Sports From the Couch–Why Are We Surprised? by jshowal2
November 10, 2011, 6:07 pm
Filed under: College Football, Sports from the Couch | Tags:

by Jeff Showalter

Why are we surprised?

Major college football programs have not been “programs” for decades. The BCS is business and in business, “problems” get covered up. Recruiting and donation support dries up, you lose games, and then it repeats itself.

 Why are we surprised?

 This time it wasPennState, many thought the last bastion of a world gone by. To a lot of people,PennStatewas the Mayberry of college football. The worst thing that happens in Mayberry is Otis locking himself up for a day or two. Surely this place, a long drive from any regional airport, was were kids went to class, played football, won games and went on to long careers as business leaders, lawyers and doctors. This is where the Cleavers would have wanted their kids to go to school. No way could some shady underlying plague of unlawfulness and moral ineptitude ever happen here!

 Why are we surprised?

 I googled “college football suspensions” and in .07 seconds had 500,000 hits.

 Why are we surprised?

 Have you paid attention to what goes on inSouth Bend? Declan Stevenson lost his life last year because Notre Dame wasn’t smart enough to get out of a storms way.  Google “Lizzie Seeburg”. I’m guessing her parents are not surprised by anything that goes on in college football.  Michael Floyd has had three drinking arrests but there was no way in hell ND had a chance at a BCS game without him.  Floyd plays.

 Why are we surprised?

 Barry Switzer ran anOklahomaprogram that resembled the Wild West.  Thirty Florida Gators were arrested under the tutelage of Urban Meyer.  Bobby Bowden was college football’s Father Flannigan and I my brain reminds me of “they’re good kids” in that southern twang Bowden has.

 Why are we surprised?

 Miami? Do I need to go there? Tressel lied atOhioState. USC is on probation for cheating

Football, by nature, is barbaric. That is why we love it so. But we are aghast when this barbarism goes on off the field? Women have been abused for years by players and coaches, but only in the most extreme cases do either players lose their scholarship or coaches their job.

 Why are we surprised?

 Kids die every summer from practicing in extreme heat. Players lose ligaments, break bones and injure their brains every day as coaches scream out for more intensity and harder play.

 Why are we surprised?

 I lost track of how many suspensions the Garcia kid fromSouth Carolinahad before being permanently banned. The SEC permits coaches to over sign athletes and then kick them to the curb.  Felony charges could only keep Jordan Jefferson away from LSU for a few games and the potential national champions had three players suspended one game for smoking synthetic weed. Amazingly, all players were on board and ready to go when the bus left for Tuscaloosa last week.

 Why are we surprised?

 The BCS and its members are multi million dollar businesses, tucked away in cities likeAustin,Ann Arbor,Athens,Knoxville, andStillwater. When you have multi-million dollar businesses you have competition and like in the real world, a criminal element rises when there is no other way. We shouldn’t have been surprised by Enron or WorldCom; the banks needing saved or Bernie Madoff. We shouldn’t be surprised by the HP scandal or hookers being brought in for big clients.  Wall Street trades on the big board, the BCS trades on the rankings boards, the recruiting stars and the television contracts. Companies cover up crimes to prevent the stock price from going down and a fear of losing billions of dollars. BCS schools cover up sins for the same reason.

 What happened atPennState could have happened at any BCS school and probably had the same outcome. Collateral damage be damned. Now we watch as the lives of innocent children have been forever scarred.  Yet across America, BCS schools will have stadiums filled beyond capacity watching kids try to injure each other as coaches scream at the top of their lungs when a player misses a tackle or drops the ball. Millions more will watch on TV. I know, because I am one of them. I love watching college football. Yet we must NEVER be so naive that something so egregious can happen?

 I can no longer be surprised.



Sports From the Couch-Views From the Couch by jshowal2

By Jeff Showalter

It’s time to take a look back and then look ahead at what’s going on in this crazy little world of sports.

