How to Conduct Yourself During Rivalry Week

It is that time of the year in college football where rivalry games take center stage and grab the attention of people all around the nation, football and non-football fans alike. For me, this is a good thing and a bad thing. I love it how more people are brought into the picture because it gives the game added importance. The buzz is infectious and everyone seems to become intoxicated with it. While this is awesome, I do get turned off by the people who come out of the woodwork for their one game of the year. For that one week they are football/ trash talk experts.  If the team is fortunate enough to make the postseason, these gloryhounds will probably emerge from the mud once again to “support” their team. Yeah, these people annoy me. My point of this post is not to focus on these types of people, however. Rather, for today’s post I would just like to offer some pointers on how to cheer/build up your team during rivalry week.
Rivalry football games are so intense because usually supremacy of a certain geographical region is at stake. Whether it be a high school battle to be the king of the north side of town or a contest to see which university rules the state, this geographical supremacy is a big deal. When you live in a certain area, you want to be the best. If you are not the best, that means your neighbor who supports/attends/plays for the other school is. It is tough to concede that the school you live and breathe for is second fiddle to another school in the same area. Many times, rivalry games carry with it an incredible amount of baggage. Placed on the football game are the politics, cultures, traditions, and reputations of both schools. You win the football game and all of the ideals I just mentioned triumph over the ideals of the other school.  You hear this all the time, but rivalry games really are more than just football games.
Because of the magnitude of these games, it is so important to support/defend your team in the right way leading up to, during, and after the game. I see so many fans, many of these are the people who have little knowledge of football, go completely overboard during rivalry week. They will do anything and everything they can to publicly demean and trash the opponent. The key word here is publicly. I will say it right here, I hate my rivals with a passion. There is a burning hot fire in me that hates everything that these certain schools stand for. However, most of that fire stays inside of me. I really think you make yourself look like a fool when you stick it to your rival in a loud and obnoxious way. Some of the Facebook and Twitter posts I see are ridiculous. Some of the profanity-laced rants people go on are flat out embarrassing. It is easy to let your hatred for your rival overshadow the love for your school. Don’t let this happen.
The following cliché is so tired but so true at the same time: “Anything can happen in a rivalry game.” From my own personal playing experience and from the experience of watching hundreds of rivalry games, this is fact. Because of the unpredictability of rivalry games and because of the respect that I feel is due to an opponent, I advise against going around like a lunatic during rivalry week and saying that your team is going to win. Okay, it is cool to have confidence in your team but why set yourself up for the backlash that is going to come your way from the fans of the opponent if your team happens to falter? The ammunition that is given to someone after another person guarantees victory and it does not come to fruition is very powerful. You bet your ass that I utilize this leverage to its full extent when someone on the other side incorrectly predicts victory. Sorry, but I am not going to let you live that down. You were cocky enough and misinformed enough to make such a bold statement that I am not going to let that pass by. Please everyone, never guarantee victory in a rivalry game.
Another thing that I cringe at during rivalry weeks is when people use those generic, recycled jokes. You have all heard these….i.e. Did you hear that they can’t have any more parties at (enter school name)? The guy with the recipe for the ice graduated.   *  What are the longest three years of a (enter school team) life? His freshman year.    *  How do you get a (enter school name) graduate off your porch?    Pay them for the pizza.   These jokes are unoriginal, too easy, and not funny. Think of something original that might inflict a little bit of a sting on your rival. Use material that capitalizes on something unique about the other institution. Use current events to come up with something that has not been said before. Just please don’t use a “Why did the chicken cross the road?” lame one-liner to poke fun at your opponent.
So how do you talk trash in a rivalry? It seems like I have shot down a lot of methods. Don’t go overboard, don’t be overly confident in the ending outcome, don’t go crazy on Facebook, don’t tell stupid jokes. But there are several ways to build your team up while putting your rival in their proper place. If you are fortunate enough to be on the side of a rivalry where your team has a winning record, definitely ride this for all it’s worth. Nothing says that your institution is better than the other when there is a big gap in the win-loss record. This is something that won’t change at the end of the game on Saturday so you are safe to coast without it throughout the week. If your team does happen to lose and some idiot fan from the other team gets in your face, just let them know where the series stands. Tell them to talk to you once their team gets remotely close to the amount of wins that your schools has. If your team does not hold a winning record in the series look in other areas. Is your school more prestigious than the other? Better graduation rates? Prettier campus? Better town? Take this to the bank. Let your rivals know that they can have a simple football game in exchange for the better facilities, superior academics, and the better post-college lives that your institution boasts. Okay, what if your team happens to be on the short end of a lopsided series and your school lacks the prestige and success of your rival? Simple, embrace the underdog role and stress your pride for your school. Let them know how happy you are to be a part of your institution…let them know that you would never switch over to another school in a million years. When you take grasp of that underdog role, you are in pretty much a win-win situation and you take a lot of your rivals’ trash talking power away from them.  When you take this stance, you can spin a loss. Play the other team tough and you can say that there is no way in hell that game should have ever been that close considering the size, recruiting budget, and facilities of the other school. You can pretty much count it as a win. And if your team somehow does manage to pull it out, go nuts. Make the opposing team feel absolutely awful. Let them know that if your school had access to everything that the rival school has, your team would not lose in a thousand years.
My biggest point of this post is to have fun with your rivalry week and be sure to set yourself up in a way that after the game concludes you will save yourself any embarrassment, loss of reputation, or excessive abuse at the hands of your rival. Make yourself a plan of how you are going to conduct yourself going into rivalry week and know how you will react in every possible situation. Although you won’t always win the game, you can always come out looking like the bigger, better, and more intelligent person. Represent your school right. Don’t Blink.

