Monthly Archives: October 2013

TBT – Happy Halloween

TBT - Happy Halloween

An early Halloween together….Me as ’80s Princess Barbie and Eric as my dashing Ken!

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October 31, 2013 · 12:24 pm

Hooray! It’s Over!

At long last, the 3+ year investigation in the Miami athletics program has ended.  The most visible penalties to the common fan are the loss of nine football scholarships and three basketball scholarships each over  a three year period.

1001717_10151704131571451_144344551_n I honor the confidentiality agreement I signed with the university back in 2003 and will never publicly comment on the specifics of the case or my time there, but I do have a couple opinions on the outcome.  The average sports fan is saying that we “got off easy.”  This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Those who say we didn’t get a bowl ban are morons.  In what the NCAA considered an unprecedented move, Miami declined two bowl games and a conference championship appearance.  They lost tons in revenue and national exposure from this.  Furthermore, they implemented some recruiting restrictions in a time when they needed to rebuild.  This is probably similar to the punishment the NCAA would have given us if we had not self-imposed.  The NCAA couldn’t punish good behavior and cooperation.  A third bowl ban would have been absurd.

The penalty that Miami fans should be most upset about is the fact that recruits can receive complimentary admission to only ONE home game in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.  In the past, this was unlimited.  This does not make the coaches’ job easier; they may have only one opportunity to make an outstanding impression and communicating this to recruits and families could be a nightmare.

When the NCAA stuck its nose in the Penn State mess (where it didn’t belong – it’s a criminal case), they set themselves up for this “damned if they do, damned if they don’t” scenario.  What is worse than hurting children?  A rogue booster?  I don’t think so.

The cloud of this botched investigation has been hanging over the program for over three years now.  It was like being in purgatory – what could coaches tell kids about the future of UM?  Nothing.  Think of all the recruits that wouldn’t even consider Miami because of the investigation.  Jimbo and Muschamp are certainly crying because the source of their negative recruiting has dried up!

Now is the time to move on, enjoy the #7 ranking, and beat F$U in a prime-time match-up on November 2nd.  Go Canes!

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Observations from Chapel Hill

  • Image“Zero Dark Thursday” loses its luster after losses three and four.
  • I’m glad we pulled out Storm Trooper for this.  Well played, UM.
  • What was with the music selection?  “Summertime Sadness” and “Some Nights” are not great pump-up music.  I bet these were personally requested by Larry Fedora.
  • In general, the Carolina fan is a class act.  In my four visits to Kenan, I’ve yet to be treated poorly.  All the heckling has been good-natured.  I wish Miami fans could always behave this way.  Way to go, Heels!
  • Apparently, I have really bizarre game-watching habits for a die-hard fan.  With the exception of the last 16 seconds (when I was cheering like a madwoman), I was very stoic.  I just stood there watching the game in silence, making the occasional quip about their “Tar Heels in the NFL” video.

Now, onto the important stuff.  For Miami, the game was a comedy of errors.  Nothing was going right.  Our best RB was out.  Our fastest WR had a knee injury.  Our NFL prospect QB was struggling.  The team played probably its worst game all season.  But, the wheels never came off the train.

It was encouraging to see the players fight back.  This game would not have been won by Miami 2-3 years ago.  When Duke Johnson went down, Dallas Crawford stepped up.  This is a real team.  What won the game for Miami was superior talent but also conditioning and the will to win. 

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A wise man once said that the game was usually won by making the other team quit.  Carolina couldn’t do that last night.

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Ballin’ boy, while the country boys stallin’ boy, like Alicia Keys they fallin’ boy

It’s gameday in Chapel Hill, and I have already gotten some dirty looks. GO CANES!

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October 17, 2013 · 12:24 pm

It’s Killing Me

I have always considered myself a loner.  In high school, I never fit in with a “group.”  In college, I didn’t join a sorority and had a small circle of friends.  I’ve always been very comfortable with myself as an individual.  The one community I have always felt a part of is the college football world.  As a kid, I would rather watch football with my dad than hang out with my peers.  My various positions with Miami Football from 2003-2012 further linked me with this fraternity.

