sawesome's picture


Member since 27 October 2010 | Blog

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Comment 25 Jan 2015

I'm just tired of the Tressel hero worship.

Man, I wrote this huge huge thing here. Then I realized Sawesome Rule of Posting 44™: no one wants to listen to you.

So briefly, I'd note as I have before that law is universal and grace personal. I loved having Jim Tressel as our coach; I think his firing was completely appropriate and should have happened immediately. Even so, I'd guess if you asked his players—like Troy Smith or Maurice Clarrett, or maybe even Rob Reynolds or Terrelle Pryor—they'd list him as a hero without hesitation.

Not all heroes are perfect.

Comment 23 Jan 2015

According to the numbers I've found,

PS—I don't know who DV'd you, but it wasn't me. While I don't think you're more persuasive for swearing (in fact, Sawesome Rule of Posting 43™ says, "Swearing only makes you more convincing"), at least you took the trouble to look up information.

Comment 23 Jan 2015

"Are you meaning to tell me that a 2nd Wisconsin coach in 3 years time took another seemingly lower-tier job...but will be paid more in base salary...because it's somehow easier to recruit?"

Rather that Andersen's departure is probably a little more nuanced than your opinion seems to suggest—although I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly why you think Andersen left.

I don't really understand the antipathy toward Alvarez, and certainly not towards Andersen—who seems to be as stand up a coach as you could want. (I don't know that we should impute the sins of the fans to the coaches, or vice versa.) Maybe he just felt like he couldn't recruit in good faith based on his disappointed expectations about admissions. The Right Thing to do in this case is to leave. Which he did, I note, at the expense of $3M (presumably the other OSU paid this). Who sets the admissions requirements for the athletes? Alvarez or the UW board of regents' Education Committee?

Bielema's departure was also more nuanced than just pay. He was lived on a hog farm as a kid, and Arkansas was and is an ideal fit for him. He's revered down there, and he has more power and freedom and money. Not a hard choice for him, I don't think, although I'm pretty sure he burned bridges with UW when he left. I don't understand why he would, especially given how long they knew each other; but familiarity breeds contempt. Even so, I don't quite understand how Alvarez comes out of that mess looking like a bad guy for so many people.

Comment 22 Jan 2015

You don't leave a school over this.  And you know the academic requirements before you take the job.  He'd only been there 2 years.  So, I find his comments to be complete bullshit.

Do you think Wisconsin's academic requirements are higher than Oregon State's? Or Utah State's?

By all accounts, Andersen cared a lot about his players: when he left Utah State he called each of them personally to let them know he was going to take the position at Wisconsin. Suppose that he forges those bonds during recruiting, and after making an offer to a student has to rescind it. This is a bad place for him and for the student both, and it could be off-putting.

No one says it's the only reason he left, either, but it certainly could've been a contributing factor. He's also got a lot of family ties in the West, and he may have felt more comfortable in Oregon than in Wisconsin. (The weather is probably better, anyway.)

Comment 18 Jan 2015

I think you are missing the most critical point, what message does this send to survivors?

Not having been in their shoes, I really don't know what the victims would think, or how they would respond, or what message they'd take from restoring the wins. I do think, though, that the legal condemnation is probably worth more than the NCAA's punishments: they would probably be a lot more upset if Sandusky's sentence were commuted or Mike McQueary were hailed as a hero, or if they woke up in heaven one day to find Joe Paterno's house next to theirs. (I'm not saying anything about Paterno's final destiny, mind you.)

Justice and vengeance are two different things. The NCAA's punishments extended rather beyond the reach of the perpetrators and affected a number of innocents (one doubts, for example, that the players whose NFL careers were jeopardized by the ruling were complicit in Sandusky's offenses). I can appreciate the doubts about the program as a whole: the culture was and still is in many ways still terribly broken. But does law fix broken culture? Not really; on the contrary, it often enables broken culture by embittering the condemned rather than freeing them. We often make crimes worse by overreach.

Comment 17 Jan 2015
I feel like a mini-quiz that includes such things as recognizing sarcasm would be a great way to decide who can post new threads. Something simple, but at least allows new users a quick way to recognize some of our rules and then start new threads appropriately.

That kind of defeats the purpose of sarcasm, doesn't it?

Comment 16 Jan 2015

Doesn't it seem like nobody pays for their wrongdoings nowadays? No punishments seem to stick anymore.

Outside of jail time, right? Or job loss?

