Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pay The Lady

Yesterday I came across an article on Yahoo News informing us that NFL Cheerleaders were unhappy with their current "wages." One person, in fact, was in the process of suing the Oakland Raider organization alleging that she is paid less than the prevailing minimum wage. The article in itself was not all that interesting per se, but the responses to the article were.

It seems that some folk don't want these young ladies to be paid. There were many who contend that the ladies should be satisfied with what they have and are using their position and sexuality to further their respective prospects and careers. Perhaps there is some merit to that line of argument but it misses the point entirely. (I could also point out that it does not take a PHD in Psychology to understand that some of the "haters" are just pissed off they did not get to boff a cheerleader in high school and are using the forum to take potshots).

Personally I am in the camp that a fair wage should be paid for all duties performed. As a long time (off and on) employee in the trucking industry perhaps I am more in tune with wage theft than most. The particular employer I work for now has it down to a science but I won't get into that really at this time. What does concern me is that these young ladies are apparently employed by an organization and are not being paid for time spent in the performance of duties. Any organization in the "business" of professional athletics pays entirely too much, (in my opinion) to players in the first place. It just seems like it would be fair play to at least pay the supporting staff (so to speak) at the very least a few hundred bucks a game and a fair hourly wage for all hours put in with practice, etc. etc.

I have known exotic dancers in the Houston market to be capable of pulling down a couple grand a week. I'm not taking a potshot here at professional cheerleaders, but there really is very little difference (let us be honest) between the two.  Nothing wrong with that of course, but let us not put anyone on a pedestal. A cheerleader in the professional arena is doing nothing more than what a contract worker at the local gentleman's club is doing. Giving the crowd a something to see (especially when a team is dismal).

They should be paid accordingly.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

In Defense of the Old Dude Robertson

This is a bit of old news but everyone I suppose remembers about a month back the Duck Dynasty "controversy" when old Phil Robertson said some supposed horrible things about gay folk.
The uproar was hilarious (and typical), with all the usual suspects chiming in calling for the old dude's head. The network was to "suspend" him for his insensitivity and many in the "liberal" community were willing to see him burned at the stake. Or some such. Hell even the current mayor (a gay woman "married" to her partner) of Houston noted that no one cares what some "right wing redneck" (or some such) says about anything. She is right of course. Who cares what anyone says? For instance I could point out that Mayor Parker is a mean faced, illegally (in Texas) married shrew who is followed around by a pack of equally fugly bull daggers and no one should care. It doesn't matter what I (or anyone else) thinks.

Anyway.....What Robertson actually did was nothing more than share his religious beliefs. Beliefs that many in this country (perhaps even the majority) share. He did not at any time ever call for discrimination, violence, etc. etc. He simply shared his thoughts on the subject.......A true Christian it would seem to me.

While a great many of us may (or may not) share the same belief Robertson has on the subject, he is to be commended for his forthrightness. What he did not understand perhaps, or maybe not care about, was the uproar that his rather harmless and innocent remarks can cause in this polarized nation, where the odd is being pushed on us as normal, the dregs are considered equal, and the lazy given special status.

Where does all this come from I often wonder. Since the late 80's perhaps I have heard of this newfangled "political correctness" where one supposedly is not allowed to, as my friend so eloquently puts it, to "call a spade a spade." It originated they say on college campuses and has spread, like mustard gas, to all aspects of society. Ask anyone who works for a corporation of any size. People are actually attending classes on sexual harassment (not to learn how silly), "inclusion" (whatever that is), sensitivity, etc. etc. It is ridiculous but to not at least to pretend to take these things seriously can derail a career in corporate America. I have seen it happen......

Well, anyway, on the issue of gay folk I would imagine that a large faction of the population agree with Robertson's Biblical outlook while perhaps an equal number hold his views to be archaic,  foolish, and (oh my God), hateful.

