2011 Year in Review
Blue Whales
Christmas Carol
Duty to Object
Evenhanded Pursuit of Truth
Flood and Bush
Never There or Here
Review: Sufjan Stevens' Age of Adz
Space Flight
Success With Values
Terrible Kids Music
The Nineties
Year in Review

Curt Flood and Reggie Bush

In an effort to bore and alienate as many people as possible, my first lead post on this blog will be about sports and religion. Well, it’s not really about sports; it’s about something else, but it uses sports to come at that something through the back door. And it’s not really about religion, either, but that does get discussed. Anyway, you’ve been warned. If you’re not bored or alienated yet, hopefully, you’ll find something of interest here, but, proceed at your own risk. Sports and religion. Can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Also, this is about the longest post ever. You may want to take it in shifts. Strangely, for such a quiet person when it comes to the vocal words, I can’t seem to shut up when I’m typing.

Reggie Bush

A while back, Reggie Bush was in the news for returning his Heisman Trophy to the Heisman Trust, who Heisman awarded it to him in Heisman 2005. At the time, it was being reported that the Trust was going to revoke the Heisman from Bush because his family had accepted about $300,000 in gifts from USC boosters, which is a violation of NCAA rules. Bush decided to beat them to the punch, and returned his Heisman, which means he is now not only the first Heisman winner to date a Kardashian, but also the first Heisman winner to return his award.*

“Look. Let’s not make this any harder than it has to be.”
*If you’re a sports fan, you can skip this paragraph; it’s intended to get the non-sports fans up to speed. For non-sports fans, Reggie Bush is a football player – a running back. In 2005, he was playing college football for Southern California (USC). He ran around like Sonic the Hedgehog that year; no one could stop him. Really, it was amazing to watch. You half-expected to see the Coyote running after him with one of those Acme rockets strapped to his back. He (Bush, not the Coyote) was awarded the Heisman Trophy, which is college football’s highest honor, and it wasn’t a close vote. He won by one of the largest margins in history. Now, the NCAA is the governing body for collegiate sports. The fundamental philosophy of the NCAA is that collegiate athletics is to be played by amateur student-athletes, and it has a vast and intricate body of regulations to ensure that the athletes maintain their “amateur” status. These regulations prevent student-athletes from receiving money from college alumni, or working “jobs” for boosters that aren’t really jobs, or getting “tutoring” help which is really just grade-fixing. But they also extend to prevent student-athletes from receiving “benefits” that are less obviously inappropriate, like attending a party hosted by an agent or accepting a plane ticket from a former player or accepting help from the community to raise your 11-year old brother after the death of your mom. But more on that later.

Okay, everybody up to speed? After Bush returned his Heisman, there was a lot of discussion about whether it was wrong for Bush and his family to have taken the benefits. A lot of people defended Bush; mostly for three reasons:

This is "The Jump" →

This post has 3 responses.

Inertia and Catalysts

This is not a sports response. But before I get going: isn’t it something that the organization in charge of collegiate athletics at the highest level is perceived in many circles as a cloak-and-dagger operation? A place where those with the highest acclaim and notoriety get a pass. Some would call this American justice, but I am not that cynical.

The Cam Newton case comes to mind as well. I am not sure if a son that highly recruited can have no idea that his father is seeking money. The final verdict regarding Newton will probably not be realized until many years from now. Perhaps he didn’t take money to go to a school that he did not want to attend. Perhaps he changed his mind on his own with only the most innocent motives. Who am I to speculate? (See I told you I wasn’t that cynical.)

This is my dad, Cecil. We don’t talk THAT much.

The simple fact is that where there are great motives, horrible motives are close at hand. Let me not compare amateur athletics to Christianity, but Judas is an apt metaphor. In the words of a football recruiter I heard recently, “There’s always an uncle.” Those that want to break away from injustice or live in innocence will always be near those that have a reason to maintain the present circumstances. Change, real cultural or institutional change is always very hard to come by partly because of this fact. Inertia, however, may be a bigger factor.

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Change You an Bereave In

Disclaimer: I have actually been going through a life change myself, so all apologies on the tardiness of this post. That being said let us begin.

Oh Martyrdom. In Water’s post Curt Flood and Reggie Bush he espouses this ultimate sacrifice for change, and in Wheat’s response Inertia and Catalysts he speaks on the idea of change being the daily effort made in the name of principles. So to continue using our duly elected leader as an example, maybe Water is suggesting that Obama should have gone all the way and proposed nationalized healthcare for all. Of course he would have failed, but he would have in effect “loosened the mayo jar” so the next guy could open it. Although you can’t see it, I’m smiling fiendishly, because I’m sure this was not Water’s intention for our Healthcare.

This reminds me

This reminds me of a story with Wayne Gretzky, Nolan Ryan, Michael Jordan, and Brett Favre. Actually, before proceeding much further I should confess that I have been declared by my fellow ingredients to be asportsal, which is a sad lack of any sports acumen/fervor/inclination. There is no story. Those just happen to be the only sports names I know. However, I do seem to be showing an inclination for dorky science analogies, so here goes: I think another way to describe what wheat is talking about (without killing anyone off in the process, is through kinetic/potential energy. Wheat describes a paradigm where a person must give up potential power through using it. When the ball is at the top of the hill it is nothing but potential, but as it rolls to the bottom of the hill bouncing and bustling with this moving energy, the potential diminishes.

Whew, I’m breaking a sweat with all this athletic prowess and what not.
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