bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Mack Brown’s excuses are absurd

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In professional sports, the difference between the haves and have nots is fairly small. In leagues like the NFL, the salary cap is structured in such a way as to force the teams to spend a similar amount of money on their payroll each year. In baseball, where there is no cap, the difference can be far more dramatic. Still, when compared to major college sports, even the New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates are far more similar than a school like the University of Texas when compared to some of the small schools out there that are trying to compete in something like football. To widen the gap even more, Texas, in conjunction with ESPN, started its own television network last year that pays it $300 million over 20 years. Amazingly, the head coach of Texas football, Mack Brown, complained this week that the network is actually one of the reasons why his team has underperformed over the last couple of years.

This is so silly it is almost hard to write about it seriously. When the LHN was being created, one of the things that was planned was the broadcast of some local high school games. There was a huge outcry from the the teams in the Big Twelve Conference about the unfair recruiting advantage that Texas would get from being able to put kids on television. That is the power of something like this, beyond the advantage from all that money. The suggestion that the network could be a disadvantage to the coach and to the team is incredibly disingenuous. Are there demands on Brown’s time due to the various programs that are created to fill up airtime? Sure. Is there anything about his gameplans being revealed that would give the opposition some kind of advantage? Assuredly not. Brown would have us believe that his team’s 18-14 record over the last three seasons is through no fault of his own, I guess.

Brown’s comments included a description of how his training staff has to do extra work so as to not reveal the true nature of some of his players’ ailments and injuries. I suppose he thinks that the opposition is going to get the jump on him by knowing that one of his players has a sore ankle that required taping. I don’t care about Texas football one way or the other, and yet even I am offended by this foolishness. Own your team’s performance, coach. You have facilities and resources that are unmatched in college football. You make over $5 million a year to coach the team. Despite that, your team is allowing over 33 points per game over the last 6 games. This is not the fault of your television responsibilities.

Yes, I am bitter about a lot of things related to college football right now. Thanks Mark Emmert. I do not feel that I am being unfair here, though. Perhaps it is time for Mack Brown to step aside and let someone run that program who can handle the demands of today’s game.

Bad sports, continued:

2) East Carolina University’s football field was damaged by vandals last week. Several idiots drove their utility vehicles onto the field and did donuts with them, causing over $35,000 in damage. One of the geniuses involved lost his phone at the scene and was caught because of it.

3) Warren Moon, a Hall of Fame quarterback who played in the 80s and 90s, complained this week that recent criticism of Carolina quarterback Cam Newtown smacks of racism. Newton, who is having an awful season, has continually said the wrong thing and has demonstrated some pretty bad body language on the sidelines this year. Moon thinks he gets ripped because he is black. I think people are criticizing him because of his behavior. Sometimes race is not involved, Warren.

4) Erik Highsmith, a wide receiver for the University of North Carolina football team, has been caught plagiarizing some of his homework. Fantastically, he was copying the work of some fourth grade kids.

5) I would not expect to see the Honey Badger back in an LSU uniform at any point. Tyrann Mathieu, who was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy in 2011, was kicked off the team before this season began for failing drug tests. He remained at the school with the intention of trying to work his way back onto the team. On Thursday, he and his roommates were arrested for possession of marijuana. Oops.

6) Marcus Lattimore, the dynamic running back for South Carolina, gruesomely blew out his knee against Tennessee on Saturday. The link has a video of the play, but you might want to skip it if you don’t have a strong stomach.

7) Randy Bernard, the CEO of the Indycar racing series, was forced out of his job on Sunday. It sounds like former head man Tony George may be on his way back.

8) A morning show host from Sacramento was broadcasting from outside of AT&T Park in San Francisco on Thursday before game two of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers. Some birds apparently did not think much of his show, and they showed it in a way that only birds can.

Good sports:

1) Pablo Sandoval joined some pretty exclusive company when he hit three homeruns in game 1 of the World Series last week. The only other players to ever hit three homeruns in the same World Series game were Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and Albert Pujols. Nice group.

2) Sarah Baxter, a high school junior from California, didn’t just beat the course record during her school’s cross-country meet at the SAC Invitational last week, she crushed it. She completed the race in 16:00, besting the former record by a full sixteen seconds. Baxter is getting national attention for her incredible exploits.

3) Serena Williams won the WTA Championships on Sunday with a win over Maria Sharapova. Williams did not drop a single set during the tournament.

Bad sports, good sports appears every Monday

Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02
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