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Tag: "NCAA football"

In Other News From the Jerks Who Run American Football

[ 30 ] September 3, 2015 |

The people who run football provide one with such joy.

The NCAA makes Roger Goodell look like a man of principle. As a response to the fear of college football players unionizing, the NCAA’s big schools have begun paying stipends to players so they have live with some level of dignity. Of course the coaches now see opportunities to fine players for whatever they decide is a rule violation. Such as at Virginia Tech:


From the Deadspin piece linked above:

Just look at that bullshit right here. (And note that the scale roughly indexes the priorities of a meathead college football coach—a dirty locker, for example, is apparently more than three times as bad as being disruptive enough in class for an instructor to report it.):

These are fines being thrown at players who, aside from a piddly shit cost-of-attendance stipend—$3,280 or $3,620, depending on whether a player is from out of state or not—aren’t getting any kind of monetary compensation in exchange for their labor. The Times-Dispatch has another photo, in which fines for “improper equipment” are detailed. A seventh offense would have cost a player $1,600.

Tommy Tuberville, head coach of Cincinnati, is talking the same game as Virginia Tech. This is ridiculous, especially when the players have no means to appeal these fines except for the same people who are fining them. Also, where is the money going? Who is accountable here? In other words, these players need a union.

Speaking of bullshit, let’s go back to our old friends who run the NFL. You know what I hate about the NFL? All the meaningless cross promotions for the military and breast cancer that don’t actually do anything but make the NFL look all awesome and patriotic and pro-woman when it is only interested in making money and has an enormous problem with its violent game bleeding over into widespread domestic abuse.

Deadspin again broke open just how bankrupt all this is. The St. Louis Rams pulled a stunt where they surprised one of their cheerleaders with her husband just returned from the military. Oh, everyone is just so happy, right? The Rams look so good! The NFL looks so patriotic! Well, about that… Turns out the husband was not only serving in the less than dangerous combat zone of Korea but that he is, wait for it, a Busch! And the cheerleader? A former aide to Laura Bush and the daughter of a well-known right-wing Illinois political family. The couple had their wedding ceremony at the Vatican. In other words, this was a stunt that in addition to the usual military pablum was designed to serve powerful and wealthy families of the area. Big deal, right? But on top of it, the cheerleader’s mother is running as a Republican for state representative in Illinois and is using the video of this to promote her political career.

It makes sense that an NFL team would go out of its way to do something special for a member of one of the most powerful families in America instead of, say, a local grunt who’d served in a combat zone, because these reunions really aren’t orchestrated and televised for the benefit of the soldiers and families involved. They are done because cozying up to the military is a good way for the NFL to market itself as a noble civic endeavor while making some extra money, and because the American football-loving public loves a chance to share in a bit of un-earned catharsis—watching two smiling, photogenic soldiers embrace in relief is a great way to forget about all the bodies that have piled up. If a given reunion happens to basically be a viral political ad—and given that Candace Ruocco Valentine is not only the member of two connected families and a former White House intern but has pursued or is pursuing both a JD and a doctorate in public policy analysis, one suspects that this moment may be shared on some campaign page of her own before too long—it’s hard to be too put out. That is, after all, what they all are.

Between this and the Brady case, that’s the NFL for you in a nutshell.



[ 5 ] December 13, 2014 |

The greatest has won.


The Pac-12: Screwing Over the Little Guy

[ 24 ] February 21, 2014 |

Building on the model of professional sports, where immensely profitable owners squeeze the wages, reduce the benefits, and undermine the pensions of everyday workers because they can, the Pac-12, flush with cash from the Pac-12 Networks, refuses to provide health insurance or retirement benefits for its technicians and relies upon unpaid internships for students from the member schools to train for jobs that do not pay standard or living wages.

This of course on top of Pac-12 schools, like the rest of the NCAA, stealing the labor of their athletes. And god forbid those athletes eat too much pasta.