My Favorite Cartoon

As I have mentioned before, my time in front of the television is devoted pretty much 95% to sports programming. When I do venture out and watch something different I usually tune into COPS, the news, or the History Channel.
One type of television genre  I never really liked that much as a kid or an adult is cartoons. I don’t have much of an imagination and I am much more into non-fiction programming. However, there is one cartoon that I have great admiration for.
I am a big time “King of the Hill” fan. Whenever possible, I try to catch an episode on Cartoon Central at the eleven o’clock hour. It’s funny, I have ran into a lot of people who think the show is garbage. On the other side of the coin, I also know the program has a large following. In case you have never heard of King of the Hill, all you really need to know is that it is an adult cartoon centered on a family of four living in the mythical town of Arlen, Texas. The family lives a typical life surrounded by neighbors and relatives.
The first reason why I love King of the Hill so much is because of the stereotypes. Man, they are hilarious. The show really holds nothing back. They stereotype Asians, Natives, African-Americans, and Mexicans. Of course, the biggest stereotype is of the common white man. The show relies on generating laughs off of a white trash type culture. Hank and his three friends (Dale, Boomhauer, and Bill) stand outside by a fence each day and drink beer. Part of the charm is that the stereotypes really are not presented in a controversial or degrading way in a fashion like “Southpark” might portray them. Well, I guess I should say some of the stereotypes on the show are portrayed in kind of a degrading way, otherwise they really wouldn’t be that funny. But my point is that it does not go as far or as tasteless as “Southpark” does. Whereas Southpark is just blunt and in your face with their type of humor, King of the Hill is much more subtle and clever.
Another reason why I am a big fan of King of the Hill is because of the characters. There are so many colorful, funny, well developed characters in  the show. So many of them you can point at and say “Hey! I know someone exactly like that!” I mean let’s get real here, who doesn’t know someone who fits Boomhauer to a T? Everyone has had that person in their life who you can’t understand because they talk so fast and add so much jibberish to their speech that you kind of just humor by nodding your head at (Side Note: Sometime, put on closed captioning when Boomhauer talks. The closed captioning will display everything he is supposed to be saying). Or who does not know someone like Con? Or what about Dale? I have met numerous paranoid, conspiracy-theory wackos in my lifetime. Then there is Hank’s father, Cotton. Everyone has that family member who is senile/bush league who will go on forever telling war stories. I could keep going with characters who I enjoy…John Red Corn, Nancy Gribble, Stuart McDoodle, LouAnne, Mr. Strickland, etc. Such a great cast! I do admit that I am not a Peggy fan, however. She annoys me in both her actions and her voice. I hate shows that focus on her.
Moving on, I really enjoy King of the Hill because of how relevant and up-to-date the episodes are. The shows focus on current events and actual real life people. I truly believe King of the Hill is by far the best at “cartooning” celebrities. I think this is partly the case just because the characters in the show look like normal human beings. No “Simpsons” weirdness or “Southpark” cutouts or “Family Guy” messed up eyes and mouths. Not only are the celebrity guests depicted in a very believable way, they are always funny.
Now I know I could have just included him in with my character paragraph, but I kind of pinpoint this guy as a whole separate reason for me liking the show so much. I am talking about Hank Hill. In the whole world of cartoons, I don’t think there is a character who is more powerful, humble, and relatable as Hank. He definitely makes that show and holds everything together. Hank is a man of integrity who understands hard work and reflects all the traditional interests and ideals of the typical guy. What is not to like about a guy who is fair to everyone, loves football and propane, is a family man, enjoys throwing back cold ones, and who is not afraid to take a stand for a view that is unpopular but right.  If there is any cartoon character who I look up to, it is Hank Hill.
Finally, I am so gung ho about “King of the Hill” because most episodes have an actual message and convey emotion. Yes, I will admit to tearing up a few times while watching the show. Some of the endings really do just hit you. The joking ends for a second and everything comes together and a meaningful message is sent. King of the Hill is created as a cartoon for adults that is intended to make them laugh but there is so much more to it. Issues such as treating the elderly with dignity, respecting different cultures, enjoying the holidays with family, making the most out of a bad situation, helping out people in dire need, and conflict resolution are all themes that are covered in the show. Sometimes it helps to be reminded of common life lessons through an unconventional, lighthearted medium such as a cartoon. King of the Hill does just that.
Well of course my inspiration for this blog tonight was the fact that I was watching King of the Hill. I needed a few laughs in the middle of this busy week. Sadly, the show has long since gotten over since I started to write this post. Because the show has concluded, I think that is my cue to wrap up this installment of “Don’t Blink.” If you share a love for King of the Hill like I do or have a favorite KOTH episode, please let me know. Until my next blog post, be sure to keep your girlfriends and wives away from John Red Corn. Don’t Blink.

