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THOUGHTS ON STEVE SARKISIAN AND SNARK

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I FOUND SARK'S DRINKING FOIBLES FUNNY, UNTIL I DIDN'T

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This is a joke I made on Thursday night as USC was losing a very winnable game at home to Washington:

It's a bit of a cheap shot, the kind we've made in the past about Gary Pinkel and Stephen Garcia and Damon Evans. At the risk of being too introspective, I think we make these jokes because we see these as isolated ncidents of failure, like laughing at a friend who busts his ass on an icy sidewalk or has a soda explode when he opens it. Steve Sarkisian getting drunk at a booster dinner is funny, in isolation, because it's wildly unexpected. Placed in the larger context of what appears to be fairly serious alcohol problem? Now I just feel like an asshole for that throwaway tweet, laughing and pointing at someone who's grappling with a disease that sent over a million American adults (and another 73,000 adolescents) to treatment in 2013.

This isn't me putting on my Joke Police badge; one of the fundamental aspects of EDSBS is that we write what we think is funny, even if other people don't, and that's fine. Declarations that something is or is not humorous are as tiring as they are useless. It's like claiming shrimp is poison because you have a shellfish allergy. You can still think Steve Sarkisian coaching the Arizona State game under the influence is really funny, and I'll disagree with you.

Undoubtedly, Steve Sarkisian's drinking is going to dominate any talk about USC the rest of this season. Somebody's probably going back right now and trying to figure out which games he might have spent intoxicated. Somebody else is making this about Pat Haden's inability to hire - and, if half the rumors that are swirling are true, Haden's real failing wasn't bringing Sarkisian to USC, it was failing to get him into treatment long before this. And, yeah, there are gonna be jokes at Sark's expense, because that's part of being a public figure with problems some people don't find sympathetic. I just don't feel like making them.