Monday, September 28, 2009

The Peril of Scheduling Down

It has become habit for many major college football programs to schedule FCS (Don't must of us still call it IAA?) schools. While the pros are obvious; the likelihood of winning the game; the cons far outweigh any advantage.

This year the most glaring examples of scheduling down were Florida versus Charleston Southern and Oklahoma hosting Idaho State. Both of these games were predictable blowouts of course. Here is where the problem lies for Division I, particularly BCS conference programs. If a BCS or any good Division I team allows a IAA school to stay close in the game, then the Division I program is suspect. Take for example this years Florida State/Jacksonville State match up. Florida State barely escaped with a victory here. It does not matter that Jacksonville State has an extremely talented QB; what the pollsters and fans see is a narrow victory over an opponent that should have been beaten easily.

If a Division I team should have a horrible outing and actually lose to a IAA squad, then the results for the upper division program are disastrous. A good example is the loss a couple of years back that Michigan took at home to a very good Appalachian State team. It matters little that Appalachian State that year may have been able to be ranked in the top 20 of Division I, and were the eventual IAA champions, what matters is that a major program BCS school was defeated by a lower division team. Michigan is just now starting to work their way up from that disaster. This has happened fairly often but that game is probably the best example.

When a Division I school plays and easily defeats a IAA team, the win is still suspect in the minds of many fans. Does it matter that Florida could probably have put up triple digits on Charleston Southern? Not really. It is just seen as a useless "padding the win column" game. Not much more than a scrimmage, if even that.

Another disadvantage is seen recently in the case of the Mississippi Rebels. The win over SE Louisiana Lions was just a scrimmage. It showed the Ole Miss coaches nothing about the program. If they had played a little bit stronger opponent, adjustments may have been made and the Ole Miss/South Carolina game may have had another outcome. It just does not help much if a major program's non conference opponents are maybe talented enough be competitive with the practice squad.

A small possible advantage to playing a IAA opponent usually comes in the middle of the season. For example, Miami hosts Florida A&M in a couple of weeks and will probably need this win to restore some confidence in themselves. The blowout to Virginia Tech last week and the probable loss in the upcoming game against Oklahoma might have the Hurricanes reeling. The problem here is that FAMU has a pretty darn good IAA program. The Rattlers should not be able to hang long with the Hurricanes though. Miami will certainly need to make sure they don't.

The flip side is that IAA schools have all the advantage in playing Division I, especially BCS opponents. Other than the obvious likely loss, the financial awards are much needed and if they should play a good game or stun the major school, it is a boon to their program.

It makes far more sense to play teams that have at least a fair chance of winning. The Sun Belt Conference makes its living playing BCS opponents in their respective non conference schedules. They win sometimes too. It matters not that the Sun Belt has much more in common with a good IAA conference that a D1 BCS conference. It is all in the perception. Who can forget the ULM victory over Alabama a while back? This year alone Middle TN State beat Maryland and Louisiana Lafayette handled the Kansas State Wildcats. Other schools from some other non BCS conferences, and even a few consistently less talented teams from the BCS ranks also tend to schedule up. A loss by a major program to one of these teams is bad, but not near as devastating than losing to a school from the lower division.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Couple of Noteworthy Blogs

I have been following a blog called Brilliant at Breakfast for some time now and find it to be pretty darn good. It is an infuriatingly left wing blog and the authors are quite out of touch with reality, but that is what makes it interesting. It is professionally done and well written and is so far to the left that it makes for good entertaining reading. I must admit that I do occasionally find some common ground with Jill, the main blogger, on some issues but not too many. Another poster, someone that calls them self "Jurassic Pork" or some such nonsense is quite "bat shit crazy." This is one of the favorite expressions apparently on this blog. I actually wrote something fairly nasty on the comments concerning something that "Jurassic Pork" wrote. I since deleted it. No sense being rude, but it galls me when our troops are compared to the SS, Stazi, etc. That was not amusing. I defend, and have defended, someones right to blather nonsense, but Good Lord man. Oh well, no matter. The blog is recommended reading if for no other reason than the entertainment value it provides. Check it out and prepared to be wonderfully annoyed.

Another excellent blog I just found yesterday is "On My Mind" done by a man named Bill Hefner. This is another professionally done blog that is very well written. Mr. Hefner is much more liberal than I am and I have been accused of having some liberal tendencies. (I also have been accused of being an anarchist and imperialist and war monger but that is beside the point). I believe Mr. Hefner's blog to be an excellent read. Check him out at It is quite interesting.

It is interesting that the best blogs are found just trolling around the blogosphere. I would have never found Cielo Gold, Survival Stew, We Can Eat, On My Mind or for that matter, the somewhat insane Brilliant at Breakfast without hitting the "next blog" tab.

