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redman

"Taken out of context", the most misused cliche by athletes

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Ok, here's redman's lesson to all of the athletes who claim that their direct quotes were "taken out of context" whenever they're confronted with their own words.

"Taken out of context" means that the words, when taken in isolation, mean something different when they are presented along with everything else that was going on at the time, usually the preceding and ensuing conversation, but it can also include external events. It does not mean "do-over" or "I should be immune from the effects of my statements."

Here's an example. If someone presented a quote from Pres. George W. Bush that the greatest threat to western civilization today comes from corruption and organized crime in the industrialized world, we would all look at each other and wonder what he was talking about. He could rightly tell us that it was taken out of context because it was a quote of his that was taken before September 11, 2001. That's a change of context.

Let's examine Lavar's words and you tell me what additional details that could conceivably exist Monday - a short three days ago - that would change the meaning of his words:

"It's not a given that I'll continue playing if the Redskins get rid of me," the 27-year-old linebacker says, sitting in the dining room of his majestic, 20,000-square-foot mansion east of Annapolis. "I don't really want to play for anyone else. I don't feel bad about it. I've had my time. I'm capable of doing other things besides football."

This quote seems pretty straight forward. He doesn't expect that he'll necessarily play for the 'Skins next year, and he may retire from the game if that happens. There's really no context required - the words mean what they mean.

"It's crazy and unfair that something I had very little to do with derailed my relationship with management," Arrington says. "You see they're not marketing you anymore. You see people interacting with other people the way they used to interact with you. I watched how things were with Stephen Davis. I watched how things were with Champ [bailey]. I saw the same things happening to me.

"I restructured my contract to help the Redskins. Do you think I'm going to do that now? Of course not."

Pout of the year. Again, what context changes the meaning of the above words?

"Obviously, using me sparingly or not at all is a very clear message," says Arrington, who did not play despite suiting up for an Oct. 9 loss to the Denver Broncos. "I'm not wanted here. I believe in my heart that the Redskins faithful love me as Ravens fans love Ray Lewis or Packers fans love Brett Favre. Some individuals hate it that there are more of my jerseys in the stands than anyone else's."

Again, the words mean what they mean.

"I didn't plan to move this far from Redskin Park," Arrington says. "I looked all over Virginia and Maryland for this type of setup. But I wanted to be near the water."

This quote sounds almost apologetic for how far he lives away from Redskins Park, but it's a pretty minor quote in the whole scheme of the article. Still, I'm not sure how it could mean something different than what it seems to mean.

"At some point during that six-game drought when I wasn't playing much, I lost my mojo," Arrington says. "I accepted being on the bench for the good of the team. But I shouldn't have. I was like, 'Is this the way my career is going to end?'

"I found myself for the first time this season on Saturday. I was like, 'I could care less what people think about me or what they say. I'm just going to be me.' And I think it showed."

Sounds like he said that the lack of playing time caused him to "lose his mojo", whatever that really means, but that he learned this past Saturday (only this past Saturday???) not to care about what others think. What's the different meaning?

"Joe Paterno started the whole thing of me being a freelancer and it has continued through my whole career unwarranted," Arrington says of his coach at Penn State. "I've been called a freelancer doing what I was asked to do. If I ran into any gap I wanted, how long would you keep me in the game?

"[Former defensive coordinator] Marvin Lewis said, 'LaVar ran around like a chicken with his head cut off until I got here.' But I made a Pro Bowl before he got here."

He's blaming others for his reputation, and saying he proved Marvin Lewis' assessment of him as a free-lancer wrong because he made a Pro Bowl the year before. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. Have we got this wrong too?

"Causing a fumble to win a game or getting an interception to change a season, that's not the extent of my life," he says. "It never has been. I always see myself as a person first. Maybe coaches get upset that I don't take myself or this game too seriously and they do. Maybe they get upset because I see it as a game and nothing more than a game."

