Jack Kemp: A Great Guy and A Friend to the Common Man – Joe Paterno is way ahead of these Big Ten Folks, but What’s New? – The BCS Boys and George Wallace and the Bedrock Principle of our Republic that “All Men are Created Equal”
Before we get to the BCS Boys and some other matters we must note the passing of Jack Kemp over the weekend. All of us here at Coaches Hot Seat were still in diapers when Jack Kemp retired from the Buffalo Bills in 1969 so we never got to see Mr. Kemp play football, but we have seen enough highlights and read enough about the man to know he was a very good football player. Several of us did run into Jack Kemp though when we were in college in the 1980s when Representative Kemp was still serving in the US House of Representatives and during Mr. Kemp’s run for the Presidency in 1988. “Mr. Kemp” as we called him seemed to always be talking about economics and ideas flowed from the man like a fast flowing river and he always had time to talk to everyone, but especially for people that worked for a living, like the fry cook, the waitress and yes, even inquisitive college students. Jack Kemp was truly “a prince” of a man and our world lost a lot over the weekend with his passing.
So many stories come to mind when we think of Jack Kemp, but a Time magazine story in 1996 when the presumptive Republican nominee Bob Dole was considering his Vice-Presidential choices, had Senator Dole asking his aides:
“Dole had been playing with the idea of Kemp for some time. Since June the Dole team had been running background checks on a short list of Republican Governors and Senators that did not include Kemp. But from time to time Dole would startle some aides by asking, “What about the quarterback?””
It was not easy for Bob Dole to pick Jack Kemp as his VP because (from that same Time magazine story):
“For a moment last week, two traits of Bob Dole the lawmaker came to the rescue of Bob Dole the candidate–the ability to swallow your pride and to make peace with your past. To arrive at the astonishing choice of Jack Kemp as his running mate, a man who has spent a good part of his political career spearing Bob Dole, required both. Dole admitted as much in a Thursday-night phone call to Mississippi Senator Trent Lott, his successor as majority leader and a good friend of Kemp’s. If Kemp was the one, Dole told Lott, it would be a signal to everyone of how seriously Dole wanted to win, for there could hardly be a tougher choice for him to accept.”
Of course, the ticket of Bob Dole and Jack Kemp lost to the incumbent President Bill Clinton in 1996, but Jack Kemp never stopped talking and selling his optimistic view of how we can solve the problems of this world. As Jack Kemp once famously said:
“When you tax something you get less of it, and when you reward something you get more of it.”
Where all of us at Coaches Hot Seat now live, in the state of California, the above quote by Mr. Kemp could not be truer as both the Democrats and Republicans that are running this former great state have through their wild-spending ways and out-of-control and over-the-top regulations brought this state to its knees and to the edge of insolvency. As Jack Kemp knew all too well, a government that at its core despises business and often even its own citizens will eventually reach the tipping point where even the most innovative and hard working in the society cannot make a business work when they are up against oppressive taxes and asinine regulations. Only a very stupid person would start a manufacturing company in California today or any non-professional company for that matter and that is the main reason that so many of hard working lower and middle class folks in California cannot find decent jobs. As CEO Magazine recently found after polling CEO’s across the country, California is the worst state in the Union to do business in, and this is the fourth straight year it has been rated in the last spot. How proud Schwarzenegger and the state of California senators and representatives must be with all of their handiwork in recent years, but enough of us here at Coaches Hot Seat have spoken with enough of these government folks to know they do not care that it is very hard to run a profitable business in California, only that they always want more and more revenue to fund more and more programs that the state cannot afford.
Yes, Jack Kemp knew very well that…“When you tax something you get less of it, and when you reward something you get more of it” and as the state of California sails off into oblivion, we can only hope that at least a few of these fools would took a moment to ponder if adding more taxes, often on the poorest in our society, and more regulations is really the best way to go about running the state of California. We are not holding our breath and if things continue down the current road many of us here at Coaches Hot Seat may join many of our friends and their corporations on the exodus out of the state, because it makes little sense to stay in a place where the state is hell bent on destroying all commerce, even if that will destroy the state long run. No, the folks in Sacramento don’t give a damn about the people of California and they prove it every day by their actions. Yes, that is a damn shame, but at truth nonetheless.
