Sunday, March 25, 2012


I can't help it, it has been too long since my last rant, so here we go --
ESPN has been bitch-slapping college hockey all over the rink the past few years, but it seems to have hit a new low this year. The Division I Championships have been exiled to ESPNU and treated very shabbily. The last draw for me was when they referred to the ECAC as the East Coast Athletic Conference on one of their graphics. As the SID at RPI I worked with then ECAC Commissioner Joe Bertagna and the other ECAC schools 25 years ago to have ESPN and other media outlets get the name of the conference right with the Bristol bunch. Back then they cared about getting things right.

College hockey was good to ESPN back then, giving them news, feature ideas and even a weekly poll some of us conducted just for their use. I can't believe they have nobody left in Bristol who remembers. Come on ESPN, college hockey deserves better. We all love college basketball and March Madness but have you grown so large that you have forgotten those who were in your corner when you launched in 1979?

Look, the announcers could be better prepared for broadcasts, as Tom Mees and the others were in the 80's, but that is not a big deal. Most of the announce crews are good. Barry Melrose knows a lot about hockey, but sounds like he just walked into the booth from lunch five minutes before air time. I think Melrose is much better in the studio, like he is for NHL games. He makes you nostalgic for Bob Norton and his down-home New England delivery. ESPN could find some more people with some real ties to the game and real knowledge about the history and the current rules and issues. Anson Carter could also develop into a nice studio analyst with some training and experience, but let him get that experience doing regular season games for the regional networks, not the NCAA tournament.

Part of the problem is the NCAA. There is not enough money in hockey for them to care. ESPN needs to be held accountable by college hockey and the NCAA. College hockey also needs to step up and be more aggressive in defending and promoting the game. With realignment continuing and the addition of more programs possible in the next five years, college hockey needs to speak with one strong, respected voice. My choice right now would be Joe Bertagna, the Hockey East Commissioner. He has the stature of an elder statesman - sorry Joe - and the respect of people in hockey, at the NCAA and with the media to raise the profile of college hockey.

ESPN is not the only issue, there are others facing college hockey as well. Part of the problem is a lack of will and a lack of money to address the issues with one voice. With fewer than 60 Division I men's programs and a women's game with even less visibility, college hockey doesn't have the clout to make people take notice, yet. I think it can and will in the near future with the addition of a Big 10 league and other changes on the horizon. I would like to see traditional partners of the game, such as ESPN help, not hinder that progress.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Look, we all know that Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer and he can't possibly believe everything he spews on his radio show, website and blog, but even entertainers can go too far trying to be funny or drive ratings, just ask Don Imus.

Limbaugh's remarks this week were probably meant to inflame and energize the Ditto Heads who follow him blindly and seldom generate any honest or original thoughts of their own. He turned attack radio into an art form and has been one of the main forces behind the decline in the practice of reasonable political discourse in America. After spending the past three days of his radio show insulting and belittling a law student for her views, he stopped hiding behind his microphone and issued a written apology today.  A real stand-up guy. He should appear on camera on a national television outlet and issue his apology. 

Forget it. The pompous, arrogant, egomaniacal dipshit has done enough damage to our political system. Radio stations across the country, beginning with the 50,000 watt, clear channel broadcasting pioneer WGY in this area should give him the boot and do us all a favor.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I was fortunate enough to be able to make it to the memorial ceremony in Weymouth for former Emerson Wrestling Coach Jim Peckham last summer. I was pleased, but hardly surprised by the large turnout. The funeral home was overflowing with people wishing to celebrate a most extraordinary life.

There were certainly tears shed by most in attendance, but there were many more smiles and nodding of heads as a steady stream of people stepped to the front of the main room to share remembrances of a man who had touched their lives. There were former student-athletes from Emerson, people from the college who had worked with him, and people who knew him as Coach, Dad, Grampa or friend.
Most of the stories and anecdotes had memories of his humor, philosophy, but most importantly, his humanity. He was a man of immense humanity. There were stories of how he invited people into his home, gave them money, even if he had little more than they did, or simply listened to them with a keen and sincere interest in whatever it was they had to say.
The stories offered by former wrestlers that day contained the same themes, but more importantly, the same beliefs and principles taught by Coach Peckham, as he was teaching arm bars and half nelsons. He spoke with knowledge, and eloquence of the Greeks and Romans and often used examples from those civilizations in his pre-match talks to his wrestling teams. He seldom raised his voice, and never motivated with stock phrases. Instead, he used stories of the ancients, and those not so ancient, to inspire us to believe in ourselves and strive to achieve beyond what we thought was possible for each of us.
The stories always had a moral and enforced his strong beliefs in the virtues of commitment, sacrifice, loyalty and respect. He taught us all the importance of respect. Respect for your opponent, and others you encounter, and respect for yourself.
Emerson has certainly produced many outstanding Alumni and has been home to brilliant and accomplished permanent and visiting members of the faculty. Jim Peckham was as accomplished and as highly acclaimed in his field as any member of the Emerson family. His influence upon generations of Emersonians and those we will encounter and influence will be his most lasting legacy and something to be celebrated by the college and all those who knew him.

