Category: sports

Blah Football


Here it is the third of January, and there is nothing left to do or see for the year. The earth is off its axis, and has spun out of control. The evil spirits are dominating the spirit world, and we are huddling in the dark and cold like our cave man ancestors of old.

Alabama lost. Inconceivable, but true, and probably deserved. All my life, Alabama has been the strongest and most prestigious football team in the South, and now our heroes have feet of clay. Oh, woe is me. Ohio State certainly deserved the win. They were and area awesome.

Just who are those Ducks, anyway? Who gave them permission to whip up on our little brother team, Florida State, like that? Once again, awesome.

Now, it’s the Ducks and the Bucks.

The Oregon Ducks against the Ohio State Buckeyes. What is a Buckeye, anyway? Who cares besides some inconsequential Ohio person? Well, I guess we all do. I am spouting some pretty sour grapes, now. The luster has gone out of SEC football. Maybe some air has gone out of the programs, too.

The media sports gurus are really touting the new playoff system, and the great success it has been. Actually, it has been little different from the regular football bowl system. The only difference has been… Well, I’m not sure. Just what is the difference?

The money stays the same, or gets better for the Big Ten, SEC, and PAC Ten schools. All the other schools are outside, again. In particular, a great time like TCU which demolished a good Ole Miss team in a bowl was locked out, and could have beaten any other team in the country that day.

What this new system looks like is a beginning of the end of traditional college football. There’s talk about paying student athletes, and the players should have something for of their efforts. The whole system is a financial hoax, and college football has devolved into a big farm system for the NFL, paid for by tax payers, students, and college fans.

I think it is time to recognize reality. Before we get into salary bidding wars between colleges, somehow we have to get the NFL to pay their part. Not even I can figure out a way to do this, but it is so obvious that money is the only motivation for a kid to play at any given school.

Maybe the system is beyond fixing.

The First Gay NFL Draftee

sam_michaelsMichael Sam was almost the last athlete chosen in the NFL draft. Sam was an all Southeastern Conference player from the University of Missouri, and an All American football player. Michael Sam is black, a great athlete and is out of the closet after the college season becoming the first gay player chosen in any NFL draft.

Sam will play for the St Louis Rams, a very good NFL team. The comments are flooding in including some not very flattering. There are people like Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones who tweeted “OMG”, and “horrible”. Jones is in trouble, and may have to endure some sensitivity training. Most the other players are wisely keeping quiet.

This opens up a whole new problem for the NFL. It seems they are adamant to accept gay players, and we all “know” there are some gay men on some of those teams. Else, why would they go around patting each other on the ass?  This may result in more violence on and off the field.

How does the NFL control the violence on the field of play where men are paid to do violence to others? Will players go out of their way to rough up Sam? That’s what happens in high school, and probably in many colleges. People just don’t automatically give up their prejudices.

Will the locker rooms be partitioned into private showers? Will those three hundred pound tackles and guards think a gay player is sizing up their privates?

What happens in the bottom of a pile-up. Does the gay guy get it, or does the gay guy do the pinching and punching? There may be a whole new spectrum of on-the-field behavior developing.

It will be interesting to see how Michael Sam develops in the league. He is a terrific athlete, and he is certainly gay. I for one hope he makes the grade and all this publicity fades away.


photo from Wikipedia

Measurables; True Freshman

This is the weekend of the NFL draft. I have spent several hours in front of my big screen television watching talking sports heads modify the English language. The college guys are just as bad.

How about “freshman” instead of “true freshman”?

This whole “true freshman” thing comes from the fact that the NCAA expects that a college athlete should have no more than four eligible years to play a sport. Sometimes, a football player out of high school will not be ready to play at the college level, so the athletic staff has the choice of developing the kid, while not allowing the player to actually play in a real game. The athlete does not lose any of the four years of sports eligibility, and advances to the sophomore academic year.This process is called, redshirting.

Thus, an academic freshman can be a football redshirt. Because of this, when the kid is finally allowed to play, he may be an academic sophomore, but in his first year of sports eligibility, or a freshman athlete. When an academic freshman is allowed to play in a varsity game in first year of sports eligibility, he is called a “true freshman”.

Do you see how long it took me to explain this? It would be so much easier to understand that if a player is on the field, and is in his first year’s eligibility, just call him a freshman regardless of his redshirt situation.

