Friday, May 16, 2008

Rubric for Evaluating College Sports Rivalries

[Ed note: This is written by DRage in response to our (other IAI bloggers) claim that he is a midwest football hater and a UCLA apologist. He has come up with a mathmatical formula for his hate. But there is no way to defend UCLA calling its girly light blue unforms "powder keg blue". I mean come on.]

DRage writes:

Yes I am a hater. But in the name of transparency here is my hater

Location: East of the Mississpi = minus, West of the Mississippi = plus (extra negative points if you are North of the Mason Dixon line and east of the Mississippi.

Academics: Minus points for schools with no academic cred, (i.e.
Memphis, Miami - can we talk about how stupid it is to put a U on your helmet for University?), Even more minus points for schools that brag about their academic standards as if they apply to their athletes (see Notre Dame, Duke, Stanford, etc)

Private/Public - Private is negative, public good

School Size: Super large = bad, smaller = underdogs = good.

Integrity and self righteousness - these are directly related - If you are crooked but swear you are not, very bad - see Lou Holtz and Notre Dame.

Coach Obnoxiousness: Related closely to integrity and self righteousness. Admit we love watching Spurrier and Stoops turn red on the sideline.

Wussness of Conference and Scheduling

Style of play - you have to have the forward pass in the playbook beyond third down.

Uniforms - Admit it, its hard to hate on the UM Flying Wedge. I also hate red and white - get original, sorry buckeyes but Grey andred looks like you washed your whites and darks together - hate it.

Ubiquity - Am I forced to watch them every week?

Band Wagon Factor - Why is everyone in Ohio a fan of OSU, not Ohio U - can you say bandwagon. Same for SC, Notre Dame (when they don't suck).

Based on these criteria - here ismy NCAA Hater Heirarchy from best to worst.

10) UCLA - public school, sweet unis, So Cal, coach smarminess countered by academic integrity, history of excellence. HMMM HMMMM Good!

9) Pac 10 Teams
Breakdown (best to worst)- Washington, Washington St, Oregon (Nike unis only make it worse),Arizona (really who cares - they are much higher if discussing basketball and Lute Olson), ASU (such losers and chokers hard to hate, do hate the high school reject unis with the mustard non matching helmets), Oregon St. (unbearable when they win), Stanford (BS holier than thou neo con bastards allowed to drop classes during final - everyone eligible), CAL (the sleeziest recruiters in the PAC, will take anyone, last Pac 10 school to stop taking Prop 48 atheletes, paid athletes, no relationship between football and b-ball teams and academic reputation of the school, unbearable when they win).

8) USC - the worst of the PAC, cheaters, no academic credibility, will take anyone, smug, private school bastards. At least they always suck at round ball.

7) Other small west coast schools - really who cares - the WAC is wack.
Its embarassing watching ads paid for by the conference on Fox and ESPN begging them to show Mountain West games on tv.

6) Big 12 - at least no one pretends to be academic - we'rea football factory, so what? Too much red and white in the color schemes - Texas, AM, Nebraska, OU - enough.

5) Other Mid Major schoolsEast of the Mississippi - would be lower but tired of insistent argument that they deserve more respect - that and crappy running backs who lead the nation in rushing but can't play professionally (see Garrett Wolff).

4) SEC - Pussy scheduling, no academic integrity at all (makes ASU look like Oxford on the Salt River), credit for slapping down Big 10 on regular basis.

3a) ACC - more for basketball, Duke is probably one of the three most annoying teams in any sport. Acts like any of their players could have gotten in for anything but basketball.

3) Michigan - Big 10 team, fight song calls themselves champions of the West (yeah in 1850 although I think the Sioux or Apaches could have taken them easily), but damn those uniforms are sweet.

2) Big 10 - Big 10 but 11 teams= academically suspicious; crappy, over rated teams every year; still have not discovered the passing game; Wisconsin owns UCLA in bowls (dammit); Too much red and white (Wisconsin, OSU, Indiana), too many crappy never competitive teams (Indiana, Northwestern, Illinois, Minnesota),

1a) OSU - I think we have covered this ad naseum, plus Todd is right - it's fun watching OSU fans go all apoplectic when you mention Maurice Clarret, their stolen victory over the Canes, Tressels sweater vest, hee hee hee. It's too easy.