In other words, the whole reason I, Lavar, put together this interview so that I could publicly air my grievances, it was really for a game that I don't care all that much about. Doesn't this statement speak for itself?

"The Redskins will try and trade me, but if no one wants to take the trade, they're going to have to cut me," Arrington says. "If they string me into July, that's not debilitating to me. If that means the end, that means the end. I can always look back at everything I've been through and say for the most part that I've handled things the right way. I haven't embarrassed my name in any way. I've always been a cool guy.

"I'm happy in my skin. My parents instilled in us that you can't take anything for granted. I've been preparing for my post-football career since I started playing. If I went no further than being Parade's National High School Player of the Year, it was one heck of a ride."

More of the same as above.

"I'm still a part of this team, and we're having a winning season," he said. "If I get a Super Bowl ring, I could really feel good about leaving this game."

Even the Super Bowl is all about him.

Lavar's article is a perfect example of direct quotes that can't be taken out of context because they're crystal clear examples of exactly what's on his mind. I get sick and tired of hearing the "out of context" claims from atheletes who too late regret their selfishness or stupidity.

What "out of context" really means as used by althletes is "I don't want to be held accountable for my words and actions."

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contest .... and context are two different words.

and most of them are right... the media does take what they say out of context a lot... thats why most of use here dont like the media.

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contest .... and context are two different words.

and most of them are right... the media does take what they say out of context a lot... thats why most of use here dont like the media.

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contest .... and context are two different words.

and most of them are right... the media does take what they say out of context a lot... thats why most of use here dont like the media.

So you're claiming that Lavar was claiming that his words were taken out of contest? :laugh:

Nice attempt to duck, but it won't work.

EDIT - I just realized I misspelled the title. Fixed, and :doh:

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Gotta agree with you Redman

The only way I felt they could have been taken out of context was if these were older quotes, from an interview taken perhaps in October

But with the clarification, it is clear Lavar is about Lavar

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Well that pretty much lays it out, doesn't it? good post

Lavar you ga some 'splainin ta do...

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thank you Redman... no one around here seems to think that LA is a disease. no production, whiny to the press for everything... hes like TO minus the great stats!!!

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It's obvious that Lavar is unhappy with the team and the way things are going here. That much is not taken out of context. Your personal assaults on his supposed self-centered behavior are taken out of context to some degree.

Everyone is self centered to some degree, no matter how hard you work at trying to put other's before you it still is never more than a way to improve some facet of your own life, whether it be your self image, or the realization that putting the team first will actually help you as well.

We are talking about a man who has been outcast by his own team in many ways. Of course he's upset. In his mind he tried to help the team's cap situation by getting his contract extension done in time to spread out the hit, and the team turned around and backstabbed him. How would you feel about that? I think the reality is his agent inflated the numbers to make it sound better to Lavar and then lied to him after the fact to push the blame to the organization. But to Lavar, his agent says we backstabed him. He needs to get away from the Postons, they are railroading him to make themselves look better, or at least not quite as bad.

On the other side we have an organization that on the coaching side at least inherited a player who's contract was unacceptably large for the corresponding output on the field, and who was then accusing them of shorting him on said outragious contract. The staff wants out from under the contract so they can afford to bring in more quality players and Lavar's attitude towards the whole situation has been a hangup.

Overall, it's a bad situation made far worse by liars(Postons) At this point I'm not sure it can be reconciled. I think the only way to do it would be concessions on both sides, which is unlikely at this point.

One thing I really do disagree with though. Lavar is an has been playing well, there is now way the coaching staff can justify from a team first perspective the fact that he is not on the field on third downs, or the fact that they rarely ever let him blitz the QB. Coach Williams likes to Blitz, Lavar is one of our most effective blitzers, but you never send him? This is letting things off the field intrude, and it's not for the best of the team no matter what anyone says.

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The interview done at his home speaks for itself as much as Lavar speaks for himself (out of context).

He is gone next year for sure unless its cheaper to keep him. The guy is a waste of about 6-7 roster spots in salary.

