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Ten Foot Mailbag: Robbie Gould's Leg And Rick Reilly's Foot (In Mouth)

By Tim Baffoe-

(CBS) Rick Reilly, have a seat over here, please. Your defense of the Washington football team name was really bad. Not ignorant people knew that already. That's not why we're here today.

No, see, that star witness in your delusional attempt at playing Atticus Finch defending the downtrodden white football fan? Your father-in-law, a Native American, who you said found the whole issue silly? He was actually misquoted by you. You altered that man's words in order to prop up a really bad (il)logic.

Then to compound that act of gross inaccuracy you issued a "sorry I'm not sorry" statement of I'm-Rick-damn-Reillyness that none of us should really be surprised by. Don't own a mistake—double-down on being a turd, right?

Being misquoted is not an opinion—you either represent someone's words accurately or you don't. Your father-in-law "feels differently" about your reporting because it was garbage that led to a garbage piece of faux nobility. How ESPN can allow you to pretend you have any shred of credibility after this is beyond me. Nobody in writing has gone from more greatness to more awfulness than you, and I'm including the suicides of Ernest Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson.

Other than you hopefully going away, another positive that comes from this is that all those people who clung to your terrible piece as justification that their racism was okay and that you were "bringing up some valid points," who made your inbox "flow red" are very quiet right now. And scumbag Daniel Snyder will eventually lose his sad, prickish battle. And history will look on him and the team name supporters and you as incredibly sad cogs of a machine of stupid.

Weekend. Tonto he was smarter.

On to your correspondence.

Yeah, Thursday night he tied the NFL record held by Minnesota Viking Blair Walsh for most consecutive makes from 50+. Of late though, Gould's assumed leg weakness has really been a misconception. Take what Dan Pompei wrote of him in 2010:

"What's interesting is Gould hasn't been perceived as having a big leg. But he clearly has developed leg strength and Bears coaches consequently have gained more confidence in him.

Gould has attempted a career-high four field goals of 50 yards or more this season. He has hit three of them, so he has scored as many points on long kicks as any kicker in the league. His field goal percentage on such attempts is tied for tops in the NFL.

Gould's stronger leg also is evident in his kickoffs. With four games to go, he already has a career-best 13 touchbacks and a career-best touchback percentage of 23.2. He never had more than 11 touchbacks in a previous season.

Fifty percent of his kickoffs have reached the end zone, 11th highest in the NFL according to STATS. He has had 28 kickoffs go 70 yards or more. Only seven kickers have had more."

Gould is fifth all time in field goal percentage and fourth among active kickers. With that he's still only made one Pro Bowl.

And I guess a stronger leg translates to a bolder heart as Gould had a little sideline spat with Devin Hester during the victory over the New York Giants. The two say they're cool now, but didn't a tiny part of you want to see a physical fight happen just out of morbid curiosity?

Well, at least Gould's kids get to eat.

If you're paying for all expenses plus my $500 appearance fee. I'm not one to wear jerseys, but personalized ones take the "adult playing dress up" thing to a whole different level of weirdness. Yes, your dream of playing for the Bears was crushed when your high school coach totally didn't realize your potential and made you the backup long snapper. Now let it go.

There's fun, and there's a complex. A manboy with a personalized jersey is the one that creates his own player in Madden with his name and makes "him" a white halfback with 4.3 speed and then plays on Rookie mode AND TOTALLY DOMINATES.

Even the ironic ones or the attempts at humor are (often) a bit much. The ratio of effort to funniness shouldn't be that great.

And they are all St. Louis Cardinals. Baseball players do seem like the biggest group of strokes usually, though.

I think it's because they get a different sort of deification due to the mythology and reverence we tend to associate with baseball more so than other sports. Football players are faceless gladiators, basketball players are physical giants, and hockey players are Canadian.

Those are different animals to most of us. But baseball is a game you and I can relate to. A guy who looks like Prince Fielder or David Wells can be great at it. They've also excelled at the sport most portrayed in art, and we still associate some Rockwellian fantasy with the game. They are the best at the odd microcosm of America. So our admiration of these superhuman regular guys goes to their heads a bit more.

Add in far more opportunities for random women to throw themselves at them on more road trips, that they have an illogical pride in really stupid unwritten rules, and that they embrace bro culture in a much higher percentage than other major sport athletes, and you have a greater concentration of dbags.

And here's your Angry Penn State Fan of the Week:

From: Joseph J.
To: Me
Subject: Penn State


Have you visited Penn State? How many of its alums or students have you conversed with?

Joe Jurdana
Penn State '77
New Cumberland, PA

Sent from my iPhone

Thanks for emailing, tweeting, and reading. If your question did not get answered this time, that does not necessarily mean I am ignoring it. It may be saved for the next mailbag. Hopefully you're a slightly better person now than you were ten minutes ago. If not, your loss. Want your questions answered in a future Mailbag? Email them to or tweet them to @TimBaffoe with the hashtag #TFMB. No question, sports or otherwise, is off limits (with certain logistical exceptions, e.g. lots of naughty words or you type in Portuguese or you solicit my death). If you email, please include a signature.

Jeff Pearl
The author. (credit: Jeff Pearl)

Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for, Tim corrupts America's youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim's inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @TimBaffoe, but please don't follow him in real life. E-mail him at To read more of Tim's blogs click

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