BDU, I won't say you are wrong, but...This is absolutely amazing. Thank you for posting. This year one of my teachers took a break, and we were so lucky to get a teacher in who was looking to return to teacher after being overseas in South Korea for several years. She was way out of our league, and will be off to one of the more esteemed universities next year. I forget what her credentials were exactly, but she had a masters degree in English literature and several others that technically made her, no shit, a fucking doctor of words - she, however, did not go by doctor.
Anyway, she knew I was really enthusiastic about writing and I worked hard to make a positive impression, getting good grades and performing well in class. She really went out of her way to help me out, and taught me a LOT about metalanguage to help me understand my "voice" and what I had. Fuck the weaknesses, build on your strengths, right?
This column by Pluto is one of the greatest examples of metalanguages I have ever seen that states objectivity but is pushing you to an agenda. An amazing example is point 12.
It starts with "This is Cleveland" because this is your team, your city and your very life. Whoever you're most pissed off with at the end of this hates your city and you should hate them.
So, with that in mind, let's review both men.
- Farmer's first-round picks have not delivered talent immediately ready to play
- Pettine's defense has been a major failure. It is much worse this season than a year ago, no matter what stats you use. Furthermore, more players (Tramon Williams, Danny Shelton, Nate Orchard) were added to the defense.
Hardly, seems fair, does it?
"Farmer's first round picks have not delivered" immediately shifts blame AWAY from Farmer. It's not "Farmer failed to deliver first-round picks who.." but his first round picks who have failed - not Farmer himself. You'll also notice it's only first-round picks that Pluto mentions, picks that Pluto has already placed fresh blame on Pettine for in points 7 and 8. He doesn't mention Ray Farmer's free agency signings, every other draft pick, undrafted free agents or choices for the 53 man roster. He simply mentions first round picks that he's already established Pettine is equally accountable for. Soon after you'll read point 14, and you'll see Pluto telling you that you're just impatient when it comes to first round picks.
"talent immediately ready to play" is very soft, isn't it. They're just not immediately ready to play. Not "struggling to make an impact" or must less "Who currently look like busts" but immediately ready to place. It's a soft version of saying "Sorry Farmer didn't draft guys who got to the hall of fame in their first year.
"Pettine's defense has been a major failure" gives us the easiest example of persuasion that exists - the adjective. It isn't a failure, it's a MAJOR failure. It isn't "immediately ready to have results" but A FAILURE. You'll also notice it's not "Pettine's players on defense have been a major failure" but Pettine's defense itself. This is the antithesis of what Pluto did for Ray Farmer, pointing blame at his first round picks (Whom he established Pettine as drafting!) rather than Farmer himself.
"It is much worse this season than a year ago" - same again, it is not worse than a year ago, it is MUCH worse. Additional emphasis.
"No matter what stats you use" implies anyone is actually saying our defense is better than last year. Has anyone ever actually seen it? Not I. That would be unreasonable. This is done to paint Pettine, and anyone defending him, as unreasonable. It'd be like writing "And before you say Hitler wasn't bad.." because your psychological reaction is to think "I wasn't gunna, I won't, promise!"
"Furthermore, more players (Tramon Williams, Danny Shelton, Nate Orchard) were added to the defense." finishes up with, well, defending Ray Farmer. Look at these players that Farmer got for Pettine and his defense is a MAJOR FAILURE. Really, Orchard and Williams have not been any good, these aren't major upgrade. Williams is worse than Skrine and Orchard is worse than Sheard. That's one reason why "More players were add" because it infers an upgrade without saying it. These players were added, but they were added because we LOST players. We did not "Add" players, we replaced players Farmer allowed to walk.
"Fans and media like to point fingers of blame at one party, but both have fallen way short of what should have been expected this season." we finish up with "Look how balanced and objective I am" in spite of seeing significant metalanguage used to persuade you, CLEVELAND, that Mike Pettine is at blame. The entire article is laced with these examples to the point that it's actually quite overt.
I won't do every one, but I have to point out this because it's so damn bad.
PLG started a thread. BUD started a thread regarding the development of quarterbacks on a league wide scale that provided statistical analysis, breakdowns and projections based on what we could expect in the future.
When you read the above, two things have been used. Firstly, the context is greater on the second statement, and the second statement is placed second because both operate on the simple psychology of how we form short-term memory. As a result, BUD looks brilliant and who the fuck is PLG? Simple enough. (I bet that BUD dude is also incredibly attractive, and well hung.)
That's exactly what Pluto has done on point 13. He's expanded context on his second point to get you pissed at Pettine. He again does a 180 (As we've seen already) and alleviates all pressure on Farmer by infering that you can't blame Farmer for Bowe because it's Pettine who has him out of shape.
The best part of this is it's totally wrong - Kruger isn't being used any differently. If by moving around Pluto means "Swapping occasionally between taking on the LT and RT" then, yeah, I guess he's being moved around... the same as every linebacker that has ever existed. Incredibly few linebackers stay on one side of the field at all times, and I honestly cannot name any off the top of my head. How is he confused? His responsibilities are minimal. To anyone actually watching, Paul Kruger has been dreadful. He's not looking as strong or fast as he once did. He's not as quick off the line as he once was. He's still struggling with run blocking (Literally the reason Baltimore let him walk, they were not paying that price for a guy they only used as a situational pass rusher on 3rd down) and he's just overall not been very good, and everyone except Pluto can see it.
I'll put this here because I'd love to see it - Can somebody show me how Kruger is being used wrong? Almost every time I see him simply pass rushing, taking on the tackle. It's not rocket science. It's not even scheme. It's what every single linebacker in the NFL does for most of their careers. Kruger is not winning that match up. It's exactly why he doesn't have sacks. Has nothing to do with the coaching.
Most importantly, though, Bowe is Farmer's cross to bear. It was a pathetically bad signing, and trying to use Kruger to make Pettine seem as bad is just terrible. Nothing, at all, can subtract from that Bowe signing. Can anyone think of a single reason that signing has been strong?
Man, I wish I could take this to my teacher. She'd have a fucking blast with this. It's pretty crazy.
TL;DR - You're getting mindfucked by Terry Pluto, who is using meta-language (Persuasive language, nuance of writing) to manipulate you.
I think you are giving Pluto too much credit; I don't think he is that smart. It is just a case of Pluto having a particular dislike for Pettine, a mild dislike for Farmer and a desire to appear above the fray. Nothing actually nefarious was intended: Pluto had a column to write, it was what was on his mind and it just naturally came out that way.
What we have in that column is Pluto's slant. But we all have our own slant on things. You have yours, and it comes out in everything you write. Grey has his slant and Shep has his. We all do. You can call it meta-language if you wish.