More Mistakes about ‘Mistake’: Haslem, Farmer, and the Browns quotes Jimmy Haslem, “”Ray Farmer knows and has (said to the Browns) he made a mistake in sending those texts.”

Come on! If Farmer meant to text person x and punched in the wrong number while distracted by the play that was happening, and this resulted in his text going to someone on the sidelines, that was a “mistake.”

If Farmer believed that the NFL prohibition of texting to people on the sideline did not apply to team GMs, that was a (really stupid) mistake.

But surely neither of those conditionals applies. Absent some claim to the contrary, Farmer knew he was texting the sideline and he knew it was a violation of NFL policy.

So this is not a mistake. This is a conscious choice to violate NFL rules, that is, to cheat, that is, to do something he knew was wrong.

So it must be that the mistake was Farmer’s thinking that he wouldn’t get caught. 🙂

I’ve blogged before about the abuse of the word mistake ( It’s a form of moral denial.

The same goes for the frequent misues of inappropriate. It makes sense to argue whether LeBron James’s latest tweet seemingly directed at K-Love was inappropriate. It does not make sense to ask whether certain ‘touches’ by a pedophile are “inappropriate.”Nor does it make sense to ask whether Farmer’s tweeting the sidelines was “inappropriate.”The question in the last two cases is, “Was the action morally right or wrong?”, not “Was the action a mistake or inappropriate?”


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