1) Notre Dame - The standard by which all other hate is measured - they are a ten on every critera Location, Check, Check Academics - check, double check for claiming that their recruiting problems are a factor of their academic scrutiny - please didn't Randy Moss originally play at ND? Brady Quinn, yeah he's a rocket scientist private school - check school size - definitely not small or underdog integrity and self righteousness - Lou Holtz flat out paid players, atty my wife worked with who attended ND told story about football player having sex in front of audience in dorms despite "honor code", LB admitted a couple years back to dating head of the booster club and recieiving cash benefits - let's just say check coach obnoxiousness- check - fat guy tries to sue for his failed gastro by pass surgery - how about trying to by pass the buffet - extra loser points for hatable qb - Jimmy Clausen the third in the line of mediocreClausen brothers (two played at Tenn. - they are like thespecial ed Mannings) showed up at signing conference in limo wearing his threeCA statechampionship rings and promised to win more at ND - douchebag spent hisFRyear on his ass running the worst offense in the country (don't mention the UCLA game) Wussness of Conference and Scheduling - check - it is not 1950, Purdue, Navy and Army let alone Michigan State are jokes. Just join the Big 10 and shut up Uniforms - I have to admit the blue home uniforms are slick but how about a logo?; Style of play - hard to say - like what I saw last year; ubiquity - no team should have their own TV deal or guaranteed BCS slot, check; Band Wagon - theirs is the absolute worst - being a catholic apparentlymeans you haveto automatically root for ND. Luckily they have been horrible so the band wagon is limping.

But back to USC. We didn't all see this one coming? Carroll runs one of the sketchiest programs in the country despite the west coast laid back appearance. Quick run down:

Leinart's family paying for wr Jarrett's rent in a $4000 a month apartment The Ting twins leaving the school amid allegations of steroid use Two players having thousands of XTC pills in their apartment for sale. Winston Justice Mc Knight academically inelligible and Bush involved in his possible illegal recruiting Multiple players and cheerleaders taking spanish classes at a local tech school to keep their academic ratings up. This year's starting qb, Sanchez accused of rape, mysteriously dropped Three white players startingracist my space page - no punitive action by Carroll Multiple arrests by key players - no discipline by team We won't even talk about OJ I and their willingness to display his memorabilia in heritage hall.

Add on OJ II - if you have been following the story, the sleezy agent rep who brought the money was persona non grata at USC since he pulled the same crap with a player in late 90's/OO's. They knew the guy was trouble. It is a bad sign when a player is investigated for amateur violations prior to being signed. It's also a bad sign when no major program will offer a schollie to the "best" player in the nation - except for Bob Huggins who graduated all of 0 players during his tenure at Cincinnati. Just read the story of his "recruitment" facilitated by Gilloury. Also don't forget that their starting line ups average age was like 21 despite not having any seniors on the team (I think Mayo was a
21 year old freshman as was Davon Jefferson) - they will take anyone to be competitive.

SC is out of control. My guess is that they will get a slap on the wrist under the argument that the school should have known, but really this was the athletes fault. The NCAA needs a west coast power for ratings. It is also interesting to note that the first year USC won the title (the year they split with LSU), SC received the largest one year donations of any school in the country (Ivies included) - this is big business at SC just like OSU. They need to go down hard but it won't happen.

Of course the one mitigating factor for SC, is that unlike OSU, when SC cheats it pays off, two titles,4 and one in BCS bowls (and the wins weren't closeor relied on bail outs by the refs like OSU needed)includingtwo routs of the Big 10.OSU cheats and still gets steamrolled, it's one thing to sell your soul, but at least get something in return.

My hope is that SC gets busted in two years when the investigations are done which gives slick rick time to get UCLA out of the doldrums to take SC's place as the West Coast Super Duper Power. Yeah right.


1 comment:

KT said...

All in all, a pretty lame post,...but not surprising from a UCLA fan. It's good to see disgruntled UCLA guys like this who can always be counted on to press the boundaries of being a perennial loser by drubbing up dirt and mud on their foes, all with a blind eye to their own team allegiances.

As to the OJ Mayo scandal, I note that ESPN Outside the Lines (who initially uncovered the story) went out of their way to protect USC by noting that Mayo's illegal activity of taking money and other things from this professional agent, trace back to the 9th grade, other words, the bad agent deals were already in place and they've been paying the kid long before he came to USC.

By the way, my favorite part of the OJ Mayo denial story in the paper was that after Mayo's interview, he jumped into his brand new red Porsche and left.

Oh, and one last point, as to ripping on my now beloved Coach Pete Carroll, I simply submit the following very telling article in his defense.


PETE CARROLL, HEAD COACH OF THE FOOTball team at the University of Southern California, turns to me one night around 8 p.m. and says he's got something to do, somewhere he needs to be. We're standing outside his office at Heritage Hall, the redbrick headquarters of USC's athletic program, the trophy-filled heart of Troy.

