Getting the courts involved with a bad play call … why not!?

November 11, 2011


In professional sports, there are bad calls … there are bad calls that decide teams advancing to the playoffs, and winning championships … please note that on one level, that is just about winning and losing, but on another level, a player loses out on sometimes tens of thousands of dollars of pay and bonuses.

Have you ever heard about professional or college athletes suing because of a bad call … keep in mind … they could argue financial grounds.

Enter New Mexico high school football:  a team misses out on the playoffs because there looks to have been one poor call by a referee, and it cost the team a CHANCE to kick a long field goal (41 yards) to give them enough points to go to the playoffs (note:  they had already won the game … this was about a longshot at getting enough points to advance to the playoffs).


But when there are parents who see their poor kids screwed out of a longshot to make the playoffs as a low seed with little chance of advancing, and they have access to the American legal system, there’s always a way to make things even worse.  Yep, the parents have filed an injunction to stop the entire state’s football playoffs until their kids get a shot to advance.


Fortunately, the judge who got this case realized how utterly contemptible these parents were acting, and through the request for an injunction out.


(NC-17 rating for the last part)

Parents:  please listen:  remember how you were occasionally screwed over as a kid because adults made bad decisions?  It happens.  It has happened.  It will continue to happen.  It has something to do about being human and not being perfect.  Let it be a lesson:  maybe your kids will grow up and be less imperfect.  More importantly, they will learn not to pout and cry like a bunch of entitled pussies.  When you let your kid take off days from school for their birthday, and don’t make them do homework at home, and blame teachers … that’s not a good lesson to send …. when they don’t get their way, and you go running to the legal system … that’s not a good lesson to send.  Embarrassing your kids by acting in such a childish way:  not a good lesson to send.

Tragic end at Penn State

November 10, 2011

I do not coach football or any other sport, but I have been around a lot of coaches and their staffs.  There is something of a truth that exists in big programs (and programs that think they are big):  family.  All big sports programs talk about how they are like families.  Even when you graduate, you are still in the family.  Coach will still think about you, and will still be there to support you.

This is a good thing … it can be very positive to be a part of something bigger than just a team … families comfort you when you are down and help you through tough times.  I would never say that it is bad that sports teams do this.  Especially or young guys who desperately want to feel useful at a a time they and their parents are increasingly at odds … this kind of special relationship can be very good.  I have known more than a  few kids whose lives improved drastically because of a strong relationship with coach and teammates.

But there is a downside to families … families all have their garbage and dark secrets.  No family is without them.  For low key families, there is the old saying about not airing dirty laundry in public.  That’s not too bad a thing.  The problem is, sometimes the loyalty one is expected to show to their family, coupled with not airing the dark side of the family, create a (sometimes unintended) culture of denial and covering up.   When that family is tied to a multi-million dollar business venture like college football … the need for secrecy on such matters increases in order to save jobs and money.  Sometimes, that creates a scenario where secrets that desperately need to be let out aren’t …

I have a nagging suspicion this  is what happened in Happy Valley, PA recently.

As I am understanding this, you have a 28 year old grad assistant who walks into the showers … the lights are on and the water is on, and it shouldn’t be … he then says that he hears the rhythmic slapping of skin together … he investigates.  He finds his former coach (and emeritus staff member whom he now works with), doing something unspeakably horrible to a young boy.

Now stop and think for a moment … you are on a street … you see a naked ten year old getting raped by a random person.  There is a strong instinct to do something … it may be disgusting to physically intervene, but you yell, you tell him to stop, you run and call the police … you beat the life out of the monster … there are a lot of things you are feeling that you should do.

Yet, this 28-year old ran to his office and called his father … and he takes his father’s advice to abandon the boy and come home.  24 hours later, the finally tell the head football coach.

One might think that this 28-year old is himself inhuman to abandon this boy to a sexual predator at a moment of supreme vulnerability …. or that something else overrode that instinct to save the kid and get the police.  I suspect that it was that family loyalty … calling the police = very bad publicity … this is his former coach … a man he has had great respect for.  Only a lengthy formal and informal indoctrination of not airing dirty laundry would cause the average person to not take more action.

The fact is, I feel bad for Joe Paterno … this is no way for one of the most celebrated tenures in American sports history to end.  However, he certainly must have had a hand in creating  a culture of insularity … under no circumstances does any bad news get out to the public before it is filtered.  In some cases this is for good reason.  Sometimes players have those bad moments that require them to be punished, and yet they don’t deserve ESPN broadcasting all of the particulars all over the world.  Silence can be good in those situations.  But sometimes that overriding “save the program” mentality can kick in a the wrong times, and the right people make bad decisions.

The tragedy is that we may never know exactly how many young boys were abused … we may never know why Joe Paterno, after finding this out about his former assistant coach and friend, chose not to follow up … chose to never inquire why this man wasn’t in jail/standing trial.  You can only hope that this might be the beginning of some kind of healing for the kids who got abused.

Growing old sucks!

November 1, 2011

I have been very blessed in my life with relatively good health … this despite being overweight …. the not smoking and drinking thing probably has something to do with that … and this is more amazing considering I am in a profession that requires a lot of close contact with a lot of people.  This past Saturday, I was getting ready to go back to MC the band’s annual fundraiser when I really started feeling out of sorts.  By the time the performance began, I had a headache, the chills, my back was aching, and my leg hurt bad.  I figured the leg was the least important aspect of this.


I got home about 2.5 hours later, and immediately cranked up the heat and started a bath with water as hot as I could stand it.  As I took off my socks, I began to realize that maybe everything else was not as bad as the leg.  There was a wide blotchy red rash completely encircling my calf, about 2 inches wide.  I ended up spending about 2 hours in the tub trying to kick up my body temp.  I went to bed after that, and slept 10 hours.  That is very unusual for me, and moreso given that I had oddly slept 13 hours the night before.  I’m not sure if I have ever slept 23 hours in a 48 hour stretch.

Sunday morning, the chills and headache were gone … as were the aches on my back …. but the weird  rash was still there, and still quite painful if I stayed in place for a while, or twisted my leg in any manner.

I went to work Monday, and the pain was bad.  I decided that enough was enough, and headed to an immediate care center after work.  The doctor looked at it, and seemed puzzled.  He concluded that it was likely shingles, but seemed to hint it might be an arachnid bite.  I also learned that despite not having a headache, I was running a 102 degree fever.  He started me on antibiotics (he said my leg felt warm, which might indicate an infection) and antiviral meds, in addition to ibuprofen for pain and fever management.

When I woke up this morning, my fever was down to 100, and I was still feeling some pain, but I was overall better.  I decided to stay home to fight this … and just in case things got worse.  I am feeling better this afternoon.

But getting old sucks!