Monthly Archives: August 2016

MORE BOWL GAMES

There isn’t much better than having the day off of work, propping my feet up at 11am, and watching college football till midnight. The following week of kissing my wife’s ass so she doesn’t divorce me isn’t so great, but it’s a sacrifice I make every year. It’s not just football games. It’s football games I have had a month to read about. Games that have a myriad of story lines. This region playing that, the big school vs. the small school, and so on. The problem with the current line up of bowl games is they are competing with pregame shows about the playoffs, and that takes away from just how great they are.

Move Them To Labor Day!

     With the playoffs, it’s a new world in college football. It’s time to think outside the box a bit. This year is the perfect year to discuss it, because we almost already have it. Lacking catchy titles named after fruit and flowers, we have a lot of great match-ups week one. Alabama vs. USC could be a Rose Bowl match up. Clemson vs. Auburn, LSU vs. Wisconsin and Kansas State vs. Stanford almost seem like rematches of bowl games from years gone by. Let’s just make it official. It doesn’t mean we have to stop playing the New Year’s bowls, but we could limit it to teams with winning records.

Lots of Options

     There are a variety of scheduling options to choose from. The old way, where the bowl committee invites teams they think will generate buzz would be great. There could be a way to include the preseason AP poll, and slot set match-ups every year. My preferred option would be incorporating it into the playoff system. Guarantee the big 5 conference champs are playoff bound, and then have 3 at large spots for an 8 game playoff. That way no one gets butt hurt too bad by losing opening weekend in a clash of titans. No seasons ruined week one. The Big Bowls and their money could still get the key games early, thus a diminished New Year’s Rose Bowl of number 9 vs 13 isn’t so costly.

Conference Show Down

     As I said, it’s a changing world. When I was a kid, no one cared how conferences fared. The joke here was I am a fan of Ohio State and whoever is playing Michigan. As recently as 2007, Buckeye fans cheered like the Super Bowl when Michigan lost to Appalachian State. I remember my dad turning beet red in the face, trying to explain that non conference losses to Big Ten schools cost the Buckeyes. The listener would nod for ten minutes as he tried to make his point, and then go back to the old joke. Well, now everyone roots for their conference. Why not settle it on the field?

     There are two ways it could be done. First, individual rotating head to head match-ups. A committee or the AP would rank each team in a conference, and then just play them based on seed. A point system could be implemented to weight the higher seed games a little more, but who wouldn’t tune into an Indiana vs Vandy match-up if the honor of the Big Ten and SEC was at stake? For the 6th conference, you could just use the non power 5 and the independents. The other option would be to compete the conferences in a point based challenge, with the number 1 from the Big Ten playing the number 1 from the SEC, then the number 2 from the Big Ten against the Pac 12 and so on. A rotation every year to insure different match-ups would be preferred, and a lot of math, which is why I am championing the head to head battles. A nice bonus to the latter plan, however, is the playoffs could be seeded based on the finish of the conferences, with the higher seed actually hosting a playoff came. It would give the “play in the snow” crowd what they want, plus let towns generate money that normally wouldn’t get to do so. Imagine the economic boost to Happy Valley if Penn State made the playoffs. Of course if the powers that be are worried about being able to handle the load of some of these smaller towns, the home field a venue could be of the conference’s choice, like Atlanta for the SEC.

     The third option would be to do both, one at the beginning of the year, and one at the end, and just kill a lot of the meaningless regular season games at the beginning of the year. Before the first bowl weekend, you could have an exhibition game to give teams a chance to tune up before the season, and the smaller schools their paycheck. You could also do a smaller version of the conference bowl challenge at the end of the year(like Thanksgiving Day Weekend), with possibly the champ putting their team into the playoffs or some such thing.

      It’s something to think about. Just don’t ask the wife, because I am sure she would say no.

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WE’RE NUMBER TWO!