Freshman is all you have to know. If used in the context of sports eligibility, the athlete is in the first of four years of eligibility, a freshman. If used in the context of academics, the student is a freshman in the first year in college.

How about “metrics: instead of “measurables”?

During the NFL draft, you hear tons and tons of statistics on college players. How many passes completed, tackles made, speed in the forty-yard dash, etc., etc, are the lingua franca of the talking sports head. They also talk about the physical attributes like height, weight, arm strength, hand spread, and any other physical attrite that can be measured.

So, the dummies call them, “measurables”. OK. We all get it. However, the word, measurable, is an adjective. So, here we have another word morphing into something else because sports jocks don’t have measurable vocabularies.

Try the word, metrics. Yes. A metric is a measurable attribute. It is a characteristic describable with numbers.

Oh, there’s so much wrong in this world, and there’s so little time to correct things.

Every Thing Is Normal

Mother Earth is still in her orbit around Sol, and the crickets are still doing their job in the Georgia nighttime symphony. Football season has arrived, and Barack Obama has done the absolutely predictable thing of dodging responsibility for his actions.

I am watching the Georgia football team get whipped by a hot Clemson team and Alabama beat an over-powered Virginia Tech. The really big news in other locales is that President Obama will put the question of Syrian military strikes to the US Congress.

Wow! His stated reason for doing so is because it is a really important decision, and it is important for the US Congress to have their say in the situation, regardless of the fact that Obama has already decided to kill some Syrians whether we have a vital interest in the Syrian situation, or not.

The time to worry about our interests in Syria are long past. Like melons and other fruits of the field, the longer you wait, the more ripe and rotten things get. Obama was not capable of ascertaining our interests in Syria, or who we should support. Now, all options are bad options, and the fool will wind up supporting a bunch of radical Islamist terrorists in the agency of Al Queda, and other terrorist groups. What a loser Barack Obama has turned out to be.

The Syrian revolt has been going on for about three years, and Barack Obama has made the huge mistake of not identifying our goals in that part of the world. Could it be that he thinks we have no legitimate place in the affairs of the Middle-East? That would partially explain his initial ass-kissing tour after his first election.

The news Sunday morning will be, Alabama wins, and Obama flounders.

New York Shooting; Lance Armstrong; Republican National Convention

New York Shooting

I turned on Fox News Channel this morning and learned of the shooting in New York City. New York Mayor Bloomberg was describing the tragedy in which two people were killed and another nine people wounded.

The shooter was fired from his job last year, and decided to kill the guy that fired him. After taking care of the first piece of this business, he encountered some policemen. The shooter and the cops entered into a gun battle. The shooter was killed, and several people were wounded in the ensuing shootout.

It is thought that some of the people wounded by police bullets.

This was not a random shooting. The killer planned it. Since New York City has laws against buying guns the killer, Jeffery Johnson, should not have had a gun. It seems that once again, gun laws don’t work.

Lance Armstrong

The most famous cyclist in the world, Lance Armstrong, has decided to no longer fight the accusations of the USADA  (United States Anti-Doping Agency) who claim that Armstrong, seven time winner of the prestigious  Tour de France, took performance enhancing drugs or substances.

The USADA has not offered proof of any indiscretion of Armstrong. Instead they say that several of Armstrong’s team mates are prepared to testify against him, even though there is no record of him testing positive for any substance in his long career. With so many wins in a grueling sport like cycling, it is no wonder that people are suspicious.

In my opinion the USADA is being high-handed in their accusations, convicting Armstrong with press releases instead of revealing real evidence. We all know that you can get some people to say anything, and Lance Armstrong feels this is what is happening.

The reason Armstrong is giving up the fight is that it is all-consuming, and expensive. If he is guilty that is one thing. To accuse someone without revealing the evidence is wrong. Maybe the truth will come out one day, but I am not going to hold my breath waiting for the USADA to reveal anything concrete.

The Republican National Convention

You can just hear the jokes, now. With tropical storm Isaac, soon to become hurricane Isaac, threatening the Tampa Bay area and the Republican National Convention, the terms “big blow”, “all wet”,”and “blowout” all come to mind. Ordinarily, it would be funny if the proceedings of this convention were not so serious. The very future of our nation can very well depend on how this convention is done.

If the convention is interrupted by the storm, the Republican candidate will be operating at a disadvantage to the current White House occupant. We all watch the major party conventions not just to listen to speeches, but to become familiar with that party’s platform, and get a feel for their candidate’s character and potential. Their records will be on display, and there will be lots of publicity, both true and biased.

