Your Moral Compass

Something I want my son to learn: Do the right thing. You will know what this is. Do what’s right even when it’s awkward, hard, lonely, frightening, or dangerous.

You’ve probably heard all you need to hear and more about what’s going on at Penn State. I thought I’d heard all I needed to hear and more but sat glued to the tv yesterday, unable to look away except to turn to Google now and then to get more details. If you want to get more details, I recommend reading the Grand Jury Report (this is very detailed and exceptionally disturbing) (I always recommend reading the original documents related to something like this when possible). There’s also a really good post about the situation here.

As a former criminal defense attorney, I take the whole “innocent until proven guilty” thing very seriously. I’m not going to play judge and jury. I’m not going to sit here and condemn anyone involved, as much as doing so might give me (as a mother of a young son and a sports fan) some level of emotional satisfaction.

What I will do is talk about what we can learn from Penn State.

There is nowhere in the world where these kinds of horrible things don’t happen. There is no person or type of person who is always good all the time.

If you walk in on an adult engaged in any sort of sexual activity with a child, the right thing to do is: (1) remove the child from the situation if it is physically possible to do so; and (2) immediately go to the police. If somebody reports to you that he or she witnessed an adult engaged in any sort of sexual activity with a child and you believe he or she is telling the truth, the right thing to do is: (1) immediately go to the police.

The reason I say “immediately” is that something so simple can become so complicated as soon as you let it sit for any period of time. And the right people to go to are the police — not your father and not your boss (although feel free to tell them, too). The police.

Do the right thing even if it requires speaking out against your co-worker, boss, coach, significant other, spouse, parent, child, sibling, friend, idol, or favorite blogger. Nobody is above or exempt from the right thing. Do the right thing even if people call you a snitch, tattletale, bully, hater, or troll. Don’t ever be afraid to question anyone and call out bad behavior when you see it.

I’m worried about the state of the right thing today. Right now, the world is a place where too often, people are more concerned about covering their own asses or the figurative asses of their institutions or being 100% positive and supportive of their loved ones all the time no matter what than they’re concerned with doing the right thing. Don’t be part of that.

Don’t you know, in your heart and in your mind, what you’d do if you walked in on some dude raping a child? Isn’t preventing further tragedy for that child and for other children more important than whatever is going to happen to you as a result of doing the right thing? Quoting myself is gross, but I said this on Twitter yesterday: “I love my job but dudes, if I had to get fired for calling the police after seeing/knowing about child sex abuse, I’d do it. I mean, duh?”

If your moral compass is telling you “duh,” listen to it. Do the right thing. Always.

In Honor of Dan Hawkins

Oh no! Dan Hawkins, University of Colorado football coach, was fired today.

I’m not upset because I love Dan Hawkins or care about CU football. I’m upset because Dan Hawkins had one of the best coach meltdowns of all time. The meltdown was so awesome t-shirts quoting it have been sported by Buffs fans for years. It’s a timeless meltdown that addresses the delicate balance between players and coaches, overworking young players and developing their athletic skills, and parental over-involvement and the discretion of the coach who has been entrusted to do what’s best for the team. It took someone as brave and as dedicated as Dan Hawkins to finally come out and say, “It’s Division 1 football!” and “It ain’t intramurals!”

You can hear the meltdown here or read my ultra-profesh transcript of the best part here.

Rock on, Dan Hawkins. Coach-meltdown connoisseurs the world over will miss your crazy ass. Go play intramurals, brother.

Liveblogging NCAA Football

In an attempt to prove that college football is boring or, in the alternative, establish that I am wrong in thinking that college football is boring, I am going to live blog the Colorado/Colorado State football game, which starts in approximately 10 minutes. I think. If I can figure out how to do this.

Click here to view the live blog; apparently the box thingie doesn’t work on WordPress. Please remember that I’ve never done this before. I have no idea what I’m doing and I’ve been drinking. Woohoo!

Pats Cut Lynch, College Football is Boring

Sorry I’ve been about as thrilling as college football lately (which is my way of saying NOT EXCITING AT ALL — shit, I don’t even want to watch my team win 43-3). I think I’m having a bit of excitement hangover. The Olympics were exciting and having the DNC in town was exciting and now there’s just, um, Republicans and college football, which are boring. I wrote about how college football is boring and irrelevant last year, and I’ve already had all the same thoughts again this year.

Of course, there’s baseball, and my Sox are hanging on to the tiniest of leads in the A.L. Central, so that’s good. Did you know that during today’s win over the Red Sox, Jim Thome hit home run #536, tying Mickey Mantle (14th place)? I love Jim Thome. I’ll have to write about the Sox this week. I hope we’ll see Jerry “Watch My Feet” Owens on the expanded roster.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that the Patriots cut former Denver Bronco John Lynch. They might pick him up again in the future, but who knows. I’m bummed for him, because I like him and he wants to play. However, I’m a relieved that we won’t have to see a former Bronco playing for the Evil Empire.

Coach Meltdowns: Do you have a child?!

This is Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State football coach. He’s mad because a reporter criticized one of his players in this article. I don’t think anything in the article is bad — if the guy really was being fed chicken by his mom, he pretty much deserved to be made fun of for it. Anyway, if a quarterback can’t take a harsh word or two from the media, he might as well bow out of football now and start thinking about a career that involves a cubicle and little contact with the outside world.

