Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Another Red-Letter Day for the Baileys

by Robison Wells

Well folks, this is why I'm going back to school.

It's December, a time when want is keenly felt and abundance rejoices, and we're dealing more with the former. In late November, we had a bit of financial difficulty--some unexpected expenses--but things were okay. Then, about two weeks ago, another unexpected expense popped up, this time a much bigger expense, with a much more pressing deadline. And then yesterday--less than two hours after I thought I'd found a decent solution to my financial woes--I got the word that my monthly income is going to be taking a significant dive. They call it cutting expenses. I call it a rather poorly-timed anti-Christmas bonus. And my wife and I are to the point where it's easier to laugh than cry, so we laugh. A lot.

Attention aspiring writers: don't plan on a mansion and a Ferrari. (You'll have to make do with a crappy Lake House and an Aston-Martin. It's a tough life.)

So anyway, if any of you want to buy my book, today's the day.

In other news, here are some interesting tidbits from my life:

*I had a dream two nights ago that a bunch of cowboys were building a steel suspension bridge. And then, as I watched, a bunch of guys with ski masks and guns attacked! And then they took off the ski masks to reveal: they were Stormtroopers! Aaah!

*Last night on the History Channel, a Catholic priest suggested that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by aliens with nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, that was in the last five minutes of the show, and I'd missed the rest. I bet it was awesome.

*More importantly, college football is reaching its zenith, and the bowl games are about to start. So, because I love it, I'm initiating the following contest. I'm going to list my picks for ten of the bowl games. If you post your picks, and you do better than me, then you get a free copy of one of my books! Bing!

Fine print: it'll either be On Second Thought or The Counterfeit, because I'm currently out of Wake Me When It's Over. I win ties--you have to actually do better than me. Post your picks in the comments. (In the event that I totally blow this, I'm limiting the prizes to the first five winners. It's my contest, so there.)

My picks are in italics:

Vegas Bowl
BYU vs Oregon

Armed Forces Bowl
Utah vs Tulsa

Emerald Bowl
Florida St. vs UCLA

Holiday Bowl
California vs Texas A&M

Cotton Bowl

Auburn vs Nebraska

Fiesta Bowl
Boise St vs Oklahoma

Rose Bowl
USC vs Michigan

Orange Bowl
Wake Forest vs Louisville

Sugar Bowl
LSU vs Notre Dame

BSC Championship Game
Ohio State vs Florida

You may ask: if you're complaining so much about your poverty, why are you giving away books? Because that's about all I've got. Attention all relatives and friends: you're getting a book for Christmas. I hope you like it.


31 Comments:

At 12/19/2006 2:40 PM, Blogger FHL said...

So, Rob, are you accepting donations of Coke to ease your many headaches?

Ok, I'll try this out. My fantasy football team (Ammon's Disarmers) made it to the playoffs, so maybe I'm just lucky. My picks in bold. In truth, I know nothing about these teams, so I just voted along some statistical lines that I found. Except for the last one - I had to go with the Gators! (I did, after all, attend the University of Florida for a couple of years.)

Vegas Bowl
BYU vs Oregon

Armed Forces Bowl
Utah vs Tulsa

Emerald Bowl
Florida St. vs UCLA

Holiday Bowl
California vs Texas A&M

Cotton Bowl
Auburn vs Nebraska

Fiesta Bowl
Boise St vs Oklahoma

Rose Bowl
USC vs Michigan

Orange Bowl
Wake Forest vs Louisville

Sugar Bowl
LSU vs Notre Dame

BSC Championship Game
Ohio State vs Florida

 
At 12/19/2006 4:26 PM, Anonymous Amy said...

The only bowl I care about is the Fiesta bowl and there is no way Boise isn't going to win! Boise State is the best football team in the world with BYU in close second! (Sorry to all of you BYU fans but this is my opinion. I do want to go to BYU for college but Boise State is my team right now. If you’re offended by it, read Jeff's last post.)

In Boise, the only thing they've got is, well, nothing expect a good football team.

Go BSU!

 
At 12/20/2006 10:16 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

I don't know anything about football or who's favored to win what, but I don't want to miss a chance to enter a contest with one of Rob's books as the prize. I already own them all, of course, but you can never own too many Rob Wells first editions. When Rob gets rich and internationally famous, I can sell my extra copies on eBay and put my children through college.

So my guess for the college football bowls is: the winners will be all the teams Rob listed first. I make this brilliant prediction based on the fact that BYU is listed first.

