Thursday, January 03, 2013

Pennsylvania Governor Suing NCAA

Governor Tom Corbett is suing the NCAA over the sanctions imposed on Penn State in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Penn State was fined over $60 million, banned from postseason play for 4 years, and forced to reduce scholarships.

Penn State is not part of the lawsuit, as the school agreed not to sue when it agreed to accept these sanctions.

The money collected as fines is supposed to go to child-abuse prevention programs.

Governor Corbett serves on Penn State's board and did not voice any opposition to the sanctions when they were imposed.

This is a scumbag move from an attention seeking politician. Pennsylvania seems to produce those in abundance (see: Arlen Specter). Penn State, a school, allowed its football program to dominate the institution, instead of being part of it. It allowed young boys to be molested on school property. It allowed for a coach - who is a state employee, by the way - to molest children unpunished and unimpeded. All for the sake of a football program.

Penn State, as an institution, allowed its football program to become more powerful than the school, more powerful than the Law, more powerful than basic human decency and compassion. Both the program and the school deserved to be reduced in power and prestige, until an appropriate hierarchy can be rebuilt. That's what these sanctions endeavor to do.

The school allowed its program to get out of control. And guess what, there are a few other schools and programs like that. Texas football. Syracuse basketball. And many more. These are programs that have become much more powerful than the schools they are a part of. That's another story, though. One the NCAA doesn't want to address but probably should.

But all many Pennsylvanians (not most, but a significant number) and Penn State boosters/alumni care about is their football team. And their beloved St. Joseph of Paterno.

The Governor of Pennsylvania wants Penn State to keep its money, instead of that money going to programs that try to prevent child-abuse. Because football programs are more important than human beings, at least they are to some people.

It's disgusting.

Speculating About Josh McDaniels

I love the sports media. All media, really. They all follow the same formula when "following" a story.

Step 1: Find an interesting fact. In this case, the fact that Josh McDaniels is actively refusing head coaching vacancies. But simply regurgitating facts isn't enough to justify a journalist's paycheck. We need to know why and it's the journalist's job to tell us.

After step 1, the journalist has an option, A difficult Step 2 or an easy Step 2.

Difficult Step 2: Find out why the fact is. Do research, ask questions, contact sources, dig through records. Do some serious journalism to find out why the fact from Step 1 is so.

Easy Step 2: Speculate why. Guess. It's not only easier and faster, you get to choose the most sensational guess to cover and discuss. So the story is always as interesting as possible.

Step 3: Opine. Give opinions. If you are on the speculative track, your opinions should reflect that by being strong, extreme, and inflexible. Because it's best to have a solid, immovable opinion when your facts are flimsy.

Facts and truth have little to do with journalism. At least not the journalism that anyone reads or cares about. And this lack of facts is not just true in the sports media, by the way, it's politics, entertainment, financial news. Everything. Interesting speculation and extreme opinions get more attention than simple facts and moderate opinions.

So here's my sensational Josh McDaniels speculation: I think if the Patriots win this Super Bowl, Bill Belichick will retire within a month. He'll set up his heir-apparent McDaniels with a team that still has Brady, and has a young talented defense. Belichick gets to retire but his legacy lives on.

Here's my reasonable speculation: McDaniels has already failed as a head coach. The next chance he gets will likely be his last. The current vacancies aren't with teams that have good situations. They're mostly teams mired in turmoil. McDaniels might want to wait for a more favorable situation to arise.

Here's a boring speculation: Maybe McDaniels likes it here, likes working with Bill, likes working with Brady. Maybe he tried head-coaching and it wasn't for him. Some coaches are Captain Kirks, some are Mr. Spocks. There's nothing wrong with being a Spock.

Here's my absurd speculation: McDaniels is secretly married to Jonathan Kraft, and the two of them used Gisele Bundchen to be a surrogate mother to a child conceived using DNA from McDaniels and Belichick's daughter. The pregnancy was accompanied by dark sacrifices and Satanic rituals, overseen by evil wizard Ernie Adams. The child will one day coach the Patriots, bring the world as we know it to an end, and win 8 Super Bowl titles.