Sunday, December 04, 2011

RIP Big 10 Championship, 1902-2011

The Big 10 Championship is now a complete joke.

Michigan State got screwed last year (co-champions, tied with Wisconsin and the dirtiest program in college sports, Ohio State, who was arbitrarily sent to the Rose Bowl regardless, and who thereby completely escaped punishment for flagrant NCAA violations for which their coach was fired) because there was no championship game.

They got screwed this year (undisputed best record in the conference, which -- for many decades, and until this year -- would have been enough to earn the Rose Bowl appearance outright) because now there is a championship game.

And -- as if anything else was required to turn this once-great conference into the laughing stock of NCAA sports -- because of an egregious blown call at the absolute most crucial moment in the game.

Way to crap all over yourself, Big10. Hope the extra few dollars of advertising revenue is worth the shattered dreams of the student athletes from whose hands you snatched the triumph they had unevoquivically earned. May the stench of this travesty follow you to your graves.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Non Sequitur Of The Day

Friday, September 11, 2009

Another Date That Will Live in Infamy

Let history show that on September 9, 2009, this country and everything it stands for was brutally and verbally attacked by radical terrorists whose visceral hate for Americans knows no bounds, and who have infiltrated every level of government. Although the hand of peace has been repeatedly offered to these people, they have now proven they have no sense of human decency and cannot be reasoned with. In order to prevent future attacks on our soil, we must not rest until they are rooted out and brought to justice, wherever we find them.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Feingold Blocks Bill to Honor Reagan

[Cross-posted at If I Ran The Zoo.]

Here's an item that could be in one of those silly Facebook games: Things I Love That Everybody Else Hates. Meaning, of course, the congressional practice of attaching ostensibly unrelated amendments to bills before the House or Senate, and the gamesmanship around that practice. In this case, it's Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) blocking a Republican bill to commemorate Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday.

It may just be about the procedural pragmatism of moving legislation by attaching it to another, more popular bill; that happens all the time. However -- and forgive me if I'm adding two and two and getting five -- I think I see a subtext.
Feingold’s amendment would establish two commissions to study the internment and restrictions of German and Italian Americans and Jewish refugees during World War II, and it is unrelated to the Reagan bill. The Reagan measure would establish a commission to plan federal and state celebrations around Reagan’s centennial birthday in February 2011.
I suspect it may not be totally unrelated, although the connection is a subtle one. It's about history, and who gets to shape it. The Reagan presidency, like our treatment of ethnics during WWII, is a dark chapter in our history. It would be better off forgotten than viewed through the rose-colored glasses conservatives have provided us with their relentless, partisan revisionism.


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Super Bowl Dissenting Views

[Cross-posted at If I Ran The Zoo.]

A sports-level discussion of why Sunday's game will be the least-super Super Bowl ever is out of bounds for this space. But although I enjoy pro sports, my favorite sports reporting is done with the same healthy dose of skepticism as I try to approach everything that surrounds the actual competition. So it is that, in perfect synch, two of my favorite sports curmudgeons, Bill Littlefield, host of NPR's Only A Game, and Charlie (Charles P.) Pierce, who writes for the Boston Globe magazine and appears weekly on Only A Game and occasionally on the panel of NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, call the titans to task for the way they go about their business.

Only A Game has featured the issue of football head injuries on several occasions, calling for the NFL to own up to, and ultimately take responsibility for a problem that's only recently becoming well-understood, but is undeniably real. He levels his criticism of the NFL, advertisers, and everyone else associated with this overblown event in the form of Suggestions For The Super Bowl.

Fair warning to the anti-sports crowd -- Charlie Pierce's piece in Slate almost veers into actual sports analysis, but as he lets the air out of the Super Bowl glorification balloon, no victim is spared -- especially the sports media, the Arizona Cardinal team, and NFL management -- and nobody's funnier while excoriating entire industries than Charlie:
We're going to hear about how they magically transformed themselves at the end of the season. We're going to hear about the remarkable comeback of Kurt Warner. We're going to hear about how marvelous it is for the National Football League that a Super Bowl championship is within the grasp of a team so thickly dripping with obvious mediocrity that it's a wonder Charlie Sheen isn't playing left guard. We are going to hear all of this because the NFL and its broadcast partners operate on the very simple premise that everybody who reports—or follows—their sport on television is a paste-eating moron.

Oh, well, at least some of the commercials will be in 3-D.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Inauguration Day How We Got Here Random Flickr-Blogging Retrospective Extravaganza

[Cross-posted at If I Ran The Zoo.]

The long election cycle that brought us to this historic day was observed -- in true IIRTZ fashion -- with irreverent and sometimes tasteless derision. While one is tempted to entertain lofty and nostalgic daydreams and memories today, resist and indulge yourself in a retrospective of the political year just past, as seen through the slightly-distorted lens of Random Flickr-Blogging.

Originally uploaded by fabcom.
Random Flickr-blogging explained
We're winning in Iraq. The economy is fine. Voluntary restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions will solve the global climate change problem. John McCain is an independent, straight-shooting campaign-finance reformer. You can have the bridge pictured here for your very own for $29.95, but only if you call in the next ten minutes...

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Random Flickr-Blogging: img_4481

[See more RFB at If I Ran The Zoo.]

Originally uploaded by robertclayson.
Random Flickr-blogging explained.
Our three intrepid CEO's, universally mocked for flying to Washington in corporate jets, and told to return when they could show some humility and perspective, formed a carpool for the next trip.
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