If you look hard enough, you can find good in almost anyone and sometimes you find greatness right in front of you.

Monday, November 28, 2011

You Got Some Splaining To Do Bernie

Okay, so now Syracuse University Head Basketball Coach Jim Boeheim has to backpedal, eat his words and reluctantly admit that his long-time friend and assistant Bernie Fine may have done some nasty things and then let Boeheim look bad in public with some strong statements in favor of Fine when the news first became public.

So far this does not appear to be a cover-up as was the case at Penn State, but only time will tell. Boeheim’s initial comments in support of Fine when the story first broke appear to be a case of a friend and colleague supporting someone he felt was being wrongly accused. It now appears that Fine may be guilty of at least some of the acts alleged by more than one person. A taped phone call believed to have been between Fine’s wife and one of the alleged victims seems to support allegations of abuse. If true, you have to feel even more disgusted with Fine for letting his friend stick his neck out with some strong statements when the allegations first broke.

Are there more shoes ready to drop at SU and elsewhere? Let’s hope not. Can it get any uglier? Don't answer that; please.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Woe is Us

Senator Pat Toomey, from Pennsylvania was on CBS’s Sunday Morning yesterday and he showed why this Congress and it’s Super Committee are jokes and have to go. It is time to vote them all out and bring in anyone, and I mean anyone, that will begin to work towards reforming the rule of the elite we now have. Just look at the Republican field of presidential candidates. If you can raise enough money, anyone can get in the race and be a factor; at least temporarily.

Senator Toomey reflects the feelings of most of the members of the Super Committee. Do nothing and the cuts in spending will automatically take effect in 2013. That gives them plenty of time to change the balance of the plan. It was supposed to be 50% defense cuts and 50% to discretionary expenditures. Senator Toomey, and others trying to protect the defense contractors, have already begun talking about changing the formula of the agreement so that the defense budget would not be severely impacted. Stay tuned and you can see how this is going to develop.

Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have lined up against the other side and do not want to listen. This Super committee didn’t even meet in the same room. The Dems met in one room and the Republicans in another. They hammered out some proposals they know the other side couldn’t accept and then had them delivered by some junior staffer running back and forth between the rooms. Neither side wants an agreement.
The Nough Boys in the GOP are afraid of the far right fringe and their big-money supporters so they won’t even consider a fair and balanced approach to solving the crisis and keeping the country sane and the economy afloat. The Democrats have already made significant concessions and feel that they can’t move any more, at least until the Republicans give in at least a little, or they will piss of their supporters.  Both are rigging the argument. It’s all about spin and blaming the other side right now.

The bottom line is, most people in this country know that there has to be a reasonable accommodation between the two extremes that requires cuts and new revenues. Most of the politicians have not come around to that realization yet. Why are they always behind us? They are more afraid of losing their job than actually governing, that’s why.
Though they blame it on the Democrats, it is the wacko right of the Tea Party, and the talk radio zombies that have created the current state of what they like to call class warfare. This Occupy (plug in a city) movement is not well organized or particularly effective at doing anything other than getting people arrested right now, but if we don’t get some kind on sanity and leadership out of Washington soon that could change. If the elite well-heeled class thinks that it can win a protracted class war, they may want to read a little history. Look what happened in France in the late 18th century, Russia in 1917 and the Arab world this year. I don’t care how much money you have or how strong you build the walls around your castle; 99% against 1% wins every time, if the 99% get hungry enough. I don’t even want to think about where an escalation of the bickering and posturing we have now could lead us.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Money is the Root of All

This relates to my previous post. It's all about keeping the money flowing in.

Gillibrand's Food Fight

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand blasted fellow lawmakers yesterday for blocking the Department of Agriculture's plan to increase the number of fruits and vegetables served with school lunches. The proposal would have cost the federal government $6.8 billion over five years. “This is just ridiculous, period,” said Gillibrand, who has fought for healthier food choices in public schools. “When we should be taking steps forward to combat the childhood obesity epidemic, Congress just took a step backwards.” Coca-Cola, the National Potato Council and the American Frozen Food Institute opposed the proposal.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

McCain Slaps Fellow GOPers

Hooray for John McCain. The Arizona Senator took some of his own party’s presidential candidates to task for endorsing waterboarding and saying that it is not torture. McCain said unequivocally that it is torture; it doesn’t work; and it is morally and legally wrong. Seems pretty simple, straightforward and right.

Then why are so many of these wackos and dipshits running for president being given so much credence? I wish I knew, but suspect that it is due to all the money pumped into these campaigns along with the lack of attention paid to the process by the general electorate. It's all about winning so you can help those who finance your campaign. The hell with effective governing.
Too many people on both ends of the political spectrum listen only to others who think, and I use that term very loosely here, like they do. There is very little give and take on ideas and policies.  It seems to be just people shouting back and forth and accomplishing nothing. The country is going to hell, and nobody has the balls to reach out and try to find solutions. At least John McCain provided us with one very brief peek at what political sanity looks like.
In light (or is it lite?) of all this, Aintgotnoband is officially endorsing Kinky Friedman for President of the United States. If we can't have sanity in our national politics, we can at least have some fun and make some people very uncomfortable. :0