Thursday, 5 May 2011

Fall is in the Air

This week....barely making any notice in the papers after bin Laden and various four-star news....there's this one piece....the federal government sent a letter to the BCS bowl boys, and asked directly why no play-off situation is utilized.

Naturally, the head guy of the BCS bowl boys responded in an direct manner....why would the federal government care?

For anybody from Bama.....this is a sore topic of sorts.  On any given day in November....at least one out of every five Bama guys is openly talking about the bowl selection process and this ranks in the top three topics of the day.

This federal letter came from the Justice Department, and hints of antitrust laws.  The problem for the BCS folks....is that almost every other sport within college sports.....allows for some kind of play-off situation.  The Justice Department is likely moving toward a confrontation.

The problem here is that you've got 34 bowl games now organized, and another two about to be created (the Cure Bowl out in Orlando, FL and the Christmas Bowl out in LA).

This was real simple back when there were ten bowls (up until 1970).  Then folks started to add various bowls and confuse folks.  Today, you have very marginal teams which get invited to play in the Music City Bowl (in Nashville of course).

You've got thirty-four cities which have a money-maker and know precisely about profits and the influence of forty thousand folks arriving from five states away to play in some half-ass marginal Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana.  None of these thirty-four cities want the federal government involved in this mess.  In their mind....it's bad enough as it exists right now.

A playoff system?  You could have some #3-ranked Bama team in the first round....meeting up in San Diego against a #8-ranked team.....and getting beat in the first round.  You could actually end up with the #3-ranked team playing the #12-ranked team for the national championship.  The comical thing is that you'd spread this out over six weeks.....going from early December to almost the third-week of January to ensure some fairness to the mess, and toss in various potential injuries to just screw this up more.

The heart of this matter is that you can draw up a list of winners from the twenty colleges in America....and typically, it's two of the twenty that always appear.  I admit in the past five years.....Boise State has kinda shocked folks and they really are in a huff about not getting to the number one ranking.  I would imagine part of this discussion centers entirely on Boise State.

The sad thing is that if you take away this mess.....take away the Monday morning rankings appearing in USA Today and the local news....what would guys have to talk about for twelve weeks in the fall?  For some folks....this ranking business (while fairly fake) is their life and passion.  Guys exist in Gainesville and Huntsville to objectively discuss rankings and how one bad play led to their team being dumped from #16 and lodged to #20.  Suddenly, they speak of their chances of going to Gator Bowl as ten percent, and now they try to have some positive words to say over their chances of going to the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl.

For some reason....I kinda see this Justice Department involvement as being something of a double-edged sword.  There's probably a pair of young rookie lawyers working for the Justice Department who've been given this task....and I can imagine this odd discovery at some point in the process....both rookie lawyers grew up in Boise, and attended Boise State University.  Yes, it would be an odd thing.....if you ponder upon it a while.  What are the odds?

Just Observations

I kinda noticed today....that somewhere in the vast amount of news relating to bin Laden.....our best and favorite former New Mexico Governor...Bill Richardson....stood up and spoke at a Climate Leadership Gala in DC.  His basic comment?  He was really hoping that the bin Laden's death and this decisive moment....would lead the president to promote climate change legislation.  Quote:  "My hope is that from this success in the foreign policy arena two days ago, that he will be emboldened to take once again to the Congress legislation - not just to increase a renewable energy standard - but climate change legislation that this country and the world need."  I would be the first to admit that it's just about impossible to connect bin Laden, Earth Day, and global warming.....but if you did eat enough enriched dirt as a kid....maybe it's possible.

As of this evening....it is becoming apparent that not a single Arab guy in the compound of bin Laden....fired a single shot, and it's becoming obvious that not a single guy was even holding a weapon during the event.  Now, a guy from Bama would eventually come to ask one stupid question....it would seem like you had the most wanted guy on the face of the Earth and should have had a dozen guys on rotational duty somewhere around the boss with weapons on themselves at all times.  For some odd reason....they felt safe and secure enough....to not carry a weapon in such a manner.  For that reason....there is something odd about the event.  Wink, wink.....Pakistani government officials 

In military operations....you always have code words.  For some reason...military guys like to waste hundreds of man-hours in their life learning word X equals peanut butter, word Y equals worming medication, and Geronimo equals bin Laden.  I realize it's a pain and just plain stupid that we don't say peanut butter, worming medication and bin Laden....but being in the military is a private club....sort of.  Naturally, today....some American Indians got offended over the ID of Geronimo relating to bin Laden.  It would have been better if we'd used "Skippy", but then it would have gone down in the history books forever and forever...."We got Skippy" as the President was briefed 8.5 seconds after the SEALs entered the bedroom.  For some reason....."We got Skippy" just wouldn't be very historic.  "We got Geronimo" sounds pretty important.  I would suggest that the Indians trademark their important names and just ensure this never happens again.

