Friday, March 13, 2015

College Basketball Officiating and Tourney Edition ... and Ten Things Of Thankful!!!

See All Ten Things Of Thankful Posts HERE!!!

NCAA MARCH MADNESS, a phrase copyrighted by CBS and the Turner
Broadcasting, illegal to use in advertising by anyone else, is about to make its meaning clear once again.

For three years, I've watched the NCAA Tournament in a different light.  Instead of concentrating on the games and the actions of the players,

I've concentrated on the officiating.

For years, I was naive, thinking the best team would win.  Then, I started noticing something strange.

A couple of years ago, I took off the month of March from work so that I could watch every game of the tourney.  It was at that time I started noticing patterns in the officiating.  Patterns that normally wouldn't take place, yet, time after time, made their appearance known.  Patterns that meant one thing to those broadcasting the games ... money!

There were several things in common of which these patterns consisted.  Generally, they depended on several like factors: 1) size of team fan base, 2) team geographic area of population, 3) areas of interest concerning fans/conferences, and 4) forecasts of announcers.

In other words, if your team has a national fan base that resides close to big chain stores, is in a conference that draws huge television audiences, and is predicted to win by the announcing staff, chance are they're going to come out on top ... or at least into the final four.

We've actually seen this occur during the regular season many times, but most fail to recognize it as they're so caught up in the action.  Think I'm kidding?  Think again.

Let's say a lower ranked team displays tremendous effort and takes a huge lead on the favorite.  Then, 3-5 minutes before half time, they suddenly have several questionable fouls called on them, have 3 second calls assessed even though the favorite camps in the lane time after time, and are called for traveling and double dribbles that were overlooked by officials the prior 15 minutes.  So, just prior to halftime, the favorite is given a great chance to pull closer.

The second half depends on how both teams start out.  If the underdog ... starts out strong, watch for fouls to be called on their best and strongest players early on.  Otherwise, the game might be called honestly for a while.  If the game is tight with about seven minutes to go, forget it.  The officials will then take over, doing the same things they did the first half, and the favorite will pull out a "tremendous" victory over a "game" opponent.

It plays out that way time and time again.  

I actually made a study of this by using the DVR to record game after game, noting the times and the calls made, and replaying at slow motion to validate the officiating.  Guess what?  I couldn't validate 86% of the calls.

So, what conclusions do I have to conclude from this?  

It's really simple.  It's a known fact that television networks love to make their advertisers happy.  By providing them with the largest group of potential customers for their products, the stations, NCAA, and schools (gaining TV money) all prosper.  As winning team fans look at the grumbling of the underdog teams to be only "sour grapes", nothing is done to make the game more fair for all.

The only ones to lose out are the players and fans that are cheated out of victories.  But, since they consist in lesser numbers than the favorites, it's no big deal.  In fact, for a month or two prior to the tourney, announcers pick the favorites to set the losers up for a future fall, lowering expectations of their fan base.

So, what about the "Cinderella" team?

Broadcasters know that not all the fans love the favorites.  Fans of teams losing early on will have more interest in watching if they keep an element of excitement in the tourney.  Even with the efforts of the officials, there are surprise teams that will beat the odds (and the officials) and pull off an upset.  (Remember, the officials must be careful so as not to draw too much attention to their patterns.  Otherwise, the entire sham would be noticed by more than the few that see it for what it is.)

So, the "Cinderella" favorite will continue as its temporary fan base grows.  Some have maintained deep into the tourney, occasionally even breaking into the Final Four.  Still, in the end, the favorite will be crowned.

So, who do I pick to win this year?  As much as I completely despise the team, I pick the University of Kentucky.  It's the best team that money can buy, for sure.  (Fans in the state comment that it does no more to draw players than any other schools.  However, having been employed by a business some years ago that supplied several players with its product under the names of other people, I would guess that not be the whole story.)

The University of Kentucky has a huge fan base.  They're kind of like the Dallas Cowboys in several ways.  When they're winning, they're America's team.  When they're losing, everyone acts totally disgusted  and game attendance drops dramatically.  Fair weather fans are in surplus, for sure.  Also, they tend to draw more uneducated fans than most other colleges as Kentucky's working population doesn't have much to look forward to in entertainment besides the Wildcats.  (I guess it makes them feel like winners, even though many would be rejected if they applied for admittance to the school.)  Even those that are well off financially buy courtside seats behind the team bench as it is a symbol of economic status.  Unfortunately, if you watch any game held at Rupp Arena, you'll see most of them socializing (some even knitting) as if the game wasn't taking place in front of them.