It sure is interesting to see what other people have to say.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What a Pack of Fruit Loops

All three of four of you who may actually read my blog know that I bartend a little, drive a cab some, and work with a local caterer on occasion. I also recently started substitute teaching, which is somewhat interesting. Put it all together and it is a very modest living. Well, not even that really. Thankfully my wife has a pretty good job which keeps this family at least functioning economically, as long as we don't go overboard.

Last night I took a job from a hospitality staffing service to bartend at a "high end" hotel in downtown Houston. It was supposed to be a bartending gig, but when I got there I was assigned to basically just hang around and keep my area picked up. Ok, no problem. This place does tip share and I really did not feel like bartending for a fairly large crowd when I can make the same just standing around. Kind of lazy I know. I probably should have worked the bar as the people they assigned were slow as Christmas. Believe it or not I heard on guy ask another about the proper way to make a vodka tonic. This was done via radio; one of the supervisors was in my vicinity with his radio. Oh well, no skin off my nose. I watched another guy at a satellite bar have difficulty with the cork on a wine bottle. This was a supposedly a"high end" event and it was not "Sutter Home" that he was trying to open. I thought about going over and giving him a little instruction, but I have met the guy and found him a tad arrogant in our earlier conversation. I let him figure it out himself. That being said, I will now get to the main point of this little blog entry.

I have worked at this particular hotel a time or two and the management is some kind of tight assed. The regular employees are perennially frightened for some reason. These guys in suits nitpick about the smallest thing, and are constantly on patrol. There seems to be a whole lot of well dressed chiefs here and not quite enough Indians as they say. I did my best to look busy, and was for the most part pretty busy keeping my area in order, but once or twice I did feel a critical evil eye cast my way and one comment was made to me before the event began that my mustache was a little "bushy." I actually had to go and trim it slightly. Ok, no problem, although if there were any further critical comments I do believe that the guy would have been told to go find a wee wee to smooch. That would have been no problem for him I am sure, but I will get to that in a moment. Another guy had a goatee and was informed that he needed to shave it off which he declined to do. Apparently they let it slide as he worked the entire night. All in all it just turned out be all right. Worked until pretty late in the night, cleaned up, and went home. Other than the anal management though, what was really interesting was the actual event itself. Let me tell you about it.

Although this particular hotel is very upscale, probably number one or two in the Houston area, it does not often host fairly large events. It is not a Hilton, Hyatt or a Crowne Plaza type place that caters to convention type business. It is more of a "boutique" type of place. That may have been one reason why the managers were so anal. They are very uptight on a normal day I have noticed, but last night they were over the top. Anyway, the event itself was some sort of fashion event with predominately Italian clothing and accessories being featured. There were quite a few people from the "Old Country" in attendance and Italian could be heard spoken by many. The food was authentic, and I did get to eat a little after the event. Somewhat different than what you would get at the Olive Garden. Perhaps that is why I have the runs this morning.

What was really wild was the people that attended this event. I have never been around such an interesting or decadent crowd, except perhaps at a "swinger" event.
A good majority of the men were gay, that goes without saying perhaps. After all it was a fashion thing. These guys were what are commonly called "flamers." With a capital F! That is all ok but there was a good deal of hand holding, kissing, and public groping. I mean real ding dong grabbing. Get a room! There were some regular hotel guests in and around the pool while this was taking place. There were a couple of security guys hanging around and they watched but I did not notice them trying to control the situation. I would imagine that they would have been fired if they interfered. The money spent on this event was quite evident. As far as I know, no one unleashed their weapon. Wonder if security would have done anything then?I do not believe I mentioned that the event was held on the "courtyard" which has a pool, enclosed work out space, pool bar and grill, etc. etc. as part of the area. While no one looked offended that I could see, I did see a lot of bemused expressions. I myself was not shocked but did find it somewhat amusing.

There were a lot of guys there that were not openly gay and some of these cats were dressed like something out of the 1978. We are talking about shirts open to the navel and flashy gold chains. The whole nine yards. No one that I saw had "feathered" hair though. Some of these guys had very pretty Oriental women on their arms that were at least half their age. I could not be sure but I would bet the girls were earning a little extra cash themselves that evening. Most likely they were recruited from the numerous "rub and tug" places that are everywhere in Houston. Incidentally, the existence of those type of joints can put substantial money in a cab driver's pocket when there are conventions in town. A lot of "out of town sports" are interested in some extracurricular fun and any cabbie worth his salt knows where this fun is to be had. The bump back that is given to cabbies from these fine business establishments can be fairly substantial; but I digress.

