First off, loyal readers, allow me to apologize for sullying Her Loyal Sons with Josh Shaw’s false story. Not only did I decide to run with the story, but I tried to give you warm and fuzzy feelings about a Southern Cal player.
I figured there was no harm in running a story from USC’s official freakin’ website, but, on Wednesday, that same site posted an official statement that Shaw made up the whole thing. And, in the most Southern Cal thing ever, Shaw retained an attorney, but not just any attorney:
As of this moment, there is no word for what caused Shaw’s mysterious injury. All we know what that he lied and went from out indefinitely with an injury to being out indefinitely for being an idiot.
I’m not handing out that dunce hat because I believe any of the crazy rumors currently flying everywhere. People are in the “throw crap against the wall and see what sticks” mode right now and I’m not going to add to that. I’m not even going to try and read between the lines of why he needs a lawyer either.
I’m just going to say what I know for sure: holy crap, Shaw, you might be the dumbest person alive for thinking this was going to work.
Of all the excuses for your mystery double ankle injury, you picked the one that was guaranteed to attract the most attention. You could have said you had a freak injury playing basketball or soccer. You could have said you fell down the stairs because of your dog (this actually happened to Texas Ranger pitcher, Derek Holland). Hell, you probably could have said you were trying to reenact a scene from Jackass and you would’ve drawn less attention than what you came up with.
But not only did you save a child’s life, you made that child a family member. Seriously? Did you warn your family about this? I have this mental image of your aunt or uncle getting a phone call asking for a reaction about your heroics and having zero idea of what the hell is going on. I can only assume you thought there would be zero follow-up on the story once USC released it because this is the most short-sighted idea ever.
But you couldn’t stop there could you? You had to embellish the story further, giving details of how you were able to use your amazing upper-body strength to not just crawl to the pool, but into it, grabbing your drowning nephew and and climbing a ladder out because, bro, you lift and you got this.
For your sake, I’m hoping that, as you were spinning this web of lies to your coaches, you took a look down at the ditch you had dug, knew there was no stopping it now and just figured the only play left was to go all-in and hope for the best.
Pro-tip for next time: don’t go all-in with 7-2 offsuit.
And Southern Cal…just what in the blue hell were you thinking by releasing this before vetting the story?
The only thing that I can logically come up with is that someone tipped you off that ESPN or some other national outlet had the story (but based on the fact the flood came well after the USC release, I doubt it) and you figured that you had to get out in front of it. Even if that was the case, it’s still the dumbest move possible on your end.
Say someone else does get the story. Just deny the hell out of it until you talk to people. This story had holes blown in it almost immediately so it’s not like you’d have a “What is USC hiding?!” narrative. Any journalist that ran with it would have been promptly made the fool, but you were more than happy to take that role.
And before anyone says “but Manti Te’o”, just stop. Te’o was a victim of a hoax. As far as he knew, his story was true. Ask his family and friends, they would think it’s true. Remember, they actually talked to “Lennay”.
Lennay wasn’t created by Te’o, but this entire story of epic heroics was 100% crafted by Shaw. I have a feeling a few phone calls to friends and family would have saved Southern Cal a load of embarrassment. Even if they were taking Shaw at his word, it’s surprising that they didn’t want to reach out to a thankful family member for Shaw’s supposed life saving efforts and promote the hell out of that quote.
Logic took a leave of absence at Southern Cal. The end result? Irish fans are dying of laughter and, even worse, ESPN dubs you a “clown college” and crowns UCLA the team of LA: