March 27, 2011

Who-onzo Martin?

Here is the link to Andy Katz's article about why Bruce Pearl was fired from the University of Tennessee.

In the article, Katz notes "the final straw for the university came earlier this month when, a source told, the staff committed an NCAA violation on March 6 in regards to a player pass list for the home game against Kentucky. It was a procedural matter, but enough was enough apparently and that tipped the scale toward the firing of Pearl and his staff."

Today, March 27th, Tim Gardner of USA Today reported that Tennessee has hired Cuonzo Martin of Missouri State to be its next head basketball coach. Now, I don't know Cuonzo from Billy, other than the fact that he took Missouri State from 11 to 26 wins in two seasons. Is that impressive? I don't know. What I do know is this logic progression (use of the word "logic" disputable):

  1. He was hired one week after Pearl was fired.
  2. A one-week coaching search for a major university is extremely short.
  3. A one-week coaching search means one of three things:
    1. Martin is an amazing candidate that blew away the administration and should prove successful nearly immediately.
    2. The candidate search was not carried out well. This will show itself in the further lowering of a successful program that has made the NCAA tournament for each of the last six years.
    3. The university was carrying out interviews before Pearl was fired.

My guess? Perhaps because I still back Pearl and would have chosen to keep him, (assuming more damning evidence does not come out that would make keeping Pearl to seem the most asinine option), C. This is a further back-stab of a coach who was suspended, fined, banned from recruiting, and whose contract was terminated yet still chose to stay and coach said university. If Hamilton was indeed interviewing candidates behind Pearl's back, this sheds further light on an Athletic Director who stated that Pearl's job was still under consideration one day before the team was due to play Michigan in a first-round tournament game, fracturing the fan base and distracting the team to the tune of a 30-point defeat. Hamilton has made a mockery of his position, and I have made no secret of the fact that as an alumnus of the University of Tennessee I am upset with the direction Hamilton has taken. Perhaps Martin will turn out to be a terrific fit with the team and is able to keep players such as Kevin Ware, who said "As long as they hire a good coach I can trust, I'll want to be at Tennessee." Ware had previous sent a letter to the NCAA requesting to be let out of his letter-of-intent after Pearl's firing. Did Hamilton make the right choice? We won't know for years. What do you think?

March 18, 2011

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

This post should be a short-but-sweet recommendation for any history buffs out there.

I've subscribed to Common Sense with Dan Carlin (a political podcast, iTunes link here) for a few months now. The show's host prides himself on "Original and outside-the-box thinking on current events and history," but in reality, Mr. Carlin typically shows himself to be a rational thinker who takes the time to digest both sides of whichever two issues he presents bi-monthly. Additionally, the two issues generally coincide to some degree, although it can be a tenuous link from show to show. Recent shows have covered the Wisconsin budget debate/union debacle, and public participation in governmental policy. However, the real reason I'm recommending Dan Carlin is his "Hardcore History" podcast.

Hardcore History (here is the iTunes link) is a new look at some of history's most fascinating periods. The series generally updates every two months, so there is a wealth of back-logged shows on iTunes currently. The first series I listened to was Carlin's "Ghosts of the Ostfront", which chronicles the Russian-German battle to the death on the eastern edge of World War II. The depth of research is fantastic, and the imagery is at times shocking. I'm currently in the midst of "Death Throes of the Republic," in which Carlin takes an in-depth look at the Roman Empire as it teetered on the edge of collapse.

I cannot recommend either of these podcasts highly enough, and if pressed I would go with Hardcore History, even if the releases are so distant from one another. If you're interested in a well-structured point of view that may not be your own, or are looking for a historical piece to stretch your knowledge, check out Dan Carlin, and his corresponding podcasts, available on iTunes.

March 17, 2011

The Hunger and the Thirst

March 17th, 2011.

St. Patrick's Day

It's been 9 days since we all made our choice. For some it was easy, for others, it's still a struggle. But we've all made our bed, and now we're lying in it.

There are rumors flying about why…rumors that maybe this happened last year, too. But with everyone's attention span reduced by Twitter and inane status updates, no one has a truly clear recollection of what happened before last week.

The blurred memories, the shattered lives, it all adds up to one thing:

Zombie Lent. Maybe you're afraid to admit it, maybe you have your own horror story to live through, but we've come as a species to a defining point in our evolution

Do we continue on our path of sacrifice? Or do we cave, and let the hunger and thirst win out, forever weakening our spirit?

In the nine days since yours truly gave up soda, I've managed to stave off bouts of murderous rage while craving that bubbly feeling you get when the carbonation hits the back of your throat. You know, that tickly, life-altering delicious tingle that lets you know you're truly alive. Without that, I've been reduced to sagging onto the floor, desperately trying not to tackle poor bystanders with a Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Squirt, or even, God-forbid, a Tab. My motor-skills are reduced to the point where I walk like that weird ghost-chick in The Grudge. Everything I eat seems to turn to ash in my mouth.

All my brain can focus on is 31 days away. I don't know if I can make it. And if I don't, I fear for mankind. So prepare yourself.