[ 63 ] November 4, 2013 |

In the face of Texas A&M painting its team name in the end zone red, white, and blue, Northwestern has upped the ante, going with full on flag uniforms. Clearly proving that Northwestern loves America while Ohio State and Michigan are affiliates of Al-Qaeda.

Pays to Be Rich. Pays to Be White.

[ 75 ] August 29, 2013 |

Johnny Manziel has to serve a suspension of one whole half of football for selling his autograph. Which, whatever except that Ohio State was put on multi-year probation for a few players doing the same thing, players who happened to be black. As part of his “punishment,” Manziel has to give a speech to his team about what he learned. Whether he has to stand in a corner during recess or not remains unknown. Anyway, Dave Zirin imagines the speech:

I’m happy to finally have the opportunity to tell you everything that I have learned this summer. It comes down to one big ol’ life lesson. I learned, after much reflection, that if you are Johnny F—king Football and you put butts in the seats and your school is ploughing $450 million into decking out your college stadium so it will seat 100,000 people and be a “megaphone to the world” and boosters will pay $20,000 to smell your chair when you get up to go to the bathroom, then you can do pretty much whatever the hell you want. Hell, I could sign my name on [NCAA President] Mark Emmert’s head in a “Free Jerry Sandusky” T-shirt while T. Boone Pickens shoves hundred-dollar bills in my pants, and I still would have gotten only this bullshit half-game suspension. Pays to be rich. Pays to be white. Pays to be QB One. Pays to be me.

I mean, you had sports columnists out there who wanted that Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor—a black dude—tarred and feathered a couple years ago for trading his own jacket for some free tattoos, and those same sports writers are comparing me to Rosa Parks! Me! Johnny Manziel! I’m Rosa Parks, beeyotches! I had to ask my boy Drake who that even was. He didn’t know, but when I looked it up… Damn! Media peoples are crazy! Shit, I guess I’m buttering their bread too.

Look: most of you grew up poor as shit and after four years as a Texas A&M Aggie, you won’t graduate and you will still be poor as shit. That is, assuming if you make it four years. You get injured on that next play, they’ll have campus security to keep you from even going to class. Also, a whole bunch of you are black. And that’s cool. My boy Drake is black. And I’m Rosa Parks, so we cool. But straight up, if you did what I did, your ass would be on the next bus back to whatever ghetto or shit town you were born in. Dang the NCAA is more gangster than my boy Drake and my girl Miley combined. I know DRAKE, yo!

This is Just All Some Horrible Nightmare I Just Want to Wake Up and Stop Screaming

[ 113 ] January 16, 2013 |


Oregon coach Chip Kelly will be the new coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, league sources told ESPN.

Kelly re-emerged as a candidate recently and an agreement was just reached Wednesday.

The Eagles had interviewed Kelly early in its search for a replacement for longtime coach Andy Reid, talking to the coach in Arizona after the Ducks’ 35-17 Fiesta Bowl victory over Kansas State.

But sources had told ESPN after the meeting that Kelly had decided to stay at Oregon. The school never made an official announcement regarding Kelly’s employment with the team, however.

Jesus. Does this mean I have to cheer for the fucking Eagles?

LGM Bowl Mania Championship

[ 7 ] January 8, 2013 |

At the end of this dreariest of Bowl seasons, a champion emerges from the muck:

1 Jimmy Chitwoodexecutedtoday
471 98.9
2 Peter Grimesthom0909 470 98.9
3 Lafayette’s FinestUKEvan 463 98.1
4 dalempert 1dalempert 454 96.6
5 Granny Starversjohnrauchman 451 96.0
6 jordan_BSU 1jordan_BSU 443 94.1
7 failed2menace 1failed2menace 441 93.5
8 slemieux99 1slemieux99 433 91.0
9 Missouri Buckeyeadmiraly 431 90.3
10 The North Will Rise Againwitlesschum 424 87.5


Unlike Alabama’s treatment of the “Fighting” Irish, it was a close run thing. Mr./Ms. “Chitwood” should contact me (e-mail on the far right sidebar) regarding prize information.

