Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Kiffin Double-Cross


I am not your typical female. I love football. I don’t go to games to watch cute quarterbacks in tight pants. I go to watch a 6-foot-4, 258 pound inside linebacker bust the chops of the other team’s quarterback. Low scoring, defensive games are my favorite. I know nickel, dime and quarter packages have nothing to do with the concession stand, man to man is not a serious conversation between two guys, and the wildcat is not a mascot. I actually believe in the 12th man and take credit for several false starts caused by my loud yelling. When I watch football at home, I am a horrible hostess. I leave most of the other women in the kitchen and I hate to talk during the game. I do like to chat during halftime if there is not another game worth watching. My husband does not have to be around for me to watch football. I am perfectly capable of yelling at the Refs on TV all by myself. When it gets close to Christmas, there is a great mall on the way to the hotel after the game. It is awkward at times, but I can’t help myself. It is my father’s fault. He was a high school football coach and I was an only child.

I realize College Football is not the normal theme of this blog, but today it weighs very heavy on my mind. I have lived in Tennessee all my life. To the dismay of many in my home town, I am an Alabama fan. I dislike Tennessee, Florida, LSU… well basically all other teams in the SEC. This has been a phenomenal season for my team. After years of disappointment, I finally watched my Crimson Tide win the National Championship. I was on cloud nine until the Lane Train crashed in Knoxville Tuesday night. I kept asking myself, “why care? Shouldn’t I relish in the pain of my rivals?” Instead of thinking about all the recruits UT will loose, I found myself posting tirades on Face Book until after 1:00 am. I felt bad for Tennessee, all my friends that are fans, and most of all the players. Eric Berry, a Tennessee defensive back, was asked recently in an interview whether he was pulling for other SEC teams to win their bowl games. "You would rather beat up your brother than have him get beat up by somebody else," he said. "I'm rooting for all SEC teams.” That is exactly how I feel about Lane Kiffin. Tuesday night, he sucker punched one of my brothers.

I never liked Lane Kiffin and I think most of my Tennessee friends really didn’t either. They wanted to love him, but knew deep down he did not understand Tennessee Football. I can’t blame them. I was in the same situation with Bama a few years ago. What do you do when your AD makes a ridiculous hire? Kiffin could not grasp recruiting rules, why did anyone think he could understand Big Orange fans are not interested in being the USC of the South. Peyton Manning is UT’s idol, not Reggie Bush. Lane might have thought we were gullible, but no one really believed his verbal spews were part of a master plan to get UT back in the media. They were embarrassing and childish. He was tolerated because there was hope he would learn. His top 40 debut was also a farce. Did he really listen to Lil’ Wayne’s lyrics? The rapper was not paying him a compliment. Maybe top USC fan, Snoop Dog, will help Lane’s recruiting in Southern California by adding a few lines to his next single. I can hear it now...

Aint nothing like the Lane Train baby...
N-C- double A sanctions like crazy...

I am sure it would be a hit.


Kiffin did not put Tennessee back on the map as he claims. The map never changed. Sure, Tennessee is not the team it was in 1998, but it is still one of the top programs in the nation. We should have all seen the writing on the wall. He cared nothing about our traditions, the people, or our love of football. It was always about him.

This year, at the Alabama/ Tennessee game in Tuscaloosa, I watched Ed Orgeron lead the Tennessee team out on the field. After the entire team was already on the sidelines, I noticed Lane Kiffin standing alone at the back of the tunnel. He then casually jogged out on the field all alone. I remember thinking to myself “What an ego maniac.” Contrast that with Alabama’s pre-game ritual. Who brings the Crimson Tide out on the field before each game? Nick Saban. I am sure Phillip Fulmer always did the same.

In college, I wrote a paper about southern football and how our obsession could be related to our loss in the civil war. Sound crazy? I got an A+ from my Yankee professor who actually made copies and passed it out to the entire class (it was the only time this happened in my college career.) Anytime you mention the Civil War, people think of race, but that had nothing to do with my paper. In fact, we all come together in the south on football Saturday. The gist of my paper was something like this: southerners are incredibly proud individuals who take great pride in being better than the rest of the country in anything, no matter how small or insignificant. It is true. We love to run it up the gut on Penn State, Notre Dame, Michigan, and USC. We are arrogant football fans who enjoy pointing out our conference has won 6 of the 12 BCS Championships.

