Ever wonder why Jerry Jones is so confusing when he talks?
There is hardly any way a man intelligent enough to amass the kind of wealth Jerry has amassed, to orchestrate the masterful deals he has pulled off (see Cowboys Stadium), and to excel and succeed financially during a time when others are faced with disaster could be as stupid as Jones often sounds when he talks.
I ran across a George Orwell quote this weekend and realized that he had pegged Jerry Jones. Orwell knows why men like Jones talk in riddles, chase hair-brained rabbits and end up with their verbal ox in the ditch.
Here is the Orwell quote: “The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.”
Trying not to say what you really want to say requires linguistic gymnastics. Politicians use verbiage that leaves loopholes and escape hatches. Jerry just isn’t that adept at communication. He tries the bait-and-switch, dip and duck, zig and zag methods of saying what he wants to say in a way that cannot come back to haunt him.
Jerry Jones gets lost in the language and often ends up sounding silly and sometimes even stupid. He constructs a verbal maize and then cannot find his own way out of it. Do not ask him what he meant: He has not the slightest idea.
Don’t listen to the words. Listen, instead, to the length of the sentences. Listen to the pregnant pauses. Listen to the wheels turning in his head. Listen to the “uhs” and other verbal crutches. That is all you will need to hear in order to know whether Jerry is out to communicate an earnest truth or to manipulate the way you think about a thing.
Good luck with all that. It might help if you are a little tipsy, as well.
I leave you with one of the latest Jonesellian masterpieces, if you will, as it were, relative to what Jones said. (For the uninitiated, “if it will,” “as it were” and “relative to” are some of his favorite phrases, don’t ya know.) The following is from DFW CBS affiliate, channel 11:
“I’m going to spend a lot of time visiting with people outside of the organization that I have a lot of confidence in that will help us evaluate how to do the things that I know what our fans want to do, and that’s not be sitting here at .500,” said Jones. “There are a lot of teams that haven’t been at .500, but nobody hasn’t been at .500 and spent as much cash as I’m spending.”
I think I know what he meant. Does that make me a little crazy?