Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Just Stay Away From Jimmy. I Don't Want Him Coaching in Hickory When He’s Fifty.

College athletics is undoubtedly dirty and a complete cluster.  I’m sure the entire system will collapse for innumerable reasons and I can’t say I’ll miss it terribly when that happens.  But I am tiring of the “free market” arguments and incessant complaints that the athletes are indentured servants or worse. 

Through a Twitter back and forth with Sports on Earth writer (amongst other qualifications) PatrickHruby comes this post as a response to two of his articles. Also, this post from Andy Schwarz that talks about market collusion and provides a counterpoint to my primary premise. 

My belief… college bball and football are part of the “free market”… the entertainment market.  College football and bball are in competition with professional sports (including minor leagues) as well as any other entertainment venture that competes for consumer dollars. 

Athletes ARE a part of that market and the market has already set a value for their services.  They have options… they can become professional directly after high school (bball.. NBDL or Europe; football… CFL) or they can go to college.  Those individual athletes have ample opportunity to balance the pros/cons of each route and determine what the best deal is for them individually.  The vast majority of athletes choose to go to college because they’re making a rational decision that college sports is the best means to their preferred “end-point”.  If the player’s value was truly higher they’d be flocking in droves to minor leagues/Europe, which in turn would force universities to re-examine the price it pays for its athletes.  Isn’t that the definition of free market?  Why should colleges bid against themselves? 

From what I’ve gathered from Hruby’s previous tweeting and the two articles is that he believes strongly that college athletes are being taken advantage of and that they should be compensated more fairly.  Below are my thoughts on each article.

Red Herring #1 – Deloss Dodd’s $1 million+ salary and the comparison with all sorts of other important professions like the president.  Used to suggest that ADs aren’t worth their extravagant salaries. 

·         My take –   Drives me crazy when “market principles” are used to support the players value but then that same logic isn’t applied to other parts of the debate.  Universities pay LOTS for ADs not because they have to have someone to give all of those surplus dollars; they pay ADs lots of money because that’s what the market suggests a top-notch AD is worth.  And those ADs deliver a LOT of money back to the university… donors are often times the biggest funding source for university athletic departments. 

Red Herring #2 – “Drexel study estimated that if athletic departments shared their revenues in the same manner as professional sports the average fair market value of FBS college football and men's basketball players would be over $121,000 each, with Duke's basketball players each worth roughly $1 million and Texas' football players each worth $513,000.”

·         My take – “Markets” don’t exist in a vacuum (unlike academic studies).  A market price is determined by how much one entity is willing to pay for an asset/product/service.  The NCAA has a published price it’s willing to pay for an asset (re: player). European leagues, the NBDL, the CFL (and for upperclassmen, the NBA and NFL) are all part of the market also setting the price for those players.  If the players perceived value was higher, they’re free to go another route to achieve their full value. 

Red Herring #3 –“ Less money chasing the talent means more money chasing everything else.”

·         My take – Completely agree but it also points to a bigger question… would college athletics have the high TV ratings, packed stadiums, huge donor checks and sponsor dollars IF that “money wasn’t chasing everything else”.  Stadiums/facilities matter (yes, even Godzillatron). Having great coaches matter.  Great ADs and great conference commissioners matter (see Scott, Larry).  Conference TV networks matter.  You can’t say player X is worth a million while at the same time criticizing the investments that were necessary to make that player (supposedly) worth a million. 

Red Herring #4 - "It's like [the NCAA is arguing] that if we have to pay stipend to our quarterback, university intramurals is out the window," McEvoy says. "There's no way. Study a Division III athletic department for 10 minutes.”

·         My take – Comparing DIII athletic dept budgets, in which there aren’t any scholarships, with DI athletic depts. with $100 million budgets is a bit ridiculous. Perhaps the whole D1 house of cards won’t collapse but that money does have to come from somewhere.  Just suggesting that coaching costs and AD salaries are going to mysteriously go down is a bit pollyanish.  D1 schools are so heavily invested – Cal’s repercussions from its stadium renovation is a good example – that they’re all doubling-down.  Sinking a few million into upgrading a coach is a much less risky financial move then seeing your program lose relevance, lose ticket sales, lose booster donations, etc. 

Will the money come from cutting other sports?  Who knows but Temple’s recent announcement that it’s cutting 7 programs impacting 150 student athletes might be a window into the not-too-distant future to save football and basketball.  This follows similar cuts from Cal, UMass, Rutgers and Robert Morris. 

The 2nd article.  Perhaps I’ll dissect this on at some point.  But not today.

Headline Quote Movie of Origin: Hoosiers
Character: Myra Fleener
Setting: Female wet-blanket 1st ballot HOFer Myra Fleener doing her durndest to ensure Larry Bird doesn’t become Larry Legend.  (Jimmy Chitwood is based off the Hick from French Lick, right?)

