As the furor over the Urban Meyer Saga comes down from the boil to a mere simmer, and as the powers that be at Maryland await the results of a Blue-Ribbon Commission investigation of the “toxic culture” that exists in the football program there, it is still possible to find voices of sanity in the room. Jerry Brewer wrote a column in the Washington Post over the weekend about a former basketball coach, John Oldham, who taught a course in Basketball Coaching at W. Kentucky. Brewer took that course to quell a case of “senioritis” and came away with some life lessons. Here is a key paragraph from that column:
“No matter the frequency of scandal, no matter the cautionary tales of misplaced perspective and selective leadership that have ruined legacies of former coaching giants such as Joe Paterno and Rick Pitino, no matter how often history ties absolute authority to treachery, colleges continue to make gods out of men whose only mandate is to win. And as long as the mercenary has power without effective oversight, he will go too far eventually and bring shame to the institution he intends to uplift.”
Here is a link to Jerry Brewer’s column. I think you should read it in its entirety.
By the way, please take a moment and circle November 17, 2018 on your calendars. That is the day when Ohio State and Maryland will play football against one another in College Park, MD – – home of the alleged “toxic culture”. This may come to be known as college football’s “date which will live in infamy” – with apologies to FDR.
[Aside: If the Maryland allegations are found to be true – or even “sorta true” – would I be wrong to wish that both teams lose this game?]
I mentioned above that Maryland has appointed a Blue-Ribbon Commission to look into the happenings in its football program and its athletic department. The Board of Regents just added a couple of recognizable names to the Commission to give it more cachet; what it needs is more ability to compel people to speak the truth to them and then enough backbone to call it like they see it. If you get the feeling that I am not optimistic that there will be monumental findings and changes that come from the Blue-Ribbon Commission, you would be absolutely on point.
Switching gears … Dwight Perry had a summary of a sporting event in his Sideline Chatter column last weekend in the Seattle Times that sent me to Google to find out what it was. Here is his comment:
“Talk about running low on fuel.
“Corey Bellemore, winner of this year’s Beer Mile World Classic in Vancouver, B.C., was disqualified when race officials ruled he didn’t consume enough beer during the race’s four mandatory brew stops.
“It’s believed to be the first time in sports history in which a runner was stripped of his title for failing to fail a drug test.”
What I learned is that there is indeed a sport/competition known as Beer Mile. The rules are not complex:
- Runners run a mile separated into four quarters. Each runner consumes a 12-oz can or bottle of beer before each lap is begun. At the finish, the runner with the fastest time for running and chugging is the winner.
- Here is a direct quote from the Beer Mile Rules: “Competitors who vomit before they finish the race must complete one penalty lap at the end of the race (immediately after completion of their 4th lap.)
I think the folks who are the overseers of Beer Mile need to consult with the grand poohbahs who run Philadelphia’s Wing Bowl. In the Wing Bowl, there is a very different way they deal with vomiting:
- You heave; you leave.
Todd Gurley said last week that it is “everyone’s dream” not to have to play in the NFL exhibition games. More and more teams are giving more and more top-shelf players access to that dream. Lots of players are now sitting out those meaningless exercises. I want to be clear on one thing here:
- The continued existence of NFL pre-season games is completely economic. Teams can – and do – charge season ticket holders regular season prices for two of those meaningless games. For teams that sell 50,000 season tickets at an average price of $75 a ticket, well, you do the math.
The continued existence of NFL pre-season games has little to nothing to do with getting players in football shape or giving coaches a necessary yardstick by which they decide on their final rosters for the regular season. Those arguments are offered up as a smoke-screen to hide the purely monetary basis of the meaningless pre-season games. Consider college football for a moment. Those teams manage to find a way to get to the opening game of the regular season without any pre-season contests. Coaches figure out who will play and who will sit, and the opening day games are not a gigantic exhibition of penalties, fumbles and misrun plays. College players figure out how to play football on Day One without 4 stupid rehearsals; you mean to tell me that pro players – – who are the cream of the crop from college players – – suddenly forgot how to get ready for Came One?
Finally, here is a Tweet from humor writer Brad Dickson in Omaha, NE:
“Man, it’s already hot and humid. When I was outside this morning I was sweating like Urban Meyer being strapped into a lie detector.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………