Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’

I come to you this warm January morning giddy with excitement because I get to ramble on a subject that truly interests me. It involves college sports, politics, economics, and free swag which is right up my alley. The issue of paying college athletes has been up for debate ever since LaLa Bonilla tried to convince her boyfriend, Jesus Shuttlesworth to go to the school of her crew’s choice instead of going to Big State University.

The issue has recently heated back up with National Champion and Heisman Trophy Winner, Cam Newton being involved in the alleged scandal of soliciting schools for the highest “pay for play” scenario possible. There are the traditionalists that believe that college is for students and that they should not be paid. Then there are the people who feel they should be paid just as much as professional athletes if it is equivalent to their value to the university.

I normally tend to side with the old school conservatives with my mentor, Tony Kornheiser but his predecessor, Bill Simmons has led me to new water. I don’t think student athletes should be negotiating contracts with schools and they should not deal breakers on why a student chooses a particular university. However, I do feel as though students should be compensated for the amount of time they put into their sport.

Many student athletes are recruited to go to college to play sports and for many of those students it is the only way they can financially attend college, by means of athletic scholarship. They are sometimes given free room and board which covers tuition, dorm, and a meal plan. In most instances students have to come out-of-pocket for other necessities and small luxuries that they cannot afford on their parents’ low income. Things as simple as books, a computer, school supplies, and even a new first day of school outfit become hard to come by for some families.

I certainly am not one for another form of socialized welfare for families to be able to afford their child’s tuition. Financial Aid is available to millions of people who do not take advantage of it and drawing from that pot doesn’t solve the issue. I believe that if student athletes should be paid a monthly stipend for their time and contributions to the university. Some students bring in millions of dollars in revenue to a particular school and are given nothing more than free swag.

While every young athlete loves free stuff, it is not liquid, you are not allowed to sell or trade any university given products. You cannot go to a tattoo artist and say “how about I pay you in jersey”? Oh wait…With a T Mobile Sidekick cell phone bill to pay, many of these athletes have no income of which to draw from to pay for simple amenities. If they were compensated around $2,000 a month they would have plenty of money to go to In-N-Out every once in a while instead of eating at the DC. They could afford to take that flu honey they’ve been trying to holler at in Dayton to a movie and maybe even spring for Yogurtland to seal the deal.


Now, where does all this money come from? Whether the school is privatized or a state-run institution, I feel the money should come from their schools general athletic fund. If a school has a sport that generates revenue and is profitable than it should pay its employees. If the women’s field hockey team lost money than it should be cut from being a Varsity sport and if students want to play, they can revitalize it as a club sport with paying dues.

College athletics are a business and any successful business knows it is only good as its employees. If employees have financial issues where they cannot fully focus on “work” then the odds are against them to perform at their highest ability. That then hurts not only the student but affects the school’s success as well. Obviously, higher education isn’t in the best economic state right now but if school’s want to profit from their students’ talents they should show them some good faith.

Here’s is where my idea can possibly turn into a successful slippery slope. If students from lower-income households are able to get a college education and come out of college with money saved, there is a better chance they will be successful in the workplace than if they were to come out of college with nothing but a University Studies degree, a bunch practice gear, and the pressing temptation to start “slangin’ rocks on the cona with the rest of dem boyz.”

We are all naive as to think that many top collegiate athletes are not recruited without adding in some extra incentives into the picture. It may not be cash for the student but it may be a rent-free house or car payment for Reggie Bush’s parents that would allow Reggie’s parents to buy him some Air Max 95s for his birthday (I also have a birthday coming up 😉 if they so wanted to.

Or in some blatant cases it may be “straight cash homey.” Where the student or a family member negotiates on the student’s behalf for X amount of dollars. With these types of conversations occurring every day it only hurts the team as a whole. If Cam Newton is getting paid $250,000 to come to play football, how does his walk-on offensive lineman feel when he is barely on scholarship scraping by at a private school that he really cannot afford?

