Welcome again to the greatest show on earth. The previous statement may be slightly exaggerated, but a creative license is a good thing. We have our three top competitors back for another round of this game to sort out the grand from the bland. Today’s competitors are: last week’s champion, Ray Lodato, WTSR sports director Pat Lavery and The Signal sports editor, Lauren Kohout. I am the ref for this game, Rob “I could definitely outplay Aaron Brooks” Viviano.
1) In many of my classes, a student is allowed to miss classes and even tests for varsity sports games and miss many classes because of this. Should athletes get full passes from class when they scheduled the conflicting class, or should they be responsible enough to not enroll in a class at a time he knows is in conflict with games?
RL: Yes, they should get passes from class. As long as the athletic programs continue to bring prestige to the College (lacrosse team’s six-peat), they should be given special byes. Life isn’t fair and often times games and practices, which previously coincided with a set schedule, are changed and the athlete is often left out in the cold left with a tough decision: do I go to class, miss practice and get benched, or miss class and lose ground in my studies? They shouldn’t be penalized when they’re playing by different rules than the rest of the students. Exceptions need to be made and that’s exactly what the College has done, rightly so.
PL: I think, if that is indeed the attendance policy currently in effect, then the athletes have two choices: to schedule their classes in such a way that they are able to take advantage of the system, or to consciously schedule their classes when they know there will be no conflict. However, with outdoor sports, there always exists the possibility of rain-outs and make-up games, which makes a mess out of the athletic schedule anyway. So, as long as athletes can take advantage of the attendance policy present in many courses with regard to athletic events, they should feel no hesitation in doing so.
LK: They should get full passes because registration for classes comes before you know your entire practice and game schedules. Most classes have more than one section, so an athlete could easily attend the other section one week. It is impossible to fit your classes perfectly around your athletic schedule anyway because the athletic schedule is tentative. You never know when a rained out game will be rescheduled. Heck, a lot of our athletes are only here because of sports, so to deprive them of that opportunity would just be plain wrong and bad for our records.
RV: For recognizing that the ability to abuse the system is not a “bad” thing, simply a “morally void” thing, and saying pretty much the same thing as everyone else, Pat gets 3 points. Ray gets his 2 points for a very valid and thought out answer, unique enough to deserve its points. Now Lauren, to my knowledge your opening statement is not true. I am basing this on having intimate knowledge of only two sports, but it seems pretty much par for the course to hear “avoid these times whenever possible” long before registration. Plus, you are saying that people come to the College only because of the sports. We all love sports, both national and Lions, but generally that’s just silly – 1 point.
2) A few players on a major college football team, Notre Dame I believe, were recently cited by the NCAA for having their voices appear in a radio commercial for the local radio station that broadcasts their games. They were not paid for said “endorsement” and really only stated their names and the name of the station. Is the NCAA taking the “amateur” thing a bit too far here, when these guys are cited for appearing on the radio in an unpaid spot?
RL: Does the NCAA get a bit ridiculous with their varied rules and regulations? Of course. Should college athletes be paid, despite the fact they’re not professionals? Absolutely not. The beauty of college football is that, more often than not (Reggie Bush, here’s looking at you), the sport is pure. The millions of dollars in waiting that the NFL provides is in the future, yet the college game is about bragging rights, about swagger, about school and personal pride. In college, money is not yet a factor and the game doesn’t become about agents and marketing; it’s about wins, losses and knocking those damn dirty West Virginia Mountaineers out of the Top 10 (Go ‘Cuse!).
PL: This really is an issue of money and responsibility. It’s absolutely wrong for the NCAA to discipline these players since they are not paid; however, it is also the responsibility of the players to keep themselves out of any endorsement situations that might be questionable. It’s definitely a double-edged sword, but I think the Notre Dame kids got the short end this time.
LK: I don’t think so. By giving their names over the airwaves they are making it seem like they are celebrities. It is one thing if you have the player on a sports-based radio talk show for an interview, but to have them plug the station is probably not in their best interest. You’re playing for the name on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back, so who really cares if Brady Quinn listens to a radio station?
RV: Ray has perfectly captured the difference in the players and intensity before and after college, also isolating why I prefer NCAA to Madden in my PS2. It’s the bragging rights, and plus I don’t like the Mountaineers – 3 points. I agree with Pat personally, that the NCAA was wrong in doing this when it was so incredibly trivial, but now all teams know that the NCAA is really strict about it and that the players will lose to the NCAA in petty matters like this – 2 points. Lauren, I care if Brady Quinn listens to my radio station, because he is a celebrity and all my bootleg/handmade Quinn merchandise proves it – 1 point.
3) The New York Yankees crash their jet plane into the New York Mets’ jet, and the wreckage falls onto the Phillies’ clubhouse officially ending all three teams’ chances in winning the playoffs. Who makes it to the World Series and who wins without these three teams around?
RL: Let’s get one thing straight – the Phillies never had a chance to get into the playoffs. This happens every year; they get close and then break our hearts. Case closed. As far as the World Series? From the AL the Minnesota Twins and from the NL, as much as it kills me to say it, the L.A. Dodgers. The Twins are peaking at the right time, playing their best baseball when other teams are crumbling (Detroit Tigers anyone?) and have the best clubhouse in baseball. When you survive injuries that devastate your pitching staff (Radke and Liriano) and still compete at a very high level, you know you have a complete club. The Dodgers, it seems, just have an indomitable will to win. In the past two weeks, I’ve seen them pull more ninth-inning comebacks out than 13 playoff-less years in Philly combined. The NL competition? What competition? God knows the Cardinals aren’t going to do anything besides getting swept and I think the Dodgers are hotter than San Diego right now. L.A. and Minnesota, case closed.
PL: So it’s down to the Yankees and Mets colliding in midair. By default, the American League Eastern Division crown would fall to the Toronto Blue Jays, with the Florida Marlins taking the NL East. In any case, under this scenario, I think the ALCS boils down to the Twins and A’s, and the NLCS turns out with the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers. From here, I think we’re looking at a World Series matchup of Minnesota and San Diego, with Minnesota taking it in six games.
LK: After a month or two of mourning for those teams, I would say the Twins over the Dodgers. The Tigers are 49-32 on the road but only 46-32 at home. If you can’t win at home in the regular season, you’re not gonna win away in the World Series. But the Twins have a much better home record and I think fans need to be reminded that the Twins actually still exist. The Dodgers are just plain hot right now as Nomar Garciaparra is on top of his game. At least when they lose the Series he will still have Mia Hamm to go home to.
RV: Without a doubt, if you cannot hold your ground at your own stadium, or hold onto the most ridiculous huge winning record, or even your own division, you won’t make it anywhere. Also, if I was Nomar, I’d throw it to spend more time with Mia – 3 points to Lauren. For straight up recognizing that as a rule the Phillies won’t make it, and admitting that the entire NL league is solely a competition to see who will lose in the World Series, Ray gets 2 points. Pat, for scaring me beyond belief with the fact that the Blue Jays would go to the playoffs, and because you missed the correct answer of “somehow, George Steinbrenner would still win,” you get the 1.
With a 7-6-5 final score again, I decide the winner to be Ray Lodato.