Robin van P3r5ie!
It’s difficult to fully accept the karmic cycle of referee decisions. Calls go for you, calls go against you… at the end of the day, it’s advisable to cede authority to the sports Gods (referees, I guess) who ‘even out the field of play.’ But every once in a while, a decision so heinous comes along that it seems like the referee has slowly and painfully ripped out your heart and enjoyed every minute of it.
Allow me to set the scene for a moment. The Tennessee Volunteers football team is enduring some of the most trying times in the program’s modern era. Like other young chaps, I still remember the euphoric golden age of championship-winning late 90’s Volunteers. But recently, it has been more of the “at-least-we-made-a-bowl-game” type feeling.
Say what you want about the Volunteers… we still held one of the most coveted streaks in all of American sports. Twenty-six straight victories over rivals Kentucky. TWENTY SIX— the last time Kentucky won was in 1984! Thriller was the #1 album and Reagan had just been re-elected. A victory over Kentucky was as sure as pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving day. It stood as the longest streak over a yearly opponent in football.
I’m not sure whether my ill-feelings towards everything associated with the state of Kentucky has escalated in the past years but I have really grown to strongly, strongly dislike my neighbors in blue. Maybe it was Calipari stranding a #1 recruiting class at Memphis to join Kentucky to build yet another corrupt empire using underground agents as a pipeline to the NBA for recruits. Equally as likely, it could’ve been my ex-girlfriend from Lexington, KY who strung me along for years before duly dumping me for another man on the dime. Similar storylines, same gut-wrenching feeling… same spawning of hatred for Kentucky.
Anyhow, Saturday I witnessed quite possibly one of the most heinous refereeing decisions I’ve seen in a while. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen terrible calls made in the heat of the moment, but what makes this one memorable for all the wrong reasons is that the SEC crew refereeing Tennessee versus Kentucky this past weekend initially made the wrong decision on the field but, per the rules of a coach’s challenge, had a chance to overturn the decision by virtue of a million slow-motion replays and camera angles.
(I will update this post with a video as soon as I find a good one. Feel free to link me!)
The ruling on the field led to the ONLY touchdown for Kentucky 2 plays later in a 10-7 win. To reduce Kentucky’s victory down to a simple refereeing decision would be an insult to the sport. But the truth of the matter is that some calls are just that unfair and that influential. Having the streak end on the back of that call feels like something precious was unjustly stolen from me.
In retrospect Saturday was one of those days where I wish I could just shuffle the decks, wake up that morning and start anew. Different cereal, different outfit, different result for my Volunteers. I wish I could put an asterisk by the Kentucky “win” but that is not how sports work. Tennessee’s head football coach Derek Dooley concisely and accurately sums it up: “a really hard ending to a really hard season.” An important attribute to have as a fan (and person) is the ability to accept defeat and rise up stronger—here’s to the future of Tennessee football and another 26 years of owning Kentucky!
(I wrote this as a way to serve up some brief introductory thoughts for another piece but per my ongoing attempt to streamline my writing, I decided to cut it out. Of course I didn’t want to throw it away though!)
As a passionate sports fan, my emotions are undoubtedly inseparable from my team’s performance on any given day. And, like they’re family, I will do anything to protect the honor of the men who fight on my behalf. So, it should come as no surprise that in the aftermath of a frustrating performance where it seemed like the men on the other sideline got every single break, there is only one person to blame: the REFEREE!
Their job is to blend in with the game—a job well done is one where the official receives no attention. On the back of a forgettable performance, however, the men in zebra stripes become the scapegoats. We’ve all been there. And as diehard fans, it is only natural to feel that the zebras, more often than not, are conspiring to intercept any winning ambitions our team may have.
…yeah, that’s it…
This is a discussion of the state of Arsenal after the summer transfer window.
Featured on: http://arsenallatest.com/blog/406-young-talents-first-team-players.html
A departure from the modus operandi
A few days have passed, but I have yet to catch my breath after the final 48 hours of the transfer window that saw a flurry of no less than five players arrive at Arsenal. Surely, the English FA needs to change the rules and allow a whole summer for conducting transfers—not just two days! Alright, the “why didn’t Arsenal buy earlier” horse has been beaten and beaten. But in all seriousness, a summer of the Arsenal board dragging their feet through every major transfer decision meant I saddled up for another transfer deadline day that was sure to fall short of expectations.
Yet, credit must be given where credit is due. With a swift slap in the face to the critics who would happily book a one-way ticket to a halfway house on his behalf, Wenger brought in signings ready and able to plug holes in the first team (particularly a left-back, center-back, forward and attacking midfielders). Just like Wenger’s calculated moves to recruit young talent with pace earlier in the window (Gervinho, Miyaichi, and Oxlade-Chamberlain), Wenger’s transfer business in the last 48 hours seems like a deliberate attempt to depart from his modus operandi (the recruit-young-and-develop policy) and address two qualities Arsenal has lacked ever since the Toure-Gallas central defensive partnership broke up: leadership and experience.
(A truncated version of this match report appeared on ArsenalLatest.com)
Udinese v Arsenal (24 August 2011) Champions League qualifier
And… exhale. The Gunners are in the Champions League! After being in contention with Manchester United for the Premier League through the latter half of last season’s campaign, Arsenal Football Club began facing one of the darkest times in the club’s recent history. The exodus of first-team players and the lack of signings has placed a bulls-eye on Arsene Wenger as a target for ridicule by the media, and even Arsenal fans (as evidenced by comments on this website). Even the most optimistic Arsenal supporter cannot deny the club is headed in the wrong direction. Thirteen points from the last thirteen games—the worst run at Arsenal in seventeen years and certainly the worst in the Wenger era.