This is my biggest issue. I am all about fairness and leveling the playing field and I don’t believe it is right to pay some athletes and not others. That is like Pat Riley saying “we are going to pay LeBron, Bosh, and Wade all of our money and if anyone else wants to come play, we’ll hook you up with some sweatpants.” By the way, I don’t like them but “The Heatles” nickname is genius.

Even if a student wanted to get a job while in college it becomes nearly impossible with time restrictions limited to going to school full-time and playing a sport full-time. If they cut back on their studies and their grades drop they cannot play. If they skip practice, then they can’t play. If they decide not to sleep and work instead, then all three areas drop significantly. It is the age-old double edged sword where they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

Now that I think about it, this is one of my more professional blogs, if anyone wants to site me in any papers feel free to do so and I will buy you a beer.

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Well, the 37 days leading up to the BCS National Championship are finally over. However, I come to you today reporting my sorrows of a tough loss for my Ducks. “I love my Ducks.” I consider myself to be the biggest Ducks fan that has never set foot in the state amongst the tall firs or at least in Clark County. I am not a recent bandwagon hopper, I’ve been quackin’ since the days of Joey Harrington, Luke Jackson/Ridnour. They still may have had their Nikes on back then but it was nothing like the hype they got this year with their 400 + uniform combinations and viral videos.

Today is the calm after the storm (if that even exists). I think it is fair to say that this may have been one of the better National Championship games in a long time or at least since 2005 with Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, and Vince Young lighting up the national stage. It was a great game won by a field goal as time ran out and that I don’t think anyone expected it to turnout the way that it finally did.

Vegas had the over/under at 74 points of which they fell far short. This game was supposed to be the fastest and most dynamic offense ever vs. the most dynamic player at the quarterback position ever. I think everyone expected the offenses to just light up the scoreboard and it would come down to whoever made big plays on defense that would win the game and this is exactly what happened.

Auburn’s defense came ready out the gates hitting the Ducks with early sacks and interceptions disallowing them to get their fast-paced and no huddle offense to affect them. They set the tone from the start as we saw mere glimpses of what the Ducks could do when they got in their zone by running it on first and second down and letting their receivers fly on third and short with confidence that they could go for it on fourth and short if needed.

It was this air of confidence that led them up and the down the field all season long which resulted in their record of 12-0 as they averaged almost a point for every minute they played this season. It seemed as though the bigger SEC defense was able to get to the quicker yet smaller Oregon offense by limiting big run plays by LaMichael James and Darron Thomas. Not allowing them to break through to their secondary is what won the game for the Auburn Tigers/War Eagles.

I still don’t know why they think they are cool enough to have two mascots but that is another story for another day. Cam Newton wasn’t exactly the player that everyone thought he was going to be last night either. With comparison to Vince Young playing style and athletic ability most people suspected him to run all over Oregon’s linebackers of which Cam had 3 inches and 30 pounds on. That wasn’t necessarily the case though as Oregon’s Defensive Coordinator, Nick Aliotti, threw a lot of different looks and packages at him confusing the quarterback that was able to do whatever he wanted all season long.

Auburn needed someone to step and make a play on defense and it was Demetruce McNeal that I believe won the game for Auburn. It was McNeal that made the play of the night where “The Truce” (as I have now dubbed him) brought down Oregon WR, Lavasier Tunei after a 43 yard pass at the 3 yard line. The Auburn defense would go on to stop Oregon from getting in the end zone after four straight run plays. If Oregon scores here they go for two and it would likely have been 19-19 with 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Bad plays calls by Chip Kelly to try and punch a smaller QB and RB through a much larger and agressive defensive led to the Duck downfall.

The Ducks got the ball back and charged downfield and scored and got the extra point thanks to the sick hippy WR, Jeff Maehl. With their star player and Heisman trophy not playing up to par with a possible leg injury other Auburn players needed to step up. And it was Freshman RB, Michael Dyer. Dyer will forever be known for his play where everyone thought he was down and stopped playing only for him to roll over and keep going for more yards. Dyer would run it again for another controversial touchdown which was reluctantly overturned and marked at the half yard line.