Setting aside quite legitimate questions of whether the penalties against the wrongdoers were sufficient (Paterno is dead, Sandusky in prison, Spanier indicted, and McQueary persona non grata), the NCAA's punishments weren't really justifiable: even they questioned what authority they had to impose sanctions and fines for criminal misconduct.

What purpose did taking Paterno's wins away really serve? It seems more reactionary than appropriate. Our wins were vacated because five athletes played against Arkansas who otherwise should have been ineligible. The best argument against PSU was that they won a bunch of games while Sandusky was the defensive coordinator that they might not have won if he had been jailed, but I don't know that the two circumstances are really parallel. (And in any case, they vacated more wins than Sandusky participated in, IIRC.) Vacating wins just doesn't seem like it "fits the crime," so to speak.

If the problem is the culture at Penn State—a common complaint I've read here—I'm not sure that such punishments will effective. A chastened fan base becomes trenchant in the face of punitive re-education. Given the way that we revere and justify our own coaches, even in the midst of their indiscretions (punching opposing players, lying to the NCAA—and yes, Tressel had to lie when he filled out compliance forms), it might not be so bad to extend a helping hand rather than a closed fist.

Comment 09 Jan 2015

Barry Melrose? Seriously? He's a hockey guy ..  Oh well. Love the mullet man

As do I. John Buccigross used to do a feature in his mailbag when Melrose cut the mullet off--basically a "Where is Melrose's Mullet?" So Barry Melrose grows a bit of a soul patch, and someone writes in with the theory that the mullet is a bit like an in-grown toenail and has finally poked its way through Melrose's chin.

Bucci's response? "Well, that explains all the back hair."

Comment 31 Dec 2014

absolutely disagree.

Coaches and players, come and go.

A Buckeye fan is a fan forever.

Setting aside the fact that coaches and players generally seem to remain fans of their teams following retirement (or dismissal) and graduation, I'm not sure that fandom has much of anything to do with how coaches and players feel about winning and losing.

Coaches and players have an existential relationship with victory and defeat that fans don't have: fans don't participate in the same way that the coaches and players do at all: I don't know of any non-players volunteering for two-a-days, for example. Fans have the privilege of being absolutely crushed by a loss (1998 was a black year), but players and coaches don't: they have to prepare for the next week. A team perspective is necessarily different than a fan perspective, but I don't know that it equates to caring less about winning or losing.

Comment 29 Dec 2014

Can't say much, 1st cousins can marry in Tennessee.

Back in the day, the pool of candidates was probably smaller.

Comment 22 Dec 2014

So, we should give 2nd and 3rd chances to young adults who physically assault other students to steal their property? That you, Les Miles?

Law is universal, but grace is personal.

Comment 18 Dec 2014

I'm just reporting what Alvarez said publicly: Chryst was never a consideration to replace Bielema. Whatever Alvarez may have wanted, or what he did in the back rooms is obviously out of public record, but my impression of Alvarez isn't that of a micromanaging meddler. I do think that Andersen's departure took him by surprise, like it did everyone else.

Andersen personally called all of the Utah State players when he left for Wisconsin to let them know, which I bet was horrible for him. Even so, it's the right thing to do, and it suggests that he probably wasn't a huge jerk. It makes me more inclined to believe him now, when he says that he moved for family reasons. The smoke signals out of Madison suggested that he was frustrated not with Alvarez's management as much as the academic requirements. Assistant salaries may have played into it, too, but on the balance, I don't buy it: Wisconsin's 2013 salaries were pretty consistent with Oregon State's 2014 salaries.

Comment 18 Dec 2014

Chryst was the guy that he wanted when Bert left, he couldn't get because that would make Chryst the 5th coach to leave Pitt in a year.

That's certainly not what Alvarez said, at least publicly, when Bielema left. He helped Chryst get the job at Pitt and didn't entertain hiring him away. He was pretty stand-up about that. 

Andersen's departure sullies the program a bit, but Bielema was a program man: he'd been there time out of mind. Speculation about Alvarez micromanaging the program seems a bit overblown to me, especially when all the smoke there was related to academics and salaries. It doesn't seem like a Pelini-esque situation where his relationships with higher-ups were strained.

Comment 18 Dec 2014

Dunno how they would be at handling pre-game speeches, but "Sons of Scotland" was the better speech. Honestly, I think the Bruce gave a better speech in Braveheart than did Aragorn in RotK.