Tag Archives: football

“Wrong-Score” Shaw: Stanford football coach loses mind, Rose Bowl game.

"wrong-way" Riegels

“wrong-way” Riegels

Everyone who graduates from Stanford is supposed to be smart, right? So what happened to head football coach David Shaw (a Stanford grad) on Wednesday at the Rose Bowl?

The last five minutes of that game looked more like he thought he was ahead by seven rather than behind. Did he misread the scoreboard? Not since “Wrong Way” Roy Riegels screwed up the 1929 Rose Bowl for California have football fans been left with such a head-scratcher as Stanford’s defeat at the hands of Michigan State.

A partial summary here:

Key offensive situations for Stanford in the second half repeatedly resulted in the Cardinal being stuffed at the line of scrimmage.

The first of these notable no-gains came late in the third quarter, when Stanford went for it on fourth and 3 from the Spartans’ 36 with the scored tied 17-17. With Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan working out of a shotgun, running back Tyler Gaffney took the handoff on a draw and lost three yards.

Based on the first 13 games of Stanford’s season, you could understand Shaw’s logic in wanting to ride an All-American running back who accounted for 1,618 yards. But based on the the second and third quarters Wednesday, during which Gaffney gained just 21 yards on 12 carries, giving him the ball seemed synonymous with giving Michigan State the ball.

Didn’t matter. This would become the motif of Stanford’s second half.

The Cardinal’s next drive went as follows: 2-yard run by Gaffney, negative-5-yard run by Gaffney, 2-yard run by Gaffney, punt.

After the Spartans took a 24-17 lead via a 25-yard touchdown pass from Connor Cook to Tony Lippett, the Cardinal’s next drive went like this: 5-yard run by Gaffney, 2-yard run by Gaffney, Kevin Hogan incomplete pass, punt.

On its next offensive series, Stanford finally showcased some creativity when Hogan flipped the ball to receiver Michael Rector on a reverse that netted 27 yards.

At this point, the drive stalled inside the MSU thirty yard line, fourth and four, with five minutes to play, behind by 7, and with his best running back hobbled with a sprained ankle, the running game paralyzed and his best receiver out of the game, Shaw elected to go for a field goal!!!. Thus, even if the field goal was successful, Stanford would have to stop MSU after the ensuing kickoff, and march the length of the field in whatever time remained on the clock, and score a touchdown… with his best running back hobbled with a sprained ankle, the running game paralyzed and his best receiver out of the game. In other words, Shaw had to score a touchdown. What he did by going for the field goal was refuse the opportunity to get one, and to set his already handicapped offensive team clear back at the other end of the field with very little time left, still with the need to score a touchdown.

dumb.

So what happened next? The field goal was, ultimately, successful, Stanford kicked off and forced MSU to punt. Stanford then essentially ran out out the clock, as if they were ahead, with four straight running plays, casually lining up as the time ticked away. The last run was from the jumbo formation on fourth and one, with nine MSU players bunched up to stop what they knew was coming, and they did stop fullback Ryan Hewitt for no gain.

dumb.

But Stanford fans who have watched Shaw over the last three years see this episode as nothing more than pure Shaw. Time management is poor. Decision making is slow and predictable. Personnel groups and formations tip off the plays. The offense goes into a shell after getting ahead, and hopes the other team can’t come from behind; if they do, it’s pretty much game over, because the time management is so poor. Shaw plays not to lose or be criticized. Not to win.

The running game is overrated. Yes, it works against weakling defenses, like Oregon. But this wasn’t Oregon. It was Michigan State. Even Cal did a pretty good job on the Stanford running attack, and MSU led the nation against the run.

this one didn't smell good, Coach.

this one didn’t smell good, Coach.

.dumb.

