Category Archives: Football

Of Course They Are….

The Princeton Review has bestowed the honor of the No.1 Party School in America upon the University of West Virginia.  The administration, for obvious reaasons are none too proud of this distinction and in fact their incoming president Mike Garrison tried to deflect the attention by saying, “the students he met over the weekend and on the first day of classes Monday are more concerned with their futures “and with the great year we have ahead” than with partying.”

I find this an interesting comment from the head of a school that recruited a convicted armed robber to play football.  Remember Pat Lazear?  As far as I know he is still playing and receiving a free education from WVU in return for playing football.  All this while far more deserving teenagers are working several jobs to pay thier tuition and they didn’t break any laws.

 I will give President Garrison the benefit of the doubt on the Pat Lazear situation since he is new and did not have anything to do with Pat’s recruitment. But Garrison also said, “I’m focused on the way this university changes people’s lives, the research that we do and the service we provide to the state of West Virginia.”

 If that is the case then President Garrison I would suggest you look at how many residents of the State of West Virginia did not get in or get a scholarship becasue your school actively recruited and  accepted Pat Lazear and others of his ilk.  Look at how their lives were changed by this.

Oh, and congratulations on being voted the No.1 party School in America.  The parents of your students and all of your staff must be proud.

Lazear & West Virginia

From Sunday, Feb. 18th in the Washinton Post: 

Lazear Signs With West Virginia

Smoothie King Robbery Had Dissuaded Other Schools

Ok.  Good for him.  But, bad for West Virginia. 

West Virginia has always been one of the schools that had the bad fortune of being located in a state that was the butt of jokes dealing with incest, rednecks and overall low IQ’s.  I have often felt the school has gotten a bum rap and  that their engineering and business management programs have never gotten the full recognition they deserve because of the reputation of the State they share a name with.

It has been guilt by association.

Being the quality school that The Univeristy of West Virginia is, I thought they would have avoided Pat.    Having worked hard to separate themselves from the stereotype of West Virginia, I really am surprised.

But I think I get it.  If you are going to viewed like those that people associate you with, why not associate with the best?  Ohio State University with it’s successful Felon Rehab Program ….I’m sorry… Football Team, and many other schools of the like, you can now add West Virginia to the list.  And isn’t that great company to be in.

WVU you have made a mistake.  Pat Lazear hasn’t proven he deserves a chance at college football or a free college education, yet.  The only remorse he has shown is that he got caught and that it has impacted his ability to play football in college. 

If West Virginia wants to sign him, fine.  Maybe their program is strict enough to straighten him out and help him learn what it means to be a productive member of society.  But he shouldn’t get a free ride and take the opportunity of a college education away from another student who played by the rules and avoided hurting others.

In the Tribune

I certainly hope following the Super Bowl this past Sunday, Chicago fans woke up to see the following ad in the Chicago Tribune:

grossman

What a disgraceful showing in a Championship game.

Thank God we have Peyton.  GO COLTS!!!

Why It’s OK to Root for the Colts in Super Bowl

The Colts did it!  They were able to slay their nemesis of so many years and win yesterday to make it into the Super Bowl.    Manning sucked it up and he did the necessary things as QB to help the Colts come back from an 18 point deficit and win in the closing minutes.

And this was clearly not just a “Peyton Manning playing great so the Colts win” kind of game.  The defense stepped up to hold the Patriots to field goals instead of touchdowns.  Rhodes and Addai ran the ball great to keep the ball moving down field and Clark, Wayne, Harrison, Morehead, Utecht all made the catches on those all important 8 – 15 yard passes to help Indy ring up those first downs.

As for the other game yesterday, I am disappointed that the Saints and Drew Brees could not pull it out.  It really was a great Cinderella story.  Fortunately, I am not sad that it is the Bears who are going to the Super Bowl.  Having grown up in the midwest, I like all (ok, most) things Chicago – especially compared to anything in NY or LA.  I am a die hard Cubbie fan and grew up at a time when Dick Butkus roamed the D back field for the Bears.  I like Chicago and I like the Bears (the ’85 team rocked), so I am glad that they are going to the Super Bowl.  It is just too bad they had beat this year’s Saints to get there.

The bright side is the Colts are going to the Super Bowl. And if you are a Colts fan consider this about why it is better to play the Bears than the Saints

  1. You won’t feel bad when the Colts win because they aren’t dashing the hopes of the Katrina victims
  2. Tony Dungy is also African-American so you can’t feel bad if Lovie Smith loses
  3. Tony Dungy has been so close, so many times to making it to the Super Bowl that it will be okay to be happy when he wins
  4. The Colts have shown that no matter how great one of your players is, it takes a team to win
  5. Rex Grossman – ’nuff said.  Ok, maybe not.  He is from Indiana (good) Bloomington, Indiana (bad).  He chose to go to Florida to play football instead of staying in state and playing for the “Cradle of Quarterbacks” – Purdue University (BAD).