Meanwhile, the majority of us just don't give a rat's. Most of us probably don't give gay folk much thought at all. A large portion of us could not care less if gay "marriage" is legal or not in their respective states or what consenting adults do in their homes or beauty shops. It just doesn't affect anyone. Really it falls into the "who cares" category.
The flip side to all that is that most don't practice homosexuality and somewhere, deep down, will find the practice queer (no pun intended). Anything outside the "norm" of any society is considered so. This is human nature and nothing more. It matters not that it is not necessarily a choice for someone to be homosexual. It is still different and therefore will be suspect in many folks minds.

So the result is that gay folk will likely have to put up with, indefinitely it seems,  young boys calling each other "faggot," jokes made about kissing peepees, locker room banter, quiet to be sure office water cooler jokes, ect. etc. forever and ever and ever. Amen.

All the screeching of the minority ain't much gonna matter either. Trust me on this. Fact of business, it will just make the "slurs" more prevalent. Folks will always get tired, sooner or later, of listening to the bitching of the few and a backlash will ensue.

We are seeing that now.

As for Phil? None of this seems to matter to him.

Why should it?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Final Thoughts on the 2013 College Football Season

The 2013 college football season is in the books. Now about the only thing left to look forward to in the sporting arena is March Madness. (Yes I know NFL playoffs are in full swing and MLB is right around the corner). Now that is the way to do it and it is doubtful that the ranks of "major" college football will anytime soon go to a similar format. Whether they should or not is a question that no one has really answered......One thing that we do know for certain is the asinine BCS has finally given up the ghost and very few would argue that this is a bad thing.......

This was finally the year that FSU was back. Every season they tell us that "this is the year." "They" were, for once, right about something. It may be unlikely that, had FSU been in the SEC (and why are they not?)that they would have reached the final game. They would have been tripped up a time or two likely.

Again we were informed that Notre Dame would be back in contention for national honors. They had a respectable season but a top 10 type program they are not and likely will not be in the near future. A program that while not be in decline is certainly not upwardly mobile.

It was nice to see Duke have some a good season. It would have been nice had they held on in their bowl outing. Kudos to the players and staff.

We certainly learned that one "Johnny Football" is a great college QB. His style (and his punk like act) will not serve him well in the big time. There are too many great college QBs of his caliber that just don't pan out. JM certainly has talent but there is a huge learning curve he will have to negotiate before he is NFL material. His clocked will be cleaned a few times before his short career is done would be my wager...

In the college ranks a coaching staff can make all the difference in the world, much more so than the pro ranks. Case in point: Kiffin gets the axe and USC begins to heal and play the ball they were certainly capable of and just take a look at Auburn. Now that was one remarkable turn around with more or less the same players.

Mizzou had a great season and were just a stones throw away from contending for all the marbles in both the SEC and nationally.

Texas honks have finally gotten their wish and Coach Brown is "retired." Question is, who would be a good replacement? They have chosen a quality coach in Charlie Strong but is he really the man to lead a major program like what they have in Austin? Time will tell. I remember when the faithful in Knoxville could not wait to say goodbye to Phil Fulmer. See how well that turned out? Gotta be careful what you wish for some folks say.

Still hearing the screeching for Les Miles' head. Again. Who would you replace him with? Top level college coaches are not a dime a dozen. Someone who is comfortable winning with a smaller program may find that they have bitten off more than they can chew with one of the major (ie high dollar) programs. (See above observation on TN and Phil Fulmer).....

How long will the Nebraska faithful put up with teams that are just a step above mediocre? Remember the Huskers moved to a conference so they could compete. Any other reasons the administration gave is just PR nonsense and horse hockey. They want to win and could not do it in a southern dominated conference. Pelini better step it up or he will find himself looking.

No one, including yours truly, gave much thought to Michigan State. After there one inexplicable loss it was easy to write them off. That was a mistake. This year's Spartan squad may well be the true best team in the country.

Ohio State should have competed but just didn't. Not sure what the problem was really. They certainly have the talent but it seems like they just rolled over late. That is a coaching problem. I, for one, have never compared Urban to Nick. Good coach but just not in the same league.

