Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Who's To Blame?

There was an article today in the Kentucky Kernel written by the Mike Muth, father of Brian Muth, the UK student who picked up by the police at a party for under-age drinking, and was hit and killed by a car while trying to cross New Circle Road intoxicated when released from the Fayette County Detention center. The article calls for UK to do a better job of protecting its tudents from such alchohol related trgedies, such as having UK authorities do a better job of monitoring party size. This all comes in response to the recent death of another student due to another under-age, alchohol-related death.
While I am sad for the loss that Mr. Muth has experienced, it angers me to see that he still blames UK for his son's poor decisions. It seems that he wants to blame everyone but his son for what happened that night. Let's look at the facts:

1) Brian was under-age and drinking at a party.
2) He got drunk with a blood-alchohol level fo .103
3) The police arrested him because he was under-age, thus doing their job.
4) Brian was later released an hour later, still under the influence of alchohol, and was killed when he was hit by a tractor trailer on New Circle Road while attempting to cross.

Now let's look at each fact in detail, and compare them to Mr. Muth's article:

1) He was under-age at a college party, in a situation that he didn't belong in for many reasons. How is this UK's fault? It isn't. It is the parent's responsibility to teach their children to avoid situations like these, not UK's. The college campus is an adult world. You don't have your parents there to watch your every move like high school. Therefore, before college, high school, middle school even, parents have to teach their kids about avoiding these situations, even though there may be a hundred other peers there taking part.

2) He was drunk. And I doubt it was the first time, either. Most college tudents come into college already having alchohol experience in high school. Once again, just another reason why responsibility has to be taught early.

3) The police did their job. Brian was breaking the law, and he got arrested. Mr. Muth compares his son and the recent student who was killed in a variety of different ways, including the fact that they were "both extremely frightened and made poor choices as a result of their encounter with the police and the situation they found themselves in." This statement makes me sick. First of all, he says that your son made a poor choice because of the police. I've got news for you: he made poor choices because he was drunk, and even that resulted from the poor choice of deciding to drink in the first place. Don't blame the police for doing their job. Their not there to comfort drunken 19-year olds and make them feel safe. They are there to protect the public, and that includes arresting 19-year olds who are drunk and are bound to make more bad decisions that will put innocent people in danger. Secondly, says that poor choices were made because of the situation. This is true, but that all could have been avoided if Brian had made the correct decision to stay sober to begin with. Later, Mr. Muth says that the boys had to make "life-threatening decisions in a state of mind in which they did not have the rational capability to do so." Another true statement, but yet something that could have been avoided from the get go.

4) Upon his release, Brian was still drunk, and was hit by a truck while trying to cross New Circle Road late at night. An "adult" signed off for his release, thus forcing the police to release him. It seems to me that some blame ahould be pointed to this adult, no doubt a friend of Brian. If this guy or girl were a true friend, they would have left Brian in jail to sober up, or at least take him home themselves. Instead, this young person let Brian go about his business, thinking that he would make it home alright. That was not the case, of course.

Don't get me wrong, I feel for those who lost a loved one when Brian was killed. However, I am sick of parents blaming others for the bad decsions of their children. they only have themselves to blame. Brian made a string of poor choices that night, all of which began when he decided to get drunk. I don't know what it is with our society that we feel that it is normal for a 19 year-old college student to go get drunk. Students feel that they have the right to get drunk without any responsibility for their safety or the safety of others, simply because they are a college student.

It saddens me when I see all of these students lives' revolving around their party/drinking schedule. Is it a wonder that we have so many divorces, so much marital unfaithfulness, so much spouse/child abuse, so many kids growing up in poverty? I would dare say that alchohol can be directly or partially blamed for many of these things that we see and hear in our society everyday. Very few people start drinking when they are middle aged. It starts when they are young, at the dawn of their adulthood when a whole new world of responsibility is opened to them. And if they are not prepared for that new world that they face, they will most likely make bad decisions. That is why it is so essential that parent teach their children to make good choices early on inlife. It will be easier to make those decisions when they reach college. It's time that people start taking responsibility for their own decsions, as well as parents taking responsibilty for the choices of their children, and stop having the attitude of "Hey, it's college Everybody drinks in college. They'll grow out of it, their jsut experimenting." Untill then, nothing will change. Students will continue to get drunk, continue to make bad decisions, and continue to bring tragedy to a place that should be full of joy, hope, and promise.