GO COLTS !

Great Sports Weekend!

What a great sports weekend I got to experience

First, the Colts, MY COLTS, beat the Ravens in Baltimore to advance to the AFC Championship game.   I am a huge Colts fan and truly believe Peyton Manning is the best QB in the NFL, if not of all time.   The way he so efficiently runs the offense and works the clock and also the way he can pick a defense a part with his audibles and passes, he is like no other.

What is really great about their victory though, is Peyton played like crap.  Not just by his standards, but by most NFL QB standards, and they still won.  Everyone was saying this was going to be game decided between the Colts potent offense and the Ravens vaunted #1 defense.  I didn’t see it that way and wish I had written it here last week.  I saw it as could the Colts questionable defense hold the Ravens offense enough to give the Colts a chance.  The Answer:  YES.

Cutting Vanderjagt lose and picking up Adam Venatieri in the off season, most brilliant move of any team in the past 5 years.

Next, the Saints beat the Eagles.  I love this for 4 reasons:

  1. I hate the Eagles
  2. New Orleans needs this.  After the past year and half that they have been through, they need this.
  3. Reggie Bush.  I typically am not a fan of the Reggie Bush type college player coming form a perennial college powerhouse and whose majority of Heisman votes are because of his school and not his deserving the award, but Reggie has shown a lot this year.  He is not flashy or boisterous, he has done his job and really helped his team win.  A perfect example of his toughness and focus was shown after he took that hit in the opening minutes of the game.  It was a nasty hit as Reggie had trouble getting to his feet afterward.  But Reggie went to the sideline for a couple breathers and then came back in to help take his team to victory.  He didn’t have to be the star for them to win – just do his job.
  4. Drew Brees.  I want all fellow Purdue Alum to do well in the NFL, but Drew more than most deserves it.  While at Purdue he took us to our first Rose Bowl in over 30 years and he did it with some truly heroic play.  who can ever forget the finish of the OSU game in 1999?  He gets drafted by the Chargers who go out and pick up Flutie.  Once Flutie leaves they draft Rivers.  But Drew hung in there and played his butt off.  Problem is he was NEVER going to be the Charger’s “Guy”.  So after dislocating his shoulder and being shown the door by San Diego, he signs on with the Saints despite all the question marks surrounding the franchise.  By winning yesterday he has shown he is for real and the this All Pro season is no fluke.  Keep it up Drew.

On Sunday I was treated to the Bears victory over the Seahawks.  First, what is a team from Seattle doing in the playoffs?  I know they were in the Super Bowl last year and Seattle itself is a great city.  But NFL and Seattle just don’t go together.  Sorry.

Now, Chicago and NFL – say no more.  The Bears (da’ Bears) are football and the way they played on Sunday showed a lot of heart.  Winning by two 40+ field goals, well that isn’t smash mouth but in the playoffs it isn’t necessarily “how” but “how many”.

I do have one bone with da’ Bears.  last year they put Kyle Orton (fellow Purdue Alum) in a very tough position as a rookie.  Once Rex Grossman was off the IR he went under center and hasn’t been moved since.  Ok, so Orton didn’t play great and Grossman looked better, but let’s face it – I would look good compared to a rookie who gets thrust into the starting QB job a week before the season starts.  And to be honest, compared to Grossman this season, Orton looked just as good last year.  Now, I not lobbying for Kyle to get under center but the Bears do have another pretty QB by the name of Griese standing on the sidelines (he also happens to be the son of a fellow Purdue Alum who was a pretty QB himself).  Why don’t they play him?

After the win by the Bears we got to see the Patriots use every lucky charm they had to beat the Chargers.  Being a Colts fan I am not a Patriots fan.  But for reasons I stated earlier, I am not a Chargers fan either.  While the Colts history against the Pats in the playoffs is not encouraging, I think the Chargers are better team this year and would have a better chance of beating the Colts than the Pats have.

Finally, some of the best sports news this weekend.  The University of Maryland Women’s Basketball team lost to duke ending the winning streak and hopefully, moving them out of #1 in the polls.  To all my UMD friends who ever since Purdue won the National Championship up until UMD won it last year, said women’s basketball doesn’t count…oh yes it does.  AwwwwHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Sometimes you have to take your victories where you can get them. 

Poor Pat

So the notorious wheelman of the “Whitman 5” has been sentenced to 10 years in jail with all but 10 days being suspended.  It truly is terrible that he has to serve any time in prison because I can tell you I personally would not want to spend 1 day or even one hour behind bars.

I feel sorry for the poor kid because he is just that.  A kid.  A kid who made a terrible mistake. 

So while many of you might think I have something against Pat Lazear, well, I will try and explain to you as simply as I can, again, “No, I don’t”.