Bad news for Colts fans as Melvin Bullitt is gone for the year with a broken bone in the shoulder. I’m amazed Bullitt has lasted as long as he has considering the dude ways a buck ninety at most. I don’t care what the Colts say he ways. The Couch has stood beside Bullitt and there is no way he is over 2 bills. With Silva out, Bullitt out and Sanders out (like that was a shock), it looks like the Colts are going to be looking for a safety. You can only take “next man up” so far and Safety is too big a deal in the cover 2 defense. Tampa Bay is also looking so I would guess the Bucs list would be similar to the Colts since they play the same D.

Look Hoosier football fans, I wanted my alma mater to win as much as the rest of you but let us be honest for a minute. Bill Lynch isn’t going to win you a lot of football games with his coaching expertise. If the dude could coach, he wouldn’t be at Indiana. You can not have “co-defensive coordinators”. All that means is both guys suck and what you get is a defense that is SLOW, unprepared and incapable. Chappell threw for 480, but when you know your defense is jello, you have to have a QB that is perfect. Not many QB’s are perfect. IU does need to throw downfield more because good defensive teams are going to keep 8 back and bust the wide receivers up on these short routes.  IU has to stretch the defense. Of course after OSU hangs forty on the Cream and Crimson Saturday, it will begin to look more and more like another 4-8 season in B’Town.

Continue reading



NCAA Investigator in Tennessee Deserves Bonus by kentsterling

by Kent Sterling

The NCAA D-1 Committee on Infractions released findings of major violations against Chattanooga for impermissible texts and phone calls to recruits.  On one hand, who really cares what Chattanooga does?  They’re not exactly tearing up the college athletic world.  On the other, this is the second piece of big news from the NCAA in a week originating from eastern Tennessee.

Knoxville and Chattanooga are separated by 112 of I-75 interstate highway, and if the NCAA investigators work regions, the guy traveling that part of the country is earning his money and then some.

Tennessee is in deep trouble for all kinds of impermissible, but in particular for photographs showing two big time recruits being photographed at Bruce Pearl’s home during unofficial visits – a big violation because there is no wiggle room for Pearl to claim ignorance or scatterbrainedness.  There is no doubt that every coach knows what is supposed to happen during unofficial visits, and Pearl willfully violated them by inviting kids to his house.

Chattanooga is different as they have been trying to get their compliance department up and running effectively for four years, and they self-reported for too many calls and texts.

I’m not sure whether NCAA investigators roll on to college campuses dressed like the Hoover Boys in the south as racial motivated murders were investigated in the early 1960s – like Gene Hackman and Willem Defoe in “Mississippi Burning”, but with Mark Emmert taking the reins of the NCAA as the replacement for Myles Brand, I would be on the lookout for a bulked up and aggressive investigative staff on college campuses.

At worst, the NCAA is going to make a very public example of someone.  The best we can hope for is an NCAA that dig deep and at least puts a scare into the renegade schools that ignore rules in an effort to feather their own nest.

The person doing the work on I-75 between Knoxville and Chattanooga is kicking ass and taking names.  Corruption in college athletics has been around as long as college athletic themselves, but maybe the tide is turning.



Injury Riddled Purdue is Recovering by jimjohnsonpbm

by Jim Johnson

It’s not like Purdue is going to be able to walk into Ross-Ade Stadium on Saturday and blast past the Rockets.

Purdue doesn’t have much of an advantage over Toledo when looking at the history of the two teams’ meetings.

The Boilermakers are 3-2 in its series with the Rockets. Purdue’s longest winning streak against Toledo is two games – which is the last two meetings, including a 52-31 win a year ago.

Not to mention, Purdue is injury riddled, but improving.

Quarterback Robert Marve came out of the game late in the third quarter, but it was late in the second half that he injured his right knee on a quarterback sneak play on 4-and-1.

I’ve said it before, Marve plays so hard, he gets hurt or he’s really going to hurt himself – just like Bob Sanders of the Colts.

Marve said on the run he was in a position where he couldn’t move and a helmet caught him in the knee. According to the transcript of Purdue coach Danny Hope’s Tuesday press conference, it was a deep bruise and he is expected to play.

If he doesn’t play? Well, Rob Henry will step in again at the quarterback spot. Henry had 65 yards rushing on 10 carries last week and became the first quarterback to lead the tam in rushing since Joey Elliott in 2009.

