Sunday, March 30, 2014

Hockey Mascots

As promised here are the mascots of the NCAA Hockey Tournament Teams:

Boston College Eagles

Colgate Raiders

Denver Pioneers?  
Apparently DU has no official mascot, they have an unofficial mascot named Denver Boone.   This has sparked quite a bit of controversy at the college and an ongoing debate as to the nature of their mascot ensues.   I kinda like him.

Ferris State Bulldogs

Minnesota Golden Gophers
Apparently no issues with the orthodontically impaired student population.

Minnesota Stare Mavericks

North Dakota. 
No mascot until 2015. 
Previously had been the Fighting Sioux.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
What about the Irish pacifists?

Providence Friars

Quinnipiac Bobcats

Robert Morris Colonials

St. Cloud State Huskies

U Mass Lowell River Hawks

Union College Dutchmen
No matter how much I tried I could not find a mascot for the team, apparently they like the name, but live in fear of offending those of Dutch descent.  Why not Hans Brinker, he of the Silver Skates?  Just an idea....

Vermont Catamounts (a local term for cougar, derived from cat of the mountain)

Wisconsin Badgers

Friday, March 28, 2014

Bracket Busters

How are your NCAA Brackets holding up?  I hope you didn't bank on Wisconsin moving on.  What's that you say, Wisconsin is headed for the Elite 8?   Wrong bracket bucko!   I'm talking about the NCAA Hockey Bracket.  I, unlike so many of my contemporaries, lost interest in the NCAA basketball tourney when Oregon fell out of the brackets.   Bring on the kick saves, the checks (not Czechs), the twisted wristers!   Thanks to ESPN U for covering the tourney.   This is where rink powerhouses St. Cloud State, Quinnipiac, and Minnesota St. Mankato compete for a spot in the Frozen Four!   Add the Friars , the Dutchman , and the Catamounts  and you have a formidable group of skaters.   North Dakota State won in their first round, but don't call them boys named Sioux (political correctness is forcing a change of their mascot, so until 2015, they are mascot less).   

Just for kicks, see if you can guess the school with their mascot - and leave the smartphone out of this, try accessing a little of that grey matter you have underused.

Here are the 16 colleges/universities in the tournament:

Boston College
Ferris St.
U. Massachusetts. - Lowell
Minnesota St. - Mankato
U of Minnesota
U of North Dakota
Notre Dame
Robert Morris
St. Cloud St.

Here's your list of mascots:

Fighting Irish
Golden Gophers
River Hawks

Good luck, no cheating, I'll put the answers up on Sunday.

Give Him Another Crack At It

City of Toronto:

Re-Elect Mayor Rob Ford

"At  least my corruptions aren't hidden!"

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Unions For College Athletes?

The brainiacs on the Northwestern football team have cried foul and asked to be unionized.  The issue, of course, is $$.  In my humble opinion, they should be thankful for the money they receive.   The NCAA restricts scholarships to cover only tuition, fees, books, plus room and board - players do not receive reimbursement for transportation, entertainment and school supplies.  Based on the figures from NWU's website the costs for a year of attendance are:

Tuition: $45,120
Fees (health $200, ASG $162, Athletic $45) $407
Room and Board $13,862
Books and Supplies $1878
Cost for Attendance $61,267

As a teacher of over 25 years, they have my annual salary beat!   They will come out of the university debt-free and with a diploma (that is, if they really are student/athletes). 

They don't seem to get the idea of what non-athletes (let's call them NA's for short) go through to get their degree.   An overwhelming number of NA's graduate owing huge sums in student loans.  Many work part time jobs to meet the gap financial aid doesn't cover.   These athletes need a cold, hard dose of reality.  They need to see what NA's go through for their degree.   If  an NA's quits before earning the coveted piece of paper, it's money they threw down the drain.  If a athlete quits, they have been living on house money, nothing lost.

Do the universities make money off their football teams?  Damn skippy they do!   How do you think they pay for facilities, staff, and equipment?   Most football programs fund other sports programs at their schools that do not bring in enough revenue to be self-sustaining.  These non-revenue producing programs depend on this money.   It is sad to see that the footballers can't see that they are helping out others, must be awful to be so egocentric. 

Warren Zola, a sports law professor at Boston College, has proposed that the schools pay, in addition to what is already paid, $5,000 “cost-of-attendance stipend” plus catastrophic injury insurance and medical coverage  The $5 grand would cover the transportation, entertainment, and supplies not included in their scholarship.  Wait, entertainment, they are in college, shouldn't studies be at the forefront (OK, that was a ha-ha)?  I seemed to remember plenty of things to do on campus that cost nothing or next-to nothing. 

I agree with the catastrophic injury insurance, the schools owe it to kids who are seriously injured while participating in athletics.
OK, Prof, how about we add these clauses to the proposed "contract"?

* If a player leaves their respective university to play professional sports before using up all of their eligibility  they must pay back 100% of the cost of their attendance at that university plus 5% of their annual salary at the professional level.
* If a player uses up all of their eligibility, but does not graduate, they must pay 5% of their annual salary at the professional level to their respective university.
* If a player uses up all of their eligibility and graduates, they must pay 2.5% of their annual salary at the professional level to their respective university.

You will note that the only ones on the hook are the ones who go professional.   The others will be out beating the pavement looking for real work, let the pampered pro's foot the bill.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Billion Dollars?

Seriously, how can our government think to send $1 Billion to the Ukraine. 

Don't we have our own list of problems to solve?

We will have on average 6.5% of our population unemployed in 2014, or about 19.5 million people out of work.

We have over 600,000 homeless people in the U.S., nearly 25% of them children.

A staggering 50.1 million Americans struggle to put food on the table.

Our schools scratch and claw for funding.

And yet, we have the money to throw at the Ukraine.  

Does anyone else think this is wrong?