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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Gore V The Board of Education OR How the Internet is Ruining My Romanticized View of College Athletics


Is it possible that the Internet has forever changed  ruined college athletics? It's a scary thought, I know. But it's one I'll look into when checking in on the whole Johnny Manziel situation. I'll also have a look in at those pesky Red Sox...who just might have enough starting after all? Nahh. But maybe? I'll check that out, too. Along with a few cursory comments on the Biogenesis suspensions...

Let's go!...

I love the Internet. I make no bones about it. I count both it, and HBO, as reasons to live. Yes, my existence might make you sad. My apologies. But, no matter what you may choose to make of my existence, there's no doubting that the Internet is the jump off. And should be respected as one of the greatest inventions in the history of mankind. It's given a voice to anyone that wants one, and for that the world has been, for the lack of a cleaner term, a "better" place...

Now, naturally. With all of these people being able to speak, there are going to be a lot of people talking that we aren't going to want to hear. In this instance, I'm talking about the basement dwelling (no offense, me), windowless van driving, phony neck brace wearing, flat out offensive smelling minions that make up the black market sports memorabilia trade. These are the Teds currently trying to bring down Johnny Manziel, and it's their need to be more than what they are that could actually prove as the tipping point in this entire "pay for play" situation. Or maybe it's just their overall greed, who knows...

It's a shame, too. Because while I'm not necessarily in favor of the colleges being able to hoard all the money while keeping their "employees" in the cold. I did like the "don't ask, don't tell" situation, in which I was under the impression that all those involved had been thriving. By "don't ask, don't tell", I mean where we all conveniently looked the other way while the shady boosters and "friends of the program" did their thing. That way, the better players got all the necessary perks (like johnny Football and his autograph loots), the "average" players got a free education and got to ride some potential superstar coattails (we'll call them the Johnny Foot-Bros), and we all got to pretend like "our" program was clean because they never received any egregious penalties. At least, not to the level of those hoodlums over at UNLV or Florida St...

Jay Bilas is right, but that probably won't matter in the long run...
Ah, yes. it was a simpler time. A better time. But now, with the rise of the Internet and the 5 second news cycle, nobody is safe. Everyone's now seen how they "make the sausage", and they no longer feel nearly as comfortable gobbling it up with that same reckless abandon. And with each sensational story that emerges about the previously unchallenged sausage industry , another curtain that comes crumbling down, revealing the NCAA for what it really is, and bringing us ever closer to what seems like an inevitable "pay for play" type, profit sharing system. Which, if they do it like they've basically done everything else from a business standpoint (see: BCS), will be a colossal clusterfuck weighted down with red tape and idiotic restrictions, and lacking in transparency..

That's why I don't care what the NCAA ultimately does in terms of "pay for play". I know, I know. I'm not pumped with lining the pockets of fat cats, either. And I find it hilarious when said fat cats are exposed by intellectual superiors, like Jay Bilas (and what a marvelous trolling job he did, too). But if you know beyond any reasonable doubt that any "new" system is going to be ultimately taken advantage of in the same ways the current one is now (because the same types of people will inevitably be in charge). OR that it will be forced to be far removed than the system whose product you've come to greatly enjoy. Then why even bother to insist on reform? Other than to just remind the Teds in charge that you will always have the moral high ground. A place where the NCAA has long since proven it has no interest in residing...

So, OK. Maybe the Internet isn't totally to blame and, in fact, this is mostly the fault of the NCAA and it's archaic rules being exposed by modern day media and it's own immature stars (not to mention it's inability to enforce it's own rules in a transparent manner). But, you know what? I liked those archaic rules. OR, at least I've enjoyed the product that I have to assume those archaic rules helped create. Which is why I can't help but be upset at my precious Interweb for serving as the catalyst that, in cahoots with the unwashed masses, will eventually help lead to the end of college sports as we've come to know them...

Stupid Internet. Exposing idiots for being idiots and ruining my March Madness...

Oh Hell, Internet. I cant' stay mad at you. Not when you keep giving me pictures like this:


Thought it was going to be Seranus Williams in a g-string OR a GIF of Kate Upton bouncing on the beach, didn't ya? Nope. Just a bear on a jet ski...

But, yeah. Real life/Internet trolls will ultimately fuck college sports as we've come to know them. But mostly because the NCAA is just sitting there waiting to be mounted like an unattended jet ski. And all kidding aside, about the dirty signature slangers and the vagaries of the Internet. The NCAA has done this to itself by continuously going out of their way to say how they aren't a business and that what they do is serve the best interest of the student-athlete. And maybe, just maybe. Had they not tried to hit us over the head with that term and that alleged value system for all these years. Then maybe so many people wouldn't be so enthusiastic about trying to bring them down...

Hell, maybe I'm just nostalgic. OR maybe it's that I know that any new system is going to be just as "unfair" as the one that's currently in place. I don't know. But I do know that messing with a good thing usually doesn't end up working out very well. You know, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"? Well, that's where I'm at. It's just that I wish the NCAA wouldn't continually take every opportunity to prove that the system is indeed broken. Broken well beyond repair. Maybe then everyone wouldn't be so eager to expose it and fix it, and we could all return to "business" as usual...


Wrapping up with a few thoughts on baseball:

I still don't think he's the difference maker that others might, but Jake Peavy certainly impressed in his Boston debut. Even more impressive, though, has been the work of 24 year old left handed reliever, Drake Britton. He of the .79 ERA over his first 11+ innings pitched. His numbers probably aren't sustainable, but it's good to know that there is a decent left handed arm out there that could serve as a valuable weapon come the stretch drive and the playoffs. Something this bullpen has been missing since it lost Andrew Miller. And seeing as I still don't think this team will have enough front line starting pitching to make the World Series, it'll be all that much more important that they have an above average bull pen with the ability to "shorten games". Something that having an effective lefty could be made that much easier...


As for the Biogenesis suspensions, they're just the latest in a lot of sound and fury signifying more or less nothing. Mostly because the MLB Player's Union is still too powerful to allow any appropriate suspensions for admitted cheaters, but mostly because the drawn out ARod saga will only serve to bury the fact that other players were suspended in what was a wide sweeping scandal. It's like what I touched on last week in regards to the death penalty in regards to convicted criminals. When the story becomes the supposed legitimacy of the punishment instead of the actual crimes committed, the message is usually lost. And that's what'll happen here. And all these suspensions will do is encourage future players to merely find an even more secretive way of cheating. Not because they don't fear the consequences, but because this now watered down circus of a process won't have left the lasting impression that we all hoped it would...

Now that's a cake. No, seriously...
Major League Baseball needs to be in a position where they can act swiftly and authoritatively in order for their punishments to have any real meaning. And unfortunately, between the power of the Union and the out of whack salaries, that's probably a day we'll never live to see...

Oh, and for the record. I don't like MLB's old "don't ask, don't tell" system in regards to performance enhancing drugs. That's right, I'm playing both sides of the fence. Why? Because I can. I'm the customer, dammit. And the customer is always right. Even when he's wrong, he's right. Call it having my cake and eating it, too. But I love cake, man. And if you don't agree with my preference of having an extra cake waiting in the wings, well then that's something that you're going to have to deal with yourself. Maybe even by taking to the Internet to voice your displeasure. After all. It's already been proven that such griping can indeed bring about some real change...


Hope you enjoyed my musings, friends. And I'll catch you next week...

#BAGSMUNMAN

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