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November 21, 2014

'South Park' Season 15, Episode 5 Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted May 26th 2011 7:00AM
'South Park' - 'Crack Baby Athletic Association'['South Park' - 'Crack Baby Athletic Association']

This week, Trey Parker and Matt Stone took aim at the NCAA and tore into it hardcore. I imagine it's an even more biting satire for fans of college sports, but even without that background, I was able to grasp their take on the concept of "student-athletes" and the tremendous profit that college sports generate; none of which goes to the students.

"It's against the rules," as Cartman explained. "I don't make the rules ... I just think them up and write them down."

Cartman was, of course, talking about the rules of his own "sports" association, the CBAA. The Crack Baby Athletic Association was built around the idea of exploiting the "players" for profit. As long as the babies weren't being harmed in any way, what's the big deal, right?

Probably the most direct attack on the NCAA came when Cartman dressed up like a Southern Gentleman and headed for the University of Colorado to find out how they get away with not paying their "slaves." It was there that Cartman learned the term student-athletes.

Kyle got sucked in, and then represented the reasonable American. He totally got the appeal of what they're doing, and yet it made him uncomfortable and he wasn't sure why. So he constantly justified to himself why it was reasonable and fair and even good for the student-athletes.

Unfortunately for Stan, Kyle tried to justify his involvement directly to him, and apparently at all hours of the night. The CBAA, after all, brought attention to the crack babies just like the NCAA brings attention to the student-athletes. So really, everybody wins, right? Right?

Some people might not like their 'South Park' messages quite so heavy-handed, but I found myself enjoying all the digs tremendously. When the whole sordid mess ended with EA Sports screwing the CBAA out of everything, including the rights to their own game, we had come full circle and the boys had learned a lesson about the world of big business. There's always a bigger b****** out there ready to take it all away.

To balance the anti-NCAA message, the boys gave us hot tubs filled with KFC gravy and a beautifully absurd Santa-like explanation for Slash. See, he's not real and he never was. He's just our parents dressed up to spread a little joy and happiness.

He even realized Kyle's dream of an orphanage for the crack babies. EA Sports certainly wasn't going to do it, as there was no moral compunction at all at that level of corporate dealings.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS:

-- "Hello, I'm Sarah MacLachlan and I was famous for two months."

-- Butters singing The Black Eyed Peas' 'Boom Boom Pow'

-- "Screw you, sir, I'm going home," in Cartman's Southern Gentleman drawl

'South Park' airs Wednesdays, 10PM ET on Comedy Central.

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General Kenobi

This episode was great! I really don't agree with the idea of the NCAA and student athletes in general, but you can make a case for that... what nobody can really make a case for was exactly the nub of South Park's point last night: A video game company making billions from appropriating the names and images of their stars. Sure, colleges shouldn't be able to pay their players outright, I could see how that would end up with a few mega-universities with a monopoly on sports, a la Yankees/Red Sox. But the actual use of their image and name? That's not something they should be compensated for? Why? And why shouldn't all student athletes go into a profit sharing agreement? That way all would be compensated for their contributions and it wouldn't create a problem within the university system itself in terms of enrollment. That said, what does any of that have to do with a coroporation appropriating names and likenesses? How would paying for what you should rightfully be forced to pay for do any harm to the institutions involved? It wouldn't... they're just slave drivers.

May 26 2011 at 10:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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