What’s on my mind……..

What’s on my Mind? Every once in a blue moon things stir in my brain and I have to put them on black and white to see if they make sense. Most of the time I delete 90% of what I type just because it comes out as “What the hell was I thinking?” There are occassions however that what I type does make some semblance to sanity and it is those thoughts that I wish to share with you readers. I hope you enjoy. Please feel free to comment

chi_a_jrw_300x200The LLWS committee decided to strip the championship from last year’s U.S. Champions. The team from Chicago represented as the Jackie Robinson West team, hailed as the first all-African-American team to win the championship must now vacate all wins from the 2014 Little League Baseball International tournament; including their Great Lakes Regional and U.S. Championship.

The LLWS committee has suspended the coach as well as removed the Illinois District 4 administrator.

Part of this morning’s office discussion was why the U.S. Teams cheat so often. It was the opinion of a couple of us it was due to the fact, “We have those that envy success and they tell on each other”.

And not saying two wrongs make a right but I for one have thought for many years that the international teams are NOT held to the same standard and rules that the teams in the U.S. are burdened with. My statement to that fact opened a whole new can of discussion and basically we were split about half and half with those that felt the LLWS International Committee did a good job in overseeing and making sure that All teams were treated equally and those on my side of the fence that feel like teams from Japan, Mexico and other perennial contenders “beef up” their teams with players outside of their districts.

The team from Chicago used players within their defined district. Problem was they falsified their district boundary map limits to include areas where they pulled kids from.

The bottom line will still remain  that bunch of kids will be remembered as cheaters. The KIDS did not do it. Their parents MAY have been involved, but most certainly, those placed in a position of authority or in charge is definitely to blame.Maybe , just maybe the players involved knew or was aware of the change, but they are still NOT at fault.

All the good for their community and all the good old American pride and Rah-Rah for the home team is now just a feeling of betrayal by many Americans. I know I am one of those sitting here today and feeling ashamed that WE as a society feel the need to win at all cost no matter what.

What did we teach these kids? What is their take-away from this whole thing now? We just taught them that it is okay to cheat as long as you don’t get caught?

I thought that Little League Baseball was to promote the sport and the life-learning lessons of sportsmanship. I guess that is not the case anymore.

IMO, Baseball is a sport that is failing young African-Americans to begin with. And now we have some Self-Serving adults screw it up not just for the team from Chicago but I hazard to guess for many other kids as well in other cities as well.

 

Dean SmithWhen I reached the age that was old enough to start caring about sports, and I mean all sports, there was a name synonymous with greatness in our community. I don’t remember the exact age or year I began listening or paying attention to sports making nationwide news but I do remember many of the names in those days. In the NFL you heard of Starr, Unitas, Tarkenton and Staubach.

And like the millions of kids that came before me and the millions that came after me, I focused more on the players than I did those coaching or managing the team.

It was not until I reached my 20’s that I began realizing that the guys mentoring/coaching and managing the players made a difference. And when I say made a difference I am not just talking about recruiting or drafting but I mean REALLY made a difference in player development.

Dean Smith was probably one of the greatest Basketball minds to ever develop a college hoops player. There might have been better recruiters. There might be even guys that were/are better at judging talent. But in my book he was the best at getting players to play to their full potential AS a team member. He developed team leaders as well as players.

While at the University of North Carolina he became a figure head and ambassadors for the sport. Many coaches tried to emulate him and many are successful today due to his tutelage but none have nor will they ever replace him.

I heard as a kid an old saying that “If God was not a Tarheel, then why was the sky Carolina Blue?” I still smile when I think of that saying and I remember Coach Smith courtside with some of the greatest to even don the uniform and I have nothing but extreme fond memories of those days.

We have definitely lost one of our greatest ever. R.I.P Coach Smith.

 

John CalipariAs a lifelong fan of the Tarheel Basketball program; I may add that I gave up on them EVER developing a football program to compete for the NC; it was easy for me to wear “bias or rose colored” glasses when looking at other Div-I programs.

I knew of and respected the hell out of other programs like Kansas, Kentucky and Louisville but I did not think or accept the fact that they stood up to my mighty Tarheels; especially with the “Dean of Hoops” at the control center. As I grew older I realized there were other schools that had great basketball programs other than UNC. I did not like it, but I grew to accept it.

And that leads me into this next segment. Since 2009 my bias and love of the game has made me bitter and loathing of one particular Coach and program that has done nothing but win; and that team and coach of course is the University of Kentucky and their coach John Calipari.

Prior to his taking the reins at UK I had only heard of the troubles his team had in the past and not of his success as a coach; the first of which involved Marcus Camby accepting money in cash and gifts from an agent. The second incident involved Derek Rose cheating on his SATs in order to get into Memphis.