No one ever shouts that, but they should. One thing ESPN really hammers home in college football is, “Who is the BEST?” The best team, the best player, the best coach. They don’t know. After all the games are played, they still don’t know. They can say which team won the most games, though 99% of the time, there are at least 2 teams with that many wins. They can make up their phony strength of schedule stats and all that, but it still doesn’t tell us. In a 12 game season, we CAN’T know who the best team is. It’s just not possible. Especially when 4 or 5 or 6 of those games aren’t real games. If you beat Coastal Carolina by 50 does that mean you are better than the team that lost to Alabama by 5? Probably not.

    The same goes for players. Let’s take the ultimate QB challenge, Brady vs. Manning. Is Brady better because he has more titles? Manning better because he has more yards? Head to head? Who knows? They don’t play on the same team. They don’t play the same schedule, and they don’t play in the same stadium. All of this factors in, plus 100s of other things I didn’t mention. When I was a kid, Montana was the best ever, and it wasn’t open for debate. Why? Because he never lost a Super Bowl. However, in one of those Super Bowls, he threw a sure pick that would have cost his team the game. The second string corner dropped it. The first string corner was in a crack house at the time. That’s difference between Bengals number 1, and 49ers number 2 that year. That’s how close all these teams and players are, at least in regards to the best of the best. That’s why number 2 isn’t such a bad place. Or at least it shouldn’t be.

  YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME

     I get that. I also get that checkers is more popular than chess. We like it simple. Winner=winner, loser=loser and be done. And I am ok with that. I don’t believe in making excuses as to why you lost. Be happy you gave your best, and move on. If you didn’t give you best, that’s on you. However, there is no shame in second place. You shouldn’t be called a loser, when you have won way more than you lost. Probably someone that finished 23 places lower shouldn’t tell you that second place is the first loser. Certainly someone that couldn’t even make it to D1 should call you a loser.

     I am not saying everyone should get a trophy. When I was a kid, we all got ribbons for participating, a plaque for placing and a trophy for winning. That’s the way it should be. But we shouldn’t knock the kids for placing or participating. We should understand that we don’t know what each person went through to get to where they are. We shouldn’t over analyze it, because we can’t know everything, though. It’s not fair to them, and it’s not fair to competition. We also shouldn’t dig too deep to see what they each had to go through, because there is no accounting for everything. Celebrate the winners, celebrate the “losers” and move on to the next year.

    We need more positive in this world, but not more PC positive. Honest to goodness positive, where we give credit where it’s due. The second place team worked their ass off, and because of circumstances that may, or may not, be their fault, they fell just short. Don’t call them losers, because they don’t deserve that. The deserve to be hailed as competitive and really good. Understand it’s really hard to win a championship. In the history of sports, the numbers are staggering how many teams don’t win the championship. It’s not always their fault. So I will be happy if my team finishes number 2 next year. Not as happy if the finished number 1, but happier than if they finish number 3. And that’s the way it should be. Win it all or bust might be great for a coin flip, but it’s not the way you should view a game where there are over 140 teams, that play 12-15 games, and there is an element of judging. Plus bad calls. Plus scheduling. Plus a million other factors that go into a college football season.

I Am Glad Colin Kaepernick Sat For The National Anthem

Politics, YAY

     Generally I can’t stand politics in the sports section. But this issue has been going on for a long time, and it’s something that I have given a great deal of thought to. Of course that issue is race relations in America. Specifically white and black relations. I went to a school that had a 50/50 ratio in white to black students. There were a smattering of Hispanics and Asians, but I would guess it totaled less than 5%. Most were from similar economic backgrounds, in the Upper Low Class to Lower Middle Class range. Some were from mostly black or mostly white neighborhoods, but most were from mixed neighborhoods. This led to a lot of interesting discussions, and generally racial harmony. I think it was very important that one race or the other didn’t have too big of an edge. At any point, half of my friends were the other race. We had many great discussions about race relations then, in the late 80s early 90s, and many are still relevant now.