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Body language 101: Hands on hips, per California football coaches

“Cal,” he said, “should be better than this.” —Harry Edwards

Cal coaching staff "hands-on-hips" body language

Cal coaching staff demo’s the “en mass”  or “cluster” version of the “hands-on-hips” body language during a shellacking by Southern Cal, 63-28

OTL,S! surmises that the Cal coaching staff was looking to get aggressive with their own players. We are glad that didn’t happen. Well, let’s rephrase…at least it didn’t happen during the game. More on that later.

body language:

To appear bigger for fighting or courting rituals, birds will fluff their feathers, fish can expand their body size by sucking in water and cats or dogs make their fur stand on end. The hairless human, however, no longer has a thick pelt to expand to make himself look more imposing when he is fearful or angry….Modern humans, however, have invented a gesture to help them achieve a bigger physical presence – the Hands-on-Hips gesture.

California’s largely inept football team reached a historic landmark on Saturday, when they were torched by traditional rival Stanford, 63-13, allowing two touchdowns in the last 8 minutes by the Cardinal reserves. This was the most points ever allowed in the “Big Game”, and the largest margin of defeat. Cal finished the season 1-11, the single win being a squeaker against lower classification Portland State. Cal gave up 30 points or more in every game, which is some sort of record.
ship
Furthermore, Cal had just last year fired their football coach for dismal performance, and the University is up to its eyeballs in debt from an ill-advised massive upgrade of the athletic facilities. Lastly, Cal has the worst football-player graduation rate of any major school in the country.

Hands-on-Hips is used by the child arguing with its parent, the athlete waiting for his event to begin,… males who want to issue a non-verbal challenge to other males who enter their territory. In each instance the person takes the Hands-on-Hips pose and this is a universal gesture used to communicate that a person is ready for assertive action. It lets the person take up more space and has the threat value of the pointed elbows that act as weapons, preventing others from approaching or passing… It’s used everywhere and in the Philippines and Malaysia it carries the even stronger message of anger or outrage.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the data show that it is the black male athlete at Cal who is (and has been forever) exploited. In these days of multimillion dollar revenues and coaching salaries, the black football player is likely to leave Cal with nothing but memories, chronic injuries, an empty wallet and a dim future.

most black male athletes who entered Cal between 1998 and 2006 failed to graduate in six years, with just 40 percent able to do so….fewer than 2 percent of all NCAA basketball and football players are drafted by the NBA and NFL, studies show. And of those, only a small number last more than one or two years in professional sports.

Coach Dykes is promising assertive action on all fronts:

Also known as the ‘readiness’ gesture, that is, the person is ready for assertive action, its basic meaning carries a subtly aggressive attitude everywhere. It has also been called the achiever stance, related to the goal-directed person who is ready to tackle their objectives or is ready to take action on something. Men often use this gesture around women to display an assertive male attitude.

The Cal athletic director during this shipwreck has been Sandy Barbour, shown here in her “I’m not going to answer that question” body language.  She’s adopted the “I’m calling together a task force” tactic to “address” this problem, aka: kick the can down the road while continuing to recruit underqualified “student athletes.”bar

These aggressive-readiness clusters are used by professional models to give the impression that their clothing is for the modern, assertive, forward-thinking woman. Occasionally the gesture may be done with only one hand on the hip and the other displaying another gesture and this is commonly used by women who want to draw attention to themselves by using this cluster with a pelvic tilt to emphasize their hips-to-waist ratio, which indicates fertility. Hands-on-Hips is regularly used by both men and women in courtship to draw attention to themselves.

So how is Coach Dykes channeling his aggressive, action oriented mindset that informs his body language:

“We’re going to recruit better. We’re going to recruit kids that deserve to be at Cal and want to be at Cal,” he said. “We’re going to learn how to go to class. We’re going to fix our graduation rates; we’re going to graduate. We are going to appreciate being a Cal student, be supportive of other Cal students.”

That sounds like some pretty good generalities, though there are hints of  some hidden agendas.