Not scoring the touchdown and having to kick the field goal may have actually been a better situation for  Auburn. If the Touchdown counted there would have been :10 left on the clock for Oregon to possibly run a kickoff back. Auburn would probably kicked it out of the end zone or out-of-bounds to eliminate that but you never know what college kickers are going to do. So, us Quackers could only hope to summon a replay of Boise State’s Kyle Brotzman to shank the 19 yard kick. To our demise, that was not case as Auburn Kicker, Wes Byrum split the uprights with :02 left on the clock ticked off as Auburn would go on to win the BCS National Championship.

I am still a little bitter so I am now going to go on my rant to say that Auburn cheated by paying off Cam Newton. We all know they did and we are naive to think that paying off families through boosters and different bank accounts doesn’t exist. Everyone does it, so Auburn is not alone. I for one think that college players should receive not salaries but stipends correlated to their football team’s value to the university but that also is an issue for another day. But Cam cheated and I wish they would have had better evidence to convict him so the Ducks (who get paid in tons of free Nike shwag) would have had better chances at being Champs.

Today was originally supposed to be a blog dedicated to the scholars of the world as they embark on a new beginning of post undergraduate education. However, with breaking news in the world of the uniforms there are much more pressing issues to be discussed than graduation.

This morning at a media event and press conference from Cowboys Stadium, Nike unveiled its BCS line of Pro Combat Uniforms for four of its Elite schools. The schools given this high honor of rocking cutting edge and innovative uniforms are the University of Oregon, Texas Christian University, the University of Florida, and Boise State University. These uniforms were presented by Ndamukong Suh, Steven Jackson, Desmond Howard, and many others.

Starting at the top with my Ducks. In a perfect 12-0 season trumped somewhat by their bright and loud uniforms it is only fitting that they stick to their roots and end their season on the same note. They are not my favorite colorway of the 80 combinations they have at their dispose but I can definitely appreciate the creativity. Nike was somewhat limited in options with Oregon being the #2 seed to #1 Auburn and thus the away team but they still did pretty well.

I am one for uniformity when it comes to uniforms. I like themes, all-blacks, all-whites, and alternating colorways with helmets matching pants and jerseys matching shoes/socks. But I understand not everything is going to go my way and Nike knows what they’re doing. While I would have preferred a combination similar to what they wore against UCLA these will suffice for the time being as they hopefully bring home the crystal ball.

They decided to go with the carbon-fiber helmets, white jerseys, and white pants. But the real fun comes in with the base layer and footwear. The base shirt is customized to have a fast design and each individual players’ number on the sleeves which is nice for individuality. The shoes are the Zoom Alpha Talon Cleats that are brand new for Nike and won’t be available for other schools till next year and the socks add a little pizazz with the highlighter yellow.

I would like to defer to my NFL blog https://jonmackin.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/new-nfl-nike-uniforms-with-pictures-off-all-teams/ for a second to validate the authenticity of the leaked Nike NFL Pro Combat uniforms for 2012. If you notice they have the same pant design, same structure throughout the upper half of the uniform. Further verifying that NFL uniforms are not fake and that Nike “leaked” them on purpose to start the buzzing of the bees.

See? Now on to TCU. TCU is the only Texas school I will allow my sons to go on recruiting trips to and for that they get my seal of approval. Even though they did just cheat on the Mountain West with the Big East. Which if they would have stayed with the additions to Boise State, UNR, and Fresno State we would have been a better conference but that is an entirely whole new issue in itself.

But I digress, these TCU unis are sick. Thanks to Nike, one of TCU’s new school colors is red which is attributed to the venom that the horned frog produces. I assimilate it to how the Lady Vols of Tennessee wear light blue in with their creamy orange. Anyways, the old school style jersey is countered with modern pants with scales throughout and revolutionary helmet with red stripes as well.

Now on to one of the newest members of the Mountain West that I previously alluded to, the Boise State Broncos. These are the unis in which Kyle Brotzman will be missing field goals in and the rest of the returning Broncos will be getting acclimated to Sam Boyd Stadium in. At first glance they look like their standard all-blues that they wear at home on the smurf turf but there are some subtle differences.