 

I am a white supremacist

     There is a very good, and very logical reason why I am a white supremacist. It’s because I am white. But to understand why is to understand what it means to be white. Obviously a lack of pigment in the skin isn’t entirely it. No one considers an albino from Africa white. It’s a culture. Specifically a European culture. I think white culture is the best culture, because that’s the culture I was raised in. Think of it like this. What’s the best Lasagna or Fried Chicken? Most people will say their mom’s. One reason, because they love their mother. The other is because that’s how it’s supposed to taste to them. It’s the basis with which they make all their judgement’s on other versions.

     If you are black, I expect you to be a black supremacist. I expect you think black culture is normal, and that’s what you base your judgement’s and opinions of other cultures on. I am 100% ok with that. Now let me clarify at this point, when I say I am a white supremacist, it means that white culture is the culture I prefer, and it has NOTHING to do with the color of your skin. It doesn’t mean I think whites are better than blacks, or anyone else, culture, or color. I don’t believe they deserve more credit than anyone else, are smarter, or deserve more of our resources, per person. It also doesn’t mean I don’t want my culture to evolve. I like borrowing or appropriating from other cultures. If there is a Chinese or African dish that tastes delicious, I am going to eat it. Same with music, fashion or anything else. On the flip side, if I walked into an African restaurant, and looked at the menu, and saw German chocolate cake, it wouldn’t dawn on me to be upset. In fact, I would be happy they enjoyed it. In a musical sense, it’s never dawned on me to be upset when an Asian or Black is playing a Brahm’s piece. In fact, if they do it best, that’s the version I will listen to. So I don’t get this buzz of blacks complaining about “whites appropriating black culture” and then using it in similar circumstances. Complain all day about a particular white person STEALING a song and calling it his own. Complain all day if some white guy says that white people invented blues music. However, don’t complain about appropriation if you appropriate white stuff on a daily basis or that makes you a hypocrite. And hypocrites aren’t going to solve the race problem in America. You can’t have diversity without appropriation. Now if you are advocating a separation of whites and blacks, there are plenty of people of both colors that you can talk to about that. I am not one of them.

It’s a black thing, I kinda understand

     My black friends used to say it to me all the time. “It’s a black thing, you wouldn’t understand.” It used to infuriate me. I am a reasonably intelligent guy, with an open mind, explain it to me. And they would just laugh, and say things like, “Naw, he wouldn’t get it.” The truth is, I do kind of understand what it’s like to be black in America. I have been pulled over with my friends just because we were 3 black guys and the token white guy in the car. I have been followed by mall security, even though we were being well behaved and had money in our pockets. I have also had a gun pulled on me while committing a minor traffic offense. Someone once was trying to explain to me what it was like being black, and he said, “Do you know how you feel when you walk into a room full of black people, that’s how I feel every day when I walk into a bank or the grocery store.” And that really hit home for me, because I know the wide range of emotions that I went through, depending on my state of mind and the particular people in the room. But I don’t actually understand what it’s like to be black in America, because I am not. I do understand a lot of the complaints. Again, on the flip side, I don’t think black people can truly appreciate what it’s like to be white in America.

Stop yelling at me

     I understand I don’t know what it’s like to be black, because I have had this discussion many times. While I argued against it at the time, they changed my mind. Kinda get it, yes. Get it, no. And when going back and forth on our collective experiences, I can’t tell you how many times one of my black friends has said, “You don’t know what it’s like to be a slave.” It got to the point, “Neither do you” would leave my mouth before they finished the sentence. You know what else I don’t know what it’s like to be, a slave owner. Never actually owned one. Neither has my father. Or my Grandfathers. Or their fathers. And so on. Even if they did, any money earned from that is long gone. Everything I own, I earned. Just like my father. I do benefit from being an American, and thus I do benefit from the slave culture of years gone by. But without getting too much into the history and what it meant, because that’s an entire book, so does Colin Kaepernick. Maybe to a lesser degree, because he is black, but he does benefit. We’ll get back to him. Back to the point I was trying to make. If you are black, don’t blame me for slavery, or I get to blame you for every crime a black person commits in this day and age. And that will get us no where. What you can make a legitimate argument for is how much tougher that black Americans have it than their white counterparts.