But this disturbing quote from another Chronicle article  suggests Dykes will try to boot some players off scholarship or otherwise allow/induce them to leave, thus reinforcing the idea that they have been exploited, and now cast aside in order that the mighty football machine can sell more tickets (emphasis added):

Not all players on the roster in 2013 will be asked back in 2014, the coach said, adding, “There are going to be players who leave. There’re players you encourage to leave and others who leave on their own.”

To us, it sounds like the wrong people are going to get “fired.” Cal has an obligation to the current football players to see that they graduate with sufficient skills to succeed in life. Allowing or encouraging players to leave school or removing their scholarships is exactly the wrong thing to do.
The Chronicle nails it:

At the Athletic Study Center, Van Rheenen is working with a group of successful black men to set up a mentoring program – but whether athletes will have time to participate is another question. They’re already stretched by the full-time demands of their academic work and playing a Division I sport.

“We don’t want to overload them even more,” Van Rheenen said.

The graduation rates are one of the many problems facing Cal athletics. At a recent meeting on campus, where Cummins and Hextrum presented their findings, some faculty members wondered whether the pressure to succeed on the field has been intensified by the need to pay off the debt on newly renovated Memorial Stadium.

Hextrum called it “an ethical dilemma.”

“Are we going to say we will continue to have these students – mostly men of color – who don’t graduate, and that it is worth it to pay off the debt?” she asked.

“Cal,” he said, “should be better than this.”

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Santa Clara: the little city that could…go bankrupt. [updated]

The joke is on Santa Clara

In spite of a citizen’s group protest, it appears that the San Francisco “professional” football “team,” the “49’ers”, with the cooperation of a few less than intelligent city council members (who will undoubtedly get seating priority), have hornswoggled the citizens of the tiny city of Santa Clara, CA, to go into debt to the tune of some 850 million dollars (or more, who can guess the final bill?), in order to build a stadium for said “team”  (which is actually a small group of spoiled millionaire trust funders). This, notwithstanding the experience of Cincinnati and other cities, or the fact that no benefits will accrue to said citizens. The name of the team will not change to the “Santa Clara 49’ers”. (although the owners did strike gold there). The only jobs that will result will be hourly parking lot attendants and hot dog hawkers. Meanwhile, the city will have to pay overtime to police and sanitation workers; drunken jerks will wander the streets, accosting citizens, urinating in alleys, vomiting on lawns, and tossing refuse from their vehicles; and the traffic will paralyze and pollute the area for 8 hours at least on every game day.

I hope that for the coming year, the city council will authorize a similar amount for the public schools, community colleges, public transit, street repair, updating the water supply and sewage treatment plant. Because, those would contribute to actual employment and opportunity, and quality of life for its citizens…

Oh, wait…

March 14, 2012: from the San Jose Mercury News, it appears that the city is skating on thin ice. Exact figures were not given but the city is on the hook for something around 800,000,000. If the interest rate is 3.5%, then the lease payments will almost exactly match the payments on a 40 year loan. However, if the interest rate is higher or the debt load is higher, the city will have to make money on other aspects of the deal, such as naming rights, seat licensing, and concerts, in order to come out even. Apparently they are planning on making several million on naming rights and about the same on concerts. Got news: naming rights will probably not go for more than a million, and concerts? who is going to play that venue? the Beatles? oh wait….
The city could easily lose a million dollars a year and 5 million a year is not out of the question. Not much you say? Tell that to the teachers, police and firemen who will get laid off by the city so they can go work as hot dog vendors and parking lot attendants? So this stadium deal may well COST jobs instead of creating them.
Unless the Oakland Raiders use the stadium (and why would they?), Santa Clara is in the jackpot.

obtw: Stockton.

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Santa Clara: the little city that could…go bankrupt.

Why are these men laughing?