The Week of All Weeks

In the business that I work in, you really learn to enjoy Sunday nights. When it comes to intercollegiate athletics, it is usually the only time where an event is not going to be going on. All other days and times of the week (including Sunday afternoons) are fair game. This time at the end of the week allows you to catch your breath and gather yourself from the past week and prepare yourself for the upcoming one. So as I sit here watching NFL Countdown and writing this post as the snow falls right outside of my window, I am enjoying the peace and quiet of this Sunday evening. Actually, I am savoring this time even a little more than usual. This is because the start of an especially hectic week starts tomorrow. Call this moment right now the calm before the storm, because come tomorrow morning it is going to be the start of one of those weeks that makes me realize how much I really love my job!
Tomorrow, our men’s basketball team will take on the University of Great Falls at 7pm. Before I can even think of that game, however, I have to get through the normal work day. When I get into the office at 7:30am tomorrow, I will have my hands full. Mondays are always very busy for me as I update all of our weekly features on our website, write a couple reports, set our mascot’s schedule, put out a newsletter, catch up with everything (calls/e-mails/etc) from the weekend, do other website stuff, and more. The day will breeze by and before I know it, I will be needed courtside to start running music for the basketball game. Oh yeah, I am the DJ for the basketball games. It is a lot of fun. Besides the DJ part I also tell the guy who is controlling Griz Vision (our jumbo tron) when to run our ads and various other elements. The basketball game will end around 9pm and then I will go back to the office and update all of our social media outlets and write my checklist for the next day. I will get to my car at around 9:45pm, capping off a pretty typical fourteen hour day.
Tuesday will be my lightest day of the week with no home sporting event that night. I will spend the majority of Tuesday tying all the loose strings together for the Griz booster bus trip to Bozeman on Saturday. I am in charge of the bus that will be taking over thirty Griz fans and fourteen cheerleaders to the 111th Brawl of the Wild. I am so psyched for this trip as the game might be the biggest one in the history of the series. Anyway, on this day I will make sure everyone has an itinerary, make sure the bus service is on the same page as us, make sure all the payment information has gone through, and start planning out the tiny details. That night I will be sure to do something fun…as far away from work as possible.
On Wednesday, things around work will really start to pick up in intensity. With the Griz-Cat game only a few days away, the fever will be getting to everyone in the department. I will do a blog post this week on the 2011 Griz-Cat game just so you have an idea of the magnitude of this game. But anyway, a thousand different things are bound to come up that will need immediate attention. It will be another day that will breeze by. At 7pm that night, our Lady Griz will host Montana Tech as they search for their first regular season win of the season. The game will conclude, I will wrap things up in my office, and another fourteen hour day will be in the books.
On Thursday, our men’s basketball team will host Idaho. Along with the big basketball game, Thursday means there are just two days until Griz-Cat. By this time, the whole state will be in a frenzy. Christie and I will be getting calls/e-mails left and right from people wanting posters/pictures/shirts/random shit to show off. People will all of a sudden expect Monte to jump out of thin air and make an appearance at their particular tailgate party. The “powers that be” will put pressure on us to have certain things done. Basically, in addition to all of the regular work that we will need to get done, we will receive last minute projects that will test our ability to do sixteen different things at once. By the time I need to be courtside to do my basketball responsibilities I will be a little flustered. The drain and stress will really start to set in.  After the game the chances are pretty good that I will be at the office past my normal 9:45pm. A fifteen hour day is very likely.
Friday will be a complete goat rope. I will be making final preparations for the booster bus. I am anticipating tons of calls from people inquiring about space on the bus that does not exist so they can somehow get on it. I will be going all over town to get breakfast items and drinks for Saturday. Social media wise the day will be huge. There is little doubt that our SM outlets will be buzzing and plenty of inappropriate stuff will be put up.  On this day, the anticipation and Griz Spirit will be absolutely infectious and that is what will get me through the day and have me grinning from ear-to-ear. At 7pm our volleyball team will host Idaho State. For this match I will be in the production room watching our IT guy produce the streaming broadcast of the match. I am trying to learn as much as I can about this aspect just so I can be as versatile in the sports industry as possible. If you have never been behind the scenes of a sports broadcast before, it is truly a sight. I will be at the office late that night making sure everything is covered and accounted for. Who knows, I might just sleep in my office that night.
Saturday morning at 7am our booster bus will depart to Bozeman for the 111th Brawl of the Wild. With thirty boosters and our cheerleading team, it is going to be one fun bus ride down. I am going to do all I can to make it a memorable experience for everyone. We will get to Bozeman and then walk a short distance to the stadium for the 12pm kickoff. The estimated temperature for the start of the game is twenty degrees. Winning. We will watch the Griz and Bobcats battle for the Big Sky Championship and after Montana comes out on top we will hop back on that bus, make a quick stop at a nearby town for pizza, and then head back to Missoula. Once back at campus I will head back to the production room and sit in for the Griz Volleyball game against Weber State. After the game if I have any energy left I will go downtown and use every ounce of that remaining energy to party.
Sunday morning I will get up and once again head back to work. Our Lady Griz Basketball team hosts Idaho State at 2pm. By this time I will be running on fumes but I will throw back an energy drink and keep telling myself that I have the best job in the world and I know I will get by easily. After the game I will take a deep breath,  analyze how the week went, and then head home to rest.
It is a great time to be a Grizzly! I can’t wait for tomorrow to get here and this week to start. I have to give fair warning that my blogging is going to slack a little bit this week but I am hoping you  can understand why. It is a wonderful time of the year nationwide for sports and I hope all of you enjoy it. Have a great week and pretty soon we can all focus our attention to Thanksgiving. Don’t Blink.