Think about it: we are constantly insulted by southern stereotypes (and unfair sports writers). Say the word “Tennessee” and many think of barefoot hillbillies, carrying a shotgun and drinking moonshine. Say “Alabama” and it even gets worse. People actually believe our intellect is determined by our dialect. I have news for you... I met a guy from Maine in college and I couldn’t understand a word he said. It was if he was speaking a foreign language. Call it an inferiority complex, but we love being the underdogs who sneak up and bite your rear end. It is in our genes, it is how we have been conditioned through relentless ridicule. The funny thing is we really don’t care what they think. We know what we believe and why we believe it. No one is more comfortable in their own skin than a southerner. The older I get the more I love our part of the country. I am thankful I never enrolled in that speech class in college to get rid of my accent. I want everyone to know when I say I am from Cleveland, they know I don’t mean Ohio.

I believe our anger stems not from Lane Kiffin leaving, but they way he made us feel. Tennessee fans greeted him with open arms and he repeatedly slapped them in the face. Most great football coaches have one thing in common. They give praise to the players for making great things happen. As I listened to Kiffin’s USC press conference Wednesday night, he basically took personal responsibility for everything positive that happened at the University of Tennessee last year. I would like to ask him who was responsible for the drugs, attempted robbery, a 7-6 season, a loss in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, and a NCAA investigation. It was never about you Lane. It was about the University of Tennessee and the Southeastern Conference. The real loser is USC. They just lost Pete Carroll, heavy NCAA sanctions are near, and they are stuck with their sixth or seventh choice that can’t seem to keep his mouth shut.

I am a southern Methodist, but I do believe in Karma. It will be best if Kiffin never crosses the Mason- Dixon Line. In the next few years, Kiffin will get Tennessee in the news once again. We will all be talking about how Tennessee dodged a bullet and USC is once again searching for a coach. Tennessee will be fine. It will take them several years to get back on track. In the meantime, Alabama or any other SEC school would love to play USC in a Championship or bowl game. Of course, it all hinges on whether Southern Cal is put on probation. No matter what team it is, you will hear the chant S-E-C loud and clear. Lane, we will all remember what you did to our brother. Good riddance, but not good luck.

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's not just about Healthcare


President Obama is best when his back is against the wall. His smooth baritone voice, impeccable delivery and timing, and perfect strumming of heart strings were all present in his address Wednesday night. He was in campaign mode once again, but this time trying to appeal to a much broader audience. His task was daunting. He needed to rein in the base, move to the center, and somehow include the right. Most of his speech was spent on issues that should have been taken care of months ago- defending his positions, making his case, and trying to give the American people details about his plan. Perhaps the most compelling portion of his speech was the last two minutes. It was one of the most touching and heartfelt arguments for the case of Liberalism I have ever heard. It was passionate, articulate, and most of all believable. There is only one problem. Does America really want a liberal federal Government? The country voted for Democrats, but did they understand Obama’s liberal agenda and its consequences? Did America vote for Obama or simply against the GOP and Bush?

The healthcare debate challenges our founding fathers’ fundamental view of American government. Those who say otherwise are badly mistaken. Our ancestors came to this great country to start a new way of life. One that was free of an overreaching government. America did not become the greatest and most powerful nation in history by following the lead of others. We forged our own way by the ingenuity and brilliance of truly free people. Immigrants flock to this country not on the promise of entitlement programs, but a belief that anything is possible through hard work and perseverance. Now, we are being told to look to Europe for a better way of living?

In our lifetimes, we will hear thousands of promises from politicians. Rarely do any of them come to fruition. I sympathize with those who truly struggle with the costs of healthcare. I feel even worse for those who believe this healthcare plan will provide care equal to that of a self insured millionaire. Democrats are making promises they simply cannot keep. It is hope, but false hope. Look at other examples of government programs. Does our welfare system really help people advance their lives or does it often trap generation after generation in a never ending cycle of poverty? Does Social Security really provide security? Do our veterans get the healthcare or benefits they need or deserve? Does Medicare provide adequate care for seniors? While these programs began with good intentions, they have made millions of Americans dependant on government. No one believes these programs should be stopped but simply saying they provide some benefit is not good enough. If our government cannot properly care for those who fought for this country, our poor, and our elderly, why does anyone believe they can provide a quality healthcare system for the rest of us?