Folks got around to admitting that one in seven Americans are on food stamps today.  It's a fairly large number.  Naturally, someone got real technical and put this on a special interactive map.  I clicked on Bama....and learned that eighteen percent of Bama folks are on food stamps.  Years and years ago....as I was a kid in Bama....there were three basic ways that my dad would talk down on folks.  First, folks that lived "down in the hollow" were typically the folks who didn't know much about TV, radio, or get out very much....and usually they didn't have much to listen to.  Second, there were the folks who were "taken by the revival" which usually meant that the only time a guy showed any religious tendencies or moral stamina.....was only during summer Baptist revival periods.  And finally, there were the "food stamp folks" which meant someone wouldn't get up and haul wood, unload fertilizer bags at the county CO-OP, or flip burgers at McDonalds.  Sadly, we've come to a point where food stamps is a necessity....and you probably know some relative that is rock solid on the program, and will never leave it.

Some journalists have awoken and decided it's time to compare the tornado episode from last week in Bama....very comparable to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.  The suggestion is....vast areas of Bama won't be rebuilt.  Areas will be vacated.  Folks might actually pack up and move to another region or another state....just saying adios like the folks in New Orleans did (losing thirty percent of its general population).  I sat and read through this commentary.....pausing....and then realizing it's the best high school-related journalism that I've read in years.  For a guy to compare Bama to New Orleans?  You'd have to be standing there and eating alot of enriched dirt, and just looking for almost anything to say after you've said everything that makes sense.

Poll after poll has been taken this week.....and since we really have lost prospectives on life and the law of averages....some idiot included the question "is bin Laden in hell?"   The astonishing answer is 61 percent of Americans believe bin Laden is in hell.  They could have asked one hundred Republicans if Ted Kennedy is in hell, and the answer would have been hovering between seventy and eighty percent....so it's hard to say if the 61 percent means anything worth discussing here.

Some Europeans are upset, disturbed and embarrassed over all the American flag-waving this week.  I sat and read over the Spiegel commentary and questions posed for intellectuals in Germany to focus on.  I paused and pondered the intellectual argument....flag-waving is just not mature.  After a while....it occurred to me that intellectuals sleep comfortably at night....mostly because "....rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."  George Orwell wrote that sixty years ago and it still renders true today.  Intellectuals don't march into New Orleans after a hurricane and save people.  Intellectuals don't show up forty-eight hours after being asked to a fairly active and radioactive nuclear location and move Japanese mountains in the literal sense.  Intellectuals don't show up to fill sandbags at floods, provide assistance in the midst of chaos, or settle the mind of folks who need someone to back up words with actions.  I don't see a problem Spiegel's commentary.....at the end of the day....no one will remember who wrote their article, what it was about, or the intellectual argument it discussed.

Finally....somewhere in the midst of news today....there was this little short 12-line commentary from a report released over folks in Detroit.  Apparently, almost forty-seven percent of residents from Detroit.....can't read.  Yes, ”functionally illiterate".  Sadly, they are not even capable of reading government forms to provide government assistance, food stamps, twitter comments from the President or Speaker Boehner, written analysis from Charlie Sheen, or even able to read the approximate sodium on the side of a Pepsi can (mandated by law, if you remember).  So, almost half the adults in Detroit can't function in a modern society.  After you pause and ponder upon this fact.....you start to wonder, how did this all occur and why is this readily accepted in a modern American society?  It is a lost generation.  And the sad thing....someone will convince congress to pump $100 million into an adult literacy program for Detroit.....which three hundred folks will benefit from.....and the rest of the money will flush down into Lake Erie.  Just my humble opinion