Jack Kemp, 1935 – 2009 RIP. You will be missed Mr. Kemp, but never forgotten…
Coach Joe Paterno was out late last week in several different media reports pushing for the Big Ten to expand to 12 teams so that the conference could hold a Big Ten Championship Game and without a doubt Coach Paterno’s suggestion has got to be one of the most common-sense things said recently in Big Ten country, but that should not be surprising because JoePa is one of sharpest people in the game of college football. Coach Paterno has been way ahead of everyone in promoting a playoff in college football for a couple of decades now actually calling the excuses for why we don’t have a playoff right now: “Bogus.” Now Coach Paterno has brought his keen intellect forward to make the point that:
“Everybody else is playing playoffs on television,” Paterno said. “You never see a Big Ten team mentioned. So I think that’s a handicap.
“I’ve tried to talk to the Big Ten people about, ‘Let’s get a 12th team — Syracuse, Rutgers, Pitt — we could have a little bit of a playoff.’”
Of course, adding a twelfth team to the Big Ten makes way too much sense for the folks in the Big Ten offices which are filled with people that are lucky to know what day of the week it is when it comes to the game of college football, forget about having vision or the ability to do something that might actually be better for the game as a whole. Oh, we forgot, the actions by Big Ten officials in recent years have proved to us completely that they don’t give a damn about the game of college football as a whole. No, there are way too many greedy bastards in the Big Ten office that are both afraid to move to a playoff because they are wisely scared that would allow for all the world to see that the Big Ten is little more than the MAC Conference, only with larger student bodies, and we certainly cannot have something like that, and maybe even that it would move us closer to a playoff in the college football postseason. The very even keeled columnist Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch wrote a piece over the weekend entitled:
How true Bob, how so very true…
If the people in the Big Ten ever did get a clue, the no-brainer decision of all-time is to add Notre Dame to the conference in all sports and allow the Irish to keep their NBC TV contract for home games. You add Notre Dame to the Big Ten, and you would have a conference that could challenge the Big 12 and SEC for supremacy, that is if Notre Dame ever decides to get off the mat. Of course, adding the Notre Dame to the Big Ten would take someone with the ability to see beyond next Tuesday and someone that believes that a championship is won on the field of play, and there is no one in sight like that anywhere near the Big Ten offices. No, beauty queens and Rose parades are seemingly more important than football in the Big Ten offices, so no, we are not holding our breath that anyone is listening to JoePa….
Speaking of Rose parades, the US House Energy Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection held last Friday the first of several hearings that are slated in Congress on the BCS in the coming months. The BCS Boys sent a representative in ACC commissioner John Swofford, and the other people testifying included Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson, Derick Fox, CEO of Alamo Bowl and Gene Bleymair AD at Boise State. Several of us here at Coaches Hot Seat watched a replay of the hearing over the weekend (which you can watch here on the C-Span website) and read each of the prepared statements by the above witnesses and we have to give Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson a lot of credit for the testimony that he prepared for the hearing:
In his testimony MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson laid out his Five Flaws of the BCS:
1. The BCS Revenue Distribution is Grossly Inequitable
2. The BCS Relies on Non-Performance-Based Standards to Determine Automatic-Qualifying Conferences
3. The BCS is Based on a Flawed Premise, and Nearly Half of the FBS Teams are Eliminated from the National Championship Even Before the Season Begins
4. The BCS Uses Confusing Computer Formulas and Pollsters to Determine Rankings
5. The BCS Dictates Unbalanced Representation of Conferences on the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee
We could not agree more with Mr. Thompson Five Fatal Flaws of the BCS and Mr. Thompson has done some great work in the last few months to put together an alternative college football postseason proposal that would actually represent the values of the United States of America, namely that all Americans should be treated equally and that championships and titles should be earned on the field of play.
We wonder though, with all of the blather in the media by several columnists that trip all over themselves to defend and enable the BCS, which is nothing more than a series of meaningless exhibition games and a bogus “championship game,” if there really is an American citizen that can argue against all Americans being treated equally and determining championships on the field of play.
Are there really Americans that believe that all Americans are not equal and that championships should be won on the field of play? Please, can there be any member of the media or any American that actually believes that the members of the Utah and Boise State college football teams that should be treated differently that members of college football teams in the Big 12 or SEC? If there are Americans that believe that college football players in BCS conferences are somehow inherently better and should be treated so, and that championships should be determined and won somewhere besides the field of play, we would love to meet you.