If he was a Brett Favre or a Ray Lewis he would have made a huge difference this year, when the team was winning, instead of being a major distraction.

Lavar is just disgruntled due to being replaced in significance by Washington and any free agent signing send onto the field instead of him.

We thought we had the next LT but in reality we have the next Junior Seau/Hellen Keller hybrid.

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You're right. But this whole thing is just sad. Not for LaVar, but for the fans who backed him and were just waiting for him to become what he was capable of becoming. It's obvious now that he was never capable of meeting his potential. I only wish it didn't take 6 years and untold, misspent millions to figure it out.

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Um, I notice you left out the reporters writing. The writing to compliment the quotes is how the quotes are taken out of context. Quotes by themselves are just that, quotes. How the reporter chooses to read into those quotes and subsequently write the article dictates whether or not it is quality journalism.

Secondly, do you have a list of the questions asked? You and I both well know that there are a variety of ways to get an answer that will sell papers. You don't know what was asked, how it was asked, or how it was followed up or lead upon. All we see is the end result. Now, that doesn't take away from the dissapointing fact that Lavar had the interview with the TIMES in the first place, but I don't see any malicious intent in the quotes by themselves, but the article as a whole was certainly written for unwholesome purposes. That is, it was meant to generate controversy and stir up Lavar haters. And it seems Elkin has succeeded in atleast dividing the fanbase.

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What LaVar also said was that he was led to believe by the writer than the articles focus would be pretty much a recap of what has happened this year leading up to now. While the article obviously does review what has happened thus far, it's primary focus is on the future -- LaVar's with or without the Redskins.

If the writer told him the focus was on one thing and then shifted the entire focus on the piece to something else, then he would have misled Mr. Arrington and LaVar would be reacting the way we all saw last night. Then, when you read where LaVar basically says "the quotes were mine, but the writer put his own stuff in there," you begin to understand where he's coming from.

I have a feeling LaVar wouldn't have invited the writer to his house Monday for the interview had he known Elfin's true intentions.

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What LaVar also said was that he was led to believe by the writer than the articles focus would be pretty much a recap of what has happened this year leading up to now. While the article obviously does review what has happened thus far, it's primary focus is on the future -- LaVar's with or without the Redskins.

If the writer told him the focus was on one thing and then shifted the entire focus on the piece to something else, then he would have misled Mr. Arrington and LaVar would be reacting the way we all saw last night. Then, when you read where LaVar basically says "the quotes were mine, but the writer put his own stuff in there," you begin to understand where he's coming from.

I have a feeling LaVar wouldn't have invited the writer to his house Monday for the interview had he known Elfin's true intentions.

If that's the focus that the writer was supposedly taking, then Lavar could have graciously declined to answer questions about the future, no?

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If he was a Brett Favre or a Ray Lewis he would have made a huge difference this year, when the team was winning, instead of being a major distraction.

Really? Brett Favre has one of the worst records in the league and Ray Lewis isn't going to the playoffs either. And Arrington has helped the weakside run support this year, which since Holdman has been taken out and Arrington has been in has improved whether or not you wish to acknowledge that fact or not.

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If that's the focus that the writer was supposedly taking, then Lavar could have graciously declined to answer questions about the future, no?

Um, the writer doesn't have to tell Arrington what he's shifting the focus to. That's the point. If I set up an interview with you telling you it's going to be about the season in review and how you felt about all the circumstances surrounding the season at the time, and how you felt now, then after the interview proceeded to write a juicy piece highlighting certain tidbits rather than keeping with the story as a whole, that's shifting the focus. And you wouldn't know that the focus was shifted until after the story was out.

You can be upset at Arrington for conducting the interview, but to try to spell out his intentions when you have no idea what direction the interview was heading or what the questions were, or how they were asked to get the answers they did, then you really have no legit standing for argument.

