Can someone tell me what this symbol is? I see it constantly on cars here in Knoxville, but I have no idea what it means, and you can’t Google a symbol. :)
UPDATE: Commenters have informed me that it’s the South Carolina state flag. Well, you wouldn’t expect an effete Yankee elitist Obama supporter to know that, now would you? ;)
[NOTE: This post was originally published at 8:28 AM on May 13, but I’ve bumped it backward in time now that I know the answer, to keep Cletus near the top of the homepage for a while longer. -ed.]
As if Reggiegate wasn’t bad enough, now one-and-done Trojan basketball star O.J. Mayo is accused of taking cash and gifts while at USC.
P.S. Pat Forde asks: “So you take the Bush allegations, add a side of Mayo and ask the question: Has there ever been a more textbook definition of ‘lack of institutional control’?” He goes on:
If all the allegations stand up, USC athletic director Mike Garrett and the Inspector Clouseaus who comprise his compliance staff must lose their jobs over these serial embarrassments, or the school has no credibility whatsoever. When USC’s two highest-profile sports both have star players allegedly on the brazen take from agents, somebody needs to answer for it. A lot of somebodies.
I would tend to agree with that. Fire Mike
Remember Dan McGrath, the Notre Dame law student who finished 33rd in the New York City marathon during his 1L year? Well, now he’s a 2L, and on Sunday he won the Long Island Marathon, then flew back to South Bend in time for a Monday-morning Jurisprudence final. As a result of his exploits, he’s featured on the sports mega-blog Deadspin, under the headline “Annoying Superhuman Lawyer-To-Be Makes Life More Difficult For The Rest Of Us.” Heh. Congrats, Dan!
I mentioned yesterday that college football’s powers-that-be have once again decided, in their infinite wisdom, that the BCS is just fine & dandy, and playoffs r teh suxx0rs. But I missed this detail: the NCAA has certified two new bowl games, bringing the total to 34. Because, as AOL Fanhouse says, "that’s what the nation really wanted."
This means a total of 68 teams will be goin’ bowling. Last year, 71 teams finished with records of 6-6 or better. We’re seriously getting into the territory where, in a given season, there might not be enough bowl-eligible teams to fill out all the slots. I expect we’ll soon see a rule change allowing in teams with 5-7 records if there aren’t enough .500-or-better teams available. (Remember, 6-6 teams have only been allowed in for the last two years, and that change coincided with the expansion from 28 to 32 bowls.)
In any event, 34 bowls means that more than 57 percent of all Division I-A teams will be playing in the postseason. Remember when a bowl bid was actually a meaningful reward for a good year?
Anyway, the new kids on the block are the
Congressional Bowl in Washington, D.C., and the St. Petersburg Bowl in
St. Petersburg, Florida. Mercifully, a 35th bowl — the Rocky Mountain Bowl in Salt Lake City, which would have pitted the fifth-place Mountain West team against the fourth-place WAC team — was rejected.
The St. Petersburg Bowl is still in need of a corporate sponsorship, which gives me an idea. If every college football fan who supports a playoff, and hates the endless proliferation of meaningless bowls between 6-6 teams, were to donate, say, $5, couldn’t we make these folks a sponsorship offer they couldn’t refuse — and force them to name their bowl something like the "Utterly Meaningless St. Petersburg Bowl" or the "St. Petersburg Bowl Brought To You By Shameless Greed" or the "Let’s Have A Freakin’ Playoff Already St. Petersburg Bowl" or the "F***-the-BCS St. Petersburg Bowl"? Cuz that’d be sweet.
Meanwhile, another AOL Fanhouse blogger wonders how on earth USC lost two games (and played poorly in a bunch of other games) each of the last two seasons, given that seven former Trojans were drafted during the first two rounds of the NFL Draft last weekend — which continues a trend of Trojan dominance on Draft Day. It’s a fair question.
I know that I have personally been guilty of being overly critical of some college athletes about their performance on the field of play. Someone’s not giving full effort, a step too slow, or otherwise just not putting it all out there on the floor for their team and their fans.
Here’s a story that should make everyone check that attitude for a minute.
Tennessee’s preseason All-America guard, Chris Lofton, started off the 2007-08 season in an absolute funk. He wasn’t scoring, his play seemed a bit lackluster, and couldn’t hit a three to save his life.
Well, the facts were really that he was battling to actually save his life.
Diagnosed with testicular cancer following a random NCAA drug screen after the 2006-07 season, he fought a private battle with the cancer, with only the closest of the close among his family and friends knowing what he was going through.
Meanwhile, local sports fans and commentators were critical to varying degrees about Lofton’s performance. There were calls for him to be benched along with wild speculation about what his problems on the floor were.
I just think that this is a good opportunity to remind everyone that college athletes are young kids, from divergent backgrounds, with any number of personal problems that can impact their play. So, before you take time to bash someone on a message board, call in to a talk show, or otherwise express an opinion without all the facts, slow down and take Chris Lofton’s situation to heart.