Two Solutions are Better than One

     Even some of the most racist white people admit that blacks have it worse in this country. Their solution might be to kill off the black people, or ship them back to Africa, even those these people have never actually been to Africa. The semi racist white people, you know the, “I don’t mind black people but I hate niggers” crowd, will say black people need to work hard, not have babies out of wedlock, and don’t commit crimes. As sad as it is, they are kind of right. If any individual black person does these three things, in this day and age, they are most likely going to be successful. They will be given jobs if that’s what they want. Their business will be successful in most places if that’s the route they want to go, and their children will most likely pass it on to their children.

     I know all the demographics and stats, but that doesn’t mean much to individual situations and doesn’t tell the whole picture, so I rarely use them. There are a couple that I think are important here. The poverty rate of white people in the country is 10%. 26% for blacks. On the surface, it shows just how racist America is. But if you dig just one level deeper, the poverty rate for married couples is 6%, and single mothers is 30%. Currently, 25% of black women are never married at the age of 35, vs 6% compared to their white counterpart. See how close those statistics are? Prior to 1960, black women were more likely to be married. The shift happened the same time that the civil rights movement happened, so it created this weird little dynamic. In 1940, if you were black, good luck finding a good job. Sure there were some, but it was a terrible situation, and many blacks were in poverty because of it. And don’t even dream of going to a “real” college. Then, as the civil rights movement changed the dynamic of black opportunities, a variety of reasons caused them to not get married. And as a result of that, so many were born and raised in poverty. If you were born poor, in say, 1987, and your father was poor, and your grandfather was poor and so on, it would be pretty easy to say you were born poor because you were black. I understand taking personal accountability out of the equation, us Americans are fantastic at it. But it doesn’t paint the entire picture. There are some things going on in the black community, that the black community alone can change, that would help their situation.

    But my over developed sense of right and wrong can’t just leave it at “work harder, black people!”. I am not 100% sure of the statistic, but I am going to be close. I read it in an article from a black professor from an Ivy League school. If anyone wants to correct the stat, give credit to who came up with it, and where the article appeared, awesome. I don’t have it. But anyway, the stat was something like 26% of white households make 200k or more, and 22% of black households do. Now this stat shows you can be successful in America as a black, but it also shows we have work to do, because I know blacks aren’t dumber and lazier to account for that gap.(Also even though the gap is only 4%, understand that more black people live in cities where the cost of living is higher, and thus the actual gap of “rich” between the two favors white people even more. See, I do think this stuff through) I also know single moms aren’t the only reason we have such a large percentage of blacks in poverty compared to their white counter parts. Again, there are lot of rural whites that are technically below the poverty line but have decent lives, so that extremely large gap is even more extreme. So us white people, and America, need to do our part. That’s why I can live with affirmative action. I am against it, because it’s not an ideal solution, and actually tells black people they need help which can be understood to mean they are lesser than whites. I can live with programs that put black kids in college at a higher rate. And it’s working. Another stat, I am fairly certain the publication was “The Vox” but no idea the author or article,(again I would love it if someone could post the actual source) stated between whites and blacks, currently black women were the most likely to be enrolled in college. So it shows the programs are working. I am ok with more. What I am not ok with is reparations, and there are a slew of reasons why.

I deserve back pay for being a slave!

     I agree, but you weren’t a slave. Your ancestors were. I get that means the playing field isn’t level, and that’s why I am ok with providing more opportunities for blacks. But inflation is good. It causes money made in say, 1865, to be virtually worthless today. If a dollar in 1865 was worth a dollar today, there would be like 5 rich families and an entire nation of effectively slaves. This isn’t economics class, so just take my word for it. There are plenty of families that were rich then that are poor now, and vice versa. It’s not fair to take money from someone that has worked his ass off and just give it to someone that hasn’t worked in a decade, by choice. Plus, let’s say each black person was given 10k and that was that. We shut off all the programs and everything else in place to help blacks in this country. It’s my belief that blacks would be worse off in no time. No more black women being more likely to be in college. So how do we right a wrong from 150 years ago? The simple answer is we don’t. There are 300 million Americans. There is no way to tell which individual benefited the most from slavery, and who didn’t. There are blacks that owned slaves, and there were white slaves from places like Cuba that emigrated here. If it really bothers you, take all this reparation money and buy the freedom of the slaves that are still in Africa to this day. Don’t just give them freedom, but pay for their transfer to America. Pay for an education, and set them up to succeed. We could be the nation that helps slaves. That would certainly wash some of the blood of our hands. Helping actual slaves? Brilliant! I also have another great idea for that money, and I will get to that shortly.