The Quote is Relevant How? Jimmy’s only realistic escape from Hickory is playing college ball even though Myra Fleener thinks he can get an academic scholarship.  But she’s dumb.  

UPDATE: More color added to the conversation via Twitter.  Click to enlarge the image.  

Contact El Duderino at jaipf@hotmail.com.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I've Seen the Future and the Future is Women.

El Duderino has kicked off a new venture, The World's Greatest Seattle Walking Tour. This post is a shameless plug for that business and the means to add an all important "inbound link" to the Website. Google, Bing and Yahoo require such things. The Duder thinks you can help by also posting www.theseattlewalkingtour.com to blogs, Facebook accounts, Twitter, etc, etc. Many thanks.

Headline Quote Movie of Origin: Can't Hardly Wait
Character: Mike Dexter
Setting: Mike Dexter just dumped Amanda in preparation for the next chapter in life... college. He's to convince his three knucklehead friends to join him in his newly found independence. His winning strategy involves the headline of choice.

The quote is relevant how? It's not. Deal with it.

Contact El Duderino at jaipf@hotmail.com.

Monday, January 22, 2007

You Stay Classy, San Diego. I'm Ron Burgundy?

Anderson Cooper is considered one of the better TV journalists.

I have a conspiracy theory that The Daily Show and Colbert Report are funding the broadcast news industry just so they have jokes. Kind of like when Tim Watley converted to Judaism for the jokes. That theory is the only thing that keeps me from vomiting every time I unwittingly watch broadcast news.

Evidently some news outlet ran a story that Barack Obama went to school at a fundamentalist Islam school when he was like 6. Tonight Anderson Cooper set the story straight… by sending a reporter to Jakarta… to visit the school where Barack Obama went to school when he was 6… 40 years ago! You know, because the reporter can find all kinds of sources to confirm or deny the presence of a young Barack Obama 40 years ago.

Not only was the whole thing absolutely ridiculous but Anderson Cooper ended the segment by getting all high and mighty, “other news agencies report news. We check facts in person.” Shoot me now.

Headline quote movie of origin: Anchorman

Character: Ron Burgundy

Setting: Ron Burgundy, star anchor of the Channel 4 news team, has dedicated himself to the art of the spoken word. He’s the master and kind of a big deal. He has many leather bound books and his apartment smells of rich mahogany. However, every superhero has a weakness. Superman and kryptonite. Mighty Mouse and cheese. Silver Surfer and global warming. Ron Burgundy’s weakness? A literal and perfect reading of the teleprompter.

The quote is relevant to this story how?: The Channel 4 News team is from a bygone era. A time when broadcast news delivered hard hitting stories that kept the world on its toes… stories like Panda Watch: the birth of Ling Ching.

Contact El Duderino at jaipf@hotmail.com.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

She Was a Hip, Hip Lady, Man

The federal government’s crackdown of online gambling continues with the arrest this week of two former directors of a popular transaction service called Neteller. I just don’t get the government’s fascination with online gambling.

A person can go to nearly any shady, rundown boulevard in nearly any city in the Seattle area and bet to their hearts content. I’d imagine it’s the same in other places nationwide. Poker’s hype cycle seems to be over but you can still watch OTHER people play poker for large sums of money pretty much any late night. The American public clearly could give a rat’s ass about gambling.

So the government’s crackdown seems to be purely motivated by the fact they’re not profiting through tax dollars. There’s an easy solution… make online gambling legal and tax the bejeezus out of it. There’s your deficit reduction strategy right there, G-dub.

Headline quote movie of origin: Dazed and Confused

Character: Slater

Setting: There’s a party at the moon tower. Slater, the weed seller guy and the weed seller guy’s girlfriend are discussing the principles of our Nation’s founding fathers. The quote of record is in reference to Martha Washington, who in the eyes of Slater was a hip, hip lady.

The quote is relevant to this story how?: According to Slater, our founding fathers recognized the value of cash crops, some of which are now considered illegal. Gambling certainly falls into the same bucket as the greens, of which our first President was evidently a grower of. Didja ever look at a dollar bill, man? There's some spooky shit goin' on there. And it's green too.

Contact El Duderino at jaipf@hotmail.com.

Monday, January 15, 2007

I promise, that one day, everything's going to be better for you

I was still but a twinkle in my parent’s eyes during the Vietnam conflict and admittedly have only a basic understanding of all the ins and outs of that time period. But, I believe the high-level theme of America’s involvement was to stop communism from spreading in the region. America lost… but did the world?

What seems to be missing in all of the political conversation surrounding the decision of whether or not to bring home troops from Iraq is what we’re actually trying to achieve and if America is truly the best entity to satisfy that goal. All of the original aims outlined by Bush have proven to be completely baseless and false. Is our sole objective now simply to stop the country from complete anarchy and to prevent a Taliban-style government from assuming control?