Facebook Statuses and Breast Cancer Don’t Mix

Due to an amazing marketing campaign, October is pretty much synonymous with breast cancer awareness. Initiatives, fundraisers, rallies, walks, and numerous athletic events are devoted to the theme of breast cancer awareness. I really should not even just isolate October as the sole breast cancer awareness month because it seems as if much of the whole calendar year is devoted to the fight against breast cancer. I think this is wonderful. Breast cancer is an awful disease that is the most prevalent cancer in women. I really think there can’t be enough done to fight it.
However, while I do support the round-the-clock, constant breast cancer awareness message, I do question some of the methods used to bring this awareness.  My thought is to continue to use the techniques that actually bring about awareness and that raise funds for the cause while dumping silly and pointless schemes that don’t do anything.
Before I disclose what I think is a huge stretch when it comes to breast cancer awareness, I do want to defend a certain method that always seems to come under fire. Perhaps because this particular part of the breast cancer campaign is so visible and prevalent on a national stage it is bound to generate a lot of criticism. Whenever something is seen by a mass amount of people, there are going to be a lot of different opinions and thoughts on its effectiveness. Anyway, I am talking about the implementation of “pink games” in athletic contests on all levels in seemingly all sports across the nation. Come October, everyone from the Class B high school volleyball squad to every NFL team in the league holds some sort of pink game. You know the drill, fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game, pink ribbons are readily handed out, referees use pink whistles and flags, teams wear pink uniforms, etc. There are a lot of people out there who roll their eyes at these breast cancer games and think wearing pink to these contests does absolutely nothing for the fight against breast cancer. Many fans will grumble and act above the cause by saying something to the tune of, “I don’t need to participate in this silly initiative. I am a diehard fan and I will be wearing the traditional colors of my team on the day of the pink game. Aren’t I macho?!”
You see, many of these people don’t understand or don’t bother to look at everything else that is going on at these games besides the very visible pink layer that covers the athletic facility. For majority of these games there is always an organization that is directly tied to breast cancer awareness that is sponsoring the event while at the same time fundraising for the cause. At most of these events, the proceeds from the pink clothing that you were too proud to buy in fear that you might assault the tradition of your team are going directly toward breast cancer research. Survivors who defeated breast cancer are honored at these games, giving hope and inspiration to the people in the stands who are currently battling the disease or who might find themselves up against it in the future. Information by way of pamphlets, ads on the jumbo tron, and messages scrolled across the scoreboard all give direction and support to people who are fighting breast cancer. Most importantly, this theme is displayed in front of a community of people who are gathered together…whenever you have a large amount of people participating in a joint effort, a message (in this case, breast cancer awareness) is going to make an impression. I am a big proponent of pink games.