William M. Barker, the Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court*, is retiring.
*or is the proper title "Chief Justice of the State of Tennessee"? I’m not sure.
More good news from Notre Dame Law School:
Robert F. Biolchini, a member of the University of Notre Dame Board of Trustees
and partner in the Tulsa, Okla., law firm Stuart, Biolchini & Turner, and
his wife, Frances, have made a $15 million gift to the University to help
underwrite the renovation of the current Notre Dame Law School building. …
After a comprehensive renovation of the existing law school building, which
will be renamed Biolchini Hall, it will house an expanded Kresge Law Library.
The renovation in Biolchini Hall also will include two 50-seat classrooms, new
space for Notre Dame Law Review, and new offices and work space for admissions
and career services. The exterior of the building, including masonry, windows
and roofing, will be restored where necessary.
A covered archway will link Biolchini Hall to the adjacent Eck Hall of Law, a
three-story, 85,000-square-foot building that is under construction on the site
of the former campus post office. Eck Hall will be composed primarily of a new
moot courtroom, classrooms and faculty offices. When it is completed in January
2009, law school operations will be moved out of the existing building and
renovation work will begin.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The combination of Biolchini and Eck Halls will give Notre Dame one of the
outstanding law school facilities in the country,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Patricia A. OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Hara,
Joseph A. Matson Dean of Notre Dame Law School. Ã¢â‚¬Å“On behalf of all law school
faculty, students and alumni, I want to offer my deepest thanks to Bob, Fran and
Hmm… Biolchini Hall and Eck Hall, connected by a covered archway. Hey, how much does it cost to build a covered archway? We should put together a blog fundraising campaign, and get it named the "Irish Trojan Archway." ;)
We went to the Aquarium of the Smokies in Gaitlinburg this afternoon. It was suprisingly awesome, and Loyette was totally fascinated by the fishies, including this jellyfish.
Loyette, Becky, Casey (visiting for the weekend from Rochester) and I went on the March for Babies this morning on UT’s campus. It was fun!
That’s Becky pushing Loyette’s stroller above, and Casey next to her. Here’s a photo of Loyette and me, relaxing after the walk:
My t-shirt, if you’re wondering, says, “Fatherhood: the toughest job you’ll ever love.”
Anyway, thanks again to everybody who sponsored us! We ended up exceeding our goal, with $620 in donations!
If you didn’t sponsor us, but would still like to donate to the March of Dimes, why not sponsor the Neudorffs? They’ll be marching next weekend in Rochester.
After the jump, some more photos of today’s march here in Knoxville.
Fellow "Irish Trojan" Katherine Kirkpatrick, who, like me, attended USC for undergrad (she’s even a Daily Trojan alum), and who is now a rising 3L at Notre Dame, was elected NDLS’s new SBA president in a runoff election last week. She will be inaugurated on Sunday.
A Trojan at the helm of the Notre Dame Law School student body: I love it!! Finally, Operation: Trojan Horse can proceed as planned! ;) Just kidding. Seriously, congratulations, Katherine!
In addition, an anonymous tipster informed me that A.J. Bellia and Lloyd Mayer — the latter being my former Election Law professor and adviser for my Electoral College paper, the former being one half of the school’s recent professorial retention coup — finished tied in the initial balloting for NDLS Professor of the Year. That led to a run-off, which Professor Bellia narrowly won. Congrats to him, and to Professor Mayer for his close second-place finish; they’re both great professors, and well deserving of the recognition.
I’m traveling to Denver from May 4-6, and will be landing at the Nashville Airport (Southwest doesn’t fly into Knoxville) at 8:25 PM on Tuesday the 6th. By that time, of course, results from the Indiana and North Carolina primaries will be coming in; indeed, winners may well have been declared before I land. Alas, I didn’t think about this when I scheduled the trip.
Anyway, during my drive back to Knoxville, I’d like to listen to live coverage of election-related news on the radio. Hence, my question for Tennessee radio listeners: Are there any radio stations (presumably AM) in the Nashville area that would have this? What about in the no man’s land between Nashville and Knoxville? And for that matter, what about in the Knoxville area? I almost never listen to the radio for this kind of thing, so I don’t know.
The Connecticut legislature reached a compromise with UConn that will allow the university’s football team to schedule a six-year series against Notre Dame, even though none of the games will be played in Connecticut. The Irish balked at playing at the Huskies’ 40,000-seat home stadium, Rentschler Field in East Hartford, insisting instead that UConn’s "home" games played in larger stadiums elsewhere, most likely in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and/or New York. However, Connecticut lawmakers were unimpressed with the idea of UConn outsourcing its home games to other states. In the words of State Rep. Michael Christ,
D-East Hartford, who proposed an earlier bill that would have
required UConn to play all its home games at Rentschler, "Many of us felt we already had a beautiful facility in
Connecticut and it was built for UConn."