And as for those of you who think I hate Whitman High School,  I will try and explain to you as simply as I can, again, “No, I don’t”.

  • I don’t like parents, teachers, administrators and coaches who don’t do what is right for the child over their own self interests. 
  • I don’t like parents, teachers, administrators and coaches who don’t enforce the rules.
  • I don’t like parents, teachers, administrators and coaches who help to create and foster an environment of entitlement that leads to illegal and despicable acts in and against the community.
  • I dont’ like parents, teachers, administrators and coaches and fans who believe that they are being falsely targeted and picked on when one of their own does something wrong.

If that fits Whitman High School, then maybe I don’t like Whitman but it is for good reason and not just a subjective reason , like “you are not me.”

And let me cut off any any discussion or comparison to what has occurred with Whitman students and the five Damascus students who were recently arrested for going to Clarksburg High to start a fight.

The kids from Damascus were wrong and the administration at Damascus dealt with it swiftly and appropriately.  They were all suspended and not given any special treatment regardless of who they were, what sport they played or any other factor.

How would I have reacted if I  were to hear they had not been?  I would have been on the phone to the principal and been blogging about it the next day.

So let’s all do what we can to prevent another incident like the Smoothie King Armed robbery from occurring again by holding parents, teachers, administrators and coaches accountable for behavior they could have influenced.  And as fans, let’s reconsider what it is that makes someone worthy of our adoration.

“The Whitman 5”: Who is to Blame?

Dear mm and mmm:

I have read the comments you have left on my blog and I appreciate you both taking the time to share these.

Whitman is a very good school with high SATs and preparing students for some of the best colleges in the country.  No question about it.

But Whitman, like any other high school, is not perfect nor will it, or any other high school, ever be.  However, Whitman has some real problems right now that go beyond what is wrong at “most high schools”.

While I realize you two are probably in the majority about your feelings for Pat Lazear and the others and whether they committed the crime or not, the minority has been very vocal  and I and others who publicly condemned or questioned those involved in this situation have been subjected to some of the most vulgar, dim witted, unreasonable and threatening messages from the minority.

Now, you both express concern about my claim that the teachers, coaches and administration should be held accountable for Pat and the other’s actions.  I can understand how you might disagree based upon the type of person Robert Warren is/was and your own descriptions of the others, but if the coaches EVER said anything to them about their behavior and the student didn’t listen, did they EVER take further action?  In other words did Wallich or Wetzel EVER make them miss a game or a match because of their behavior?  Did Magathan or Goodwin EVER step in and use their authority?  I’ll be honest that I don’t know the answer but I have a pretty good idea that it is “NO”.

Look at the incident from this past spring at Duke and the Duke Lacrosse Coach.  Did he have anything  to do directly with the alleged rapes?  No.  But he lost his job anyway because the program he ran was so loosely monitored that the team was allowed to behave in a way that they could be put in a position to be accused of rape and commit other acts which reflected poorly on the team and the University.

I have been involved in dialogue in the past with Coach Wetzel about the demeanor of some of his wrestlers and never once did he ever say they could or should have acted with more respect.  Instead he defended their behavior as being “special athletes” who work hard and “deserve everything they can take”.  I don’t think you have to look much further to see there is a problem brewing.

You both say you knew these five guys.  Did you ever tell them to quit being idiots or did you just laugh at their antics?  Peer pressure can go a long way.  I am sure you know of kids at your school over the years who have broken a rule and gotten caught like drinking under age and not been punished because of some talent they have.   Do you think that is fair?  And if they get away with that or see someone similar to them get away with it, then what makes you or them think they can’t away with something more serious.  Something like, well….I don’t know…maybe….ARMED ROBBERY?

As long everyone just looks the other way and doesn’t ask questions it will continue.

Yes, these guys have been through a lot and to be honest it will only get worse as time goes on.  That comes with notoriety and fame.  If Pat Lazear and the others want all the benefits of being a star or hanging out with a star, then they have to take all the criticism, too.  And the blind “Whitman Faithful” who support them have to learn to live with it, too.  If Pat Lazear had taken Whitman to states I am sure no one would be complaining about an article in the paper talking about what a great athlete he was. 

I am sorry your school has had to take this much heat.  But maybe if you, your friends, and all of your parents would put some pressure on the school to stop this kind of behavior before it reaches this level then maybe people could focus on the good things about Whitman and not just what these five kids did.

Ultimately Pat Lazear and the others are responsible for the choices they made.   Their parents also probably carry some of the blame for not doing something earlier (Remember , there were warning signs in the form of credit card fraud).

But PLEASE do not be so naive to think that the at least one teacher, coach or administrator couldn’t have had some influence on at least one of these kids.  If not directly, then indirectly by the way they responded to negative behavior.