There hasn't been this many Catholics running for their lives since the end of the Crusades. I fear it's just a repeat of an age-old story - something flashy, something hot, something trendy (college football) tempts what is grounded, what is solid, what is proven (something like Big East college basketball) into changing its landscape. Pretty soon that landscape is left barren with a bunch of guys in suits standing around staring at each other and asking "what in the hell just happened here?" Mike Lopresti of the USA Today (awesome college basketball writer who has covered 33 Final Fours...look him up sometime) says it this way:
Here lies the saddest victim of all in the realignment epidemic of Pigskinitis.Here's the whole column
The Big East, RIP.
Football is a fine game, but it shouldn't be claiming such casualties.
The true Big East will soon be the Roman Empire of college sport. Once majestic and all-powerful, now history and dust. Seven survivors – Catholic schools all -- huddle together against the cold, trying to find a future.
I heard a blurb on the radio yesterday about traffic being particularly bad around the outlets up in Dawsonville. I spent a large chunk of my childhood summers in Dawson County, running and romping on my Uncle's property, fishing in Lake Lanier and picking okra for my aunt to fry for supper ("You want okra for supper?? Well there's a 5 gallon bucket on the porch....") And in those days there wasn't a thing in Dawson County. Bill Elliott was still wet behind the ears, my uncle was having to drive all the way to Cumming to pay his light bill and Ga 400 stopped at Pilgrim Mill Rd. Now there's traffic alerts on Atlanta radio stations for Dawsonville? Another town in rural Georgia has been swallowed by Atlanta sprawl. Remember the pot plane that crashed? I had to go digging to remember the details. I remember it being big talk.
Speaking of changing southern cities, I read a piece last night in Atlanta magazine reminding me that, back in February, Bon Apetit deemed Nashville, Tennessee "the coolest, tastiest city in the South." Then, in June, the New York Times ran a feature on Nashville, apparently using the word "hipster" a great deal. I used to work with a fellow that was born and raised in Nashville. He said that, as a teenager, their fun on friday nights consisted of trying to make a stop at every single Shoney's restaurant in the Nashville area before midnight. The times they are a' changin'. (and now I want to travel to Nashville...again. Been there before but apparently need to go back)
I'm going to hate myself for doing this. Political discourse on my part usually never goes further than my living room when I point at a television and shout at my bride "Can you believe this idiot??" I was raised to keep politics a private "within the family" issue. But sometimes there is an elephant in the room that bears mentioning. Since the end of the 2012 election, I've read a lot about Republicans changing their game plan, admitting to changing demographics, landscapes and voter bases. "We're going to do things differently!!!" So for their first collective fight post-election ("fiscal cliff" not withstanding) they bust their posteriors to make sure a woman of color isn't the next secretary of state? I don't know - it seems like they've run another off-tackle dive for another three yards and another cloud of dust to me. I thought maybe I was over-thinking that until I read Andrea Mitchell expressing similar sentiment (it's good to sometimes have those "maybe I'm NOT an idiot" moments when you hear someone being paid for ideas having similar idea to your own)
I'm not smart enough to know if she should be secretary of state. Were there mistakes made in the immediate reaction to the embassy attack in Benghazi? I'm fairly certain there were. In those days after the attack she was following administration talking points that characterized the attack as "spontaneous" rather than planned. Mistake. And a mistake that lead the president to imply that she was just doing her job and if anyone wanted to go after her they should go after Obama instead. Rice later admitted the misstep.
The biggest thing I'm taking away from the entire Susan Rice episode is my growing disappointment in John McCain. Leading up the 2008 election I read his book, liked his policies and the way he carried himself and decided I'd vote for him. I thought he would return the office of president to days when true statesmen - not politicians - ran this country. Alas, my disillusionment started when he selected Barbie as a running mate in that 2008 election, starting a dive into (with apologies to Dante) the spiraling rungs of hell that American politics has become. Keeping Susan Rice away from the secretary of state title became an obsession for him and continues him in that free fall of becoming just another politician. Me thinks that McCain should remember his own missteps when he was one of the cheerleaders for invading a country based on (faulty) evidence that they were stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. Remember that? He, himself, was following that administration's talking points and ended up part of that mistake. Glass houses and all Senator,,,glass houses.
God, I hate politics..and yet I can't quit looking at the train wreck. "Just when I thought I was out, they pullllllllll me back in...."
(Ok, one more mention of policitics - I really think that if the president and John Boehner were not the most visible players in a drama being played out on the biggest stage, they'd be two guys who would like hanging out together, drinking beer and watching ballgames. I get the feeling that they like each other and really wish that someone else was in the other corner. I also get the feeling that Boehner's telling him "look, I agree in principle, but I'm gonna get killed if I don't kick and scream a little." )
Now even the Pope has a Twitter account. I'm officially the last person on earth not keeping tabs on what's trending on Twitter. Truth be told, I'm really not even sure what that means. I tried about a year ago because there's several writers and broadcasters (mostly from the world of sports) doing the Twitter thing heavy. I was immediately intimidated by talk of hash tags and found it impossible to navigate. You're laughing at me aren't you? I've grown fairly weary of social media anyway. The kicker may have been last week when I posted a video and my opinion of its content on my facebook page. Someone on my "friends" list (loosest use of the word EVER) disagreed with my sentiment and attacked me and other folks on my facebook page that he didn't even know. I deleted all of his comments. He said "I guess when you speak the truth no one wants to hear it!" and de-friended me. OMG! I was so totally bummed! WTF? LOL! DUDE - WE NEED TO TALK! Uh no...I laughed, realized that there are some folks that I didn't want to associate with in 1981 I STILL don't want to associate with and wonder why they now want to be "Friends?" Does Facebook have a "you're still a jackass" list?