Nike designed a new jersey which can be noticed around the collar and with the difference in fonts. They also incorporated more orange into this makeup with the cleats, base layer, and logo on the helmet. Which anyway to brighten up a boring uniform for me is a good thing. These unis are clean and to the casual fan are the same but are much more detailed to the avid sports/fashion enthusiast.

Along with Urban Meyer went any sort of creativity for the Gator Pro Combats. Maybe it is the fact that Florida is a traditional university and doesn’t want to piss off boosters by wearing some ridiculous uniform or maybe it is because they are only playing in the Champs Sports Bowl that Nike wanted to allocate their work to the preceding three teams. It’s not that these uniforms are ugly it’s just that they aren’t much different from what Emmitt Smith and Tim Tebow have been wearing for 20 years.

In conclusion, (I love doing that as unprofessional and cliché as it may be) Nike did a pretty good job with the designing of their Bowl Series Pro Combats. I would have gone into it with a completely different mindset and strategy but that is why they are getting paid to do what they do and why I am writing about it. All in all there weren’t any monstrosities but I would have liked to have seen some more creativity.

I don’t really know where I want to go with this blog but being a “Chooseday Tuesday” I figured I would let my mind flow into my index fingers (because I still look at keyboard and type with two fingers) and whatever comes out, well comes out. It is that time of year where college students around the world (on a semester schedule) fill the lounges of Starbucks and invest in 5 Hour Energy Shots.

It wasn’t until my super senior year  of college that I realized what good studying actually was. It involved going to class, paying attention in class, taking decent notes, reviewing them frequently, and going over them again in-depth prior to the final while upon receipt of the study guide. Another good trick is to only study in 45 minute increments because your brain can only focus at full strength for that amount of time.

So, in this educational week it is my fiduciary duty to pass on this knowledge to all students. Study for 45 minutes and then take a 15 minute break. Then repeat. However, I cannot take credit for this wise information and the credit is due to my good friend and world renown studier, Nick Wesling. Now the only remaining question is how will you utilize your 15 minute breaks to maximize the retention of the information applicable to your finals?

That’s where I come in. I have compiled a short play list of non H1N1 viral videos to keep you on your toes and your heart light in what can be a very stressful week. These videos are intended to give you a quick little smile break from studying. However, they do come with a Surgeon General’s warning that they are contagious, so do not watch in excess. Side effects may include: songs stuck in head, random laughter outbursts, and sneezing.

The “Harlem Shake,” the “Stanky Leg,” and the “Douggie” have nothing on this new dance craze. The “Bernie” is the hottest new form of interpretive dance that is sweeping the across the Bible Belt. It is recommended that this dance is done prior to a final to loosen up all of your muscles in preparation for what could be a tense hour or so. The quality is not up to par quite yet but I’m sure it is only a matter of time before Wiz Khalifa and B.o.B. hop in da boof for a remix.

This next video is almost as ridiculous as the “Bernie.” I recently came across three young gentleman from the prestigious University of Oregon, who go by the name of Supwhitchugirl. These three young men make me wish I would have gone to the U of O, met them playing intramural basketball, and thus transformed the trio into a quad because they remind me a lot of myself anf friends. This video has gone viral and become the official “fight video” for the Ducks’ championship run.

This next video is also off from the rap supergroup, Supwitchugirl. Behind the quick lyrics and jerker outfits there is an unheard amount of talent. From the writing of the songs, to the production of the videos, to the search for early 90s Nike windbreakers, these three kids are the reason I want my sons to grow up in the Pacific Northwest, despite never setting foot outside of an airport there.

This other hit from Supwitchugirl brings me right back to my childhood. Well my teenage years, where we would hop the fence of Selma Bartlett Elementary to play basketball on the eight foot hoops. I still believe in  my heart, that when on eight foot hoops, I am the best dunker in the world, pulling creative dunks out of my ass that would have Luke Ridnour and Luke Jackson wishing they showed me around campus on recruiting trips. I also have a special place in my heart for this video because I too still save all of my Champion (brand) NBA jerseys in a kids size 40 from middle school.