However, some efforts at “raising breast cancer awareness” make me shake my head. I can’t stand the stupid Facebook status games that people participate in to try to say that they are supporting the fight against breast cancer. I am sure most of you have seen the most recent incarnation of this. Women are supposed to build a status using this model: “I’m going to live in ____________ (a country) for ___________ (a number) of months.” Today while eating lunch at my desk I saw where one of my friends who has been trying so hard to find a job outside of Missoula had written “I’m going to live in Amsterdam for 20 months.” With people already starting to leave comments of congratulations under her post, I made sure to leave one as well. I had no idea that this was a breast cancer status. Later on in the day I caught up to her and got to wish her congratulations in a more personal way. She then told me that the status was not true. I felt pretty stupid. If you have not seen this one yet, I am sure you have seen other “breast cancer awareness” status examples. One entailed women simply putting down a color as their status (men would later figure out that it was their bra color) and another one had women saying “I like it on __________” Despite the suggestive nature of the status, the blank was just supposed to be filled in with where that particular girl put her purse when she got home.
I am not going to go on a tirade bashing these statuses though. I mean really what more can I say besides the fact that I have no idea in hell how these statuses help with breast cancer awareness. Many men (and women in fact) will go through the whole day never knowing at all what that status was actually alluding to. At least for pink games you see the pink and you know right away what is at the forefront of discussion. Even if eventually everyone knew by the end of the day that the status game that played out all day on Facebook was some type of tribute to the fight against breast cancer what would anyone take away from it? I did all the research I could to figure out exactly how it is aiding breast cancer awareness and I could not find one thing. Pretty pointless I would say. I guess it was a funny game and it had a lot of people scratching their heads on what exactly was going on but at the end of the day there is no powerful message promoting breast cancer to take home.
Messages can be killed when they are presented in a way that is too cute/tricky/mysterious. In many cases, simplicity is the best. If  you are trying to pass along an important message, such as breast cancer awareness, don’t ever try to initially exclude anyone. Once you shut them out the first time there is no guarantee that they will still be hanging around at the end of the day to hear the explanation of the big joke. Breast cancer awareness is a much too serious of a subject to be sneaky and sly about. Don’t Blink.

Joe Paterno: Historic Night in Sports

I have to admit, as I sit down to write this post I am wound up. I really can’t focus as much as I would like to on the development of this post just because my mind is racing so fast and 75% of my attention is glued to Steve Levy and Stuart Scott bringing us up to date information on the story.

So with my disclaimer that this contribution to “Don’t Blink” might be a little scattered and the writing subpar (well, when is it not?) I want to add some thoughts to this situation that really jump out to me. Let me say this: I will not write about whether I agree or disagree with the firing of Joe Paterno. I am not comfortable with taking a stance on this. Rather, I would like to speak on some of the many other plots and issues that have emerged from this scandal.

First off, it is hard for me to wrap my mind around the reality that within two days, Penn State’s athletic director, head football coach, and president all lost their jobs. That is a complete cleaning of house. As someone who works in a university athletic department, I can’t even begin to imagine leaving work one night and then coming back the next morning and having to come to grips with the fact that basically the three most visible and prominent people on campus are no longer working for the university. I mean, do you have any idea how much work and transitioning is required when someone in just one of these positions leaves their post under normal, cordial terms? It is a long process that takes an immense amount of time and energy. Try replacing three positions like that on a whim. Totally mind-blowing. I could not imagine the pressure and stress that must be on the interim replacements of these positions. They have to go right in and pick up the broken pieces and basically just get right to work. No transition period. No training seminars. No time to breathe.

