Should ESPN Suspend College GameDay Host Chris Fowler?

October 8, 2012

This past Saturday morning, during ESPN’s television broadcast of its college football pre-game show College GameDay, host Chris Fowler committed a very serious lack of judgment.  In discussing the pending match-up between Notre Dame and the University of Miami, Mr. Fowler referred to the game as Catholics versus convicts.  As a fan of college football for nearly fifty years, I know that Miami once liked to promote itself as a team of thugs, even going to the extreme of wearing military combat fatigues to the 1987 Fiesta Bowl, a game that pitted the number one ranked Hurricanes against number two ranked Penn State Nittany Lions, a bowl game in which many sports commentators referred to as good versus evil.  However, I seriously doubt that this prestigious university is proud of such a dubious honor.

Just last month, the Notre Dame radio network suspended former Irish player turned analyst Allen Pinkett for three games without pay for his comment that “That’s just how Ohio State used to win all the time.  They would have two or three guys that were criminals and that just adds to the chemistry of the team.”  Is Mr. Fowler’s comment any less politically incorrect or insensitive than that of Mr. Pinkett’s?

As a life-long Buckeye, I have never been a fan of the Hurricanes; however, I found the comment made by Mr. Fowler disgraceful and in extremely poor taste.  Just as Mr. Pinkett was suspended, ESPN should suspend Mr. Fowler without pay for three weeks as well.

Steven H. Spring
The Ohio State University, Class of ‘87

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Thirty Days To Go, Finally!!! Thankfully!!!

With exactly thirty days to go until Election Day is finally upon us, the end thankfully is in sight.  I admit to being a political and news junkie, but I have long grown tired of hearing nothing but federal and state election updates, poll results and never ending campaign commercials, as if no other news event has occurred somewhere throughout planet Earth during the past twelve months.  I believe it would take a devastating hurricane or earthquake to break into the election coverage stranglehold on the news.  You would think that with an already record length war, entering into its twelfth year (started on this date in 2001) and a possible end maybe two years from now, that something just might be happening in Afghanistan.  A war that has now evolved into U.S. military personal being killed by the very same Afghan soldiers they train. It is long past time for America to declare victory and get out as soon as possible.

Moreover, in an affront to democracy, the Republican Party has attempted to suppress the number of Democratic voters via their voter identification laws and purging of voter registration lists in the name of eliminating voter fraud.  What Republicans fail to articulate is that voter fraud is basically nonexistent, something like 0.00005 percent of the total votes cast during the past decade, and most of those were errors by election polling station staff.  It seems the only known recent case of voter fraud was perpetrated by a Republican Party election official just last month.  The true intent of the Republican Party is to reduce the size of the opposition.  Since 2001, almost one thousand new bills have been introduced in forty-six states that would strengthen voting laws.

In the 2008 election, more than two million voters were unable to vote because they did not have the appropriate ID.  In what seems an absurdity, Texas law allows voters to show their concealed handgun licenses as a proper form of identification but not a university ID.  With twenty-four states having recently passed or are considering new voter suppression laws, it is estimated that five million eligible citizens will be unable to vote next month.  In a dead heat election, which the presidential race is shaping up to be, several thousand votes in one key state could decide the outcome.  Just ask Florida Democrats.  This attempt to eradicate the opposition was made perfectly clear when Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai boasted earlier this year to a Republican State Committee that his state’s new voter identification law, which has been estimated to eliminate up to ten percent of his state’s registered voters, “…is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania” this November 6th.

Isn’t it ironic that Republicans are so adamant about voters presenting proper ID to cast their ballot yet see nothing wrong with having million dollar campaign contributors influence the outcome of an entire election, and that the American public has no idea who they are since current law requires no posting of contributions until after the election, if at all?

What this country needs to do is to conduct the vote via the internet.  I’m no statistician, but the number of U.S. citizens who would vote online has to be enormous.  For those without the knowledge or access (libraries are a great place to log on if you do not have access yourself), you can always leave open a few voting precincts.  The nation casts its vote on American Idol via either a computer or cell phone.  I know nothing of the facts as I proudly watch no reality television, but there are probably more votes cast each week on Idol than will vote on November 6th.  Online voting is the wave of the future; America should make it a top priority and implement it in time for the 2016 presidential election.

Steven H. Spring

Flowers #281A, 282A, 283A, 284, 285A & 286A

I sometimes will double-check the quality level of photographs I have posted on WordPress.com on a computer at my local library to verify that the quality of the photographs posted are the same on a computer different from my own.  On more than one occasion, I have been embarrassed by what I saw.  I have tried contacting support to see what could be causing this problem, but have yet to determine what the exact cause is.

I have also yet to figure out what is causing the uploaded photographs to look slightly askew when viewing the finished posting.  This is not the case of the actual photograph scanned onto my computer (yes, I still proudly shoot film) nor when I first upload them to my WordPress.com blog page.  Again, I am sometimes embarrassed by the final product, as it appears that I care very little by their actual appearance.  As a neat freak and a perfectionist (both a blessing and a curse), this is far from the truth.

If I am fortunate enough to have you view my work, and you find the quality of my photographs lacking, please let me know via a viewer comment.

Steven H. Spring

Throwaway, Not Throwback Uniforms

I never thought I would ever not watch a sporting event because of team uniforms, however that all changed this past Saturday night when ABC’s prime time matchup of Big 10/12 traditional powerhouses Nebraska and Wisconsin became a first for me.  Each team was wearing some sort of modified throwback uniform from glory days gone by we were led to believe as both team’s jerseys were fronted with an applicable W or N along with a small number on the right shoulder.  However, the back of each jersey were their modern self, with huge numbers and names.  It is bad enough when one team wears such a hideous looking uniform; however, both teams wearing them were just too damn much.

For it to be truly a throwback uniform, there should only be a couple of numbers and maybe a school name or insignia.  And especially no uniform manufacturer’s name or emblem plastered everywhere.  Football lost its soul when it started placing the player’s name on the back of the jersey.  Identification of each player is the sole reason for a number in the first place.  After adding names, football as a game, changed from being about team and instead, certain position players (i.e., quarterback, running back and especially now wide receivers, who for some time have been labeled prima donnas) have become huge stars, many times now overshadowing their team.

Thankfully, when my once beloved Browns of Cleveland, the team of my youth, wear their throwback uniforms, they look almost identical to what they currently wear.  The only thing that indicates something different is a small number on the helmets.  The reasoning for the popularity of these modified throwback uniforms is that the players like them, we are told.  In reality however, what really do 18-20 year old kids know?  It is this very same generation who proudly wear their pants down around their knees.  We all know the real reasoning for the old-time uniforms.  It is so Nike, Adidas and Under Armour can sell its seductive audience many more authentic jerseys at around $200.00 a pop.  Authentic team apparel is big business.  That is the sole reason for throwback jerseys rapid rise in popularity in recent years.

Steven H. Spring
The Ohio State University, Class of ‘87