The women at this event, discounting the pretty young Asians, were for the most part, dressed like something out of some off the wall fashion magazine that no one really reads. At least no one I know. They ranged in age from the mid 20's perhaps up to a least 70. The older they were the more outlandish and cartoonish they looked. It was nuts. I did have one of the younger women ask me if I knew the name of the designer of some handbag that was being modeled. Of course I had no earthly idea, but I amused myself by telling her that I believed the designer to be B. Dick Black. I then scooted off into the crowd. She probably didn't buy it but I had my little fun. Here is where it gets really wild. One guy I was working with came up to me and asked if had a seen any p...y. You know what I am talking about? I asked him if he meant literally and he laughed and said "of course." Well I had seen at least 5 full beaver shots plus quite a few "hints of beaver." That sounds like a cologne. Maybe I should market that. Some of the "ladies" at this event evidently do not believe in wearing underwear. Even the teensy thong kind. Apparently they were also not taught by their mother's how to sit in a ladylike fashion. They probably just don't care. Maybe it does not even cross their minds. It was a rather interesting job.

It is sort of funny. One goes about their life wearing "normal" clothes just going with the flow and living life. Then one comes across others so different in attitudes, dress, etc. etc. that it can be rather startling at times. It makes things interesting. We are a strange species.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Most human beings regardless of religious affiliation, race, country, income level, etc. etc. just want to be left alone to live their lives in peace. To be more clear - Your average Mohammedan does not have a burning desire to destroy. Does a poor family in Afghanistan, Iraq, or wherever really want to be subjected to constant religious warfare, or warfare over power and control, etc. etc? Surely they don't. People, when it comes down to it, are people after all. We are not that much different when one gets to the core of humanity. That does not however mean that the individual will not get caught up in the groupthink of whatever society it is their lot in life to belong.

The Anniversary has just recently passed and it is still fresh in the minds of freedom loving peoples everywhere. It is difficult to express oneself on the anniversary of that horrific Day without perhaps writing down thoughts that come to mind that are frankly inhumane. The Day brings forth powerful emotions that can overwhelm one and be the cause of thoughts of vengeance. Thoughts of utter destruction of societies peopled by persons who are wholly innocent. That is wrong. It is best to put some distance between the anniversary of the Day and actually putting "pen to paper" to attempt to poorly express thoughts on the matter. No writings or thoughts can properly express the horrible tragedy that transpired and the grief and sorrow of so many of our countrymen. Perhaps anything written or said at all is inappropriate for those of us not personally affected. But we all were affected to a large degree. This anniversary of the Day is for those that lost their lives and their close ones. It is also for the U.S. and allied troops and others that have lost their lives as an indirect result of this Day. We should never forget any of them.

It is a horrible shame that our great country has again become divided. There are those among us whose thoughts are to place the blame of that Day on, well, us. Many have politicized the Day and are quite vocal with their message. The rest of us must endure those of us who are so unbalanced as to actually blame their country or leadership for this Day. A very vocal minority of Hollywood types, and some other people's insane comments just must be endured. That is the character of this great nation. Service people have died in the defense of their right to say things that are so obtuse.

The images of the attacks that are shown every year on the anniversary should be required of every American. Not to stir up patriotism or a desire for vengeance, but to remind us all of the evil we are fighting. The Outlaws Motorcycle Club has a saying "God Forgives, Outlaws Don't."
As Americans, we should also never forgive those responsible for that horrific Day. It might not be "Christian" to be unforgiving, but perhaps it is necessary.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Little Civility Please

Georgia Tech is up 24-0 over the Clemson Tigers and the second quarter is still fairly young. The other game on TV, Florida A&M vs Winston Salem State is not all that interesting either. I loved watching the FAMU Rattlers when Billy Joe was the coach. Rattlers; what a great name for a mascot and who could honestly ask for a better football name than Billy Joe. MEAC football, much like the SWAC, can be pretty fun to watch. The teams are not usually all that good, but the halftime shows are always entertaining. One of the best games to watch is the Bayou Classic between Grambling and Southern. No where else but the city of New Orleans can this game really be played, although I believe Houston was the host city in the fairly recent past. Yes, college ball is back!

Since the games are so uninteresting a comment on last night's performance by President Obama is in order. Did anyone notice that Speaker Pelosi was looking especially psychotic for the event and the First Lady looked downright evil? That was pretty interesting. Oh well. The speech itself was quite good. The man does know how to speak, regardless of what some radio pundits say. The message sounds pretty reasonable. There was nothing said that sounded all that far fetched or "socialist." It is pretty obvious that there will be some sort of reform of the healthcare system regardless of who the opposition is. The insurance industry, whose mouthpieces are talking so reasonable now, have made this bed and now will be the time for them to lie in it. It is difficult to feel too sorry for an industry that has (lets be honest) actually contributed to the demise of so many of our fellow citizens. It is very difficult to trust this administration but fact is, they are the winners, they have majority allies, and they will get a great deal of what they want. At least in the realm of healthcare.