Still, UK has a huge fan base, is geographically located in the Central U.S. close to many metro areas, and has as coach, John Calipari, who utilizes the "one and done" with enough disregard for his players futures to make him controversial enough to draw national attention.  And, with the University of Louisville down this year, it helps to unite the fans.   So, regardless of the quality of play, you'll see them move on to the championship.

Who are some of the other contenders?  Gonzaga (huge West Coast fan base, especially with most of the West Coast teams not being as strong as usual), Maryland (they have several questionable losses, but they have a huge East Coast fan base even though they're now in the Big Ten Conference), Duke (not a great season but landmark wins for their coach, plus a huge East Coast fan base),and Wisconsin (the Big Ten underdog in fan base, although they will draw from the conference fans wanting to show the Big Ten is still a viable basketball conference).  Cinderella's?  Purdue, LSU, Arkansas, and Notre Dame.

Anyway, I've bored most (and pissed off some) of my regular readers to this point. Just remember to take the emotions out of it and watch the officiating to see if what I stated isn't accurate.  Let's move on!

It's time for 
Ten Things Of Thankful!!!

This week I'm thankful for:

1)  Rape Victim Blamed For Rape
Okay, one of these fine looking men
made the statements in the story you're
reading.  Look at each one of them,
say the statement out loud, and
figure out which ones you'd set free.
What?  None of them?
C'est le Vie!
One of the attackers of a New Delhi girl in 2012 has stated "If she hadn't have fought back she wouldn't have been killed." He also made comments as 1to the fact that her and her boyfriend were out late at night (9 p.m.), she was wearing inviting clothes, and if she had just given in and not fought back she'd be alive today.

I'm thankful for this as it gives you insight of what I've talked about before.  I've discussed the lack of personal accountability in our world today many times.  Perhaps, this is the best example I've found of simply having no clue as to the difference between right and wrong.When a person doesn't recognize that their actions, and only their actions were the reason a person is no longer living on this Earth, then it's time for society to change!

So, ladies, I leave it up to you. Castration (slowly and painfully), torture (naked upon an Army ant mound), Imprisonment (for life), or let him run the one mile long gauntlet of vengeance seeking friends, relatives and acquaintances of the victim.

Anyone need a new group of tenors in their church choir?

2)  Hillary's "Oops!"
I love standing here with a
blank expression on my face.
It feels so normal!
Did I send an email, and if so, did I save it?  Or, did I not send and email, and if so, who didn't I send it to?  I could have, but I didn't, but I only keep one phone for even though I knew better I didn't want to be bothered with a second ... I think.

I haven't followed this as closely as I should have, but it does seem to be a major screw up on the part of a future presidential candidate.  Do we really want someone that is only looking for convenience and excuses to be our next false facade of a leader?  I'm thankful this came out before the election instead of after it.  So, who will you vote for?  I leave that up to you.

Why?  Well, I could go into more detail, but I really don't want to be bothered as I've got other things to write and I don't remember what they are unless I keep my mind on only one thing at a time and in my position, being so important here, it's easier to do if I pay attention to the future instead of worrying about what's happening now, even though it was my fault I didn't before.  

See what I mean?

3)  Oh How, Oh How Do We Kill Them?
We live in one of the few "civilized" countries in the world that executes certain criminals for certain crimes.  Some say it ought to happen more often.  Some say any is too much.  However, as long as it is legal, it will be done ... somehow.

What do I mean?  Well, there seems to be a shortage of drugs in which to humanely execute a person.  We've all heard about the botched up Oklahoma and Arizona executions last year, and other states, fearing lawsuits, don't want to be the next in line to have the same thing happen.

So, what do they do?

Simple, bring out the firing squad!  

Wasn't this a part of history that we
proclaimed deplorable?
Utah has put a bill in front of the Governor to make the firing squad a viable option for executions if the approved drugs are not available.  Other states, Arkansas, Wyoming and Oklahoma have similar bills either approved or pending approval.

I'm thankful that the states are so concerned about the timetables of these executions.  Why keep a killer alive one day longer when bullets are in grand supply?  It's like a line at a supermarket when a price check is needed.  Keep the customers moving by opening another register!

Isn't the "let's keep 'em moving" attitude being still around in this century something we can all be thankful of?