It is still hard to take the west coast brand of ball seriously even though there are some good teams out that way. There may well be a rude awakening next season when USC, Stanford, Oregon and perhaps UCLA all have teams that may challenge for top spot. Watch and see......

The Big Ten was again the Big Ten. With the lone exception of Michigan State, the rest of the conference really did not amount to a whole lot. Decent teams but no one that stood out. As earlier noted the folks in Columbus should be nothing short of angry with their team and staff. That Buckeye squad should have been right there.

The SEC was down this year in that one of them did not win the national title. Of course the SEC was at least represented in the final and will likely be for years to come.

Big Twelve football is hard to figure. A step above the Big Ten likely but just not quite what they should be. Next year Oklahoma will be the team to beat obviously and it will be difficult for anyone else to catch them. But the Sooners being the Sooners will find a way to fall just short. Bob is not the man likely but, like at Texas, who you gonna call?

It is baffling when a successful coach with a major program leaves to resurrect a foundering program somewhere else. Take Franklin at Vanderbilt. Granted Vandy is not a school that can usually compete for top spot in the SEC but they can certainly have good seasons, and the prestige of knocking off a Georgia, LSU, Auburn, etc. is something. His move to PSU is strange. PSU, while another storied program, plays their ball in a lessor (let us be honest) conference. It is more prestigious to go 8-4 at Vanderbilt than to do the same in Happy Valley. But perhaps it is just about the money.....

It was nice to see the Sun Belt win both bowl games and show some folk that this southern dominated conference can play a pretty good brand of ball. For a while there the Cajuns were ranked and a couple of other schools had some pretty successful seasons. Of course the HC at Arkansas State has moved on. The last two head men at that school have achieved success in the SEC. (It is interesting to note that the Red Wolves have for the last few years been a better program than they have had in Fayetteville).  Wonder if the latest HC to jump the ASU ship will do well in his new digs.
At any rate, some folks have learned the hard way that scheduling a school from this conference will result in embarrassment for the major program. That trend will continue.

The MAC is the MAC. Interesting football played up that way but, for the most part, it is just a step above most (but not all) FCS ball. Of course once in a while one of those schools will knock off a big time opponent. This year NIU was the team to beat and some folks predicted that the Huskies would again be a BCS buster. They fizzled a bit down the stretch but still a good team that could be dangerous to a lot of folk on a good day.

The Mountain West was just not really ready for prime time. The "premier" team had a mediocre season and of course the HC split for "greener pastures" (as if U of W is greener) before he had two "bad" years in a row. His stock would not be so high then one supposes. Fresno State tried for a while to convince us that they were worthy of breaking into the big time but I never bought into it. I bet they miss old walrus looking Pat Hill over there in the Valley. I always liked him.

Why is that programs continue to hire proven scumbags like Petrino and Graham? Oh yes. They win. It is not like a college is there to try to teach integrity to young folk or anything. Graham and Petrino, while they are not Sandusky, are a bit ethically challenged. To say the least.

I can certainly understand someone hiring big Mark Mangino for a major role with a major program but how on earth can anyone give Kiffin any play calling authority whatsoever. Major program or no, if I were in the sports admin dept of any school of any size anywhere, I would shy away from this dude. A program destroyer. They may have gotten rid of him just in time down USC way. They are still trying to recover from his brief tenure in Knoxville. It may be a long road.

I could go on and on I suppose but time has come to wind it up. It was a fun season and one to remember.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Final Bartendercabbie Top 25 For the College Football Season 2013

The 2013 college football season is in the books and a fun season it was. Really one of the better ones in recent memory. The SEC grip on the mythical "National Championship" was finally broken although the valid argument that it is still the "best" conference in big time college ball is still raging. Nothing new there.
I won't get into all that here but I will point out that an SEC team does not, for this year at least, hold top spot.

1. Florida State: A rather weak ACC schedule helped propel this team into the big game. That being said, this is a quality squad and deserve the number one slot.