Of course, in large parts of US history, some Americans were thought and even legally considered to be less than full Americans and we can go back to one of our founding documents to find the same type of things that these BCS Boys are up to today. In Article 1 Section 2 of the US Constitution, slaves were to be counted as “….three fifths of all other Persons” so yes, even in our own US Constitution these BCS Boys can look with pride that them treating some Americans today as less than full and equal Americans has a place in our history. The BCS Boys should be proud that they have something in common with our Founding Fathers…
Of course, even with the Fourteenth Amendment to our US Constitution that (Amendment 14, Article 1)….
“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”
…..as students of US history know, the Fourteenth Amendment did not actually guarantee that black Americans would be able to have all the rights of other Americans, because for almost 100 years after the Civil War, some parts of our country were ruled by “Jim Crow” laws that denied rights to black Americans only because of the color of their skin, which has been best chronicled in the Jim Crow Guide (only read if you have a strong stomach and still be prepared to be outraged). Yes, for the vast majority of our country’s history some Americans have thought that they were better than other Americans so maybe it is not that hard that the BCS Boys believe that the teams in the BCS conferences are somehow superior to teams from the “non-BCS” conferences, even though they all play in the same NCAA division of college football. It makes no sense to us how someone could believe that a group of Americans were somehow superior to other Americans, but as MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson pointed out in his testimony to the House of Representatives, these BCS Boys very clearly favor one set of Americans over another set of Americans. Not only is that wrong, that the BCS Boys favor one group of Americans over another group, we believe that this unequal treatment is illegal because all of these institutions of higher learning that these college football teams represent receive federal grants and financial aid. Yes, that these colleges and universities are able to both receive aid from the US Government and they are also able to treat one group of Americans better than another group of American sounds not only wrong to us, but also very illegal.
What kind of people are these BCS Boys? How can they possibly set-up a system for college football’s post-season where some teams in I-A college football are treated differently that other teams? Or, as MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson says:
“The BCS is Based on a Flawed Premise, and Nearly Half of the FBS Teams are Eliminated from the National Championship Even Before the Season Begins”
When those of us here at Coaches Hot Seat encounter people, institutions or systems that do not make sense in the year 2009, we look back in history to find comparables and we believe we have found a very good historical comparison to the BCS and the way it treats some Americans different than their “preferred” Americans….
Yes, that’s right, these BCS Boys remind us of George Wallace when he stood in the schoolhouse door at the University of Alabama in June 1963. George Wallace thought that only whites should be allowed to attend the University of Alabama and the BCS Boys through their own Selection Procedures treat one group of Americans different from another group of Americans. George Wallace was wrong and the BCS Boys are wrong and wrongs of this nature in the United States of America always tend to get corrected and the BCS Boys need to think long and hard about this bogus system that they have instituted for the college football postseason because this is about a lot more than just a bunch of meaningless exhibition games and an “exclusionary” championship game. This is about one very simple premise….
If you believe in the BCS then you believe that it is OK to treat on group of Americans in a preferential way over another group of Americans. That is what this whole thing is really about. We happen to think that is wrong, but there have always been people in this country of ours that have attempted through the use of their power to treat other Americans in an unfair and discriminatory way. It is very clear to us that the BCS Boys will continue to favorably treat the teams in the major conferences compared to the college football teams in the “non-BCS” conferences and not only is that unfair, not only does that run counter to everything the United States of America supposed to stand for, it is also outrageous.
Therefore, if you believe that it is OK to treat one group of Americans in a preferential way then you have made it very clear that you stand with the George Wallace’s of the world…
On the other hand, if you feel that all Americans should be treated equally and that it is outrageous that a very small group of people are able to favor one group of Americans over another group of Americans (who are representing institutions that are receiving federal/US Government aid), then you stand with the traditions and laws of our Republic. So who do you stand with? George Wallace or the truly American idea that “All men are created equal.” If you stand with the BCS, then make no mistake about it, you are on the wrong side of history, you are on the side of allowing a very small group of people to treat one group of Americans in a preferential and very unfair (and in our mind, illegal) way compared to another group of Americans and yes, you stand with the likes of George Wallace.