I wonder, "Whatever happened to hanging?"

4)  Lines No Longer Blurred
Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams both made over $5 million each with their hit "Blurred Lines" last year.  However, the family of Marvin Gaye filed a lawsuit claiming they stole the basics for the song from Marvin's hit, "Got To Give It Up."

Stealing music isn't stealing if you don't get caught.  Unfortunately, Robin and Pharrell did.  Now, they'll have to come up with $7 million to pay off the Gaye family.  There really wasn't much doubt as to the result, though.  It's been said that Williams and Thicke wrote and recorded their version in one night.  Of course, it's always faster to copy a novel than to write one.

I have a feeling that Pharrell isn't too "Happy" with the decision. 
 I imagine he'll "Voice" his opinion in the near future.   
(Okay, I'll admit to bad puns.  Where's the rimshot?)

5)  Ferguson Police Chief Resigns
The U.S. Justice Department gave the police officer that shot a gangbanger that was killed in Ferguson a clean slate, but knocked how the police department he worked for operated.  Since then, several officers, a clerk, and now, the Chief of Police, Tom Jackson, are gone.

But, get this.  The primary reason for the negative report came from the fact that the department was "profit driven."  Out of the department's $13 million plus operating budget, over a quarter of it was supposed to come from fines and court fees.

I ask you, "Since when does the Chief of Police dictate where the operating funds for his department will come from?"

Answer:  "He Doesn't!"

Welcome to Ferguson!
Our police department makes
money.  What's yours do?
Obviously, city management is responsible for this.  They set and approve the budgets for all their departments.  It's their civic responsibility.  Then, they ride the managers of those departments endlessly to meet what they set down.  They also put pressure on the local judicial system to make money via fines and such.

Now, in the discrimination arena, three emails were found, out of all correspondences, to be discriminatory.  One sender was fired and the other two have resigned.  Also, the judge that handled the majority of the fines and fees cases from Ferguson has resigned.

As far as more blacks than whites being stopped or pulled over by police, the city's statistics might help to explain why.  The population of the city is 21,111.   65.2% of the population is Black, while only 30.3% of the population is White. (**  The remainder consists of a mix or Hispanic, Asian, and very few others.  With over a 2 to 1 ratio, an explanation of why more blacks are pulled over might make a little more sense.  But, this wasn't brought out by the news agencies stirring things up, was it?

Ladies and gentlemen, can you say "scapegoat?"

All the city commissioners, board members, and governing body personnel have kept their jobs.  The people that pushed the actions are all safe and employed, where the ones that followed orders are being pushed aside and made examples of.  Once again, money rules and the wealthy get off Scott free.

Of course, this resignation took care of all of
 Ferguson's problems ... or did it? 

6)  Verizon Bids Adieu To Weather Channel
Verizon has said goodbye to the Weather Channel for its FIOS-TV customers.  This shocked the Weather Channel that thought it was in the middle of renewal contract negotiations.  Ask for too much and this is what happens.

Get over it and get over yourself, Weather Channel!  You dropped your roots of telling us what the weather was and started producing shows and series that no one wanted to watch.  Somewhere along the line you thought that people would watch your channel for hours, when ten minutes was all they wanted ... at most.  For God's sake, it's only the weather!

Decades ago, I attended a Meteorological School.  The first day of class, the instructor stated, "Never be afraid to forecast the weather.  You have a 50/50 chance of being right and a 50/50 chance of being wrong.  If you're right, you look like God.  If you're wrong, blame it on God!"

I'm wondering whom your blaming for this?

7)  William Flynn Paroled
In younger days
... manipulated and manipulator.
"Who?" you ask.

William Flynn was the 15-year-old lover of 22-year-old Pamela Smart.  Back in 1990, while another young man held Pamela's husband down, William held a pistol to the head of her husband and pulled the trigger, murdering him.  Why?  According to him, Pamela had told him that she'd break up with him if he didn't.  And, William Flynn was in love.

Twenty plus years later, the parole board has mercy upon him and grants him parole.  He won't be released until June, but has already married while in prison and has a stepdaughter.  He also has earned an electrician's helpers license.

See, if you're in love, everything works out in the end.  That is, except for Smart's husband who is still dead.

(I feel like Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" 
should be playing in the background.)