LGM NCAA Challenge

[ 2 ] December 14, 2012 |

1pm tomorrow is the deadline for finalizing your LGM NCAA Bowl Challenge entries.

League Name: Lawyers, Guns and Money
Password: zevon

LGM NCAA Bowl Mania

[ 2 ] December 6, 2012 |

Let us ring in this grim, joyless bowl season by renewing the LGM Bowl Mania Challenge.

Group Name: Lawyers, Guns and Money
Password: zevon

We’ll be using the “confidence” system again; make sure you understand it before finalizing your picks. Or don’t.

Big 10 Expansion: In Case You Thought Its Brand of Football Wasn’t Boring Enough

[ 92 ] November 19, 2012 |

The Big 10 expanding to include athletic powerhouses Maryland and Rutgers makes very little sense. If there’s one thing Big 10 football needs, a conference for which no single person outside the Midwest has actually watched an entire game this year, it’s 2 exceptionally mediocre programs in places that don’t care about football. I was pretty whatever about the Pac-10 adding Colorado and Utah but at least those programs have been really good in living memory. Maryland had like 2 good years in the last 30 and Rutgers is technically “good” this year playing in a joke of a conference and having lost to Kent St.

If you were dying to see Purdue play at Maryland or Rutgers to visit Minnesota, you are in for a treat!!!

And OK, I picked some mediocrity of the conference there. But Michigan-Rutgers? Who cares?

The idea of course is to add big media markets. There’s an obvious problem with that. No one in the New York area cares about Rutgers. Are people really going to pay more in their cable package for the Big 10 Network? I am highly skeptical. The Northeast is hard core professional sports country. Even as Rutgers is having a good season, does anyone in New York or New Jersey actually care? The amount of conversations I’ve heard about UConn or Boston College sports since I’ve lived in Rhode Island add up to 0. Maryland I know less about. Except that they are terrible. And you can’t just build college sports support out of nothing. It is a decades long process.

It’s hardly better in basketball. Rutgers is a non-entity. Maryland has declined significantly since their national championship a decade ago.

Seriously, all the Big 10 did was make their product even less appealing. Who knew that was even possible?


[ 48 ] November 10, 2012 |

Dunno how I missed this:

Curious to see how Kelly handles Barner in this game. Cal has played Oregon tough in the past, but I’d be stunned to see this game in any meaningful doubt beyond the early third quarter. Barner has a legit shot at the Heisman if he gets enough touches, but it’s unclear if Kelly cares enough about that to risk his starting running back.

Incidentally, I don’t see how the Ducks don’t drop 50 on Alabama, other than the Alabama-probably-not-gonna-go-to-the-BCS-title-game problem.

Trojan Fail

[ 24 ] November 8, 2012 |

I’m just gonna come out and say it: The failure rate of Trojans is way, way too high for comfort.

From ESPN LA: “USC fired a student manager for deflating five game balls below regulation levels for the USCOregon game last Saturday, the school announced late Wednesday.”

Deflated balls are easier to catch and hold on to, so the idea is the manager was trying to help the Trojans offense. The Pac-12 has fined and reprimanded USC.

USC also reported this:

When informed of this allegation by the Pac-12, USC investigated it immediately. The student manager confirmed that he had, without the knowledge of, or instruction from, any USC student-athlete, coach, staff member or administrator, deflated those game balls after they had been tested and approved by officials prior to the game.

So this unnamed manager acted alone and without the knowledge of anyone else. Hmm. Pause for a second and allow your credulity to catch up. Now slap your forehead and shake your head. My guess is you just duplicated what USC AD Pat Haden did when he first learned of this small but notable embarrassment.

Chip Kelly was uncharacteristically laconic: “”This story means absolutely nothing to Oregon Ducks.” However, I’m sure that Marcus Mariota was thankful, and that Kenjon Barner found it much easier to run for 321 yards with the deflated pigskins…

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