I feel ESPN has done a great job covering this scandal. They have reported the facts and have focused on the scandal itself. You have heard very little about the football team and the effect this scandal has had on them. I believe this to be very commendable. However, after I finish discussing ESPN I will get to the football team.  Much of the commentary from ESPN talent has been superb. Matt Millen’s breakdown yesterday was genuine and touching. Kirk Herbstreit came on tonight and gave a great perspective that had me nodding my head throughout the whole conversation. John Barr’s reporting from right in the middle of the student demonstrations took me right into all of the craziness occurring in Happy Valley. Reece Davis and Chris Fowler also provided great commentary.  I liked it how these solid play-by-play people who are very credible were brought in and given the chance to offer their own personal opinion. They did very well. My co-worker said to me that ESPN is reporting on this in the same way that news stations report when we are in the middle of war. What I replied back to him was that this is ESPN’s war. This is their major story. This is to ESPN what Bin Laden’s death was to CNN. For sports fans this really is a “Where were you when Kennedy was shot” type moment and they are reporting on it accordingly.

I feel awful for the victims. There is a place in hell for anyone who touches a child in a sexual way. Again though, I am going to stay away from this sensitive subject. To a much lesser degree than the victims, I feel bad for the Penn State football team. They are 8-1 and in first place in their conference. In two days they play Nebraska. How much must it suck for this monkey wrench to be thrown right at them? No one on the team participated in the hideous actions or the cover up. Yet they will suffer from the fall out. Look, I don’t know how active Joe Paterno actually was in running that football team but his mere presence and iconic status meant a lot to every player. He has now been uprooted, another coach has been thrown in, and their campus has turned into a complete circus.  These are 18-22 year olds. The fact that they have to go through this forty-eight hours before their biggest game of the season thus far is a travesty.

Some of the images and video from tonight will live on for a long time. How about that press conference? I don’t know who was more unlikeable…the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees or some of those idiot reporters. That presser was a cluster. The Vice Chair was arrogant and short with his answers. While I do recognize that he was being asked questions by people who had no business in that room, he could have gone above their level and conducted himself with class. I am probably guessing that there is some regulation that allows for anyone from the general public the option to attend these press conferences because there is no way that some of the bafoons asking questions tonight had any serious journalism aspirations. I loved Michelle Beadles tweet:  Are these “actual” reporters asking questions?!? Holy cow…feels like a bad SNL skit. Kids were abused folks. Ruined. U sound like fools.” Or what about the video shots of Paterno’s wife coming to the doorstep and waving to the crowd while picking up flowers? Yes, she looked confused but I live for impromptu stuff like that. I tweeted about this but isn’t it funny how longtime married couples start to look like each other? You can’t tell me that Paterno and his wife don’t share a striking resemblance. My favorite image from the night came from when Joe Paterno came out to the doorstep himself. Accompanied by his wife the whole scene was nothing short of awkward. His sentences were choppy and he seemed out of it. I loved it how he explained that when he said “you guys” he was not trying to snub the females at the rally…totally not needed but really, really funny. Also funny when he told the students to go study. I am pretty sure majority of the crowd left immediately at that point to go home and hit the books.
Just a couple more thoughts:
*ESPN made the correct decision in interrupting the Miami-Ohio vs. Temple game for the breaking news story of Joe Paterno’s firing. Like I said earlier, this was ESPN’s war…you break from regularly scheduled programming when something of that magnitude hits. I do wonder if the ESPN stayed with the game coverage in the Miami-Ohio and Temple markets though. By the way, Temple won.
*As is pretty much everyone is predicting, we have not heard the last of this story. It will probably get much worse and there will probably be more people losing jobs and getting charged over this.
*I complimented ESPN’s overall coverage of the scandal but I felt Stuart Scott was too biased (anti-Paterno). Scott of course was pulling anchor duty with Steve Levy the whole night. When you are in the role as anchor, stick with that role. I don’t want to hear your opinion. Even though Fowler and Davis got to deviate from their normal neutral roles, they were brought on to do just that…offer their opinion. Your job was to anchor the coverage and provide balance and neutrality.
*The amount of responsibility and power NCAA football coaches have is absolutely crazy. I don’t have any qualms about the salaries they make. At a university, everything falls on the head football coach. It takes a very special person to hold a football head coaching job. I will devote a whole blog post to this topic in the near future.
Tonight was a sad, yet monumental, night. Seeing a legend fall from grace on live television sure generates conversation and severely backs up Twitter. On Saturday, Penn State will play their first football game without Joe Paterno involved with the team in some way since 1950. Although it will be hard for Paterno supporters, and even Paterno non-supporters, to get used to this, everyone will eventually. The time was going to come. I just wish it would have come under better circumstances. Pray for the victims. Don’t Blink.

