Alabama Wins the National Championship?

Alabama national champions BCS winnersYikes, I am going to be eating some serious crow tomorrow. All my cubicle mates are Alabama fans. One is from Texas, one from Alabama, and one from Florida. And just to rile them up, I announced rather loudly: Yeah, I’m guessing Notre Dame’s gonna win tonight’s game, by a good touchdown. Notre Dame National Champions BCS winnersCurrently, it is only halftime in the NCAA College Football BCS National Championship game. And Alabama is putting the serious whup-down on Notre Dame. 28-0. That crow is not gonna taste good. Go Irish!

Update: Acchh, 42-14 Alabama. I’ll bet Katherine Webb and Dee Dee Bonner are happy.

Victoria’s Secret Blows It

Look, I have no idea who Victoria is, nor do I know her Secret. In fact, I once slunk into a Southern California Victoria’s Secret and approached one of the the stock girls. In my very best whisper, I rasped: hey, can you let me in on the secret?

Not only did I get slapped, that was one hellish weekend I spent in jail.

Never again. Whatever the secret is at Victoria’s, it certainly has nothing to do with college football. ‘Cuz them ladies running that store know nothing ’bout it. Big Ten fans, get a load of this shirt:

Victoria’s Secret Michigan State T-shirt

You see the issue? If you are Ann from Arbortown, USA, you would know:

The women’s lingerie company came out with a Michigan State T-shirt with “Spartans” across the front and the Michigan State logo on the back. However, underneath “Spartans” the shirt reads, “Hail to the Victors.”

The problem with this? Well, that’s the motto/fight song of rival Michigan.

Tell Popeye, US Navy Sailor, the Secret

I especially like the words Pink below the Spartan helmet. I know that it is the Victoria’s Secret secret brand or something-or-other. I have seen it emblazoned across, um, er, certain regions of low-slung sweatpants. That don’t ever see much sweat.

Now which one of you ladies is gonna let a Sailor in on the Secret? (Hmm, that sentence sounds hilarious! Imagine Popeye growling it.)

No National Geographic-like, mating innuendo intended. I just wanna be in on the mystery.

Undoubtably, there were a couple of guffaws in Michiganland over it. Or perhaps they were just too happy with how well their Wolverines played today:

Nebraska’s first trip to Michigan Stadium since 1962 was simply miserable.

Denard Robinson threw two touchdown passes and ran for two scores to help No. 20 Michigan rout the 17th-ranked Cornhuskers 45-17 Saturday.

Nebraska (8-3, 4-3 Big Ten) lost any hope of playing in the conference’s first title game in its debut season in the league.

Hail to the Victors! No Hail to the Victoria’s!

Saluting with the Left Hand

I am driving onto base. A civilian stands with a clipboard, waiting for me to pull up. He checks my ID and salutes. I narrow my eyes. Did he really just do that? Salute with his left hand? Grimacing, I salute back. He is a civvie after all.

Eric Decker, Broncos, Saluting the Troops

Another salute story gone wrong? A Denver Bronco, Eric Decker, popped off a salute in honor of the troops this last weekend.

Him and his fellow Broncs were in a dog-fight of a game and he wanted to render honors. So he dropped to one knee and rogered off a quickie after scoring a touchdown on a 56-yard huck from Tim Tebow. One tiny problem, league rules forbid celebrating from the ground. And one knee constitutes the ground:

Rules truly are rules in the NFL. To the league’s credit, they don’t allow exceptions. . . Eric Decker got a taste of that on Sunday when he dropped to one knee and saluted the American veterans, which of course was against the rules because he went to the ground to celebrate.

Um Mr. Decker, you were a Minnesota Golden Gopher, right? That is, you played wide receiver in the Big-10 (or whatever it might be known as by the time you read this)? Surely you had a ROTC program at that venerable establishment. Or perhaps, you’ve watched movies of military folks saluting?

Eric Decker

We love the military love over here, but let’s work on getting the correct hand involved. In America, we salute with our right hand. Not our left.

Also, you look a little too Chris Columbus off the Florida Keys, sighting land. (Florida Keys, not historically accurate, but literarily – not literally – more vibrant than the actual locale.) Less Dora the Explorer and more Colonel Nathan Jessup next time, please.

Not Eric Decker

In a not-so-completely random connection, when I was deployed to that sandy paradise us Navy folk like to refer to as not home, Kid rocked it up and down our block. For a USO-ish visit.

And Rock brought several other miscreants along for his military tour, folks like the comedian Carlos Mencia and a young almost-country singer by the name of Jessie James.

Jessica Jessie James

Lil’ Jessie was talented. She now goes by the more serious name Jessica James. Good choice. Lose the outlaw, maybe gain an in-law. . .

So why would I mention the young lass? According to wikipedia, she is dating no other than Chris Columbus Eric Decker, the serial mis-saluter.