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Um, the writer doesn't have to tell Arrington what he's shifting the focus to. That's the point. If I set up an interview with you telling you it's going to be about the season in review and how you felt about all the circumstances surrounding the season at the time, and how you felt now, then after the interview proceeded to write a juicy piece highlighting certain tidbits rather than keeping with the story as a whole, that's shifting the focus. And you wouldn't know that the focus was shifted until after the story was out.

You can be upset at Arrington for conducting the interview, but to try to spell out his intentions when you have no idea what direction the interview was heading or what the questions were, or how they were asked to get the answers they did, then you really have no legit standing for argument.

Bingo! Listen to the man - he's dead-on. Read the comments from LaVar in the Post and Elfin's article today and you'll see that's what happened.

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Um, the writer doesn't have to tell Arrington what he's shifting the focus to. That's the point. If I set up an interview with you telling you it's going to be about the season in review and how you felt about all the circumstances surrounding the season at the time, and how you felt now, then after the interview proceeded to write a juicy piece highlighting certain tidbits rather than keeping with the story as a whole, that's shifting the focus. And you wouldn't know that the focus was shifted until after the story was out.

You can be upset at Arrington for conducting the interview, but to try to spell out his intentions when you have no idea what direction the interview was heading or what the questions were, or how they were asked to get the answers they did, then you really have no legit standing for argument.

I think you need to re-read the post you are responding to.

1. Lavar says it was supposed to have been an article about the season in review. :rolleyes:

2. Lavar throws out quote after quote about his future with the team and what might happen this offseason, despite his impression that the reporter from the Times is there to talk about the past season. :doh:

How does that make sense?

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Haven't we beaten this to death already. Time to move on. You already had an opinion about LA before this article. I doubt it did anything to change your mind.

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Haven't we beaten this to death already. Time to move on. You already had an opinion about LA before this article. I doubt it did anything to change your mind.

I had moved on until I read Lavar's pity party in yesterday's Times. I was willing to listen to his side of the story up until that point. No more.

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I'm pretty much done with Lavar as well. It sucks, I don't want to be, but I am.

I would rather not even see him on the field Sunday against the Eagles.

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Um, the writer doesn't have to tell Arrington what he's shifting the focus to. That's the point. If I set up an interview with you telling you it's going to be about the season in review and how you felt about all the circumstances surrounding the season at the time, and how you felt now, then after the interview proceeded to write a juicy piece highlighting certain tidbits rather than keeping with the story as a whole, that's shifting the focus. And you wouldn't know that the focus was shifted until after the story was out.

You can be upset at Arrington for conducting the interview, but to try to spell out his intentions when you have no idea what direction the interview was heading or what the questions were, or how they were asked to get the answers they did, then you really have no legit standing for argument.

Your desperation to defend Lavar is amazing. All I can do is repeat what I said. Lavar always had it in his power to shut his mouth rather than use any of the "certain tidbits" as you called them that the writer opted to use. He refused to do that.

So, you see, Lavar's even undisciplined and selfish in the way he runs his mouth!

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I think you need to re-read the post you are responding to.

1. Lavar says it was supposed to have been an article about the season in review. :rolleyes:

2. Lavar throws out quote after quote about his future with the team and what might happen this offseason, despite his impression that the reporter from the Times is there to talk about the past season. :doh:

How does that make sense?

It makes perfect sense. Let me ask you something:

If you were a reporter and you had just finished covering the season, wouldn't you ask about the future? That's what would make it a complete story right? And if you wrote for the times, you might try to get some speculative answers right? And knowing that Lavar can never shut up, you'd go for the jugular right? So here's what's certainly possible, Elkin gets home, looks at the quotes, decides he doesn't want to write the season in review artcle, he has enough info to write a "LAVAR MIGHT RETIRE" controversial article! Why go with what's safe? He's trying to sell papers. Lavar is screwed because he talked too much, and Elkin has his story. Who knows, maybe that was his intent all along? Say one thing, while hoping to get enough information for the next.

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