have you met Patrick Mahomes’s family? Ever seen their Instagram? Ever talk to Steph Curry and his old lady about public housing? I think they might surprise you!

But all this has caused me to have an even greater appreciation for women’s sports and for their rising visibility on the media landscape.

We made it! We got to the women. Took until the second-to-last paragraph, but we made it. Together. We made it this far because we put the “us” back in “USA.” It’s like the WaPo editor gave this op-ed a woman-focused headline so that they could hide what this take is really about, which is that Mitch Daniels wishes that athletes today were whiter, and more loyal toward Jerry Reinsdorf. Did I mention that, as governor, Daniels helped institute one of the first modern voter ID laws?

Whether at the amateur or professional levels, graciousness and team play predominate over individual histrionics.

Mitch fails to provide any examples of this admirable behavior from female athletes, so let me do so on his behalf. For the record, I have never seen a female athlete showboating…

…or talking shit…

…or violating officially sanctioned dress codes.

These ladies are LADYLIKE, which is more than I can say for their male counterparts, who are too busy woofing and strutting and shooting unwanted babies out of a t-shirt cannon to exercise a bit of common decency out there.

It’s hard to recall many examples of brazen personal misconduct. Today’s female stars appear to retain a sense of responsibility to inspire not just athletic interest but also responsible, admirable conduct in the young women observing them.

“I never watch women’s sports OR read about them, and that’s what I find so refreshing about the athletes who play them. In both their comportment and their submissiveness, these young women remind me of Karen Pence.”

NBA star Charles Barkley once memorably declared, “I am not a role model,” noting it is parents who have that duty, not that he was free to set a negative example for the young people captivated by his terrific basketball skills.

That’s exactly what that ad meant. Charles looked right into the camera and said, “I am not a role model. Parents are role models. But also, I should maybe cut down on the gambling and on throwing people through plate glass windows, because somebody might be watching! Can’t be too careful! Let’s put more ‘we’ in ‘I,’ shall we?”

Still, one can hope that the examples set by icons such as Mia Hamm and Tamika Catchings...

Neither of those women have played competitive sports this decade. “Mitch, who are your favorite active female athletes, given that you admire women’s sports so much?” “Uh, Mia Hamm, whom I prefer to call Us-a Hamm.”

...and their successors...

Who I can totally name!

...occasionally register with young men as well as their female contemporaries.

And really, hope is ALL we can do. Oh, and we can give the cops more Harrier jets to bomb their own cities. Because Joe DiMaggio isn’t walking through that door, America. Where did he go? One cannot say.

Already a user?Log in

Welcome to Defector!

Sign up to read another couple free blogs.

Or, click here to subscribe!

If you liked this blog, please share it! Your referrals help Defector reach new readers, and those new readers always get a few free blogs before encountering our paywall.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter