English 303…

Recall that after the Patriots released Antonio Brown, the beleaguered WR announced his retirement from football – – that decision since rescinded – – and also announced his return to Central Michigan as an undergraduate student seeking his degree.  Earlier this week, Brown had to write a paper for an English class, and he sought online help with editing/proofreading via his Twitter account.  Here is the Tweet that asked for assistance:

“My English paper do by tonight 12am need a prof reader make sure As and Bs #Eng303

As you might expect, this request drew more than a few snarky comments.  I am the last person on the planet to pretend to be an editor/proofreader; so, I will not parse the Tweet itself here.  Even recognizing that the Twitter medium allows for a more relaxed approach to spelling, grammar and syntax, I would like to make an observation here:

  • Where I went to college, “English 303” would have been a class that required a passing grade in “English 101” as a prerequisite.
  • No matter how many times I read that Tweet and try to imagine how it might have been constructed in “Twitteresque”, I cannot conjure up a clear vision of the concept of a “passing grade in English 101”.


The Chicago Cubs fired manager Joe Maddon.  Unquestionably, the Cubs underperformed expectations this season particularly in the final two weeks of the season when the Cubs went from serious contenders for a playoff slot to a team that could not get out of its own way.  Joe Maddon paid the price for that season and for that tumble down the ski slope in September.  All I can say is that Joe Maddon got awfully dumb awfully quickly:

  • Prior to his stint with the Cubs, Joe Maddon managed the Tampa Bay Rays for 8 seasons and made the playoffs 3 times and the World Series once.  That is not bad for a low-budget team playing in the same division with the Yankees and the Red Sox.
  • Maddon took over the Cubs in 2015.  In his first four seasons there, the Cubs made the playoffs four times and the Cubs won the World Series in 2016- –  for the first time since 1908.
  • Then came the very disappointing 2019 season…

Whatever genius Joe Maddon flashed from 2015 through 2018 mysteriously disappeared into the world ether in 2019.  Obviously, it is time for the Cubs to go looking for the next genius to put on the bench.  Joe Maddon’s teams in Chicago accumulated a 5-season record of 471-340 which is a winning percentage of .581.  To put that in perspective, there are 25 managers in the Baseball Hall of Fame whose career records are below .581.

Here is the way the Chicago Sun Times explained the Cubs’ decision to part ways with Joe Maddon.

Westfield, WI is a small town about 75 miles north of Madison WI.  There were 1,254 residents there according to the census taken in 2010.  Westfield High School just had to cancel the rest of its football season “due to injuries”.  Actually, it was a situation created by the occurrence of injuries on top of the fact that there were hardly enough players in the school to field a team.

The Westfield Pioneers started the season with 19 players on the team.  A rash of injuries – – mostly concussions according to the school – – reduced the available players to 13.  The Athletic Director at the high school said that they “did not have a plan for such an eventuality” when the season began and in the current circumstances, the season would have to be canceled in favor of player safety from here forward.

Wisconsin high school football is undergoing restructuring at the state level and one possible future for Westfield HS would be to “drop down” and play 8-man football in lieu of standard 11-man football.  School officials say they have not made any decisions along that line but are considering all options.

There is a bit of math to consider here:

  • The incoming freshman class at Westfield HS next year will be approximately 50 students.
  • Probably 25 of them will be girls and it is not likely that any of those girls will opt to play varsity football.
  • If you assume that 10% of the boys in a high school class are interested in football enough to try out for the team and make it through practices, Westfield HS can only expect 3 new players for the team starting next season.
  • I could not find the number of seniors who were on that 19-man roster at the start of the season.  Those players will disappear before next season begins.  Ergo, it would appear to me that Westfield HS will have a varsity roster no bigger than 20 at the start of next season.
  • 8-man football seems pretty enticing to me…

Finally, here is a definition from The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm:

“Car Alarm:  An antitheft device that only goes off when no one is trying to steal your car.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



2 thoughts on “English 303…”

  1. Not just Westfield, but Grinnell College in Iowa just canceled the remaining 7 games on their schedule due to losing 11 of 39 players.

    Locally here in the SF Bay Area, Woodside High also forfeited a game due to injuries leaving something like 15 players. The Wildcats have a bye this week to heal up for league play. While 2-way players are routine in HS football, the speed and schemes in higher levels make them a much rarer sight.

    While people still like watching football, the game is becoming harder to staff

    1. Rugger9:

      I saw the reports about Grinnell canceling its Division III season. Playing football at the college level – even Division III – with only 39 players at the start of the season is hugely optimistic.

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