In spite of a citizen’s group protest, it appears that the San Francisco “professional” football “team,” the “49’ers”, with the cooperation of a few less than intelligent city council members (who will undoubtedly get seating priority), have hornswoggled the citizens of the tiny city of Santa Clara, CA, to go into debt to the tune of some 850 million dollars (or more, who can guess the final bill?), in order to build a stadium for said “team”  (which is actually a small group of spoiled millionaire trust funders).

The plan to pay for the 49ers’ new $1 billion home in Santa Clara will rely on the biggest loan to a public agency for any stadium in NFL history. —San Jose Mercury News

This, notwithstanding the experience of Cincinnati and other cities, or the fact that no benefits will accrue to said citizens. The name of the team will not change to the “Santa Clara 49’ers”. (although the owners did strike gold there). The only jobs that will result will be hourly parking lot attendants and hot dog hawkers. Meanwhile, the city will have to pay overtime to police and sanitation workers; drunken jerks will wander the streets, accosting citizens, urinating in alleys, vomiting on lawns, and tossing refuse from their vehicles; and the traffic will paralyze and pollute the area for 8 hours at least on every game day.

I hope that for the coming year, the city council will authorize a similar amount for the public schools, community colleges, public transit, street repair, updating the water supply and sewage treatment plant. Because, those would contribute to actual employment and opportunity, and quality of life for its citizens…

Oh, wait…

With more than four decades of evidence to back them up, economists almost uniformly agree that publicly financed stadiums rarely pay for themselves. The notable successes like Camden Yards in Baltimore often involve dedicated taxes or large infusions of private money. Even then, using one tax to finance a stadium can often steer spending away from other, perhaps worthier, projects.

“Stadiums are sold as enormous draws for events, but the economics are clear that they aren’t helping,” said Andrew Moylan, the director of government affairs at the National Taxpayers Union. “It’s another way to add insult to injury for taxpayers.”

New York Times.

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Pennophilia State University

Further update 11/11/2011: The grad assistant who testified that he told Paterno of child rape has been placed in protective custody because of death threats.
Moody’s says it may downgrade Penn State’s bond rating (and not just because of an anticipated falloff in sweatshirt sales): it is anticipated that Penn State’s insurer may not pay any claims related to sex abuse, because the president knew of such incidents and did nothing. Further, Penn State may well lose it’s insulation from public financial scrutiny, through acts of the state legislature. And, six sponsors of telecasts of Penn State football have pulled out.
In related news, prized football recruit Joey O’Conner has decommitted from Penn State. Another recruit who is no longer interested in Penn State says Jerry Sandusky paid him a recruiting visit this year (!!!!):

“He came to my last spring game going into my senior season. He liked how I moved, laterally, and how gifted I am,” said Ah Ching.

Sandusky attended a football camp for Polynesian players in Utah over the summer and urged all in attendance to play for Paterno.

This is AFTER the Harrisburg Patriot Times broke the story in March 2011:

Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News reports that grand jury is investigating Sandusky on allegations of indecent assault against a teenage boy. The Patriot-News reports that five people with knowledge of the case said the grand jury has been meeting for 18 months and has called witnesses, including Paterno and Curley. Penn State declines comment.

more details on that and later stories:

The Patriot-News broke the story that Jerry Sandusky was being investigated for child sex abuse back in March. We told the stories of two victims in detail.

We wrote additional stories in April and August, including one that reported the grand jury had heard testimony from multiple victims.

Any of the national news media who were shocked by Sandusky’s indictment last week evidently don’t read our newspaper or look at our website. They should have.

