Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Blue & White Roundtable

It's Wednesday and that means it's Blue & White Roundtable day – our annual trek into the twisted minds of three Penn State bloggers. Speaking of twisted minds, I had the honors this week and the questions are about as eclectic as I am; that's a nice way of saying I have a short attention span. Enjoy.

Ron Zook signed one of the top recruiting classes this year… at Illinois. Must be the long winning tradition. No? Well how about the top notch facilities? Negative. Warm weather – never mind. Well then how in the Hell did Zook get such good talent to come to the fighting [offensive mascot removed]?

It's really hard to believe that a school with such a bad record and no history behind it would land such a class, but I think that's where all the cheating rumors came from – I have yet to see any concrete evidence that makes me believe Zook did anything wrong. The Zookster could easily tell a prospective recruit that Illinois was competitive against a lot of the teams in the Big Ten like *cough* Penn *cough* State *cough* and with said prospective recruit's help, they could get to the next level. He could also point to the Florida Gators and point out that Urban won with "Zook's guys" and that wouldn't be a lie.

There was a recent hearing about the lack of black head coaches in the NCAA. The NFL instituted the "Rooney Rule" which forces any team seeking a coach to interview at least one minority. Is it possible for the NCAA to force universities to adopt more inclusive hiring policies?

The "Rooney Rule" is such a joke; if a team has 5 coaches on their short list, none of which are a minority, they can just add another interview and fulfill the rule. Pro teams are nothing more than a business and, in the end, all they are trying to do is make themselves more marketable. If Team A has narrowed the field down to 4 candidates for an open head coaching job and two are minorities, it makes good business sense to hire one of the minorities. The benefits are two-fold: you attract a broader audience without losing anyone (very few people are going to stop being fans of a particular team because of the head coach), and it becomes a PR move – you can spout off about how proactive of an organization you are.

Pro teams have something college teams don't: proving grounds. As soon as a young minority coach proves himself in college, he's snatched up by the Pros. Paterno lamented this fact about a decade ago when asked about hiring African American coaches. JoePa said it's very hard to find and retain good ones because the Pros take them as soon as they prove their worth. Moreover, college coaches are built more than recruited. Coaches usually start off as graduate assistants and make their way through the ranks. If any rule were to be levied, I think this base level is where it would need to be applied. Forcing a school to hire a minority as a coach for the simple case of hiring a minority isn't fair to the schools if there isn't a base to start from.

Phil Fulmer just got a 2 year contract extension with no raise. Was this the right move for Tennessee or should they have parted ways?

I was going to say that Phil's record probably dictates that this was a good deal, with the year before last the exception, but his lackadaisical policy off the field may say otherwise but with recent news of Fulmer getting "tough" by suspending a kid for underage drinking, maybe Phil has turned over a new leaf. At this point, the university has too much invested in Phil and making a change right now for the sake of change can sometimes cause a revolving door of coaching (see Alabama).

Penn State has pretty lenient tailgating rules compared to other schools but what one rule change would make your tailgating experience better?

Without a doubt – bring back kegs. I'm not exactly sure why they were banned in the first place – too much power drinking? Kegs would eliminate the mindboggling beer can trash mountains that appear after every game and would make my tailgate significantly cheaper. Anyone that has done the math like I have will learn that kegs save you money when buying beer in bulk; a necessity for any responsible tailgate.

The math done so you don't have to
(all prices taken directly from Nittany Beverage in State College)

Coors Light is $20.52 per case of 12 oz. cans
There is 164 12 oz cans (or 6.83 cases) per keg = $140 of equivalent beer in cases of cans
A keg costs $70.00half the price of the equivalent in cases.

Yes I know it was Coors Light but it was the first I could find prices for in both cases of cans and kegs. At any rate – there you have it, I do the math for you and now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

Duke says: "Know your container mathematics; because knowing is half the battle. Yo, Joe!"

Penn State is pretty deep at wide receiver this year after signing Moye and the return of Bell, how do you think the coaches will handle the plethora of talented wideouts?

I think Bell will be used for endzone fades and long bombs like they tried to do this season – Moye will probably redshirt. You will probably see Bell's playing time increase, especially if the wide receivers have the same problems they had last year – dropped balls, poor routs, etc.

Lightning Round
Did the Eagles make a mistake not re-signing Jeff Garcia?

Yes – they better hope McNabb stays healthy or there will be trouble.

Baseball season is fast approaching do you have a favorite team or don't you give a crap about the 'roid league?

I've been an Astros fan since the Nolan Ryan days and I've sat through a lot of crap to get to the "good" times now. I'm enjoying it.

Troy Smith: late round bargain or future NFL bust?

I think he has the tools to eventually be an everyday starter, but not for a couple years. I don't think he will be a bust unless he goes to the Raiders.

Sticking with the music theme, what album do you have in your collection that you're too embarrassed to name? BE HONEST – don't make me send the music police to raid your home.

ABBA Gold, baby! ABBA F'in GOLD!

My mother listened to ABBA and John Denver when I was young so both remind me of my childhood – that's the best excuse I can come up with. Yes, yes… I have John Denver too - the shame never ends.