2. Michigan State: Overlooked by many. That was a mistake.

3. Auburn: Made it to the championship on the back of a fluke play to beat the vaunted Tide.

4. Alabama: An implosion of sorts kept Nick from a repeat. Would take 2 of 3 from both Auburn and Oklahoma. Kiffin hired as OC? That is insane! Don't look for the Crimson Tide to be in the top spot in the upcoming season. Tide fans are already scratching their collective heads.

5. Oklahoma: Finally started to show up. Will be the team to beat in the Big Twelve. May make some noise on the national level in the upcoming season.

6.  Missouri: Gary has shown this school can compete in the SEC. Strange. They didn't do much in the Big Twelve.

7. South Carolina: On the cusp of greatness. Falls just short.

8. Oregon: When the young gun is healthy, this is a tough team to beat for anyone.

9. Clemson: Very good for an ACC squad. A bit over rated early.

10. Stanford: Another quality season

11. Ohio State: Lacks heart and character. Should have been a legitimate contender for the tops spot in the land. QB stays another year it seems. Look for them to contend this season upcoming.

12. UCLA: Mora stays and this team will be a force in the PAC 12 directly.

13. UCF: Turned out to be a pretty darn good team. Surprised a lot of folk. A BCS buster not called the Broncos finally makes good....

14. Baylor: Fell off a bit but a dangerous team for anyone on the right day.

15. Louisville: QB gone to try his hand in the big time. HC headed to Texas. Petrino hired? Just goes to show that a school will deal with scumbaggery in order to win.

16. USC: Right now this is a legitimate top 20 team. Started playing ball after Kiffin got the boot. Hear that Bama honks?

17. LSU: Defense not what it has been in recent past and this kept them from being a real good team. May be ranked a bit high here.

18. Oklahoma State: Flashes of brilliance. Flashes of utter mediocrity. The Cowboys never really showed us what they are capable of. This team should have been much better this year. Perhaps there were some distractions.........?

19. TAMU: Wonder how Sumlin will do now that the silly "Johnny Football" is going to "save" some NFL team or other. Hope the Texans aren't obtuse enough to pin their hopes on this guy. The Aggies may not be a team that is a serious SEC competitor upcoming. We will see. Sumlin is a good coach as long as he has a stellar QB behind center. The true colors may show themselves before all is said and done in the 2014 season.

20. Vanderbilt: A very good season as far as such things go. Now HC Franklin off to PSU? What, is he nuts? Must be a money thing.

21. Wisconsin: The best of the rest in the Big Ten. That doesn't say a whole lot really.

22. Arizona State: Turned out to be a pretty good PAC 12 team.

23. Notre Dame: Folks need to get used to this being a lower level top 25 program (in a good year).

24. Duke: A great season for the Blue Devils. In basketball a ranking this low would be an anomalous failure. On the gridiron? Nothing short of miraculous.

25. Nebraska: Pelini better start winning big and soon. His teams have been decent but decent just don't cut it in Lincoln. Remember the Huskers left the Big Twelve so they could compete somewhere. The Big Ten doesn't seem much more a friendly environment.

Honorable Mentions:
Bowling Green
Northern Illinois
Fresno State
Utah State
Ole Miss
Mississippi State
East Carolina
Ball State
Arkansas State
Louisiana Cajuns
San Diego State
Kansas State

I hoped you enjoyed my half baked, ill informed, and off the cuff (but no worse than the standard ESPN "expert") analysis of the college game this season. It was a fun year.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Cousins Dickinson

Do the terms "Catherine Wheel" and "Iron Maiden" ring a bell by chance? Medieval torture devices both but also the names of two very successful (one wildly) bands.
Do the names Rob and/or Bruce Dickinson strike a chord? They should to music fans. Rob was the front man/guitarist for Catherine Wheel while Bruce is the better known front man for Iron Maiden. As it so happens they are also cousins. Two very different genres of Rock to be sure; Catherine Wheel was considered a so called "shoe gaze" band and our course Iron Maiden is still one of the monsters of Rock.

I wonder if it is a coincidence that both bands are named for an apparatus of torture?

Enjoy both Catherine Wheel in their commercially successful Black Metallic and Iron Maiden with Ghost of the Navigator.