Monday, February 25, 2008

Playing the Gadfly

One of the things I like to do is poke holes in people's arguments by using hard cold facts... in other words, slapping them upside the ol haid with them!

Case in point... on the Argus Leader boards, a woman (I'm assuming) is criticizing schools for putting too much emphasis on sports and "Paying coaches too much". Well, I was a coach for a while in another life and I was a little upset by her blanket statement. So I posted this little response...

You know, Buffy, you're right... there's too much emphasis on sports and there's too much money going into sports!

Now, let's break down the numbers... An average high school basketball coach will get a coaching stipend of around $2000 for the season. Some make more, others less, but 2-grand is a good middle figure.

You need at least 10 days of practice before your first game. So figure a minimum of four hours a day for prep work (taping ankles, setting up equipment) as well as a practice. You're looking at a bare bones minimum of 40 hours work before the season starts. Most coaches like the two-a-days so they can get their guys conditioned so you could even add more to that.

Now we get into the season. According to the South Dakota High School Activities Association, the typical basketball season from start to finish is 15 weeks. Take 3 practices a week at 4 hours total (prep and actual practice time) and two games (including travel time, since some coaches are also bus drivers) and you're looking at a bare bones minimum of 22 hours a week.

So we take the pre-season hours, plus the season hours and a coach will total a minimum of 370 hours during the season. Take that by that $2,000 stipend I mentioned earlier and you're looking at compensation of around $5.40 an hour. Last time I checked, minimum wage was set at $5.85 an hour. Of course for some folks, that's too much money to be making!

And I'm leaving out a lot of extra stuff... like videotape research that the coach will do at home on his or her own personal time... Washing team uniforms... going out of town to scout opponent's games. Attending rules meetings, continuous training and coaching clinics and re-certification (most of which is paid out of the coach's own pocket). So tack on another hundred hours and you're looking at $4.25 an hour... no tips either!

So let's see... pre-seson work, regular-season work, dealing with know-it-all fans that think they know everything about basketball because their YMCA 10-year old youth team placed 3rd at Tri-State 20 years ago.. Oh, and I nearly forgot... they also have a full teaching load on top of that, too !

You're right Buffy. These coaches make too much money.

Sometimes I'm just too damn good! LOL

On awards shows...

Well, good readers, we just wrapped up the granddaddy of all awards show, "The Oscars". And according to early figures, ratings for this program are sinking faster than Kelvin Sampson's hopes for the College Basketball Hall of Fame!

So why the drop? Could be a lot of things... the lingering effects of the writer's temper tantru--I mean strike... The fact that America's fastest-growing spectator sport ran so late on Fox. Or perhaps it's something else... something more basic.

I think folks are getting tired of these awards shows trying to one-up each other in terms of oppulence and tacky self-promotion. The long-winded speeches and political appeals by the winners, the overblown tribues, and the arrogance that people will take over FOUR FRICKIN HOURS to watch this claptrap. If I'm going to be watching something for four hours, there'd best be some helmets, shoulder pads, and a good chance someone's getting a bone broken!

Frankly, I was tickled when the Golden Globes went to a press conference format because of the strike. It was quick, to-the-point, and it was frickin' interesting! Hell, I'm probably like most of the viewers and tuned in last night at 10:30... after all, that's when the big awards are presented.

Don't get me wrong, art direction and costumes and best sound mixing by a lesbian asian woman is all interesting, but I think you could have a very nice, 2-hour viewer-friendly program with all the catagories if you cut out the oppulence and self-righteous self back-slapping.

Until the folks in Hollywood get this through their thick, cocaine-addled skulls, the Oscars and other self-important "awards" shows will continue to see their TV ratings drop like the proverbial stone.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I know... I know... I'm a week late! SUE ME!

For all of you in love or who want to be in love... enjoy!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Baldwin Edict...

Well, it's official... My General Manager says I'm verboten from doing any kind of game broadcast tonight due to the Alec Baldwin-like quality to my voice. I'm to go home after my airshift tonight and go straight to bed...

Anyone care to join me? ;)

Sounding like a Baldwin

Well, it's been fairly eventful over the past few weeks, my friends, so I'll just give you the main points.

Work has been as busy as ever with basketball games, sick announcers, and gymnastics. With the supposed drop-off in games due to the end of the regular season, I figured things would be easier and I'd get a chance to rest my over-taxed voice. The damn flu bug made other plans. So I've been pushing my voice more than it should and with a cold I'm still trying to shake, I'm afraid I may come down with a case of laryngitis.

But I got to do some cool things, like watch Madison win its 14 straight state gymnastics title. What makes it even cooler is that it set a national record. I've been very impressed with the heart and dedication of these athletes. I guess I just became a Madison gymnastics fan!

The personal life has been quite interesting to say the least. A friend from my past has reappeared in my life. We're taking our time reconnecting (and for me to get over some trust issues). I try to tell her hi daily, but sometimes my timing can be a bit off and I end up missing her so I feel like a stalker in that sense. So I feel a little discouraged... I wish my sense of timing was better!

And one of these days I'll shake off my cold... I need to see my lil' Zoey Swee' Pea!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Money (That's All I Want!)

Well, it's official. The rebate checks are coming... as long as you fill out your taxes (if that isn't enough of a stimululs!)

Basically, it works out like this... $600 per person or $1200 per couple (sorry, no "double dipping!") and $300 per kid. So most of us will start getting checks about May (about the time I'm thinking of looking for a new car! LOL).

But who won't get the checks? People who don't make enough money (gotta make at least $3000 a year, no welfare please) and people who make too much money (75-thousand for single folk, 150-thousand for couples). But... The Crypt Blog lists an interesting group of folks who won't be getting the stimulus checks:

Off-the-books earners: Prostitutes, drug dealers and loan sharks may be big indirect recipients of stimulus funds, but they won’t get checks themselves unless they’re reporting their earnings on their 1040s (in which case the lack of rebate checks may be the least of their worries).

Hey, I don't make the news, I just report it... humorous though it may be!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


It seems more and more I'm being visited by ghosts. Not the fake ones like in "Scooby Doo" or the ones in "Ghostbusters" (kick-ass movie, by the way!), but rather the people in my life I figured were off and gone.

Rather amazing... even though I hadn't seen these people, much less TALKED to them in several years, it's almost like time has stood still.

And it has me confused, because I know I caused some of them pain and anguish... and the fact they want anything to do with me is simply amazing. And some want even more.

It reminds me of the song by .38 special... "A heart needs a second chance"... yeah, cheesy 80's pop I know... but it's from the Van Zant family (as in Lynard Skynard Van Zant), so BACK OFF!

Question is, can I convince myself that I deserve a second chance?

Friday, February 01, 2008


Ever have one of those days where you feel like telling the world to kiss your ass?

I had one of those days today.

Thank God it's over.

I'm going to bed.