Halloween 2011: My Top 5 Favorite Costumes

I celebrated Halloween 2011 to the max. On Saturday night I was Hercules and Monday night I was an INDIAN. While I did put a lot of effort into my costume, there were many other costumes out there that blew mine out of the water. For tonight’s post, I want to rank the top five costumes I encountered on my two nights of Halloween craziness.
5.        The Abominable Snowman
How can you not love this costume? I for one have no idea if there is even a person inside that suit. I mean it could actually be the yeti himself.  I always wonder how people can go out on Halloween in these elaborate suits that restrict your whole body and cover your face. How do you drink? You pretty much just walk around suffocating yourself while staying sober at the same time. Well, because this guy/girl sacrificed quite a bit to wear this awesome costume, he/she definitely cracks my top five.
4. Flo
I hate the progressive commercials with Flo. Everytime I see one I get very angry and want to smash my television screen with a baseball bat. However, this Flo who I met on night two of Halloween had the actual Flo character down to the t. I mean just look at this picture, it very well could be the actual Flo. The costume was creative and the girl stayed in character. Welcome to my top five.
3. Mr. Potato Head
This costume carried with it nostalgia and just looked cool. It was also very intricate and took a lot of time and energy to put on. There were two of them and when they walked around the bar they took up a lot of space, pissing some people off. I loved it.
2. Censored Girl
Even though she is practically wearing nothing, I thought this costume was very creative. I love the costumes that express a joke. A part of me also likes the fact that this girl was so confident in herself (or just really drunk) that she was able to go out into a bar wearing really only a sign.  When you saw her in person, it really was like you were watching a “Girls Gone Wild” commercial. I hope in fifty years she can look at her pictures from this Halloween and know that she had some serious guts.
1.       Caveman from the commercial
You know what I hate more than the Flo commercials? The caveman commercials! Even though I hate them, this guy went all out to look just like one of them. He sounded exactly like them and  said all of the exact same stuff that they say. Yes, the phrase “so easy a caveman can do it” was said more than once by him and the other people rushing up to take pictures with him. That costume took a lot of effort. I have no idea how much time it must have taken to put on all of that makeup and hair. I liked it!
Honorable Mention #1: Superwoman
I definitely give this girl the award for the sexiest costume. Her body fills out that costume like no other and who doesn’t fantasize about a Superwoman? She definitely stood out.
Honorable Mention #2: Demented clown
I give this clown the award for most disturbing costume. Nasty, ugly, and a little scary, this clown got lots of looks and stares from everyone in the bar. Just the paint on his face is flat out disgusting. No wonder so many people are afraid of clowns.
So there is my list for Halloween 2011. Let’s hope that Halloween 2012 offers just as many entertaining costumes. By then though I will be 26 and might have to come to grips that I am a little too old for Halloween. But then again, you only live once…might as well dress up every chance you get. Don’t Blink.

Crunch Time

First let me apologize for not blogging in over a week and a half. It eats away at me, it really does. I do take this blog seriously and to go consecutive days in the double digits without publishing a post sucks. The worst thing anyone can do with social media is to not stay current. I dropped the ball and I apologize.
Of course I did not neglect to post simply because I was lazy. Right now I am in the middle of what we call in the intercollegiate athletics business as “crunchtime”. It is that part of the year where the sports seasons overlap each other making for some very long days and nights. With two football games the past two Saturdays and with basketball getting off and running combined with the Halloween holiday and some other fun events, the past couple weeks have been absolutely crazy. For tonight’s blog post, I want to briefly run through the business of the past week and a half.
Okay, let’s go all the way back to Friday, October 28th. This night was the Grizzly Scholarship Association Wine and Beer Festival. This year, we held it in Dahlberg Arena at the Adams Center. This event is a complete blast. The GSA gets the best wine vendors and breweries from Montana, Idaho, Washington, and California to come in and showcase their product. Of course this means endless amounts of tasting and sampling. This can be a little daunting for a guy who knows next to nothing about wine. Luckily, my lovely guest for the evening, Ashley, knew everything there is to know about wine so she educated me on what I should try and what I should do to get the full flavor of the wine. We enjoyed ourselves quite a bit…probably a little too much. By the time we left, we had owned that festival.
On Saturday, October 29th, our football team played Weber State in our Pink Game. The whole game went really smoothly and I had a great time working it. We had Benny the Bull (from the Chicago Bulls) for this game and he always adds so much energy to the whole atmosphere. I always enjoy working with him and getting his perspective on many various subjects. After the game, it was time to celebrate the first night of Halloween. I dressed up in my Hercules costume and Dan transformed into Wolverine. We first went to a large party in Missoula called Abduction and had a fun time there. My friend Lauren, who was a professional bull rider for the night, joined us. From Abduction we went downtown and bar hopped. After downtown, Dan and I went to this party in a warehouse called Bloodbath. Let me tell you, Bloodbath was something I would normally not go to but we wanted to continue partying. Bloodbath was a rave. Missoula usually does not have these parties so I guess it was cool to kind of take advantage of and have fun in a different type of setting. Dan and I stayed there from 3am to 7am…although it seemed like we were there for only 20 minutes. It was completely nuts.