There’s nothing I love more than a good coach meltdown, but this dude is pretty lame. Talking about someone crying to his mom after being called fat is funny, but he needs to get off the “if you had a child you’d understand.” Maybe it’s good that I don’t have a child, because I don’t understand and I’m perfectly happy to talk shit about anybody.

ABC: Always Busy Sucking

This isn’t wise, but all week, I have been looking forward to watching the Iowa-Wisconsin game on Saturday evening. I checked the listings the other day to verify that’s what would be on my local ABC channel and this is dorky and stupid, but I have been looking forward to it. This would be my first ever opportunity to watch Iowa in HD from the comfort of my own home, with some good beer.

A few minutes ago, I figured I should check again — one time last year, there was supposed to be an Iowa game on some channel, and then they changed it and put on something stupid. Guess what? The ABC listing changed. THEY ARE SHOWING THE USC-WASHINGTON STATE GAME. Why? WHY? Do you know how many people in Denver are from the midwest? Most of them. There are no people from Washington, and everybody from California is out crashing into stuff on the highways so they’re totally not watching TV. WHY IN THE HELL ARE THEY SHOWING THIS GAME? WHY?!

I hate you, ABC. If I saw you on the street, I’d punch you in the face.

Oh and also, today I got my Sports Illustrated, and the cover asks, “Pac 10 or SEC: Which is Stronger?” Oh my god, I do not care. Can these conferences I don’t care about stop with the penis measuring already and agree to disagree? I’d rather spend a day with that Ohio State mascot that has been described as a piece of corn covered with poo than hear one more thing about the Pac 10 or the SEC. I miss you, Big 10. You’re the only one for me.

College football is getting a little ridiculous.

I was afraid this day would come — the day I seriously start to lose interest in college football. Sure, I’m down right now because my Hawkeyes lost to Iowa State, which is inexcusable but totally what happens when your offensive line consists of toddlers who couldn’t win a game of red rover. As the seconds ran out on that game, I realized that it was all over for the season. Maybe if they’re lucky, they’ll get to the Flavorless Salsa with Gross Chunks of Tomato Chip and Dip Bowl sponsored by the new gross cheese thing from Taco Bell, where hopefully the refs won’t completely screw them over like they did in the 2006 Outback Bowl.

In college football, if you want to play for the “national championship” or in a bowl game that actually means something, you can’t lose more than what, one game all season? That sucks.

Because the Hawks aren’t ranked and I don’t still live in an apartment a few blocks off campus, I can’t even see them on TV most of the time. I get games like USC at Nebraska, which is great, because I totally want to watch some guys I don’t care about score 900 points against a team from a state with a panhandle.

So many college games feature one team being completely dismantled by another team. I don’t find it remotely entertaining to watch anybody win games by a million points all the time — it’s like when I watch ESPN and see the women’s college basketball scores at the bottom of the screen, and it’s always 57-18 or some shit. That’s not interesting and nobody wants to see it. Last week’s Michigan-Notre Dame game, which was nationally televised (why?) ended with a 38-0 score. Unless you’re sitting in The Big House after drinking for hours, there is no reason to watch this crap.

My main problems with college football are:

  • there are too many teams
  • there is too much emphasis on tradition
  • rankings are subjective and pointless.

I won’t suggest getting rid of teams, but I think I’m in favor of giving up the quest for an NCAA football national championship. There’s no way to put together something that even comes close to the awesomeness of NCAA hoops, which features, hands down, the best tournament in sports. Why not just have conference tournaments and leave it at that? I’d rather watch Big 10 teams battle it out than pretend to give a shit about the SEC or the Pac 10. Nobody is satisfied with the way the “national championship” is awarded now (except fans of the team that wins), so we’re not really losing anything.

Next, let’s get over the tradition. I don’t care that Notre Dame used to be good — they were good at one time, so we’re supposed to give a shit and want to watch their loser asses get pounded on national TV. I’m supposed to care about teams from the south where people yell a bunch of shit that doesn’t make sense, like “Roll Tide” and “War Eagle” — WTF is that? Aside from the fact that I think Florida’s frumpy alligator is cute as hell, I don’t care to figure out how Florida differs from Florida State. Florida is hot and humid and full of old people and had that one basketball guy who I think is with the Bulls now, and I just don’t care.

Don’t even get me started on the rankings. When I want to pretend it’s interesting to give a shit about what some bitches think about who should be number one and who should be sent home broken hearted, I have a few beers and watch America’s Next Top Model. I think Tyra should have bangs, and I think NCAA football needs to get over itself and cater to fans who like their team, but don’t have 100 extra hours a week to spend following teams from all over the country.

In my dream world, you’d be able to order a la carte cable coverage of your team and its conference. Even though I live in Colorado, I could order up Iowa coverage, including all games and local news about the team. That would be sweet, even if they lose to Wisconsin this week. As luck would have it, my local ABC affiliate is showing that game instead of that west coast matchup I don’t care about, where one team will score 82 and the other will score 13.

Go Hawks. It’s up to you to restore my faith in college football.