Now we come to the crux of the matter. The outburst by one Joe Wilson, a Representative from South Carolina, was uncalled for. It showed him to be a person of no class. In America all politicians, including the President, are fair game for vicious verbal attacks in any setting and arena other than a formal speaking event by the President to Congress. That is the nature of our national habit. Shame on you Joe Wilson. He is not alone however. The booing and hissing that some on the left side of the aisle involved themselves in during a State of the Union address by President Bush was shocking. It was especially galling, as many of those actually making that particular ruckus have traitorous tendencies. Whatever one may think of the former President, it was his mission to keep this nation safe and he did that to the utmost of his ability. Joe Wilson should certainly be ashamed of himself for his action and those that jeered President Bush not so long ago should be ashamed of themselves also.

The first chapter of Bruce Catton's work "The Coming Fury" will give a reader insight into some of the rough and tumble fights on the floor of Congress in another era. Words like "spaniel coward" were bandied about. Representatives were challenging each other to duels and of course Bully Brooks, another South Carolinian, beat Charles Sumner near to death. "The Coming Fury" is a chronicle of the events leading to the American Civil War. While nothing that cataclysmic is on the horizon now (at least one hopes not), the polarization of our great nation the last few years is becoming disturbing and possibly dangerous.It gives hope and comfort to our enemies. Keep that in mind.

I have been informed that now the Ga. Tech/Clemson game is tied at 27. See what happens when one quits watching college football to go play blogger? Lesson learned.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Is Real Journalism Gone for Good?

The more that I watch cable news networks, the regular networks, and read print/on line journalism the more that I believe that true journalists are a dying breed. There are so many so called pundits and commentators out there spouting opinions, that real news gets lost in the shuffle. The commentators on the cable networks have for the most part become nothing more than propagandists. Take MSNBC for instance. Is there anybody there that can honestly say that they are unbiased journalists? Olbermann, Maddow and that nut Mathews are nothing more than mouthpieces for the far (sometimes far far) left. They can be rather interesting, but they certainly are not taken seriously by the "silent majority." Do they realize that most of us look upon them as somewhat of a joke? That is doubtful; they probably believe they are mainstream. They most definitely do not practice journalism. I would hope that even they would agree. If not, they are deluuuuusional. The exact same thing can be said for most of those a Fox News. Hannity is a interesting dude but lets be honest, he is a cheerleader for the Republican Party. He would never admit that however. I think that even he has the sense though to not consider himself a real journalist. Glen Beck, or a least his staff, do perform some real investigative journalism. He definitely has an agenda, which dilutes his true merit as a journalist, but they do some real investigative work on his show. Some of the things uncovered recently have been rather amazing regarding some of President Obama's associates.
Lou Dobbs over at CNN is more of the same - A person spouting his opinion. Interesting perhaps, but journalism, perhaps not. CNN probably is still the closest thing to having true unbiased journalism in the cable news market. Fox News is not "fair and balanced" and MSNBC is for the most part leftist propaganda. Nothing more.

What is Journalism? It is the art of reporting the news without any slant whatsoever. This would be regardless of the individual journalists' personal beliefs. If a left leaning reporter found himself face to face with evidence of corruption on the part of a leftist politician, they would go after the facts with just as much vigor as they would with a politician that they disagree with. There would be no bias. Just the facts, that is what would be pursued. Are these type of reporters left? Where are all the tobacco stained, rumpled suit, whiskey habit, reporters of a time gone by? Dead and gone I would guess. Those were reporters. They have a lot in common with detectives of a bygone era. This new breed of journalist just does not cut the mustard. Now if you will forgive me, I must go get my hair styled to look good for my interview at the local paper.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

An Excellent Blog from Michigan

For the past couple of months I have been following a very professionally done blog by John Mellem. Anyone interested in survival tips, gardening, predictions and politics will find this blog an interesting read. Some of the predictive scenarios that he writes about are quite frightening and one hopes that they don't even remotely come to pass, but, with the world situation being what it is - anything could happen. His gardening tips tie in with some "worst case" scenarios that are painted. Even one who has not the slightest interest in growing a garden might be tempted to reconsider and learn to grow a "green thumb" to help support themselves in the event of a catastrophic economic meltdown. I recommend that readers should "arm themselves with knowledge" and check out John at You won't regret it.