                                                     Lauren, myself, and Dan

On the 30th, I attended my friend’s 21st birthday. Her family surprised her with a stretched hummer and some of her lucky friends (me being one of them) got to climb inside and party with her. We drove around Missoula for a little bit indulging in the hummer’s drinks and then we took her to all of the various Missoula bars. I knew I probably did not need to drink on a Sunday night especially after what I did on Friday and Saturday but my friend is only going to turn twenty-one once!

                                              I went out for Hilary’s 21st Birthday!

After a packed day at work on Monday, it was time to celebrate the actual day of Halloween. For this night, I was an indian…war paint and all! Dan and I went down to the Iron Horse where they were having their big Halloween party.  We hit it pretty hard before going to the party so we were feeling pretty good. It was another epic night as everyone in the bar seemed to dance the evening away and the costumes were great.

                                               I was an indian on Monday. I found Flo!

November came and I must admit I did not feel the best at work that Tuesday. Thankfully, Ashley came in and surprised me with a HUGE breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and toast. After eating it I gained some energy and my hangover subsided and I was able to get  a lot of work done. I was at the office until 7pm and by the time I made it home I was so tired from the previous four nights that I fell asleep at 11pm and did not get a chance to blog!
On Wednesday, November 2nd, our Lady Griz basketball opened up their exhibition season. For the basketball games I serve as the DJ, so I am always busy and have to keep on my toes. Anyway, they looked really good and we got the win. Thursday night, our men’s team hosted their first exhibition game of the season. Although the play was sloppy, they also won. The first two basketball games went pretty well from our marketing standpoint. Attendance was good and everything seemed to work. The big highlight was when Monte hit a halfcourt behind the back shot during a timeout in the second half of the men’s game. Winning.
Friday came and I had my hands full with game prep (for the football game the next day), web obligations, a thousand different things different people wanted me to push via our social media channels, a meeting with a coach, and a rehearsal with the Air National Guard and the Army R.O.T.C. for our mascot entrance at Saturday’s game. All of that took me up to 7pm when our volleyball team played our in-state rival, Montana State. In a great match, the Griz came back to defeat the Bobcats. By that time it was 9pm. By the energy I got from eating a Subway sandwich I was able to work at the office until midnight. I then came home and got some rest.
On Saturday, November 5th, we hosted our final regular season football game of the year. It was Military Appreciation Day and we treated our fans to one of the best damn pregame shows anyone could ask for. We rented out the “world’s largest American flag” to cover our field during the National Anthem. If you are unfamiliar with this flag all you have to do is watch the Super Bowl, the Holiday Bowl, or any other significant football game to see the flag. We also had a flyover, a triumphant return of our Silvertip Skydivers, an awesome Monte entrance,  and numerous military tributes. To put the icing on the cake, our football team defeated Western Oregon 32-7. After the game I hit it pretty hard, pretty much securing the fact that no blog post would be written last night.

                                                          Such a cool scene!

So here we are on Sunday. Well, it is technically Monday because it is now 2am in the morning. Today (or yesterday) was great. I got to watch as our soccer team won the Big Sky Conference championship thus clinching a spot in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. I got my grocery shopping for the week done and then I went to church at 6pm and then I went to the office for a few hours and got some work done. I then came home and did some laundry, prepared myself for this upcoming week, and watched Sportscenter.
I wish I could say this upcoming week is going to be a little less busy but that is not going to be the case. With the Veteran’s Day holiday on Friday, I am going to cram a whole bunch of stuff in four days in hope that I will actually be able to enjoy the holiday and stay away from the office. We shall see. And we shall also see if I get my ass together and blog a little bit more. I promise I will do my best. Have a great week everyone. Don’t Blink.