The newly announced deal requires UConn to play six home games at Rentschler Field each year, "as long as the NCAA rules permit a
12-game season and permits a team to use one Football Championship
Subdivision win per season as a bowl-eligible win." It also reduces the length of the series between UConn and Notre Dame from ten years to six. "I
believe we have crafted a reasonable solution," said Christ, who added that he hopes UConn can persuade the Irish to play at
Rentschler Field in the future. (Ha! Fat chance.)
The series will start in the 2011 season and go through 2017. The three home games for the Irish will, of course, be played at Notre Dame Stadium. The deal still needs to be approved by Notre Dame and venue officials. Connecticut and Notre Dame already have a separate deal to play next season in South Bend.
UPDATE BY BRENDAN: Rep. Christ wrote a scathing op-ed about this topic last week in the Hartford Courant. My dad suggested the headline, "Christ to Notre Dame: Screw you." Heh.
Anyway, here’s an excerpt:
Loyal Husky fans flock with family and friends to Rentschler for every home
game, rain or shine, in support of their beloved team. There are hundreds of
stadium workers who depend on a game day payday from parking cars, working
concessions and post-game clean-up. Many local school bands and clubs as well as
charities also use games to bolster fundraising. Should all those benefits move
to Massachusetts? I say no!
If Rentschler Field is too confining for the
Leprechaun army the Fighting Irish deploy each week, how come the similar
capacity stadium of the Boston College Eagles (formerly of the Big East) is not
too small? That series alternates between South Bend and Chestnut Hill,
There is no question Notre Dame will remain the "Wal-Mart" of college football as long as it is able to keep its national television
network deal. However, UConn officials can come out of this looking like heroes
both here in Connecticut and nationally by saying "no thanks." They could brag
that no one, not even the legendary Notre Dame, can tell Connecticut where to
play its home games. Even if the Fighting Leprechauns, after a few more years of
two-win seasons, do eventually find their television revenue dried up and are
forced to finally join a conference, it is very possible that the Irish will
abandon their pseudo Big East affiliation and join the Big 10 anyway.
Ahem. It was a three-win season, thank you very much.
Incidentally, to answer the question posed by the title, I will, of course, root for Notre Dame, my alma mater. But as I said in comments, "if I had to pick one game (other than USC) for ND to lose, it would be
the UConn game. Imagine what a huge win that would be for the Huskies
That said: Gooooo Irish! Beeeeeat Huskies! :)
Back in 2002, I griped in print that the Daily Trojan was ignoring the SoCal VoCals’ newsworthy march to musical glory. (For the uninitiated, the VoCals are USC’s premier a capella group, and I am a proud ex-groupie.) That year, alas, they fell just short of the International Championship of Collegiate A Capella finals. But six years and a world championship later, the VoCals are finally getting some front-page DT love.
Here’s the article. Money quote: "It was absolutely beyond any of our wildest dreams," baritone Adam Hutchison said of the group’s performance Saturday in New York City, which earned them the ICCA title (and a live appearance on the Today show Sunday morning).
The DT notes that the VoCals’ winning set included Michael
Buble’s "Feeling Good," Singers Unlimited’s "All the Things You Are"
and Queen’s "Somebody to Love." The A Capella Blog described it as "probably the best competition set I’ve ever seen," and the judges seemed to agree, giving it a whopping 454 out of a possible 465 points. For comparison purposes, the ICCA champs in 2007, 2006 and 2005 won with scores of 431, 422 and 372, respectively. Moreover, 454 points is the second-highest score of this entire ICCA season — second only to the VoCals’ own near-perfect 463 performing the same set in the semifinals. The 437 earned by Florida State University All-Night Yahtzee at the South semifinal is a distant third. (All-Night Yahtzee finished a very distant second at Saturday’s final, with a 384.)
No cameras were allowed in the Lincoln Center for Saturday’s final, but YouTube has video of the entire Western Regional semifinal, including the VoCals’ 463-point set. So here, without further ado, are the three songs that brought home an ICCA world championship to USC:
Fight on, VoCals!
P.S. And speaking of "Fight on," here, in the interest of school spirit, is a video from this past fall of the VoCals performing their signature medley of the Alma Mater, Tusk, and Fight On, with a SoCal Spellout and some "UCLA SUCKS" thrown in good measure:
The International Championship of Collegiate A Capella was tonight in New York City. I don’t know yet how the SoCal VoCals did. I assume The A Cappella Blog will have results up soon. Go VoCals!!!
UPDATE: THE SOCAL VOCALS WON!!! WOOOHOOO!!!!!!!!
UPDATE 2: The A Capella Blog writes: “The SoCal VoCals’ winning set gave them perhaps the best-deserved victory I’ve ever seen at an ICCA show. This is the sort of set that needs to be seen to be believed and I am proud to have been a witness to something truly fantastic. Believe the hype — this was probably the best competition set I’ve ever seen.”
Domersphere reactions? Her Loyal Sons hates it. Rakes of Mallow likes it, although he wishes it was green. Blue-Gray Sky thinks it’s “pretty good.” Of course, it features the famous quote about “the blue, gray October sky” that BGS is named after, so they would like it. ;)