Monday, August 29, 2005

A few minor notes

Some thoughts from the past few days:

- There are few things cooler in this world than a good hurricane. I love storms in general, but a hurricane is even better. I think back to the times when I was living on Joshua Circle, when Troy, Andy, and I would set up chairs on the front porch to watch a storm. How cool would it be to do that with a hurricane? Matt told me that there are boats that you can anchor into the ocean floor that will last a hurricane. I think that would be fun.
With Katrina now having passed through, it is amazing to loook back at the damage it left in its wake. I saw pictures of cars completely under water, trees uprooted, stores blown down. Don't get me wrong, I fell bad for those people, but it is incredible to look back and see how truly powerful the storm was.

- On the way to school this morning I saw a billboard for the Cincinnati Bengals. You know how most teams have a catchphrase for the season (some past UK ones have been "Air Raid" and "Bad Boys" or something like that)?. Well it appears the Bengals catchphrase for the upcoming season is going to be "Who dey?". Now, I really don't know what to make of this. Are they saying that the Bengals are a bunch of no-names, or that when we see how good they are fans will be like "Who dey? Usually the Bengals suck!".

-I finally got my one-strap backpack in the mail , and it is very comfortable. I would recommend it to anyone.

- My stats lab has 4 things that I can't stand in it: stats, a Yankees fan, a John Mayer fan, and a kid who thinks it is cute to try and show how smart he is by proving the teacher wrong. An example: today we were talking about scales of measurement, and how since it is impossible to have negative weight, weight is considered a ratio measurement (although you cannot physically reach 0 weight, it is still considered a ratio measurement because theoretically you can have no weight. Otherwise it would be an interval measurement). Anyway, this kid feels that is necessary to inform us that "actually, if you weigh a helium-filled balloon with an upside-down scale, you will see that is has a negative weight". Clearly not the point the teacher was trying to make.

- I was listening to the radio today on the way home. The station I was listening to does a request line from 5 to 6. Now one of the purposes of a request line is to play those songs that you don't hear much on the radio anymore. What is NOT the purpose of a request line is for people to call in and request Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day, the most overplayed song of 2004-2005. I bet the kid from my stats class called that request in.

- In a perfect world, I would never have to drive on Nicholasville Road down by campus.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Thoughts From The First Day of School

School is now officially back in session. The first day back is always pretty boring, discussing the syllabus and class procedures and whatnot. I did notice a few interesting things that I thought were worth sharing....

-I have a class in Kastle Hall that has about 200 people in it. As class let out, the people who had been waiting outside because they had class in that room next began shuffling into the room before any of us could get out. The result was a massive traffic jam of people, and brushing up against people I really didn't want to brush up against. This really annoys me, because this is what I dealt with for 4 years in high school.

-As I used the urinal in the CB restroom, a guy came in and, to my disbelief, actaully followed proper bathroom ettiquette and left an extra urinal between us. That made me happy.

-As I was walking from class, a guy behind me was talking very loudly into his cell phone. He kept talking about some really attractive Asian girl had added him as a friend on FaceBook, and how he was gonna go home that night and send her a message. Apparently, the guy on the other line was near deaf because he repeated this about 4 or 5 times. If that doesn't spell cool, I don't know what does.

-In my last class of the day, a dude came in late to a pass/fail class and asked me if I had a pen. Seriously, you need to check yourself if you show up without a single pen on the first day of class. That's straight up Troy Woodyard style. Anyway, he proceeded to mangle the cap to my pen by chewing on it. I let him keep it.

-I can't remember the last time I saw so many people on campus. I guess everyone doesn't start skipping until next week.

My classes are great, though, and I look forward to this semester, I think it will be good. Plus, as I walked around campus I smelled the sweet, sweet scent of domination in the air, which surely means that I am gonna rock the grades this semester.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Hats Off To Hagan York

Another purpose of this blog, which I failed to mention in a previous post, is to recognize those in our community who are doing good things. We here at Cooperstown are not just about pointing out the stupid and rediculous people, but also the decent and reputable ones as well. That's why why I have decided to continue the "Hats off to (insert name)" series. Previously, only Taylor Wherle had been given this particular honor, but there are plenty more. Tonights honoree: the one and only Hagan York.