Black lives matter!

      Of course they do. I also understand how mad black people get when people say, “All lives matter”. But at the same time, of course they do. I personally would have chosen, “Black lives matter, too” or “Why don’t black lives matter?” as the slogan, but I am getting off topic. The topic is how the police, the justice system, and society as a whole treat black Americans. And there is some good in it, and a lot of terrible. But this is where I splinter off from a lot of the BLM movement. The BLM picked a dozen or 2 cases, out of 40 million black people, where the police shot them while being unarmed, or surrendering while armed or turning with a gun, while armed. Out of those, I can remember 4 or 5 where I was appalled, another couple where I was mildly upset, and 1 or 2 where I kinda didn’t care. The rest, I was glad the guy got shot. The bigger problem is when a cop pulls a black guy over, and immediately starts with the attitude. It’s a problem for white people, too. But not on the same scale. Cops don’t live in a vacuum and some of this is the result of years of oppression that the current cop and the current black person had no control over. The solution to this is more black officers, and more community involvement in their own policing. And of course, better trained and screened officers. This costs money, and I am ok with that.

     Where BLM is completely wrong is on the biggest problem with the police, the justice system, and society at large in their treatment of black people. And just as big of a factor is, in fact, black people. And that’s how we treat black criminals. The biggest oppressor of black people in this country today is black criminals. They murder more, steal more and cause more black people to lose opportunities than any other single entity. As I said, I went to an inner city school. What I didn’t mention before is that I went to a suburban before that. So I know the difference first hand. We didn’t have as nice of a building in the city, our computers and text books were older, but the teachers were about the same. What caused the large gap in what we learned was the students themselves. They lacked discipline. They caused disruption and they argued with teachers. They even set the school on fire. It wasn’t all the students. It wasn’t most of the students, but it was the FCA. The future criminals of America. The public school system didn’t have a good way of separating them from the rest of us, and our society doesn’t, either. That’s the largest factor in the appalling graduation rates for black students. This is coming from a white student that didn’t graduate. I was on track to graduate at the suburban school. I am not blaming it all on the situation. I certainly could have graduated if I worked harder, but they made it so easy to not care. To get frustrated and give up.

     This same policy of light weight punishment and no real plan of what to do with these criminals is what is killing the black neighborhoods. Shoot someone, get life. Shoot someone in a shitty neighborhood, get 10 years, or less. What’s this person going to do when he gets out? Shoot more people. Why wouldn’t they? They didn’t have to learn a skill in prison, prove they could hold a job, or learn life skills. They just had to sit in a cage and wait. Who the fuck came up with this? Do black lives matter? Prove it to the idiots that are the number 1 factor in ruining for the rest of them. I am ok with saying for the next 40 years, there is a black auxiliary justice system. When the victim and the criminal are black, this black system can be the police, the judge and the jury. If you can’t trust your own people, who can you trust? The victim, or the victim’s family gets to choose if they enter this program, or the current justice system. I believe that will help end crime in black neighborhoods, and gives us time to figure out how to integrate it into the system everyone else has. This is where the reparation money needs to go. Also, we need an exit strategy. If a black commits a crime and it’s determined that he should be released from prison, then let’s have an exit strategy. Let’s make sure he knows why he should have a job, how to have a job, and how to live in his own house. How to pay his own bills, and actually enjoy his own life. Oh, and most importantly, let’s give some money to the number one victim of black criminals, black people.

