Yankee Blog

Friday, November 12, 2004

Maurice Clarett...

There is a great story in ESPN the Magazine this week about Maurice Clarett's saga. Clarett is the former star running back for Ohio State who got run out of town on eligibility issues and then tried to enter the NFL draft early. I wrote about how his entry into the draft could change the NFL a while ago, but it turns out that he was not allowed to enter the NFL and nothing has changed for him or the league.

The story is his side of the separation between him and Ohio State. It is a pretty sordid tale with free cash, free cars, and fixed grades. It is also not the least bit surprising. I have never been a fan of big time college sports, and I think that College Football is the worst of the bunch. The exploitation is just tragic to me. The reason that Clarett got all those perks is because that he what he was worth to the school (actually what he got was probably a fraction of what he was worth to the school). But because of the officially sanctioned collusion that is the NCAA he was prevented from getting a dime of that money. The NCAA, which is run by the colleges, perpetuates a system that benefits the colleges at the expense of young men.

I hope that the ESPN article is the start of a lot more research into this issue and a lot more stories that will expose this situation. However I doubt that will happen. ESPN is being pretty bold in pursuing this story and I applaud them for that. But if you look at the interests of ESPN this is hardly helping them. ESPN has a large investment in College football as a content provider to them, and while in the short term these stories will boost interest, in the long term they will work against the network.

The entire system is closed and the interests are in place to just protect each other. Sports journalism is about creating and driving the interest in sports. It is hardly in the interests of these "journalists" to tell a story that will reduce interest in their subject. Sports are not a given, and there is a reinforcing cycle between those who make the stories and those who tell the stories. I think that is why stories like the Clarett tale are so rarely told, even though they are so common. Maybe this will change things, but I doubt it.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Great article...

The magazine, "Next American City" has a great article on SimCity. I think that this game has done a tremendous amount to influence the number of people interested in city planning. I would not go as far as the author of the article to say that it actually influences how people think about city planning. It might be the case that the game points to certain dynamics, but I think that anyone who has a week of experience working for a city or trying to "plan" a city would have much of a "god" complex.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Who's a fan...

I am a big fan of the Apprentice. If you are too, I really recommend the episode recaps written by Sam (from the first season). He is not afraid to lay into Trump, the candidates, or anything else. It is quite funny, well written, and benefits from his experience as a contestant, but not in an obnoxious, the Quaterback who just retired and is now an announcer kind of way.

Definitely worth reading.