What can we say of good old Hagan? Some words come to mind: eccentric, lively, fun-loving, outgoing, bright, humurous, extroverted, adorable. These are all certain thing we love about him. Unfortunatley, it takes more than that to achieve a Cooperstown "Hats off" award.

So why did choose Hagan as a recipient for this award? You deserve to know. Here are some of the reasons that I had:

1) No matter where you are or who you are with, you are always going to get the same Hagan. I have not seen his persona to impress anyone . That is a quality that I really admire in a person, and was the determining factor in his recieving this award.

2) He is very easy to talk to, and one of the most enjoyable-to-listen to people that I have ever met.

3) He is not afraid to speak up in tough discussions, as is evidenced by his comments during Bible study.

4) He is just fun to be around.

These are just the main reasons why Hagan should recieve this award. However, since I know most of you enjoy short posts, I will keep it brief. So hats off to you, Hagan York, for all that you have made of yourself. Enjoy your moment of glory. And, in honor of Hagan, I have a special edition of here's what you did, involving the one and only Bill Meck, chief meteorologist over at WLEX-18 TV, and implementer of the almighty MaxTrack Doplar Radar, the most powerful force in all the universe, rivaled only by God himself.

So I was watching he channel 18 news the other night, when the weather came on. The previous story had been about some wrestler or something. So when the anchors went to Bill Meck for the weather, and the cameras cut to him in front of the MaxTrack, the first words out of his mouth are "Watcha gonna do, brother, Meckster brings you the weather forecast! Sorry, I just had to make a quick Hulk Hogan reference there." No joke, I'm not making this up.

HERE'S WHAT YOU DID BILL MECK: Someone did a story about a wrestler in a previous segment, so when it was time for the weather you said "Watcha gonna do, brother, when the Meckster brings you the weather forecast!". In front of thousands and thousands of people. Thats what you did.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Bonus Post!

In addition to the post I just published minutes ago, you also get this bonus post free of charge! I could not let this one go without being mentioned.

Heading over to the Gotcher's house Wednesday night after church I saw a 12 year-old kid riding his little un-moterized two-wheel scooter down the road, all while TALKING ON HIS CELL PHONE.

HERE'S WHAT YOU DID: You're 12 years old and you don't have a car, so you got on your scooter, then you called somebody on your cell phone, then you rode your scooter through the neighborhood while talking on the cell phone cause you thought you were cool. That's what you did.

Shennanigans at Richard's

We here at Cooperstown have a mission statement that we repeat everyday before we get to work:

"The purpose and mission of Cooperstown, above all else, is:

a) To improve the greater good of the public by providing useful information that will lead to higher thinking.

b) To pass along funny happenings that are observed in everyday life.

c) When appropriate, to voice personal opinions on various topics in order to create good discussion.

d) To pick up chicks.

With that said, todays post falls under categories a, b, and d.

I have now been working at Dick's Sporting Goods (which I have determined to refer to as Richard's so as to avoid endless lame and offensive jokes) for the past few weeks. During this time I have been able to get to know a lot of the people . It is an interesting crew that we have there to say the least, which can result in a lot of hilarious stuff if enough time is given. Some of the goings-on at Richard's over the past few weeks that I have seen (or heard about from reliable sources):

-As I mentioned before, there are a lot of pathetic guys trying to run their game all over the girls there. That is enough to entertain me for the whole workday.

-One classic "macking" blunder: One young man (who will get some more mention later in this post) was coming down the escalator carrying a box. He happened to look down to the bottom of the escalator where he espied a cute girl. Their eyes met and he gave her a little "whassup" head motion and winked at her. However, therein was his blunder. When he took his eyes off the path before him he proceeded to tumble down the escalator, box and all. Then, he got up and tried to hide his limp with a strut.

-Another employee got stuck in the elevator for about 20 minutes, from which he could be heard repeating "Man, it's hot in here."

-The gate on the freight elevator shut while Justin was trying to pull a clothing rack in. It nearly missed his head and slammed into the rack.

-This morning, one of the ops managers kept playing the Hulk Hogan theme song over the loud speakers at an extremely loud volume.

-My manager also fell down the escalator.

-The aforementioned young man who fell down the escalator while macking claims that he was going to go third in this years NBA draft. He also claims that he was the quarterback for his high school football team. It must be noted that he is about 6 foot 1 and 230 pounds. Not quite the NBA frame methinks.