But why is it so important that Marve does play? The Big Ten part of the schedule is nearing and Marve is going to be key if Purdue is going to have any sort of success.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Marve doesn’t play though. I wasn’t able to capture the tone or the mood from reading the transcripts of Hope’s press conference, but he certainly didn’t elaborate. It was almost like he shut it down.

Not to mention that after the game on Saturday, Marve downplayed the injury to his knee. It’s the same knee he surgery on in 2009 to repair a torn ACL, which appeared to be wrapped still after the game.

RB Dan Dierking was also injured with bruised ribs and had limited playing time last week and didn’t even practice in preparation for the Ball State game.

Hope said he expects Dierking to play against Toledo.

This team, even if Keith Smith is out for the season, has potential to be really good and do some really good things. Health is obviously important and the top two significant keys for Purdue at this point is getting healthy and learning how to thrown the long ball.

The running game has been impressive to me with everyone Purdue has to mix into the running game. But those long pass plays are needed from time to time. Marve can throw the ball. It just seems, to me anyway, its a matter of having a guy there to catch it.

While health is on the mind of Purdue right now, Hope said he sent a message to Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio who suffered a heart attack last week.

Hope told the media on Tuesday that the job of a head football coach is rather stressful and talked about the stress of the job and about how much time the occupation takes.

“You guys can be nicer and make it a lot easier,” Hope said laughing. “But it’s very stressful. The hours, it’s total life consuming. During the season if it was an 80-hour week, a short week, and you usually dip into the 100-hour week. Those aren’t exaggerations, those are legit, and it goes on for hundreds of days in a row. The bigger it gets, the bigger it gets and the more there is. So it is total life consuming, and it is fast-paced, and it’s a stressful occupation in a lot of ways.”

Email Jim Johnson at jim@johnsonmediapbm.com and follow him on Twitter @JimJohnsonWIRE (www.Twitter.com/JimJohnsonWIRE)



Kravitz & Eddie Talk Notre Dame Football and Whether Brian Kelly Is the Right Guy by kentsterling
September 23, 2010, 9:00 am
Filed under: College Football, Kent Sterling, Media | Tags: , ,

by Kent Sterling

Kravitz & Eddie at this time is not available as a daily product for sports fans, but I still like listening, so I got them together to talk sports and talk about a variety of things – in this case Fighting Irish football.

Eddie is an unabashed fan of ND, having worked there for a few years in media relations.  Kravitz is an impartial and canny observer of sports as a columnist for the Indianapolis Star.  Together on 1070 – The Fan for more than two years, they became the best liked and disliked sportstalk show in Indianapolis.

Polarity is a good thing in media.  Being disliked is meaningless as long as enough people like the host(s).  Hate from listeners, viewers, and readers is not the enemy of the media.  Indifference is.  Love them or hate them, few were indifferent about Kravitz & Eddie.

Six months after their last show during their initial run ended, Kravitz & Eddie are still generating a tremendous amount of passion among sports fans.  The question I’m first asked when people find out that I used to run the programming on 1070 The Fan is why Kravitz & Eddie are no longer on.

Here is their take on Notre Dame.  It begins with me asking Eddie why he’s so quiet.  Usually, Eddie has plenty to say.  During the previous answers to my questions, Eddie was downright deferential to Kravitz.  That happens about as often as a total solar eclipse.

With the Irish at 1-2, the optimism of Irish fans and the believe in Kelly is fascinating.  Having tolerated two decades of mediocre reigns from Bob Davie, Tyrone Willingham, and Charlie Weis, maybe Irish fans are just tired of negativity.  Maybe they are overwhelmed by Kelly’s behavior, which is a stark and welcome contrast from what Weis displayed during his run.  Arrogance accompanied by failure gives birth to discontent followed quickly by rage, and that so when Kelly replaced Weis, there was a wide collective smile across St. Joe County.

To this point – three whole games into his run as the Notre Dame football coach – Kelly has been even-handed, pleasant, accommodating, and organized.  He’s going to get a pass based upon his personality for this season.  At some point soon, they need to pile up wins and return to a BCS bowl.