There you have it, head on over to Black Shoe Diaries and Run Up The Score (when he rolls out of bed at the crack of noon) and catch their answers. As always, please leave your thoughts, rants, or long diatribes in the comment section below. List YOUR most embarrassing album for bonus points and earn TNL Imagination money for the best (or worst) one.


Black Shoe Diaries said...

Did you read the scouting reports on Smith? The "experts" say he's too short to play in the NFL. Which means he'll go to the CFL and win like 8 Championships like Doug Flutie.

Galen said...

They said the same thing about Barry Sanders and Emmit Smith. I think he'll make it in the end.

Coach said...

Tailgating at Penn State, last year, was, logistically, less enjoyable.

The new "no alcohol during the game" rule is asinine and insulting. No open flames are allowed in the lots (it's a logical but culinarily tragic rule). Technically, no canopies are permitted in the general parking. The parking attendants last year were horrible - very confrontational and ugly - it got especially bad after the Michigan game when we were told that the administration is trying to "phase out" tailgating - because it's "out of control."

They better damn well take down that "penn state experience" placard outside the west stands touting tailgating - bastards.

Coach said...

gotta agree with bsd on this one. Smith is a qb - makes a world of difference when you can't see over your 6'5" linemen.

Anonymous said...

I was never really very impressed with Smith outside of Michigan games or their bowl game against Notre Dame. Watching him fall apart everytime Zombie Nation played was a thing of beauty, so was Hali putting him ass over tea kettle.

Galen said...


I agree with all of your points with tailgating. You must park in general parking because two seasons ago I did and was faced with the same surly attendants. Luckily we now combine our tailgates with others and we make our home in the RV lots – the RV attendants are exponentially more friendly – I think they actually like their job. As for the rest, in the RV lots, you can basically get away with just about anything and they don’t say boo (probably because it’s the lots of the rich RV guys). They could NEVER enforce the “no canopies” rule because they would have to confiscate a couple thousand canopies. I do wish I could cook with charcoal and I’ve seen plenty of people do it, but I try to follow the rules.

Run Up The Score! said...

Yes, but that's the crack of noon in mountain time, so it's really just the crack of 10:00am. So there. Jerk.

Galen said...

I see you're up early today - congrats.

Black Shoe Diaries said...

Re: Tailgating

How about mowing the freakin' grass once in a while? I'm paying $10 to park there, how about at least letting ol' Bessie walk around the field and chew down the grass some? And while you're at it, how about paving the roads? It's like you're driving on the moon surface. I'm afraid my truck is going to fall in a crater and I'll never be heard from again.

Coach said...

Are you in the RV day of game lot? Because my experience in the overnight lot is that the vehicles are so close together that you can't really have a good sized tailgate.

I've parked all around beaver stadium - my current tailgate boasts 5-6 vehicles, so we're pretty much relegated to yellow parking. Personally, I prefer the general parking for tailgating. Reserved parking is pleasant enough, unless your neighbors are die-hard arrive late, leave early types (which, let's face it, many reserved parking folks are). I had a spot in the "newish" pink lot for 3 seasons - the first year I was on the end of the row - but the next year they added more spots - not good for us. We tailgated there for one season - we were always having to move the canopy to allow cars in and out - and our car was hit 2 times - In the yellow lots, once you're in - you're in - I do give "mad props" to them that park in the brown lot (preferred general) - those folks "get it."

Galen said...

Yeah we are in the RV day of game lot. We have a couple things going for us - we get there relatively early and we have a smallish RV so we have plenty of space because the lots are made for the big guys. Since only one of us has an RV the rest all park in yellow parking and head to the RV lot - that way your tailgate has one vehicle and the 20-30 people that are typical in our tailgate have plenty of room. FYI - we tailgate across from the old baseball field in those RV lots - it's a nice arrangement.

BSD said...

RV's? I didn't realize I was dealing with rich alumni here.

We usually park in the yellow lot on the bank right behind center field of the baseball stadium. Our tailgate consists of a pickup truck and a jeep with a couple canopies. We literally set up the "tailgate" party on a "tailgate."

Coach said...

Damn it - I can't wait until Blue/White.

Anonymous said...

Brings back memories from when I used to be a parking lot attendant there when I was in high school & college. Most of the time, my job was to make sure nobody parked in the fire lane between the RV lot & the blue lot across the street from the South end of the stadium.

... boring reminising deleted ...

Usually, I would just stand around & try to mooch food off the tailgaters.

Galen said...

As a parking attendant you probably didn't have to try hard to mooch food - we love to “grease the wheels” of our PA's, it’s just good business.

By the way – wasn’t anyone impressed with my Beerematics? I thought it was quite impressive that you can pay half the price for beer when bought in keg form. Even I didn’t realize you could save THAT much and I have a TAP system at home and a good defense to keep it.

Greg said...

ABBA rules, by the way. Don't be ashamed to love them!

Galen said...

I wouldn't go THAT far, but some of ABBA's songs are catchy.