Both of these incidents Calipari was cleared of any wrong doings but he ended up leaving both schools under a cloud of suspicion and vacated games for both schools.

While both incidents involved the players doing something wrong, many of us always blame from top down and that of course would place a lot of the blame square on Calipari’s shoulders.

UNC RamAnd then the UNC Academic Scandal breaks and I am like, “what the f’?” How in the hell did this happen at UNC?

From what I understand the whole “fake classes” thing started in 1993, four years prior to Dean Smith retiring, but during his tenure as head coach. In no way do I see the scandal tainting his legacy but what about Roy Williams? Is his integrity and legacy tainted? What about the other sports programs and coaches as well?

I would be a hypocrite big time IF I did not judge them the same way I did John Calipari right? I would have to say yes. But instead of judging them and feeling like those two coaches did something wrong, I guess my eyes have been opened and I have re-evaluated how I look at Coach Calipari.

I am still not a fan of the “One and done” players that he runs through his program but one cannot argue the success it has brought to the university. And what the team is doing this season is remarkable. All they do is win.

UK

Being a Tarheel homer, I still don’t like it; but I have resigned myself to give them the props and accolades deserving of a great team and as well as a great coach. I still have not brought myself to “liking” Coach Calipari, but I sure as hell respect what he is doing there in Kentucky.

These are things that are on my mind. Your comments are welcome.

 

 

 

 

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About Archie 139 Articles
Name: Archie Michael Williams Age: 57 (as of 17 September) Occupation: Department of the Army Civilian / Retired Army NCO Grew up in North Carolina, now live in Oklahoma I entered the US Army in October 1984 and retired May 2005. Veteran of the Gulf War with the 3rd Armor Calvary Regiment (ACR) Spent entire Army career as a Fire Support Specialist (Field Artillery Observer / Coordinator) Avid, let me say this again, AVID sports fan. Favorite teams and sports: NFL = Pittsburgh Steelers MLB = Atlanta Braves NBA = OKC Thunder NHL = There is no way I could care less. Soccer = see NHL note College NCAAF = Oklahoma Sooners NCAAB = UNC Tarheels. Hobbies = Golf, Bowling , Hunting, Fishing I will answer any questions you have, Just give me a buzz!

2 Comments

  1. Archie, nice post. A couple.of comments:

    1) Would you think that it would have been appropriate to make both WWLG teams co-champions under these peculiar circumstances? After all, Jackie Robinson West players were not culprits and neither were the Japanese players. The sanctions against the JRW people who gerrymandered the district lines could remain in place and perhaps even strengthened.

    This would not be an “ideal” solution, since the object of justice is to make the victim “whole.” But the players of both teams were victims, and “wholeness” for either team isn’t “wholeness” for the other. (It might be an extension to declare ties in all the games played by JRW by the same reasoning, presuming that JRW advanced due to a coin flip in each case. I know it gets messy, but we see at work the maxim: “Once injustice has occurred, there is no just way to reverse it.”

    2) As a Wolverine, I can sympathize with the position that Tarheels (or Buckeyes or Nitanny Lions) find themselves in. All colleges offer “tutorial” or “directed readings” types of courses for students (and professors) who cannot cover the subject matter in a conventional class. By their nature, these types of courses are designed to be flexible and easy to manipulate in various ways.

    This means that those–either with malicious intent or just taking advantage of an opportunity–can manipulate these courses for anti-academic purposes. It apparently happened at North Carolina and could happen (or maybe already has) at Michigan. It is the responsibility of each school to monitor itself, but this (or any) process is subject to failure.

    There has been speculation recently for compensating amateur players in various ways. I see this as destructive of the sport and of the academic institutions. I suggest that one way to address this problem is to ensure that there are “minor leagues” outside academe which can hire and pay budding athletes (such as now exists in baseball and hockey). Intercollegiate competitions could still be held, but for those who are primarily interested in education (including physical education) rather than profession competition.

  2. First, thanks for your perusing our site.

    Your commetns are spot on.

    I don’t think there is a “cure” for the LLWS committee that can accomodate and please everyone in these situations. Only thing I can see that they do is get better in the future OR re-look those rules they have to see if they still meet intent.

    Some of the Inter-City kids that move often may or may not be eligible to play under their current rules while others “move” their reisdence just so they can play.

    The LLWS lost a very good Taiwan club after , I think, 1997; which by the way still holds the record for most championships. Taiwan simply stated they were not going to abide by the new rules and that the committee could just get bent. In this case, who paid the price? The Kids.

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