This next video comes to you from the best History AP teacher in America, Mr. Jeff Johnson. Mr. Johnson and I hit it off ever since Junior year of high school, when I showed up on the first day of school wearing my Larry Johnson UNLV throwback. From that day forth we had a bond held together by a respect for local basketball excellence. We both held similar positions in UNLV’s student government and he still is UNLV’s #1 fan from the net-cutting days of the early 90s, to the grey days of the Early 2000’s with Mark Dickel, to our current ascending return to greatness.

This last video I will leave you with is something to get you in the holiday mood. It twas the night before Christmas of 2006 and our hearts were open wide and these two comedic and musical geniuses gave us something that was on their mind. They were wise enough to when a gift needs giving and they knew just the one. It’s their dick in a box!

What a crazy weekend for college football? It is weekends like this that hold collegiate athletics above professional athletics on my shelves of sports right below Buzz’s tarantula. Boise State was upset by UNR (not Nevada) UNR because of a limp-legged kicker who will be the highest scoring football player of all time. This just furthers my opinion that we should shoe the place-kickers out of football and let soccer players kick point afters.


My dude, Randy Shannon, is now filing his unemployment claims after being fired from The U. On paper he didn’t look that good going 7-5 this year but they had a tough schedule and had a lot of injuries. Not only did he better the image of the “Thug U,” he did his most important job by recruiting kids with dreads in South Florida. He then took those kids from the hood and produced the third highest graduation rate behind Army and Navy.


Auburn overtook Oregon’s top spot with their win over Bama. Oregon smashed Mike Stoops and a good U of A team but it all really comes down to this weekend. Both of them play good teams in South Carolina and Oregon State in an away Civil War game. I pray my Ducks beat the confederacy but I would not be surprised if in-state rival upset them. Cam Newton is too dirty to lose and God knows he probably has some sort of personal monetary incentive for making it to Glendale.

If one of them were to lose I believe TCU should be able to play in BCS Championship regardless of their conference. Let’s just say they have a better defense than another professional team in the greater Dallas/Ft. Worth area. If they don’t lose they should be heading to So-Cal to play Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl who they will handle with ease.


“The BCS does not define TCU, TCU defines the BCS.” Says TCU Athletic Director, Mike Del Conte. Most people were shocked that TCU decided to join the Big Eat because of the geographic unnaturality of it. I think I pulled a “George W. Bush” and made that word up but Spell Check didn’t say shit, so whatever. The average distance from TCU’s student union to Big East schools is around 1,200 miles. That may seem like a lot but TCU isn’t exactly walking distance from Wyoming either, so that doesn’t really bother me.

The Sugar Bowl has dibs in which they decide to play in the Sugar Bowl. It will most likely be the battle of the 6th and 7th ranked teams with the 3rd and 4th best quarterbacks with Arkansas and Ryan Mallet vs. The Ohio State University and Terrell Pryor. I foresee the Buckeyes coming out on top because Ryan Mallet looks like a redneck and TP has a fresh high top fade.

I think the Orange Bowl will have a few trees in it with Stanford playing the ACC champion VA Tech. This would be an awesome game with the relentless power of Andrew Luck and his tough smart kids vs. the shifty and quick Hokies. If Stanford wears the black unis, then they win. If Va Tech wears their Nike Pro Combats, then they win. If for some weird reason they both were all black than the game will have a rain delay and upon the return, the game will result in a stalemate in which the score will be settled by a game of Connect Four that Stanford’s long-snapper will lead to victory.

If potential Big East Champion Pitt/WestVirgina/UConn doesn’t get their Vitamin C in the Orange Bowl they will be partying in the Fiesta Bowl against the overrated Big 12. I’m guessing we’ll see Pitt because I like Larry Fitz and Oklahoma because I like Adrian Peterson. If Larry Fitz’s Dad and Adrian Petersn’s Dad got in a fight, then I would take All-Day’s Dad all day. Thus, Oklahoma wins the Fiesta Bowl.

