Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Break From Sports; Find Your Voice

In the last few months we, as Americans have heard a lot of things. We have been barraged by media storms covering conventions, speeches, background checks and nominations. We have followed a race, one that has become a battle. Most of us have anyways. Maybe you aren’t among those who have, and that’s ok, but it is time to speak up.
To the young people of America, I say this; find your voice. Many of the people that will read this will be under the voting age of 18. You may feel as if you don’t have a voice in a society that rightfully restricts the age at which you have the opportunity to cast a vote. Please, don’t believe that. You may not have a vote, but you still have a voice. Find it.
It is easier than you may think. One of the most beautiful things about this country is that you will always have an opportunity and a right to be heard. Sure, not everyone can make time to volunteer to a campaign, or to try to convince your peers to support a candidate or an issue. That’s fine. There are easier, simpler ways that you can be involved in this presidential election. All you have to do is make a point.
Speak up in a class, engage in a debate there. Tell your friends or your parents who you support and why. Find a friend you disagree with and engage in a discussion of what you take issue with in their views. Get your opinion out there. It is one of the most important things you can do, for even though no one else can take your voice away from you, if you don’t express your opinions, you take it away from yourself. Make sure you use it, but just as importantly, make sure you hear someone else’s. See another side of an argument; understand why conservatives think you’re too liberal, or why liberals think that you’re too conservative. We can all be proud of our country, and enlightened disagreement is American as it gets. That is why American men and women have died on the battle fields of France, Germany, Afghanistan and, yes, Iraq, so that you can tell someone why they are wrong, and so that they can tell you why you are.
Our generation will fight a political war. The last generation was white versus black (and enlightened minds heroically inspired a truce). This generation, that of our parents fights a battle, liberals versus conservatives. Eventually we will fight an even more important one; apathy versus involvement. Our generation was blessed with an extraordinary ability to complain. While this may not strike you as a gift, I assure you that it is. After all, this country was founded on dissent. The problem is this; only if we get involved do we earn our right to dissent.
So, finally, I beg of you this. Get involved, care know the issues, know why you are right, but also why you may be wrong, and if you are of age, vote. Politics may seem to be the sport of older men and women, but make no mistake; they affect you as much as anyone. Involvement can begin before even the right to vote, unfortunately, so can apathy. Don’t let it happen to you, find your voice.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's Not Just You

Sitting around on a Monday night, halfheartedly watching Sportscenter after a phenomenal I saw something crawl across the bottom of my television set  that, to the average viewer would be relatively trivial.

MLB Brewers fire manager Ned Yost and name third base coach Dale Sveum as interim manager.

Sveum, that name seems familiar….

Where do I know that….

Wait a second, is that….

Good God.

Ladies and gentlemen, in the strongest nod to mediocrity since Sarah Palin was nominated to be the vice president of the United States, the worst third base coach in Boston Red Sox (nay, Major League) history, is now in charge of an actual baseball team.  In charge of one in a pennant race for that matter.

Ok, maybe mediocrity is the wrong word.  Sveum did capture the elusive third base coach triple crown in 2005.  He lead the league in RTOAP (Runners Thrown Out At the Plate), RTSBDS (Runners That Should’ve Scored But Didn’t) and HAGESF (Heart Attacks Given to Elderly Sox Fans).  I guess in the Brewers’ defense, they could have given Sveum a position he was worse suited to: Buss Driver (‘I know that the light is red, but I swear I can make it, screw it, I’ m going!’).

What did the people of Wisconsin do to deserve this?  And not just this, this entire year has been a disaster for the Cheese and Beer State (I know Wikipedia could have given me WI’s actual nickname, but that was more appropriate than the ‘Badger State’, although maybe more risqué than ‘America’s Dairyland’ as a nickname for the state that has a population of 5.6 million and is represented in the Senate by Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold.  Alaska is near Russia, nominate me for VP).  Forget the fact that you are in a pennant race.  Forget the fact that no team has fired an above .500 manager through 150 games since the Hoover administration. Forget even that the Brewers got rid of the manager that lead a mediocre pitching staff and a lineup featuring only one hitter over .280 to a tie for the wild card with two weeks left in the season.  The Brewers just hired a guy that any Sully, Mick or Murph could have tell you should be managing in A Ball.  So for Brewers fans, here is some definite proof-ish type stuff that the sports world has, indeed been turned upside down and you aren’t alone.


Victor Zambrano threw a no hitter, at an Astros’ home game.  Despite being in a tight pennant race, the Astros agreed to play this game at Miller Park.  Apperently they don’t know how to use mapquest.

Aaron Rodgers is a better quarterback than Brett Favre, not in 2010, now.  Sure, it has only been two weeks, but you can put this debate to bed.  There are things that you can fake for a couple of weeks (a minor leaguer charging out to a .450 average after a call up etc), but the poise and ability that Rodgers has shown isn’t something that comes and goes.  The shocking part; I was right.  Not to say I told you so, everyone on ESPN and every other media outlet that thought the Packers were out of their minds and are now conveniently not mentioning their favoritism towards Favre, but… I F***ING TOLD YOU SO! (that felt good, moving on)

Matt Cassel is starting in the NFL.  Matt Leinart isn’t.  Two starting QBs went down in week one (Brodie Croyle and Vince Young), and every analyst agreed that their backups (Kerry Collins and Trent Green) were significant upgrades.  The best QB in the NFL went to a 1-AA school and he is one of seven (Romo, Warner, Jackson, Kitna, Flacco, O’Sullivan and Thigpen) that didn’t even play D1-A football.  There are 112 D-1 teams…how does this make sense?  Of the 10 best quarterbacks in the world, beyond the fact that two that theoretically weren’t good enough to start at Temple or Middle Tennessee St.,  one (Brady) is out for the year, one (Manning) is beginning to look like he peaked in 2006,one (Favre) spent 4 months of the offseason retired and one (Vick) is in jail for another 10 months.  Speaking of which, Marcus is going to go down as the well behaved Vick (old I know, but still funny).  This is how the best football league in the world is filling out the 32 highest profile jobs in sports?

I lost 6 fantasy points because DeSean Jackson dropped the ball too early as he celebrated into the end zone.  If I hadn’t won anyways, I may have put a hit out on Jackson.  Speeking of hits on fantasy NFL players, LT has 6 points in two weeks.  People are debating whether you can trade him for someone like Adrian Peterson.  Right now I might trade him for Darren Sproles… Norv Turner appears to agree.

I actually considered that some people from Wisconsin may still be upset given the second point that I made here.


So if that doesn’t at least ease the pain Wisconsinites, don’t drink yourself into a Miller-induced stupor, or commit suicide by eating brats and cheese until you clog an artery, instead look on the bright side.  Your Brewers may not make the playoffs, but Rodgers looks miles ahead of Tavarius Jackson, the Badgers are poised to make a run at the Rose Bowl, if not the national championship, and if that doesn’t make you feel better at least Sveum isn’t your third base coach anymore.