The Democratic Party is missing the point. The tea parties, town hall meetings, and protests are not about healthcare. They are a reaction to government intrusion into our private lives. President Obama speaks in sweeping metaphorical and philosophical language about why we should morally support healthcare reform. He falls short when it comes to the details. No one wants those in need to suffer. Most Americans agree it is time for healthcare reform but the current bill is full of bureaucracy. Many of us have legitimate concerns fueled by our own logic not “scare tactics”. We are not mean spirited individuals who think the country’s poor should be left to squander, but responsible citizens who want the freedom to make decisions about the course of our own lives. Our government should represent us but allow us to govern ourselves.

Monday, August 3, 2009

ROGER'S STORY


The real name of this person doesn't really matter, so for this true story we will call him Roger. His story is a sad one. He is one of the many in our country who got hit hard by the struggling economy.

Roger had a thriving business. For some twenty years he made about $150,000 a year from his business. He had the big house, the sports car, and toys galore for him, his wife and daughter. Materially speaking, life was good. He thought the good life would never end. As a result, he failed to plan for a possible rainy day. After all, the sun had been shining for some twenty years.He didn't purchase health insurance, or save any money. Why worry about it?

One day it all changed. Just like that! Without any warning, Roger received a letter from his parent company informing him that all of their operations in the North East were being shut down immediately! And that was it! A business relationship of more than twenty years gone. There was no way for Roger to keep his business going. Within a few days he laid off his staff, sold the office furniture, and closed the doors.

It has now been approximately four months since Roger was forced to close his business. Within ten days of this writing his beautiful, spacious house will be sold on the court house steps. His sports car is soon to be repossessed. He is in the process of selling his furniture in an auction hoping to get enough money to pay for the security deposit and first month's rent on a one bedroom apartment.

His wife recently left him and took their thirteen year old daughter with her. So now, Roger is left alone wondering what on earth he is going to do with his life, and how he is going to be able to just get by. He is 59 years old and in poor health. That is another Obama issue he is soon having to face. Well, so much for the Obama plan.

Is this the kind of change we are supposed to believe in? NOT ME!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

THE PALIN PRINCIPLE


Sarah Palin recently resigned as Governor of Alaska.The political pundits, politicians, and reporters, for the most part, just could not understand why she did what she did. They analyzed every phrase, and every nuance, as well as her body language. (Personally, I believe that body language thing is a lot of baloney! Why is O'Riley such a fan?) I believe she said what she meant and meant what she said. She is a woman of principle.How simple is that?

The political crowd as well as the Palin critics, and there are many, do not have the ability to comprehend a woman like Sarah. She is a normal, average (However, well above average) American woman who thinks like a normal citizen, who believes in her country, and wants to make a significant contribution to her country. Her agenda is not self-serving, narcissistic, and political. The politicos, and liberals cannot understand pure and unselfish motives. Her stand is based on principle, that is to say on a fundamental rule or code of conduct. The rules for the American code of conduct have been set by our society. Whether some people like it or not,the high principles established in our nation are primarily based on the Bible. Our fore fathers made that very clear.It is about treating others the way you wish to be treated. It is about being honest, and doing the right thing...even if it is not popular. Do we see much of that in politics? I don't think so. Sarah Palin espouses these well established principles. Hence, she is misunderstood by many.

In her resignation speech Sarah Palin said her priorities were her faith and her family. That is admirable and easy to understand. The liberals detest her for such a belief. Why? Because they have no connection with spiritual matters. Their god is their liberal cause and their worldly ideology. In their thinking, anyone who disagrees with them is somehow evil and ignorant.

She said she was stepping down because the frivolous ethics complaints against her(at last count there were fifteen, and all were dismissed) were costing the state of Alaska literally millions of dollars. That makes logical sense to me.

She decided not to just go with the flow, but to leave the comfort of the nest and soar. She believes that she can be more productive in another role.That was her choice. She has every right to make it. Why do so many people want to tell her what is her business and hers alone?