 
At 12/20/2006 10:39 AM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Using another variety of the brilliant logic Stephanie just demonstrated (and for the same reasons) I hereby choose all the teams Rob DIDN'T pick. Assuming he's wrong more than he's right, I'm sure to win!

As for the other, Rob, let me assure you that we've been there and done that. A coule of times. Somehow you survive -- even when people don't bring you baskets of money like they did the Baileys. I'd like to also assure you that I wouldn't trade the faith-building experiences and "fond memories" for anything but, frankly, I fear I'd still swap them for a bushel of cash. :-)God bless. Really.

 
At 12/20/2006 10:41 AM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Heck, FHL, I was accepting donations of Coke long before I was having money problems. I thought I'd made that clear.

Amy, here's my hope for the Bowl games: Boise wins, and Ohio loses. That way, Boise will be the only undefeated team in Div-1, which will be a huge slap in the face to the BCS.

 
At 12/20/2006 12:40 PM, Anonymous Dewd. said...

Heck yes, RW, I'll have a go. I have time to read any writer who knows how to use commas, but sometimes chooses not to. Your writing is powerful, btw, and get my book in the mail soon.

My book-winning picks are also italicized.

Vegas Bowl
BYU vs Oregon

Armed Forces Bowl
Utah vs Tulsa

Emerald Bowl
Florida St. vs UCLA

Holiday Bowl
California vs Texas A&M

Cotton Bowl
Auburn vs Nebraska

Fiesta Bowl
Boise St vs Oklahoma

Rose Bowl
USC vs Michigan

Orange Bowl
Wake Forest vs Louisville

Sugar Bowl
LSU vs Notre Dame

BSC Championship Game
Ohio State vs Florida

Mr. Robert, if you like, you may assume my "win" and send my book right-away.

 
At 12/20/2006 1:18 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Dewd: you didn't italicize anything! Please revise, por favor.

And I think your post is a first for two reasons: (1) you claim I know how to use commas, and (2) you claim I use too few of them. Such accusations have never been made before!

 
At 12/20/2006 3:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob doesn't use enough commas! That's funny! He just sticks them in everywhere!

I agree with all of Rob's choices except the Rose Bowl. USC will win!

 
At 12/20/2006 6:54 PM, Blogger FHL said...

Technically, Dewd only implies that you know how to use commas.

I find his statement: "Your writing is powerful, btw, and get my book in the mail soon." to be a little clunky in that the subject changes. Perhaps a semicolon could have been used more effectively, although I would have split it into two distinct sentences.

And who is Mr. Robert?

 
At 12/21/2006 1:25 AM, Anonymous Corfield said...

Rob we've got two different picks. It will be interesting to see what happens in the bowl games. If I beat you I would like a free book and some nachos with extra cheese sauce and a large soda beverage.


My picks are in all caps:

Vegas Bowl
BYU vs oregon

Armed Forces Bowl
UTAH vs tulsa

Emerald Bowl
florida st. vs UCLA

Holiday Bowl
CALIFORNIA vs texas a&m

Cotton Bowl
AUBURN vs nebraska

Fiesta Bowl
BOISE ST. vs oklahoma

Rose Bowl
usc vs MICHIGAN

Orange Bowl
wake forest vs LOUISVILLE

Sugar Bowl
LSU vs notre dame

BSC Championship Game
Ohio State vs FLORIDA

 
At 12/21/2006 9:31 AM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

FHL, I get called Robert all the time by people who don't know Rob is short for Robison. But I have no idea who Dewd is.

Corfield, though, is a troublemaker and a ne'er-do-well.

 
At 12/22/2006 10:56 AM, Anonymous Dewd said...

Good Morning RW,

Thanks for calling the snafu to my attention. Actually, I did italicize, but it didn't come through that way. I'll try something else.

Naturally, I chose Byu over Oregon? Laffin' my butt off.

Okay, so I missed that one, but I'll do better from here-on.

Too (perhaps I said it wrong) I meant to say that your use of the infuriating comma is very good, in my humble opine, and your writing is awesome, especially compared to mine, which is atrocious.

And with that out of the way, my selections. Incidentally, html isn't working for me, so I'll list only my selections to "win."

Vegas Bowl
Oregon

Armed Forces Bowl
Tulsa

Emerald Bowl
UCLA

Holiday Bowl
Texas A&M

Cotton Bowl
Auburn

Fiesta Bowl
Oklahoma

Rose Bowl
USC

Orange Bowl
Louisville

Sugar Bowl
LSU

BSC Championship Game
Ohio State

Incidentally, Dewd is an ancient Sooner fan, living way out on the windswept prairies of Oklahoma, and scared to death of Boise State. Them ponies are badazzez.

