Category Archives: Off-topic

We don’t always write about football.

Off Topic: How I Almost Became a Spurs Fan

Late on Sunday night, I finally turned off the television as the San Antonio Spurs won their fifth title in fifteen years, beating the vaunted superfriends Miami Heat (Chris Bosh was Aqua Man). I felt pride, not because I was a Spurs fan (Pelicans, bitches: KAW KAW), but because I was among the vast majority of basketball fans who root against the Heat because it’s the fun thing to do. Watching the Spurs play amazing team basketball, some of the best I’ve seen in over a decade, was incredibly enjoyable to me. And the celebration was great, because everyone loves a good celebration.

So I turn my TV off, feeling happy, and I browse to the New Orleans Pelicans fan forum, I look in the forum for someone to acknowledge what I did, how much fun it is to watch a well-constructed team win. I hoped to find someone else who thought that with enough good work, good coaching, and luck, eventually our Pels could do the same thing.

Instead, I found a thread asking if we should sign Heat free agent Michael Beasley. Continue reading

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Off Topic: The Harlem Shake

This has nothing to do with football, but it’s Friday, I’m in the middle of my work shift…and I’m bored as hell.

The Harlem Shake is no doubt the next thing that we’ll all be tired of, but for now it’s cracking me up. If you’re not familiar with the dance, here’s a brief summary: it starts with one person dancing alone, usually masked. Everyone else is playing it cool like they have no idea what’s going on, and as soon as the bass drops everyone gets funky. Check out the KU basketball team making it happen! (note the Chappelle show dance)

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Dear Lions Fans: Don’t blame the refs, blame your coach

Schwartz tried to edit out some of my criticism from this article, but I was going to edit it automatically so then…okay, you get the joke

As a general rule, most fanbases dislike their team’s coach.

Mike McCarthy has delivered a Super Bowl title to my beloved Packers, and yet I still find a way to talk shit about him basically every game. A lot of it is deserved, but a lot of it is just frustrated noise as well. I can’t even imagine how Detroit fans are feeling today however, as it is very rare that you see such tangible evidence of a coach screwing the pooch as badly as Lions’ coach Jim Schwartz did yesterday in his team’s Thanksgiving Day match-up with the Houston Texans.

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We’ll Never Know the Full Story

Yesterday afternoon I was writing up an article that was going to expand on the reasons why the NCAA should get involved in the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State incident.  Things were going well, I was fleshing out some logical arguments as to why it would be in the NCAA’s best interest to not only flex their power, but to use this disaster as a way to strengthen their grip over the college landscape.

Sure, I’m playing devil’s advocate.  I’m a cynic, when it comes to big business – and the NCAA is a GIANT BUSINESS – I always believe there’s an ulterior motive.

Anyways, my friend who told me from the get go, “The NCAA cannot get involved” shoots me an E-Mail.  Sure enough, the NCAA has issued a statement saying, and I’m paraphrasing here, that they will not get involved at this time.  Here’s the full quote… which is fascinating, as the NCAA is not closing the door future involvement.

“Regarding the ongoing Penn State criminal investigation, the NCAA is actively monitoring developments and assessing appropriate steps moving forward. The NCAA will defer in the immediate term to law enforcement officials since this situation involved alleged crimes. As the facts are established through the justice system, we will determine whether Association bylaws have been violated and act accordingly. To be clear, civil and criminal law will always take precedence over Association rules.”

The NCAA bylaws do have a statue of limitations, and since Sandusky was not formally employed with Penn State at the time of the alleged assault on the second victim, there is not much the NCAA can do.  The line I found interesting, but not surprising, in this statement is,

“As the facts are established though the justice system, we will determine whether Association bylaws have been violated and act accordingly.”

To me, that comes across as, “If we can find something to hit Penn State with, don’t worry, we will.” I think it would be a brilliant move for the NCAA to come down hard on Penn State.  Many people feel the NCAA let Auburn (Cam’s dad admitted to the infractions) off the hook, while they came down too hard on USC.  We are still waiting for punishment to be levied against Miami and Ohio State.  With that being said, what happened at Penn State is one giant rotten orange while the incidents at Auburn/USC/Miami are all apples.

I’d love to see the Big10 or the NCAA do something to Penn State, but I’m not holding my breath. Nobody wants to see the players be punished for the actions of a former assistant coach and “friend” of the program, the athletic director, the WR coach/recruiting coordinator, VP of finance, and the Godfather of Penn State, Joe Paterno.

I did find it interesting that Tim Curley, the AD who still has not been formally removed from his position, played for Joe Paterno.  I’m sure that relationship had nothing to do with Curley’s actions when dealing with Sandusky and the allegations Mike McQueary brought up…


Mike McQueary, AKA, “the see no evil ginger” played for Paterno and to me is the giant question mark.  We’ve all heard the questions…why didn’t he break up the rape?  Why did he call his dad first?  Why didn’t he call the cops?  He’s a twenty-eight year old man, why didn’t he stand up against this?  We’ll never know these answers, nor will we ever get an answer that will satisfy the anger that sits in everyone’s stomach when they think about this travesty. Same goes for Paterno and his involvement in this scandal.

What I want to know…why didn’t Mike McQueary keep talking?  Is it coincidence that McQueary was hired in 2000 and Jerry Sandusky retired in 1999?  Karma’s a bitch, eh McQueary?  Imagine what’s going to happen to him if the rumor of Sandusky being a pimp for these young boys is true. 

