To the teams that desire making it this far next year: Gear up! In the battle, set your sights on next season's targets! From the shot across the bow--the first second's tip-off --your leaders will be in the enemy's crosshairs, so you must execute strong defensive tactics. You won't win only playing defense, so get on offense! The crossfire is intense, so penetrate through enemy territory by bombing through the press, and use your strong weapons--your Big Guns--to drive to the hole. Shoot with accuracy; aim high and remember it takes blood, sweat and tears to win. Focus on the goal and fight for it. If the gate is closed, go over the fence. If the fence is too high, pole vault in. If that doesn't work, parachute in. If the other side tries to push back, your attitude should be "go for it." Get in their faces and argue with them. (Sound familiar?!) Every possession is a battle; you'll only win the war if you've picked your battles wisely. No matter how tough it gets, never retreat, instead RELOAD!Zirin points out how overstated these metaphors are. Though he concedes that there is often military-language in sports, notably football, he notes that he has never seen such an array of metaphors before to describe college basketball. He also points out how much white privilege she has to invoke violent imagery in politics. If she were a Muslim woman, he remarks, nobody would tolerate this from her.
I would also add that it is patently absurd that violent metaphor in sport would excuse violent metaphor in politics, since, you know, politics are really serious business that people have historically been moved to violence by. This happens much more rarely in sports, especially American sports.
Yesterday, Palin defended herself against accusations that these metaphors of violence have been causes of the massacre in Arizona. Most absurdly, she declares, "Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them." Now certainly this cannot be true. She would certainly never say that the acts of 9/11 hijackers begin and end with them. No, rather, they begin with something called Islamofascism and end with the invasion and occupation of multiple countries. How can any act of violence begin and end with the invidual who committed it? We're not allowed to note any social context that may have made the violence possible or even encouraged it?
Now, rhetoric like Zirin points out from Palin is being cited by many as a potential cause of the Arizona shooting, as contributing to a political atmosphere in the state that leads to a violent massacre. I think it's fair to say this rhetoric has contributed to a heightened state of aggression in U.S. political discourse, and whether there are connections between Palin's rhetoric in particular and this Loughner guy's decision to shoot people is yet to be determined by deeper investigation into his political views and motives. But to claim that the violent actor in this case is solely responsible for his violence defies logic, as well as her own previous assertions about terrorism.