Boise State will ending up playing in their hometown Humanitarian Bowl against UNR again and will probably beat the Pack by 31 points but it will have come too little too late. No one really cares about the other bowls like the Poinsettia, Fight the Hunger, or Las Vegas so I don’t want to go to in depth on those. Besides, someone will probably lose and throw off the list and 35 minutes I took to write this. Go Ducks, Jon Grudens, Horn Frogs, Buckeyes, Hokies, and Adrian Peterson’s Dad.

Throughout my childhood I had the privilege of traveling across the country with my uncle going to various sporting events. Super Bowls, All-Star Games, etc… I’ve been to pretty much every major city but was not really able to experience all they had to offer. It is hard to really explore when you are on an extended layover or have a set and busy itinerary. So, I have compiled a collection of places I would like to visit and really experience.

Chicago, Illinois: It seemed like a nice city from the huge terminals of O’Hare and is one of those places I feel like I should go. I hate the wind, their teams, and deep dish pizza but I feel like I will have never really lived and can go on with my life hating Chicago teams even more after being there. I gotta go to Wrigley and watch a game from across Sheffield, watch a Knicks vs. Bulls game and take a picture in front of MJ, and eat a Chicago style hot dog.

Nawlins, Lousiana: Obviously during Mardi Gras. Not only is it the biggest party in the world but it is as far away from hurricane season as possible. I wanna rock an LSU Shaq jersey all week to match my purple and gold beads. I want to have full-on conversations with rednecks fresh off the bayou, where I cannot understand a word they’re saying. I want to go to Emeril’s and have crawfish gumbo and help rebuild a house flattened by Katrina. I want to wear my seer sucker suit and light blue gators and to a black gospel church and dance in the aisles. Tell me this video doesn’t give you the chills…

Savannah, Georgia: I love me a good southern drawl. I want to release sea turtle from their eggs into the ocean like Miley Cyrus did in her last movie. I want to go to Paula Deen’s for brunch and eat some deep-fried butter with butter on top. I want to see some Civil War shit. I want to get bitten by a mosquito sippin’ my sweet tea on a front porch rocking chair and then have to sleep with one of those nets around the bed.

Portland, Oregon: For our honeymoon we’re going to do Napa/Sonoma and Pacific Northwest wine country with the second stop being in PDX. I want to start my day off with a maple donut covered in bacon from Voodoo Donuts. Hit up Nike for a new pair of Air Max 95s. Stack some cheddar at the Tilamook Cheese factory because there aren’t many things better than cheese. Well, beer is better than cheese and then drink a pint of Oregasmic Ale from Rogue Brewery.

Seattle, Washington: I want to get a Venti Iced Soy Chai from the original Starbucks. I want to climb the rock wall at the world’s largest REI because that is as outdoorsy as I get. I want to throw and catch a fish from Pike’s Place Market and then have someone turn it into bomb spicy tuna like they did on “The Real World.” I want to get a Shawn Kemp jersey signed by “The Rainman’s” 8 kids and 6 baby’s Mamas. I want to wear a flannel and not shower for the three days I’m there.

Sydney, Australia: I’m not big on leaving the country but I would make an exception for here and one other place. I want to go to an All Blacks match. I want to board the S.S. Steve Irwin and help save a whale. I want to go to the Syndey Opera House that looks like a bunch of clams. I want to eat a Vegemite sandwich with the Aborigines. I want to be weirded out by watching the water flush in the opposite direction. And I want to go for a kangaroo ride if you can even do that.

Rome, Italy: I’m not big on tourist attractions, so I would do the staples like the doing the Leaning Tower of Pisa picture, The Coliseum, and maybe say what’s up to the Pope at The Vatican but when I go on vacation I want to relax. So, when I’m in Italy I want to do nothing but eat thin-crust Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto pizza and have purple gums from drinking so much Pinot Noir. This will be done on a few wine tours and tasting and not much else.