 
At 12/22/2006 11:12 AM, Anonymous Dewd said...

By the way, I forgot to ask. Is Fhl a piccolo player?

 
At 12/22/2006 11:54 AM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Thanks for reposting Dewd. You've been added to the pool. (And thanks for the compliments on the writing.)

 
At 12/22/2006 12:42 PM, Anonymous Amy said...

Alright, after going over this with my dad, I've figured out the rest of my choices.

I might actually watch football now. I don't understand a lot about it but I'm sure after nine games I'll get it.

Vegas Bowl
BYU

Armed Forces Bowl
Utah

Emerald Bowl
UCLA

Holiday Bowl
California

Cotton Bowl
Auburn

Fiesta Bowl
BOISE

Rose Bowl
Michigan

Orange Bowl
Louisville

Sugar Bowl
Notre Dame

BSC Championship Game
Ohio State

Hey Rob, when Boise State wins the Fiesta Bowl you should come up here for a booksigning.

 
At 12/22/2006 12:54 PM, Anonymous Dewd said...

Thanks for adding the Dewd to the pool.

And, RW, while I'm at the keyboard, keeping warm, drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and watching my five hundred momma cows grazing in the distance, I'd like to know your feelings on what the pac ten game officials did to Oklahoma in the Oregon Duck football game.

It seems that most football people, sports writers, pollsters, coaches, fans, even little old ladies from Pasadena, have taken the attitude that (when put into words) sounds something like: "it's a terrible thing, but nothing can (or even should) be done about it."

In an e-mail to the NCAA, I suggested that if the NCAA refuses to take action to control crooked game officiating, it should recuse itself from interfering in all College athletics. Game officiating falls squarely within the purvey of what the NCAA is supposedly all about, yet the all-mighty NCAA sits on its hands and does nothing.

The NCAA is quick to make things difficult for college athletic programs, student athletes, fans, coaches and booster clubs, yet when needed to take action to control an aspect of college sports that threatens to undermine the integrity and future of the very entity that it governs, it is powerless by its own choosing. Game officials could actually "sell" the outcome of college games to the mafia, and with the NCAA's tacit approval. It's un-American.

The nations colleges and universities spend untold millions of dollars to build costly sports facilities, only to have crooked officials determine the outcome of games played in them.

Now, since the Sooners are a twice defeated team -thanks to the thieving pac ten bastards- a very good football team must face the swarming hoards of Boise State, instead of having a shot at winning another national championship by beating a much easier team, like Florida, even Ohio State?

A bunch of pissed-off Sooner fans would like to know your feelings on this maddening matter.

 
At 12/22/2006 1:22 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Well, here are my thoughts, though I don't know if you'll like them.

It's been said by many many players that holding happens on every single play, somewhere along the line. Sometimes the officials see it, and usually they don't. And sometimes they see it and don't call it, and sometimes they don't see it and call it anyway.

In other words, there are bad calls and missed calls almost every single play of every single game. But that's part of football.

Now, before you get upset, the Oklahoma game was particularly egregious. It was a terrible call, and it suggested serious problems with in-conference officiating teams. I agree with that.

However, unless there is some evidence of collusion and conspiracy on the part of the officials, rather than just incompentence, I disagree with David Boren's attempt to throw out the result of the game. Yes, it was a bad call, but there are a lot of bad calls in football games. If the NCAA overturned the results of this one, what's to stop every school from reviewing every single game, looking for officiating errors.

So, yes, the officials need to investigated for conspiracy, and yes, the Pac-10 needs to change their inter-conference policies, but unless there is irrefutable evidence of malicious wrongdoing, the game score needs to stand.

 
At 12/23/2006 12:30 PM, Anonymous Dewd said...

Well, RW, I did ask for your feelings, and you're right. I don't like what you had to say. Maybe you were a bit callous but, then, you said nothing that didn't make sense, NORMALLY.

But there was nothing normal about what the pac ten officials did.

I'm sure you know that there were three sequential bad calls that gave the game to Oregon in the final seconds of the game. At the beginning of the series of bad call, Oklahoma was ahead in scoring. If Oklahoma recovers an onside kick, the game is over. Oklahoma wins.

