Monday, June 04, 2007

And we're back...

Now that Senior Week and graduation is over, we can get back to business.

And what exactly is business? Great question. How do we proceed with this general blog? Fairfield sports are done and I am done with Fairfield. Perhaps some alumni commentary in the future. It is too specific to turn this into an NHL or New York Rangers blog. Though perhaps this could come in the future.

So I will take ideas via posts, comments, and emails. However, in the meantime this will continue to be some random musings and the life of a post-college grad in search of meaning. Until then something to ponder: "We don't choose our beginning, but we do choose our end." Life is what you do with it.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Spring allergies...

Yes I have them. I didn't until I got to college, but then again there are a lot of things I never did or had before college. (Take that for what you will) Anyway, fresh off a thrilling loss for my New York Rangers against the Buffalo Sabres (good season boys), I am gearing up for the final few days of my collegiate career. While many of my classmates are dreading the real world, the next step, or whatever cliche you prefer to characterize it as, I am not.

True, I have enjoyed my years and made some special relationships, but at the same time there is something to be said for being productive with your time. Unfortunately, I don't feel as if I learned enough academically to warrant my degree, but the outside lessons were certainly important.

Where was my flaw? Perhaps, my choice of school. Perhaps, limiting myself my freshman year and not immersing myself right away. Nonetheless, I feel wiser, but not smarter and are forced to question whether it was really worth it?

I come away with an established piece of paper, that is true. That paper will of course take me through life, but I have aspirations of going into business for myself. How will that help me? Would I not have been better in a work environment gaining experience?

The liberal arts agenda claims that they want to make you a more well-rounded individual and thinker, yet I have never met more closed minded people. That may be partially attributed to the lack of diversity on-campus, but I find it interesting that most liberal arts schools are in fact private religiously-based institutions. Seems odd to educate someone on becoming an open thinker in a closed-minded setting.

Amidst my complaining though there is of course a bright side. I did learn a work ethic, though I definitely broke it more than followed it, and I did learn to associate with a group of people that I hadn't been exposed to, albeit a homogeneous group.

Can I give advice on your collegiate choices? Maybe. Be thorough, be prepared, but don't be fooled. College is a business and there will come a point when the cost certainly outweighs the benefit and there is still something to be said for entrepreneurship.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Changing it up...

With graduation around the corner and the allergy season in full swing, the everyday tasks I have done for the previous four years has become even more difficult to achieve. Nonetheless, the NHL playoffs are heating up, the NBA playoffs are going on, and baseball still has 160 games remaining. Back to a quote of the day:

"There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse! As I have often found in travelling in a stagecoach, that it is often a comfort to shift one's position, and be bruised in a new place." - Washington Irving

In Sports Today: With the NFL draft this weekend, there is a lot of potential for movement as many teams can find valuable assets in the top ten picks. The question will be whether to stay the course or change your thinking for a quick fix.

In News Today: The VA Tech students returned to class today following last week's massacre. With their lives changed forever, we are left to ponder how this will affect their futures as well as future instances in colleges.

At Fairfield Today: As the senior class prepares to move on, there will be a changing of the guard. However, the future of Fairfield will be vastly different for the upcoming and future classes with housing, tuition, and class size all changing drastically.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Chicken wings, Tar Heels, and Rain

So perhaps that is the most random of all titles, but connected nonetheless. Not excusing my recent absence of posts, I took today to the wet flood-filled streets of Fairfield in search of lunch.

I arrived at Archie Moore's, which is my too usual destination, and sat down for their delectable chicken wings and a sesame chicken salad. Both, by the way, held up to standard.

However, what I was intrigued most by was the abundance of UNC fans, players, and possible assistant coaches. Given the men's lacrosse game, that was understandable, but I was shocked by the sheer number of people that traveled from North Carolina. Especially given the weather!

There was one particular table of about 15 parents, kids, etc. that were completely obnoxious. They made disparaging remarks about people walking by, poked constant fun about their "Tar Heels" in athletic comparison to the Stags, and were in the most unusual outfits, including rubber outfits that made them seem as if they were the first mate of a fishing boat rather than at a lacrosse game.

Although the Stags lost, I still feel Fairfield was the victor. Why? Every one of the UNC fans could not get enough of the chicken wings. In the end is that not what it is all about, who has the better chicken wings?

For if you can't enjoy a hot wing on a cold wet day, what is the point of living?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Time to get serious...

I am not going to beat the dead Imus horse, I saved Mirror Sports 3 x 5 this week for that, however I am going to address this growing issue of racism in sports. The main problem: This is not a growing problem. It has been a problem forever and it stems from issues way beyond sports.

In the midst of graduation and finishing up courses, I don't have time to cite historical racism throughout this country and sports. Besides, most of you are well aware.

What I offer is a unique perspective as a man who has a diverse background.

I was not raised under a formal religion as each of my grandparents are a different affiliation. Lutheran, Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish are all a part of my family and my life. While I have a general and basic knowledge of each religion, I don't feel close enough to any religion to consider myself a part of it or defined by it.