Since when did wikipedia start tracking the dating life of the starry set? I shudder for the poor squirrel in charge of editing Warren Beatty’s or Madonna’s entry. (In a stunning display of statistics, both actually dated each other! Which is not how I came up with their names. My thought: who is the biggest male getter around’her? And the biggest female get’her arounder? Answer: Warren and Oh Donna.)

Dora the Explorer

Jessica James is clearly patriotic. She toured the mid-east after all. With Mr. Rock (the musician, not the wrestler-turned-method-actor.)

Please, no one tell Jessica that her wide deceiver boyfriend can’t salute. Truly, we forgive him. As already stated, us in the military love the love.

Final score of the game, Denver Broncos 17 – Kansas City Chiefs 10. Deep thought: what are Chiefs doing in Kansas City anyway? There’s no Navy base for miles. Dunkin’ Donuts, on the other hand.

The Citadel Military College and the Latest Allegations

Not this Charleston

It was spring and I was attending a symposium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Late in the afternoon, a recently-retired Army Colonel leaned across the table and asked me: Ensign, are you going to PT this afternoon? 

Yes, Sir. I was planning on heading to the gym.

Let’s go on a run.

Yes, Sir.

Not this one either

I met him later in front of his hotel. Those were the days before I fell victim to this monster called blogging and I was still putting in a fair amount of mileage.

He was in shape, after retiring out of West Point as a professor. And we pushed it out along the lower inlet of the Charleston Bay as close to the water as the sidewalk, and then the trail, would let us. Our goal: the Citadel.

The Colonel chatted on about the Army. His duty stations. I was not sure he was ready to admit he was retired. I always looked at the Army as for folks who liked to camp. And I was not much of a camper. But I listened carefully.

We ran through some park just south of the Citadel and the wind was cold, knifing off the water. It caught my breath just right and in breathing out, I suddenly felt blood trickling out my nose. It was a nasty feeling, this. Oddly, blood drips real quick and heavy. Faster than mucus. Ask anyone who gets nosebleeds. They, we know the second it starts to dribble.

The Citadel Military College

I tried to act normal, but the Colonel noticed. The Citadel was looming and we were running in the side gate to campus. My sweatshirt was streaked angry with blood. The guard gave us a strange look. I don’t think he stood there to restrict access, just as a guide to direct people.

By this time, my hands were red and my face looked like I lost a fight to a blind guy with a baseball bat. With good hearing. And a grudge.

We had better turn back, the Colonel said, hardly ten feet inside the gate. We spun around and hoofed it back to town. I apologized to the man and he waved it off. The next day, I did a quick drive around the Citadel.

I had known a couple of Citadel naval officers and I wanted to see their stomping grounds. Also, The Lords of Discipline had instilled in me a morbid curiosity of where Pat Conroy had come up.

The Lords of Discipline, by Pat Conroy

Have you heard of the latest allegation concerning sexual molestations, this time against a man affiliated with the Citadel, a counselor at the military school’s camp?

After the issues at Penn State, Happy Valley, and Joe Paterno’s staff, I hoped the Citadel would not be as deep. The facts:

In the wake of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal, another university, The Citadel military college in South Carolina, revealed on Saturday that it had investigated accusations against a camp counselor but took no action.

The man has since been jailed on separate charges of molesting five boys in Mount Pleasant, near Charleston, South Carolina.

“We regret that we did not pursue this matter further,” Citadel President Lt. General John Rosa and Board of Visitors Chair Doug Snyder said in a statement.

Penn State, not Happy Valley

The solution to this issue is to be proactive. Vow to be the truth-teller. We can’t allow this to happen in our communities and schools. Personally, I commit always be a whistle-blower no matter how unfavorable to my career or place in society. Even if I get death threats:

STATE COLLEGE, Pa., Nov. 10 (UPI) — Penn State officials said Thursday assistant football Coach Mike McQueary would not attend Saturday’s game against Nebraska because of death threats.

McQueary has told a grand jury that as a 28-year-old graduate assistant coach in 2002 he witnessed former assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in a shower at the school.

That revelation was the first step leading to Sandusky being indicted on 40 counts of sexual crimes.

Coach Joe Paterno was fired Wednesday in the wake of that scandal, as was school president Graham Spanier.

I love college football and have most of my life. And I worry that we have lost sight of our most important asset, our children. And they were sacrificed in the name of continued victory on the football field.

I heard on the radio that Joe Paterno had earned Penn State upwards of a billion dollars in his tenure at the university. Yes, he has coached for 44+ years (62 years on staff) and has 409 victories over his career. Which is amazing. But this is a black mark against him and his staff. Are those wins worth the pain inflicted on the abused children? I like Joe Pa and appreciate that he said this:

Joe Paterno, Penn State Head Coach, Fired

“The kids who were victims or whatever they want to say, I think we all ought to say a prayer for them.

It’s a tough life when people do certain things to you.”

Should the NCAA shut down the Penn State program for a year? I don’t know. What I do know: this will not happen on my watch. . .