I ask Carroll where he's going, what he's doing. He doesn't answer. I ask if I can come along. No, he says, absolutely not. I ask again. Sorry, he says. I stare imploringly. OK, he says, looking me up and down--but you'd better change. He rummages through a small wardrobe in the corner of his office and finds a white polo, which he flips to me like a screen pass.

Put this on. How come? Your shirt, it's blue--you might get shot. Where the hell are we going?

He walks quickly out of the office. I hurry to keep pace. It's not easy. Carroll's normal gait is what others might call a wind sprint. Down some stairs, around a practice field, through a parking lot, we zoom across campus. He tells me to stow my notebook. It might make the people we're meeting uncomfortable.

Who are we meeting?.

Look for a blue van, Carroll says. A blue van?

There, he says. Sure enough, a blue van is double-parked at the corner, and beside it stands our driver and escort for the night, a deep-chested, gentle-voiced man named Bo Taylor. I climb into the backseat. Carroll rides shotgun.

Along the way Taylor tells me that he and Carroll do this often. They make late-night journeys through the dicey precincts of Los Angeles. Alone, unarmed, they cruise the desolate, impoverished, crime-ridden streets, meeting as many people (mostly young men) as possible. The mission: Let them know that someone busy, someone famous, someone well known for winning, is thinking about them, rooting for them. The young men have hard stories, grim stories, about their everyday lives, and at the very least Carroll's visit gives them a different story to tell tomorrow. Carroll says: "Somebody they would never think would come to them and care about them and worry about them--did. I think it gives them hope."

Few fans of USC, Carroll concedes, know that he spends his nights this way. He's not sure he wants them to know. He's not sure he wants anyone to know. I ask what his wife of 31 years, Glena, thinks of these excursions. He doesn't answer. (Days later Glenatells me with a laugh that she doesn't worry about Carroll driving around L.A., but she drew the line when he mentioned visiting Baghdad.)

We start in east South-Central, a block without streetlights, without stores. Broken glass in the gutters. Fog and gloom in the air. We hop out and approach a group of young men bunched on the sidewalk. Glassy-eyed, they're either drunk, stoned, or else just dangerously bored. They recognize Carroll right away. Several look around for news trucks and politicians, and they can't hide their shock when they realize that Carroll is here, relatively speaking, alone.

Carroll shakes hands, asks how everyone's doing. He marches up and down the sidewalk, the same way he marches up and down a sideline--exhorting, pumping his fist. At first the young men are nervous, starstruck, shy. Gradually they relax. They talk about football, of course, but also about the police, about how difficult it is to find a job. They talk about their lives, and their heads snap back when Carroll listens.

A car pulis up. Someone's mother, back from the store. She freezes when she sees who's outside her house. Carroll waves, then helps her with the groceries. He makes several trips, multiple bags in each hand, and the woman yelps with laughter. No, this can't be. This is too much. Pete Carroll? Coach of the roughest, toughest, slickest college football team in the nation, schlepping eggs and soda from her car to her kitchen?

Next we drive to the Jordan Downs housing projects, one of the most dangerous places in L.A. We find a craps game raging between the main buildings. Forty young men huddle in the dark, a different sort of huddle from the ones Carroll typically supervises. They are smoking, cursing, shoving, intent on the game, but most fall silent and come to attention as they realize who's behind them. Pete Carroll, someone whispers. Pete Carroll? The most famous sports figure in the city, excluding Kobe Bryant? (Maybe including Bryant.) Pete Carroll, mentor to Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, LenDale White--here? A sweet-faced teen named Jerome steps away from the game. He stares at Carroll, shakes his head as if to clear it. He says the same thing over and over. Pete Carroll in the ghetto. Man, this is crazy. Pete Carroll--in the ghetto! Crazy.

Some time after midnight Carroll and Taylor head for the van. Time to get back to Heritage Hall, where Carroll will catch a few hours of sleep on his office floor before his assistant coaches start showing up. A young man stops Carroll, takes the coach aside and becomes emotional while explaining how much this visit has meant to him. He gives Carroll a bracelet, something he made, a symbol of brotherhood and solidarity. Carroll accepts the bracelet as if it were a Rolex. He'll wear it for days, often pushing back his sleeve to admire and play with it. He gives several young men his cell phone number--something he's never offered me--and tells them to call if they ever need to talk. One, an ex-con, will call early the next morning and confide in Carroll about his struggles feeding his family. Carroll will vow to help find him a job. (So far, Taylor says, Carroll has found part-time jobs for 40 young men.)