-This same guy was carrying a canoe by the handle when he accidentaly slammed it against the wall with his hand caught between the two. This resulted in him letting loose a stream of obscenities in front of 2 or 3 mangers.

-During a store meeting, some schmuck (who was not a manager or in any leadership position, I might add) asked if it would be possible to move the store opening back a day becasue he had something planned for that day.

-Ask Justin about the toilet paper at the orientation.

-We are having tryouts for a KBA basketball team. Everyone has been talking about how good they are and how they have 36" verticals and can dunk and could have played college ball but got injured and blah blah blah blah.

-At lunch Saturday in the food court, one guy said that there were so many "atrractive ladies with very little clothiing on" (not exactly his words, but what he meant) that he could "bring my camera up in here and shoot a G-Unit video" (those are his exact words).

It is an entertaining place to work to say the least. All we can do is hope and pray that when the doors open, some hot-shot, collar-poppin' poser falls down the escalator. That would make my day.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Ahhh, the joys of retail......

You never really know what you're made of until you've worked in retail. I have done it for two years working at good old AllSports, and have learned a lot about myself and the culture in which I live. I have learned that I am more patient that I thought I was. I have learned that people care way too much about the way they look. And, most importantly, I have learned that people take their shoes way too seriously.

Well, now that my time at AllSports has finally come to a close, I thought it best to reminisce a bit on some of the conversations I had with customers and fellow employees over the past two years.

Let's begin with some of my favorite phone conversations....

Me: Good afternoon, AllSports Fayette Mall.
Caller: Yeah, do you got a size 7?
Me: Excuse me?
Caller: Do you got a 7?
Me: A 7 in what ma'am?
Caller: The new ones that came out today.
Me: The new Jordans? No, we are out of 7's.
Caller: Ok (*click*)

Here's another.....

Me: Good afternoon, AllSports Fayette Mall.
Caller: Hi, are you guys still located in Fayette Mall?

And another......

Me: Good afternoon, AllSports Fayette Mall.
Caller: Do you guys carry moon shoes?
Me: Moon shoes?
Caller: Yeah, you know what I'm talkin about ?
Me: Yeah, um, I believe you'll have to order those from Nickelodeon.

And one more just for kicks......

Me: Good afternoon, AllSports Fayette Mall.
Caller: Yes, hello there young man. I was wondering if you carried the Nike boing shoe?
Me: Um, do you mean Nike Shox?
Caller: No, I think these are called boings on the commercial. Do you carry anyhting like that?
Me: Sir, I think you mean Nike Shox. The "boing" was just the little catchphrase that they used so that people thought that they would spring you into the air. The actual shoes are called Shox.
Caller: Well, the shoe I am looking for is called boings. Do you know if you carry them?
Me: Ok sir, we don't carry them.

Then of course, are the classic conversations at the register.......

Me: I need to see and I.D with that credit card, ma'am.
Customer: What? That's my credit card, why do you need to see my I.D.?
Me: It's for your protection, ma'am.
Customer: Protection? But it's got my name on it!
Me: But couldn't anybody say that, ma'am? You have to be able to prove that this is your card and that that is your name. That's how we catch stolen credit cards.
Customer: That's rediculous! This is my credit card! I even signed the back! See???
Me: I'm sorry, ma'am. I can't take the card without an I.D.
Customer: This is rediculous! I'm never shopping here again!

Customer: You got any more of the Jordans?
Me: No man, we sold out.
Cusotmer: Are you sure you aren't hiding any from me in the back?
Me: No, we don't hide shoes. We want to sell them to you so we can make money.
Customer: You sure you ain't got none in the back?
Me: I tell you what, I'll go look for you just to be sure.
Customer: (as I walk away he comments to his friend) Yeah, you gotta watch AllSports. They been known to hide stuff in the back from you.

Me: You're total is $90.00, ma'am.
Customer: Oh, does that include the discount?
Me: What discount?
Customer: I know Blaine (the owner), he usually gives me a discount.
Me: I'm sorry ma'am, we don't do discounts.
Customer: Is Blaine here?
Me: No ma'am.
Customer: Well, I now Blaine, and he always discounts shoes for me.
Me: Oh, I see. Well then, that makes your total $90.00.

And of course, working with the customers buying shoes.....

