Time Marches On …

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………



8 thoughts on “Time Marches On …”

  1. Curmudge,
    Did you get a chance to watch any of the Little League World Series this weekend or the last couple weeks?
    No contracts, no agents, no drug testing, no scandals. Just a bunch of kids playing ball and enjoying the game. Also, for 12 and 13 yr olds it is some damn good baseball. Congrats Hawaii.
    PS – I thought the major league game last weekend there was a distraction and they should stay away and keep the focus on the kids.

    1. joew:

      Good to hear from you again; welcome back.

      I did watch some of the LLWS and you are right that it is a welcome respite from some of the seamier sides of pro sports. I do believe, however, that ESPN and the folks who run Little League exploit those kids who get nothing from the telecasts – – and their families have to incur costs to attend the games. I am bothered that folks worry about college athletes being “exploited” but not the kids in the LLWS.

  2. In re: rooting against both teams, I happened to have lunch yesterday with a couple of friends from New York who are split on Jets/Giants loyalties. For Superbowl 52, they both had reasons to root against both teams. In their decision of the lesser of 2 evils, they decided to root for the Eagles and against the Evil Empire. In the Maryland v. Ohio State matchup, not sure there is a lesser of 2 evils. But rooting against Ohio State will sure be more fun.

    1. Gary:

      Rooting against Ohio State in that game will be an exercise in futility. I am thinking that the Buckeyes will be 33-point favorites in the game…

  3. Oh… And as an aside, would the coach who will be taking the place as the coach of Ohio State for the first 3 games this year properly be referred to as the Sub-Urban Meyer?

  4. I could point out that most of the big college programs schedule such cupcakes the first few weeks the schedule should be brought to you by Little Debbie, but they could cut the 4 games to 2.. they cut it from 6 with no real issues… might as well make them real games and adjust contracts to suit. Though helmets in this weather stinks

    1. Ed:

      If I were the Football Czar of the Universe, there would be 2 Exhibition Games and there would still be a 16-game regular season but with each team getting 2 Bye Weeks in the schedule. Every team scheduled for a Thursday Night game would have off the weekend before that game.

      And, I believe that I could get the NFLPA to sign on to that proposal pretty quickly – – even though that would be unnecessary if I were the Football Czar of the Universe…

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