8)  (Back to Ferguson) Police Officers Shot
So, the Chief of Police resigns, and a rowdy group of protesters still gather.  Why?  Who knows ... maybe most of them don't have to go to work tomorrow and have already received their government assistance checks.  After a while, they decide to break up right in front of the police station.  Two officers assigned outside and are met with gun shots.  One has a bullet enter his cheek and lodge by his ear and the other has a bullet enter the front of his shoulder and leave out the back.
Caution: Strong Profanity
Did you hear the comment, 
"Acknowledgement 9 months ago would 
have kept that from happening?"

Some people will never have any
common sense or common decency!

The justice department cleared the police officer involved, which means that the person shot was completely in the wrong to the point of creating a dangerous self-defense position for that police officer.  This was an investigation spurred on by a Black President and led by a Black Attorney General.  Please stop playing the race card and admit that the young man was a thug (as videos of the convenience store robbery just prior to the incident already show) and accept the fact he brought his own demise upon himself by his actions.  It's time to move on!

However, since you insist on continuing this self pity game, I still say, 
"Close the police department down and let the residents see 
what it's like without one!"  

I'm thankful this happened as this certainly says something about the character of Ferguson's residents, doesn't it?  Instead of facing their opposition face to face, the shooter hides in the shadows and ambushes the officers.  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called the shooter a "Damn Punk ... A Punk!"

Yep, shut the police department down and let survival of the fittest take over.  When there's only on left, send the police back in to arrest him.  Maybe then the streets of Ferguson will be safe.  We'll all be able to walk with our grandchildren down the streets and smell the sweetness of the neighborhood and relish in the safety the city offers.


9)  Grilled Chicken Sandwiches Sales Down 9% in 2014
At least this one adds mayo,
lettuce and tomato so you taste
Restaurant critics are amazed that the sales of grilled chicken sandwiches are down.  Everyone knows that frying is bad for you.  And, yes, hamburgers are also bad for you.  So, why have these offerings dropped in popularity?

According to experts, it's because of advertising.  More hamburgers were advertised last year, so more hamburgers were sold.  That is their explanation.

Mine?  Grilled chicken sandwiches suck!  Most of the time they're bland in taste, get cold, tough and dry too quickly, and usually are setting in a pool of cold water by the time you get ready to eat them.  Dress them up with barbecue sauce if you wish ... they're still gonna suck.

Subway is trying to get the grilled chicken trend going again.  But, according to a local store manager, what are more people ordering?  Meatball sandwiches!  I rest my case.

Where's the beef?

In my tummy, tummy, tummy ... yummy, yummy, yummy!

10)  Eavesdropping Barbie?
No, it's not this one, but be careful,
you never know when Mattel will
start putting chips in all dolls!
There comes a time when research is ridiculous.  In fact, there comes a time when it should be considered completely illegal.

What am I talking about?  Well, there's a new Barbie slated to hit the shelves.  Your child pushes a button and asks it a question.  Barbie, like Apple's Siri, is supposed to respond with an answer.  Sounds simple enough, doesn't it?

Now, here's the good part.  The questions and conversations your child has with this doll are sent to "the cloud" and stored for future review.  Who will be doing the reviewing?  Why, manufacturers, of course!  It is believed they will be able to better find what the children want and make future dolls and toys to take care of those desires.

In other words, you pay to have your kids robbed of their thoughts, ideas, and future dreams.  In the meantime, Mattel's partner, Toy Town, comes up with more and more money making toys.

Privacy groups don't like this, parents that understand what's going to happen don't like this, and kids don't like it, if like their parents, it's explained to them.

What Mattel needs to do is to create new characters called Tattle Tale Trudy and Big Mouth Marvin.  These toys will do the same as the Barbie, but with their names, the kids will be reminded to watch what they say!

And, the 
Kanye West Asshole of the Week Award 
Goes To:

LIL' WAYNE !!!!!

After performing seven songs for a college crowd, rapper Lil' Wayne threw a temper tantrum and stormed off the stage when the DJ played a song that had another rapper on it.

The mature thing to do would have gone with the flow and performed.  At worst, it would have been to stop the show and change the tape. But, in following in the footsteps of Kanye, he let his emotions rule and screwed all those that had purchased tickets to make his tail richer.

Don't you love rappers?  No wonder the prison system is filled with those ignorant enough to have  considered them role models.

"Yo, Yo, 
to prison you will
Go, Go.

(And while you're there, 
don't forget to get your teardrop tattoo!)

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That's it for another week of TTOT!


PS:  For those of you that like sarcasm a little more raw, check out my new blog