May 26, 2011
Already this year, it's been soberly discussed on Outside the Lines, expertly examined by Frontline and authoritatively critiqued by HBO. You know it's officially open season on the NCAA, however, when the Association comes within range of the past-their-prime but still deadly satirical guns of South Park, which came out firing in typically indiscriminate (and NSFW) fashion Wednesday night in an episode titled Crack Baby Athletic Association:
And that bit deliciously-accented soap-boxery is pretty much all Parker and Stone have to say about that: After spending the first two-thirds of the episode skewering the usual excuses for keeping "amateurs" from a bigger cut on their way to the explicit "NCAA as Slave Master" analogy, they abruptly (though hilariously) shift focus to the fable of a Dutch saint named "Vunter Slaush" — and sort of wind up admitting that actually, yeah, the deplorable scheme can help the people it was exploiting in the end.
Altogether, nothing that the NCAA and other friends of "amateurism" haven't heard many, many times before, from critics they probably respect more than obscenity-spewing cartoon children. But they've never been hit a more withering, soul-searing critique than "You sound like Cartman."
- - -
Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.