This post isn’t about my love for the Miami Hurricanes or “what’s the matter with kids today?”  It’s just an observation.

So, my beloved Hurricanes were recently playing a heavily outmatched opponent and were winning handily towards the end of the game.  They were about to punch another one in, too.  The opponent’s defense then made a nice tackle.  The individual who made the play then pointed at the crowd and put his index finger to his lips as to shh the spectators.  Huh?  Later, another person on the losing team did the “feed me” gesture after a nice defensive stop.  What?

When did college football become an individual sport?  I’m all for celebrating big plays (I went to The U, after all), but your team is losing!  This isn’t the time to celebrate you.

It is my observation that many college athletes no longer have pride in their team.  This is just a stopping point on the way to the NFL.  Just look at the divas at USC.  It is more important to a lot of guys to end up on a highlight reel that to win a championship.  So many guys would rather make a big hit than a sound tackle.  It’s killing me.

Unfortunately, in our current society, everyone thinks he or she is a celebrity because he has a twitter account (irony: as I write a blog).  When fifty-year-old men are following seventeen-year-olds on twitter, no wonder those kids get a big head.  For so many kids, their profile on rivals.com is more important than their team.  Everybody is desperate for attention and instant gratification.

A very obvious example of this is Johnny Manziel.  While he might be a fantastic player, his behavior shows he doesn’t give a flying you-know-what about anyone but himself.  It’s all about the celebrity of being “Johnny Football.”

Character and intelligence need to go hand-in-hand with talent.  Just look at Kenny Dorsey, my favorite player of ALL TIME (more on him another day).  In fact, look at the Hurricanes’ roster in the early 2000s – most of those guys weren’t blue-chippers coming in, but they worked their way up to it.  They worked hard as a team.  And when the five-stars came in and thought they were bigger than the team, that’s when it fell apart.

The cliche is that there is no “i” in team, but it appears there certainly is a “me.”

Update: USC played Notre Dame in what is each school’s biggest rivalry game of the season.  With less than a minute left, USC turned over the ball on downs and was obviously going to lose.  A couple of the WRs were chatting and walking off the field with smiles on their faces.  Were they making plans for when they got home to LA?

As Keyshawn Johnson says, “C’mon, man.”  This is the biggest game of the season and they have smiles on their face after a loss.  Their heads should have been in their hands.

QB Cody Kessler said after the game, “It really sucks that we lost, but we gave it a good effort.”  He is not worthy to be the leader of that team.  Petros Papadakis and “the worst USC team in history” fought harder.

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Filed under College Football, Societal Observations

TBT – It’s Hard Out Here for a Coach

I remember many giggle-fests about this one back in 2006. He’s the man!

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October 3, 2013 · 12:35 pm

I Had to Do This Earlier Than I Thought

As my four loyal readers know, I was raised a USC fan.  I love my Hurricanes like no other, but there will always be a spot in my heart for my father’s alma mater.

It is a sad time when a coach is relieved of his duties, and the uncertainty surrounding the situation is no fun.  I would never cheer for someone to lose his job.  But when you resort to cheap tricks – deflating footballs and blaming a student manager or switching jerseys – maybe it is time.  This is the world of “student body right” and college football’s most storied running tradition – you don’t have to do that.

Also, blaming college kids rather taking accountability as the adult was a major shortcoming of this regime.  The head coach just hid behind his “Denny’s menu” (my favorite joke about his play chart).  You had kids more concerned about their own highlight reels (more on that next blog) than the great tradition they represented.  In the grand finale vs. Arizona State, it was obvious that the players had lost the will to win.  While it is pathetic that the players quit, it ultimately falls on the adult in charge.  Oh wait…

I have never heard of a coach being threatened by a “players only” meeting.  Most coaches would be thrilled that their team was showing leadership.  Then, this guy undermined his star WR in the press and said the meeting never happened – no wonder he lost his team.

When Paul Finebaum labels him the “Miley Cyrus of college football” who “has very little talent, but we simply can’t take our eyes off him,” you know the game is up.

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October 1, 2013 · 1:02 pm