1) BUT, the pac ten game officials ignored the fact that an Oregon player touched the onside kick before it had traveled the require ten yards. No big deal. It happens. BUT, Oklahoma challenged the bad call, and the pac ten reviewers upheld the bad call. Still no big deal. It happens. It's all part of the game. Besides, Oklahoma recovered the onside kick anyway, and time is running out. Oklahoma takes a "knee" and the game is over.

2) BUT, to everybody's dismay, the pac ten officials took the ball from Oklahoma and gave it to Oregon, even though the Oklahoma player, who recovered the the onside kick, held it high above his head to show that he had it in his hand. Still, no big deal. Shit happens.

BUT, Oklahoma Challenged the obvious bad call, and, again, the pac ten reviewers upheld the bad ruling, giving the ball to Oregon. Again, no big deal. Right? It happens? It's all part of the Game?

Even though the ten-yard onside kick rule violation was ignored --and Oklahoma recovered the onside kick anyway and the pac ten officials gave the ball to Oregon-- Oregon needed fifty yards to score and hadn't moved the ball well in the second half. The situation was rapidly becoming a "big deal," but, at this point in the fiasco, Oklahoma was still okay. If Oklahoma holds Oregon's last series of downs, the game is over.

3) BUT, Oklahoma DID hold Oregon's attempt to gain first down, but, on fourth and ten, the pac ten officials called a holding violation on Oklahoma, giving Oregon another series of downs. The replay showed that the cited Oklahoma player had made no physical contact with the intended Oregon receiver. Sometimes shit doesn't just happen. Sometimes it is made to happen.

Now, RW, most football fans do not like the Oklahoma Sooners. That's okay. I know the feeling. I don't like the Texas Longhorns, they kick Oklahoma's butt too often. Even so, I'd like to think that my sense of fair play is a little better than yours. It has been nice talking to you. Good Bye, good luck, and keep your freakin' book. I'm sure it's a farce. You write well, RW, but you seem somewhat lacking in the courage to call a shovel exactly what it is.

 
At 12/23/2006 10:41 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Oh, don't leave. You're still in the contest.

 
At 12/24/2006 2:19 PM, Anonymous Dewd said...

Okay, RW, I won't go. Thanks for asking me to stay. Actually you didn't ask me to stay. You said "don't go," but I'll have it my way. You want me to stay.

And I'll have something else my way, with your permission of course. Me thinks you should start a blog about writing, maybe calling it "Writing for fun and profit."

I base that suggestion on your obvious writing talent, which stands out noticeably.But, as an old man, and successful writer, there's a bit of advice I'd give you. Call it a Christmas gift.

To wit:

The single most important prerequisite for any writer, even writers of pure fiction, is the ability to remove personal feelings, those felt by first-person-singular. Make it a religion. Personal feelings cannot be hidden. They must be removed. Simply tell it like it is, not as we'd have it be. If there's feelings to be felt, the reader will do the feeling.

And, RW, you know that I know that you do not "feel" that stolen items should not be returned to their rightful owners, in this case, the Oklahoma Sooners. Simply stated, the game was stolen. It was flagrant theft in broad daylight, and it was done with the tacit approval of almost everyone watching the game, even RW?

Only those fully cognizant of our stunted human nature can admit that the pac ten game officials stole the game for Oregon, and that the thieves should be severely punished and barred from ever officiating another game.

Almost nobody cares that Oklahoma lost millions of dollars in bowl revenue, or that Oregon was awarded an unearned bowl appearance at Arizona's expense. Had the Oklahoma/Oregon game been officiated fairly, Oregon would not have been awarded a bowl game, and Arizona would've gone to the Las Vegas Bowl instead of Oregon.

In stealing the game for Oregon, crooked pac ten officials stole millions of dollars from Arizona, as well as from Oklahoma, yet you feel that the theft should be left to stand? I don't believe it.

I believe that you, like almost everyone else, wanted Oregon to win and didn't care how they won. Tell me I'm wrong.

But here's the ass-kicker. The pac ten commissioner made this statement: "Everybody knows, before hand, that if they play a pac ten team, the game will be officiated by pac ten officials." I.e., if you chose to play a pac ten team, don't gripe when the game is stolen. You asked for it.

 
At 12/24/2006 4:38 PM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12/24/2006 4:40 PM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...

Dewd,

You may or may not know football. Personally I didn't follow Oregon or Oklahoma, or Arizona. I barely followed BYU. But that's okay, since I'll bet you didn't follow the LA Laker and Sac Kings when the title was stolen from the Kings. In my experience if you follow any sports team long enough, something will be stolen from you.