Customer: Hey can I get these in an 11?
Me: We're all out, man.
Customer: Aw, (expletive) no, man! What the (expletive) man, why can't you all ever have this (expletive) shoe in , man. Ain't nobody got this (expletive) in the whole (expletive) town. I'm sick of this (expletive), I ain't tryin to deal with this (expletive) anymore, man. This (expletive) is (expletive) up, man, I need these (expletive) shoes.
Me: Uh, sorry.

See, who said retail isn't fun?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

More Flirting Habits

Last time we discussed the overuse of the "high five" that we see many guys using when trying to flirt with a young lady. Today at work I was able to observe another young man hard at work trying to flirt with a girl. However, he chose a different method of flirtation. I like to call his method the "Gangsta Thug Poser" method.

From the outside this young man seemed like any normal college kid. He acted a bit like your typical "frat boy" most of the time, but around one particular girl who works in the Dick's Sporting Goods footwear department he decided that in order to get her attention he needed to go "straight up thug" on her. This included gangsta body language which is hard to demonstrate on a blog. The best I can do to describe it is this.....imagine a young man on stage who thinks he can rap but just looks like a fool. He tries to mimic the movements of his favorite rappers, but he is awkward and rythmless. Yet he continues his desperate attempt to look cool, thinking that he is actually got it.....he is a "poser", if you will. These types of gestures were displayed by this young man today as he desperatley tried to impress this seemingly uminpressible girl.

Yet it was not only his body movements that he altered in order to impress. He felt an incessant need to inserts the f-word into every sentence, as if he thought that's what girls want to hear. He was one of those guys who uses the f-word in any situation, whether it fits or not. I am a pretty easy going guy, and usually I let that stuff slide, but it took all I had today for me keep from shutting him up.

He was constantly all up in her grill, so to speak, sneaking in a friendly "touch-touch" here and there when the opportunity arose.

And, of course, to top it all off, he frequently lifted his shirt up to wipe his "sweaty" face, so as to show everyone that he was busting a sag with his mesh gym shorts underneath his khaki shorts.

So why the charade? What posesses a young man to do this? It is simple really: he is obviously not confident in himself. He believes that people will not like his true self, so he puts on a show in order to impress them (especially the ladies). And since the gangsta look is popular in our culture today, it seems to him like the best costume for him. It is something we all do from time to time, whether we want to admit it or not. However most of us will not take it to the extreme as this particular young man did.

I must add a serious note here as I wrap up. I would encourage all who read this little blog to " be yourself" (after all, that is the main point of Moby Dick, right Chris?); I know it is cliche and stupid, but seriously, nobody likes a poser, especially me. We all have those little things that we don't like about ourselves. The problem is that in our minds we often concentrate on the bad things about ourselves and omit all the cool things we have to offer, myself included. Don't try to be like somebody else to make up for your shortcomings, it looks stupid. Besides, you must be cool if you are reading this blog, right? Right??????

Anyway, we now return you to the Lifetime After School Special "Hey, I'm Cool After All!"............

NOTE: This is specifically meant for John Wiley. The person I was speking of was NOT Eddie, so don't think, that he is a fool or anything. Just wanted you to know, in case you thought I was ripping on him or something. And not ask me who it really was, because I wish to leave him anonymous for his sake. I would feel like a chump if I told you.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Hey dude, check this out.......

Over the past weekend a few "phenomena" that occur in our lives several times a week have been brought to my attention by various friends of mine. I thought that this would be a good place to discuss them.......

Phenomenon #1: The PMBC College Phenomenon. Why is it that we as a college group can never make a decision on where to go eat or what to do later without first deliberating over it for an unnecessarily long amount of time? This is the sequence that occurs every Sunday and Wednesday night:

-church/ Bible study ends
-people say "I'm starving, let's go get somthing to eat."
-other people say "Yeah, I'm hungry too. Where should we go eat?"
-Chris says "All I want is a Hawaiin Shaved Ice"
-People discuss food options, but the conversation eventually drifts away from the subject of dinner due to various distractions.
-Chris and Dustin start rave dancing.
-Some funny jokes are told, which are carried on for a few moments, before Andy swoops in a kills them all.
-The discussion of dinner picks up again, with no new ideas.
-Dustin mentions Wendy's, which usually everyone agrees to.
-The crowd moves to the parking lot, where instead of going to their cars, people continue to discuss where they are going to eat, even though it has already been decided.
-Another 15-20 minutes goes by before an absolute and final decision is reached. This usually occurs when someone finally takes initiative and says "Well, I'm going to Wendy's, I'll see you all over there."
-People finally move to their cars.
-At the last minute, someone has a new idea for dinner which they introduce in order to hold up everything even longer. I usually say "Too late, we already made a decision.", which usually seems to settle the issue.
-Finally, cars pull out of the parking lot, after at least 30-40 minutes.