There is one very clear reason that the Congress, which represents the people of the United States, should be involved in the BCS and that reason is that we do not believe the BCS Boys care at all about the group of Americans that they are treating in what we consider to be a discriminatory way. It will take the US Government standing up for what is right and standing up for the laws of the United States of America in order to insure that these student-athletes are treated as full and equal Americans by the BCS. If you stand with these bastard BCS Boys and actually believe that Americans can be treated unequally, then shame on you, but you can be mindful that there have been many like you in the past…..
…and there will be plenty of Americans in the future that will want to discriminate against Americans, as long as there are people around that will allow them to get away with the same type of shenanigans that the BCS Boys are getting away with right now. This is about a lot more than meaningless exhibition games and a college football postseason that defies all logic, as Boise State and Utah showed everyone last year when they both finished the season undefeated but did not have a chance to play for a national championship, this is about fundamental fairness and the American Way. We certainly wish someone could explain to us how the major Catholic university in our country Notre Dame gets 1 full vote with the BCS Committee and how the major Mormon university in our country, BYU does not receive 1 full vote as well. For that matter, why does Notre Dame get 1 full vote, and schools like Texas, Oklahoma, USC, Alabama and Florida only get a fraction of 1 vote since they are members of conferences. Does that make any sense at all? Does that not strike you as very un-American? If not, just what in the Hell are you thinking?
As people that are for (and how could any American really be for the bogus BCS?) and against the BCS, take a minute to consider what America must have been like before anyone here at Coaches Hot Seat was alive in 1963 when George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door to bar black Americans from registering to attend the University of Alabama. That was only 46 years ago, but clearly that was an America that none of us are familiar with. Yes, racism of all types clearly exists today and yes, the BCS in our mind clearly discriminates against one group of Americans, but just what in the Hell was George Wallace thinking when he stood in that schoolhouse door? Evidently, by George Wallace’s own words later in life, he was wrong in 1963 and we cannot imagine that there is anyone today that believes it right or fair for the BCS to discriminate against a group of student-athletes just because they happen to play for a particular group of college football teams. Or, maybe there are some George Wallace-types still around…..
Bravo to Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson and Boise State AD Gene Bleymair for standing up for what is right, for what is just, and for what the United States of America is supposed to stand for.
If you are on the other side of this debate, in our opinion on the side of the discriminators, including the BCS and their enablers in the media, shame on you, because you are against the very values and laws that protect your rights in our Republic. Yes, you believe in those values and laws when they apply to you or things you believe in, but you believe that those same rights should not extend to these student-athletes that are being discriminated against by the BCS folks and yes, EVEN BY YOU. Shame, or rather, how in the world can any of the BCS folks or people in the media sleep at night realizing that the system they defend treats a group of American unequally? Can you say the George Wallace-type will never be gone from our society? Yes, we thought so….
If you really want to see what went on both at the University of Alabama with Georgia Wallace and the Kennedy Administration in June, 1963, just watch the below documentary that was being filmed concurrently with the happenings of that time on both sides of the issues. We start the documentary in section 4 and display section 5 as well, but all are certainly worth watching, because one can never know too much US history. Below the documentary, watch the speech by then President Kennedy as he discusses the problems at Alabama and elsewhere involving civil rights in the early 1960s and then read his words below and imagine how those same words apply to what we consider the outrageous actions by the BCS Boys today:
Part 4 of 5 – Alabama/George Wallace School House Door Documentary
Part 5 of 5 – Alabama/George Wallace School House Door Documentary
President Kennedy’s Speech to the Nation on Civil Rights – June 1963
Below are some words from President Kennedy’s Speech that the BCS Boys and supporters of the BCS should think long and hard about….
“This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.
The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated.
This is one country. It has become one country because all of us and all the people who came here had an equal chance to develop their talents.
Therefore, I’m asking for your help in making it easier for us to move ahead and to provide the kind of equality of treatment which we would want ourselves.
As I’ve said before, not every child has an equal talent or an equal ability or equal motivation, but they should have the equal right to develop their talent and their ability and their motivation, to make something of themselves.
This is what we’re talking about and this is a matter which concerns this country and what it stands for, and in meeting it I ask the support of all our citizens.”
So, are there still people out there that think some Americans, some student-athletes should continue to be discriminated against by the BCS Boys? If so, how can you possibly call yourself an American?