Sarah Palin gave her reasons for resignation candidly and truthfully. She chose to put first things first according to her set of priorities, and according to her principles. That is what the politicians and pundits just do not understand and never will, because they just don't think that way. They cannot comprehend it because it is far out of their element.

The bottom line is that Sarah Palin is a woman of principle. I am going to stay tuned and see what she is going to do next. It will be interesting to say the least. GO SARAH!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

It's a matter of Time


Emily Beaty  

    

President Obama looked exhausted at last night’s news conference.  It is understandable.  The rush to push through health care reform must be extremely demanding.  This is a critical issue for the President.  It was a hallmark of his campaign and is essential to his domestic agenda.  Losing the health care debate could have lasting effects on not only the rest of his agenda, but the remainder of his Presidency.  As his honeymoon comes to an end, poll numbers re-enter the atmosphere, and dissent on Capital Hill rises, the President must feel enormous pressure to push reform now.  The problem is the American people have seen this type of rush to judgment before- it was called the stimulus bill. 

    If the rush for health care reform is not politically motivated, why was the President trying to pass reform before Congress leaves in August?  If the urgency truly arises from letters sent to the President by those who desperately need health care, why didn’t he push for health care reform the day he took office?   Instead, we rushed our way into a massive bailout plan.  The truth is simple.  Time is the President’s enemy.   The more time Americans have to learn about the proposed legislation, the more questions they will ask.  As more time passes, citizens voice concerns to their elected officials.  The cat is out of the bag.  Americans now understand that lack of time and lack of knowledge passed the stimulus bill.   

   Politicians have been talking about comprehensive healthcare for decades.  Are we now to believe major and unprecedented reform should take place in a matter of weeks?  Everyone, to some degree, believes we should make changes to our current health care system.  The extent of those changes are up for debate.  Some say we have to stop talking and do something immediately.  I say we haven’t talked enough about specifics.  The discussion is always about social justice and vague political philosophy.  No republican or democrat wants a child to die of a preventable or treatable condition because of lack of medical insurance.  We all want the same ending, but how we get there is critical.  Americans deserve time to understand what is being proposed and how it will impact our lives.  This is not only about trillions of dollars.   It is about life and the quality of our lives.  Nothing deserves more of your time Mr. President.   

 

Friday, July 17, 2009

A video from 1964...

A video from 1964 that is so relevant today...

GOOD THINGS IN TOUGH TIMES

Jerry Noble

There is no doubt about it. Times are tough and may be getting tougher. Our national unemployment rate is nearing ten percent. Most every community in our nation is being negatively impacted by a lack of jobs. People are hurting, and the hurt deepens as the time without employment lengthens. I have observed that the longer our people are out of work, the deeper becomes their depression. Self esteem gets lower and lower, and these people are in limbo with little sense of purpose.

The people who are struggling to find a place to be productive are wondering where all of the stimulus money is going. They don't see much of it in our community. They question the entire stimulus plan, and wonder what went wrong with the economy to produce such a downward spiral for literally millions of Americans. It appears to many that what we are hearing from our political leaders is just more political rhetoric with little to no real substance.

In our small patch of the nation we are seeing some great and meaningful efforts to help many people in need in our community. At our church the senior pastor spoke about the importance of helping people in need and, almost accidentally, placed a clay pot on the altar of the church and asked people to give a one time "lean year" offering to help those who have lost their job, and facing financial difficulty. People literally lined up to place money in the clay pot. Thousands of dollars were placed in the clay pot. This was supposed to be a one time offering, but for more than fours months now people have lined up every Sunday to place a "lean year" offering in the clay pot. Many thousands of dollars have been given to share with those in need. Through the generosity of the people money has been issued to to people to make house payments, pay utility bills, pay medical bills, make car payments, buy food, etc. etc.

It is always the case, even in the bad times a lot of good things happen. We cannot, and should not simply depend on the government to bail us out and give us everything we need. We should keep in mind that whatever the government gives, the government can take away. The core and heart of our nation is summed up in the goodness and generosity of our people. We have and will survive and prosper because of the hard work of our people and their willingness to help others in need, and whenever necessary to fight for the freedoms we hold dear. That is what America is about. America is the greatest nation, under God, on the face of this earth. God bless America!!