You can count on the coverage of the Republican Convention to be twisted. It is important that the convention be seen as planned and that weather will not be a problem. The word is that the convention organizers have plans to cope with any interruption.

One of the things being bandied about is to reverse the timing of some of the events. There is a suggestion to nominate Mitt Romney, first. This might forestall any gimmicks or tricks that the Ron Paul people may be planning to stage. Plus, it gets Romney nominated regardless of what the storm does, and leaves the rest of the convention for the regular political speeches.

USA Basketball Women Win Gold!

You should have seen them play. The USA women’s basketball team exhibited total domination over France’s Women’s team. Of course, being the country hat invented basketball, we kind of expect our athletes to be better in that sport. These women brought home the gold, and the message that they are just better at every phase of the game.

Six of the twelve women on the squad played their college basketball at the University of Connecticut, two from the University of Tennessee, two from Louisiana State University, one from the University of Minnesota, and one from the University of Louisville. Of course, the USA coach is the head women’s basketball coach at the University of Connecticut. It is interesting how that works.

The men have yet to finish out their business in the Olympic games. We have to wait until Sunday for the USA vs Spain.

Why Am I Watching Soccer?

Right now, I am watching the USA Women Soccer Team battle it out with the Japanese Women’s Soccer team. The score is USA -2, Japan -1. We are in the second half of play, and the Japanese are obviously being much more aggressive, challenging the American women.

This is the Gold Medal match.

Soccer has never held any appeal to me. I was never exposed to it as a child, and my children never showed any desire for the sport, or any other sport. My kids were all musical artists, their college educations were financed in good part with music scholarships. Bottom line, I had no love for soccer.

I am now riveted to my seat. These women, both American and Japanese, are keeping me fixed on a game that I don’t understand. What a game!

One of my problems is figuring out the game clock. Just what is gong on, here? We are down to the final few seconds and I don’t know what is going on, clock wise. What is a yellow card? Damn! The Japanese get another free kick.

What is this two minutes added on to the game? Now, Tobin Heath, USA, gets a free kick. Only a few seconds left. The Japanese foul with forty seconds left.

Japan attacks with ten seconds left. Unsuccessful. We have the two minutes, and the damned game is still not over.

Now, it is over.

USA wins the GOLD MEDAL!!!

I just may be hooked on soccer.

Should Penn State Get The “Death” Penalty For Football?

A terrible tragedy has occurred on the campus and in the athletic dressing rooms at Pennsylvania State University. Assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky, was found guilty of assaulting under aged boys in the locker room. Many of these kids were brought into contact with Sandusky through his charitable organization, The Second Mile.

Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse. These offenses occurred over a period of decades, and his boss, Penn State Head Coach Joe Paterno, along with the President of the University, were informed there was a problem. Those men ignored the rape of young boys to keep the University’s image sparkling clean. Penn State now has a new head coach and a new president, but the damage has been done.

Yahoo Sports has an article with an embedded Tavis Smiley interview video. Smiley is interviewing NCAA President Mark Emmert. Tavis asks the big question, “Should Penn State’s football program get the death penalty?”

Of course, Emmert could not answer the question because the NCAA is still going through their investigations. No charges or penalties will be accessed for a while, probably after the 2012 – 2013 football season.

If you are familiar with the Southern Methodist University football death penalty in 1986, you know that such action would have a decade long, negative effect on the university’s football program. SMU’s violations were about paying their football players. SMU had the best football team that money could buy for a couple of years .

Penn State University’s sins are in a whole new category. Because of the power given to former head football coach, Joe Paterno, an active pedophile was  allowed to continue his crimes while being shielded by Joe Paterno, and the Penn State University administration. This is shameful.

How severely do you think the NCAA should penalize the Penn State football program? Should the penalty extend itself further into other athletic programs? Should the Penn State football program receive the “death penalty” that Southern Methodist University got for a much lesser set of crimes?

What should we do with college football in the United States. I think you would agree that college football as we know it functions as a farm system for National Football League. Also, why are the universities allowed to make millions of dollars off their football programs, and not pay their athletes commensurately?

The reason that Penn State’s morals went off the tracks is simple. The athletic department and the university administration would not let any bad news be published about their programs. It was all about the money.