Mark Schlereth is a stud

As a biased Broncos fan, I’ve always loved Mark Schlereth, and love his contributions on ESPN.  However today he took it to a completely different level today, addressing the recent crackdown by the NFL against players who are violently hitting: a complex issue, no doubt, but Schlereth makes some excellent arguments. This video is definitely worth watching.

Mark’s right, the NFL is being very hypocritical, sitting on Mt. Pius and leveling hefty fines against players and now threatening suspension.  It was surprising to me that Schlereth has more an issue with the fines than he does with the suspensions, especially considering that NFL player fines are donated to charity.  Also, when a player is suspended, do they not receive a game check for that week – so you’re they’re still getting money taken away from them. I wish Schlereth would clarify that point.  I also think that there’s some built up reprehension in his statement for the mistreatment of retired players suffering health conditions (and rightfully so).

I’m pretty much lock-step with Mark here, but the only issue I take is that he’s rallying behind James Harrison. Please Mark, rally behind anyone but Harrison, who called his incoming fines “travesties” and then went on to say that he’s out to hurt players.  He goes on to explain the different between “hurt” and “injured”, except he said this right after two players he tried to “hurt” could no longer play because they’re “injured” – Harrison has a pretty crappy sense of timing and when to say the wrong thing at the wrong time.  And to cap all of this, Harrison is now threatening to take his ball and go home, not exactly the most mature way to participate in this debate.  It’s not like this is a momentary lapse in judgment for Harrison, as two years ago he justified bailing on the Super Bowl White House trip because Obama’s not a Steelers fan.  Politics aside, if you won the championship in your sport, you go meet the President – that’s just the way it is.

This is shaping up to be a very interesting week, with many more NFL legends weighing in the current state of professional football.  Remember this was all started by Rodney Harrison calling the kettle “black” on Sunday Night Football. Stay tuned.

Orange Sunday

Sorry for posting a few days late.  I’ve definitely failed on the “once per day” posting for October, but I guess it’s the thought that counts, and I have a few thoughts on the Broncos game on Sunday.

All last week the Broncos org was pushing “Orange Sunday”, as the Broncos wore their alternate orange jerseys, and thus wanted all of the fans to wear orange as well.  They actually had a rally on Larimer Square on the Friday before the game.

I’m all for promoting home team enthusiasm, but I have a problem with “Orange Sunday”: that the Broncos need to christen a special event to wear orange and encourage their fans to do the same.  In still bothers me to this day that the ditched the orange jerseys in 1997.  I hate that they had a distinguishing color that really looks striking when a stadium full of fans, and decided to chuck it all away because some marketing guy thought blue would match more clothes.

Why can’t every home game Sunday be “Orange Sunday”?  If the Broncos themselves are so unwilling to do that, the fans should step up and don the orange – especially because you can get away with donning hunter orange.  I am now so envious of a team like the Chiefs, where the stands are a sea of red – that used to be Denver, and it should be again.

Tebow

Also a note to all the Tebow fans at Mile High: I’m happy to see him come into the games as you are, but can you please shut up when he enters the game?!?  For crying out loud, we’re still on offense at home. Mark Sanchez had to deal with less noise.

Lastly, even though we’re down 2-4, after going toe-to-toe with the Jets and outplaying them – I like the Broncos chances, especially when you consider that they still have 6 games against AFC West opponents.

Test Driving

As you may know, Bethany and I are in the market for a new car, looking to add a crossover to our personal fleet.  We are looking to buy by the end of October, so as the month is half over, we probably should set out to test drive. Bethany had the day off of work, so I took a day of vacation and we set across the Front Range, visited 8 dealerships and ended up only driving 3 cars.

The test drive experience has been an interesting one. The environmentalist winds have blown into the auto industry, pushing fuel efficiency standards.  Unfortunately the result of that is that 4-cylinder engines rule the crossover class of cars, bringing fuel efficiency at the cost of power.  However, as Coloradoans know, the terrain of the Rocky Mountains isn’t very friendly for 4-cylinder engines.  If you’ve driven in Estes Park in a 4-cylinder car full of people – you know what I mean by being underpowered.  With our V-6 requirement, we’ve apparently limited our select – this is why we went 8 places and only got to drive 3 cars.  There was no shortage of 4-cylinders for us today, one of them which we drove.  I’ll admit that there was decent acceleration when I slammed the gas, but it still felt underpowered, especially when you consider going up a mountainous hill.

We don’t seem to be the only Coloradoans who think this, because the dealers for these cars that have V6 engines – they don’t have any of these cars in stock – yet they have plenty of 4-cylinders of that model on hand.

One pleasant surprise (at least or us): the salesmen weren’t as pushy as I remember from 6 years ago.  I’m not sure if it’s because they’ve unfortunately been beat down in this economy that they’re now changing their tactics, but it was nice to not have to fight our way out of the dealership. There were a few Jedi Mind Tricks thrown at us, but they were more comical than stressful.

We think we have it narrowed down, but we’re going to let some time and another test drive pass before we draw a conclusion.

Agent Confessions

Read This: Confessions of An Agent on Sports Illustrated

The Bottom Line: Josh Luchs used to be a sports agent for NFL prospects, and as part of being an agent he gave money and favors to players while they were in college. He names some of the players, some of the agents, and other co-conspirators. Cue controversy.

There are a lot of things you could argue from this article: Luch’s motive for writing this, the ethics of naming players, whether he is credible – these are all valid questions.  To me, what lies at the heart of this debate is the (possibly not surprising) issue of players getting money under the table from agents.

One thing that this article taught me. There are players that have a genuine need, but players can be as greedy as the agents giving them money.

The NCAA can sit on Mt. Pius and preach the purity of the student athlete and the corruption of evil agents, but the fact is that they are making hand-over-fist profit on the backs of these students that don’t get paid. Granted, the student athletes often receive scholarships, but given that NCAA Div-I schools graduate 54% of football players, there’s question to the value of the scholarships – which arises the question of whether paying student athletes would help curb this practice. This is definitely a controversial idea, and I’m not advocating that it would fix things, but what other suggestions are there to curb this practice?  The NCAA already threatens to suspend players, should criminal charges be filed against the students and agents for tax evasion?  Should players proved to have ben accepting money be suspended from the NFL?

At the end of the day, is any harm being done?  Is this simply the norm for agents trying to court student athletes – namely football players – to their representation?  Should we be willing to accept that dealings for high draft picks are synonymous with shady agents?

I’m not sure if I have any answers is, but this article has spawned some very interesting discussions throughout sports this week.

The day (Greenfoot) Music Died

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So to add to my NaBloWriMo failure, I ended up missing yesterday’s post as I spent the evening with my Greenfoot friends, having our last rehearsal.  After we decided last month to put an end to the project, we wanted to gather one last time and do some basic recording and play some of our songs for one last time.  Last night was a lot of fun, and hopefully I’ll be able to share those recordings soon.

I wanted to share some videos that Greenfoot has posted throughout the years, the first being one that we took after about 6 months after I joined the band:

After Julien joined the band, we started playing out again in the spring of 2008, and had the opportunity to have some more video taken at Smokin’ Joe’s in early 2009:

Over the years we played some really interesting places. One that comes to mind is getting up at 4am so that we could play at the Colfax Marathon, right on the street.

Over this summer we got to be the featured band at some farmers markets, which was a pretty fun experience as well:

Looking back, it was a really fun project and I’m really grateful to all of my friends who got our emails, came out to our shows and enjoyed our music! Now with the chapter on Greenfoot closed, I’m excited for what’s to come.