Similarly, I grew up in a fairly diverse school district. Racism was certainly present, but it was widespread and amongst all groups. While this may have seemed ass-backwards, it in fact gave everyone a sense of equality. Nobody was above or below anyone else because everyone ripped on each other, equally.

When I came to Fairfield, I was given a culture shock like no other.

While many kids broaden their horizons and branch out, I had to become introverted. I met kids who knew their parents by credit card statements, have never seen a Jewish person, and gave the fabled "there was one black family in my town, but they came in high school." This really bothered me. Could people be this naiive and sheltered? Is it possible in modern day to have this ignorance? After four years, the answer is a resounding yes.

This, in effect, is the issue with this continued racism coming to the fore-front of sports and the media. While the comments of people, and I use the term "people" loosely, such as Don Imus and Michael Ray Richardson are heinous and racist, the sentiments are unfortunately widespread.

It is more than true that these comments have no place in sports, let alone anywhere. At the same time, there is more racism then merely their ignorant comments.

At what point do we attack the greater whole, not just the individual offender?

I pose an alternative view. Last night on Scarborough Country, an African American screenwriter (whose name I sheepishly don't recall) put the entire Imus situation in perspective. Imus, like Richardson, is a crotchety old man who is old school, racist, and isn't going to change. This is a definite truth, but as he continued, his argument became more unique. While he was offended by the comments, the other side is that you can go to BET or MTV and see videos in which African - American women are being portrayed in this way.

As he said, is there no shame in the culture? At what point do we draw the line and stop people from portraying these stereotypes and start moving forward with cultures?

I found this profound and an exact representation of the problems within this country, and world.

Everyone hates stereotypes, but not enough people respect their cultures to cease playing into them. For instance, Jewish comedy is as self-depricating as it comes. Funny, but often asking for anti-Semitism. Rappers like 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg play into the ganster stereotype. The racism is not right, but it is almost justified.

Finally, the argument (which yesterday Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser supported) that cultures can be racist toward themselves does not hold water. You can't be offended by words such as "nigger" when you use it ceaselessly. It is an awful word with an awful connotation and it is not justified, by anyone.

Cultures need to gain a maturity that wrong is wrong, not wrong is only wrong if you say it.

Either that or as Carlos Mencia says, hate everyone equally.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Spring Rebirth

Perhaps the best part of the spring is that it is a great opportunity to start anew. Not to say that everyone has something to start new from, but whether it's the extra holiday pounds or a few too many missed classes, spring has a tendency to rejuvenate and give people an opportunity to be reborn.

It's like a natural baptism.

For college students, the end of the year is in sight. For young students, the year is drawing to a close and a summer off is ahead. For adults, the holiday rushes are over and the credit card bills are finally starting to get back to even.

Whether people choose to make something of this time or not is in their hands, but at least nature is giving you the opportunity. The grass is green, the birds are chirping, the coat is in the closet and the rest is yours to handle.

For me, I have a limited time in college left and I will make the most of it. Take that for what you will!

Friday, April 06, 2007

The eternal question...

What is the meaning of li...oh nevermind. More importantly, playoff beard or no playoff beard? If you go to the official NHL PlayoffBeard guru, then it should be no question now that my team, the New York Rangers, have clinched a post season berth. However, my knowledge should be deeper.

According to the ever-accurate Wikipedia, the playoff beard began in the 1980s with the New York Islanders dynasty. The idea was that players would not shave from the time they entered the playoffs until their team was eliminated. Since then, it has spread into all other pro leagues.

However, George Steinbrenner of the Yankees completely disallows the use of any facial hair, let alone playoff beards.

One interesting hockey tidbit came from the first Edmonton Oilers Stanley Cup in the 1983-84 season. Before the final game, Wayne Gretzky walked into the dressing room and said to shave off everyone's beards because "Stanley Cup champions need to be clean cut." They went on to win, without the elusive help of the playoff beard.

Comment Below: Should fans do the playoff beard?

Did that really happen?

"Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief or ignorance." - W. Clement Stone

Diversions, bells, whistles, and any other mask can not hide the plain truth. While sometimes it is overlooked, the truth is always blatant and simple though many people often hope to not believe it.

In Sports Today:
The NHL is in it's final two days of regular season and both conferences will have integral positions be decided in the final game or two. The truth is that no league in recent memory have ever been this close or exciting.

In News Today: Ruth Ann Stoneburner of Amanda, Ohio was recently fired as a kindergarten teacher. Why? She used clothespins to quiet children. The truth is, the woman should receive a much deeper penalty then simply not working in the district again.

At Fairfield Today: With the Easter Break in swing, there isn't much to report. However, as reported in The Mirror, a Rider student died of alcohol poisoning and Rider is going to investigate hazing. The truth? Students are going to drink regardless and hazing is nothing new, and every student, parent, and administrator knows it. However, athletics bring money therefore they put up with it. How else could a certain basketball player merely be suspended for "undisclosed reasons" when he probably should have been kicked out of school?

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