So what is the deal people? Why can't we fix this problem? I will tell you why: money. People with money want to go to sit-down restatraunts, while those of us don't have the funds to spend on that luxury push for the cheaper options (Wendy's). As long as there is this gap in wealth, wel will always have a hard time reaching an agreement on where to dine. As I see it, there are three ways to remedy this:

1. We just agree that we will have to have seperate groups when it comes to dinner: the sit-down people and the fast-food people.
2. The sit-down people can choose to step down a level and join us at Wendy's.
3. Those with cash to spend can pay for the poor people's dinners at nicer resataraunts.

Any of these options will help to expedite the decision-making process, but I fear that they will not fix wholly fix it. Therefore, we must all make a more concerted effort to avoid distractions and to try an reach an agreement ASAP, especially when school starts and people have homework to do.

Phenomenon #2: The Awkward Second Stoplight.

There are times when you are driving down the road with the windows down and you pull up next to someone that you know at a stoplight. Most of us will carry on a brief conversation with that person. Eventually, the light turns green, and traffic moves on. But something strange happens if, by chance, we happen to get stopped at the next stoplight, and once again that same person pulls up next to us. We have already ended the previous conversation with them. This can produce an awkward situation. Do we try to restart the conversation? Do we roll up the window? Or do we just stare forward and ignore them? It can be tricky. Restarting the conversation can be difficult, but if you are skilled enough it can be done. If you roll up the window, you look like a jerk. If you just ignore them, then the other person will probably be grateful that you didn't try to start the conversation up again and make the situation even more awkward. This is often the best route to take, in my opinion. However, do what feels right to you in the situation; use your best judgement.

Phenomenon #3: The "Hey Dude" Phenomenon.

Many of us use this phrase everyday without even realizing it. But where did it come from? Troy Woodyard, of course. Some of his most popular uses of the phrase:

-"Hey dude, are you gonna eat all that?"
-"Hey dude, can you call my phone? I don't know where it is."
-"Hey dude, have you seen my keys?"
-"Hey dude, have you seen my wallet?"
-"Hey dude, what time you wanna mow tommorrow?" (R.I.P, Lawn Barabers)
-"Hey dude, you wanna get a $5 Hot n' Ready pizza?"
-"Hey dude, what you got on my meal?"
-"Hey dude, you wanna hit up the Wind?"
-"Hey dude, can you kinda clean up the house a little bit? My parents are coming over."
-"Hey dude, you gonna let me get that CD from you?"
-"Hey dude, you wanna play some Ghost Recon?"
-"Hey dude, can I get a ride? My car doesn't have any gas."
-"Hey dude, can you drive down Clays Mill Road and look for a hubcap? Mine popped off somewhere along there."
-And of course the infamous "Hey dude........." , followed silence and a blank stare.

This phenomenon has influenced us all, and while Troy did not invent the phrase "Hey dude", he certainly put it to heavy use. It did not take long for it to spread like wildfire among the college and high school classes.

So here's to you, Troy Woodyard, for being such an influential trendsetter among today's youth. Without you, none of us would no how to get someone's attention, or turn a simple sentence into something so cool.

Phenomenon #4: Kelly Clarkson

Why has everyone gotta be hatin on my girl Kelly? She never did anything to you. She is the best singer ever, even if she is mainstream pop. And she's not a punk like Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera, or a poser like Avril Lavigne and Ashlee Simpson. So if you wanna continue disrespecting her, you'd better be ready to throw down, cause I'm done with civilized argument.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Quote of the Day

There was a good article in today's Herald-Leader by Mark Story (who else?) about UK's current effort to move the annual UK-UL season opener to a date later in the season in hopes that it will improve UK's chances against the Cards. The biggest supporter of this move has been UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhardt, who has seen his football team continue it's downward spiral over the past few years. Many, including Barnhardt, say that one of the biggest reasons that this pattern of losing has been due to the fact that UK's morale is annualy shattered by a much better UL team at the onset of the season. Therefore, many wish to move the game to a later date in the schedule, hoping that UK will have improved enough by that point to be competitive.
Story points out several problems with this idea, which I will list shortly:

1) By giving UK time to improve, won't UL also improve at the same rate? Will it really even matter?
2) Doesn't the underdog have a better chance on the first game of the season due as a result of the uncertainty factor, or the favorite possibly having low expectations?
3) Does it make sense to move your biggest rivalry game to the middle of the SEC schedule?
4) In the past few seasons, has UK even really improved as the season progressed? (i.e. the Ohio game last year)

These are all good points, and I agree that UK should keep the UL game as the season opener. Yet this issue is not what stuck out to me when I read this article. What I liked most was a quote that UL Athletics Director Tom Jurich made concerning the whole situation. Said Jurich "When Tim Couch came to our place and threw for 498 yards and had 68 points on the board with a quarter to go, we didn't complain about the schedule. We got better."

You're exactly right, Tom. You got a heck of a lot better. And it started with good administrative decisions, something that UK has lacked for a while now. Now, UL is poised for a BCS bowl birth this season.

So what's the story with UK, then? Why can't we win? Why can't we be consistant? Why can't we be competitive? It all starts with accoutability and responsibility. It seems that everyone likes to blame everyone else when UK puts up another pathetic performance. Rich Brooks blames it on his teams lack of physical talent. Mitch Barnhardt blames it on the scheduling. And the players, well, they are the only ones who actually take reponsibility for their actions on the field. Funny, isn't it?

I know several of the UK football players,and have talked with a few of them about this dilemma. I was able to work with one player in particular for about 5 months at my former job. I asked him several questions about what the real deal was with the team. He told me that there was plenty of talent on the team, enough to be very competitive in the SEC. But he also told me that the biggest problem was that there was a lack fo leadership. Hmmm......interesting.

So where does this leave us? We have a 60 year-old coach who likes to blame his team's failure on his players lack of talent, (This argument is bogus. These are many of the same players who almost beat Florida 2 years ago, who hung with Florida last year, and who nearly beat Tennessee last year.), who likes to blame his failures on the mistakes of past coaches, who likes to yell at the referees about bad calls when his team is losing to Ohio (see picture) and who never seems to get excited about his team when it really matters. We have an AD who wants to blame it on the schedule (Another bogus statement. UL managed to improve when playing a much better UK team first game of the season.) And we have players who have talent, who want to win, and who truly believe they can win. It is quite a situation we have developed.

However, there is hope. I have spoken to a couple of UK players who have said that this season has been an entirely different experience for them. They say the team looks ten times better this year, and that morale is way up. And, if NCAA Football '06 is any indication of how UK will perform, UK will have the #2 offense in the nation next year (that's the computer putting up those numbers, by the way, and not me. My dynasty team is Wake Forest.)

So I will go to the season opener this year with low expectations. That way, I will be pleasently surprised if UK is at least competive and can make a game of it. However, a part of me wants them to go 0-11 just so we can get a new coach. That is what we truly need, a great coach. A young one with passion for the game, say, someone like Urban Meyer. One with a vision for the program. One who knows the modern game first-hand, and who realizes that defenses today are too good and too fast for 1980's offenses (sorry, Rich Brooks, but it's true.) And most importantly, one who will take responsibility for his team's performance, one who will not publicly criticize his players about their lack of talent, and one who will learn from his mistakes and do whatever it takes fix them in order to get his team ready for the next game. Does this sound like someone we already have at UK? That's right, good ole' Tubby. What we need is a football version of Tubby. Then we will see images like these on not only the basketball sidelines but the football ones as well.......

Monday, August 01, 2005

It's only a month and a half away

Well the new single from Switchfoot's upcoming album Nothing Is Sound was just released. I caught part of it on the radio yestersay, so I looked it up in the internet for the entire song, and I must say I am impressed. It sounds really good, and I look forward to the Sepember 13th release of the new album. Switchfoot is one of the few good Christian bands of the past few years. Some call them sell-outs for going "secular" and getting radio play on such stations as 104.5 and 102.5, but I disagree. How will people hear the message that the band (or any Christian band for that matter) are trying to spread? Lost people don't listen to Christian albums, but they do listen to lyrics. I admire any Christian band who crosses over into the secular arena and continues to play music that glorifies God and points to Him as the answer to the world's needs. If you want to hear the new single it can be found at http://www.musicremedy.com/audio/3455.