The crisis had placed the club in the unenviable position of protecting a slim 1-0 lead in a high-stakes match against Udinese at the Stadio Friuli with the winner claiming a coveted Champions League spot. Essentially, this match was the last chance to salvage hope and right the ship for the upcoming season. Qualifying for the Champions League not only guarantees additional revenue (upwards of thirty million Euros last season) that has almost become expected during Wenger’s tenure but the ability to attract top-class talent (crucial given the club’s needs and inflated transfer budget). Sources have even stated Lille’s Eden Hazard has agreed upon a transfer to the Emirates conditional upon Champions League qualification.
Thank you to my dear Anu’ for this one…
Stranger: Yo LeBron, you have so much money… can I please get a dollar?!
LeBron: Uh, yeah man I suppose hold up.
(LeBron reaches into his pocket)
Stranger: Oh thank you so much!
LeBron: Here, man… here’s 75 cents.
Stranger: Dang man, what they say about you is true… they call you 75 cents because you never have a 4th quarter!
(Told when Dallas up 3-2 in NBA Finals)
The only investment that is guaranteed to yield an exponential return on the initial input: a college education. Or is it? A variety of factors (e.g rising tuition, poor job market) have left many of my fellow 2011 graduates riddled with debt. The average amount? $23,200. Average… we’re a generation of graduates who are first and foremost “majoring in debt.”
Look through the slideshow of HuffPo’s feature on a generation of graduates who are “majoring in debt.”
Now, let me ask you, “Should collegiate athletes get paid?” Hell no! True, many collegiate programs generate millions upon millions of dollars of revenue… and the NCAA makes a bigger killing on NCAA videogames than a corrupt (note: redundancy) Wall Street CEO. Without diving into the economic morals, I’ll just leave it at: only ~15 college football programs (highest source of athletic revenue) yielded a profit.
I think a compromise can be made by the NCAA loosening its puppet-strings and allow collegiate athletes to accept endorsements. In my opinion, this is morally in direct contention with the NCAA profiting off of an athlete’s image. Year after year, the NCAA parades the top collegiate athletes in the nation on the covers of magazines and video-games cashing in on such names as Tim Tebow and John Wall. These players essentially are brands as evidenced by their professional status immediately translating into endorsements. Why not let the top few percent of athletes who are disproportionately responsible for the branding of NCAA cash in on their image?
So what do athletes get? Well, thank you for asking. Free frickin’ college tuition! At many private colleges that can easily be worth $40,000+. Although the NCAA has curtailed ‘excessive’ benefits for D1 athletes (exclusive dorm, cafeteria etc), it is well-documented that many athletes receive benefits valued at over $100,000. As a function of income, this is a pretty damn good deal for a teenager or even early 20-something.
Imagine all the D-1 student athletes to stand in a row with boards that have a big, fat “ZERO DOLLARS OF DEBT” on it. I don’t argue that D-1 scholarships are in any way invalidated (collegiate athletics drives production of professional athletes in the US). But I do feel that paying athletes to attend school will definitely lead us down a dangerous path of de-emphasizing athletics even more (let’s not even discuss abysmal graduation rates for athletes) and is an unnecessary compromise for the revenue D1 sports generates.
(See previous post about Intramural Soccer)
I dug this gem up from… a nice video commemorating the end of Google Earth’s 4 years together. Unfortunately, we never won and the closest we came was a heartbreaking 4-3 loss in the finals our Senior year.
Must watch ‘til the end! Gotta keep smilin’ right?
Here’s the run down.
I hurt my knee playing soccer.
Physical therapist tried to put medicinal tape on my knee.
My knee was hairier than a gorillas and medicinal tape would not stick.
Physical therapist informs me that in order for the medicinal tape to stick, I would need to wax my knees.
I consider being crippled for the rest of my life.
Anupriya makes me sit on my hands while she waxes the area around my knee.
The first pull is the most excruciating pain I’ve ever felt! Maybe second behind only a migraine…
I kick my cognitive processing into overdrive weighing the pros and cons of being crippled for life versus enduring more waxing.
Cognitive processing isn’t fast enough as I feel another pull and more pain.
My right knee is naked.
Seriously, girls have to do this to every inch of their body with hair? Mad respect…
And feel free to laugh at my ‘naked’ right knee, haha.
RIP atdhe.net. Eff you, Janet Nepolitano and the Emory Commencement Speaker Committee.
Okay, I don’t even know if that committee is real, but someone has to be in charge of this train wreck. Seriously, how can a University with Salman Rushdie, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Sanjay Gupta etc not get someone better. To be fair, Nepolitano has already lost this battle and there’s not much she can do.
My reason: I love(d) atdhe.net.
Let me put this into perspective…
My feelings when I found out Nepolitano is speaking at my commencement: blindsided, a little woozy,
My feelings when I found out the Department of Security seized atdhe.net: OUCH! I was just trying to have some fun but I guess justice was served. That one’s gonna leave a mark.
Too bad Atdhe.net renamed its domain to one of many variations of the URL (atdhe.me, atdhenet.tv etc.). Best part? I’m sure a seizure search warrant takes forever to obtain. And thus begins the whack-a-mole game. As one atdhe gets shut down, another pops up.
Here’s a middle finger to the US Department of Homeland Security from Team Atdhe!
And seriously, couldn’t the Commencement Committee have done any better? I just hope I don’t have to pass through TSA security to make it to my own commencement…
I’m an ally and you should be too. Thank you President Wagner…