Good Mo’ed Everyone!
OK, so in the past few days I’ve seen a couple of things that I just have to blog about. Even if nobody reads this crap anymore. A little something for everyone today. I’ve got some politics, some sports and some A-Rod bashing. Fun for the whole family. Let’s get started, shall we?
First of all, let me just say that Nancy Pelosi is really getting on my nerves. I knew this was going to be a problem when the Democrats swept Congress (ie that the most senior Democrats that would be getting all the power positions would be the left-fringe democrats that remained, not the centrist-moderate democrats that were newly elected to sweep them into power), but she’s gotten completely out of hand. What she doesn’t realize, evidently, is that Speaker of the House isn’t a position of equal power with President. But, of course, she sees herself as his equal. (A lingering feminist position, perhaps? Insisting on equality even when it’s wrong and makes no sense? I wonder.) Someone has to tell her (even though many people already have) that Speaker of the House means she’s nominally in charge of one-half of one-third of the country’s governance. Being third-in-line for the Presidency doesn’t give her any additional power. And it certainly doesn’t create foreign policy responsibilities, which she’s created for her self out of whole cloth. That’s right. Her position is entirely domestic. Congress doesn’t set foreign policy. Congress doesn’t negotiate treaties. And Congress doesn’t decide, of it’s own volition to undertake a mission to completely reverse the country’s and the President’s foreign policy. Her unabashed brazenness in taking that trip to Syria is what gets me the most. I want to punch that smug, self-satisfied grin right off her face. She’s embarassed herself, and by extension her office, and by further extension the entire government and country. She should be punished in some way. Just because you disagree with the President, doesn’t give you license to do whatever you want. There are basic conventions of government in this country, and she’s going to have to learn to follow them. Being the first female Speaker doesn’t give you any extra power. So stop the power trip. (Not to mention jeopardizing the stability (whatever there is) of the most volatile region on earth, and comprimising the security of America’s only Democratic ally. In the name of “Peace”, surely (you can’t see, but I’m rolling my eyes)).
Anyway, on to slightly less important bashing: A-Rod. I don’t think we need to go through this again, but evidently A-Rod was overtaken by the intense playoff atmosphere at Yankee Stadium last night in the second game of the season against the Devil Rays, because he really brought his play-off best. He looks like he’s in post-season form. I mean, popping up with the bases loaded in the bottom of eigth inning and down by one, when a base-hit means the lead and likely the game? That’s a classic A-Rod playoff performance. Good to know he’s ready for the season.
Update: I take it all back. He’s awesome.
Finally, one more issue that I want to discuss. I think it’s absolutely apalling the way college coaches (basketball and football) are allowed to leave students and recruits in the lurch, while they flit around to new jobs on a whim. It really is unfair to the players. Imagine this scenario: you are a highly recruited high-school basketball player. You have aspirations of playing in the NBA and winning a title. A very well-known coach comes to recuit you, but you are skeptical. Sure, this guy has had success in the past, but his program isn’t really considered top-notch. You want (you need, for your own success) the exposure and challenge that comes with playing the top teams in the country. You don’t want to be in the NIT. You want the big dance. You want that chance to get better and to showcase your skills. The coach tells you not to worry. With you around, he can elevate the program. He will look after you. He will teach you; coach you into becoming a better player. He will make you NBA-ready. He’ll get you to the big dance. Follow his program, and together you’ll go to the Final Four. You buy it all. Hook, line and sinker; you are in. You commit to his program, taking that chance. You want to be with this coach. You believe in him. Then he stabs you in the heart. Right after the season, right after you’ve signed your commitment letter to his crappy, NIT-bound school just because you wanted to play for him, he takes a different job coaching at another school, with a better program. Now what? Well, as it currently stands, you’re f—ed. Sure, you can switch schools, but you lose a year of eligibility. And that’s if the school will let you out of your commitment. Which isn’t likely. So now it’s Freshman year in crappy school, one year of lost eligiblity and Junior year to a better school, that’s probably got some hot-shot recruit coming in that will share your playing time. So much for your exposure. So much for learning. So much for being a lottery pick. In today’s culture of 19 year-old phenoms, being a 21-year old Junior coming out of college just doesn’t have the same cache anymore. And what about the repurcussions for coach? There are none.
This isn’t some far-fetched scenario. It happens all the time, and it most recently happened with Bob Huggins and Kansas State.
I think things need to change. I think the system needs to recognize that the players, the teenagers, are being exploited far too often. Easy fix: if the coach that recuited you leaves while you are still in school, you can transfer anywhere you like, without losing a year of eligibility. There’s really no reason for that. And if you commit to a school, and the coach leaves before you play a game, your commitment is automaticaly nullified. You can commit to any other school (except the one the Coach went to; we don’t want to encourage recruiting class plundering). Any other ideas? I can think of some (like penalizing a coach who leaves in middle of a contract, or who leaves after only 1 or 2 years at a program), but I think that lost year of eligibility is by far the most ridiculous part of the whole thing.
So that’s that. Three topics for discussion, today. Let’s see if I have any commenters left in the audience.