Mark Emmert will be taking the stand in the O'Bannon trial today. If you are not familiar with Mark Emmert's superpowers as the most boring X-Man of them all, let us review them for you.
No matter what position he is in, and no matter how you may try to chain him down or restrain him, he possesses the power to place his foot in his mouth at any time. If you cut both of his legs off, and buried both deep beneath the ice of the North Pole, Mark Emmert could summon them like Thor calling his might hammer Mjolnir to his hand. Remove the feet from his mouth, turn away for just one second, and there's just...more feet, just feet all the way down.
It's kind of hard to separate his superpower from his title. As a university president, Emmert was already gifted enough in nothingspeak to rise to the top of his profession, and survived a lengthy spell as LSU's president without indictment or assassination. Clearly he's already gifted, but being put in the position of heading up the NCAA conveys a very special superpower: defending the gibberish at the heart of the NCAA's mission.
That mission is [FILE NOT FOUND]. The really fun part of watching Emmert in public -- besides his ability to take a massive paycheck without displaying an ounce of shame -- comes in watching a grown man dodge the most glaring question of all, time and time again: what exactly do you and your co-workers do that isn't theft, or at least elaborate, state-sanctioned fraud? The member institutions of the NCAA hide, which indicates some kind of understanding of the situation.
The NCAA, and Emmert as its most public spokesperson, has no such option, and doesn't even bother to lie. It's either lazy, demented, or brilliant bullshitting without regard to any measured understanding of reality. And it is literally all that Mark Emmert does, all day long, every day, for money paid in American dollars to his bank account.
Capitalism is amazing in a lot of ways. It can make a millionaire of a man by paying him to help convince others that work isn't work, and that you should pay him instead for keeping that work unpaid. You might even be able to tell that lie to a judge, straightfaced and unflinching. If you can, you can probably be a millionaire, too, at least until you run up against the law or basic rules of economics. But you need to hear both sides, you might say, something we'd agree with if the other side really cared about any reality at all.
P.S. The O'Bannon trial has achieved the impossible: it's made us miss Will Muschamp football.