Update 11/11/2011:
Penn State University ignored the criminal investigation of Jerry Sandusky even after it was reported by a regional newspaper in March 2011; meanwhile Jerry Sandusky maintained his office on the Penn State University campus, and, (according to the newspaper that originally broke the story) lives next door to an elementary school!!!???!!!
http://mobile.pennlive.com/advpenn/pm_29239/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=jdCyGEc8
Update: upon hearing that the board of trustees is meeting and considering prompt and decisive action, Mr. Paterno is trying to get out in front of this by announcing that he sympathizes with the victims, wishes he had done more, blah blah, and he wants to retire at the end of the season. Too little, too late. He thinks he is the boss; news flash, Mr. P: not any more. If he’s lucky he’ll be put on administrative leave on Friday.
The Penn State University president should fire Joe Paterno….oh wait… the president should be fired first…oh wait…

A timeline…

[In the first place, dear reader, you must understand that Joe Paterno rules the football program at Penn State and is not in fact under the control of the athletic director or even the president. Rather, he tells THEM where to get off.]

Around 1967: Paterno hires Jerry Sandusky.
1977: Sandusky founds Second Mile, which provides him access to young boys who have little effective parental supervision. 

1994-1997 Sandusky allegedly abuses 3 boys, ( AKA Victims 4, 5, and 6) ages 7 or 8, 10, and 12 or 13, some at the Penn State football team hotel on the night before a home football game. 

1998: Sandusky, while naked, has contact with a naked 11 year old boy in the Penn State University football shower room. His mother complains to campus police. Another mother also makes a similar complaint. An investigation is made by the police and child protective services. He admits to having naked contact with at least one of the children. The authorities conclude that no sexual assault occurred. No chargesaree made. Sandusky promises someone (?) that he won’t do it again. Great. In November of 2011, Joe Paterno’s son will assert that Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno knew nothing about this!! Really?

March 2002: a Penn State Football graduate assistant (who was a former Penn State University football player) heard “slapping” noises that he thought indicated sexual activity in the Penn State football shower room. Upon investigation saw the young boy facing the wall in the shower with his hands up on the wall, while Jerry Sandusky, a very large strong man, was perpetrating penile-anal “sex” on him. 

The graduate assistant went to his own father for advice. He then reported the incident to Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno at the latter’s home. 

The next day Paterno met with Penn State University athletic director Curley and tells him, according to Curley, that the GA saw fondling or something of a sexual nature. The GA does not concur with Curley’s version.

10 days later(!) GA meets with Curley and Penn State University vice president Schultz. He says he told them he saw sex. They deny he said that. Curley states that he recalls having an “impression” of non-sexual fooling around. Schultz states he recalls possible grabbing of genitals while wrestling. Neither man denies that the account described contact in the shower between a naked middle-aged man and a naked 10 year-old child. Hello?

Penn State University President Spanier is informed of (some?) allegations. Spanier testified that he was told Sandusky had been seen “horsing around” with a boy, and presumably that both Sandusky and the child were both naked. Presumably, President Spanier realized that Sandusky was a middle-aged man and that the child was…well, a child.
Neither the police nor any child protection agencies are informed of the GA allegations. The identity and whereabouts of the child are unknown. 

Curley tells Second Mile that an internal investigation of allegations against Sandusky found “no wrongdoing.”

 Sandusky surrenders his key to the Penn State football locker room, is told not to bring children on to campus. He maintains his position as professor emeritus, with an office and phone, and all other university privileges.  He maintains his relationship as a volunteer coach at a local school, where he will allegedly engage in multiple sexual encounters with a child in the Second Mile program.

2007 Sandusky brings “victim 1” of the indictment to Penn State football practice.
The mother of Victim 1 complains to high school about Sandusky, alleging multiple episodes of sexual misconduct; the police are notified. 

November 2008, after 31 years of access to unprotected boys, Sandusky is forbidden any contact with children in Second Mile. Sandusky maintains his position, office and privileges at Penn State University.

Unknown date: Sandusky forms for profit corporation which stages athletic programs and camps for children on various campuses of Penn State University.

October 2011: Sandusky maintains his position, office and privileges at Penn State University.