But, speaking of writing, you are crazy if you think you need to remove personal feelings to be good. That's like telling a painter to paint without personal feeling.

A novel written without feeling is an essay. And an essay is about as much fun to read as a box score.

Show me a novel written without personal--cry on your manuscript, laugh out loud, so close you can taste the ink--feeling, and I'll show you a book better fit for starting a fire.

Jeff

 
At 12/25/2006 12:28 AM, Anonymous Dewd said...

Hi Jeff,

Perhaps you're right.

 
At 12/26/2006 10:33 AM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

I'm glad you're still here, Dewd.

You said: "I believe that you, like almost everyone else, wanted Oregon to win and didn't care how they won. Tell me I'm wrong."

You're wrong. I actually have no opinion about Oregon. And I really have no opinion about Oklahoma, either.

But I think I agree with Jeff's assessment. I'm, first and foremost, a BYU football fan. And I graduated from the University of Utah, so I closely follow the Mountain West conference. As such, I'm extremely anti-BCS. I believe that Utah got the shaft a couple years ago (when they went 12-0 and got stuck in the Fiesta Bowl with #19 Pittsburgh?) I believe that Boise State has been getting the shaft for five years (their record for the last five years is 58-6). And I believe that the institutionalization of the bowl games is a gross corruption enforced by BCS conferences, and that this institutionalization was caused, in large part, by BYU's controversial national championship--the larger conferences wanted to ensure that something like that never happen again.

Now, the question is: am I correct in all of these beliefs? Or is my opinion colored by the fact that I continually drink the BYU kool-aid? I like to think that the BCS schools (like Oklahoma and Oregon) all get together in smoke-filled rooms and come up with new ways to screw the MWC. Does it actually happen? Maybe, but probably not. But I've watched BYU for so long, and I've always thought they deserved better treatment than they've received--so the only possible explanation is that there's a conspiracy against them.

I'm not trying to downplay the Oregon-Oklahoma controversy. Like I said, it was egregious and wrong. And, like I also said, it certainly warrants an investigation. However, I think every die-hard fan of every team could point to examples where their team has been screwed.

 
At 12/27/2006 3:02 PM, Anonymous Dewd said...

Good Morning, Mr. Robinson. Best wishes for a happy and prosperous, year-of-our-lord, 2007.

You've made several valid points but, in my humble opinion, BYU enjoys a very good reputation among football fans everywhere, especially since BYU's stunning upset of "Big Blue" in the 84 Holiday Bowl.

I remember the game well, and I'm still not sure I that believe what happened. With time running out, a wounded warrior in obvious pain, slew a giant with a spiraling orb and put BYU on a short and very proud list of national champions.

Imagine the unthinkable injustice, to BYU and football fans the world over, had an unscrupulous official called pass interference against BYU, to steal the victory, and national championship, for Michigan.

That's exactly what happened in the Oklahoma/Oregon game. Not just one, but six unscrupulous pac ten officials conspired to steal the game for Oregon, and with it, a very good chance that Oklahoma would've played Ohio State for the National championship.

There's no possibility that the three bad calls that gave the game to Oregon could've been honest mistakes. The onside kick, obviously, did not travel the required ten yards. Oklahoma, obviously, recovered the onside kick anyway, but the pac ten officials, obviously, took the recovered onside kick from Oklahoma and gave it to Oregon, knowing that their action would be sanctioned by the vast majority of the football world.

Even after all of that, it wasn't enough to give the game to Oregon, so the crooked officials called pass interference against Oklahoma, giving Oregon four more chances in the final seconds of the game.

The telling thing about the sordid affair is that nobody cared. Matter of fact, jealous football fans, by the thousands, cheered the crooked officials and what they did, a truly pathetic thing to contemplate.

Now, RW, it may seem that I eat, sleep and breathe College football. I do not, but I certainly have room for it in my busy life. What I don't have room for is game officials stealing "wins" for their respective conferences, and doing it with impunity.

In my superheated dissertation on the matter, all I was trying to convey is that the NCAA has the legal wherewithal to stand in the way of the evil that permeates all of college athletics, especially football, yet, by its own choosing, refused to do so.

Not only were the Oklahoma Sooners made to suffer the sick injustice, Oklahoma University, its President and fans, were subjected to ridicule based on unsubstantiated claims that threats were made against the life and well-being of the thieves who stole the game. It made little difference that the claims were made by the thieves themselves. There is no integrity in the bastards' black souls, or the tiny soul of any and all who support them.