Penn State will never be the same after this, and while the people responsible for these heinous crimes are going to be punished and/or removed, the program could escape any formal punishments.  Is that fair?  I’m not sure it is.  People are going to say that the Penn State program has already been through enough.  Really?  As soon as the entire coaching staff is cleared out the first sales pitch out to recruits is going to be, “We’re a different program now, we’re moving forward, and we want you to help us.” 

That’s life…a recruiting pitch coming out of the devastation of an unknown amount of young boy’s lives.

Posted by Lester Zook.

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“Death” to Penn State Football

On New Year’s Eve, John Infante of the NCAA wrote a blog about “consistency” in the NCAA.  Originally, I came to the NCAA site looking for some type of rule book that would give me an idea of what type of punishment or penalty Penn State could face for the actions of their former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky.  The first bolded statement in this article, “The most important consistency is consistency with the rules” which makes me wonder…does the NCAA have rules  that are even remotely close to addressing the actions of Jerry Sandusky and his relationship with Penn State? For the record, the whole premise of this piece is based upon the outcome that Jerry Sandusky is guilty of the disgusting acts he is currently accused of.

The acts of this pedophile, a child rapist, goes deeper then the football program.  Tim Curley, the Penn State athletic director was notified of Sandusky’s actions by Mike McQueary (the former graduate student, now an assistant coach who is in charge of the receivers and is a recruiting coordinator) and sure enough, over a week later, McQueary had a meeting with Curley and the Vice President of Finance and Business, Gary Schultz about what McQueary saw.  Now, why the VP of Finance was brought into meeting is beyond me; but what I find interesting is the result of this meeting.  Was there an investigation into Sandusky’s accused actions? The information in the Grand Jury report would infer there was some type of investigation or meeting. Sandusky’s keys to the locker room were taken from him and the fact that the graduate assistant saw, what appeared to be anal sex on a ten year old, was reported to the charity foundation that Sandusky founded.  Do the police need to get involved? Psh, no way.  It’s perfectly normal and acceptable to have a man in his sixties hold up a pre-teen boy’s hands against the wall…in a shower…where the sound of skin slapping is so loud that it can be heard from outside of the locker room.

I’ve always believed that to have the allowance of an action, one must be accepting of it on one level or another.  You might not like it, but if you don’t do ANYTHING about the action then you’re either accepting that you cannot change said action, or you’re accepting the action.  Tim Curley and Gary Schultz did nothing to stop the alleged actions of Jerry Sandusky.  In situations of child rape, I think it’s fair to say that it’s pretty black and white.  Either you’re trying to stop it or you’re allowing it.  That’s it.  That makes me wonder about how Joe Paterno was involved in the whole situation.  Jackie MacMullen of ESPN said on Around The Horn that Paterno didn’t ask McQueary or Sandusky about the accusations because he didn’t know about the specific details.  That’s all good, Paterno, you covered your ass legally and everyone knows you’re a puppet of a coach for a program that can, arguably, be labeled as average over the past decade.  Part of being a man is making tough decisions.  Is it easy to ask a person you have known for over thirty years, “Jerry, is it true that you are showering with ten year old boys?”  No, no it is not, but it has to be done.  I know I would do it, hell, I’m required to do it as I’m a state licensed teacher, but my moral compass would force me to do this.  I know the friends and family I have linked to this story would do the same.  I would expect them to, just like the majority of people in the United States probably expected Joe Paterno to ask that difficult and potentially relationship breaking question.

Give me a moment to step off my morality soap box…it’s pretty big…

Now, in regards to the “Sandusky allegations,” the NCAA must do something.  This goes beyond buying student athletes to your program (Auburn, Oregon, USC) and sexual harassment (Colorado), and goes into the land of felonies that are so vial, so disgusting, that people like Sandusky are viewed as the scum of the Earth in every federal penitentiary.  If you’re wondering what happens to rapists and child molesters in prison just google this question, “What happens to child molesters and rapists in prison?”  It is a fact that the Penn State athletic director knew about Jerry Sandusky’s actions.  It is a fact that a high ranking PSU administrator knew of the actions of Jerry Sandusky.  Joe Paterno knew of a problem, some type of problem with his former coaching teammate, and did the bare minimum in regards to covering his program.  That worked out quite well for Jim Tressel, but some would argue the real “meat” of the punishment came to Tressel after he was caught in a lie.  Man, if what happens to Ohio State and Tressel is because of breaking NCAA rules and lying to them…what could happen when a program is convicted of lying to the Grand Jury?

If Jerry Sandusky is found guilty of these accusations, it means that both the athletic director and high ranking officials at Penn State were working together to cover up a felonious crime.  It will mean that representatives of Penn State have lied to the Grand Jury.  It will infer that a legendary head coach played dumb on purpose.

One of the “core values” of the NCAA is, “The highest levels of integrity and sportsmanship.”  The molesting of children, and finding evidence of a cover up of said act, is a direct violation of all levels of integrity.  I’m an optimist, I would like to think that the NCAA would punish a school that would allow such actions.

A good friend of mine, a fellow blogger, told me that, “If it’s not in the NCAA’s rules, then the punishment is probably going to be pretty soft.”   Another, “we cannot punish the school for the action of a handful of individuals” kind of situation.  Sadly, he’s probably right.

Just in case you’re looking for a copy of the grand jury report…click here. I will give you warning though, there is some pretty graphic stuff in here.

Posted by Lester Zook.


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