November 2011: On November 5, 2011 Sandusky was arrested and charged with seven counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse; eight counts of corruption of minors, eight counts of endangering the welfare of a child, seven counts of indecent assault and other offenses. Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and senior vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz (who oversaw the Penn State police department) were charged with perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse by Sandusky. On November 6 Penn State University “bans” Sandusky from campus. President Spanier makes no statements regarding the victims or their families, but proclaims his “unconditional support” for Curley and Schwartz.

Paterno’s role in the cover-up of the 2002 incident has not been disclosed. He says he “did what he was supposed to do.” His son says he had no knowledge of the 1998 allegations. According to the attorney general’s office, he is not a target of the investigation. The president may be a different story however. And the Penn State University is certainly at risk as well, for violation of the federal Clery Act, not to mention civil actions.

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Austin College puts in 61 year old man to kick PAT

Trinity 44, Austin College 10: In Sherman [TX], the Tigers closed their https://seesdifferent.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=trash&post=3561&_wpnonce=5d362e2c96season with a win, while 61-year-old [Austin] Kangaroos place-kicker Tom Thompson kicked an extra point to become the oldest player in college football history.

Why?

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Hail cannons, lightning rods, elephant repellents, and Texas schools

hail cannon

“What’s the white powder you put on your lawn every week, neighbor?”
“Elephant repellent…works pretty well, doesn’t it?”

I just heard about the hail cannon… a 20-foot tube/sound chamber that makes a huge bang every four seconds, supposedly disrupting hail formation in the sky above. Costs 50,000 bucks…and of course you need a radar system to detect suspicious clouds, and additional cannons every 750 feet or so, and a computer system to control it all, plus the expendables, maintenance, etc…
hail-cannon old
These monstrosities were invented a couple hundred years ago, and are better suited to defending castles a la Monty Python than to preventing hail…there is no scientific basis for them, and no proof that they do anything but enrich those who manufacture and market them. Billy Mays wouldn’t even have touched them. Yet there is an active and even thriving hail cannon industry, in the US and abroad.

A comment:
Anti-science forces in our society, paid for by large multinational corporations interested in preserving profits, have succeeded in slowing our response to tobacco toxicity and global warming/climate change. Smaller business ventures (and politicians and religions) have also traded on ignorance, fear, superstition, and the psychology of uncommon events to “sell” us costly, irrational and often dangerous “products” which supposedly “prevent” rare but calamitous events. The lightning rod immediately comes to mind: a simple yet costly device, somewhat dangerous to install and maintain, which is completely unnecessary for most homes, would likely not work anyway, and may even attract lightning. Yet, the “prudent” sucker purchaser can rightly claim that since the installation of this item, no lightning has struck his home, wrongly attributing that to the rods. In logic, post hoc, ergo propter hoc. If lightning does strike, inevitably some problem will be found with the installation or maintenance, excusing the failure, and reinforcing the need to “upgrade” to an even more expensive product. See Herman Melville, The Lightning Rod Man”:

“Of life-and-death use. But my workman was heedless. In fitting the rod at top to the steeple, he allowed a part of the metal to graze the tin sheeting. Hence the accident. Not my fault, but his.

The propagation of ignorance, as opposed to the dissemination of knowledge, is today a burgeoning activity and a profitable industry. At Stanford University, Prof. Robert Proctor has dubbed it “agnotology” and made it the subject of his research:

A prime example of the deliberate production of ignorance cited by Proctor is the tobacco industry’s conspiracy to manufacture doubt about the cancer risks of tobacco use. Under the banner of science, the industry produced research about everything except tobacco hazards to exploit public uncertainty. Some of the root causes for culturally-induced ignorance are media neglect, corporate or governmental secrecy and suppression, document destruction, and myriad forms of inherent or avoidable culturopolitical selectivity, inattention, and forgetfulness.
link

failpunt
How do Texas schools fit in? it seems that Texas may allow their high school students to accumulate 4 credits in sports, out of the 26 required for graduation. This would be a 100% increase from the previous athletic allowance of 2 credits. Yeah, that should help.

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