If that really is the new goal, are American troops on the ground really the means to that end? The people of Iraq, the countries of the Middle East, and hell, the rest of the world, all have a pretty big stake in the final outcome of Iraq. It’s not just an American problem. I get the sense that the rest of the world just wants to give America a big “told you so” before taking a more active role in helping to put the necessary political pressures to help Iraq eventually succeed. That’s not to say a withdrawal will solve the immediate problems. It won’t. But those problems are going to exist with or without an occupying American force.

While a withdrawal will undoubtedly hurt our bloated egos, if a positive outcome is eventually achieved, like Vietnam, than ultimately the world has won. That should be the goal, not proving that we’re the biggest and baddest.

Headline Quote Movie of Origin: Donnie Darko

Character: Donnie Darko

Setting: Donnie and Cherita Chen, the butt of much schoolhouse ridicule, find themselves alone in a hallway. Cherita, wearing earmuffs, is speechless, given her ginormous crush on Donnie. Donnie whispers into her ear that everything is going to be okay.

The quote is relevant to this story how?: Our country has an arrogance that we can solve any and all of the world’s dilemmas. While the current unrest is largely of our doing, it’s certainly likely that it’s a problem we won’t be able to solve. However, just as Donnie reassured Cherita, eventually the world seems to right itself. Everything is going to be okay. I hope…

Contact El Duderino at jaipf@hotmail.com.

Monday, November 29, 2004

My name is George. I'm unemployed and I live with my parents

It's about friggin time they put Seinfeld on DVD, if only three seasons for the time being. As a kickoff, here's a link to a top 10 sports-based moments list in Seinfeld history.


Contact El Duderino at jaipf@hotmail.com.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

No, Donny, these men are nihilists. There's nothing to be afraid of.

It would be very un-Dude for this site not to at least make a mention of the recent Artestian affair in Detroit. The story has been covered from just about every angle, so ED doesn't really have anything unique to add. But, of all the articles, two sum up the incident perfectly, one from Slate and one from the Sports Guy (links below).

To summarize those articles with a few thoughts from ED... this isn't the sign that the end days are upon us and that the NBA is on its last stand. No one died. No one even got seriously injured. The NBA ratings will go up from this incident, not down. Pistons fans are a bunch of meathead idiots but doesn't this show that the NBA does have passionate fans, not the opposite?

Artest officially has an anger problem. You could almost see him trying to hold himself back after the initial fracas with Ben Wallace. Then after he initially tackled Corey Haim in the stands and realized what he did, you could see him try to reel in the devil on his shoulder urging him to kill someone… “ronny, see that guy over there with the black shirt. He said your momma dresses you in combat boots. Rip his head off. Do it. Do it.” Then after he lost it again a few seconds later after getting hit from behind…

(quick digression, the guy that hit Artest from behind was the same guy who threw the first cup at Artest, thus starting Smackdown at the Palace 2005. This guy is on tape throwing the cup. It's not really up for debate. Anyhow, this guy had a moustache or some sort of facial hair during the game and was wearing a hat. He held a press conference yesterday in which he basically said that he didn't do anything and wasn't involved. At the press conference, he shaved off his facial hair, took off the hat, was wearing sunglasses and had on an ‘I’m guilty’ leather coat... very Dr. Richard Kimble of him).

… he went berserk for a few more minutes before the angel on the left shoulder again took over the devil on the right shoulder. Once again, he retreats to his happy place (think midgets playing horsey on broomsticks and lovely ladies sipping pina coladas on lawn chairs) before a chubby wannabe tough guy with a Pistons jersey and gold chain confronts Ronny on the court. Artest gives the guy a Mr. Sandman right hook. Game over. While it was nice that Artest showed several moments of restraint in the whole affair, what it really showed is that at the base soul of Ron Artest is a raging lunatic.

Slate… http://slate.com/id/2110079/.
Sports Guy… http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/cowbell/041122

Headline Quote Movie of Origin: The Big Lebowski
Character: Walter Sobchak
Setting: The nihilists have come to collect from The Dude the million dollars they’ve been promised by Bunny Lebowski. The Dude explains that there never was a million dollars and that they’d been had. This doesn’t seem to deter the nihilist and they decide to take physical actions to rob The Dude, Walter and Donny.
The quote is relevant to this story how?: The ensuing melee that erupts between the nihilists (we believe in nothing, Lebowski) and The Dude and friends is eerily similar to Smackdown at the Palace 2005, minus the basketball players, fans, television monitors and pepper spray. Oh, and no one died at Smackdown at the Palace. But otherwise it was quite similar.

Contact El Duderino at jaipf@hotmail.com.