Interview With the Ohio Mascot Who Tackled Brutus by kentsterling

by Kent Sterling

That video makes me laugh hard every time I watch it.

He’s been all over ESPN for a couple of days now as the Ohio mascot “Rufus” who made a mad dash from the sidelines and tackled the Ohio State mascot.  Now, the kid in the Rufus suit, Brandon Hanning, talks to us about his decision to do something both brave and pointless in a measure worthy of a Delta House pledge in “Animal House”.

Kent: How much work is involved in being the Ohio University mascot?
Brandon: It wasn’t much, I just had to occasionally go to games through out the year.
Kent:  Were you fired?

Brandon:  I was going to quit after the Ohio state game, but if wasn’t going to, then yes I would be fired.

Kent: If you were fired, did they tell you specifically why?

Brandon:  They did call and tell me that they didn’t appreciate me not informing them that I was no longer a student, and to never come to another athletic event. Never told specifically why

Kent:  Was there any hesitation as you started your sprint toward Brutus?
Brandon:  No. I knew I’d be mad at myself if I didn’t do it, and there was no stopping half way into it.
Kent:  Did you ever pause and think, this might not be my best idea (why or why not)?
Brandon:  No. I had done this before in buffalo, and had not received any warnings then. I figured case scenario would be being arrested for assault, which o thought was highly unlikely to happen.
Kent:  What turned you so far against Brutus that you would dedicate so much time and effort to your one shining moment in the middle of the Horseshoe?
Brandon:  I never had anything against Brutus. I just thought it would be funny and I would get the most attention if I did it to Ohio state. I didn’t spend every waking moment of the year planning this either, I just came just came up with the idea a year ago, and it happened to fall through.
Kent:  What has been the most fun aspect of your fifteen minutes of national fame?

Brandon:  Probably watching (ESPN’s) Sportsnation vote me a hero over a jerk

What a kid.  In front of 100,000+ people who he knew would boo his ass, Brandon charged the obnoxious and sanctimonious Brutus.  He missed on the first effort because Brutus was being supported by some do-gooder male cheerleader, but kept after it and finally wrestled him to the ground in a flourish that we don’t get to see much outside of old Warner Brothers cartoons like “Foghorn Leghorn” and “Road Runner”.  Brandon is like a real-life Yosemite Sam.  He’s a rootin’ tootin’ fearless doer of daring deeds in the name of all the little guys out there who are sick of the Buckeyes and their high and mighty traditions.  Or he’s a nut who wanted some pub.  Either way, job well done.

Nice that Ohio University gave him another opportunity – this time as a former student – to sack a mascot after he had done this at Buffalo last year.



Truth’s Tuesday Top Five– 3:30 p.m. Kick-Off is Prime Time for Indiana by The Truth

By Kyle Miller

In my tenure here at Indiana, I have been filled to the brim with Saturday noon kick-offs, but this year has deviated from the norm.  It’s undeniable that the Hoosiers will play their fair share of 12 o’clock games, but their first true test and Big Ten opponent will have to wait till 3:30 to face the mighty Hoosiers.

I believe I speak for all students when I say 3:30 is a prime time for football and here is why:

5) Pre-gaming for the tailgate is no longer a hassle- The persistent feeling that follows you that can best be described as, HAVING to drink, is a feeling that never ends well.  Lately, this feeling has become way more common than it used to.  Occasionally, I feel as if I am almost supposed to drink rather than wanting to drink.  To all those freshmen and sophomores, you likely think I’m half nuts, but when your a senior drinking is just not as appealing.  However, with all that being said, tailgating is the one college event that I will do until I’m six feet under ground.  And believe it or not parents, pre-gaming for tailgates is part of tailgating.  Just accept it.

4) “Brunch” tailgates- Possibly the most anticipated tailgate of the season for this lone reason.  A college students wallet is paper thin, so free food and beverages are a bright light in a dark room.  Typically, my Uncle Bill marinates brats in beer, onions, and butter–a delightful treat–but this tailgate I expect him to whip up some eggs, bacon, and sausage prior to the brat fest.  Sometimes you publicly have to call out a member of your squad in order for them to step up their game.

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