As for the remainder of the fledgling Mountain West Conference (other than BYU and Utah) a jury of six rich and powerful conferences, one rich and powerful independent conference, and five wannabe rich and powerful conferences, is still deliberating the question of how long the Mountain West must wear the old Western Athletic Conference albatross. But, then, what would we do without our Davids and Goliaths? "Man's reach exceeds his grasp, or what's a heaven for?"

 
At 12/28/2006 10:58 AM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

So what would be a good solution to the officiating problems? In the future, what would be the best way to avoid bias? Officials from each conference--maybe three and three? Or from a different altogether?

Here's a question for you, since you've obviously followed this Oklahoma/Oregon thing better than me: was there an official investigation by the NCAA? And if so, what was the result? If there wasn't an investigation, then I'll wholeheartedly share your opinion about corruption and collusion.

 
At 12/29/2006 8:58 AM, Anonymous Dewd said...

Hi Robinson,

I almost knew that your sense of fair play would get the better of you, once you knew the facts. You went straight to the crux of the matter by asking whether the NCAA investigated the worst case of corrupt officiating in college football history.

The answer to your terribly pertinent question, unbelievably, is no. There was no investigation by the NCAA, even though the NCAA national office was so swamped by pissed-off football fans, demanding that something be done about unscrupulous game officials, their e-mail server shut down due to overload.

NCAA's web managers solved the problem by spoon-feeding a "canned" response, stating that the NCAA allows each conference to manage their own game officials, and that the officials "do the best they can with the resources they have at hand."

Incidentally, Dan Fouts, the NFL Hall of Fame quarterback for the Chargers, and also played Quarterback for the Oregon Ducks, stated from the broadcast booth of the Oklahoma/Oregon game that the series of blown calls were "ridiculous," and would "go down as the single worst case of officiating in the history of football."

But, really, it's Yogi Berra's famous "deja vu all over again." The pac ten is known for stealing games. Each time it happens, the commissioner, Thomas Hansen, apologizes, saying that, (1) he regrets it, (2) the guilty officials are being punished, but (3) the outcome of the game will stand."

In this case, the "punishment" was a one-game suspension, WITH PAY, and the same officials were back on the field the following Saturday. Check it out.

More than one Division 1a coach has said that they will "never play another pac ten team." Matter of fact, Boob Stoops has made it plain that he intends to cancel next years game with Washington if the pac ten refuses to take necessary action to rein-in their brazenly unscrupulous officials.

 
At 12/29/2006 6:22 PM, Anonymous Dewd said...

PS.
Rob, if I may be so familiar, I got carried away with answering you question about whether the NCAA investigated the bad calls made in the Sooner/Duck Oregon game, and forgot to answer your other questions.

It may be too late to fix the problem of biased officiating in school sports. Maybe we're beyond the point of no return. Too long we've taught our children that winning is everything, even if we have to cheat. Gone are the golden days of sports when heroes stood proud and tall, even in defeat. Nowadays we win, else we are forever losers.

Written on the wall in the locker room of a small high school I once attended, in big bold letters were the words from a Grantland Rice poem, "Alumnus Football." From memory and somewhat paraphrased: "When the one great scorer comes to mark against our name, he marks not that we won or lost, but how we played the game.

We don't see those words very often now. I'm not sure that we ever believed such lofty ideals but we tried to believe. These days, we don't even try.

By the way, you don't have to worry about losing one of your books. I'm doing terrible in the contest.

 
At 12/29/2006 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dewd,
His name is Robison. There is only one N.

 
At 12/30/2006 8:47 AM, Anonymous Dewd said...

Hello Anon,

Thanks for correcting me, but what's in a name? Moreover, after all I talked about, is the lonely "N" in Robison's name the only thing that captured your interest? Maybe I'm losing it in my old age. I hoped for more. Have a good new year.

 
At 12/30/2006 8:51 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

I'm so used to people adding the N that I don't even notice anymore. There's no offense there.

I'm very much in agreement with you, Dewd. I think we may have passed the golden age of sports, and have now delved into an era where the only things that matter are W's and dollar signs. Even so, there must be something that can be done--if not to save college football, then to at least make it tolerable.

I don't pretend to be an expert in the organization of the NCAA, but couldn't we move to a system where all officials are national and not affiliated with certain conferences? I can't imagine it would be a much larger expense.

(And incidentally, you have persuaded me to look a good deal more into the Pac-10's officiating. If there really was no official investigation, that's almost as good as admitting corruption.)

 

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