Positive reinforcement works!

     It’s not 1860. It’s not even 1960. This country has made HUGE strides in racial equality. I rarely, if ever, hear a black advocate say it. It’s just more attacks on what white people are doing wrong. I understand “we” aren’t there yet. But at the same time, “we” aren’t the same “we” from 1860, and most of us weren’t born in 1960. There are two groups of people that are to blame for this. The vast majority of black and white people which are working together, being friends, and getting married to each other that don’t really bother to mention it, because it’s not a big deal to us. And the blacks and whites that look at everything solely through their own colored glasses. These people look at history, and score every wrong done to “them” and never give enough credit to “those”. Their warped vision causes them to think a black slave in America is worse than a genocide in Turkey, or the rape of Nanking in China. So they say dumb things like, “America is the most racist country on earth.” It’s clearly not. Is there a Chinese president in Japan, or a Greek president in Turkey? Want diversity, I wouldn’t look at too many other country’s congress. Let’s focus more on the “we” that includes black and white Americans. Because that’s who “we” are.

    That brings us back to Kaep. First, if you have millions of dollars as a person of color, don’t expect the 20 million white Americans that live below the poverty line to have any fucking clue what you are talking about when you say how racist the country is. Second, don’t say, “I can’t sit by while this is happening” and then do exactly that. What exactly are you doing to solve the race problem in America? Sitting? To quote the greatest commercial ever, “That’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works!” Give us a real solution. Don’t just sit there and bitch. That’s a bitch in white culture. Someone who sits and does nothing to really solve the problem. To me, that’s worse than sucking a dick in prison to not get beat up. One is just a cock sucker. The other causes more problems than he is worth.

Stay seated, Mr Kaepernick

     So when the anthem of this great nation, who has come so far in the very race relations he is complaining about is playing,  I’ll stand, thank you very much. I’ll stand for all the whites that sacrificed themselves to make it the country it is today, regardless of their mistakes. I’ll stand for the blacks that have sacrificed so much to make this country great. I’ll stand for great country it was, the better country it is today, and the even better country it will be tomorrow. I’ll stand next to my black brothers and sisters that want to make this country even greater, and will make real sacrifices to keep this country the greatest, and will not play the blame game. I’ll stay positive. I try love and discourage hate. I’ll stand with people that offer real solutions, and positive hope for the future. So go ahead, Kaep, take a seat. Unless you really want to stand up. Then I’ll stand with you, brother.

ESPN Still Sucks

So it’s been a good few years for me as a fan of Ohio sports. Maybe this took the edge off my fandom. I also haven’t been paying as much attention to sports, as real life has been taking a lot more of my time. In any case, my hatred for ESPN has diminished. I am sure a big part of that is that I haven’t been watching ESPN, as it turns out.

It’s college football season, by far my favorite time of the year. The first college game day was today. I tuned in, ready for insight into the teams, who returns what, and where they all should place. I got a little of that. I got an interesting segment about Harbaugh that I enjoyed. I also got a discussion on scenarios of two teams from the same conference ending up in the playoffs. Are you fucking kidding me? Most sane people will say you shouldn’t have rankings in college football until after September. Now we are discussing playoff scenarios before a game has been played. WOW.

Aside from it being dumb because of the timing, it’s also dumb because I don’t think it’s going to happen. The committee has shown they care about your record, who you beat, and whether or not you won your conference. Basically, the debate for them is which conference to leave out. Ohio State was defending national champs, with only 1 loss on a last second field goal to a playoff team. It’s not just that they didn’t get in, it’s that it wasn’t even suggested. Oh, and a 2 loss Stanford team finished ahead of Ohio State, even though Ohio State destroyed ND in their bowl game. The ONLY scenario I see 2 teams from the same conference getting in is if you have 2 power 5 conference champs with 3 losses, AND no viable non power 5 team. This most likely will only occur if there are 2 upsets during conference championship weekend. So can we talk about much more relevant stuff?