Wednesday, August 24, 2005

First Impressions

My first week at PCTV is now over. The first few days were rough, and I'm sure this weekend will be similar. The first half of this week has been great. I feel as though I am learning how things work here. The people I work with have been helpful in every way. By the end of this week I'm positive they'll be sick of all my questions. Well, I'd better ask them while I can.
This week I will be in Logan for the game between the LHS Grizzlies and the PC Miners. I'm hoping to be able to get up there early to do lunch with some friends. We'll have to see how that works out.
The picture above is a shot from the halftime show of the Cedar City game last weekend. It was crazy, stressful, hard, and super enjoyable. My announcing partner is Scott Verrone. He is a PC native. I hope to be calling games with him for the rest of the season.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Another Beginning

Today I began another leg of this big journey. I have been hired by Mr. Stanton Jones to work at Park City Television. There are not enough words (spoken or typed) to express my gratitude for this chance to advance my career in broadcast television. As far as first post-graduate jobs go, this is a tremendous opportunity. This job will require me to use everything I learned at USU's University Media Productions, USU's A-TV, and the Utah Jazz. It won't require a little bit from each of these jobs. It will require everything I have learned in each of these jobs. A big thank you to all of the people who have helped me get to this new starting point.
This weekend I will begin working with the broadcasts of Park City Miners football. We will be making the trip to Cedar City for the first game of the season. I will be shooting the game, doing interviews, editing the game, designing graphics, and doing a little bit of color commentating. While this may seem like a lot of stuff, I feel like this is what I need to be doing right now. I am excited and anxious to get going.
If my posts come sparingly for the next little while, know that I am hard at work in a good place.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Opinion: NCAA Drops the Ball

The NCAA has long pretended that it has some kind of governing power over universities in the United States. It would, however, be prudent of the NCAA to realize that it is not in charge of our fine academic institutions. Colleges and universities do apply to be a part of the NCAA, but I do not believe that gives it the right to cry foul when it does not agree with a school's choice of mascot. If it didn't want schools with "racial/ethnic/national origin references in their intercollegiate athletics programs," it should have denied the application of those schools to its athletic association.

The argument may be made that most of the schools have had mascots that may be found offensive longer than ethnic sensitivity has been an issue. Fine. But what is it that makes the NCAA decide how to drop the hammer on this issue? The Univeristy of Utah has long had a great relationship with the Ute indian tribe. If there were some kind of dissent coming from the Ute tribe, I can see how the school would need to look at changing its mascot. That isn't the case, though. The NCAA has tried to make a blanket statement, but they have failed. Besides the Utes in Utah, the Seminoles in Florida have also had a working relationship with Florida State University. FSU has had some different challenges than Utah, but there is communication. Neither school arbitrarily uses the name of an indian tribe in disrespect. Of the original 33 schools put on alert by the NCAA, 18 were put on the final list as offenders of the new policy. Fourteen schools were excused from the ruling. I find the explanation from the NCAA to be lacking in substance. Upon examination of the 14 schools removed from scrutiny, eight of them use the name "Warriors" and three more use the name "Braves." The last was San Diego State and its use of the Aztec mascot. I looked at the websites of each of these fourteen schools. I still found various arrows, spears, and feathers in logos for a bunch of the teams. Where is the line? Why do the schools with relationships with their tribes get punished while teams that use vague references to indians get a nice wink from the NCAA?

The president of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media, Vernon Bellencourt said he feels the NCAA has gone halfway on the whole issue.

That being said, it would appear that this NCAA ruling has done one thing-- confuse everyone. Fans are confused and angry. Teams are confused. School administrators are confused. The native americans are confused. And I believe the NCAA has effectively confused itself. Proof? The NCAA's press release.

"[M]ember institutions are encouraged to educate their internal and external constituents on the understanding and awareness of the negative impact of hostile or abusive symbols, names and imagery, and to create a greater level of knowledge of Native American culture through outreach efforts and other means of communication."

Communication? How about talking to the Ute indian tribes about their feelings? Wouldn't that have been a good idea before kicking the Utes around in the national media for using a "hostile" mascot? Now, the Ute indians are being pegged as unable to fend for themselves. The school looks insensitive. And the NCAA looks like a bunch of selfish and spotlight-starved idiots. Fortunately, the Ute indians and the University of Utah have done nothing to be ashamed of. The NCAA, however, just found itself with more mud on the face.

I am an Aggie, but on this issue--GO UTES!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

RIP: Peter Jennings

Peter Jennings has died of lung cancer at the age of 67.
It was only four months ago that Jennings abruptly announced his diagnosis. He left his post as the news anchor for ABC World News Tonight with the hope of returning. Now he will be able to take his seat behind the news desk in heaven. There, cancer slows no one.
God bless the Jennings family. Thank you, Peter, for your many years of respectful reporting.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Not My Pastime

Today was another sad day in what has been a sad decade for Major League Baseball. Today, 19-year veteran, Rafael Palmeiro was suspended for a whopping 10 days for having violated the league's drug policy. The issue I have with all of this does not have much to do with the individual as it does with the sport.

I have enjoyed backyard baseball games with my neighbor kids and professional games in huge stadiums. Still, my heart sinks to think about the potential of any of my brothers or cousins using drugs so that they could be better athletes. I don't want them seeing players and creating heroes out of athletes who are secretly destroying their bodies. I don't want them to see these athletes lying on television and in the newspapers and in front of Congress. Lying is wrong. Cheating is wrong. Winning is not that important. Money is not that important.

Professional sports in general has skirted around this issue for a long time. In Major League Baseball, players are suspended for ten days when a player is caught the first time. Depending on the schedule, this could mean the offender misses between one and ten games. Palmeiro will miss nine games (if my math is correct). His nine games will mean he misses under six percent of the season. In the National Baskeball Association, first-time offenders are suspended for five games. The percentage is almost identical; six percent. The National Football League goes farther than basketball and baseball. The rules for its offenders mean a player could miss a quarter of the season. Just two weeks ago, the National Hockey League ended its work stoppage, and players agreed to random drug tests twice every season. Here, first-time offenders are suspended for 20 games. Those first-time offenders are going to miss almost a third of their season. The NHL has the stiffest rules for offenders. The second offense will lead to a player being suspended for sixty games, and the third offense will get a player kicked out of the league forever.

Ironically, hockey has seen the least amount of the spot light for drug abuse among its players. Why do I think this is ironic? Baseball knows it has a problem, but it won't do anything significant about it. Hockey knows it doesn't want the problems baseball has had, so it created a preemptive policy. Baseball is going to have to publish two record books. The first will be the pre-1970 records. I propose the title of this book be "Records from America's Pastime" The second will have to be "Baseball's Drug Era Record Book" or "Baseball Records by Dummies" not "for Dummies." That second book could probably have an entire section dedicated to "Games Missed Due to Drug Suspension" or "Games Missed Due to Injury Rehabilitation Because Drugs Destroyed My Body and I Couldn't Heal."

Baseball may be called America's pastime, but I disagree. Professional baseball has embittered me toward the game. Basketball, soccer, football, hockey, cricket, polo, and quittage all rank higher than baseball right now for my preferred sports. Goodbye, baseball.

I finish now with two quotes from this spring's congressional hearings.

"This is like the theatre of the absurd, here," Rep. Tom Lantos (D-California); House Government Reform Committee; 17 March 2005

"I am in favor of eliminating the problem completely," Rafael Palmeiro, Baltimore Orioles.